Friday, 15 June 2012

Books Without Buzz (2): Everyone Loves Them, But Nobody Knows Them

Are you confused by the theme for this post? Well, let me explain.

Recently, I've noticed a lot of people have been getting their hands on certain sequels and saying they're so excited about it because they loved the first book. Having read and loved the first book myself, I was confused. I didn't remember hearing much about this book. Yet so many people have apparently read and loved it. So how have I heard no buzz? Because it's been out for a while? Because the books themselves are "quiet" books? And why are these books still not really popular out of the YA twitter community if we all love them so much?

I decided that I would highlight these books. For anyone who doesn't know about them or for anyone who (like me) didn't realize these books were so loved.

Marie Lu
Putnam Juvenile
[November 29, 2011]

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I remember when Legend was first announced, it was a Big Deal. Large advance, movie rights sold at the same time. It was promising to be the next Hunger Games. But then there was nothing. Sure, a review or two. People seemed luke warm to the book.

I was intrigued by the summary and picked it up on a whim one day at the store. I read it shortly after and I loved it. The adventure and the forbidden romance and the awesome characters. It was really an incredible read and I was shocked to see so little love for it. 

Fast forward to last week. People are showing off their BEA hauls and every haul I look at seems to have an ARC of the sequel, Prodigy. Many are saying it's one of their most anticipated reads from their hauls because they loved Legend. What? WHAT? Where is this COMING from?

Moral of the Story: You should read this book and suffer with me because BEA (and probably ALA) goers have the sequel and we don't. *sigh*

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Rae Carson
[September 20, 2011]

 Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

I know a handful of people have always loved this book and I know it's won an award or two, but I didn't think it was a huge deal. All I knew is that I really wanted to read it because it sounded awesome. And it was. I loved it so much that it even made my top books of 2011.

Crown of Embers (the sequel) ARCs starting going out and all of a sudden, everyone's SO EXCITED because they all LOVE The Girl of Fire and Thorns? Again...when did this happen? Do I live in a bubble? WHEN DID YOU ALL START LOVING THIS BOOK?

Moral of the Story: Go frigging pick up this book.

The Scorpio Races
Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Inc.
[October 18, 2011]

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Everyone knows about the Shiver series. It's kind of a YA staple. But The Scorpio Races doesn't get nearly as much attention. It's very different from Shiver and it's not as commercial. But it comes up and everyone and their mother has loved it. Personally, this book wasn't my cup of tea. But I'm one of maybe two people in the world who didn't love this book.

Moral of the Story: Stiefvater fans are quiet, but loyal. 

All of Maria V. Snyder's books. All of them.

These books don't come up in casual conversation, but if you ask about them, everyone loves them especially the Study series.

I've only read Poison Study and I did really like it. Assassins, poison, adventure, romance. This book is right up my alley. I want to read the sequels. However, I don't have them, so I don't think I'm ever going to. Despite enjoying the first book, the other books rarely register on my book radar. I never think to get them, and when I do, I'm just not feeling it. And because I haven't read this one, I don't want to start her semi-related series. But it seems like everyone else can tell you all about how much they love the story and the characters.

Moral of the Story: Sometimes even bloggers lose track of what they're reading.

Jellicoe Road
Melina Marchetta
[August 26, 2008]

"What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

Lanna talks up this book to everyone, but otherwise? I don't see this one around much. But if you ask about it, people love it. It was weird, but I really enjoyed it too.

Moral of the Story: Always trust the Aussie authors.

One other book I'll mention is the Shade trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready. I really liked the first book and so did Lanna. I haven't read the rest of the series and I'm not sure if Lanna has either. The series has a very loyal fan club, but it still never seems to get popular.

Other people mentioned:

All of Dia Reeves' books

What do you guys think?



  1. I wouldn't have known these books (or the originals, where applicable) if it wasn't for your post; so thanks!

    You know how some people are "famous for being famous?" I think that books can have "Buzz about having buzz." Example" The Fifty Shades trilogy. Apparently, its been hugely anticipated, but until it came out I'd not heard of any such hype.

    Granted, I'm new to book blogging, so not in any loops to get official buzz; that's just my impression.

  2. I put Jellicoe Road in every single one of my Top Ten Tuesday lists (where I can make it fit), and will keep doing so until EVERYONE has read that book. It is probably my favorite contemporary of all time (maybe tied with The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Which btw, I had not heard anyone mention Wallflower until the movie trailer came out, and now all of a sudden everyone loves that book - strange:P

  3. I feel exactly the same about The Girl Of Fire And Thorns, and this is irrational, but I remember being one of the first few people to review it and sing it's praises and everything and now all these people are OMG I LOVE IT YAY CROWN OF EMBERS and I am like, okay, when the eff did you read and review and proclaim your love for Girl Of Fire And Thorns? And that is kind of horrible for me to feel, but there it is.

    Also? I need to read Legend. I snapped up Prodigy at BEA for my sister who is not a blogger because she LOVEDDDD Legend and was like April if you don't get Prodigy we are no longer sisters, and so you know, I had to!



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