October 12, 2013

Popular YA SF/Fantasy books I never got into

With the recent movie release of City of Bones and the upcoming releases of Catching Fire and Divergent, millions of people will be introduced to these new YA SF/fantasy series. Having read all three books, I have very different opinions about these movies. I highly anticipate Catching Fire and the Divergent movie because I enjoyed the books, but I could do without City of Bones.

It's true, not all YA books that become movies are good. That said, let's take a look at some popular YA SF/fantasy books and series that I never got into. These all have movie adaptations or are rumored to be adapted to film.

In no particular order:
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare - City of Bones is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series and the only one I've read. I haven't read any other books in the series because City of Bones just wasn't good. It's a derivative of every cliche YA paranormal book out there, which means the characters are nothing special and the romances don't make any sense.
  • Matched by Ally Condie - Matched suffers from the same problems as City of Bones, but it was a better written book. The love triangle in Matched made absolutely no sense to me, and as a result, I haven't read any other books in the series and don't plan to.
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - I'm a big fan of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, but Leviathan just didn't do it for me. I think the problem may be that it was written for a younger audience than I like because I felt the story was shallow and the characters uninteresting. On the other hand, Suzanne Collins' Underland Chronicles are targeted to the same or younger age group, and I like those books, so who knows.
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin - I'm not sure if The Passage is a YA book or an adult book, but since it shows up in many lists with other YA books, I'm including it. This book had a good premise and showed promise, but it was just way too long. If it was 300 pages instead of 800, I bet I'd like like it a lot more.
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - I admit that I've never read any of the Twilight books, and I don't plan to. I blame this series for the popularity of YA paranormal romance and the stupid love triangles that you find in too many YA books today. While I will avoid Twilight, I have nothing against Stephenie Meyer as an author. I've read The Host and liked it, as well as its movie adaptation.

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