double book review

I read both of these books this weekend. (Yes, I am really cool.) I loved them both so much. Some people think that YAF is secondary, but I completely disagree. It is my favorite genre, and I explain that more in detail here

“I keep thinking about a tale my nurse used to read to me about a bird whose wings are pinned to the ground. In the end, when he finally frees himself, he flies so high he becomes a star. My nurse said the story was about how we all have something that keeps us down.” 

I read The Princess Academy first. I was wary about the title. Who wants to read another story about an academy where girls are taught to be Princesses? In truth, it was far more interesting and detailed and special than the title suggests. 

I loved reading about Miri falling in love with learning. I loved it I think, because I feel the same way about learning. It is illuminating. An education is the best thing you can give someone. Miri was charming, and the story was unpredictable and you watch a heroine develop and become a brave person. I can't wait until I have a little girl who can read this story but in all honesty - I believe even lovers of high-end literature would enjoy this read. 

“We know it's all just daydreaming...But sometimes, it'd be nice just to hold something real in your hands that felt like a measure of your worth.” 

I liked Goose Girl more than The Princess Academy, which is funny since Academy is the one with the Newberry Award. I honestly couldn't put it down. I carried it with me everywhere (even church. I haven't done that since I was 10.) The story is magnificent. I wished so badly that I had thought of it myself. It is intricate and emotional, and scary in the right parts and written beautifully.

The main character is so brave and humble and everything that you want a character to be. I have read so many fairy tales, and this was a new one that has never been told but belongs with the classics. Please read it.

After finishing these, I found out that Shannon Hale has a blog and, she lives in Utah. I think I am going to shamelessly stalk her on the internet until she agrees to go to lunch with me. I loved these two books that much.

Have you read either of them? Can you give me some new YAF recommendations? I am a little tired of adult fiction and I don't care who knows it. 


Robots in Trouble said...

i was thinking about what i should read after the current one that i've been reading. thank you so much for these reviews :]

Life is Good said...

I loved The Goose Girl and glad you did too. I'm excited to read the Princess Academy now, thanks for sharing!

Jessica Lynn said...

Shannon Hale has been my favorite author since first reading the Goose Girl in Jr. High. You need to keep reading allll of her books.
Also, you should stalk her and I'll help.

Lara said...

Shannon Hale is wonderful. I actually met her a few weeks ago and she is as charming as you would imagine her to be. Also,"Island of the Blue Dolphins" is wonderful, albeit meant for a younger (child) audience.

Mallory Camille said...

I am so glad you've fallen in love with the charm of Shannon Hale's books. I love them and her dearly! I remember feeling the exact same way after reading Goose Girl, I thought the plot was genius and wished I had though of it! I can't wait for my daughters to read her books.
Just finished Divergent by Veronica Roth, and it was intense, entirely a different feeling from Shannon's books but still well written and entertaining.

Lauren Kay said...

I'm a blurker. I love Shannon Hale and I love how she retold The Goose Girl. It's one of my favorite fairy tales and I enjoyed the subsequent books in the series she did but Goose Girl is definitely my favorite. If you want a fun, easy summer read, I liked Austenland.

emma said...

i love young adult fiction. maybe we should read one for book club?! these are definitely going on my to-read list. can't wait to see you on saturday!

Brittany said...

I love catching up on your blog when I get behind. You know, I'm totally sick of adult fiction too. I've read almost exclusively non-fiction since I graduated last year. I'm just looking for genuine words and sometimes I get tired of the fabricated (no matter how beautiful it is).

I need to try more YA lit though. Shannon Hale is one of my best friend's favorite authors so I just need to borrow her copy already. Great reviews Mandy.

Kamian said...

I just finished reading Goose Girl and I remembered that you had reviewed it on your blog a while back. Your description was spot-on. I loved everything about it and I also carried it to church (but didn't actually read any of it there)! Now I need to read every other book that you've loved because I'm sure I'll love them too.