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.