Waiting on Wednesday: The Fire Wish by Amber Lough

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

Fire WishTitle: The Fire Wish

Author: Amber Lough

ETA: July 22, 2014

Summary from GoodreadsA jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . . 

Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.

Why I’m Waiting: Remember how just last week I was talking about wanting more fantasy not based in Europe?  Well, I am ALL for Middle Eastern folklore and history as a basis for fantasy.  (Like, just the other day I was sitting in my Middle Eastern History class thinking, “This is awesome, I need to base some worldbuilding on THIS.”)  Also, Tammy Pierce blurbed it, which is always sure to get my attention.

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Top Ten Things On My (YA Fantasy) Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Fair warning: I am going to rant about villains at the end of this.  Other fair warning: this list is mostly focused on the realm of YA fantasy, because that’s the genre I’m best-versed in!

1.  More epic fantasy in YA.  And I DON’T mean the incredibly cliched stuff.  Was Sabriel cool?  Sabriel was cool.

2.  More nonwhite protagonists.  Or nonbeautiful ones.  Or non-heteronormative ones.  Or…yeah, you get the idea.

3. More fantasy based in places other than Medieval Europe. Nonwestern history is cool too!

4.  More positive portrayals of a variety of different female roles (not just the utterly kickass heroine with a sword in each hand and a knife in her teeth or the passive love interest type!)

5.  More long, gorgeous, ridiculously well-crafted books in YA. A lot of the time this genre moves extremely quickly, but there is something to be said for the beauty of an 800-page hardcover.

6.  More sensitive, sweet guys who aren’t secret badasses, and romances that develop based on mutual compatibility and connection, not hotness.  I was actually talking with my boyfriend (who is not a secret badass, although he is a scientist so maybe that counts?) about this one recently–how love interest guys are almost never quiet and thoughtful and emotional.  They’re confident and badass and sexy, and if they’re not, they’re hiding something.  Which I think is a shame, because other guys are awesome too!  And sweet, thoughtful types have a lot more long-term, happy relationship potential than guys who have killed six people with their bare hands, y’know?

7. More awesome platonic relationships that are not ever sexual.

8.  More functional, supportive parents in good relationships. Seriously, they all suck in YA.  Well, not all of them, some of them are okay, but most of them suck.  (I’m aware that a lot of real parents suck.  But it’s important to note that not all of them do!)

9.  SURPRISE ME. It’s really hard to surprise me. When I am surprised, I’m usually really happy about it, and I am willing to overlook about ten other kinds of errors because someone generally threw a twist at me that I didn’t expect.

10.  And the one I would write an essay about if I didn’t restrain myself: MORE PEOPLE WHO AREN’T EVIL BUT ARE DOING BAD THINGS AND AREN’T EXCUSED FROM THEIR ACTIONS.  I didn’t realize how much I wanted this until I read an example recently.  I want characters who have good potential but also some fatal flaws, and make a lot of bad decisions or fall in with the wrong people, and end up doing inexcusable things.  I want antagonists who have good friends that care about them and try to help them.  And I don’t want the redemption story.  I want the wrongness of their actions to be acknowledged.  I don’t want them let off the hook.  I want the story to own up to what they did, and follow that through.

There aren’t a lot of genuine monsters in the real world, but there are a whole lot of normal people who ended up doing bad things because of their surroundings.  Because they were desperate, or they wanted to fit in, or no one ever taught them about compassion.  If we think all bad people are monsters, then when someone who obviously ISN’T a monster does something horrible, we can’t reconcile it.  I want a story that can simultaneously acknowledge the lack of inherent evil, the potential for not-terribleness, and the horror of someone’s actions.

…-end accidental rant-

Top Ten Favorite Authors in YA Fantasy

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Okay guys, this is going to be a fun one. There are SO many great authors in this genre it is going to SUCK to pick just one. But I’m going to try. So here we go!

1. Tamora Pierce

She’s my idol and an all around amazing person. (I met her! Did you not see?) I have also only ever disliked one book she’s written in like a gazillion. (And sadly that’s the only review of her stuff on the blog.) I have read and own everything she’s written anyways.

2. Cassandra Clare

Another idol of mine. Another person whom I have met (Did you miss that too?). I also own everything she has ever written. It is even more impressive that she managed to win me back over into the Mortal Instruments series after City of Fallen Angels and the whole three more books thing. City of Glass still had the perfect ending, but City of Lost Souls was actually really good! (See here.)

3. Rachel Hawkins

I cannot get over how much I love these books. It’s actually the only series I’ve read where my favorite book is the middle one. (Not that I didn’t like Spell Bound. Review here.) These books are SO quotable and fantastic and they make me laugh EVERY TIME. EVERY TIME. Most books get stale fast with me, but not these! Also, she’s a fantastic person to follow on Twitter.

4. Richelle Mead

While not solely a YA author, her Vampire Academy books and Bloodlines series are all the ones I’ve read and OHMYGOD I LOVE. After VA I thought I’d never love another character of hers like I loved Dimitri, but Adrian is just so … ohmygod. I prefer Rose over Sydney only because Rose is snarkier, but Adrian totally picks up the slack. (I have reviews of Bloodlines and The Golden Lily.)

5. Courtney Allison Moulton

Another writer whose work just never gets old. Ellie is as snarky as I like them, and Will is just hello-honey. Romance that I can stand in YA is few and far between, and this would be one of those select few. Courtney is also an AWESOME person to follow on Twitter, and I actually got to update a few things I said on my review of Wings of the Wicked because we discussed it. I had a moment right there.

6. Jodi Meadows

She may only have one book out so far, but she’s cemented her spot on my list like whoa. (There is too much CAPS in my review of Incarnate, for one.) I freaking themed my prom dress around that cover (albeit accidentally to begin with). I may have mentioned that Twitter is an awesome place. Well, Jodi happens to be another awesome person in the twittersphere who I’ve had awesome conversations with. Asunder can’t come out soon enough.

7. Julie Kagawa

Several people may kill me when they realize I have only ever read her book The Immortal Rules. It was actually one of the first books I was approved to review from NetGalley! I have her first Iron Fey book in my possession, though, and I plan to read it as soon as humanly possible. Either way, though, I can’t handle the way she writes. It’s beautiful. Therefore, spot on this list without further proof necessary.

8. Sarah J. Maas

While we’re on the subject of gorgeous writing, let’s skip on over here, shall we? Again, Sarah has only released (in full novel form anyways) Throne of Glass, but it completely blew me out of the water on so many levels. I appreciate good writing, and Sarah HAS IT.

9. Rae Carson

My review of The Girl of Fire and Thorns still makes me laugh. I mean really. It was one of my earlier reviews and its second in hystericalness only to my review of Anna and the French Kiss.  But I just LOVED IT. I have the next book in my possession RIGHT NOW but I’m so behind on reviews I haven’t been able to read it yet. I’m dying inside just staring at the pretty cover.

10. Jay Kristoff

My review of Stormdancer was a long and complicated thing, but that still doesn’t change how I feel about the way he writes. For me, a favorite author can have issues as long as the writing is solid and HOLY BANANAS. Jay can write me into deep jealousy.