Wednesday, 15 September 2010

BBAW - Unexpected Treasure

For the Wednesday Meme, the folks at BBAW have thought of this wonderful little idea.....unearthing an unexpected literary gem.

The premise is this....

We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger.  What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?

And so I shall!


The first of two items I will mention is Kristen Cashore.

You see I suffer from Alanna-syndrome.  It's a condition where every fantasy novel starring a teen protagonist that is read after Tamora Pierce's The Song of the Lioness series is disregarded as 'crap'.  I was self-diagnosed with this condition at age 12 having read a few teen-orientated fantasy novels.  They didn't live up to Alanna (perched resplendidly on the PSnark pedestal) and I promptly dismissed an entire genre based on some badly written, poorly characterised titles with a fondness for consonant heavy monikers.  That was until late last year when I discovered Angieville.

I knew about Angie, you would have to be completely daft in the YA bloggerdom to not recognise her name. But it wasn't until late 2009 that I really became truly acquainted with her wonderfully constructed and reasoned reviews (I now profess my undying love and admiration for her moxie ... and healthy Richard Armitage admiration).  Based purely on her review of Fire...I finally picked up Graceling and Fire and realised that my affliction needed to be renamed the Alanna-Katsa syndrome.

I might not be completely cured of my fantasy-bias but Cashore (and Angie) managed to make me look at the genre with a less persnickety eye.  A job well done ... and two books you should read!

Secondly, there is Siobhan Vivian.

Anyone who has read Persnickety Snark knows that I have a serious yen for contemporary YA.  Contemporary that's realistic, introspective with a solid heart.  I am from Australia and many US contemporary authors just aren't available in stores - for instance Sarah Dessen is only becoming freely available as of 2009-10.  It is for this reason that I wasn't aware of Vivian's work.  But having read some of her tweets (what better way to become familiar with an author's authentic voice) and reading Alea from Pop Culture Junkie's glowing review of Same Difference I promptly ordered it from Book Depository.

Ashamedly I waited a few months to read it (insert kicked shin here) and I fell in love with the book (evidence here).  I am currently waiting on the arrival of Vivian's other titles, as they cross the Indian Ocean, with barely concealed excitement.  But I am pretty sure that I've found an author to get fangirly about....as fangirly as I get anyway.

And so there you have it - two authors newly discovered via two great bloggers (and friends).

15 comments:

chasingbawa said...

I loved Graceling and I don't know why I still haven't read Fire! Cashore is a wonderful writer. I may have to also check out Alanna...

April (BooksandWine) said...

I'm with Chasingbawa, I enjoyed Graceling immensely and still haven't read Fire. I also still need to read Alanna. Also, Angie is awesome, I didn't come across her blog until around March-April 2010, but she's got a great voice, and great taste. I definitely find her blog trustworthy.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

This author just recently got on my radar-I am really going to have to read her now!

Ladybug said...

I have yet to read Graceling but I bought it a couple of weeks ago and I have it here in my shelf. I'm tempted to read it after I've finished the two books I'm reading ATM.

I love Angie's blog, she is awesome!

Em said...

I really need to read some Tamora Pierce! I loved Graceling (Katsa is amazing!) and am looking forward to reading Fire someday soon.

Alea said...

Aww Yay! I have her two others and have to read them as well! I hope they are as good!

Pam said...

Fire is one that bloggers made me read too!

Melissa said...

Second time (at least) that I've seen Angieville. Obviously I'm missing out. (Off to check her out.)

And I really should read Siobhan Vivian. Sooner rather than later.

Chris said...

I haven't read these ones yet. They sound interesting though.

Angiegirl said...

Oh, wow, how I lust after that cover of FIRE. It must be mine!

Methinks I need to see this PSnark pedestal. It sounds awesome. And I'm so thrilled you found room atop it for Katsa as well as Alanna.

And Siobhan Vivian has been on my radar for awhile now but I've yet to read one of her books. Must work on that. They sound great!

Steph Su said...

Um yes! I just finished NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL a few days ago. I'm impressed. There are too few YA contemporary books like that one out there. I am now not-so-subtly eyeing SAME DIFFERENCE, sitting on my shelf, and waiting for when I can slip it into my overbooked schedule...

Hayley said...

Pierce's Song of the Lioness books were seriously the beginning of my book obsession. I always sort of liked reading, but sometime in middle school my friend recommended Pierce's books to me and...oh my goodness, I was lost forever and ever. Suddenly I became the girl getting lectured for reading at the dinner table and staying up late to finish a book. To this day I give those books credit for my bibliophilia :)

Marg said...

I enjoyed both Graceling and Fire, after picking them up based on other blogger reviews. I haven't read the other book you mentioned though.

**adds it to list**

Michelle said...

Gah, I've *got* to get to the Cashore books. I still see them all over the place on blogs.

catherinecw said...

Hi Adele, new to your blog and I must say this post had me adding you to my Google Reader. I always knew I had a "female protagonist" problem, and know I know the name: Alanna Syndrome (and Katsa too, though I haven't gotten to Fire yet).