I originally picked up this series because just look at how gorgeous those covers are! And they’re about mermaids. I honestly don’t think I’ve read enough mermaids book. I don’t know why though because they’re amazing. Underwater worlds, gorgeous tails, magical powers, sea creatures and a well thought out storyline.
The storyline in these books is so in depth. Jennifer Donnelly has planned her books out so well, leaving you with cliffhangers just at the right time. She keeps you captivated when your attention is needed most. I did find that this book did have some slow parts. There were chapters that felt like they were only there to fill a blank space. I did however find that when there was action, it was written so well that I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
The books are so descriptive and it gives you a clear image of the world under the sea. The characters, where there are plenty of, stand out against each other and although its confusing at first to remember who is who, the do form into individual people throughout the books.
Based on a post I saw by Barnes and Nobles, I decided I’d do book recommendations based on your favorite Disney Princess! The post by B&N only included, like, six princesses and there are so many awesome lead females so I included a lot of Disney female leads in the princess category (17 Disney ladies, total!) Also, warning, most of these are fantasy books because most of the Disney ladies come from fantasy and fairy tales.
Snow White: Snow White was the first Disney Princess and very “traditional” in design. I looked for interesting retellings that spiced up the original story, like Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewiswhich has a Sci-Fi twist (and an excellent cover) andBoy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi which deals with race and family in the early 1950s.
Cinderella: Did you know that the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas was originally inspired by Cinderella, despite the series going in a decidedly different direction? Well it was, and I love that a simple fairy tale inspired an intense high fantasy series. Cinderella is also the inspiration forThe Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer which is a sweeping and beautiful Science Fiction series that utilizes several fairy tale stories with kick-ass heroines and amazing plot lines that weave together for an epic saga.
Aurora: For the lovely Sleeping Beauty, I picked two books that have a focus on curses. First, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. But wait, you cry, that’s a Cinderella retelling! Yes, yes it is. But Ella is cursed with obedience while Aurora was cursed with endless sleep. Both books are about young women fighting against magic restraints but Ella is able to get up and do more about it! My second recommendation is The Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier. It focuses on different young women shaping their own fates through curses, fae interference, and finding love. It does have triggers though, so be wary!
Belle: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maasis another Maas novel inspired by a fairy tale and while ACoTaR is a bit steamier and definitely different, it has all the elements of a Beauty and the Beast story but goes further. A second pick is The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. A female protagonist whose strength is wit, not combat, and is dealing with a star-crossed love that has a poor outlook will be very suitable for Belle fans.
Jasmine:The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdiehwas inspired by 1001 Arabian Nights, the same series of stories where Aladdin originally appeared. It’s intoxicating love story and beautiful atmosphere is definitely on point. My other pick has to be Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed, inspired by Jasmine’s cultural roots and the fact that Jasmine was almost forced into an arranged marriage herself.
Esmeralda: Esmeralda was a difficult lady to select books based on, but her Romani heritage and struggles are something many people should learn more about, so American Gypsy by Oksana Marafiotiis a novel to look out for, written by a Romani woman about her teenage years in America. For more fiction and fantasy Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugohas a character, Inej, from a nomadic tribe very similar to the Romani in how they are treated by others. Inej is just a kind-hearted and bad ass as Esmeralda herself!
Megara: Looking for a greek myth-inspired series with bad ass lady leads?Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordanmay seem the obvious choice and it is, but only because of the strong, sassy, and diverse female leads in the series are absolutely amazing, just like Meg herself! Another more romantic but still kick ass greek myth inspired series is Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.
Mulan: Asian-inspired fantasy is one of my favorite sub-genres with Eon and Eona by Alison Goodmanbeing very high up on the list for it’s great story, interesting magic, strong female lead, and its fantasy version of ancient China. Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenixis also an engaging story with inspiration from Chinese myths and legends that really creates a wonderful atmosphere.
Rapunzel: While Seraphina’s isolation is self-imposed,Seraphina by Rachel Hartmantells the story of a young woman going outside her comfort zone and discovering herself, much in the same way Rapunzel does. For a retelling of Rapunzel’s story, try Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, which mixes history and romance with the well-known tale.
Merida: Okay, I have to say it:Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It’s about a female archer who fights for her nation while being constantly irritated by the two boys trying to court her. It just works!! There’s also Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier, a young adult fantasy series with female protagonists and inspired by Scottish myths.
Elsa: For Elsa, what could be more perfect thanSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch? A book about winter magic, a girl who feels out of place and unsure of her role in her kingdom, and learning to accept yourself and fight for those you care about. Spot on! Also keep a look out for Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige(out in September!),a retelling of The Snow Queen in which the character is much more than she was in the original story.
A masterpost of YA books (and a few crossover MG titles) to be released in October 2015. Check out this month’s new releases below. Feel free to use this as a guide to this month’s releases, but please do not repost it in its entirety elsewhere. If you found this masterpost helpful, a like, reblog, or link back to Paperback’d would be much appreciated! If you know of a YA book to be released this month that isn’t on the list, drop me a message and I’ll update it!