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The Better Book Exchange



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Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:25 pm
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Vervain says...



We've all read that book. The one where we go "I love this, but" -- and that "but" ruins the entire thing for us. So what if we could find books like the ones we love, without the "but" involved?

Here, get some input from others on what books they think are better reads than your almost-favorites. Let us know what you're looking for:

- Standalone or series
- Genre
- What you liked
- What you disliked
- What you're looking for (themes, etc.)

An example post:

It's been a few years since I read them, but as a young teen, I liked the Ranger's Apprentice series (at least, the first three books). I loved the way the characters developed naturally and the down-to-earth seriousness. But the worldbuilding isn't that great in the earlier books -- I heard it gets a lot better in later books, but my other big problem is the writing style. It's so blocky and impassable for me.

So I'm looking for a book (either standalone or series is alright), in any genre, with the same well-developed characters, with a better writing style. A theme of struggling to prove yourself would be a bonus, without it being a cheesy "Token Character defies Outrageous Stereotype" (girls are weak, etc. etc.) kind of story.

Anyone have a book for me?
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:17 am
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Iggy says...



For you, my lovely Raye, I recommend Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George if you're feeling a bit adventurous! It's incredible and I do believe it fits all of your requirements. :)
“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
- Lewis Carroll
  





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Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:34 am
Featherstone says...



I recommend the Beka Cooper trilogy by Tamora Pierce. It is written in the first person as a diary by the Guard trainee Beka Cooper. It is medieval fantasy. Tamora Pierce writes many other series, all of which have strong female heroines- no ands ifs or buts about it. However, many of the books have characters who are unbelievably strong- Beka has her weaknesses and her strengths and is very human, which I very much like. It isn't cheesy and it is smooth to read with well-developed characters and nice world building.

-Feather
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."

Avatar by Kaenith
  





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Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:19 am
TriSARAHtops says...



featherstone9086 wrote:I recommend the Beka Cooper trilogy by Tamora Pierce. It is written in the first person as a diary by the Guard trainee Beka Cooper. It is medieval fantasy. Tamora Pierce writes many other series, all of which have strong female heroines- no ands ifs or buts about it. However, many of the books have characters who are unbelievably strong- Beka has her weaknesses and her strengths and is very human, which I very much like. It isn't cheesy and it is smooth to read with well-developed characters and nice world building.

-Feather


Seconded! I've only read the first Beka Cooper book, but I'd highly recommend it.
if we wait until we're ready
we'll be waiting
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Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:01 pm
Vervain says...



I'm actually like Tamora Pierce's number one fan, haha. I just finished reading Beka's trilogy this year. Will have to check out Dragon Slippers, though - I love Jessica Day George but haven't read much of her work.

Anyone else looking for books to read? Fire away!
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:20 pm
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Holysocks says...



Okay dokey, I'm a pretty picky reader. I tend to find most YA disappointing in the sense where to me they're all the same- but that's probably because I'm terrified of trying to read something new. So the books I normally pick out are fantasy in some way, shape, or form, and I tend to enjoy them more when there's a romantic subplot- HOWEVER I don't like books where the romance steals all the attention. I like easy reads. If the beginning of a book is boring/dry I'll put it down and never pick it up again. I'm not a fan of series (I mean I do sorta like them... but unless i absolutely love the first book, chances are I won't go past book two).

I like creative, funky books. I'm not a huge fan of ridiculous books though- for instance, I should be a fan of "Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxies" but I'm not because 1. I didn't feel any connection to the character, and 2. The ridiculousness is fun but when it starts getting SO ridiculous i kinda lose interest a bit. So basically, I want something with interesting characters, an interesting/creative story, with a twist of romance. XP Hopefully that's enough info.
I hope it's a good joke because otherwise I'll have got it for nothing...

WARNING: Do not take grammar advice from me... EVER.
  





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Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:53 pm
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StellaThomas says...



@Holysocks - have you read Uprooted by Naomi Novik? lol this is like my constant recommendation no but seriously. It's fantasy. The beginning is so gripping and exciting and it just gets better from there. There's a romantic subplot. Basically, Agnieszka lives in a village in a valley next to a haunted/cursed/otherwise very creepy forest. Every ten years, the local wizard - aka The Dragon - takes a local 17 year old girl to essentially cook and clean for him, and returns her unscathed ten years later. The girl he takes is always the most special of the lot, and Agnieszka, along with everyone, assumes it will be her best friend, the beautiful, smart, kind, interesting Kasia. But it isn't. It's Agnieszka.

That's essentially the blurb - there's obviously WAY MORE but I don't want to give it away.

There's magic. There's a really fun heroine. There's amazing female relationships. There's gorgeous imagery. There's really creepy horror moments. There's intrigue. It's original.

And it's a standalone.

Get to it.
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010
  





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Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:06 pm
StellaThomas says...



Apologies for the double-post, but I am looking for romances set in space. Any recommendations?
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010
  





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Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:41 pm
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TriSARAHtops says...



@StellaThomas One book that comes to mind is These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, which is part of a series, buuuut I've only read the first book. It fits the description and I quite enjoyed it. The world building's pretty good, but the focus really is on the relationship between the two main characters.
if we wait until we're ready
we'll be waiting
for the rest of our lives
  





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Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:49 pm
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Lauren2010 says...



In preparation for a future project, I'm interested in reading something with a deaf protagonist. Preferably a book that incorporates sign language into the dialogue. Recommendations?
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Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:01 am
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BluesClues says...



Beauty Queens by Libba Bray has a deaf character - she's not the only protagonist, because it's very much an Ensemble Cast, but she's one of the protagonists. She signs, and she also teaches one of the other girls to sign, but also it comes up that that's her language, not a secret code or something. And also she's more than "the deaf girl," like she's deaf but it's not her one defining characteristic. (She also dances, albeit it somewhat sillily, because really can anyone do the Robot and not look silly? Plus she's a beauty queen, obvi, because that's the book.) Plus it's an extremely feminist book but somehow also totally goofy, so...there's that.
  








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