The Best Of: YA Standalones #2

I was organising my Goodreads shelves a few days ago and I realised that I hardly ever read standalones. Which probably makes you wonder why I am writing a post about the best standalones, well I have read a few that I really enjoyed and I think a lot of you will enjoy them too.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I’m pretty sure everyone and their dog has read this book by now, however I needed to include it because its one of my favourites. 

I won’t go into much detail here as I did a full review of this back in May which you can read here.

My favourite thing about this book is probably the fact that it is highly descriptive. The world-building is beautiful and is something I can always admire. The world of To Kill A Kingdom is beautifully brutal, but honestly what else would you expect from a story about sirens? 

Goodreads synopsis: “Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all.

With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most – a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavoury hobby – it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good.

But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?” 

The Siren by Kiera Cass

This is my most recently read standalone and I found it to be very enjoyable. It was a reasonably fast read and the plot was definitely interesting. 

I love books about sirens and mermaids as they are my favoruite mythological creatures. This like so many books does not spend really any time under the sea, which I do find quite annoying, however it was an interesting new concept on the genre. 

My only issue with this book was that the ending seemed very rushed and the main plotline did not come to fruition until near the end. I would have liked to hear more stories about the work the sirens carry out and what it was like for main character Kahlen during the 80 years that was skipped from the first chapter. 

Goodreads synopsis: “Throughout the ages, the Ocean has occasionally rescued young women from drowning. To repay their debt, these young women must serve for 100 years as Sirens, remaining young and beautiful and using their deadly voices to lure strangers into watery graves. To keep their true nature secret, Sirens must never speak to humans, and must be careful never to stay in the same place for too long. But once her century of service is over, each Siren gets a chance to start over – a chance to live the mortal life that was almost stolen from her.

Kahlen became a Siren after her family died in a terrible shipwreck, decades ago. And though a single word from her can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny… and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all of the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.”

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Contemporary fiction is not something I talk about too often on Young Creative Press, as honestly I hardly ever read anything from the genre. Although I must say I do really enjoy contemporaries when I do read them, but fantasy is where my heart lies. 

Emery Lord is by far my favourite contemporary author. Well, I’ve only read two of her books but when you look at my history of contemporaries, and especially standalones, that’s a lot. She has a way of making me so invested in the characters and plot that both times I read her books I finished them in one sitting. 

This book, in particular, is definitely more of an early teen read, although it does face issues of death and grieving. The writing style is simple and the plot is very easy to follow. 

You will love the characters in this book. I started out not really liking Paige as she was constantly pining over Ryan, who she is clearly not meant to be with. She really grew throughout the book and I found that I really liked her in the end.  

If you are a fan of slow-burn romance then you will love this. Actually, can it be classed as a slow-burn if its a standalone? I don’t make the rules so I don’t know, but lets go with yes. 

Goodreads synopsis: “Can you plan happiness?

It’s been a year since Paige’s first boyfriend died in a swimming accident and it’s time she rejoined the real world.

So she makes a plan:

1. Date a boy (long standing crush Ryan Chase seems like the perfect choice)

2. Attend parties (with best friends by your side: doable)

3. Join a club (simple enough, right?)

4. Travel (might as well be a dream)

5. Swim (terrifying. Impossible)

But when she meets Ryan’s sweet (but so nerdy) cousin, Max, he opens up her world and Paige’s plans start to change…

Is it too late for a second chance at life?”

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