Is Book 2 Ever More than Filler?

Book two of a YA trilogy is usually so much fluff. Empty filler to let the characters grow up before the big bang that ends the trilogy. I was recently surprised by two very good book twos…

Picture1One: To be honest, as with many books, I read Gennifer Albin’s Crewel (first in this series) because the cover was beyond gorgeous. The idea of weavers and the testing and an unfolding secret conspiracy was interesting… but it wasn’t enthralling. I was going to skip the next book, Altered, but the pretty cover chased me around the bookstore once again. I’m happy to report the series got better. Adelice grew up a bit. She started to think about her abilities and evaluate the characters around her – characters who, by the way, were far more interesting. We got a closer look at both of her parents, found out what (who!) Jost really puts first, discovered which man really loves her and got more exciting villains in the form of Cormac and Kincaid. Things did get a bit weird with the incorporation of Einstein at the end of the book, but it was enough to warrant book three being officially placed on my To Read list.

Picture2Two: Joelle Charbonneau’s Independent Study is what I imagine I would fine if Hermione Granger was put in a Hunger Games type scenario. The government in Charbonneau’s world is a bit more secretly oppressive than the Republic, and that just makes it even better. Cia is incredibly smart and you’re amazed as she uses a little skill and a lot of logic to ace every test. The odds are stacked against her and she doesn’t quite know who to trust, but you’re rooting on her to win. I thought the first book in this series, the Testing, was a great read with a fabulous cliffhanger and this second entry was even better. I’m really quite surprised this book hasn’t gotten more notice in the YA world, but I highly recommend it. One of the best YA reads I’ve seen in a long time and a must for fans of books like Divergent.

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