Tag Archives: discussion

Bookworm Problems: Being Frugal Vs. New Releases

I have always been a very frugal person, as well as a planner. I remember very distinctly as a young child hoarding saving up my allowance money for some great something I would have to have in the future. One time it was Barbie things, another time it was a plane ticket to see old friends, and over years and years, at the age of 22, I had enough to help put a decent downpayment on a house with my husband right before we married. Sometimes my savings are merely for the future, sometimes they are for something specific, but I very rarely make impulse buys, even for little things; it’s just not in my nature.

I say all this so you can understand just how difficult it can be to be a frugal bookworm in a world with so many shiny new books constantly being released. Again, being as careful as I am, I don’t generally buy new books anyways, unless it’s an author I know and love, and generally it’ll also be a sequel to a series I’ve started. But even then, hardcovers can be expensive. And if the book releases at a time when nothing else is really catching my eye, what’s a frugal bookworm to do? Go to Barnes and Noble and just fork over $17? Stalk B&N.com and Amazon and wherever else for a good deal, meanwhile wondering what else I can justify buying to get free shipping (because part of my careful planning/frugal nature is refusing to pay for memberships or for shipping)? Pray for coupons and ebook deals and the like? And because of this whole free shipping/what else should I buy debacle, I can’t simply pre-order. It’s not that simple.

At Christmas, I knew there were books coming up in January, March, and April that I really wanted. I asked for a Barnes and Noble gift card, and thankfully got one, which was helpful. Then I got some gift cards I wasn’t expecting for Amazon, also helpful. I literally wrote out a “game plan” for when I would buy these various books with their various release dates and from where and with what. Since the start of the new year I have gotten Seraphina in paperback (it was important for me to wait until it was available in PB), Mistborn books 2 & 3, and Fairest with little cost thanks to the gift cards, but I’m still trying to figure out where/when/how to acquire Firefight, which I was going to get last month but then I wondered if I wanted it SO badly to get it in hardback, especially when I only own Steelheart as an ebook, and then I realized I will probably feel the same about The Winner’s Crime, but I am going to NEED to get Shadow Scale when it releases…

lincoln-ohboyBasically, I’ve just got this swirling mess of thoughts in my head that I am trying to organize into ways to get ALL THE BOOKS for as cheaply as possible.

ryker-cantAny other frugal bookworms out there? How do you find is the best way to stretch a dollar for books or get new books at good prices? 

The Growing Sci-Fi Trend in YA

In case you haven’t noticed, and for the majority of you who read this blog and keep with YA books you probably have, the growing trend in YA now seems to be science fiction. And just coming off Sci-Fi Month in November, some books I heard about during the month are fresh on my mind!

A very small sampling of YA sci-fi released in the last two years

Time Between Us/ All Our Yesterdays/ Relativity

While there have been YA titles dealing with space or aliens (Across the Universe trilogy, The 5th Wave), most of these sci-fi books seem to be dealing with time travel (like Time Between Us and All Our Yesterdays) and alternate realities (Reativity and Dissonance) or technology (Elusion and Free to Fall).

A very small sampling of 2014 YA sci-fi releases.

Dissonance/ Elusion/ Free to Fall

I’m not sure what started this trend, other than perhaps it seems like a natural progression to come from the dystopia genre (which is also still going fairly strong, and of course sci-fi and dystopia often go hand in hand), which might explain why more of these stories seemed focused on what I consider “earth-bound” science fiction, rather than focusing on what’s in space. And personally, there are several reasons I am excited to see this trend grow…

Sci-fi arouses our curiosity. I think one of the best things about science fiction is all the “what if” questions it poses. I recently started watching the new Fox show Almost Human, which raises the question: What if android (“synthetic”) cops were paired with human cops?

If you like thinking about the possibilities of the future, you should watch this show. And Karl Urban and Michael Ealy are fantastic in it.

Or with a YA book I read this year, Pivot Point, what if one could see the different futures that await her when she has a decision to make? Really, the what-if questions we could ask in science fiction are endless!

It awakens creativity and scientific interest at the same time. I have to admit, I have never been interested in science. Ever. It’s always been my weakest subject and I have never cared to understand it. But in college I suddenly developed an interest in learning about genetic engineering. So while I will probably never have an interest in all sciences, there are now at least a couple of areas that I do find interesting, I think largely thanks to science fiction. It also really awakens my creative juices as I think through all those “what-if” scenarios. And I think both creativity and science are important!

It can be a gateway into more science fiction! Let’s face it, I’m sure the actual sci-fi content in most of these YA books is pretty light. I personally don’t have a problem with that, in fact it can be helpful when you’re as science-deficit as I am, but others might see this new trend as just watered-down science fiction. And there’s probably some truth to that, as the dystopia genre has been watered down, but lighter science fiction can be a gateway that leads to Ender’s Game, Star Trek, or more hardcore stuff that I myself have not checked out yet! Presenting a story with some science fiction, even if it also has a contemporary feel or a romantic subplot, can be just what some people need to get their feet wet and realize just how much they might enjoy other science fiction!

What do you think about the rising trend of science fiction in YA literature? Do you have a favorite sci-fi YA book?