The Archived

Road Trip Wednesday: Surprising Reads

YA HighwayRoad Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway posts a weekly writing- or reading-related question.

This week, the question is: What’s been your most surprising read of the year so far—the book you weren’t sure about going in that really swept you off your feet?

Oh. How fun. Except, I can’t pick just one surprising read. (Isn’t that what I say every Road Trip Wednesday I do?) I’ve read a fair bit so far this year, and a number of the books I picked up because it seemed like a good idea at the time, with no concept of how I would feel about them. Some of them disappointed me, some of them were mediocre.

Here are the books that blew my mind.


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Anything by Maggie Stiefvater

I read a lot of Maggie Stiefvater at the year’s beginning. I powered through her Books of Faerie series, continued on to The Scorpio Races, and then finished with The Raven Boys. And I loved them. Her writing was vivid, her characters brilliant, her mythologies and storylines original and complex.

But I didn’t expect to enjoy them as much as I did. I really didn’t like the Shiver Trilogy much. I made it through the first two books, and they were okay, but I didn’t have the drive to read the third and final book in the series.

Everything else by Maggie? Amazing. If you also read Shiver and wasn’t impressed, check out her other books. One of them is sure to astonish you.


The Archived by Victoria Schwab

This book is probably my favourite of 2013 so far, and I have read a lot of amazing books. I can’t wait to own an actual physical copy of it, becuase my Kobo ePub just isn’t enough. It just isn’t. And then I will reread The Archived. And it will be just as beautiful.


Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

Wow. Where do I even begin.

I knew Catherynne M. Valente’s writing was gorgeous. I had heard of her long before I picked up Deathless, and I’ve owned Palimpsest for the better part of a year — I just hadn’t read her work. Thanks to Tumblr’s never-ending love with the book in the form of fanmixes, quotes, and graphics, I knew I had to read it before it drove me insane.

I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did. I didn’t think I would become engrossed with the tale to the extent I was, to the point I was highlighting passages I loved and even sending a few to the boyfriend like the dork I am. I am not a highlighter. I have never done that with a book before.

But Deathless begs to be picked apart and spread into the universe in the form of beautiful, tragic little bits and pieces. It is just that lovely.

“That’s how you get deathless, volchitsa. Walk the same tale over and over, until you wear a groove in the world, until even if you vanished, the tale would keep turning, keep playing, like a phonograph, and you’d have to get up again, even with a bullet through your eye, to play your part and say your lines.”

6 thoughts on “Road Trip Wednesday: Surprising Reads

  • Rachael

    I need to get my hands on The Raven Boys and The Archived! I've read most of Maggie's other books, except for the Books of Faerie series, and it sounds amazing.

    • Ley

      It was fantastic! Especially because I love urban fantasy with faeries, so it was like returning to what made me fall in love with young adult books in the first place.

  • veschwab

    Deathless is one of my favorite books EVER, so being in a post with it made my day 🙂

    • Ley

      I'm so glad to hear! 🙂 Having you comment on my post made MY day.

  • Stephanie Allen

    The Scorpio Races was a huge surprise for me, as well, just because I'm not really a horse person. It's now one of my favorite books ever.

    • Ley

      It was gorgeous! Definitely a favourite for me, as well.

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