9 Great Books You’ll Never Guess What They Have in Common and Giveaway

 I want to read these! Full list and descriptions at Rae Gun Ramblings

I went to this talk for aspiring authors, no I’m not an aspiring author but I’m kind of a compulsive learner so I like going to things like that. I know I’m weird. But anyways at the talk the speaker told the writers to always “let them know you’re from Utah”. The reason? We have a disproportional number of fantastic YA authors that come out of Utah and the rest of the world knows it. Whether it’s something in our water or  the inversion (that’s our crazy winter smog layer that settles in every year) we kill it when it comes to great writers.

Utah Book Month 2014 - Rae Gun Ramblings

So if you haven’t already guessed, what this great group of books all have in common is that they were written by Utah folk. And it just so happens that August is Utah Book Month. Fancy that. I am joining in by sharing my list of my favorite Utah books for Young Adults (and grown adults like me who just like books written for teens). As a special bonus I’m giving away a bunch of these. See the widget at the bottom to enter.

Before we get to the giveaway though let me tell you about these books. I’ve blogged ALL of them before. I enjoyed all of these and a good number of them I recommend All.The.Time. The place they have won in my heart has nothing to do with their Utah-ness they are just awesome stories. But since it’s August it’s fun to point out that yup we do have some writing rock stars here.

 The False Prince – One of my all time favorite series. A great book the crosses Middle Grade and Young Adult. It’s one of the few books that I have no qualms recommending to any one. It reads like fantasy and fairy tale but there’s no magic. There is lots of adventure, great characters (a male point of view but with some solid girls as well), totally unique and fantastic story with royalty, political intrigue and even some pirates.

Transparent – This was one of my favorite books from last year. Kids with powers. Well actually everyone has an ability but they range from kinda lame to kinda awesome. The world is run by mafia style syndicates and the main character is invisible. Lots of action, great friendships, fun ideas, and a unique story. I just finished the sequel Blindsided and really liked that too!

Blackout – This one is actually set in Utah kind of a plus for today’s post. More kids with posts (can you tell I kinda LOVE kids with powers stories?). But there’s also a virus that plays a part. Quarantines, terrorism, government intervention, and complicated connections. Lots of adventure and lots of fun.

Matched – Remember that time I recreated the dress from the cover of this book and wore it out in public? How about the time I went to a book club with teens and one blurted out oh YOU were the one who wore that dress. Yeah I love the concept behind Matched. Ally has a great way of making you think in her books. The short of it is that the society pics your partner via a complex matching system when you’re a teen but of course there’s so much more. If you like a good solid dystopian love story this is for you.

The Maze Runner – So the movie comes out soon and it looks GREAT. This is one of those stories where it starts right in the middle and you don’t really know what’s going on (and neither do the characters). There’s a group of boys and they wake up without memories in a strange place with a big maze. It’s always been boys until now a girl shows up and not just that but she can speak into the mind of one of the boys. Oh and there’s zombie type creatures to. But nothing is really how it appears.

Entwined – If you like fairy tale retellings run and pick this book up. Something about this one stole my heart. This is based on the story of the 12 Dancing Princesses. If you love romance, magic, and royalty this is a really good one.

The Goose Girl – So Shannon Hale, you’ve probably heard of Austenland (turned movie) and maybe The Princess Academy super sweet story but my favorite of the books of hers that I’ve read are The Books of Bayern. And The Goose Girl is book 1 in the series. This is also a retelling but if you’re like me you may not have heard the original story before. This is another great series full of strong female characters, sweet romance, royal, and lessons of perseverance and acceptance.

Partials –  While Dan Wells may not currently reside in Utah (is he still in Germany?) I insist we still claim him as our own. The Partials are like humans but improved and the humans are on the verge of extinction and failing to reproduce. If you like great sci-fi with both medical and technological angels as well as a solid dystopian story like The Hunger Games or Divergent you’ll want to check this one out.

Everneath – A modernized story of Persephone. There’s the underworld, a band, and a couple cute boys. While it has aspects of paranormal it reads a lot like a contemporary story and is just easy fun. I really liked this take on Greek mythology although I’ve only finished the first book though.

So there you go 9 great books all born in my great state. And as an extra bonus I’m giving away three of my favorites: Transparent, Blackout, and The False Prince. All three of these books would be great for boys, girls, young and old. Enter with the widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to checkout all the other awesome posts during Utah Book Month by visiting Utah Book Month Blog or following along on twitter. If you’re new here so glad to have you I hope you take some time to peek around. If you’re a Harry Potter fan (and how can you not be) I just finished up a HUGE Harry Potter series I’d love you to check out all the awesome posts.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



  1. It’s closer to middle grade than YA, but I HAVE to add With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo to your list! ;)

  2. Great list! I too have read them all and loved them all! I love our author rock stars here in Utah. So much fun!

  3. It is amazing that all of these great books are by Utah authors. Great roundup and giveaway. Thanks for playing along with Utah Book Month!

  4. What a great post! It makes me proud to live in Utah when I realize how many wonderfully creative and brilliant writers live in this state. I haven’t read every book on this list, but the ones I did read I loved! I’ll be busy reading the rest of this list over the next couple of weeks. :)

  5. Nice tribute to Utah authors! I totally would not have guessed that’s what the books had in common. :-)

  6. I’ve read half of these! Yay! :D I’m looking forward to reading Transparent next. That’s been on my list for a while now.

  7. I got Transparent for a good price a little while ago, so it’s in my TBR pile. Along with way too many other books…

  8. I just LOVE Shannon Hale’s Books of Bayern! I actually just picked up Partials to read today.

  9. Thanks for the list, excited to start reading them, hope the library has them all. Also have you read Firelight by Sophie Jordan? I enjoyed the series and it’s in this realm and I’m always on the look out for good books in this genre, cause I lovest them!

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