3 YA fantasy novels for summer that bring out the monsters within

Three Young Adult (YA) fantasy novels published this summer encourage readers to embrace their inner beasts through the transformation of their protagonists.

Novel 1 – “I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast is Me”: This novel by Jamison Shea takes place in the Ballet Academy of Paris.
* The protagonist, Laure, is a black ballerina vying for a place in the Paris Ballet amidst racial prejudices.
* A supernatural force given by a rising star, Joséphine, in the ballet helps her achieve this goal, transforming her in the process.
* The combination of classical ballet’s competitiveness and Laure’s supernatural transformation makes the novel “relentlessly gory” and euphoric in its embrace of the horrific.

Novel 2 – “A Warning About Swans”: This novel in verse by R.M. Romero explores the story of a swan-girl called Hilde.
* Hilde, whose duty is to guide souls to the afterlife, yearns to become human after an impoverished Baron proposes she use her magic for his benefits.
* The portrayal of a real historical setting of 1880s Bavaria coupled with Hilde’s transformative journey makes the novel a cross between historical fantasy and a fairytale.

Novel 3 – “Her Radiant Curse”: This novel by Elizabeth Lim explores the transformative power of love between two sisters.
* The story revolves around Vanna, a luminous and enchanting girl, and Channi, a girl with a serpentine face and snake venom in her blood.
* Both sisters face a terrifying witch demon who threatens to steal Vanna’s light.
* This novel explores themes of inner strength and compassion through the trope of the “beautiful” sister and the “ugly” sister.

Each novel presents gripping tales of transformation that highlight the allure of fantasy while remaining grounded in relatable themes and emotions.

View original article on NPR

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