As a famous movie and TV star, Emma Taylor has had her share of the spotlight. After her latest dating mistake is splashed all over the media, she vowAs a famous movie and TV star, Emma Taylor has had her share of the spotlight. After her latest dating mistake is splashed all over the media, she vows to select her guys more carefully -- and none of them will be coworkers. But that vow is challenged when model-turned-actor Jake Elliott joins the cast of her newest TV show. To complicate matters, Jake has plenty of other admirers -- including Emma's own best friend. Navigating romantic relationships is hard enough for a normal teen, but for Emma and Jake it just might be impossible.
This is a delightful story filled with humor, romance, and tons of insider looks at life on a television set. Emma and Jake's growth is well worth cheering on, and the secondary characters add some fun spice. Although Emma and Jake are older teens and have the chance to live the movie star lifestyle, the book is refreshingly clean and would work well in a high school -- or possibly even middle school -- library. Despite being on the longer side, Finnegan's smooth writing and good pacing make this book a fast read, and every scene feels necessary....more
In this alternate history, a flu epidemic caused the American population to be divided into day and night dwellers in order to increase production andIn this alternate history, a flu epidemic caused the American population to be divided into day and night dwellers in order to increase production and efficiency. It is now the modern day, and Sol, a Smudge — or night dweller — is risking everything to break curfew and smuggle her newborn niece out of the hospital nursery. Even if it means breaking a half dozen different laws, it’s worth it if her dying grandfather gets to see his great-granddaughter just once before he breathes his last breath. But things go horrendously wrong, and now Sol’s on the run — with the wrong baby. Worse, someone’s holding her grandfather for ransom. And on top of it all, she has a reluctant companion in the form of an uptight day dweller, a boy named D’Arcy.
This is a fun adventure story for fans of alternate histories or dystopias. The love story develops slowly and is earnest, romantic, and deliciously bittersweet. Sol is an admirable character with plenty of realistic flaws, and I loved rooting for her. Despite the intricate story line, this seems to be a stand-alone, with plenty of speculation about what might happen after the last page is finished....more
Kai's used to keeping her head down in the decrepit, walled-in city in which she lives. It's the only way to stay safe. But when her brother disappearKai's used to keeping her head down in the decrepit, walled-in city in which she lives. It's the only way to stay safe. But when her brother disappears, she can no longer avoid adventure. She and her friend Avan must now travel beyond the bounds of the only city they've ever known, to rescue Kai's brother. Along the way, they will discover secrets more sinister than they ever could have imagined.
I adored this book! Kai is a fantastic heroine -- strong and brave and witty and smart, but flawed in all the right ways. The world-building is fantastic, too; I felt as if I were actually there throughout. All the action and suspense kept me reading, and, well, let's just say I can't wait to read the sequel!...more
Life in 1960s Russia is treacherous. Yulia must keep her head down and her mind blank in order to survive, but lying low is difficult for someone withLife in 1960s Russia is treacherous. Yulia must keep her head down and her mind blank in order to survive, but lying low is difficult for someone with a strong will, vibrant hopes, and unique psychic abilities. Then the KGB ruthlessly kidnaps her and forces her to use her powers as a spy. Yulia doesn't easily give up her dreams of freedom, however; she's as determined to be free as the KGB is to control her.
It its heart, SEKRET is a vivid historical novel, and I found myself fascinated by the facts Smith used to make her setting come alive. The paranormal aspect and spy/mystery threads add unusual twists that keep the momentum going. On top of that, the writing is wonderful. I began the book while in a cafe with a friend (who had a book of her own) and I had to keep interrupting her to share passages because they were so evocative. Because it hits on several genres, expect this one to appeal to a variety of readers....more
This follow-up to DEFY is so much fun! It's filled with adventure and mystery, and the romance has some great twists and turns. I especially loved howThis follow-up to DEFY is so much fun! It's filled with adventure and mystery, and the romance has some great twists and turns. I especially loved how Larson could be both poignant and humorous in the same line; it gave the emotions in the book a great, bittersweet flavor....more
Southern belle Harper Price is smart, poised, organized, pretty, and never flustered. She's a shoe-in for homecoming queen, and she's going to ace herSouthern belle Harper Price is smart, poised, organized, pretty, and never flustered. She's a shoe-in for homecoming queen, and she's going to ace her upcoming cotillion. But when she walks in on a deadly fight in the school bathroom, she suddenly finds herself imbued with a supernatural ability to kick serious booty -- in heels and poofy dresses, no less. Only problem? Her ability comes with the obligation to protect the one boy she detests most in the world.
Rebel Belle is a whole lot of fun, and I found myself cheering for Harper throughout. I especially loved that she could be deadly and feminine. Hawkins's voice is hilarious, with many laugh-out-loud lines, and the action and plot twists kept me involved in the story. The slow-burning romance may have been predictable, but it was still satisfying, and it unveiled itself nicely throughout the course of the book. All in all a great read....more
When popular Marijke and under-the-radar Lily have a chance meeting outside of school, they discover that they have two things in common: they're bothWhen popular Marijke and under-the-radar Lily have a chance meeting outside of school, they discover that they have two things in common: they're both pining for guys who don't seem to reciprocate their feelings, and they both love the idea of happily-ever-afters. They vow to help each other achieve movie-like love, but it turns out that life is a lot less predicable than their favorite films.
This was a fun, fast-paced romantic comedy with interesting, life-like characters and a wonderful depth. I loved watching Marijke and Lily's friendship develop, and the twists and turns made the ending unpredictable and suspenseful....more
It is two hundred years in the future, after war and disease have devastated America and a miraculous invention has saved it. As the heir of society'sIt is two hundred years in the future, after war and disease have devastated America and a miraculous invention has saved it. As the heir of society's pinnacle family, Madeline Landry is used to having everything. But when a scandalous incident opens her eyes to society's treatment of the poor, she realizes that her extravagant lifestyle comes at great cost to others. It's not easy to turn her back on everything she's been raised to believe, however, and a tempestuous relationship with a handsome but changeable society boy only heightens her confusion.
With its scandals and mysteries and mix of old-fashioned and futuristic lifestyles, the world of Landry Park is rich and fascinating -- especially once the story gets going. While the text is wonderfully accessible, the varied vocabulary, hauntingly beautiful images, and political insights lend it a deliciously literary feel. Although there is some resolution, the ending makes it clear that there will be at least one more in the series....more
Reagan is convinced that joining her superstar best friend Dee on her concert tour will be the perfect way to forget a troubled past. Unfortunately, iReagan is convinced that joining her superstar best friend Dee on her concert tour will be the perfect way to forget a troubled past. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to run from mistakes as Reagan had hoped, and hot opening act Matt Finch only adds to the complications.
This young adult novel is the perfect blend of romance, humor, and angst, with plenty of backstage details to entice music fans. Reagan and Dee's friendship is a wonderfully strong element as well, showing that best friends can be just as important as crushes, if not more so. While the cover implies a hotter read, Reagan and Matt's relationship is quite clean, and I appreciated their decision to move slowly despite their mutual attraction; it adds a level of depth and sweetness to their relationship. As a character, Reagan comes across as brusque and cynical at times, but her attitude seems realistic given her background, and her demeanor gives her plenty of room to grow both during the novel and, presumably, afterward....more
Two years ago Jamie's mentally-disturbed older sister Cate went to jail for a horrendous crime. Now she's out, and there's only one person she wants tTwo years ago Jamie's mentally-disturbed older sister Cate went to jail for a horrendous crime. Now she's out, and there's only one person she wants to talk to: Jamie. Because she's got something to tell him, and it's something he's pretty sure he's not supposed to know. Something he may not even survive finding out about.
This intriguing psychological thriller kept me reading through to the end, and I love that it is written from the boy's point of view. I do admit to being able to guess the ending early on, although the journey to the twist was enjoyable and fascinating, and perhaps readers who are simply along for the ride instead of analyzing every word will be more surprised. Because of the strong mature content and psychological component, it seems to be geared more toward older teens than younger ones....more
When the power goes out in their New York City high-rise, Lucy and Owen are stuck in the elevator. Even after the electricity returns, they stay togetWhen the power goes out in their New York City high-rise, Lucy and Owen are stuck in the elevator. Even after the electricity returns, they stay together, walking the city and talking. The bond they form that night lasts through the years, even as they move to separate continents and form brand new lives. But post cards, emails, and texts alone do not make for a fulfilling relationship. Can they reunite, despite the odds? And if they do, will they still have the same sparks as they did that first night?
I enjoyed Lucy and Owen's story. It was nice to see the characters build separate lives, while still allowing for the hope of romance, and the fact that they had to work for their relationship adds a bit of realism. Smith's approach to Lucy and Owen's parents was refreshing as well; while they play a small role, they are portrayed as real people, with flaws, and character arcs, and important relationships of their own. All in all a fun read that would appeal to fans of YA romance, and would even work for middle school students who enjoy reading about older teens....more
Macallan and Levi disliked each other the moment they met that first day of seventh grade, but after a chance conversation they became friends. And thMacallan and Levi disliked each other the moment they met that first day of seventh grade, but after a chance conversation they became friends. And then best friends. From that moment on, they did everything together, leaving everyone around them to ask the same question that's been pondered since before Harry met Sally: "Is it possible for boys and girls to be 'just friends'? Or does it always blossom into more?"
Weighing in at only 288 pages, this is a very fast read, and the question of what will happen to Macallan and Levi's friendship keeps the pages turning. The characters' banter is a lot of fun, and their growth is nice to watch. Because of its clean nature and long time span (from seventh grade to well into high school) it would work for both middle school and younger high school students....more
When Hadley Sullivan misses her flight, she should be upset. However, all it means is less time having to watch her father marry another woman. And whWhen Hadley Sullivan misses her flight, she should be upset. However, all it means is less time having to watch her father marry another woman. And when she ends up next to Oliver, a gallant British boy with a great sense of humor, things get even better. They spend the entire night talking as their plane crosses the ocean. But when they arrive in London, things go wrong and they are separated...perhaps forever. Will love have another chance, or is Hadley doomed to one great plane flight conversation with a boy she'll never see again?
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a fun, fast story, and I wouldn't hesitate to add it to my library shelves. The romance between Hadley and Oliver is well-developed and interesting, and the subplots dealing with their families add further tension. The appealing cover and witty title should help it fly off the shelves until word-of-mouth catches on....more