When Cara reluctantly agreed to take on an exchange student from the planet L'eihr, she never anticipated how Aelyx's presence would disrupt her famil...moreWhen Cara reluctantly agreed to take on an exchange student from the planet L'eihr, she never anticipated how Aelyx's presence would disrupt her family, drive away her friends, and tear her school apart. And, above all, she never, ever anticipated falling in love with the coldly handsome (and extremely arrogant) boy living in the bedroom next to hers. But Aelyx is keeping secrets, and as their relationship heats up so do tensions on planet Earth.
This is a fun, very fast read with plenty of romance and humor -- not to mention one of the best first kisses I've read. Best of all, Alienated has a cover that will draw students from across the library, helping the book find an audience that much faster. Although it is a little difficult to believe humanity's extreme reactions to the alien presence -- especially after the people of L'eihr helped humans cure cancer -- the increased conflict adds both tension and fodder for discussion. Because this is the first in a series of at least two, those who enjoy the first book will have a sequel to look forward to.
Note: Review also posted here if you prefer blog format.(less)
Sloane Devon Jacobs and Sloane Emily Jacobs run into each other -- literally -- while in Canada for summer sports camps. When they discover they each...moreSloane Devon Jacobs and Sloane Emily Jacobs run into each other -- literally -- while in Canada for summer sports camps. When they discover they each want to escape their own lives, they decide to switch places. Now Sloane Devon is off to Sloane Emily's figure skating camp, while Sloane Emily gets to learn ice hockey at Sloane Devon's hockey camp. But keeping up their ruse is not the only thing these girls have to challenge them over the summer. For one thing, there are boys. And competitive skaters at each camp. And, well, learning that there's more to both figure skating and ice hockey than being good on the ice. But maybe running away from themselves is the way to find out who they truly are.
This is a fun, fast, heart-warming, satisfying, and romantic read that would appeal to girls who enjoyed such books as Anna and the French Kiss and Dairy Queen. Both Sloanes learn a lot throughout the book, but they still retain who they are at heart, which makes their transformations more believable. The details about both figure skating and ice hockey added plenty of color and interest to the world of the story without being overwhelming; Morrill clearly knows her stuff, and her love of sports comes through in every page. Yes, it takes quite a bit of suspension of disbelief to go with the incredible premise, but it's worth it for the enjoyable adventure and the many laugh-out-loud lines.(less)
When Alexa's parents are killed, she chops off her hair and joins the prince's royal guard as "Alex," a talented (male) fighter. It's that or be sent...moreWhen Alexa's parents are killed, she chops off her hair and joins the prince's royal guard as "Alex," a talented (male) fighter. It's that or be sent to the breeding houses, where girls are repeatedly raped by soldiers in order to produce yet more soldiers for the country's endless war. But when she; the prince; and a fellow guard are all captured by the enemy, Alexa learns secrets about her country and begins to rethink her loyalties.
With a kick-booty heroine who disguises herself as a boy, death-defying adventure, sorcery, a potential romance with a prince, and a love triangle, there are endless possibilities for entertainment and enjoyment in Defy. Alexa is a protagonist to cheer for, although her ruminating about which boy she liked better did slow down an otherwise fast-paced plot in a few places. Due to the inclusion of the breeding houses -- which are described in enough detail to make them truly horrifying -- this one may work better for a more mature audience than the cover implies.(less)
After surviving a car accident that killed the boyfriend she had just dumped, Wren retreats to her father's secluded house in the wild woods along the...moreAfter surviving a car accident that killed the boyfriend she had just dumped, Wren retreats to her father's secluded house in the wild woods along the New England coast. There she spends her days running through the forest, sleeping, moping, and avoiding contact with other people. But even in this small, backwoods town it is impossible to escape making connections with others.
While not a light, fun read -- and by no means a quick one -- this journey through grief and depression felt very authentic. I found myself wanting to shake Wren many times and tell her to shape up, get on antidepressants, get counseling, something, but that would have belied the point somewhat. At least the ending, while not totally resolved, has enough hope that perhaps Wren will someday be okay. Teens going through grief may find solace in Wren's tale, and those looking for meatier books may enjoy the writing style of this character-driven novel.(less)
It seems like a typical night of traveling through hyperspace, but suddenly the giant ship Icarus and its 50,000 passengers are yanked from the sky. B...moreIt seems like a typical night of traveling through hyperspace, but suddenly the giant ship Icarus and its 50,000 passengers are yanked from the sky. Before they crash, Tarver, a decorated soldier and simple country boy, escapes with Lilac, daughter of the richest and most powerful man in the universe. Now stranded on a strange planet, these two very opposite people must learn to survive until they can be rescued. But things go from challenging to downright chilling when ghostly voices and images begin appearing on the seemingly deserted landscape.
Lost meets Across the Universe in this mystery/horror set in space and, true to both, These Broken Stars is full of suspenseful twists and chilling revelations -- not to mention plenty of romance and several truly sad moments that had me wiping away tears. Tarver and Lilac are both admirable characters, especially once they come into their own. Their growth is authentic, and the romance happens naturally. While their eventual intimacy is strongly implied, it is never outright stated, and everything happens off the page. This is labeled as the first in a trilogy, though the authors have stated that the next two books are companion stories that simply happen after the events in this one. That gorgeous cover, coupled with good book-talking by enthusiastic librarians -- and there will be many -- will help this one fly off the shelves. Highly recommended.(less)
When Rebecca "Rebel" Blue ends up in detention yet again, she finds herself sharing the room with too-perky Kennedy Green. It's only when Rebel finds...moreWhen Rebecca "Rebel" Blue ends up in detention yet again, she finds herself sharing the room with too-perky Kennedy Green. It's only when Rebel finds out that Kennedy died soon after their encounter that she begins to regret the way she treated the other girl. To make amends, Rebel makes it her goal to complete Kennedy's bucket list. But along the way, Rebel begins to reevaluate her loner ways and open herself up to love and friendship.
GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE is a fantastic read that should appeal to fans of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why. Rebel is a loner, and understandably angry without being obnoxious or overly acerbic. Her growth throughout the book is tender and realistic, and I found myself rooting for her the whole way. The romantic thread is woven throughout, but does not overwhelm the main plot line and, in fact, adds to Rebel's growth. Underlying questions about spirituality, fate, and free will should appeal to students who love to contemplate the deeper issues. To add a bit of fun, astute readers of Coriell's previous book, WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE should recognize a cameo appearance.
Em and Finn are determined to break out of a secret military base for one purpose: to kill The Doctor before he has a chance to build the time machine...moreEm and Finn are determined to break out of a secret military base for one purpose: to kill The Doctor before he has a chance to build the time machine that destroys society as we know it. But there's a catch: in order to make their plan work, Em and Finn must journey back four years in the same time machine and hunt down its creator. A creator who was once their best friend and never strayed far without one or the other of them. All without running into their former selves, and risking sending time off-balance. To complicate things further, they must accomplish all this before their enemies from the future catch up to them.
Although it took me a few pages to get into, by the second half All Our Yesterdays was almost impossible to put down. And, oh, the ending! The tense, fascinating, mind-twisting, beautiful, fearless climax/resolution was one of the most satisfying I've encountered in years. Several days later I'm still thinking about it. The romance presented some nice twists as well, and Terrill's unusual approach to love triangles had me rethinking my aversion to them. The love the characters had for each other was nuanced, bittersweet, and different from any I've seen before. While the story would appeal to fans of science fiction and romance, it also has a hefty dose of reflection for those who are questioning the meaning of life, as many teens are wont to do. Finally, good news for those who prefer to read an entire series at once: although All Our Yesterdays has an upcoming sequel, it stands alone quite nicely.(less)
When Anne Boleyn returns to the court of King Henry VIII after several years away in France, she is very clearly the odd girl out. But she soon become...moreWhen Anne Boleyn returns to the court of King Henry VIII after several years away in France, she is very clearly the odd girl out. But she soon becomes a project for poet Thomas Wyatt, who makes it his goal to polish Anne and train her to be successful in society. Neither of them could have predicted how successful she would be, however -- and how many mistakes she would make along the way.
This beautifully-written story of King Henry the VIII's second wife brings Anne and her peers to life, while also showing the court in all its treacherous, gorgeous, restless, and terrifying glory. In a public library setting or bookstore it could easily be shelved in either the adult or teen fiction section, as it would appeal to fans of historical fiction in both age groups. Recommended.(less)
This sequel to The Time Between Us picks up three months after the first story ends. Now Bennett gets to tell his side, letting the reader know more a...moreThis sequel to The Time Between Us picks up three months after the first story ends. Now Bennett gets to tell his side, letting the reader know more about his time-traveling abilities, his family and friends in his own time, his feelings about Anna, and the guilt he suffers whenever he chooses not to use his powers to undo major disasters and save lives. Central to the story is his ongoing desire to be with Anna, his love interest from the first book. Unfortunately, his time-traveling is unreliable at best and downright dangerous at worst. As he has more and more difficulty hurtling through time, it looks as if their relationship may be doomed.
While The Time Between Us stood alone nicely, I enjoyed this follow-up almost as much as the original. It was interesting to hear Bennett's side of the story, and to ponder the moral dilemmas he faces. After all, if you can travel back in time to save lives, does it mean you should?
As with the previous book, the main characters are well-drawn. I especially love how Stone portrays the parents. Rather than the simple, antagonistic cardboard cutouts I might have expected, the adults in Stone's book are excellent role models -- strong and firm, but loving, too, and very real. Above all, they want what's best for their children. For example, when Anna's father does not want Bennett around, it makes absolute sense. From his perspective, I wouldn't want Bennett around my daughter, either.
All in all this was an enjoyable read that touched on some deeper issues. Would appeal to fans of young adult romance and/or time travel stories. I definitely recommend.(less)
Despite her love of fashion and her affinity for her cell phone, history buff Libby Kelting feels like she was born several centuries too late. When s...moreDespite her love of fashion and her affinity for her cell phone, history buff Libby Kelting feels like she was born several centuries too late. When she gets a chance to spend the summer before her senior year working in a historical park in Camden, Maine, she jumps at the chance. But her new circa-1791 life isn't all flouncing around in pretty dresses and flirting with chivalrous gentlemen. While her job is good and she immediately starts up a romance with a cute sailor, her roommate is so difficult that she has to find a new living space. She flees to a ship in the harbor -- one that's rumored to be haunted -- and ends up bunking with an obnoxious, nerdy, and annoyingly cute boy. Libby's summer isn't turning out like she planned, but thanks to positive thinking and a good dose of humor, she's determined to make it work.
Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink is a light, funny, fast read that should appeal to romance fans and history buffs alike. Libby's frequent treatises on history not only inject interesting and little-known information into the book, but they make studying the past seem cool. The fact that Libby uses her obscure knowledge to solve a huge mystery sweetens it even more. While her sarcasm sometimes wears a little thin, Libby's sense of humor is also genuinely funny in many spots, and she's a difficult character not to like by the end because she's so upbeat and she knows who she is and what she wants. For example, when a cute guy insists she take a beer even though she finds it gross and is underage, she quickly trades it for root beer when his back is turned. Even better, she doesn't need a boy to stand up for her because she can do that just fine, thank you -- and she does a spectacular job of it in one scene in particular. It's hard to suspend disbelief in a few places -- for example, her original roommate is so extremely rude for no discernible reason, and it's difficult to swallow that the owners of the park would not only let a minor share a bedroom on a boat with a boy, but actually encourage her to do so. Still, in the end this is still an entertaining read.(less)
In this sequel to The Raven Boys, the group continues its search for Glendower, but their quest is endangered when sinister outsiders show up in Henri...moreIn this sequel to The Raven Boys, the group continues its search for Glendower, but their quest is endangered when sinister outsiders show up in Henrietta. The would-be thieves are looking for the ley lines, too, and they don't care how much turmoil they have to cause in order to find them. Along the way, unlikely alliances are forged and broken, new powers show themselves, love blossoms, and lives end.
I loved many parts of The Dream Thieves, including the beautiful writing, sweet romance, and unusual magical elements. It also included a few twists that I didn't see coming, and the characters were well-drawn and almost alive. The many details and lush writing did make this one a slow read -- or, as some would prefer, luxurious -- and on occasion the plot itself got a little lost in all of that. Still, I enjoyed it very much and would recommend The Raven Cycle series to teens and adults alike.(less)
In this sequel to My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, Cat's cousin Alessandra is tired of her quiet life of obedience in sixteenth-century Florence. She...moreIn this sequel to My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, Cat's cousin Alessandra is tired of her quiet life of obedience in sixteenth-century Florence. She longs to speak out. Even more, she wants the rush she felt when acting out a play with Cat two years before -- something good girls in her time are not allowed to do. But when she has the chance to time travel to modern-day L.A., she discovers that being brave is not as easy as she expected. Still, she is determined to make the most of her scary but exciting journey. Good thing she has a little help in the form of her audacious cousin Cat and her government class partner, the obnoxious but undeniably attractive Austin.
This is a wonderful, uplifting tale of friendship, romance, and making your own destiny. It was a lot of fun to experience modern-day life through the eyes of a timid sixteenth-century girl, and my curiosity about how it would all work out kept me turning the pages. The chemistry between Alessandra and Austin is undeniable, especially once they get to know each other, but what I appreciated most was that, ultimately, it wasn't Austin who saved her in the end. It was Alessandra's own strength, confidence, and willingness to speak up.(less)