I heard good things about Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall but I never got around to reading it, so when I saw Vanishing Girls (ARC) in my Vine queue I cI heard good things about Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall but I never got around to reading it, so when I saw Vanishing Girls (ARC) in my Vine queue I checked it out immediately. The chapters aren't numbered. Chapter titles show Dara or Nick's name, a date, and every now and then the time of day. This story alternates between the sisters points of view, but there are also diary entries, website posts and emails. Sometimes it was "before" the accident and sometimes "after" the accident. I had to pay close attention. The story didn't flow well, but the author didn't lose me. The profanity was a bit much. And it took the author so long to get to the point that if I wasn't obligated to write a review, I would have stopped reading. I must admit, the good part was worth the wait....more
Grace is the daughter of a major in the U.S. Army and her grandfather is the United States foremost Ambassador to Europe. She has moved around a lot aGrace is the daughter of a major in the U.S. Army and her grandfather is the United States foremost Ambassador to Europe. She has moved around a lot and now she's back at the embassy, the place she lived every summer until her mother died. People are saying it was an accident. Grace believes it was murder. Can she prove she knows what she's talking about?
Although I enjoyed the prose, I often felt like not much was being said. Because the synopsis mentions mystery and conspiracy, I thought the story would be more intriguing. It became interesting near the end. I was curious when I finished, though. I just might read Book Two of Embassy Row....more
Twin sisters, Maya and Nikki, don't feel the same about the changes taking place in their neighborhood. Nikki is happy to have the new shops and eaterTwin sisters, Maya and Nikki, don't feel the same about the changes taking place in their neighborhood. Nikki is happy to have the new shops and eateries within walking distance of their home. There are some things Maya likes, but she's not pleased with how it all came about.
There are seventy-nine chapters but none too long, some no more than three pages. Characters, dialogue and situations are interesting. And even though there is a distinct seriousness throughout, there are parts that made me smile.
Twins and identity, same-race discrimination, appearance discrimination, interracial relationship insecurities, education, diversity in schools, friendship, alcoholism - these topics are tackled effectively. This is a story that stimulates thought.
Renee Watson created believable teenage characters and wrote this young adult novel without profanity fillers or graphic sex scenes. She has a beautiful way with words. I was in awe of her writing; the poetic flow kept me engaged from beginning to end....more
Summer of 1963: The Green family has three unbreakable rules and one is that they all will be lawyers. Sixteen-year-old Justice Jeanette Green (aka JJSummer of 1963: The Green family has three unbreakable rules and one is that they all will be lawyers. Sixteen-year-old Justice Jeanette Green (aka JJ) has different aspirations. She wants to be a songwriter. Without her parents permission, she applies for a summer job in the music business. She's allowed to take the position, but if a song of hers isn't recorded before school begins she'll have to give up on her dream.
Predictable at times, but engrossing. I went from enjoying JJ's journey and waiting to see if everything would work out for her to guessing whodunit. I'm Glad I Did would make a good television movie. I'd love to see the characters come to life, especially Janny, Dulcie and Rosetta.
I love to listen to good music, but I know nothing about what goes on behind the scenes. This story taught me a few things about the music industry. I liked the legal discussions where the murder mystery was concerned. And it's always nice to read Teen Fiction that doesn't have way too much profanity....more
Daisy Miller passed away. Jackson Miller lost his wife. Matthew Miller lost his mother. They are mourning, each in his own way.
Matt had a close relatiDaisy Miller passed away. Jackson Miller lost his wife. Matthew Miller lost his mother. They are mourning, each in his own way.
Matt had a close relationship with his mother. I felt for him as he struggled with different emotions because of her death. Even though Daisy was gone, I got to know her. The story certainly would have been fun to read if this character were still living.
People grieve in different ways. Matt became a connoisseur of funerals. That wasn't what I expected, but I didn't find it strange. The parts about funerals weren't pleasant, but Matt's point of view made the reading interesting.
This book has seventeen long chapters. It was a good read, but, for me, stories move along better when the chapters are short. I was glad there were scene breaks.
The profanity wasn't as excessive as I've seen in other young adult novels, but more than I cared to read. Love the cover....more
Alexis Riggs is an honor student, a math girl, a geek. She is also a suicide survivor. Her brother, Tyler, took his own life.
I didn't realize until IAlexis Riggs is an honor student, a math girl, a geek. She is also a suicide survivor. Her brother, Tyler, took his own life.
I didn't realize until I was about to write this review that there are Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Death & Dying Fiction. Wow. Sounds so sad and morbid. But death is a reality. This book does not make light of suicide - it shows the complex emotions family members experience, how their relationships with others can change, and touches on the stigma that exists concerning this serious issue. There is something in the pages that can help survivors cope and, I believe, it could be used as a teaching tool to help prevent suicide.
Honest, thought-provoking, heartbreaking. Less profanity would have made it better for me, but still, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a must read. It should be in libraries, schools and bookstores everywhere. I became engaged immediately. Every now and then I had to say, "Lord, have mercy." Surprisingly, I laughed at times. And the last chapter just about had me in tears....more
Sixteen-year-old Vivian Apple does not believe in God, which is why her parents couldn't talk her into joining the Church of America. Now her parentsSixteen-year-old Vivian Apple does not believe in God, which is why her parents couldn't talk her into joining the Church of America. Now her parents are missing. Have they been raptured? Or are they alive? Vivian goes on a cross-country trip with Peter, a guy she just met, and her best friend, Harp, in search of answers.
The only thing I liked was Vivian and Harp's close friendship. There were interesting moments here and there but, for the most part, the story irritated me: A new religious movement distorting Christian beliefs, changing God's Word to line up with twisted thinking. Teen characters with no respect for the heavenly Father. And if the profanity was supposed to make this young adult novel edgy, it didn't. Too many vulgar words is an unpleasant distraction....more
Loann doesn't like herself. She'd rather be like her sister, Claire. She wants Claire's looks, her popularity and maybe even her boyfriend, Josh.
The sLoann doesn't like herself. She'd rather be like her sister, Claire. She wants Claire's looks, her popularity and maybe even her boyfriend, Josh.
The synopsis mentions betrayal. I did not see betrayal. I saw a teenage girl so in need of attention that she wasn't thinking at all. Loann was self-conscious, insecure and she had a serious case of low self-esteem (I blame her parents for that), but she didn't always let her fear keep her from speaking up when necessary. She was stronger than she thought she was.
It didn't take long to figure out what was going on with Claire. I wanted to know what was going to happen with her, but I was more interested in Marcus. What was going on in his personal life that he didn't want to tell? Wanting the answer to this question is what kept me reading. And then once I knew, I kept reading to see what Marcus was going to do next and how his relationship with Loann was going to turn out.
I liked this story from the beginning, even though it moved at a slow pace and took a while to pick up. Jaden did a good job of capturing the nervousness and awkwardness a teenage girl experiences when she doesn't know if a guy likes her or not. The author also tackles eating disorders and domestic abuse realistically. Her story gives teenage girls important things to think about concerning popularity, body image and premarital sex. It also has a lesson for parents who favor one child over another. As the author shows, it can cause serious issues in the life of the 'favorite' as well as the one who doesn't get enough attention.
Favorite Character: Marcus Favorite Line (sad, but says it all): Claire would always overshadow me. My life wasn't as important as hers. ...more
Fifteen year old, Diamond Winters, dreams of becoming a star. When she finds out about a teen competition, she’s eager to participate, but she can’t dFifteen year old, Diamond Winters, dreams of becoming a star. When she finds out about a teen competition, she’s eager to participate, but she can’t do it alone. Glory 2 God Productions is looking for a group, so Diamond has to convince her friends, India, Veronique and Aaliyah to sing with her.
Everything that happened with the Divine Divas was interesting; however, Victoria Christopher Murray touched on the topic of teen sex in a way that certainly got my attention, and that is why I liked this story. Diamond had feelings for Jason (aka Jax) Xavier. Would she put Jax before her dreams? Would she fall for his mind games? Would she compromise her Christian beliefs to please him? Wanting to know the answers to my questions is what kept me reading to the end.
I couldn’t really tell if Diamond was confidant or arrogant. What was clear: Even though she kept insisting she was a ‘mature fifteen’ she was not as mature as she thought she was. She was very naïve when it came to dealing with Jax. And she was way too trusting. Diamond also depended on magazines too much. She did learn from reading the articles, but I was surprised she didn’t think for herself more often instead of always looking to these print publications for answers.
The questions I mentioned were answered, but I was left with one more question. I know Jax was the star of the high school basketball team, but would a guy love the game so much that he’d carry a basketball around all of the time? He had it with him just about every place he went, and I wasn’t sure that was realistic.
Again, I liked the story. The lessons Diamond learned can definitely help each and every teenage girl – Christian or not – who reads this book. I have a favorite line: “Any relationship that makes you lie to your Heavenly Father or your earthly father is not a relationship worth having. And a favorite chapter: 31. And a favorite character: Aaliyah. I’m not sure if I’ll read all of the remaining books, but I plan to read Aaliyah’s story. ...more
The Need sends Charlotte Cassidy to places she hasn’t been to help people she doesn’t know. If she resists, she’s not able to for long. Her friends doThe Need sends Charlotte Cassidy to places she hasn’t been to help people she doesn’t know. If she resists, she’s not able to for long. Her friends don’t know about The Need and she can’t bring herself to tell them, because… well, what is she? A freak?
When angels come to mind, I don’t think fantasy or magical. I think of entertaining angels unaware (Hebrews 13:2) or guardian angels (Psalm 91:11). I believe in angels. Although I detected a bit of New Ageism as I read this book, there were quite a few moments when I thought of Christianity, of God and His marvelous Light and unconditional love. And there was also darkness. The second Onika was introduced I knew something was not right with this female. She was like Satan in the Garden of Eden. Her presence was bothersome. I did not like her. I did not trust her.
Curiosity kept the pages turning. Who was Charlotte going to save next and what was this person’s issue? I couldn’t understand, though, why this girl had Harlin on the brain. Yes, she was a teenage girl all infatuated or in love or whatever. But she clearly had something more important to be concerned about. Dealing with The Need was such a struggle for her. How could she focus on having a relationship?
Charlotte had a friend named Sarah. I wasn’t clear on Sarah’s home life, but it seemed she wasn’t getting much attention from her parents so she was seeking it elsewhere and in the wrong ways like some teenage girls do. She was in pain and I felt for her.
A Need So Beautiful was a good read. My favorite sentence: Monroe called this a blessing, but it feels more like a curse. The ending left me with an unanswered question, but the next book is titled ‘A Want So Wicked’ – I’m not sure at this time if I want to read it. ...more
Jaris Spain is a junior at Tubman High. It might not be the best school in the ‘hood, but Tubman’s not all bad and Jaris attends with his closest frieJaris Spain is a junior at Tubman High. It might not be the best school in the ‘hood, but Tubman’s not all bad and Jaris attends with his closest friends. Jaris works hard to get good grades and he also has a part-time job. He isn’t always happy with his home life, since he never knows what kind of mood his dad will be in and his parents argue all of the time. Gangs are moving closer to his neighborhood. But there is someone who makes life better, even if she doesn’t know how Jaris really feels about her. Will he ever find the courage to ask her out?
Jaris is a likeable teenage guy. Even though I didn’t think he should have spoken to his mother they way he did at times, I understood his concerns. He was very protective of his sister; I liked that. Although he was smart and talented, he didn’t have much confidence. I guess being around his gloomy dad had something to do with that, but then again, hearing his parents arguing all of the time wasn’t good.
Lorenzo Spain (Jaris’s Dad): After reading the book description, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this man, but I noticed what his wife just didn’t seem to get – Lorenzo was suffering from depression. Although I felt for him deeply, I believe letting go of the past would have helped him.
Monica Spain (Jaris’s Mom): College educated. An elementary school teacher and she loved her work. A mother and she loved her children. A wife and she loved her husband. I don’t think she was trying to be so hard on Lorenzo; she knew what a good man he was and she wanted him to see it.
Chelsea (Jaris’s Sister): This girl better be glad her brother has her back.
Alonee Lennox (Jaris’s friend): An intelligent, kind-hearted young lady. I was glad she was there for Jaris; he needed her encouragement and support. And I really like the words she spoke on page 107.
Sereeta Prince: The girl Jaris has had feelings for since junior high. I felt bad for her because of her family situation; divorce does affect the children.
Grandma Jessie: I don’t believe she was uppity. I think she just wanted the best for her daughter and grandchildren.
Trevor Jenkins (Jaris’s friend): I’d like to read his story so I can get to know the woman who raised him. It sounds like she’s a single mother who does not play.
Marko Lane: Bully
I like the small size of this book and I really like the cover. There are ten long chapters with no scene breaks. I don’t really like long chapters, but this story was so interesting that it didn’t bother me. Families, teenage love, friendship, bullying, education, dreams that have died and dreams still alive – these are all a part of this young adult novel. Outrunning the Darkness is Book #1 in Anne Schraff’s Urban Underground series. I’m not sure if I’ll read all fifteen books, but I plan to read the second one. ...more
Lacey is a fourteen –year- old girl about to begin a volunteer job at one of her favorite places, the Peace City Library. She doesn’t have a best frieLacey is a fourteen –year- old girl about to begin a volunteer job at one of her favorite places, the Peace City Library. She doesn’t have a best friend, but she’d like one. She doesn’t live a normal teenage life, but she’d like to.
Lacey had too much responsibility for a girl her age. She was carrying her mother’s burden with no help, and I really felt for her. It seemed her best moments took place in her mind and that was sad. It was also sad how she blamed herself for things that weren’t her fault.
The author writes about mental illness; mostly depression, but it seemed to me Lacey’s mother was schizophrenic. Aaron Ririe was a godsend, because Lacey sure needed a friend. And it was nice how Lacey loved the library and reading. Other than that, there was nothing about this story that made me feel good. It was sad mostly. And when the story took an unexpected turn near the end, it got downright creepy. Actually, it was like watching a horror movie. I am not into horror, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep turning the pages, but I did. ...more