Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Penguin/Razorbill for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of chaSource: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Penguin/Razorbill for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review is part of the Razorbill blog tour.
My Rating: 4/5
Annie Phillips jumps at the chance to nanny for a family in sunny California when she realizes it would mean she could leave her current life, and family, behind. She falls in love with the Cohen family, and idolizes Libby. The adage be careful what you wish for comes into play as she realizes that not everything is ideal in her new life. She fights to hold on to her sanity as she tries to figure out if Libby is truly the person she thinks she is; or if she is the cause for all of the weird and crippling situations that are occurring with a frightening regularity. The Ruining has oppressive undertones that nag and worry the reader as they are reading. It is easy to see Annie's descent into madness, even though she herself cannot see it. Within the first few pages we get a glimmering of Libby's personality. However, Annie, who is completely enraptured with creating the ideal life for herself with a new family, does not see that there is something off with her 'perfect' family. The undertones throughout the novel continue to build this web of confusion, and madness around Annie, leaving the reader unsettled. As we find out more, we realize, long before Annie does, how dangerous Libby can be. Nothing is as it seems, and Annie will need to figure out what is going on before she loses herself, her identity, completely. I would have liked more closure, for Annie's sake, as I felt that there were some things left unresolved. Collomore weaves a brilliant tale of madness and horror as Annie realizes that things are not alright, that she cannot trust herself, or those around her. I just wish that there had been a more visual, more tangible interaction between Annie and Libby at the end of the book once Annie comes full circle and realizes just what has happened to her. I felt the ending was a bit anti-climactic for my taste. That is not to say others won't enjoy it, I just wanted a little more action. All in all, The Ruining is a chilling and disturbing read that does not pull any punches. Annie struggles with identity and madness. The sheer insidiousness of the book alone had me reading along wanting to know more, with the hope that Annie would realize what was happening to her before it was too late. Even now, the book has gotten under my skin, and it has left me feeling a little unsettled....more
Source: Received from publicist courtesy of Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to RainTown Press and Teen Book Scene for sending me a copy of this bookSource: Received from publicist courtesy of Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to RainTown Press and Teen Book Scene for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 4/5
Spartacus Ryan Zander has always disliked his name. It's not normal enough for him, and to add insult to injury, his older brother has dubbed him "Poop Lip" due to the freckle or mole on his upper lip. When his mother joins the circus, Spartacus is left bereft. He believes she has been kidnapped, and no one will do anything about it. His father doesn't seem to be worried, which makes Spartacus even more concerned. He devises a plan to find his mother, but he'll have to rely on his best friend to find him the rides he needs to get to the circus. Once there he uncovers more disturbing news, and he will have to bring down the whole circus if he is going to save those he cares for, as well as himself. Spartacus is a sweet kid. He is completely infatuated with saving his mother, and will do anything to bring her back home. With the help of his best friend, he embarks on a journey across several states to get to the circus. He hitches rides with some questionable characters, and finds himself in some hairy situations, but he doesn't lose his determination to find his mother. He is a plucky character, and will have readers engaged in his wild ride to the circus. Johnson displays a tongue in cheek quality to her writing, one that will have readers laughing alongside Spartacus as they find him in some increasingly compromising predicaments. The friends he makes as well as the enemies, will have readers hoping that he makes it to the circus in one piece. Then of course, the hard part will be extricating his mother from the grasp of the evil Bartholomew. Many characters pop up throughout the novel, and they bring about some of the best comic relief I have read in a long time. The elderly women in the car are hilarious, and will have readers laughing as well as hoping that Spartacus can get himself out of yet another dangerous situation. All in all, a hilarious and enterprising read. Spartacus will draw readers to him as he travels across state lines to find his mother. An engaging hero, a diabolical villain, and many humorous yet complicated situations will have readers deeply invested in Spartacus' story. ...more
Source: Received from Netgalley and Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this bookSource: Received from Netgalley and Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 4/5
Jake is one of the Mystyx, and he is still finding out the full extent of what that means for him. His powers are manifesting in unpredictable ways and his mood is volatile. It doesn't help that the darkness is beckoning, and trying to seduce him to fight on the behalf of evil. With several students bullying him at school, life is starting to become unbearable for Jake. Especially since he can't use his powers to defend himself for fear of being found out. This is quite easily the strongest book in the series yet and it is my favourite by far. I connected with Jake almost instantaneously. He's a credible character going through a tough time, and he's suffering at the hands of some bullies. I know what that's like, and can commiserate with all of the feelings he was expressing. He is questioning himself and his powers, as well as his connection to both the dark and good in the world. We are starting to get some more answers, even though there are still quite a few questions left unanswered. I found that the incidents that happened in the second book were followed up more in this installment in the series. The reader may have a better appreciation for book two if they were to read book three immediately afterwards as I found that the events in the second book were resolved in the third book, or had more light shed on them. This installment in the series brings more characters to light. Krystal, Sasha, Jake and Lindsay are joined by Antoine, and some previously known characters bring about surprising twists. I dare say that this book has made the rest of the series a must read for me. Things are really starting to heat up and I can't wait to read the next installment as I really want to know what is going on with certain characters. With the twists that Arthur has employed in Mayhem, I am really looking forward to reading what she comes up with next. All in all, this is a read that I think is the turning point for the Mystyx series. Leading up to Mayhem we haven't gotten a lot of answers, and things have been a little frustrating because of that, for both the readers and the characters. With Mayhem we get some answers and find worlds opened up to us in unexpected ways, so much so that the reader will be clamoring for the next book to find out what is going to happen next. ...more
Source: Received from author courtesy of the Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Courtney Vail and Teen Book Scene for sending me a copy of this bookSource: Received from author courtesy of the Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Courtney Vail and Teen Book Scene for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 3/5
Majesty overhears part of a conversation that involves plans for a church massacre. She has a lot going on in her life at the moment, having just recently lost her father in an accident. She doesn't think it was an accident, but is having a hard time proving that to the authorities. Now with having overheard this conversation, she's unsure what the police will do as they don't seem to listen to her at all. She calls in an anonymous tip, but unfortunately the massacre is just the tipping point to an entirely large scale operation and she is ensnared deep within it. Even her friends will be scrutinized as the revelations keep hitting closer to home. Kings & Queens starts out with this erratic overload of information coming from every which way. Almost like someone is talking way too fast, or like rodents on steroids. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though it does take some getting used to. The voice of the novel is quite reminiscent of Sin City actually, almost with that same voice-over quality. Immediately the reader is hooked wanting to know what Majesty is contending with. Her two best friends, Alec, and Derek also are quite enticing in their own ways, and their stories are just as compelling and confusing as Majesty's. Once certain elements were revealed to the reader, the book became even more intricate. Nothing is left to the wayside, and the killers seem to be one step ahead of Majesty at all times. The story is intricate in detail, and Majesty has to go through a whole school's worth of suspects. With her father's accident tangled up with Majesty's sleuthing, there are a lot of threads on the go. Alec and Derek both have their own problems that they are working through, and we get to view things from their perspective as well. Though the main point of view is from Majesty, it does jump to Alec and Derek at times. All in all, an interesting, and intriguing read. With thoughts being hurled at the reader from Majesty's ever-active and ever-investigative imagination, it does resemble a slalom course of information. Intricate in detail, this one is sure to hook and keep the reader guessing until the very last page. ...more
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book fSource: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 4/5
Clare is unfortunately realizing that this might turn out to be the most boring summer vacation on record, ever. That is, until one tiny act changes her plans. Thrown into a turbulent time period, she has the chance to change history, and right a centuries-old wrong, but first she needs to find a stolen artifact. Maybe there are perks to being sent overseas to stay with her aunt, an archaeology professor. With her best friend Al in tow, and Al's gorgeous cousin, Milo, this might turn out to be the most exciting summer that Clare has ever experienced. With quirky comments, and humour-infused dialogue, Once Every Never is a genuine pleasure to read. Throw in time travel, Celtic warriors, history, and a race against time and you have a phenomenal and highly original read on your hands. Jumping from present day into the past, and back again could make this read a confusing one, but it actually made it all the more intense and intriguing. As an avid history fan, I inhaled the history being doled out in the read. Though I don't know how much is actual fact, I loved Livingston's interpretation and creative license with regards to the history incorporated in Once Every Never. Clare is a hilariously fun main character. Quips fly back and forth when she's at the helm; and her relationship with her friends, and aunt add humour to the read. Clare believes she is just your average girl. Sure, she has an IQ that lands her in the gifted range, but she doesn't really use her talents for anything. She's more interested in hot guys, and shopping, so it comes as a surprise to her aunt that she's invested in learning about the history behind the "bog bodies" that are on display at the museum. Their interactions over Clare's lack of interest in history had me grinning as I could see the conversation unfolding in my mind's eye. Actually, Once Ever Never has many scenes that come to life vividly as they are read. I would love to see the movie adaptation, as I think this would be a great movie. All in all, memorable characters, history, and humour make this a compelling and all too fun read. I'll definitely be checking out more of Livingston's work. If her other books are anything like Once Every Never, I'm sold. Highly recommended, this is a book that I think you should get your hands on as soon as you can....more
Source: Received from Netgalley. Many thanks goes to the Netgalley team for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of chSource: Received from Netgalley. Many thanks goes to the Netgalley team for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My rating: 3/5
As the daughter of one of the wealthiest couples in Lincoln, Sasha has her share of woes. Her parents only pay attention to her when they want her to do something for them, and they don't understand her relationship with her friends. Sasha has a lot to handle when her parents force her to buddy up with one of the meanest and cattiest girls at school to help draw attention to her father's new exclusive club; all on top of her emerging powers in the Mystyx. Sasha must juggle the needs of her family as well as her own budding talents, and the attention of her longtime crush. Will she be able to find out what is going on, before things take a turn for the worse? Mystify picks up a few short weeks after the end of Manifest. Sasha comes to the forefront and we see how she reacts as she, Krystal and Jake learn more about their budding powers and the entity they must face. Sasha is a believable character, however her penchant for saying "me and Krystal" had me grinding my teeth. She is an exceptional student and ends up going on a class trip as a volunteer to watch and help out the other students with their projects. I had a hard time picturing her as saying "me and Krystal." It just didn't ring true for her personality. Krystal's character has improved from Manifest and we get to see a calmer, more relaxed side of her. Jake's powers are running him through a gamut of emotions making him moodier, but also stronger. This installment in the Mystyx series seems to be more about finding out how their powers are evolving and there isn't really any closure to an event that happened earlier in the book. The ending is anti-climatic but I think it's building for the next installment, Mayhem. It was an enjoyable read, and I liked the romance between Antonio and Sasha. All in all, a solid sequel to Manifest, which will leave you wanting to know if they will be able to win the upcoming battle. Some secrets are revealed while others continue to linger on as more characters and twists are added to the plot. ...more