I would like to congratulate Sara B Larson for using the word ‘verdant’ in her debut novel and still getting published. (Girl, you are a rock star!) S...moreI would like to congratulate Sara B Larson for using the word ‘verdant’ in her debut novel and still getting published. (Girl, you are a rock star!) She also uses solid turns of phrase to build her story and has grasped Alexa’s complex psychology well, enabling the reader to form a real connection with her main character. Defy is one YA Fantasy I would happily describe as Shadow and Bone meets Graceling. Expect great world building, magic, secrets, war and teenage angst. I enjoyed the storyline, although I felt that the romantic element was rather rushed and some of the big plot twists were rather predictable. I do want to know what’s in store for seventeen-year-old Alexa in the sequel: which boy will she choose and how will Antion’s future play out?
It took 100 pages (and a move to seedy Washington Heights) to grab me, but from then on I enjoyed it! Nina’s view of the world is slightly quirky so i...moreIt took 100 pages (and a move to seedy Washington Heights) to grab me, but from then on I enjoyed it! Nina’s view of the world is slightly quirky so it took me a while to connect with the narrative. Her character arc is huge – she goes from being a coddled Dominican girl to someone who can and does make her own decisions– and eighteen year old Louis was a very surprising romantic interest for her. Although there are some quite philosophical moments and the novel featured a few darker topics (e.g. drug pedlars), I wouldn’t describe it as ‘gritty’.
“The most important thing of all is to live your life fully and not hold back.” – p.235(less)
In Music of the Heart, Abby manages to board the wrong tour bus at a music show - so instead of touring with her musician brothers, she ends up trappe...moreIn Music of the Heart, Abby manages to board the wrong tour bus at a music show - so instead of touring with her musician brothers, she ends up trapped with hard core rockers Runaway Train instead. Jake Slater, the lead singer of the band, challenges Abby to spend a full week with them and never one to back down from a challenge she agrees to stay.
Abby was a fun heroine, a preacher's daughter with a 'potty' mouth who can hold her own. Some people might not appreciate her forgiving nature however - which showed up whenever Jake messed up! Jake was interesting but he acted like Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages; be prepared for Jake to stick to his rocker ways for the first part of the book. Jake's character also experienced multiple episodes of 'omg I'm falling in love - I need to drive her away', which isn't my favourite plot device ever.
The romance, when Jake committed to it fully, was sweet and sassy though, and there were some really cute scenes. This isn't a vanilla tale (despite Abby's history) but the author's values were in the right place for my teddybear heart: family and love connections.... It was difficult to put down, it made me laugh and it tugged on my heart strings. Also it's told in a dual p.o.v. which I loved. (less)
This storyline sounds all sorts of clichéd but the truth is a little left of centre and very enjoyable! At no...more4/5 Stars – A quick and compulsive read.
This storyline sounds all sorts of clichéd but the truth is a little left of centre and very enjoyable! At no point during this novel did I think ‘that’s just like a scene from…’ which surprised me immensely.
Pepper thinks she knows what she wants (Hunter) and at times this makes her seem rather hard headed, but I forgave her by the final page. We never get Reece’s p.o.v. which is sort of unusual these days in NA; we only just saw enough of him, although I liked what I saw. He’s hard working, tough, caring, and observant – probably more observant than most of the men I’ve met in real life! Which of course was very sexy…
I loved Pepper’s roommates, they were a riot and had attitude (they weren’t just wallpaper), so I am very happy that Ms Jordan is currently penning companion novels for both of them. This story wasn’t just about romance, it was also about Pepper herself; she had to face reality and let go of her ‘safe’ dream in order to realise an even better one, a major turning point for her character. So expect similar depth in the upcoming additions to this series…
If you’re looking for fun NA Romance that doesn’t involve cage fighting – that’s just a bit original – then this deserves to be on your shortlist.
This was my first A S King novel. I think what persuaded me to read it is the fact that Ask the Passengers is an YA LGBT Contemporary from a major pub...moreThis was my first A S King novel. I think what persuaded me to read it is the fact that Ask the Passengers is an YA LGBT Contemporary from a major publishing house – something of a rarity on bookshop shelves.
Astrid is a well rounded main character with a strong and engaging voice, who’s still figuring out her sexuality: what box does she belong in and does she want to fit? So this is a coming of age novel, couched in a few simple Astrid Jones truths: your dad smokes weed, your mum ignores you, you live amongst small town bigotry and your girlfriend is ‘pushy’ during make out sessions.
Although the story was grounded by this dilemma, there was a comedic element as well tied to Astrid’s wit and unique view of the world around her. I appreciated that although Astrid’s family was very dysfunctional it was present; too many YA novels today ‘kill off’ parents in order to give their main character independence – A S King makes Astrid fight for hers instead… (And she does it while sending love to distant plane passengers who get their own guest p.o.v. appearances and with the help of imaginary bestie “Frank” Socrates – yes, the Socrates.)
Why then did I drop a star in my rating? I wanted to be swept away by this thoughtful book, but while A S King kept a sense of the absurd and the magical alive, she never captured my full imagination. Astrid’s ‘answers’ were all so predictable – they aped most LGBT coming out novels. Still, I look forward to selecting another title by her in future.
This book is compulsive reading; I liked the main character and Jared was an interesting hero! Which of c...more5/5 Stars – finished at 2:30AM on a work day.
This book is compulsive reading; I liked the main character and Jared was an interesting hero! Which of course led to lots of feels… This novel has a little bit of everything: romance, despair, loss, funny moments, drag racing, tree climbing, high school teachers and character’s you’ll recognized from your own youth. It’s all thrown in, mixed about and spat out in book form. Delicious!
Is it perfectly plotted? Nearly. I’m not sure I really understood Jared’s motivations clearly enough – although I plan to remedy this immediately by reading Until You – or that he apologized enough. However, the car scene (you’ll know the one) and his reply of ‘it’ll just give me an excuse to do some upgrades’ won him a lot of love from me.
Read it! Read it!
The best news: there will be companion novels. I can’t wait to read Madoc’s story in 2014! (less)
Anyone who follows my reviews will know that I don’t read many YA thrillers, because usually I find them sort of disappointing, but when I heard about...moreAnyone who follows my reviews will know that I don’t read many YA thrillers, because usually I find them sort of disappointing, but when I heard about Find Me I knew I had to give it a shot: how many YA books have you come across with a female hacker for the protagonist? Yep, that’s what I thought. Anyway, I’m pleased to say that Find Me was a great surprise all around.
Wicket Tate’s as unique as her name. She grew up on the bad side of town, abused by her dad the local criminal mastermind, and now at seventeen she’s in the foster care system – staying with squeaky clean parents Bren and Todd. The thing is Wicket knows nothing lasts forever, and when Bren and Todd wake up to who Wicket and her sister Lily really are, they’ll need money, so Wicket hacks. She investigates guys for concerned women – trolls through their emails, bank statements, mobile phone records, Facebook accounts, the whole nine yards. Then, on the day of Tessa Waye's suicide a diary arrives on her doorstep with the simple note ‘FIND ME’. And suddenly Wicket’s secret seems to be out – someone knows what she does with her external hard drive and her spare time. But who? And what really made Tessa Waye jump?
I think my favourite supporting character by far was Griff, I haven’t crushed so hard on a guy with a motorbike since Jesse met Rob in Meg Cabot’s When Lightning Strikes. Griff’s not your typical hunky quarterback either, he’s popular-ish sure, but he’s also wiry and intelligent and complicated… in a good way. I just hope there’s a sequel (which I’m currently anticipating would be called Remember Me thanks to a great last line) so we get to learn more about what a normal Wicket and Griff relationship would look like.
Now, onto the mystery. When did I figure out for sure who it was? Literally thirty seconds before Romily told us. Now that my friends, is a well written mystery. Also, I never could quite predict what was going to happen next chapter to chapter, which kept me flipping pages even when I should be doing other things like say, eating. I do have quite a busy life, but I still managed to read this in only three sittings – quite unusual for me. (I do work for a living!)
The best part of this novel for me was probably the dialogue and Wicket’s wicked wit. Every line gave me a great and consistent image of the character concerned – not something every author can achieve – and Wicket’s mental acuity made this a smart and entertaining read. I wish I’d had more friends like her in high school, it would have gone faster! The extracts from Tessa Waye's diary at the start of each chapter were great additions to the story as well and some of them literally sent shivers through me (I will never look at scrap booking the same way again, unfortunately).
So, if you want a intelligent, engaging YA mystery/thriller, with a large dollop of originality – that doesn’t punk out at the very end but rather increases its pace and ferocity – then check out Find Me, releasing September 24th from Harper Teen.