I went into this book knowing little about it and came out a huge fan. This is a gripping and beautifully written story about abusive relationships and life on the street that isn't preachy or depressing or melodramatic. It's just .... really good!
I'm off to put Holly Cupala's first book, Tell Me a Secret, on my TBR list! (less)
The list in this book is one that's posted every year at Mount Washington High School. A list that names the prettiest girl in each grade, and the ugl...moreThe list in this book is one that's posted every year at Mount Washington High School. A list that names the prettiest girl in each grade, and the ugliest.
It would be easy to take a topic like this and turn it into a book that's melodramatic. Or cheesy. Or preachy. But for me, this book achieved what it set out to accomplish. I found it an engaging, thoughtful, and nuanced look at some of the ways girls and women can be objectified and some of the ways they might respond.
Rewriting Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None to appeal to the Pretty Little Liars crowd is a genius move. Genius!
Ten cleverly adapts and updat...moreRewriting Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None to appeal to the Pretty Little Liars crowd is a genius move. Genius!
Ten cleverly adapts and updates the original book -- in which ten strangers are lured to a deserted island house to be murdered one by one as punishment for past crimes -- with a scenario in which a group of Seattle-area teenagers with loosely interconnected social lives are invited to a house party by a popular cheerleader. Like the movie Scream, Ten features characters who are well-versed in the conventions of teen horror films.
Regular blog readers know that I'm a huge mystery fan, and I loved the fact that Ten is a true mystery, with all the clues laid out for sharp-eyed readers to find. While I guessed a major plot twist -- possibly because I remembered the original book -- I missed one crucial clue and had my eye on the wrong person as the killer.
I'm pretty sure the original book had no romance, so I was happy that as poor Meg tries to keep herself alive, she's distracted to be spending the weekend with a classmate she has a huge crush on -- a guy she ditched as her homecoming date so as not to make Minnie jealous. Minnie and Meg have one of those weird girl frenemy relationships going, which also added a bit of depth to this fast-paced plot.
Ten is a fun, fast-paced read that should keep you guessing up until the end! (less)
This book is a light, enjoyable contemporary read. Chapters alternate between Lita's POV and Adam's. The events in the story are entertaining yet believable. I also highly recommend Hautman's The Big Crunch! (less)
Bottom line: if you’re familiar with Rebecca, you’ll enjoy the way New Girl cleverly updates the story and adapts it to fit the YA genre. If you’ve ne...moreBottom line: if you’re familiar with Rebecca, you’ll enjoy the way New Girl cleverly updates the story and adapts it to fit the YA genre. If you’ve never heard of the original, no problem. You’ll still enjoy this slick, page-turning psychological thriller.
Graffiti Moon created a world that I didn't want to leave. Aussie writer Cath Crowley has a hypnotic writing style: spare, poetic and lyrical. The story is told from the points of view of three teenagers, Lucy, Ed and Leo. Lucy and Ed's chapters are in prose, alternating with Leo's poems. These narrative choices really suit the book, which is steeped in art and poetry. (less)
I received this book as an e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley
My summary Corinne "Rinn" Jacobs has been through a lot. She blames herself for h...moreI received this book as an e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley
My summary Corinne "Rinn" Jacobs has been through a lot. She blames herself for her grandmother's death, and attempted suicide as a result. Now she finds herself back in her mom's hometown, going to a new high school, staying on her psychiatric meds, and just trying to get on with her life. Things seem to be going well -- she makes a group of friends who show her the secret tunnel under their school and tell her the story of Annaliese, a girl who drowned in the school pool years ago. Suddenly, Rinn's hearing voices and seeing things.
My take: Rinn has a lot to deal with as this book opens and things don't get much better for her as the story progresses. She doesn't make great choices when picking her new friends, and before she knows it, terrible things are happening to them. Is Rinn next? Or is she just losing her mind?
I like ghost stories and I love "gaslighting" books in which the main character doubts his or her own sanity. But there was something about this book that left me a little disconnected. It could be that I wasn't drawn to many of the characters, or that I got impatient waiting for the big reveal at the end.
That said, I do think there are a lot of people out there who will really enjoy this book. I'd pitch The Unquiet as Girl, Interrupted meets I Know What You Did Last Summer If that makes you go, "oooh," then I encourage you to pick this book up, pronto!(less)
Where do I begin? This book is awesome: quirky yet complicated characters, black humor, a page-turning mystery plot, and a fascinating undercurrent of...moreWhere do I begin? This book is awesome: quirky yet complicated characters, black humor, a page-turning mystery plot, and a fascinating undercurrent of inner conflict. I'll take them one by one.
After reading blurbs of Keep Holding On, I was expecting an issue book about bullying. Now that I've read the book, I'd say that's not exactly accurat...moreAfter reading blurbs of Keep Holding On, I was expecting an issue book about bullying. Now that I've read the book, I'd say that's not exactly accurate. Keep Holding On is more a book that advocates having the courage to be yourself, to change the things about your life that are in your power to change, and to tough it out through bad times.
Other YA books like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson or Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers definitely pack a stronger emotional punch in their portrayal of the life of high school outcasts. Keep Holding On seems to take more of an inspirational approach, reminding teens that while high school might sometimes seem like endless torture, there's a whole wide world waiting on the other side.
I've read other YA fiction that deals with eating disorders. The Stone Girl is a story that shows a different aspect of wha...moreSource: eARC from NetGalley
I've read other YA fiction that deals with eating disorders. The Stone Girl is a story that shows a different aspect of what it feels like to be completely obsessed with food. Sethie tries to be constantly vigilant about everything she eats, everything she does, everything she says. The effort of it nearly exhausts her. Her view of the world is contracting; her self-consciousness morphs into self-absorption.
The Stone Girl is written in a pared-down, unsentimental style, with characters that struck me as nuanced and true to life. Shaw, Sethie's boyfriend, is too immature to give her the kind of intense emotional support she needs. Sethie's mother is a busy single mother who feels helpless in the face of her daughter's suffering. Jane, Sethie's friend, starts out seeming like a rich girl frenemy, then reveals a completely different side of herself. Ben, a friend of Janey's boyfriend, is six foot seven and completely unapologetic about his size, which fascinates Sethie. As a college student, he also gives Sethie a glimpse into what the wider world could hold for her. I was so relieved to see this glimmer of hope appear for Sethie. But Sethie's story doesn't gloss over the fact that change is difficult.
I'd argue that all Alyssa Sheinmel's books have fairy tale themes and elements, and The Stone Girl is no exception. Like traditional fairy tales, The Stone Girl acknowledges the dark side of an obsession with beauty and perfection. The Stone Girl is a story of transformation and self-discovery. (less)
I've heard that Jackson Pearce writes edgy, imaginative books, and I was excited to try her first contemporary. Two things I'll say about Purity strai...moreI've heard that Jackson Pearce writes edgy, imaginative books, and I was excited to try her first contemporary. Two things I'll say about Purity straight off: first, it tackles the tricky subjects of religion and teen sex head on. Second, the book's premise is going to attract some people and horrify others. I found the book touching, relevant and not at all preachy....
This book was absolutely adorable! You could call it borderline middle grade, as the main character is only fourteen and hasn't hit puberty. But I fel...moreThis book was absolutely adorable! You could call it borderline middle grade, as the main character is only fourteen and hasn't hit puberty. But I fell completely in love with Ricki Jo. Debut author Alecia Whitaker is a twenty-first century Beverly Cleary. Queen of Kentucky is simple, touching, funny, heartfelt, and true to life.