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)
I love mysteries. I think there should be more YA mysteries. When I heard about this series, I was SO excited. A girl with paranormal abilities, in a fa...moreI love mysteries. I think there should be more YA mysteries. When I heard about this series, I was SO excited. A girl with paranormal abilities, in a family who also has them. They live in a Cape Cod beach town. Cape Cod is one of my favorite places. Insta-love between me and this series!
I thought Perception was a great second book in the series. Clare's brother is acting weird and she's not sure why. She starts getting notes and thinks she has a secret admirer -- until the messages turn threatening. There's a missing girl. Clare has a new friend who might not be who she seems to be. Justin is still after her, and Gabriel is still hanging around, acting brooding and mysterious but not really making a move either. What's a girl to do?
I enjoyed watching Clare gain more confidence as she navigated her way through all this drama.
Grab this book if you loved: The Body Finder(less)
These books are one part sci-fi, one part dystopian, and one part thriller. The concept is unique and the plotting clever. In A Million Suns, the characters continue to face plenty of obstacles, both emotional and literal. Amy misses her life on earth and longs to be reunited with her parents, who are tantalizingly close but heartbreakingly silent in their cryo-boxes. Elder finds leadership abruptly thrust upon him and struggles with his confidence.
As all good dystopian novels should, A Million Suns raises weighty philosophical and ethical questions. How can political power be wielded fairly and justly? How much dissent and individual thought can a society bear? What is the nature of freedom?
A Million Suns ends with a brand-new cliffhanger as the residents of Godspeed face a difficult and frightening choice.
I'll definitely be on board for book three -- I like the way this series inventively mixes genres and always keeps me thinking.(less)
I really enjoyed this book. Some fans of Hourglass may be disappointed that it has a different narrative feel, and that Em and Michael are not promine...moreI really enjoyed this book. Some fans of Hourglass may be disappointed that it has a different narrative feel, and that Em and Michael are not prominently featured, but I think that switching narrators was a bold move that gave this trilogy a sense of the unexpected. I'm curious to see what Myra McIntyre has up her sleeve for the next book, Infinityglass. Could Ava be our next narrator? I'll have to wait to find out. I love an author who keeps me guessing!
For complete review (and comments which include a lively debate about the slap worthiness of Kaleb) click this link to go to my blog:
Fasten your seatbelts and batten down the hatches. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was like a big, larger-than-life, overflowing bucket of crazy. I like bo...moreFasten your seatbelts and batten down the hatches. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was like a big, larger-than-life, overflowing bucket of crazy. I like books with unreliable narrators. In The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I wasn't sure if Mara was reliable or not. In this book, I think she's the sane one, while most of the secondary characters have wandered off to the land of the what-the-hey.
And the ending! Okay, I've complained about cliffhanger fatigue. But for this book, the ending was perfect. I mean, I should have seen it coming. On the one hand, I wasn't that worried. But on the other, I can totally see Michelle Hodkin ending this trilogy with a mindblowing final twist, M. Night Shayamalan style. Bring it on, I say!
I love these characters. I know that some ADIB reviewers found Cas overly cocky, but I thought that was part of his special charm. I mean, you can't b...moreI love these characters. I know that some ADIB reviewers found Cas overly cocky, but I thought that was part of his special charm. I mean, you can't be a timid ghost hunter. Thomas, Cas's telepath friend, is also a huge favorite of mine. Then there's Carmel, the queen bee with hidden depths. In book one, they meld into a solid team, in book two, they seem to fall apart a little, which made me chew my fingernails.
I loved the fact that the plots of these books are surprisingly simple. Book one story goal: kill Anna. Book two: save Anna. Cool how those two goals are totally reversed, right?
Scariness level: perfection! These books are dark and do contain some bloody, horrific stuff at times, but that never felt gratuitous to me, just deliciously creepy.
I was thrilled that some of the action in Girl of Nightmares moves to London. My absolute favorite parts were the scene at the Tower of London and Cas's descent into the underworld. I really love a good underworld scene!
For me, the saddest part of Girl of Nightmares was the moment when I realized I'd come to the end. Not just the end of the book, but the end of Cas and Anna's story. While I loved the ending, I could have used one more book - and I hardly ever say stuff like that!
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)
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.
Hannah Harrington excels at writing female characters with an edge. I'm full of admiration when an author takes a fairly unlikable character, then com...moreHannah Harrington excels at writing female characters with an edge. I'm full of admiration when an author takes a fairly unlikable character, then completely turns my opinion around. Chelsea isn't a horrible person, but she's one of those girls who is willing to do whatever it takes to stay popular. One night, she's been drinking and she's surrounded by her friends. She sees something she knows is gossip-worthy, and blurts it out to the group.
The consequences of Chelsea's actions are horrible, and she does what she can to make things right. In doing so, she discovers that listening can be more powerful than talking, that her so-called friends never really had her back, and that she's a stronger person than she knows. While I can't say there's anything surprising about most of this, I found the story gripping and emotionally moving. The writing is good, everything feels realistic, and even though I had a strong feeling about how things were going to turn out, I was seriously invested in this story until the very last page.
All the characters in Speechless had some surprises in store for me. By far my favorite was Asha the math nerd. I was a general nerd in high school, but without those math skills that would have come in handy later on! Sam is one of those where-were-the-boys-like-this-in-my-high-school guys, with his 90s movie references and general adorableness.
I definitely recommend Speechless and can't wait to read whatever Hannah Harrington writes next!(less)
Margie Gelbwasser's second YA novel is a gritty contemporary tale written in an out-of-the-box narrative style. If you like books that are uplifting o...moreMargie Gelbwasser's second YA novel is a gritty contemporary tale written in an out-of-the-box narrative style. If you like books that are uplifting or happily-after-ever, you should definitely look elsewhere. But if you're looking for books that explore the darker side of the teen experience, you might want to give this one a try.
The book is based on a short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe's short tale describes a prince who, despite the fact that a gruesome dise...moreThe book is based on a short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe's short tale describes a prince who, despite the fact that a gruesome disease is decimating his kingdom, decorates his palace and throws a masquerade ball. One of his guests comes dressed as a disease victim, alarming the crowd, enraging the prince, and finally, infecting everyone in the palace with the Red Death.
I wouldn't call this Masque of the Red Death a strict retelling. While Prince Prospero is a character in Bethany Griffin's book, she uses the short story as more of a jumping-off point. The result is an inventive and original story. Griffin's lyrical writing and vivid imagination make this story both macabre and moving.
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)
Toward the end of Starcrossed, Helen learns that she is the Descender, the only demigod who can locate the Furies in the Un...moreSource: eARC from Edelweiss
Toward the end of Starcrossed, Helen learns that she is the Descender, the only demigod who can locate the Furies in the Underworld and get them to free the scions from their cycle of hatred and vengeance. Cruelly separated from Lucas by a lie, Helen spends every night roaming the Underworld, trying to find the Furies. Helen's work is hard, lonely and exhausting, but the knowledge that all the scions are counting on her keeps her going. One night in the Underworld, she is shocked to find another living person. Orion is another scion and the two of them have a lot in common. Helen is touched and relieved when he offers to help her in her quest. Meanwhile, Lucas is all broody and jealous, Claire and Cassandra worry that Helen's quest is killing her, and someone close to Helen betrays her by teaming up with Automadon, a truly creepy new insect-villain. Will Helen manage to find the Furies, assuage their anger, and finally bring peace to the Houses? Or will she die trying?
If you enjoyed Girl With the Steel Corset, you'll probably like The Girl In the Clockwork Collar. I thought both books were light, enjoyable reads wit...moreIf you enjoyed Girl With the Steel Corset, you'll probably like The Girl In the Clockwork Collar. I thought both books were light, enjoyable reads with a fun steampunk element.