Author: Jessica Khoury
Recommend: Meh. Nothing amazing but not bad either…
I picked this one up hoping for a unique YA read. I needed something that wasn’t dystopian or love triangle business. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of those but, sometimes you need something new and different. New and different is definitely waht I got with this book.
I honestly think that the plot line is the best part about this book. It is a fresh idea with a different spin. Girl hidden from the world because she is immortal. Raised by scientists, what is she going to do when she is given a chance to taste life in the outside world? When you finally figure out what is going on, you get angry at the other characters.
The major flaw of this book is the main character Pia. I know that the author is trying to show how naive she is and how black and white her view of the world is but I honestly thing that for someone who is supposed to be so intelligent, she makes some very strange choices. There is also something missing with this character. She is somewhat hard to connect with. Her motivations don’t make a whole lot of sense some of the time.
Overall, I think it was an interesting read but not one I could see myself revisiting or even remembering after a while.
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Book: The Always War
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Recommend: Eh. It was alright and not a long-term commitment…
I found the concept interesting even though I think I’ve read everything dystopian that is possible lately. I am addicted, hoping to find something outstanding. This wasn’t it. Now mind you, this wasn’t bad. It was fast, interesting and had decent characters but it just lacked that pizzazz to make it really good. I wouldn’t be upset if I had bought this but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing this one anytime soon. If there was another book, I would read it but it would be another library pick up.
The basic idea is a war that seems to have gone on for forever. No one can remember a time before the war and it seems that there will be no time after it. When a war hero runs away and finds out that things are not what they seem, how will the world handle a sudden change in reality?
Basically Ender’s Game meets every other dystopian novel ever written. It made me want to pull out my Orson Scott Card again
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Author: Meg Cabot
Recommend: Definitely worth reading. Better than the first book!
After reading the first book in this series, I had to know what happened next and so I requested book two from the library. More often than not, the second book in a series is not a strong. There are many reasons for this including a much shorter time to write it, using something to prolong the story or the introduction of a poorly planned love triangle. This book however, suffers from none of these things and while it isn’t the strongest bit of writing I’ve ever read, this is a big step up from the creator of Princess Mia.
A modern retelling of the story of Persephone, this story follows Pierce as she tries to save her cousin from school bullies who place him in a life threatening situation. As she tries to help her cousin she learns more about her situation in the Underworld and who John really is.
I think the writing was far better in this book and the plot clipped along at a good pace. Overall, it was a much stronger read than the first book. At one point I wanted to shout at the main character like the dumb girl in every horror movie you’ve ever seen that goes into the scary house instead of calling for help and waiting outside. Yep. She has not one but two big moments where she is really that clueless. I mean does she not know the story of Persephone at all?
There were a couple of plot points in here that were a little too lame to be real and while the writing was better, I wanted more insight and detail than the author gave.
While this was a much better read than the first books, it still wasn’t among my favorites.
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Book: The Eleventh Plague
Author: Jeff Hirsch
Recommend: An easy, fun, post-apocalypse read.
Confession: I picked this one up for the cover alone. It’s a great one. I didn’t even read the jacket flap before it found the inside of my book bag. Sad but true. I really do try to not judge books by their covers but sometimes it happens. I had a feeling this was either dystopian or post-apocalypse and I was right with the second one. Honestly this reminded me a bit of The Postman meets the The Passage (minus the vampires) written for younger teens.
Steve is a scavenger. He wanders what is left of a civilization he can’t remember looking for scraps of what they had lost when their whole society collapsed due to an overwhelming plague. When his father is injured, he has no choice but to trust a group of strangers and he ends up in a small pocket settlement in what used to be a gated community. However, in this world a single error can tear everything apart.
I think the best thing about this book is that while there was a small romance, it wasn’t overdone. It wasn’t the focus of the book. In the end, Steve made his choices based on what he needed and not what a girl wanted. While that would bother me normally, for some reason in this book, it was a refreshing change of pace.
It was enjoyable. I wouldn’t go as far as memorable, but not bad for a debut.
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Even the cover screams light and fluffy (which you can click on to purchase it)
Author: Alexandra Bullen
Recommend: It was a cute, light read.
When a girl and her family move to have a fresh start after the death of her twin sister, a visit to a quiet little dress shop will change her life. When Olivia is granted three wishes and three dresses, what will she wish for and can a wish bring back the dead?
This was a cute, light read. While it dealt with a serious topic, it was very high school down to falling for the popular girl’s boyfriend and fighting parents due to their recent family tragedy. I felt like I was reading something that should be turned into a Disney channel movie. While it was a decent read, I’m glad I didn’t pay a dime for it.
It was a nice fluff piece and a good fit if you are looking for a quick, easy read.
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Author: Anne Aguirre
Recommend: If you like post apocalyptic zombie books.
Deuce had lived her whole life underground. All she had ever wanted from life was to become a huntress, the noble and brave career choice for her small underground settlement. To hunt food and escape the Freaks were to be her only goals in life. When she is paired with Fade, everything begins to go wrong and as she discovers the truth about her life, it will force her to make a decision that will put her somewhere even more dangerous – topside.
I get seriously bummed out when I get the second book in a series as an ARC. This means that before I can read the book, I have to search out a copy of the first books. There is simply no way to read the second book without reading the first. I picked this up after a very long, hectic week at work and it was fast enough but light enough to be an enjoyable short read before bed.
I am not really a fan of zombie fiction in any form. I’ve read some good zombie books, but usually they just don’t appeal to me that much. That being said, this book already had one strike against it. When I got into the book, I found it to be engaging and fast-paced but the whole time I wished I was reading something else. I think the book was decent but just not something up my alley.
I would say this book’s biggest weakness is that you don’t really get a sense of where you are as a reader. The author doesn’t spend enough time on scene development in order for the reader to really be able to envision where the characters are at while they are underground. Once they hit topside, it does get quite a bit better but the whole book left me with a sense of reading a sketch instead of a full-fledged painting.
It was interesting but not for everyone and definitely not the best thing I’ve read. I’m glad I didn’t pay a dime for it, but I didn’t mind reading it too much.
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Book: The Last Princess
Author: Galaxy Craze
Recommend: Definitely. A dystopian fairy tale for teens.
I saw this and have to admit that I got this one for the cover alone. That combined with the name of the author and the summary, I knew I had to try it. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. This was a quick read and I enjoyed every second of it.
After everything falls apart, the world is trying to bring itself back together. Then, the royal family of England is attacked by rebels known as the New Guard under the lead of the man who killed the queen years before. A soldier for the opposing side allows one princess to escape. With her father killed and her siblings captured, she is the only one who can save what is left of their world.
I really enjoyed this story because the girl makes mistakes more often than she gets things right, especially in the beginning. However, her heart is in the right place. It was an enjoyable read.
However, I think that the writing is rushed and there are a few leaps that go a bit too far. Some explanation as to what happened to the earth and why the New Guard is fighting against the royals would have been helpful. Also Wesley needs a whole lot more time to explain his motivations.
I am looking forward to the next book but I hope there are quite a few answers.
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Book: The Power of Six
Author: Pittacus Lore
Recommend: Much better than the first book!
After reading the first book in this series and seeing the movie, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue with it. I Am Number Four was a decent read but wasn’t amazing and the movie was just awful in comparison. So I really thought that I would just not continue the series. Then I watched a review of the book online. After that, I found a copy at the library just sitting on the shelves. I figured it was a sign and so I picked it up. I’m glad I did. While I still don’t think this series is the best thing I’ve ever read, it is definitely improving in my opinion.
This book follows Four, Six and Sam as they try to find others from Lorien and try to evade the law, who are chasing them after the events in Paradise, Ohio. We are also introduced to Seven, who is stuck behind abbey walls in Spain and her guardian has given up on training her and preparing her for what was to come.
I think the series is getting better. I still think that the writing could use some work. The writing just seems to miss some things. I think the love entanglement issues through the story feel forced. It is just too extreme in some places and in others there isn’t enough emotion. I’m just not fond his writing style in general and it just seems like he misses the mark.
Much better than the first book and entertaining but not one of the best books I’ve read.
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Author: Anna Carey
Recommend: Definitely! This one rivals The Hunger Games or Matched. It might even be better!
I picked this one up at the library earlier today with a very large stack of other books. I have soft spot for dysptopian teen fantasy and thought that while it might be a bit cheesy, that I would enjoy the light read. This book surpassed every expectation I had to be one of the best pieces of teen fiction I have read. Period.
Eve is a girl who was orphaned by the plague. She is ready to graduate from school, a compound for orphaned girls. From there she will learn a trade and then be able to go to the City of Sand, to live a life of luxury. In actuality, graduation was something far more sinister. On the night before her graduation, Eve finds out the dark truth of graduation and runs.
There is so much about the plot of this book that I loved. It was shocking while still maintaining a sense of limits. It had great plot twists. The writing was decent. The pace was perfect. The ending was heart-wrenching. Caleb isn’t perfect but understands love and sacrifices for it.
The only negative I could find was that I think Eve gave up her beliefs about men too easily. Someone who had been brainwashed the way that she had been, wouldn’t have found it so easy to part with what she had been taught, even though she knew it wasn’t truth. I think the author rushed that section a bit, especially after a couple of the experiences she has. It was the only thing that made the character a bit unrealistic for me.
Definitely worth the time. This is one of those hidden gems that fans of YA fiction need to discover.
Need more than one copy!!
Book: The Lost Gate
Author: Orson Scott Card
Recommend: Definitely! Everyone should read Card’s work. One of the best story tellers I’ve ever read.
I picked this one up when I went to Bookman’s a couple of weeks ago. I have been wanting to get my hands on this book since it first came out and couldn’t pass it up in a used bookstore since it was the only Card book there that I hadn’t already devoured.
If you have never read anything by Orson Scott Card, you need to drop whatever you are reading and pick up Ender’s Game. Now. Not kidding. Don’t bother reading anything further until you have read something written by this man.
Card is best known for his science fiction. Personally I think his science fiction is what pays the bills and fantasy is what he truly loves to write. I love his science fiction but the fantasy novels he writes are even better. This latest book is about a 13-year-old boy named Danny who thinks he has no talent as a mage hidden away in a family compound located in the backwoods of Virginia. However, he discovers, quite by accident that he has a gift. One of the most powerful gifts there are. One that will get him killed simply for existing. Scared, he runs for his life, trying desperately to learn everything he can about the skill that threatens his life. Danny is a gatemage. The only type of mage that can send everyone home. The only kind of mage never allowed to exist.
This is simply one of the best magic systems Card has ever come up with. It’s innovative use of space and time in an almost scientific fashion makes it engaging without being so complex that the reader can’t understand it. Danny is a lot of fun to read with a sense of morality in difficult situations while still being a believable 13-year-old kid. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series and hope for quite a few to follow Danny’s growth as a gatemage.
The only negative I can see in this book is the fact that some of the scenarios feel a bit familiar. Like they were taken from some of Card’s other work, although not enough to make the book unappealing. The reader can see bits of other characters coming to play, even the title of what Danny is, is an obvious reference to Ender’s Game. The gate is down indeed.
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I love this cover!
Author : Lissa Price
Recommend: Very interesting idea. Worth a look!
I had just finished reading a very disappointing book and decided that I couldn’t leave it at that so I picked up something else. I needed a better dystopian society than the one I had just tried to read. So I settled in and hoped that this one would be better than the last one I had read.
I was definitely not disappointed. This book has a very interesting premise. What if a piece of biologic warfare killed everyone between the ages of 20 and 60 and the only people left were children (Starters) and older people (Enders). If you were a Minor and you were lucky, you were claimed by a living relative and raised in the lap of luxury. If you were unclaimed however, you lived in the streets, squatting if you could, foraging for food and hoping to make it to your nineteenth birthday when you were finally old enough to work. Callie is sixteen has lost her family except for her vulnerable little brother. Desperate for money to help take care of her family, she goes to check out a company where her body could be rented by an Ender, giving them a chance to live like they were young again for limited amount of time. It promised huge amounts of money if the contract was completed however no one explained what you should do if you woke up living your renter’s life. Especially if they planned to use your body to commit a crime.
I absolutely loved the idea of the book. Found the characters gripping and a lot of fun to read. While she is no Katniss Everdeen, she was definitely interesting and engaging. Her little brother created a sense of purpose for the character and a motivator. The love triangle was a bit predictable, until it began to twist and turn. I would have liked a bit more depth about the two boys in the story however. Theses characters seemed just a bit flat. I hope that the next book gives them more depth because I highly doubt we are done with these two. I really enjoyed this one. I can’t wait for the next book. I just hope that even though the title is Enders, that we are sticking with Callie and her adventures.
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Yes, the girl is supposed to look like she's floating...
Book: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Recommend: If you find old circus side-shows entertaining in any way..
I have been wanting to read this book for quite a while now. I almost bought it for my nook a while back but was worried that the pictures wouldn’t all be there or would have trouble rendering correctly. In my experience pictures on an e-ink screen are risky business so I decided to wait and finally got to this one recently.
The story is centers around a boy named Jacob and his grandfather who had a very mysterious past. Jacob sees his grandfather get murdered by something that could only be described as a monster which leads him on an adventure into the strange and unusual. Using old photos of unusual children, the story is a unique jaunt into the strange and peculiar.
I definitely enjoyed reading this one. Jacob was a lot of fun to read. He was curious and skeptical enough that when he finally bought it, the reader was willing to follow him into the whole idea that these peculiar children weren’t fakes at all. The idea that his grandfather had grown up in such a place and that he was peculiar as well was very interesting. I was rather disappointed when you finally find out what his particular talent is. I saw the ending coming a mile away and I think that the author delayed it a bit too long. There was definitely room for another book to follow and as long as it was a good as the first one, I might be tempted to venture back into the intriguing world he created.
I do have to say that in a few places the book just seemed to drag. I think he spent too much time explaining things that reader had already figured out at least vaguely, making them acutely uninteresting to read. I thought that there were too many children and their talents to keep track of. He needed to spend more time making each child stand out more to the reader. Many were very flat and it took some time trying to remember what their talents were and how they used them. It made the climax of the book difficult to read because I was constantly stopping to figure out exactly what each on contributed.
Definitely worth reading, I’m not sure it’s one that I need to reread, unless this ends up the start of a series. I might need to read it again just so I remember exactly what happened before moving on.
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