Book: Monument 14 Sky on Fire
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Recommend: This was interesting but a bit thin in both length and depth of material.
I loved the first book in this series even though on paper it sounded like almost every other dystopian novel I had read. So when I heard about the second book in the series I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as possible so I put in for a reserve. Well, it came out and I read it and was sadly disappointed. It had nothing on the first book and was a pale imitation.
First of all, the first book was on the shorter side. The second book hardly qualified as a full book. While this definitely furthered the plot, it seemed rushed. The author seemed to have been forced to write this one on a very short timeline or the editor overdid it and cut far too much. I was hoping for a strong follow-up and instead got a pale imitation instead. Not worth the time and I don’t think I’ll be finishing this story.
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Book: Level 2
Author: Lenore Appelhan
Recommend: This one was strange… even for me.
Picked this one up because I’ve had it in my hands five or six times and haven’t read it yet. Decided that instead of it being on the bottom of the stack that it should be on the top so that I would finally get to it. Which I did. Kind of wishing it had stayed on the bottom and hadn’t gotten read.
Okay, this is about a girl who dies horribly in a car crash and goes on to basically limbo. Already losing my interest here. Unbeknownst to said girl, she is stuck right in the middle of the war between two factions of angels. My thought was – really? I’ve seen this about a hundred times. One set wants these departed souls to move on, the other doesn’t. Yep. Seen this before too. Then the author starts into tying everything into Greek mythology loosely. Wait? What? I thought we were doing some strange version of the Christian afterlife. Guess not. Then said girl joins the rebels reluctantly. Seen this before and whatever interest the author gained by combining the two ideas of heaven is now gone. The rest of the book follows a predictable pattern. There is a love story – of course – but it is every bit as uninteresting as the book.
The only thing I found unique about this was that the main character had some definite issues to work through and when you found out what those issues were she started to make a whole lot more sense but by the point you figure out what is going on with her, you’ve been so bored for so long that it is hard to really get into it.
Overall, this was just a strange little book and won’t be surprised to see it go nowhere.
Book: A Million Suns
Author: Beth Revis
Recommend: Actually it was much better than the first one. Still reeked of Orson Scott Card though..
Okay, this one has Amy and Elder searching for answers while Elder attempts to run the society now that Eldest is gone. With the ship not working properly, they are desperately searching for answers. When everything they thought they knew is wrong and a choice must be made, will Elder be able to choose or will everything break down into anarchy?
I actually really liked the characterization a lot better in this book. Amy and Elder make so much more sense. I like that the author doesn’t force them into this unnatural agreement with each other when it is obvious that they will not agree due to their vastly differing backgrounds. I also like how the conflict is dealt with in most ways. There are a few moments where I was a bit annoyed at the easy escapes the author took but it was much better than the first book.
The big flaw of course is the idea that this is a slightly better but still weak imitation of Orson Scott Card.
I have to say that now I am more excited to read the next book in the series.
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Book: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Recommend: Well, it was different..
I feel like I have this reading list that I will never reach the end of. There are now so many books on it that I feel like even if I read the rest of my life, I would never finish. This book is just one of many that has been sitting on that list for far too long. I thought the whole idea of a book set on a space ship would be great. Honestly, I think this author read a bit too much Orson Scott Card as a kid. The whole generational star ship business is right out of one of his books. Elder is an interesting character and I liked how they kept the conflict centered around figuring out who was unfreezing the cryos, however when I read the ending, I have never been so let down in my life. Instead of being the shocking revelation that the author intended, it made me flat out annoyed. After such an interesting story (rather stolen from Lovelock but – different for most YA being written right now) the fact that the author took it in such a stereotypical YA direction was painful.
I’m really not sure if I’m going to continue this series or not. It was enjoyable but I get annoyed when I can see the structure underneath the book.
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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 Girl in the Steel Corset
Author: Kady Cross
Recommend: I was very surprised by how much I like this one!
I must admit, I picked this one up for the cover. That and the fact that it was part of a series called The Steampunk Chronicles. Yep. Instantly meant that it had to come home with me from the library. I don’t know why I waited so long to read it but I waited quite a while. I wished I hadn’t. It was a great read.
Finley is not a normal girl. she might seem like the sweet subservient girl she should be and she is, until she feels threatened. The night her most recent employer comes after her, she feels her dark side take her over and she beats him to a pulp before running away and running into the last person that should help her. It leads her down a path that changes her life. When everything you thought you knew was a lie, how do you move on and become more?
Honestly, my favorite character in this book is Griffin. Finley is just fine but the main male character is definitely the best thing about the book. He is just the right balance of everything to make him an extremely likable character.
I think the weakest point of this book is how Finley meets and befriends Jack Dandy. It felt extremely abrupt and unnecessary. The author forced it to create the love triangle she felt necessary. I really think the story would have stood well without it. Sam was a bit too stubborn for my tastes as well. I think that in some ways the author missed out on a couple of things and made certain bits too obvious. I was also amused that she stole the plot from The Great Mouse Detective. Yep. You got it. The Disney movie about the mouse version of Sherlock Holmes.
Despite its issues it was a fun read and I could see myself continuing the series.
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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: Little Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Recommend: If you can handle it but it deals with sensitive subjects…
Okay, I was at Barnes and Noble, my usual book store stop, especially since I got my nook and was searching for something new to read after my best friend got me a gift certificate and I decided to preview it. Well I decided the book was short enough that I would probably make my way through most of it in the hour they give you to read in store. I was right- I had two pages left. I went back today and finished the two pages.
The story is about a girl who is called Alice by the man who kidnapped her as a child and is growing tired of her because she has grown up and he plans to get rid of her. It is a fascinating look at what living through a miserable situation would be like. As the reader, you get an idea how her view of what is right and wrong gets so skewed. As I was reading I wanted her to get away, understood why she felt trapped and desperately hoped that Ray’s schemes would not work.The book was a real page turner, although the material is quite disturbing and I am not sure that it is appropriate for all teens.
It was definitely not the best book I have ever read however. There were a lot of things that I thought the author could have done better. The plot was good but the writing itself wasn’t anything to write home about. The language was simplistic and in some places almost too clean for the subject that was being dealt with. This story deals with physical, emotional and sexual abuse of a minor as well as kidnapping. Definitely a quick good read but I wouldn’t go right to fun. It was good but could have been great with some more time and effort. It felt like the author just settled for something she knew would sell instead of spending a bit more time on it.
This is something I wouldn’t mind reading again but it is not a must read in my book
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The second book
Book: Witch and Wizard and Witch and Wizard: The Gift
Author: James Patterson
Recommend: If you can handle the fact that you might not be the author’s target audience
Okay, I read the first book ages ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, so when the second one came out, I couldn’t wait to read it. This book tells the story of a brother and sister who are gifted with magic in a world where magic is illegal and anyone who doesn’t conform is suspect- think Nazi Germany at it’s height. These kids are mention in prophecy and you are introduced to them on the day they die- don’t worry there is a lot more story than that 😉
I found it very enjoyable to read. I have read a few of Patterson’s other books (not the big series though) and liked his writing. However, the target audience is definitely younger teens or preteens and it is very clear. On the other hand, for once in a very long time, I had no idea where he was going to take the storyline a good part of the time and it was just a lot of fun to read. I would recommend this if you can turn off your adult brain and put yourself into the headspace of a teen again. These are not the next great novel but definitely engaging and a lot of fun 🙂
These are both quick reads and fairly easy to get through. My only large complaint was the simple volume of chapters- there were way way way too many of them. The chapter breaks were happening so frequently that it honestly started to be distracting. Some of the time I would find myself having a bit of a hard time reengaging in the story simply because there was yet another chapter break.
Definitely worth a look overall- and great for your magic obsessed kid who is looking for something to read after Harry Potter.
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