Young Adult

The Secret Year review

Posted on January 15, 2010. Filed under: 100+ Challenge, 144 Books In 2010, 2010 Debut Author Challenge, 2010 Once Upon A Time Challenge, 2010 YA Challenge, Fiction, Jennifer Hubbard, Reviews, Romance, Young Adult | Tags: |

The Secret Year
Jennifer R. Hubbard
208 pages
Rating: 4.75/5

Source: Purchased at Barnes and Noble

Challenges: 2010 YA Challenge, Debut Author Challenge, 144 books in 2010, 100+ Challenge, Once Upon a Time Challenge

Synopsis: from Barnes and Noble

Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia’s boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can’t mourn Julia openly, and he’s tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia’s journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he’s desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?

Review: I had read all sorts of great reviews all over the book blogging community about this book enough so that I HAD TO HAVE a copy of it for myself.  I’m really glad that I decided to spend the money on it because IT TOTALLY LIVED UP TO THE HYPE!  This is another one of those stories that has a “Romeo and Juliet” feel to it…not so much a re-telling but it most definately has that feel to it.  See Colt and Julia were seeing each other secretly for a year and then Julia is killed in a car accident.  Shortly after the school year begins Julia’s brother gives Colt a notebook that Julia had written letters to him in and Colt goes through the process of reliving their year together while also trying to get over Julia and move on.  Which isn’t so easy for him.

Overall, I really enjoyed this debut novel.  I really liked the author’s writing style and even went above and beyond to make even the worst character(s) in the book sort of likeable.  I guess the only reason this book doesn’t get a 5/5 is because I was a little luke warm on the ending….It wasn’t a terrible ending but it also wasn’t the best ending I’ve ever read either.

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Perfect Chemistry review

Posted on January 14, 2010. Filed under: 10 in '10 Teen Chick Lit Challenge, 100+ Challenge, 144 Books In 2010, 2010 Once Upon A Time Challenge, 2010 YA Challenge, Book Challenges, Fiction, Reviews, Romance, Simone Elkeles, Young Adult | Tags: , |

Perfect Chemistry
Simone Elkeles
368 pages
Rating: 4.75/5

Source: Purchased off of bookcloseouts.com

Challenges: 2010 YA Challenge, 144 Books in 2010, 100+ Challenge, 10 in ’10 Chicklit Challenge, 2010 Once Upon A Time Challenge

Synopsis: from Barnes and Noble

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers. When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Review: NOTE: I just recently gave away a copy of this book so I’m going to keep this review short so I don’t give away the story for the person who won.I had heard so many AWESOME things about this book all over the book blogging community that I felt that I needed to read this book in order to determine if it lived up to all the AWESOME things that I had read about it.  Needless to say, I am pleased to report that it most definately did.  While I was reading Perfect Chemistry I almost automatically thought of it as a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet only with a happier ending.  I really loved the characters…You felt for them both.  Both of their lives are basically one big lie to keep themselves from being too vulnerable, but the scary part for both of them is that they both see right through each other.  The story itself was pretty great….once I got started reading the book I soooo did NOT want to put it down.  I really liked that the story was told from each character’s point of view so you always knew what the characters were thinking.  Overall, I most definately have found a new author to add to my list of favorite authors!

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Going To Far review

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: 2010 YA Challenge, Book Challenges, Fiction, Jennifer Echols, Library, Reviews, Support Your Local Library Challenge, Young Adult | Tags: , |

Going To Far
Jennifer Echols
256 pages

Source: Public Library

Challenges: YA challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge

Synopsis (from Barnes and Noble):

  HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far…and almost doesn’t make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge — and over….

Review: I checked this one out of my local library.  I waited like a good little girl until my number came up in the system and when it came up I was really excited because I had read so many great things about this book. The very unfortunate thing was that I just could not get into the book AT ALL.  This is my first EVER Did Not Finish.

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King of the Wind Review

Posted on January 1, 2010. Filed under: 100+ Challenge, 144 Books In 2010, 2010 YA Challenge, Animals, Book Challenges, Fiction, Library, Marguerite Henry, Reviews, Support Your Local Library Challenge, Young Adult | Tags: , |

King of the Wind
Marguerite Henry
176 pages

Source: Public Library
Challenges: Support Your Local Library Challenge, 2010 YA Challenge, 144 Books in 2010, 100+ Challenge

Synopsis: 

He was named “Sham” for the sun, this golden-red stallion born in the Sultan of Morocco’s stone stables. Upon his heel was a small white spot, the symbol of speed. But on his chest was the symbol of misfortune. Although he was swift as the desert winds, Sham’s pedigree would be scorned all his life by cruel masters and owners.

This is the classic story of Sham and his friend, the stable boy Agba. their adventures take them from the sands of the Sahara. to the royal courts of France, and finally to the green pastures and stately homes of England. For Sham was the renowned Godolphin Arabian, whose blood flows through the veins of almost every superior thoroughbred. Sham’s speed — like his story — has become legendary.

Review: I’ve always been a big fan of animal stories.  I am also a HUGE fan of horses…They’re just so beautiful to look at!  Marguerite Henry has been one of my all time favorite YA authors since I was young…Well since I got my first library card anyway.  I picked up this book while pursusing the MG shelves at my local library and I came home and devoured this book in one sitting.  This book is fiction but it is based on ACTUAL events that took place.  There are MANY famous racehorses that can trace their ancestory back to “Sham.”  The characters are endearing, Sham the bay colt that nobody took a liking to for a VERY long time and Agba a mute boy who is put in charge of Sham.  The story itself is a roller coaster for both Sham and Agba but in the end everything works out for the best.  Overall, I will most definately be reading more of Ms. Henry’s books in the future!

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Beautiful Creatures Review MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Posted on December 31, 2009. Filed under: Blog with Bite, Kimi Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Paranormal, Reviews, Romance, Young Adult | Tags: |

 


*****MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*****

I am going to try and keep this review short and sweet and try not to give away too much.  I’ve read so many great things about this book all over the book blogging community and when I finally got my hands on a copy of it I was definately more than happy with the book.  I LOVED the book.  I LOVED that it kept me guessing (will Lena turn Dark or not? what happens next in the “visions”). I even LOVED the length (I generally don’t care for 500+ page books)!  I LOVED the characters (I especially loved the part on Halloween when Lena get’s even with the cheerleaders)….Ethan is just your “normal” 16 year old high school student, who happens to be having these weird dreams about a girl he’s never even met before…..and Lena….Lena has her own issues.  She is so far from “normal” that it actually rocks Ethan’s world.  All the characters are pretty likeable for the most part. I’ve never read a book that’s been classified as Southern Goth before and I am beyond happy with the results.  Overall, I just LOVED the book.  If you haven’t read it I highly recommend getting a copy.

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Blog With Bite Ballad Review **May Contain Spoilers**

Posted on December 2, 2009. Filed under: Blog with Bite, Maggie Stiefvater, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult |



Ballad
Maggie Stiefvater
Synopsis – 9/10
Plot – 9/10
Characters – 10/10
Overall Story – 8/10
Conclusion – 9/10
Overall Score – 45/50
Synopsis: Remember us, so sing the dead, lest we remember you
James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala’s life and his soul.
***** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS *****
Review: In the beginning of the book I was totally confused….The characters kept talking about events that took place “last summer” which I took to mean “the last book, Lament” which I did NOT read before I started Ballad (bad me!). The book starts off telling us – the readers – a little bit about the Leanan Sidhe and then about the death of a Leanan Sidhe. Then we meet Dee, who we “hear” from in the book mostly in the form of text messages to James. James and Dee are new students at a prestigeous music high school called Thornking-Ash. James plays the bagpipe and is kind of a smart ass (which is an unusual instrument, but if you’ve ever heard it belt out Amazing Grace your hooked) and Dee plays the harp. James’ roomate in the dorms is Paul who is a talented Oboe player but in my opinion a little bit too straightlaced for my liking in the beginning of the book.
The first week of school is just like any other school….learning the ground rules, learning your way around….all that fun stuff. Then week two starts and James and Paul are assigned to read Hamlet in Mr. Sullivan’s first hour English class AND James is hearing and seeing the Antler King (king of the dead)…which means that there are fey around. Seems that there is a cloverhand (calls to the fey) at the school. Then to top is off James is sent to take private piping lessons from a piper who is nowhere near as good as James. Upon leaving his disasterous lesson James meets Nuala who is a Leanan Sidhe. In the beginning Nuala wants to make a “deal” with James but James refuses. But Nuala doesn’t give up….Nuala has never not gotten what (read: who) she wanted, so she decides that she is going to send him a dream that will just make him want to take the “deal.” The day after James’ disasterous piping lesson he is informed by Sullivan that he will either have to learn the guitar or the piano instead to meet his musical requirements.
I didn’t really like Dee….She seemed really weak and whiney….Not to mention more than a little bit of a “user”…..Nobody likes to be used, especially James. This is the point where is feelings start to shift in regards to the ladies in his life….In the beginning all he wanted was Dee and he wanted nothing to do at all with Nuala….now it’s starting to shift the other way. Nuala takes James one night to a movie where they get to talking about things and end up sitting down and writing the play Ballad. Upon the completion of reading Hamlet Sullivan assigns a 10 page essay on Metaphor to his students. James and Paul are so NOT happy about the assignment that it leads to one of my favorite scenes in the book…Paul getting “drunk.” This is where James tells Paul about Ballad and we learn that James and Dee aren’t the only ones who are dealing with the paranormal.
The further into the book I got the more I learned and liked Nuala. In the beginning I thought she was going to be some soul sucking leech but she really isn’t like that. Come to find out she’s part human and every 16 years on Halloween she must burn in order to continue to live. But the kicker is that once she comes back she has no memories. Also, the further into the book I got the less I liked the “relationship” between James and Dee….Very UNhealthy. You also learn who the cloverhand is and what James and Nuala have to do while she is burning to make there dreams come true. Also, Thornking-Ash isn’t just any ordinary prestigous music school either. Oh and all the “dirty deeds done dirt cheap” whichs ends up with a new King of the Dead being crowned. Oh, and Ballad? Ballad ends up being AWESOME!
Overall, I was really happy with the book. Next time though….I will start with the first book in the series so things make sense in the second book!
BWB Scale – 3/4
*****Blog With Bite Discussion Questions*****
1. James is a flawed and heart broken character, do you find his mental peculiarities charming or annoying? Please do explain.
I find them a little bit of both. Nobody likes to be used and I feel that in a sense Dee was using James.
2. What did you think of James and Dee’s kiss? This being a pivotal moment for their relationship, how do you think it changed James?
I agree that the kiss was a pivotal point in the story but I also think with that kiss James finally realized that things with Dee were never going to be the way he wanted them to be.
3. Whom do you prefer Dee or Nuala?
Nuala hands down. Dee was a little bit tooo weak and whiney for my taste.
4. What’s your verdict on the best way to read Ballad? Is it a stand alone book or do you need to read Lament first? If you read Lament, what did it add/not add to Ballad? If you haven’t read Lament, do you think it would have added to your reading of Ballad?
In my opinion I think you need to read Lament first. I was sort of confused by some of the conversations that were taking place because they kept talking about events that happened “last summer” which I took to mean “last book.”
5. We’ve been reading a lot of stories with fairies as the central paranormal creatures. What are your thoughts on the “Fair Folk”. Do you believe in faires?
From what I’ve been reading in the books for the group fairies aren’t necessarily nice creatures….so I’m not real sure how I feel about them. Do I believe in faires?….I’m not sure to be honest.
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Shiver Review

Posted on November 6, 2009. Filed under: Maggie Stiefvater, Paranormal, Reviews, Romance, Werewolves, Young Adult |

Shiver
Maggie Stiefvater
390 pages
Synopsis – 9/10
Plot – 9/10
Characters -10/10
Overall Story – 9/10
Conclusion – 9/10
Overall – 46/50
Synopsis: For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf–her wolf–is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
Review: It took me a little longer than I would have liked to get this book read (dang real life!) but I throughly enjoyed it. This is a good old fashion young love story…of course with a twist. There ALWAYS is a twist! See when Grace was younger she was attacked by wolves, then there was the wolf with yellow eyes that saved her. Now Grace is in love with those eyes and that wolf…which strangely enough she only sees in the winter months. It turns out that Grace has seen those eyes before…In there human form.
Those yellow eyes and wolf body belong to Sam. After an incident human Sam finds his way to Grace’s house where things start to fall into place for Grace. She knows those eyes…They belong to her wolf. This wounded boy IS her wolf.
From the “chance” meeting there are ups and downs for Grace and Sam. There is also a little bit of drama thrown in to keep the story from becoming a “sappy” love story. Overall, I really love how Maggie draws you in with her writing style. I giggled a bunch and there were a couple “chance for tears” moments. LOVED IT! Can hardly wait until July to read book 2 of the series…Linger.
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Linger Cover and first paragraphs!

Posted on November 4, 2009. Filed under: Coming Soon, Maggie Stiefvater, Paranormal, Romance, Werewolves, Young Adult |

• grace •

This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.
Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. His was the disease we couldn’t cure. His was the good-bye that meant the most. He had the body that was a mystery, too strange and wonderful and terrifying to comprehend.

But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies. Sam stays Sam, and Cole stays Cole, and it’s only me who’s not firmly in my own skin.

I don’t know about anyone else out there but I am totally excited for the second book in this series. I totally enjoyed Shiver and I can hardly wait to see what happens next. Linger is due out on shelves July 20 2010.



I found all this information on A BookLover’s Diary who found it at The World According to Maggie.

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Blog with Bite – Intertwined Review

Posted on October 28, 2009. Filed under: Blog with Bite, Gena Showalter, Paranormal, Reviews, Romance, Vampires, Werewolves, Young Adult |



Intertwined
Gina Showalter
440 pages

Synopsis – 8/10
Plot – 9/10
Characters – 10/10
Overall Story – 9/10
Conclusion – 6/10

*Overall Score – 42/50


Synopsis: Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:

One can time-travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can tell the future.
And one can possess another human.


With no other family and a life spent in and out of institutions, Aden and the souls have become friends. But now, they’re causing him all kinds of trouble.

Like, he’ll blink and suddenly he’s a younger Aden, reliving the past. One wrong move, and he’ll change the future. Or, he’ll walk past a total stranger and know how and when she’s going to die.

He’s so over it. All he wants is peace.

And then he meets a girl who quiets the voices. Well, for as long as he’s with her. Why? Mary Ann Gray is his total opposite. He’s a loner; she has friends. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks; she tries to make everyone happy. And while he attracts the paranormal, she repels it. For her sake, he should stay away. But it’s too late. . .

Somehow, they share an inexplicable bond of friendship. A bond about to be tested by a werewolf shape-shifter who wants Mary Ann for his own and a vampire princess Aden can’t resist. Two romances, both forbidden… doomed. Still, the four will enter a dark underworld of intrigue and danger… but not everyone will come out alive…








I had heard a little bit about this book on a couple of different blogs and forums before I stumbled upon Blog with Bite. At first I was a little iffy on reading it because it’s not something that I would normally read….Honestly I’m a big ole sap for a sappy love story. But I’m really glad that I decided to read this book. The first chapter was a little creepy in my opinion but that’s exactly what it is…my opinion. The main character Aden Stone is viewed by society as a “troubled” teen but in actuality he is possessed by 4 souls…LOVE the souls…There’s just something about them I just really liked. Aden wants to go public high school so that he can spend more time with Mary Ann…who has a couple “issues” of her own. Heck there is even a little forbidden romance thrown in for both Aden and Mary Ann. I don’t want to say too much more because I don’t want to give away anything. I really only had two gripes with the book….Just a tad bit too many paranormal characters make an apperance in the book and the rushed ending. Overall, I’m SUPER happy with the book and I’m glad that I decided to purchase a copy instead of wait for a copy from my library.

Discussion Questions:

#1 Do you feel the ending was cut short and needed more to be resolved before the book ended? I feel that the ending was pretty rushed…It wasn’t the worst ending in the world but I wasn’t particularly happy with it.

#2 Regarding Question #1, what are your thoughts on series books? For one you get more and more and more – depending on how long the series drags on – for another some series leave you with very little resolution at the end of the novels, i.e. the Merry Gentry series where only a couple of hours pass within the time span of one book. Do you find this is just an authors way of having guaranteed book sales – or do you really enjoy series and love reading about your fav characters over and over again? There are some series I feel that have been written just to get the books sold…Others I have enjoyed immensly…Overall I LOVE a GOOD series and enjoy reading about my favorite characters over and over again.

#3 Which “trapped” soul was your favorite and do you see potential in the future story lines with the remaining three? I liked Eve a lot….I felt that sometimes she was the “voice of reason” for Aden.

#4 When a larger-than-life character such as Vlad Tepes aka Dracula is used as a side-plot character do you believe it gives the story a more factual base, or makes it less real? I liked that Gena used actual characters in the story…I think it made the story more “real” for me personally.

#5 What did you think of the side plot involving Tucker and Penny? Do you think the issues from that plot were adequately resolved? Honestly, I didn’t care for Tucker or Penny.

#6 What is your best guess as to what Aden Stone’s superpower is – the power he possess without his souls? I think he’s kind of got the “Jack of all trades” superpower…But that’s just me.

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Coming Soon To My Bookshelf….

Posted on October 13, 2009. Filed under: Maggie Stiefvater, Werewolves, Young Adult |


It should be in my hands either Thursday or Friday! I can hardly wait!

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