Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Summary:

Nik wakes up in a dark place wrapped around a boy like she’s a wrapper to his Snicker bar but she’s not thinking of him. She’s remembering another boy with perfect hands and floppy hair. She’s actually in Everneath where the Immortal, Cole, has spent the last century feeding from her emotions. Nikki has become his Forfeit which means her life is not her own anymore. She chooses to Return to say her final goodbyes to her family and the boy whose face she’s dreamed of for a hundred nights, but letting go is the hardest thing she’ll ever do.
Review:

Nikki is messed up. Who wouldn’t be after losing her mother and her boyfriend and everything feels like it’s falling apart? When it all culminates into one horrible day, Nikki makes a devastating choice to end the pain. What struck me the most was how every emotion she felt transformed the pages of this book into a truly poignant story. We’ve all felt the familiar pangs of guilt and remorse for things we’ve done and Nikki finds out that there is always redemption, even when you don’t dare to hope for it.
I also enjoyed how Ashton wove her own touch of mythology into Everneath, mastering a unique twist on the age old story of Persephone and the underworld.
Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks
This is an advance reader's copy courtesy of NetGalley. Everneath will be released on January 24, 2012. Put your copy on hold in January!
Don’t forget to check out this amazing book trailer for Everneath!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


SPOILER ALERT


Summary


Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.


There is.


She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.


She's wrong.


Review
I loved this book!!! It was amazing,at first I was kinda skeptical about it, because of the cover, which I really didn't like. But as people say "don't judge a book by it's cover" they were right! The book was amazing and really good!!! It kept you in suspense the whole time. Mara has post traumatic stress disorder, and one of her symptoms is that she sees her dead friends, everywhere she goes. Mara wonders why every time she gets mad at people they die and the exact way she pictured it! Mara falls in love with this mysterious boy named Noah. Mara at first doesn't believe that he really likes her, but he proves it to her and they become inseparable. Mara finds that she remembers the incidents that happened the day her friends died, and remembered who killed them. After realising this she tells Noah and he tells her that he can save people and heal them. Mara has a wonderful relationship with her family, and has the older brother we all dream for. The end of the book was the most suspenseful part because she wants to stop seeing Noah, and she wants to turn herself in for killing all those people. The end of the book Mara is at the police station and sees Jude, her ex, thinking that this was all a little PTSD, but it turns out that he was alive, and that is how the book leaves us!!!! Cant wait for the next!!!!

Reviewed by buttercup

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reckoning by Lili St. Crow


Summary

Nobody expected Dru Anderson to survive this long. Not Graves. Not Christophe. Not even Dru. She's battled killer zombies, jealous djamphirs, and bloodthirsty suckers straight out of her worst nightmares. But now that Dru has bloomed into a full-fledged svetocha - rare, beautiful, and toxic to all vampires - the worst is yet to come.

Because getting out alive is going to cost more than she's ever imagined. And in the end, is survival really worth the sacrifice?

DRU ANDERSON'S NOT AFRAID OF THE DARK.
BUT SHE SHOULD BE.


Review
Reckoning
is sadly the last book in the Strange Angels series. Now being the last book of the series I expected as do most people that the book would tie up all the loose ends. Such as Who does Dru choose? Christophe or Graves. The book didnt answer this question that so many of us have waited on. We also dont know what she's going to do with her life now, that she has killed the "king" vampire. All in all the book was good, it was not what I expected but it was okay. Dru finally excepts who she is and is okay with that. In the book Dru confesses to both Graves and Christophe that she loves them, laving us going like well who are you going to choose. I expected a better ending from such a great author but maybe,hopefully she will write a companion book, and answer all our unfinished questions.

Reviewed by buttercup

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sequel Sunday - Crossed by Ally Condie



Book Details
Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Page Count: 384
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Series: 2nd in trilogy
Release Date: November 1, 2011

Summary
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

-from Goodreads.com


Review
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Matched last fall (review refresher), and quickly devoured it. Only to discover at the end that is was the first in a trilogy. So began the waiting game until I could get my hands on more Cassia, Xander, and Ky.... I made it my mission to find a galley of Crossed. (Thank you, Penguin Teen & Comic Con!)

I instantly tucked in to find out where Cassia's search for Ky would take her next. The first book had left you hanging. They are in a very different setting in the Outer Provinces. Ky and Cassia take turns telling their stories in alternating points of views, which at times seemed to blend with one another. It was often difficult to differentiate between the two characters. I kept double-checking to see whose story I was following. However, you are given the chance to see how they work to survive long enough to find one another. Condie does do a nice job of intersecting their two stories as Cassia traces Ky's last steps, adding in new characters and companions for each POV.

Crossed plays a very important role in laying the groundwork for the conflict of the series. Condie chooses to make the storyline bigger than just Cassia's love for both Ky and Xander. Cassia begins to expand her world, learning the ugly truths about the Society and the people fighting against it. To be honest though, I could have done with MORE--more detail, more insight into the rebellion, and more Xander (ahem).

I am left wondering how Condie will tie everything together in the final book. It seems she has set up the foundation for what could be a very BIG ending. I just hope it lives up to the wonderful start we saw in Matched. The question is--who will be left standing with Cassia in the end?

Reading Rating
The storyline slows down in places and chooses to focus more on thought & feelings rather than action. It's a very different book from Matched, but still a satisfying and crucial read for the series. Just prepare yourself to start counting the days until the final installment comes out.


Reviewed by ch3rrybl0ss0m

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting


Summary:
In a world where language divides the classes and everyone is expected to behave according to their stature in life, Charlie is no ordinary vendor’s daughter, she can understand every language she hears. Try as she might to keep her head down and avoid drawing attention to herself, she makes a potentially grave mistake one night when she overhears a handsome stranger speaking in a tongue she’s never heard before.

Review:
I used to refuse to read dystopian fiction. I know, I know. I was missing out on some really spectacular books and I have long since seen the errors of my ways. The thing is, I thought that they were just filled with death, destruction, and totally depressing themes. I might have had one bad experience with a book I will not name, for fear of reprisal, but now I know the real value of the genre is in the fantastic world building and the courageous characters.

The Pledge is no exception, I was pulled into Charlie’s world right away and I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what fate held in store for her. I loved Derting’s twist on language and its role as a barrier amongst people, but the happiest surprise was how brave and strong the minor characters turned out to be. I was biting my nails as much for them as I was for the main character. While I liked Derting’s The Body Finder series, I have to say this book takes her writing to a whole new level and I can’t wait for the next book!
Reviewed by: LostntheStacks

This is an advanced reader's copy from Simon & Schuster GalleyGrab. The Pledge will be released on November 15, 2011. Put your copy on hold today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Book Details
Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Page Count: 288
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book 2 in Divergent trilogy
Release Date: May 28, 2012 (Not Yet Published!)

Summary
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

-from Goodreads.com

Why Wait?
Divergent was another early read for me. It was the first book in a long time that I stayed up late to finish all at once (4am reading anyone?). So when Insurgent's cover was revealed a few weeks ago, I got excited all over again! Veronica Roth promises that we will see more from the factions that we didn't get to know in Divergent. Bonus points for setting this series in my second home, Chicago!

Haven't read Divergent yet? You must read this review from teenscene's newest reviewer, andimjulie.

Book Extras
Author Veronica Roth on Insurgent Cover Reveal
Add Insurgent to Goodreads

Add Divergent to Goodreads



"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. All books featured on TeenScene's WoW posts are planned future reviews and anticipated purchases for our library's collection.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver


Book Details
Title: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Page Count: 432
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book 2 in Delirium trilogy
Release Date: March 6, 2012

Summary
Lauren Oliver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.

Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to
Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.

-from Goodreads.com

Why Wait?
I cried buckets over Delirium. I love dystopian fiction--especially when it's done well and in a unique, fresh way. But in all seriousness, I really did fall in love with Lena and Alex (insert weeping here) and Lauren Oliver's storytelling. She took a real world and changed one small detail that had a HUGE impact. It is a simple premise with far reaching consequences.

My advance copy of Delirium got passed around so much among my library's teens that it came back to me dogeared and bedraggled. I gave it to one teen girl who refuses to read any science fiction, fantasy, etc. She is a hardcore historical romance reader. I told her, This is your worst nightmare come true. She came back a few days later and told me I was right. And then we wept over Alex together.

If you can't wait until March for Pandemonium, go check out the special edition of Delirium (with the new cover) because it has a sneak peek of the next book in the back! Hopefully, it will be enough to tide you over, but probably not. Here's my review refresher while you're waiting.

Book Extras
Add Pandemonium to Goodreads
Add Delirium to Goodreads
Lauren Oliver's Website
Follow Lauren on Twitter


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. All books featured on TeenScene's WoW posts are planned future reviews and anticipated purchases for our library's collection.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson



Book Details

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Page Count: 432
Format: Hardcover
Series: 1st in trilogy
Release Date: September 20, 2011

Summary
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

-from Goodreads.com

Review
I had not read a full summary before starting The Girl of Fire and Thorns. So much of what you read above was a complete SHOCK to me! I must say, I didn't know what you expect from Carson since the story started off with foreign names and places thick with accents. But once I found my grounding in Princess Elisa's world, I fell deeply in love.

Blessed with a Godstone in her belly, Elisa is constantly living under the scrutiny of those around her. Everyone expects great things from her--waiting for her to fulfill her Service. However, so far, she feels like a disappointment.
She is not a beauty or well-spoken like her older sister. She finds solace in food and the company of her studies. She is insecure and self-conscious--in other words, flawed and human. As a reader, you will sympathize with Elisa, but never pity her. You learn early on that she has a sharp wit and an eye for knowledge. Trusting the intuition of the Godstone and praying for guidance, she has the foresight to see how to handle situations and understand people.

In sharp contrast to Elisa is her betrothed, King Alejandro. Married as part of an arrangement between their two kingdoms, theirs is not a marriage of love. As much as Alejandro is supposed to be a handsome (and desirable) king, there is always something a bit off about him. I found myself regarding him with distaste and suspicion. He is indecisive and fearful for much of the story. Even though his is Elisa's husband, I started rooting for her to find someone more worthy, so I was very pleased to meet Humberto. Humberto is swoon-worthy. He's brave, protective, and his eyes linger on Elisa just enough to make you melt. His love for her is subtle but heartwarming. I was sighing every time he came onto the page. (Yes, Rae Carson made me fall in love with a fictional boy!) Humberto's love for her is bittersweet and tinged with sadness.

I absolutely refuse to give away any more details or plots because it is such a wonderful discovery
full of heartbreak and triumph. You feel like you are on Elisa's journey with her. That you are right alongside her as she searches for a way to fulfill her Service and destiny. You want her to surpass everyone's expectations and beat the odds. In short, you find yourself a champion.

Though Carson left the story at what felt like a complete ending, there is room left for more. I am eager to see where she takes the story next. This is one trilogy that will be worth the wait. The Crown of Embers is planned for Fall 2012, and The Bitter Kingdom for Fall 2013.

Reading Rating
Though I got off to a slow start with this one, once I had a fresh pair of eyes on it--I absolutely could not put it down. I found myself giving up sleep & work (SHHH!) to finish this one. A rich, engaging world with a hint of magic and "other" elements. You will fall in love with the cast of characters, especially Elisa and Humberto! I highly recommend this one if you loved Graceling by Kristin Cashore or Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon.

Book Extras
Rae Carson's Website
Follow Rae on Twitter

Add to Goodreads

Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m
Courtesy of netGalley

Friday, September 9, 2011

Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Summary:

The Ice Prince is on a seemingly impossible mission to find a way that he can be with his beloved, Meagan, the Iron Queen. As her knight, he is sworn to stay by her side and defend her, but the Iron kingdom is deadly to him. He’ll have to venture to the ends of the world to prove himself worthy and earn a soul, so that they can be together once again. Along the journey his past catches up to him, and he’ll have to choose whether he wants to continue on or follow his heart in a different direction all together.

Review:

I wasn’t sure how I would like reading from Ash’s perspective, I mean, he’s kind of cold and detached, but Kagawa proved my fears wrong. It’s an intriguing twist and I loved reading the final book through his eyes. The conclusion couldn’t have been done any better. All I needed was a little insight into what makes the Ice Prince tick and I was hooked. I followed along with him on his adventure and trusted that he would not lead me wrong, turns out he was more courageous and noble than I could have imagined.

Since I was late to the party on discovering the Iron Fey series, I am so glad I didn't miss it after all. Kagawa has put a brilliant spin on her own tale of faery with a completely wonderful cast of characters.

This was an advanced reader's copy. Iron Knight will be released on October 25, 2011. Put your copy on hold today!

Reviewed by: LostntheStacks

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins





Book Details

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Page Count: 338
Format: Hardcover
Companion Title to Anna and the French Kiss
Release Date: September 29, 2011 (Not Yet Published!)

Summary
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Why Wait?
I absolutely ADORED Perkins' debut title, Anna and the French Kiss, which I reviewed here. I have heard nothing but stellar things about Lola. In fact, for a sneak peek--hunt down a paperback copy of AatFK because it has the first chapter of Lola in the back!! If chapter one is any indication, I know I will have mad love for this book. It's also got hints of Steph herself in it.

Oh, and remember that time Stephanie Perkins came to OUR library? Makes me happy, happy, happy :)








Also, Stephanie Perkins will be Austin Teen Book Festival on October 1st in Austin, Texas too!

Book Extras
Add to Goodreads
Stephanie Perkins' Blog
Follow Steph on Twitter

Put your copy on hold today!



"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. All books featured on TeenScene's WoW posts are planned future reviews and anticipated purchases for our library's collection.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sequel Sunday - Red Glove by Holly Black

I have a love/hate relationship with sequels. On the one hand, I always want MORE of my favorite characters and stories. On the other, I am not a patient person. I like having everything right now. But some books are well worth the wait...


Book Details
Title: Red Glove
Author: Holly Black
Page Count: 325
Format: Hardcover
Series: #2 in Curseworkers
Release Date: April 5, 2011

Summary
(Non-spoilery version)
When federal agents learn that seventeen-year-old Cassel Sharpe, a powerful curseworker, may be of use to them, they offer him a deal to join them rather than the mobsters for whom his brothers work.

Review
A devilishly delicious follow-up to White Cat. Holly Black is a master storyteller creating an intense and very real world filled with Curseworkers, magic, and mobsters. If you haven't started this series, READ IT NOW! And then promptly sit back to wait for Black Heart. For a special treat, listen to the audiobook version. It once again features Jesse Eisenberg, who makes for the perfect Cassel Sharpe.

White Cat Review
Add to Red Glove Goodreads
Add White Cat (Book 1) to Goodreads
Add Black Heart (Book 3 - April 3, 2012) to Goodreads


Reviewed by ch3rrybl0ss0m

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson



Book Details
Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Page Count: 370
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book #1 in Shades of London
Release Date: September 29, 2011 (Not Yet Published!)

Summary
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Why Wait?
This is a departure from Maureen's usual. I loved, loved, loved Suite Scarlett and 13 Little Blue Envelopes. So I'm interested to see how she takes on a suspenseful, thriller with a dark subject. And come on, secret ghost police? How freaking awesome.

Also, Maureen Johnson will be Austin Teen Book Festival on October 1st in Austin, Texas!! *fangirl moment*

Book Extras
Add to Goodreads
Maureen Johnson's Website
Follow Maureen on Twitter


Put your copy on hold today!


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. All books featured on TeenScene's WoW posts are planned future reviews and anticipated purchases for our library's collection.

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney


Book Details
Title: The Mockingbirds
Author: Daisy Whitney (debut author)
Page Count: 332
Format: Hardcover
Series: 1st
Release Date: November 2, 2010

Summary
Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.


Review
I had a copy of The Mockingbirds
sitting on my shelf for months. I really wanted to read it and needed to read it, but rape is a hard subject to tackle and you really have to be in the right frame of mind and mood to read something this heavy.

The opening scene is Alex waking up in the dorm room of a stranger--or more accurately, a strange boy. She's disoriented, groggy, lying in bed with a boy she doesn't know, and can't remember how she got there. Her confusion and realizations are horrifying and absolutely gripping. I was hooked by the end of the first page. It's startling because author, Daisy Whitney captures the after-effects of Alex's date rape with pinpoint accuracy and cringe-worthy details. She makes the reader slowly relive the moment over and over as Alex's memory comes back a little at a time.

Despite the burden she carries, Alex is encouraged to seek justice thru the Mockingbirds since she knows the school officials will not and going to the police is out of the question for her. They are a secret society that investigates, hears, and tries the cases that the school officials sweep under the rug. The dirty little secrets that couldn't possible happen at "their" fine institution of learning. Based on the principles from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, the society takes a fair and just approach--students seeking justice for their peers.

Whitney expertly handles her subject matter, giving Alex a strong support system. Even though Alex is learning to cope and deal with the aftermath (& flashbacks), she never comes off as weak. She finds strength in her friends, the Mockingbirds, and most importantly--her own voice. It will stay with you long after you leave the pages behind.

Keep an eye out for the follow-up title, The Rivals due out on February 6, 2012!

Reading Rating
A gripping read! Despite its heavy subject matter, it is so compelling and well-written that you will fly thru the pages. It is VERY realistic, so I recommend it for mature readers. The author's note at the end helps give you more insight into the background behind the development of this story. Highly recommend--especially for a book club or discussion group.

Book Extras
RAINN - Get Help
Take Back the Night - Resources
Reading Group Guide -
Discussion Questions
Add The Mockingbirds to Goodreads
Add The Rivals to Goodreads


Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m


Across the Universe by Beth Revis




Book Details
Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis (debut author)
Page Count: 398
Format: Hardcover
Series: 1st in trilogy
Release Date: January 11, 2011

Summary
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awake on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into a brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Review
I've been a bit of reading slump, so a book has to REALLY captivate me to get me thru to the end these days. I'll also start off by disclaiming that I'm not a huge fan of science fiction/outer space, so I started this book with much trepidation. But from the first few pages, Beth Revis had me squirming and cringing (so frexing awesome!) as Amy and her parents are preparing to be frozen for their 300 year journey across space. Needless to say, she had me hooked.

Across the Universe alternates between Amy's point of view and Elder's, a teenage boy who has been born and raised on the ship--and its future leader. Normally, I am not a huge fan of alternating POVs but Revis made a smart choice. As a reader, you were able to find out more about each character's situation, but she was also able to hide things from Amy & Elder this way. Very important for maintaining mystery and suspense! There is a lot of foreshadowing (perhaps a bit too much?) and subtle hints to help you along. But trust me--you will be SLAMMED at the end with the truth. It's worth it.

Aside from her strong characters, Revis also successfully creates the world within the space ship. At times you forget where and when they are...but Amy's chapters remind you just how small their world really is. Each person's place is carefully defined. I kind of really adored this book, which turned out to be part mystery/part romance/part sci fi--and totally claustrophobic. I felt myself longing for the stars just as much as anyone on Godspeed.

Revis successfully captivated me right until the very end. It feels like a complete story, but it left openings for the next installment. And of course, I want the next book--you know, right this second. Look for book two, A Million Suns, which is due out January 10, 2012.

Reading Rating
This was a particularly fast read for me--even with its staggering page count. But don't be intimidated, it is worth the read (or try it on audio). Murder mystery in space--say, yes please! You will find yourself suspecting everyone...

Book Extras
Across the Universe - Explore Godspeed
Beth Revis - Official Website
Beth's Blog - Excellent Source for Writers!
Follow Beth on Twitter
Add to Goodreads


Reviewed by ch3rrybl0ss0m

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer


***SPOILERS**** for the first book, Nightshade






Summary:
In Wolfsbane, Calla tries to make peace with her decision to save Shay and leave her pack. Now that she has united with the Searchers, her former enemies, to fight against the Keepers that she was once sworn to protect as a Guardian things are much more complicated. The gravity of what Calla has done by taking her destiny into her own hands never leaves her thoughts. She can’t forget that Ren helped her get away and the Guardians know that he did. Questions about what happened after she left gnaw at her constantly. What happened to Ren? What about her own pack? Calla has a lot of hard decisions to make, beginning with whether or not she can go back and save the people she cares about.

Review:

This series takes a much more solemn turn with the events of the second book. The flashback scenes are especially poignant and there is no shortage of heartbreak. The themes are intense and Calla deals with serious consequences to her choices in Nightshade. This is fair warning to pick up a box of tissues before reading. The new characters that are introduced add a whole new layer to the series and some surprising plot points make this a worthwhile read full of romance, intrigue, and mystery.

Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks

This was an advanced reader's copy. Wolfsbane will be released on July 26, 2011. Put your copy on hold today!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White




Summary:
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

(Summary from goodreads.com)

Review:
Evie is just your typical teenage girl. She loves online clothes shopping. She’s obsessed with the color pink and high school TV dramas. I mean, sure her best friend is a mermaid and her ex-boyfriend is a bad boy faerie--but that’s perfectly normal right? Maybe not so much. Then there’s the tiny, little detail about Evie being the only human who can see paranormals as they really are. It turns out vampires are not so cute after all.

White has created a hilarious and heart-thumping book! You will find yourself laughing out loud, and then sighing when Evie meets the mysterious, Lend. Whether Evie’s fighting hags with her trusty taser or lusting over attending a real high school with actual lockers, you are in for a fun and fast read that will leave you anticipating more.

Look for the next installment, Supernaturally, as it hits shelves on July 26! More Evie is on her way.

DON'T MISS OUT!!
Here's your chance to meet YA author, Kiersten White on Thursday, July 28 at the Irving Public Library, 801 W. Irving Blvd. For more details, check here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Boys over Flowers by Yoko Kamio


Summary:
A girl from a middle class family goes to a private high school dominated by spoiled rich children. Despite constant bullying by many students, she wins the attention of the leader of one of the boys' groups. Eventually the students begin to learn that is more to a person than their wealth.

Review:

The plot, drama, and characters are great. I just want to keep reading.

Ratings:
Hands down the greatest book I've ever read!

Reviewer:
Madilen S.

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan


Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Nick and his family have battled magicians and demons for most of his life, but when his brother, Alan, is marked for death while helping new friends Jamie and Mae, Nick's determination to save Alan leads him to uncover a devastating secret.


Review:

Amazing action with some drama Brennan writes an amazing book with charming characters! The twists at the had me at the edge of my seat!

Ratings:
Hands down the greatest book I've ever read!

Reviewer:
Matthew M.

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald


Summary:
On prom night, Bliss, Jolene, and Meg, students from the same high school who barely know one another, band together to get revenge against Bliss's boyfriend and her best friend, whom she caught together in the limousine they rented.


Review:
Bliss, Jolene, and Meg three strangers that didn't know each other all with similar issues. While attending prom Bliss and Jolene come up with a plan to get revenge from Cameron and Kaitlin.

Rating:
Hands down the greatest book I've ever read.

Reviewer:
Adrean C.

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder


Review:
Interesting book; unique prose. Not very grandiloquent-does not take long for the storytelling to reach action. Entertwined plots envoke sense of mystery and intrigue along with magic and sorcery.

Rating:
Hands down the greatest book I've ever read!

Recommended by:
Timothy B.

Zen and Xander Undone by Amy Kathleen Ryan



Review:

Xander is becoming a trouble maker and getting into more fights than she should be. Zen is becoming a relentless party girl who has a chance of losing her hard earned scholarship.

Rating:
Eh...Comme ci, comme ca (French for so-so!)

Reviewed by:
Adrean C.

TTR.11: Going Global, Staying Connected


Our teen summer reading club is under way!  Texas Teens Reads 2011 runs from June 1 until July 31.  This year's theme is Going Global, Staying Connnected.  We will start posting SHORT, QUICK book reviews recommended by our library's teen readers--including Young Adult, Juvenile, and Adult Fiction titles.  These reviews are being posted unedited for spelling, grammar, etc! 



Each title is given a rating from the scale below:
- Hands down the greatest book I've ever read!
- Eh...Comme ci, comme ca (French for so-so!)
- This book was a waste of a tree!  I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson


Summary:
Lennie is dealing with the unexpected death of her sister. In her grief she is confused and swallowed whole by the tragedy. Turning to all the wrong places for solace, Lennie just ends up making her life more complicated. She finds herself stuck between two guys. One is new to town; Joe helps her remember what life is like outside of mourning. Toby was her sister’s fiancĂ©; he is intertwined with all the memories of her before all this happened. If she can just let go of her sorrow she can start to rebuild her life.

This book is so beautiful that I have to let it speak for itself. Here are just a few of my favorite quotes.

“But what if I’m a shell-less turtle now, demented and devastated in equal measure, an unfreakingbelievable mess of a girl, who wants to turn the air into colors with her clarinet, and what if somewhere inside I prefer this? What if as much as I fear having death as a shadow, I’m beginning to like how it quickens the pulse, not only mine, but the pulse of the whole world.”

“The trail climbs to where the old growth redwoods rocket into the sky and turn the forest into their private cathedral. The wind has died down and the woods have grown unearthly still and peaceful. Leaves flicker all around us like tiny pieces of light.”


Review:
Nelson's debut novel is stunning!!! The Sky is Everywhere is told in beautiful, poetic prose. Honestly, it is such a moving story and so worthy of being named one of YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2011.


Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks

Monday, April 25, 2011

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler



Summary:
Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes loves to hear her name being chanted in the crowd. She is more alive on a basketball court than anywhere else. After a devastating accident causes a horrible injury she loses more than just her love of basketball, she loses her chances at a full scholarship to college.

Clint has his own set of problems. After a personal tragedy leaves him destroyed, he quits playing hockey and throws himself into the family business. He will do anything to keep his mind from the painful memories of a past he can’t forget.

When these two come together for a three week long “boot camp” at a lake resort they find the strength in each other to go on that they couldn’t find alone.

“Clint begins to run his fingertips down my arm, erasing the question marks that have been swirling through my mind, replacing them with bold-print exclamations. His touch is gentle, but I feel like he’s just lit my skin on fire.”


Review:
This is such a beautiful story of love and healing. Since I am partial to alternating points of view I loved reading this book from Clint and Chelsea's perspectives. It feels like you are getting a two-for-one bonus! Schindler has a vibrant voice full of optimism and hopefulness. Just like hearing your favorite band come on the radio at just the right time, it gives you a little hope that things are going to go your way. So, here’s to a great story and to hearing Pearl Jam on my next ride around town.

Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks

Thursday, April 21, 2011

before i fall by Lauren Oliver


Summary:
"What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. "

Review:
Though I was a bit skeptical about the book's concept (hello, Groundhog Day!), I found myself falling into an easy pace--anticipating each day. I did occasionally have to double-check to see which version of Samantha's last day I was on. Each day was thought-provoking and revealed to Sam how her life could have been, should have been...but ultimately, it was the horrible truths that were the most eye opening.

Favorite Quotes:
"But before you start pointing fingers, let me ask you: is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserved to die? So bad I deserved to die like that? Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does? Is it really so much worse than what you do? Think about it." - pg. 50

"It's weird how much you can know about someone without knowing everything. You'd think someday you'd come to the end of it." - pg. 58

Reading Rating:
A fast
-paced read despite it's heavy subject matter. I held out hope until the end that Samantha would find a way to change her fate--to set things right. A book every teen girl who has been bullied or is a bully should read. This would make a great book selection for a book club, and would pair nicely with Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why.

Reviewed by:
ch3rrybl0ss0m

Friday, April 15, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Summary:
After their parents’ death, Kate and her sister move to Paris to live with their grandparents. As she starts to heal and move past her loss, Kate meets Vincent. He is beautiful, dangerous, and the most perfectly delectable distraction!

Kate decides to take a risk and explore her attraction to him. At first it's like fire and ice between them, one minute he's warm and sincere and the next he is cold and distant. Then Kate learns the truth, Vincent is an immortal revenant. He has to sacrifice himself over and over to save those around him. In return he doesn’t age or die for good; he just keeps awakening after each sacrifice.

Review:
Sometimes you read a book and you don't even have to try to like it, you love it right away which is exactly what happened while I read Die For Me. It is complete bliss for paranormal romance junkies and there is even an awesome sword fight for the action fanatics.

To top it off, Plum paints a vivid picture of Paris's architecture and the eloquent blend of history with contemporary is mesmerizing. It’s like you are right there with the characters taking a stroll down a Parisian neighborhood.

Reviewed By: Lostnthestacks

This was an advance reader copy. Die For Me will be available on May 10, 2011. Put your copy on hold in May!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Summary:
"Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home." -Courtesy of Amazon.com

Review:
Everyone has been raving about this book, which meant I had been putting off reading it and put it off some more. I mean, I'm not one to give into hype after all (pffft--liar!). But finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and dove right in...

Oh my goodness, AatFK was WONDERFUL! I tore right thru this one falling in love with the characters--especially Etienne St. Clair. This is the part where I get all swoon-y and lusty over a fictional character. But debut author, Stephanie Perkins has made him so real and honest and lovable that you will forget that he exists only on the pages in front of you.

At first, Anna resists and AVOIDS exploring the Parisian scene. Only when St. Clair opens her eyes to the pastries and cinemas does she find the courage to wander the streets alone. You will fall in love with the city, Anna, & her new friends. Your heart will break and swell with Anna's. It's such a classic love story...which is exactly why I have already ordered my own copy to re-read over and over. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! I've already passed it along to several people who adored it just as much. All that hype? Buy into it. Etienne is worth it ;-)

Reading Rating:
Such a blissful, romantic story. You will fly thru this one and then demand more! It will make you want to drink chocolat chaud, find a St. Clair of your own, and wander the streets of Paris seeking out cinemas.

Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m

Book extras here - courtesy of 4YA! Learn to make your own Paris tote, whip up some chocolat chaud, & more amazing crafts & activities for the most crazed AatFK fan.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han


***SPOILERS for the previous books***



Summary:
Belly has been with Jeremiah for two years. They are the cutest couple and everything is perfect. Until it's not. As their relationship takes a turn for the worst, Belly has to figure out her feelings for him before they make it forever.

Conrad screwed everything up with Belly. He thought he was doing the best thing for both of them when he pushed her away. He gave his brother the go ahead to be with her. All he wanted was for Belly to be happy. Now he knows what a huge mistake he has made.

Belly knows she has to choose, but which brother will it be?

Review:

So, I am a huge fan of Jenny Han. Once again she has struck true on matters of the heart. Out of all of Belly's books this was the most moving and heart wrenching. Of course, it is all worth it just for the ending. Books as beautiful as this are few and far between, I can't even remember the last time I read an ending as good as this one!!!

Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks

This was an advance review copy. We'll Always Have Summer will be available on April 26, 2011. Put your copy on hold in April!

Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly

Summary:
Alex has watched every person he has ever loved die by the hands of angels. He has nothing left except his job, he is an angel assassin.

Willow is a psychic, who along with her thrift store wardrobe, has a less than stellar reputation at school. When the most popular girl in school comes to her for a reading she discovers that angels are here on earth and they aren’t the good beings that they portray themselves to be.

Alex is assigned to kill Willow, when he goes to scope her out he immediately knows something is not right. Willow is half human, half angel. She doesn’t have an evil aura like the other angels and he can’t bring himself to kill her. He starts to question why he was sent to harm her, could the angels have infiltrated his program and be calling all the shots? Do they want Willow dead just because she is an anomaly or is it something more?


Review:

This book is completely NOT what I was expecting. From page one I was hooked on the adrenaline and suspense. Angels are a really popular theme in YA right now, and it’s nice to see an original plot even though the ending left a lot to be desired. I guess we will just have to keep an eye out for Weatherly’s next book.


Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks


This was an advance review copy. Angel Burn will be available on May 24, 2011. Put your copy on hold in May!

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Summary: When Helen sees the most beautiful boy she has ever laid eyes on she has an unexpected response, she wants to kill him. Right in front of the whole school she tries to choke him to death! Helen doesn't know why she feels so strongly about Lucas Delos but she needs to find out before someone gets seriously hurt.

Her whole life she has known she is different but she never imagined that it all led back to her ancestors. Helen finds herself smack dab in the middle of a real life Greek tragedy, complete with demi gods and tales of doomed destiny.

Review: While the plot starts out a little shaky on the details of what's going on with Helen it gets good really quickly after that. I loved Angelini's modern twist on Greek mythology. Her world-building is vibrant and some of my favorite scenes are of Helen discovering her new found abilities. Helen and Lucas overcome obstacle after obstacle only to find themselves in a worse situation than they started out in. Theirs is a love never meant to be but you can't help but hope that they will find a way to be together.

Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks

This was an advance review copy. Starcrossed will be available on May 31, 2011. Put your copy on hold in May!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jane by April Lindner


Summary:
"Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.

But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?"

Review:
I was excited that someone finally decided to tackle my favorite romantic classic--Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. I absolutely loved this book literally from its gorgeous front cover (don't you love that pop of pink?) to cover. Over and over again, we see authors take on Jane Austen's classics, especially Pride and Prejudice. But it appears that Jane has been neglected until now (well, there is Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair).

What I really enjoyed about Lindner's take on this story is that she modernized it while staying true to the original. The pacing, the characters, the plot line--everything fell into place. Fans of Bronte's work will see the tiny details recreated with subtle and meticulous care. It made me smile when I made the connection between the two versions.

But even if you've never read the classic, Jane makes the storyline accessible to teens and new readers. You will swoon over the dark and brooding Nico Rathburn--and wonder what secrets this rock star is hiding behind his strong facade. Your heart will break with Jane's just the same.

I must admit though that I have always felt the ending of the original Jane Eyre a bit hurried and too neatly tied up. Lindner has chosen to respect Bronte's narrative, keeping her version very similiar. So the ending may leave you wanting more....but doesn't Jane always?

Reading Rating:
Though this isn't the fastest of reads, it is worth it all the same. Some may argue that Lindner stayed too close to the original, but since it is a classic often overlooked--I think it is important that she offered a story to give a new generation of readers a glimpse into Bronte's world. I loved every minute of this timeless love story. Worth putting on your "to read" list!

Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m

For other classics with a modern twist, try these titles:

Bumped by Megan McCafferty


Summary:
"When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep.

Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common." --Courtesy of Amazon.com

Review:
I was excited to see a new title by Megan McCafferty who wrote Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, etc. However, this is quite a departure from her previous works tackling the growing dystopian genre in teen lit. The premise was a very intriguing one--a world where its future (and children) depend on teenage girls, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

Riding the popularity of MTV's 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom series (which I am admittedly addicted to watching), McCafferty's novel is good in theory but the execution seemed to fall short. Neither of her main characters came across as very likeable and their personalities & beliefs seemed to change without reason midway thru the story. Perhaps a bit more character development? However, I did have major love for Melody's best friend, Zen--the bright spot for me. His character is funny, easy going, and laid-back. He's the type of guy you could easily fall in love with.

Also, the book seems to be littered with dated cultural references (a HUGE pet peeve of mine). Authors have to be very careful and subtle when using pop cultural. I cringed every time Melody asked if she looked "fertilicious." Everything felt a little forced and alternated between being rushed or dragging. Towards the end the story started to pick up with several twists--some of which were a bit shocking but others which were a bit predictable.

Just when the plot seemed to be picking up and getting intense, the book ended VERY suddenly. I kept swiping the page on my eReader looking for the last pages that I knew I must have missed. I've heard of cliff-hangers, but the ending quite literally just left me. Hopefully, the sequel will fill in the gaps and develop the story more as Melody & Harmony figure out the ending for their complicated futures.

The clock is ticking--and time is running out.

Reading Rating:
This book took a while to get into. At first, Melody & Harmony's alternating voices seemed to clash and were too stereotypical--with Meloday as a airheaded, angsty teen and Harmony as a devout and strong-headed believer. The voices seemed to become more natural as the book progressed, but I just really couldn't get into this one as much as I desperately wanted to. Despite its faults though, it was a very quick read and quite literally was over before I realized it. Look for a sequel in the works...

Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m

This was an advance readers' copy (courtesy of netgalley). The final version of, Bumped, will be released on April 26, 2011. Put your copy on hold then!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

White Cat by Holly Black



Summary:

Cassel Sharpe is a talented con artist who works as a bookie at his snooty prep school. But skilled as Cassel is, it’s nothing compared to the rest of his family, who are curse workers, able to control people’s memories, luck or emotions with the touch of a finger. Three years ago Cassel murdered a friend, the daughter of a crime lord, and now he’s having nightmares about a white cat and sleepwalking on the roof of his dormitory. He eventually realizes that he can’t even rely on his own memory.


Review:

The first in Holly Black’s Curse Workers series, White Cat, is a true adventure down the rabbit hole complete with mobsters, magic and murder. Following a white cat in his dreams, Cassel is shocked to learn there may be more to his nightmares than he realizes. After sleepwalking onto the roof of his school, he is forced to take a medical leave of absence. Soon Cassel discovers that his older brothers have been working him and getting him to carry out their crimi- nal schemes. With his memories buried, who can Cassel trust to lead him to the truth? Only the white cat may have the answers.


For the full effect of Black’s awesome storytelling, try out the audiobook read by Jesse Eisenberg, star of the movie, The Social Network. His voice is pitch perfect as Cassel Sharpe.

Look for the sequel, Red Glove, out on April 5!


Reading Rating:

I must admit--this book is NOT what I expected! I thought this would be a girlish fantasy, but this is the perfect guy book (and girls too) who want a little bit of suspense, adventure, and humor. It was a great listen as an audiobook, and I found myself wanting to put in the CD wherever I went. Loved, loved, loved :-)


Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m

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