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Archives for : Young Adult

Hereafter

Tara Hudson’s new novel, Hereafter, promised to deliver an enticingly unique young adult book, different from the rest of the watered down love stories on the market. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver.

Amelia, a ghost who doesn’t remember anything except her first name and parts of her death, wanders around aimlessly, as do the first 50 pages of the book. I forced myself to continue reading, waiting for the book to pick up and deliver the fascinating read that would have me on tender hooks. After finishing the 400+ page book, I’m still waiting. The story seemed contrived and lacking, although the book cover is hauntingly appealing.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by HarperTeen.

Previously published at Living Peacefully with Children.

Lost Voices

Sarah Porter’s new book,  Lost Voices, seems depressingly lost. Addressing the abuses of young girls at the hands of the people who should love them and take care of them, the book missed a great opportunity for empowering the young readers who may look to it. While the writing is beautifully descriptive, it rambles along on tangents which serve to detract from the story, which is lacking to begin with. The characters are shallow and add to the depression of the book, which ends abruptly without bringing any closure.

I would love to see someone pick up the theme and write a fantastic fictional book for young girls.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Harcourt Books.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.

The Goddess Test

Debut author Aimee Carter’s new book and beginning of a new series, The Goddess Test (Harlequin Teen), goes on sale next week. The book pulled me in at the beginning, having been the teenage girl taking care of a mother dying of cancer. The concept of Greek mythology in modern day life is appealing and one that I enjoy.

However, the book left a lot wanting. The focus on Kate’s self-sacrifice over-shadowed any further character development, for either her or the rest of the cast of characters. Multiple twists in the storyline are abrupt without any foreshadowing too look back on, leaving the reader feeling that the author changed her story mid-book. The chosen tests are not connected to the subject matter and left me shaking my head at their inclusion.

I can only hope the author does some further development before the release of the next book in the series.

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided by HarlequinTEEN.

Previously published at Living Peacefully with Children.

Cinder and Ella

Cinder and Ella are two of four sisters. Both their older and younger sisters are selfish, their father quit doing anything to help the family before disappearing altogether, and their mother spins all day at her spinning wheel, effectively ignoring her daughters to the point that she has forgotten that Cinder and Ella are two individuals. Ella, tired of being forgotten and taken advantage of, sets out on her own, leaving Cinder to take care of the family.

Melissa Lemon’s telling of the Cinderella story, Cinder and Ella, is only marginally related to the original fairytale. With an evil prince on the horizon, and a story of living trees, the book’s closest tie with the original tale is the name of the book. While the book is a decent read, the characters, with few exceptions, just aren’t very likeable.

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided by the publisher.

The Sleepwalkers

Caleb’s life is all set. He has his plans laid out for after high school graduation until the arrival of a letter from an old childhood friend. Shortly after, he sets out on a road trip with his best friend, Bean, to find out what is going on. Arriving at his old hometown, he finds that secrets have been kept there for years.

J. Gabriel Gates’ The Sleepwalkers brings a new scene for teen horror. Reminiscent of Stephen King and John Saul, the story is artfully written and skillfully suspenseful. While I found I had many questions about some of the story’s end, it merely added to the disquieting feeling of the book.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.

Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers has it all: a strong plot, well developed characters, political intrigue, nuns as assassins, and a unique take on religion.

Ismae has always suffered. Given away in an arranged marriage to an abusive man, she barely escapes with her life. Seeking help from the herbwitch, she is smuggled to a secluded convent, one which serves the god of death. There she finds that not all nuns are soft-spoken servants. The Daughters of Mortain are skilled assassins, serving their lord. Ismae, herself, has been called by Mortain and excels at her new profession.

Along with learning about poisons and weapons, the young apprentices also learn about how to use their womanly ways in the service of death. While it seems stereotypicla that every book must focus on the sexuality of teenage girls, based on the tenor of the rest of the book, I can only assume LaFevers was making a statement through this.

While the book drags through parts, the overall story is darkly compelling.

 

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The Shadowing

Callum Scott is predominantly a normal boy. He does well enough in school, plays rugby, and keeps a low profile. The only problem is that for as long as he can remember he has seen ghosts. Now his premonitions are growing and he is being chased by a large creature from another place. Life is about to get interesting.

Adam Slater’s The Shadowing: Hunted would be a mediocre paranormal young adult novel with characters who are screaming to be further developed. However, he has managed to weave new aspects into his brand new paranormal series which may just set the foundation for a great story.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.

Bane: Book Two of The Coven Series

Having previously fled from her over-controlling father and the other witches of the dark coven, Jax Pherson is on the run again. Leaving those she cares about behind in an attempt to protect them, she and another rebelling witch, Egan, are on the search for a way to stop their families and covens. Gaining allies along they way, Jax and Egan realize that they can’t beat the evil alone.

Bane is the second book in Trish Milburn’s The Coven Series. While there were definitely aspects of the book that kept the story line of the series going with necessary scenes, the overall quality of the second book wasn’t to par with the first, White Witch. The plot meandered about and character development seemed stalled at the beginning before picking up towards the latter half of the novel. The book is short and still enjoyable to read but leaves readers hoping Milburn comes back stronger in the next installment.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Prophecy (The Children of the White Lions #2)

 

R. T. Kaelin, author of the fabulous Progeny, has done it again. Prophecy, the second novel in The Children of the White Lions series does not disappoint fans. The addition of  new characters, races, and warring duchies manages to add to the complexity of the novel without undermining the purity of the purity of the book. Bereft of any conventional notions which tend to limit many novels and add a level of predictability, Kaelin follows the story of the characters, allowing the book to take on a life of its own, driving the story line with a reality that adds a new level to the already complex richness. With beautifully deep characters and a well developed story line which follows it’s own unique path, the series continues to fulfill its promise to provide an entrancing book which enthralls readers and leaves them wanting more. I can’t wait to read the next novel when it comes out.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author.

Pure

Julianna Baggott’s new young adult dystopian novel, Pure,promises to deliver. Touted as the new The Hunger Games Trilogy and with movie rights already sold for the first novel, the hype is indicative of a best selling book.

Baggot’s descriptive writing pulls the reader in, and the premise behind the book is horrifying. Atomic bombs, set by those wanting to purify the Earth, have drastically changed the world. Secret agendas abound and the main character, a strong female lead, starts out strong. However, after the initial chapters, the book seems to be carried by remaining momentum rather than driving to a capitulating climax.

My main complaint, and one that I can’t let go of, is that the science in the book moves is so far removed to make the book fantasy rather than science fiction. With all of its promises and good points, for me the book failed to deliver.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.