Posts Categorized: 3.5 star books

The Rules: review & giveaway

The Rules: review & giveaway

Title: The Rules(Project Paper Doll #1)Author: Stacey KadeRating:  3.5 out of 5 starsRelease Date:April 23, 2013Publisher: Disney HyperionAge Group: YASource: ARC from publisher In a season crowded with all kinds of YA sci fi thrillers, The Rules by Stacey Kade offers an unusual heroine: Ariane Tucker, a alien-human hybrid girl who must hide among humans in order to avoid capture. *waits a beat* Oh come on, you’re going to have to just roll with this idea! If you can accept the premise and a story that focuses more on the characters than complex worldbuilding or non-stop action, this is a fun, enjoyable science fiction thriller that reads very much like a paranormal story. Things I liked: a heroine who isn’t your typical “non-beautiful beauty,” and is described instead as  short, pale, with unnaturally dark eyes and a faint grayish hue to her skin, and “slightly off in some way no one… Read more »

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Game (Jasper Dent #2): review

Game (Jasper Dent #2): review

Title: Game(Jasper Dent #2)Author: Barry LygaRating:  3.5 out of 5 starsRelease Date:April 16, 2013Publisher: Little BrownAge Group: YASource: ARC from publisher I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga was one of my favorite books last year. Between the graveyard humor and the taut plotting and the excellent character sketch of a boy who fears he may become a serial killer like his father, I was both intrigued and excited by the story. I have more…mixed feelings about the sequel. While it’s certainly still well-researched and well-executed, the focus has changed from suspense–albeit with gory underpinnings–to a more typical thriller. Since it’s written like adult crime fiction with a teenager suddenly in the middle, it’s a little harder to suspend disbelief that the authorities would rely so heavily on a 17-year-old’s input (to the point of taking him across state lines), no matter what his parentage. Things I liked: it’s still fun to… Read more »

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Mila 2.0: review & giveaway

Mila 2.0: review & giveaway

Title: Mila 2.0Author:Debra DrizaRating: 3.5 out of 5 starsRelease Date: March 12, 2013Publisher: Katherine Tegan BooksAge Group: YASource:ARC provided by the publisher GIRL ANDROID. That should probably be the extent of my review, because you can pretty much tell by your reaction to those two words whether or not this book is for you. If they get you nearly crazed with excitement (guilty! I’m raising my hand), you should probably just cancel your dinner plans for next week when the book is released. If you read the freebie short entitled Origins, you already know that a devastating fire has changed Mila’s life. As she’s trying to adjust to her life in a new home, she’s also suffering from memory loss–not a great way to start off at a new school. It’s not too long before Mila realizes that she’s not like other girls, however, and the threat of having her secret… Read more »

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Dualed: review & giveaway

Dualed: review & giveaway

Title: Dualed (#1)Author: Elsie ChapmanRating: 3.5 out of 5 starsRelease Date:February 26th, 2013Publisher:Random HouseAge Group: YASource: ARC provided by the publisher Every person in the city of Kersh has a genetic Alternate–but only one will survive! Dun dun dun. At the age of fifteen, West Grayer has just been notified of her Alt’s location, and it’s a race against the clock to find and eliminate her…before she herself is killed. I really enjoy YA science fiction, so Dualed by Elsie Chapman is right up my alley. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a concept like that? The blurb sold it to me, and I’m guessing it will hook a lot of other readers, too. I thought this was a pretty entertaining story, though I did have a few reservations. What I liked: — West. Instead of being a more typical butt-kicking heroine, she’s just an ordinary girl–albeit one well-trained to fight–who… Read more »

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Lovely, Dark and Deep: review

Lovely, Dark and Deep: review

Lovely, Dark and Deep is certainly accurately named. The prose is absolutely lovely, at times bordering on poetic (which is no surprise given McNamara has her MFA in poetry). There is a rhythm to the words, a cadence that so deftly draws the exact shape of Wren’s mental state. Short staccato sentences, and long streams of consciousness give the words a voice and a mood all their own, pulling the reader right into Wren’s story. The writing itself is nothing short of breathtaking. However, for all its loveliness, the depth of the story’s darkness make it a painful and heart-heavy read. Wren Wells wants to disappear. After a devastating accident that kills her boyfriend, but leaves her unscathed, she abandons her college plans, and moves to the woods of Maine to live with her father. She seeks the quiet and the dark, and most of all, the solitude. Somewhere she… Read more »

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Wraith: review

Wraith: review

I picked up Wraith thinking I was in for a creepy story about a girl driven to madness by the haunting presence of ghosts. And while that was true in a sense, the overall story was much different than I expected. And I kind of loved that. Jane Watts is an outcast at her new school, all because she got into a very public fight with her best friend, Evan. Normally, that kind of public display would blow over in just a couple days, except in this case, Evan’s dead, and no one can see him but Jane. Her outburst in the hall earns her a permanent Freak label, as far as her classmates are concerned. But Jane’s okay with that. Mostly. She has Evan, after all. The sweet, protective ghost who lives in her room, and seems to want nothing more than to be her friend. She’s even learned… Read more »

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All These Lives: review

All These Lives: review

All These Livesby Sarah Wylie This is one of those books I sometimes feel unequipped to read. I feel like, because I haven’t suffered true loss, somehow I can’t connect as deeply as I want to with books that deal with death and grief. And is it very terrible of me to say that I want to? Is it to relieve them, or to understand human nature? Does it come from fear of realizing that perhaps I am not as whole, or as ready for life, because I don’t know how to handle sorrow? This isn’t really a book about cancer. It is no more than a means — because in the end, death is death. It’s about Dani, whose sister is dying. The story is Dani’s journey in coming to terms with the fact that one day, the person she loves most in the world, may be gone. Sarah… Read more »

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