Posts Categorized: 3 star books

Dearly, Departed: review

Dearly, Departed: review

Dearly, Departed (Dearly #1)by Lia Habel Dearly, Departed is one of the most enjoyable steampunk novels I’ve ever read, as the author skillfully puts Victorian customs down in a futuristic setting and then throws the crazy addition of zombies into the mix! It is, unfortunately, also a very frustrating novel in many ways, mainly because it has major flaws that stand in the way of a really terrific story. In the year 2195, Nora Dearly is just coming out of a period of mourning for her father, who was a noted scientist, when her home is attacked by living corpses. She’s rescued by Captain Bram Griswold, a dashing young man who turns out to be not quite alive himself. There’s a difference between Bram’s brand of zombie, however, who have technically died but have retained their memories and personality, and those who are just mindless, violent cannibals. There are a… Read more »

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Cold Kiss: review

Cold Kiss: review

Cold Kissby Amy Garvey How far would you go to save the person you loved most in the world? And what if he were already…dead? Wren’s boyfriend Danny died in a car accident before she had a chance to say goodbye. In a moment of grief, she brings him back from the dead with a powerful spell. But she soon realizes that the boy brought back is no longer quite the boy she loved. I was really impressed by many aspects of this novel. From the description, I expected to find a typical YA paranormal romance, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the author spends a great deal of time reflecting on love, loss, grief, and responsibility. She skillfully sketches out the close relationship between Danny and Wren, and specifically shows us what an adorable boyfriend and great person he was. So it’s all too easy to feel sympathy… Read more »

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Legend: review

Legend: review

Legendby Marie Lu I like an action-packed adventure, don’t you? Legend is a lot of fun to read, and follows two teens who are born into opposite sides in a futuristic Los Angeles in the Republic of America. 15-year-old June is an exceptionally gifted prodigy who is being groomed to become a military star. But when her brother is senselessly murdered, she embarks upon a mission to find his killer–and discovers that all signs point towards Day, a notorious criminal who is already wanted by the Republic. This is a cocktail of dystopian YA, Romeo and Juliet, and various wronged imprisonment stories all blended together with liberal dashes of adventure and intrigue. I liked both June and Day, and I was eager to learn more about the big mystery behind why the government is so interested in Day’s brother. The best thing about Legend, however, is the terrific action sequences… Read more »

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Dark Parties: review

Dark Parties: review

Dark Partiesby Sara Grant So…this book starts out with a make out scene. Neva does some kissing with her boyfriend and then there’s a little bit of We Must Rebel From the Protectosphere business before there’s another makeout scene…but this time, with her best friend Sanna’s boyfriend. Oops, it was really dark. I’m sorry if this sounds a little flippant, but although I liked this book well enough, it did strike me as a little odd that this is how it began. I actually had to flip back to make sure this was YA, since it was an unusual way for a dystopian young adult novel to start. In any case, this story is about a totalitarian society which strictly controls information and reproductive rights, and warns its citizens about the toxic atmosphere outside of the large dome under which they all live. Things are currently heightened because there are… Read more »

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Ashes: review

Ashes: review

Ashesby Ilsa J. Bick It all starts with a cataclysmic electromagnetic impulse. Dead birds fall from the sky. Deer run off a cliff, maddened for unknown reasons. And people drop dead instantaneously and inexplicably–or they are miraculously, irrevocably changed, some for the better, and some for the worse. The first half of this book is a phenomenal. 17-year-old Alex is transformed by the big event in ways that she can’t understand. She is saddled with an angry 8-year-old and an attractive ex-Army guy who’s hiding secrets, and they all must find safety and shelter from the other survivors who are no longer…human. The prologue is well-written and compelling, and I was drawn to the bleak, lonely mood and stark setting right from the very beginning. I liked the strong but fragile Alex, and I was thoroughly engrossed by the incredible suspense and visceral, shudder-inducing scenes that will be forever seared… Read more »

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Sometimes It Happens: review

Sometimes It Happens: review

Sometimes It Happensby Lauren Barnholdt Um…I’m not really sure why I read this book! But I think I was in the mood for some light relief after all the post-apocalyptic novels I’ve been plowing through lately. Sometimes you just need a little mindless filler while you’re between stories about girls with supernatural powers and stories about flesh-eating zombies. There are a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t have liked Sometimes It Happens. I hate books (or anything, really) that involve infidelity. I’m not not a big realistic YA fiction person. I’m not usually interested in books that are solely about high school boy-girl drama. I think the title is…pedestrian. But much to my surprise, I actually found this book to be pretty entertaining. Hannah’s best friend Ava has gone away for the summer, leaving her depressed and mopey since her ex-boyfriend cheated on her. Ava’s assigned her boyfriend Noah to… Read more »

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Blood Red Road: review

Blood Red Road: review

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1)by Moira Young This review may contain mild spoilers, but they’re nothing that you won’t see in the trailer for the film. That’s right, Ridley Scott optioned this book for a film before it was even published, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a hugely entertaining spectacle full of adventure and excitement and thrills, with action scenes that you can clearly picture as you read them. Saba’s twin brother Lugh has been kidnapped by a band of horsemen, and she sets off alone on the quest to bring him back. Well, she tries to go alone, but her pesky little sister Emmi keeps finding a way to tag along after her, even though they’re trekking through a dried up wasteland filled with danger around every turn. Here are some of the things that made this story super fun: * Saba is a bad-ass. There’s no… Read more »

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