Posts Categorized: 4.5 star books

17 & Gone: review

17 & Gone: review

Title:  17 & GoneAuthor: Nova Ren SumaRating:4.5 out of 5 starsRelease Date: March 21, 2013Publisher: Dutton JuvenileAge Group: YASource: ARC from publisher While I was reading 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma, I felt as though someone had taken me by the hand and was leading me into a dream state where realities were blurred and paranoia was a constant state of being. I caught glimpses of someone disappearing around a corner, I heard whispers from companions unseen–and there was nothing I could do but allow myself to be pulled deeper and deeper into the ever-changing kaleidoscope of the author’s masterful storytelling. In this suspenseful psychological thriller, 17-year-old Lauren is overcome by “waking nightmares” of girls who have gone missing. She is compelled to investigate their cases, even as her own family and personal issues threaten her peace of mind. Can she save the girls who are lost? Can… Read more »

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The Reece Malcolm List: review

The Reece Malcolm List: review

Things I know About The Reece Malcolm List: It will make you laugh. If you are at all into musical theatre, it will make you sing. If you’re not into it, it’ll probably give you the urge to check it out. It will make you want to go to LA (even if you live in Southern California, and hate the traffic, like me). It will make you a little giddy. It will make you cry. (But mostly in the happy way.) This might be my favorite read of 2013, so far. I went in with zero expectations, but finished with cheeks that ached and were sporting a few tear trickles. Devan grew up in St. Louis with her dad and stepmother, knowing absolutely nothing of her mother–not even her name. It wasn’t until she happened upon one of her mother’s books with the dedication made out to her, that she… Read more »

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Midwinterblood: review

Midwinterblood: review

Title: Midwinterblood Author: Marcus Sedgwick Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Release Date: February 5th, 2013 Publisher: Roaring Brook Age Group: YA Source: ARC from publisher Blood-soaked nightmares. Of another time. Of another place. Of another life. The unusual story of Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick begins in the future, in the year 2073. A young journalist named Eric arrives on a remote island, where it is rumored that the people live forever. He is immediately drawn to a woman named Merle, but soon begins to notice that the locals are behaving strangely…very strangely. Little does he know that his story is but one chapter in a piercingly poignant, savage saga that stretches across time and transcends the boundaries of life and death. I love fiction that is unsettling, particularly when it comes to the YA genre. Eric and Merle’s story has elements of the shrieking madness of the film The… Read more »

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Stormdancer: review

Stormdancer: review

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff When a book arrives with a massive amount of fanfare, in the form of glowing advance praise and accompanied an agreebly affable author, it’s necessary to take a step away from all the hype to ensure that a review isn’t influenced by outside factors. Which I did–I avoided reviews, fled the country (okay, that wasn’t just to read this book), and read it away from much of the joyful noise that surrounded the book’s release. After the promise presented by the author’s description of the story as “telepathic samurai girls and griffins in steampunk feudal Japan,” I’m happy to find that this particular novel proved to be an exciting and memorable a reading experience. Stormdancer is nearly operatic in its scope and grandeur, and young Yukiko’s reluctant quest to find a supposedly extinct griffin–and her subsequent relationship with the fierce, noble beast–is both thrilling and moving. The thing is,… Read more »

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Seraphina: review

Seraphina: review

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman “He released the last chord like a boulder off a trebuchet.” It always feels this way when ending a book. There’s a weight to the final words, then you let them go and they’re gone. I don’t think I’ve read a young adult book quite like Seraphina before. Rachel Hartman has built for us a world so rich and unique that it is almost dizzying to walk into. Her world is swathed in dark colours depicting a tale of menacing dragons who advocate peace, a stiff but admirably stalwart royal family of Queens and princesses, mothers persecuted, abandoned children, a gang of grotesques, a population of almost-dragons living like scum on the outskirts of humanity, exiled knights, music, love, war, betrayal, identity, lies and truths, a people divided between acceptance and hostility towards the winged-beasts, and finally, those caught in between. The story sweeps you off… Read more »

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Unraveling: review

Unraveling: review

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris The end of the world is coming! When a book begins with the heroine getting hit by a truck and killed in the first chapter, you know you’re in for a good time. 17-year-old Janelle Tenner somehow wakes up miraculously unhurt, however, and staring into the eyes of a boy she barely knows. In the 24 days that follow, she has to figure out what Ben has to do with her strange revival, as well as how her FBI agent father’s investigation into a series of unidentified burn victims might tie into her own story…and the fate of her entire world. This sci-fi mystery took me by surprise, in a very good way. While I go into all YA novels with an open mind, particularly when the premise is as intriguing as this one, I admit to a certain degree of ennui after slogging through so… Read more »

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I Hunt Killers: review

I Hunt Killers: review

I Hunt Killersby Barry Lyga Do you believe violent offenders are the product of nature or nurture? In the case of 17-year-old Jasper “Jazz” Dent, he’s got both factors working against him. Not only is he the son of the country’s most notorious serial killer, but dear old daddy even forced him to watch those grisly crimes and sometimes…more. I’ve always been interested in how human beings cope with extreme circumstances, and the way children in particular can demonstrate remarkable resilience. I Hunt Killers sets up a fascinating scenario showing how both environment and biology can contribute to certain conditioned responses and behaviors—and how an innate sense of human decency might be strong enough to overcome even the worst of upbringings. At least that’s what Jazz keeps telling himself. Because now that he suspects that a new serial killer is at work in his small town, he’s flashing back to… Read more »

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