Posts Categorized: 4 star books

Mini Reviews: Risk-Takers Edition

Mini Reviews: Risk-Takers Edition

Today we’re featuring two debuts that challenge YA fans in different ways! I thought these were both amazing, and I hope they find an audience in readers who enjoy books that don’t necessarily conform to conventional genre models. Title: Charm & StrangeAuthor:Stephanie KuehnRating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date:June 11, 2013Publisher:St. Martins PressAge Group: YASource: finished copy from the publisher Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn is indeed very, very strange. It is a wild, abstract beast that demands terrible pity–yet it’s written with such unerring discipline that it never becomes unruly or mundane. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this novel, but as it turns out, it’s one of those books where it’s better not to know too much about the story anyway. Andrew Winston Winters, or “Win,” has arrived at a new school in Vermont, where he won’t let anyone get too close. But Win is… Read more »

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The Moon and More: review

The Moon and More: review

Title: The Moon and MoreAuthor:Sarah Dessen Rating:4 out of 5 starsRelease Date:June 4, 2013Publisher:Viking JuvenileAge Group: YASource: ARC from publisher Ever since I succumbed to peer pressure and read The Truth About Forever, I’ve been a fan of Sarah Dessen’s. I know there are readers who dismiss her books as being too boring or too girly, and it’s true that it’s hard to pinpoint anything hugely dramatic that happens in her books plot-wise. But that’s exactly what I like about her novels–they’re about nothing and yet absolutely everything at the same time. In the summer before college, Emaline is working at her family’s vacation rental in the beach town of Colby when she starts to question her “perfect” relationship with her boyfriend Luke, as well as her complicated relationship with her absentee father. When a stranger named Theo comes to town, life starts to unravel…or is she finally starting to… Read more »

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mini reviews: The Rules for Disappearing, One + One = Blue, Black Helicopters

mini reviews: The Rules for Disappearing, One + One = Blue, Black Helicopters

Today’s mini reviews are an eclectic mix! All three books are very different, but I enjoyed them all, and would definitely read all these authors again.Title: The Rules for DisappearingAuthor: Ashley Elston  Rating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date: May 14, 2013Publisher: Disney Hyperion Age Group: YASource: gifted ARC This is the type of book that usually never works for me in YA, but The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston totally did. “Meg” has been in the witness protection program for almost a year, and the worst part is, her father won’t tell her why her family’s been uprooted over and over. I really liked Meg, and I thought the story was well plotted, well paced, had good character development, and contained just the right amount of suspense to keep things interesting. Plus there was good dialogue and a cute relationship to top it all off! Sure, I guessed the… Read more »

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Spirit: Tour Kick-off with Secrets of the Elemental Series + Giveaway!

Spirit: Tour Kick-off with Secrets of the Elemental Series + Giveaway!

Let’s be honest here. I’m a big fan of the the Merrick boys–so the idea of a story about Hunter, the guy who who is always fighting with them, didn’t initially catch my attention, particularly after Gabriel’s awesome story in Spark. But man, did this third installment in the Elemental series knock my socks off! There is lots of action (of ALL kinds, hee hee) and lots of unexpected emotion. Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer is fantastic PNR/UF, written with the kind of intensity, energy, thought, and originality that’s so often lacking in in those genres. I’m in total shock over how ballsy this book is in terms of unconventional plot and character development, particular in Hunter’s story arc with the mysterious Kate, a girl who has her own agenda–but still can’t stop herself from getting her heart involved. You’ll find yourself a fan of Hunter’s as soon as you start… Read more »

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Golden: review

Golden: review

Title:  GoldenAuthor: Jessi KirbyRating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date: May 14, 2013Publisher: Simon TeenAge Group: YASource: ARC from publisher The truth is, our worlds are sometimes balanced on choices we make and the secrets we keep. Coming of age stories are so hard to get right, particularly in realistic fiction. I have no idea what it’s like to develop supernatural vampire powers (darn it!), but I do know what it’s like to navigate the tricky road to adulthood. So while I generally read more paranormal fiction or sci fi, it’s always a pleasure to come across a contemporary YA book that I really connect with. Golden by Jessi Kirby is the story of 17-year-old Parker Frost, who has lived her whole life doing everything that is expected of her, but whose upcoming graduation makes her question the “safe” life she’s always chosen. An unexpected school project changes her life,… Read more »

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With All My Soul: review

With All My Soul: review

Title: With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7) Author: Rachel Vincent Rating:  4 out of 5 stars Release Date: March 26, 2013 Publisher: Harlequin Teen Age Group: YA Source: ARC from publisher       So here it is: the conclusion of yet another of my favorite series. Did all the YA writers get together to plot to torture us in 2013? No spoilers below, even if you haven’t started the series yet. My favorite thing about Soul Screamers: Kaylee has grown so much over the course of these books. As a bean sidthe, or banshee who calls souls of the dead, she started out somewhat naive and unsure of herself, but grew into a strong, admirable young woman. She makes huge sacrifices for her friends and family, but has stayed somebody you’d still want to invite over for popcorn and a movie. ‘Cause you know she’d eat some to… Read more »

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The Diviners: review

The Diviners: review

Title: The DivinersAuthor: Libba BrayRating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date: September 18, 2012Publisher: Little Brown BooksAge Group: YASource: ARC from publisher Let’s begin because there’s a lot to cover here, folks. The Diviners is another supernatural period piece by Libba Bray. This time her story is set in the Roaring Twenties; smack dab in the middle of a social, cultural and economic transformation for the city that never sleeps. The narrative follows multiple plots that weave together a tapestry of mystery, magic, murder, and religion. This book is beastly in its size, but it is unabashedly readable. Bottom line: this is another Bray success. Let’s start with the setting because it is a character unto itself. New York City during the Jazz Age must’ve been a sight to behold. The glamour, the attitude, the metamorphosis, all daring and dazzling. What little I know of that era, it all seems… Read more »

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