Tag Archives: young adult

Denton Little’s Still Not Dead (Denton Little #2)

Denton Little's Still Not Dead Book Cover Denton Little's Still Not Dead
Denton Little, Book 2
Lance Rubin
Young Adult Fiction
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
February 7, 2017
352

"Denton and his quirky friends are laugh-out-loud funny, even as their riotous adventures raise deeper questions about science, government control, life, and death." -- SLJ You only live once--unless you're Denton Little! Denton Little lives in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. The good news: Denton has lived through his deathdate. Yay! The bad news: He's being chased by the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), he can never see his family again, and he may now die anytime. Huh. Cheating death isn't quite as awesome as Denton would have thought. . . . Lance Rubin's debut novel, Denton Little's Deathdate, showed readers just how funny and poignant imminent death could be. Now in this sequel, he takes on the big questions about life. How do we cope, knowing we could die at any time? Would you save someone from dying even if they were a horrible person? Is it wrong to kiss the girl your best friend is crushing on if she's really into you instead? What if she's wearing bacon lip gloss? Praise for Denton Little's Deathdate: "Highly original, fantastically entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny, Denton Little's Deathdate is a wild romp through a night like no other." --Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Geography of You and Me "Let's all pray the grim reaper is even half as witty (and wise) as the deadly talented Lance Rubin. Till then: skip this book at your own peril." --Tim Federle, author of Better Nate than Ever and The Great American Whatever "Rubin is really funny, but like John Green, he manages to be poignant. . . . In other words, it's a keeper." --Bustle

 

Review:

“Denton Little’s Still Not Dead” is a hilarious follow-up to last year’s “Denton Little’s Deathdate.”  It features all of the fun of the original with a heaping dose of existentialism.  This series is definitely for a certain set of readers.  The science of the world is explained a little, but a suspension of disbelief is a requirement.  It won’t make you smarter, but it will definitely make you laugh.  Highly recommended for the weird readers among us (which includes yours truly).

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Violence, Sexual Situations, Drug Use

Optimists Die First

Optimists Die First Book Cover Optimists Die First
Susin Nielsen
Young Adult Fiction
Wendy Lamb Books
February 21, 2017
240

Award-winning author Susin Nielsen has written a laugh-out-loud and heartrending novel for fans of Robyn Schneider's Extraordinary Means and Cammie McGovern's Say What You Will. Beware: Life ahead. Sixteen-year-old Petula de Wilde is anything but wild. A former crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula shut herself off from the world after a family tragedy. She sees danger in all the ordinary things, like crossing the street, a bug bite, or a germy handshake. She knows: life is out to get you. The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class with a small group of fellow misfits. Then a new boy, Jacob, appears at school and in her therapy group. He seems so normal and confident, though he has a prosthetic arm; and soon he teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, gradually inspiring her to let go of some of her fears. But as the two grow closer, a hidden truth behind why he's in the group could derail them, unless Petula takes a huge risk. . .

 

Review:

“Optimists Die First” was a decent enough book about anxiety and a quick read, but it was missing that something extra to push it over into good.  It also seemed to resolve things way too quickly.  I can’t recommend nor not recommend it.  Read the description and give it a try if it piques your interest.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Underage Drinking

10 Things I Can See From Here

10 Things I Can See from Here Book Cover 10 Things I Can See from Here
Carrie Mac
Young Adult Fiction
Knopf Books for Young Readers
February 28, 2017
320

Maeve, a sufferer of severe anxiety, moves in with her recovering alcoholic father and her very pregnant stepmother and falls for a girl who's not afraid of anything.

 

Review:

“10 Things I Can See From Here” is one of the best books that I have read about anxiety disorder.

The way the story is written does an excellent job of showing the stream of consciousness that happens when something triggers anxiety.  At times I was feeling the anxiety creeping in to my own head.  The novel is by no means a one-trick pony, either.  The issues of coming out, gay bashing, familial drug abuse, divorce, step-family dynamics, and first love are tackled head-on.  All of the characters are developed, and for the most part, likable.

I can’t stress this enough: My favorite part is that it did not follow the false trope of mental health issues being solved by meeting the right person.  Salix helps Maeve, but she is not a miracle cure.  Only Maeve’s dad can kick his drug habit, no matter how hard his family tries to help.  Good lessons, in my opinion.

I recommend “10 Things I Can See From Here” for anyone looking for books about anxiety or a wonderful lgbt romance.  Yay for diverse books!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Hate Words, Drug Abuse

 

 

The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch Book Cover The Bone Witch
The Bone Witch, Book 1
Rin Chupeco
Young Adult Fiction
Sourcebooks Fire
March 7, 2017
400

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price... Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living. When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha--one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice. Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

 

Review:

“The Bone Witch” is a satisfying fantasy filled with well-researched mythology and folklore that is exactly what I needed to read right now.

Tea finds out she is a Bone Witch when she accidentally raises her brother from the dead at his funeral.  As you would imagine, that was disturbing to anyone witnessing it.  The rest of the book is split between her story from that point and on into her training as an asha (witch) and the present, in which she is in a vastly different situation recounting it all to an exiled bard from another kingdom.  It doesn’t create confusion, as the story comprises the main chapters and the present is in italics between them.

My favorite part is that much of the story reaches a conclusion, while some remains a mystery, and other parts have foreshadowing you can only guess at what it means.  And the ending.  Oh man.  The ending.

If you love mythology, folklore, revenants, kickass girls who turn into kickass women, diverse characters,  just a touch of romance, all-around creepy stuff, and Tom Hiddleston (I’ll leave it to you to figure that one out), then “The Bone Witch” is for you.  Highly recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warnings:

Language, Violence, Disturbing Imagery

The Warden’s Daughter

The Warden's Daughter Book Cover The Warden's Daughter
Jerry Spinelli
Juvenile Fiction
Knopf Books for Young Readers
January 3, 2017
352

Cammie O'Reilly is the warden's daughter, living in an apartment above the entrance to the Hancock County Prison. But she's also living in a prison of grief and anger about the mother who died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. And prison has made her mad. This girl's nickname is Cannonball. In the summer of 1959, as twelve turns to thirteen, everything is in flux. Cammie's best friend is discovering lipstick and American Bandstand d killer is caught and brought to her prison. And the only mother figures in her life include a flamboyant shoplifter named Boo Boo and a sullen reformed arsonist of a housekeeper. All will play a role in Cammie's coming-of-age. But one in particular will make a staggering sacrifice to ensure that Cammie breaks free from her past.

 

Review:

“The Warden’s Daughter” is one of the best historical literary young-adult novels I have ever read.  I couldn’t put it down.

There are some flaws in the novel, with a child protagonist who is extremely limited in her view of others in the world.  However, these flaws are intentional and acknowledged by the adult narrator saying they come from memory and may not even be in the correct order.  I love that the big stories of the day were related only as to how they affected Cammie.  Isn’t that how most of our childhood memories are?  Actual awareness about the meaning of that summer came with age.

The entire idea of a child living inside of a prison is fascinating.  During the time period it wasn’t all that uncommon.  What is uncommon is her progressive father.  Once again, something only seen in hindsight.

The story is a slow-burn that is worth the time and commitment.  I think upper middle-graders through adults will enjoy “The Warden’s Daughter” if they have any interest in history or unique childhood situations.  Highly recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Violence

 

Life in a Fishbowl

Life in a Fishbowl Book Cover Life in a Fishbowl
Len Vlahos
Juvenile Fiction
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
January 3, 2017
336

Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone's father is dying. When Jackie discovers that her father has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, her whole world starts to crumble. She can't imagine how she'll live without him . . . Then, in a desperate act to secure his family's future, Jackie's father does the unthinkable--he puts his life up for auction on eBay. Jackie can do nothing but watch and wait as an odd assortment of bidders, some with nefarious intentions, drive the price up higher. The fate of her entire family hangs in the balance. But no one can predict how the auction will finally end, or any of the very public fallout that ensues. Life as Jackie knows it is about to change forever . . . In this brilliantly written tragicomedy told through multiple points of view--including Jackie's dad's tumor--acclaimed author Len Vlahos deftly explores what it really means to live. "A weird, sardonic delight with the shape of an allegory and the heart of a joyful song." --Brenna Yovanoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement "Surprising, original, political, and deeply affecting . . . It is one of those rare works of art that keeps you guessing up to the very last page." --Leila Sales, author of This Song Will Save Your Life "It will tear you apart, and yet it's an absolute joy." --Adi Alsaid, author of Let's Get Lost and Never, Always, Sometimes

 

Review:

I’ll give it to you upfront:  I did not like “Life in a Fishbowl.”  I did appreciate the writing and the use of some unique points-of-view.

There were a lot of voices in the book, with many being in the same chapter.  It became confusing at points, but the voices were distinct and well-written.  I found the parts written about the thoughts of the tumor itself to be unique and engaging.  In fact, those were the only sections that genuinely made me feel like I was reading a book about cancer that handled the subject well.  The message of how intrusive reality television can be was a good one, but also over-extended the plot.  A few less points-of-view in the tv aspect would have made it flow much better.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the use of an animal for emotional blackmail. There is an animal death, and it was part of an unnecessary subplot that crowded the tv aspect that I mentioned up above.  I feel like a strong plot can evoke emotion without needing to add in something extra.

The writing is good, but the rest of “Life in a Fishbowl” was disappointing.  It had so much potential.  I recommend giving this one a pass.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations (Some Abusive), Violence, Animal Death

A List of Cages

A List of Cages Book Cover A List of Cages
Robin Roe
Disney-Hyperion
January 10, 2017
Hardcover
320

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.
Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives

.
First-time novelist Robin Roe relied on life experience when writing this exquisite, gripping story featuring two lionhearted characters.

 

Review:

I’m not sure saying I loved “A List of Cages” is appropriate because of the subject matter, but I can say I loved Julian and Adam.

This book broke my heart and some parts were very difficult to read.  Yet it was also a good reminder that humanity still exists in this world, even in the darkest of places.  I don’t want to spoil how the plot develops, but I will say that the bond between the characters is beautiful.  Julian’s ability to see when others are trapped in their own cages is remarkable.  We don’t get to see how their stories play out, but that is true to life.  We’re all on our own journey.

My only problem with the book is that at times the characters felt just a touch too naive in their decision-making, particularly Adam.  It doesn’t take away from the plot or the writing.  It’s a minor flaw in an otherwise exceptional book.

As a warning, there is abuse in “A List of Cages” and it is graphic. If this is a trigger for you, I would recommend you give it a pass.  Otherwise, I recommend it for everyone high-school aged and up.  It’s simply beautiful.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence, Underage Drinking, Graphic Child Abuse

The Hundred Lies Of Lizzie Lovett

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett Book Cover The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Chelsea Sedoti
Young Adult Fiction
Sourcebooks Fire
January 3, 2017
400

Hawthorn wasn't trying to insert herself into a missing person's investigation. Or maybe she was. But that's only because Lizzie Lovett's disappearance is the one fascinating mystery their sleepy town has ever had. Bad things don't happen to popular girls like Lizzie Lovett, and Hawthorn is convinced she'll turn up at any moment-which means the time for speculation is now. So Hawthorn comes up with her own theory for Lizzie's disappearance. A theory way too absurd to take seriously...at first. The more Hawthorn talks, the more she believes. And what better way to collect evidence than to immerse herself in Lizzie's life? Like getting a job at the diner where Lizzie worked and hanging out with Lizzie's boyfriend. After all, it's not as if he killed her-or did he? Told with a unique voice that is both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Hawthorn's quest for proof may uncover the greatest truth is within herself.

 

Review:

I wish I could say I liked “The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett,” but that would be telling my own lie.

There were a few secondary characters I would like to know more about, but unfortunately their potential was wasted.  Instead we have to suffer through one of the most annoying and least self-aware young adult characters I have ever encountered.  What is supposed to be quirky is actually creepy, and her love interest is someone who did nothing but enable her.  Not to mention the fact that he is someone you would not be surprised to find on an episode of Dateline.  Those characters took me out of any interest I tried to develop in the plot.

I appear to be in the minority with “The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett.”  If it sounds interesting to you, then by all means give it a read.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Drug Use, Underage Alcohol Use

What’s A Soulmate?

What's a Soulmate? Book Cover What's a Soulmate?
Lindsey Ouimet
Evernight Teen
November 13, 2016

Libby Carmichael has just met her Soulmate. It's just too bad he's behind bars. When you only see the world in black and white until you meet yours, it's pretty easy to figure out when you've found your Soulmate. What Libby can't figure out is why fate, destiny, or the powers that be have decided that Andrew McCormack is her one, true match. Libby is smart, organized, and always has a plan for what's coming next. So when she sees Andrew for the first time and her world is instantly filled with color, she's thrown for a loop. Namely because he's in a dingy grey jumpsuit. And handcuffs. And being booked into a juvenile detention facility. Surely a boy who's been convicted of a headline-making, violent crime isn't who she's meant to be with. There's no way she belongs with someone like that...right?

 

Review:

“What’s A Soulmate?” is a contemporary romance with one of the most unique premises I have ever read in the genre.

The world of the book remains in black and white until a person finds their soulmate, at which point everything turns to color.  As you can imagine, that is quite disorienting and the author does a great job of showing the types of sensory challenges something like that could present.  It’s also how I’ve found love to feel.  Everything looks different when you’re with “the one.”

Unfortunately for the main character, Libby, she meets Andrew at possibly the worst time in the worst place imaginable.  Her meeting her soulmate in juvenile detention presents for a plot full of challenges.  The dialogue is snappy and there is a lot of humor mixed in with the seriousness of the situation.

I recommend “What’s a Soulmate” for anyone looking for a unique young adult romance that is steamy without being too over-the-top.  I enjoyed it a lot and would love to get something from Andrew’s point-of-view sometime.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence, Domestic Violence, Child Abuse

True North Cover Reveal

True North Cover Reveal Banner (4)

Let us know what you think of the cover for True North by L.E. Sterling which releases April 4, 2017!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN & YA Interrobang!

LES_truenorth_Final500

About True North (True Born, #2):

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.
While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.??

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of True North (True Born, #2) by L.E. Sterling today!

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le-sterlingAbout the Author:

L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate.
Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.