Tag Archives: young-adult

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars.

Panic: a game played by graduating seniors in the dead-end town of Carp, where all contestants must face their worst fears – and each other. Heather never thought she would participate in Panic, but when her broken heart finds a new cause to fight for, she readies herself for the ride of her life. Dodge, on the other hand, does not feel scared of Panic; he wants revenge, and that thirst will drive him throughout the game. Amidst the near-death experiences thrust upon them by the judges of Panic, both Heather and Dodge will discover new things about themselves, each other, and those around them. Even though Panic entails a cash prize, every contestant, including Heather and Dodge, wants something more.

Panic possesses a compelling concept and an enticing book jacket, but I found the content lacking. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under 2.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thomspon Walker

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

The Age of Miracles details eleven-year-old Julia’s coming of age in a California suburb amidst the decline of the earth. The planet spins slower and slower, leading to gravity sickness, shortages of energy, dead birds, and more. In the middle of the chaos Julia comes to terms with the imperfections of her parents, the pains of an awkward adolescence, and her feelings for Seth Moreno, the boy down the street.

Karen Thompson Walker does not focus so much on the science behind the earth’s slowing or the slowing’s disastrous consequences. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Cover via amazon.com.

Cover via amazon.com.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn revolves around Francie Nolan, a young girl growing up in a poor neighborhood in New York. The plot of this novel does not drift from event to event, at least not in a way that fits standard plot summary – rather, it flows like fine water, split into five sections that match the stages of Francie’s coming of age. With warm prose Betty Smith addresses themes such as poverty, loss of innocence, and gender roles in a book she claims to have written without any intended message for society.

I loved two aspects of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of which was experiencing Francie mature from a tiny girl to a mature woman. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Winger by Andrew Smith

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Unpopular opinion of the day: Winger wasn’t that wonderful.

Seeing all the glowing, five-star reviews of this book, I wonder if it’s me who went wrong. Andrew Smith did a lot of the little things right in this in Winger. He established a consistent narrative, incorporated rugby and its rules with ease, used a boarding school as the book’s setting, and featured a nice friendship between Winger, the main character, and his best friend, Joey.

But I wanted more from this 400+ page book. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Light by Michael Grant

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

If there’s one series that captures my teenage years, it’s this one. I picked up Gone five years ago at the age of 13 maybe because Sam was cute, not like I knew I was into guys at the time and five books later I’ve finished the series, now as an adult. I have so much history with this series, and I doubt any sleeping aid would give me back the hours I’ve spent reading it late into the night.

If you haven’t read Light yet or the books preceding it, I’d recommend skipping this paragraph and catching up right now. Otherwise, the central story line of the last installment in Michael Grant’s epic series revolves around Gaia and her (its?) plan to destroy all who inhabit the FAYZ… and eventually, all outside of it, too. Every character joins in for the fight no matter his or her previous wounds or scars. The question remains: will it be enough to defeat the darkness once and for all?

As always, Grant’s plot grabbed me from the get go. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Guys, I survived reading my first young-adult book as an adult! No English teachers or professors pelted me with stones and no one called me out in the middle of the street! Whew.

Anyway, Shine details the story of sixteen-year-old Cat and the hate crime against her former best friend Patrick. Cat stopped talking to Patrick – along with everyone else at her high school – after an incident involving another boy two years ago. But when Patrick is found brutally beaten to the point of comatose and the police blame it on out-of-town college students, Cat sets out to uncover the truth. On her journey she confronts small town gossip, dangerous drugs, a college boy named Jason, and a startling discovery concerning Patrick’s near-fatal encounter.

Lauren Myracle writes a mystery with Shine. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Every book has its beginnings. A fresh protagonist to fall in love with, a new world to explore, a story to watch play out. By the end of the book, it’s time to say goodbye to what we’ve come to know – not only the settings that have taken root in our minds or the characters who have made their way into our hearts, but the lessons we’ve learned. With series, I find this more difficult; with several books and hundreds and hundreds of pages to entrench ourselves in, it should be more gut-wrenching, more bittersweet. But when I put Requiem down, it wasn’t as devastating as I wanted it to be… it wasn’t anything at all, really. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Prodigy by Marie Lu

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

The sequel to Legend, Prodigy picks up on June and Day’s journey after escaping from the clutches of the Republic. Their mission should be clear: kill the new Elector and avenge their fallen family members. June and Day join the Patriots, a group of rebels, to fight for what they’ve lost – but what happens when the new Elector isn’t as bad as his father? Suddenly their plans don’t seem full proof anymore… if they even were to start with.

Contrary to the majority of book bloggers, I tend to enjoy the second book in a series more than the first. Prodigy is no exception. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

On the surface level, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is about the death of a girl’s best friend. But, because that would be too easy, it’s much deeper. Vera Dietz, the girl in question, has spent a solid portion of her life in love with Charlie Khan – the same boy she hung out with when she was a kid. Then high school happens, and their relationship takes a turn for the worse. Vera comes to hate Charlie; however, when Charlie dies in a devastating way, will she be willing to clear his name?

Please Ignore Vera Dietz isn’t an easy read. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Cute. That’s the word I kept coming back to when I read this book. Not pulchritudinous. Not horrendous. Cute.

I guess I expected more from a title and a book jacket that promised an intense and zany romance.  Seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan meets British Yale student Oliver on a plane ride to attend her divorced father’s second wedding. She’s not happy about it, but something about Oliver makes her open up. Within 24 hours they form a close bond and Hadley comes to terms with the dysfunction of her family, as well as the boy who she’s known for less than a day – even when it’s felt like forever. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books