Tag Archives: Young-adult fiction

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

10 Sep

5thwave

Book One in The 5th Wave series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

This book is one of a kind. Its creepy as hell but incredibly funny and hits you right in the gut. This book defines the word “gripping”. Its like a current in the ocean; you can feel it slowly taking hold of you and then woooosh… You are sucked under and can’t come up for breath until it releases you. Which isn’t until the last sentence of the book.

I think I have an author crush on Rick Yancey. Anyone who can make me love to read a YA novel through the POV of a five year old is gently and lovingly placed on a pedestal in Sydneyland. (Don’t worry, it’s not ALL in Sams POV, you get to see Cassie’s and Zombie’s too.)

He’s got a knack for creating a world that is real, tangible and freaky. (Not gunna lie I had to turn on Honey Boo Boo for an episode because I live by myself and started getting creeped out in the middle of the night reading this…) And then, not only does he add the creep factor into the messed up alien-invaded humanity deprived world, he layers on a delicious frosting of subtle humor that makes this book rocket up into stardom. Let me be clear, this not a comedy, but it is hilarious. I’ve never seen a YA author write humor with such deft hand. The jokes aren’t in your face, but it’s so teen-angsty, shock-induced quips that make me love every single narrator in this book.

Now I am not one for quoting books, but The 5th Wave has some incredibly deep insights that I think everyone should read:

“Cruelty isn’t a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.”

“When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.”

“God doesn’t call the equipped, son. God equips the called. And you have been called.”

“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the human of their humanity”

And my favorite one of all from Miss Cassiopea herself:

“I don’t move. I wait behind my log, terrified. Over the past ten minutes, it’s become such a dear friend, I consider naming it: Howard, my pet log.”

I love Cassie. I love that she’s NOT this badass superhuman pro-tag. She’s a normal girl thrust into a crazy situation and trying to deal with it. She’s not Katniss, she’s me and you and any other normal girl. That’s why I love her. And I love that she loves Bear. Their relationship makes me happy. ❤

New Book Alert: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

15 Aug

As per Goodreads:

Lauren Oliver, bestselling author of the young adultDelirium” series, will publish a book for adults in the fall of 2014.

“As instantly gripping as it was elegantly written,”
the book’s editor, Lee Boudreaux,
told the New York Times of reading “Rooms” for the first time.

Release Date: 2014

 

My Reaction:

So my first though was:

blog

Because this is a big deal!

I am always interested to see how a YA author can transition into the adult genre. Honestly, there are very few who can do it fluidly. But Lauren is a great author and I think she might actually do better as an adult fiction write than a YA author because she’s amazing at creating relatable characters and adults tend to appreciate that art more.

Plus, I am REALLY happy Lauren has so many books in the works right now. Cannot wait to read them allllll

happiness

As this as a To-Read Here

 

 

 

Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

7 May

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Book One in the Fire and Thorns Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

Oh my little lovely book. You’re just a gem of wonderful aren’t you? Yes, yes you are.

After reading a lot of the reviews of this one, it’s pretty hit or miss with folks. People either love it or hate it. And while the beginning was a bit slow, the personal growth that Elisa experiences is infatuating. Who’d a thunk that being kidnapped would end up with the fat little princess being a warrior queen? A MAGICAL WARRIOR QUEEN! GET SOME!

Ok, but for real. This book was good. The writing and the tone Carson uses is lyrical without being overwhelmingly flowery. I like when author’s really take the time to describe the scene and paint the picture in your head. But sometimes it can get to be so much that I get bored and I forget the dialogue that was happening before we walked into whatever area we are in. This book manages the balance well. It brings you into the world without smothering you with it. And the characters were really well done. They have personalities and quirks and aren’t the cookie cutter YA makeups.

Now I have to be honest here and say I struggled a bit at the beginning of this book. Typically YA princesses are young, thin and pretty. It’s super rare to find a chubby pro-tag in a high fantasy young adult book. So it took me some time to understand the character’s way of thinking about food and herself because quite honestly I couldn’t relate, I didn’t understand. But this different point of view is one of the reasons I really like this book and encourage girls to read it. That typical Barbie doll heroine that thinks she’s ugly because she’s self depreciating won’t be found here. This is a real young girl’s struggle with her weight. And no, the whole book is NOT about how big or skinny she is but it’s a theme that is always underlying the major pieces of this plot and it’s beautiful. It’s a unique perspective that I haven’t read in fantasy before and could really resonate with readers.

Elisa’s weight struggle isn’t the only reason why I like her. Although the fact she takes pride her in mental beauty more than her physical beauty is intriguing. I really enjoyed reading Elisa because she’s, well for lack of a better word, human. And she’s brilliant. She’s the type of person that grows wings when the fire starts. Her realistic adaptability and her desire to be good, do good, make good, is breathtaking to read. Elisa doesn’t go from dowdy second born to sorceress queen in one chapter, its a complete journey, confusing, full of rejection and hurt, and full of her passion to over come. Which she does, but not without sacrifice. And although she encounters a lot of pain, she’s resilient in the fact that she does not break. Elisa is the epitome of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. She’s inspiring.

BTWs – this series has some really good novellas. I encourage you to read them!

Splintered by A.G. Howard

27 Feb

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Book One in the Splintered Series

Rating: Three (generous) Stars out of Five Stars

5 Stars for the cover. 4 Stars for the first and last 50 pages. 2 Stars for everything else.

To be completely honest… I read this because of the cover art. Splintered is some legit cover porn. It’s vivid, bright and in your face gorgeous! Every time I picked up the book to read I would drool over it. Stare longingly into her eyes… try to come up with an emotion she’s portraying…. It’s captivating.

With that being said, the actual story left me wanting. The first 50 pages I was instantly drawn in to Alyssa. I immediately understood her emotions and her reactions towards the situation she’s in. There was enough of the old Alice story layered into the beginning of the plot that I was infatuated with how things could play out.

But…. once the incident at the asylum happens with Alyssa’s mom and she trips into Wonderland and begins the real adventure we all expect from this type of book, it’s gone. Buh Bye Alyssa whom I love. Hello typical YA novel. Now, Wonderland spinoffs and rewrites are always interesting and I’ve read my fair share of them (The Looking Glass Wars is pretty awesome). This one intrigued me because of the dark gothic-ness of the story line. While it did have the surreal characters, dark and creepy and fantastical, it was overshadowed by the all the other junk I’ve seen before. Love triangle, 0-60 lovefests in one chapter, self depreciating teen heroine, blah blah blah.

I know that Alyssa has always loved Jeb and so the InstaLove isn’t exactly “instant”, but where’s the awkwardness of transitioning out of friends into a relationship? It goes from brotherly protectiveness to sexified makeout scence and then possesive creepiness. Ummmm awkward much? I didn’t understand the relationship at all, it was so poorly developed. And with the pro-tag being in this weirdly relationship-but-not and having a mistress status, (because um the dude HAS A GRILFRIEND YOU TRAMP) the plot when from fame to lame pretty quick. And gag me with how insecure she is. Weak weak weak! I can’t stand weak characters! And Alyssa, why don’t you want to be with the butterfly? He’s hot and looooves and you guys have matching tattoos! TWINSIES!

The story picks up a little at the end so it was nice to end on a high note. But the lack of character development in the love interest was such a disappointment I don’t really have a desire to read another book of Howard’s. Ever.  Or at least any time soon.

Sad day.

 

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

14 Nov

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Book Two of the Unwind Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

Two weeks later and my mouth is still hanging open from this book. I couldn’t even begin to write this review until now because my mind needed to process the awesomeness that is UnWholly. Neal Shusterman, you are quite the writer of epic books.

My first thought when I closed this book was “Damn, this needs to be read to every high school kid in America.” And then it needs to be mandatory reading for all adults. Seriously, this book is eye opening. It’s incredibly well written with characters you hate and people you love and relationships you become infatuated with. I really think that when my brother and sister and children get old enough to handle the concepts, I will force them to read this.

The most shocking thing about this book is that it’s so possible! With the US becoming so insanely polarized over issues and people’s ruthlessness increasing, I can see that with a few tweaks, our country could turn out like this. And it’s horrifying! It’s like George Orwell’s 1984 for our 2012 culture. Shusterman is saying “Wake up America! Ya’ll are going down a long dark path to Crazyland!”

I encourage everyone to read this. It’s controversial and scary but my oh my will it help you realize what you want out of this world. And that is what makes a great book. I always commend a book that test my morals and ideals. UnWholly will do just that.

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