Posts tagged with teen-literature

Jun 15 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Flirting in Italian, by Lauren Henderson

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After staring long and hard at the book I meant to review today (Laurell K. Hamilton's Dead Ice), I decided to skip it favor of something else. Anything else. I just can't face Laurell this early in the week, particularly not when the book in question seems to kick off on an exceptionally disgusting note, even for her...

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Jun 1 2015

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, by Natalie Standiford

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Natalie Standiford's Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters seems like it's one of the many trashy thrillers out there about wealthy, pretty kids behaving badly, but the plot summary and glossy cover art are misleading. I'm not sure what I could compare this story to, but it's definitely no Gossip Girl rip-off...

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Jun 1 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, by Natalie Standiford

2015-06-01-weekly-book-giveaway-confessions-of-the-sullivan-sisters-by-natalie-standiford

This week's Book Giveaway is Natalie Standiford's 2010 novel Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters. I've always been put off by the generic cover art and the characters' names ("Sassy" is a name for an elderly Shih Tzu, not a human female), but I'm told the story is actually really good. A full review will follow shortly...

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May 18 2015

The Secret Ingredient, by Stewart Lewis

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Stewart Lewis's The Secret Ingredient has a great cover, a great hook, and the foundations of at least two—maybe more—great YA novels. Unfortunately, he seems incapable of delivering on any of that promise, and once again produces a book that is simultaneously overly dramatic and underdeveloped...

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May 18 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Secret Ingredient, by Stewart Lewis

2015-05-18-weekly-book-giveaway-the-secret-ingredient-by-stewart-lewis

This week's Book Giveaway is Stewart Lewis's The Secret Ingredient, which I suspect will hone pretty closely to the tone and style of his first book, You Have Seven Messages. I was underwhelmed by Messages, but...

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May 1 2015

Undertow, by Michael Buckley

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Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm is one of my all-time favorite kids' series. The books have their problems—actually, some really big problems—but they are so funny, romantic, and action-packed that it's easy to overlook their flaws. Buckley's new YA novel Undertow is much darker than his previous books, but...

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Apr 27 2015

Fairest, by Marissa Meyer

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Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles are a sci-fi blend of classic fairytales, Sailor Moon, and modern fantasy/adventure. Meyer has a gift for mashing all of her various inspirations into a seamless whole, but her constant borrowing makes it difficult to judge her books on their own merits...

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Apr 20 2015

Dream a Little Dream, by Kerstin Gier

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Kerstin Gier's new book Dream a Little Dream is finally out (two years after being released in Germany; her translator remains super slow), and it has the exact same strengths and weaknesses as her first series. Once again, Gier has created a fanciful, romantic world that is...

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Apr 20 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dream a Little Dream, by Kerstin Gier

2015-04-20-weekly-book-giveaway-dream-a-little-dream-by-kerstin-gier

This week's Book Giveaway is Kerstin Gier's Dream a Little Dream, the first book in her new 'Silver Trilogy'. I can tell you that things start off well, but so did her last trilogy, and I am still not over the fact that that series ended with the hero and heroine becoming a pair of nearly-married immortals, despite A) still being teenagers, and B) only knowing one another for a couple of weeks...

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Mar 30 2015

The Truth Commission, by Susan Juby

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Susan Juby's The Truth Commission is 60% snappy young adult novel; 40% unexpectedly effective horror story. I really enjoyed the teen stuff, but I'm a little sorry Ms. Juby didn't go full-out on the horror, because this book is proof positive that she can create characters that would leave Stephen King weeping with envy...

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Mar 30 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Truth Commission, by Susan Juby

2015-03-30-weekly-book-giveaway-the-truth-commission-by-susan-juby

This week's Book Giveaway pick is Susan Juby's upcoming novel The Truth Commission. (Please note: we don't ship unreleased books until their official publication date, which in this case is April 14th.) Juby doesn't write a ton of books, but when she does they're awesome, so we're super excited about this release. A full review will follow later today...

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Mar 24 2015

The unwelcome return of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

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And in other movie news, the trailer for the movie adaptation of John Green's Paper Towns recently hit the interwebs. Frankly, I'm even less excited about this than I am about the Little Women movie...

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Mar 2 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Such Sweet Sorrow, by Jenny Trout

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I've had Shakespeare on the brain recently, what with my rage over anyone describing Cymbeline as an "undiscovered masterpiece" (note: I'm not sure which one of those descriptors irritates me more), so this week's Book Giveaway is Jenny Trout's Such Sweet Sorrow, a YA novel about Romeo and Hamlet teaming up in the afterlife to find Juliet. I don't understand why there's a corseted girl with what appears to be a Victorian parasol on the cover, but whatever...

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Feb 25 2015

The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With The Hidden Name, by Skylar Dorset

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Skylar Dorset's novels The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With the Hidden Name are mildly entertaining, thanks mostly to their unusual setting and solid romantic storyline. The series slides right down, but, sadly, there's very little in the way of memorable plot development to keep it from sliding straight back out again...

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Feb 17 2015

Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton

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Arwen Elys Dayton's Seeker feels less like an actual book and more like the novelization of a movie. Admittedly, I would totally watch said movie*, but my film standards are embarrassingly low. I expect more from books—consistent characterization, well-planned plot development, creative world-building—and Seeker falls short on all of these fronts...

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Feb 17 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton

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This week's Book Giveaway is Seeker, the first YA novel by Arwen Elys Dayton. This book is receiving LOADS of hardcore promotion, but readers should note that Dayton, who is married to EarthLink founder Sky Dayton, is something of a celebrity author. I am not saying that Seeker is bad (I haven't even read it yet! Maybe it's great!), but publishing is not always an 100% merit-based industry, and...

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Feb 11 2015

Kill Me Softly and Tear You Apart, by Sarah Cross

2015-02-11-kill-me-softly-and-tear-you-apart-by-sarah-cross

I'm picky about retold fairytales. I get mega-irritated when an author screws up a classic story—I mean, they've already had a huge chunk of the work done for them! Ensuring that their new contribution doesn't suck seems like the least they can do...

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Feb 9 2015

The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

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There's some good stuff in Kate Kae Myers's teen mystery/horror/romance novel The Vanishing Game, but it's one of those unfortunate novels where the whole is considerably less enjoyable than its individual parts...

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Jan 26 2015

All Fall Down, by Ally Carter

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It pains me to say this, but All Fall Down is one of Ally Carter's weaker efforts. I have no doubt things will improve as the series progresses, but so far things are only fair-to-middling on... well, almost every front.

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Jan 26 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: All Fall Down, by Ally Carter

2015-01-26-weekly-book-giveaway-all-fall-down-by-ally-carter

This week we're giving away a copy of All Fall Down, the first book in Ally Carter's Embassy Row series. Carter has yet to write anything that full-on knocks my socks off, but she's one of the most consistently entertaining YA authors we follow, so I'm sincerely looking forward to reading this sucker...

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Jan 14 2015

Autumn Falls, by Bella Thorne (and Elise Allen)

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I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm giving Disney Channel actress Bella Thorne's debut novel Autumn Falls a glowing “Nowhere near as terrible as I thought it would be”. I'm not saying it's actually good, mind you, but I've read way worse...

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Jan 12 2015

Shut Out, by Kody Keplinger

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Kody Keplinger has received a lot of attention for her complicated, thoughtful, sex-positive YA novels. Admittedly, I've only read one of her books, but so far I'm not seeing where this praise is coming from—her 2011 novel Shut Out is neither particularly thoughtful nor complex, and it's only “sex-positive” in the sense that her sexually-active teen characters aren't constantly beset by the pregnancy/marriage/infidelity crises featured on ABC Family shows...

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Jan 12 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Shut Out, by Kody Keplinger

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After last week's over-the-top dramafest, we wanted to offer something cheerier, so our new Book Giveaway is Kody Keplinger's Shut Out. It's loose retelling of the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, with a modern high school setting. Parts of it work surprisingly well... and other (much bigger) parts don't...

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Dec 22 2014

Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

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After reading Stacey Jay's latest novel, I decided it was time to give Lauren Kate another shot. I've complained about Kate's writing before, but Jay's book left me feeling hopeful. Contrary to some previously-held fears, YA writers can improve over time... but, alas, Kate does not seem to be one of them. Actually, I'm worried her books may be getting worse...

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Dec 22 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

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This week we're giving away a copy of Lauren Kate's Waterfall, the sequel to last year's Teardrop, which we complained about at length here. A full review will follow later today, but (SPOILER) we didn't like Waterfall, either, so we strongly encourage our readers to enter this drawing and pick up this book for the only worthwhile price: free...

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Dec 15 2014

Princess of Thorns, by Stacey Jay

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Stacey Jay's first two novels had plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon, and my hopes for her future efforts were not high. Her third book—a sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast—was much more successful, and her latest effort...

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Dec 15 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Princess of Thorns, by Stacey Jay

2014-12-15-weekly-book-giveaway-princess-of-thorns-by-stacey-jay

This week's Book Giveaway is Princess of Thorns, the latest book from popular YA author Stacey Jay. I've complained about every single one of Jay's novels, but her last book was a massive improvement...

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Dec 1 2014

Now That You're Here, by Amy K. Nichols

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Now That You're Here, the debut novel from Amy K. Nichols, has an absolutely gorgeous cover and an intriguing premise. Sadly, the story never quite lives up to the promise of either cover or premise, but it's only the first installment of a two-book series, and I think things might improve...

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Dec 1 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Now That You're Here, by Amy K. Nichols

2014-12-01-weekly-book-giveaway-now-that-youre-here-by-amy-k-nichols

This week's Book Giveaway is a copy of Amy K. Nichols's debut novel Now That You're Here, despite the fact that it involves parallel universes and will almost certainly lead to a lot of grousing from Nathan about iffy science. (To which I say: at least it's not time travel.) The book won't be released until next week, so...

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Nov 24 2014

Daughter of Xanadu, by Dori Jones Yang

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When I picked up Dori Jones Yang's novel Daughter of Xanadu, I was hoping to find a fictionalized version of the story of Khutulun, the most famous Mongolian girl of the era. My expectations were totally off* (they usually are), but Yang's novel has charms of its own...

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