Posts tagged with teen-literature

May 27 2014

Sea of Shadows, by Kelley Armstrong

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According to the author's note at the end of her new book Sea of Shadows, Kelley Armstrong has always wanted to write a full-blown epic fantasy, complete with “swords, sorcery, and the ravenous undead.” I'm a big fan of epic fantasy, zombie stories, and Armstrong's writing, so I figured the resulting novel would be a surefire win...

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May 14 2014

Rebel Belle, by Rachel Hawkins

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Bestselling YA author Rachel Hawkins has a new iron in the fire. Her latest book Rebel Belle is the first installment in a projected trilogy, and thus far I'm pretty excited about it. It's action-packed, wryly funny, and romantic, and as long as it ends on a less irritating note than her Hex Hall series did, Ms. Hawkins should have an enormous hit on her hands...

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May 12 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Rebel Belle, by Rachel Hawkins

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Our current Book Giveaway pick is Rebel Belle, the latest book from YA paranormal romance author Rachel Hawkins. In addition to writing solid action sequences, Ms. Hawkins has a gift for creating dialogue that manages to feel deliciously snappy, rather than annoyingly contrived (ahem, Sarah Rees Brennan), so I'm really looking forward to reading her book...

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May 5 2014

Daughters of the Sea: Hannah, by Kathryn Lasky

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Kathryn Lasky's Daughters of the Sea: Hannah is a stitched-together Frankenstein's monster of a story—an Upstairs, Downstairs domestic drama featuring a mermaid, an evil debutante, and a potentially demonic cat. I realize that sounds insane, but to the author's credit, it slides down more smoothly than you'd think...

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May 5 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Daughters of the Sea: Hannah, by Kathryn Lasky

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It seems I had more books on my to-be-read shelf about mermaids than I thought, including Kathryn Lasky's Daughters of the Sea: Hannah, which we're currently offering as our Weekly Book Giveaway title. It's the first installment of a three book series, so those of you who aren't totally over the whole mermaid-angst thing might want to check it out...

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Apr 28 2014

Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator, by Josh Berk

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I absolutely loved Josh Berk's first novel, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, so my hopes were high for his second, Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator. Like Dark Days, it's a mystery/coming-of-age story told from a convincing teen-boy perspective, complete with bouts of insecurity, an obsession with the opposite sex, and a positive gift for saying the wrong thing...

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Apr 28 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator

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This week we're giving away Josh Berk's novel Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator. I have super-high hopes for this one, as I found Berk's novel The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin impressively creative and endearing. (I was even happier with it when Berk's publishers changed the cover art, and I could stop fretting about it falling into the hands of third graders...

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Apr 21 2014

Meant to Be, by Lauren Morrill

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Like most YA novels that aren't straight-up angstfests, Lauren Morrill's Meant to Be has its fair share of cringe-worthy moments. But if you can disengage your sense of secondhand embarrassment, Morrill's novel is an engaging opposites-attract love story, offering readers a fun alternative to the current overabundance of supernatural romances and dystopian horror stories...

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Mar 24 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Mirk and Midnight Hour, by Jane Nickerson

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This week's Book Giveaway title is The Mirk and Midnight Hour, the second YA novel from Jane Nickerson. Like her first book Strands of Bronze and Gold (which we reviewed here), The Mirk and Midnight Hour is inspired by a not-exactly-Disney-friendly fairytale: the Scottish ballad Tam Lin...

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Mar 18 2014

Season of the Witch, by Mariah Fredericks

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Mariah Fredericks's Season of the Witch hopes for the literary equivalent of having one's cake and eating it too: the author tries to lure in readers with fantasy/horror stuff, but she also wants her story to be taken seriously as a real-world exploration of grief, revenge, and teenage power dynamics. I wish she had committed to one approach or the other, although the resulting mash-up is still remarkably entertaining...

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Mar 18 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Season of the Witch, by Mariah Fredericks

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This week's Book Giveaway is Mariah Fredericks's Season of the Witch, which I'm told is a psychological thriller set in an exclusive New York prep school, not a supernatural romance. (I enjoy the way the cover art is purposefully vague, presumably in an effort to attract both audiences.) Our review will go up later today...

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Mar 10 2014

The Kill Order, by James Dashner

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In 1988, John Christopher wrote When The Tripods Came, a prequel to the Tripods series, his famous 1960s science fiction trilogy. Creepy and deeply weird, When The Tripods Came simultaneously established the post-apocalyptic world featured in the main series and worked as a standalone novel. James Dashner's novel The Kill Order attempts to...

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Mar 10 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Kill Order by James Dashner

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This week's Book Giveaway is James Dashner's The Kill Order, the prequel to his bestselling Maze Runner series. I've never read the Maze Runner books, but I'm choosing to believe that makes me the ideal person to review a prequel (no preconceptions!), rather than, y'know, totally unprepared. My review should go up this evening...

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Mar 3 2014

Chasing Shadows, by Swati Avasthi

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Swati Avashthi's YA novel Chasing Shadows strongly reminded me of a movie that I haven't seen in fifteen years but will never, ever forget: Peter Jackson's 1994 film Heavenly Creatures. Like Heavenly Creatures, Chasing Shadows is an engrossing portrait of the kind of intense, heady friendships that teenagers are capable of—friendships that can be deepened even further by adversity, transforming into something destructive and codependent...

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Mar 3 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Chasing Shadows, by Swati Avasthi

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Swati Avasthi's novel Chasing Shadows. Featuring graphic novel-style illustrations by Craig Phillips, this book uses elements of Hindu myth to "create a gripping portrait of two girls teetering on the edge of grief and insanity." Admittedly, gripping portraits of grief and insanity are usually something I do my best to avoid, but the reviews for this sucker glow like a 100-watt bulb, so I've decided to give it a shot...

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Feb 25 2014

Speak of the wishy-washy devil and he shall appear.

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Hah! I was just referencing Archie's perpetual romantic waffling, and immediately ran across this charming news item: according to MediaBistro, the Archie/Veronica/Betty love triangle is going to be transformed into a series of YA novels...

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Feb 24 2014

The Paladin Prophecy and The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance, by Mark Frost

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The first two books in Mark Frost's Paladin Prophecy series go for the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to storytelling, mashing together fantasy (angels and demons!), science fiction (evil geneticists!), and action/suspense (martial arts smackdowns!) into a frenetic but entertaining literary roller-coaster ride...

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Feb 24 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Paladin Prophecy and The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance, by Mark Frost

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We're offering two books for this week's Book Giveaway: Mark Frost's The Paladin Prophecy and its sequel, The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance. Our full review will go up later today, but here's a mini-take: Anthony Horowitz and Richard Paul Evans should watch their backs, but Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins...

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Feb 20 2014

Love Me, by Rachel Shukert

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Rachel Shukert's YA novel Starstruck was one of my favorite books of 2013. Smart and compulsively readable, it managed to transform the basic plot of Jacqueline Susann's deadly dull Valley of the Dolls into a deliciously juicy soap opera about three girls struggling to make it big during the Golden Age of Hollywood...

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Feb 18 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Glass Casket, by McCormick Templeman

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is McCormick Templeman's The Glass Casket. We wrote a positive review of Ms. Templeman's first book The Little Woods a few years ago—we described it as "sufficiently entertaining to read in a single sitting," but complained about its weak love triangle and the implausible number of SAT words the author sprinkled throughout the text—so my expectations are high...

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Feb 10 2014

Fates, by Lanie Bross

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Lanie Bross's debut novel Fates aims to be an operatic YA paranormal romance, a wild fantasy adventure, and a compelling coming-of-age story, all at the same time and in less than 350 pages. None of it quite succeeds, but props to the author for making the attempt...

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Jan 24 2014

The Naturals, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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We have been enjoying Jennifer Lynn Barnes's books for years—all the way back to 2008's The Squad: Perfect Cover. Her early stories were fun, if shaky, but it's been a pleasure to follow the steady improvement of her work. So many authors have one good (or good-ish) idea and go downhill from there; Barnes is among the few who have sharpened their style with every book...

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Jan 21 2014

Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction: edited by Carrie Ryan

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Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction is a collection of short stories written by a bunch of well-known YA authors and edited by The Forest of Hands and Teeth author Carrie Ryan. Don't let the supernatural-horror cover art fool you: the "predictions" in these stories range from Greek mythology-style prophecies of doom to hopeful signs in lovely teen romances...

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Jan 21 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Foretold, edited by Carrie Ryan

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Foretold, a collection of short stories edited by Carrie Ryan, all of which deal (although some of them pretty distantly) with predictions and prophecies. The cover art looks totally gloomy, but the stories in this collection run the gamut from goofy to romantic to creepy, offering something for a wide variety of readers. I'll post our full review later today...

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Jan 13 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass. I am told I can expect tremendous things from this story, but I keep getting distracted by the shirt the heroine appears to be wearing on the cover. Is that... ribbon? How does it even work? I will ponder this, and post my review later today...

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Jan 7 2014

Palace of Spies, by Sarah Zettel

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We had such high hopes for Palace of Spies, the first book in Sarah Zettel's new YA trilogy. Zettel's writing is consistently solid, she chose an unusual time period for her setting, and she avoided the cover art controversy that has dogged her otherwise-excellent Dust Girl books. The end result, sadly, fell a hair short of our dreams, but let's face it: even Zettel's B-grade work still stands head and shoulders above...

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Jan 6 2014

Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

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In the author's note following her novel Teardrop, Lauren Kate shares the following story: once, when she was crying, her husband reached out and swiped a tear from her cheek, blinking it into his own eye. If that's the kind of thing that strikes you as indescribably romantic, Teardrop is the book for you. If (like me) your reaction hovers somewhere between “Ew” and “...why?”, move right along...

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Jan 6 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Palace of Spies, by Sarah Zettel

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Palace of Spies, the first book in a historical YA series by Dust Girl author Sarah Zettel. Our review will go up tomorrow morning, seeing as we still have to post our thoughts on the Book Giveaway title we featured over our winter break: Lauren Kate's Teardrop...

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Dec 23 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

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Our current Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Teardrop, the first book in a new trilogy from popular YA author Lauren Kate. Her Fallen series was hit-or-miss, but here's hoping she's learned something along the way...

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Dec 18 2013

Sacred and Splendor, by Elana K. Arnold

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Sacred and Splendor, the first two novels from YA author Elana K. Arnold, are ambitious, creative... and totally devoid of editorial judgment or restraint. The books contain a number of intriguing ideas, but the sum total is a hot mess...

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