Posts tagged with teen-literature

Jun 13 2016

And I Darken, by Kiersten White

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As one might expect from a story about a gender-swapped version of Vlad the Impaler, Kiersten White's And I Darken is heavy on angst and violence. On the other hand, it is also unexpectedly well-researched and thoughtfully constructed—despite the lurid nature of her subject matter, White has written a respectable alternate-history fiction, not the YA equivalent of Dracula Untold...

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Jun 13 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: And I Darken, by Kiersten White

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This week's Book Giveaway is And I Darken, the first installment in a new teen series by Kiersten White. This book is apparently (very) loosely based on the historical events surrounding Vlad the Impaler. I have no idea how a story about a murderous, sadistic, 15th century nutjob will translate into a darkly seductive YA novel, but I'm looking forward to finding out...

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Jun 6 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Julia Vanishes, by Catherine Egan

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This week's Book Giveaway is Julia Vanishes, the first book in Catherine Egan's new Witch's Child trilogy. The plot description—involving magic, orphans, thieves, and serial killers—sounds pretty exciting, so I'm looking forward to reading it. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jun 2 2016

Jumping the gun

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According to Coming Soon, Awesomeness Films is planning a film adaptation of Aaron Starmer's young adult novel Spontaneous. Here's hoping they didn't pay a ton for the rights; the book doesn't come out for another couple of months, and the idea of a story...

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May 23 2016

A Song For Ella Grey, by David Almond

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David Almond's A Song For Ella Grey is a young adult re-telling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in modern-day Northumberland and starring a bunch of small-town emo kids. The story is told from the point of view of a girl named Claire. Claire is obsessively devoted to her friend Ella, but when a mysterious boy with a beautiful singing voice appears, Ella instantly falls in love with him...

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May 23 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Song for Ella Grey, by David Almond

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his week's Book Giveaway is David Almond's young adult novel A Song For Ella Grey. I'm having a bit of trouble imagining how a teen re-telling of Orpheus and Eurydice (which I'm assuming this book is) will work, but that cover art is simply too gorgeous to pass up...

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Apr 11 2016

The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner

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Jeff Zentner's debut book The Serpent King reminds me of a teen-friendly version of Grace Metalious's infamous novel Peyton Place. Both stories feature small-town settings, twisted family lives, and dark secrets, but Zentner's book is approximately 1,000,000 times better-written...

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Apr 11 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner

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This week's Book Giveaway is Jeff Zentner's debut novel The Serpent King, which I chose based on its attractively gritty cover art and my mother's recommendation. (She has a terrible habit of reading the last chapter of books first, and assures me that Mr. Zentner's book ends really well.) A full review will follow later today...

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Mar 21 2016

The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman

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Reading Alison Goodman's new YA novel The Dark Days Club is a bit like eating a ten course meal: the individual elements were delicious, but eventually I found myself too full to properly appreciate them...

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Mar 21 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman

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This week's Book Giveaway is Alison Goodman's new YA novel The Dark Days Club. Goodman is the author of the brilliant Eon and Eona, so my hopes for this book are sky-high. Admittedly, the story loses a few points for the blurb on the back that proclaims it "Not your mother's Regency romance!" (a phrase that always strikes me as ageist and sexist; my mother is a badass and so is her taste in Regency romances), but...

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Mar 3 2016

The ABC's of Kissing Boys, by Tina Ferraro

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If Beth Reekles's The Kissing Booth had been written by an actual adult, it probably would have resembled Tina Ferraro's The ABC's of Kissing Boys. The two books have a lot in common, but Ferraro's novel is smarter, more substantial, and infinitely less cheesy...

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Feb 22 2016

Raging Sea, by Michael Buckley

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The horror in Michael Buckley's Undertow trilogy is largely evoked via ghastly migrant camps, bigoted politicians, and intense racism. These books should have been deliciously pulpy YA sci-fi/fantasy, but considering the current political climate, large portions of them feel uncomfortably realistic...

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Feb 22 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Raging Sea, by Michael Buckley

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This week's Book Giveaway is Michael Buckley's Raging Sea, the second book in his Undertow trilogy. I gave the first book in the series a very positive review last year (good sign), but I find that I don't actually remember much of it (bad sign). I'm clearly going to need to refresh my memory, but my hopes for this middle installment are high...

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Jan 6 2016

Autumn's Kiss, by Bella Thorne (and Elise Allen)

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Once again, I am staggered to find myself endorsing a novel “written” by teen actress Bella Thorne (along with co-author Elise Allen, whose name only appears in teeny-tiny font on the title page). This is totally damning with faint praise, but Autumn's Kiss, the sequel to...

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Jan 4 2016

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

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Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is the third collaboration between YA authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Once again, Cohn and Levithan have chosen to write about bored, too-clever teenagers, and—also once again—their story constantly veers between adorable and irritating as hell...

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Jan 4 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

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One of my 2016 resolutions is to make a visible dent in the massive Wordcandy slush pile. I'm pretty good about getting rid of books we're never going to review (depressing memoirs, anything about eating disorders, and sequels to earlier books that we never received go right out the door, for example), but that still leaves hundreds of books...

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Nov 16 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: These Shallow Graves, by Jennifer Donnelly

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This week's Book Giveaway is Jennifer Donnelly's These Shallow Graves. Somewhat to my chagrin, it seems that this is not a book about zombie prom-goers*, but instead a combination of "dark mystery" and historically-accurate depiction of the Gilded Age. A full review will follow shortly...

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Oct 19 2015

The Masked Truth, by Kelley Armstrong

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Kelley Armstrong's standalone novel The Masked Truth is the YA version of the movie Speed: instantly absorbing, action-packed, and blessed with Grade-A chemistry between its two leads...

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Oct 19 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Masked Truth, by Kelley Armstrong

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This week's Book Giveaway is Kelley Armstrong's The Masked Truth, which, if my eyes do not deceive me, is actually a standalone. This earns the book several points before I've even read it, because I don't have the patience to sit through another Armstrong series. Our review will follow later today...

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Sep 8 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Silver Eve, by Sandra Waugh

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This week's Book Giveaway is Sandra Waugh's Silver Eve, the sequel to last year's excellent Lark Rising. I'm still a little sad this book will shift the focus to a new heroine, but I'm hoping I'll like her just as well...

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Aug 31 2015

Reawakened, by Colleen Houck

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Several people have compared Colleen Houck's new novel Reawakened to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books. Both are aimed at younger teens, feature a mixture of human and demigod characters, and rely on a lot of PG-13 action sequences to push their plots along. Unfortunately, Reawakened doesn't share Riordan's greatest strength: his ability to create relatable characters, no matter how over-the-top their abilities or adventures...

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Aug 31 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Reawakened, by Colleen Houck

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This week's Book Giveaway is Colleen Houck's novel Reawakened, the first novel in a "multibook series". (Note: this means I have no idea how long we'll have to wait for actual plot resolution. Sorry!) Reviewers keep favorably comparing Reawakened to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, so I'm excited. A full review will follow later today...

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Aug 17 2015

Goodbye Stranger, by Rebecca Stead

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This is going to sound a little random, but Rebecca Stead's Goodbye Stranger reminds me of a young-reader take on Jennifer Crusie's wonderful romance novel Bet Me. Both books focus on the various forms of love (familial, platonic, romantic), and both are simultaneously incredibly sweet and unexpectedly profound...

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Jul 20 2015

The Diviners, by Libba Bray

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Libba Bray's books remind me of cheesecake—good cheesecake, sure, but the basic kind without bittersweet chocolate or lime zest or whatever. Her writing is always rich, carefully crafted, and satisfying, but despite her many excellent qualities, it's just not that memorable...

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Jul 20 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Diviners, by Libba Bray

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In the spirit of summer vacation, this week's Book Giveaway pick is Libba Bray's The Diviners. I was looking for something both satisfyingly hefty and sufficiently entertaining to offset my other beach reading choice—a book about the plague outbreak in the 14th century. At 608 presumably Black-Death-free pages, Ms. Bray's book seems like just the ticket. A review will follow shortly...

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Jul 6 2015

Ink and Bone: The Great Library, by Rachel Caine

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Rachel Caine's new book Ink and Bone: The Great Library is set in an alternate universe where the world is (unofficially) ruled by the Great Library of Alexandria, a ruthless organization that controls all access to knowledge. Caine's protagonist is sixteen-year-old Jess Brightwell, the son of a successful book smuggler...

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Jul 6 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine

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This week's Book Giveaway is Rachel Caine's Ink and Bone: The Great Library, which blends a fantastic idea—an alternate universe in which the Great Library of Alexandria has survived for centuries—with some tried-and-true dystopian teen-lit trappings. A full review will follow shortly (I'm on chapter three), but so far, so good...

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Jun 22 2015

And Then Everything Unraveled, by Jennifer Sturman

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I feel like I've been complaining about this a lot recently, but seriously, authors: if your book is a series installment, you need to make that clear from the start. I really liked Jennifer Sturman's debut YA novel And Then Everything Unraveled, but I was not best pleased to discover that it was only half of a story...

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Jun 22 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: And Then Everything Unraveled, by Jennifer Sturman

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This week's Book Giveaway is Jennifer Sturman's 2009 novel And Then Everything Unraveled, which comes highly recommended by Meg Cabot, who claims "Jennifer Sturman's YA debut is a delight. You'll love [the heroine], and watching her come unraveled is pure fun." I'm putting my trust in you, Meg. Our review will follow shortly...

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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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