Posts tagged with teen-literature

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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Nov 24 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Daughter of Xanadu, by Doris Jones Yang

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This week's Book Giveaway is Daughter of Xanadu, by Doris Jones Yang. Judging by the somber cover art, the story won't be a rollicking good time, but I notice the main character shares several characteristics (and a birth year) with Khutulun*, so there might be a happy ending in store...

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Nov 19 2014

Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers

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The first two novels in Robin LaFevers's His Fair Assassin trilogy are intelligent, atmospheric, and jam-packed with historical detail, and the final installment, Mortal Heart, is no different. None of the books have been perfect, but this is still one of the most interesting and ambitious teen series to come out in years...

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Nov 17 2014

Gated, by Amy Christine Parker

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Amy Christine Parker's debut novel Gated occasionally strains credulity, but teen suspense fans are going to absolutely love it. It's engrossing, fast-paced, and about as real-world creepy as YA literature gets...

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Nov 17 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Gated, by Amy Christine Parker

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This week's Book Giveaway is the YA suspense novel Gated, by Amy Christine Parker, which appears to be a novel about a girl growing up in a doomsday cult. (Picking random novels off our to-be-read shelf always leaves me reading the world's cheeriest stuff.) Our review should be up later today...

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Nov 5 2014

Killer Instinct, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Before I launch into the body of my review, I'd like to commend my local chain bookstore for not displaying Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Killer Instinct in the children's section. That's where they originally stocked the first book in the series—last year's The Naturals—and it was a staggeringly inappropriate choice...

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Nov 4 2014

TIGERS!

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According to ComingSoon.net, Shekhar Kapur has signed on to direct a film adaptation of Tiger's Curse, based on Colleen Houck's New York Times-bestselling series of the same name. I've never read these books (I'm sorry, but that cover art totally reads "Updated Lisa Frank" to me), but...

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Nov 3 2014

Lark Rising, by Sandra Waugh

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After last week's horror-story marathon, I've been looking forward to exploring different genres, and Sandra Waugh's Lark Rising totally fits the bill—it's classic high fantasy, complete with glowing orbs, prophetic poetry, and a hand-drawn map featuring names like "The Myr Mountains" and "The Dark Wood"...

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Oct 30 2014

Scored, by Lauren McLaughlin

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My favorite kind of scary stories involve real, everyday things gone horribly wrong, so when I realized the subject matter of Lauren McLaughlin's Scored I was totally stoked. Brace yourself, dear readers: this is a horror novel about student test scores...

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Oct 29 2014

The Turning: What Curiosity Kills, by Helen Ellis

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This might be a stretch, but I'm including a novel about shape-shifting cats in my Halloween read-a-thon. I realize were-kittens aren't quite as threatening as zombies or whatever, but they fall somewhere along the monster spectrum, right? (On, like, the cuter end...

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Oct 28 2014

The memories are still too fresh.

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While I'm picking random horror-themed books off my To-Be-Read shelf this week, zillions of other people are doing Halloween-related book lists, too. My favorite is Jezebel's "SPOOKY SCARY HALLOWEEN YA BOOK CLUB", which has been revisiting the big horror titles of my early 90s youth...

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Oct 27 2014

Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender

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According to her author bio, Katie Alender went to film school, and her love of movies permeates every page of Famous Last Words. I expect there's already a film-adaptation deal in the works, but if not, Hollywood is missing out, because Famous Last Words has everything: ghosts, romance, murders... even a makeover scene. Seriously, it's practically a shopping list for a great teen movie...

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Oct 27 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender

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This week's Book Giveaway is Katie Alender's YA murder mystery Famous Last Words. My original plan had been to focus entirely on horror novels this week, in honor of Halloween, but A) I actually want to read this sucker, and B) there might be a ghost in it...? Anyway, a full review will follow later today...

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Oct 21 2014

Currently experiencing second-hand embarrassment

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And speaking of upcoming movies, Paramount has picked up the rights to first-time author Anna Todd's One Direction fanfic-turned-novel After, which has apparently been a massive success on WattPad. I haven't read this story (because, well, I'm not in the market for One Direction fanfiction), but...

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Oct 20 2014

Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts, by Gena Showalter

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I am a huge Alice in Wonderland nerd, but I've had some bad experiences with Alice-inspired rewrites. (I'm looking at you, Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars. You were abysmal.) After years of buying—and regretting—these novels, I swore off them for good... until I saw a “specially priced” copy of Gena Showalter's Alice in Zombieland at my local Target, and that red-and-white 20% off sticker was enough to overcome my embargo....

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