Posts tagged with teen-literature

Jul 21 2014

The Fire Wish, by Amber Lough

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My hopes were high when I picked up Amber Lough's debut novel The Fire Wish. I'm officially over books about mermaids, witches, and/or dystopian contests, and it seemed to me that a YA take on the material covered in Arabian Nights might be just the ticket to get me excited about the huge pile of teen books looming on my to-be-read shelf again. Things didn't work out quite like I'd hoped, but sincere props to Ms. Lough for originality...

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Jul 21 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Fire Wish, by Amber Lough

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Amber Lough's debut novel The Fire Wish. I have no idea if the story's any good, but I'm pleased to see an Arabian Nights-inspired teen fantasy novel (and a little surprised I haven't been sent more of them, frankly). You'd think the gorgeous clothes alone would have been enough to attract more YA authors' interest...

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Jul 9 2014

Mortal Danger, by Ann Aguirre

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I have trouble imagining the pitch for Ann Aguirre's new novel Mortal Danger. ”It's like a supernatural Revenge, but in high school, and the heroine is suicidal... but there's a really hot guy in it! And a makeover scene! But also tons of people die.” The end result melds together better than I expected, but there's no denying that some of those elements work better than others...

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Jul 3 2014

RIP, Walter Dean Myers

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Critically acclaimed YA author Walter Dean Myers died this week at the age of 76. Myers (whose motto was apparently "Reading is not optional") served as the 2012/2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and campaigned tirelessly against the extreme racial imbalance featured in children' literature...

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Jul 1 2014

Enterprising!

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According to the Huffington Post, the Amsterdam bench featured in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars has gone missing, but before any European-bound mega-fans demand a refund for their plane tickets, city spokesman Stephan van der Hoek has promised the city will correct the situation...

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Jun 25 2014

Bad Luck Girl, by Sarah Zettel

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I was thrilled to receive my review copy of Sarah Zettel's Bad Luck Girl, the final book in her American Fairy Trilogy. Zettel had already produced two exceptionally creative, intelligent installments for this series (Dust Girl and Golden Girl), so I was crossing my fingers for a truly spectacular finish...

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Jun 17 2014

The Lovely and the Lost, by Page Morgan

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Page Morgan's The Lovely and the Lost is the second novel in her Dispossessed series. I found her first installment, The Beautiful and the Cursed, a little over-ambitious, but fans of Morgan's elaborate mythology and huge cast will be pleased to hear that her second book is just as jam-packed as the first...

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Jun 9 2014

We Are The Goldens, by Dana Reinhardt

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Reading Dana Reinhardt's We Are The Goldens is an exercise in appreciating process rather than product. It's thoughtful and well-written, but if you're hoping for a tidy, satisfying conclusion you're doomed to disappointment...

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Jun 9 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: We Are The Goldens, by Dana Reinhardt

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The cover art makes it look a bit like an after-school special in book form, but I'm gonna give the story a shot anyway: this week we're giving away a copy of Dana Reinhardt's We Are the Goldens. Our review should be up soon(ish)...

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Jun 2 2014

Hexed, by Michelle Krys

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The publisher's introduction for Michelle Krys's debut novel Hexed describes the story as “Bring it On meets The Craft”, and they're not lying: this book is uncannily like a late-90s teen movie—snarky, satisfying, and (it must be said) frequently totally ridiculous...

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Jun 2 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Hexed, by Michelle Krys

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Michelle Krys's novel Hexed. The publisher describes it as "Bring it On meets The Craft", which (in my eyes, at least) answers the question of what age group YA fiction is actually written for, because those movies are fourteen and eighteen years old, respectively. Clearly "Young Adult" fiction is squarely aimed at 32-year-olds...

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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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