Posts tagged with teen-literature

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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Oct 20 2014

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

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This week we're giving away all three books in Gena Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles: Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts. This series is a perfect October comfort read, and would go particularly well with any Halloween candy you might have already purchased... y'know, in case all the stores run out. Our full review will follow later today....

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Oct 13 2014

The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts

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Jeyn Roberts's The Bodies We Wear is the kind of book I normally avoid. I'm not a big fan of gothic melodramas, so I was surprised to discover that this novel spoke to the same part of me that enjoys the Underworld films. The Bodies We Wear might lack vampires and shiny pleather catsuits, but, like Underworld, it takes its goofy gothic premise 100% seriously, and I find that endearing...

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Oct 13 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts. The cover is graced with the tagline "Revenge Will Be Hers" and the plot seems to hinge upon a teen girl's attempt to get even with the people who forced her into drug addiction as a child, so I'm expecting hardcore DRAMA. Our review will be posted later today...

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Sep 29 2014

Mojo, by Tim Tharp

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Last week, I complained at length about a novelist whose characters spoke only in sparkling witticisms. I clearly need to be more careful what I wish for, because the first book I read this week features characters who show all the intellectual prowess of a cheese sandwich...

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Sep 29 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Mojo, by Tim Tharp

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This week's Book Giveaway is Tim Tharp's Mojo, which was originally cursed with incredibly boring cover art. I was pleased to discover that the publishers chose something more eye-catching for the paperback version (and that they finally pointed out that Tharp also wrote The Spectacular Now, which was recently made into a movie), but damage was undoubtedly done...

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Sep 25 2014

Look Out Look Out Look Out...

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This NPR music article makes a very funny (if not totally convincing) argument linking the music of 1960s girl groups like the Shangri-Las to modern YA fiction...

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Sep 24 2014

Unmade: The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken was one of the most promising teen romances I've read in the past decade, with an absolutely phenomenal premise. The sequel, alas, took several steps down in quality, and I'm sad to report that the final book in the trilogy is dumber still...

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Sep 22 2014

The Whispering Skull, by Jonathan Stroud

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The Whispering Skull, the second book in Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series, is just as complex, entertaining, and ghost-stuffed as its predecessor. It has the same faults, too, but they remain happily minor...

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Sep 15 2014

Skink—No Surrender, by Carl Hiaasen

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Much has been made of the fact that Skink—No Surrender is Carl Hiaasen's first book for teenagers, but there isn't much of a difference between this and his books for either adult or child readers. If you're already a fan of Hiaasen's writing, get ready for another installment of Florida-specific weirdness. If you're a teen reader who is unfamiliar with Hiaasen... well, this might be a tougher sell...

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