Posts tagged with teen-literature

Jul 8 2013

The Beautiful and the Cursed, by Page Morgan

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Page Morgan is an ambitious woman. Her debut novel The Beautiful and the Cursed features two heroines, a massive cast, a historical setting, a menagerie of supernatural creatures, and an elaborate mythology centered around gargoyles, which (in Morgan's world, anyway) can be both hideous monsters and ridiculously handsome love interests...

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Jul 8 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Beautiful and the Cursed, by Page Morgan

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This week's book giveaway title is The Beautiful and the Cursed, by Page Morgan. I haven't even cracked this book open yet, but it appears to be a sexy YA supernatural thriller about gargoyles. (Possibly sexy gargoyles, in which case I give the author full points for creativity.) I'll post our review later today...

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Jun 25 2013

Golden Girl, by Sarah Zettel

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Sarah Zettel's novel Dust Girl was one of my favorite books of 2012, which meant I was equally excited and nervous to read Golden Girl, the next book in the series. Middle books in trilogies are tough to get right, so I was thrilled to find that Golden Girl is just as entertaining as its predecessor—and possibly even weirder...

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Jun 24 2013

Belle Epoque, by Elizabeth Ross

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It feels weird to commend someone for an idea that they took from someone else, but that's what I'm doing here: Elizabeth Ross has openly acknowledged that the inspiration for her novel Belle Epoque was taken from an Emile Zola short story, but I give her full props for borrowing with style...

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Jun 4 2013

School Spirits, by Rachel Hawkins

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Slightly more than a year after releasing Spell Bound, the (totally disappointing, it must be said) conclusion to her Hex Hall series, Rachel Hawkins has returned to familiar territory in School Spirits, the first book in a Hex Hall spin-off series devoted to a different branch of the monster-hunting Brannick family...

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Jun 4 2013

How I Lost You, by Janet Gurtler

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In a world overflowing with books about teenagers killing one another, it's always nice to discover a well-written YA novel about normal teen drama—one that limits itself to figurative (rather than literal) back-stabbing. This real-world premise wasn't the only thing we liked about Janet Gurtler's How I Lost You, but it definitely helped...

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Jun 3 2013

How To Lead a Life of Crime, by Kirsten Miller

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Kirsten Miller's How To Lead a Life of Crime is the junior-division version of Catherine Jinks's novel Evil Genius. Both stories are about unhappy boys with a gift for criminal behavior who are approached by shady older dudes offering them a chance to attend schools for budding supervillains, but Jinks's take on the material is far weirder...

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May 13 2013

Manicpixiedreamgirl, by Tom Leveen

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In addition to being saddled with a painfully quirky title that lights up my Spellcheck like a Christmas tree, Tom Leveen’s novel Manicpixiedreamgirl features one of my least favorite YA character types: the wishy-washy teenage male. Leveen’s protagonist is high school student Tyler Darcy, a kid blessed with a long-term (by high school standards) relationship, a supportive family, and a loyal circle of friends. Tyler has literary ambitions, and...

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Apr 30 2013

Strands of Bronze and Gold, by Jane Nickerson

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In case you were wondering, we didn't actually plan on reviewing two books about twisted relationships between hyper-controlling men and vulnerable young girls this week. This pairing was pure serendipity—creepy serendipity, if that's not a contradiction in terms.

Set in the antebellum South, Jane Nickerson's Strands of Bronze and Gold...

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Apr 24 2013

Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly

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I avoid books about the French Revolution (angry mob stories freak me out), reading about time travel (the laws of causality!), or plots that hinge on the deaths of children (...this one is self-explanatory, right?). All three are featured in Jennifer Donnelly's YA novel Revolution, so the fact that I not only finished her book, but even found it reasonably entertaining, is a testament to...

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Apr 19 2013

Bad Taste in Boys and Bad Hair Day, by Carrie Harris

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If someone set out to re-write Scooby Doo as a book series aimed at teenage girls, the result would probably look a lot like Carrie Harris's Kate Grable novels: Bad Taste in Boys and Bad Hair Day. Like Scooby Doo, Harris's stories are cheerful, ridiculous, and teaming with monsters—none of which, of course, turn out to be genuinely supernatural...

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Apr 5 2013

Heart of Glass, by Sasha Gould

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YA author Sasha Gould recently released Heart of Glass, the sequel to last year's well-received historical novel Cross My Heart. I found this installment less interesting than Gould's first, but it was still well-written and solidly researched (and blessed with much less Vegas-y cover art)...

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Mar 27 2013

Banished and Unforsaken, by Sophie Littlefield

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I'm sure most bookstores have filed Sophie Littlefield's novels Banished and Unforsaken with the teen paranormal romances, but that's far from accurate. These books are about a girl who discovers that she has magical healing powers, and is immediately targeted by a series of evil scientists, murderous rednecks, and zombies. She does eventually acquire a boyfriend, but their relationship is never more than a minor plot thread...

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Mar 11 2013

Dark Souls, by Paula Morris

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Paula Morris's novel Dark Souls isn't the best YA paranormal romance I have ever read, but it boasts likeable characters, an intriguing premise, and literally dozens of ghosts, running the gamut from benign to horrifying. Fans of the genre are in for a creepy, history-infused treat...

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Oct 23 2012

MTV hits the books

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The Hollywood Reporter informs me that MTV is attempting to turn Elizabeth Norris's young adult novel Unraveling into a TV drama. According to the article, the book is about a teenage girl "who, after being hit by a car, is convinced she died and that her sexy and mysterious classmate Ben is responsible for her miraculous resuscitation"...

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Sep 25 2012

The Little Woods, by McCormick Templeman

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I was drawn to McCormick Templeman's debut novel The Little Woods as soon as I pulled it out of the publishers' box. The cover art and title managed to be simultaneously elegant, menacing, and teen-girl-friendly, and it appeared to be a murder mystery without a paranormal element—a rare beast, at least as far as YA books are concerned...

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Sep 13 2012

That's where all the fun books are.

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In a not-particularly-shocking bit of news, Publishers Weekly just posted an article about a new study on so-called "Young Adult" books: according to Bowker Market Research, 55% of buyers of YA books are 18 or older...

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Aug 10 2012

Still terrible after all these years

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The fine people at The Hairpin recently posted an interview with Ryan Nerz, a late-90s-era ghostwriter for the Sweet Valley High series. Mr. Nerz offers quite the eye-opening look behind the scenes, let me tell you...

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Jul 26 2012

The Master of Misrule, by Laura Powell

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The Master of Misrule is the sequel to Laura Powell's novel The Game of Triumphs, which we enthusiastically recommended last October. Like The Game of Triumphs, The Master of Misrule is a fast-paced and richly imagined fantasy inspired by the rules of the Tarot...

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Jul 24 2012

Lies Beneath, by Anne Greenwood Brown

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Before I read Anne Greenwood Brown's novel Lies Beneath, I would have assumed that any book about killer mermaids from Wisconsin had to be campy. Ms. Brown's book has proved me wrong; Lies Beneath has its faults (and plenty of 'em), but it takes itself quite seriously...

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Jul 23 2012

Dust Girl, by Sarah Zettel

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Sarah Zettel's Dust Girl has been criticized for its cover art, which several reviewers felt failed to convey an important element of the book—that the heroine is biracial. I wasn't hugely bothered by this, as the character is supposed to be able to “pass” as white and the cover model resembles the book's description, but I do have my own objections to the cover: A) it doesn't do much to evoke the book's Dust Bowl-era setting, and B) it's ridiculously boring...

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Jun 4 2012

Grimness abounds

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NPR has started a new blog devoted to YA literature. It's called "PG-13: Risky Reads", and while I'm not overly impressed by the books they have featured to date (On The Beach, Rubyfruit Jungle, Gone With The Wind, and I Am The Cheese), I'll definitely be checking back to see if their subject matter improves...

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Apr 17 2012

The Calling, by Kelley Armstrong

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The Calling is the second book in Kelley Armstrong's Darkness Rising trilogy, which is in turn loosely connected to her bestselling (and ridiculously enjoyable) Darkest Powers trilogy. The Calling opens moments after the events of the earlier book: shape-shifting teenager Maya Delaney and a handful of her classmates have been bundled into a rescue helicopter after their remote Vancouver Island town is threatened by a forest fire...

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Mar 21 2012

The Gathering Storm, by Robin Bridges

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It always feels weird to complain about a story having too much plot, but sometimes I can't help it: Robin Bridges's novel The Gathering Storm—the first book in a projected trilogy—races along at a breakneck pace, but it would have been improved by more world-building and less straight-up storytelling.

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Feb 27 2012

The Hunger Games meets Cinderella

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Another day, another dystopian YA series.


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Jan 18 2012

Could it really be true?

Will 2012 really bring us a Diablo Cody-penned Sweet Valley High musical? And is the world ready for that much after-school-special-influenced cheese?

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Oct 24 2011

The Game of Triumphs, by Laura Powell

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15-year-old Cat Harper, the orphaned protagonist of Laura Powell's debut novel The Game of Triumphs, is not your typical wide-eyed fantasy heroine. After witnessing a murder, streetwise, pragmati...

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Oct 3 2011

Werewolves on the Titanic!

My e-mail this morning included a promotional note about Claudia Gray's recently-released novel Fateful, which I skimmed with tepid interest. The cover didn't catch my eye, and our "To Be Read" s...

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Jun 16 2011

The Nine Lives of Chloe King hits Hulu

The first episode of ABC Family's The Nine Lives of Chloe King (based on the YA novel by Celia Thompson) is now available on Hulu. Here's the trailer, which looks entertaining enough, if a little...

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Mar 28 2011

Jessica and Elizabeth ride again

This in-depth look at Francine Pascal and her Sweet Valley High books is a fascinating read. (No joke.) My parents never let me read the Sweet Valley books when I was in middle school, and I hav...

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