Posts tagged with teen-literature

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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Feb 18 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Glass Casket, by McCormick Templeman

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is McCormick Templeman's The Glass Casket. We wrote a positive review of Ms. Templeman's first book The Little Woods a few years ago—we described it as "sufficiently entertaining to read in a single sitting," but complained about its weak love triangle and the implausible number of SAT words the author sprinkled throughout the text—so my expectations are high...

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Feb 10 2014

Fates, by Lanie Bross

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Lanie Bross's debut novel Fates aims to be an operatic YA paranormal romance, a wild fantasy adventure, and a compelling coming-of-age story, all at the same time and in less than 350 pages. None of it quite succeeds, but props to the author for making the attempt...

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Jan 24 2014

The Naturals, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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We have been enjoying Jennifer Lynn Barnes's books for years—all the way back to 2008's The Squad: Perfect Cover. Her early stories were fun, if shaky, but it's been a pleasure to follow the steady improvement of her work. So many authors have one good (or good-ish) idea and go downhill from there; Barnes is among the few who have sharpened their style with every book...

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Jan 21 2014

Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction: edited by Carrie Ryan

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Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction is a collection of short stories written by a bunch of well-known YA authors and edited by The Forest of Hands and Teeth author Carrie Ryan. Don't let the supernatural-horror cover art fool you: the "predictions" in these stories range from Greek mythology-style prophecies of doom to hopeful signs in lovely teen romances...

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Jan 21 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Foretold, edited by Carrie Ryan

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Foretold, a collection of short stories edited by Carrie Ryan, all of which deal (although some of them pretty distantly) with predictions and prophecies. The cover art looks totally gloomy, but the stories in this collection run the gamut from goofy to romantic to creepy, offering something for a wide variety of readers. I'll post our full review later today...

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Jan 13 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass. I am told I can expect tremendous things from this story, but I keep getting distracted by the shirt the heroine appears to be wearing on the cover. Is that... ribbon? How does it even work? I will ponder this, and post my review later today...

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Jan 7 2014

Palace of Spies, by Sarah Zettel

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We had such high hopes for Palace of Spies, the first book in Sarah Zettel's new YA trilogy. Zettel's writing is consistently solid, she chose an unusual time period for her setting, and she avoided the cover art controversy that has dogged her otherwise-excellent Dust Girl books. The end result, sadly, fell a hair short of our dreams, but let's face it: even Zettel's B-grade work still stands head and shoulders above...

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Jan 6 2014

Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

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In the author's note following her novel Teardrop, Lauren Kate shares the following story: once, when she was crying, her husband reached out and swiped a tear from her cheek, blinking it into his own eye. If that's the kind of thing that strikes you as indescribably romantic, Teardrop is the book for you. If (like me) your reaction hovers somewhere between “Ew” and “...why?”, move right along...

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Jan 6 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Palace of Spies, by Sarah Zettel

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Palace of Spies, the first book in a historical YA series by Dust Girl author Sarah Zettel. Our review will go up tomorrow morning, seeing as we still have to post our thoughts on the Book Giveaway title we featured over our winter break: Lauren Kate's Teardrop...

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Dec 23 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

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Our current Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Teardrop, the first book in a new trilogy from popular YA author Lauren Kate. Her Fallen series was hit-or-miss, but here's hoping she's learned something along the way...

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Dec 18 2013

Sacred and Splendor, by Elana K. Arnold

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Sacred and Splendor, the first two novels from YA author Elana K. Arnold, are ambitious, creative... and totally devoid of editorial judgment or restraint. The books contain a number of intriguing ideas, but the sum total is a hot mess...

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Dec 9 2013

Red, by Alison Cherry

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Alison Cherry's debut novel Red has its charms: her heroine is relatable and plausibly flawed, and she has the fun, flowing writing style of a much more experienced author. Unfortunately, the tone of her story kept flip-flopping between campy and realistic, ultimately failing at both...

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Dec 9 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Red, by Alison Cherry

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This week's Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Alison Cherry's Red, which is either an entertaining satire about superficial beauty standards or a questionable (at best) metaphor about racial inequality. I haven't decided which one I think the author was aiming for yet, but I'm hoping to make up my mind before I post our review this afternoon...

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Nov 25 2013

Premeditated, by Josin McQuein

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Josin L. McQuein's Premeditated is the kind of novel that helps teenage mystery fans grow up into adult ones. In addition to featuring a lot of very teen-friendly romantic and familial drama, McQuein sprinkles her text with a series of tantalizing clues that are just tricky enough to make a young reader feel like Sherlock Holmes...

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Aug 13 2013

Touched and Dead River, by Cyn Balog

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Cyn Balog's standalone novels Dead River and Touched are the kind of stories that allow YA readers to dip their toes into the horror genre. They're disturbing enough to send the odd shiver up one's spine, but still guaranteed to come with a safely happy ending, making them an ideal choice for kids who aren't quite ready for, say, Stephen King...

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Aug 7 2013

Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal, by Jennifer Armentrout

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After writing about the upcoming film adaptation of Jennifer Armentrout's sexy-aliens-in-peril Lux series, I requested the first three installments—Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal—from my local library. The books' mega-cheesy cover art was off-putting, but I was hoping the story would deliver some enjoyably soapy Roswell-style goodness...

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Jul 23 2013

Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever., by Caissie St. Onge

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Caissie St. Onge's novel Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. is an entertaining but uneven take on the joys—and many, many sorrows—of life as a blood-sucking perpetual teenager. Jane Jones has been a high school student for decades, but it never gets any easier. Her parents are still ridiculously overprotective (even though Jane is actually ninety-odd years old), she has nothing in common with her human classmates, and her vampire peers despise her for having a blood allergy...

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Jul 23 2013

Could the movie deliver on the HOLY ALIEN HOTNESS?

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The covers for this series crack me up, but obviously someone takes them seriously, because THR says that Sierra Pictures has signed up to produce a film adaptation of Jennifer Armentrout's Obsidian. The book is a YA romance about a 17-year-old girl who discovers that her neighbor is actually a "hot alien" (note: that's from the official publisher's description) with...

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Jul 22 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Paradox, by A.J. Paquette

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This week's book giveaway title is A. J. Paquette's Paradox, which I'd like to think is a YA retelling of the 1990 camp-horror classic Tremors. (Sadly, it probably isn't, although someone should really write that book.) We'll be posting our review later this afternoon...

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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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