YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Archive for September, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Wish by Alexandra Bullen
Release date: January 1st 2010 by Point

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone… until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn’t just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can’t solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

This cover is love in first sight. 🙂 Definitely looking out for this book next year!


In My Mailbox (25) I <3 Tenners!

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea.

Before I share with you what I got this week, I just wanted to say a big huge THANK YOU to the Tenners for contributing in the awesome prizes. Special mention to the amazing Becca Fitzpatrick for the you-know-what. 😉

So I won some awesome swag from the Tenners and I practically screamed when it arrived. I loved all my bookmarks, they are gorgeous and signed! I brought some of them to the bookstore and I told the saleslady about Hush Hush and The Dark Divine. I am pretty sure they are bringing in Hush Hush after telling them how much I loved it. I’ll do my best to spread the word for the other Tenners books next year!

Books I got this week:

I bought … Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins! Finally I get my hands on it. Sadly I can’t read it till I am done with my studying.

I borrowed … Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert and The Comeback by Marlene Perez.

Waiting on Wednesday (13)

Doctors have pinned 16-year-old Drea Horvath with everything from ADHD to Asperger’s Syndrome. She has an obsession with sound design, a tendency to blurt out whatever she’s thinking, and a problem making friends, but likes to think of this as following her own rhythm in a confusing world.

Drea is hesitant to befriend purple-haired Naomi Quinn, her teenage neighbor with a kamikaze personality. But Naomi is the first person to treat her like she isn’t a world class dork. Then there’s Justin Rocca, the sexy and persistent boy in her film class. If she’s learned anything from her mom, it’s that boys are trouble.

When Drea discovers Naomi’s love for drums and Justin’s piano prodigy status, the three form a trip-hop band and a friendship that will challenge everything Drea thought she knew about herself and the world around her.

This cover spells awesomeness. I LOVE IT!

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns…

The sparkly, innocent creatures of lore are a myth. Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. And they can only be killed by virgin descendants of Alexander the Great.

Fortunately, unicorns have been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid Llewelyn has always scoffed at her eccentric mother’s stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend in the woods — thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to prom — Astrid learns that unicorns are real and dangerous, and she has a family legacy to uphold. Her mother packs her off to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters, all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to — perhaps most dangerously of all — her growing attraction to a handsome art student… and a relationship that could jeopardize everything.

Wow! I could not put down this book and despite the fact that I was rather unwell when I read it. From the first chapter, you’d be enchanted by the world of killer unicorns. Rampant possesses a nice mixture of romance, action and adventure. Detailed gruesome battles, heart-pounding action, vivid desciptions of unicorns and fantastic dialogue. It’s no question that Diana Peterfreund is an amazingly talented writer.

Moving on, the unicorn hunters. I pretty much liked everyone except for Grace and Melissende. Both their characters were annoying and frustrated me. Only towards the end when they started to get less annoying. I liked the idea of the unicorns hunters from all over the globe, making the book more multi-cultural. Phil, Astrid’s cousin, was a delightful character with a bubbly personality and instantly likeable. Her snarky comments adds humour to the book.

Though this book is about unicorn hunting, Astrid does not hunt them 24/7 she does have some fun too occasionally. So yes, they do have a little sightseeing in Rome. I liked how there was a good balance of everything. Towards the ending there is a surprising turn of events which will probably surprise readers or they could have guessed it, like me. Astrid’s mom was tolerable at first despite the fact that I disliked her thoughtlessness for her daughter’s feelings. But she became nutty and I lost it. Any ounce sympathy for her was gone. I was so angry about the fact that she was such an irresponsible mother. Readers will eagerly devour Rampant as Astrid fights unicorns and have them at the edge of their seats.

It is highly recommended and this review does not do justice to the book. You will probably enjoy Rampant if you liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins as they both have killing scenes except in Rampant, the characters kill unicorns.

Gold star!

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Hourglass (Evernight, #3) by Claudia Gray
Release date: March 9th 2010 by HarperTeen

Bestselling author Claudia Gray’s Evernight series continues. In Hourglass, Bianca and Lucas have found a way to be together. But it means lying to the people who care about them the most.

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, the elite group of vampire hunters led by Lucas’s stepfather. When Bianca’s close friend—the vampire Balthazar—is captured by Black Cross, Bianca knows she has to do whatever it takes to save him. But at what cost?

Hourglass, the third book in this gripping vampire series by the author of the New York Times bestseller Stargazer, has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s books runaway successes.

If you have seen my review of Evernight, you would know how much I love this series. It is a fantastic series, no kidding. I want it, soooooooo badly.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Oh the irony, while everyone is reviewing Catching Fire, here I am reviewing The Hunger Games.

I picked up this book at the library out of curiousity after hearing many good things about it. It took me some time to get riled up but once I got pass the first three chapters BAM! I was sucked into the story. I returned the book to the library and bought my own copy. I had high expectations for Hunger Games and I would say most of them were met. The pace was steady and there is a build up of suspense. The storyline was extremely well crafted. Katniss is a strong, skillful and clever character which makes her a compelling narrator. She is concerned for the welfare of her loved ones and is a very sensible person. And of course there’s also a love triangle. Cute but I felt that I knew too little about Gale thus I had a hard time choosing between Peeta and Gale.

Readers are told about how dangerous the Hunger Games are, making them aware of how deadly the Games are. Reading this book made me feel as though I was right there, fighting to stay alive. Can you imagine how intense this book was?

At the end you cannot help but find yourself wanting to know what happens to Peeta, Katniss and Gale. There is no doubt about this book being a bestseller. The highly anticipated sequel Catching Fire is in stores now and Suzanne is working on the 3rd book for the trilogy. A truly remarkable read.

Mini rant: This has nothing to do with the book so ignore this if you want. The Hunger Games has been getting a lot of hype here but it concerned me that it was only boys reading it! I saw two different boys purchasing The Hunger Games at different times but it struck me that it was only boys that seem to be reading it. I’m speechless. I know teens in USA, both guys and girls alike, enjoyed the novel. But why is it so few girls know about this book? That frustrates me, a lot. But hopefully once The Hunger Games movie is out, everyone will start reading this fab book.

Gold star!
On top of a gold star, this book falls into a special new category “absolutely HAVE TO READ”. Yes, only the best books are listed here so books listed in this category are very highly recommended by me and absolute have to buy.


In My Mailbox (24)

Hi everyone once again it’s In My Mailbox! In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea.

This week I bought:
Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler (to give away to Book Transfusion!)
When the character actors at Disney World go on strike, the teens hired as replacements learn that it isn’t exactly the Happiest Place on Earth. Ella gets to be Cinderella, simply because the shoe fits. It should be a dream come true, but Ella no longer believes in dreams. Luke is a fur character, Dale the chipmunk. Chip is played by his girlfriend, Cassie, who is perfect in every way. Why, then, does Luke find himself more drawn to imperfect things like the theme park’s Phantom? A team-building scavenger hunt brings Luke and Ella together. As they uncover the Magic Kingdom’s treasures, they discover an undeniable magic between them.

The Dating Game by Natalie Standiford
Meet Madison, Holly, and Lina, the stars of this smart, sexy new series. When The Dating Game web site they create for a sophomore class project is a smash hit, they become the matchmaking masters of their schooland, they hope, their own lives.

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science…and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she’s happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother’s estate.
There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can’t make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship…and reality.
Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?
Read my review of Sea Change!

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
She doesn’t see dead people, but…
She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next…

I tell myself that it is a good thing I don’t have too many books each week as I have to study. I admit, I’m a slacker, my homework is always not done. Whoops!