YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Archive for March, 2010

Stephenie Meyer to release new Twilight Saga novella!

This has been the talk to Twitter yesterday. Everyone is buzzing about this new novel. It is cool of S.M. to allow the book to be available online! *Cheers*

Here’s the official press release:





NEW YORK, NY (March 30, 2010) – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, a division of Hachette Book Group, has announced today that it will release the first new title from Stephenie Meyer in nearly two years. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a novella told from the point of view of Bree, a character originally featured in Eclipse. The novella (at 192 pages) will be released at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, June 5, 2010 in hardcover for $13.99 with a first printing of 1.5 million copies. One dollar for each book sold in the US from the first printing will be donated to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which supports disaster relief efforts such as those in Haiti and Chile.*

“I’m as surprised as anyone about this novella,” said Stephenie Meyer. “When I began working on it in 2005, it was simply an exercise to help me examine the other side of Eclipse, which I was editing at the time. I thought it might end up as a short story that I could include on my website. Then, when work started on The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide, I thought the Guide would be a good fit for my Bree story. However, the story grew longer than I anticipated, until it was too long to fit into the Guide.”

As a special thank you to fans, Meyer is giving them exclusive access to the novel on a dedicated website, www.breetanner.com, from June 7 to July 5, 2010 where fans from around the world will be able to read the book online in English. “I’d always considered The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner as something for the fans,” said Meyer. “They have been so supportive of all things Twilight.”

Visitors to the dedicated site will also find a link to the American Red Cross website (www.redcross.org), where they can make a donation and learn more about their relief efforts worldwide. “I have been moved by the generous outpouring of support for the recent crises in Haiti and Chile,” said Meyer. “I am glad that sales of this book will support the American Red Cross with their amazing efforts abroad.”

“Fans have been waiting with bated breath for a new book from Stephenie,” said Megan Tingley, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. “We are doubly thrilled to be giving them the opportunity to read this exciting new work as well as contribute to an important cause at the same time.”

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is the riveting story of Bree Tanner, a newborn vampire first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the world she inhabits. The novella chronicles the newborn vampire army’s journey as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

The character Bree not only features prominently in the book Eclipse, but in the upcoming movie from Summit Entertainment. “Stephenie was gracious enough to let me read a draft of the novella while we were prepping the movie The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” said Director David Slade. “I thoroughly enjoyed the story and it gave us great insight and inspired location choices and the tailoring of scenes. I think fans are going to love the fascinating details involved in the loves, fears and actions of an emerging vampire.”

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner will also be available as an ebook beginning at 6:00 a.m. EST on June 5, 2010. Additionally, more information about the previously announced The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide, including publication date, will be released by the end of the year.

In less than five years, Stephenie Meyer has become a worldwide publishing phenomenon. The Twilight Saga’s translation rights have been sold in nearly 50 countries and 100 million copies have been sold worldwide.

Waiting on Wednesday (36)

When I found out that Kirsten Miller was writing a new book, my heart skipped a beat. I remember reading Kiki Strike many years ago and I recall loving it!! 🙂 Very highly recommended! Middle graders will love it too. Well, this August, Miller is back with The Eternal Ones.

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
Release date: August 24th 2010 by Razorbill

What if love refused to die?

Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

I have seen mixed reviews for this but I am still very excited for it. Are you eagerly anticipating this book too? Let me know!

Stopping Time by Melissa Marr available for download at HT!

I have some exciting news for Melissa Marr fans! The original sequel to INK EXCHANGE can be found in a eBook format for free on the HarperTeen website. It is legitimate, you won’t break any laws by downloading the eBook on the HarperTeen website!

What are you waiting for? Head over to the HarperTeen website now!

Friendly reminder, only a few hours left to enter to win RADIANT SHADOWS! I currently only have 117 email subscribers which means there might not be a second winner because I don’t have 150 subscribers. 😦

So tweet about it to get more people subscribing via email!

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Publication Date: February 9th 2010
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4.25/5 stars)

Synopsis: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own–scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family’s (very crooked) history.

Update: I apologize for the grammatical errors, I was half awake when I typed the review.

Every time I try to write a review for this book, I can’t seem to find the right words for it. So I decided to sum up this entire I will use one word. Brilliant. Compared to the Gallagher Girls, I prefer Heist Society for numerous reasons but mostly because I liked the writing, Carter impressed me with her skillful writing in her latest novel, it was not the least bit disconnecting. The book started off a little shaky as there seemed to be a lot happening at once and it was a little hard to keep track. But I quickly understood Katarina’s situation and how her world exists and works. There was a little bit of everything, a dash of romance, suspense, mystery and moments that had me on the edge of my seat, nervously biting my nails. Once I understood the plot, the book moved at a fast-pace and I flew through the pages.

Katarina is such a likable and engaging character even though her family aren’t exactly the most honest people in the world. Katarina is one of those characters who you will almost never find yourself in the same position as her and yet you will still be able to relate to her emotions. She’s intelligent, brave, full of wit, and self-reliant. Not those hopeless female protagonists who need a knight in shining armor to rescue them. Kat is not the only shining star of the novel, she is followed by some very quirky unique secondary characters who were just as fun to read about. The dialogue and scenes between the characters were believable and not forced. Hale is… perfect. Whenever he’s in the room, he seemed to ease the tension between the characters. Even though his perfection seemed a little over-the-top to me, I still found him totally adorable and charming!

Heist Society was a whirlwind of adventure and mystery. While reading, I was simultaneously trying to figure out who was the mastermind behind this whole operation. Together with a cast of memorable characters, this is one book that will stay in your mind long after you read it. There was never a dull moment in this book! Carter left no loose ends untied, the ending resolved nicely and this is not a book which ends abruptly. I have some good news, this will be part of a series, (can you tell how excited I am?!), and there will be a sequel!

Heist Society was a splendid read, if you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you go and purchase it now. Heist Society is a book that is not to be missed!

(In case you’re wondering why this review seems shorter than my other reviews, it is because I have lots of praises for this book and only one minor problem.)

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

Today’s edition will be special. I will be showcasing some newly released covers together with some that have been out for a while already (…do you consider the Mockingjay cover old news?).

Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink
Release date: August 1st 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she’ll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister’s role in the prophecy, and that’s not the only thing she wants: There’s also Lia’s boyfriend James.

Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn’t know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing.

Soo excited! Michelle Zink’s series is definitely an addictive one.

Torment (Fallen, #2) by Lauren Kate
Release date: September 28th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Sequel to Fallen. No official synopsis found.

Even though I’m not too in love with Fallen, I adore the cover! Gorgeous! It takes my breath away.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Release date: August 24th 2010 by Scholastic Press


Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Um, I don’t think I have to explain why I want this book SO BADLY right? 😛

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2) by James Dashner
Release date: October 2010

The sequel to The Maze Runner. Scheduled for release in October 2010. No synopsis yet.

Oh my, I cannot wait for this sequel! The Maze Runner was amazing, I hope this one will be just as good. From the cover, I’m guessing the sequel will take place in a desert or some ancient lost city?

That’s all. I’ll be posting more next Wednesday! What are your thoughts on the covers?

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Publisher: Viking Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 7th 2010
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Silver star (3.95/5 stars)
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.

Review: The one thing I love the most about The Secret Year is that it is told in a guy’s POV. I have a strange liking for books told in guy’s POV. No joke. Beautiful Creatures, Flash Burnout, Going Bovine, etc! Needless to say, I was very excited to read this book.

Colt’s voice drew me in from the very first line; his anguish and emotions were very realistic. Hubbard has written a thought-provoking, heartbreaking and hopeful novel. How do you get over someone who was never really yours to begin with? That was the question that stayed in my mind the whole time I was reading this book.

I admit I was expecting Colt to discover something unexpected, something that would alter this life, but it did not come. But please don’t let what I just said deter you from reading this book. I still enjoyed the book, Hubbard did a great job writing from a guy’s POV. Colt’s dilemmas feel real to the reader, and I must say it was so easy for me to get lost in the characters.

The part that irked me the most was that Julia just did not seem convincing enough. The ‘love’ Colt and Julia shared was not strong enough to convince me. I found myself disliking Julia because she was only using Colt. Julia disgusted me. I do understand that sometimes it’s hard to breakup with your boyfriend but still I’m appalled by Julia.

Another tiny thing that irked me was that the book was too short! I need more characterization. It was like Hubbard was in a hurry to get to the end. I wished the characters were given a chance to develop more. While some people had problems with the ending, I found it a good closure. If it had been a traditional “happy” ending, it would have ruined the book for me.

This is a book I will hand over to anyone who is grieving and wants a book that they can relate to. You don’t have to actually have a secret affair to be able to relate to Colt. But I must emphasis, The Secret Year is much more than just a grief story; it is about embracing the past, accepting reality, moving on and letting go. You will enjoy this book if you liked Hold Still by Nina LaCour, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott.

Diana Peterfreund on A Favorite “Lost” YA Book

The last guest blog for the month of March. I meant to post this yesterday but did not have the time to. Diana Peterfreund is the author of Rampant and the Secret Society Girl series. Enjoy!

One of my favorite books that I read when I was younger was called A GIRL OF THE LIMBERLOST, by Gene Stratton Porter. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Often, when I get into conversations with fellow lovers of L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) I bring it up. Crickets. Only once was I successful, and that was because I was talking to a girl from Indiana, a state that apparently counts Stratton Porter—who aside from being an author was also a naturalist photographer and wetlands conservationist—as one of their hometown heroes.

Why haven’t more people read this book? It’s about this awesome girl named Elnora Comstock who rises above neglect and abuse on the country farm where she was raised, goes to high school and college (which she pays for herself by collecting, cataloging, and selling moth and plant specimens in the nearby Limberlost swamp), teaches herself to play the violin, reconciles with her embittered mother, and romances a rich young man from Chicago who comes to the country to recover from “brain fever.” Oh, and there are endless descriptions of marvelous food and fabulous frocks. My goodness, but there are pretty frocks in this book. One is even designed to look like a particularly gorgeous moth. Except it’s worn by the villain. Whatever.

This book ignited my love for historical novels, especially depicting the Gilded Age of America. Now, whenever I read one of the Anna Godbersen books, I think to myself, wouldn’t it be awesome if Diana Holland went off to collect some moths just like Elnora Comstock? (And then made eeeeeeevil Penelope wear a dress she designed at a ball she gives for Henry? Just saying.) And if you were a fan of the later “Anne” books, where Anne goes off to college and engages in all manner of romantic entanglements, you’ll love A Girl of the Limberlost as well.

Food and frocks and family secrets and wetlands conservation, people. Check it out.