YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: December 28th 2010
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Bronze star (2/5 stars)

Synopsis: A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with he werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace’s relationship with Daniel is put in danger — in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her — not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

Bree Despain delivers sizzling romance and thrilling action in the heart-pounding sequel to the The Dark Divine.

Review: Having read The Dark Divine, I knew better than to have high expectations for The Lost Saint.

First and foremost, I did not love the first novel, The Dark Divine. While everyone found it amazing and raved about it, I was quite the opposite. It was one of those ‘meh’ kind of books, nothing impressive. The Lost Saint was better than the predecessor but still fell short. It was too cliché and it did not take me long to figure out what was going on. Honestly I can’t say too much without revealing the whole plot because it was so obvious but Grace was clueless (as usual).

Grace was extremely naive in this novel, she began to trust and doubt the wrong people. It seems to be growing increasingly popular to have some sort of conflict in the romance during the second novel of a series. Crescendo, Blue Moon, Ascendant… just to name a few. The whole thing (it wasn’t exactly a romance) with a certain someone was wrong and not to mention implausible. Keeping secrets from your boyfriend and going against his wishes? Tell me how am I suppose to believe Grace was madly in love with Daniel when she started having suspicions about him and sneaking behind his back. Sometimes I wanted to dive into the book and strangle shake her and ask her why she was doing such stupid things.

In the novel I sensed that Despain was trying to add some spunk to Grace to show that she was not a meek character but it gave me the impression that Grace wanted an early death. Her fearlessness came off as stupidity and if anything, further made me despise Grace. Although the mythology in the novel was creative, I would find my eyes occasionally glazing over it, just purely because I couldn’t wait to get to the end.

The writing was stilted and it may be the author’s writing style but it drove me bananas; I didn’t like the short, clipped, repetitive sentences nor did I like the sentences that had too many things going on. What do I mean by that?

I’d been so distracted by my ridiculous clothes, and the prospect of getting mugged and/or solicited by a total stranger, that I hadn’t even paid attention to the architecture around us.

I didn’t understand why the author had to include the part after the hyphen. Is it really necessary?!

The only thing I liked about The Lost Saint was that the plot was more engaging compared to the earlier novel. The urge to find out the truth was the driving force of the novel and ultimately if the plot had not been so exciting, I’d have given up this novel a long time ago. Overall, this is one of the books that everyone else loved but I didn’t. Nothing against the author but I don’t recommend it.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 12th 2010
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4.5/5 stars)

Synopsis: A 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz is the type of book that demands your attention and needs to be read by everyone. It has a wonderful, imperfect narrator, a dead best friend, and incredibly striking prose. In short, I loved it. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is one darn good book. No wonder it’s a 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book.

The prose is compelling and goes hand in hand with the addictive plot. The mystery behind Charlie’s death had me frantically flipping pages; I was so anxious to find out what happened to him. But as the story unfolded, I slowly savored the pages and just went with the flow. I loved how the book had some interesting things like flow charts! That probably sounds boring to you but trust me, they are fun to read! King did an excellent job with the parent figure in this novel. Vera’s single father was present throughout the novel and I thought this novel was a great example of how the parent figure could be developed in a novel. Mr Dietz is definitely one of my favorite parents among all the YA novels I’ve read.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an engrossing, fast-paced, well-written novel that I recommend to all teens. But of course, I’m sure adults will enjoy it just as much. The ending will leave any reader satisfied. Pick up this fantastic book today!

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! Maggie Stiefvater has a treat for all Shiver fans. Why of course it’s an excerpt of Forever! But don’t say I didn’t warn you, it’s a cliff hanger! 😉 Enjoy!

In My Mailbox (61)

It’s time for In My Mailbox again! Hosted by the lovely Story Siren.

Smile for the Camera: A Memoir by Kelle James
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (oh my, this certainly lived up to the hype)
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I absolutely love The Time Traveler’s Wife! Have you read any of the books above? Let me know.

Oh and I’m currently looking for a co-owner so if you are keen, sign up now! 😀

Hi my lovely book bloggers/readers. I am searching for someone to run my book blog with me. If you are interested, fill up the form in the comments.

Rules:
Must be 15 years old and above.
Have interest in YA novels and must read them.
I would prefer if you did not own a book blog.
If you have basic knowledge of HTML and/or XHMTL and/or WordPress it would be better.
You must be able to blog at least twice a week. It can be review or anything book related.

Name:
Age:
Location:
Do you have your own book blog:
If so plz leave your URL:
Do you read Young Adult novels:
How often do you come online:
What are 3 of your favorite YA novels:
Do you know HTML or XHTML:
Are you familiar with WordPress:

I will contact you if you are chosen! 🙂 Sign ups close 7th Feb so hurry! UPDATE: SIGN UPS CLOSE 10th MARCH.

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Publication Date: August 31st 2010
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4/5 stars)
Synopsis: Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

Review: Nevermore is one of the best paranormal novels out there. Usually when we think of paranormal we often think of vampires. But nope, this book has not a single vampire in it. One thing is for sure: this is one book you definitely should check out the next time you are at the bookstore.

Isobel is a fantastic main character, I can’t begin to tell you how much. She’s the head cheerleader but she has a heart. She is not the typical cliché snobby cheerleader which is one of the best aspects of her. She is initially wary of Varen who is the outsider, whom was rumored to “sleep in a coffin”. I understood her intentions; being paired with the loner guy who no one wants to be associated with. But when her friends disapprove of them working together on the project, Isobel feels the need to protect Varen. Isobel was a bit of a mean girl when the book started but like I mentioned above, I understand how you wouldn’t want to be paired together with an outcast.

Varen is the pierced-lip, black-clad guy who is a fan of Edgar Allan Poe. But he has a secret his not telling Isobel. For the most part I liked Varen compared to Isobel’s popular friends who are unfortunately the usual stereotypes. However, Varen and Isobel’s attraction is not one that takes place instantly but over the course of the novel. The romance is quiet but it soon blossoms into a lovely romance that will warm your heart.

I enjoyed reading Nevermore as a big portion of the book took place in school and it’s a change because normally books that took place in school often overlook things like homework. But yes, Isobal and Varen do homework! In terms of length, Nevermore is quite a hefty book but trust me, you will love every second of it! The paranormal aspect was bizarre yet real and it was not very overwhelming.

Despite loving the book, the climax was a bit of a letdown and the ending had a major cliffhanger which obviously to set us up for the next installment — 2012 can’t get here fast enough. I absolutely CANNOT wait for it!

Read an excerpt of chapter one here and if you liked it, get your own copy ASAP!

In My Mailbox (60)

It has been too long since I last did IMM. Don’t look too shock at the list below. They were accumulated over three months. Or so. There are too many books so I won’t be including links to Amazon. 😛

Bought:
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Received:
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Drought by Pam Bachorz

Borrowed:
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh (amazing book!)
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
A Spy in House Y.S. Lee
The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (audiobook)
Other by Karen Kincy
Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bowe
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Confessions of the Sullivan sisters by Natalie Standiford
Winter Longing by Tricia Mills
Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier (Fantastic stories)
The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan (This one was a bit of a disappointment)
Matched by Ally Condie
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (LOVED this)
Rich and Mad by William Nicholson
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
Not That Kind Of Girl by Siobhan Vivian (OMG this one was amazing!)
Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
Elixir by Hilary Duff & Elise Allen
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Read any of the books mentioned above? Thoughts?