YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Posts tagged ‘book reviews’

Purge by Sarah Littman

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

Wow. I have never read a book about a blulimic girl’s life in the hospital. It was very interesting learning about Janie’s feelings whenever she pukes. Janie is a Barfer (bulimic), that means she loves to eat food but throws up after that. There are the Starvers (anorexics) who hate eating and would do anything to avoid meals. From reading this book, I learnt that there are guys who are anorexic too! I have never known that. Remember, anorexia is not a ‘chick’s disease’. Janie’s character was well developed and I could relate to her. Her dad was irritating at times but somehow his character changed towards the end. Janie’s mom was portrayed as a weak women who depended a lot on other people. But I suppose that’s how Sarah wants her to be. I was relieved that Kelsey still care for Janie because it must be very hard if your best friend was ignoring you and you were suffering. Sarah wrote the story in such a way that she doesn’t say what happened during the wedding all at once. It’s divided out throughout the book which is good.

Purge is a very well written book on a girl’s road to recovery. Definitely recommended. Ages 13 and up (there is some sexual content).

Here’s something I found interesting (taken from Sarah’s website ): As a recovered bulimic myself, I feel very passionate about this story. I spent way too much of my life hating my body, and even though I’m about 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was a teenager, I like myself much better than when I had a “better” figure. It wasn’t an easy journey to get where I am today, but it certainly was a worthwhile one.

Part of the inspiration for the novel came from finding this picture of myself at 14. Looking at this picture as my forty-something year-old self, I thought, “Wow, I had a good figure.” But I still remember how I felt when I was the fourteen-year old girl in that picture. How I thought I was fat…and ugly.

Looking at the picture made me sad. Sad for my 14 year old self. Sad for all the other girls – and guys – who look in the mirror and hate what they see.

Order Purge now on Amazon.


Project Sweet Life by Brent Hartinger

For most kids, fifteen is the year of the optional summer job: Sure, you can get a job if you really want one, but it isn’t required or anything. Too bad Dave’s dad doesn’t agree! Instead of enjoying long days of biking, swimming, and sitting around, Dave and his two best friends are being forced by their fathers into a summer of hard labor.

The friends have something else in mind, though: Not only will they not work over the summer, but they’re determined to trick everyone into believing they really do have jobs. So what if the lifeguard doesn’t have a tan or the fast-food worker isn’t bringing home buckets of free chicken? There’s only one problem: Dave’s dad wants evidence that his son is actually bringing in money. And that means Dave, Curtis, and Victor will have to get some . . . without breaking the law and without doing any work!

Project Sweet Life is designed for the funny and lazy bone in all of us—a true comedy of errors (without any effort!) from seasoned storyteller Brent Hartinger.

I really really loved this book. At first, it seemed like a guy book because of the cover. But you know what they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover! I’m so glad I picked up this book. I thought I knew what would happen next, the boys would end up spending all summer trying to find ways not to work and would not have any fun. I was kind of right and wrong too, the boys did have fun! But what I did not expect was for the boys to be stakingout, find themselves trying to solve bank robberies, walking through tunnels and solving a mystery. It was so much fun reading the book. I recommend reading this book on a Saturday morning because once you read, you can’t stop until you reach the end! The story was very well written, you never know what to expect next. Did I mention that this book is extremely funny too? Everyone should read Project Sweet Life. If you loved Paper Towns by John Green, I’m sure you will love this book too.

Order Project Sweet Life now at Barnes & Noble.

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

It's Zombietastic!

It's Zombietastic!

Quiet, unpopular, non-cheerleading Mia is blissfully happy. She is dating super hot football god Rob, and he actually likes her and asked her to prom! Enter Samantha—cheerleading goddess and miss popularity— who starts making a move for Rob. With prom in a few days, Mia needs to act fast. So she turns to her best friend, Candice, and decides to do a love spell on Rob.

Unfortunately, she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class, making herself their leader! At first she is flattered that everyone is treating her like a queen. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up, because in a few days, Mia will be the first course in their new diet. She’s sure she and Chase can figure something out, but she suggests that no one wear white to prom, because things could get very messy.

Whenever I think of zombies I think of this book and Amanda. I blame that on Amanda. She mentions zombies all the time in her blogs and now I have finally read her new release. Horray! Because you are such a great person I shall go easy on you. I’m kidding. I treat all reviews fairly. No bias reviews, muahahaha. Before I start my review, I shall let ya know my mom commented that the black dress on the cover is similar to the one I wore to my graduation dance three years ago (which I can still fit in!).

Zombie Queen of Newbury High is not a gory horror book, I was reading it at 1AM in the morning but I wasn’t scared at all. In fact sometimes I was laughing. In the beginning, we see how being so madly in love can make you do crazy things, like buy a love potion from a old women who “looks like she was shipped over on the Mayflower” (quote from pg 16) and then find out that everyone has become zombies! So Mia and Chase go on a adventure to put a stop to this before it’s too late. Hey Amanda guess what? Zombie Queen of Newbury High is my fave zombie book! (But well, this is the only zombie book I’ve ever read.)

My only problem with the book was that it was too predictable! I even predicted the twist at the end. But don’t let that stop you from reading the book! It is still excellent. Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a delicious zombie book with a wonderful characters (who I wonder if they taste as good as they are). Not to be missed!

Visit Amanda Ashby on her blog. Order Zombie Queen now at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne

Thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris is no string bean, but comfy sweatpants and a daily chocolate cookie suit her just fine. Her under-the-radar lifestyle could have continued too, if her aunt hadn’t entered her in the HuskyPeach Modeling Challenge. To get out of it, she’s forced to launch Operation Skinny Celeste-because, after all, a thin girl can’t be a fat model! What Celeste never imagined was that losing weight would help her gain a backbone … or that all she needed to shine was a spotlight.

A hilarious debut featuring friendship, family, mean girls and even celebrity crushes, Celeste’s story is a delicious treat that doesn’t add a pound.

Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies was a light fast paced novel. Unlike the other books I’ve read on modeling (Violet On The Runway), this book was not as deep and serious. It had some hilarious dialogues and there are times you can totally relate to Celeste. I like how there was some internal dialogue between Celeste and Red Bathing Suit Women (you have to read to find out what I mean). The friendship between Sandra and Celeste was predictable. I didn’t like Sandra as a friend. Fair weather friends are never good friends.

I totally love it when at the end Sandra wasn’t entirely forgiven and they didn’t become BFFs again. If they did I swear I would throw my book out of the window.


The plot was cliche but it was still enjoyable. This book isn’t those type of New York city models kind of book. So don’t expect it to be all glamourous and scandalous. Preteens and teens will enjoy it.

Read Sarah Maclean’s review on Amazon.

Don’t miss out the book discussion for the Gallagher Girls series.
Join us! It will be great fun!

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

At first, I did not have very high expectations for this book. I was afraid I would be disappointed by it. But I liked Evermore more than I expected! 🙂 The story was interesting, the characters were awesome, especially Riley. I love her the most. The story was fast paced but I was able to put it down and listen to my teacher in class. I enjoyed reading about the Halloween party, I didn’t expect it. But I do wished Ever treated Ava better. Ava seemed like a nice person who could help Ever. Overall I am looking forward to read Blue Moon in August. Please note that this book has smiliarities to Twilight. Fans of fantasy stories will enjoy this book.

Visit Alyson Noel on her website. Order Evermore now at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

3 Willows by Ann Brashares

Polly has an idea that she can’t stop thinking about, one that involves changing a few things about herself. She’s setting her sights on a more glamorous life, but it’s going to take all of her focus. At least that way she won’t have to watch her friends moving so far ahead.

Jo is spending the summer at her family’s beach house, working as a bus girl and bonding with the older, cooler girls she’ll see at high school come September. She didn’t count on a brief fling with a cute boy changing her entire summer. Or feeling embarrassed by her middle school friends. And she didn’t count on her family at all. . .

Ama is not an outdoorsy girl. She wanted to be at an academic camp, doing research in an air-conditioned library, earning A’s. Instead her summer scholarship lands her on a wilderness trip full of flirting teenagers, blisters, impossible hiking trails, and a sad lack of hair products.

It is a new summer. And a new sisterhood. Come grow with them.

What do I have to say? This is Ann Brashares! Her books are wonderful and the 3 Willows is not an exception. The characters were terrific. Each had great personalities and flaws. One thing I like about the girls is that they are not perfect. This novel addresses real life issues that many girls face each and every day.

Words cannot describe how much I loved this book. I want more, seriously. I’m praying that there will be a sequel to this new sisterhood. =D Listen reader, yes you, if you love books on friendship, love, and learning to forgive, you will fall in love with this book. Ann Brashares has created heart-warming, clever, engaging, enjoyable young adult novel that has important life lessons. This is the type of book that stays in your mind for a very long time.

Gold star!

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

If Phoebe Castro can keep her grades up and have another stellar cross-country season, her dream of attending USC with her best friends is only a track scholarship away. She’s made all her plans, so it’s a complete shock when her mom announces she’s marrying a mysterious stranger and moving them half-way around the world—to Greece.

Phoebe’s stuck on a secret island in the Aegean attending the super-exclusive Academy, where her new stepfather is the headmaster and the kids are anything but your average students—they are descendants of the Greek gods, super powers included. That’s right, Greek gods are no myth! If Phoebe thought high school was hard, she knows this is going to be mortal misery.

Securing that scholarship seems like Phoebe’s only ticket out of Greece, but training and maintaining her grades will be grueling, even without a sabotaging stepsister from Hades and a gorgeous guy—what a god!—who just might be her Achilles heel. One thing is for sure—summoning the will to win and find her place among the gods could be Phoebe’s toughest course yet.

The Greek gods get a makeover in this romantic odyssey of mythic proportion.

The story is part “Harry Potter,” part Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief and part shojo, and it will keep teens, particularly girls, reading. — School Library Journal I totally agree!

Oh. My. Gods. was amazing. The story has Greek myths together with some modern day aspects. The characters were enjoyable and all had different distinct personalities. The storyline was good and I liked how it wasn’t predictable! I didn’t know what to expect. I laughed many times while read O.M.G.This book was very addictive. I just had to know more. I craved for more. Luckily, there is still more to the series. The sequel is Goddess Boot Camp which will be out June 11, 2009. According to the interview I did with TLC, Goddess Boot Camp will be set in the following summer and Damian and Valerie are headed off on their honeymoon, leaving Phoebe and Stella home alone. There’s more yummy Griffin, kick-butt Nicole, and sweet Troy. And, yes, even more Adara. This time there’s also a little more adventure in the story, both at Phoebe’s Boot Camp and in the form of anonymous messages about her Dad.

TLC is also working on another book, Forgive My Fins (out Summer 2010) the story of a half-mermaid princess attending high school on the mainland and the adventure that ensues when she accidentally kisses the wrong boy.

To sum up my feelings for Oh. My. Gods., it was fantastic. The book was just so darn good. If you were planning on reading Oh. My. Gods., I hoped this review convinced you to read it! You will love it