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Currently Browsing: YA Literature
Aug
20

Review: Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Review: Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon Title: Doon Author: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon Reviewer: Ang Rating: A+, 5 Stars What I’m Talking About: Anyone who reads my reviews knows I am a tough grader. It is rare for me give anything higher than a B. I have exacting standards when it comes to books. I want a strong storyline, great characters and most of all I want to be brought into the story. I am the queen of show me, don’t tell me, which was why when I read Doon and found myself completely smitten with it, I was hesitant to turn in my grade. Don’t get me wrong when I turned the last page of this book I was ready to write A A A all over it, but I wanted to be certain it was because the book was, in fact, “A worthy” and not simply because it had been so long since I had read any good YA books.  So I decided to let it marinate for a while, and reread it, before writing this review. After 3 months and 3 readings I can say I am no longer smitten with Doon but completely in love with it and ready and willing to have its kilt wearing, Scottish speaking babies.  So if you will indulge me please allow me to gush. From beginning to end I seriously loved, loved, loved this book. I adored the setting; a magical, almost utopian like, kingdom that only appears every 100 years, count me in, the characters; hottie princes, devoted servants & subjects with a wicked witch whose trying to destroy their world? Fabulous!,  the language; before mentioned yummy princes with a Scottish brogue, yes please,   the humor, insides jokes between besties, a smart maid with a wickedly dry, matter of fact, sense of humor coupled with musical and book references,  perfection!, and this is just the basic overview. Seriously, what’s not to love? Kenna and Vee are fun, smart, witty, relatable characters with the kind of friendship I wish I’d had in a high school friend. Jamie and Duncan are the kind of princes Disney musical revolve around and the wicked witch would give Oz a run for their money. The story is told from both, Kenna and Vee’s points of view, alternating between them a chapter or two at a time. I was worried this would be distracting or feel disjointed, instead I found the approach refreshing and fun, allowing me to experience...
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Aug
2

Review: Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep

Review: Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep Midnight Frost Author: Jennifer Estep  Reviewer: Gikany and Una  Rating: A, 4.5 Stars Here we go again … Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead.  As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there … What We’re Talking About: This is our favorite book in the series so far!  Midnight Frost is the fifth book in the Mythos Academy series.  It follows a brutal battle that ended Crimson Frost, the previous book, with serious ramifications for Gwen. ***Spoiler Alert*** If you haven’t read the previous book, please be warned there are unavoidable spoilers below In young adult novels, Gikany and Una are used to the whining and egocentric nature of the standard heroines.  After having the love of her life, Logan, stab Gwen through the heart… most young adult heroines would lament and whine about how unfair the world is.  We aren’t saying that Gwen didn’t do this, but she did show considerable maturity that wasn’t there before Midnight Frost.  Logan, completely broken over harming Gwen, has left the Academy with no plans to return.  Needless to say, Gwen is devastatingly heartbroken.  She tries to go about her studies but between nightmares of reliving her near death and being unable to reach Logan to talk, she is having a tough time.  However, she doesn’t recede into a ball of teenage angst, she realizes that she must try to move on. In an attempt to move on, she returns to do her normal routine at the Library, but the Reapers will not give her a break.  When they attempt to poison Gwen, someone else is poisoned instead.  The only cure is in a mountain top garden above an academy in Colorado and they all know the Reapers will be waiting for them.  Instead of doing nothing, Gwen and her friends...
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Jul
2

Review: Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep

Review: Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep Spartan Frost Author: Jennifer Estep  Release Date: June 25, 2013 Publisher: Kensington Mythos Academy #4.5 ISBN: #978-0758294777 Genre: Young Adult (Urban Fantasy), novella Format(s): E-book Book Source: Purchased with own funds About the book:      I’m Logan Quinn, the deadliest Spartan warrior at Mythos Academy. At least I was–until the day I almost killed Gwen Frost.      Professor Metis and Nickamedes say that I’m fine, that Loki and the Reapers don’t have a hold on me anymore, but I can’t risk it. I can’t risk hurting Gwen again. So I’m leaving Mythos and going somewhere far, far away.      I know Gwen wonders what’s happening to me, whether I’m safe. I can’t tell her, but this is my story. . . What G & U are talking about:      Gikany and Una have fallen in love with the Mythos Academy series.  We love Gwen and the world she inhabits.  We tend to get completely caught up in the stories and lose all sense of time.   Ms. Estep gives us a treat in this series with Spartan Frost – a short novella that gives us a glimpse into Login-freaking-Quinn’s mind.  If you are a fan of this series, this novella is a must read!      Through this very short novella, we see how torn and broken Logan is over his betrayal of Gwen.  He is still reeling from being tricked by his stepmother and bound and controlled by Loki through a necklace, which causes him to almost kill Gwen – his beloved Gypsy Girl.  Spartan Frost is a bit of an emotional jaunt as we see Logan home with his father – with whom he has a broken relationship.  However, we are given a glimmer of hope at the end.  That is until you read the short snippet from Midnight Frost and become agitated at the peril Gwen finds herself in.  Our only complaint is that it was a novella… and we just wanted more!      If you haven’t started the Mythos Academy series, you are seriously missing out.  This is a series parents can read with their kids (seventh grade and up) or as an adult to enjoy.  They are really just great reads. Their Rating: Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)     Purchase Info: Spartan Frost (Book 4.5) Reviews in the Series: Dark Frost (Book 3) Crimson Frost (Book...
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Jun
30

Review: Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

Review: Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes Viral Nation Author: Shaunta Grimes  Release Date: July 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Trade ISBN: #978-0425265130 Genre: Young Adult (Urban Fantasy) Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed. Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future. When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever. What G & U are talking about: Viral Nation is a new young adult novel in a post-apocalyptic world.  Due to a nasty viral outbreak, populations were decimated; leaving survivors encamped in walled cities.  The cure to the virus that saved the world turns out to be a future drug.  The suppressant was brought back from the future, manufactured by the Company who then started to take over… everything. It is an ominous world that Clover and West live in, although they don’t know it.  This new world is what they grew up in.  Children only attend primary school.  After primary school they either work growing food for the government or they go work for the Company.  If a child is particularly bright, they attend the Academy where, upon graduation, they are able to obtain high-level positions in either the Company or the government.  Life within the...
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Jun
5

Review: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Review: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard The Forgotten Ones Author: Laura Howard Release Date: April 30, 2013 Publisher: self-published Danaan Trilogy #1 Genre: YA Paranormal Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book: Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember. What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity. What G & U are talking about: The Forgotten Ones is the debut novel of Laura Howard. This is the first book in Danaan Trilogy.  We found this novel to have a few of the characteristics we seem to associate as new author issues; however, we did find the premise interesting and promising. The novel begins with our main character, Allison trying to ease her mother during one of her schizophrenic episodes. This sets the tone of Allison’s character. She is completely devoted to her mother, to the point that she neglects not only herself but living. Even though she has a long-standing crush on Ethan, her cousin Nicole’s boyfriend’s brother, she refuses to acknowledge or pursue her feelings even when they seem to be reciprocated. Her sole goal is to be educated so she can care for her mother, nothing else matters. Her plans are derailed when her long lost father, Liam, returns, to see her mother and meets his unknown daughter instead. The interesting mythology is centered on the Fae.  Liam has returned in hopes of curing Beth’s insanity, but Allison refuses to believe him and his crazy stories of the fair folk. Unfortunately she is dragged into this world when her mother goes missing. Allison will sacrifice anything to save her, even herself. One of the issues we had with the writing was that as a first person narrative, the reader is being told what happens one...
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May
28

Review: Fall of Night by Rachel Caine

Review: Fall of Night by Rachel Caine Fall of Night Author: Rachel Caine  Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: NAL The Morganville Vampires #14 ISBN: #978-0451414250 Genre: YA Paranormal Format(s): Hardcover (352 pgs) Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane.        Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.        But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make… What Una is talking about:       Fall of Night is the fourteenth book on the Morganville Vampire series. Ms. Caine has been successful as this series continues, which is no small feat with a long running series. Considering the end of the previous novel, Bitter Blood, I was concerned how Fall of Night would go. I am pleasantly surprised how Claire’s adventure to MIT went and even more intrigued with what awaited her in Morganville.       The love story between Claire and Shane has had its trials and triumphs. However, as Bitter Blood came to a close, Shane’s distrust of Claire was a final straw. With the Founder’s permission, Claire has a one-way ticket to her dream, an independent study at MIT. However, even though Shane has the same permission, Claire refuses to have him accompany her. She needs to see what life is like outside of Morganville and on her own. She has dreamed of attending MIT and pursuing high academic studies. Plus, after all of her time in Morganville, she dreams of a normal life.       Fall of Night begins with Claire leaving Morganville and heading to MIT to see what a normal life is like. However, normal is a matter of opinion, and Claire is a fully assimilated Morganviller.  From the start of her reunion with her BFF from high school to her new professor and boss, Dr. Anderson, Claire is not sure this was the right decision. Between the changes her roommate has...
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Jan
29

Review: Hera Queen of Gods by TD Thomas

Review: Hera Queen of Gods by TD Thomas Hera, Queen of Gods Author: T.D. Thomas  Release Date: Oct. 3, 2012 Goddess Unbound #1 Publisher: Self-published Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Format(s): E-book (536 printed pages) Book Source: Author About the book: Hera couldn’t care less what the other gods think, even when it’s about her. And it often is. Frankly, Hera couldn’t care less about anything, except doing her duty as queen – protecting order and defending the mortal world against any threats. But when the Fates go missing, Hera and a handful of other gods must temporarily become mortal to search the human world for the missing goddesses. Hera finds that mortality begins to change her. It’s not just the loss of her divine powers. She expected that. It’s deeper somehow. It’s affecting how she thinks, how she feels, what’s important to her. And it gets much worse after she meets Justin, who defies every prejudice she once had about mortals. At the worst possible time, and despite all her efforts, Hera’s black-and-white world starts to unravel. Torn between who she’s becoming and who she needs to be in order to fulfill her duty, Hera must survive a horde of murderous creatures sent to exploit her new weakness. In the end, only Hera can stop a traitorous plot conceived by a secret alliance of ancient and new enemies, a plot that threatens to destroy not only the order Hera is sworn to protect, but all of existence itself. What G & U are talking about: Hera, Queen of Gods is the debut novel of T.D. Thomas.  This new young adult series, Goddess Unbound, has some fascinating elements.  However, Gikany and Una felt confused and a bit let down by the end. The Fates are missing, and if you have some basic Greek Mythology knowledge, you’ll understand that it is a serious issue.  To resolve the problem several of the Gods, including Zeus and Hera, come to earth, taking possession of teenage mortals to find and rescue the Fates. It is all very intriguing: blending the impulsive and selfish natures of gods with teenagers seems like an easy thing to do.  However, while the novel reads at what we feel is a younger-age and maturity level, some of the encounters in Hera, Queen of Gods are of a more mature nature.  Greek gods by nature are pleasure seeking, self-absorbed entities with little to no regard for the mortals.  The novel also explores the constant inner struggle Hera has...
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Jan
2

Review: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Review: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep Crimson Frost Author: Jennifer Estep  Release Date: Dec. 24, 2012 Publisher: Kensington Mythos Academy #4 ISBN: #978-0758281463 Genre: Young Adult (urban fantasy) Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.      I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.      I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself… What G & U are talking about:      Crimson Frost is the fourth release in the Mythos Academy series. Gwen is finally at the center of attention, but for all the wrong reasons.  Gikany and Una recommend reading this series from the beginning as many references are made in this novel to previous events. Plus, this is a very well written series, and you should just start from the beginning.      We begin right where Dark Frost ended, with Logan and Gwen on their first date at the coffee shop. However, it is rudely interrupted when the Protectorate, the police of their society, arrive to take Gwen into custody for several charges. The most notable of these charges is the willful release of Loki from his prison.  In Crimson Frost, we follow the trial of Gwen as she tries to clear her name and find out the Reapers’ plan for strengthening Loki.      Although the shocking arrival of the Protectorate is completely out of the blue, Crimson Frost starts a little slowly.  This is partly because the charges against Gwen seem so ridiculous, but also because you don’t out who is responsible for these charges until you are almost halfway through the story.  Despite these issues, it is still a fast and gripping read.  Gikany and Una nearly...
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Dec
6

Review: The Farm by Emily McKay

Review: The Farm by Emily McKay The Farm Author: Emily McKay  Release Date: Dec. 4, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Trade The Farm #1 ISBN: #978-0425257807 Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal) Format(s): Paperback (420 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…       And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.       Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…       Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race… What G & U are talking about:       The Farm is the first book in a new post-apocalyptic young adult series.  From the first page, you will be drawn into the plight of Lily and her sister, Mel.  However, do not base your opinion on the book blurb above…there is so much more to The Farm than it suggests.  This is a young adult novel for the more mature teen, high school age or older.  There are some serious topics discussed and some violence.       The world as we know ended six months prior to the beginning of The Farm, a time conveniently referred to as “Before”.  A pathogen was accidentally released, causing some humans to become mindless blood craving beasts: Ticks.  To protect the last vestiges of humanity, teenagers were gathered up and placed on “farms” for their protection.  However, all is not what it seems.  There is so much more going on than what Lily can fathom.       Although told from predominately Lily’s point of view, The...
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Nov
13

Review: Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine

Review: Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine Bitter Blood Author: Rachel Caine  Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012 Publisher: NAL The Morganville Vampires #13 ISBN: #978-0451238115 Genre: Young Adult, paranormal Format(s): Hardcover (404 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…       Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires.       To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse. What Una is talking about:       Wow.  Wow, just wow.  I am stunned and this review is going to be late because I am speechless.  Bitter Blood is the thirteenth edition in the riveting Morganville Vampires series.  I….I just don’t know whether to be happy or absolutely depressed…anxious, worried, thrilled.  I feel as if I am on pins and needles.  Ms. Caine has delivered a novel that I don’t know really what to say but, if you are fans of the series…you may be supremely stunned.       The town has recovered from several threats over the last twelve books: the blood born vampire illness, Bishop, the Draug, just to name the majors.  However, our fearless foursome was always able to weather the storm…no matter how the painful the learning experience, it brought them together.  But I fear I am getting ahead of myself.        Ms. Caine continues in this novel to give us the point of view of more than just Claire.  Which continues to provide the reader a rich story.  I was especially thrilled to have Myrnin’s POV in Bitter Blood. However, I feel now as if the multiple POV’s were a foreshadowing of what was to transpire in this novel.  That maybe the multiple POV’s will allow some our near and dear to be absent in the future…...
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