Friday, August 21, 2015

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I  really, really, really wanted to love daughter loved it, *a lot* of people on Amazon loved it, reviewers loved, just meh.  I felt like it was the Hunger Games mixed with the Selection, with a smattering of other YA dystopian novels thrown in.  To be fair though, I listened to this on audible and HATED the narrator, that could have clouded my judgement.  It is another YA
series and I probably will check out the next one because, ya know, I have to know who she ends up with (not sure if that is technically a spoiler...)

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow lives in a world where one's lot in life is determined by the color of one's blood. She was born a Red and has to make a living by pickpocketing and trying to dodge "the conscription" and being sent off to fight an ongoing war. Mare's resigned herself to the fact that she'll always serve the Silver, a genetically gifted group of people with supernatural abilities. A chance encounter with the prince causes Mare to suddenly find herself at the royal palace as a servant, where she discovers in front of everyone that she also has a unique gift. She is Red and Silver, and could be just the spark the Reds need to rise up against the oppressive Silvers. The king and queen quickly cover up Mare's anomaly by presenting her to the rest of the Silvers as a long-lost princess and betroth her to their second-born son. Now Mare is torn between playing the part of a Silver, and helping out the Scarlet Guard rebellion. The story has touches of the usual dystopian suspects. However, it's formulaic elements are far outweighed by the breakneck pace and engaging characters. There's a bit of teen romance, but luckily the characters are self-aware enough to realize its frivolity among the story's more important plot points. A solid debut from Aveyard and a welcome addition to the plethora of speculative teen lit.—Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, OH

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Lan

I am going to make a very bold statement:  this, hands down, is my favorite YA series...boom.  I cannot adequately convey into words how much I love this series and in particular this last book.  Her writing is a beautiful combination of prose and poetry, without being stuffy and inaccessible.  There were so many paragraphs I wanted to highlight and memorize forever.  And the characters, all the characters, are so beautifully developed, I loved each of them so deeply that I have to remind myself that I don't actually know them (and don't even get me started on Zuzana and Mik...possibly my favorite literary couple of all time).  I listened to the audio book for this last installation, which was *wonderful*.  There were times while I was driving that tears were streaming down my face...sometimes sad tears and sometimes happy tears.  I am left with the best kind of literary which leaves me just a little heartbroken that it is over.

Book Description via Amazon
An Amazon Best Young Adult Book of the Month, April 2014: Author Laini Taylor’s immense talent for storytelling is once again evident from the first beautifully crafted sentences of Dreams of Gods & Monsters, the third book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. For this final leg of the story, Taylor doesn’t wait around to get the action going--the book starts out with an army of white-robed angels appearing in broad daylight, seen by television crews, an awestruck public, and a young scientist named Eliza. Eliza, we come to realize, is also a new main character narrating from the fresh perspective of an outside observer. Twists and revelations pop up from beginning to end, along with facets of the earlier novels that thrilled me to see again. Dreams of Gods & Monsters continues Taylor’s nuanced treatment of light versus dark, good versus evil, friend versus foe, and is everything I could want in the last of book of an already beloved trilogy. --Seira Wilson

Friday, August 7, 2015

Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah

This is a super cute, super light, beach read.  Reading this made me happy that I met my husband and got married before the age of texts and facebook and instagram (phew).  I read it in literally 2 hours...definitely one to borrow from the library, not buy.

Book Description via Amazon

A charming novel about falling in love (or like) in the digital age—the never-before-seen full story.
Madeline and Elliot meet at a New York City restaurant opening. Flirtation—online—ensues. A romance, potentially eternal, possibly doomed, begins.
And, like most things in life today, their early exchanges are available to be scrutinized and interpreted by well-intentioned friends who are a mere click away.
Madeline and Elliot's relationship unfolds through a series of thrilling, confounding, and funny exchanges with each other, and, of course, with their best friends and dubious confidants (Emily and David). The result is a brand-new kind of modern romantic comedy, in format, in content, and even in creation—the authors exchanged e-mails in real time, blind to each other's side conversations. You will nod in appreciation and roll your eyes in recognition; you'll learn a thing or two about how the other half approaches a new relationship . . . and you will cheer for an unexpected ending that just might restore your faith in falling in love, twenty-first-century style.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

This is the second book I have read by Beatriz Williams, and the second one I have LOVED!!!  This is equal parts mystery, historical fiction  and romance... and swoon worthy romance at that!  The history part I sadly knew nothing about, the Hurricane of 1938 which killed 600 people in the New England area ( read this:  If you like historical fiction this is a great read.

From Booklist

Dashing football hero Nick Greenwald is catapulted into the rarified milieu of Park Avenue penthouses and Ivy League campuses in the uncertain days of the Great Depression when he falls in love with Lily Dane. The meeker (though more polished), moral, and beautiful best friend of Zeldaesque flapper Budgie Byrne, Lily is immediately smitten with Nick’s determination and strength, an attraction the manipulative Budgie doesn’t encourage, though she doesn’t necessarily discourage it, either. After all, Nick is Jewish, and Budgie is confident that Lily’s socially conservative family will never condone the match. They don’t, and Budgie profits from the rift, marrying Nick on the rebound, while Lily nurses her broken heart. Seven years later, the Greenwalds turn up at Seaview, Rhode Island, the perennial summer enclave for the Danes, Byrnes, and other WASP stalwarts, and their renewed presence in Lily’s life unleashes a storm of unexpected consequences. Williams’ sweeping saga of betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption trenchantly examines the often duplicitous nature of female friendships and family expectations. --Carol Haggas