Monday, November 14, 2016

Review: The Dead Boyfriend

R.L. Stine - The Dead Boyfriend
Published: September 27, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books for St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Horror, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 276
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

R.L. Stine's Fear Street series is back, and in The Dead Boyfriend, he tells the frightening tale of teenage love - and how it can go terribly, murderously wrong.

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Blade, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Blade may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn't care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Blade. When Caitlin approaches Blade with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Blade is dead - and she has killed him.

But if Blade is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party?

Terrifying from the first page to the last, The Dead Boyfriend is a heart-racing young adult novel from the master of teen screams himself.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review: Lucy and Linh

Alice Pung - Lucy and Linh
Published: September 6, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Gilmore Girls meets Fresh Off the Boat in this witty novel about navigating life in private school while remaining true to yourself.

Lucy is a bit of a pushover, but she’s ambitious and smart, and she has just received the opportunity of a lifetime: a scholarship to a prestigious school, and a ticket out of her broken-down suburb. Though she’s worried she will stick out like badly cut bangs among the razor-straight students, she is soon welcomed into the Cabinet, the supremely popular trio who wield influence over classmates and teachers alike.

Linh is blunt, strong-willed, and fearless—everything Lucy once loved about herself. She is also Lucy’s last solid link to her life before private school, but she is growing tired of being eclipsed by the glamour of the Cabinet.

As Lucy floats further away from the world she once knew, her connection to Linh—and to her old life—threatens to snap. Sharp and honest, Alice Pung’s novel examines what it means to grow into the person you want to be without leaving yourself behind.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: The Best Possible Answer

E. Katherine Kottaras - The Best Possible Answer
Published: November 1, 2016 by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

A contemporary YA novel about growing up and learning that loving yourself is more important than trying to be perfect.

AP Exams – check
SAT test – check
College Application – check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for– check

Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan—and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes to a screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review: Iron Cast

Destiny Soria - Iron Cast
Published: October 11, 2016 by Amulet Books
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose "afflicted" blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: The Crown's Game

Evelyn Skye - The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1)
Published: May 17, 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 399
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Review: When The Moon Was Ours

Anna-Marie McLemore - When The Moon Was Ours
Published: October 4, 2016 by Thomas Dunne
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Magical Realism, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5
When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.