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Posts Tagged ‘young adult’

Mini Reviews Fall 2015 YA Contemporary

Posted by Caitie F on December 18, 2015

Title: We Can Work It Outwe can work
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Pub Date: Jan 27, 2015
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Point
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

When Penny Lane started The Lonely Hearts Club, the goal was simple: to show that girls didn’t need to define themselves by how guys looked at them, and didn’t have to value boyfriends over everything else. But what happens when the girl who never thought she’d date a good guy suddenly finds herself dating a great one? She doesn’tneed a boyfriend . . . but she wants it to work out with this particular boyfriend. And he wants it to work out with her.

Only, things keep getting in the way. Feelings keep getting hurt. Words keep getting misunderstood.

Penny Lane worked hard to declare her independence. Now she needs to figure out what to do with it — and how to balance what she wants with what everyone else wants.

Review:

Elizabeth Eulberg is on my “must buy” list. Her books are just so much fun and have such smart and interesting women in them! This is no different. I was so happy to be back in the world of Penny Lane and all her friends. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it until I opened this book.

Another brilliant book from one of my favorite authors!

Title: Everything, Everythingeverything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Pub Date: Sept 1, 2015
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster

Review:

This book was SO well-written. I was absolutely captivated by every page. This was one of those books that I read on my bus commute, even if it made me feel a little queasy (TMI). It was totally worth it. If you haven’t read it yet, just know that you won’t be able to put it down once you start.

I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t. But if you love books with beautiful writing, characters who jump off the page, and that give you a look into something completely different from what you know, pick this up. I can’t wait to read what Yoon does next. And isn’t that cover stunning?

Title: The Sky is EverywhereSky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Pub Date: Mar 9, 2010
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Dial Books
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding

Review:

How did it take me so long to read this book? It was everything I love – great family and friends, a romance that feels SO real, and a character you is imperfectly amazing. Lennie is everything I look for in a YA character. I loved that dynamic with Toby.

This book is absolute perfection. if you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait another day.

Title: Dumplin’Dumplin
Author: Julie Murphy
Pub Date: September 15, 2015
Hardcover: 375 pages
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Review:

A YA BOOK ABOUT FRIENDSHIP! What more can you ask for? There is a romance, but the real focus is on the friendships. And they are SO great and SO real including the clashing and jealousy sometimes felt.

It is also inspirational without being “this is an inspirational book”. It is funny. It is the kind of book that makes you react, which is what I think we all want in books. Another one you absolutely must read and I hope teenagers are getting their hands on it.

 

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Summer Reading Reviews: Young Adult Fiction

Posted by Caitie F on September 2, 2015

I am doing a series where I review ALL the books I read this summer that weren’t graphic novels, since I already did those. It will be broken up into four posts, that will hopefully all be posted in the next two weeks. Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Fantasy.  The reviews and descriptions will be short.

Title: More Happy Than Notmore happy
Author: Adam Silvera
Hardcover: 304 pages
Pub Date: June 2015
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Review:

Wow. This book is incredible. I read it WAY back in June, right after it came out and I still think back to this book in September. Everything about this book is great: the characters, the plot, the setting, what it says about the world. Everything. If you somehow missed it when it came out, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Title: Where I Belongwhere I
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Paperback: 289 pages
Pub Date: Feb 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

Meet Corrinne. She’s living every girl’s dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . . When Corrinne’s father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she’s stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she’s supposed to be living. She doesn’t care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed.

Review:

This book was a fast summer read. The main character was so annoying at the beginning, but she was supposed to be. I didn’t love the romance in it, but I liked having a main character that felt more realistic. She didn’t change all at once. There were some very big cliches of both city and country life, but all in all it was a fast and fun book.

Title: Bass Ackwards and Belly Upbass
Author: Elizabeth Craft
Hardcover: 386 pages
Pub Date: 2007
Publisher: Poppy
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

Harper, Sophie, and Kate are about to commit the ultimate suburban sin–bailing on college to each pursue their dreams. Middlebury-bound Becca is convinced her friends have gone insane.

Harper is going to be the next Jane Austen. Or Sylvia Plath. Or Plum Sykes. Figuring out which should be easy. It’s living with the lie she told her three best friends that’s going to be hard. Kate doesn’t know exactly what she wants. But whatever it is, she won’t find it at Harvard. Maybe the answer is in Paris, or Athens or anywhere Kate can be someone besides the girl with perfect grades, perfect hair, and the perfect boyfriend. Sophie is a star. She’s already got the looks, the talent, and a list of demands for her dressing room. Now that she’s wrangled a furnished guesthouse in Beverly Hills, it’s only a matter of time before she’s discovered. Becca is dysfunctional. At least, her family is. Which is why she can’t wait to flee the drama and get to college. But Becca’s friends know she needs more than a spot on the Middlebury ski team and a cozy dorm room. They know she needs to fall in love.

Review:

I love books that center around groups of friends like this or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. None of the characters were perfect, but they were all intriguing andI really loved following their stories, especially since they were all after high school, trying to figure out what they are doing next. Looking forward to reading the second book!

Title: Don’t Even Think About Itdon't even
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Hardcover: 336 pages
Pub Date: Mar 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes.

Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

Review:

This was such a fun book to read. I don’t think most authors could pull of a book from different perspectives like this, but Sarah Mlynowski did. It was so creatively written and is a smart, fun YA book. It was the perfect book for summer, but would also work in the back to school season if you are reminiscing about those days. You will be instantly glad you never suddenly could read everyone’s mind.

Title: The Westing Gamewesting
Author: Ellen Raskin
Paperback: 182 pages
Pub Date: 1978
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger – and a possible murderer – to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure: Sam Westing may be dead… but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

Review:

How did I never read this mystery before? It was SO good. I loved everything about it. If you, like me, missed this classic, go get it and read it now.

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YA Mini Reviews in June

Posted by Caitie F on June 6, 2015

I want to share mini reviews for all the books i have read in the past 2 months. I am breaking it into posts based on age level. The first is YA:

Title: The Assassin’s Bladeassassins
Author: Sarah J Maas
Paperback: 430 pages
Pub Date: Jan 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever…

Review:

These novellas are absolutely wonderful Seeing Celaena before the events in the series is amazing. It made me love her – and all of her friends – even more. If you haven’t read this series yet, you need to.

Title: All the Rageall the rage
Author:  Courtney Summers
Hardcover: 321 pages
Pub Date: Apr 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

Review:

This is one of those books that I want every single teenager and parent to read. It is amazingly written and these character will imprint onto your heart. I read this over a month ago and I think about it at least once a week. One of the best YA books iI have ever read.

Title: Saint Anythingsaint anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Hardcover: 432 pages
Pub Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

Review:

Sarah Dessen’s latest is one of the least “Sarah Dessen-y” books she has written, and I don’t mean that as a negative thing. There is a little too much going on, but the main character is absolutely wonderful and it was so easy to jump into her world. It is perfect for everyone who has ever felt like they were invisible as a teenager, something I could really relate to.

Title: Code Name Veritycode name
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Paperback: 441 pages
Pub Date: Feb 2012
Publisher: Egmont
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine – and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France – an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team

Review:

Wow wow wow. This book! I saw all the hype and thought “oh, another WWII historical fiction. meh”. Yeah, this is unlike any WWII historical fiction and is brilliant. IF you haven’t read this yet, read it. I shouldn’t have waited so long.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

More Quick Reviews!

Posted by Caitie F on April 11, 2015

TItle: Behind the Beautiful Foreversbehind
Author: Katherine Boo
Paperback: 288 pages
Pub Date: Feb 2012
Publisher: Random House
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting“ in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter — Annawadi’s “most-everything girl” — will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

Review:

This is not an easy book to read, but it is a great one. It is just narrative nonfiction at its finest. I recommend it to everyone – just go out and read it.

TItle: Love Story love
Author: Jennifer Echols
Paperback: 243
Pub Date: July 2011
Publisher: MTV Books
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

or Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions–it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter. . . . except this story could come true.

Review:

This book was light and fun – at the time, exactly what I was looking for, but it was just okay. I didn’t really get teh appeal of Hunter. He was just meh as a romantic lead. I did love that it took place at college and want to find more books that do. If you want a quick read that will make you smile often, it is worth checking out.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Some YA Mini Reviews

Posted by Caitie F on March 19, 2015

I have so little time, but wanted to get some reviews in!

Title: Heir of Fireheir
Author: Sarah J Maas
Hardcover: 562 pages
Pub Date: Sept 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Mini Review

This series is the absolute best. You should read it if you haven’t. This book is absolutely incredible – it is a little different from the first two, but in the best possible way.I am eagerly waiting for QUEEN OF SHADOWS just like everyone else.

Title: FireFire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Hardcover: 461 pages
Pub Date: Oct 2009
Publisher: Dial Books
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was. (less)

Mini Review:

I read Graceling way back in 2011 and have wanted to read Fire every since then. But I didn’t. I kept putting it off because it was so beautiful and I was crushed by the idea of having such a limited amount of Kristin Cashore books left. I got over it and finally read Fire and I am so glad I did!

Fire is such a complex character. The world building is excellent. All the other characters are just as complex and flawed. The writing is gorgeous. Everything about this book is wonderful. It was a little long, but I really didn’t mind since it meant I got to stay in the world for a little longer.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Mini-Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Posted by Caitie F on March 7, 2015

Title: I Was Here18879761
Author: Gayle Forman
Hardcover: 288 pages
Pub Date: Jan 27, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: ++++

Summary

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

Review:

I will read everything Gayle Forman writes, She is incredibly talented and knows how to tell a story. And this book was no different. I just wanted to write a quick, small review.

I thought this book was amazing. The characters were fully developed, even the side characters. Cody was so realistic. She doesn’t always make the best choices, but no one does. I really wanted her to be able to find some peace and happiness.

With a less amazing writer, the book could have felt preachy or a message book, but this wasn’t either. If you are looking for realistic fiction that deals with things young people actually have to deal with, pick this up.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Posted by Caitie F on February 11, 2015

Title: Crown of Midnight crown
Author: Sarah J Maas
Paperback: 448 pages
Pub Date: Aug 27, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion—yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.

Review:

This book is even better than the first. Why oh why did it take me so long to read this series? I am reading book 3 next, no waiting! I will forever read everything Sarah J Maas every writer.

Her characters are AMAZING. Celaena is officially my favorite heroine in YA. She is ridiculously smart, she could kill you, she loves fiercely, she will do anything for her dog. She is just the best. And her friends and enemies are just as awesome. There are no flat characters in these books (even a door knocker has a strong personality!).

The plot is SO good. There were so many little things put into the first book that are expanded on in this one and it was done expertly. This book could be master class for how to write the second book in a series. It never felt like filler, it never dragged, and it was perfection. I won’t say more because spoilers, but there is some love and some hate.

Read this series. You won’t regret it. Well, unless you hate having feelings because this book will give you ALL of them.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson, Illustrated by Adrian Alphona

Posted by Caitie F on January 23, 2015

Title: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal20898019
Author: G Willow Wilson
Illustrator: Adrian Alphona
Paperback: 120 pages
Pub Date: Oct 30, 2014
Publisher: Marvel
Rating: +++++

Summary:

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, New York!

Review:

My review may not convince you to  read this, but you need to see what Swapna had to say on S Krishna’s Books because she is the one who convinced me to rad this and her review is amazing.

I have wanted to read graphic novels for a long time but have had some mixed luck. I had been hearing about Ms Marvel since it came out. Several of my friends would talk about it every single week there was a new issue and I was super interested. A friend let me borrow their graphic novel and I am hooked.

This is amazing. The art is fantastic, there is so much in the background that adds to the story. And the story – this is a comic for our time. Kamala struggles with identity – she wants to be what she sees as a “normal American teenager” but wants to be a good Muslim.

And she also deals with her new identity as Ms. Marvel. It is a learning process and while she has the best intentions, things don’t always work out. I love that she learns from every mistake and does better the next time. She is smart and an amazing friend. I love that not only do we have a new female superhero, but we have a diverse female superhero, which is so awesome.

I would love to see Marvel use this amazing superhero more. I know I will be reading more and you should check it out if you haven’t..

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End of year mini-reviews

Posted by Caitie F on December 27, 2014

I get a LOT of reading done at the end of the year, I have finished three books in three days, and seeing that they have been days with a lot of activity, that is a lot! I am just going to do mini-reviews (in the order I read the books), since I have a busy next few days!

Title: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories20309175
Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Hardcover: 320 pages
Pub Date: Oct 9, 2014
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES

Review

This is a pretty straight forward book – some of the best YA authors write holiday stories. If you like the authors, you will really like this book. The stories are very different, but are all wonderful. No surprise, my favorite stories were by Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, and Gayle Forman three of my favorite authors. That said, all the stories were great and everyone should read this!

Title: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas16349
Author: Agatha Christie
Paperback: 335 pages
Pub Date: 1938
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads

Motives for Murder:
A fortune in uncut diamonds, hidden by an eccentric old man
A woman’s love, too freely given
A business empire built on ruthlessness

Each of them may have been a motive for the brutal slaying of wealthy old Simeon Lee. Coupled with Lee’s family, each member of which hated him and wished to see him dead, they presented Hercule Poirot with a baffling challenge–one which the astute detective solved only through his uncanny ability to see “the little things.”

Review

If you really like Agatha Christie, you will love this book. It is classic Christie, with quirky characters, a lot of confusion, and as always, some lying and deceit that isn’t about murder. Even though it says Christmas, it isn’t overly Christmas-y, so you can read it anytime of year!

Title: The Marriage Plotmarriage
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Hardcover: 406 pages
Pub Date: Oct 11, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads

It’s the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead suddenly turns up in a seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.

Over the next year, as the members of the triangle graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they have learned. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology laboratory on Cape Cod, but can’t escape the secret responsible for Leonard’s seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love.

Review

This book is very well-written and for that is worth reading. The characters are a little annoying, but in a realistic and human way, which made them fascinating.The book is a little slow at times, but the writing made up for it. There were a couple of anti-feminist rants that made me really dislike the characters, so be warned that it is in there, yet seems ridiculous. Overall, it is a good book, but not up the amazingness of  Middlesex.

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Abhorsen series by Garth Nix

Posted by Caitie F on December 24, 2014

Title: Sabriel, Lireal, Abhorsendownload
Author: Garth Nix
Paperbacks: 364, 527, and 396 pages
Years Publisher: 1995, 2001, 2003
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: +++++

Summary of Sabriel from goodreads:

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.

Review:

If you have not read this series yet, I HIGHLY recommend you head to your library or bookstore and get it right now. It is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read. I will write this review without spoiling things, because I went in knowing very little and enjoyed it more because of it.

The world-building is amazing. From the Old Kingdom to Death, it is all fantastic. When reading it, I felt like I was there and it was amazing. This world is detailed and so creative. Anyone who wants to write fantasy, should read the series just for that.

The characterizations are all really fantastic too. They are all complex and have to make some really hard decisions that readers don’t always agree with, but it makes them better and more full characters. If you are an animal lover, there is something for you too.

I felt like I didn’t just read these books, I devoured them. I put everything down to read. I stayed up late. I ran to the library when my copy was in.

Now that i am done with the original series, I am going to wait a couple months to read the prequel.

This is a great series for both readers and writers if you like fantasy at all. It may be labeled as YA because of the ages of the characters, but it is one of those YA books that would appeal to everyone.

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