Monday, August 29, 2016

Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

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Publication date: 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 371
My rating: 4 stars
Ages: 15+

Kol's clan is worried about their future--with no girls of marrying age, there is no way to continue their clan. Then Mya and her clan appear on their beach after five years. Kol is instantly drawn to Mya, but Mya doesn't want anything to do with him. There are secrets from the past that complicate things even more, especially when Lo shows up on their shore. The truth is harder to take than Kol imagined.

This is one of the best books I've read in months! A great debut for Eshbaugh and hopefully a look at good things to come from her.

I was really nervous about this book, being set in "prehistoric" times--I had no idea what that meant. Cavemen? No talking? A simple and naive society? Fortunately, none of my fears came true. Instead, I was introduced to an interesting and complex society, one that seemed almost ideal. There was equality and acceptance, religion and government, even science.

I really liked having Kol be the main character and narrator. Too often we are given male characters who are meant to be tough and "masculine," making them one dimensional. Kol had emotions and complicated feelings. He was influenced by the people around him. I think it's important that we have male characters like that, who aren't persecuted for being that way.

This is also a great, loose, retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

No language or sex.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander

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Publication date: 2016
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pages: 302
My rating: 3.5 star
Ages: 15+

After the death of her best friend, Becca counts the days by how many pages she reads. Becca goes through her days in a haze, but when Max starts to befriend her, the haze starts to clear. The only thing that keeps Becca from truly living her life is the fear that she will lose whoever she lets in. Max helps her open up, but an accident makes Becca wonder if it's worth it.

This was a great look on grief, continuing to live after the death of a loved one, and how we all deal with it differently. Becca is a shy, timid girl who has been hurt and doesn't want to be hurt again. This was something that I could relate to--that I think a lot of people can relate to.

The story is full of ups and downs with friends, family, school, love, and trust. Which is what life is, a series of highs and lows and us learning how to deal with them in a positive and productive way. And knowing that there are people in our life who will help us, and some may only be in it for a short time, but everything we learn from them we should hold close.

There was some strong language.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

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Publication date: 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 249
My rating: 3 stars
Ages: 16+

With the announcement of their favorite comic book writer appearing at New York Comic Con, Graham knows that it will be the perfect time to tell Roxy that he loves her. Unfortunately, the entire weekend seems designed to thwart his efforts.

Anyone who is familiar with geek culture and comic cons will enjoy the pretty accurate depiction in this book. The entire book takes place over one weekend, during New York Comic Con. Throughout the weekend, the characters experience some life highs and lows while experiencing panels, photo ops, and browsing vendor booths and artist alley.

I found the book easy to predict, though the journey to fulfilling my prediction wasn't unenjoyable. Graham's crush got to be a little annoying, though it will probably be relatable to teenagers. It was nice to see that there was more to Graham than just his interest in Roxy, though I think I would have liked to have seen that filled out a bit more.

There was some language.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Never Ever by Sara Saedi

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Publication date: 2016
Publisher: Viking
Pages: 288
My rating:  3 stars
Ages: 14+
Series: Never Ever

On Wylie's seventeenth birthday, she and her brothers sneak out for one last night together and to escape their parents. When Wylie meets a mysterious stranger, she allows them to be swept away to an island where no one ages. But things aren't exactly as they seem and the island has a secret no one will tell.

This was one of those books that I came to the end of and was a little disappointed to discover it was the first of a series. However, I may actually read the second book--the sneak peak at the back seemed promising.

This is a reimagining of Peter Pan, but with darker undertones. These aren't just wild lost boys fighting crazy pirates--this is about children with lost childhoods, with fears that are invisible, and a secret on the island that forces the kids to behave a certain way. Unlike Neverland, this isn't a colorful place with mermaids and fairies.

There is mention of sex off the page and some mild language.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Publication date: 2012
Publisher: Plume
Pages: 323
My rating: 3 stars
Ages: 17+

Lincoln hates his job--most of the time he does nothing and the rest of the time he has to read other people's emails. He's supposed to be sending warnings when emails are used for something other than work, but he gets caught up in the email conversations of two women. Beth and Jennifer are smart and funny, as well as a little irreverent. Lincoln slowly finds himself falling for one of them, but how could he explain that he's read all of their emails?

I have this horrible habit of just skimming over information at the beginning of things in books like letters and emails. You know, things like dates and places, etc. Which means that about two chapters in I was asking "When was this written?! This seems like it was written a while ago!" So I flip to the front of the book and see that it's only been four years. When I flipped back to the next chapter I got a look at the date on the emails: 1999. Which totally made everything make sense.

It was interesting to go back to a time when email had only about been around for everyone for a couple of years, when the Y2K scare was a big deal, and before "social media" was even a thought. I liked Beth and Jennifer--I would have wanted to become their friend if I were reading their emails too. I was never sure about Lincoln, which is strange because he's the main character; I followed him around for a year and I just didn't really learn much about him. In fact, Lincoln seemed a bit stale.

Younger readers may not understand everything going on back in 1999/2000, but that's part of why we have books, right?

There was some language.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.