Tag Archives: YA

Pawn review

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Pawn by Aimee Carter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pawn is just another YA dystopian novel. If you’re really into this genre then it is worth a read. I read so many great reviews of this novel but for me it just didn’t have that wow factor. In fact, there were several aspects that got on my nerves.

Pawn is set in an American meritocracy where at seventeen, citizens are required to undertake an aptitude test. This test determines their social ranking and job. With shadows of Soylent Green but a little bit more tasteful, overpopulation is curbed by sending the infirmed, elderly and excess children to Elsewhere. The concept of Elsewhere had too many holes for me and it wasn’t really explained well. There is only so much hunting that the politicians can do!

The protagonist, Kitty, has undiagnosed dyslexia. This is why she performs poorly on the aptitude test. If this novel is supposed to be able the inequity in our schooling system and society for people with learning disorders or disabilities – it fall falls dramatically short. It also seems to waver between supporting and destroying the meritocracy. The only strong message was anti monarchy. I’m really confused about what Carter was trying to convey. Most successful dystopian novels have a clear message for society to act upon – I don’t think it was there.

The huge issue I had with Pawn was the title. There were two tacked on references to chess. They really stuck out. If the Harts had actually been a monarchy, perhaps it would have worked better. In my opinion the metaphor of the pawn failed. The other issue I had with this novel was the sheer amount of dialogue. If it is made into a film, the screen writer will have an easy job. I know the old adage of show don’t tell but sometimes paraphrasing can save ten pages!

Some people have really liked this novel. I thought it was ok. I think if you’re a fan of the genre then you should read it and form your own conclusion. I doubt that I will read the rest of the series.

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Touch by Melissa Haag

TouchTouch by Melissa Haag

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book more than I anticipated. I think it is mostly because I was able to respect the characters. Far too often the characters in YA paranormal romances invoke a feeling of envy in the reader because of their romance/appearance/powers/wealth/circumstances etc. This was not the case. The teenagers were sensible and the adults were both loving and flawed.

Touch is about Tessa, a 16 year old who is trapped by a 200 year old family curse. While I call Touch a paranormal romance it is different from most stories in the genre. While the ‘love interest’ propels the plot, there isn’t a ‘fall in love at first sight’ overwhelming romance. I really respect Melissa Haag for this as I think it makes the novel. The complication is that Tessa, as all the women before her, must choose a partner before her 17th birthday. To assist her choice, she catches a glimpse of the future with each potential mate with just a touch. The main catch is that whomever she chooses is cursed to die young.

I want to quickly comment on the cover. While looking at the covers of all the editions, this cover is the most appealing to me. However, after reading the novel this cover is really misleading 😦

What I liked most about Touch is that I was often conflicted about what I wanted for Tessa, the protagonist. I was able to share her indecision as she battled with making decisions that would rule her future and change the lives of her family.

I am really looking forward to reading some of Melissa Haag’s other work.

Touch reminds us that the basis for the strongest relationships is friendship rather than passion.

Happy reading 🙂

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Feed by M. T. Anderson

FeedFeed by M.T. Anderson

3.5 stars

Feed establishes an intricate and believable future world where technology and corporations dictate the lives or Americans while the world’s natural habit is quietly destroyed.

M. T. Anderson successful achieves an integrated vernacular littered with jargon and slang that enhances the narrative rather than distracts from it. Each word in this sociolect is used without the explanation that other authors feel is necessary. The language is easily understood through its use in the context.

The first few chapters had be enthralled. Actually, the first lines peaked my interest: “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.” However, as the story progressed and turned into a more serious commentary on consumerism, technology and environmental destruction, I became less involved.

Even though, Feed is one of those novels that all teenagers should read.

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Great indie read! Memory’s Wake

Memory's WakeMemory’s Wake by Selina Fenech

My rating: 4.5 stars 

Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech exceeded all of my expectations. This is one of the best indie books I have read. Fenech takes an interesting fantasy story and enhances it with her amazing artwork and crafted prose.

The small illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are beautiful. They give Memory’s Wake a fairytale feel. Thankfully the literary devices and the style of prose develop a more complex story that while inclusive of fairytale elements, is a far cry from a clichéd reinterpretation of a fairytale. Memory’s Wake also includes full page plate illustrations. Usually I am not a fan of illustrated novels because I often find that the artist’s interpretation of the characters and mine differs. As the illustrations are by Fenech, who was an artist before she became a writer, the characters are visually represented just as they are in the text. Fenech has created a phenomenal multimodal text.

There are an interesting mix of characters in Memory’s Wake . I’m in an unusual predicament where I can’t decide who my favourite character is. Each of the four focal characters have just enough flaws to make them loveable. Yet each also has his or her own unique quality that makes them special.

Memory’s Wake is a story of lost and hidden identities, betrayal, lies and the desire to uncover the past. It is a must read for all lovers of Young Adult fiction.

I can’t wait to read the second book

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Must listen/read: The False Prince

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

Who are your favourite narrators?

Which books have you stayed up all night to finish?

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish this audiobook. It was worth it! The False Prince was a surprisingly good tale. I had downloaded the audiobook a while ago and I reluctantly put it on one night for lack of anything else to listen to. I will admit that it took me a few chapters to get involved in the story.

The False Prince has the right mix – just enough intrigue, twists, predictability, surprise revelations and cunning plans to keep you engaged and eager to discover what happens next.

Charlie McWade is a brilliant narrator. His interpretation of the characters is brought to life by his dramatisation through the dialogue. He gives each character a voice that represents their personalities and role in the narrative. Often I would forget that I was listening to a narrator and not a cast representation. I also really appreciate it when narrators make you forget that you are listening to someone imitate the opposite sex – Charlie McWade achieved this. My only disappointment is that, according the Goodreads, he has only narrated a few books but I will be putting all of them on my To Listen list.

After my sleepless night, I also pleasantly surprised to discover an additional scene like a secret track on an album. What a fantastic idea! Usually when I finish a book I’m bitterly disappointed either because it is finished and I wanted more or because I had just wasted so many hours of my life. This additional scene was the perfect remedy. The additional scene that was a bit of an origin story was like an after dinner mint with my coffee – I don’t really need it but it makes the end of a meal just a little bit sweeter.

My greatest fear with The False Prince is that I cannot see how the rest of the trilogy could possibly live up to the first installment. Where does Jennifer A. Nielsen have to go with this story?

The False Prince is the thrilling first audiobook in a brand-new trilogy with danger, deceit, and hidden identities that will keep listeners hanging on to the edge of their seats.

From <http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12862980-the-false-prince>
Happy reading 🙂 

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The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second installation in The Raven Cycle will not disappoint Maggie Stiefvater fans. Sometimes the second book in a series is something that needs to endured in order for the story to progress rather than something to be enjoyed. Maggie Stiefvater has overcome this with a really strong subplot that keeps the reader engaged while the search for Glendower continues.

The Dream Thieves focuses on Ronan rather than Gansey, as we learn more about where Chainsaw came from and the Lynch family. “There are three kinds of secrets”and we soon learn that “Ronan Lynch lives with every sort of secret”. In The Raven Boys I didn’t relate to Ronan at all. While he still doesn’t seem as lovable as Blue, Adam, Noah and Gansey; we start to understand the boy behind the angst. Adam’s sacrifice to waken the ley line is taking its toll as he becomes more alienated from his friends and the reader. With Neeve gone, life at 300 Fox Way starts to go back to normal – if there is such a thing as normal for these vivacious women. Blue’s relatives become more involved with helping the boys; even if Calla is still referring to them as ‘the pretty one’, ‘Coca-Cola shirt’ and ‘the snake’.

The Dream Thieves is written in a way that makes you forget that you’re reading as the hours slip away while you fall into the story. A must read for everyone who enjoyed The Raven Boys.

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!
 
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…
 

From http://maggiestiefvater.com/the-raven-boys/the-dream-thieves/

AVAILABLE 17 SEPTEMBER 2013

Happy reading 🙂
 
 

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Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike

Earthbound (Earthbound, #1)Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
My rating: 3.5 stars

By page 3 of Earthbound I was hooked.
By page 300 I thought it was getting a bit ridiculous.

The opening chapter sets the suspense and draws you into the story with  an intriguing premise. Another thing I really liked about this novel was that it portrayed librarians in a new light. I don’t think there are many stories where the love interest is a library intern.

I was surprised at the novel’s resolution. The story came to what I thought would be the natural cliff-hanging resolution but there were a couple of chapters still to come. I think I’ve been reading too much series fiction because I expect frustrating endings that leave me pining for the next installment. Earthbound had a very satisfying resolution. If it doesn’t turn into a series, I won’t be heartbroken but if it does I look forward to reading about Tavia’s next adventure.

Wings is one of my favourite YA novels, so I had high hopes for Earthbound. While there are several parallels between the plot, characters and themes in both books, Wings seemed to create rounder characters and a more detailed world. Most fans of Wings will enjoy reading Earthbound and will find comfort in the comparisons when they slide into this world with its new challenges and love triangle.

Happy reading!

Love, fate, and power collide in this new series by #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike!

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told. Tavia will soon to discover that she alone holds the key to stopping the Reduciata, an evil society that manipulates global events for its own shadowy purposes. But Tavia must make a choice: to come into her own powers and save the world from the evil Reduciata, or choose free will and a love of her own.

This heart-stopping romance, filled with epic stakes and a centuries-long conspiracy, built on a love triangle like you’ve never seen before, will be available from Razorbill on July 30, 2013.

From http://www.aprilynnepike.com/

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