Monthly Archives: January 2014

YA Book Review- The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Here’s a romance review from guest reviewer, Sophia!

“The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler is not what it sounds like- even though one of the four Hernandez sisters, Lourdes, was dumped by one of the Vargas brothers during her Prom night and another Vargas called off a wedding with Mari Hernandez within a few weeks of each other. Years have passed and then it is Jude Hernandez’s turn to start up a relationship with Johnny, the youngest of the Vargas heart-breakers. This only happens because Johnny is fixing up a very old motorcycle for her dad in the Hernandez’s garage. This means that Johnny has the whole summer to prove to Jude that he is the same or everything incomparable to his older brothers. Along the way, Jude learns to accept her father’s genetically transferable disease and Johnny learns to let go of his loss. Were Jude’s older sisters really wrong about the Vargas family?”

book of broken

YA Book Review- Sky On Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne

The last time we saw the Monument 14, they were trapped inside superstore Greenway after a chemical weapons plant exploded and devastated their town. Half of these kids, aged 6 to 17, decide to revive the school bus that landed them in the store and find help and safety at the Denver International Airport. The other half decide to stay, because the chemicals in the air affect their blood type in a way that makes them raving, violent monsters. This story is broken up between the perspectives of two brothers: Alex, 13, determined to find their parents and save the day, and Dean, 16, who stays behind to protect the girl he loves and some of the younger children. The children who take the bus discover exactly how horrific the outside world has become. They do encounter other people along the way, but most of them are enemies that deplete their supplies and leave them to die. In the Greenway things are not very safe, either- the building is attached by outsiders who are desperate to survive. Who will make it?

This fast-paced thriller is the sequel to Monument 14, and the story does not slow down at all from the first book. Gruesome at times and heart-wrenching at others, this book is a great novel for anyone who likes to read a book straight through while sitting at the edge of their seat!

sky on fire

YA Book Review- The Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci

Enjoy another review from guest reviewer Sophia!

“The Year of the Beast by Cecil Castellucci and Nate Powell has no happy ending. Tessa is going to be able to go to the carnival this time WITHOUT her parents but with Celina, her best friend, and her sister too. Yes! There are boys, especially Charlie who is Tessa’s long term crush. Tessa painfully watches as Charlie is taken away from her by her younger sister Lulu. Now Tessa’s self esteem is destroyed! She feels she has to get back at her sister, until the cute weirdo Jasper grabs Tessa’s attention, leading to the day she and Lulu both drown in a river. Tessa is brought back to life by Jasper but no one could find Lulu’s body. After the funeral for Lulu and when school starts, Charlie seems to be more like a big brother now than ever before, just what Tessa needs. Jasper, the boy Tessa really loved, goes to a boarding school to get away from Tessa. But a HUGE plot twist exposes the true driving force behind these events, and it’s not what you would expect.”

This novel is presented in both prose and comic format, which makes it a really unique find!

year of the beasts

YA Book Review- ManicPixieDreamGirl by Tom Leveen

Everyone has a first love. For Ty Darcy, his first love is not the same girl as his first girlfriend. Ever since he lays his eyes on Becky Webb freshman year, he is hopelessly devoted to her. He loves her unconditionally, despite the fact that he has a wonderful girlfriend named Sydney, or that he hears awful rumors about Becky, or that he’s barely ever spoken to her. His friends think he’s an idiot, writing story after story about all of the scenarios where he imagines he and Becky will finally be together. His wise older sister also tries to tell him he’s making a mistake, pining after a mysterious girl with a bad reputation when he has perfect Sydney already. Perhaps it’s the stubbornness of a teenaged boy, or maybe the idyllic image of Becky he has conjured, but either way Ty is not letting go of his dream girl- even when he starts to see the awful home life that seems to be the driving force behind all of her rumored bad behavior. Will he ever get the girl?

For those readers who don’t mind their romances a little unresolved, this book seems to capture the essence of navigating around your first heart’s desire. Leveen has created a really believable character in Ty, who is a good balance of flawed and sensitive. Hand this to anyone who likes love stories but doesn’t want anything too mushy.

manicpixie