Category Archives: Book Reviews

YA Book Review- The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry

Our guest reviewer, Sophia, really thinks you should pick this one up.

“April is now one of my favorite authors. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry is a great mystery book that will keep everyone holding their breath. A girl wakes up in a cabin, that she does not know, to two men talking about killing her. When one of them leaves, the other man is hesitant but does drag her into the woods. She is more awake now, enough to attack him and take his gun, keys, and wallet. When she escapes and tells a police officer what just happened, he tries to convince her that she is on drugs or from a hospital for mentally ill teens. Is this true?! She escapes from the officer and drives to McDonalds where she eats, falls asleep, and wakes up to a teen named Ty who is closing the restaurant. Seeing that the girl is in trouble, Ty brings her home with him and together they find out who she really is, why those men from the cabin were trying to kill her, and most importantly who her parents are.”

the girl who was supposed to die

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- 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

YA Book Review- Breathless by Lurlene McDaniel

Here’s another book review from our guest reviewer, Sophia!

“Lurlene McDaniel wrote the heart stopper book Breathless. Travis Morrison was popular and known as a champion diver. He had a loving girlfriend, Darla Gibson, a best friend since third grade, Copper, and a caring sister, Emily Morrison. Every chapter is told by a different person starting from when Travis jumps off of a cliff trying a diving stunt. Later on, Travis will find out in an emergency room that he has a bone cancer after almost accidently killing himself in his stunt. Travis becomes suicidal but turns paralyzed before he could even try to kill himself. At the end Travis dies and you will never guess who did it. Could it have been Cooper when he was drunk again and frustrated at how bad men were treating his mother? Or accidental Emily who is stresses and suffering from an abusive father and a mother who does not try to stop him? They are all possible scenarios but none of them is even close to what really happened. This story will leave you breathless.”

YA Book Review- Adaptation by Melinda Lo

Reese is waiting at the airport, struggling with the loss of a debate tournament and letting down her partner and crush David, when flocks of birds all over the country start flying directly in to planes causing countless crashes and thousands of deaths. Everyone around them starts to panic and they are just in time to grab a rental car out of the area. The highways going towards their San Francisco homes are gridlocked, but when they take a deserted highway north they have a horrible car accident that leaves them unconscious for almost a month. When they wake up, they are in a strange type of hospital in the middle of the desert. It isn’t long before they are sent home to their parents, but not before signing an agreement that prevents them from saying anything of what they experienced in the desert. This doesn’t seem like a problem for Reese, who just wants to get back to normal, until she starts noticing that her body seems very different than it was before her accident. This, combined with how different the country is after the bird attacks earlier in the summer, prompt her to confide in her conspiracy-theory-loving best friend Julian. Meanwhile, she meets a beautiful girl named Amber who sweeps her off her feet- but can Amber be trusted? Are all of these strange things related? What exactly is going on?

Melinda Lo writes a great alien-centric mystery in Adaptation. Readers will be guessing throughout the whole book at who, or what, is behind all of the strange things Reese is coming across. There is also a love triangle, but definitely not your typical one. Hand this to sci-fi and mystery lovers who also enjoy a little romance!

adaptation

YA Book Review- Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

More from our guest reviewer, Sophia!

“Drowning Instinct by Lisa J. Bick is no funny book unless you think Jenna Lord’s secret affair with her science teacher Mitch Anderson at her new school Turning High (filled with mentally unstable but very smart teens) is funny. Jenna¬† has been through sexual assaults from her Alzheimer’s-suffering grandfather and molestation from her pediatrician Dr. Kerby. School is not much better with a bully named Danielle hating her, while Danielle’s boyfriend David trying to use Jenna to get back at Danielle. Jenna struggles with accepting the loss of her older brother who is a soldier overseas. Mr. Anderson is there to help Jenna through it all because he sees a troubled girl who he just wants to fix so bad that he can be locked up for her…or worse. There are no innocents, not in this book, where everyone suffers and loved ones die.”

drowning instinct