Tag Archives: book review

YA Book Review- Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Today we have another review from our guest reviewer Sofia!

“SHUT OUT is a romantic comedy by Kody Keplinger and takes place in an average American town. Lissa Daniels is the girlfriend of the quarterback for Hamilton High’s football team. Ever since Lissa’s older brother Logan attended that high school a few years ago, there have been rivalries, not between schools but between their own football and soccer team, for no apparent reason. Lissa can’t take the violence between the teams any longer, especially when Randy seems to care about fights with the soccer team more than her. Things kept getting worse when Randy’s car kept on getting egged while they were making out in it- she also hated hearing him talk about the rock that the soccer goalie threw at him, and hearing about a soccer player who is in the hospital with a torn ACL from being chased in the woods at night by football players. Lissa thinks the only way to end it once and for all is to go on a hookup strike. After Lissa gets the girlfriends of players from both teams together, they vow to not be physically intimate with their boyfriends. They have sleepovers talking about what their boyfriends have been doing to bribe them so far. Little did Lissa know that the strike will be the cause for her boyfriend to cheat on her, resulting in a breakup. Now, Cash Sterling, a hot soccer playing classmate, coworker of hers at the library, and an old summer crush, is the leader of the boys who try to do everything to make the girls break their vows. They go as far as to crash the girls’ sleepover party by stripping in the backyard, jumping into the pool and inviting the girls in, and getting one of the players to play his guitar and sing to his girlfriend while all of the other boys sing the chorus. This never works, so now Lissa has a new plan to get back at them by going to Cash’s house, making him kiss her and then through her seductive ways make him end the battle. That does not work out exactly as planed…. Lissa went too far- is it ever going to end?”

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YA Book Review- Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

When you live on a floating island in the clouds, it would seem only natural to wonder what would happen if you jumped off the edge…but on the island of Internment it is considered anarchy to entertain thoughts of jumping to the ground, and the people that try it (and survive) are never the same. Morgan’s brother jumped once, back when he was a successful government scientist- now he is blind and spends his days locked away and using a recorder to write stories. Maybe it’s because of her brother that Morgan has a curious mind, despite her serene existence in the sky, but she knows better than to talk freely about her wandering thoughts. That is, until a couple of horrific murders cause security to increase and put everyone under a microscope. Before she knows it, Morgan is sneaking food to the alleged murderer that she’s convinced is innocent, lying to her betrothed, and wondering more and more about what life is like on the ground. What will she do when she realizes how closely she’s being watched?

This book is the first in a very promising trilogy and takes a really interesting approach to outcast-ed futuristic societies. You may remember Lauren DeStefano from her Chemical Garden Trilogy (Wither, Fever, Sever) so definitely pick this up if you liked those books! It’s also got a touch of a spiritual element to it, and is great for readers who like their heroines to think outside the box.

YA Book Review- Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

This story, set in Britain in the 1950’s, tells the tale of two little girls who visit their aunt and end up face-to-face with a monster that has been terrorizing the town for centuries. Cora and her younger sister Mimi do not want to go to Aunt Ida’s cottage, but they are forced to by their loving but irresponsible young father. Ida wants nothing to do with the girls, but has no choice but to watch over them until she can send them home. Cora is immediately unhappy with the situation- who would want to spend their summer in a crumbling old home, with all the windows bolted shut and most of the rooms locked? Soon after the girls arrive, they make friends with two neighborhood boys named Roger and Pete who show the girls all the interesting sites around the village…including the old church they were forbidden to visit. Once they have been to the church, very strange things start to happen: Cora hears eerie songs being sung in the house when she’s alone, they see the ghosts of small children in the graveyard, and awful slithering and scratching noises can be heard around the outside of the house at night. Despite Aunt Ida’s best efforts to protect them, these children are not safe from the monster that seeks them.

This is a very suspenseful and creepy story that was inspired by an old folk poem by the same name as the book. The setting is unique, and allows the reader a perspective on life for a child in Britain following WWII. If you can get past the slang and unfamiliar product names, and you like a good horror story, this is definitely a great read!

YA Book Review- The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Every four years, two children disappear from the small village of Gavaldon: one beautiful, delightful child, and one ugly, horrible child. No one knows where they go, but the village children will come across new fairy tales years later that star characters eerily similar to their missing playmates. Most of the villagers find this to be a terrible situation, but beautiful Sophie has been waiting all her life for her chance to be stolen away and become a fairytale princess. Her best friend, miserable Agatha, decides to try and protect Sophie the night she hopes the mysterious Schoolmaster will steal her away, but when he comes he decides to take them both, and before they know it they have arrived at the School for Good and Evil. Something is very wrong, though. Agatha has been taken to the School for Good, and Sophie to Evil. When they confront the Schoolmaster, they learn that their very own fairytale has already begun to write itself and is out of their hands. That doesn’t stop Sophie from trying to get in the School for Good where she thinks she belongs, while Agatha makes desperate attempts to get them both back home. Will the girls get out, switch schools, or learn to rule the Schools they’re in?

This book is non-stop action. The author made his name as a screenplay writer, so this story really moves like a movie- which is what it is rumored to be in a couple of years! Also, this is the start of a series, so look for the sequel in early 2014. This book is perfect for fans of Harry potter, and anyone who loves magic, action, and school stories!

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YA Book Review- Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlison

Diribani and Tana are stepsisters who are trying to provide for Tana’s mother ever since Diribani’s successful father died and left the family with nothing. One day, when each of them makes a fateful trip to the local well for water and has a run-in with the goddess Naghali, their words begin to turn in to objects as they speak- Diribani speaks flowers and precious jewels, while Tana speaks toads and snakes. The prince of their region soon gets involved and determines that Tana should live a secluded life in a holy grove, and Diribani will join the royal caravan back to their palace. Both girls accept their new lives dutifully, making sure to remember that the goddess must have a plan for their new gifts. Soon, though, it becomes clear that the people of their community who do not agree with their religion and think them witches are out to ruin them, and they both find themselves trying to thwart danger while also protecting the people they love.

This beautifully written tale is based on the classic fairy tale titled “The Fairies” by Charles Perrault. The kingdom that the author sets the story in is based loosely on Indian regions, but is essentially fictional. Give this book to any readers who loves re-written fairy tales, beautiful descriptions, representation of multiple religions, or strong female characters.

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YA Book Review- Reality Boy by A. S. King

**This book is not scheduled to be published until October 2013, so you have plenty of time to get excited about it!**

Ever since Gerald’s family was on a reality TV show when he was four, his life will never be normal. The show featured a “Nanny” who was hired to come in and fix Gerald’s bad behavior- but he ended up permanently scarred from the experience. Not only did it land him with a horrible nickname, he hasn’t had a single friend since. Now that he’s almost 17, he’s in Special Ed because his mother would rather believe that he has special needs than face the fact that his family is the root of his violent tendencies. He steeps himself in an imaginary world when he is angry, which drives even more people away. Then he meets Hannah, the first person in a long time that doesn’t care about his infamy and wants to get to know who he really is. Will she help him stand up to his family and start to heal, or be just another person who breaks his heart?

This author does an amazing job of writing from a troubled teen guy’s point of view. Readers who like their realistic fiction with lots of emotional baggage will love this title.

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YA book review- The 100 by Kass Morgan

**This book is not expected to be published until September of 2013 so you have plenty of time to get excited about it**

Humans have been living on a space stationĀ  far above the earth for three hundred years. They abandoned the planet because nuclear war contaminated everything with radiation and it was no longer safe to inhabit. Living on a space station was only supposed to be a temporary solution, and now that the station is starting to fall apart, the people in charge need to figure out how to save the last of the human race. That’s where 100 teenaged prisoners come in: in order to wipe their sentences clean and help save their race, they are being sent to Earth to see if the planet is once again safe for human’s to inhabit. Told from the point of view of four of these incarcerated teens, this book explores the new world humans have created and the old world we once dominated. Is Earth any safer than a dying space station?

This book is intense and is definitely the first in a series. Romances abound, but they are strained by the turmoil spreading throughout the population of human beings who have no idea what lies ahead for them. Pick this up if you like science fiction, dystopian stories, and teenage romances. Also, this book is the inspiration for the CW’s new TV show by the same name!

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