Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Summary (from Destiny Quest)
Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions. Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes--and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer--her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul-- escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him. Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows--including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt--as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected. A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

As a romance, I feel like this was kind of weak. Maybe that was because I was drawn to the side of the triangle Megan didn’t choose. I did see a plot issue with the Firebirds. When one is taken away, it’s later given back, but I thought that they were supposed to be unnoticed by others.  Wouldn’t the person who took it have forgotten about it?

I do think the girls will like this one, so I’ll buy it for them, but I don’t think I’ll be reading the second one myself. In the audiobook, the narrator got to show off her different accents, as the characters moved between worlds, from England, to France, to Russia. But it’s not time travel but dimensional travel – same time/ different worlds.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Guest Post: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Being rescued from the place you’re trapped in by a cute guy is every teenage girl’s dream…Right? Well I guess that depends on the teenage girl.

I don’t think Clementine DeVore ever thought about being rescued the ten years she was trapped in the cellar, vines growing around her: trapping her even more. She passed time by dreaming of a boy she has never met, yet knows is alive; remembering bits and pieces of the day everything went wrong. But now that she is out of the cellar, Clementine is out to find out who put her in there and why. As she gets closer to Eric Fisher and her cousin, Shiny, strange things begin to happen. As the wickedly magical and extraordinarily dangerous story begins, so does the reckoning?

Reading about Clementine DeVore and her search to find out why she was in the cellar gave me a sense of strength and beauty. The sense of strength came from how Clementine held herself throughout the story and how she carried herself as she grew more aware of the magic in her life. Beauty was in how the story was written, growing more magical with each and every word that helped the story evolve. Brenna Yovanoff created a story that I would gladly read again and again.

By  Danika B

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley

In the 1970’s, prejudice in the south was still a very real thing. Desegregation had to be enforced and not all places or people took to it well. The town where Rodney and Angie, twins, befriend Tater/Tatum as he breaks thorough social barriers, has just as hard a time as many places. Rodney tells the story through sports, baseball and football, of his friendship with Tater, and of Tater’s friendship with Angie. Rodney has to do a lot of thinking, questioning, and growing throughout this book. I’ll shelve it as a sports book--there are lots of game play descriptions that I didn’t understand, but it has a great message also, and could be shelved as realistic fiction. This is one of my favorite sports books, ever.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Say Love, two book reviews

I went into this book thinking I would be getting a romance. Nope. This is more like realistic fiction. Josie is gifted, straddling two worlds: high school and college, fitting into neither of them well, and like many gifted kids, she overthinks things. Her sister is getting married to Geoff, who makes a poor first impression on Josie. Josie then decides he is not right for her sister, and she proceeds to try to prove it to everyone, at the risk of alienating her whole family and favorite sister.  In her zeal, she manages to discover the difference between crushes and love, what role family plays in our lives, and see an old friend in a new way. 

I’m always a bit wary when a book blurb says that this book is a cross between John Green and Rainbow Rowell. I think- hmm, someone is going to die, but the book boyfriend will win my heart. Nobody died in Say What You Will, yay, and I did fall for Matthew.  This is the second book I’ve read this year that had a main character with a disability. I like this one; it was well written and showed Amy as a real person, not a sympathy case, pathetic, or a perfect person, but someone who struggles like all of us. Amy needs a wheel chair and a computer to communicate with people, she’s always had adult helpers but for her senior year she wants to students.  She needs friends, real friends, but she doesn’t get everything she thinks she will, just like in real life.  I’ll need to sell this one, but I feel like once I put it in the right hands, my work will be done for me. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sway by Kat Spears

Sway is going to be my new go to book for boys who only read because they have to for class.  Jesse can get you anything you need, a paper, a date, the school bully off your back, for a price.  When he is approached by Ken, to get a date with Bridgette, it’s just a financial transaction for Jesse, until he realizes that Bridgette is the real thing, and not someone to throw away.  The things that Jesse does to secure his investments, and make his own money are truly impressive.  His ability to read people and situations, turn them to his advantage make Jesse the force to be reckoned with in his town.  

I loved so much about this book.  The relationships Jesse has, that he sees as business arrangements, are more than he realizes.  He’s closed himself off emotionally, after the death of his mother, but others have not given up on him.  The way he gets himself tangled into the life of an old man from the nursing home, cracks me up.   His Cyrano de Bergerac actions that bring him so much grief, even as he realizes that is what is happening, made me sigh.  I’d have been disappointed if it had ended any other way than it did. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Series starters fantasy edition

This is a fun, fast read. I enjoyed the adventure, and the characters in this fantasy world. I hope I have time and access to the second one, but it doesn't come out until 2016, according to Goodreads. I like the relationships Ava had with her guardian, Cade, and her friends, Lock and Ezra. Ava is straddling two worlds and holding together fairly well, until Cade is threatened. Then – the gloves are off.  Ava's rare ability to control fire has put her under the thumb of the Coterie, a mafia like group of non humans; she's an enforcer. Not that she likes that, but, you do what you have to do to survive, and keep those you love alive.


I'm going to have to buy a copy of this for my library. As a series starter this one was slow for me, but when I finally felt vested, I finished it in a hurry. It's light on the romance, which is a nice change for a fantasy book. The book does have an actual ending, but you know there will be more. I loved the cover, and the world building. Meira is an awesome, and strong female lead. Robin McKinley would be proud.

It's not often the main character starts bad and stays bad. Usually we get some sort of redemption – usually through love of course. But in this case – that's not happening, maybe later in the series? Because of this, the Young Elites is darker than the Legend series. One character is a consort and there is some serious violence. 

I did like this one and this and look forward to the sequel. I'll definitely be fighting for it and reading it before the kids do.