Category Archives: Young Adult

Maze Runner…Questions and More Questions

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

The Maze Runner James Dashner Book1 Rating 4

 

I’ve been reading the Maze Runner series by James Dashner lately. I saw a preview for the movie when I went to Divergent (which was A-Mazing!) and knew I had to read the series before I’d allow myself to even think about going to the theatre. (The kid from Game of Thrones is in it, so it must be good, right?)

I finished Maze Runner in a day/night. I couldn’t stop reading it. Why were these kids stuck in a place with no conceivable way out except through a dangerous maze? Why didn’t they have their memories? Why was there now a girl in a previously all boys place? Basically I kept reading to find answers to all the questions, which honestly just lead to more questions….but I liked it.

Thomas, our main character, is a hero. He’s super smart, strong, and a born leader with a bit of a reckless streak. I do enjoy the other prominent characters in the series too, they all have very unique personalities. (I won’t go into details though because I don’t want to spoil Maze Runner for anyone.)

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

The Scorch Trials Maze Runner Book 2 James Dashner Rating: 3.5

So here’s the gist of Maze Runner:

This group of kids is stuck in a maze where if they leave the center of it, the Glade, and don’t get back before the walls close them in at night, bad “things,” called Grievers, will kill them. Otherwise, if they stay in the Glade they get weekly supplies and have a system set up where different people work different parts of the Glade. Pretty nice right? This is all great until the girl shows up and their normal routine goes down the tube. Oh yeah, and everyone in the Glade has had their memory wiped…

We see everything from Thomas’s view and Thomas is full of questions. Fueled along by Thomas’s curiosity, this story flew by for me….and ended with more questions. So I hurried and got the second book in the series, The Scorch Trials, which also ended with more…yes, you got it, questions. However, I’m hooked and I desperately need the third book!

 

 

Book Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

Unhinged (Splintered #2) A.G. Howard YA Fantasy Rating 5

Unhinged…was pretty great. There were so many emotions for me during this one, I felt like I was on a rollercoaster though, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride! Howard has some awesome twists and turns I’m never able to see coming. Having to put this book down to do homework felt like I had to rip it off my hands…it was sooo hard to do.

There’s more boy drama and family issues and I do feel for our dear semi-crazy Alyssa. (However, I’m totally team Morpheus if we’re picking sides…which of course we are, right?) There is a race to save Wonderland and a struggle between who Alyssa’s human side and her fae one. All the while there are those plotting against her and those she loves. Plus a pretty big twist I’m gushing to talk to someone about!!!

My only wish is that we could have gone down the rabbit hole in this book, but it was pretty mad despite being in the human realm.

A.G. Howard, are you really gonna make us wait a YEAR after that ending?!? I can’t handle it…Give me more! Nowish please 🙂

Cress Success!

Cress. I loved it. So full of action and wonderful people (umm…characters…) that I cannot get enough of the Lunar chronicles series. I totally wish I was on board that epic, dangerous mission to overthrow Queen Levana with them just so I could hang out and chat with Wolf, Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Kai, and of course Thorne.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Cress Lunar Chronicles #3 Marissa Meyer Young Adult Fantasy Rating 5

This book introduces some new characters, but retains all of the lovable favorites. Cinder’s powers are growing and she struggles with an internal battle; do her powers define her? Can she still be a good person if she manipulates people with her powers even if it’s not for the same reason Levana does? And can she resist the power’s sometimes darker temptations?

Scarlet’s story was pretty intriguing too, though we don’t see much of her and I’m guessing she will play a larger part in the next book…however I’m not going to say anything because I don’t want to give anything away J

And Cress. Her storyline was wonderful. I loved it and could totally relate to her (and I think a lot of book lovers can to some extent). Being isolated in a satellite she created fantasies about meeting the man of her dreams…which never quite play out the way she anticipates…

All in all it was awesome…and I canNOT wait for Winter to come out!!

P.S. I just pre-ordered a SIGNED copy of Cassandra Clare’s City of Heavenly Fire from Books of Wonder Shop!!! It was a bit spendy but I feel totally worth it (:

Swept Away by Splintered

Splintered (Splintered, #1)

Splintered #1
A.G. Howard
YA Fantasy/Fiction
Rating: 5

Splintered was incredibly unique, a bit bizarre, but overall the result was amazing. I’m in love with re-tellings of fairy tales right now and this story took Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and gave it a completely new twist in the modern day.  Wonderland is darker and more twisted with the plot line involving a curse, a love triangle, talking bugs, and the need to save a mother from cruel treatments at a mental institution.

Alyssa, our lovely heroine, is the descendant of the Alice Liddell from Alice in Wonderland, however, this comes with a price; a family curse which has led past descendants to mental institutions, but Alyssa knows her relatives aren’t crazy. When she is told that her mother will start shock treatments, Alyssa decides to take it upon herself to break the family curse and head down the rabbit hole.

Wonderland and the characters within Splintered are amazingly described and vividly come to life. The romance in the story is maddeningly good too. There is the perfect guy or the dark mysterious one…decisions, decisions. Plus, it’s filled with twists and turns I never saw coming (which I suppose is right since it’s Wonderland…).

Overall, I loved it. About halfway through the book I ordered the second one and I would be reading it now if Cress by Marissa Meyer hadn’t arrived….

Fabulous Ending to a Fabulous Dystopian Series: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium, #3)

Requiem (Delirium #3)
Lauren Oliver
YA Dystopian Fiction
Rating 5

Wow, school is a bit overwhelming along with working and getting sick…however, I did manage to sneak in Requiem, the last book in the Delirium trilogy recently and…I LOVED it! I was a bit scared because of all the mixed reviews I’d seen.

Requiem was fast paced and well written just like the others, but got back a bit more of the depth Delirium had.  The love triangle continues, but the emotions are still raw and vivid for the reader. Placed in Lena’s situation, I would be a total wreck, however, her ability to cope provides a great strong female role model. This story flipped back and forth between Lena and Hana, which at first I absolutely detested…but then really really loved the added element of having the voice of a “cured” along with one of the “resistance”.

I feel like many people probably had a problem with the ending as it does provide some closure, but also a lot of room for reader interpretation and creativity. Typically I despise endings like these, but with this series I appreciated the opportunity to imagine the closure of my choosing.

Now on to homework and then book club planning so I can start reading The Lonely Tree by Yael Politis sent to me by the publisher 🙂 (maybe I’ll sneak in dinner at some point…who knows….)

And the Awesomeness Continues: Pandemonium #2 by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
Lauren Oliver
YA Dystopian Fiction
Rating 4.5

There was a reason for putting this book off so long…Oliver’s writing sucks you in and doesn’t let you go.  I lost my whole weekend (time I had planned on doing homework and cleaning) to finishing this book and starting the last book in this amazing trilogy.  Not that I’m complaining.  It’s a sign of a great book if you can’t put it down, but be prepared to lose your reading self-control and ignore the real world for a while once you pick up these books.

So in this second installment, Lena continues on her journey, this time in the Wilds…and dealing with what happened at the end of the Delirium.

Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked-up dirt. Every breath is full of choking. There is nothing to hold on to, no sides, no way to claw myself up.  There is nothing to do but let go.

Let go. Feel the weight all around you, feel the squeezing of your lungs, the slow, low pressure.  Let yourself go deeper.  There is nothing but bottom.  There is nothing but the taste of metal, and th echoes of old things, and days that look like darkness.

This story flips back and forth between a not so distance past and the “now” all in Lena’s perspective.  We get to meet a whole crew of new characters who I found to be marvelous.  New dangers and, dare I say, possible boy are thrown Lena’s way which she handles in a very believable way. 

The writing style is still amazing and the messages are still super important.                                                        

That is what hatred is. It will feed you and at the same time turn you to rot.

It is hard and deep and angular, a system of blockades. It is everything and total.

Hatred it a high tower.

A well done dystopian!….But again, beware the ending!!! Yikes, have the 3rd one on hand…

 

5/5! Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone #1
Leigh Bardugo
YA Fiction
Rating 5

Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, you were amazing, you made me lose sleep, and cry, and make noises while I read so that people looked at me funny. I love you.  Thank you to everyone who has ever suggested I read these books! I feel ashamed it took me so long (although now I wish I would have waited until the third one was out…).

These are amazing YA fantasy reads! They have adventure, romance, a cool world, weird evil creatures, awesome Grisha (kinda like magic) abilities, and absolutely fabulous characters.  There are few stories where I fall madly in love with each and every character (usually some are just so not believable or I plain don’t like them) but I thoroughly enjoyed every character in this book.

 The main character, Alina, is a stubborn, sassy, independent female character (yes, I know, you may think “typical”, but she’s not! I promise….) who discovers she is anything but the ordinary peasant girl she thought she was. Then there is her childhood crush Mal who is super attractive and frustratingly such a … guy if ya know what I mean.  There is also the mysterious yet also handsome Darkling (I love this character!). I also love the beautiful Genya, the conniving Noya, and once you get to S&S, Sturmhond (omgosh…Sturmhond swoon).
The banter between the characters throughout these books is so wonderful. It makes me want to be friends with the author and exchange some sarcastic humor with her.Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)

As for the plot…well I really don’t want to tell you. It’s a save-the-word thing, but I think you’re better off going into this story without knowing too much about what’s going to happen just that it’s going to be an amazing ride : )

Now that ending to Siege and Storm…how could you leave us hanging like that Leigh Bardugo??

Talk to me!

And Yet Another Unique YA Dystopian: Pure by Julianna Baggot

Pure (Pure, #1)

Pure (#1)
Julianna Baggot
YA Dystopian Fiction
Rating 4

Ah another YA dystopian…but I still manage to find enjoyment in most them and this was no exception.  This had been on my TBR for a very long time, but thanks to Niki and her Your Pick for Nik Book Club, I finally got around to reading it! Make sure you check out her awesome review of the book too on her blog by clicking here.

Pure was a well written dystopian with a pretty unique spin on it…survivors of the explosions which wreaked havoc on the earth were fused to objects, animals, and whatever (I hate using this word, but I really can’t think of anything else!) “things” nearest to them. For example; fans, dolls, cars, asphalt, windowpanes, etc. It gets pretty creative and I thought it was a pretty awesome idea especially since the author made it seem pretty believable. 

While there are these fused survivors fending for themselves out in the dangerous open lands, there are a select community of survivors, or Pures (hence the title), who were able to survive the explosions in a protective dome.  Inside the dome, they escaped the fusions and other harmful after effects while living in a so-called “perfect society”. Like any other dystopian novel, obviously this is not the case, but the sinister twist is quite original in my opinion.

The characters in this story are also pretty awesome.  I particularly enjoyed the main female character Pressia, as she didn’t seem to be too headstrong and so-brave-there-wasn’t-anyway-I-could-relate (cough cough Katniss).  For instance, at one point she admits to enjoying food and clothing given to her even though she knows it’s from people she shouldn’t accept it from and actually wanting more of it.  That, I think, is just honest.  On the other hand, she proved she was capable of making sound decisions on her own and being brave when she needed to be. Relatable.

The plot is great too.  It keeps you guessing all the way through. I was never able to really guess what was going to happen (although some parts you may see coming). But, overall, it was unique and unexpected for me making the story really enjoyable even though it didn’t have that breakneck speed I’m typically used to with other YA dystopians.

Perfect Ending to a Great Modern Day Redone Myth: Awaken by Meg Cabot

Awaken (Abandon Trilogy, #3)

Awaken (Abandon #3)
Meg Cabot
Young Adult Fantasy/Romance
Rating: 4

I was so excited when I saw Awaken, the last book in the Abandon trilogy on NetGalley! Unfortunately, despite getting an ARC I wasn’t able to start reading it until the release date anyway.  BUT, Awaken was still an amazing end to the Abandon trilogy by Meg Cabot.  If you haven’t read the first two books in this addicting Young Adult Fantasy/Romance series, they involve a modern day re-telling of Hades and Persephone. They’re very light hearted, fast reads like most everything else Cabot writes (and a main male character you wish you could date…a hot, bad boy Hades? Sounds like my kind of fictional boyfriend!)

Pierce, the fierce, pretty and uber sarcastic main character has finally fallen irrevocably in love with the lord of the Underworld, John Hayden, however, it may just be too late to tell him. Is it possible for the lord of the Underworld to die, if he’s already technically dead? Plus, the Underworld seems to be in utter turmoil with the dead not being able to leave and make their way to their final destination; be that in the good boat or the bad boat. And Isla Huesos is being attacked by a massive hurricane and a deluge of Furies.

Despite the rather intense looking plot, Cabot keeps the story humorous and light hearted with a pace which makes it extremely hard to put down.

I wanted to leap from the bed and strangle him, but I was pretty sure people who strangled blind doctors didn’t get to go on the nice boat after they died.

…He said the word here like it was the worst place in the entire universe, which isn’t true, since obviously high school is.

This was the perfect story to read while beginning my wisdom tooth recovery!

On to another book while recovering!

Anyone know of any other great modern day mythological stories?

 

A Great Escape Story: Fearless by Cornelia Funke

Fearless

Fearless
Cornelia Funke
YA Fantasy
Rating: 4.5

When the heart craved something so forcefully, then reason  became nothing but helpless observer. The heart, the soul, whatever it was…

So at some point I will have oodles of wonderful programming posts for you regarding the Summer Reading Program.  It’s going spectacularly…however, that also means I’m exhausted and, in turn, do not want to think about it outside of work at the moment. But I will share the experiences about Dinosaurs, Worms, Bike
Rodeos, Tie-Dying, and a couple really great Magic Tree House Book Clubs in the near future : ) So to take my mind off all the programming madness, I’ve kept up my reading and therefore have a book review for you!

Fearless was a great read. Pretty sure I liked it more than Reckless the first book in the series (I read that one quite a while and don’t remember it being a “great” read, more of an “ok” read).  This story had romance, adventure, magic, a different fairy tale-ish world, amazing characters, and a fast paced, thoroughly engrossing (if not at times very frustrating) plot.

Jacob Reckless is in a race against time (and an adversary) to find a way to save himself before the curse he is under claims his life. Reckless finds himself on the treasure hunt of his life with his best friend Fox, a lovely vixen shape-shifter. They must put all the pieces together and find the only possible cure to Reckless’ life before time runs out. (And it’s not even a 100% sure the cure will work!) Of course, their hunt won’t be easy as they find themselves racing against another who is searching for the same treasure while also running into many interesting foes along the way.

My only quam with this book was that it didn’t give enough of a background of the first novel for me.  Generally I get annoyed at all the background stuff in series, but I really missed it in this one because I honestly couldn’t remember what had happened! I would have found more info. beneficial, but that’s just me. 

Cornelia Funke is amazing and hands down one of my favorite authors.  She weaves wonderful stories that I love to get lost in (although I’d rather live in the Inkheart series as this one is a bit gruesome at times).  I can NOT wait for the next book in this series…or anything else she happens to write in the meantime.

%d bloggers like this: