Posts Tagged: YA

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: Destined by Jessie Harrell

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Jessie Harrell
Release date: November 17th, 2011
by Mae Day Publishing

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When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she’s come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined. 

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

 *A copy was provided by Jessie Harrell for review purposes*

Since I read Percy Jackson earlier this year, I’ve been really interested in Greek mythology. I hadn’t really delved into the subject before. I knew the names and that’s about as far as my knowledge went. But since Percy, I’ve realized how interesting it really is. As soon as I saw that Destined was a retelling of the Eros & Psyche story, I was instantly intrigued by it. Especially since I hadn’t read the original tale. I can’t comment on the comparison between the original and this retelling, but I was very pleased with Jessie Harrell’s modern take on it.

After refusing Aphrodite’s request to marry her very rude son, Psyche has been given a prophecy that sounds especially grim: She is apparently destined to marry a monster. Unbeknownst to her, Eros, who has accidentally nicked himself with one of his arrows and is now head over heals in love with her, is the one who arranged this so-called prophecy. He must then hide his identity and try to win her love.

Psyche is a truly sweet character that I completely adored. She is fun, stubborn and amazingly beautiful inside and out. Her life has taken quite a turn and I thought her reactions were up to par with my expectations. She wasn’t pathetic or extreme about it, she was strong, very mature and most important of all – real! I found her personality very refreshing. As for Eros, misunderstood and caring, he makes an easily likeable character and love interest. I felt his love and admiration for Psyche. I was rooting for him the whole way through. However, I found there was not a great amount of chemistry between the two until towards the end. Now for the other characters, as there are plenty: some of them that we came upon, I didn’t really care for, like Iris, Helios and Hestia. They seemed a bit unnecessary to the story except for adding more Greek mythology into it. However I did enjoy seeing Persephone and Charon. They held a more important role and their personalities were a fun addition.

With that said, there is quite a lot of Greek mythology mentioned in Destined. It’s not to say that if you’re not familiar with it you won’t enjoy it, but you may not understand or appreciate it as much as someone who knows the names and bios- at least a little. It gives the story much more charm if you know, for example, when Poseidon is mentioned, that he is the god of the sea. Some of it is specified in the novel, but not always, and never in great detail. Since I was familiar with most of it, though, I really loved getting reacquainted with the gods and goddesses in Jessie’s take.

Beautiful and heartbreaking, Jessie Harrell’s Destined is a delightful retelling that is full of crazy events and fun personalities. Even though I deduced them from the beginning, the twists and turns makes for an entertaining adventure. I would particularly recommend it to all Greek mythology fans. I look forward to reading more of Jessie’s novels.

4 Hot Espressos

Review: Fury by Shirley Marr

Posted by on 11/12/2011 • 25 Comments

FuryShirley MarrReleased May 1st, 2011by Black Dog Books

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Let me tell you my story. Not just the facts I know you want to hear. If I’m going to tell you my story, I’m telling it my way.

Strap yourself in… Eliza Boans has everything. A big house. A great education. A bright future.

So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder?

After waiting 3 months for my copy of Fury to arrive from the other side of the world, I couldn’t wait any longer and just had to dig into it. I was introduced to Aussie authors by my dear Goodreads friends and the premise of this one fascinated me. Reading it again now, though, I realize it doesn’t really tell…

Review: dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman

Posted by on 11/10/2011 • 22 Comments

dancergirlCarol M. TanzmanRelease date: November 15th, 2011by Harlequin Teen

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Ever feel like someone’s watching you? Me, too. But lately it’s been happening in my room.When I’m alone.

A friend posted a video of me dancing online, and now I’m no longer Alicia Ruffino. I’m dancergirl. And suddenly it’s like me against the world—everyone’s got opinions.My admirers want more, the haters hate, my best friend Jacy—even he’s acting weird. And some stalker isn’t content to just watch anymore.Ali. Dancergirl. Whatever you know me as, however you’ve seen me online, I’ve trained my whole life to be the best dancer I can be. But if someone watching has their way, I could lose way more than just my love of dancing. I could lose my life.

 *A copy was…

Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Posted by on 11/08/2011 • 29 Comments

The PledgeKimberly DertingRelease Date: November 15th, 2011by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before . . . and…

Review & Giveaway: Become by Ali Cross

Posted by on 11/07/2011 • 27 Comments

BecomeAli CrossRelease date: November 11th, 2011

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Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

*A copy was provided by Ali Cross for review purposes*

 Become is not your average YA paranormal. We’re thrown into an intense novel about the battle between angels…

Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Posted by on 11/05/2011 • 20 Comments

The Dead-Tossed Waves(The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2) Carrie RyanReleased March 9th, 2009by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead….

Review: Pyxis by K.C. Neal

Posted by on 11/04/2011 • 21 Comments

PyxisK.C. NealRelease date: November 4th, 2011by Stonehouse Ink

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Two worlds… one 16-year-old girl must learn to protect them both.

The nightmares haunting Corinne and her friend Mason hint at a universe that exists beyond the one they know. Her destiny is to protect a weakness between the two worlds, but her mentor is dead. As Corinne and Mason search for answers, she tries to ignore the sparks igniting between them, but can’t deny she feels safe only when he’s nearby. Will they find help before their nightmares break free?

*A copy was provided by K.C. Neal for review purposes*

With quite the original premise, Pyxis takes you on a fun and mysterious ride with Corinne and her best friend Mason. All throughout the book, you’re…

Review: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

Posted by on 11/03/2011 • 24 Comments

Hunting LilaSarah AldersonReleased August 4th, 2011by Simon & Schuster

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17-year-old Lila has two secrets she’s prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she’s been in love with her brother’s best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust – her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they’ve found them. Trying to…