Posts Tagged: YA

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: Cicada by Belle Whittington

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Cicada
Belle Whittington
Released July 14th, 2011
Format: Ebook

For 17-year-old Blair Reynolds and her friends, being the bearer of secrets is getting really old. But it’s something she learns to deal with, because there’s no other option. If the people in her small town ever found out what she and her friends discovered in the woods and hid in the storage room, the whole town would be up in arms;literally. You see, folks here don’t believe in aliens from outer space. Besides, if they ever found out what two of those aliens did to one of their own, well, let’s just say what would follow would be all out war.

As the months unfold, their summer becomes consumed with secrets, puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit together, and a fight for their lives that leaves one of them at death’s door.

*A copy was provided by Belle Whittington for review purposes*

When you see a paranormal YA novel, you figure it’s going to be about angels, vampires, faeries, you know, the usual. What we don’t see often is something more along the lines of extraterrestrials. Cicada is one of those. It’s a bit strange at times, but It’s original and very imaginative.

The story starts pretty quickly with no messing around. We get thrown into Blair’s life in the start of what has to be the strangest summer of her life. I did like the characters, in that they weren’t annoying or irritating, but I couldn’t really connect with them. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but there were a few minor details that I took notice of. The most prominent being the dialogue which was a bit too sophisticated or even professional for their age group. For example, I noticed contractions weren’t used very much, and you don’t usually hear teenagers say “I am here” as opposed to “I’m here”. Some readers may not even notice this, but I found it made them sound less natural. That’s not the only reason why I couldn’t connect with Blair and the others, though. I couldn’t really get a picture of them in my head, especially Blair. I think if the book would have been longer and, thus, with more character development we would have gotten to know them better. I found myself not being able to give them distinct personalities.

The plot itself was pretty fun. The first half of the book is spent trying to decipher the mystery behind Blair’s dreams and what they saw in her grandfather’s woods. It was pretty exciting and I was creeped out a few times. It had a good steady pace that kept the story intriguing without revealing too much. This is the first in a series, and as it was more of a build-up, we didn’t get a lot a of explanations and I was a bit disappointed by that. I wish we’d at least gotten further details about the Cicada and their purpose. We did find out what was lurking in the woods, but we’re definitely left with more than a few questions at the end. It could make for a good revelatory sequel.

For a debut novel it’s not a bad start. Cicada is a fairly short book – a bit over 200 pages – that kept my attention throughout even though I wish it had a bit more substance. There is room for improvement, but it was still an entertaining story.

3 Hot Espressos

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Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Posted by on 10/19/2011 • 24 Comments

AbandonMeg CabotReleased April 26th, 2011by Scholastic Point

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away… especially since he always appears when she…

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Posted by on 10/18/2011 • 25 Comments

The Forest of Hands and Teeth(The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)Carrie RyanReleased March 10th, 2009by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

In Mary’s world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and…

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Posted by on 10/14/2011 • 31 Comments

Dearly, DepartedLia HabelRelease date: October 18thby Random House Publishing GroupFormat: Ebook

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece…

Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Posted by on 10/13/2011 • 7 Comments

City of Ashes(The Mortal Instruments, #2)Cassandra ClarePublished March 25th, 2008by Simon & Schuster

A murderer is loose in New York City …

… and the victims are Downworlder children. Clary Fray and her fellow Shadowhunters have a strong suspicion that Valentine, Clary’s father, may be behind the killings. But if he is the murderer, then what’s his true motive? To make matters worse, the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, has been stolen, and the mysterious Inquisitor has arrived to investigate, with his eyes vigilantly targeted on Clary’s brother, Jace.

Clary will need to face some terrifying demons and even more terrifying family decisions. No one said that the life of a Shadowhunter would be easy.

City of Ashes is the sequel to City of Bones. It’s…

Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Posted by on 10/10/2011 • 17 Comments

Ashfall Mike Mullin Published September 27th, 2011 by Tanglewood Press Format: Ebook

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new…

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Posted by on 10/08/2011 • 25 Comments

The Unbecoming of Mara DyerMichelle HodkinPublished September 27thby Simon & Schuster

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

I think this was probably my most anticipated book in the past months, and I also think that was it’s downfall. You really look forward to a book. Everyone is saying how incredibly awesome it is. Nothing could ever be as good as this book – except maybe Daughter of Smoke and Bone – so…

Review: Held by Edeet Ravel

Posted by on 10/07/2011 • 9 Comments

HeldEdeet RavelReleased January 25th, 2011by Annick Press, Limited

What happens when the source of your worst fears becomes the object of your affection?

Seventeen-year-old Chloe’s summer vacation in Greece comes to an abrupt end when she is suddenly bound, gagged and whisked away to an unidentified location. Waking up from a drug-induced sleep, she finds herself in a squalid warehouse. Chloe can only imagine the worst.

After several days of total isolation and utter despair, Chloe faces a new threat when her kidnapper appears, but she also feels a sense of relief. His revelation that she is being held as ransom for a prisoner exchange, however, does little to allay her fears.

The weeks pass and, haunted by terrifying dreams and with only her thoughts to keep…