My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: NetGalley Publication Date: March 24th 2015 Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, Revenge
“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”
The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.
We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.
Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars Received: Borrowed Publication Date: August 27th 2013 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Point of View: 1st Person & Female Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Paranormal, Ghosts, Gothic, Friendship, Mystery, Family, Music
Olivia wants a new life, and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.
Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.
Her mother’s left; her neglectful father, the maestro of a failing orchestra, has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.
Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help; if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.
Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living; and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: NetGalley Publication Date: March 3rd 2015 Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) Genres & Themes: YA, High Fantasy, Romance, War-setting, Conspiracy, Secrets, Betrayal, Family.
Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.
The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.
As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them. Continue reading →
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars Received: bought Publication Date: October 22nd 2013 Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Genres & Themes: YA, Dystopian, Romance, War-setting, Friendship, Secrets.
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered–fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature–and of herself–while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: borrowed Publication Date: September 9th, 2014 Publisher: Greenwillow Books POV: 1st (but mostly 3rd person) Pacing: slow Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary, Friendship, Bullying, Mental Illness, Love, Death.
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.
Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Amazon freebie (!!!) Publication Date: December 19th 2012 Publisher: indie Pacing: very slow POV: 1st person & female Genres & Themes: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Abuse, Love, Secrets, Family, Friendship, Trust.
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…
That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.
Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.
My rating: 1 of 5 stars Received: NetGalley Publication Date: September 2nd 2014 Publisher: Entangled Teen Format: eARC-kindle Pages: 224 Pacing: slow POV: 3rd person Genres & Themes: YA, Angst, Friendship, Steampunk, Mystery (for some.)
Feisty teenage thief Maeko and her maybe-more-than-friend Chaff have scraped out an existence in Victorian London’s gritty streets, but after a near-disastrous heist leads her to a mysterious clockwork cat and two dead bodies, she’s thrust into a murder mystery that may cost her everything she holds dear.
Her only allies are Chaff, the cat, and Ash, the son of the only murder suspect, who offers her enough money to finally get off the streets if she’ll help him find the real killer.
What starts as a simple search ultimately reveals a conspiracy stretching across the entire city. And as Maeko and Chaff discover feelings for each other neither was prepared to admit, she’s forced to choose whether she’ll stay with him or finally escape the life of a street rat. But with danger closing in around them, the only way any of them will get out of this alive is if all of them work together.
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars Received: borrowed Publication Date: August 5th 2014 Publisher: Skyscape Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic.
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.
Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
The only period of time when this story gripped my attention was at the beginning…obviously because, hey, gorgeous cover + intriguing blurb = hype to me and I’ve been waiting to read this one for awhile now.
This is a great example of do not judge a book by its cover. Still, I don’t actually regret reading the book since I HAD to try it. And I did, but it didn’t work for me.