Monday, February 28, 2011

Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

Genre: YA Fantasy (Dystopian)
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
One Word Review: Intense
Author Website: www.mariavsnyder.com
First Line: “My world changed in a heartbeat.”


GoodReads Synopsis
: Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion - between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again - while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside.

Kathy’s Review: Wow. I really enjoyed this book, as much as or more so than the first one. I really looked forward to Outside In and was excited when I received a copy to review. I really loved Trella, she is a great heroine and was fun to read. The story sucks you in and even though I had a million other things to do, I kept reading and would squeeze in reading time whenever I could. I’m definitely on Team Riley, he is a great leading man and thought he and Trella had great chemistry together. I really enjoyed the story and was kept on the edge of my seat. I don’t know if there will be another book, but I sure hope so!!!

I had to drop a star because of a couple “love” scenes between Trella and Riley. They weren’t too descriptive, but went a little too far for my taste. I guess to me it made their relationship seem more like “lust” then “love”, but at the same time I did feel like they loved each other and I was rooting for them the whole time. Anyway, take those out and this would have been a very clean read.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Reading Order:
Book One: Inside Out
Book Two: Outside In
Book Three:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stork by Wendy Delsol

Genre: YA Fantasy (Retelling)
Publication Date: October 2010
One Word Review: Okay
Author Website: www.wendydelsol.com

GoodReads
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.

Kathy’s
Review: I was looking forward to reading this because the plot sounded so original. You won’t find any vampires, werewolves, faeries, or angels in this story (at least not in this first installment). I don’t have anything against those mythical creatures, it just seems to be overdone in the YA genre right now. I won’t give too much away, but I will say that this story is unique and I'll probably read the next book.

I thought the book was well written, a few things were a little unclear (at least to me) and I would have liked a little more information about Katla’s ability and the history of her talents. I also thought Katla was kind of a fashion snob. I know she wanted to be a designer and was really into clothes, but she also was kind of judgmental about her new friends and only really started liking them after she gave them a makeover. I guess that kind of attitude just rubbed me the wrong way. Her relationship with Jack was also a little weird. One minute they can’t stand each other, the next they are totally committed to each other. I liked Jack and his character grew on me as the story went on. For me it took about 100 pages for me to get into the story. This would probably be rated PG-13 for mild language, underage drinking and other mature content. Overall, it's a pretty clean read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy.


Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Reading Order:
Book One: Stork
Book Two: Frost
Book Three:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Genre: YA Fantasy-Dystopian
Publication Date: November 2010
One Word Review: Good
Author Website: www.allysoncondie.com

First Line: “Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?"

GoodReads Synopsis: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Kathy’s Review: I’m wavering between a 3 and a 4 on this one. I thought the writing was very well done, I got sucked in at the beginning and there were a few cliffhanger chapters that kept me interested and wanting to find out what happened next. I guess I would lean for a lower rating because by the end it didn’t feel like much happened. I knew going into it that this would be the first in a trilogy and expected a lot of world building, etc. It just seemed like too much world building and not enough action. In fact, there really wasn’t any action, maybe there will be more in the next books? It was interesting to see how compliant everyone is with their lack of freedoms. In a way I think this “future” seems more believable than other dystopian books I have read. It seems little by little people are willing to give up certain freedoms and the end result would be very similar to the world Condie has introduced in Matched. It was slow going, but it was nice to see Cassia realize how import individual choice is and that even though it would make the world “messy” there is nothing more important than freedom.

The other reasons I’m leaning for a lower rating was the story did remind me of the Giver series by Lois Lowry. I also didn’t feel anything where the love-triangle is involved. I liked Xander, I’m almost rooting more for him than Ky. Not that I didn’t like Ky, I did like his character, I personally didn’t feel a whole lot of chemistry between Ky and Cassia.

I did enjoy the book and thought the writing was well done. I’m looking forward to reading book two, Crossed, this fall.
Bookworm Rating: 3.5


Reading Order:
Book One: Matched
Book Two: Crossed
Book Three:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Summer in Paris by Michelle Ashman Bell

Genre: Teen Lit
Publication Date: March 2010
One Word Review: Cute
Author Website: www.michelleashmanbell.com

First Line: “Kenzie Williams didn’t want to die.”

GoodReads Synopsis: Kenzie Williams feels like she has it all; wealth, friends, popularity and talent. But when her father tells her that he has declared bankruptcy, her whole world in New York City turns upside down. Her parents' solution while they sort through their financial and marital problems is to send Kenzie to live with her relatives in Paris...Idaho! Leaving everything she loves behind, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, and hang out with her cousin's loser friends. She feels like she's about to die until she meets Adam White, the town outcast, who's been accused of killing his best friend and is being blamed for some trouble that's been happening around town.

Kathy’s Review: I thought this was a fun, light story. Kenzie’s life is turned upside down when her parents send her from her privileged life in New York to Idaho. She grows and learns to appreciate the things she has and the value of hard work. I liked that she helped at least one of her new friends build their confidence and learn that it’s okay to be yourself. There is even a bit of mystery thrown in, but wasn’t really developed. I was a little disappointed in the “romance”, I didn’t feel any real connection between Kenzie and Adam. I thought they were attracted to each other and that was about it. I would have liked a little more interaction between them and more character development with Adam. I never got what Kenzie thought was so fascinating about Adam. Overall, I enjoyed the book.

Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Friday, February 11, 2011

Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram

Genre: Fantasy, Teen Lit
Publication Date: June 2010
One Word Review: Okay
Author Website: www.beingjamiebaker.com

GoodReads Synopsis: An accident that should end in tragedy instead gives seventeen-year-old Jamie Baker a slew of uncontrollable superhuman abilities. To keep her secret safe Jamie socially exiles herself, earning the title of Rocklin High's resident ice queen. But during a supercharged encounter with star quarterback Ryan Miller she literally kisses anonymity goodbye. Now the annoyingly irresistible Ryan will stop at nothing to melt the heart of the ice queen and find out what makes her so special. Unfortunately, Ryan is not the only person on to her secret. Will Jamie learn to contain her unstable powers before being discovered by the media or turned into a government lab rat? More importantly, can she throw Ryan Miller off her trail before falling in love with him?

Kathy's Review: Wavering between a 2 and a 3. I started out really liking the story and idea for the book. About halfway through I got bored, things became repeditive and I was liking Jamie less and less. I guess curiosity and the fact that I liked Ryan kept me reading.

The ending was okay, a little action thrown on at the end. By that point though I had already begun to lose interest. There was also a side story that I thought was a little random and didn't really fit with the story.

Overall, it was just okay. It had a lot of potential, but fell a little flat for me

Bookworm Rating: 2
 
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