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Search tags: Young-Adult-Fiction
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review 2018-04-26 16:38
Cute Book
The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back - Sariah Wilson

This is a very cute high school romance that used all the common themes from the genre… and then turned them on their heads.

 

The pretty, popular blonde is nice and smart and a good friend.

 

The popular guy doesn’t turn out to be horrible.

 

The high school stereotypes are there, but people have more layers than clichéd personality traits.

 

The high school experience in America is so completely different to here in Australia that it’s like learning a foreign culture, but I think the author painted her setting really well.

 

I really, really liked pretty much everything about this story. The dramas weren’t over the top, and the inevitable trust issues and betrayal worked realistically.

 

One thing that bugged me at the start was how much the protagonist – Matilda – complained about how stupid and embarrassing her name was. There’re going to be a lot of young readers offended by that; ‘Matilda’ might not be a popular name in America, but it regularly makes it onto top names lists in other countries. It is enormously popular in Australia. I have a young cousin in Europe with the name.

 

But that’s about it for complaints. This book has a lot of very familiar YA themes, and yet it felt fresh and new. I loved it.

Source: nataliaheaney.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/the-ugly-stepsister-strikes-back-by-sariah-wilson
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review 2018-04-26 11:26
The author knows her sport!
Gold Rush - Jennifer Comeaux

If you want to read a book with a figure skating theme where the author actually KNOWS all about the sport, then give Gold Rush a go. This book is about a skater in her late teens going for gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and Jennifer Comeaux knows pretty much everything about the sport, making it all seem so authentic.

 

Even though the characters are university-aged, this is a tame little contemporary romance with a very sweet hero, and reads a little more like young adult fiction.

 

The author has other ice skating books available, and I will definitely be checking them out.

Source: nataliaheaney.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/gold-rush-by-jennifer-comeaux
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review 2018-02-20 16:46
Truthers Book Review
Truthers (Fiction - Young Adult) - Geoff... Truthers (Fiction - Young Adult) - Geoffrey Girard

Two stars is being kind. Truthers has a good premise and I like the idea of the plot, a girl born after 9/11 is thrown into conspiracy theories and trying to figure out what happened. But I honestly can't see any high schooler or young adult actually enjoying this. The plot is weak, its a lot of facts about 9/11 thrown at you. I barely finished and got really bored.

 

I honestly skimmed a lot of it but feel like I didn't miss much. I'm not really into the whole conspiracy thing with 9/11 but even so this could have been done a lot better than it was. 

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review 2018-02-10 11:00
An Ex-Soldier Finding His Way at University: Bells Above Greens by David Xavier
Bells Above Greens - David Xavier

Here's a review of light young adult fiction for a change:

 

Sam Conry is nineteen, but he has already seen a lot since he was a soldier in the Korean War for nine months and he lost his admired older brother. Now he is back to the USA and he meets the girl whom his brother wished to present to him as a surprise... and his fiancée. After the summer Sam resumes his studies at the University of Notre Dame where also his late brother's girlfriend Elle is a student at St. Mary's College. Sam drifts through student life - confused and without direction.

 

You'd like to know more? Find my review here on my book blog Edith's Miscellany!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2018-01-21 18:50
Tess of the Road
Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartman

Tess of the Road

 

Rachel Hartman, 2018

 

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

 

Disclaimer 1: This book is a spin-off of Hartman's Seraphina series... which I have not read. I think that reading Seraphina and Shadow Scale would probably be beneficial to do before reading this book, but mostly for world-building purposes. It is, however, not completely necessary - there is nothing in this book that failed to make sense and the world was easy enough to pick up after a few chapters.

 

Disclaimer 2: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. The expected publication date for Tess of the Road is February 27, 2018.

 

Disclaimer 3: I have seen some reviewers who were disappointed because they went into this book expecting to read about dragons. If you are looking for a book about dragons, this is not that book. Dragons are peripheral to the plot, but feature very little. I understand that the Seraphina books involve dragons much more heavily, however.

 

Okay, with those disclaimers out of the way, on to my review. 

 

I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book. It sounded interesting to me, so I requested a copy and started to read. Once I was a few pages in, however, I realized that I had missed the fact that this was a spin-off book. Oops. But I kept reading, and I'm glad I did. While there were details glossed over in the first few chapters that I wish I knew more about - Why was Tess seen as such a screw-up? There are half-dragons? And are all half-dragons Saints? What the heck is a quigutl? - I found that as I read most of those details didn't matter to the story (and the ones that did were explained as it went on). 

 

This is a hard book to qualify for me. It's a fantasy, but aside from the quigutl (which, by the way, is a sort of large chameleon-looking sentient animal with its own language that is really good at working with tools), we didn't encounter a whole lot of fantastical elements. (Well, there was one other, but it's a spoiler). It's honestly much more of a coming-of-age novel, where the main character starts out on a journey and encounters different people along the way and finds herself. Which is not a bad thing. But if you're expecting a high-action fantasy novel, you'll probably be disappointed. 

 

Really, I hope that this book is marketed well, but I fear that it won't be. My fear is that it will be marketed as an epic fantasy instead of a coming-of-age novel, and that does this novel a disservice. Because it's a really good young adult novel, and I think that a lot of different readers - not just fantasy readers - will like it. It had a great female protagonist with a lot of flaws who I think teenage girls could really like. I love that the author decided, after writing the Seraphina books, that she wanted to explore Tess a little more. I think she did a great job of fleshing out a character that you don't see a lot in this type of story.

 

Overall, I thought this was a well-written, interesting story. There's not a lot of action and a surprisingly little amount of fantasy elements for a fantasy novel, but it's a well-told story and I found Tess to be likable despite her flaws (and sometimes because of them). There is a little adult content in this book, so I can't recommend it to the younger crowd, but I definitely recommend it to young women who like a good story and who won't be put off by a slower pace and a slightly confusing fantasy world. 

 

[I also plan to read the Seraphina books at some point, so I'll be curious to see how this world is first introduced there.]

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