Friday, August 31, 2012

Video Veneris

I've been intrigued by the cover the upcoming YA Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Then I read the summary and found out that it's a thriller with a fantastic sounding plot. I'm a thriller kick lately  - I seem to be a bit in love with them - so I can't wait to read this one (it just came out on the 28th).
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Filled with action, suspense, and romance, this first book in a new trilogy offers readers nonstop thrills.
Today I saw the trailer for Don't Turn Around and I love how it expands on the cover while still making me want to read the novel! See it for yourself and see if you love it, too:


 What do you think?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Giveaway: Fire in the Ashes

Of all of the authors I've met or heard speak, Jonathan Kozol likely stuck with me the most.

I heard him speak, on the same topic his books are about: disadvantaged children in America's inner-cities - mostly New York - their education and their inequalities they experience when I was the same age as many of the children he was talking about. . .

It made it incredibly easy for me to see how he could work so well with the children he writes about.

His books, while the content itself can make them difficult (sad, emotional, etc) to read, the structure does not. Even if you don't normally read nonfiction, do give them a try.

Here's the synopsis for his latest Fire in the Ashes:

In this powerful and culminating work about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, Jonathan Kozol returns to the scene of his prize-winning books Rachel and Her Children and Amazing Grace, and to the children he has vividly portrayed, to share with us their fascinating journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood.

For nearly fifty years Jonathan has pricked the conscience of his readers by laying bare the savage inequalities inflicted upon children for no reason but the accident of being born to poverty within a wealthy nation. A winner of the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and countless other honors, he has persistently crossed the lines of class and race, first as a teacher, then as the author of tender and heart-breaking books about the children he has called “the outcasts of our nation’s ingenuity.” But Jonathan is not a distant and detached reporter. His own life has been radically transformed by the children who have trusted and befriended him.

Never has this intimate acquaintance with his subjects been more apparent, or more stirring, than in Fire in the Ashes, as Jonathan tells the stories of young men and women who have come of age in one of the most destitute communities of the United States. Some of them never do recover from the battering they undergo in their early years, but many more battle back with fierce and, often, jubilant determination to overcome the formidable obstacles they face. As we watch these glorious children grow into the fullness of a healthy and contributive maturity, they ignite a flame of hope, not only for themselves, but for our society.

The urgent issues that confront our urban schools – a devastating race-gap, a pathological regime of obsessive testing and drilling students for exams instead of giving them the rich curriculum that excites a love of learning – are interwoven through these stories. Why certain children rise above it all, graduate from high school and do well in college, while others are defeated by the time they enter adolescence, lies at the essence of this work.

Jonathan Kozol is the author of Death at an Early Age, Savage Inequalities, and other books on children and their education. He has been called “today’s most eloquent spokesman for America’s disenfranchised.” But he believes young people speak most eloquently for themselves; and in this book, so full of the vitality and spontaneity of youth, we hear their testimony

I was absolutely thrilled when offered the chance to read, review and do a giveaway of Fire in the Ashes - enter the giveaway below! [US only]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to Crown Publishing for making the giveaway possible and providing my review copy (review coming soon)

The Blood Keeper ~ Tessa Gratton (earc) review

The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals #2)
Random House Books for Young Readers
August 28, 2012
432 pages
add to Goodreads/add to Book Depo/or Amazon

Mab Prowd's grown up on a secluded farm in Kansas. For her, having no friends (outside the family) and not attending school is no sacrifice as living there also means learning the blood magic they've practiced for generations. With only her crows as companions, Mab loves being able to practice her magic freely, without constraint or condemnation.

One day, though, a spell, quite literally, gets away from her.

And to Will.

Will who's trying to get rid of some of his own kind of demons: nightmares. Thrust into an experience - with Mab and her magic - he's nowhere near ready to comprehend or believe, Will's happy to forget about it.

But the encounter - and things kept from Mab - may bring them together again.

I have to admit that if The Blood Keeper wasn't being offered by Random House as a digital galley, I might not have read - or reviewed - it as soon. I would have been missing out. And so will any of you who wait on this one.

While I did very much enjoy Blood Magic (see my review), it wasn't so much so that it automatically put the sequel at the top of my to-read list. Then I saw an the synopsis (I have a thing for books - especially paranormal ones - set on Midwestern farms) and an excerpt and had to request it.

Everything that I loved about Blood Magic (The Blood Journals #1) was back here, in this second book. It may have just been my association, but the barn and the land around the farm all but compensated for the lake of a cemetery setting this go-round. We still have the darkness, the magic that is not only real but more than just poof'ing yourself into a pretty dress. The Blood Magic is back.

As the blood magic is back, so is the blood. This is, again, not exactly a book for anyone with issues with blood or cutting (your arm/wrist/hand open).

While The Blood Keeper kept everything about Blood Magic that made it a book I very much liked, it also improved on the things that kept me from loving it.

I liked the characters of Nick and Silla, loved how they were parallels of each in many ways but also so similar, too. I just didn''t feel there was quite enough development. The Blood Keeper focuses on two different characters: Will and Mab. Gratton again tells the novel from their two perspectives (interspersed with chapters from an old diary, as in Blood Magic)  but gives them more time on their won, more time for readers to learn who they are. They still interact, there's still a story between the two characters, but the whole story isn't between the two characters.

Where I would say Blood Magic was more of a plot book, The Blood Keeper is much more a character book - without losing any of its great plot.

Rating: 8/10

Other books you might also enjoy: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff and The Hollow (series) by Jessica Verday

Cover Reveal: Vengeance Bound

VENGEANCE BOUND, by Justina Ireland is an upcoming YA release from Simon and Schuster, expected to be released is April 2, 2013 - and the cover reveal is today!

First, here's the synopsis:
The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen’s quest for revenge…no matter how far it takes her.

Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work?

As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

and now here's the fantastic cover:

add Vengeance Bound on Gooreads, find it on Amazon or Indiebound (hasn't yet been added to B&N)

This was a AToMR Tours cover reveal - thank you to AToMR Tours and Simon & Schuster

What do you think of the Vengeance Bound cover? (or its synopsis?)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Glee Giveaway

Are you a Gleek? Or maybe just want to see what it's all about?

Did you see my Cinema Saturday post on Season Three of Glee?

If you did, you saw that it was one of my favorite seasons. I loved that we got to see some vulnerability from the characters were usually just seen as tougher, harsher or harder. It became more of a character show for me, I got to see the deeper parts of some of my favorite characters.

Want to see if you agree with me?

I ended up with two copies of the Blu-Ray, so I'm giving one away!!

giveaway is US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

thanks to Think Jam for the copy of the Blu-Ray!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Beautiful Creatures (ebook deal)

I received an email earlier this week from Little, Brown Young Readers and wanted to share the news of it with you:

For a limited time (possibly just the beginning of this week, as Wednesday's email mentioned 'this week') Beautiful Creatures the first novel in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Caster Chronicles is available as an ebook at a discounted price.

The ebook of Beautiful Creatures is only $3.99!

With the fourth and final book in the series, Beautiful Redemption coming out October 23rd - and with the great price - now is the perfect time to start on the series if you, somehow, have yet to. The movie (some info below), will be released February 13th - it's one I cannot wait to see.

Visit the authors on their site

my reviews of the other books in the series:  Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness,  Beautiful Chaos*

*(in putting this post together, I've discovered my post for Dream Dark and Beautiful Chaos never got posted - I'm currently rereading Beautiful Chaos and will (re)writing my review)

Dream Dark, the short story available as an e-book and audiobook is also part of the Beautiful Chaos paperback.

About the Series (thanks to LBYR for the info):
 "The Beautiful Creatures novels contain a potent mix of the gothic, the mythic, and the magical. Readers can look forward to more of what they love in the final installment, Beautiful Redemption, as they follow Ethan's compelling journey to its bittersweet close. With original characters, complex world building, and crackling prose, this is masterful storytelling."
– Deborah Harkness, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches

 Praise for The BEAUTIFUL CREATURES Novels
 “Exactly the right blend of dark suspense and romance” —Newark Star Ledger

 ★ “Fans will devour this latest book and plead for more.” —VOYA, starred review
 “Give this to fans of Twilight or HBO’s “True Blood” series.” —School Library Journal

 BEAUTIFUL CREATURES was named an Amazon #1 Teen Best Book of The Year and #5 Editor’s Pick Best Book of the Year for 2009. The series was an instant New York Times, Indiebound, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller.

 Coming February 13, 2013: BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (IMDb) will be released as a major motion picture from Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures! Directed by Academy Award® nominee Richard LaGravenese, the film stars Academy Award® winnersJeremy Irons and Emma Thompson, Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, and Thomas Mann, as well as newcomers Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cinema Saturday

Glee Season Three
20th Century Fox
August 14, 2012
Not Rated; 963 minutes, 22 episodes
Blu-Ray: 4 discs, Region A/1; DVD: 6 discs, Region 1
IMDb show info/DVD & BluRay on Amazon

After their controversial finish at nationals in New York in last season's (somewhat iffy overall) season finale, the Glee kids from McKinley High are back home in Lima.

The third season brings the question of whether or not New Directions will make it to Nationals again - and how they'll fare if they do - as well as what will happen with a lot of the club (Rachel, Finn, Puck, Santana, among others) in their last year at McKinley.

Season Three of Glee continues with the musical aspect (characters, as part of their high school glee club, singing current, past - and some show tune - hits, often with choreography. With songs from The Go-Gos, Pink, West Side Story, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston, among others, this season does not disappoint.

As some of the characters prepare to leave McKinley, changing, at the very least, the dynamic of the show, Glee actually gives us a better look at some of them. We get to see the more vulnerable side of some of the show's more caustic regulars - without losing what's made them so great over the past seasons. It not only made the characters seem more real, it made the show feel more whole - and gave it more depth.

Some of the more examined characters from past season, namely Kurt and Rachel, seemed not to change very much. Though, they were definitely not neglected and had a lot happen to them, as well. (Disclaimer: I personally, am not a Rachel fan and several events this season moved me from being neutral towards her to actually disliking her.)

Like in past seasons, Glee addressed social issues that one may - or may not - deal with in high school or after, but which are important to discuss, either way. They did so without sounding preachy or moving into public service announcement territory. The resolutions weren't always perfect, not always neat and tidy but that actually kept it seeming real.

For the look we got into some of the less 'big' characters, the issues addressed (so well), and the arcs of the upperclassmen characters, this might be my favorite season of Glee.

I missed a lot of episodes as it was airing (I"m looking at you DirecTV and your issue with thunderstorms) and was actually feeling unsure of the direction of the show. Either watching the season as a whole or seeing the episodes I missed has reminded me what I do love so much about the show (and, to be fair the bits I don't love so much). I'm feeling hopeful for the start of next season.

The Blu-Ray, as a whole has a great set-up. The audio for the musical numbers is fantastic, the menu is easy to access and gives quick access to not only the summary - and titles - of the episodes on the disc but those of the whole season. When pausing, the progress bar that is displayed is not only for the episode, but the whole season. Each new disc knows that a season is in progress and will start at the beginning of the episode - as opposed to the main menu - if you wish. It's an excellent disc setup. (Though my Blu-Ray player that needs an upgrade did seem to take forever to start playback; the internet connected one that is updated had zero problem.)

Bonus features: 
Disc 1:
Glee Music Jukebox (videos of the music numbers from episodes on the disc)
Glee Under the Stars
Ginger Supremacists
Sue Flashback

Disc 2:
Glee Music Jukebox
Santa Baby

Disc 3:
Glee Music Jukebox
Glee Give a Note

Disc 4:
Glee Music Jukebox
Glee-Swap: Behind the Scenes of 'Props'
Meet the Newbies
Saying Goodbye
Ask Sue: World Domination Blog
Return of Sue's Quips

My Faves:
Three great things from the season:
1) Santana - in general and that she seemed to get more screen time
2) Santana and Brittany
3) Becky's inner voice

Three favorite episodes from Season Three:
1) Props
2) Yes/No
3) Choke

thank you to Fox and Think Jam for the Blu-Ray that I reviewed!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Every Day ~ David Levithan

Every Day
Knopf Books for Young Readers
August 28, 2012
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Every day it's a different body, a different life. An entire life made up of different lives, each lived for only a day. It's not something anyone else can relate to, but ti's all A's ever known.

Tomorrow's body will be the same age as A - sixteen - and in close geographic proximity, but everything else, including the gender, is an unknown. A isn't male or female, A is just A, content to live a different life each day . . . Until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon.

Rhiannon makes A abandon all the rules that day - and want to abandon them for all the future days - because A has finally found someone they want to be with for more than just a day. But when A will be in the body of an entirely different person tomorrow, is that at all possible?

I was drawn to the Every Day and the idea of a sort of non-corporeal being, moving to a different body every day who finds - and possibly falls in love with a girl - one day while in one of those bodies, only to spend subsequent days trying to find her again. And make a relationship work.

There wasn't as much 'trying to find her' as I had expected, which actually makes sense given all of the technology available today - and, really, points to David Levithan for making use of that.

The setup, the interaction between Rhiannon and A didn't quite click for me. It wasn't that it was weak or missing anything in particular, I just wasn't sold on it being some life changing event for A. As so much of the story was built around that day - and A's feelings, reactions to it - my not loving it could have been a problem, but it actually wasn't. The rest of the story, instead of relying on the early events to sell the relationship between A and Rhiannon uses it as a base and builds on it.

If it does really click for you, you'll likely get even more out of Every Day but as it is used as a starting point, you don't have to get it completely right away.

A doesn't have human relationships and didn't bond with anyone at a young age so I expected him to be a bit more like Jasper in Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers (my review), with the more detached view of looking at people and observing them almost more as things than beings. Yet, A actually has more understanding and empathy for (almost) all of the people whose bodies he inhabits. More so than, I think, we each seem to have for people we just see on the street - or even friends or family members.

Living all these different lives, each for a day, has really given him a sense of what life is like for a wide variety of individuals. I really appreciated that David Levithan included characters - or at least their bodies and lives - of teens of different socio-economic levels, different genders, different sexual orientations, etc. There were really a wide variety of characters used in Every Day.

The plot, towards the end, took a turn that I wasn't expecting and I really enjoyed the elements that were introduced and where things went.

Rating: 8/10

thank you to Random House and Net Galley for my egalley to read and (honestly) review

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cover Reveal

Today Book Sp(l)ot Reviews is part of the cover reveal for Nichole Chase's upcoming paranormal YA Flukes (out October 8, 2012).

About Flukes:
Meena has a secret guarded closely by her family—a secret as dangerous as the sea, and buried just as deep. When court appointed community service workers are assigned to Flukes, the family-owned animal sanctuary, everyone is on high alert. It doesn’t help that Meena finds herself attracted to sexy-as-sin Blake Weathering, one of the new workers. If he wasn’t so distracting, she might be able to land Flukes a much-needed cruise line contract.

Blake Weathering, the first in his family to attend public school, has developed a tough image. Unfortunately it lands him in trouble. Now banned from his high school graduation ceremony, getting his diploma is dependent upon a community service gig cleaning fish crap. No diploma, no trust fund fortune—and no way to escape his overbearing father. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a mysterious girl with teal eyes who pulls at his heart strings.

When Blake discovers Meena’s secret, they are both thrown into a desperate search for information about her past. Two worlds pull them in opposite directions, and they will have to fight to hold onto all that really matters.
Find Flukes on Goodreads 
Nicole Chase's website / blog / @NicholeChase

and now for the cover . . . 

Cover designed by Stephanie Mooney of Mooney Designs
(who creates some great covers and posts at We Heart YA)

What do you think?

Cover reveal organized by AToMR Tours

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

This is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell 
Two teens try to save a class of first-graders from a gun-wielding soldier suffering from PTSD

When high school seniors Emery and Jake are taken hostage in the classroom where they tutor, they must work together to calm both the terrified children and the gunman threatening them--a task made even more difficult by their recent break-up. Brian Stutts, a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, uses deadly force when he's denied access to his son because of a custody battle. The children's fate is in the hands of the two teens, each recovering from great loss, who now must reestablish trust in a relationship damaged by betrayal. Told through Emery and Jake's alternating viewpoints, this gripping novel features characters teens will identify with and explores the often-hidden damages of war.
out October 25th 2012, published by Nancy Paulsen Books / Goodreads / Book Depo / Amazon

I came across this one right after reading One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf which also dealt with a gunman in a school. The plot seems quite different, more tense and yet YA friendly, though.

Can't wait for it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 • Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
 • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser:

"Then on to the Greek vases, where goddesses and mortals alike prostrate themselves over hearts broken by callous gods.She spotted Daphne, Io and Persephone, for whom male attention brought agony and destruction."

pg 5 Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
(also authors of Between You and Me which I reviewed here)

(I feel a bit like I'm cheating with this one - at least for the meme - because I'm reading it on Harper's Browse Inside feature here. I absolutely want to read the whole book but haven't gotten around to purchasing any new books yet as I have enough review, library books already ;))

Over You came out today - August 21st - and was published by HarperTeen. Find it on Goodreads, Amazon or Book Depository

To Fetch a Thief ~ Spencer Quinn review

To Fetch a Thief (Chet & Bernie Mystery #3)
September 28, 2010
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Following their first two (chronicled) adventures in Dog On It (review) and Thereby Hangs a Tail (review) private investigator Bernie Little and his dog - and investigative partner - Chet are back in this third installment.

When one of their divorce cases leaves Bernie with tickets to a traveling circus currently in town, it seems like the perfect place to take his young son Charlie. He never dreams it will lead to a case.

An elephant - and her trainer - seemingly vanished into thin air isn't their usual type of case, but Chet's getting tired of the divorce work and likes anything that pays. Bernie, on the other hand, isn't sure there's much of a case for them to investigate. But if there's a paying client . . .

Chet and Bernie go from looking for a toy-sized show dog in Thereby Hangs a Tail to looking for an circus elephant in To Fetch a Thief and yet it all fits.They seem to stumble into - or get referred into - all of this crazy detective work that could seem crazy (who exactly ends up looking for a missing elephant?) but the writing, the legitimate mystery elements, the characters and the relationships keep it grounded.

Chet continues as the series narrator. This is a great story device, allowing readers to see current goings-on through a unique perspective, leave you select conversations, observations, etc that might give away the mystery (to the reader, at least) too early and pulling in odd bits that might have been forgotten from earlier in the tale. Though the book has a canine narrator, it's not cutesy nor is it overly anthropomorphized. Chet's thoughts are linear enough to make him a great narrator, but they veer off or associate things (most) people would not with each other, enough to make him feel like a dog. That and his thoughts on food, water, tennis balls, etc help, as well.

To Fetch a Thief involves a bit more of the interpersonal relationships of the characters than the previous books did. Not so much that it doesn't still work very well as a stand-alone book, but, being the third book in the series, it was time for certain things to happen, to develop between the different characters. It didn't take the focus away from the case, simply rewarded readers who knew the characters and had hoped for some more insight into their connections.

This series continues to be humorous - both due to Chet's narration and how Chet and Bernie's cases seem to develop - has mysteries that unfold well, dropping clues throughout the book and coming to great conclusions, and has a fantastic cast of characters.

If you're looking for a new mystery, mystery series to start, like books with canines in them or just want a fun book to end out the summer with, consider one of the Chet and Bernie Mysteries.

Rating: 8/10

 (review of #4 and earc of #5 coming super soon :))

Chet & Bernie Series (released so far):

Monday, August 20, 2012

Great YA Pair

Today there's a double review as I recently finished two novels that I that I think work incredibly well together. They're not by the same author or even from the same publisher, but if at the end of either you find yourself wishing there was more (in a good way), the other one's there!

Monument 14 ~ Emmy Laybourne
Feiwel & Friends
June 5, 2012
294 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Book Depo/or Amazon

Dean and his brother are on their way to school, riding the school bus with a handful of other kids when a massive - massive - hailstorm starts. With the hailstones - some the size of basketballs - destroying cars and crushing their bus, they're forced to take refuge in the nearby Greenway.

The high schoolers - and the younger kids whose bus also went to the Greenway- don't think they'll be in the store for long . . . But as disasters strike the world outside, the Greenway seems the safest place. A chain big box store, it has food, medical supplies, blankets, everything they may need.

But just how long will they have to stay? And what will be left of the world outside once they're able to leave?

Perhaps wrongly so, I kept imagining Monument 14 as a sort of Where the Heart Is (the book by Billie Letts/movie where she lives in WalMart) meets 'The Mist.'*  

It was, actually, a bit like that. Without the happy Southern people and cute librarian and whatever I'm forgetting from 'The Mist,' but big, vague picture? Similar.

Similar and awesome. Monument 14 was a June read that I wanted to read a lot, didn't win, had a screw-up about with the library, then finally got . . . and I loved it. It's a fast read but most of that is because it's hard to put down. (In terms of reading level, though it is an easier read, the content and story will absolutely appeal to older readers.)

Told from the point of view of a male narrator, Dean, who is one of those trapped in the store, Monument 14 will hopefully be a great read for a wide audience. Whether you normally read things from the male pov or not, this one is really worth giving a try. Dean is not a hard narrator to connect with at all - male or female reader.

We see a wide variety of characters in the Greenway - and see how they effect each other and how the isolation, caring for the younger kids, and dealing with each other minute after minute, hour after hour effects them.

Similar to Life as We Knew It by Beth Pfeffer, the world outside their isolated environment is changing drastically and they're stuck inside, for safety. The wondering and the the tension are a great part of the story.

The ending of Monument 14 kind of killed me - I do hope there's more . . .and I almost hope there's not.

Rating: 9/10

No Safety in Numbers ~ Dayna Lorentz
May 29, 2012
263 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon
Life As We Knew It meets Lord of the Flies in a mall that looks just like yours.
When a biological bomb is discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban shopping mall, everyone inside is in danger. But almost no one knows it. With the entire mall quarantined, no one even knows for sure if the bomb is dangerous, but then people start getting sick.

Told through four teenage narrators, No Safety in Numbers shows us their attempts to deal with being stuck inside a mall, their attempts to escape, to deal with the rapidly changing environment and how the situation changes everyone. Not all changes are what they - or readers - would expect and not all are changes for the better.

With even adults behaving badly, can the teens make it through?

No Safety in Numbers is one to make you second guess that next trip to the mall. What starts out as an average day for everyone - a quick trip to pick up shoes, to spend time with friends or see a movie - soon turns into something drastically different.

It's great that we're introduced to all of the narrators in the calm, 'before' time. We get to see more of who they usually are, outside of such an extraordinary situation. As things gradually get more tense, more unsure and everyone starts to get more worried and more frenzied, we're then able to see how each of them reacts and see the changes in them. Seeing the changes is much better than just being introduced to them after the worry had set in.

Alternating perspectives also allows us to see the characters through other characters eyes. The different characters meet and interact with each other throughout the novel, allowing us to interpret their actions not only based on our own feelings, but those of others in the mall. Lorentz found realistic ways for their paths to cross, despite the number of people in the mall, and those interactions kept the story moving and gave insight to the characters.

There was not a lot of tension in No Safety in Numbers - despite the sickness, bomb presence. It was more about the characters and their tension, want to get leave. There was enough to keep you wanting to know if they'd manage an escape, if they'd get sick, if the quarantine would last, etc.

An enjoyable, quick read - I'm really hoping for some more from Lorentz!

Rating: 8/10

Pair them up:

Monument 14 and No Safety in Numbers are great to read one after the other - or close together. One has a world where the outside is the danger and the inside is safe; one has a world where the outside i safe and the inside is the danger. In both, everyone needs to stay in but really wants out.

Filled with great characters most of whom are together by circumstance, both books leave you wondering what will happen from one page to the next. There's tension and suspense in them both.

If you like one, I highly believe you'll like the other.

*don't try figuring my brain out

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cinema Saturday (& Book Reviews) + Giveaway Link

I Am Number Four
Touchstone Pictures/Dreamworks
May 24, 2011
PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for language; 109 minutes
with Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron
info on IMDb/DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon

Extraordinary teen John Smith (Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.
(Written by Walt Disney Pictures, found on IMDb)

Aliens were sent to Earth as children when other aliens ravaged their planet. Alone, with only their guardians for protection, they've been in hiding all these years.

The Mogadorians, the aliens who forced them to leave Lorien to being with, are now hunting John and the others on Earth. There's one catch, though, the Lorien children can only be killed in numerical order.

One through Three are dead . . . John is Four.

I Am Number Four is based on the YA book series by Pittacus Lore (a pseudonym), the first book released by Harper in the summer of 2010 and the third coming this week. (My mini-reviews later in this post.) While I Am Number Four most closely follows the story line of the first book, whose title it shares, it also pulls some plot points from the second novel.

As the book came out in August and the film (to threatres) in February, I'm not sure which was, precisely, all of that worked, but the movie's almost spoilery for The Power of Six in a few points.

Even if you've read the book, regardless of how you felt about it, I would recommend seeing I Am Number Four. It's quick, fun, teen action movie. Interestingly, though the parts I liked more in the book seemed to be taken out, I believe I liked the movie better. I also don't think you need to have read the book to enjoy the movie - and can even like the movie if you didn't like the book.

Some differences between the novel and the movie:
  • Some of the more complex plot with Sam and John was simplified from the book. I missed some of Sam's story. His story was also changed and actually almost remedied a question the book seemed to present.
  • The relationship between Sarah and John was much stronger than in the book. Part of it may have been seeing them, but they also had more interaction and there was more development in the relationship. It wasn't so 'insta.'
  • Something that isn't revealed until almost the very end of the book is revealed before the first 15 minutes of the movie are done. (For anyone planning to read the book first, I'll not mention it - but it was interesting to see that switch.)
  • If you listen to any of the audiobooks, the pronunciations are different - namely Henri is Henry not the French pronunciation and  Mogadorian is different - Mawgs not Moegs
The movie did do a very good job of keeping the larger elements from the book incorporated, however. The big things that would really impact the characters so that, in the end, both the book and the movie characters ended up in the same place - and logically so.

(I do have to say, I kind of love Six from the movie)

DVD & The Lorien Legacies/I Am Number Four series:

synopses for all three novels (and one novella collection) - my reviews & giveaway link under the break

Friday, August 17, 2012

GIVEAWAY: The Rise of Nine ~ Pittacus Lore

The Rise of Nine: Lorien Legacies #3 by Pittacus Lore follows I Am Number Four and The Power of Six .

I'll have reviews of the first two books tomorrow - along with a review of the the movie 'I Am Number Four'  - in this week's Cinema Saturday post. (Great if you don't know much about the series yet.)

If you do know about them already and are awaiting The Rise of Nine's release next week then I have great news for you:

The lovely, lovely people at Harper have made it possible for me to offer a giveaway.


Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we're looking for the others--including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York--but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they'll have to fight us first
(you can find an excerpt on EW's Shelf Life here, I'll have the trailer tomorrow & its Goodreads page)

I'm able to offer three copies of THE RISE OF NINE for giveaway (US only)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece ~ Annabel Pitcher (earc) review

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
August 14, 2012
224 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Ten-year-old Jamie Matthews' sister Rose died five years ago in a terrorist attack and its torn his family apart. He and his older sister Jasmine (Rose's twin sister) have just moved with their father to the Lake District while their mother's  moved in with a man from her support group. The only thing connecting them, that they've all left behind the London home where they lived with Rose.

That's not to say they've moved on, though.  With his parents grieving so much they seem to have forgotten about their two living children, Jamie relies on his sister Jas to take care of him and his cat Roger for comfort.

When he sees a commercial for a televised talent show (a la Britain/America's Got Talent) he's sure he's found the way to bring their (very) absentee mother back into the fold and reunite their family once and for all - even without Rose.

I'm not sure I've ever read a book where the title should needed to be taken so literally. Yes, Jamie is ten-years-old but Rose 'living' on the mantel is not just his interpretation of things, it's how his family operates. She died five years prior and they're still very much involving her in every day life. She - or rather her urn - gets plates of food on special occasions, she 'gives' people things. It's all rather odd.

Especially so, I would think, for a ten-year-old. While his parents and older sister have more memories of Rose, Jamie was only five when she died and barely - if at all - remembers this girl who is revered and sanctified in his family. It creates a strange, hard existence for him - but also lets the readers see how, well, troubled the family is.

Page two shows right off with a perfect example of where the family is:

"They each got five bits. Mom put hers in a fancy white coffin beneath a fancy white headstone that says My Angel on it. Dad burned a collarbone, two ribs, a skull and a little toe and put the ashes in a golden urn. So they each got their own way, but - surprise, surprise - it didn't make them happy."
We see right away that the parents aren't united on how to deal with things and that Jamie, even at ten, seems to know things that maybe a ten year old shouldn't?

The new move is supposed to be a fresh start and in a way it is - but it's still clear that things aren't quite right. It's a fresh start but it isn't quite a do-over. And that makes it seem real. The characters slates aren't wiped clean.

My Sister Lives on The Mantelpiece has characters who leave you almost constantly wondering what they're thinking, how they could do that, did they get grief counseling even. It almost all seems to be self-aware - on the part of the reader and the author, not the part of the characters - and for the eventual growth of the characters, though.  There's a lot that left me shaking my head and wondering if the characters should just be written off (due to their actions) but for a lot of them they really did get somewhere better - or at least different - at the end.

I have seen the book listed as Middle Grade but I think it's more Young Adult or upper Middle Grade for the need of the reader to see the right and wrong in things that the characters only see as necessity.

If you're interested, David Tennant did the audio (at least the British audio) and  an audio sample is here.

Rating: 8/10

thank you to LBYR and Net Galley for my egalley of this title

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

this week my Waiting on Wednesday pick is actually a 2012 release (I've had a lot of 2013's lately):

Flash Point by Nancy Kress

Reality TV meets a chillingly realistic version of America--and the fame game is on!

Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she's right to have them. TLN's Who Knows People, Baby--You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life--on and off camera.
it's out November 8th and published by Viking Juvenile

that's my WoW pick - but I'm always looking for more, link me to your post/a book you're waiting on?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hounded ~ Kevin Hearne (audio) review

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1)
Del Rey
May 3, 2011
289 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Atticus O'Sullivan appears to be a twenty-one year old, tattooed Irish guy living in Arizona running his own occult bookshop. And that's what he wants you to think.

Actually the last of the Druids and tens of centuries old, Atticus is hiding from Aenghus Og. Depending on which of them you ask, Atticus either stole or relieved Aenghus Og of his magic sword. Aenghus Og, despite being the ancient god of love, doesn't have particularly loving ideas in mind when it comes to getting it back - or what to do to Atticus.

In the meantime, Atticus plans to spend his days running his bookshop, staying hunder Aenghus Og's radar, shapeshifting into a hound to hunt with his Irish Wolfhound, Oberon . . . and the occasional dealings with witches, goddesses (including the Morrigan).

He's going to need the help of all of them - including the vampire and werewolves he's come to know through their legal expertise, a bartender, a Hindu witch in possession of someone, and maybe even the tough Irish widow down the street - when Aenghus finally tracks him down after centuries and comes for the sword.

Hounded is, I believe, the first book I've read where the character was a Druid - at least a real one. The secondary characters this introduces as well as the actions taken by Atticus because of this make Hounded different right from the beginning.

Having so many different supernatural characters - witches, werewolves, vampires - also a part of the story was a nice change of pace from most urban fantasies (at least that I've been reading) where there will be one or two beings and the others won't exist or won't be a part of the characters world.

One thing that I didn't know about until I started Hounded and worked for me in the audio version but may not for everyone (and may be different in print), Atticus can communicate telepathically with his dog. Oberon's not like Chet in the Chet and Bernie Mysteries, either. He doesn't lose his train of though or get distracted by sausages, have random word associations, ignore halves of conversations, etc. In other words, Oberon doesn't think the way you'd expect a dog to - or doesn't talk to Atticus the way you'd expect a dog to.

Their conversations are pretty human-like. Oberon's very easily excitable like a dog, has an interesting fascination with Genghis Khan and French Poodles but his sentence structure, etc is more human. On an audiobook, however, it's more than amusing.

The thing I'm still unsure about with Hounded is the female characters. The witches seemed to be looked at negatively and are trouble. The goddesses are naked, looking for sex, having it, etc. The Morrigan is supposed to be scary, intimidating. Naked women can be intimidating, but that wasn't the case in Hounded it  felt like they were there to be sexy, be hot . . . and then maybe fulfill any other role. I'm hoping Hearne's portrayal of the opposite sex (at least the 'attractive' ones - he did very well with Widow MacDonagh - though she's not supposed to have sex appeal) improves as the series continues.

As an audiobook this was enjoyable. Later in the book a few of the characters did sound somewhat similar, but the action was enough that it was always possible to easily tell the characters apart. (And Oberon's voice was, of course, great fun.)

Rating: 6/10

You may also enjoy: Storm Front (Harry Dresden #1) - audio of this series is win!! by James Butcher and Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas #1) by Dean Koontz

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blood Magic ~ Tessa Gratton review

Blood Magic (The Blood Journals #1)
Random House Books for Young Readers
May 24, 2011
405 pages
May 24, 2012
432 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

hardcover cover
When Silla Kennicott is still grasping for the truth of her parents' death and unwilling to believe what the whole town - her brother included - does about her father, the book shows up.

Full of Latin and spells, written in her father's handwriting, the book was sent to Silla by someone named Deacon. Someone she's never met before and someone she's never heard of, either. Anxious for any connection to her parents and bolstered by the simple seeming nature of the spells, Silla decides to give one a try.

It's in the cemetery, at her parents' graves where she first tries the Blood Magic. A simple incantation, some salt, a few drops of blood . . . but someone may have seen her.

Nick's the new guy in town and soon in Silla's life. When she approaches him about seeing her do the spell, it's clear that it may not have been his first experience with Blood Magic. But is he as ready as Silla to fall back under its spell?

Nick and Silla are great main characters. Both because they are individually interesting characters who bring a lot to the book and because of the way their characters - their personalities, their pasts, their relationships with the magic, etc - mirror and yet parallel each other.

If Nick is dealing with one thing or one person, Silla seems to be dealing with something - or someone - that is somehow almost the same and yet completely different. It's true in their knowledge of and approach to the magic. It's also true of the events that brought them both to the cemetery that night.
paperback cover

It's easy to see how they're so drawn to each other. They have just enough in common to get past each other's defenses but not so much that their relationship ever seems contrived by the author. Despite the, perhaps, unbelievable aspect of the magic that first draws them together, Nick and Silla do seem very believable and real. I do hope that if they show up in the second book that they're a bit stronger, though.

The plot of Blood Magic was probably stronger than the characters. I didn't quite make that connection with them that left me fretting over what would happen to them when danger was present. I wanted to find out what would happen on the other side of things, but I wasn't anxious over what would happen to them.

 Blood Magic does get a lot of points, though, for not shying away from the blood and danger. Also for not making that all it was about, either. Nick and Silla still have their lives at school, their lives at home - both of which have changed quite a bit recently - and they're doing their best to balance those with not only their new possible relationship but also with their magic explorations, also burgeoning.

The magic, the Blood Magic, in Blood Magic isn't 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' magic - or even, really, 'Charmed' magic. It isn't neat and clean. There's definitely some fun and excitement, and Tessa Gratton shows  some pretty fun stuff, but it's also dangerous. The readers are able to see more of that, I think than the characters. Definitely don't check this one out if you mind any blood or, as previously mentioned, danger. Blood Magic isn't afraid to get dark.

I will say that, as this is part of a series - with different characters, I think (a la Stephanie Perkins series) - I was very happy that it had a definitive conclusion and didn't leave things open ended as a lot of series books do.

I'm excited to have started The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals #2) - thank you Random House and NetGalley - and will have a review of that soon!

Rating: 8/10

*review based off hardcover/done before paperback was released, so I'm including info for both

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cinema Saturday

Silent House
Universal Studios
July 24, 2012
86 mins; R for disturbing violent content and terror
starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer, Stevens
info on IMDb/Blu-Ray and DVD/Amazon Instant Video

Cinema Saturday post for this week is about the movie Silent House with Elizabeth Olsen, here's the summary (via IMDb):
Trapped inside her family's lakeside retreat, a young woman finds she is unable to contact the outside world as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house.
Okay, we should probably start by saying that I really like horror movies. Both the cheesy ones that yes, do just make me jump by startling me, but also the ones that freak me the heck out because they're actually scary. I also have a-hide-under-the-covers affinity for ones that make you think. It's my new(ish) love of dystopian fiction in movie form.

I'm not quite sure where, in all those types of horror films, Silent House, fits, but it is definitely not like others I have seen before.

Sarah (played by Olsen - who was quite great in Martha Marcy May Marlene) is helping her dad and uncle fix up the family lake house to sell. It's been unused the past summer and vandals have taken taken their toll.

With her uncle gone after a fight with her father, Sarah and her father work to clean and pack up the darkened house - the electricity is out, as is the phone line. Sarah's less than perfect relationship with her father is apparent, but he agrees to investigate when she thinks she hears something - someone, really - upstairs and that's when things really begin.

Silent House is filmed in, what appears to be, one continuous frame. The lack of cutaways, the fact that we have followed Sarah from the very beginning - sometimes following another character for a moment but then panning back to her - absolutely adds to the tension once her terror ratchets up. And Elizabeth Olsen really does seem more and more terrified as things progress.

Silent House is the remake of the 2010 Uruguayan film La Casa Muda, having not seen the original, I can't testify to how it compares, but it doesn't seem as if they've done anything to make it 'typically American' as with some other remakes.

I will say I'm still not sure about the ending (which from a review seems to be true to the original). It seemed almost as if it was a mash-up of one ending I had guessed at with one that could have been an ending on its own - but together,

While Silent House is not one of my favorite movies, it was a highly anticipated one for me that I'm happy to have now seen. Also one that I'll likely see again - perhaps especially now that I know the ending.

I'm also looking forward to more films with Elizabeth Olsen.

Buy the DVD (or Blu-Ray) or get it from Amazon Instant Video:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beautiful Lies ~ Jessica Warman (earc) review

Beautiful Lies
Walker Children's
August 7, 2012
422 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Alice and Rachel are two identical twins so similar in looks that even their aunt and uncle - whom they live with - have trouble telling them apart. Lately, however, they've been acting - and dressing quite differently, Rachel being the more obedient, reserved twin while Alice parties, wears much more make-up and has an older boyfriend.

The ultra-strong connection between the two of them is still present, though.

When one twin disappears, it's up to the one left to not only convince everyone of the severity of her absence, but to find her before things get worse. Their connection allows the girl safely at home to feel - and see manifestations - of the injuries she believes her twin is experiencing.

Not sure who she can trust with what - if any information - will she choose the right people to share the right information with . . . and find her sister?

I loved Jessica Warman's Between and was super excited when I saw she had something new coming out. Beautiful Lies, while very different plot-wise from Between has a bit of the same tone. Even the seemingly normal aspects of the characters lives, of the story take on a different feeling when told by Warman.

This is a psychological thriller and its evident in really all aspects, all pages of the tale, not just the more intense ones. It's in the seemingly mundane, ordinary events where she can really set - and keep you in - a mood.

I've seen more about twins - and the possibly bond or connection between them - in film or on television than in books, so this was a great change. With the twins separated here, almost from the very beginning, we don't see much of their interaction in the present day - at least in person. Readers do, however, get memories of the two as younger girls, stories or things told to others, things that all help to form a picture of their relationship with each other, with their family members and friends and how they were each - and together - viewed.

The characters in Beautiful Lies are great. They're not the everyday, predictable secondary - or main - characters you expect to read about and I love that the secondary characters have their own, incredibly interesting stories, too. It not only makes the story more interesting, but it makes the characters and the novel feel more whole.

Warman is excellent at setting - and keeping - a mood. The parts of the story that feel most important definitely keep the reader in the mood, but so do the pages - and events - in between that are more about characters and establishing things (which are also important but could easily lose the feeling established).

Early on in the novel we learn that even as our narrator is learning who she can trust, she may not be all that reliable - and it adds a whole new layer of intrigue and enjoyment to the book. Not only are, as the reader, left questioning some of what she does, you want to go back and reread a thing or two, wondering if things were as they were presented. It's a great twist.

While I do really love psychological mysteries, Beautiful Lies seems to be a good read for those who don't, already, love the genre. Independent of being a good mystery, it's a very enjoyable story. The twins' history, their family, the disappearance, the bond between the sisters, what's happening to the sister who's not missing and the secrets they've been keeping all add up to make it a really enjoyable read.

Rating: 8/10

thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the egalley of this title to review; part of the blog tour for Beautiful Lies

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

This week's pick, that I really, really cannot wait to read is:

Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .

The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

ALINA has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

QUINN should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

BEA wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

I love that there's a dystopian now where it's oxygen that is the commodity - obviously not because I want it ever  to happen but because I think it could make for a fantastic read!

Breathe sounds like it's different from other, recent dystopian tales and maybe adds a bit of potential danger to the mix as well.

Out October 2nd from Greenwillow, a Harper imprint
add to your Goodreads / pre-order from Book Depo / or Amazon

The Boy Recession ~ Flynn Meaney (earc) review

The Boy Recession
August 7, 2012
256 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

When they find out twelve percent of the boys in their small Wisconsin high school moved away or changed schools over the summer, the girls at Kelly's school know it's time to take action.

Kelly, who's never had a boyfriend, was going to make this the year when she finally told her crush just how she felt about him. But now, with girls who'd normally never look twice at Hunter paying him - and the other normally overlooked guys - more than an extra bit of attention, she'll have to do something to stand out.

Hunter's been fine with coasting along. Sure, he could apply himself and do all that his guidance counselor insists he's capable of, but that would take effort and playing music, skipping class and hanging with his two friends is much more fun. When he somehow gets roped into doing things that bring the spotlight on him, though, even the most popular girls take notice.

He might even make up for some of those missing boys . . . and be boyfriend material for them.

Can Kelly get him to be her boyfriend? Maybe some help from her two best friends, one boy-crazy, the other who's less into boys and more into books but has the knowledge will give her the edge she needs.

The Boy Recession has a cute premise: Kelly waited to tell her crush how she felt, now that she's ready, all the other girls are taking notice due to there being a boy shortage at their high school . . . What will Kelly do?
If you're looking for a cute, really fluffy summer read then Flynn Meaney's The Boy Recession is likely a good one. I think I was thinking too much to really enjoy it, though.

I might have gotten stuck having trouble with the setup and then wondered about that too far into the story. A lot of Julius P Heil High's boys move away over the summer (the girls figure it's fifteen boys and with about 250 students total, 125 boys, that's 12 percent). I think it was more the small class size, about sixty, that made me wonder about things. Everyone I know who's at schools with class sizes that small has at least tried dating someone from an outside school - if one's at all nearby - by junior year. (From different mentions it seemed like there were colleges and maybe private schools semi-nearby.)

Again, I think that's me over-thinking a book where you're not really supposed to be thinking much at all but it seemed more likely that the girls, instead of getting desperate for the boys that were still at their school, freshman, too, would date someone not at Julius?

This (my over-thinking, wondering why the girls didn't date outside Julius')  is probably part of why I didn't love the female characters in the book in general. I wanted them to deal with the Boy Recession a bit better. Obviously I knew they were going to all want to date the boys that were left but I guess I found their behavior more desperate than cute? (Except for one side character who may have been my favorite character, overall.)

Kelly and Hunter's characters, who alternate chapters narrating the story, are stronger. Hunter's narration - and thus character - is a bit off in the beginning, he doesn't quite sound like sixteen-year-old guy at a few points and some of his actions seemed contradictory to his persona. Later on, things felt more true, though. Kelly was a good character whose voice stayed consistent from beginning to end and it was pretty easy to identify with her - and her troubles with the Boy Recession.

The Boy Recession is a light, summertime read. It wasn't for me - I had trouble getting past and over-thinking the setup and its ramifications, younger YA readers, especially, looking for a fluffy read might enjoy it.

Rating: 6/10

Other books you might also enjoy:  The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitacker and Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

thank you to LBYR and NetGalley for my egalley of this title
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