Posts that have been tagged with: "Young Adult"

Review

Seriously Wicked

Posted: July 30, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Tina Connolly, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Seriously Wicked

Camellia is a high school sophomore who lives with her adopted mother, who happens to be a witch. But witches are only ever wicked, as evidenced by the spell Cam saw the witch perform when Cam was five years old. She still doesn’t like to talk about it.

Growing up with a witch stinks, since their M.O. for child rearing includes really terrible punishments. Like turning fingers into noodles. Or turning the child into a pile of rotten tomatoes for the afternoon. And forcing them to gather weird ingredients such as goats blood, pigs ears, and… eggplant?

But now the witch is planning to take over the town using Phoenix fire, and needs Cam’s help to manage the demon she summoned in order to do it. Cam wants to undermine the witch’s plans AND pass her Algebra test at the same time, but she’s not sure that’s possible.
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Review

Woven

Woven

Nels can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be a knight. Unfortunately, despite his aptitude for combat and a desire to help others, Nels’ mother won’t let him apply to become a squire. So far he’s listened to his mother. But this year she’ll be gone during the festival and decides to sneak out of the house while she’s gone.

By the end of the night he wishes he’d listened to his mother. Everything goes wrong. He gets in a fight with a real knight. Offends the princess. And is found by the very man who wants to see him dead.

Princess Tyra is in love with Knight Arek. Sure he’s a little pompous, but the idea of governing the kingdom scares her, and she’d rather hand it over to a capable husband. She just needs to convince her father that Arek is the best choice. Things were going well until Arek gets in a fight with peasant boy at the festival. When the boy wins he demands his prize–a kiss from the princess–and she refuses, she’d been expecting to kiss Arek as the winner. But later that same boy comes to haunt her–as a ghost.
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Review

Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown

Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown

Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves–Lucifer, for short–isn’t the kind of teenage girl you’d find at any given high school. Beyond the mundane such as her unusual name, living on her own in a dump of an apartment, thieving for a living, and avoiding the authorizes, there’s the fact that she knows about magic while the rest of the human population lives unawares. She makes it clear from the beginning that she doesn’t have magic, but she can use magical items. That’s where the thief part comes in: she steals these magical items from bad people.

It turns out that even though she’s not technically an adult yet, she has insider knowledge of a world few know about. So when a policeman’s daughter, Gina, is kidnapped by a witch in a mirror, only Lucifer knows how to navigate the strange and mystical in order to bring the girl home.
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Review

Residue

Posted: April 28, 2015 by Alan in Books We Love Meta: Steve Diamond, Horror, Young Adult
Residue

RESIDUE (Amazon) is the debut novel from EBR’s very own head honcho, Steve Diamond. The reason I am reviewing my bosses book is because he knows I’m incredibly picky, I dislike the genre he wrote in, and I’m the only EBR reviewer who wasn’t involved in the book from any standpoint other than reading it. Also, I’m more likely to be hard on Steve than nice.

So let’s talk about RESIDUE.

Right out of the gate, it should be noted that the cover is fantastic. A top notch effort, and really lends to the atmosphere of the book. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that covers aren’t important.

RESIDUE opens with Alexandra Courtney in a bloodbath and fight, and quickly establishes the novels reliance on the paranormal as a plot device and tool to make the characters unique. Almost as quickly, we’re introduced to Jack Bishop, the protagonist of the novel, who is a (surprise!) paranormally powered individual who is wanted by an evil “THINGY” for experiments. And stuff. Can’t get into too much detail there – spoilers, and all that!

Right?! Super tropey and a little off-setting in the beginning. Well buckle your seat-belts, cuz right there, is where the tropes end. First off, Diamond delivers complex, motivated characters, who refuse to be defined by what they can do, but instead are defined by the choices they make. All of the cast is well-written, delivering consistent high note after consistent high note. The use of ESP powers is done in a way not often seen in Horror, and definitely not YA.
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Review

Half the World

Posted: April 24, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Joe Abercrombie, Fantasy, Young Adult
Half the World

This book is a gem.

No, seriously, I mean it. Don’t be rolling your eyes at me. Although… I must admit that if I were to leave this review at that, and not elaborate at all, then I’d very much expect you to roll your eyes, blow me a raspberry, and click on to the next review. How many times have you read a comment like that about a book and been like, “What the freak does that even mean?” So don’t worry. This book is so worth talking about. In fact, I’m getting kinda giddy just thinking about it all.
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Review

Sand and Blood

Sand and Blood

Rutejìmo is labeled among his clan as a useless teenager, and is considered lazy, temperamental, and cowardly. He’s jealous of the much-admired Chimípu, who seems to be able to do anything–she’s more athletic, clever, and better liked. And he wants to be like his brother, Desòchu, who is a warrior and protects the clan; no one believes Rutejìmo is capable of such a thing.

But Rutejìmo gets his chance to prove the naysayers wrong when he, Chimípu, and three other boys are taken into the desert as part of their rite of passage into adulthood. He knows that when he becomes a true member of the Shimusògo clan he will inherit the clan magic that allows him to run faster than a horse and use sunlight as a weapon. The adults, including Desòchu, take the youth into the desert to begin their rite… and leave them to fend for themselves by disappearing during the first night. Rutejìmo can’t believe Desòchu would abandon him. While Chimípu tries to find help, Rutejìmo is left with the three other boys, one is Pidòhu who is even weaker than he is, and the other two who are well-known bullies. And everything goes wrong.

So begins Rutejìmo’s rite of passage.
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Review

Into the Wilderness

Posted: February 20, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Mandy Hager, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Into the Wilderness

In 2013’s THE CROSSING (EBR Review), Maryam discovered she’d been lied to her entire life. That the Apostles weren’t who they said they were and that the native women taken to the ship were being treated like slaves. Determined to escape the injustices, Maryam makes a plan, and with the help of her newfound friend Joseph they do–with two unexpected companions in tow.

Now, in INTO THE WILDERNESS (Amazon), Maryam and Joseph cross the sea in search of a new home, but nothing goes according to plan.
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Review

Red Rising

Posted: February 18, 2015 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Pierce Brown, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Red Rising

I originally dismissed RED RISING (Amazon) by Pierce Brown because of the immense level of hype behind the debut. RED RISING was being touted as the next THE HUNGER GAMES, as it seems the majority of Young Adult novels are marketed these days. Being that I consider THE HUNGER GAMES a vastly overrated and underwhelming novel I gave RED RISING a pass. I purchased a copy several months ago on a whim, unwilling to leave the bookstore empty handed. It sat untouched and unloved near the bottom of my To Read Pile until the recent release of GOLDEN SON (Amazon), book two of the trilogy. News of the sequel drew my attention back to the series and I decided to give it a shot.

I should have jumped aboard the first car of the RED RISING bandwagon when I had a chance. I absolutely devoured Pierce Brown’s debut — reading for hours at a time, even skipping dinner in order to finish the book during a frenzied four-hour reading binge. I’ve read a lot of good books lately nothing on the level of RED RISING in a long, long time.
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Review

Awakening

Awakening

McKayla’s aunt Avril has always been a little odd. She travels the world as a psychic for the FBI, to the chagrin of McKayla’s mother, who doesn’t like it when she talks magic with her daughters. Now, Avril is visiting Sun Valley in small-town Idaho where McKayla and her family live in order to investigate a serial killer who – it appears – possesses her victims. McKayla goes with her aunt during a case to interview the widow of a murder victim. There she discovers that maybe Aunt Avril’s psychic abilities are magic and run in the family because McKayla can feel the window’s emotions–she’s empathic.

But that’s not even the strangest thing, because despite outward tears the widow’s inside emotions are not what McKayla expects a widow to be experiencing: she’s not sad, she’s angry.
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Review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Posted: January 19, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Ransom Riggs, Fantasy, Young Adult
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Jacob’s grandfather was kind of an odd guy. When Jacob was a kid, his grandfather would tell him all sorts of stories about the kids in the Welsh children’s home he lived in after escaping pre-war Europe. Then he would show Jacob all sorts of strange photographs (see cover picture of levitating girl) of the other peculiar children he lived with. As Jacob grew older he began to realize that these stories couldn’t have been memories, but were tall tales to entertain an imaginative grandson.

Or were they?

After witnessing his grandfather’s death, Jacob’s parents are convinced that it was so traumatic that he hallucinated the monster-like creature Jacob saw. Jacob is able follow the clues of his grandfather’s last words, and convinces his father to take him to the island where Miss Peregrine’s home for children resides. Instead of answers, Jacob instead finds an abandoned relic from 60 years before. While there he meets someone from his grandfather’s past, and Jacob begins to realize that maybe his grandfather wasn’t completely bonkers after all.
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