Posts Tagged ‘YA literature’

18th November
2011
written by Steph

So, if I had my act together, this is the book I would have lined up to write about for Halloween. It doesn’t really matter that The Radleys isn’t actually all that spooky, because if there is one mathematical equation that always stands true it is this: Vampires = Halloween. It’s just one of those unassailable laws. But, as you all know, life has been chaotic so I instead posted about the Amazon (one day late), which turned out to be a pretty good choice as well. I was actually offered a copy of The Radleys a few months ago, when Giselle from Simon & Schuster contacted me about being on a tour for the book when the paperback was released on September 20. Because being disorganized is my m.o. at the moment, I missed out on the blog tour, but Giselle was still kind enough to send me a copy of the book to read and review here at my leisure. This is a book that I had been curious about, because while I haven’t been part of the latest vampire craze, I was intrigued by the book’s lighter, more humorous tone… I feel like if anyone needs to lighten up, it’s vampires, and this is coming from someone who loved Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Sure brooding is super hot when David Boreanaz is doing it, but the line between Angel and say, Edward Cullen, is a fine one indeed, and if there is another mathematical principle that has yet to be disproven it is that Edward Cullen = Angsty = Annoying. (There is also the Edward Cullen = Stalker = Creepy equation, but that one is less relevant right now.) Also, apart from the fact that Haig was apparently tackling the whole vampire issue with some much needed levity, I appreciated that The Radleys was purportedly a story that involved vampires without really being a story about vampires. In fact, when the book opens, only half of the Radley family in question is actually aware they are something rather otherworldly. So if, like me, you wish vampires would just die already but you feel like taking one turn around the ballroom with the undead, I am prepared to say that you probably won’t hate The Radleys! Well, not because it involves vampires, at least… (more…)
18th November
2010
written by Steph

Is Salman Rushdie one of those authors on your bucket list? You know the ones, authors you've always meant to read, but the sight of their name in print causes your timbers to shiver and your blood to run cold. You see the word "Rushdie" and immediately other words race to mind: "Satanic Verses", "fatwa" and even more chilling "Booker Prize winner". If any of these statements apply to you, then we have good news for you: Luka and the Fire of Life is now in stores and waiting for you to read it! This is Rushdie as written for kids (or young adults), but accessible and enjoyable for adults too! Not ready to test the waters on your own? No worries! Tony read and reviewed Luka for the December issue of BookPage, but you can read his thoughts on the book online right now, right here! This book would probably be a great introduction to all you Rushdie scaredy-cats out there, but it's also satisfying storytelling for those who've already braved the man and lived to tell the tale. I personally have been wanting to add a little more Rushdie to my life, so I'll likely be picking this one up soon myself. Head on over to BookPage and check out Tony's review for all the details and be sure to let us know what you think!
6th September
2010
written by Steph

Tony and I haven’t done a “group read” in a while (in this case “group” = Tony and me… and sometimes our dogs), but when I finally got my hands on a copy of latest YA juggernaut The Hunger Games, we figured there was no book better to read aloud to one another. Given that we shared the reading experience together, we thought we’d gift y’all with a joint review, dialogue style. It’s rather long because we had lots of feelings, so let’s get to it. If you’d prefer, you can listen to the recording of our conversation, which involves more joking and snarking, which I mostly edited out for brevity (seriously!). Choose your own adventure!

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And of course, there are mild spoilers, though we don’t go so far as to break the book down plot point by plot point for you but stay clear if you’ve not read the book yet but are planning to. (more…)
15th July
2010
written by Steph

Well, she got the malice part right at least...

From a great literary high to a nightmare of a novel, such is the bumpy road of a reader’s journey. When I was offered a review copy of international publishing sensation Rebecca James’s debut novel, Beautiful Malice, I was intrigued. This was the woman who had sprung from the wilds of Australia and was apparently poised to dethrone the juggernaut that is Stephenie Meyer. Seemed like fighting words to me, so I decided to see what James had on offer. At 17, Katherine Patterson has experienced more devastation and misery than your typical teen. Haunted by the events that destroyed her family, Katherine believes happiness is beyond her reach. She enrolls in a new high school, in a new city far from her childhood home, and even changes her last name, all in the hopes of one last chance at anonymity. Katherine is content to blend into the background and keep to herself, but when popular Alice Parrie takes an interest in her, Katherine finds she can’t resist her vibrant and alluring offer of friendship.  Together, the two charge headfirst into an exhilarating world of hedonism and excitement. Caught up in the rush of it all, Katherine begins to open up to Alice, never guessing that Alice might have some secrets of her own, secrets that are far more sinister and deadly than anything Katherine could imagine. (more…)
29th January
2009
written by Steph

Finally we’re getting somewhere.  This was my third book read for the 2009 Tournament of Books, and it was by far the one I have enjoyed most to date.  If each subsequent book continues on this upward trend, I can totally deal with the few false starts I dealt with at the beginning. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (henceforth known as TDHoFLB), spans a period of about 6 months in the life of one Frankie Landau-Banks.  The story starts off just before she’s about to begin her sophomore year at the prestigious boarding school, Alabaster Academy.  Over the summer, she has emerged from her ugly duckling cocoon (way to mix metaphors!), and is now quite the attractive young lady (read: she has breasts!).  Due to this metamorphosis, she now catches the eye of fetching upperclassmen, namely a guy named Matthew, whom she’s been crushing on for quite some time.  And now he reciprocates those jelly-knee feelings!!!  So they start to date.  And then Frankie finds out he’s in a super secret society that her father was also a member of, only it’s so top secret that Matthew won’t even tell her about it (or acknowledge its existence).  She can also forget about joining it, because it’s a top secret society that is for BOYS ONLY.  This is unacceptable to Frankie, so she spends the rest of the novel trying to figure out a way to be a part of this illustrious Secret Order of the Basset Hounds. (more…)