Rated 3 stars *** 2015. Orbit (Hatchette). 431 p. (Includes “Interview [with the author],” “Reading group guide,” and a chapter from an upcoming book.)
A strange type of spore has invaded the world, changing most of the population into zombies. Mindless “hungries” are left to wander the ruined land seeking blood. There are just a few pockets of normal civilizations, who shut themselves behind barricaded walls guarded by soldiers. Ten-year-old Melanie has grown up in such a place with other children, strapped into wheelchairs by soldiers for school, and kept in cells at all other times. Her mind is eager for knowledge, and she longs for the times when Miss Justineau, her favorite teacher, visits the classroom.
After hungries attack her secure area, Melanie, Miss Justineau, an evil doctor and two soldiers are left to make their way South towards one of the only remaining civilizations left in Great Britain knowing that hungries lie in wait on every crumbled street in every forsaken city. It is the ingenuity of little Melanie, and the love she has for her teacher, which powers the book towards its inevitable ending. I wasn’t a fan of that ending, but it seemed to make the most sense given everything else that happened in the book.
At first I was bored, and couldn’t get into the book. It wasn’t until the hungries invaded that I became more invested. Though it had a slow start it raised a lot of thinking about what happens when an Apocalypse occurs, but it also left quite a few unanswered questions. The Q & A with the author at the end was very enlightening.
I recommend this book for Adults.
Rated 5 stars ***** Alfred A. Knopf. 2018. 394 p.
A’s love story continues in this sequel to Every Day. When last we saw him in “Every Day,” A had decided to leave town because, though he didn’t want to leave Rhiannon, Poole was after him. He set Rhiannon up to be with Alexander, the boy whose body he’d been inhabiting that day, and left town.
Now far away in Denver, A continued to live his many lives. Every day he wondered how Rhiannon was doing, missing her, but feeling he’d made a good decision. For her part Rhiannon missed him too. She felt as if she and Alexander were good together, but he wasn’t A.
Poole returned, now calling himself X, and went after Nathan demanding A’s return. Nathan sought help from Rhiannon, who had already been in contact with A. It is up to A to figure out a way to safely return without getting caught up in X’s diabolical plans, while also wondering if there’s a way for him and Rhiannon to be together again.
Told from multiple points of views, readers get to see what’s inside X’s head as well as the thoughts of others who also change bodies every day. Levithan makes readers wonder if there really are people in the world that can inhabit our bodies for one day and we’d never know. Are there? Have they? I hear the strains of Twilight Zone music playing…
Recommended for teens ages 15 and older.
Rated 1 star * ARC. To be published January 31, 2017. Blink. 275 p.
All his life Jonah has loved Stormi while hating his own scoliosis and epilepsy. Some in his little town of Gullary, Oklahoma are leery of her because she sees things before they happen, while others love her. Mixed in with his constant thoughts of Stormi, and his bouts with epileptic attacks, is a mystery surrounding a secret group of men called The Circle and an old prisoner.
I couldn’t get into this book, finding Jonah’s wandering narrative to be sleep inducing and the storyline too far fetched for my liking. Maybe one of you will enjoy it, so I will leave it up to you to Decide if You Want to Read it or Not.
Rated 1 star * ARC. Published June 7, 2016. SparkPress.
Courtney used to love being with her grandfather, listening to his strange stories about aliens visiting Earth, until he tried to drown her when she was just a little girl. Now that she’s 15 years old, she still hasn’t come to grips with the traumatic events of that day.
When her childhood imaginary friend reappears in her mind, and aliens begin to constantly attempt to communicate, Courtney is sure she’s going insane. A new friend convinces her to visit a doctor who understands aliens and who will solve her problems. Before she knows it, Courtney is involved in a race to help the aliens save the world from destroying itself.
Courtney was so immature. I lost count of how many times she pulled her hair in frustration, and I don’t know any 15 year olds who pull their hair. Her friend Agatha was 19 years old and her vocabulary, which consisted of saying the word “dude” in every sentence, was grating and just as bad.
Courtney is 15, has a 19-year-old friend, says bad words, and has a mother who doesn’t listen to anything she says. That means it has to be a YA book. Right? Wrong! The storyline was boring and not believable, the characters were flat and immature, and it could have easily passed for a lower middle grade book. I was looking for an interesting YA book, but this was not that book. A sequel is planned, but I won’t be reading it. I’m sorry I read this one.
I didn’t like it, but will leave it up to you to decide if you want to read it or not.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rated 3 stars *** ARC. Ebook. To be published July 12, 2016. Random House.
In the late 1980’s a murder was committed in Pen’s small hometown when she was only 15, which implicated her and her best friend Tracey. It’s now 1990, and she is seeing a psychiatrist for some murders that happened at her University. Using her doctor’s suggestion, Pen decides to keep a journal to recount events in her life so she could get to the root of her real problems.
Pen’s diary goes back and forth in time describing the current situation in her hometown, then skipping back to her life at University where someone is attacking females with a screwdriver, and where drugs, sex and drinking run rampant and unchecked. Occasionally Pen’s diary jumps even further back in time to give readers glimpses of her time with Tracey, but that timeframe is not as well developed.
The author cleverly weaved in secrets and lies as people were dropping like flies, which made me suspect practically everyone. I enjoyed trying to figure out what was happening, but I did not like the way the book ended. Are readers supposed to guess at what happened in the last chapter, or is the author planning on writing a sequel? I really hope not, but if she isn’t going to write one why did she leave readers dangling off the edge of a cliff?
I will recommend this book with some reservations. If it weren’t for the ending, and not getting clear answers to my many questions about Pen and Tracey, I would have given this book 4 stars. Its murky ending lowered it to three stars.
Recommended for Adults.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rated 4 stars **** ebook. 2014. Lorien Legacies, book #5. Harper (Harper Collins). Includes three excerpts from “I Am Number Four: The Lost Files titled “Return to Paradise,” “Five’s Legacy,” and “Five’s Betrayal.”
Ella has been kidnapped by Setrákus Ra, is a prisoner aboard his spaceship, and finds out she’s actually his granddaughter. Meanwhile John, Sarah, Sam, Malcolm and Adam are holed up trying to plan their next move after the disaster in Chicago while Six, Marina and Nine are trying to find their way out of Florida swampland where they’d been ambushed by Five. Eight has been killed and taken by the Mogs, but Marina is determined to find a way to rescue his body from them.
Despite being separated and facing grim odds, the remaining Loric are desperate to figure out a way to use their legacies to stop the Mogadorians from invading Earth. With each passing day Setrákus Ra’s evil plan gets a step closer to becoming reality, and it will take all of their combined power to stay a step ahead of the Mogs to survive one more day and save Earth.
This latest book in the “I am Number Four” series is full of the usual Mog fights and Loric shows of power. An interesting twist, along with a very frustrating cliffhanger ending, will leave readers eagerly clamoring for Book #6 which won’t be released until 2015 and is portrayed as THE final book in the series. I’ll believe it when I read it.
Recommended for readers aged 14 and older.
Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. ebook. To be published September 23, 2014. Egmont USA.
Sarah was patiently waiting for her last brain surgery. Finally she would be relieved of all the memories that had been clogging her mind and would be free to reinvent herself as a new person. The hospital she was in had the latest technology and the best nursing care available, so Sarah wasn’t worried. Everything was going to be just fine.
On the last day of her surgery, everything was going as planned until a power failure caused it to be postponed. Within a matter of hours, she’d regained part of her memory, began fleeing for her life from an army of trained soldiers sent to kill her, found herself falling in love with a strange hacker dude, and uncovered heartbreaking memories which revealed a deep, dark secret about her past.
Lippert-Martin’s dystopian, action-packed, thriller adventure will have its readers on the edges of their seats as they eagerly read to find out what will happen next to Sarah. Each cliffhanger chapter ending reveals a new key to the mystery, making it impossible to put down the book until it’s all finished.
Highly recommended for ages 12 and older.