The slant on YA books

Monthly Archives: January 2014

 

StSBanner

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where book bloggers share their weekly book haul.

It has been a crazy week! I haven’t been posting or commenting as much because I have signed on to help costume my school’s musical, and it takes up about all of my free time. I still found time to go to the library, get books in the mail, and go to my library’s used book sale.

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

 momentwickeddesert

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Desert Tales by Melissa Marr

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (I have been on a Melina Marchetta kick lately. If you ahven’t read any of her books before: Do it!)

 francescaalibrandicrash

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Crash by Lisa McMann

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson(FINALLY!)

kingdomairheadsirenzsirenz2grandmaster

Airhead by Meg Cabot 

Sirenzand Sirenz Back in Fashion by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman (I won these in a giveaway from Em at The Book Butterfly. Thanks, Em! And thanks, Charlotte, for the lovely note.)

Grandmaster by David Klass (Thanks, Fierce Reads!) 

How has your week been? I can’t promise to respond right away, but leave me something to read!

 

Advertisements

WoWBanner

To find out more about Waiting on Wednesday, check out my first post here

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab


theunbound Expected Publication: January 28, 2014

 Publisher: Hyperion

 Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. 

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe. 

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels? 

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

— I read and loved The Archived, the first novel in this series, and it was really well written and told a very interesting story. I read a sample of this book and haven’t gotten it out of my head since. 

What books are you waiting for? Have you read The Archived?


StSBannerStacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where book bloggers share their weekly book haul.

After the massive book haul from last week, I really shouldn’t be adding any more books to my shelves. Also, it’s finals week, so the blog may only be updated infrequently for a while. Buying new books will be my reward for finishing this semester.

But, I still managed to get a few books this week.

 bittersweet embersThank you to Holly at Novel Bliss! I won her giveaway for her blogoversary and received a copy of BittersweetFrom the library, I had to get The Crown of EmbersNow, I am eager to get my hands on the third book. 

That’s it for me this week. What did you guys get this week?


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

thorns

I gave up on The Girl of Fire and Thorns the first time I read it, but I wanted to give it a second chance. I quite enjoyed the story and characters so much more this time around.

The first part of the novel moved slowly. While I would feel periods of boredom, the moments of action and suspense made up for it. Elisa did get on my nerves, but I could understand where she was coming from. I loved how she grew so much from the beginning to the end.

The culture of the book is done really well. The people and their features and language are distinct and bring a certain detail to the book that sets it apart.

I am reading the second book right now and oh my is it good. So much swoon. So much danger. So much love. I need the third book stat!


Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Pages: 320 right 

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Date Published: July 9, 2013 

Source: ARC given to me from Willa at Lit Up Review 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal. 

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on. 

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead… 

Review: 

Right of Way is filled with so much wrong, wrong, wrong.

Having read the companion novel Two-way Street I knew to expect a drama-filled road trip novel. However, Right of Way is an illogical, angst-y jumble.

Let’s first take a look at what I did like about the book.

-It’s fast paced. The book is a quick read, which is what I want in a road trip book. 

-It delivers what it promises. This is kind of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get. I hate saying this, but it is a pretty fluffy novel. Any time serious issues arise, the characters avoid confronting it directly.

Some of the things I had an issue with were: 

-The Characters. Jace is the valedictorian of his high school, yet he couldn’t care less about school or graduation. As a student who works hard for every grade I get, it didn’t endear me to Jace at all. It’s also not reasonable that someone who doesn’t care about school would be the valedictorian. Plus, he didn’t strike me as being especially intelligent. (Jace acts surprised that his mom found him through his credit card charges.)

Peyton is very immature. She just kept avoiding her problems, and even in the end she still hadn’t changed. Honestly, her personality was aggravating. I didn’t care about what happened to her.

Both main characters had a few exaggerated characteristics but didn’t feel dynamic. 

-The Conflicts. The conflicts of the book were blown out of proportion. The reason Jace and Peyton “broke up” was ridiculous, and I found it hard to take the story seriously. 

-The Romance. What romance? This relationship is very unhealthy. The characters don’t open up and talk to each other except for maybe one occasion. Jace and Peyton seemed obsessed with each other rather than being in love. 

Right of Way disappointed me on several levels. I went in hoping for more than I got.

 


StSBanner

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where book bloggers share their weekly bookhaul.  

right  openly straightSpecial thanks to Willa from Lit Up Review for giving me her ARC of Right of Way and the wonderful team at Scholastic for the copy of Openly Straight.

I went to the library this week and only checked out ten books! 

Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike 

The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson 

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer 

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally 

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally 

And then I bought myself a few books too because I figured I didn’t have enough to read. 

Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally 

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally 

What lovely books did you get this week? Let me know!


Since I am so curious, I want to know who uses the library? Public library, school library, any library counts so long as you visit it.

beautyandthebeast

I personally love going to the library and always get way to many books when I go. (If you want to read my confession about it, click here.) I have to use the library to feed my need for books. The people are always so friendly, and my school library usually gets books in faster than if I went to the bookstore.

The only downside to the library is when someone checks out the book I want. Then we have a problem.

clock

Bottom Line: Do you go to the library? If so, how many books do you check out at once? If not, why? Let me know!


Bolddiscussions

Welcome to BOLD discussions. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. It’s never too late to participate; whether it be an old discussion or a new one, tell me what you think.

Let’s talk about cover changes this week. Or rather, let’s talk about a specific kind of cover change: the one where publishers are trying to reach “a broader audience/new readers”.

I understand that this is the reason for practically every single cover change ever, but I think that publishers should be straight forward when they mean to say, “We are changing these covers because we don’t want boys to feel embarrassed reading them.”

Let’s face it: it seems like more and more covers these days are getting a makeover to try and reach out to a male audience.

On the one hand, I think this is great. I love the idea of getting more people to read YA.

But on the other hand, I get pretty upset. Here’s why: when covers are changed to “reach a new audience” *cough, cough, boys* they are reinforcing the idea that boys should be embarrassed to be caught reading books with girls on the cover.

Why don’t girls deserve books with thought out covers instead of the sometimes sickeningly cliché ones that are produced? And, more importantly, why is it more acceptable for a girl to be reading a book with a boy on a cover than a boy reading about a girl?

I am far from being the first one to ask these things. In fact, Maureen Johnson made a  somewhat similar point pretty effectively with her Coverflip idea.

Let’s take a look at some examples of cover changes.

universe suns

universe2 suns2 earth

 Here the covers change from sci-fi covers with romance to stone cold sci-fi. I really love the first set of covers, though the second set isn’t that bad. But, I have the distinct feeling that the covers on these books were changed so that boys would feel inspired to give this series a shot. Again, I am all for boys, or anyone, reading YA, but it reinforces those earlier problems I mentioned earlier.

Another example.

blood magic 

Again, we see the cover going from one featuring a girl to a more gender neutral cover. (I have to say, I do like this cover change because that first book just looks like so many other covers.)

Those are just two quick examples of cover changes that came to mind. I really like both series, but I feel like there cover changes carry some extra baggage.

I guess another one of my biggest questions is why aren’t these covers re-evaluated from the start? By releasing a first feminine cover and then later a more masculine one, it seems to be telling me that publishers are trying to appeal to two different audiences at the same time. If this wasn’t the case, why wouldn’t they just release a gender neutral cover from the start? By doing the changes, I get the feeling that boys aren’t going to read girl books, so instead of working to change this idea they are simply reinforcing it. 

Congrats for making it to the bottom of this discussion! What do you think? Is there any truth to my words or am I just talking nonsense? Are there any other cover changes you think reinforce my point? Let me know!


Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Pages: 352  Untitled-1

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Date Published: January 7, 2014

Source: ARC provided by Random Buzzers in exchange for my honest review. 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life. 

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over. 

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself. 

Review: Being Sloane Jacobs is a cute, yet predictable, story.

In order to truly enjoy this book, you have to suspend your belief for a lot if, which is something I’m not good at doing. I had a hard time believing that a) no one would notice the girls switched, considering Sloane Emily’s face has been in magazines and the like and b) they are attending camps for experienced skaters and hockey players. No way would someone not question the girls’ lack of experience when they are supposed to be the best of the best. The book tries to be logical, and, while I appreciated it, some things were a little too hard to swallow.

Putting aside the lapses in logic, I enjoyed how the book focused on hockey and figure skating, two topics I don’t know much about. I haven’t ever seen hockey come up in a YA book about girls at all (though I am sure they are out there somewhere).

The hockey and figure skating really do play a large role in the novel. Reading about practice after practice became monotonous and slowed the pace of the book. Constantly, I was waiting for some new development to occur, but it was usually just more of the same thing again and again.

The romance takes a back seat to the friendship between the girls, but it made things much more interesting. Sloane Devon’s romance was sweet, and I wished we got to see more of her with her love interest. On the other hand, I wished Sloane Emily’s would just walk off the page. He is a real piece of work and shows little to know character growth, going from one personality to another without explanation.

While the transitions between each girl were needed and well-placed, I found myself liking Sloane Devon’s perspective more than Sloane Emily’s. Sloane Devon had more personality and a developed backstory that Sloane Emily was missing. Still, both girls were likable and reading their antics was always fun.

The cover of the book is misleading because this is, above all else, a story of friendship, not a romance. However, the title couldn’t be more accurate. The book takes a look into the lives of both Sloane Jacobses at an important moment in their lives. The story isn’t anything new, but it would be a good contemporary to read if you are tired of romances dominating the plot.

Honestly, I think this book ended up being a case of It’s Not You, It’s Me. Readers who are okay with crazy, unbelievable shenanigans will probably adore this book, while those who enjoy more realism in their stories might want to pick up something else.


spongebob

I hope you are all having a fantastic start to this new year!

Blogging Resolutions of 2014

1.) Reach out to more fellow bloggers and make new friends to talk about books with.

2.) Come up with more unique and creative posts, especially discussions.

3.) Be more thankful for the lovely people who always stop by on the blog, on Twitter, etc.

4.) Keep having fun with blogging, and to remember that it is my passion not my job.

Blogging Goal of 2014

Write and post at least 100 reviews and 30 discussions.

It’s a new year, so it’s time for new experiences and to make new friends. What are you going to do with this new year? Any goals? Let me know!



The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

The Nomadic Book Hoarder

Not all those who wander are lost

Literary Lushes

ARC Tours and #LitLush Twitter chats!

The Girls in Plaid Skirts

Bibliophiles and Spies

Such a Novel Idea

A Blog About Books

pages & paperbacks

her heart was a river that carried her to the sea - leigh bardugo

Bibliophilia

The ramblings and reviews of a book-lover

Fangirl Friends

We're your Fangirl Friends, updating you daily and sharing our thoughts

Ode to Jo & Katniss

Exploring great stories and creating great stories.

%d bloggers like this: