Showing posts from March, 2014

Push - Eve Silver

I had the privilege of reviewing Eve Silver's Rush before it first came out in 2013. The sequel is just as adventurous, thrilling, and impressive as the first book. So without further ado, here we go...

That was just the beginning, and the end. End of the known and familiar. Beginning of my new reality, where I jump between my life as plain old Miki Jones, and an alternative world where I fight the Drau—beautiful, terrifying alien predators bent on conquering Earth.

I don't understand it. I don't get how it works. All I know is that one minute I was trying to save Janice Harper's little sister from getting hit by a speeding truck; the next I was lying in the road, broken and bloody. Dying. Dead. I woke up in a grassy clearing called the lobby, alive, healed, not hurt at all, lying on my back, staring up at a handsome face and old-school, mirrored aviator shades—both of which belonged to Jackson Tate.

Silver's writing is taught, her prose as sharp and deadly as the bla…

The Meaning of Maggie - Megan Jean Sovern

Beep. Beep. Beep.My dad won't stop beeping.And it's impossible to concentrate while my dad is beeping. He's been beeping for almost a whole day now. And it's not the friendly beep of the ice cream truck backing up after you chased it half-way down the block either. It's a slow beep that makes me really sleepy. But it's impossible to sleep because the chair in the hospital room is harder than the hardest substance on earth, which I know is diamond because it was on my science final two months ago, which I got a 100 on, but whatever.
Maggie Mayfield has two sisters—both of whom she loves and detests in equal measure—a mother who works seemingly non-stop, and a father who is falling prey to multiple sclerosis. She wants to grow up to become the president of the United States, but in the meantime she remains on the Honor Roll, tries to follow all the rules, and aspires each and every day to pull herself up by the bootstraps. Unfortunately, even though Maggie feels l…

(Don't You) Forget About Me - Kate Karyus Quinn

To borrow from a particularly brilliant review on Goodreads: "Holy Crap!" 
Welcome to Gardnerville.  A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.Except... There's a price to pay for paradise.Even as the land of Gardnerville magically heals and lengthens lifespans, death and destruction within the magical town is almost more accepted and widespread than the healing properties that bring so many to live there in the first place. Would you move to a place with no disease, a place where so many live over 100 years, knowing that every four years things will go to hell? What would you do?

You'll second-guess everything after reading (Don't You) Forget About Me, I guarantee it!

People have supernatural abilities as well: some can read minds, others can influence people with almost no effort, and on fourth years, things get crazy! In a fourth year, someone's fist might turn into a brick right before a punch, or someone just might make you jump off a bridge. Go…

In the Shadows - Kiersten White & Jim Di Bartolo

In the Shadows is a visually stunning and beautifully written work of art. The two styles, though very distinct, tell two different parts of the same tale, merging the past and the present in a tangle of word and image. The narrative is eerie and horrific, yet intricately wrought to encourage an emotional connection to each character.
Charles had discovered, much to his surprise, that dying came with a whole array of benefits.Certainly there was much to be said for not dying before the age of sixteen, but as that did not appear to be an option, he had reconciled himself to slamming into the end of his life with as much momentum as he could manage. The novel tells the stories of Thom and Charlie, Cora and Minnie, Arthur, and a large cast of creepy secondary characters. Thomas is taking care of his brother, Charlie, who is dying of a terminal illness. The two are sent off to the sea in order to get some fresh air and to leave the city behind... or so they're told. They arrive at a bo…

The Night Gardener - Jonathan Auxier

The calendar said early March, but the smell in the air said late October. A crisp sun shone over Cellar Hollow, melting the final bits of ice from the bare trees. Steam rose from the soil like a phantom, carrying with it a whisper of autumn smoke that had been lying dormant in the frosty underground. Squinting through the trees, you could just make out the winding path that ran from the village all the way to the woods in the south. People seldom traveled in that direction, but on this March-morning-that-felt-like-October, a horse and cart rattled down the road. It was a fish cart with a broken back wheel and no fish. Riding atop the bench were two children, a girl and a boy, both with striking red hair. The girl was named Molly, and the boy, her brother, was Kip.

And they were riding to their deaths.

I've known people to distinguish between literary fiction and children's fiction, but I dare anyone to read Auxier's The Night Gardener and tell me that the book is not litera…

Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick

What would you sacrifice for someone you've loved forever?
In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a ritual sacrifice takes place.
It echoes a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire, they come close to finding what they've lost. But can love last forever?

I was going to try to explain the book in my own words, but the rear cover was just so well written and succinct, that's what I am sticking with it. (Hopefully people will see this as a nod to the talent of the writer of the back matter, and not as a sign of my laziness!)
The novel is told in eight parts, each reading almost like a short story set in a different time, but in the same place, with mostly new characters in each section. While each story is rather indepen…

Noggin - Official Book Trailer

You simply MUST get this book as soon as it comes out in April! It's AMAZING!!

One Man Guy - Michael Barakiva

One Man Guy is Michael Barakiva's first novel, and it's a daring debut! It's not too often that authors are willing to engage with multiple layers of marginality, in this case sexuality and race. It seems like common sense that various aspects of humanity interact on a daily basis in real life, but often within lit for young readers, certain aspects are sacrificed in order to engage with another (hence all the white gay boys in YA!) Moving on....

Barakiva's novel opens on Alek and his family out for dinner. His mother and father spend almost the entirety of the first ten pages complaining about the service, the type of water available, and the types of food. It's a humorous way to open, and Barakiva pulls it off well. Once the food eventually gets ordered, Alek finds out that his parents have decided to send him to summer school while they go on vacation with his older brother, Nik. Before the summer has a chance to completely fall apart, though, he runs into Ethan,…

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - Leslye Walton

I love magical realism. Skellig by David Almond is a personal favourite, but Leslye Walton's book is competing for that number one spot!
As soon as I was born, the nurses whisked me away from the delivery room to explore a matter that was later described on an anonymous medical report only as a slight physical abnormality. It wasn't long before the devout gathered in the light from the hospital windows, carrying candles and singing hymns in praise and fear. All because when I was born, I opened my eyes, then unfolded the pair of speckled wings that wrapped around me like a feathery cocoon.Or so the story goes.So marks the beginning of the history of Ava Lavender and her predecessors. The story begins with an address from Ava, but soon moves backwards in time to a retelling of her earlier ancestors, Emilienne (her grandmother), and Viviane (her mother). Each of these earlier tales explores the notion of love and family, woven together with elements of timelessness and magic. Wit…