Showing posts from October, 2016

Scythe - Neal Shusterman

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

First of all, let me say that I just adore this cover. The tans and reds are beautiful and just the right combo to show the mood in the pages to follow (i.e. brilliant, violent, and captivating.)
I never know where Shusterman is going to go with a book, and this was no exception. Would this book focus on the deaths and the gore? Would it focus on t…

The Sun Is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Serendipitous happenstance is the chain holding together the events of this beautifully written novel. I liked Everything, Everything quite a lot, but I think Nicola Yoon's style and and narrative skills have improved eve…

When the Sea Turned to Silver - Grace Lin

Pinmei's gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.

Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei's grandmother--before it's too late.

This National Book Award Finalist is an incredible book, weaving together stories told by various characters and creating a narrative of incredible depth and complexity. Lin's text is magical from start to finish, examining the ways that storytelling informs, entertains, and also contains grains of truth. As Pinmei and Yishan…

Blood for Blood - Ryan Graudin

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

So much energy. So much awesomeness. So much action and fantastic twisty goodness. It is rare that a sequel holds up so well to a first book, but Blood for Blood stands up spectacularly. I had no idea what to expect, but I certainly wasn't disappointed. I've been a fan of Ryan Graudin's for years, since…

The Diabolic - S.J. Kincaid

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion…

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit - Jaye Robin Brown

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

There is a lot I liked about this novel. There are parts I also didn't like. Overall, however, I think it's a book that needs to be read, especially by those who are in need of a book about spirituality and sexuality that actually has a relatively positive and even happy direction!
There is a lot of tension and drama in this…

My Sister Rosa - Justine Larbalestier

Che Taylor has four items on his list:
1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym.
2. He wants a girlfriend.
3. He wants to go home.
4. He wants to keep Rosa under control.
Che's little sister Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che's convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn't hurt anyone yet, but he's certain it's just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends. But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. Can he protect Rosa from the world - and the world from Rosa?

This is a creepy ass book! The horrifying little sister is enough to make your skin crawl, and the fact that her parents never seem to see her as anything but an innocent child is so frustrating, and yet entirely believable. The exploration of trust, lies, and the blurred boundaries of believability. Che's parents are ign…

Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II - Alan Gratz

World War II is raging. Michael O'Shaunessey, originally from Ireland, now lives in Nazi Germany with his parents. Like the other boys in his school, Michael is a member of the Hitler Youth.

But Michael has a secret. He and his parents are spies.

Michael despises everything the Nazis stand for. But he joins in the Hitler Youth's horrific games and book burnings, playing the part so he can gain insider knowledge.

When Michael learns about Projekt 1065, a secret Nazi war mission, things get even more complicated. He must prove his loyalty to the Hitler Youth at all costs -- even if it means risking everything he cares about.

Including... his own life.

This is an incredibly taut thriller, made even more engrossing and gut-wrenching due to the fact that so many of the events are real. Michael is a young boy in Germany, the son of Irish spies (and a spy in his own right), trying to do all that he possibly can to help defeat the Nazis and end the war. While a number of instances in the b…

Gemina: The Illuminae Files_02 - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

I am usually wary of trilogies. Perhaps I always will be. But in this particular instance at least, I was pleasantly surprised. While I know this format can be intimidating…