Monthly Archives: March 2014

Review: Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

Nearly Gone coverNearly has three rules: no boys, no trouble, and no touching. Only a few percentage points separate her from a chemistry scholarship that will get her out of her DC trailer park. Away from her neighbor the drug dealer, her mother the exotic dancer, and the sense of hopelessness that pervades her life.

But when a killer starts targeting the students she tutors after school, all of the rules will have to go. Trouble has already found her. To unravel the clues the killer has left for her, she will have to work with Reece Whelan, even knowing that the police have sent undercover to spy on her. But worse, she will have to use her ability to read other people’s emotions through touching them, even if it overwhelms her.

All the clues point toward Nearly being the killer. One by one, her students are killed, all while she is nearby, trying to save them. Leigh and Reece are racing against time to unmask the killer before it’s too late for both of them.

Nearly Gone will appeal to fans of mystery shows such as Bones, CSI, Law and Order, Criminal Minds, etc. , as well as readers who like their mysteries with high stakes and lots of suspects.
Recommended for grades 9 and  up — swearing, buying and selling drugs, sexual references, underage drinking, etc.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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Review: Before They Find Us by Michelle A. Hansen

Before They Find Us cover I’m going to make you wish you were dead.

In the grand scheme of things, a random text doesn’t seem like that big a deal to Beck. It was probably just a wrong number. But the texts keep coming, and when her best friend is framed for bombing his school, Beck realizes that whoever is texting her isn’t just after her–they’re after Ryan, too.

Now Beck and Ryan are on the run, trying to figure out who set up the bombing and planted all the evidence to point to Ryan. And why would someone even want to? How is this related to the crime Beck witnessed when she was eleven? And why is a dead man sending her Facebook messages?

The search for the truth will take Beck and Ryan from Wyoming to Las Vegas, from seedy motels in bad neighborhoods to the glamour of the Vegas Strip. It will bring them closer than ever, test their friendship to the limits, and force them to finally admit the way they feel about each other. And it will force Beck to finally face the demons that have haunted her for the past six years.

Before They Find Us is a tightly-plotted mystery that will appeal to fans of shows like CSI or Criminal Minds, even though the protagonists are ordinary teens.

Recommended for grades 9 and up – sexual humor, depiction of rape and murder, references to rape, swearing, etc.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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Review: Variant by Robison Wells

Variant coverLongtime foster kid Benson Fisher knows that no one is going to get him out of the system. But he’s tired of foster care. Tired of bouncing around from place to place. Tired of “working” at his foster parents’ gas station for no pay. Tired of broken schools full of broken people. So he gets himself a scholarship to Maxfield Academy.

Now he’s trapped. Locked behind an unclimbable wall, under the watchful eyes of security cameras, he and the other seventy-some students divide into gangs under an uneasy truce. The Society wants to keep the rules, keep the peace. Havoc wants to live it up with no adult supervision. And Variants…Variants want to get out.

Benson wants to get out.

But the more he learns about the school, the less sense it makes. And then he discovers the secret that could change everything. But does it actually change anything?

Variant will appeal to fans of James Dashner’s Maze Runner trilogy, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s GameThe Hunger Games series, and other dystopian series, although this is not a dystopian story, per se. This book blends elements of dystopia, science fiction, mystery, and psychological thriller into a highly entertaining book that you won’t want to put down until you reach the end.

Recommended for grades 6 and up – depictions of violence, descriptions of kissing, mild profanity.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

 

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Review: Boys Like You by Juliana Stone

Boys Like You coverMonroe’s parents have sent her to her Gran in Louisiana for the summer in hopes that something will help bring her back to life. But Monroe is quite content to continue napping the days away, numb and not thinking, until the day that Nathan Everets interrupts her nap. Intrigued despite herself, Monroe knows better than to think a boy like Nate could be interested in her.

Nate is actually glad for his court-appointed job working for his uncle; without it, he would have too much time to think. Time to think about that night, and the biggest mistake he ever made. Time to think about what it cost Trevor. But when he meets Monroe, he sees something he recognizes.

As Nate and Monroe slowly share the broken pieces of their lives, they start to heal, start to feel again. Their lives were changed forever before they even met, but together they start taking steps into a new future.

Boys Like You is an achingly raw book. Nate and Monroe are both in a great deal of emotional pain, and with a less able writer, this could have been incredibly whiny and angst-ridden, but they come off the page as real, living, breathing teens dealing with impossible circumstances. I was glued to my Kindle until I finished. This book will appeal to fans of John Green, and any reader who enjoys realistic fiction with emotional depth.

Boys Like You will be released on May 6, 2014, and is definitely worth preordering.

Highly recommended for grades 10 and up — references to and depictions of underage drinking and recreational drug use, teenage sexual encounters, drunk driving, etc.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me coverEva and Addie were born just like anyone else, two souls in the same body. They took turns learning to walk, to run to dance. But as they got older, neither of them faded. They were both still there. They weren’t settling.

Their parents took them to doctors, specialists, begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced normal. Eva was gone. They could start over.

But Eva isn’t gone. Only Addie knows that she’s still there, trapped inside their body, unable to move, unable to speak. Except to Addie.

Only Addie knows that Eva would risk anything to be able to speak. To walk. To dance. Anything.

But when Eva gets her chance, it opens up a whole new world for them…one more dangerous than either girl could imagine.

What’s Left Of Me is a dystopian story exploring ethical issues in a world not our own…yet shockingly similar. It will appeal to fans of Neal Shusterman’s Unwind series, Lois Lowry’s The Giver, and other thought-provoking dystopian literature.

Recommended for grades 6 and up – mild profanity, kissing, some graphic descriptions of medical procedures.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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Review: Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It coverHomeroom 10B was just going to get their flu shots. They didn’t want to get sick. All of them got the shots except Renee and Adam.

Now all of them can hear what people are thinking.

Now 10B has no secrets from each other…but they do have a secret weapon. Pi can finally be the kid with the highest grades. Tess can find out if the friend she’s crushing on feels the same way. Olivia knows exactly what her boyfriend is thinking, so she can do whatever he wants.

But everybody knows Mackenzie’s secret…including her boyfriend, Cooper. Tess knows that Mackenzie thinks she really could stand to lose those seven pounds. Cooper knows about his dad’s affair and that his mom has hired a divorce lawyer.

Don’t Even Think About It is a lighthearted look at a serious topic. There is no exploration of the ethics of invading other people’s privacy, although it is touched on briefly, and the narrative style can be a little clunky at times. This book will appeal to readers who like light, easy reads with some drama, such as the Clique or Gossip Girl novels.

Recommended for grades 8 and up – some kissing, references to making out and parents having sex.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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