Posts Tagged With: review

Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

Complicit coverEverybody knows that Jamie’s sister Cate set the fire that burned down the barn. Everybody knows that Cate was a bad girl; drinking, doing drugs, hypnotizing other girls in the woods behind the stable. Everybody breathed a sigh of relief when Cate went to jail. Including Jamie.

Now Cate is out…and she’s coming back for Jamie. She needs to talk to him. She needs him to understand.

She didn’t burn down the barn.

But she knows who did.

Complicit is a deeply psychological book. Jamie and Cate’s story unfolds steadily, bringing you ever deeper into their world, until the true story seems not only obvious, but inevitable. Fans of psychological thrillers will definitely enjoy this one!

Recommended for grades 9 and up — underage drinking, sexual references, 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: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

The S-word coverAfter walking in on her best friend and her boyfriend on prom night, Angie never spoke to Lizzie again. Not when the first slut appeared on Lizzie’s locker. Not when the locker was covered with the ugly word. Not ever again.

And then, Lizzie jumped. Now Angie won’t be able to speak to her. Not ever again.

But people were starting to forget…until someone started writing Suicide Slut. On the senior lockers. In the bathrooms. In Lizzie’s unmistakable, looping handwriting. Until someone started bringing copies of Lizzie’s diary to school.

Angie wants the truth. The truth about who hurt Lizzie. The truth about why her best friend is gone. The truth about what happened on prom night. But along the way she will discover other truths, all of them ugly. And she will have to make a decision. Can you drive out hate with hate?

The S-Word is a painful, deeply psychological book about the damage we do to each other, and to ourselves. It will appeal to fans of Looking for Alaska and readers who like emotionally wrenching stories.

Recommended for grades 9 and up–bullying, underage drinking, references to sexual abuse, descriptions of rape, 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: Riot by Sarah Mussi

Riot coverIn a near-future Britain crippled by rising unemployment and overpopulation, the government has a drastic solution.

Anyone who leaves school without education plans or guaranteed employment will be sterilized.

Criminals will be sterilized.

The teens of Britain aren’t having it. They’re taking to the streets. They refuse to have their futures so drastically limited. Tia, the daughter of the Minister pushing the bill, uses her hacking skills and her online persona as EVE, Mother of the Future, to organize demonstrations. Surely the government will have to stop when they see the opposition?

But nothing is what it seems. When troops open fire on a peaceful demonstration, Tia is suddenly on the run. With the help of Cobain, she has to get to the truth behind the No More Children In Need Bill, before it’s too late.

Riot is a chilling, near-future dystopian story about the slippery slope of the loss of personal freedom. Teens who are used to being part of a marginalized population will definitely relate to this story, which will appeal to fans of Neal Shusterman’s Unwind and Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother.

Recommended for grades 9 and up — language, graphic depictions of mob violence, references to underage sex, 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: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars coverWelcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.

No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict.
No one is a failure.

Cadence has always spent the summer with the other Sinclairs on their private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Since summer eight, Cady, Mirren, Johnny, and Gat have been inseparable. The Liars, together.

But summer sixteen something happened. Something Cady can’t remember. Her mother tried to tell her. Others tried to tell her. But her brain cannot wrap itself around what happened.

So Cady has come back to the island. Back to her Liars. Back to finally figure out what happened. Why she is broken.

We Were Liars is not an easy book to read. But it is a deeply compelling one. None of these characters are larger than life. All of them are deeply flawed. As Cady searches for her truth, she discovers more than she had bargained for.

This book will appeal to fans of John Green, as well as readers who enjoy psychological puzzles and thrillers.

Recommended for grades 9 and up – swearing, 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: Caged Warrior by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Caged Warrior Cover“Why are we tough?”

“Because that’s how we get out.”

McCutcheon Daniels has many names. To some he’s known as M.D., to his little sister as Doc. But to most of Detroit, he is Bam Bam, a star MMA fighter despite his young age.  McCutcheon fights hard, brutal, bloody, illegal matches organized by The Priests, a street gang, to cover his violent, vicious father’s bets. This is the life he has known for as long as he can remember.

When McCutcheon wins the lottery for spaces in an expensive charter school, he doesn’t want it. He tries to tell the school to give it to someone else. School isn’t part of his plan; next year, when the truant officers stop caring, he is going to drop out and train full time. Who needs school when you can be an MMA champion?

But his science teacher and the principal of Radiance refuse to give up on him. After touring the campus, and especially after meeting Kaitlyn, McCutcheon starts to think that maybe he could be something more than an animal, fighting for others’ bloody amusement.

When his beloved little sister disappears, McCutcheon has to make a choice. Will he continue fighting to keep his father happy and his sister safe? Or is there another path he can take?

Caged Warrior is a great pick for reluctant readers, especially boys. The author paints a clear, realistic picture of McCutcheon’s life without resorting to cliches.

Recommended for grades 9 and up – explicit sexual references, language, depictions of violence, and drug use.

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: The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson

The Tyrant's Daughter CoverLaila’s brother Bastien is the King of Nowhere. Her mother acts like nothing has changed, even though they now live in a tiny apartment in not-quite-Washington, D.C., instead of the palace where they grew up. And Laila? Laila is the Invisible Queen–just trying to make sense of the strange new world that she now lives in.

Now, instead of cereal and peanut butter being a carefully hoarded treat, brought back by their mother from trips abroad, there are dozens and hundreds of varieties, available for everyone. Instead of private tutors, Laila and Bastien attend public school. Instead of their dead father being the King, he is an executed dictator, dead at their uncle’s hands–a man who did terrible things.

Awash in a strange new world world of revealing clothing and access to information, where it seems that everything she knows is wrong , Laila is just trying to make sense of it all. And when her mother maneuvers to reclaim Bastien’s birthright, Laila must decide where she stands.

The Tyrant’s Daughter is a fascinating story, especially for teens who follow international news or are familiar with the events of the Arab Spring. This book will appeal to readers who like their fiction realistic and politically relevant, or who enjoy exploring moral and ethical questions.

Recommended for grades 7 and up – some language, kissing, and sexual references, depictions of violence, and women’s rights issues

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: Dangerous by Shannon Hale

Dangerous coverMaisie Danger Brown just wanted to go to astronaut camp. Her homeschooled world has seemed increasingly claustrophobic lately, and she’s wanted to be an astronaut ever since her dad put velcro on her clothes when she was small. She didn’t think she would win the sweepstakes, but she had to try. And despite having to leave her parents and her best friend behind, camp is the most fun she’s ever had.

But now a lot of things are happening that Maisie didn’t expect. She didn’t expect Jonathan Ingalls Wilder to be interested in her. She didn’t expect to get a ride on the space elevator. She didn’t expect to visit Midway Station. She didn’t expect to be shown strange alien artifacts. And she definitely didn’t expect to have to save the world.

Shannon Hale brings her knack for relatable characters and unique storylines to the world of science fiction. Dangerous will appeal to anyone who’s ever secretly wished for a radioactive spider bite or a batmobile. Comic book fans, science fiction fans, and anyone who’s interested in a fast-paced thriller will enjoy this book

Recommended for grades 7 and up — some language, some kissing, and references to 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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Review: Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

Impostor coverTessa can be anyone. Her Variation allows her to absorb DNA and perfectly mimic another person’s appearance.

Madison is a serial killer’s latest victim. She was still alive when she was found, but she will never wake from her coma.

When Tessa becomes Madison, trying to draw the serial killer out for the authorities before he can strike again, the number of possible suspects is almost overwhelming. From Madison’s ex, who claims to desperately want her back, to Madison’s own brother, Tessa has no idea who she can trust. And Madison was keeping secrets, even from her best friend…secrets that might have led to her death.

Although the stress and danger of living a lie take their toll, the loving family Madison will never see again is incredibly tempting to Tessa. Just being a normal girl with a normal family and friends is something she never thought she would experience. While Tessa struggles to find the killer and deals with her ability going haywire, she also fights the urge to stay Madison, forever.

Impostor will appeal to fans of the X-Men with it’s obvious similarities, as well as to murder mystery fans.

Recommended for grades 8 and up – no on-camera sex, but kissing and sexual references, plus quite a bit of violence

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: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Fire & Flood coverTella’s brother is sick. Dying. The doctor’s don’t know what’s wrong with him. Her parents have moved them to the middle-of-nowhere Montana. It doesn’t seem like things could get worse. When a mysterious blue box appears on her bed, Tella thinks it’s from her parents; a gift to make up for taking her away from everything she’s ever known.

It’s not.

Tella has been invited to join the Brimstone Bleed, an epic race whose price is the Cure,  something that could actually save her brother’s life. With the help of her Pandora companion and friends she makes along the way, she must navigate lush jungle and barren desert. And it’s not just nature that could kill her–there are people out to get her as well.

Fire & Flood will face ineveitable comparisons to The Hunger Games, but it is very much its own story. In many ways this story is more similar to the Harry Potter series, with fantastical things happening right under the surface of the  “normal” world. That said, this story will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and other dystopian stories, as well as to readers who enjoy wilderness survival and adventure stories.

Recommended for grades 8 and up — Some language, violence, and there are implications that Tella feels sexually threatened by another character.

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: Contributor (Contributor Trilogy, Book 1) by Nicole Ciacchella

Contributor coverDara has trained since the age of 3 for the day when she can become a Contributor, and give back to Magnum, the Job Creator which owns the dome that shelters her and her parents from the wasteland outside. Now an apprentice, she has been chosen for an elite program and the chance to become the assistant to the Head of Engineering. Her boyfriend is in line for a prestigious position in Logistics. Life is good.

But somehow, her education has not prepared her for the level of cutthroat competition between herself and the other candidates. Dara must become just as ruthless as they are if she is going to survive this process. When her mother is injured, Dara begins to question the system in ways she never has before. And when she and her mentor are involved in an accident that leaves them stranded outside the dome, the things she learns leave her with more questions than answers.

Contributor is a well-crafted dystopian story, more subtle than most. Nothing is outlawed; but many things are disapproved of. This story will appeal to fans of dystopias who are ready for something a little more nuanced than the outright tyranny of stories like The Hunger Games.

Recommended for grades 6 and up – some language, kissing.

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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