YA Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson crop A raw, real but tender story of love, fear, loss… and ultimately friendship. I loved David Levithan’s Will Grayson, he brought emotional depth to the story which is lacking in many of John Green’s books - with the exception of The Fault in Our Stars of course!

This book has haunted my thoughts for months after reading and I suspect will stay with me for years.4 Star

Recommended age: 14+

Will GraysonTitle:  Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Authors: John Green & David Levithan
Publication Date:  5 April 2011 (1st published 6 April 2010)
Publisher: Speak
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf: Goodreads or Shelfari

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
— Extract from Goodreads.com

YA Book Review: Scored

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Reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, Lauren McLaughlin has created a, all-to-close for comfort, future world where someone is always watching you.

As I opened this book my thoughts were along the lines of … Oh just another dystopian novel, well at least this one is a stand-alone… (Is anyone else tired of waiting for sequels?)  I was not expecting to be blown away. I am thrilled to be proven wrong – a great read – go and get your copy now!4 Star

Recommended age: 13+

scoredTitle: Scored
Author: Lauren McLaughlin
Publication Date: 25 October 2011
Publisher: Random House
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US or Amazon UK 
Add to your shelf: Goodreads or Shelfari

Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their recorded actions and confessions plugged into a computer program that determines their ability to succeed. All kids given a “score” that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above.Scored‘s reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend’s score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future?          — Extract from Goodreads.com

 

YA Book Review: First Comes Love

First Comes Love crop

This is a beautifully written, sensitive story of loss, friendship and love. I could not put down this book, and ended up reading it in one sitting. I loved these two strong characters and rooted for them right from the beginning.4 Star

Recommended age: 14+

First Comes Love resizedTitle:  First Comes Love
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Publication Date: 7 May 2013 (1st published 8 May
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf: Goodreads or Shelfari

Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl who is seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving, and besides, opposites attract. What starts as friendship turns into admiration, respect, and caring, until finally these two lone souls find that they are truly in love with each other. But staying in love is never as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they’re going to have to work at it . . .  — Extract from Goodreads.com

Book Review: The Legacy

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This is an enjoyable, action packed dystopian story with an unpredictable twist.

I was asked to review this book as the publisher thought it could safely fit into YA. While there is no reason why it would not be suitable for young adults, I am not convinced it will be popular as the young adult characters in the story are continually referred to as children and thus excluded from any ‘real’ participation in the rebel movement.3 Star

Recommended age: 14 +

The LegacyTitle:  The Legacy
Series:   The Legacy Series – Book 1
Author:  Melissa Delport
Publication Date: July 2014
Publisher: Tracey McDonald Publishers
Source: Free copy from publisher in exchange for honest review
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf: Goodreads or Shelfari

One man obsessed with power. 
One woman prepared to sacrifice everything to stop him.
One war that changed the world.

“Eric Dane has segregated the wealth and resources that remain, giving a select few the highest chance of survival and leaving the rest to starve!” World War 3 lasted twelve days and almost eradicated the human species. Growing up in post nuclear America, Rebecca Davis remained blissfully ignorant of the despotic leadership that had seized what was previously the most powerful nation in the world. When the truth is revealed and Rebecca discovers that everything she has been taught is a lie, she is determined to fight for the life that she has not been allowed to live.

In order to do this, Rebecca has to cross the boundary fences and venture out of the safety of the New United States, into the barren wastelands. It is there that she finds allies she never dreamed existed.  In Rebecca, the Resistance has finally found the ultimate weapon. “You were given this life Rebecca, because you alone are strong enough to live it.”
— Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

YA Book Review: My Life Next Door

My Life Next Door crop

This beautifully written contemporary romance is a treasure. A rich, sensitive story with incredible depth combined with humour, shines the light on two very different families. One for my favourite’s shelf.

5 Star

Recommended age: 13 +

My Life Next DoorTitle:  My Life Next Door
Series: My Life Next Door – Book 1
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: 13 June 2013 (1st published June 2012)
Publisher: Speak
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf: Goodreads or Shelfari

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?                                            — Extract from Goodreads.com

 

Children’s Book Review: The School for Good and Evil

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The School for Good and Evil

With an unlikely heroine and a seemingly twisted beginning, this story, set in a fairy-tale land you’ve never seen before, will take you on a roller coaster ride like no other. You’ll have no choice but to hold on until you are flung off at the end, gasping for more!

Amazing read, it is no surprise that the book is in popular demand in our school library.4 Star

Recommended age: 11+

School Good & EvilTitle: The School of Good and Evil
Series: The School of Good and Evil – Book 1
Author: Soman Chainani
Publication Date: 14 May 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf:
Goodreads or Shelfari

“The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.”

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains….

-  Extract from Goodreads.com

YA Book Review: Paper Towns

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A disappointing story. I loved The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, so was expecting to love this story too. I just didn’t feel connected to the characters despite laughing out loud at some of the humour, which is probably what saves this book from a measly two star rating.3 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title: Paper TownsPaper Towns
Author:
John Green
Publication Date: 16 October 2008
Publisher: Speak
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book:
Amazon US, Amazon UK
 or Kalahari
Add to your shelf: Goodreads or Shelfari

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.     

— Extract from Goodreads.com

 

Odd ramblings of an obsessed reader

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