Category Archives: Young Adult

Soundbites About The Scorpio Races

10858437Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Narrators: Fiona Hardingham, Steve West
Rating (Story): ★★★★★
Rating (Narration):★★★★☆

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. (synopsis from goodreads). Continue reading

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Soundbites, Young Adult

The Dashwood Sisters’ Secrets of Love

147866Title: The Dashwood Sisters’ Secrets of Love
Author: Rosie Rushton
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Although nothing to write home about, this modernization of Sense and Sensibility was a cute, fun read.

Like the book, this review is going to be a quick, easy read. The plot is almost exactly that of Sense and Sensibility, just a modernized version. My first reaction was disappointment that the author didn’t even try to copy Austen’s beautiful prose or understated humor. Once I got past that, I was better able to enjoy the book for what it was. Elinor and Marianne were both updated very nicely. Like the actions of Austen’s characters, the update wasn’t predictable but just felt right. Of course Elinor would be good at academics! Of course Marianne would act! I was also impressed by the way the update translated events with no modern equivalent. For instance, some of the social constraints on the original characters’ actions have no longer exist, but the author managed to come up with suitable substitutes. Continue reading

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Filed under Fiction, Re-telling, Young Adult

Bookends About Awaken

13061500Title: Awaken
Editor: Meg Cabot
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Series: Abandon|Underworld|Awaken
Review Summary: As usual, Meg Cabot has written a fun, light read about an admirable and unique protagonist.

Earlier in this Persephone/Hades myth based trilogy, John (Hades) and Peirce (Persephone) made a decision that has imbalanced the forces ruling the underworld. Having finally (mostly) worked out their relationship, Peirce is suddenly faced with the possibility of losing John because of this imbalance. As she tries to rescue him and restore balance to the underworld, she’ll have to take advantage of all the connections and cool powers that come with being the queen of the underworld. And it will be awesome. Continue reading

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Filed under Fiction, Re-telling, Young Adult

Bookends About Dark Triumph

9943270Title: Dark Triumph
Editor: Robin LaFevers
Source: bought at Rochester Teen Book Festival
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: The perfect sequel to Grave Mercy, with the same strengths – strong protagonist, constant action, and fascinating setting.

For those of you who read Grave Mercyyou’ll recognize our new protagonist Sybella from her encounter with Ismae at the convent. In this book, Sybella is forced to face the dark events that chased her to the convent for refuge in the first place. We learn a lot about her past and the reasons she has such a drive for revenge. We also share her discovery that revenge might not be enough and, as with Isame, learn more about the mythos surrounding the nuns position as servants of the god of death. Continue reading

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Bookends About Grave Mercy

9565548Title: Grave Mercy
Editor: Robin LaFevers
Source: bought at Rochester Teen Book Festival
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This is one that’s almost too good to analyze. The main things that made me love it were the strength of the main character, the historical setting, and the fast paced action.

This is a book about assassin nuns and that’s probably all you need to know to guess how crazy awesome it’s going to be! However, for the sake of thoroughness… The book focuses on Ismae, a girl whose near death marked her as a servant of Mortain, the god of death. When she flees an arranged marriage, this means there is a place for her at Mortain’s convent where she will be trained as an assassin. To date, her life has only put her in contact with brutal, cruel men and she has no qualms agreeing to go on a mission that will include killing anyone Mortain marks for death. Her experience in the real world, however, quickly makes her realize that both men and Mortain’s orders are more complex than she thought. Continue reading

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Bookends About The Goose Girl

179064Title: The Goose Girl
Author: Shannon Hale
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I really liked how true this book was to the style of a fairy tale and how well it fleshed out the original story.

I picked up this version of The Goose Girl planning on using it as an original to read before another re-telling. Further research suggests you’d need a children’s book (or the wikipedia page) to get the most original story, since the original is far too short for a book. The basic gist of both this book and the original fairy tale is as follows. A princess is sent to marry a prince in a foreign land and on the journey, her maid uses some form of magic to take on the princess’s identity. Once they reach the foreign capital, the princess becomes a goose girl and must decide if and how she wants to regain her place as a princess. Continue reading

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Filed under Fiction, Re-telling, Young Adult