March 23rd, 2013


Book Reports (29-32)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Brackets mean it's an ARC (linked to Tattered Cover's book page) or e-galley.

If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star YA recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

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Breaking Point, by Kristen Simmons **** This started out a little slow, and it took me a while to get back into the rhythm of the story. I almost gave up, in fact, but Chase, especially, kept me reading. He's a great character, and there are times I wish the book was written in a dual-POV so we'd get more insight into his heart. I don't connect as much with Ember, and I imagine that's part of the reason I had a hard time sinking into the story. Still, it did pick up, and as the tension rose once again, I found myself racing to the end. I'll definitely pick up the last (?) one. The story: Ember and Chase are hiding out with other fugitive rebels, but they don't feel like a part of the group. The others clearly don't trust them, and as a sniper continues to take out various military fighters, Ember realizes that some of the group think she's the sniper. Then, although they faked their deaths, a news report reveals that Ember is still alive (complete with a current picture) -- and their next 'recruit' ends up being Tucker, the man responsible for Ember's mom's death. Ember and Chase don't want to be involved with Tucker, but they're thrown together again when the rebel 'station' is targeted -- and soon they're all on the run. Chase just wants to find his uncle, and Ember just wants to find peace...but will either of them get what they want? (YA science fiction/dystopic, released 2/13, publisher: Tor Teen)

[The Elephant of Surprise, by Brent Hartinger **** This was enjoyable, though aspects were frustrating to me. I didn't like how Min kept such a huge secret from Russel. Plus, Russel seemed kind of flighty to me, which can be realistic (there are flighty teens, certainly), but it made it harder for me to enjoy his POV. The freegan stuff was interesting (though completely unfamiliar to me), but it felt a little contrived as part of the plot (perhaps because it's so unfamiliar). Russel's flightiness really shows up as he wavers between old flame Kevin and freegan Wade -- though to be honest, part of why this particular trait annoys me, personally, is because I was similarly flighty for a bit in high school (I'd focus on a different boy each week, sometimes -- or a groups of boys, moving between them). So I think it's a pet peeve because I irritate myself ;) Anyway, Russel is passionate about life, and that's one of the best reasons to read his stories. :) The story: Russel, Min, and Gunnar befriend some Freegans (homeless by choice). Russel develops a bit of a crush on one of them, and soon he's spending time learning more about their culture and goals. But Wade, the Freegan Russel likes, is hiding something -- and Russel is torn between giving Kevin another chance (if Kevin even wants that -- Russel doesn't know) and sticking with secretive Wade, who may or may not be interested in Russel, as well. (YA contemporary, released 1/13, publisher: Buddha Kitty Books)]

[Double Crossed, by Ally Carter ***** This is a fun novella, which is free for Kindle. I don't have a Kindle, but I used my Kindle app for my phone. The two worlds of Macie (Gallagher Girls) and Kat cross over here, and it's a fun romp! I like Hale and Macie's interactions, and I especially like how Macie quickly realizes that Hale is taken. The whole mystery is entertaining and quick, showcasing the skills of both worlds nicely. The story: Macie and Hale are at a society gathering when kidnapers break in and hold the whole group hostage. Macie tries to protect Hale, and Hale tries to protect Macie -- and then, through Hale's constant contact with Kat (who's not in attendance but is waiting for Hale outside), their worlds mesh and they work together to try and overtake the bad guys. (YA adventure/mystery, released 1/13, publisher: Disney Hyperion through Amazon Digital)]

Demon Eyes, by Scott Tracey *** I enjoyed this, but it was pretty detailed, so I skimmed a bit through the middle. I admire the depth of the world building, though. Braden was likable still, but I couldn't get a strong handle on Trey -- and overall, I wasn't quite sure who was on which side (though I think that's the point). I'll look for the next book, certainly. The story: Braden thought he destroyed the evil Lucien, but his dreams seem to indicate otherwise. Plus, the situation in town appears to be getting worse, not better, as girls start to disappear. Braden isn't sure who to trust, and he falls deeper and deeper into the battle between the two reigning powers -- until he's called upon to make a sacrifice...and then, will all be saved or lost? (YA paranormal/suspense, released 10/12, publisher: Flux)

Currently Reading: (I can't remember the title, but it's -- shockingly -- a YA suspense)
On Deck: A couple of's spring break, so there's a good chance I'll actually get through some of these :)