July 19th, 2013


Book Reports (61-65)...

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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Dead Silence, by Kimberly Derting ****+ I really enjoyed this, although it took me a while to get into it. I've loved her previous books in this serious, so I kept at it...and around 1/4 of the way through, something clicked and I couldn't put it down. I loved the info on Violet's grandma in this one, and the history of not only Violet's gift but their entire group (including Rafe). I also like the continued loyalty between Violet and Ben. I have a feeling I know what's coming in their relationship, so I'm anticipating the next book. In some ways, this book skimmed the surface of the mystery and spent more time with Violet and how she's handling things. That was okay with me, in all honesty. I still enjoyed it. :) The story: Violet is having a tough time dealing with her echo, even though she knows she didn't have any choice if she wanted to escape her kidnapper. Still, it's challenging, and everyone is worried about her. At the same time, she is drawn to a new death -- or deaths, as she discovers. An entire family is murdered in their home, one of which doesn't have an echo somehow -- but the oldest daughter is missing. Violet and her team begin working on the mystery, even as she struggles to share her feelings with Ben and to keep her friends from knowing what's going on...made more difficult when Rafe shows up at Violet's school as a new student -- and when it appears that one of Violet's classmates is involved in the family murder. (YA paranormal suspense, released 4/13, publisher: Harper Collins)

Trouble, by Linda Howard (R) ***** (This is a two-book set, and I loved both just as much as before).

[Never Fade, by Alexandra Bracken ****+ I really enjoyed this. In many ways, I thought it was better than the first book, as Ruby is more solid in her character now. I loved how tough she was while still retaining her humanity and struggling for goodness. I love Liam (of course), and even though I understand why Ruby did what she did (in the previous book), it's painful seeing how she and Liam are struggling now. In some ways, this is truly a horror series: what happens to some of these kids is truly horrifying. But I like how that part is mentioned and dealt with without showcasing it too much. The story: Ruby has returned to the League and has been trained well. Still, she wants nothing more than to know that Liam is safe and well, and when Liam's brother appears and gives Ruby a special assignment involving Liam, Ruby agrees immediately. One of her new team joins her, a teen named Jude, a yellow. The result of this mission could take down the League and help inform the public of what's really happening to Psi kids, and Ruby has to focus on that as things don't go as planned. When she finds Liam, sick and weak, in a camp of rogue Blues, Ruby has to figure out how to save him and free the other kids, as well...and as her own abilities continue to grow and focus, she mostly has to discover how to use her talents without hating herself after. What will happen when a supposed cure is found, when Clancy returns with his own agenda, and when one of Ruby's own appears lost forever? (YA paranormal suspense, releases 10/13, publisher: Disney-Hyperion)]

Carter's Unfocused One-Track Mind, by Brent Crawford *** Okay, Crawford's books are still incredibly funny, but for some reason, this one didn't quite grab me like the others did. I think part of it might be Carter's one-track mind (which was on having sex with his girlfriend). That's never been a theme I relate to much, and although I like how Crawford uses humor to keep the book moving, for me (as an adult woman), it didn't quite keep my attention throughout. Still, I like how it ended for Carter (in his decision between football and drama). If there's another one, I'll definitely pick it up. The story: Carter is torn when his girlfriend applies to a drama school in New York City. She's afraid to go alone and wants him to also apply, but Carter doesn't know if he can leave his friends and his football team. In the midst of all this, Carter's also worried about Scary Terry (who appears to have a crush on his sister), pregnant Amber, and what will happen if Abby actually leaves. (YA boy book, released 8/12, publisher: Hyperion)

Currently Reading: another Howard re-read

On Deck: a pile I'm struggling to find interest in...but we'll see :)