November 30th, 2013


Book Reports (107-112)...

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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The 100, by Kass Morgan **+ The opening of this really sucked me in, but it quickly became apparent (to me, at least) that the angst wasn't going to be resolved anytime soon. I liked the multi-POV (as I always do), and I definitely felt the differences between the voices (which isn't easy to do as an author). I would probably pick up the next one, although some of the lack of communication irritated me. Still, it's supposedly being made into a TV show, and I'd say it has the drama and tension to support that. The story: In a distant future, no one lives on earth anymore. Instead, people live in spaceships circling the planet, believing the air to be toxic. However, things on the ships aren't going as well as everyone had hoped, and now the governing group has decided to send juvenile delinquents down to earth to check it out again. A last minute snafu exchanges two places -- and we get to watch what happens on the ships through one girl's eyes while also seeing what happens on earth. (YA science fiction, released 9/13, publisher: Little, Brown)

Viral Nation, by Shaunta Grimes ** I really liked the premise of this dystopic-style novel, but I had a hard time with some of the characterizations. First, it's challenging as one of the MCs is autistic. I felt like the voice was very true to what I know of autism, but it created a distance between me (the reader) and the story. I had a hard time overcoming that and letting the story pull me in. Also, a couple of the other characters were so short-sighted...well, it just annoyed me. Still, it has an intriguing plot. The story: Clover (autistic) wants nothing more than to get into the prestigious academy, but she refuses to leave her beloved dog behind. Therefore, she ends up working for the Company, instead. The Company rules the world after a virus destroyed almost everything and everyone (including Clover's mom). Clover travels through time, searching for information from the future -- but when she discovers something about her brother, West, she can't simply let it stand...and soon she finds herself fighting the Company (and her dad) to save West's life. (YA science fiction/dystopic, released 7/13, publisher: Berkeley Trade)

The Waking Dark, by Robin Wasserman * I found the premise of this really intriguing, but when I started reading it, it was simply too horrifying and creepy for me. I bet Stephen King lovers would also love this, however. The story: On a typical summer day, five separate people go on a killing spree that seems to have no motivations, no purpose. After, five of the survivors (all teens) try to make sense of what remains...and discover that whatever came to life in the killers is still there and wants more. (YA horror/suspense, released 9/13, publisher: Knopf)

Inheritance, by Malinda Lo ** Okay, so I barely read this (because I realized early on that it has a prequel, and I haven't read that yet) -- but I want to mention this here because I don't know when I'll have a chance to read the first one (and then this one). I read enough to know that I really like the ideas Lo is putting forth here -- in particular, the idea about relationships and falling in love. The main character is in love with two different people, a boy and a girl...and instead of it becoming your typical love triangle, Lo resolves it in a creative, thoughtful, and unique way. :) The story: [I can't tell much, since I didn't read much -- but I will say that it's all about aliens and government control and secrets...I really need and want to read the first one!] (YA science fiction/thriller, GBLT, released 9/13, publisher: Little,Brown)

Emerald Green, by Kerstin Gier, transl. by Anthea Bell ***** I so loved this! It's a great finale, even though I wasn't quite sure why Gwen acted toward Gideon as she did in a couple places. Still, the romance was lovely, the intrigue was heart-pounding, the characters were fun -- it is all good! :) The story: Although heart-broken by Gideon's duplicity, Gwen continues her role in time-traveling society. She wants to learn why Lucy (her cousin) and Paul (Lucy's husband and a Guardian) stole the other chronograph -- and she needs to know why Gideon appears to have betrayed them all. Leslie, her best friend, and Xemerius (the ghost demon) continue to help...and soon Gwen learns that her role is both crucial and terrifying -- and that Gideon will do almost anything to stop her from being hurt. Can the two of them stop the Count and save them all? (YA time travel/mystery, released 10/13, publisher: Henry Holt)

Infinity Glass, by Myra McEntire ***** I really liked this. Interestingly, I read the first one a couple years ago and wasn't thrilled -- but this one totally sucked me in (which means, of course, that I'll now have to go back and read both the first two). I liked the characters, I liked the romance, I like the mystery -- and I loved the premise of the different dimensions (in time). The story: The Hourglass group has been looking for the Infinityglass for a long time, but things are crucial now that they've interrupted the flow of time by saving a loved one from death (in the past) and changing the future/present. Because of that, Rips in time (which include people) move from the past into the present. But now they've learned that the Infinityglass is a person, and the member of the Hourglass group chosen to go and get her has to persuade her to help them. It's complicated even further when Dune, the chosen one, realizes he's attracted to Hallie (the Infinityglass)...and her mom is the one standing in their way. (YA paranormal/time travel, released 6/13, publisher: Egmont)

Currently Reading: ? I'm still deciding (and I have one on my Android Kindle too).

On Deck: Crewel, Allegiant, Bang...yes, too many to choose between. :)