May 28th, 2016

books

Book Reports (77-84)...

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).

* 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.

This year, I'm only going to list the stars and a brief recommendation for the type of readers I think will enjoy the book [(R) means it's a re-read; [] means it's an ARC].



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First, some re-reads:

***** (R)
First Test, by Tamora Pierce -- highly recommended for those who like YA fantasy with strong heroines and compassionate world building -- Ember, 8/04

***** (R)
Page, by Tamora Pierce -- highly recommended for those who like YA fantasy with strong heroines and compassionate world building -- Ember, 8/04

***** (R)
Squire, by Tamora Pierce -- highly recommended for those who like YA fantasy with strong heroines and compassionate world building -- Ember, 8/04

****+ (R)
Lady Knight, by Tamora Pierce -- highly recommended for those who like YA fantasy with strong heroines and compassionate world building -- Ember, 8/04

And some new to me:

***-
She's So Dead to Us, by Kieran Scott -- recommended for those who like *teen angst, those who like open-ended endings, and those who don't mind wishy-washy emotions -- Simon & Schuster Bfyr, 4/11

****
[The Stranger Game, by Cylin Busby -- recommended for those who like **abduction mysteries, those who like sister tales, and those who like faithful friends -- Balzer & Bray, 10/16]

****+
[The Girl I Used to Be, by April Henry -- highly recommended for those who like murder mysteries, those who like ***sweet (YA) love stories, and those who like strong and sympathetic heroines -- Henry Holt, 5/16]

***+
[The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions), by Amy Spalding -- recommended for those like a unique and compelling ****teen voice, those who like sincere MCs, and those who like sweet teen romance -- Poppy Books, 4/16]

* I enjoy some good teen angst now and then, but this was over the top. The mean girls had not a smidgeon of compassion, and the love interest was weak (as in a weak character). This is the first in a trilogy, and I looked up the others...needless to say, it's not my kind of series with characters that flip-flop in their morals and personalities, and a girl who puts up with all kinds of cr*p from a boy that she never should have.

** This is clearly a current trend, but I liked the twist in this one, and although I didn't read this thoroughly (kind of skipped around), it was still enjoyable and unique.

*** The mystery here was compelling, but my favorite part was the growing relationship between the MC and the love interest. I just liked how they fit together and supported one another.

**** For me, the voice was the best part of this. The MC is unique (focused, intense, honest), and her voice pulls the reader into her head. She is also a bit naive and tends to want to believe that other teens are as hard working and careful as she is...which could be a little annoying, in places. Still, it's an interesting tale.