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.
Reached, by Ally Condie **+ This started out very intriguingly, but for me, it just took too long to reach the goal (I started skimming about halfway through -- which was a good 200 pages in). Plus, I felt like Matched laid out a path for our three protagonists (Ky, Xander, and Cassia) at the end. I kind of expected to be surprised as they grew and wandered from that path -- except, imo, that didn't happen. Instead, the characters stuck to that path and plodded along. There were no surprises for me. Not only did the paths remain fairly rigid, they meandered. Yes, the prose was lovely, but after a while, I even got tired of that and wanted her to just *tell me* what was going on! So yeah, just not my thing. I still love Matched, and I think I'll reread that periodically. But I don't know if I'll ever reread the other two. The story: While Ky is working for the Pilot, his heart remains with Cassia (although Indie continues to offer him a relationship with her -- and a more secure place with the Pilot and his revolution). Xander continues his work with the Healers, dealing with the Plague and those repercussions (which appear to be different than he originally thought). And Cassia discovers more about creativity and art and their roles in the future of their world -- but more than anything, she wants to find freedom from the rigid restraints (freedom with Ky at her side). How will all these desires (and so many more) be reconciled? (YA dystopic, released 11/12, publisher: Dutton)
Poison Princess, by Kresley Cole ****+ This was truly intriguing! I didn't think I'd like it, tbh, because it's a little horrific in places, and the prose (like with Reached) is on the ambiguous/symbolic side. However, I couldn't put it down. In fact, when I realized it was due at the library, I thought I'd skim to the end -- but I couldn't skim! I read every word, and although I wouldn't say I adored it (mostly because of the HUGE cliff-hanger ending), I very much enjoyed it. Do be forewarned, the angst is unbelievably high in places, and none of it gets resolved (at least, none of the aspects I was looking for), so you'll have to get the next one (which probably won't be out for at least another year). However, the world-building is really intriguing, and although I'm not completely sold on why Evie wouldn't just tell the truth, I wanted to stick with her, regardless. The story: Evie is one of the elite in her southern town, but her life has already shown signs of faltering. For example, her mom sent her to a mental home for her summer vacation -- and although Evie hopes she's 'cured,' it doesn't take long for the debilitating nightmares to return...even when she's awake. The red-haired witch in her 'dreams' haunts Evie, and she worries when she also hears the voice of a boy -- Matthew -- even during the day. Then, her nightmares come true in one horrifying period, and the world and everyone in it is almost completely destroyed as water is vaporized and the earth can no longer grow living things. Those who survive are changed, as most of the females were killed (and Matthew claims the 'Arcana' will now rule -- people, like Evie and Matthew, who have unusual abilities). Evie turns to Jackson, a boy from the wrong side of the bayou, because he's still human (rather than a zombie-like creature or an Arcana), and begs for his help. Jackson, who has long been attracted to Evie, agrees. But he wants to know her secrets, and as their world crumbles even further -- and they meet more Arcana, not all of them friendly -- Evie's not sure how many of her secrets he can handle (especially as she can control plants and even make her own fingernails turn to thorns)...she falls for him, but will he still want her when he learns the horrific truth? (YA dystopic/horror, released 10/12, publisher: Simon & Schuster)
Currently Reading: Unspoken -- and yes, I'm liking it. But then, I think I like almost everything Sarah Rees Brennan writes. :)