robinellen (robinellen) wrote,

Book Reports (97-101)...

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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The Cage, by Megan Sheperd -- recommended for those who like science fiction (with alien-human relationships), those who like survival tales, those who like multi-POV stories, and those who like *teen angst -- Balzer & Bray, 5/15

* I had a hard time connecting with most of the characters here, despite the POV changes. They were all kind of weird and not that likable, and although the situation was intriguing, I felt like some of the 'clues' were simply dropped -- plus, none of the characters were very bright (common-sense-wise).

Girl Last Seen, by Heather Annastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown -- recommended for those who like good mysteries, those who don't mind **teen thoughtlessness and meanness, and those who like teen romance -- Aw Teen, 3/16

** I really liked the mystery part (and how all the characters had secrets), but man, these kids were NOT nice. I felt like the story took the whole 'learn how to communicate' to a darker place, and it really bugged me that they acted on assumptions (acted cruelly). I had a hard time connecting with any of these kids, as well.

Inherit Midnight, by Kate Kae Myers -- highly recommended for those who like an ***exciting plot, those who don't mind shallower characters, those who like complicated families, and those who like sweet teen romance -- Bloomsbury, 2/15

*** This was a quick and fun read, although the writing is pretty clunky in places. There were some stereotypes in the characterizations, and the lack of depth bugged me a bit. Plus, the way some of the family members treated one another was annoying (especially because it was on the shallow side). That said, I really did enjoy the plot and could barely put it down because of that. And the main character is very likable, so I had fun spending time with her.

[The Killer in Me, by Margot Harrison -- recommended for those who like ****magical realism, those who like unusual teen romance, those who like mysteries, and those who enjoy a slow unraveling -- Disney-Hyperion, 7/16]

**** I would call this magical realism, mostly because there's very little explanation for the basis of what's happening with the main character and the 'killer in her.' When it finally does get explained, everyone acts like that's a completely normal thing to happen. I'm not a huge magical realism fan, so this didn't really work for me; however, for those readers who enjoy that, I suspect this will be a hit, as the characterizations are fascinating.

[The Long Game, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes -- highly recommended for those who enjoyed the first one (The Fixer), those who like political thrillers, those who like *****intelligent and feisty teen heroines, and those who like complicated family relationships -- Bloomsbury USA, 6/16]

***** I just love how Tessa handles her life. She's impetuous and doesn't always think things through (realistically), but her motivations are always to protect and help those she loves (and even those she simply tolerates but feels protective of). Barnes does a great job, imo, of pacing these tales well -- I only put the book down when my family needed food (ha). I already can't wait for the next one!
Tags: book reports, ya
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