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Tag Archives: do not recommend

Nemesis

Title: Nemesis
Author: Brendan Reichs
Series: Project Nemesis
Recommended for: Grade 7 & up
Pages: 443
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Reichs, B.

Synopsis: He killed me. He killed me not. He killed me.

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

Review: This book had such a great premise. However, it utterly and completely failed. After reading 400+ pages, I still can’t tell you WHAT is going on. I’m not sure the author/book quite has an idea as well. It was a bit like reading whiplash to be honest. One moment we’re trying to figure out if she’s having psychotic breaks then we’re at conspiracy theories and then we end at…well, I’m not quite sure where we end up. But it’s doesn’t make much sense. And perhaps in book two, more will be revealed/it’ll make sense, but I’m not sure I want to even wade in that world again. There may be some teens who love this head-spin tale, but for most I think this book will them simply frustrated.

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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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Goodbye Days

Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 8 & up
Pages: 405
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Zentner

Synopsis: One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

Review: I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. I enjoyed Zentner’s first book, but this one just didn’t work. Mainly, I think he tried to create drama where no drama was needed. Throughout most of the book, Carver has this threat of criminal charges because he was the one who sent the text. There is an actual case were there was a consideration, but it still seems silly to me and far reaching. Even worse that it was the driver’s dad who was trying to push it! Every time it was mentioned I was just dragged out of the book. I think Zenter has enough drama with just the fact that his three best friends were dead and the self-blame that would have already naturally been there.

There were def. some emotional scenes in there that totally tugged at the heart strings—the goodbye day with Blake’s grandma being the top. Although, I will admit the falling in love with the best friends girlfriend was a little weird. I could have done without that as well. There are some very strong features in the book, but for me it ultimately just didn’t work.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Realistic, Teen

 

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The Nerdy and the Dirty

27779274Title: The Nerdy and the Dirty
Author: B.T. Gottfred
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 9th grade and up
Pages: 304
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Gottfred, B.

Synopsis: Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated–and not quite sure that she’s like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?

His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he’s destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different–but that’s what he likes about himself.

When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd?

My Review: I wanted to like this book. I did. It had two stars. I thought, yes! And updated Forever by Judy Blume type book. Instead, I got a book full of abuse (which is explained away), trying to make a kid most likely on the spectrum “normal”, & casually uses words like crazy, whore, and retard. Seriously, it’s 2016. Let’s not use the r-word as an insult, okay? Even worse, the possible autistic teen starts to use the word internally at himself. (Seriously, don’t know how this book got two stars! Reviewers do better!)

The only positive this book holds is that sex, at least between Benedict and Pen, is straightforward and very consensual. However, it does feel a bit too mature for a first time experience, but I can still appreciate it. It’s very insta-love though (read three days). Also, Pen thinks she’s a freak because she thinks about sex/likes to masturbate. Benedict does say something to the contrary, but there’s still a sense that Pen has an unhealthy look at how she thinks.

Bottom line. This is a high “do not recommend” book for me. If you want to see a more in-depth of why you can see my review at my personal blog.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2016 in Realistic, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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Never Missing, Never Found

27190610Title: Never Missing, Never Found
Author:  Amanda Panitch
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th Grade & Up
Pages: 320
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Panitch

Synopsis: Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.

Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.

Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late?

Review:  This book is my…man, I just don’t know. I keep reading these thrillers in hope of getting one that’s awesome, but I’m continuously let down. This one was hard enough to follow at times due to the jumping back and forth from past to present. I’ll be honest in that the past scenes were much more interesting than the present timeline. But then you get to the end and it’s like SERIOUSLY?! This is an unreliable narrator to the max. In fact, I truly question how truthful the past scenes were now.

But will teens like it? Maybe? Either they’ll love it or be completely frustrated/disappointed like I was. The ending twist caught me off guard, but I guessed a lot of the rest as the story unfolded. Or at least guessed their involvement. I would say give this one to teens are who older and newer-ish to the thriller scene. I think teens who are well-read in this area will see it mostly as predicable.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2016 in Mysteries, Realistic, Teen

 

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99 Days

22836575Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno 
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 9th grade & up
Pages: 384
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Cotugno, K

Synopsis: Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me

My Thoughts: Seriously, this book left me kind of flabbergasted. One moment I was screaming YES YES YES but the next I was beating my head against the wall. Basically, the book is about a recently graduated girl named, Molly. Two years ago she made a terrible mistake and slept with her boyfriend’s (Patrick) brother, Gabe. They were kind of broken up-but maybe not completely, seriously it’s a perfect Ross yelling at Rachel WE WERE ON A BREAK moment. Anyway, she tells her mom, who then turns her story into her latest best-seller, which means everyone in town–and the country/world–knows about her mistake. She then decides to spend her senior year at boarding school, so this summer is the first time she’s been home since the book came out.

Turns out, Gabe really likes her and is the first to really welcome her home & the two enter into a relationship. This is where the book starts going downhill though. Molly has the perfect opportunity to stay on the straight and narrow, but instead decides to cheat AGAIN with Patrick, meaning she spends the whole summer making the EXACT SAME mistake that made her run away. She has the chance to fix everything and literally crashes and burns in the same manner. I mean, why?! I just….I can’t even.

There are some good points to the story though. The writing is well done & the characters, for the most part, are pretty believable. I also LOVED that the author tackled the whole double standard issue. Everyone is slut-shaming Molly, but Gabe, who basically betrayed his brother as well, remains untouched. He repeatedly points out that he is just as much to blame as she is in this whole thing. And it’s pointed out again, the second time around with Patrick, making the blame be shared equally.

All in all, though, I can’t really recommend this book. Interesting concept/premise, but ultimately a failure. Instead I would I look into the following read-a-likes for a more enjoyable read.

Read-a-likes
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Hahn
What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Catching Jordan by Miranda Keanneally
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Romance, Teen

 

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They All Fall Down

20527879-196x295Title: They All Fall Down
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Series: N/A
Recommended for: High School
Pages: 341
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction St Claire, R.

Synopsis: Kenzie Sumerall just found out she’s on the the list. The list of the top ten Veinna High Juniors who are “hotties”. Unsure how she made the list at all, let alone be fifth, Kenzie tries to brush away the extra attention brought on by the list. She could care less about all the parties or the power the list brings. All she wants is to continue on as normal and hopefully get into Columbia. However, any hope of that is shattered when the girls from the list starting dying one by one. Fluke accidents that seem just a little too suspicious. Could the theory that the list is cursed be true or something more sinister going on? And more importantly, can Kenzie figure it out before she’s next…

I was ultimately disappointed in this book. The concept was rather silly, but it was fast paced and full of action. One I could totally see reluctant readers running with. However, the slut shaming that’s included is ridiculous. It’s unnecessary and doesn’t add to the story at all. Instead it demeans girls for either being sexual or how they wear their eyeliner. I would have loved to have taken this one to the schools, but the slut shaming made that not possible. I would be extremely careful when recommending this one. (I did write up more on this for my blog, if you want to see the full post.)

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2015 in Mysteries, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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