RSS

Tag Archives: ya book review

One of Us Is Lying

Title: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen McManus
Series:  N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 361
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction McManus

Synopsis: On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.  Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Review: As far as mysteries go, this one was one of the better ones I’ve read. It didn’t make me hate it & I didn’t have it all figured out in the first 10 pages. However, it’s still pretty predictable. I had most of it figured out about a third of the way in. There were a few small details I missed, but generally got it as a whole. My biggest issues with the book was about stereotypical the characters were & how it dealt with mental illness/depression. The characters never really moved out of their “brain, jock, beauty, bad boy” characteristics. Cooper is the closest, but his surprise twist isn’t handed well. The cops literally out him as they let information leak about the case and why he would be a suspect. (Can we just say shody police work too?) The “surprise” twist comes in the fact that Simon set it all up and killed himself, but wanted to take them down/make them suffer for a year along the way. The reason? He was depressed. However, never do we really see that he’s depressed. Instead, we see a kid with a god complex who wants revenge & has used his “power” to manipulate and destroy people for years. It was a highly thought out plan that was complex and well tuned. Could he have been depressed? Of course, but shouldn’t have been the base for all this. He was a kid with serious issues that went way beyond depression, especially consider some other things we learned about him. Throwing in the depression almost vilified it/suicide and just made me feel weird. Honestly, if she had just taken out the depression part, which was maybe only mentioned in the last 30 pages, I would have liked this one much more. As it, it’s a meh book–one I can see teens thinking is okay (most of the book teens were okay, but not love) but no grand slam for sure.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Mysteries, Teen

 

Tags: , ,

Book of Shadows

Title: Book of Shadows
Author: M. Verano
Series: Dairy of a Haunting
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 288
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Verano

Synopsis: All Melanie wants is a blank book to keep a journal of her private thoughts. One day while browsing in a used bookshop, she finds the perfect blank book—smooth black leather with strange symbols in gold embossing. But once she gets home, Melanie finds herself too intimidated by the heavy vellum pages to write her trivial thoughts on them. Her Wiccan friend Lara tells her it’s better suited to be a magical spell book, called The Book of Shadows.

Melanie doesn’t know much about that stuff, but Lara, her boyfriend Caleb, and his friend Lucas, get her started by writing their own made up spells inside the book’s tempting pages. What they didn’t expect was a new spell showing up inside the book—and in handwriting none of them recognize.

Soon they discover that the spells suggested by The Book of Shadows itself do work—but not without wreaking havoc on the lives of the four teenagers.

Review: Normally, I love this series. It’s usually this weird supernatural mix with “it’s it real or not” type vibe. This one sadly fell flat, but I’m not quite sure why. It still had a very solid supernatural feel with the black magic, but it lacked the “keeping you guessing” element. Also, I’m not sure the “diary” format really worked this time. The past two books really only dealt with one main character/one person experiencing the supernatural, but this one really has four. It generally worked okay, but did feel as if something was missing. Overall, it was a middle of the road read. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Horror, Teen

 

Tags: , , , , ,

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister

18811323Title: I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister
Author: Amélie Sarn
Series:
Recommended for: Grades 7 & up
Pages: 152
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Sarn, A.

Synopsis: Two sisters. Two lives. One future.
Sohane loves no one more than her beautiful, carefree younger sister, Djelila. And she hates no one as much. They used to share everything. But now, Djelila is spending more time with her friends, partying, and hanging out with boys, while Sohane is becoming more religious.

When Sohane starts wearing a head scarf, her school threatens to expel her. Meanwhile, Djelila is harassed by neighborhood bullies for not being Muslim enough. Sohane can’t help thinking that Djelila deserves what she gets. But she never could have imagined just how far things would go. . . .

My Review: I absolutely adored this book. It’s such a short book but has such an emotional book. I loved the themes of feminism that run through it as the two girls decide how to led their life and what path of religion they want to follow. Both girls defended their right to their chosen path and have to deal with the consequences of that decision. Sohane has a lot of emotions that she needs to work through and it’s interesting watching that arc of love-hate-miss-understanding. While the flashing back and forwarding bothered me a bit at times, overall it was fine. This is easily a book I’d recommend everyone to read.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 9, 2016 in Realistic, Teen

 

Tags: , , , , ,

5 to 1

18588998Title: 5 to 1
Author: Holly Bodger
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th Grade and Up
Pages: 244
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Bodger, H

Synopsis: In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa doesn’t want to be a wife, and Contestant Five, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Five’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Five thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

Review: This is a great one to give to reluctant readers who are looking for something dystopian. While it is almost 250, most of the book is in verse. It definitely an interesting concept of how gender selection can harm a country. It touches both on both genders being valued and how eventually both ways will screw up the system. And while everything seemed to be fair/even/just, there were still ways to work the system. Bribery was still in play and a “good girl” followed the rules and picked the “wealthy/better” contestant. I do like how Sudasa, and even her family, kind of helped her thwart the system in the end.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Dystopian, Teen

 

Tags: , , ,