The Remedy by Suzanne Young

FinalBookCover_hiresMost recent dystopian novels occur in a future so distant it is almost unrecognizable. That’s not the case with Suzanne Young’s latest novel, The Remedy. This novel is a prequel to The Program and The Treatment and is set in a world that could be just months in our own future.

Quinlan McKee is seventeen years old, and she works as a closer – someone who is hired to provide closure for grieving families by impersonating their loved one who has passed away. Continue reading “The Remedy by Suzanne Young”

The Fallen by Charlie Higson

Zombie lovers everywhere should be cheering – or, um, groaning? – for Charlie Higson’s YA horror series The Enemy. The fifth and latest installment in the series, The Fallen, hit shelves in the U.S. on June 10. Zombie fans won’t want to miss the latest and greatest addition to this scary series.

The events of The Fallen pick up where the first book in the series, The Enemy, ended. A year after the world has been infected with a mysterious disease that turns everyone over the age of 16 into flesh-hungry zombies, the Holloway gang – Blue, Maxie and all their friends – are headed for London’s Natural History Museum. When they get there, they find the kids who had taken refuge at the museum are under siege by the infected grownups. After helping battle the bloodthirsty adults, the “geeks” from the museum tell the gang that they are working on a cure, and a nearby pharmaceutical warehouse might have just what they need to end the disease. A harrowing trip and some haunting discoveries follow setting up for some pretty big bombshells in the upcoming final two books of the series.

Most horror novels are aimed at adults, so it was refreshing to read one specifically meant for younger readers. Continue reading “The Fallen by Charlie Higson”

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Jennifer Donnelly has been one of my favorite authors for a very long time. I was beyond excited when I was presented with the opportunity to review her upcoming YA novel, Deep Blue. Not only is it a magical and action-packed story brimming with Donnelly’s characteristic wit and voice, it is also about mermaids. Really, you can’t lose.

Deep Blue is the story of Serafina, the principessa of Miromara. On the day of her Dokimi (the ceremony where she proves her lineage, demonstrates her ability to rule and exchanges betrothal vows with her future husband), she dreams of a prophecy is made predicting a nightmarish future unless Sera can find five others who can help save the merfolk.

I personally haven’t encountered many mermaid books, so this was a really interesting concept to me. Donnelly does a great job of incorporating the history of the mer people and introducing their culture, politics and lifestyle. Continue reading “Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly”

Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding

For me, one of the biggest signs that you’re reading a great book is being able to relate to the characters and situations even though you’ve never been in their shoes yourself. By that standard, Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding definitely qualifies as a great book.

Kellie is your average high school junior. She’s trying to skate through high school without putting in too much effort (that is, until she gets a position as her school paper’s humor columnist), stresses out about her new relationship with the boy she almost had sex with the previous summer and struggles to maintain old friendships while growing up and growing apart. When her adopted older sister, Sara, is contacted by Camille, her biological mother, Kellie watches as Sara’s decisions about her relationship with Camille impact their family.

Kellie’s relationship with her family really made this book for me. Where Sara is extremely smart and relatively popular, Kellie has a fantastic sense of humor and one or two close friends. She definitely feels inadequate compared to her sister, and these feelings are really reflected in the family’s dynamic.  Continue reading “Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding”

Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always by Elissa Janine Hoole

When I read YA books that primarily take place at a high school, I’m usually a little disappointed. Many of them just aren’t realistic, and my biggest issue is when the author just glosses over all of the problems so many high school students face. Luckily, I was happily surprised when Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always by Elissa Janine Hoole turned out to be one of the most realistic depictions of a high school setting that I’ve ever read.

Cass Randall is pretty sure she is the most boring person alive. All of her friends have filled out an online survey, and each one seems to have more interesting stories than the last. Cass, however, comes from a fundamentalist Christian family and, besides struggling to figure out what her own beliefs are and keeping her brother’s secret sexual orientation a secret, she thinks she might be the least-exciting person in existence. On a quest to make herself more interesting and simultaneously figure out who she is, Cass has to decide if popularity, notoriety, or her friends and family are most important.

One of my favorite things about this book is that it isn’t perfectly smooth or flawless. Continue reading “Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always by Elissa Janine Hoole”

The Pentrals by Crystal Mack

Antares follows people for a living. Her job is to track one person’s movements. She has to monitor them as closely as possible, and there are drastic consequences if she strays from her job. No, Antares is not a spy or secret operative of some government organization. Instead, the main character of The Pentrals by Crystal Mack is something much more common – a shadow.

Antares is the Shadow assigned to Violet, a teenage girl living in the opulent, mirrored city of Talline. She is a Class Two Pentral, or a Shadow or Reflection assigned to mirror the movements of a living creature.  She doesn’t feel emotions, and her only form of interaction is the brief moments she crosses paths with other Shadows and can exchange thoughts.

After tragedy strikes Violet’s group of friends, Antares begins to notice drastic changes in her Person. Violet becomes withdrawn and starts taking Lift! – a drug that makes it impossible for Antares to remember anything that happens afterwards. Eventually, Antares has enough of Violet’s changed attitude and suddenly is filled with a blinding rage and tries to rip away from her Person. Violet falls and collides with the Shadow, and, after briefly losing consciousness, Antares wakes up in Violet’s body. Suddenly able to openly communicate, emote, and move freely for the first time, Antares comes face to face with a city-wide conspiracy and has to expose the truth before it is too late.

To say this book is unique would be an understatement. Continue reading “The Pentrals by Crystal Mack”

Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell, pub. Oct. 2013, 320 pg.

Rating: 5/5 stars

If your classmate died and you had her bucket list, what would you do? That’s the question the title character in Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell has to answer when a girl at her school dies and leaves behind a list of things she wanted to do with her life.

Rebecca “Rebel” Blue is a misfit at her high school. She grew up running barefoot and wild while she and her mother, a photographer, traveled the world. When her mother died, Rebel went to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin Penelope, in a much more regimented household.

When the book begins, Rebel is constantly in and out of detention and has a reputation for causing trouble. When one of her classmates suddenly dies, Rebel is the only one who knows where to find the girl’s bucket list. After trying to get rid of the list only to have it continuously come back to her, Rebel decides there is only one way to get the list – and the memory of her classmate – to stop haunting her: she has to do everything the other girl wanted to do before she died. Continue reading “Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell”