YA

[Review] The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

TThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavenderhe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Series: None
Publication: March 27th, 2014 by Candlewick Press
Number of Pages: 301
Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy, YA, Romance, Historical
Source: Public library
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.
Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.
In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.
That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.
First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

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[Review] The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

The Walled City

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Series: None
Publication: November 4th, 2014 by Little Brown Publisher
Number of Pages: 432
Genre: YA, Historical, Fiction
Source: School library
Rating: ★★

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped.
18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out.
DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible….
JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister….
MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She’s about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window…..
In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out. (more…)

[Review] The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Series: None

Publication Date: October 18th, 2011

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Number of Pages: 409

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance

Source: Public Library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. (more…)

[Review] Winger – Andrew Smith

Winger (Winger, #1)

Author: Andrew Smith

Series: Winger #1

Publication Date: May 14th, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Number of Pages: 439

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Source: Public library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids in the Pacific Northwest. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

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[ARC Review] Denton Little’s Deathdate – Lance Rubin

Denton Little's Deathdate

Author: Lance Rubin

Series: Denton Little’s Deathdate #1

Publication Date: April 14th, 2015

Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers

Number of Pages: 352

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Sci-fi

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.

Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that’s tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. Though he’s not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on. (more…)

[Preview Review] Saint Anything – Sarah Dessen

SNEAK PEEK: Saint Anything

Author: Sarah Dessen

Series: None

Publication Date: May 5th, 2015

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Number of Pages: Sample – 35; Book – 448

Genre: Contemporary, YA, Romance

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

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[ARC Review] My Best Everything – Sarah Tomp

My Best Everything

Author: Sarah Tomp

Series: None

Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015

Publisher: Little Brown Books

Number of Pages: 400

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

You say it was all meant to be. You and me. The way we met. Our secrets in the woods. Even the way it all exploded. It was simply a matter of fate.

Maybe if you were here to tell me again, to explain it one more time, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so uncertain. But I’m going back to the beginning on my own. To see what happened and why.

Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out.

Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (definitely illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends, Roni and Bucky. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, Lulu turns to Mason: a local boy who’s always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything – including her heart?

The summer walks the line between toxic and intoxicating. My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason – though is it an apology, a good-bye, or a love letter?

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[ARC Review] Seeker – Arwen Elys Dayton

Seeker (Seeker, #1)

Author: Arwen Elys Dayton

Series: Seeker #1

Publication Date: February 10th, 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Number of Pages: 448

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Romance

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon


Summary

Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin’s new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her. (more…)

[Review] The Rithmatist – Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist (Rithmatist, #1)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Series: Rithmatist #1

Publication Date: May 13th, 2013

Publisher: Tor Teen

Number of Pages: 378

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-fi

Source: School library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.

A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2013

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[Review] Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Series: None

Publication Date: October 22nd, 1999

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Number of Pages: 197

Source: Public library

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

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