Thursday, August 30, 2012


Title: Prodigy

Author: Marie Lu

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: Jan. 4. 1932 Hours.

Ocean Standard Time

Thirty-Five Days After Metias’s Death

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengence, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

Review: Prodigy was just as amazing, if not better, than the first book Legend. This book was action-packed, so lots of explosions and fight scenes and such. I want Day and June to end up together but at the same time I'm okay if they don't. But I just can't deal with that cliff-hanger!!!! Even worse, I have to wait TWO YEARS to find out what happens!!!! I love the futuristic United States the author has created, it's the absolute perfect setting.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

ATBF 2012 Panels

The 36 authors coming to the Austin Teen Book Festival have been split up into 6 different panels based on their most recent book. The authors will talk about their books and answer questions from the audience. So if you have something you've always wanted to ask one the authors, here's your chance!

This will all be happening September 29th at the Palmer Events Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also get a picture of yourself inside the bubble on the cover of Ally Condie's Reached!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just for Fins

Title: Just for Fins

Author: Tera Lynn Childs

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: When Lily Sanderson decided to remain Crown Princess Waterlily of the mermaid kingdom Thalassinia, she knew she couldn’t just coast along in the current. But since she’s spent the last couple of years on land—with gorgeous human Quince by her side—Lily’s not sure she has the fins to lead a kingdom. Even her maddeningly pretentious cousin Dosinia seems to know more about ruling than she does.

But Lily has to dive in deep to keep her promise to Tellin, her mer bond in name only, whose kingdom is suffering in the changing ocean climate. Lily knows this is a seven seas–sized problem: from sea animals dying to oil spills and threats to humans. They’ll need to create some serious waves to make the mer community aware and get it to join together to make things right. Even if that means facing one of the iciest queens in the mer kingdoms.

Just when Lily thinks her double life on land and sea can’t get any more complicated, an ancient mer law might separate Lily and Quince after all. It feels as if the pair is up against a solid tsunami wave!

Review:  This is my favorite mermaid series and I love it so much. It's a cute, light read and I finished this book in two hours. While Quince and Lily's relationship face another ancient mer law, it's not the focus of the book. The spotlight is trained of environmental issues, specifically the problems in the mer kingdoms surrounding Thalassinia. I really liked this because the author is talking about problems that are actually happening in the real world. I hope there's a fourth book because I don't think I'm quite ready to say goodbye to Lily yet. 

Keeper of the Lost Cities

Title: Keeper of the Lost Cities

Author: Shannon Messenger

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

Review: Sophie is an elf. It's nice to see someone stray from the beaten path of YA/middle-grade non-human characters and show the elves some appreciation. The elves live in their own world full of the cities from human mythology, like Atlantis and Shangri-la. I loved the mysterious Black Swan group and the rumors and conspiracy theories surrounding it. I could barely put the book down because I wanted to figure it out and I was kept guessing until the end. The nexus, light-leaping, pretty much all of the elven technology was really awesome and original. Too many love interests for a twelve year old main character, but this is a must-read for any fantasy lover!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

52 Reasons to Hate my Father

Title: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

Author: Jessica Brody

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Boulevard either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

Review: Lexi is unbearable at the beginning of the book; she's a spoiled and selfish brat who always gets her way. As the story progresses and she completes more of the jobs, she discovers things about the world and about herself that she never knew. Lexi's family life isn't the best, and struggles with that and, near the end, trying to fix it. The romance wasn't really needed, but at least it wasn't inst-love. This is a sweet and funny contemporary novel that's a great book for the summer. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

ATBF 2012 Line-Up

Hey readers! The Austin Teen Book Festival is coming up (September 29th!) and we now have the complete list of attending authors. This is the festival's fourth year, and they've got some of the best authors in the Young Adult genre! Here they are:

Neal Shusterman   (Keynote) – Unwholly
Jesse AndrewsMe, Earl, and the Dying Girl
Leigh Bardugo - Shadow and Bone
Elizabeth Scott -Miracle
Marissa Meyer - Cinder
Kami Garcia & Margaret StohlBeautiful Redemption
Will RichterDark Eyes
Kresley Cole - Poison Princess
Jessica Khoury Origin
Tracy DeebsTempest Rising, Temptest Unleashed
Libba Bray (Closingnote) – The Diviners
Rachel CohnBeta
Tamara Ireland StoneTime Between Us
Lex ThomasQuarantine: The Loners
Jessica ShirvingtonEmbrace, Entice
E.M. KokiePersonal Effects
Eliot SchreferEndangered
Anna BanksOf Poseidon
Rae CarsonThe Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers
Ally CondieReached
Scott Speer - Immortal City
Jeff HirschMagisterium
Greg Leitich SmithChronal Engine
Jessica Lee AndersonCalli
Guadalupe Garcia McCallUnder the Mesquite
Ally CarterOut of Sight, Out of Time
Dan KrokosFalse Memory
John Corey WhaleyWhere Things Come Back
Tara Hudson –  Hereafter, Arise
Gina DamicoScorch
Sophie Jordan –  Firelight, Hidden
Jennifer Lynn BarnesEvery Other Day, Raised by Wolves
Martha BrockenbroughDevine Intervention
Sarah Rees BrennanUnspoken

36 authors all in one place. You can ask the authors questions at the author panels, get your books signed, buy each authors' latest books, and have lots of fun! It's completely free and you don't need to register.  I'm especially looking forward to Libba Bray, Leigh Bardugo, Marrisa Meyer, and Ally Carter. 

Here's the link to the ATBF website with all the event details:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spirit's Princess

Title: Spirit's Princess

Author: Esther Friesner

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: Himiko shouldn't have a care in the world. As the daughter of the most powerful powerful man in the Matsu clan, she has her every need catered to. But Himiko isn't like other girls. She doesn't want to gossip and play silly games. She'd much rather learn to hunt and forage in the woods like the boys. So time and again Himiko sets out on her own adventures to prove what she can do. The day she was born there was a devastating earthquake, and the tribe's shaman had an amazing vision revealing the young girl's future—one day this privileged child will be the spiritual and tribal leader over all of the tribes. Book One revolves around the events of Himiko's early teen years—her shaman lessons, friendships, contact with other tribes, and journey to save her family after a series of tragic events.

Review: I love the Princesses of Myth books, but this one missed the mark. My main problem is with how easily Hikimo gives up on her dream of becoming a hunter. She tells her family she wants to become a hunter, and though they all laugh at her, she still believes she can be one. Hikimo even climbs a giant tree (she's seven at this time) to prove to her beloved big brother that she's brave so he will train her. She ends up breaking her leg, so everyone treats her like she's made of glass. With all the pampering, Hikimo slowly gives up her dream of hunting. Not only that, but she never really tried to become a hunter, aside from the tree incident. Hikimo didn't try to teach herself how to use a weapon, how to hunt, and never brought up the topic with her father after that first time. Instead, Hikimo becomes a shaman. That's cool and all, but the author makes it seem like she's breaking down barriers the same way she would be if she became a hunter. Her clan already has a female shaman, and they even had a female chieftess not long ago. Hikimo is too uninteresting of a character to enjoy.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Title: Unwholly

Author: Neal Shusterman

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa — and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp — people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Review: It's been a long wait for this book, but Unwind fans will not be disappointed. Several new characters are added to the mix; some good, some bad, but they all have their own agenda. Connor, Lev, and Rise not only have to deal with Juvies and harvest camps, but also with parts pirates, those who kidnap kids to meet the demand for organs the Cap-17 law has created. There's plenty of suspense and action that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. I absolutely could not put the book down during the last hundred pages because I just had to find out how everything worked out. This series also calls into question ethical issues and moral values: How far would you go to stay alive? Would you take the body part of a kid who maybe wasn't a bad person, but their parents found them to be too much trouble? I can't wait to read the third book and find out how the story ends!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Title: Origin

Author: Jessica Khoury

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Review: This book is a must-read. I really like how some of the science is explained to the reader, and it's almost fantasy-like. The characters were well-developed. Pia is sheltered in her isolated compound, her whole day is scheduled, and everyone (except her Uncle Antonio) is constantly telling her she's perfect. You'd think that would make her really full of herself, but Pia simply accepts it and doesn't let it get to her head. Pia's dad (Uncle Will) seems nice and Uncle Antonio is pretty cool but Uncle Paolo is a total psycho, same with Pia's mom. Pia doesn't obsess over escaping from the compound; she's content, if a little curious about the outside world. When she meets Aunt Harriet and finds a hole in the fence, she decides it couldn't hurt to look around. I think it's better this way than if Pia really wanted to leave, because as the book progresses she realizes the place she thought was safe isn't safe at all. The scientists are keeping dangerous secrets from her, ones that would change everything she's believed.  Eio is the first boy Pia's age that she's ever met, so it's not surprising that she's attracted to him. But the insta-love bothers me. Despite that, after a while I could wait for them to just kiss already! Khoury has some serious skills seeing as she got me to be okay with insta-love. The other thing that I didn't like was how the flowers are dumped into the river. Throwing an entire field of flowers filled with poisonous nectar into their water supply is not the smartest move. Still, Origin is definitely something to look forward to in September.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

City of Glass

Title: City of Glass

Author: Cassandra Clare

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?

Review: Why the heck will no one train Clary! It's the third book for goodness sake! Not only does she have very little fighting ability, Clary continually puts herself in dangerous situations, expecting to be saved. The shifting point-of-view became annoying about three-fourths through the book. And after a while I just got sick of the "will they, won't they" romance with Jace and Clary. Everyone knew they weren't siblings because they were going to end up together, so the "big reveal" was only a matter time. There's another three books in this series, though I can't imagine what they're about seeing as Clare gave this book a nice neat ending. Wait. The fourth, fifth, and sixth books are about Jace and Clary's relationship problems, aren't they? Of course they are. What else would one do with an awesome demon-hunting world but ignore it and focus on minor, trivial things?