25 April 2017

Review: The Whole Thing Together

The Whole Thing Together
by Ann Brashares

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 25, 2017

Ray and Sasha live in the same house, share the same room, and sleep in the same bed...but they've never even met each other. Sasha's dad was once married to Ray's mom, but a bitter divorce has left the families splitting the same beachfront property (on alternating weekends) and three older daughters, but not much else. Their older daughters are determined to change this and bring the families back together, and Sasha and Ray are caught in the tidal wave of change that follows.

Back after her acclaimed SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS series, Ann Brashares pens a beautifully poignant novel about family, sorrow, and forgiveness in THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER. Each character is unique and well-crafted, every interaction powerful and distinct. While reflective and incredibly rich in both detail and depth, this novel still manages to be bright, funny, and engaging, making it unquestionably one of the best books of this year.

18 April 2017

Review: Missing

by Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 18, 2017

MISSING by Kelley Armstrong is a chilling mystery novel set in Reeve’s End, a destitute small town in rural Kentucky. College-bound Winter Crane is eager to follow in the footsteps of countless other teenagers who have left Reeve’s End seeking a better life elsewhere, but when she discovers Lennon, a teenager assaulted and abandoned in the woods, she finds herself thrust into an intense game of cat-and-mouse with Lennon’s attacker. The mystery only escalates when Lennon suddenly goes missing, his brother Jude shows up asking questions, and Winter is drawn into the boys’ complicated family life. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel; it did an excellent job at balancing page-turning suspense with character development. I found Winter particularly likeable as a character, she is intelligent, compassionate, and incredibly resourceful. I would highly recommend this novel to fans of THE NATURALS.

Review: Bang

by Barry Lyga

Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: April 18, 2017

BANG by Barry Lyga is about a boy named Sebastian who shot his baby sister with his fathers gun when he was 4 years old. The book takes place 10 years later, when Sebastian is a suicidal teen. He meets a girl named Aneesa who makes him forget about his past and he altogether forgets about committing suicide. This is a very eye opening story and I truly loved it. It actually brought me to tears. It was so real and beautifully written. It is very heavy. I really enjoyed the plot. It is a hard book to face but once you start reading it, you get wrapped up. BANG is a totally amazing book you must read.

11 April 2017

Review: Literally

by Lucy Keating

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 11, 2017

In LITERALLY by Lucy Keating, Annabelle is a character by Lucy Keating— as in, she is aware of that fact. After a class lecture by Keating herself, Annabelle discovers that everything she’s known her whole life… is just for a book Keating’s about to write. LITERALLY has a very interesting concept, yet the way it is delivered does not stray too far from the genre’s tropes. Cute and fun, LITERALLY is the perfect read for anyone who just wants a nice, familiar YA romance novel. Guaranteed to have you smiling throughout your read, it's perfect for everyone, whether you are green to the genre, or an experienced veteran looking for something comfortable!

Review: Maresi

by Maria Turtschaninoff

Publisher: Abrams
Publication Date: January 3, 2017

Maresi is a young girl living at an abbey situated on an isolated island and only inhabited by women. However, the arrival of a newcomer named Jai will soon disturb this haven of peace away from the violence and poverty of the rest of the world. Let yourself be transported into Maria Turtschaninoff's truly feminist dystopian world. MARESI is a one-sitting book that stays away from any cliché; you will certainly enjoy it even if you are not a fantasy fan.

Review: Beck

by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: April 11, 2017

BECK, by Meg Rosoff and Mal Peet, is a story that follows the life of a boy named Beck, an orphan who is shipped from England to Canada and escapes to America, where he struggles to make a life for himself. The story takes place in the early 1900s which is intriguing to me because I am a bit of a history buff. I liked the character development and the side characters. I also enjoyed the book's realistic nature and how it is unique, as it deals with an interesting journey; I have not really read anything similar to this. I would recommend this book to older audiences, as in high schoolers, because there are some intense scenes that are not really appropriate for younger kids. However, I really enjoyed the book and definitely think it is worth reading.

04 April 2017

Review: Keeping the Beat

Keeping the Beat
by Marie Powell and Jeff Norton

Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

KEEPING THE BEAT by Marie Powell and Jeff Norton follows an all girl rock band on their rise to fame that brings them from England to LA, and the path each girl takes once they get there. The hodgepodge group of five girls barely talked at school, but an opportunity on Britain's newest reality show to become a world famous band throws them together into living a SoCal life of nonstop partying and celebrity status. Yet each girl faces their own personal problems that threaten to tear the band apart, and possibly the lives of those around them.

Though the premise seemed a bit cliché, the writing and dialogue was fresh enough to keep it a fun and exciting read. The characters were an interesting take on old tropes and felt well developed and layered. While some of the plot points seemed to be a little out of place and the last few chapters were a bit rushed, it all came together cohesively in a way that kept my attention. Each of the girls brought a unique viewpoint to the story at large and helped tie the book together. I really enjoyed this book as a fun suspenseful read that I would definitely recommend to someone who is looking for the same kind of exciting easy reading experience.