Friday, May 27, 2016

The Ward by Jordana Frankel

The Ward is a dystopian YA book with a sequel about disease, lies, and magical water. Due to the Wash Out, a flood, Manhattan is overrun with dirty water. Renata (Ren) and her foster sister Aven live together, barely getting by. Aven has the Blight, an incurable illness caused by pollution. They live in the Ward, an area in downtown Manhattan that is home to the poor, and little is being done to help. 

But when the disease reaches the Upper Islets, the government recruits Ren to search for fresh water in the hopes of it leading to a cure or remedy. She takes the job only to help Aven. While on the job, she finds magical water that could solve everything. However, people protect that water, and she finds herself caught up in a huge mess of lies, and trusting in others could be her biggest mistake- one that would destroy everything.

I have to say how awesome the cover is! I love having her being inside the letter A in the title. All the buildings going towards the edge of the waterfall is very scary, but it really captures your attention. I also really enjoyed the characters. Good or evil was a struggle in this book as well as trust. Trusting in the wrong people made for many changes along the plot. 

While I enjoyed the characters, struggles, and the cover art, I have two major problems with The Ward. First of all, I had barely any background knowledge of the situation. Readers were not given any information about anything outside of Manhattan. The book did not have any specific information about the Blight, just basics. I have many questions, and I could probably write a whole book about the missing information! Secondly, there was not much imagery. I had a hard time picturing the events and there were very few setting descriptions that were significant. 

While I did not enjoy this book, I would like to read the sequel, The Isle. 

Title: The Ward
Author: Jordana Frankel
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 365 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 3 Stars

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Storm (H2O Book 2) by Virginia Bergin

The Storm is the sequel to the YA dystopian book H2O, the American title for The Rain. Three months ago, before the rain started, an asteroid hit earth with space bacteria. It got in the clouds and infected them. If the rain hit you, then the bacteria gets in your body and destroys you from the inside out.

Now 97% of humanity is dead. Ruby is not convinced she can continue on her own. She accepts the army's protection, but soon Ruby is wishing she never came. She finds out the ultimate secret that she can't keep. Ruby must fight back to save the rest of the population. At the same time, Ruby also wants to finish the quest she originally wanted to accomplish- to find her dad, the only family she has left. 

The Storm was very disappointing. One thing I did not like very much was the change from the butterflies to the ink blotches. If you read the first book, you might remember how when a character was saying a bad word, the author put a butterfly in the space instead. This time, it was splatters of ink. It looked like a tiny explosion. While the imagination of what it could be was cool, it was distracting and it make the tone of the book more negative. 

The part about her dad was way shorter than I expected it to be, and not what I was expecting. For what it was worth, I wanted it to be better. There were events that could be left out and took up too many pages. The plot was confusing and certain events did not add up. There was a huge twist that made no sense. The ending was okay, but was not very good for ending a series. 

I do not recommend that you read this book or series. It was a cool idea, but was not developed well. I regret buying this book.
Title: The Storm (H2O Book 2)
Author: Virginia Bergin
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 336 
Series: Yes, Book 2 of 2
Rating: 1 Star

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Losers Take All by David Klass

Losers Take All is a funny realistic fiction book where sometimes losing is winning. Jack Logan's high school has a new rule that all students must play on a sports team. Jack's whole family are football stars, and the new principal is not happy at all that Jack will not play football. Instead, he and his other anti-sports friends start a soccer team where their goal is to lose. At their first game, they make so many mistakes that a video of them went viral, and they have fans all over the world laughing and admiring what they are doing. They soon are winning in ways they don't quite know how to handle.

While they enjoy their fame, there are also many problems. Secret information has been leaked to news reporters, their principal and football team is out to get revenge, and tension heats up with Jack and his dad. On top of it all, Jack is good at soccer, which proves an internal conflict. They soon learn that they are in more trouble than they accounted for.

I liked the internal conflict with Jack. His whole family are huge football players and his family members are legends except him. Then when he gets noticed for playing soccer so well, he starts getting recruited. Jack has to decide what means more to him and where his loyalties to the team actually stand. I liked how he balanced both feelings.

This was the funniest sports book I have ever read! The team made hilarious mistakes, some staged, but most accidental, including the goalie falling asleep! I liked how things backfired on them, and it was really hilarious when they did! Even the principal being mean was funny, as the insults were so crazy.

Another thing I enjoyed was the tone. The tone was relaxed and laid back. I also liked that the book was only a little bit about sports. Mostly it was about getting along with others, problem solving, and having fun in life. Losers Take All is a very funny, relaxed great read for everyone of all ages!

I highly recommend this book!

Title: Losers Take All
Author: David Kass
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 320
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Friday, May 6, 2016

Anywhere but Here by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Anywhere but Here is a realistic fiction YA book that deals with adjusting to change and the death of a parent. Cole lost his mom to cancer, and he misses her. He often pretends that he is talking to her and that she is right beside him. His dad has moved on and has a new girlfriend now, and that angers Cole. Cole also broke up with Lauren because she didn't understand him anymore. Unfortunately, she does not have a good response, especially when he starts dating Hannah. All the more reason to leave the town of Webster, but soon he discovers a secret that changes his perspective.

Anywhere but Here had a lot of conflicts. Every character had some sort of issue, and it was sometimes confusing what was happening in each. I felt like the characters did not really learn much from what happened, and I would have liked more of "I'm sorry."  Also, the breakup between Cole and Lauren was not as clear as I would of liked it to be. Cole was very self-centered, and I would have liked him to be nicer.

The plot was kind of twisted due to the variety, and so it lacked focus on a specific thing. I did like Cole's documentary, and it really summed up the book quite well. I also liked that the book brought up a lot of issues, but I feel there were just too many.

I do not regret reading this book, but I do not recommend it.

Title: Anywhere but Here
Author: Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 320
Series: No
Rating: 2 Stars
Goodreads