Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Young Adult Book Releases 2016: Science Fiction and Fantasy

I love to find new young adult sci-fi and fantasy books to read! This is a list of exciting new teen books that are coming out in 2016 that I cannot wait to read! This list is organized by release date and links to Barnes & Noble, so you can easily pre-order these new YA books now.

The Year of Lightning (The Time Shift Trilogy Book 1) by Ryan Dalton (Science Fiction, release date: January 12, 2016)
15-year-old twins Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert moved to a new town. Inside a house across the street, there is a secret machine with the power to pierce time. Meanwhile, lightning storms are breaking out all over town, and there is a mysterious connection to the house.

The Rule of Three: Will to Survive by Eric Walters (Science Fiction, Dystopian, release date: January 19, 2016)
Will to Survive is the thrilling conclusion in the YA trilogy The Rule of Three.

The Ward by Jordana Frankel (Science Fiction, Dystopian, release date: January 19, 2016)
In the future of New York City, a flood has wiped out Manhattan, leaving entire neighborhoods underwater. With the rivers polluted, an outbreak of a deadly disease known as the Blight has emerged. The government leads a secret mission to search for the cure with the help of sixteen year old Ren.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie (Fantasy, Science Fiction, release date: February 8, 2016)
Cassandra Leung is a Reckoner trainer-in-training. She trains sea monsters. The pirate queen Santa Elena kidnaps her and forces Cas to train her monster.

Calamity (The Reckoners Book 3) by Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy, Science Fiction, release date: February 16, 2016)
After Regalia turned Prof into an enemy, David must face the most powerful High Epic there is to get his friend back in this thrilling series.

Firstlife by Gena Showalter (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, release date: February 23, 2016)
Tenley Lockwood is a seventeen-year-old girl who has spent the last year locked inside the Prynne Asylum because she won’t let her parents choose where she will live after she dies. There, firstlife is just practice. After you die is the real thing.

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie (Fantasy, release date: March 1, 2016)
Sonya has the gift to feel what everyone around her feels, both physically and emotionally. After a mistake wipes out everyone else with the same ability, she is sent to serve under the king’s rule.

Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs (Science Fiction, release date: April 1, 2016)
Elena Martinez has an eidetic memory that has been kept a secret until now. Aether Corporation sends her on a top secret mission to the future. However, once she looks at her own fate, she only has 24 hours to get back home.­

Consider by Kristy Acevedo (Science fiction, Dystopian, release date: April 19, 2016)
Holograms suddenly appear in the sky, saying that they are from the future, and warn everyone that a comet is going to destroy Earth. They offer the choice to step into a portal to safety.

The Last Star (The Fifth Wave Book 3) by Rick Yancey (Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian, release date: May 24, 2016)
The Last Star is the third and final book in the award winning trilogy, The Fifth Wave. The movie of The Fifth Wave comes out in theaters on January 22, 2016.

The Fever Code (Maze Runner Series Book 5) by James Dashner (Dystopian, Science Fiction, release date: September 27, 2016)
In the fifth book in the popular Maze Runner Series, this book reveals everything about how Thomas and the WICKED built the maze. 

I am most excited to read Consider and The Ward. Which YA new release are you excited to read? Do you have any others to add?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lost Boy by Tim Green

Lost Boy is a middle grade realistic fiction book with a touch of mystery. On Ryder’s way home from baseball practice, he and his mom are arguing about visiting a friend. After Ryder accidentally pushes his mom into the street, she is hit by a truck and has only weeks to live. In order for Ryder's mom to survive, they would need $200,000 to give her an important heart surgery. With the help of his neighbor Mr. Starr and a firefighter, he goes on a quest to find his father, the only hope for finding the money to pay for the surgery. The problem is that Ryder knows nothing about his father whatsoever, and only has a baseball and a letter.

There was not enough of a plot or action for me to get into it. I also did not like how dramatic the events were, and also how undramatic Ryder was. He blamed himself for the accident, but as a character he was isolated, and didn't really connect with me. He just struck me as another character in another book, nothing really special. For me, being able to connect with a character is important when a character is injured or has an internal conflict.

Another thing is that it was really predictable. I easily guessed who the father was and what was going to happen. I did like, however, that at the end there was an epilogue that was a couple months later.

I do not recommend that you read this book.

Title: Lost Boy
Author: Tim Green
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 304 pages
Series: No
Rating: 2 Stars

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

The Rule of Three is the first book in this incredible dystopian young adult trilogy. It was just a usual day in Eden Mills for Adam Daley until the power went out. At first, it was just thought of as a standard thing that would resolve itself. However, it soon became clear that the problem was much more severe. Everything relying on computers was useless, including cars, airplanes, phones, appliances, and water filtration. Fear starts to get the best of people, and they start to turn on each other in violence, and desperation creates chaos as resources start to run out.

Luckily, Adam's neighbor, Herb, is a retired government spy who was stationed in foreign countries. He has seen first hand these types of things, and knows exactly what could happen, and knows how to survive and plan ahead. Adam's mother is the police captain, and with the two of them working together, there is a great chance for survival.

There are no words good enough to describe how amazing this book was! What I really liked was that even though it is dystopian, it seemed a little more realistic, seeing that the communities did not completely fall apart, and there was still some order. I found The Rule of Three easier to believe. Even though there is this huge problem, the community of Eden Mills really came together, which you do not see in a dystopian novel, or really any type of book. 

Every second of this book kept me hooked. The plot kept going and going, reaching new conflicts and solutions. In a modern day world with so much technology, it was amazing to see how they survived without technology. It is just like going back in time when there were no computers, and things needed to be done by hand. It really made me think about what would happen if that happened here. The only thing I didn't like was how suddenly it ended, but that just only makes me want to read the next book even more!

I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, Fight for Power!

Title: The Rule of Three
Author: Eric Walters
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 405 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Renegade (Elemental Trilogy Book 3) by Antony John

Renegade is the thrilling conclusion to the dystopian trilogy, Elemental. After Thom realizes that his mother is still alive, Thom is determined to return home to Roanoke. However, the island is still under pirate control, and a mysterious boy appears in possession of controlling the rats that give the Plague. Thom struggles with the fact that he can take over people's elements, and now his friends are scared of him. But if he wants to save their home, Thom must summon the full extent of his power.

What I did not realize until now is that Roanoke Island is actually a real place! I would never have guessed that, and it made me like the series even more. I also liked Thom's internal conflict. He can take over his friend's elements whenever he wants, and it scares his friends, and him as well. Whenever he touches someone, he hurts them or their element which prevents him from having the relationship with Rose that he wants.

However, I did not like all the secrecy. Its like, oh, by the way, the stuff we have told you since you were born was wrong! Geez. I think it was a little extreme. It was the adults that were lying all the time which confused me, and annoyed me. It still wrapped up the series really well, and there was an ending that showed what happens later. There was still some wiggle room for another book, but only enough to think about it.

I think that you will find this science fiction fantasy trilogy an interesting read for teens!

See my reviews of the other books in this series:

Title: Renegade (Elemental Trilogy #3)
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 304 pages
Series: Yes, Book 3
Rating: 4 Stars

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Firebug by Lish McBride

Firebug is the first book in this young adult fantasy series. Ava is a firebug, which means she can start fires with her mind. Filled in a world with many, many other magical beings, firebugs are rare and powerful, which makes them desirable. The mafia agency Coterie has had her in a contract since birth. Ava's mother died from orders from Venus, who is now her boss.

When Venus asks Ava to hurt someone she loves, she snaps, this being the last straw. Everyone knows you can't say no to them and get away with it, at least, not with Venus. Ava and her friends run away, knowing that one mistake could result in death.

The story moves really fast. It appears to take place over the span of about a week, which made me doubt a little bit how much could happen in that timeline. I loved how black and white it was. All the characters were either good or bad, and all the characters thought that of each other. There was a huge lesson about that.

However, I did not like the setting. There was really no explanation for where you were most of the time, and that was really confusing. There was not much background information, and it was hard to picture what was going on most of the time with all the commotion of running away.

The second book, Pyromantic, is supposed to be coming out in March 2016. I will read the second to see how it is. I sort of recommend this book.

Title: Firebug (Firebug #1)
Author: Lish McBride
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co
Pages: 368 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 3 Stars

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer

After reading Threatened by Eliot Schrefer, I was excited to read Endangered, since it is also a realistic fiction book about animals and survival by the same author. Sophie's parents are divorced. She lives with her dad in Miami, and visits her mom in the summer in Congo. She has a sanctuary for bonobos (apes), and Sophie wants nothing to do with it. That is, until a baby bonobo named Otto comes into her life. However, the fun and games don't last as long as she hoped. When a civil war erupts in Kinshasa and the president dies, Sophie and Otto escape into the jungle with the bonobos in an effort to stay alive.

Sophie is a very sophisticated teenager, and her thoughts and words seem like they should come out of an adult, which I liked. I thought that she handled herself very well in the complex situation that she was in.

Even though the majority of the book took place in a war, it was not scary or upsetting, since there were animals in it, too. I liked that this book had the right amounts of sadness and happiness, creating a perfect blend of emotions. Endangered helped teach me about bonobos, as I previously had no idea what they were, and about the Congo. The deep visual of the setting made me feel like I was really there. The pace of the story also sped up and slowed down, appropriately depending on what the characters were doing. The story is very suspenseful and full of emotion.

I recommend that you read this book.

Title: Endangered
Author: Eliot Schrefer
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Pages: 288 pages
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is the first book in this sci-fi mystery series. The only thing Thomas can remember when he wakes up in the lift is his name. He is in the Glade, a maze that nobody can figure a way out of, with other people his age who don't remember anything either. Soon after Thomas arrives, a girl in a coma named Teresa arrives, and has a special connection to him. With their help, maybe they can discover a way out- before there is nobody left to escape. 

I loved how easy it was to connect with the characters, especially Thomas. Furthermore, I think the author did a good job at describing how Thomas and the other boys felt without their memories, and the desperation that Thomas felt. Another thing I loved about Thomas was that from the start he had hope, and nobody else did. The others kept trying to convince him that there is no way out, but he kept going. That is the type of character that I love to read about.

The setting was painted really clearly. I could picture everything that was written. What was great was that very little was revealed, which makes me curious to read the others in this series. 

I cannot wait to read the next book in this young adult series, The Scorch Trials!

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 384 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X is the first book in its young adult science fiction fantasy series. Daniel has the power to create. He can create anything he wants, and can become anything he wants. He is the protector of Earth, the Alien Hunter. When he was three years old, his parents died from one of the aliens on The List. Now, he is carrying out his father's wishes, and starts defeating the aliens on the list, one by one.

One thing I didn't like about the book was that it was really hard to understand. A lot of times it was hard to tell whether something was real or created. It also felt like there were a lot of things going on at once. I disliked the fact that I could not connect to Daniel at all. He was just another character, but I could not feel anything special about him, just his powers. I was drawn into the super powers, but there was not really much excitement with them.

On the bright side, The Dangerous Days of Daniel X got better as the book continued. I liked that it was very suspenseful, and some of the ways he chose to use his powers were very funny! The story is creative, but the writing needs improvement.

There are six books in this series. To be fair, I am going to try reading the next book to see if the writing and character development improves.

Title: The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (Daniel X #1)
Author: James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pages: 238 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 2 Stars

Monday, November 23, 2015

iBoy by Kevin Brooks

iBoy is a young adult science fiction book that combines humans and technology. Before, Tom Harvey was just a normal teen living a normal life. But after someone threw an iPhone at his head from the 30th floor of his apartment building, pieces of an iPhone got stuck in his brain. Tom can now do everything a phone can do, plus the ability to shock things from up to three feet away. He becomes known as iBoy, a superhero protecting the violent local area. The same people who threw the phone at him were the same people who attacked his friend, Lucy. With his new powers, Tom will take the law into his own hands, and hunt down the gangsters who hurt her.

A huge lesson in this book is that revenge is never the answer, and it only creates more problems. iBoy shows that with having great power comes great responsibility. Tom also has a lot of self conflict. He is hacking into government stuff, and doesn't know if he should feel guilty.

The idea of iBoy is so original and interesting. I love that it made me think, and that I could picture myself in the book. Being able to connect to the audience is very important in a book. At the top of the first page in every chapter, there would be a quote or a fact that was relevant to the content in the chapter. 

I highly recommend that you read this original book!

Title: iBoy
Author: Kevin Brooks
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 288 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 stars

Monday, November 16, 2015

Light (Gone Book 6) by Michael Grant

Light is the last book in the young adult dystopian series, Gone. It has been over a year since all the adults disappeared. They thought they were rid of the gaiaphage, but they are wrong. It has reborn into Diana's daughter, Gaia. She has every power, and wants to seriously harm everyone in the FAYZ. After long battles, Sam's people who live at the Lake and Caine's people at Perdido Beach must band together if they have any chance of survival. Gaia is ridding them one by one, and the number of kids are decreasing rapidly. In the end, one will make a sacrifice that will save the world.

The only thing I didn't like was the extremity of Gaia and the extreme amounts of violence that was showed forth by her. It was a little too graphic for me, as some of the other books, and I feel that the way some things ended were slightly more extreme than they needed to be.

There is a lot of good vs. bad in the series, and it seemed like just now they finally realized that there are shades of gray. In Light, this is the book where the lesson finally comes into play about coming together despite differences for a greater cause.

Ending the series was great. A lot of times the endings don't really sum up, and leave room for another book even though you know there is no other book and you are left hanging forever. Fortunately, this book was not the case. The ending was perfectly summed up with really no room to expand on, which is great. It fully showcases their lives after this whole disaster and sums the rest of their lives up completely.

Gone was a good series that kept me hanging until the end, and I recommend that you read this unique series!

See my reviews of the previous books in the Gone series:

Title: Light (Gone #6)
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 411 pages
Series: Yes, Book 6
Rating: 4 Stars

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Infinity (Numbers Book 3) by Rachel Ward

Infinity is the third book in the intriguing science fiction fantasy trilogy, Numbers. It's 2029, two years after the chaos, and Adam, Sarah and Mia are struggling to survive. Little Mia was supposed to die on New Years, but somehow she switched her number.

They are living in a tent city preparing for another hard winter, when a man named Saul who claims to be working for the government comes looking for Adam. He tells him that government wants Adam’s help in rebuilding the country, and that they can help and take care of Adam and Sarah, who is again pregnant, and Mia. When Adam refuses, he kidnaps Mia, forcing them to come too. Not long after, Sarah realizes that Saul's real intentions put Mia and Sarah's new baby in serious danger.

In Numbers, the story focused on Jem. In The Chaos, it focused on Adam, and in Infinity, it focuses on Sarah, Mia, and Sarah's new baby. I love that all the characters get a chance in the spotlight. Infinity combines elements such as family and survival to make a truly original third book. As a conclusion to a trilogy goes, the ending was good. Last books in a series can be hard to end, but this one was wrapped up quite nicely.

It is a good 100 pages shorter than the others, which is not a bad thing. Infinity was a little bit slow for my liking, but Numbers is a young adult trilogy series that I recommend you read!

Read my reviews of the other books in this series:

Title: Infinity (Numbers #3)
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 249 pages
Series: Yes, Book 3
Rating: 4 stars

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities Book 4) by Shannon Messenger

I have been eagerly awaiting Neverseen, the fourth book in the incredible, middle grade fantasy series Keeper of the Lost Cities. Sophie and her friends are running away to join the Black Swan. In their new home, The Black Swan requests them to only train on their abilities. In the mist of creating new relationships and strengthening abilities, the Neverseen started a plague that will infect all the gnomes. Sophie and her friends must find a cure before the gnomes die. On top of it all, Sophie finds out that not everybody is who they say they are, and saying the three words "I trust you" could drastically change your life.

I loved reading Neverseen, and I couldn't put it down! Unlike the past three books, Neverseen does not take place in the Lost Cities, and is in a completely different environment that I was pleasantly surprised by. This book started at the moment Everblaze ended, which was unusual and helpful. It was taken in a whole new direction, and a lot of the questions that were in my head were answered in ways that I couldn't predict, and I love when authors do that.

There were a lot of conflicts, and an even mix of internal and external conflicts. In this book, Keefe was focused on, and he went through a lot of internal conflict. He is usually the one that is the most energetic and keeps everyone optimistic, but this is the book where we see the other sides of him. Like the other books in the series, I could vividly picture every detail!

I highly recommend this amazing fourth installment! The fifth book in this series will be released fall 2016. I absolutely cannot wait an entire year to read it and find out what happens next!

See my reviews of the other books in this series:

Title: Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities #4)
Author: Shannon Messenger
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 688 pages
Series: Yes, Book 4
Rating: 5 Stars

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tesla's Attic (The Accelerati Trilogy Book 1) by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman

Tesla's Attic is the first book in the middle grade fantasy and sci-fi trilogy, The Accelerati. After his house burns down and takes the life of his mother, Nick, his younger brother, and his dad move into an old Victorian house that they inherited from their aunt. With no money, they hold a garage sale with the old junk in the attic. Invented by the eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla, it turns out that all the items have magical properties about them. Some are fun, like a wind up toy that can finish your sentence, and a camera that can see the future, but others are dangerous, like a baseball glove that can catch and redirect meteorites.

With some research, they discover that all the items were in the attic for a reason, and that they are all parts of a special invention. Nick and his new friends try to recollect the items and keep them safe, but a secret group of physicists called the Accelerati wants to use the powers to take over the world, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. 

Tesla's Attic is hilarious! I was laughing out loud at some of the stuff that happened with the object's powers. The powers of the objects were so cool and creative. I also love that some of it is partially true. Nikola Tesla is a real person, and he was an inventor. In the book, one of the items was a remote control, and in real life Nikola Tesla invented the remote control! 
The characters endowed each other really nicely, and they were really believable.

I highly recommend this book. I cannot wait to read the next book, Edison's Alley!


Title: Tesla's Attic (The Accelerati Trilogy #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 256 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Liar is a mix of realistic fiction and fantasy that teen readers will find unique. Micah is a liar. She admits it- and that is probably the one honest thing she has ever said. She attends a progressive school, and is an outcast. Partly because of her looks, on her first day of freshman year, she is mistaken for a boy, and she goes along with it. After she is found out, she becomes a major outcast, and she knows it. By herself, she runs after school at Central Park. Micah is the fastest runner in the world. That is how she meets Zach. Then, Zach is found dead, and she is one of the suspects.

Micah has lied so many times, that she has trouble even remembering what is true and what is not. She will say anything to convince herself she is done lying, but she is lying to herself. To her, lying is just as easy as breathing. But all her lies get tangled up, and she is forced to try and find the truth that leads to her biggest secret, the one all her lies cover up, the "family illness."

My biggest dislike about this book was the fact that it was so confusing. What was especially annoying was that every chapter or so, Micah would say something like, "oh, yeah, the last few pages didn't really happen. Here is how it really happened." It was really hard to keep track of what was true and what was not. Her big secret is where the fantasy comes in. I will not say what it is, but I am saying I do not believe a word Micah said in the book. I tried to like it. I had high expectations, and it fell short.

Unfortunately, I could not bring myself to like this book, but it was interesting. I might read a different book from this author, but I do not recommend this book.

Title: Liar
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 376 pages
Series: No
Rating: 2 stars

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Chaos (Numbers Book 2) by Rachel Ward

The Chaos is the second book in the intriguing science fiction fantasy trilogy, Numbers, about changing fate and saving the world. Adam has his his mother's gift. When he looks in someone's eyes, he sees the date they will die. But he has inherited more than that- he feels the pain of the person's death, and knows how they will die. In London, Adam realizes that everyone around him has the number of January 1, 2027. Apparently, Adam's mom Jem knew too, so she tells him to stay away from London, and that he cannot change what is going to happen, as she learned the hard way. As much as Adam wants to listen, his heart tells him to do something.

Then, Adam meets a girl named Sarah, who has the same nightmare every day about Adam and herself in the disaster on that day. Even though Adam's mother, Jem, warned him about telling people, and told him to never ever tell, he does. Adam and Sarah try to warn the world about what is coming, but nobody believes them, and nobody wants to listen to two 15-year-olds. Even worse, Sarah's baby has that date, and Adam promised to save her. He must figure out how to keep his promise to himself, and to the world.

Adam is a perfect mixture of both his parents. From Spider, he has a lot of anger and loses his temper. From Jem, he inherited his big heart. He refused to give up on the ones he loved, even when they wanted him to. I love how Adam is so much like his mother, always trying to be brave and optimistic. The Chaos takes place 16 years after the end of Numbers, and is told by both Adam and Sarah's perspective in every other chapter.

I cannot wait to read the third and final book in this incredible trilogy, Infinity.

Read my review of the first book in this trilogy, Numbers.

Title: The Chaos (Numbers #2)
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 339 pages
Series: Yes, Book 2
Rating: 4 stars

Friday, October 16, 2015

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Numbers is the first book in this intriguing science fiction fantasy trilogy about changing fate. Jem has a secret. Ever since she was very young, whenever she looks into someone's eyes, she sees a number. That number is the date they are going to die. Jem avoids other people, since she hates seeing the numbers, but she takes a chance with another outsider, Spider. While waiting in line to ride a Ferris wheel, she notices that everyone around her has the same number, and that was the date of that day! Terrorists attack London. Jem barely manages to get them away in time. She is forced to break her own rule and tell Spider about the numbers.

There is another problem- the police are looking for the terrorists, and they think that Jem and Spider play a key part in the explosions, so the entire country is chasing them. There is one last thing- Spiders death? A week away.

I love how Jem kept trying to change fate. She was brave and optimistic, and tried to keep Spider alive, and even though she was burdened by knowing when people died, Jem tried to make the best of it. I was very intrigued to see if she could.

I do wish there was more about the numbers, since most of the book is just them running away. I have never read a book like this, and I think it would be hard to write. It is a little sadder than I would normally read, but I do really recommend reading it. I am glad I saw it as a suggested book on Goodreads and that the public library has the entire trilogy. I am excited to read the next book, The Chaos. 

Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 325 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall is a young adult realistic fiction book about second chances and living your life. Tessa is asked in a collage application the question "Who are you?" She does not know who she is. When a dodge ball is thrown at her head in gym class, 16-year-old Tessa didn't think to duck, which confuses her greatly.

She finds herself in a place that looks exactly the same as the mall in her neighborhood, and thinks she is in heaven. This is Tessa's second chance. A guy that she nicknames "Nail Boy" gives her a bag filled with purchases that she has made in the mall in the past that have shaped who she is. In order to return to her body that is in a coma at the hospital, she must relive all of those memories and find the answer as to who she is.

One thing I liked a lot is the fact that this book is written in verse, which is special and unusual. The verse stopped at important places where it is good to think, and it helped to pay attention and pace. Tessa is a character who has done some bad things in the past, and doesn't forget them. She cheats and lies, and although she has stopped, she holds herself accountable to things she did wrong even many many years ago.

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall shows her life from preschool up until high school. It is kind of like an autobiography in some ways, and I love that she kept randomly jumping back into the reality of the hospital. Tessa teaches us that one thing does not define you, people learn from mistakes, and sometimes you have to let things go and move on. I highly recommend this book!

Title: Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall
Author: Wendy Mass
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 stars


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mirage (Above World Book 2) by Jenn Reese

Mirage is the second book in the middle grade fantasy and science fiction trilogy, Above World. Aluna, Hoku, Dash, and Calli are on a mission to save the world from Karl Strand, who wants to rule the world. Aluna and Hoku are Kampii, which is half human, half mermaid. The desert is the last place they would rather go, especially since Aluna is secretly growing her tail. The Equians (half human, half horse) are up next for Karl to conquer, which means they must travel to Mirage and warn them. Unfortunately, they are too late, and Karl's clone Scorch has gotten there first. To make matters worse, Dash was exiled from Mirage, which complicates their visit, since a broken exile means death. 

With the leader of the Equians ready to go into war with Karl and Scorch's army, the only way to have them switch sides is if Aluna and her friends win the Thunder Trials, a competition of the arts, tech, and one-on-one combat. The herd who wins gets control over the desert for a year. If they fail, the four friends will die, and the desert will be under Karl's control forever.

The determination of Aluna in Mirage was great. She kept her hopes up, and went out of her way to protect Dash and win the Thunder Trials. She kept getting injured, and growing a tail does not make it easy to run, but she kept going. 

I was very intrigued throughout. I really liked the mix of characters, and their personalities. Despite their differences, they all worked together to help the greater good, which was being done by nobody else. All the other tribes have always lived apart and kept separate, which has changed by the influence of the group. The plot was good, and the flow was pretty steady. The tone and writing style fitted the book perfectly.

I cannot wait to read the third and final book in the series, Horizon.

Title: Mirage (Above World #2)
Author: Jenn Reese
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 368 pages
Series: Yes, Book 2
Rating: 5 Stars

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe

The Tragic Age is a young adult realistic fiction read about finding yourself and learning things the hard way. Billy Kinsey is seventeen years old, and he views seventeen as The Tragic Age. For example, his twin sister, Dorie, died of leukemia, and his parents are on the verge of getting divorced. Billy is a genius, but fakes being normal, and hides in the shadows playing his drums. Then, he is influenced by two new people. Twom Twomey (yes, that is his name) is a new student who believes that being a little rebellious is all a part of life.

Gretchen Quinn was a friend of his sister, and becomes his new girlfriend. She believes in experiences, and that anything is possible. Even though Gretchen is his girlfriend, he is more influenced by Twom. Billy knows he is leading toward disaster, but does nothing to stop, which he will soon regret.

I really liked the internal conflict in The Tragic Age. Billy is being pulled both ways, and he has to decide what he would rather do, which is really hard, since it is black and white. He doesn't know how to do gray, so against his better judgment he goes with Twom. The entire time, he knows what he is doing is wrong, but he doesn't have enough confidence to stand up and stop. The book really teaches about telling the difference between right and wrong, and how things end up if you do the wrong thing. The Tragic Age also shows that you can turn around, and that one bad thing does not define you.

The reading level is really middle grade, but due to some of the fighting scenes and other content, it is actually a young adult book and better for high school readers. I really recommend this book.

Title: The Tragic Age
Author: Stephen Metcalfe
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 320 pages
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fear (Gone Book 5) by Michael Grant

Fear is the fifth book in the young adult dystopian series, Gone. A year ago, everyone 15 and older disappeared, leaving all the kids trapped in a barrier called the FAYZ, with no way out. Now, the barrier is turning black, threatening to get rid of light, and engulf the world with darkness. With everything that has already happened, this does not sound like a huge threat, since Sam can create light for them to use, but you know the saying, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

I was definitely disappointed. Given the others in the series, I was expecting better, especially since this is the second to last book in the series. It went very slow, and I was kind of like "hurry up, already!" I know that is harsh, but I really did feel that way.

Another thing was that it was like running in a circle. You would finish one thing, but it would come back again, basically the same thing over and over. The ending was very confusing. Even after reading it over and over, it is hard to understand how it happened.

There were some parts that were good, but not really enough for me. The next book in the series is the last, Light. I really hope it is better than this was!

Read my reviews of the other books in the series:

Title: Fear (Gone #5)
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 509 pages
Series: Yes, Book 5
Rating: 2 Stars

Monday, September 14, 2015

Island of Legends (Unwanteds #4) by Lisa McMann

Island of Legends is the fourth book in the fantasy middle grade series, Unwanteds. Artimé is under attack from Pirates Island, since Alex has rescued some of their slaves. Even though they are under attack, he still promised to rescue Sky and Crow's mother, and there is no time to lose. The team goes on the journey, and learn that there are more creatures than they thought, and they are all in danger by an electric eel. Rescuing their mother is harder than they ever thought, and Alex must overcome his emotions to take control and save everyone before it is too late.

Island of Legends' greatest strength is the characters. For one thing, Alex's character is growing, and you see more and more of him every book. This is the only one of them with him so down on himself. Alex messes up one of his creations, his friends are fighting, and he and Sky are at ends. Alex has a lot of weight on his shoulders, and he has so much internal conflict. All of the characters' personalities really shined through, and I got to see them as themselves.

Another great thing about this is the creatures. Animals and statues helped in ways that saved their lives. The bond between animals and humans was so precious, and you saw Alex and the others really connect with them. Oh, and I almost forgot to talk about Fox! Gosh, he is hilarious. He is a dog who thinks he is a cat, which really livens up the story when something sad happened. He would always be there in the nick of time with something funny to say.

I really recommend this fantasy book and series.

Title: Island of Legends (Unwanteds #4)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 512 pages
Series: Yes, book 4
Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, September 11, 2015

Backward Glass by David Lomax

While at the public library looking for another book, I stumbled across this teen science fiction book. In 1977, Kenny Maxwell and his parents have just moved into this old Victorian house, and have started to renovate when Kenny discovers a secret behind the walls of the home. He discovers a dead baby wrapped in newspaper with a note: "Help me make it not happen, Kenny. Help me stop him. Clive is dead all over again."

Soon after, he meets Luka, a girl from the future, who shows him the Backward Glass, a mirror that allows certain people to travel in time. There is a legend of "Prince Harming," a man who kidnaps and kills kids for no reason, who is also out to get the "mirror kids." Once he traps Kenny in the past, Kenny must save the baby he found dead, and find the courage to face what happens to him in the future.

Backward Glass was not as good as I had hoped. The book started out as really great, but halfway through the book, it was like a different author wrote the second half. The mood and plot changed, especially the ending. Suddenly it would feel like the story was all wrapped up and at the end, but then it changed, and there was more. That happened over and over, and made me really just want to get it over with already. The real ending was not clear, and I wish it were different.

The first half of the book was amazing, and it is such a shame that it went so downhill. I don't recommend this book.

Title: Backward Glass
Author: David Lomax
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 315 pages
Series: No
Rating: 2 Stars

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Double by Jenny Valentine

Double is a young adult mystery about Chap, a 16-year-old boy with no home or family. Then, one day he is mistaken for Cassiel Roadnight, who has been missing for two years. He knows it is wrong, but suddenly he has the opportunity to have the life Chap has always wanted. As he tries not to be discovered, Chap discovers who he really is, and that he is in greater trouble than he bargained for.

I really liked the mystery in it about who Chap is, and how Cassiel disappeared. Every other chapter was about Chap's life before with his grandfather, so you got some background information about him. The title gives away some hints, and if you pay enough attention you can guess how Double will turn out. Chap's situation can be related to almost anything involving confusion and discovering yourself.

I really liked that I could picture what to do differently. In my head, I was putting myself in the book, but only certain parts of the book appealed to me to do that. There were specific parts in the book where I felt that the characters could have said something different, so I imagined myself in the book and how I would have changed what they said.

I have not read a book on this subject before, and I really liked it. I recommend this book for anyone who is in the mood for a good mystery.

Title: Double
Author: Jenny Valentine
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Pages: 256 pages
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Plague (Gone Book 4) by Michael Grant

Plague is the fourth book in this young adult dystopian series, Gone. Sam and his friends have been without adults for eight months, and they are barely surviving. Things were just starting to get back to normal (or, at least the closest thing to normal in the FAYZ) until multiple disasters strike. Mutated bugs are attacking and harvesting in humans, a highly fatal, contagious disease is spreading, and on top of it all, they are almost out of water. Everyone is out of hope, and now their thoughts are not about getting out; it is about staying alive.

I was so excited to read Plague and see what adventures the teens have next. The disasters bring everyone together, and they really have to get past their personal issues with each other to survive. However, it was not really clear what the plague was. There were three disasters happening at once, and it was hard to focus on them separately. While I like the idea of the mutated bugs, some of the details are too graphic for my liking.

Some of the characters that the previous books said were evil actually helped to fight the bugs, and you got to see good and bad characters working together, which has never happened before.

Overall, Plague was a good fourth book, and I cannot wait to read the next book, Fear.

See my reviews of the other books in the series:

Title: Plague (Gone #4)
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 459 pages
Series: Yes, Book 4
Rating: 4 Stars

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Hunted (The Living #2) by Matt de la Pena

The Hunted is the sequel to The Living, a young adult dystopian book. When the earthquake hit, Shy was at sea working for a cruise ship, and he was one of the only survivors. Addie, the daughter of the head of LasoTech, tells him a huge secret, which is the reason for over a million people dying from Romero Disease, but as soon as they get to safety, she disappears with her dad. Shy and his friends return home, where everything is a disaster, and thanks to the secrets that he knows about LasoTech, he is a wanted man of one of the biggest companies in the world.

I love that The Hunted is a completely different atmosphere than the first book. The Living was about surviving nature, while this book is about surviving people. It was very exciting, and I liked the variety of setting.

The cover is actually very accurate. There is a scene where I pictured it looking just like the cover. Every detail on the cover art is incredible and very exact, which I do not come across often.

It was so busy, and the chapters felt like a paragraph instead of three pages. By the end of the book, I was so shocked that it was over since I felt like I was only reading for a short time. 

Overall, The Hunted is a great sequel, and I very much liked the ending. I recommend that you read the two books in this series.

Title: The Hunted (The Living #2) 
Author: Matt de la Pena
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 384 pages
Series: Yes, Book 2 of 2
Rating: 4 Stars

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Firebrand (Elemental Trilogy #2) by Antony John

Firebrand is the second book in this young adult trilogy series. Thomas and his friends have managed to save the Guardians and steal the pirates' ship, but the danger is far from over. The pirates have control over their home, so they have to leave. With the help of Thomas' new element, they head south to Fort Sumter, a refugee colony. They quickly discover that as they leave Roanoke Island, their elements weaken. That is not the only problem. At Fort Sumter, Thomas discovers that they are all in danger, and their new home might be even worse than the one they left.

Firebrand was a definite improvement from the first book. Their elements were taken to a whole new level, and they discovered more things to do with them, which I greatly liked.

The characters were more emotional, and the book was not as fast, which gave more chances to connect with the characters. I kind of feel bad for them. Thomas has a hard life, and I admire him for standing up and taking charge even when he did not want to. 

The writing was not the best. The author told a lot of things, but didn't really show them. It was like a car without wheels. Instead of the author picturing the story for me, I had to do it myself and make up the story in my head. It made Firebrand more challenging than I would have liked.

I will still read the next book to finish the series, but if you have not read the series yet, I am not sure if you should.

Title: Firebrand (Elemental Trilogy #2)
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 304 pages
Series: Yes, Book 2 of 3
Rating: 3 Stars

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Elemental by Antony John

Elemental is the first book in this young adult trilogy series. In the small colony of Outer Banks, Thomas is the only person to be born without the power of an element (water, earth, wind, and fire). At least, that is what everyone makes him believe. After a freak storm that nobody could predict, pirates set their island on fire and kidnapped the Guardians. Now, they are after the kids. Thomas and his friends must fight to stay alive and free the ones who were captured. They uncover secrets that nobody told them, and Thomas discovers that he might not be as useless as everyone told him.

For me, the element part was not as developed as I would have liked. For having power of an element, I expected them to be able to do more than predict storms and tell if water is safe to drink.

Other than that, Elemental was a fine read. The setting was very detailed, and you could picture where they were. I did not have to stop and clarify anything. There was never a dull moment; they were always doing something. I have not read a lot of books where it is consistent the entire time, which I was happy about.

Unfortunately, I could not really connect with the characters. There wasn't really time to connect with them; they were always doing something. Often, they were too rushed to get things done that they didn't really connect effectively with each other, either.

I will read the rest of the series, and although it was not my favorite, I do think reading it was worth my time.

Title: Elemental
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 326 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 3
Rating: 3 Stars

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Pitcher by William Elliott Hazelgrove

The Pitcher is an inspirational realistic fiction book for young adult readers. Ricky is Mexican, and he is constantly teased and called racist comments. His mom has lupus, and they don't have enough money for her to get the treatment she needs. It doesn't help that his abusive father comes back just to steal the only money they have. Yet, when Ricky discovers that he has an amazing arm that can throw a ball 74 mph, his mom uses all the money that they have to get him to play. Across the street, a former World Series player, Jack Longford, is living in his garage after his wife died. He eventually agrees to coach Ricky.

The Pitcher teaches about believing in yourself, and moving forward even when things get rough. Ricky has it hard, but he keeps going. This is an emotional book, and it shows that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

You don't need to know anything about baseball to read the book. All the terms and expressions about baseball are explained. I was a little worried about that, but it was not a problem at all, so I was pleasantly surprised.

My only complaint is that Mr. Longford uses way too much inappropriate language. The guy calls everyone a rockhead, and says the same three cuss words tons of times in the book! He is a very strong character, but maybe a little too much.

I recommend you read this young adult book if you don't mind all the cuss words.

Title: The Pitcher
Author: William Elliott Hazelgrove
Publisher: Koehler Books
Pages: 241 pages
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Living by Matt de la Pena

The Living is a wonderful dystopian novel about being stranded at sea and trying to survive. It is the first of two books. Shy just wanted to get some money to help out his family with the bills. He didn't ask to be one of the few survivors of a deadly earthquake and tsunami. He is working on a cruise ship, and only after a couple weeks, the biggest, strongest earthquake ever recorded hits California, even spreading in to the border of Mexico, his home town.

Following is a huge tsunami, leaving almost everyone on the ship dead. To make matters worse, Romero disease is spreading rapidly, and threatens his entire family back in Mexico, as well as all his friends and coworkers that managed to stay alive. Shy and the other survivors are in a life and death situation.

The cover is way scarier than it actually is. The hand sticking out of the ocean is an exaggeration, which I found very misleading. I kind of wished that the book would be more scary. For a dystopian book, I kind of wanted a little more action.

Regardless, The Living is a great book, and I am happy I read it. It is also a mystery, which I very much enjoyed. There is also a conspiracy that is kind of surprising. I am not going to give anything away, but I was shocked that people would actually do something as thoughtless as what these people did. 

There is a sequel called The Hunted, which I cannot wait to read! I totally recommend you read this book. 

Title: The Living
Author: Matt de la Pena
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 320 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 4 Stars

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lies (Gone Book 3) by Michael Grant

Lies is the third book in the young adult dystopian series, Gone. Seven months ago, everyone 15 or older vanished, leaving the kids trapped inside the FAYZ. (Their word for the mysterious barrier surrounding them.) Sam and his friends thought that they had defeated the darkness, but they are wrong.

Drake is back from the dead to finish off Sam, and that is the least of their problems. A girl named Orsay claims to have the power to hear and see the adults outside the barrier, and communicate through their dreams. Sam and Caine found a way to stay after your 15th birthday, but she says that you go on the other side and are reunited with your parents. She also says that death is a way out, which causes chaos. 

Lies is definitely a super third book. It was kind of alarming how quickly things spiraled out of control. The second one problem was solved, another happened. Nobody could rest, and some never slept. It was also a prime example of how power can go to your head, and how things can't just appear overnight. That caused a lot more trouble than it should have.

A good thing that happened was that there was two pages told from Sam's mother's perspective about life without the kids. That completely changed my entire outlook of the series, but I just wish that had happened sooner. I also felt that there were too many characters, but it did not really affect the book as a whole. 

The Gone series keeps getting better, and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, Plague.

See my reviews of the other books in the series:

Title: Lies (Gone #3)
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 447 pages
Series: Yes, Book 3
Rating: 4 Stars

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

Threatened is a survival story about a boy named Luc and the Chimpanzees. Luc is living at an orphan shelter where he is barely surviving. Hope is very little until a man called Prof comes along. Luc tries to rob the man, but instead of being mad, the man offers him a job. They venture into a jungle in Africa to study Chimpanzees. Little do they know, their new friends are in grave danger. They are being hunted by leopards and other humans. Luc is not just going to stand there and let his new family be killed. It is time to take action.

With reading Threatened, you probably gain more information about Chimpanzees than you would reading a non-fiction book about them. Luc's experiences and observations are nothing that you can get elsewhere.

Many fiction books about animals are just some story about a pet that ran away, or ones for younger kids. It is rare that I find a book about an animal that is actually for teens. The author loves animals, and most of his books are animal-based, and I don't see that everyday.

You could connect the Chimpanzees, and see a different side of them. Most things you read or see in a movie make them sound scary, but they are just like us in some ways. The book was interesting, and I really liked it. I recommend this book for anyone who likes animals or survival stories.

Title: Threatened
Author: Eliot Schrefer
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 288 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Miracle Wimp by Erik P. Kraft

I found this funny realistic fiction book while browsing at my public library. Welcome to high school, where nicknames and labels are the main event in everyday life. Tom's last name is Mayo, which makes for the perfect nickname. Tom is a wimp, and he admits it. The "Donkeys" think that Miracle Whip is a type of mayonnaise, and since all you have to do is change two letters to get wimp instead of whip, they called him Miracle Wimp. 

Tom is funny and smart, which can gain him attention, but the wrong kind of attention from the wrong people. In this funny book, Tom has to live through high school with girls, crazy teachers, driving, bullying, and jobs. 

This book is definitely different. First off, all the chapters are only like, half a page long. Also, at the end of each chapter, he draws a picture of the thing he talked about, which can be funny. It is just random information about his life. There is even a chapter just on why he doesn't like to talk on the telephone! 

Miracle Wimp is a funny, relaxing book that is for everyone of all interests, and it has a little bit of everything. If you want to read, but don't know what to read, this is a great book. If you are being forced to read, or don't like reading, this might change your mind, and I know you won't regret reading it. I highly recommend this great book. 

Title: Miracle Wimp
Author: Erik P. Kraft
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, August 14, 2015

My Visit to the Library of Congress

I got the chance to visit the Library of Congress, the "world's largest repository of knowledge and creativity." I hope you will enjoy these cool facts about the Library of Congress and tips for visiting this amazing DC attraction.

The library is 120 years old, and houses a little over 160 million books. If you put all the books on one bookshelf, it would reach 850 miles! Every time something is copyrighted, the author has to give two copies to the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress cost about 6.2 million dollars to build, which is kind of ironic considering there is a map called the Waldseemüller Map, which cost 10 million dollars for them to get in 2003! 

One thing that makes this different from anywhere else is the architecture. There are pillars all over the place with carved marble, as seen in the picture on the right. Carvings and paintings are all over the place, and they all have different themes.

On the wall leading up to the balcony overlooking the main reading room, there is a mosaic of Minerva, the Roman Goddess of learning and wisdom. Every single little thing in it has some symbolism. (See picture to the left.) Every touch of detail in this building is amazing, and it all is nothing like I have ever seen before.

Thomas Jefferson's original library
One of the exhibits I got to see was a collection of Thomas Jefferson's original library. After the original library the Congress used was burned down by British troops in 1814, he offered to sell his private one to replace what was lost. Thomas Jefferson had 6,487 books, and he sold them for $23,950, which is about $4 per book. Some of the books there included The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England from the year 1720, and The History of Chess from 1764.

There is also an hour long tour with a guide that tells you a lot of really cool information, and I think it is way better than wandering on your own. If you are hungry, there is a cafeteria with a large selection of food at the top floor of the Madison building. You can get there through a tunnel connecting the buildings, and on the way there is also a Subway and a Dunkin' Donuts. If you want to do research at the Library of Congress, you need to be at least 16-years-old.

I really think that going to the Library of Congress is a really cool experience, and I had fun! I definitely recommend that kids, teenagers, and adults visit the Library of Congress.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ignite Me (Shatter Me Book 3) by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me is the third book in the Shatter Me series, a young adult dystopian trilogy. Omega Point is destroyed, and Juliette has no idea if her friends are still alive. She discovers that Warner is not who she thought he was, and he saved her life. Juliette trusts him now, and she has to make her friends who survived trust him too, while managing to take down the Reestablishment. She is finally ready to step out of the shadows and take charge.

I think that the other books were better than this one. For one thing, the ending was too rushed. The plot was not as developed, and I thought it lacked some action. I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, Ignite Me is still a good book, it is just not as great as the others.

I loved how Juliette came out of her shell. All this time she was scared and hesitant, and finally decided to lead. All the characters changed, bolder and more eager. Adam changed the most. I could not even tell it was him! I liked the extent of their abilities, and it was great for them to finally become who they were supposed to be. 

Shatter Me is a trilogy, but there are short additions in between them. In between Shatter Me (book 1) and Unravel Me (book 2), there is Destroy Me, which is told from Warner's perspective following his injury. In between Unravel Me and Ignite Me (book 3) is Fracture Me, which is the last moments of the battle told from Adam's perspective. The two individually are only available as an e-book, but there is Unite Me, which is a paperback book of both of them together that was available at my public library. I read both of them, and they are not necessary to understanding the series. The series makes perfect sense without them, and they are just bonus material.

I think the Shatter Me series is a must-read for young adult readers, and I recommend that you read them. It was recently announced that ABC will be making the Shatter Me series into a television show.

See my reviews of the other books in the series:

Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 416 pages
Series: Yes, Book 3
Rating: 4 Stars

Monday, August 10, 2015

Unravel Me (Shatter Me Book 2) by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me is the second book in this young adult dystopian trilogy series. Whenever Juliette touches someone, she causes them pain. With the help of Kenji and Adam, she is free from the Reestablishment and their plan, and has escaped to Omega Point, the place for people with gifts, like her. Little does she know, Warner is still alive, and wants Juliette now more than ever. She will have to make choices that make the difference between life and death, for her, and her friends.

This book was very similar to the first. In fact, you could just add it on and not even know that they were two separate books! In Unravel Me, Juliette's emotions are more intense, and cause more damage, but it was reasonable considering the turn of events. I have to say, wow! There were some real game-changers in this one, and I actually had to re-read some of it to make sure that it really happened!

When I was reading, it felt like I was in the book, living and seeing everything that was happening. When I was done reading, I wished there were more pages, because it felt like it ended in the middle of this huge game-changer, but I guess that is what happens when you have a really good cliffhanger.

I very much recommend that you read this series, and I am super excited to read the third and final book, Ignite Me

Title: Unravel Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 461 pages
Series: Yes, Book 2
Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, August 7, 2015

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me is the first book in this young adult dystopian trilogy series, and it is one of the best books I have ever read! Juliette has a power that can kill. Whenever she touches someone, she causes them excruciating pain. Juliette has not made contact with anyone in 264 days. The last time she did, she accidentally killed a little boy, and was sent to jail. The world is too busy falling to pieces to worry about some 17-year-old kid with powers. Birds don't fly, clouds are the wrong color, and people are being killed and tortured by the Reestablishment. They promised a better life, and things that were too good to be true, and failed to give it. Instead, they enslaved people into fear and desperation.

The people who are still alive are about to start a war against this. Warner, the leader of the Reestablishment, has his eyes set on Juliette, and wants her as his weapon to stop these, and to create a "better" world. Juliette meets Adam, who went to school with her, and was the only person who looked at her like a human being. He is also immune to her touch, and provides her with a chance she never thought she would get, to be free.

I love Shatter Me! I have never read a book such as intriguing as this! I was constantly wanting more and more, and was sad when it ended. I found Juliette to be scared and confused at first, but over time she came out of her shell and fought. Juliette had trouble hiding her emotions, and whenever something happened, she would be the first to react, to show emotion. She is a character that is well-written and well-developed. I would not change a thing about her.

The plot was put together perfectly, and the order of everything made perfect sense, and really came together. There was so much detail, and I did not wonder about any questions, which is very rare. The writing in Shatter Me is fantastic, and I really loved it.

I highly, highly recommend Shatter Me, and I cannot wait to read the next book!

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 340 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot

How to Be Popular is an enjoyable middle grade realistic fiction book. One day in the sixth grade, Stephanie Landry accidentally spilled a Big Red Super Big Gulp (a type of soda that makes the worst stain in the world) on the most popular girl in school. Whenever someone did something really dumb or embarrassing, they would say, "Way to pull a Steph Landry!"

Five years later, nobody has forgotten, and pretty much the entire town uses the saying, and Stephanie is the complete opposite of popular. She has two friends in the whole world, and they don't care about their social ranking, but Steph does. She is tired of living on the bottom, and wants a chance at the high life. In an old box, she finds a book called How to Be Popular, which she believes is her ticket in. It is easy to get in, but is it easy to stay in?

First off, the cover is amazing. I spent a good three minutes reading all the sayings on it. After each chapter there is a page from the book she found with good advice on it with a clue as to what could be in the next chapter. The advice the book gives is not just for people who want to be popular; it is just good advice that anyone should know. My favorite one is "The best way to win an argument is to avoid one in the first place" from page 227.

I liked the voice and how different the characters are from each other. There is no way to mistake a character for someone else. The descriptions are very detailed, and I could picture the events of the entire book. There are not many books that can do that. 

I agree with what the book told her to do for the most part. I think that it was a little too exaggerated, but maybe it is just how it was in their setting. All the book told her to do is to change her clothes so people would like her, and to be overall nicer. I do NOT agree with the clothes part. For everyone reading this, let me tell you that someone who only likes you based on the clothes you wear or how you look is not your friend. A true friend should like you regardless of your clothes and respect your opinion.

I recommend you read this well-written book, and it is one I will be reading again.

Title: How to Be Popular
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
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