Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2012

Numbers #2: The Chaos

The Chaos is a YA thriller/sci-fi novel, and the second in the Numbers trilogy, by Rachel Ward.

If you haven’t read Numbers yet, you should avoid this review. Instead, read my review of Numbershere.

If you HAVE read Numbers, feel free to continue to read…

The first numbers Adam saw were his mother’s.

That’s how he knew she was going to die.

He inherited her curse, her ability to see the date a person will die when you look into their eyes.

Only he got an added bonus. He not only sees when they will die, he feels it too.

So when, at fifteen, he finds himself in London with his Nan – still mourning his mom’s death – he’s horrified to see the same number popping up on multiple people, New Year’s Day 2027. Just a few months away.

What could happen on New Year’s to cause so many deaths in one place?

Can he warn them? Or is it better to keep it a secret, like his mother always advised?

When I read Numbers earlier this year, I was surprised by how down-to-earth and urban it was – and that t…

Twice Upon a Time: Rapunzel, The One With All the Hair

Twice Upon a Time: Rapunzel, The One With All the Hair is a middlegrade humorous fairy tale retelling by Wendy Mass.

What started off as a pretty okay day for Rapunzel turned into a totally sucky one. Suddenly she’s stolen by a witch, flung into a high tower (possibly with a heavy breathing ghost as a roommate), and doesn’t even know why her hair won’t stop growing!

Prince Benjamin, in the meantime, is finally getting a chance to do something. His mother never wants him out of her sight, but his father and troublesome cousin might be giving him the chance to get outside the castle for once – but will it just lead him to a troll?

Rapunzel and Prince Ben are trapped in different ways – is there a chance they could help each other?

But first they’ll have to actually MEET…

After the rather horrific reading experience I had with The Last Princess, I was glad to delve into something as lighthearted as Rapunzel. It’s goofy, silly, good-natured tone helped a lot!

I only wish that as an older…

The Last Princess

The Last Princess is a YA futuristic dystopia by Galaxy Craze.

After the Seventeen Days, days that wreaked havoc on the earth – from earthquakes to floods to much more – nothing has been the same. England is cut off from the rest of the world. It’s not even clear if there is a “rest of the world” anymore.

Things have gotten bad. Sun barely shines, and chunks of it fall to the ground. Food is scarce and people are starving – groups of criminals now called Roamers hunt the woods for human prey… It’s a dark place.

Eliza has been sheltered from some of it, being that she is a princess with guards. But when a violent revolutionist, one that has already hurt their family by causing her mother’s death, sets his sights on becoming the new king – the royal family is attacked.

Sixteen-year-old Princess Eliza escapes the bloody massacre at Buckingham Palace – barely. She has nothing.

Nothing but a deep-set desire to kill the man who has destroyed her family. But the steps she has to take to get…


Stolen is a YA contemporary fiction novel by Lucy Christopher.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma was having an argument with her parents at the airport.

When she saw him she couldn’t help but think he was attractive – but too old for her.

But then he stepped up and paid for her drink. A drink that he drugs.

And then before she’s fully conscious again, she’s been stolen.

Gemma is in the middle of nowhere with a guy that wants her to love him.

This is her letter to him. Her story of a desperate fight for survival…

Okay, I was blown away by the lyrical elegance of Lucy Christopher’s Flyaway (which I’m pretty sure will make my Stand-Out Books of 2012 list, read my review here). This is definitely a different book.

Stolen is disturbing, striking, and an up-and-close personal view of an abduction. It, at times, is searing, riveting, and magnetic – especially in the moments of a tear-inducing wild camel (which I won’t give too many details about).

Yet, I felt that Stolen had a more detailed, detached c…

The Boy on Cinnamon Street

The Boy on Cinnamon Street is a middlegrade contemporary fiction novel by Phoebe Stone.

Seventh grader Louise Terrace would much rather you call her Thumbelina. After all, she’s small enough at 4 foot 7.

And her name’s not the only thing she’s changed about herself. She’s quit gymnastics, which she used to be obsessed with. She’s got only two friends, but they’re the best friends ever.

And she has a secret admirer.

Small, but thrilling, notes start showing up. A pink chalk heart is drawn outside her apartment. And her friend Reni is convinced that it’s Benny, a cute pizza boy. But how come it’s not going anywhere? She has the hardest time trying to “run into him” or talk to him.

It seems like nothing in Louise’s life ever works out.

And deep down she’s still being held back by a moment two years ago… A time she still can’t remember. A time her life changed.

A time on Cinnamon Street…

I had a bit of a hard time getting into the disjointed narrative voice of Louise. But I did start t…

The Crowfield Demon

The Crowfield Demon is a middlegrade/YA fantasy by Pat Walsh, and the sequel to The Crowfield Curse.

If you haven’t read The Crowfield Curse yet, check out my review of it this last Monday. I encourage you to avoid this review until you have read the first book.

You’ve been warned!

Continuing on…

Will spent the winter learning that there was a lot more to the world than he initially thought. There are hobs, fay, curses, angels, and demons. And while uncovering all of this, he unfortunately was noticed by the Dark King of the Unseelie Court, Comnath. Not in a good way, either.

So as the spring begins to arrive, Will knows to keep his eyes open. It’s any day now that he will be in peril again. But now he knows he has the Sight, the ability to see beyond the mortal world into the realms of Old Magic, and he has a friend and protector in the warrior fay Shadlock and the little, faithful hob, Brother Walter.

Yet, an unexpected threat emerges – Crowfield Abbey has begun to crumble, and in te…

The Crowfield Curse

The Crowfield Curse is a middlegrade/YA fantasy novel by Pat Walsh.

After losing his entire family to a fire that he inexplicably survived, Will has become a servant at Crowfield Abbey – where he receives food and board for his assisting the monks.

On an ordinary day of gathering firewood in the forest of the medieval village, he hears a cry for help – a cry of pain. But what he finds is a creature no larger than a cat – it’s a hobgoblin. He’s wounded, caught in a trap. Despite being alarmed at the fact that he’s never seen a being like it, and by the fact that it talks, Will helps the creature and takes it to Brother Snail – one of the only monks Will feels truly comfortable with.

It’s not long before Will realizes that the quiet life at the Abbey is surrounded by magic – and curses. The hob confesses knowledge of something buried deep in the snow, beyond the graveyard – something that had wings and shone with beauty. Something that has cursed the land.

Will finds himself thrust into…


Revived is a YA contemporary novel with a sci-fi twist by Cat Patrick.

Golly gee wilkers, I am becoming a HUGE fan of Cat Patrick’s! First she wrote Forgotten, which was remarkable! (Read my review of it here.) And now she’s wowing me with her second novel – I am officially impatient for her third book – and don’t even know what it’s about!

Here’s a little about what Revived is about:

Daisy doesn’t remember the first time she died. Though she recalls that drowning was awful, and she was always a little frightened of buses afterwards. But she was only four years old at the time, so it’s a bit of a fog.

But that was the say she was brought back to life – the first time – and inducted into a classified program testing a drug called Revive. She and other kids from the accident that died, whom the drug worked on, began a life of secrecy and science.

Now nearing sixteen-years-old, Daisy has died and been Revived five times. Each death means a new city, a new name, a new identity. She’s alw…

The Drowned Cities

The Drowned Cities is a YA dystopian sci-fi novel, and the companion to Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi.

I was a fan of Ship Breaker, as you can see from my review here. However, there aren’t really any spoilers from that novel in The Drowned Cities, they just take place in the same universe. So you should be safe.

Here we meet war maggots in the Drowned Cities – refugee children that no one wants. Mahlia and Mouse have barely survived – constantly under suspicion after each death, as though they may have caused it. Their life is a hard one, but a kindhearted doctor keeps them alive – one of the very few that gives them a chance.

But when the opportunity to escape the Drowned Cities occurs, they take it. Violence is overtaking the Cities, and it seems that they might be able to find a semblance of safety – until they run across a wounded half-man, a bioengineered beast named Tool. He’s being hunted by soldiers – and sends Mahlia and Mouse into the line of fire.

When their new situat…

Commercial Breaks: Famous for Thirty Seconds

Famous for Thirty Seconds is the first book in Commercial Breaks, a contemporary middle grade series by P. G. Kain.

Thirteen-year-old Brittany Rush has been appearing in commercials since she was in diapers. She’s been one of the top-booking girls her age – and loves it. In fact, sometimes she’d arrive at a callback and other girls would simply up-and-leave at the sight of her – knowing it was practically hopeless to get chosen when she was an option.

But then her parents had to go and ruin her life by taking her and her sister to Hong Kong for business for a year. Now that she’s finally back – she’s ready to jump back into her career with both feet.

Problem is, more has changed since she left than she’d like to acknowledge. She’s not so special anymore. Another girl has become the top-booker, and Brittany is in the unique situation of being one of the other, forgettable, generically pretty girls.

This cannot be tolerated.

Brittany comes up with a scheme to win back the spotlight – b…

The Wicked and the Just

The Wicked and the Just is a YA historical fiction novel by J. Anderson Coats.

Cecily desperately wants to return home to her beloved Edgeley Hall, where her father was lord of the manor and they were well-off. But he has ruined her life by uprooting them to Caernarvon, English occupied Wales, where he can provide them a household, though a lesser one, for almost nothing.

Her only consolation is that, if all goes well, Cecily can be lady of the house. It would please her to be able to control the goings-ons of the servants.

Gwenhwfar has dreamed of being the lady of the house as well – that is, before the English came and destroyed everything. Now she has to perform every demeaning activity asked of her and struggle to feed her brother, her mother – everybody. And her mistress is Cecily, the girl who is in the position she ought to have been.

This is the story of the tensions growing in Wales and how they must finally reach a breaking point…

I had a difficult time with The Wicked and …


Happy July 4th everybody! :)

Extraordinary* the true story of my fairy godparent, who almost killed me and certainly never made me a princess is a YA urban fantasy humor novel by Adam Selzer.

Straight-A, Shakespeare-lover Jennifer just wants to chill out during her senior year. She’s already been accepted to a college that is of high-standing in Iowa and she’s ready to relax after all the hard work.

Also, she wants to start taking steps toward being the eccentric, cool woman she aspires to be. First step? Color her hair purple. She loves purple. Second step? Finally go to a school dance by getting the relatively cute guy in her Human/Post-Human Alliance group to ask her – and hope that helps her get over her absurdly long crush on Mutual Scrivener whom she hasn’t seen since sixth grade when he mysteriously disappeared with his parent’s overnight.

Pathetic? Yeah.

The next events in Jennifer’s story have been sorely misrepresented by Eileen Codlin’s horrifically inaccurate Born to Be Ext…

The Girl in the Steel Corset

The Girl in the Steel Corset is a YA steampunk novel by Kady Cross.

Oh dear. This is what I needed to rev up my bibliophile engine again! :)

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has just lost herself yet another job as a lady’s maid after a young lord tried to take liberties with her and – well – she beat him to a pulp.

She’s a small slip of a thing, but inside of her is a being of some sort that craves a good fight. And when it takes over, as it often does in this sort of situation, Finley is only an observer as she develops a super-strength that takes the would-be rapist by surprise.

The question is, as he lies unconscious, what is Finley to do?

This “thing” inside of her alarms her – it’s a complete loss of control that is supernatural and violent. And she’s going to be getting a reputation that will make it far more difficult to get another job. All she can think to do in the moment is run away…

Eighteen-year-old Griffin King, the young Duke of Greythorne, almost runs in…