Monday, September 09, 2013

Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is one of many, many apocalyptic teen novels. What makes this one stand out, aside from the excellent writing, is that it starts just before the crisis that causes profound change to the planet. Many books of the genre begin well after the event, whatever that may be, and they usually offer scanty information about what actually happened, which I find frustrating. In this novel you can see what exactly happens and how it affects one particular family. The protagonist is Miranda, a 16 year old girl. She writes all the events down in her diary and her descriptions of life in Pennsylvania after the crisis are so realistic it is chilling. It was hard to put this book down because it felt so real, it was a bit terrifying to think that it could happen. I highly recommend this book, and I am looking forward to reading the 3 books that follow in the series.
Also Try:

Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Legend by Marie Lu

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

every day

David Levithan's every day is a very unique novel that would appeal to Teens and Adults. A (that is his only name) wakes up in a different body every day, and has done so his whole life. It is heart breaking to think that as a small child he never had the security of a family or home, and some days he would wake up to absolutely terrible situations. I wish the book had explored this aspect a bit more. But essentially it is a love story. A wakes up one day in the body of a very unpleasant guy, but A falls in love with his girlfriend. The machinations A goes through to try to keep in touch with this girl are really quite amazing to read about.  This was a very good book, if a bit shallow. 

Also Try:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Diviners by Libba Bray
It's Kind Of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I'm going to make a big statement about this book...It was one of the best books I have ever read. It's been on many end of the year lists as one of the best books of the year so clearly I'm not the only one!  There are many books set during WWII, even many Young Adult books with that setting. And while this is a book about that war, it is about so much more, mainly the friendship between 2 young women and how the war affected them. Wein does an absolutely wonderful job with character development, her dialogue is believable and there is no doubt that she did her research on the era. Taken all together, it's hard to believe that this is a novel, it all seems so real. There are some twists in this book, some small and some that are so jaw dropping that you may, like me, have the immediate desire to start from the beginning all over again.  I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a historical novel, an adventure story, or a novel with strong female characters. There is a fair amount of violence in some parts, but nothing gratuitous. 
The performances on the audio version are excellent as well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass




The Selection by Kiera Cass is one of any number of post-apocalyptic teen novels.  In Many ways it is like a lighter version of The Hunger Games. America Singer comes from a lower caste in this new world, which came into existence after some wars that apparently destroyed civilization. In this caste system she, like Katniss Everdeen, is oppressed, hungry and powerless to escape her situation. That is until she is selected to be one of 35 girls competing to win the hand of the Prince. This competition is cut throat, not to the death, but we can all guess how brutal it could be with 35 girls competing for one prince. Much of the competition is televised and again, like the Hunger Games, thee is a colorful host of the competition, a love triangle, and lots of rebel activity.  There is no doubt that the world created by Cass is heavily influenced by the much meatier Hunger Games trilogy, but if you like your Dystopian fiction with a little fluff, then you will enjoy this book. It is part of a planned trilogy, so perhaps the following books will have a little more heft to them.

Try Also:
Legend by Marie Lu
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness's The Knife of Never Letting Go has an odd title, and the premise is odd too, but it is an excellent fast-paced read. In Todd's world, a virus has caused everyone to be able to hear everyone else's thoughts, including animals. As a result the people in Todd's world (an earth-like planet sparsely populated from settlers from a dying Earth)live in a cloud of Noise. As Todd approaches adult-hood a series of events causes him to question everything he thought was true about his family, the planet he lives on, and his life. With his talking dog Manchee Todd sets out on a frightening journey to try to find safety, and quiet. As strange as all of this sounds, I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.

Also Try:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher