Llew's Reviews

Archive for the 'YA Lit' Category

Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 by Miss Laura

This one would be a good one for younger Twilight fans. Vampire fun with out the intense slightly stalkerish creepy relationship.



Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Saturday, November 15th, 2008 by Miss Laura

“This compelling, page-turning futuristic novel takes readers into a world that pits teenagers against each other in a fight to the death for the glory and well-being of their district. But when Katniss discovers the young man from her district is in love her, she is faced with having to kill him to survive or sacrificing herself to save him.” Indie Bound Indie Kid’s Next List, Winter 2008

The above blip makes this one sound kind of boring when it’s really KIND OF AWESOME. It is like Lord of The Flies only enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong – it has its brutal moments but there’s a sense of humanity (brief glimpses of humanity) that make it a worthwhile riveting tale.

Paper Towns by John Green

Saturday, November 15th, 2008 by Miss Laura

“Quentin has loved Margo Roth Spiegelman since they were both nine years old. Now it’s the spring of their senior year, and after a night of pranks, Margo disappears, leaving a solitary clue for Quentin. He and his friends use ingenuity and creativity to search for Margo and the search culminates in a mad dash road trip to upstate New York that must be read to be believed. Both poignant and hysterical, this book is a delightful celebration of smart guys.” Indie Bound Indie Kids Next List Winter 2008

John Green is my favorite current young adult author, and I’m a sucker for his stories which are usually coming of age tales of awkward witty boys . While I still love “Looking for Alaska” more this one is hilarious. It’s full of his normal acerbic style this time featured in LISTS which made me giddy.  For example,

“She may be hot, but she is also 1. aggressively vapid, and 2. an absolute, unadulterated raging bitch. Those of us who frequent the band room have long suspected that Becca maintains her lovely figure by eating nothing but the souls of kittens and the dreams of impoverished children.”

Yeah, I definitely loved this one.

A Summer Wasting

Sunday, October 12th, 2008 by Miss Laura

This summer while waiting for “Breaking Dawn” to come out I had many readers who asked me for suggestions to keep them busy until the release. Thus, I spent the summer wasting by beefing up on teenage vampire series. For some reason (read: I have a strong sense of shame) I didn’t blog about any of those on this site so I’m doing that now. Don’t judge me.

House of Night series by PC and Kristin Cast

The fourth book in the House of Night series, Untamed, was released last week.

No matter how many other readers I encounter who are enthusiastic about this series I can’t find it in me to recommend it to anyone. I don’t even really understand liking it as a guilty pleasure read.

Don’t get wrong – I will probably read the next and the next until the series is over but I don’t think it’s good. I actually talk out loud while reading this book. And by talk I mean groan and roll my eyes … frequently.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Another teen vampire series that takes place at a boarding school! I actually can see reading this one as a guilty pleasure as I rather enjoyed this series – even if it’s completely frivolous. I like that the main character (a dhampir named Rose Hathaway) is a complete badass with absolutely no control over her temper. It’s such a marked contrast to the other heroines in similar series.

The Society of S by Susan Hubbard

This one was recommended to me by April who seemed quite excited by the first book and ultimately disappointed by the follow up. I can understand the disappointment as the second book was quite meh. The first one didn’t really do much for me either but it was definitely a fun read. Plus, now it makes me want lavendar honey.

Evernight by Claudia Gray

There’s only one in this series so far but it seems clear there will be now. I feel bad not liking this book since the author is my friend on MySpace. Of course, a girl who makes Twilight themed bags that look as if they were made my a kindergartner with smashed thumbs is also my friend on MySpace and I have no problem thinking her craft is trash.

First off, the male love interest has bronze hair. Until the Twilight books I never knew that bronze was a hair color and now it’s the lock choice of any hunky vamp love around. Sure, right.

Second, and I can’t really tell you without giving away something of the story but in the middle the narrator tells you something she should have mentioned from the beginning. And it’s something so odd that the reader didn’t know from the get go that it just upsets the flow of the story too much. I almost stopped at that point – and I probably wouldn’t have lost anything if I had. Again, I will probably read the next book in the series because I’m a sucker.

Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 by Miss Laura

Preparing For Christmas Season In The Harried Book World: Book #12

“We understand what we want to understand.”

When this book came into the bookshop there was a tag in the computer that said, “Laura must read this book.” So Laura read this book. Laura doesn’t understand why she HAD to read it and Mr. Bossy Pants Boss Man can’t even remember now why he put this imperative in. He read a review or article sometime somewhere but doesn’t remember where or when.

It wasn’t bad. I can see people who loved Jennifer Donnelly’s Northern Lights liking this one. It’s not marketed as a young adult novel which I think is a mistake but probably not an imperative.

The story follows an only child from an incredibly wealthy family who has decided to go to a state college instead of an ivy league school she could have easily gotten into and more easily have afforded. She decides she wants a part-time job for her own spending money rather than relying on an already in effect allowance daddy-poo so she answers an ad on the bulletin board in her English department. There is a diary from a girl who was accused (and eventually hanged) during the Salem Witch Trials that an older lady wants translated to read in a more modern English format.

The story then starts to alternate between the modern day rich girl trying to find out who she is and the girl accused of being a witch in Salem. The Salem part of the story is incredibly vividly told, and amazingly well done. The modern story is a little tiresome. Not too bad, but I didn’t find the main character compelling or likable so it’s a lot of wishing on the reader’s part that the main character would just get over herself already.

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 by Miss Laura

I have been in reader HEAVEN! All of my favorite YA series have had another book come out. Septimus Heap has Queste out. After I finish devouring that, I get to hop on to Libba Bray’s third book wrapping up The Great & Terrible Beauty trilogy. Then, it’s on to Pullman’s prequel to the Golden Compass. I am so excited! I have such a huge stack of lovely looking fun reads that it’s making me giddy.

This one is the third in Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series which is really quite likable. Normally, I like young adult books that are for the older readers whereas this one is more middle school level. It’s still a thick seemingly complex book though so I’m still a fan. I’ve had good luck with recommending this one because there’s really nothing for people to dislike.

Author Death Match: Holly Black Versus Melissa Marr

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 by Miss Laura


In this corner weighing in at 645 pages, I have a set of books set of books which are urban faeire tales with Seelie folk walking around with glamours to shield us mere mortal from their cruel beauty.

And in the other corner weighing in at 653 pages, I have a set of books set of books which are urban faeire tales with Seelie folk walking around with glamours to shield us mere mortal from their cruel beauty.

Hmm, wait. When I read the first book in each of these sets (where the second book is slightly related to each other as in they take place in the same world, but the second book isn’t a true sequel of the characters in the first books), I liked Melissa Marr’s tale slight better than Holly Black’s. Neither are fantastic books but there was something compelling about each one that kept me from stopping halfway through. They both try a little hard to be cool – look my humans have tattoos and problems! and so forth.

I didn’t love either book enough to whole heartedly recommend it to someone (unless they were a fan of the genre) but they weren’t horrible. Pretty much they’re on the same level – if you liked Holly Black’s books, I’d recommend Marr’s to you or vice versa.

However, Wicked Lovely & Ink Exchange have gorgeous covers so I declare them the winner by a hair!

A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Monday, April 14th, 2008 by Miss Laura

I’m behind the times on this one, but it works in my favor since it means the second and third sequel to it are already out so worry about forgetting details as I wait for the sequels to come out. The reason I hadn’t picked it up before is a friend had read it and scrunched her nose at it. I don’t know if I would have liked it as much as I did if I had not gone into reading thinking that I might hate it. Turns out it was a nice light (but not happy) read. It was just what I was in the mood for and I love when that happens.

Attack of the Fiend by Joseph Delaney

Sunday, March 16th, 2008 by Miss Laura

attackoffiend1.jpg Spooks, boggarts, and witches – oh my!

This is the fourth in the Last Apprentice series which is a middle school level fantasy/horror series. I can’t handle scary things so a fifth grade horror book is about as much as I can handle. This is a good series that I’ve been fond of suggestion to that age of readers.

With this new addition, I’m a little weary to recommend it because it deals a lot with believing in God. I think it’s good for children this age, but I don’t think every child’s parents would agree with me.

Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi

Friday, February 22nd, 2008 by Miss Laura

spiderwickchronicles.jpg Obviously, I had to read these books before I saw the movie. To be honest, they’re kind of annoying. I realize they’re children books but each individual book is so insignificant it’s hardly worth it. The entire series counts for one book – even for a middle school reader. I mean seriously.

Of course, I read them so I could see the movie and now I’ve heard nothing but poor reviews for the film so I shall wait until it comes out on dvd. Alas, alack!

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