Book Reviews & Other Musings
After signing up for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge (hosted by Hobbitsies), I was slightly if not extremely nervous. I hate new authors. New-to-me authors are different. I can wait until the author proves that he or she is a good author by getting rave reviews, winning an award, being published multiple times, or becoming immensely popular with people whose opinion isn’t consistently “It was the best book I’ve ever read!” New authors can always go either way. So these are a few of the authors whom I’ve deemed “I think they should be safe” and that I’m most likely reading for the challenge.
Pantomime by Laura Lam — Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.“…there is a very big twist at the beginning of the book that completely fools you, if you read the blurb. I think the twist deserves an extra star, by the way, because never have I seen another YA novel go about in doing something like that.” fяσzєη‘s review on Goodreads.
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan — In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house her twin brother Grayson found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abbey. A creepy, old abbey with a roof lined in stone gargoyles that one could almost mistake for living, breathing creatures. And Grayson is missing. Yet no one seems to be concerned about Grayson’s whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant who has some secrets of his own. There’s one secret about the city that he can’t keep hidden, though. There’s a murderer on the loose. And every day Grayson is missing means that there’s less of a chance he’s alive. Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead–she can feel it deep in her soul–but she knows he’s in grave danger, and that it’s up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost.
Splintered by A.G. Howard — Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family.
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepard — Juliet Moreau has learned that her father is alive and continuing his gruesome experiments on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true. Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.
Pivot Point by Kasie West — As a Searcher, whenever Addison Coleman is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not. And when Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.
How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski — Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious. To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.
Taken by Erin Bowman — There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone. They call it the Heist. Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive. Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
The Holders by Julianna Scott — When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Becca brother’s perceived problem, Becca doesn’t buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland’s family that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what’s best for Ryland. What they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family’s heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they’ve been waiting for. However, they are all—especially Becca—in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.
(Phwew. Glad I didn’t decide to do my top ten. That was long.) So I noticed that all these covers are pretty cool. I swear I didn’t do that on purpose. But I like how there are better covers these days. It makes books a little more memorable. I’m really looking forward to these books. Are there any books that any of you are looking forward to?