Category Archives: YA Fiction

Kiss of Frost and Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

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Wow, I have to say I’m impressed. Normally the first book in a series is by far the best one, but not so with Estep’s Mythos Academy series. Gwen Frost has the power of psychometry–touch magic. She can “see” memories/impressions of strong emotions that are left behind on objects after people use them. She is also the chosen champion of the goddess Nike and is in direct opposition to the increasingly powerful god of chaos, Loki.

And that makes her numero uno on the mythological hit list.

As if that wasn’t hard enough, what’s going on with her Spartan crush Logan? Is he into her or isn’t he?

I have surprisingly grown to love this YA series, after trepidatiously continuing it after a shaky start with book one–an advanced readers edition. It is total fluff, but it’s entertaining fluff and I love it. I really like the Mythos Academy as a school, and I’m totally waiting for my superhuman abilities to develop. Gwen can “read” objects, but other than that she’s totally normal. Kinda hard to feel special when you’re surrounded by powerful freaks of nature wearing designer jeans.

Wind down with a cup of tea reading this series. It’s fun, interesting, and not too stressful.

4 creepy hairbrushes of 5

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The Breeders by Katie French

There’s so much talk in our world about women’s rights and what we should be allowed (and subsequently not allowed) to do with our female parts. Imagine you lived in a world where just being a woman got you forcibly removed from you family and taken to a breeding facility. That’s right! Having a functioning hoo-ha got you a one-way ticket to pregnantville for the rest of your youth! And then, when you got to old to have your own babies, the government so thoughtfully let you care for other girls’ children–as yours were taken from you after birth so as not to distract you from your next imminent pregnancy. 15791488

See what kind of shenanigans men get into if left alone on the planet??

Well, that’s the world sixteen year old Riley Meemick was born into. She’s one of the last free women in the state.

Set in futuristic post-virus New Mexico, French’s work is a page-turner for sure. The gunslinging and Wild West attitude totally took me by surprise, but in a good way. I feel like most YA fiction nowadays is just trying to follow some vampire/werewolf/mermaid/post-apocalypse trend and it gets old. This one was definitely a breath of fresh air and it was interesting to note the dynamic men took on when left to their own devices.

The companion novella Nessa: A Breeder’s Story is also a must read. It’s very enlightening about the back story. 4 homemade bullets of 5  67513a4d92720538a325cae48ee84f58


Rise by Anna Carey

In the third and final installment of Anna Carey’s intense Eve Trilogy, we catch up with our heroine as she is plotting to escape the City of Sand (and her father’s control) for good. The rebels are uprising and she wants to be right in the middle, especially after her honey-poo’s untimely demise.

Unfortunately, this much-anticipated number three was more like a Taco Bell number two. I enjoyed the story while it was happening but when I got to the end I was kind of like, “Hm… Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”  rise

Honestly, I think Carey could’ve just added an extra 50-75 pages each to Eve and Once and just completely skipped this weak last book. I get that the first two were tough acts to follow, cause let’s face it, they were fucking awesome. But, the couple particular plot twists that Carey used were pretty predictable, and frankly kind of annoying.

Also, I didn’t like the fact that her and Charles’ relationship was never resolved AT ALL. I mean, she spent the better part of two books being a total douche-nozzle to him and for what? Nothing! He did nothing but help her and she didn’t even try to get along with him or to at least appreciate him as a friend or a confidant. I didn’t like that.

I also didn’t like that the last page left me feeling SO unfulfilled. It should’ve been the end of one of the final chapters, not the end of the entire trilogy. Like seriously, what the fuck? Are you trying to give me a case of literary blue balls, because you have succeeded, my friend!

3 sore uteruses of 5


The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Ahhh, Kelley, you’ve done it again. Somehow you’ve managed to make the third book in a trilogy better than the first two while simultaneously intertwining two parallel story lines. Phew. I’m tired just saying that.

The Rising wraps up the Darkness Rising trilogy, which follows Maya, a mountain lion shapeshifter, and her band of genetically modified friends. They’re on the run from some of the most dangerous cabals in the supernatural underworld and have recently learned that the sleepy life they were accustomed to was all a lie. 11864728

Much to my delight, while on the run, they meet up with the teens from Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy and kinda wrap that whole situation up too. I enjoyed this series wholeheartedly–probably for its simplicity. Everything was as it seemed for the most part and for ONCE an ending didn’t piss me off. Things were as they should be. And this love triangle ended the right way.

Reading these books was like dipping my toes in a lukewarm pool. It was pleasant, relaxing, and I didn’t have to get soaked. Some books cause me so much anxiety that I almost stop reading them out of enjoyment and read them to relieve the nervousness they cause. Like I said, these are easy reading.

Keep up the good work, Kelley!

3 birth marks of 5

Also, I highly recommend reading The Darkest Powers bonus pack one and two. They each contain two or three stories out of the DP world and they are definitely worth your time. They fill in a lot of gaps and add a lot to the overall trilogy and are super cheap for the Kindle. (I actually think KA posts them for free on her website but takes them down as new ones are written…)

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And as another, probably useless, sidenote– I also happened to download her other short story Hunting Kat. As far as I know it’s a stand alone, and hopefully it stays that way. The new vampire/genetic vampire/bitten vampire on the run thing was way too contrived. KA has some awesome work out there and this comes no where close to representing her talent. Skip it.

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The Twice Lost by Sarah Porter

Finally my mermaid trilogy has come to an end! At this point, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. While I fell in love with Luce (and Sarah Porter) during The Lost Voices, my annoyance with her only grew through Waking Storms and The Twice Lost. Her lyrical prose that drew me in was still there, but the delicate beauty the story had at first was soon replaced by blockbuster easy-to-predict action that kind of disappointed me. the twice lost

I just hate how every YA story must revolve around a guy (or two) and how the heroine is influenced by her feelings/weakness for him. I liked the way that Porter ended the series, but throughout the second and third book Dorian continuously pissed me off. DO YOU HONESTLY THINK ANY WOMAN IN HER RIGHT MIND WOULD GIVE UP A MERMAID TAIL SO SHE COULD FOLD SOME DUDE’S LAUNDRY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE?? NO BITCH, I AM NOT GIVING UP MY AWESOMENESS FOR YOU!

I mean, some girls did end up choosing differently than Luce, but everyone had different reasons for that. I don’t think the reason should be a guy who may or may not love you. That’s just me.

I couldn’t help but feel like The Twice Lost would’ve made a better movie than a book.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Also, during the helicopter scene–when the mermaid were drying out and dying suspended midair–why couldn’t the mermaids who were NOT on “wave” duty start singing a wave to come up and cover the mermaid, or even knock the helicopter out of the sky?? It seemed like the obvious solution and it seemed dumb of Luce (or any of the others) not to think of it. 

I still love Sarah Porter and her mermaids, but I have to say I finished this book more out of anxiety than pleasure.

4 larvae of 5

Added bonus: Back in June when we went back to Florida to visit our families, I got the amazing opportunity to swim with one of Eric Ducharme’s tails! (He was featured awhile back on TLC on My Crazy Obsessions. Check out his site here.)

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This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn by Aiden Chambers

Let me start by saying that This is All has been sitting in the purgatory that is my To Read list for at least a handful of years. It’s a fictional diary of sorts, detailing the life and writings of 15-19 year old Brit Cordelia Kenn. She begins the book as a sixteenth birthday present to her unborn child and it chronicles her first love, losing her virginity, her budding friendship with a beloved teacher, and the growing pains-strangled relationship that she and her parents struggled with. n232254

I absolutely loved it–thank sweet baby Jesus–because the massive tome is 800 pages long! (And, I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean when I say that there’s Harry Potter 800 pages and… well… everything else 800 pages.) A few months ago I read The Kissing Game by Mr. Chambers and I just didn’t get it. So color me surprised that a 70 year old man could capture the inner-workings of a teenage girl with such clarity!

“The demons of the Devil don’t use your weak weaknesses against you, they use your strong ones. If you’re rational and logical, they argue their case rationally and logically. If you’re loyal and faithful, they turn those against you. If you’re passionate and emotional, they make you passionate and emotional about your worse fears. Your weak weaknesses are no use to them…. They find the strongest weaknesses you didn’t know were yours and use those against you.”

The hugeness of it all is divided into several parts to digest more easily. I didn’t mind that, but for some reason Chambers felt it necessary to have a 150+ page book that required you to flip back and forth every other page A to B to follow two different strains of Cordelia’s experience at once. I understand that one is what she was writing at the time and the other was what she was living at the time, but spare me. It’s awkward enough to support such a heavy book for hours on end without having to keep track of where the hell you are every two pages.

(As a side note: I don’t remember if it was ever described, but I always pictured Cordelia and Will to be black. It doesn’t matter really, but did anyone else find themselves imagining the same thing? Also, the ending and the tampon scene… SAY WHAAAAT?!)

All in all, probably one of the best coming-of-age stories I have ever read. I just wish I had the clarity, strength of character, and insight that Cordelia had when I was floundering through my teen years.

5 mopes of 5

 


Doing It by Melvin Burgess

I started Doing It the other day, right after I’d snuck into another apartment complex’s pool. As it turns out, that little bit of harmless mischief fit very well alongside the plot line.

Doing It details the sex lives, the would-be sex lives, and the confusion that goes along with being a hormone-riddled British adolescent. It follows Dino, who is desperately trying to lose his virginity to the girl of his dreams, Ben, who is having a kinky (but somewhat reluctant) affair with his teacher, and Jonathan, who realllly “fancies” his chubby BFF but is too ashamed to properly act on his feelings. doing it

*sigh* Boys are dumb. Doesn’t matter which country.

I really enjoy Burgess’ voice, and it was only after I’d finished this book that I realized I’d read another by him called Lady: My Life as a Bitch years earlier and loved it. Something about the plaintive sexuality and frustration contained within his writings is just totally page-turning. Plus, British lingo is really cute.

The characters did all take their turns pissing me off though. Dino was dumb because of what he did to his girlfriend Jackie, and Jackie was dumb because even though she’d had sex a million times before with her previous boyfriend she wouldn’t have sex with Dino. I don’t get it. Ben was dumb for letting himself be carried along in something he didn’t want to do and Jonathan was dumb for letting others’ opinions get in the way of getting the girl and for not just manning-up and going to the doctor, for chrissakes!

So basically, it’s an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be a teenager.

4 make out sessions of 5