Tag Archives: young adult

Book Review: Fledgling by Nicole Conway

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Author:  Nicole Conway

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary: Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.

Review: Nicole Conway is a great writer! Fledgling is 100% story. I have to admit, the “hero’s journey” is my favorite type of story, so this was right up my alley. 

Conway has created an interesting world in which humans, grey elves, and dragons exist. Only, not in harmony. The main character is a half breed, hated by both humans and grey elves, finding no place he really belongs. Until one day, he accidentally talks a dragon into choosing him as a rider. Suddenly Jae is in the elite training academy for dragonriders and he must prove that he belongs there.

This book touches on the subjects of faith in oneself, bullying, and discrimination. As a halfbreed, Jae is discriminated by both humans and grey elves. Niether knows that the other side hates him as much as they do. Jae goes through his life never fitting, never having friends, and never having a life to look forward to. He’s stereotyped by each side as well. Both think he’s a traitor and both think he’s sided with the other. In reality, he has no choice, because neither wants him. He is constantly bullied and name called by everyone, humans and grey elves alike. Jae must find the courage to have faith in himself and to choose where he wants to be in life. Only then with he ever find happiness or a reason to build a future life for himself. 

Recommendation: Fun and entertaining read!

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Book Review: We Were Liars

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Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: YA

Summary: A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Review: This is one of the most stunning novels I have ever read! Her descriptions are emotional and evocative; the story is a thrilling mystery!

Cady has headaches. Headaches that keep her from being able to function. Cady can’t remember anything about her accident, or anything about the summer two years ago when it happened. She returns to her family’s island for summer seventeen, trying to piece together what when wrong.

She spends her time with her three best friends; two cousins, Johnny and Mirren, and Gat, who she is in love with. They can’t tell her what happened, the doctors say she must remember on her own. As she watches her family fight for inheritance and fall apart at the seams, Cady clings onto her best friends, the Liars. They are all she has and all she cares about.

E. Lockhart keeps the tension high until the very end, when Cady finally remembers what happened in summer fifteen. She has created the most spectacular emotional arc that I’ve seen in years. Cady’s story is stunning. 

Recommendation: READ! READ NOW!

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Book Review: The Rithmatist (Rithmatist, #1)

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Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: YA

Summary: More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.

Review: Brandon Sanderson is known for his world building, and he does not disappoint in his first YA novel! Sanderson is a master of pacing, so don’t be worried about getting overwhelmed in this world he has created. Sanderson slowly introduces readers to the world of Rithmatists, Rithamtics, and Chalklings. It’s a fun ride, with a murder-mystery intertwined as well!

Sanderson has added steampunk elements to the twenty-first century, along with a sort of magic. Rithmatists are able to draw–with chalk–cirlces, lines, and pictures that come to life. Wild chalkings are those chalk creatures that are untamed and are wreaking havoc on the United Isles. Oh yeah, Sanderson splits the States into Isles! 

Joel, a non-Rithmatist, is obsessed with Rithmatics and finds himself in the center of a murder-mystery invovling Rithmatist students from his school. Melody, a Rithmatist who’d rather being drawing unicorns, also finds herself in the center of things, alongside Joel.

This is the first novel in a new series, so the pacing is nice and slow. However, the tension is kept high with the disappearance of students and new teacher who stirs the campus into a frenzy.

Recommendation: Read!

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Book Review: The Program (The Program #1)

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Author: Suzanne Young

Genre: YA

Summary: Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Review: Readers are immediately immersed into Sloane’s unraveling world. She has already lost her brother, her best friend, and now she’s facing another friend’s “illness” as well as her boyfriend, James’. He is the only thing she has left and would do anything for him. But she is forced to enter The Program soon after he is released, with no memory of her.

Young takes readers on a journey through The Program, which camoflage’s itself as therapy. Readers watch as Sloane goes through every important and special memory of James. Young keeps the pace a little slow, showing the exact effects of the pills Sloane is forced to take before and after therapy. She keeps the tension high as readers realize what’s happening before Sloane does.

In the end, there is an erie feeling, a sense of loss but also of hope that springs forth in the last few chapters.

Recommendation: Read!

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