APL's Teen Space

Book – Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

mortal heart

Annith has been at the convent of St. Mortain all her life. She should have been sent out long before her two friends to do their lords work, but everyone gets to leave before her. Even though Annith is more skilled at every task set before her. After she is given the assignment to learn to become the next Seeress, Annith has had enough. Wanting to learn the truth she breaks rules to try and find out why she alone has been forced never to leave the convent. Soon Annith is sneaking out to join her friends and help her country while serving Mortain. But on her journey she meets someone unexpected. The leader of the Hellequin, a group of dead souls repenting for the wrongs they did in their lives, meant to track down those who are left wandering the earth to help them cross over. Annith’s life is not the only one that will change because of this meeting.

This is the best of all 3 books! I didn’t want to put it down and I so didn’t see “certain things” coming. I had always preferred Sybella to the other characters, but not I think I like Annith more. The Hellequin leader twist was fantastic. I really didn’t see that one coming. Plus I’m completely satisfied with how everything ended. I never liked the Abbess, even from the first book, but I never would have taken her for what she turned out to be. Fantastic read! A big thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the advance copy!

Book – A Matter of Days – Amber Kizer

a matter of daysBluStar wiped out over 98% of the population.

Dia and her younger brother, Rabbit have survived the BluStar Plague only because their Uncle Bean came and gave them a shot with the antivirus before everyone knew what was happening. Having been trained by their father to “be the cockroach” they know what they need to do to survive and Uncle Bean has given them the supplies they need.  He wasn’t able to take them with him to safety before everything happened because their mom wouldn’t believe him that the end was coming. But he left the kids instructions on how to find him and their grandfather in West Virginia. So somehow these two teens have to make it from Washington State to West Virginia alone in a a world that has gone crazy. Where the people left behind have turned to murder, theft and worse to survive.

I thought there was going to be a lot more drama in this book, but it works. A fight for survival in a world gone mad due to the death of most of the population of the world. I was glad that Dia and Rabbit still showed human compassion and that they found Zach and that he turned out to be kinda fantastic. I’d be team Zach in a heartbeat if there was such a thing. I don’t know any guy that would do what he did! And Rabbit with his dog. gotta love the kid. These characters really grab you, even if the story can drag on at times.  Overall a good read and I hope there is a sequel!

Book- The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe

sound of letting goDaisy lives with her parents and her autistic brother, Steven. Their lives all revolve around Steven’s schedule. As he has gotten older his fits have become more violent and more dangerous to everyone so Daisy escapes her reality with music. She is involved in several bands, including Jazz bands. Playing the trumpet. But when her crush the bad boy Dave starts to show interest in her things start changing around her house as well.

Told in verse this book talks about a reality that some have to live with. I really liked how Daisy didn’t want Steven to go, but she didn’t want to be around him often either. She was portrayed like a real teenager. She was sick of giving up her life for her brothers and I felt that there was something so real and fantastic about that. I don’t know if I believe the ending entirely, but  this book hits on a topic that is hard to have a happy ending so I’m gonna go with it. But I have to say that the exchange kid completely has a thing for Daisy and that will not turn out well.

Book – Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

stitching snow

Essie lives on the planet Thandra with the seven drones she has upgraded to help the miners have safer working conditions, more money, and more down time. Tick tock, Clank, Clunk, Zippy, Wirligig, Cusser, and Dimwit each have personalities of their own and are always in need of repair. Essie is the only one who can fix them so the miners need her, but she needs to make ends meet as well so she has learned to fight in the cage to earn enough to get by and keep the miners away from her. When Dane’s ship crashes into Thandra Essie decides to help him repair his ship and get him gone so nobody in authority comes snooping. But Dane isn’t just some dumb guy who crashed. He came to Thandra looking for a treasure beyond compare, the lost princess of Windsong. Essie will have to face her fears and find another way to survive if the Candaran people have their way and return her to her father King Matthias and step mother Queen Olivia.

First, big thank you to netgalley.com and the publisher for the ARC! Now, I haven’t gotten around to reading Cinder, but I hear that it is much like this one, only that this one is more serious. Based on the story of Snow White this book takes the tale and twists it in ways that had me from the beginning. This is no Fairy tale! This is pure science fiction at its best. Even though I know the story of Snow White I never saw the twists coming in this book. Some huge differences in the story and it worked fantastically. Essie has to be extremely brave in my opinion and the drones provided much needed laughter in the book. Overall this is one of my new favorites.

Book – The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

crossover

Twelve year old Josh “Filthy McNasty” Bell and his twin brother Jordan “JB” are the sons of the legendary Cuck “Da Man” Bell. Together these two 12-year-olds are unstoppable on the court. Their dad has trained them well. But these two kids are really different. Filthy has dread-locks, loves ballin’ and loves using big words. JB is more conservative, not that great at school unless Filthy helps him study and is really interested in girls. But these two have big changes ahead for them.

Heartwrenching! Told in verse this is the story of twin boys whose father was da man! They play basketball and they are fantastic at it. Told from Josh’s point of view the reader gets to see a side of him that not many people show to the outside world. Fast passed and told in a way that young ballers will love. If read out loud it gives the feel that you are bouncing the ball. Extremely well written!

Book – The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

distance between usCayman works in her mother’s doll shop and that is pretty much her social life. That is until the day Xander Spence walks into the store to pick out a doll for his grandmother. Cayman’s sense of humor awakens something in Xander. Soon he shows up on her doorstep to walk her to school and bring her a hot cocoa. Meanwhile Cayman’s best friend Skye is attempting to set her up with the lead singer of her boyfriend’s band.  With a nick name of Tic, Mason is the complete opposite of Xander. With two boys out for her affection and her mother acting weird Cayman tries to keep herself for falling for the rich Xander because her father was a rich guy that ran out on her and her mother when he found out that Cayman was on the way.

A sweet chick lit book that made me smile. Very Cinderella! This story could have gone a bunch of different ways and I’m really happy with the way it took. Overall a great stand alone that will make you smile.

Book – Half Bad by Sally Green

half badNathan lives in cage. He is beaten daily. He has been marked as a half blood with tattoos. He has been trained to kill. The only people who have ever been nice to him have been taken away. Nathan was born into a family of white witches, but his father was a black witch. And not just any black witch, but Marcus, the most powerful of them all. Nathan has never met his parents. His mother wanted nothing to do with him and his father has had to keep his distance. From a young age Nathan has been humiliated, tested and caged within rules. Now in a proper cage Nathan remembers how he got here. Will Nathan escape? Will he find his father? Will he get his three gifts and become a witch or will he die before he can drink the blood of his ancestors and become a witch?

I listened to this on audio and I kept thinking about the Holocaust as I read it. It also made me think about the whole Black vs White race issues. This book is only the first in a series, but it brought a lot to light. Set in what I assume in current day England you would think that the people of his society had lived through racial persecution. There is not much of a difference between that and being discriminated because you come from a black witch and a white witch.  This issue has nothing to do with skin color but where your powers come from and how you act. The White witches (especially on the Council) are pure evil in my opinion. This a very powerful book and I can’t wait to read book 2!

Book – The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

 

eye of mindsFans of the book Ready Player One will love this book!

There is a player in the VertNet that has been holding players hostage and rewriting their codes. His name is Kane and no one can find him. SO the VNS (a government agency meant to protect people in the virtual) recruits Michael and his friends Sarah and Bryson to track down Kane. As these three friends start down the path that will lead to Kane their coding skills wont be the only thing about them being tested.

Completely didn’t see the end coming! I didn’t want to leave my car as I listened to this on audio book. Book two is sure to be great, but I can’t say much without spoiling the epic ending. So instead I am comparing it to Ready Player One! Everyone hangs out on the VirtNet. They basically put themselves in coffins that connect their minds to a virtual reality where they can do anything. Even if they die in the VirtNet they just wake up in their coffin in their home. That is until Kane comes into play and there are those who can’t leave the VirtNet. They have been taken hostage and are hounded by creatures that can erase their code. I couldn’t figure out why the VNS would ask teens to get involved, but wow when you figure it out! I can’t wait for book two and if you read this book and want to gush over it then come find me at the Main Library!

Book – A time to dance by Padma Venkatraman

a time to dance

Veda is an excellent dancer. For her dancing is her life. But when the accident happens, everything changes. Veda’s foot had to be amputated. Now she must relearn how to walk and how to dance. Her dance teacher says she will never dance again, but with help from her family and a new dance teacher Veda may get to find the music again. Beautiful! Sad! Determination! Love! This book is written in verse and holds a wonderful story that had me turning pages to see if she could do it. If Veda was a real person I would want to own a DVD of her dancing. Padma described her dancing in a way that had me hoping that Veda  was a real person. Absolutely gorgeous book!

Book – we were liars by E. Lockhart

we were liarsCady can’t remember much of summer 15. She had an accident and nobody will tell her what happened. But every summer since she was really little she & her mom go to the island with her mom’s side of the family where she hangs out with the rest of the liars: Johnny, Mirren and Gat. But after the accident they didn’t talk to her. She was left alone with her mom to recover. Summer 16 she was sent to Europe and the liars still never answered her emails. But its summer 17 and she gets to go back to the island and try to figure out what really happened the summer they were all 15.

The Spoilers!!! I can’t say anything major about this or it will ruin it! Its frustrating trying to write a description for this one without giving away the big WOW. I never would have guessed it! Really powerful book! Cady is a bit of a big complainer, but you find out what happened you will forgive her for it. But, the whole we were liars title didn’t make since to me until the very end when I sat back and reflected on it. I hate the grandfather! Love my own, but this guy was just awful! He may have thought he was teaching his girls a lesson, but if he wanted them to learn the value of a dollar he should have started that when they were kids, not now that they have kids of their own. Honestly, I’ve read mixed reviews about this title, but I was emotionally impacted by this one. TO me that’s the sign of a good book!