APL's Teen Space

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!

Book – Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

perfect ruinMorgan lives on Internment (an island in the sky).  Her older brother Lex is a Jumper. He tried to jump off the edge of Internment and now he’s blind. All jumpers end up with some ailment. But like her brother, Morgan is a dreamer. She dreams of someday getting to the ground. But when a murder happens on Internment everything changes. Especially after she sees Judas, the boy they arrested for the murder, escaping from custody. Things that have not happened in a generation are happening and the city is rocked by the events. The kings investigators are looking into her family, among others.

This is the first in a series and ends on a cliff hanger. This is a decent dystopian novel, but I’m left with far too many questions. The entire time, up till the end I figured they were actually on earth, but there was some type of wind tunnel and mirror trick keeping people entrapped. Yeah was I wrong. I still don’t get how there can be a big chunk of earth with a city on it surrounded by some kind of wind tunnel in the sky.  Makes no sense and I kept wondering why they changed the names for everything (ex. Bramble flies). No reas0n for that. Plus why don’t they have some history textbooks about the earth. Never really explained why they don’t. What happened to all the others who tried to escape? maybe listening to the audio was not the best choice for this book.

Book – On the Fence by Kasie West

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Charlotte (aka. Charlie) Reynolds is the only girl in her family of five. Her mom died when Charlie was just a little girl. With 3 older brothers, a father who happens to be a cop and a neighbor, Braden, who treats her like a little sister; Charlie leads a very non-girly life.  Playing football and being just one of the guys has always been her life. But after getting a speeding ticket her dad decides she has to get a job. And when Charlie comes home with a job at a woman’s clothing shop her life changes. She has to dress like a girl for work and when she can make more money by being a model for a makeup artist she jumps at the chance to be done with working quicker. But, makeup and girly clothes bring about dating. Having never been asked out she thinks herself ugly until a guy shes never met sees her all dolled up and asks her out. With her new job comes restless nights and talking to Braden in the early hours  over the fence.

The sign of a good book is that it brings out an emotion in its reader. This one have me tearing up. I thought this would be a nice sweet romance, but its beauty came in the growth of Charlie. I think that the whole hidden truth of her moms situation is a bit unrealistic, but I can’t say that for a fact since I have never had to deal with that type of situation and couldn’t begin to guess what that could do to a kid. Overall this is was fun emotional read for me.

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

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The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for (Goodreads).


First off I just want to say how much I love the world that Leigh Bardugo has created. Days after reading these books, I still find myself wrapped up in the enchantment of the world. Although not all that glitters in this world is not gold,.
Besides the dynamics of the fictional world, Bardugo does an amazing job of developing her characters. Each one has their own tangable personality. She especially does an amazing job with humor in this last installment. Really. 
The whole love square with Alina, Mal, Nikolai, and the Darkling isn’t overpowering, and honestly is barely there in some aspects, but it doesn’t take away from the story. 
There are heart warming moments, as well as heart stopping moments. This last installment will not disappoint long time fans.

Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan

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Sixteen-year-old Jack, nicknamed “Bones,” won’t eat. His roommate in the eating disorder ward has the opposite problem and proudly goes by the nickname “Lard.” They become friends despite Bones’s initial reluctance. When Bones meets Alice, a dangerously thin dancer who loves to break the rules, he lets his guard down even more. Soon Bones is so obsessed with Alice that he’s willing to risk everything-even his recovery (Amazon).


This book was not what was I expecting. That’s not an all together bad thing or good thing.
Bones and friends were likable enough characters, but it seemed like the adult characters in this book were way too detached from what was going on, Especially considering the circumstances. 
That being said, the fact that Bones and his friends could move around so freely in such a facility was a bit worrying. Especially considering the types of things that were going on.
I am happy that Shahan wrote this book though, because it does bring to light the fact that eating disorders in males is real
Although parts of the story didn’t seem too well thought out, Shahan does effectively (to an extent)  bring awareness to the disorders featured in the novel.

“Coral and Bone” by Tiffany Daune

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Fifteen-year-old Halen knows there is more to the world than most people see. She saw her dad attacked by mermaids, but her mom said it was the result of the fright when she was nine, and her imagination. But that doesn’t explain why Halen is supersensitive to sound to the point that she wears earplugs at all times. Or how it is that she can shatter a windshield with just her thoughts. When she learns that the ones she loves and trusts have lied to her all her life, she has to decide whether to help them or walk away. Tiffany Daune has put a refreshing spin on mermaids, sirens and shapeshifters. Well-written, it has fast-paced action. The tension between characters and their emotions was realistic and believable. Part paranormal romance, save the worlds, and social expectations; Halen has to decide which truth is true and what her part will be in saving life as she knows it. I cn’t wait to read what happens in book 2.

The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

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Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash.

Some work at the mall.

Becca Williamson breaks up couples.

Becca knows from experience the damage that love can do. After all, it was so-called love that turned Huxley from her childhood best friend into a social-world dictator, and love that left Becca’s older sister devastated at the altar. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Becca strikes back—for just one hundred dollars via PayPal, she will trick and manipulate any couple’s relationship into smithereens. And with relationship zombies overrunning her school and treating single girls as if they’re second-class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even Becca’s best friend, Val, has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, Becca receives a mysterious offer to break up the most popular couple in school: Huxley and raw football team’s star player, Steve. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date—starting rumors, sabotaging cell phones, breaking into cars…not to mention sneaking back into Huxley’s good graces. All while fending off the inappropriate feelings she may or may not be having for Val’s new boyfriend.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist would be easy.


Philip Siegel’s take on teenage romance is refreshing and hilarious.
Sure some of the ideas seem far fetched, but from my point of view, there not all out there (i.e. relationship zombies).


It’s quirky, funny, and an all around good read.


OVERALL RATING: 4/5

Killer Instinct by S.E.Green

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She’s not evil, but she has certain… urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.

Why?

Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return… in parts.

When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim…


What initially drew me to this book was that the synopsis sorta kinda reminded me of Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers.

Killer Instinct is no where near the same level as that. 


Lane is basically a copy-and-paste character, like the author just looked up traits of a serial killer and described her as such, except Lane’s no where near as clever as she thinks she is. Almost every aspect of the story is disconnected from everything else, like, no offense, Green didn’t even bother trying to build the world around her main character. You can’t have a detached main character and then detached her from her surroundings because then the reader simply won’t be attached to your story.


Simply put, Killer Instinct is a waste of time, unless you want to pick apart an entire story, and still find yourself disappointed in the end.

OVERALL RATING: 1/5

 

Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu

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He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.


I’m not even going to lie; I got a little teary at the end.
Marie Lu has done an amazing job with the entire Legend trilogy, and her epic conclusion does not disappoint. 
In fact she exceeded my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The pace was absolutely perfect, as well as the characters and their developments. The ending was by far one of the best endings to a series/trilogy that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading: sad, bittersweet, but always with that dash of hope. 


Marie Lu is a champion!


OVERALL RATING: 5/5

Book – Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols

perfect coupleHarper, ever the good girl, is school photographer and is dating the yearbook editor. Her parents are going through a nasty divorce and her mom wants Harper to skip college and help her run the B&B. Her last two boyfriends turned out to both be gay ans had only dated Harper because they wanted a cover and she knows how to keep a secret. Brody is Quarterback of the football team. He is outgoing and basically everything Harper is not, so when the school votes them the”perfect couple that never was” these two start to see each other in a different light.

A big thank you to Edelweiss.com for the advance e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Honestly I’m not a huge fan of chick lit, but this series has pulled me in. I read these books within a few days at the most.  The characters are never quite what you expect. For instance I never thought Harper’s dad would be like he was. The story is light and airy and makes you smile at times plus it deals with a lot of the issues that kids face that nobody really talks to them about. While I like the covers of these books, I wish they matched their actual superlative photos. Plus I really with we got to see the story from the guys point of view as well. Overall this is a fantastic series and I can’t wait to read more!