APL's Teen Space

After the End by Amy Plum

after the end

Miles is supposed to be going to Yale, but after cheating on a test he has been kicked out of his high school and Yale says they wont take him unless he can prove he is responsible. His dad, who runs a big pharmaceutical company has him working in the mail room. Juneau  has lived her entire life in Alaska. Her clan believes that WW3 happened in the 80′s and that nobody outside their tribe should be trusted. All the children of the tribe are born with a star-burst in one eye and a stronger connection to the Yara then their parents. The Yara is in everything in nature and certain people can use the Yara to perform acts that we would call magic. When Juneau’s entire tribe is take she must find a way to save them. These two seventeen-year-olds will need each other in order to find Juneau’s tribe and get Miles back on track to higher education, but first they will have to elude capture by two groups that wont stop following them.

I liked this one, but I just didn’t love it. However the cliff hanger of an ending means I must read book two! :) The whole World War 3 thing in the 8o’s threw me for a loop until I caught on that is was just a lie that the adults of Juneau’s tribe made up to keep the kids close. However, I have to wonder about Juneau’s mentor. He seems like such a great guy in the beginning, but by the end I’m wondering why anyone ever let him near their kids, even if he did figure out the secret to a long life. This book is really propelled forward by the story rather then a love for the characters, but even with that I loo forward to the next book.

Of Triton by Anna Banks

of triton

Book 2! Please don’t read this until you read book 1!!
Emma and Galen have just discovered that Emma’s mom is the long thought dead Syrena Poseidon Princess that was supposed to be mated to Grom, the new Triton King. Emma’s mom, thinking that Galen is there to bring her to justice for breaking Syrena law ans killing Grom, attacks. But being a bit tricky she escapes while Galen goes to bring Grom back to see for himself that she is alive. When she escapes she takes Emma with her by knocking her out. But more is at stake then anyone realizes. The royals are being challenged and unless they can convince the entire Syrena population that Emma’s mom is the long thought dead princess they may all be in for life imprisonment under the ice.

Book two kept me highly entertained and now I must wait to get my hands on book three. I really love these characters, even if the first book has some stereotype issues as some people say. I was heartbroken about one of the characters though, and I couldn’t figure out why Galen wasn’t even more upset. Emma’s grandfather seems like he will be a fun character in the next book and I can’t wait for that. I do however, think Emma is being a bit unrealistic when it comes to her mom, her dad, and Grom. That whole situation would make her upset, but i think she took it a bit harder then she should have. Overall a great read. A mermaid series to get behind!

Book – Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan

maid of deception

Beatrice was the first to be chosen by the Queen of England to be one of her special maids. She is skilled at deception and manipulation. She knows everyone and is from one of the oldest families in all of England. She knows a lot of secrets, including the Queens. Finally it is her day to get married, but when the Queen stops the wedding after Beatrice had walked down the isle she never imagined what the Queen would want her to do. Rumors have been circulating about what the Sottish are really in England for. Beatrice must get close the Scottish emissary, Alasdair MacLeod, and find out why they are really in England. But as she goes about her work of getting close to Alasdair she realizes her future husband is up to no good. With rumors flying, place intrigue, affairs of the heart, and the Queens wrath; Beatrice is in for a lot of trouble unless she can find a way to get what she wants without upsetting the Queen and all those involved.

I wasn’t as impressed with this one as I was with the first. I think Beatrice is just too selfish of a character for me to actually like. I think Alasdair was great, but I have no clue what he sees in her besides beauty and a love of children. I was more into Sophia and what was happening with her in this story or even Jane. They seem like characters that someone could get interested in, but Beatrice is just a sneak and manipulator who cares only for getting married to someone who can help her family stay out of the poor house. Overall the story was good and kept me interested, but I really don’t care for the main character of this one.

Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma

3.5/5
I bet you’re hoping this is another vampire/human love story.  Unfortunately, it is an entirely different forbidden love altogether.  It could be simple.  It could be about a boy and a girl that merely fall in love.  Instead, it is about a brother and sister that develop feelings for each other.  How could that happen?
Lochan and Maya take care of their 3 younger siblings while their mother is rarely home and spends all her available time and money in a quest to feel younger and to forget that she has so many responsibilities (read: children).  Lochan’s alcoholic mother likes to constantly remind him that the only reason she got married is because she fell pregnant with him, and Maya was born soon after, with only a little over a year separating them.  Since their father left to start a new family, their mother can hardly be counted on to help around the house and with the kids.  High schoolers Lochan and Maya have never felt like siblings, but more like parents, dependent on each other, as all the household responsibilities fall on their shoulders.  No one can understand them as they do each other, and slowly they begin to realize that their feelings surpass what ordinary siblings feel for each other.  They struggle to control their feelings and try to hide them from their family, knowing the illegal nature of their love, but eventually, the feelings escalate in a way that will change the family forever.
It’s pretty tough to review this book.  I think it’s an interesting topic and commend Tabitha Suzuma for writing about it and bringing it out to the public.  There is a pretty big “YUCK” factor – but there is no denying that these things have happened and continue to happen around the world.  I kept hoping that somehow it would end with them not actually being related… but no such luck.  I wouldn’t necessarily read this one again, being as the first time was enough emotion to go through, but mainly you feel for them as a family rather than thinking just how wrong it all is.  The book doesn’t really try to justify their feelings, but offers the different point of views of friends and family.  Read this one if you’re looking for something pretty different that might bring into question the way you see the world and societal norms.

Book – Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

snow like ashes

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was destroyed and its people captured by the Kingdom of Summer. A few escaped capture, including the Queens only child. Together they have been on the hunt for the two halves of a locket, the source of Winters Magic, so that they can free their people and bring back the Kingdom of Winter. Led by Sir this small group has just discovered where they can find one half of the locket. Meira is the same age as the Prince. She was Orphaned, but managed to escape with the help of Sir. She finally gets to go on a mission to recover the locket. This mission is the beginning of changes for all Winterians.

Big thanks to edelweiss.com and the publisher for the advance copy of this book. I saw the twist coming, but I have to say this if a very epic read! Meira has a lot to decide now so I can’t wait for the next book in this series! Over all the Season/Rhythm thing threw me, but after a while I kind of understood what was happening there. The fun part that had me smiling was the fact that her favorite weapon is Xena the Warrior Princess’ favorite weapon. I never really felt a connection to Mather except in the very beginning, but I really loved this one. Enjoy!

 

Book – Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

 

of poseidon

Emma and her best friend are on vacation in Florida when Emma’s world is turned upside down. Emma has never been the most graceful of people, but when she runs into Galen on the beach she literally runs into him. Her face gets plastered to his chest. Galen is a Syrena Prince who came to Florida to investigate the same girl that ran in to him. His doctor friend told him that Emma could talk to fish. The gift to talk with fish is supposed to be passed down the Poseidon line, but the last person of that line died. So when he hears about this girl he had to investigate. But when Emma and her friend are attached by a shark who pulls Emma’s friend under and Emma doesn’t change into a Syrena Galen has to take a deeper look at Emma. Is she Syrena or not and what is this pull that she has over him?

I am not the type of person who reads mermaid books. In fact, I never thought I would read one, but on the suggestion of Pat (my counterpart at the West Branch) I picked this up to take with me as a back up audio book for my trip. I have to say that this has made me rethink my stand on Mermaid books. And yes I know in this book the PC term is Syrena, not mermaid. The book switches points of view between the two main characters.  I did see the mom thing coming a mile away, but even with that I thought it was a great story. I can’t wait to pick up book two.

Book – The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

coldest girl in coldtown

Tana went to a party to celebrate, but this time she didn’t have her best friend with her. So when she woke up in the unlocked bathroom after having spent the night in the bathtub she just wanted to go home. But when she walked out of the bathroom she noticed that nobody else was moving. Everyone was dead. The window was left open. There hadn’t been a vampire attack in ages, but now she may be the only survivor. But needing her car keys to get away she had to go upstairs to get her bag. When she opens the door to where everyone piled their stuff she finds her ex, Aidan, strapped to the bed COLD, he’d been bitten. He was going to turn after he drank human blood. But he wasn’t the only one in the room. A vampire was chained to the bed just out of reach of Aidan. His name is Gavriel and he helps her figure out how to escape so she decides to help him too. But in the process of escape Tana’s leg was scraped by teeth from a vampire. She might go COLD now herself. Their only option is to go to Coldtown. The walled off city where all vampires and people who have been bitten go. Everyone knows about Coldtowns. They are everywhere. Now that everyone knows that vampires exist and the TV live feeds from Coldtown help romanticize the who vampire culture. Lots of people want to be turned into vampires, but most of the people who go are used as livestock.

Is Tana the coldest girl in Coldtown? Because I don’t see that. I do see a whole lot of crazy vampire culture being broadcast and I don’t think that would ever happen even if they were real. Lucien was a complete monster and Gavriel was completely insane. I would like to know this how can Holly Black make an insane vampire the romantic interest in this book, and make it work? Kudos to the author for pulling that off! Really enjoyed the story. I thought I was all vampired out but this is a story I want to keep reading. I hope there will be a book two!

Book – Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

anna dressed in bloodCassius Lowood hunts the ghosts that go bump in the night. School is just something that he has to attend to get information about where to find the ghost he is hunting. But when he arrived in Thunder Bay Ontario he never expected a job to be like this one. Anna Korlov died in 1958 and she kills everyone that enters her childhood home. She doesn’t just kill them, she rips them apart and buries them inside the house. She is more powerful then any ghost that Cas has ever faced, and he has face a lot since his father died, murdered by a ghost that ate him. But this ghost hunt doesn’t go as planned. After an altercation with one of the kids at school Cas finds himself waking up with a bump on his head in Anna’s living room, with a few school jocks laughing at him through the window. But then Anna appears dressed in blood. Only she doesn’t go after Cas who is still trying to function after having been knocked out, no. Instead she goes for one of the boys who attacked him who is standing just outside her window.  And that is only just the beginning…

Cas is adorable! Anna is a bit nuts, but that is understandable considering. The other characters got a bit annoying at times, but I really liked the cat. i did not see the plot twists coming, either of them. Over all a great book for those who like a little scary in their reading material.

Graphic Novel – Will O’ the Wisp by Hammock

will o the wispI normally don’t review graphic novels, but with this one I thought i should. Have you seen this yet? It came out in November. Aurora’s parents picked wild mushrooms and put them in the pasta sauce. Turns out they were poisonous. And the only reason that Aurora survived was that she didn’t eat the mushrooms so she had a lower dose of poison and was able to get European Milk Thistle in her system. Now she must live with her grandfather, a man she has never met before. He lives in a swamp where there are mysterious things happening. Think Murder mystery/ghost story with a twist of crazy family and crazier neighbors.

A must read for anyone who likes a good story!