Archives

Mini Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Mini Review: Beastly by Alex FlinnBeastly by Alex Flinn
Series: Beastly #1
Genre: Magical Realism
Release Date: October 2, 2007
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Simply put, Beastly is dull. Worse than the movie, if you can believe that (and the movie is pretty freakin’ bad). I didn’t like the arrogant main character who was so far up his own arse that it hurt. I wasn’t interested in his redemption story, and I am pretty sure I started skim-reading two thirds of the way through. I just couldn’t do it.

Mini Review: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Mini Review: Rampant by Diana PeterfreundRampant by Diana Peterfreund
Series: Killer Unicorns #1
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: July 1, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .

Astrid Llewelyn has always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one attacks her boyfriend—ruining any chance of him taking her to prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient Cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.However, all is not what it seems at the Cloisters. Outside, unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from bone-covered walls that vibrate with terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

I had been avoiding Rampant for a while. Five years, in fact. And I should have avoided it for a bit longer. Continue reading

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael AllenThe Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
Release Date: 16th June 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Don’t get mad, get even! In this poignant and hilarious novel, Rachael Allen brilliantly explores the nuances of high school hierarchies, the traumas sustained on the path to finding true love, and the joy of discovering a friend where you least expect.

In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That’s a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it’s only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.

Brimming with sharp observations and pitch-perfect teen voices, fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Mlynowski are sure to fall head-over-heels for this sharp tale—by the author of 17 First Kisses—about the unexpected roads that can lead you to finding yourself.

I like to think of The Revenge Playbook as a Frankie Landau-Banks light. It’s Frankie without the sharp insight into patriarchal power structures, a kind of Dare Me without teenage girls who are dangerous and fascinating. I mean, that’s not to say I didn’t like it exactly, but it definitely reads like a marketable ~~feminist~~ book. Look at these teenage girls turning the tables on the boys – so rad, so powerful and you know, that’s cool but for these kind of books to work for me they need to have meaning and depth. And yeah, I want to feel the anger pour off the pages because as a woman, I know the struggles these characters go through because like many of us, I have first-hand experience. That being said, for the most part, I had fun reading this.

Continue reading

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle ClaytonTiny Pretty Things by Dhonielle Clayton, Sona Charaipotra
Release Date: 26th May 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

I was initially intrigued by the premise of this book because of Bunheads, another novel about the ballet that I absolutely loved. Tiny Pretty Things is in many ways a pretty similar story but whereas Bunheads is told from a single POV, Tiny Pretty Things opts for multiple narration by a host of different characters. Both books, I thought, were really good at lifting the veil on a very closed off world and showing the life behind the curtains.

Continue reading

Liars Inc. by Paula Stokes

Liars Inc. by Paula StokesLiars Inc. by Paula Stokes
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

I read Liars Inc. months ago, but I’m only writing my review in February so you’ll have to excuse me if I seem like I’m being a bit vague. Luckily, my past-self was clever enough to note down some bullet points after finishing the book, so all is not lost.

Liars Inc. is my second read from Ms. Paula Stokes, and I have to say I think Stokes does thrillers a lot better than she does fluffy contemporary. Liars Inc. is a truly thrilling read and I was absolutely captivated from the start.

Continue reading