Book Reviews, Reviews

Book Review: Shades of Magic Trilogy

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What if there was not one London, but four? Kell is one of the last of the Antari, magicians able to travel between the Londons. He was born and raised in Red London, in service to the Maresh throne, and takes messages to the thrones of the other Londons. On the side, he smuggles artifacts from one London to the others, a highly illegal trade, and one that gets him into trouble after he smuggles something that’s more trouble than it’s worth: a magical artifact from Black London, the dead London.

I read these books because friends of mine loved them, and the entirety of the bookish part of the Internet is raving about them. I was less than impressed. Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Book Review: Shades of Magic Trilogy”

Book Reviews, Reviews

Book Review: Windfall

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What would you do if you won the lottery? When Alice buys her best friend Teddy a lottery ticket for his eighteenth birthday as a gag gift, they find out that against all odds, it was a winner. A millions and millions of dollars winner. But of course everything comes with a price, and luck isn’t always good luck. Will the money be too much for their friendship to weather?

Spoilers. Continue reading “Book Review: Windfall

Book Reviews, Reviews

On Political Correctness, Plausibility, and Really Bad YA

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I started reading How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, but I’m not going to finish it. It was bad on so many levels. It was poorly written and not very interesting, and the characters were mediocre and unlikable at best. But, the worst of it all is that the premise of this book isn’t even remotely plausible. Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads: Continue reading “On Political Correctness, Plausibility, and Really Bad YA”

Book Reviews, Reviews

Double Book Review: The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction

Both of these YA novels by Robin Constantine feature some of the same characters, and I read them one right after the other, so I’m just going to review them together, The Promise of Amazing first.

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Wren Caswell is an academically and socially average girl getting over a breakup and working at her parents’ medieval-times-type restaurant. Grayson Barrett was a star athlete and top of his class—until he got kicked out of his prep school for pimping term papers. Their paths cross one night when Wren saves Grayson from choking at a wedding, and they can’t seem to stay away from each other since. But will both their pasts (and the threat of their futures) let them be who they want to be? Continue reading “Double Book Review: The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction

Book Reviews, Reviews

Book Review: Tell Me Three Things

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After moving from Chicago to L.A. when her dad gets remarried, Jessie gets an anonymous email on the first day of school from someone claiming to be her Wood Valley High spirit guide. After deciding (mostly) that it’s not just an elaborate hoax, Jessie and her anonymous emailer (calling himself Somebody Nobody, or SN for short) develop a bond, and Jessie becomes obsessed with discovering his identity. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Spoilers. Continue reading “Book Review: Tell Me Three Things

Book Reviews, Reviews

Book Review: Alex, Approximately

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Expert evader Bailey Rydell just moved across the country to live with her father in California. Her only consolation is her online best friend and fellow film buff, Alex, who not only serves as emotional support, but happens to live in the same coastal town she just moved to. Scared that he’s not all he seems online, she sets out to find him before telling him she’s there, instead meeting Porter Roth, a.k.a. her archnemesis. Porter works at the museum where she got a summer job, and makes her life miserable. He mocks her, argues with her… and makes her completely unable to concentrate on anything else. But as the summer unfolds, Bailey has to decide whether to keep chasing a potential online romance or to go with the one that’s right in front of her, in all his sarcastic, scarred glory. But Porter has a secret of his own: He’s Alex… approximately. Continue reading “Book Review: Alex, Approximately

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

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Hadley missed her flight. The flight to London to attend her father’s wedding with a woman she’s never met. It should be one of the worst days of her life. But then she meets Oliver: tall, hot, British, and willing to help her through the claustrophobic hell that is flying. But upon reaching London, they lose track of each other. Will fate bring them together again or will life get the best of them? Can chance encounters really shape the rest of your life? Continue reading “Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love

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Graham is in love with his best friend, writing partner, and next-door-neighbor, Roxy. And a trip to New York Comic-Con is the perfect place to tell her. Or, at least, it would be if things didn’t keep going wrong for him. As reality continues to get in the way of his perfectly-planned-out fiction, Graham has to face the fact that life is never quite as perfect as we want it to be. Continue reading “Book Review: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love

Book Reviews

Book Review: How to Make Out

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How to Make Out is the story of Renley, a sixteen-year-old math geek with an incredibly hot, womanizing best friend, some serious daddy issues, a crush on some hot senior, and a need for thousands of dollars to go with the math club to New York City. So, she starts a blog to make the money, and typical YA emotions ensue.

Spoilers. Continue reading “Book Review: How to Make Out

Book Reviews

Catherine by April Lindner

Wuthering Heights is a classic novel that teenagers love to hate and certain fictional characters love to read every Christmas for some unknown reason.  If you don’t know the story, the plot centers around the undying and unhealthy love between Heathcliff and Catherine and the problems that it causes both in their generation and their children’s generation.  (That’s the extremely barebones overview, I know.)

In Catherine, Lindner attempts to take this classic story and bring it into a modern context.  Rather than the English moors, this tale is set in a New York City nightclub owned by Catherine’s father and is told from alternating points of view of a teenage Catherine and her teenage daughter, Chelsea.  Heathcliff is played by the young, angry musician, Hence.  “Like therefore,” he tells a dubious Catherine.  Their love story is played out between chapters of Chelsea encountering an older, angrier Hence in an attempt to find her mother.

Catherine is the best Wuthering Heights retelling I’ve found to date (there’s more of them than you might think) though the ending, which I won’t give away, veered pretty far from the original novel.  I liked this book both as a retelling and as a story in its own right, though I had a bit of a problem with Hence.  While he was surly and gruff and moody, he wasn’t enough like the original Heathcliff to be convincing.  He just seemed like an angry old man with a fairly large capacity for being nice.  If I had to type him, it seems like he would be the angry man who finds you sleeping on the couch and tucks you in.  Think Harrison Ford in the movie Morning Glory.  Overall it was well-written and interesting with your average YA novel characters.

Plot: 7/10  Interesting, accurate, and original twist on the original.

Writing: 8/10

Intensity: 4/10  This might have been higher if I weren’t familiar with the original.

Characters: 6/10  I miss Nelly.  Edgar was practically nonexistent.  And the characters could have been replaced with almost any YA character.  Overall I liked them, though.

Interest: 5/10  I read it as a retelling, but I’m not sure if I would have picked it up otherwise.

Overall: 6.5/10