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Posts tagged ‘Young Adult Fiction’

Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover

don-t-judge-a-girl-by-her-coverBy: Ally Carter

Gallagher Girls Bk 3

Cammie Morgan’s holiday has just gotten fun, or so she thinks when she gets to join her friend Macey McHenry on her dad’s campaign trail. Fun takes on another meaning when she has to draw on all her skills to prevent her friend from being kidnapped off the roof of a building. Of course Cammie and Macey attend Gallagher Academy where they have learnt rather more interesting skills than those taught in an average high school.

This is just the start of the toughest period of Cammie’s young life because even though Secret Services have become more involved in Macey’s personal security, even when back at school, Cammie, Bex and Liz really can’t leave their friend out there essentially alone. The girls are determined to help keep her safe even if it means going against Cammie’s mother’s instructions. The more they uncover though the more surprising the truth appears to be.

This is a great addition to the series. This has a greater focus on friendship and it is wonderful to read the different character arcs particularly in this case, Macey’s. It is cool to delve into the different spy skills and how they can be utilised. These girls consider themselves family and this is how they treat the situation. When they try to do the right thing and get ignored they don’t give up, they do what they are trained to do. Smart, sassy, determined and more than a little stubborn these girls are not only entertaining they give examples of how girls are just as capable of achieving anything. They are also not invincible or infallible. Cammie’s weakness is her uncertainty of dealing with Zach, and this can unsteady her at the most inopportune tines, but when it comes down to it she will do what ever she has to to keep her friend safe.

Highly Recommended.

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

Published: 18 May 2010

Format: Paperback 263 pages

Categories: Family, Friends, Spy Stories

ISBN 13: 9781423116608

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of the page

Cross My Heart Hope to Spy

cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-spy

By: Ally Carter

Gallagher Girls Bk 2

The Josh disaster of last semester has left Cammie just wanting to have a quiet semester, after all using her spy skills to get her first boyfriend then being forced to give him up was quite enough. She even promises her mother to stay out of trouble. That is way easier said than done when your name is Cammie Morgan and you are the child of spies, attending the premier spy school. Cammie and her friends discover that there is something going on codenamed Blackthorn and they are determined to uncover it. Things aren’t that simple in the spy world and Cammie gets blamed for the biggest breach of school security any of them have ever seen. It’s up to Cammie and her friends to clear her name but that means breaking her word to her mother. Can her life get any more complicated, sure if you throw in another boy who notices the girl who is best at going unnoticed.

Cammie is still very much out of her depth when it comes to the opposite sex and she isn’t really over Josh so she throws herself into school work. Josh doesn’t really remember all of what happened between him and Cammie and that makes things very awkward. Fortunately for Cammie, she has friends and a very useful resource in Macey McHenry, who acts as the boy-translator for the girls. The friends work well together, combining their different strengths in each little task in front of them, whether it is breaking and entering or setting up a hidden command post.

The addition of Zach is great because not only can he match Cammie in specialised skills, like Cammie you just don’t know where you really stand with him. The relationship thing gives these characters a reality that if it wasn’t there would leave these characters a bit two dimensional. As it is it is awkward and amusing but the the really fun stuff to read is the spy stuff. The competition aspect of this book gives it an extra level of tension and tension is what helps make a story interesting. A good follow-up to book one.

Recommended.

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

Published: 23 December 2008

Format: Paperback 256 pages

Categories: School Stories, Spy Stories, Romance

ISBN 13: 9781423100065

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You

i-d-tell-you-i-love-you-but-then-i-d-have-to-kill-you

By: Ally Carter

Cammie Morgan attends the exclusive Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a school that is not exactly what it appears to be. To the outside it looks like a snobby school for rich brats but behind the walls are classes on chemical warfare, covert operations, code cracking and advanced martial arts. Gallagher Academy is a school for spies. Cammie was destined for Gallagher, both her parents were spies and her mother is now the Academy’s headmistress. Cammie is fluent in 14 languages, can kill a man and is an expert at hiding in plain sight, what Cammie simply is not equipped for is the simple scenario of boy meets girl. This whole situation is made worse by the fact that Jpsh will never know who she really is, and how can a relationship survive that?

A boy meets girl tale with a twist. Cammie isn’t the prettiest or the smartest girl, she has made an art of being the one who goes unnoticed, until Josh does just that. Josh breaks through walls Cammie never realised she had. He is charming, and unskilled at subterfuge. Cammie is totally out of her depth when it comes to this relationship and the fact she has so few boy/girl skills gives this story a fresh twist. It was a fresh, fun read and a great start to this series. Gallagher Academy is the sort of place I would have loved to go, if it was an option, Carter has given it the reality of high school (though not quite the division of groups you see in a normal school) and the layers of a spy school, including cool gadgets. Mostly though it is a look at people skills and the pitfalls of growing up.

Recommended.

Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide

Published: 01 April 2007

Format: Paperback 284 pages

Categories: School Stories, Romance, Adventure, Spy Stoies

ISBN 13: 9781423100041

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of the page

Mystic

I received my copy from the publisher.

mystic

By: Alyson Noel

The Soul Seekers series bk 3

Daire Santos tried to kill Cade Richter but things didn’t go according to plan and she finds herself separated from everyone she loves, she is in the Upperworld seemingly trapped. She comes up with a plan because there is no way she is going to be kept away from Dace and the others she cares about. When she finally gets back she discovers she isn’t the only one who is missing. No-one knows where Dace is and yet Cade seems to be doing just fine. As soon as she is able Daire sets out to rescue Dace and then they will see what can be done about the Richter’s, though with Cade and Dace being so connected no-one is sure what that will be.

Daire and Dace drive this story along, their love, their torment, their individual destinies, but the supporting cast are what flesh this tale out. The older characters providing wisdom and mentorship (both good and evil) and peers such as Xotichl and Lita providing support and grounding. The introduction of a third party set on the destruction of the Richters provides another level as in this case the often used plot device ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’, simply doesn’t work here, with the destruction of one boy equalling the destruction of both.

The time Daire and Dace spent separated has changed them, it has altered their abilities and as the story progresses they start to understand to what extent these changes are. I find the integration of the spirit animals and spirit world interesting, it gives what could just be another story of good verses evil a different spin. I still look forward to finding out how Noel is going to continue this and wrap it all up.

Publisher: MacMillan Children’s Books

Published: 04 July 2013

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Romance

ISBN 13: 9781447206835

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

The Disappearance of Ember Crow

I received my copy from the publisher

the-disappearance-of-ember-crow

By: Ambelin Kwaymullina

The Tribe book 2

Ashala Wolf has struggled since returning to the Tribe but she needs to leave the wolf pack where she has found solace and return to leading her people because her best friend Ember Crow has gone missing. Ashala will not rest until Ember is found and safe with friends. Ashala struggles to control her sleepwalking powers but sets out to do this regardless what she doesn’t know though could change things forever. Ember is trying to shield the Tribe from the most devastating thing she knows, her own past. Ember is hiding a bigger secret than any of them could ever guess at, and she is convinced once Ashala knows the truth she will never look at her the same.

This second book doesn’t loose any of the strength of the first. Ashala has cracks and slips, her flaws contribute to her strength at the centre of the story. The twist that is Ember’s secret is intriguing and there was simply no way to see it coming. This instalment drew me into this world alongside these people, even more than the first. The world Kwaymullina has created is a detailed and very easy to visualise, it is a wonderful world that has more than enough differences from many dystopian stories to make it stand out from the pack. The characters individually have their own journeys and they compliment each other, Ashala would be less than who she is without Ember, Jaz and Connor. Ashala may be what holds the story together but they each contribute value.

I really enjoyed this book and am eager to read the rest of the tale.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 November 2013

Format: Paperback 400 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Dystopian

ISBN 13: 9781921720093

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page.

More Than This

I received my copy from the publisher

more-than-this

By: Patrick Ness

A boy, feeling desperate and totally alone, drowns. His final moments painful and then he dies. Then without reason he wakes. Alone still, naked, bruised and thirsty. Nothing makes sense in this moment. How is this even possible. The place he wakes to is vaguely familiar but deserted. The boy struggles to understand what is happening to him. He manages to pull himself together sort of but what is the point of this? Does all this mean there is still some hope? What is this life after death?

And that is all I will say about the plot. Sometimes a book comes along where it doesn’t matter how you slice it telling any more than the bare minimum will be to give spoilers. This is another masterpiece from the wonderful pen of Patrick Ness. The world is visceral, you can see and feel just what he wants you to. You are for the most part as uncertain as The Boy. As he uncovers bits and pieces you may think you see where it is going before you find yourself twisted around and facing a new direction. Ness writes with a masterful hand but he is a writer who makes you think. This is not just book you pick up and flip through the pages, this is a book that requires the reader to be engaged in the story, and because of it’s complexity and the wonderful way Ness strings his words together, that is in no way a chore.

As always a wonderful and intriguing read.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 05 September 2013

Format: Hardback 480 pages

Categories: Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781406331158

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Eternity

I received my copy from the publisher

eternity

By: Elizabeth Miles

The Furies bk 3

Emily Winters has had enough of living in her own personal nightmare. So many have suffered at the hands of the Furies who are still hanging around, and she believes they are slowly driving her crazy. It is time, Emily has decided to take matters into her own hands, she is not going to give up her fate, her life without a fight. She feels so alone though, she doesn’t know who to turn to, JD is out of the question and Crow seems to be growing more unstable. Then JD begins to uncover the truth, he misses the old Emily and he wants her back, he is determined to help her, even if his help is the very thing she doesn’t need.

Can JD see enough of what is going on to help? Can Crow figure out what is going on in his head? Can Emily unravel enough of the Furies secrets to put them and their curse behind her once and for all? The Furies love to play games and they are particularly enjoying this one it seems, and one has an ulterior motive, she really doesn’t want Emily to win.

A great ending to a darkly intriguing series. Emily grows so much through the course of the series, from the popular girl, to the tormented soul to one who stands up for herself and sees more of the important things than she used to. Emily has had moments when you really don’t care all that much for her, but her final transformation is one you end up barracking for. JD really comes into his own in this book after being, in part, the catalyst for Emily’s curse. He comes to realise that sometimes you have to put yourself out there and risk looking silly, to fight for something that is important to you. The Furies remain gloriously selfish and twisted right to the end.

Miles created place that is so everyday, anywhere and wove through it the magic and mythology of the Furies. It is a place where the two aspects blend seamlessly, and there is no need for the reader to question if the Furies belong in that town. A fitting end.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Published: 10 October 2013

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Mythology

ISBN 13: 9780857072092

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of the page.

 

12

I got my copy from the publisher

12

By: James Phelan

The Last Thirteen bk 2

Sam just escaped last time he followed his dreams, the dreams that lead him to The Star of Egypt. He finds himself heading to Egypt with someone he would never have expected. He is on the path to finding out why the Star was so important and discovering the rest of the last 13. This journey takes him to some unexpected places including a party of a pop star and high speed car chases through the streets of Italy and then running from pursuers below the streets. It’s difficult enough to do what he has been destined to do but it is so much harder when he can’t tell friends from enemies.

This is an action packed read. Sam slowly finds his feet as he comes to terms to what the prophecy means to him, he has to make fast decisions and learn to trust his instinct and rely on himself in a way he never has before. Meanwhile Alex’s journey takes him somewhere totally unexpected and it will be interesting to see where this takes him. The pace is fast, the setting varied as it takes into account not just the real world but also the dreamscape. A fun and escapist read in a short format that will be great for those who find larger books daunting.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 December 2013

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, Thriller

ISBN 13: 9781742831855

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The House of Hades

By: Rick Riordan

9780141339191

Heroes of Olympus Bk 4

Percy and Annabeth are trapped in Tartarus, their only hope is to journey across the land of the dead to the Doors of Death. This will perhaps be the most testing and brutal of all trails they have gone through. To make matters worse monsters are regenerating at an increased rate and none of them like the demigods, in fact Percy and Annabeth are the reason quite a few are in Tartarus in the first place. Still they have each other and that will get them through much and then there is Bob, a surprise addition to their team, and one that could just tip the balance.

On the surface Jason, Hazel and the others are trying to get to the House of Hades so they can be at the doors to help Percy and Annabeth. This is not turning out to be as simple as flying there. Gods and monsters are doing everything they can to stop them. Hazel discovers that Hecate has a plan for her, Frank fights his fears of his parentage and comes into his own and Nico faces up to his deepest secret. Will all that be enough, with the God’s being split between their Greek and Roman selves,  and the Roman demigods determined to attack Camp Half-Blood? Gaia must be stopped but is that even possible with the team split up this way?

An awesome action filled instalment of the Heroes of Olympus series. Percy and Jason are still obviously leaders but it is not all about them. Percy and Annabeth have a real partnership and together they are much stronger than could be expected. So much of this adventure hinges on Hazel learning new skills and how to have faith in herself and Frank stepping up to be the son of Mars that he is. Frank’s story arc in this is one that builds slowly but reaches an awesome crescendo and it is going to be interesting to see where he goes in the next book. Nico’s torment is something we finally have some light shed on and it is so sad in some ways, you just want Nico to be able to move through it, it too is something that we are left wondering about. Leo too gets the chance to have some growth in a rather unexpected way (but I’m not giving any spoilers).

The pace never wavers and as such this book like those before it is hard to put down. The world Riordan creates is varied, full of the familiar and unfamiliar, and it blends together seamlessly. It seems totally fine that one minute the heroes are using magical and advanced technology and the next it’s all swords and flying horses. These books are addictive, the blend of action and mythology often leaves me wanting more.

Recommended.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 08 October 2013

Format: Paperback 565 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Mythology

ISBN 13: 9780141339191

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page.

Vampire Academy – Movie Trailer

So this is happening early next year and I know there are plenty of fans of the books.

So here is the teaser trailer:

And the full trailer can be found here.

 

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