Archive for the ‘Young Adult’ Category


You Review: The Young World – Chris Weitz

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Reviewed by Tess van Brummelen

Chris Weitz is known as the director of films such as The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) and The Golden Compass (2007). The Young World is his first novel. The back states that it’s part of a new Young Adult trilogy, plus it mentions the story coming to the big screen. The novel is marketed as similar to the Gone series by Michael Grant (2008), which is one of the main critiques from the first readers. The story is not entirely original (as seen before in Lord of the Flies by William Golding in 1954 and TV series The Tribe in 1999). But who cares, as long as it’s well written and brings something new to the table, right?

The Young World sketches a future in which an unknown Sickness has wiped out everyone except teenagers. In New York, survivors have divided themselves into gangs. Five members of the Washington Square tribe set out to find a cure. Along the way they encounter cannibals, wild animals, militias, cults, guns and.. yes, love and friendship.

“A rifle-mounted lamp from the Uptowners’ guns catches us, and we dance between bullets that ring the steel support beams like giant chimes.” – p. 206

Although interesting, the action is so fast-paced you barely have time to appreciate it. What bothered me from the get-go, though, was the forced immature narrative, with phrases like: ‘teh internetz’, ‘big-ass’, ‘nom-nomming those apples’, ‘ovary-shriveling cold’. Not to mention, like, the approximately 1000 times the female protagonist, like, uses the word ‘like’. I think the theme and age of the characters should make a novel a YA genre, not its language. Trust me, teens do not want to be talked to childishly.

I did like the filmscript lay-out Weitz chose for dialogues (Jefferson: “…” / Brainbox: “…”).

The characters were hard to connect with. Furthermore, most characters were stereotyped (one blond sex-symbol, one Asian, one African-American homosexual who says things like “Jesus is my homeboy” and gives romantic advice like “Bitch, you need to think this through”). Weitz attempted to deal with social issues (rape and race for example), but emphasised them instead.

Altogether, The Young World has potential, fun ideas and plot-twists galore. The ending was neat, so I’m curious about the sequel, but I won’t read it. I’m positive lots of people will love this novel. Too bad I don’t recommend it.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Ebook available for The Young World, as well as for the other books mentioned: Gone and Lord of the Flies.

You Review: Say What You Will – Cammie McGovern

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Reviewed by Jennifer Tunguz

We all have our secrets, things about ourselves we don’t want anyone else to know because what if they found out the truth – I’m really just a freak. Finding that one relationship where you both can let all the freakishness hang out and still be okay, can be a challenge.

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern is a story about two young people, Amy and Matthew, who become friends as they discover each other’s freakishness, while at the same time trying to blend in with their peers. It is a realistic view of teenagers today who face personal challenges – some obvious to the outside world and some kept hidden. The story is understandable in the sense that we all have things we keep hidden from others, no matter what our age or current life situation, in fear of being discovered and being thought a freak. This is one of the main reasons I like this book.

Another reason I like Say What You Will is it is well written and easy to read, while keeping the reader engaged. It does this while opening up the world of disability through Amy’s view on life as a person with cerebral palsy. Her physical, emotional, and social struggles, some of which are a result of her disability and others a result of just being human, are shared. It also gives a true glimpse into another kind of personal struggle, one not so obvious or discussed.

This book is not full of suspense, plot twists, action, or cliff hangers, but it is intriguing, relatable, and interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants something nice to read, that isn’t full of fluff, but also isn’t too thought provoking or challenging.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Ebook available for Say What You Will, as well as for one of her earlier novels: Eye Contact.

You Review: The Heiresses – Sara Shepard

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Reviewed by Marjolein Balm

The Saybrooks are a wealthy aristocratic family, head of an important and famous diamond empire.  The family lives in New York City and are more or less its high society. The family daughters are the heiresses, and they are in the spotlight and the media every time.

The story of The Heiresses starts when the family is attending the funeral of Steven Barnett at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Steven was an important friend of the family who has died after an accident on his yacht. But then some rumors appear that what happened might not have been an accident.

The story continues five years later, and focuses on the perfect daughter of the Saybrook family, Poppy, and her cousins Corinne, Rowan, Aster and Natasha. Corinne is preparing for her wedding which is taking place soon and will have huge media coverage

But then Poppy is found dead one day: she is seen falling from the window of her apartment building on the Upper East Side. The second mysterious death in the family. Was this an accident or was there foul play involved?

All have their own little side storyline in the book and all of them are connected due to Poppy’s death. Who knows who was with Poppy the minutes before her fall, who witnessed it happen? Why are some of the heiresses backstabbing each other and most of all, who is behind the mysterious message: One heiress down, four more to go..?

Poppy’s death is the start of dark secrets and scandals surfacing. And the four cousins are determined to find out what happened to Poppy, and why, and they find out along their journey that their lives are far more important than all the money and the diamonds they are famous of.

I was very curious about this book as I heard many good things about the other books written by Sara Shepard. Mostly my reading falls in the YA genre, but somehow I never read her famous Pretty Little Liars series, so I had to try out The Heiresses, and I am very glad I got the chance to read it. I LOVED the way it was written. The author doesn’t give any clues who might be behind the murder of Steven and Poppy. The plot is full of unexpected happenings that you’d don’t see coming. That’s what I liked most. All of the characters are in a certain way suspicious and have their dark secrets and it kept me guessing until the end. I expected it to end with a huge cliffhanger to take you along to a next installment, but luckily it wasn’t so. The end is just thrilling!! This book is a nice mix of a mystery, mixed with a very contemporary, juicy story. I liked that it was set in New York, and you can read between the lines that the author knows the city very well. I think this book is a nice crossover between YA and contemporary woman’s fiction. So if you like reading books in those genres, this is the perfect book and I am anticipating the next book in this new series already!

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Marjolein has a long-running blog full of book reviews and author interviews over at Marjolein Reads. Definitely worth a visit!

Ebook of The Heiresses available here.  There are also ebooks available of her other books (only 1st parts of YA series listed here): Pretty Little Liars, Lying Game and Everything We Ever Wanted.

Prize draw winners: Otherbound and The Fault in Our Stars (twice)

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Win a SIGNED copy of Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis: Hannie + Carola van der Drift

Q: Name at least one other Young Adult novel that you loved that deals with LGBT issues.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer.”

“Lately for some ‘reading challenges’ I’ve been reading a few very good LGBT themed Young Adult novels.
My favourites by far were Ask the Passengers by A.S. King and How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis. I also greatly enjoyed Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. As for sci-fi, I recommend Adaptation by Malinda Lo :)

Want more Young Adult LGBT recommendations? Have a look at this list of 25 must-read books on the theme compiled by epicreads.com and also the Guardian’s still-being-added-to list started during their LGBT-themed week on their Children’s Books site.

Ebook available for The Host, Ask the Passengers, and Adaptation.

Win a The Fault in Our Stars book poster:  Willemijn van Vuure, Darice de Cuba, Lauren Hoeve (Lauren has a great YA book blog!), Nadia Huisman + Minne Los

Q: You’ve read EVERYTHING by John Green. What author should you read next?

“After you’ve read everything by John Green, you might experience what is known as a book hangover. Because although John Green’s books are amazing, some are also quite sad. So to get over this you’ll need another cute and funny read but without the (spoiler alert!) death involved. I think a great book for this is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.”

“After reading a very good book it’s very hard to decide on a next one. It always seems none can compare to how good the last book was. I want to read something just like it but most of the times I can’t find anything. I need to read non-fiction or another genre to lower my expectations again before going to the next fiction book.
After The Fault in Our Stars I started with the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I read the first one years ago and saw the movie a while back.
On some level Hazel and Odd are the same; you are constantly in their heads. They are very well spoken, intelligent, sarcastic and have a good dry humor for their age. Both defy society norm; terminal cancer at 16 and a fry cook that sees ghosts. Also Odd has his own infinity love story with Stormy.
Odd Thomas is not as good as The Fault in Our Stars, not even close (although the first book is very good on its own), but it’s perfect for me while I lower my expectations again :)

David Levithan.

“This is like the hardest question ever because no author is quite like John Green, and I couldn’t make one choice so here’s a small list: (If this is not allowed, just take the first one and pretend the rest wasn’t there. I’m sorry, I really like books.)(Blogmistress’s note: OF COURSE this is allowed!  We love books, too, so the more recommendations from the heart, the better.  :-))
1. Rainbow Rowell. The internet is already obsessed with her, it’s time the outside world gets to know her! She has written two young adult books and one adult book. Her new adult book Landline is coming out July 8th!
2. Robyn Schneider. Her book The Beginning of Everything is so much like John Green’s work, I always recommend it for people who like him. I just got the urge to re-read it…
3. David Levithan. John has co-written Will Grayson, Will Grayson with this awesome guy, and not enough people are checking out David Levithan’s solo stuff! Especially Boy Meets Boy is amazing. I’m slowly collecting the rest of his stuff!
4. Gayle Forman. Not exactly similar to John Green in that many ways but I think that most people who like John will like Gayle Forman’s books too. She has written two duologies: If I Stay (which is being turned into a movie) + the sequel Where She Went, and Just One Day + the sequel Just One Year (and the ebook novella Just One Night). Just One Day is up there with my all-time favourite books, and that’s a hard list to get on to!”

“John Green is still alive and writing. I will be waiting for his next book!  But while I’m waiting for his next book, I’ll be reading Cassandra Clare books.”

ANDREW SMITH!!!!  Or me, of course. :)

“When you’ve read EVERYTHING by John Green, read EVERYTHING by John Corey Whaley next!”

Francesca Lia Block! Her Weetzie Bat series is quirky and colourful and great fun. And on top of that the books carry a great underlying message of inclusiveness and accepting & even celebrating our differences. It’s a crying shame Block and her books are not more widely known.”

“After you’ve read everything by John Green, you should read more books by David Levithan.”

“The next author you should read is: Stephen Chbosky.”

“The next author I would read would be Jesse Andrews. His book Me and Earl and the Dying Girl makes a great follow up to The Fault In Our Stars.”

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Great, great book! With a wonderful plot twist as well, and so much more. After reading the novel, go watch the movie too!”

“My answer would be David Levithan, because he and Green co-wrote Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which is my favourite book. I love how the book dragged me into the story, it made me feel like I was living those words and not just reading them. Levithan’s way of writing and thinking are similar to Green, but with a certain twist, so you’re not just constantly re-reading different versions of what is basically the same story.”

“My answer to the question would be Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

David Levithan!”

“If I’ve read everything by John Green (which I haven’t… YET) I’d read more books by Rainbow Rowell! I heard she’s amazing, and she’s recommended by John Green himself!”

Ebook available for The Fault in Our StarsFangirl, Odd Thomas, Landline, The Beginning of Everything, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Boy Meets Boy, If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day, Just One Year, Just One Night, City of Bones, Winger, and Weetzie Bat.


Win one of these amazing The Fault in Our Stars goodies: Rebecca van der Elst, Eline Corée, Mandy Eveline Blom, Timo Daniels, Natalia Cobas, Mutena Ayas

Q: Besides all the John Green novels, what is your favorite Young Adult book (fiction or non-fiction, English or Dutch)?

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick!!”

Across the Universe by Beth Revis is my favorite YA novel :D :D

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Just like John’s books, this is one I can read over and over without getting bored.”

“Besides all the John Green novels, my favorite Young Adult book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.”

Mockingjay/Spotgaai.”

Momo en de tijdspaarders by Michael Ende (English title: Momo).
But frankly now I feel bad for all the other beautiful books I read at that time and were just at beautiful…  Shame on you: you do know that there are so many books in that time period. Every one of them beautiful in their own way! (yes, it was very mean to ask for just one favorite YA book.  :-))
Thea Beckman: Kruistocht in spijkerbroek (hooray for the really good Dutch writers)(English title: Crusade in Jeans).
Tonke Dragt: Awesome fantasy books, made me fall in love with fantasy at the age of 6 or 7 (yes, before early adulthood but kept on reading them in that time..)(Most famous title in English: The Letter for the King).
Marion Zimmer Bradley: The Darkover series (and all the other stuff she wrote).
Paul Biegel: De tuinen van Dorr (and every other book he wrote, but this one was the most beautiful at that time).
Sorry for the long list. I don’t want to insult all the other books that made a big impression on my life (and yes, I forgot lots of books already….).  I really love your bookstore. Spending lots and lots of money there ;)  People’re always so nice and friendly and know what they’re talking about!” (Thanks!  *blush*)(also, working here doesn’t make not spending money here any easier…  :/)

“My answer has to be The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.”

“Besides all the John Green novels, my favourite YA novel is Winger by Andrew Smith.”

“My favorite book is Harry Potter.”

“My other favorite YA novel is The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp.”

“My current favourite YA books are Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.”

“Mijn favoriete young adult boek is The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Ik vind de brieven die Charlie verstuurt erg speciaal, vooral omdat hij alles kwijt kan wat hij kwijt wilt.
Het boek heeft mij erg geraakt, ook vanwege de film die ik als eerste had gezien.
Ben mede door de film en het boek, erg benieuwd naar The Fault in Our Stars!
Ik heb het boek al gelezen, en ik ga natuurlijk binnenkort ook naar de film, en dan verder doorgaan met boeken lezen van John Green!”

City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende.”

“First of all, it is obviously impossible to pick just one book as my favourite… But, if I was forced to choose, I reckon I’d pick something by Louisa M. Alcott. Probably An Old-Fashioned Girl or Little Women. Am not sure if they are thought of as YA books nowadays, but I remember reading them as a teen and absolutely loving them, so there. :)

“My favourite YA novel besides John Green’s books is Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S King.”

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is my other favorite YA novel!”

“My favorite Young Adult book is Harry Potter.”

Ebook available for The Good Luck of Right Now, Across the Universe, Fangirl, Mockingjay, Darkover Landfall, Winger, The Spectacular Now, An Old-Fashioned GirlLittle Women and Everybody Sees the Ants.


Win one of these amazing The Fault in Our Stars goodies!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

This past week we received these special The Fault in Our Stars goodies from Penguin, John Green’s UK publisher:

You are looking at:

  • 2×1 rubber wristband
  • 1 T-shirt (size M but actually XXS)
  • 1 cotton bag
  • 1 cd with the official movie soundtrack
  • 1 notebook
  • 2×2 movie tickets to go see the film

Amazing stuff, no?  And we realise most of you have seen the movie already, but surely going again won’t be any kind of hardship, right?  That’s why we’re giving you all the opportunity to win one of these amazing goodies! All you have to do is answer the following question:

Besides all the John Green novels, what is your favorite Young Adult book (fiction or non-fiction, English or Dutch)?

Mail your answer to win@abc.nl by July 21st (this coming Monday). Please include “TFIOS goodies” in the subject header.  We will put everyone’s name in a hat and pick winners at random for each goodie.  The names of the winners, along with everyone’s answers, will be put on this blog some time next week (along with the winners of the TFIOS book poster prize draw from last week and the winners of the Otherbound prize draw).

And just in case: this prize draw is only open to residents of The Netherlands, and you have to be able to pick up your goodies at either ABC Amsterdam or ABC The Hague.  Or have an evil a trusted minion who can pick up the swag for you.

Also, if you happen to be planning a visit to Amsterdam in honor of TFIOS…  Here’s a great photo tour of the locations pivotal in the book, and the movie’s Dutch site has a great walking tour, too.