Archive for the ‘Young Adult’ Category

You Review: Messenger of Fear – Michael Grant

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Reviewed by Mandy Fisher

Mara wakes up surrounded by a strange mist with no memories.  She meets a strange young man who calls himself Messenger of Fear and she’s supposed to be his apprentice. They move through time and space, observing people who need punishment for crimes of wickedness, bullying and thoughtless teenage cruelty, when human law isn’t enough. They give the people a choice: play a game the horrific Game Master devised, or face your biggest fear. If the players win the game, they go free – though they’ll be changed by the experience of the game. If they lose, they must face their biggest fear anyway.

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant is about the good and the evil in humans and the thin line between the two, the cruelty people choose to inflict on others and how they justify it in their heads. It shows the hard reality of today’s world, but also a scary new fictional world. Real life problems are mixed with fiction and I really loved that.

There are three subplots and I felt so sad reading them. My heart broke a little, especially with Samantha’s story. The three plots are very different, but they’re all involved in the same terrifying situation. Messenger paid all of them a visit, but everything else was anything but similar. This book has important lessons about life and the biggest lesson is that you should be careful of the way you act. Unless you want a visit from the Messenger of Fear and you don’t want that, trust me.

I really enjoyed reading this book, the plot twist at the end was very interesting and I didn’t see it coming. I did felt like this book was more like an exploration of an idea than a story, but it’s the beginning of a series, so this book was a good introduction and I’m very curious about the rest of the series. I’d love to know more about the other characters like Daniel, I feel like he’s got a lot going on that we didn’t see.  This horror book will make you think.

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

Follow Mandy’s further reading exploits on her colourful blog!

There is an ebook of Messenger of Fear available here, and there are ebooks of his previous books, too: Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear, Light, The Call, The Trap, The Key, The Power, BZRK: Origins (ONLY as ebook), BZRK, BZRK: Reloaded, BZRK: Apocalypse, and Eve & Adam.

You Review: 17 First Kisses – Rachael Allen

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Reviewed by Gabriëlle Linger

17 First Kisses is more than just a romance. It’s about more than just the typical Young Adult novel in which two teenage girls who fall for the same guy. It’s a story about friendship and change, about family and grief, and yes, it’s also about kissing and sex, and the author handles these subjects with both depth and nuance.

I would say the only problem I had with this book was that at times it was a little heavy-handed with the ‘slut shaming’ issues the characters both struggle with and participate in. While this does serve a purpose within the story, and Rachael Allen handles the issue fairly well, the point would not have been any less well made if we didn’t have to read about the characters calling each other every sexual and derogatory term underneath the sun on every other page. That said…..

I very much loved this book. Claire, the main character, is flawed and yet so very relatable, and the same goes for her best friend and the school’s “Queen Bee” Megan. Also thanks to brilliantly done and – more importantly – 3-dimensional characterizations, I found myself caring not just for the main but also for many of the secondary characters.

For me the best parts of the book were the stories of the kisses, which have been scattered throughout the book as vignettes, detailing what happens each time Claire kisses a particular boy for the first time. These kisses all come with different motivations and each kiss has a different flavour: some are fun, some intimate, others sad, still others embarrassing or even painful, and I admit some were even recognizable.

Provided you don’t have a problem with excessive swearing, I would definitely recommend those who love Young Adult fiction to give this book a try.

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

Ebook of 17 First Kisses available here.

This Just In: Children’s Books and YA Fiction

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Another Big Lot of Recently-Arrived Titles from the Children’s Books and Young Adult Fiction Sections (grouped by age):

Please be sure to contact our stores for an exact stock check!

9-12 Years

Young Adults

Ebooks available for A Grimm Warning (Land of Stories 3), Conquest, Say What You Will, The Murder Complex, The Young World, Smart, Silver Shadows, Let’s Get Lost, The Beginning of Everything, The Hunted, Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods.

You Review: The Worst Girlfriend in the World – Sarra Manning

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Reviewed by Shawn Thomas

This book is about two childhood friends. Franny Barker is an aspiring fashion designer just starting college and Alice Jenkins is the titular worst girlfriend in the world. The book follows their story as they go to “war” for the affection of Louis Allen, lead singer of the band Thee Desperadoes.

I haven’t read any of Sarra Manning’s books before so when I got a hold of The Worst Girlfriend In The World I was very excited to dive into it. It was a lively, pleasurable, and quick read. Both characters were fun and easy to relate to. The story itself was very well written and Sarra found just the right balance between the serious and lighthearted parts.

The main theme of the story is sisters before misters and how friends shouldn’t have falling outs over a boy. Sarra wrote her characters and their story so well that once I started reading it was hard to put down. I just had to know more about the charming and loveable Franny B. and the spunky and witty Alice! Who would end up with the foxy Louis? Or would either of them for that matter? Sarra Manning aimed to write an entertaining and engaging book and she did just that. Franny B. and Alice have a lot going on and the fickleness of their good and bad times will hook you in and just like me, you will just HAVE to know what happens next.

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

Ebook available of The Worst Girlfriend in the World, as well as some of her other novels: It Felt Like a Kiss, Adorkable, Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, and Unsticky.

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.