Archive for the ‘Young Adult’ Category


You Review: The Perfectionists – Sara Shepard

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Reviewed by Esmée de Heer

Welcome to Beacon High, hell on earth for underachievers. The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard, who you know from the hit series Pretty Little Liars, tells the story of five girls who get fed up with Nolan Hotchkiss, the richest kid in all of Beacon Heights. Nolan is the worst kind of rich kid, one who uses his money to humiliate others and to always get what he wants. No wonder they want to kill him. The girls come up with their devious plan during Film Studies, taught by their oh-so-hot, but oh-so-bad teacher Mr. Granger. But when they execute said plan during a party, things go horribly wrong. Nolan ends up actually dead and the girls are being set up by the murderer, whoever that may be.

The book is a solid mystery and definitely reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars. The high school drama is unescapable and the love triangles are aplenty. There is enough juicy gossip to make the book last and every girl has her own secret and reason to want to get revenge on Nolan.

While reading The Perfectionists you do have to ignore some of the obvious flaws. Of course it makes sense that the girls wouldn’t be able to go to the police, because the police is in on the conspiracy. Of course the girls also all have difficult home situations and not a single adult is to be trusted. And of course they all have at least one boy swooning over them! What would a mystery be without a litte (read: a lot of) romance? But at the same time the book is fun and suspenseful and all the characters are different and interesting enough to make it work.

The setting of Beacon High as a high school where excelling is equally and maybe even more important than just being pretty was refreshing, and the girls are not just empty headed vessels for pretty clothing. They deal with pretty big problems besides their every day teenage problems, and the author comes up with detailed back stories that still leave plenty of room for future mysteries. The Perfectionists is a great beach read and a definite must for anyone who loves previous work of Shepard. The mystery will definitely keep you turning pages and when you’re done, you will want even more.

Blogmistress’s note: The Perfectionists was supposed to be published in the summer of 2014, but, as you can see, has been significantly delayed.  In fact, the US edition shows both a publication date of this month AND May 2015.  Go figure.  The UK edition shown above can be ordered now, though, and delivered within the week (if we don’t have it in stock).

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

Esmée, together with Charlotte, runs the Bored to Death Book Club. Head on over to see if you might like to join them!

There is no ebook available of The Perfectionists yet (…see my note on publication date confusion above), but there are ebooks available of her previous works: The Heiresses, Pretty Little Liars (and other books in that series) and The Lying Game (and other books in that series).

This Just In: Children’s Books and YA Fiction

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

A Gazillion 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!

Picture Books:

Ebook available for Ladybird Christmas Carols.

9 – 12 Years:

Young Adult:


And not exactly new content, but really great new covers:

Ebooks available for We Were Liars, The Iron Trial, Messenger of Fear, The Geography of You and Me, The Wave, Heir of Fire, and The House of Hades.

You Review: Made for You – Melissa Marr

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Reviewed by Jennifer Kneijber

Eva Tilling has it all: an attractive boyfriend, plenty of admirers, popular friends and a stalker.

Our story sets itself in a small town in America, where nothing out of ordinary ever happens and the lives of the townsfolk are uneventful. Until disaster strikes and a series of unusual crimes take place.

Eva is one of the victims. She gets run over by a car after leaving a party, and she is the first of several. After she wakes up in the hospital, she has a new strange skill: she can see the deaths of people upon touching them. With the help of her friends she tries to uncover the identity of the culprit.

When I first picked up Made for You by Melissa Marr, I wasn’t sure what to think of it. The writing seemed mediocre and the protagonist seemed kind of shallow. However, throughout the book it became easier to empathize with the characters. This being said, I still had a hard time connecting to them.

One thing that made Made for You an interesting, haunting, creepy and funny read was the rotation of the three different narrators. Throughout the book the point of view switches between Eva, her best friend Grace, and the Eva-obsessed Judge. We get to know that Judge is a close friend of Eva’s without knowing his real name. As a reader you try to figure out who could be behind the crimes and I couldn’t put it down until the puzzle pieces fit together and Judge’s identity was revealed.  Even though this book suffered from clichés, it remained an interesting and intriguing book until the last page.

Before I read this novel I hadn’t read any of Melissa Marr’s books, but after reading this one I am not sure if I’m interested in picking up her other works, even though this is her first semi-realistic, contemporary YA novel.

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

Three other Melissa Marr books have been You Reviewed over the years: Graveminder, Faery Tales & Nightmares and Loki’s Wolves.

There is no ebook available of Made for You as of yet, but there are ebooks of her older titles: Wicked Lovely (and other books in that series), Graveminder, The Arrivals and Carnival of Secrets.

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 drinkteareadbooks.blogspot.com!

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.