Reviews on our favorite and newest teen and tween books!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Abandon (Abandon, #1) by Meg Cabot

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 Genre: YA Fantasy

At the age of 15, Pierce experienced an NDE – Near-Death Experience. As if that wasn’t bad enough, while dead she met John Hayden, death deity and ruler of the Underworld. And he wants her for his own. Though he has the brooding bad boy image down, Pierce isn’t ready to spend eternity with a stranger in what very possibly could be Hell. So with a little help from a warm beverage, Pierce makes a run for it.

Two years later, Pierce is still trying to get over ‘the event’ while navigating the wreckage her life has become. Her parents are divorced, she’s become completely disengaged from the world, and when things get really bad he shows up to help her out. So when her mom moves them to Isla de Huesos, Florida to be closer to family, Pierce sees it as the perfect opportunity to start over. That is, for the first five minutes at least. That’s about how long it takes Pierce to run into John, causing even more uncertainty and questions to rise up: Who exactly is he? What are Furies? and Why do people around her keep getting hurt?

I’ve always been a fan of Greek mythology, and the story of Persephone and Hades is a favorite of mine. I loved Meg Cabot’s 1-800-Missing & Mediator series, so when I saw she had written a mythological spin-off of Persephone’s story I just had to read it. The book takes place over a period of three days, but most of it is told in flashback so we know what happened since Pierce left the Underworld. It takes a while to find out what the ‘incident’ was that led up to Pierce having to move to Florida and why she was so traumatized by it, which was a little frustrating at times. What I really enjoyed about this book was the modern twist to the story. The original story has Mama Demeter doing most of the fighting for Persephone. In Meg Cabot’s version, Pierce is no damsel in distress. Abandon isn’t my favorite Meg Cabot book, but I will definitely be looking out for the second installment to see what mischief Pierce will manage to get herself into next time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mercy (Mercy, #1) by Rebecca Lim

Genre: YA Fantasy

Mercy is a fallen angel – and she doesn’t know it. All she knows is that waking up inhabiting someone else’s body is an ordinary and frequent event for her. How many times has this happened? She’s lost count. But if you’re going to be stuck in someone else’s body, living someone else’s life for who knows how long, you may as well help them out. Right? At least that’s how Mercy views it.
            So when Mercy wakes up on a bus full of girls, she learns that for now she’s stuck in the body of Carmen, a gifted soprano, who is on her way to a high school choir concert in the small town of Paradise. Beyond this, she has no idea who she is, what she’s doing there, or where she’s going. The only thing she is sure of is her love for Luc, a man she only sees in her dreams, but has no way of finding.
            Arriving in Paradise, Mercy is met by the Daley’s, her host family during the trip. Two years ago, the Daley’s daughter Lauren was kidnapped from their home and never found. Though Mr. & Mrs. Daley have given up hope that Lauren is still alive, her twin brother Ryan insists she is and searches for her tirelessly. Seeing an opportunity to be of  use, Mercy offers Ryan her help in finding his sister before it’s too late.

            I received this book as an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley to review. I really enjoyed Mercy’s strong and witty character. The premise of the book is intriguing, and there were only two aspects of the book that caused confusion for me:
A) There was no setting. I knew they were in a small town called Paradise, but I didn’t know what hemisphere they were in, let alone what country. Does this really affect the storyline though? Not so much. While I personally don’t like too much description, there were some instances where this lack of setting caused confusion.
 B) If it weren’t for the synopsis of the book, I never would have known Mercy was an angel, fallen or otherwise. At some point, there was mention that Mercy glowed in the dark, and in her true form was about seven feet tall and hovered off the ground. It wasn’t until the very, very end that you kind of get a grasp of what Mercy is.
            Nevertheless, this book was great. The mystery of the story kept me reading all the way through. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the second part to the trilogy, where I’m hoping some of the mystery will be explained.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann Aguirre
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Summary: The Hunger Games meets I Am Legend

Deuce has lived in an underground enclave all of her life, where the rules are strict and the motto is ‘only the strong survive.’ Those fortunate enough to live until their fifteenth birthday are honored with a name and one of three jobs – Breeder, Builder, or Hunter.

For Deuce, all she has ever wanted is to be a Hunter and works with blind devotion towards her goal. Hunters are not only responsible for feeding the enclave, but also for protecting them from the Freaks – flesh-eating monsters who roam the dark tunnels outside the enclave for fresh meat. On her fifteenth birthday, Deuce has proven her worth and is officially initiated as a Huntress. Partnered with the brooding Fade, an outsider from Topside, Deuce is given the job of finding out why the once mindless Freaks are now showing signs of cunning intelligence, further threatening the survival of her people.

As Deuce and Fade work together, Deuce makes the realization that the enclave's leaders are not as perfect as she once thought they were; and when she is forced to  leave the only life she has ever known, she must learn how to survive Topside.

If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction, you will absolutely love this book! Enclave is action-packed and fast paced from the very beginning up until you turn the last page. The characters are strong, engaging, and very human in their emotions. I can’t wait for the next installment of this series.