YA in Mini-Reviews

December 26, 2014 Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Thriller, Young Adult 4

YA in Mini-ReviewsTitle: Mortal Heart
Author: Robin LaFevers
Source: FirstToRead, Giveaway
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

20522640Like the previous two books in this series, I loved Mortal Heart. The premise of assassin nuns was obviously awesome from the very beginning and the writing is beautiful, but what I think makes these books so perfect is the world building and character growth. As in the previous two books, the main character has lived through some difficult times and isn’t quite comfortable with who she is. She’s also questioning her faith, particularly her role serving the god of death. As Kelley points out in her review at Oh, The Books!, part of the reason this series is successful is because the author makes you feel for the main character. I also particularly love that at the end of every book the author has managed to surprise me with new information about the mythology of the world she’s created. Seeing this wonderfully creative mythology intersect with the main character getting a happy ending is something I’ve found enjoyable and heart-warming in each of her books. They always leave me smiling. Thanks to Christina at You Book Me All Night Long for the giveaway of this great book!

16101023Title: Proxy
Author: Alex London
Rating: Four stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. The idea of moving the whipping boy story into a futuristic setting was a fun premise and I loved the interesting ideas the author had for where technology might go. I enjoyed his writing, particularly the way he moved seamlessly between perspectives without page breaks to give us multiple characters’ thoughts on each scene. The story was action-packed and the fast pace kept me reading. The only place I felt let down was the plot. I enjoyed the character growth, but it culminated in a very  obvious way. This made what should have been a very exciting ending scene feel too pre-determined for me to worry about the outcome. Despite the interesting premise and wonderful world building, the predictability of this book made it feel less unique than it would have been otherwise. If you like dystopian YA were boys have adventures and don’t mind predictability, I think this could be a great read.

13138635Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Rating: Four stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

These Broken Stars is one of those YA books I appreciate for (mostly) avoiding things that often bother me in YA books. There is fairly quick relationship building, but there definitely isn’t an instant attraction and the intense, survival situation the characters are thrown into makes their still somewhat accelerated relationship growth feel believable. Each character is written by one of the authors and I think there is just enough difference in tone to suit the characters without making it distractingly obvious that the book was written by two people. The writing struck me as stronger than that in many YA books with better vocabulary, better sentence construction, and less melodrama. I liked both main characters. I particularly liked that Lilac, the female lead, was mentally strong but not unbelievably physically strong and that she and the male main character ended up respecting each other as equal partners. I also enjoyed the world building which, like Proxy, included some interesting ideas about where technology will end up. The plot kept me engaged and I especially liked the brief snippets of foreshadowing found between chapters. Even if you’re someone who usually avoids YA for fear of poor writing or annoying tropes, I’d recommend giving this book a try anyway. The fantastic writing, plot, and characters might surprise you.

 

4 Responses to “YA in Mini-Reviews”

  1. Christina

    Ahh, Mortal Heart. Part of me thought it was an absolutely fitting conclusion to the series, and part of me was very miffed about the identity of Annith’s love interest. It just seemed a bit too…much? But ha, you know this already, because I just remembered that you won my ARC copy lo, these many months ago. Glad you ended up enjoying it! 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks Christina! I thought the identity of her lover was a bit predictable but I loved the way the mythology of the world worked out so much, that I didn’t even mind. Sorry I wasn’t originally giving you credit in the post as the source of my ARC! I actually ended up getting a copy through Goodreads First-to-Read too and forgot that I’d had two copies because I gave one to a friend. I really appreciate the giveaway and I enjoyed the book even more than I expected too 🙂
      DoingDewey recently posted…More YA in Mini-ReviewsMy Profile

  2. Jancee @ Jancee Reads

    Okay, confession time…I still haven’t read the LaFevers series. I know, right? What’s wrong with me? I keep seeing it, keep thinking “Gonna read that soon”, and keep getting distracted by other things. Ah, I’ll get to it eventually.

    Proxy was interesting and I enjoyed it, although you’re right about it being predictable. Before I read it, I didn’t know the concept of the whipping boy, so I learned lots of new things. I’ll read #2 and hope I continue to like it, although I’m getting burned out on YA Dystopia.

    I know absolutely nothing about These Broken Stars except that I own it and haven’t gotten to it. My initial thoughts? The cover is pretty. That’s about it!
    Jancee @ Jancee Reads recently posted…Review – Gabi, A Girl in PiecesMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      I have plenty of hyped books which I’ve been meaning to read for ages too 🙂 This is a series I’d definitely recommend making time for when you’re able.

      I think I’ll give the second book a try too. I actually met the author and I liked him and I like that he writes characters he hopes gay teens will relate too, so especially given all that, I think I enjoyed this first book enough that it’s worth going on with.

      The cover really caught my eye too! This is actually another one where I met one of the authors (there’s a huge YA event once a year near me) and we had great geeky conversations, so I wasn’t surprised that I liked the way the female character was portrayed in her book. This another one I’d recommend when you have the time 🙂