Category: Young Adult

Bookends About Dark Triumph

August 10, 2013 Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult 6

9943270Title: Dark Triumph
Editor: Robin LaFevers
Source: bought at Rochester Teen Book Festival
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: The perfect sequel to Grave Mercy, with the same strengths – strong protagonist, constant action, and fascinating setting.

For those of you who read Grave Mercyyou’ll recognize our new protagonist Sybella from her encounter with Ismae at the convent. In this book, Sybella is forced to face the dark events that chased her to the convent for refuge in the first place. We learn a lot about her past and the reasons she has such a drive for revenge. We also share her discovery that revenge might not be enough and, as with Isame, learn more about the mythos surrounding the nuns position as servants of the god of death. Read more »


Bookends About Grave Mercy

August 3, 2013 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 5

9565548Title: Grave Mercy
Editor: Robin LaFevers
Source: bought at Rochester Teen Book Festival
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This is one that’s almost too good to analyze. The main things that made me love it were the strength of the main character, the historical setting, and the fast paced action.

This is a book about assassin nuns and that’s probably all you need to know to guess how crazy awesome it’s going to be! However, for the sake of thoroughness… The book focuses on Ismae, a girl whose near death marked her as a servant of Mortain, the god of death. When she flees an arranged marriage, this means there is a place for her at Mortain’s convent where she will be trained as an assassin. To date, her life has only put her in contact with brutal, cruel men and she has no qualms agreeing to go on a mission that will include killing anyone Mortain marks for death. Her experience in the real world, however, quickly makes her realize that both men and Mortain’s orders are more complex than she thought. Read more »


Bookends About The Goose Girl

July 14, 2013 Fiction, Re-telling, Young Adult 1

179064Title: The Goose Girl
Author: Shannon Hale
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I really liked how true this book was to the style of a fairy tale and how well it fleshed out the original story.

I picked up this version of The Goose Girl planning on using it as an original to read before another re-telling. Further research suggests you’d need a children’s book (or the wikipedia page) to get the most original story, since the original is far too short for a book. The basic gist of both this book and the original fairy tale is as follows. A princess is sent to marry a prince in a foreign land and on the journey, her maid uses some form of magic to take on the princess’s identity. Once they reach the foreign capital, the princess becomes a goose girl and must decide if and how she wants to regain her place as a princess. Read more »


Bookends About The Rose Throne

June 22, 2013 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 0

rosethroneTitle: The Rose Throne
Author: Mette Ivie Harrison
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Although this is a fairly standard young adult fantasy novel, it’s a particularly good example of the genre with well developed, unique characters and a plot I enjoyed being surprised by.

Ailsbet’s lack of the traditional women’s magic has forced her to grow strong in other ways, surviving in her tyrannical father’s court while longing to live somewhere that music is more valued. In a neighboring kingdom, the princess Marissa loves her magic and looks forward to becoming a leader who can help her land. Diplomatic clashes between the two kingdoms will force both princesses to consider what they want and what they are willing to sacrifice for their kingdoms. Read more »


The Registry

June 12, 2013 Dystopian, Fiction, Uncategorized, Young Adult 5

theregistryTitle: The Registry
Author: Shannon Stoker
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: A respectable addition to the dystopian craze, well written with an interesting premise and great character development.

In a dystopian America, women are listed in the registry where they are auctioned off as brides when they turn 18. Boys are considered worthless and often thrown out to survive on their own between school and mandatory military service. Unsurprisingly, not all the men produced by this brutal system are men a girl would want to be married to, as Mia finds out from her married older sister. Sheltered as Mia is, escape will be difficult even with the help of a better educated friend and a boy working as a farm hand. Especially once the ruthless man who wanted to buy her discovers she’s run away. Read more »


Bookends About Fire

June 2, 2012 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 5

Title: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Series: Graceling|Fire (you are here)|Bitterblue
Review Summary: A little too similar to Graceling and not quite as good, but still an enjoyable read.

Although written second, Fire is actually a prequel to Graceling with only one character in common between the two books.  Like GracelingFire is the story of a young woman coming to terms with her own power, in this case the power to control the minds of others.  Known as “monsters” people with such powers are feared more than respected and Fire (our protagonist) has to decide whether she is willing to use her powers to help prevent the overthrow of the king by rebel lords. Read more »


Bookends About The Uglies Quartet

April 22, 2012 Dystopian, Fiction, Young Adult 1

I’ve wanted to read the Uglies quartet for years, ever since they showed up on my little sister’s shelves.  The series takes place in a post-apocalyptic society where all of humanity is gathered into a few independent cities.  In every city, when citizens reach their 16th birthday they undergo a surgery to change them from “uglies” into super-model gorgeous “pretties”.  There is, of course, a catch.  Both the catch and most of the other plot points were quite predictable, although the motivations of those in charge surprised me;  I just don’t feel like they got enough out of it.  But the idea was novel and I appreciated that.  The world was also very well developed and the details of the procedure by which people became pretty were fleshed out enough to make it very believable. Read more »


Bookends About The Vampire Diaries

March 17, 2012 Fiction, Gothic, Young Adult 0

This week, I finished the last book of the original Vampire Diaries quartet and also started watching the corresponding TV show for the Book to Movie challenge hosted by Parajunkee.  The book definitely did not disappoint.  I missed having Elena as narrator – a testament to the character development which took place, given my initial dislike of Elena! And the ending was a little deus ex machina, with an improbable rescue and inadequately explained happy ending.  However, the ending was such a marvelously dramatic showdown, I really couldn’t feel upset about it.  In fact, I think it would make an awesome scene to watch and hope the TV show gets there and does it justice or a movie happens too.  Other than those few complaints, it had all the same strengths as the other books.  There were some plot twists I didn’t anticipate, strong female leads, and the writing was at least acceptable. Read more »