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A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin
Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Ilsa J. Bick
Detroit: An American Autopsy
Charlie LeDuff
Emilie and the Hollow World
Martha Wells
Julianna Baggott
The Crown of Embers
Rae Carson
Rebel Heart
Moira Young
The Future of Us
Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler
Sara Zarr

Romeo Redeemed

Romeo Redeemed - Stacey Jay It was okay. 2 stars. Review to come.

The Calling

The Calling - Kelley Armstrong 3-stars is a kind rating as pretty much nothing happened in this book.


BZRK - Michael Grant 3.7 stars.

Drowning Instinct

Drowning Instinct - Ilsa J. Bick This book is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. That is a very good thing. 4.5 stars.

Juliet Immortal

Juliet Immortal - Stacey Jay So...disappointing. Stacey Jay's other work is so enjoyable. What happened here? One star.

How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life - Sara Zarr Excelleny story. 4.75 stars.


Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson This book goes straight to the top of my favorites list. I will always have a copy of Speak in my library. Five stars.

Cracked Up to Be

Cracked Up to Be - Courtney Summers It's like 'House' meets high school. Except different. 3.5 stars.


Partials - Dan Wells Quick Review: Almost four stars. Maybe... I think. Because the second half totally made up for the fact that I couldn't stand most of the first half. It's a pretty compelling story, even if it went the forcing-teenagers-to-get-knocked-up route. It does what most YA dystopia fails at: requires the reader to think for herself by raising some questions that don't necessarily have easy answers. The obligitory love story is present but for once we have a girl who isn't stupid in love as her love life, or possible lack thereof, has nothing to do with the major conflict. The lack of angst is refreshing.

Whether or not there will be a love triangle is yet to be seen, though I'm pretty sure there will be a love triangle of sorts in the upcoming book. And, honestly? Whoever the protagonist picks will be fine.

Dan Wells knows how to write a teenage girl although, at times, he takes it a little too far, like when the protagonist is talking about the "flirty" section in her closet. What teenage girl actually has a flirty section in her closet? Sounds like something he read about in YM or Cosmo Girl. Fortunately Wells doesn't overdo it too much, especially after the story takes off.

Some of the best lines in this book belong to the protagonist's boyfriend. That guy is seriously funny, and in the same way I remember teenage guys being way back when I was a youngin'.

Anyway, pretty good book. Check it out if you're looking for the next great YA Dystopia.<-----yes, as of today I consider this the next Hunger Games. Is it as addicting as the Hunger Games? Not so much, but it's still a great story. And it features an intelligent, confident, independent protagonist. <br/>
Real review to be posted soon.

P.S. it needs to be said: the only thing that truly bugged the crap out of me is the extreme overuse of the word 'Kudzu'. Though I do not drink, I imagine one would get insanely drunk by taking a shot every time the word 'kudzu' comes up. Kudzu kudzu kudzu kudzu kudzu.


Sisterhood Everlasting

Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares I wish I could wrap myself up in Ann Brashares prose. 3.5 stars. Review to come (when I get home from Hawaii.)


Living Dead Girl

Living Dead Girl - Elizabeth Scott A difficult book for a mother of three little girls to read. Frightening. Devastating. Heartbreaking. I hate this book because it made me feel so much, too much. Reduced me to genuine sobs, as if I was mourning the passing of a loved one. This story will haunt me forever. I am able appreciate Living Dead Girl for these reasons.

Regardless of the content, the subject matter, Living Dead Girl is well-crafted. Every word has a purpose, every sentence deliberate. The imagery is in-your-face, brazen, yet at the same time it's so subtle. I don't know how Elizabeth Scott managed to do that. How many other authors can do that? Clearly Scott knows what she's doing. She possesses rare gift. Four stars.

Some Girls Are

Some Girls Are - Courtney Summers This book inspired me to write the following poem:

Some Girls Are

Some girls are nice,
Some girls are funny.
Some girls are smart,
Some girls are pretty...

And some girls
Are evil,
Baby-eating sociopaths
(Who deserve to choke to death on their own vomit!)

(Or, you know,
something like that.)

Okay, so, I'm no poet and I know absolutely nothing about poetry, but it's true: some girls are really jacked up; lack anything resembling a conscience. However, some girls do have hearts but are too weak or scared to do the right thing. To be honest I'm thinking this last option is worse than being the evil soul-crushing monster.

I don't know.

My thoughts are all over the place right now having just finished this book. I feel all out of sorts, like my skin doesn't even belong to me or something. I'm going to have to think about it before writing a thorough review. Until then just know this is a great book and I really like it even though it made me squirm the entire time. I don't know the last time a book made me feel exactly like this. Courtney Summers is pretty hardcore. I'm her newest fan. Four stars.

Unbreak My Heart

Unbreak My Heart - Melissa C. Walker Unbreak My Heart. Laaaaame title--I have serious hate for the same-titled Toni Braxton song which, by the way, has absolutely nothing to with this book--great story. 3.5 stars. Review to come.

Untitled Downside Ghosts

Untitled Downside Ghosts - Stacia Kane Stacia Kane's best book yet. Get excited for March, ladies. This book is worth the wait. 4.5 stars. Review to come.

The Hedgewitch Queen

The Hedgewitch Queen - Lilith Saintcrow Wish could give this three stars but that would be far too generous as a whole lot of nothing happens for a good 75% of this book. That said I will probably read the next book in this series.

2.5 stars.


Pure - Julianna Baggott Wow. I don't even...

I mean, there's just so much to...

I don't even know where to begin, seriously.

I guess I'll just start by saying this book is so...gross. That's it, this book is gross. And frightening. It's everything Anna Dressed in Blood wishes it was—disgusting and terrifying. I mean, homicidal ghosts? Pshh. That's child's play. But post-apocalyptic life with all the food shortages, diseases, no order, no normalcy, mutants—like really nasty looking mutant-y mutants—and horrible ways to die around every corner? Now that's what I call pants-peeing, nightmare-inducing, huddle-in-corner-crying-out-for-your-momma scary. As far as I'm concerned that's not a bad thing.

Funny thing is, this cover did not in any way prepare me for the demented, never-ending county fair Fun House I entered. I mean, it looks so innocent, doesn't it? All pretty-like with a sophisticated font and gorgeous sapphire-blue butterfly. It looks like a fairly tame book about something fresh and...pure, am I right? Probably something about Soul Mates and rainbows and unicorns. You know, the sort of cutesy idealized thing that typically makes me want to chuck a book across a room.

But it's so not the sort of book I'd end up throwing at a wall.

(I figured out there is a reason for that, by the way, the whole innocent-looking-on-the-outside-but-jacked-up-on-the-inside thing this book has going for it, but that's not something I'm going to discuss right now.)

I want to give Pure more stars because, story-wise, it is pretty enjoyable, for the most part. And the gross-out factor is off the charts aaaaa-mazing, same goes for the scare factor. But did Julianna Baggott write a five-star worthy read? Not so much. I mean, sure, when it comes to recent YA genre dystopias/post-apocalyptic books Pure is sort of up there with The Hunger Games and Ship Breaker, beating out all of the other competition.

But...truthfully? I wasn't so wholly invested that I was able to overlook all the sciencefail! and believabilityfail! And it's not like I'm one of those people who find it difficult to suspend disbelief. I read plenty of books with ridiculous and often impossible story lines and I'm able to believe those just fine. It's just, for whatever reason, there was much that didn't work for me because the author didn't sell it correctly, or whatever.

For example there is this one character that somehow knows everything about everything, even taught himself how to read Japanese. Keep in mind said character raised himself in a post-apocalyptic hellhole from the time he was nine years old. I mean, come on! The world as we know it has ended, death and destruction and scary mutants are everywhere. And you want me to believe some little kid who is taking care of himself is like "Gee, I sure miss everything. I think I'll teach myself how to read Japanese because it might actually come in handy some day. You know, since Japanese, above all other languages, is the one I'm most-likely going to need to know how to read." No! I don't buy it. Orphan boy be learning how to fend for himself in a cruel every-mutant-for-himself world, not teaching himself how to read Japanese OR study nanotechnology in-depth.

And at no point during this book does the reader learn how our world got from how things are currently to some crazy-go-nuts über-religious society that shuns modern feminism in favor of some brand of not-feminist feminism and eventually blows itself to high hell. This bugs me.

If I were to be completely honest, for whatever reason I couldn't stop thinking about one of my favorite children's books of all time while I was reading Pure. It's called Everyone is Different written by Strong Bad. If you don't know what book I'm talking about go read it, I'll wait right here.

Are you done? Great book, right?

Anyway, Pure is pretty much the same as Everyone is Different. I mean, you know, basically. Maybe there isn't any squirrel-handedness going on in Pure but there sure is a lot of doll-head-handedness and bird-backedness going on. Instead of characters being fangoriously devoured by a gelatinous beast there's a lot of characters being fangoriously devoured by dust-beasts and other such mutants. There are weird names, like Partridge and Pressia and El Capitan. Some characters are tall and merciless. Some characters are about to be hit by cars, and other characters who have rigged the "enemy base" with explosives. There may even be a point in which no two characters are NOT on fire.

I wish I could give this book four or five stars, but I can't. That said, I still do like it and I'm going to recommend it to anyone looking for a disgusting post-apocalyptic read. Three stars.