Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mini-Reviews Part 2 (YA).

Today I bring you the second half of the young adult mini-reviews from what I've been reading this year. Like the first post, this will focus on those novels I've been reading and not writing about. And this second half has some GOOD books!

Every Day by David Levithan

My first Levithan experience wasn't as awesome as I had hoped, so I decided to try another novel before giving up on Levithan. I am so glad I did.

I settled on Every Day after a few people raved about it. The story focuses on a boy who wakes up in the body of someone new every day. Each morning he has to determine who he is and what his life will be. And each night he closes his eyes knowing he will end up somewhere else.

It's a great concept for a novel, and Levithan executed it brilliantly. I found myself truly sympathizing with the main character and his struggle to build some kind of a life with the people he meets. It got me thinking about the people you see every day-how you really don't know what their life is like at home. This book gave you a glimpse of it.

I'm ready to tackle more by Levithan, so please tell me some other titles to read!

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

I am in LOVE with Between Shades of Gray, so I bought Out of the Easy the day it came out. It didn't disappoint me.

The novel takes place in New Orleans in the 1950s. Our main character, Josie, has lived there since she was a little girl. Her mother works at a brothel as a prostitute, and Josie is responsible for cleaning it each morning. She refuses to fall into a life like her mother's, so she works hard to save money to get away and out of New Orleans.

This novel truly sucked me in. Sepetys has the ability to craft truly engaging stories with relate-able and likeable characters. Josie was someone I really rooted for. Her life was hard and her mother was truly a horrid person. But she persevered with class and strength. It was riveting.

Sepetys is an author that I will continue to follow!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

This was a title I picked up at the book fair after seeing a bunch of students reading it and favorable reviews online. I decided to read it near the end of the school year when I was stressed out because I needed to be entertained. And entertained I was.

This is a cute story of an angry girl, Hadley, traveling overseas to her estranged father's wedding. She meets a cute and dashing boy, Oliver, at the airport, and the next 24 hours chronicle their time together.

The story was cute. I'm not a big fan of the whole "angry girl meets cute boy who shows her the error of her ways," but this was truly entertaining and very sweet. It was a just a happy book that delivered on its title. And that is something you need once in awhile!

Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu

So, I do this thing where I buy new books that are coming out, then learn they are part of a series, and then I let them sit on my shelves until all are published. Perhaps it has to do with my need for instant gratification, but I really enjoy reading a series straight through. Legend was one of those books, until my husband picked it off the shelf for me to read next. It helps that the third and final book will be out this fall...I really don't have long to wait.

These are some of those novels that are for "fans of The Hunger Games." I personally find that to be an annoying comparison, since novels shouldn't have to be compared to something else to find readership. And while they do have things in common with The Hunger Games, they aren't that similar.

Anyway, Legend introduces the reader to a future world full of violence and anger-especially with children. June, a young prodigy in the military of the Republic, is on a mission to find the Republic's most notorious criminal, Day. It's a very action-filled book and I read it quickly. The point-of-view switches each chapter between Day and June (and I find it really annoying that Day's portions are in a different colored font. It made my eyes hurt. Don't try to be cute publishing houses).

I really enjoyed both titles and will definitely be picking up the third title when it debuts (I also plan on finishing my reading of the Divergent series), but after that, I need to step away from the post-apocalyptic world titles. While they are all entertaining, they are all starting to contain the same elements and it's driving me crazy. I just need a breather from the YA. :)

There you have it-I'm caught up on mini-reviews for all the YA I've read this year. Stay tuned for one more mini-review post on some adult titles. 


  1. It's interesting to me that you saw A as male in Every Day. I didn't see it that way, but I also didn't see A as female either. I saw (him? her?) as gender-neutral, which is something that has always been an important thing to me, so I loved the book for that reason alone.

    I never could read Between Shades of Gray. Not that it was badly written! I think it's because it's so well written. Every time I try, I just start shaking and I get so stressed out because I know horrible things are going to happen and I just can't distance myself enough from it. I did get Out of the Easy and it was fantastic!

  2. I need to read YA stuff for work. Mostly it's an enjoyable part of my job, but like you, I sometimes need a break from it too.
    I've read all of the above (except the Levithan) and enjoyed them all too.
    We've had some interesting stuff going on in Australian politics lately and I've been reading books along those lines lately, but I picked up my verse copy of The Odyssey the other day and plane to get started on it soon :-)