Published December 10, 2015
RAC , Realistic Fiction , Romance
Tags: blended families, college, family life, friendship, life choices, siblings, teenage dating, trust
# of pages: 265
Jane takes a job as a nanny for three small girls one summer because she doesn’t want to take the unpaid internship her mother found for her. The little girls happen to have an older half brother, Teo. Teo does not know Jane very well because she and his best friend do not get along for some unknown reason. As they start seeing each other more often and getting to know each other they start to form a strong attraction. Meanwhile, Jane discovers that Teo has been secretly looking for his father whom he has no recollection of ever seeing. Jane decides to try and help find Teo’s father thinking she is doing him a favor, but things do not go as planned. Will these two every overcome all the obstacles standing in their way to find true love? Will Teo ever find his dad? Will Jane ever decide what she wants to do after high school?
This book is a sweet, light teenage romance for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han. The supporting characters are fairly one-dimensional but very entertaining and Jane and Teo have a sweet relationship that young readers will want to know more about. Many ideas are mentioned, but not stressed in too great of detail such as bisexuality, death of a parent, and choosing options other than college after high school. The characters will be relatable to many readers without becoming too preachy or insufferable regarding their feelings and beliefs. Recommended for fans of teen romance books.
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
# of Pages: 400
Darrow is a “red” in a caste society where reds work below the surface of Mars trying to terraform the planet for other life forms to eventually come live on the surface. The work is hard and thankless and they are compensated with hardly any food and poor living conditions. Darrow’s wife, Eo, believes there is more than the “golds” are telling them and thinks they should revolt in order to get to the truth. Darrow lost his father when he peacefully protested their work conditions and does not want to lose anyone else. When Eo defies the golds anyway, she is publicly hanged and Darrow refuses to let this go. He eventually gets a makeover to make him look like a gold so that he can infiltrate the golds to take them down from the inside. He learns that the golds have been hiding a lot about the actual development of the planet Mars in order to keep them in a lowly position. He vows revenge for his entire family who are starving and slaving so that others can grow fat and rich. Will they discover he is not truly a gold? Will he find any compassion for the golds he has come to despise?
Fans of futuristic fiction will enjoy this title because there is a lot of violence and colorful characters. The story eventually evolves into a competition similar to the Hunger Games that will keep even reluctant readers’ attention. Many questions are left unanswered and there is currently one sequel already. While it is similar to other titles out there it is unique enough that it is finding an audience of supporters who desperately want to know what will happen to Darrow.
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mystery
# of Pages: 340
Riley witnessed the couple she was babysitting for get murdered and has never been the same since. She blames herself for not doing more to help them. She has tried multiple counselors and the latest one has suggested she come to a weekend-long retreat with other troubled teens. They are not there very long, however, when masked men come in and declare they are holding them hostage until a wealthy teen’s dad pays a hefty ransom for them. Things begin to go wrong almost immediately and it quickly becomes obvious that they may not leave alive. Riley is now getting her chance to see if she were in a life threatening situation again if she would run or stand and fight.
Fans of mystery thrillers will enjoy this title because it is a lot more than it first appears. The beginning even lags a bit as they struggle to find a way to defeat their kidnappers, but then things take a turn when everything Riley thought was happening is completely turned on its head. For the most part any inconsistencies in the motivations of the characters are explained away and the resolution is exciting and captivating. Fans of mystery books and shows should check out this title.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 407
Alex Woods has had a very interesting life. He lives with his single mother who owns and operates a fortune teller business and when he was ten he was hit by a meteorite that actually plummeted through his bathroom ceiling. Since his accident he’s had trouble with seizures and unfortunately, bullies. On one such occasion when he was running from bullies he ended up getting blamed for an act of vandalism on a elderly man’s home. His punishment was to go to Mr. Petersen’s house every Saturday to help him out. All of this leads up to the story that begins with Alex getting arrested by border patrol because he has marijuana in his glove compartment and Mr. Petersen’s ashes in the seat next to him. What happened that led to this moment?
This story is quirky and weird in a way that makes the reader want to know more. The last 100 pages are especially compelling as the facts all start to come together and it becomes obvious what Alex and Mr. Petersen are going to do. Fans of John Green novels will like this title because the characters are smart and unique and the story seems unbelievable and yet believable at the same time.
Genre: Sci/Fi, Futuristic
# of Pages: 345
Em wakes up with a shooting pain in her neck and believes she’s being attacked by a snake. She quickly realizes she’s trapped in a dark box and must fight her way out. When she does, she sees she is in a room full of what look like coffins, which is what she just forced her way out of. She begins to hear screaming in a nearby coffin and helps another girl break free. They both think they are 12, but they look much older than that. They have no memories and have to look at the name plates on their coffins to discover what their names are. Eventually, they find there are others nearby, but no one knows where they are or how they can get out. Em finds herself the leader of these kids and shocks herself when she discovers she feels confident she can lead them out of this nightmare.
This futuristic story introduces several characters and most of them are developed well enough that you can see their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. There is a fair amount of violence as these kids have to fight their way through one obstacle after another. The plot carries many interesting twists, but there is still a lot more of this story to tell which I can only imagine will continue with the next installment. Fans of James Dashner will enjoy this title.
# of Pages: 429
John, Quin, and Shinobu have been training together for years in order to one day take their oath and become Seekers. When the final test comes, however, John stumbles and is cast out by the master Briac. He is devastated at being kept from what he sees as his birthright and concocts a plan to get what he believes is rightfully his. Meanwhile, Quin and Shinobu take the oath but are horrified to learn what becoming a Seeker actually entails. When John and his soldiers arrive on the estate to destroy everything on it, Quin and Shinobu must make some fateful decisions about their future as Seekers. Can they abandon their oath and the training they have spent their whole lives learning? Will John ever be able to let his quest for justice for his ancestors go?
This fantasy story introduces three very interesting main characters as well as supporting characters. The history of the Seekers is engaging, but there is still a lot to learn about the past and how it came to shape the present they are dealing with now. Despite the length it doesn’t feel like the story develops as much as it should in this first installment and leaves quite a bit unanswered. Die hard fantasy fans will enjoy this series.
# of Pages: 388
Mare Barrow is a red blood and therefore a lowly worker to the silver bloods who rule everything with their varied powers. Mare knows that when she turns 18 she will be required to join the army and fight the neverending battle going on at the border. Her three older brothers are already there fighting. Mare’s best friend has an internship which means he will be spared from the draft and her younger sister is a seamstress and will also escape that terrible fate. As bad as things are Mare is finding ways to cope, but then tragedy strikes and everything she ever believed comes crashing down. In her lowest moment she confides in a young man at a bar and the next day she is offered a desirable job serving the silver bloods in the palace. On one of her first days, Mare is serving at an important event where the Prince is to choose a bride, but something terrible happens and Mare reveals that she too has a special power despite the fact that her blood is not silver. What will happen to Mare and her family now that she has revealed herself to be a threat to the silver bloods? Can she learn to develop and control her power?
This is the first novel in this series and has a futuristic feel to it like The Testing and The Hunger Games. Mare’s character is captivating and it’s hard to watch her trust people that will ultimately betray her. As she navigates her way through a new world of silver bloods who have powers such as mind reading, mind control, and controlling elements she realizes how powerful they are, but also how vulnerable and scared they are as well. Fantasy fans will enjoy this new series.