Welcome to yAdult Review, a space where two girls review novels from across the genres, from YA and MG, to fantasy and sci-fi, to historical fiction and mystery, with a sprinkling of non-fiction too. We hope you enjoy your stay here as much as we enjoy ours.

Tag Archives: ALA 2015

23848094Red Girl, Blue Boy (If Only . . . #5) by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: ALA 2015
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star (3.5)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Enjoy Red Girl, Blue Boy and the other standalone titles in Bloomsbury’s contemporary If Only romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can’t have!

Sixteen-year-old Katie and Drew really shouldn’t get along. After all, her father is the Republican nominee for President of the United States while his mother is at the top of the Democratic ticket. But when Katie and Drew are thrown together in a joint interview on a morning talk show, they can’t ignore the chemistry between them. With an entire nation tuned into and taking sides in your parents’ fight, and the knowledge that—ultimately—someone has to lose, how can you fall in love with the one person you’re supposed to hate?

This title in the If Only line is a frank and funny romance that shows how sparks fly when opposites attract. – Goodreads

Review:

This was a cute story. That’s the best way to put it. There is nothing wrong with it, I just don’t have the interest to ever re-read it. It tells the story of Katie, our Red Girl, and Drew, our Blue Boy. Their parents are currently running for President of the United States, something I found very timely with the election madness that is going on. The problem is I never got the feel of Katie.

Drew was very clear. He wasn’t interested in his mother running for President. He doesn’t care about the fact that they might move to the White House, he just wants to continue to be a teenager who has annoying twin brothers and a father who happened to make millions of dollars. Katie on the other hand eat, drinks, sleeps, and breathes politics. She takes her father’s campaign very seriously and doesn’t understand people who aren’t like her.

Katie seems very naive throughout this entire novel, and there is nothing wrong with a naive character, but Katie was confused by a phone with a cord. Has she never seen a movie from the 90s? While she’s never been kissed or never dated (which I completely understood — and believed) there were multiple scenes where I was confused how she survived life until she became a teenager.

I found their love story cute. The two characters really did like each other, they fell in love in a believeable way, there life was just out of the ordinary and instead of that making me fall in love with them it made me meh.


23848186Everything But the Truth (If Only . . . #6) by Mandy Hubbard
Release Date: November 17, 2015  
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: ALA 2015
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

If Only . . . she wasn’t pretending to be someone else! The If Only romance line continues in this fun rags-to-riches romance.

Holly Mathews’ mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in. But having super-rich retirees as her only neighbors isn’t a total bust, because the gorgeous, notorious Malik Buchannan is the grandson of a resident. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly is there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn’t correct him, and it probably doesn’t matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer she lives in his privileged world, the deeper Holly falls for Malik, and the harder it is to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing him.

For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this romance shows that when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself! – Goodreads

Review:

As my second book in the If Only…series, this book was adorable. And the better of the two that I’ve read so far. Everything But the Truth is the story of college bound Holiday (please call me Holly) who is just trying to survive the summer until college. Holly lives in a resident home with her mother, who is currently the temporary manager. Holly’s mom loves this job and is trying to become the permanent manager and Holly loves helping her mother out. The relationship between Holly and her mother was super cute and super relatable. While Holly and her mom have always had a happy lifestyle, it has never been one of money or wealth. Having a lot of money is the exact opposite of what they know. However it is something their residents know extremely well.

Malik’s grandfather is an extremely rich man. Everything But the Truth makes jokes about the grandfather and Bill Gates that’s how rich he is. Malik has never had life without money and since Malik meets Holly at the resident home, he assumes Holly is rich, too. And here is where the problem in the book falls, Holly doesn’t correct him and by the time she wants to correct him they have both fallen in love. The love story was realistic and believable even if it is one of the most used tropes in young adult literature. While there was nothing amazing about this book it was so cute and I will happily recommend it because it was exactly what I wanted to read in that moment.

I also enjoyed the side story with Holly’s BFF. STRONG FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
Side note: while I was drawn to the cover because of the interracial couple, race is never once brought up throughout the story which I found fascinating. I also understand that the author has nothing to say about the cover.



25663637When We Collided 
by  Emery Lord
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: ALA 2015
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.– Goodreads

Review:

This book is openly going to be hard for me to review. I read it for a buddy read with my bookbff and ended up devouring it when I didn’t mean to. I read this during a point when I was dealing with my own anxiety and ultimately my own grief. During my read of When We Collided I lost my aunt and ultimately didn’t grief because denial is my middle name. I’m saying all of this because When We Collided was the right book at the right time. I bonded with Vivi and Jonah and will probably be offended when people say the characters are too much and didn’t work. I feel the same about Isla and The Happily Ever After because I feel Isla to my bones. Same with Vivi and Jonah. I feel them to my core. I understand their pain.

Vivi is a force of nature who comes into a coastal California town and changes everyone around her. What no one knows is that Vivi is fighting her own demons — which she deals with daily. It is clear from the beginning of the book that Vivi is unique and does not fit into whatever box you try to put her in. Including the labels that have been given to her.

“I keep thinking that I’m a different Vivi than I was just days ago, and I don’t know how to be the new version.”--pg 223 ARC

Then we have Jonah. Jonah’s father has recently died, his mother is falling apart and Jonah is trying to keep his shit together. Between his older siblings and himself they are trying to take care of the family and keep them all together.

“I want to tell her that I will with six heartbroken people, one of whom is catatonic. That kind of heartbreak smells like the aftermath of a car wreck, like hot metal. Oil. The chalky powder released by airbags.” –pg 149 ARC

What Lord did, which is no surprise to me, was pull the reader into a heart wrenching story of grief, love, but also finding yourself. This is one of those rare books that I saw myself in. Not just parts of me. But the sum of me. I saw that girl throughout When We Collided. The girl who debates taking her meds. The girl who loves food and the girl who is annoyed at her mother but still at the end of the day loves her mother with all of her heart. I even wanted to live in the beautiful Verona Cover.

When We Collided burrowed a hole into my cold bitter black heart to the point I’m very protective of it, Viv and Jonah. Both of whom would probably tell me they don’t need me. That they’re doing fine.



24751478Soundless
by Richelle Mead
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher:  Razorbill
Source: ALA2015
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people. – Goodreads

Review:

I did not know it was possible to be so underwhelmed by a book and I was. There was nothing special or spectacular about this book. I thought it would be nice to read a Mead book outside of the Vampire Academy world, but reading Soundless made me think maybe I should just stay inside the Vampire Academy world.

In the Soundless world there are three classes: the miners, the artists, the beggers. That’s it. Everyone falls into one of these three categories. In reality, everyone falls into one of the first two categories and as soon as someone goes blind, they become beggers. Everyone is also deaf, they have no idea how they lost their ability to hear, but it is what everyone knows.

I also am not sure why in Soundless there is a such a focus on Asian culture in the beginning of this novel because it doesn’t come up ever again. Soundless was dry and bland. There was no humor. There was no character development, or world building. I had come to expect more from Mead and this makes me wonder about those expectations.

 


Max_the_Brave_ysdqgr

Max the Brave by Ed Vere is one of my favorite stories of 2015. I got a chance to read it at ALA 2015 and the story has stayed with me. I was thrilled to be part of the blog tour. It made up for the fact that Vere came through town and I missed him!

Max is a fearless kitten. Max is a brave kitten. Max is a kitten who chases mice. There’s only one problem—Max doesn’t know what a mouse looks like! With a little bit of bad advice, Max finds himself facing a much bigger challenge. Maybe Max doesn’t have to be Max the Brave all the time…

Join this adventurous black cat as he very politely asks a variety of animals for help in finding a mouse. Young readers will delight 81dTyRhOin Max’s mistakes, while adults will love the subtle, tongue-in-cheek humor of this new children’s classic.

Ed Vere is an author, artist and illustrator with a long track record of success in the picture book category. Max the Brave was named one of The Sunday Times’s 100 Modern Children’s Classics. His book Bedtime for Monsters was shortlisted for the 2011 Roald Dahl Funny Prize and Mr Big was chosen by Booktrust as the official Booktime book for 2009 (and was distributed to 750,000 British schoolchildren making it the largest single print run of a picture book). Vere was the World Book Day illustrator
for 2009.

Rafflecopter Link (contest runs Sept. 1-Oct. 31)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Social Media:

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuNbrpUVunE

Website: http://books.sourcebooks.com/maxthebrave/

Activity Kit: http://sourcebooksftp.com/Email/MaxTheBrave/MaxTheBrave-ActivityKit.pdf

Educator guide: http://sourcebooksftp.com/Email/MaxTheBrave/MaxTheBrave-EduGuide.pdf

 

max-inside2


23310761Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: ALA 2015
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven’t met yet.

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either. – Goodreads

Review:

Tonight These Streets Are ours is the story of Arden who ultimately takes care of everyone around her. Unfortunately because her mother has recently left the family, no one takes care of Arden. Arden realizes her father continues to be absent, her brother needs someone to parent, her boyfriend knows she’ll understand, and her best friend always knows Arden will be there. Arden is sick of being there. Arden wants to be taken care of and needed herself.

I wanted to hug Arden and tell her “I get you. I get what it’s like to be the ‘understanding’ person. It gets old!” But Arden and I quickly diverge paths from each other when Arden decides to leave her small town for New York City for the chance at seeing a blogger she admires. Arden sees this blogger living the perfect life and for one night she wants to be part of that. Of course, what Arden doesn’t realize is how blogging often paints a perfect picture but behind the scenes is much more than that. And it’s true, I have spent many nights/days talking to my co-blogger, my friends Jen and Lauren discussing just aspects of blogging, but it’s more than meets the eye. It always is. Arden never thinks of that though. Arden sees the pretty picture that it is and views it as the truth.

She’s shocked when she gets to New York City with her BFF and finds the blogger isn’t everything that she imagined him to be. Her friendship with Lindsey falls apart. Her car falls apart. The blogger falls apart Arden is lost and finds hope in the least likely of places in New York City.

I didn’t find Tonight These Streets Are Ours to be a let down or anything, I just didn’t find it particularly…grabbing. A lot of it was a bit unrealistic, which is fine if it works for the story, but this is a case of where it didn’t work for the story, or therefore me.


23845970Last in a Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Source: ALA 2015
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Debut novelist Lisa Lewis Tyre vibrantly brings a small town and its outspoken characters to life, as she explores race and other community issues from both the Civil War and the present day.

Lou might be only twelve, but she’s never been one to take things sitting down. So when her Civil War-era house is about to be condemned, she’s determined to save it—either by getting it deemed a historic landmark or by finding the stash of gold rumored to be hidden nearby during the war. As Lou digs into the past, her eyes are opened when she finds that her ancestors ran the gamut of slave owners, renegades, thieves and abolitionists. Meanwhile, some incidents in her town show her that many Civil War era prejudices still survive and that the past can keep repeating itself if we let it. Digging into her past shows Lou that it’s never too late to fight injustice, and she starts to see the real value of understanding and exploring her roots.. – Goodreads

Review:

Last in the Long Line of Rebels was the perfect read for me at the time I read it. It had adventure, it had growth, it had a bit of a mystery. I adored this book. From the moment the reader meets Lou, they are drawn into her story. And Lou’s story isn’t simple or neat, it’s messy, sharp and even painful. Lou knows a few things for sure and one of those is that her house is the oldest in the small town she lives in. People loathe her messy house and her parents for not being “normal” but Lou doesn’t care. Lou’s parents (and that messy house) are full of love and give Lou everything she needs to live a successful life.

What they don’t plan for is the city coming after the house and Lou, never one for sitting down, to decide to save her house. With its age they figured Lou and her friends figured could get it on the National Registry of Historical Places, which I thought was genius of them. Once made historical they house can’t be taken and all’s well that ends well. Of course it’s not that simple, but it’s for the best that it’s not that simple. Lou finds a diary from the Civil War and finds out that living in a Swing State (where The Union and The Confederacy was not a clear line) during the Civil War is very similar to present day racial tension in her life. One of Lou’s closest friends is African American and is treated poorly because of that. That affects Lou, and was a great way to introduce younger readers to a topic they may not be comfortable with themselves.

I have no shame in my love and adoration of middle grade novels. I also have no shame in my love of history (which makes sense because of my history degree). Last in the Long Line of Rebels was a dream come true in a book. In her first novel, Lisa Lewis Tyre, wrote a story full of rich characters that had to look to the past to go to the forward. I cannot wait to see what Lisa Lewis Tyre writes next.