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: author: henry

25467698The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: ALAMW2016
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken – Goodreads

Review:

I struggled with this book. According to goodreads, The Love That Split the World took me over a week to read this book, for most this is probably normal, but for someone who reads a book in about 3 days, this is very unusual and for as long as it took, I did note a lot of passages. Which would usually lead one to believe I enjoyed the book.

And I did? I don’t know to be honest. Months later I’m still confused about my feelings on this book. I found the Native American aspect to be inappropriately used and not needed. I feel that Henry could have made a better story if she would have stopped bringing up the Native American aspect, particularly because it was not used well, at all. There was also instalove and comments about how the other was just so pretty. For Henry’s debut book I feel like she tried too hard and threw too many things into this novel. From info dumping to mentions something once and never again it just…didn’t work.

Here’s the thing, I wanted to enjoy this book. I did. I even thought I was going to enjoy it until I sat on the story and realized the problematic aspects of the book bothered me too much. (Of course, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy problematic things. I do. I love many problematic things, unfortunately this was not a book that worked for me.)


22718684Blood Will Tell (Point Last Seen #2) by April Henry
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt
Source: Publisher (THANKS!)
Rating: DNF. Page 165
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

When a woman’s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a hundred feet away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland’s Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick’s name before it’s too late?

April Henry weaves another page-turning, high stakes mystery in Book 2 of the Point Last Seen series.  – Goodreads

Review:

One of my favorite books of 2014, was The Body in the Woodshowever Blood Will Tell was not one of my favorites of 2015. Unfortunately the love and appeal of the series that Henry had suck me into this series did not carry through this book for me. Blood Will Tell actually fell extremely flat. From the multiple POVs, to the story line, I unfortunately stopped caring. I was actually planning on finishing it, but I put it down and never remembered to pick it back up. I may pick it up again, but it won’t be anytime soon. I am interested in what happens to Nick, and probably wouldn’t have minded if this whole book was from his point of view, that may have helped the pacing for me.

 

22860020Denton Little’s Deathdate (Denton Little #1) by Lance Rubin
Release Date: April 15, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Audiobook from library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.

“Denton Little’s Deathdate” takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days–the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle–as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure–see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is “this” what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.  – Goodreads

Review:

I’m not sure why I put this on hold at the library but I believe if I would have read the blurb I probably would not have put it on hold. The whole “fans of John Green” generally puts me off. Sad but true. And there was nothing wrong with this particular book; however, it is very clearly not an Ashley novel. It is an interesting concept though, what would you do if you knew what day you were going to die? Would that change anything?

As an audiobook this was fascinating because so many parts are painfully awkward and actually listening to them was painful, which made the book and the soon to be death…real. While I did enjoy Denton’s friendships, particularly with his BFF Paolo, I just was not overly drawn into the story. From the purple mark that was covering Denton and his friends, to the fact I ended the book with more questions than answers. That being said, the friendship between Denton and Paolo was so painfully real that I would love to have more of them.

18484774The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
Release Date: April 15, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Audiobook from library
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Part Hitchcock, part Hinton, this first-ever stand-alone novel from Heather Brewer, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, uses classic horror elements to tell a darkly funny coming-of-age story about the dangerous power of belief and the cost of blind loyalty.

When Stephen’s dad says they’re moving, Stephen knows it’s pointless to argue. They’re broke from paying Mom’s hospital bills, and now the only option left is to live with Stephen’s grandmother in Spencer, a backward small town that’s like something out of The Twilight Zone. Population: 814.

Stephen’s summer starts looking up when he meets punk girl Cara and her charismatic twin brother, Devon. With Cara, he feels safe and understood—and yeah, okay, she’s totally hot. In Devon and his group, he sees a chance at making real friends. Only, as the summer presses on, and harmless nights hanging out in the cemetery take a darker turn, Stephen starts to suspect that Devon is less a friend than a leader. And he might be leading them to a very sinister end. . . .  – Goodreads

Review:

 

The Cemetery Boys is my first Heather Brewer novel and unfortunately while I believe every book has a reader, I am not this books reader. I am also in a mood where I don’t like any book. But that is my own thing I’m dealing with. The Cemetery Boys is the story of Stephen, a boy who just had to move to a random, small town that no one lives in (really, population is 814..or now 816.) Stephen makes it very clear that it is a backwards town and he feels very uncomfortable there, which I understood because reading about the town made me extremely uncomfortable.

But that uncomfortable town, and Stephen’s backstory explain why Stephen makes a lot of the choices that he chooses. He really is just trying to survive, even if that is making obvious poor life choices. He’s still a teenagers and teenagers make poor life choices. Hell, adults make poor life choices. It’s a good book and extremely relate-able, it just didn’t work for me.


 

Today we are happy to be hosting April Henry and her book The Body in the Woods Blog Tour! She wrote a guest post for us on one of my parts of writing the book: The research.

April Henry knows how to kill you in a two-dozen different ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. There was one detour on April’s path to destruction:  when she was Body in the Woods cover12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children’s author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children’s magazine. By the time she was in her 30s, April had started writing about hit men, kidnappers, and drug dealers. She has published more than a dozen mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults, with five more under contract.

Blog. Twitter. Facebook. Excerpt.  Rest of tour.

About the book:

In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.
Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.
This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations
.
” –Goodreads

And now for April!

 

I love research. Love, love, love it.

Except when I scared by it. Which I am, at least part of the time.

When you write mysteries and thrillers, it helps to have a strong stomach. I’ve seen crime scene photographs I’ve wished I could un-see. Cops have told me stories I wish I could un-hear. For a recent book, I spent a memorable day looking at autopsy photos of knife wounds. I tried not to spend too much time thinking about how these people with black bars printed over their eyes used to be alive, and certainly never expected to end up in an article or textbook on homicides.

I usually start my research by reading: books, blog posts, newspaper articles, and professional journals. When I wrote my first book, it was before the Internet (a now-hazy time in my memory). Now you can find all kinds of things online, like those photos of knife wounds which were in an article in a professional journal for medical examiners.

After I know enough to ask good questions, I turn to experts. Last year, the keynote speaker at the Writers Police Academy (which is like a summer camp for mystery writers held at a real-life police and fire academy) was one of the world’s top experts in DNA analysis. A future book involves DNA, including how some jurisdictionApril henry 3s are not only looking for DNA matches but DNA familial matches. (Whether it’s nature or nurture or some combination, crime tends to run in families.)  And whenever I have a question about search and rescue procedures, I turn to a SAR guy who will answer my question within 24 hours.

I also think it’s important to have real life experiences. Again thanks to the Writers Police Academy, I know that when you use a presumptive blood test, it smells like vinegar. I know what it feels like to be handcuffed and how to search a building.

A few months ago, I spent a day with a CSI – here they use the term criminalist – in the Portland Police Forensics Division. I got to see and play with fingerprinting equipment, the AFIS system for comparing fingerprints, bulletproof vests, and a special camera that shoots 360-degree photos of crime scenes. I even spent two hours in the jail, standing six feet away from prisoners being booked, as I watched the fingerprint tech do her job.

When I decided to write a book inspired by the teens from Multnomah County Sheriffs Office Search and Rescue, I
April Henry 1
April Henry 2began attending some of their classes. I remember the first weekend training outing I went to. It was held in early October at the top of Larch Mountain, which you get to by driving 14 miles straight up, with no turnoffs and trees pressed up to the edges of the road. It was starting to snow. Since I didn’t have my winter tires on yet, it was bit dicey. But watching the kids kneeling in the forest and then crawling forward shoulder to shoulder in the sleet was a lot different experience than reading about it.

Other classes I’ve taken with SAR include one taught by a medical examiner where she showed photos of dead people found in the woods, and another that introduced the basics of man-tracking, such as finding and following footprints.

With every new book, I follow that same path for research: read everything I can get my hands on, talk to experts, and then, if possible, have a real-life experience.

For every sale made in person or online at Powells.com the first week The Body in the Woods is on sale, I will donate $1.69 to MCSO SAR.

Thanks April! We loved hosting you!


18490532The Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen #1) by April Henry
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: ALAMW2014
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations – Goodreads

Review:

This is the story of three teens, Alexis, Nick and Ruby, who are part of the Portland Search and Rescue team. While they are looking for a lost, autistic man, they come upon a dead body. The story is told from four points of view, the three teens and the killer. Here is one of the genius things about this novel that rarely works with different POVs: I always knew which characters head I was in. There are many other YA novels out there with differing POVs where I had no idea who was talking. I never fell into that problem with The Body in the Woods. Even if I stopped reading in the middle, I was able to pick it up and still knew who was talking.

The three teens have extremely different backgrounds. Alexis is fighting demons by the name of her mother who is off her meds. Nick just wants to be good enough after his father died in the war, and Ruby just wants to fit in. No one really understands Ruby, including her own family. At point point Ruby and Alexis start to bond, but Alexis’ own demons make it hard for her to bond with anyone. Henry wrote a very realistic story involving friendship. The three form an awkward, yet real friendship which happens to involve solving a mystery.

A mystery which the adults want them to have nothing to do with. Ruby’s parents are freaked out. The cops are trying to keep them out of it, because they are teenagers. Of course, being teenagers they don’t stay out of it and continue to search. This helps them bond without any romance in the background. It’s about teens being teens and friendship. Well friendship with YA MURDER MYSTERY! Hearts in my eyes. I adored this book far more than I thought I would. I ended this book wanting more. *grabby hands*