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Tag Archives: author: mcmann

18621651Gasp (Visions #3) by Lisa McMann
Release Date: June 3, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

After narrowly surviving two harrowing tragedies, Jules now fully understands the importance of the visions that she and people around her are experiencing. She’s convinced that if the visions passed from her to Sawyer after she saved him, then they must now have passed from Sawyer to one of the people he saved.

That means it’s up to Jules to figure out which of the school shooting survivors is now suffering from visions of another crisis. And once she realizes who it is, she has to convince that survivor that this isn’t all crazy—that the images are of something real. Something imminent.

As the danger escalates more than ever before in the conclusion to the Visions series, Jules wonders if she’ll finally find out why and how this is happening—before it’s too late to prevent disaster.– Goodreads

Review:

Gasp picks up right after Bang, everyone is facing the aftermath of the shooting. Jules and Sawyer, while being teenagers in love, are also struggling to see who the vision has been passed on to. This is of course easier said than done. There are numerous options and how do you really ask someone if they have visions without sounding like you haven’t completely lost it?

It’s next to impossible.

That being said, the group does figure out a way to find the next person who has the visions, but in the meantime things continue to happen in Jules life that make it harder to deal with. Nothing has been easy for Jules and this pattern continues on throughout Gasp and it’s painful. My heart went out to Jules numerous times in this book. I wanted to hug her and tell her things would be okay, even though I had no idea. I never do with McMann’s writing. There is always the chance that something could happens that I don’t want to face because that’s real life. She continues to make me face feelings I don’t want to face.

There’s pain. There’s heartbreak. But there is also love and hope. Usually feelings I don’t want to face, but McMann does it in such a way, you devour the book because you want to make sure everything ends up okay. While I cannot tell you if everything ends up okay (because that’s really in the mind of the reader) I did enjoy this book and the end to this series. Although I want more of Jules and Sawyer, and their happiness, I understand why McMann ended the book where she did. Who wants to read about two teens in love and being happy? Actually I do. But I understand I’m a rare creature in the YA reading world.

McMann is also a master at having things that occur in the first book, come back in the third, but it’s so beautifully done, not once do you feel like you are being strung along. It seems that it was always supposed to be this way and it works and makes you want more.

Gasp is the third and final book in the Visions trilogy and it was, in my opinion, the perfect ending. While it’s not the ideal perfect ending where it is tied with a bow, it is perfect for the characters and it is a classic McMann ending: it’s hopeful.


ttdThe Trap Door (Infinity Ring #3) by Lisa McMann
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: NetGalley
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

The multi-platform adventure through time continues! Dak, Sera, and Riq return to the United States and walk immediately into a deadly trap. The year is 1850, and the nation is divided over the issue of slavery. In these dark days, the Underground Railroad provides a light of hope, helping runaway slaves escape to freedom. But the SQ has taken control of the Underground Railroad from within. Now Dak and Sera are left wondering who to trust… while Riq risks everything to save the life of a young boy.

Review:
I immediately liked this one better than the last one, maybe because I love Lisa McMann so much, I don’t know. I have graduated from disliking to full-on hating Dak though, so maybe that’s a bad thing. He has no sense of responsibility, which makes it seem even sillier that a bunch of preteens are saving the world. Kid needs to be sent home. Plot-wise, this (slavery) is a tough subject, because racism is still so rife in our society, no matter what the media tells you. Riq is black, and he is targeted immediately. He is well aware of how precarious his position is, which is heartbreaking because he’s just a kid and being born black should not mean one has to always watch one’s back. Riq is abducted and sold, and that part was so hard for me to read that I had to take a break for awhile. I know at the beginning of this paragraph I said I hated Dak more than ever, but the solemnity of the whole thing even made him seem better. Or it could be McMann’s writing. I’m not sure. Either way, this was the most heartbreaking of the series so far.

I felt so much for all three kids during this one, even Dak, because they’re exposed to all kinds of terrible truths about our country and the way we enslaved and dehumanized a whole race of people. Riq learns a lot about his history, but also about sacrifice and the greater good, and I think that was really good stuff. McMann did a great job with a tough subject, and it’s presented in an accessible way, so those who know very little about the time period can pick it up easily. This review is so short because the topic is so sensitive, and the story is so good that you should really just read it yourself. Onward to the fourth Infinity Ring novel, Curse of the Ancients!


Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da!  For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10. This week was a rewind that allowed us to go back and pick a topic we weren’t able to touch on.

In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

  1. Kendare Blake. Hands down didn’t even need to think twice about this. Tina and I joke that she is one of the patron saints of this blog. Ignore the fact that Tina and I are lapsed Catholics. But Kendare and I talk a lot on twitter and livejournal and I actually feel like she’s a friend of mine. Mostly because we harass each other about baseball teams.
  2. Nora Roberts. Be still my romance heart. I would love to meet Nora Roberts.
  3. Michelle Gagnon, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
  4. Kasie West, who I told when she comes to Arizona I’m stalking her. But it’s cool, she’s okay with it because she’s awesome like that and jokes right back with me!
  5. Erin Bowman, who I bonded with on twitter with my brilliant use of amazeballs and bothering her on a daily basis. Thanks Erin!
  6. Lisa McMann. Yeah. Do I need to explain this one? Just look at her tag on this blog. Enough said. (Ashley note: The other patron saint of our blog. Yes, we have two.)
  7. Kendare Blake. As Ash mentioned above, Kendare is the patron saint of yAR. Even though she’s a Twins fan. She did write Cas Lowood, so she gets a break for her terrible taste in baseball teams.
  8. Robin LaFevers. She writes the most beautiful prose, and I would love to talk to her about medieval Brittany.
  9. Holly Black. HOLLY BLACK IS MY FAVORITE. I mean, one of them. I love her. Her Modern Faerie Tales novels were one of the first paranormal YA series I’ve ever read, which led me to Curse Workers, which I loved like crazy. Another male narrator! I actually think we’re meeting her at ALA this year, and I told Ash I will not be responsible for my actions.
  10. Sarah Rees Brennan. Sarah is hilarious on twitter, and she loves to make fun of us poor fans heartbroken over Unspoken. She claims she talks like her characters, which means she is witty and funny in real life, and I have a feeling she would be a lot of fun to drink wine with.

Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da!  For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10.

In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

  1. The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot. I have been a big fan of Meg Cabot for as long as I can remember. This YA series of her is an amazing YA series that is often overlooked by people. The story of Suze is just *sigh* it’s bittersweet, heartbreaking, but perfect all at the same time.
  2. Trial by Journal by Kate Klise. I love and adore this grade/middle school book. Told from the point of ajournal student who is forced to serve on a jury with drawings and story telling. The book made me have a strong middle grade period of reading that has been recently reignited. 
  3. Holes by Louis Sachar. Sachar has always held a special spot of my childhood. I remember going to the library and gobbling up all the books that he had wrote. This being one that I most remember of course.
  4. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. This is one of the first books I remember my mom and dad reading to me before bed, which is probably why I hold these so special to my heart.
  5. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. As a child who grew up in Wisconsin these books were part of my childhood. To say that is actually a bit of an understatement. These books were my childhood. I knew them backwards and forwards. I saw them acted out 100s of times and they are still one of my favorite series.
  6. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I love Jane Austen, but I don’t love Pride and Prejudice. It’s my least favorite of her novels. I just never liked Lizzie Bennet OR Darcy. They drove me equally crazy. Elinor Dashwood, on the other hand, was so nice to read about. Sensible, long-suffering, selfless, Elinor is just the best. She deals so well with Marianne’s flightiness, and Edward’s seeming rejection of Elinor is dealt with with a lot of grace. I was really happy for her at the end. There is, of course, a moral to the story, as there is with all Austen novels, and the way she skewers regency society is just the best.
  7. The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier. Back before I discovered YA (or before it became a thing, I guess), I read mostly fantasy and historical fiction. Tracy Chevalier has never let me down once, but this one is definitely my favorite of her offerings. She weaves the history and the story so well, it’s hard to believe it didn’t actually happen that way. The fact that the artist is called “des Innocents” when he is really anything but was hilarious to me. And the way she described the weaver’s craft was fascinating. This is the only book by Chevalier that I don’t own. I should get on that.
  8. Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop. Really, the whole Black Jewels trilogy (there are something like 10 47956books in the series now, but the original trilogy is the best). I realize now that it’s basically a paranormal romance novel, but back when I first read this as a sophomore in high school, it was racy and erotic and almost real. The sexism in Terreille, the broken down matriarchal society,  rang true to me in a big way. There are also rapes and horrible maiming, and Anne Bishop does such a good job giving those two horrible things their due. Her worldbuilding is fantastic. There’s more to this trilogy than romance.
  9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Really, what can I say about this that hasn’t already been said (or that I myself haven’t already said)? Suzanne Collins does such a good job mixing different elements of society and morals in this tale, and her worldbuilding is also great. Katniss is one of my favorite heroines. Collins can write such good doubtful heroine, and the horror that I felt reading about Katniss’s first turn in the area is something that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I remember leaving this novel shipping Katniss and Gale. Oh, how things change!
  10. Wake by Lisa McMann. I don’t think a list of books can go by on this blog without the mention of Lisa McMann. This was the first book I ever read by her, and I loved it to death. Janie Hannagan is badass, capable, and heartbreaking all at once. She is one of the strongest YA heroines I have ever read about. And Cabel’s life is just as hard, and he is just as emotionally bruised. I loved their interactions, how they navigated this unknown world of friendship and attraction, and how the backdrop of their lower-class status lent itself to their characters and impressions. Still my favorite Lisa McMann novel to date.

Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da!  For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10.

In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Limiting this down to five is hard enough for both of us, but we shall prevail!

  1. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger. Really, are you shocked? Really? I know you aren’t. But it’s nice of109059 you to act shocked. This is my go-to feel good book. I feel the need to re-read it now that I’m thinking about it. The characters, the plot, everything just makes me happy.
  2. Crash by Lisa McMann. Lisa McMann, 2 me u r purrfect. No really. I love and adore this book. If anything the only thing that upsets me is that books 2-4 aren’t out yet and I need to know and I need to know what happens now. But Crash is such a quick read that I can’t help but recommend it to people.
  3. Scaredy Squirrel Series by Mélanie Watt. I never reviewed the series here, but this is hands down one of my favorite children’s series. My BFFSarah and I found this series when we worked together at a public library and we still patiently wait for the next in the series to come out. I just got an ARC of Scaredy Squirrel goes camping and I can’t wait to read it.
  4. Matilda by Roald Dahl. A girl who loves to read and has magical powers, what more does one want from a Roald Dahl novel?
  5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. While the rest of my JR high class was reading the classics and usual middle grade books, I was reading trashy romance novels. This is probably why most “smut” doesn’t phase me. Because when you read it at 12/13 it takes a lot to make you shocked. This book is my idea of a perfect contemporary romance that helped Crusie move her way into my favorites/must read list.
  6. Grave Mercy by RL LaFevers. Just read my review. Seriously. Angsty gothic perfection.crash
  7. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. This is one of the best YA fantasy novels in existence. Seriously. An awesome heroine, a backburner romance, dragons, and a princess is who more than she seems. I cannot wait for the next novel. (Review.)
  8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Another simply fantastic YA fantasy novel. I loved the Darkling, who is a villain in the best way, and I also loved the unrequited love Alina had for Mal. The way citizens were twisted by magic was grotesque in this one, and I loved how Bardugo made the Grisha society seem so lush. Worldbuilding was beyond perfect in this one. Dark, dark, dark. (Review.)
  9. Crash by Lisa McMann. Once again: read the review. This book blew me away, but that’s nothing new for a novel by McMann.
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth. Still at the top of my list for best YA dystopia. This one just does it so well, and not only because it takes place in my beloved city. Tris and Four had such an awesome romantic unfolding, and Roth is not afraid to maim or kill her darlings. I love that in a YA author. There are so few willing to do so.

keeperCrash (Visions #1) by Lisa McMann
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of four books from the New York Timesbestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode…and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.

Review:
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we here at YAdult Review love Lisa McMann. I think one of the first things Ashley and I bonded over was our mutual love of her Dream Catcher series. And I must admit that going into this book, I was predisposed to like it. It takes place in a town about 10 minutes from my house and even closer to my work. But that’s not the only reason. To explain, I must go on a tangent. Ashley and I are BFFs (she’s a maid of honor in my wedding in August), but we really only communicate by email. We rarely text (Tina doesn’t text) and NEVER talk on the phone. So, one day at work, she texts me and makes me promise to answer the phone if she calls. I am wary, but I say okay. She calls a short time later and hands the phone to… LISA MCMANN. I made a fool of myself and cried a little bit, and then Lisa informed me I was allowed to tell everyone that she set her book in my neck of Cook County FOR ME. SO THERE, EVERYONE. Crash is MY BOOK. Ahem. Anyway…

Jules lives in Melrose Park, Illinois, and her family runs an Italian restaurant. They are in a very intense rivalry with the Angotti family, though Jules has been in love with Sawyer forever. He stopped being her friend in seventh grade (they’re juniors now), probably due to something his father said, but Jules never forgot him. He shows up early in the book, as do Jules’ visions, which are recent phenomena. Oh, did I mention Jules’ brother, Trey, is gay? It’s hardly worth mentioning in the beginning, that’s how normal it is in this novel. Another interesting thing: Jules’ father is a hoarder and has depression (his father committed suicide when Jules was young). The way McMann handles depression is so awesome, so non-judgmental, and Jules’ evolution of opinion about the whole thing was just really great. My soon-to-be husband’s grandfather was a hoarder, and after he died, it took nearly half a year to clean out his grandparents’ basement and garage. There were stacks upon stacks of the same things, a million typewriters, boxes of papers from the 1970s, things like that. Hoarding is a mental illness, and while there are shows I don’t watch that exploit hoarders, I found this inclusion in Crash very interesting. These are the kinds of things I love about McMann novels: they aren’t cookie-cutter in any way.

Jules spends the whole book freaking out, which is totally within her right, but she is also kind of brave. I’ve had crushes like Sawyer before, boys I hung out with in elementary school who weren’t interested in me come middle school, but… let’s just say those things never turned out well for me. I wasn’t brave like Jules though. I didn’t throw myself into the lion’s den, but then again, I didn’t have visions either. I was a little jealous of her, to be honest. (Middle school feels are the worst, but Crash is the best for evoking such a powerful response in me. Par for the McMann course, really.) I also felt a little sorry for Sawyer and Jules both, because it’s no fun (and also unfair) to be caught in a feud between your parents, to be forced to choose sides over a recipe for sauce. Have people learned nothing from the worst play of all time, Romeo and Juliet? I mean, really. This never ends well for anyone.

I can’t really reveal anything plot-wise without giving anything away, but this book made me laugh and cry and confront feelings I haven’t looked at for lots of years. Only a great author can do that, and Lisa McMann is basically my favorite author ever. So pick this one up. The romance is in the background and being in Jules’ head was a serious treat. Get on it, people!



crashCrash (Crash #1)
by Lisa McMann
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon| IndieBound

If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of four books from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode…and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality – Goodreads

Review:

I’m probably not the right one to be writing this. Tina and I daily email each other discussing who loves Lisa McMann more. That being said, my local bookstore happened to get their shipment in early. Because of this and the fact that I pre-ordered the book, I got to pick my copy up on Friday and quickly devoured it. Actually the only thing I stopped for was having to drive home, eat dinner, and watch part of The Shining with my parents.

Really, the book was that good. I couldn’t put it down. Of course I quickly finished (I’m a fast reader, my friends complain about it) and then got upset because the next one isn’t out yet. When I was reading McMann’s Wake series, what I was thrilled about was I read the first two the weekend before the third one came out so I had no real waiting for the series. This is different; the second book doesn’t come out until October. Although that’s only 10 months and not a year. I understand it could be worse.

Crash is the story of Jules, snarky, sarcastic, bitter Jules whose voice often seems like my own. Jules does not have an easy life. First of all, she is a teenager who has to drive a truck with giant balls on the top of it. They’re meatballs, but still, they are balls. Jules does appreciate the good puns that come out of having to drive the truck. Second, her father has…his problems. He is a hoarder. He’s a neat hoarder, but he still hoards. McMann is not new to writing conditions such as hoarding, with a previous book of her featuring OCD. Jules’ mother and father own the family business, an Italian eatery (hence the balls) and the hoarding affects the family business. Jules, however, deals with it. She isn’t on her own, she has a younger quirky sister and an awesome older brother. Her older brother, by the way, is gay. McMann inserts this so subtly into the story that, to be honest, I had to re-read that page because it was perfectly handled. It wasn’t handled as a big way, which in my opinion, is how it should be handled. McMann even brought the Church into it at one point; again, handled perfectly.

But still, Jules goes on with her life. Her crush doesn’t know he exists, because they were once BFFs and then he stopped talking to her. Of course he comes from a rival pizza-making family; they are serious arch rival enemies. At the end of the book when the whole horrid story finally comes out I gasped and then wanted to go in the book and hug the characters. What? That isn’t normal?!

Again though, she continues on with her life until she has a vision. This vision of people dying, including her crush, Sawyer. This affects her in various ways. It of course freaks her out, understandably. It makes her closer to her older brother, who thinks she’s a wee bit crazy, but is happy to help her and makes her on edge all the time because this vision keeps occurring. She can’t stop it from occurring and when she finally tells Sawyer, “hey! I think you’re going to die. Someday at some location” he of course thinks she’s crazy, which is no surprise because she thinks she’s crazy.

McMann’s writing continues to be strong and on point. From the first page to the last, where I am left wanting more, McMann had me hooked in, holding the pages closer to my face, wanting more, but at the same time hoping it would never end. And then when the moment happened? Perfection.

If you love and adore the Wake series I promise you this one will have you hooked, too.