Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: Troll or Derby by Red Tash

Troll Or Derby In Troll Or Derby, fifteen-year-old Roller Deb is singled out by town bullies for both her skates, and her sexual orientation. When her popular homecoming queen of a sister is kidnapped by a scuzzy drug dealer, Deb must flee the trailer park in which she's grown up, and rescue her. Along the way, Deb becomes enmeshed in the magical realm of trolls and fairies, and the blood-thirsty version of roller derby at which these beings excel. But spending too much time among the fairies comes with a price. Will Deb choose to save her sister, with the aid of a mysterious troll? Or will she be lost to the lures of roller derby, and the blonde temptress April, forever?

My Review:

I received a copy of this book for review from the author.  This book was a well-written fantasy story.  The world, the plot, and the characters were all well-developed.  This book is narrated in dual POV from Deb's and Harlow's perspective.


The protagonist of this book is Roller Deb.  As the synopsis says, people make fun of her because of her sexual orientation and because she likes to skate.  She has a mom who drinks a lot, and her sister is dating a guy named Dave.  Deb has to rescue her sister, Gennifer, near the beginning because she is at Dave's house, and it is on fire.  She saves her sister, but Dave unfortunately finds Gennifer and takes her away.  She becomes mixed-up in the world of the fae and trolls when she goes to find her sister.  The other main character is Harlow.  He is a troll, and he is Deb's Protector, and Deb is her sister's Protector.  Deb and Harlow were promised to each other when they were young, but she doesn't remember that.  She doesn't know that the mom she knows isn't her real mother.

The villains in the book were well-developed and evil.  McJagger is the troll king, and he is extremely evil.  The rightful troll king is Harlow's father, Othello, but he abdicated, so he is kept in a jail.  McJagger has two children, Dave and April, who are evil as well.  April gets Deb to fall for her and join roller derby.  This troll family makes faeth (a drug).  They even allow humans to use this drug in certain doses.  Dave keeps Derek, a human, as his slave.  Derek doesn't have any free will against Dave.

The world in this book is well-built.  The fae and pixies are not sweet, innocent creatures.  There is a scene that involves Deb, Harlow, and some pixies.  Pixies are rather difficult to handle.  The trolls and the fae are involved in drug-dealing, and they keep human slaves, as I mentioned above.  Humans don't want to get mixed-up in the fae world, because it is a very dangerous place.

If you like YA fantasy, read this book.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cover: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

I think this is a good cover, and the book sounds good as well.  The original title was The Patron Saint of Beans, and it has been changed to If You Find Me.

The description is:

A broken-down camper at the Obed Scenic and Wild River National Park - dubbed the Hundred Acre Wood - is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey has ever known.

Sure, coping with a bipolar mother on meth is no picnic, but beneath the sun-dazzled canopies of Hickory and Walnut, Carey's violin transports her from their bare-bones existence in the same way her little sister, Jenessa, finds comfort in her stash of second-hand Pooh books.

Life is dependable that way, until Mama goes into town for supplies and vanishes off the face of Tennessee, sending social services in her wake with a one-way ticket back to their father - a stranger in an even stranger world.

This book is being published on April 2, 2013.  Add it to your TBR list if you like the synopsis.


Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Something Like Normal When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

My Review:

This book is absolutely amazing.  I had put it on my TBR list when I found it on Goodreads back in January, and I've been waiting for it since then.  It is probably one of the best contemporary YA books I've read this year.  This book has a great narrator, story, characters, and romance.  Everything about it is well-done.

Travis is an amazing narrator.  In YA fiction, there are not many male narrators or nineteen year old narrators, and Travis is both.  He is a nineteen year old male Marine on leave from Afghanistan.  He does not come from Afghanistan unscathed since he saw his best friend die in combat, and he now has nightmares remembering his friend Charlie's death.  Travis is not a perfect guy.  He has flaws, but they make him realistic.  He made mistakes when he was younger, but war changes him.

Next there is Harper, Travis' love interest.  In middle school, Travis ruined her reputation by letting people believe Harper had slept with him.  He didn't start that rumor, but when it spread, he didn't stop it.  Harper doesn't want to forgive Travis right away, and their relationship begins with Harper punching Travis in the face.  He deserves that punch for what he did to her, too.  Harper slowly begins to realize that Travis has changed, and the two of them become friends.  Eventually, they become romantically involved, but the romance happens slowly and realistically.  I love the two of them as a couple, and as individuals.  They are so adorable together.

Next there are Travis' friends from the Marines.  There names are Kevlar and Moss, and they come to visit Travis in Florida.  They are a great group of friends.  They like to play tricks on each other, and they insult each other, but they are still loyal and have each others' backs.  They seem like realistic young men.  They drink, say bad words, and talk about girls.  I love the trick that Travis plays on them in the Waffle House.  It has to do with a bet.  I won't say all the details, but that is a great scene with these three friends.  Though Charlie is dead during the course of the novel, the reader can get a sense of his character through flashbacks.  A great scene is the flashback when he mentions how his mom tried to talk his out of joining the Marines.

Finally there is Travis' family.  They have many problems, but the problems are realistic.  Travis' dad is cheating on his mom, yet she is not standing up for herself because she thinks she will be lonely without him.  There are few great mother-son scenes between Travis and his mom.  I am glad she decides to divorce the dad by the end of the book.  I did not like Travis' son at all.  He basically became his dad's least favorite son because he stopped playing football.  I did not like Travis' brother, Ryan, either.  While Travis was in Afghanistan, Ryan took Travis' girlfriend and car.  Travis' ex-girlfriend's name is Paige, and I disliked her.  She breaks up with Travis in a letter.  Once Travis is back, she sneaks into his room at night to sleep with him even though she is dating Ryan.  Luckily, Travis ends it all with Paige when he realizes he can have a better relationship with Harper.

If  you like YA contemporary and male narrators, read this book.  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #14: Such a Rush

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

 My pick for this week is:

Such a Rush
A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.    

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business — until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers — and the consequences could be deadly.

I have enjoyed Jennifer Echols' other books, and I can't wait for this one to be released.  It sounds like a great story, and the flight aspect will be interesting.  I'll be sure to pick this up once it is released on July 10th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?