Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #60: Frozen


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

My pick for this week is:

Frozen (Taken, #2)

The Heists were only the beginning.

Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back.

Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem…
As a fan of Taken, I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series and seeing what happens next in Gray's life.  This book releases on April 15th, and I will definitely be buying a copy the week it comes out.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

Tempest (Tempest, #1) The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

My Review:

Tempest is a fascinating story of time travel.  The plot is fast-paced and exciting, and the story has great characters that you will love.  The way that the time travel works is interesting because it doesn't actually affect the future most of the time.


Jackson is the narrating character, and he is a great character.  He is basically an ordinary teenage guy who also happens to be able to time travel.  The whole time travel thing is confusing to him at first, but he works with his friend Adam to figure out how it works.  He also thinks his dad is hiding some kind of secret about what his job is, and Jackson is right about that.  He finds out more information about his dad's job during some time jumps.  Something interesting about his time jumps is that he doesn't become the person he was at that time.  Instead, he is his present-day self landed in a different year.

I loved the relationship between Jackson and his twin sister, Courtney.  Courtney has already died four years before the 2009 time frame of the book actually starts.  Jackson does see several younger Courtneys in different time jumps to years before her death.  He explains to these Courtneys that he is a time traveler, and they believe him.  One of my favorite parts of the book is the card that a younger Jackson wrote to Courtney before her death but never gave to her.  The love for his sister is evident in the card that he wrote.  I thought this part was just so sweet.  Another scene between these two that was sad was when Jackson time traveled back to the day of her death.  He was there with her when she died, unlike the actual day that she died.  When he was younger, he couldn't bring himself to be in the room when Courtney took her last breath.

I liked Jackson's girlfriend, Holly, in both time frames, 2009 and 2007.  In the 2009 timeline, Holly and Jackson meet when they work at a summer camp.  They develop a relationship, and one day, they are together when some men come into their room and shoot Holly.  Jackson jumps back to 2007 in a new timeline, determined to save Holly's life.  He ends up meeting Holly in 2007.  He is still nineteen-year-old Jackson, but he pretends to be a seventeen-year-old, and he meets seventeen-year-old Holly.  I liked the scene where Holly gives her criteria for her perfect guy, and Jackson charms her by meeting the criteria.  I thought that scene was sweet, even though Holly got mad at Jackson afterward.  I thought Holly and Jackson were an adorable couple, and I loved their love for each other.

If you like YA time travel, read this book.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13 Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity.

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn't know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

Liz Coley's alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing - and ultimately empowering page-turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

My Review:

Pretty Girl-13 is a book that I read within one day.  I started it that morning, and I was so hooked that I ended up finishing that night.  I kept turning the pages so I could discover more of the things in Angie's past.  The premise of this book was really fascinating, and it was done well, too.


One interesting thing about this book is how Angie's been many bad things in her life, but she doesn't actually have any memory of most of them.  When the book starts, Angie still sees herself as a thirteen year old who just got back from a camping trip.  She doesn't understand why her parents keep telling her that three years have passed.  Of course, she eventually begins to learn what happened over those three years, while she was kept in captivity.  This girl has been through many hardships since she was in captivity, and she had the things that happened with her Yuncle Bill when she was a kid. 

I thought the parts about Angie's alters was fascinating.  Each alter had a different role in protecting Angie from what had happened to her.  The way that Angie and her therapist dealt with her alters was interesting as well.  Some of the alters were removed, and some were integrated to become part of Angie.  The alters had different personalities than Angie, and they would sometimes do things that she didn't remember doing.  Girl Scout is the goody-goody alter who always cooked and cleaned for Angie's captor.  Little Wife is the alter who had to be with the captor when he sexually abused her.  Tattletale is the little girl alter who remembers something that happened to Angie as a child.  Angel is the protective male alter who can become violent.  Then there's another mysterious alter who Angie and her therapist don't find out about until near the end of the book.

When Angie returns, she sees some people that she knew in the past.  I didn't like one of her former best friends, Livvie, and her former boyfriend, Greg.  They didn't treat her very well.  Greg claimed he would break up with Livvie for her, but he never really meant it.  Angie also sees her other best friend Kate, and I really her liked her character.  She is there for Angie when Angie needs her.  She is no longer friends with Greg and Livvie because she told on her friends for having a keg at a party.  She had become a social leper, so I was glad that she had Angie to be friends with.  Angie also meets a boy named Abraim who is sweet and they have a little bit of romance.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: In the After by Demitria Lunetta

In the After (In the After #1) They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

My Review:

I flew through the majority of this 450-page book in one day because I just couldn't put it down.  The story, the characters, and the world are all just so stunning.  This book has made me into a fan of Demitria Lunetta, and I look forward to reading the sequel, In the End.  I was hooked to this book the entire time, and there was never a moment that it felt too slow.  I loved In the After so much.


The world is both fascinating and one I wouldn't want to live in.  The world has been taken over by Them, aliens who feed on humans.  You do find out more about these aliens and their origin once Amy joins the community of New Hope.  New Hope is also an interesting part of the world.  The leaders of New Hope create rules that are overbearing and take away freedoms from their people.  They also are likely to make morally wrong decisions if they think they are best for the good of New Hope.    

Amy is a fantastic main character, a girl who learns to survive in the apocalypse.  Part of the reason that she can survive so well is because of her parents.  Her dad installed solar panels, so she still gets electricity in her house.  Her mom's electric fence helps to keep Them out of Amy's house.  Amy quickly becomes resourceful by learning how to be silent and sneaking out at night to get supplies.  Her resourcefulness really helps her not die in the After.

One of the most touching relationships in this book is the one between Amy and Baby.  Baby was three years old when Amy found her in a supermarket.  Her real name isn't Baby, but Amy decided to call her that since she didn't know Baby's real name.  Amy and Baby are all each other has for three years.  They develop their own modified ASL so they can talk to each other without making any noise.  By the time they get taken to New Hope, Baby doesn't really remember spoken English since she hasn't heard it in so long.  Baby and Amy are like sisters to each other, and the love between them flows off the page.  Baby is rather mature for a six year old, but I think that's a result of the situation she's grown up in.  

The relationship between Amy and her mother is interesting too.  Amy assumed her mother had died in the apocalypse, but not only is she alive, she is the leader of New Hope.  Her mother is really happy that Amy is alive.  Amy is glad her mom is alive, too, but she doesn't agree with some of her mom's decisions as leader of New Hope.  Their relationship is especially strained when Amy discovers the secret behind the Floraes.  Amy's mom will harm innocent people if she thinks it helps New Hope.  She also has instituted a rule that adult women have to give birth every three years until they are forty.  Amy doesn't like this rule, and she tries to find out how to get out of it.

The Guardians are an interesting set of characters as well.  Amy decides to train for being a Guardian when she finds out it will get her out of the giving-birth rule.  When she's training she learns that being a Guardian is actually a very good fit for her because she has already learned how to live outside New Hope, and the Guardians have to go get supplies out there.  I liked Kay and Gareth, two of the Guardians who Amy gets to know while training.  Kay is the head of the Guardians, and she also disagrees with some things that Amy's mom decides.

There is a sweet romance in this book that is really more of a friendship for the majority of the story.  These characters only kiss once within the pages of the book.  The guy who Amy comes to like is Rice, her mom's lab assistant.  He does keep secrets from her, since he knows all the things that she is trying to find out.  This doesn't help them easily start a relationship because Amy wants him to give her all the answers, and he won't.  It makes sense that this book wouldn't be romance-focused with all the post-apocalyptic stuff going on.

If you like YA post-apocalyptic, read this book.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1) What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

My Review:

Legend takes place in a great dystopian world that seems like a fairly plausible one.  The characterization is done well.  The book is told in alternating 1st person POVs between two characters with very different lives.  They are pretty much on the opposite ends of their society.  This contrast was shown really well.

June is the one person who received a perfect score on her Trial.  She is privileged because of this.  She went to college early and graduated early, and she will be working for the Republic's government.  Near the beginning of this book, she loses her brother Metias to a murder, and she is told that the murder was committed by Day, an infamous criminal.  She goes off to find him since she is determined to find justice for her brother's death.  She has already lost her parents, and now that she's lost Metias, she has no one left.

Day has committed crimes, but he is a boy who cares about his family, and commits his crimes to help people.  He failed his trial and was taken away to "labor camps," so his family thinks that he is dead.  Only his older brother John knows he is alive.  When his youngest brother gets the plague, Day breaks into a hospital to steal plague medicine.  That night, he hits Metias in the shoulder with a knife.  The knife couldn't have been what killed him, though, and Day knows he's not a murderer.  One relationship that is touching is the one between Day and Tess.  Tess is an orphan whom Day befriended years ago.  She's two years younger than him, and they can rely on each other.  They care about each other and are good friends.  I think they are almost like family to each other.

The relationship between June and Day is touching and sweet.  They meet at a fight while she is investigating and trying to find out information about Day.  He and Tess save her from being injured or killed, but Day doesn't tell her his name.  They become friends, and they do kiss each other one night.  Eventually, she realizes he's Day, and she turns him in.  He's angry about this, but eventually, she realizes she made a mistake, because Day's not guilty of her brother's murder.  Day realizes that she went after him because the government told her that he killed her brother.  He discovers she's just a girl who's hurting at the loss of her older brother.  

If you like YA dystopian, read this book.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.


Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

My Review:

Under the Never Sky is a great addition to the sci-fi and dystopian genre.  The book alternates between the third person perspectives of Aria and Perry, two people with very different upbringings.  This book has great characterization, world-building, and relationships.


The worldbuilding of this book was done well, really allowing readers to get to know the world.  At the beginning, it was slightly confusing because the characters used many world-specific terms.  Once you heard these words in use for a bit, you got acquainted with their meanings.  This world is a place where people live in pods and spend their time in Realms that don't actually exist.  All the people in these pods wear Smarteyes to go to the Realms.  Outside of the pods, there are people known as Savages.  They live in tribes and the tribal leader is called a Blood Lord.  They have to worry about the Aether storms that are out there.  

Aria is someone who has lived in a pod called Reverie for her entire life.   In Reverie, she always had her Smarteye, but she was having trouble contacting her mother who was in another pod.  She had a guy from Reverie, Soren, break into Ag 6 (a dome) with her so she could get information about her mother.  He almost burned the dome down by starting a fire, and Aria got kicked out of Reverie for this.  She ends up where Savages live, outside the pods.  Aria grows a lot over the course of this book.  She learns how to live in the wild, and she becomes less judgmental of the "Savages."  She realizes that real may actually be better than the Realms.

The other protagonist is Perry, a member of a tribe outside the pods.  He loses his brother's son to people who live in the pods, and he is determined to get Talon (the son) back.  He goes out to find Talon, and that's when he meets Aria.  He saves her life multiple times.  During his journey with Aria, he learns that not all the people from the pods are bad.  He and Aria fall for each other, and this is a sweet romance.  Perry also learns to be less judgmental.  They both dislike each other at first, but this changes as the story progresses.

If you like YA dystopian, read this book.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

My Review:

I've been excited for this book since I read and loved Pivot Point by Kasie West.  I went out and bought my copy of this the day after it came out.  I had to start reading this as soon as I finished the book I had been reading, and I loved it.  I flew through the pages.  After reading this book, I can now officially say that Kasie West is one of my favorite authors ever.  I adore her stories and characters.


Caymen was a fantastic main character.  Her voice was something that really made this book amazing.  She was funny and sarcastic, and she definitely had a sense of humor.  She did judge Xander at first for being rich, but that was because her mom had raised her to think that all rich people are bad.  Once she got to know him, she didn't think that being rich made him a bad person.  She sometimes didn't understand how his family could just accept the fact that he was dating someone with less money than they had.  By the end of this book, she realized that he could still like her even though she didn't have much money.

Caymen and Xander are so adorable together.   He is a very sweet guy.  The dialogue between these two is great.  I love their "career days" and how he always took a sip of her drink before giving it to her.  These two start out as friends and their relationship progresses realistically as they both fall for each other.  There are some misunderstandings, like when Caymen thinks Xander has a girlfriend because a magazine printed a story about him that wasn't true.  Eventually, these two finally kiss, and it is so adorable and sweet.  I loved how Xander said they were the same because neither of them really wanted to go into the family business like their parents wanted them to do.

Caymen is friends with a girl named Skye who is sweet, and they have a good friendship.  Skye and her boyfriend, Henry, try to set Caymen up with Mason, a boy in a band with Henry.  This relationship doesn't really work since Caymen likes Xander, so Skye stops trying to make Caymen be with Mason.  She can tell that it is really obvious that Caymen and Xander both like each other, so she wants those two to be together.

Part of this book also focuses on the mother-daughter relationship between Caymen and her mom.  Caymen has never met her dad since her mom got pregnant with her as a teenager.  Caymen's dad left when her mom said she was pregnant and Caymen's grandparents disowned her mom.  There are some parts of this book where Caymen becomes suspicious that her mom is hiding some things from her, and she is right.  Her mom has been keeping some secrets from her.  Caymen and her mom both do care about each other, and there are some good scenes with them.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: Wake by Amanda Hocking

Wake (Watersong, #1) Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

My Review:

Wake is a fabulous story of sirens and their mythological lore.   The characters are stunningly drawn so that they all seem like real, fully developed people.  This is a book that keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next to the characters.  This book rotates between the third person POVs of sisters, Gemma and Harper. 


Gemma is a girl who loves to spend her time swimming.  She is the fastest on her school swim team, and her coach thinks she may someday be able to go to the Olympics.  Unfortunately, her love for swimming causes her to have some supernatural problems.  She always goes out into the bay at night, much to the dismay of her older sister, Harper.  Gemma also has a romance developing with the boy next door.  His name is Alex, and he has been Harper's friend for years.  He is a couple years older than Gemma, but they make a sweet couple.

Harper is Gemma's protective older sister.  She has become overprotective of Gemma since she was in a car crash with her mom.  Her mom had a traumatic brain injury from that crash, and she lives in a group home now.  She cares about her younger sister, and she doesn't want Gemma to get hurt.  Harper is in denial throughout this book about her feelings for Daniel, a guy she claims she doesn't even like.  He is a good guy who lives on his boat, and he doesn't have a real job, so Harper thinks he's a slacker.  He is also a few years older than Harper.  I hope that there is some romance between these two in the next books.

The sirens were fascinating characters, though not really likeable ones.  Penn, Lexi, and Thea were originally these three really beautiful girls who came to town during tourist season, intriguing the town's residents.  There was something about them that was always creepy to Gemma, even before she found out what they were.  They are the type of people who killed someone to make their siren potion, and they didn't feel any remorse about it.  They also chose Gemma to be a siren, against her will, and without asking her first.  

If you like YA paranormal, read this book.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1) Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

My Review:

Mind Games is a quick read that I read in less than a day because I couldn't put it down.  I was addicted to the story and the characters, and I loved every minute of this book.  I'll definitely be reading Perfect Lies next year.


Fia is a messed-up character because she's been through a lot.  I absolutely loved reading about her character.  She hates being at the Keane school, but she knows that if she doesn't do what Keane wants her to, Annie will be hurt.  Since Annie is blind, Fia feels like she has to protect her older sister.  The Keane Foundation basically has control over Fia.  All they have to do is threaten Annie, and Fia will do whatever they want.  As you get to read flashbacks to the past, you really see what Fia has gone through, and how awful it all is.

Annie is a sweet girl who is Fia's older sister.  The story shows her perspective as well as Fia's.  Annie has been blind since she was four, but she can see visions of the future.  She saw a vision of her parents dying in a car accident before they did die in a car accident.  She wants to be able to protect Fia since she is her older sister, and she feels guilty for how broken Fia has become after being in the school for years.  She's a caring older sister, even if Fia has to be more like an older sister sometimes.

The relationships in this book were explored well.  My favorite relationship was the one between Annie and Fia.  It was a complex sister relationship since they both care about each other, and each one wants to protect the other.  Sometimes they blamed each other for things that happened in their lives, but the love between them was apparent on the pages of the book.  There's also a budding romance between James and Fia.  James is Keane's son, and Keane has manipulated the girls for years, but James says he isn't working for his father.  I was sometimes unsure of whether or not he was, but he seemed like a good guy overall.

If you like YA with mind powers, read this book.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Books I Acquired in June

I'm going to try to do a post like this around the beginning of each new month to showcase the books I got during the previous month.  I am not including books I've checked out from the library.  These are only books that I now own.

photo.JPG photo.JPG 

The Books:
What's Left of Me (I've read this and have already posted the review)
Insomnia by JR Johansson
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Gone by Michael Grant
Partials by Dan Wells


Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: Winger by Andrew Smith

Winger Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

My Review:

Winger is one of the best YA male POV books that I have ever read, and it's probably one of the most heartbreaking books, too, though the majority of it is funny.   It's the twist at the end that is heartbreaking.  The characters and the storyline were done so well in this book.


I love Ryan Dean West's character.   He's a fourteen year old junior, so he must be smart, but he also isn't that smart when he it comes to many of his relationships.  He thinks he is a loser, but from reading the book, he really doesn't seem like one.  His voice seemed really authentic, and he was funny.  He drew comics about some of the events in his life.  He used innuendos often since he thought about sex a lot.  Ryan Dean did make many mistakes in his relationships with girls, but he still is a genuinely good guy.

Ryan Dean and Annie are so adorable together.  At the beginning of the book, she is his best friend and he is in love with her.  She doesn't think she can be in love with him because she thinks of him as a younger kid since he is fourteen and she is sixteen.  Once I saw these two and their relationship, I was rooting for them for become a couple.  I was so happy when that finally happened.  Sure, these two did have a few obstacles, but they got past them.  One of these obstacles was Megan, Ryan Dean's roommate's girlfriend who Ryan Dean made out with.  Luckily, he eventually ended things with Megan since he loved Annie.

The other characters that Ryan Dean interacts with contribute to the story in different ways as well.  One who stood out was Joey.  He was the rugby captain and he also happened to be gay.  Ryan Dean became friends with him, and he was his best friend.  Then there were Seanie and JP, Ryan Dean's former roommates.  Seanie is a guy who likes to hack people's Internet pages and put pictures on them.  JP and Ryan Dean have some problems in this book when JP tries to make a move on Annie.  There's Chas, who is Ryan Dean's new roommate and is on the rugby team.  Chas really isn't as bad a guy as Ryan Dean makes him out to be at the beginning of the book.  Of course, making out with Chas' girlfriend doesn't really help Ryan Dean.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


July Releases I'm Most Excited For

July 2nd:
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - I loved Pivot Point, so I am excited to have another Kasie West book to read.  This sounds like a sweet romance and a fun read.

The Distance Between Us

July 11th:
45 Pounds by KA Barson - This sounds like a good story of a girl who is trying to find yourself.  It sounds like it will be a good book about being comfortable in your own skin.

45 Pounds (More or Less)

July 16th:
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols - I have read many Echols books that I have loved, so I am sure that I will love this novel as well.  I also like how the main character plays the violin.

Dirty Little Secret

July 23rd:
Starglass by Phoebe North - I've been getting more into some books with sci-fi elements lately.  From reviews I've seen, it sounds like this book is also rather character-driven, and since that's a trait of my favorite genre, contemporary, I'm more excited for this.  It sounds like an interesting premise.


July 30th:
 Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor - This sounds like a really good mystery book.  I'm looking forward to seeing the mystery unfold.

Prep School Confidential