Category Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: The Haven by Carol Lynch Williams

     St. Martin's Griffin Published March 4, 2014              224 Pages
St. Martin’s Griffin
Published March 4, 2014
224 Pages

The teens at the Haven was always told that the outside world was dangerous and that they were safe and protected. It has always been this way at the hospital since its opening in 2020. Everything is monitored, everything is controlled so the teens are safe from the disease that steals their memories, body parts and in some cases kill them. 

However, Shiloh remembers everything. Gideon remembers everything. But Shiloh isn’t sure if the best idea is to rebel. Gideon wants out and he needs Shiloh to do it.

So much hope for this book. SO MUCH HOPE!

This book, from beginning to end, felt as if the writer just threw it together.  Shiloh was so life less throughout the entire book, I couldn’t understand why Williams wrote her the way she did.

Shiloh freaked out before she knew the truth and freaked out someone after she found out the truth. She really just had two emotions: hysteria and panic.

There are two facts in the book. Both are told too early and both do little to change Shiloh’s opinion about things. She eventually decides she wants out because she knows too much and she can’t deal with the everyday knowing the truth.

Gideon was just angry for the most part. Granted he had every right to be but he was just angry and there was such a disconnect between him and Shiloh that I really can’t believe a romance occurred between them.

The entire concept was a great idea but completely poorly executed. The characters were boring, there was no really action, the story-line was slow, and the writing was weak. Overall a huge disappointment. 1 Pickle



NetGalley Review: Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday

          EgmontUSA  To Be Released Sept. 9, 2014            304 Pages
To Be Released Sept. 9, 2014
304 Pages

*I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Set in 1820s, Annabel Lee is sent to her father’s home in Philadelphia, after her mother’s death. Thinking she will finally get a chance to have a relationship with her father she barely knows, Annabel comes to finds herself fearing the dark as a murder on the loose.

She finds comfort in her father’s assistant, Allan but things become complicated when his cousin enters the picture and Annabel isn’t too sure who to trust.

This book is a spin on Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but with a great a poet and his muse. This book also happens to be a boring disappointment.

Annabel for the most part has no real substance. She speaks very highly of the country she came from constantly throughout the book but yet has nothing to show for it but medical skills her mother taught her. She had no real life; no spark to make me fall deeply in love with her. I feel that her entire story is too simple; not necessarily predictable but there wasn’t enough substance.

However, the story itself was creative; mixing poetry, love and creepy characters but it wasn’t as creepy and Gothic as the summary or the title implies. That is where most of the disappointment lies. I was thinking along the terms of jack the ripper when I picked up this book. I wasn’t expecting a gory story but I was expecting to shiver a bit.

The book also took too long to pick up and when it did pick up it was slacked. It felt like the author was trying to play a cat and mouse game but couldn’t get it down pack. Also the ending was bad and half-assed. Overall this story gets 2 Pickles. There does seem like there will be a book two by the way.

Book Review: Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan

Thomas Nelson Publishers    Published Nov. 5, 2013               306 Pages
Thomas Nelson Publishers
Published Nov. 5, 2013
306 Pages

The only thing that Tom Harding cares about is the truth. Being a High School reporter, Tom knows how to ask the right questions in order to find the truth. However, when pushing for the truth,

Tom pushes too far and all of a sudden wakes up to an empty house, street and town with a freaky fog full of monsters out to get him. What happened to his mother? To the people of the town? Why is he being hunted? Only the truth will set Tom free.

This book was a disappointment and it made me very sad. The entire concept was very interesting and that is what I was drawn to.  The constant building of questions was great as well but it too way too long for any of those questions to be answered.

Also the book was boring. No real action; just Tom running around getting killed twice and completely not knowing what to do. No real horror; adding a monster chase to a story isn’t the only thing that can be done to make a book a horror book. Nothing scared or shock me and with a title called “Nightmare City” I expected to be scared.

However, the author did a good job with the climax. It wasn’t the best because there was background information missing for the reader,  such as how Tom and his girlfriend got together, and how was his friends able to come into nightmare city (I mean you know why but it was a half ass way to give Tom the answer) therefore causing the lead up to be slack but when everything came to light, finally, I was too disappointed.

Also the author made it that Tom was this amazing reporter who sought the truth no matter the cause but Tom himself was hiding secrets so it made him a hypocrite. Overall this book gets 2 Pickles.



NetGalley Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

        Candlewick Press    To Be Released March 25, 2014              320 Pages Ebook
Candlewick Press
To Be Released March 25, 2014
320 Pages Ebook

*I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

The Roux Family have bad luck when it comes to love and due to its bad luck came the birth of Ava Lavender, a girl born with wings. At 16-years-old, Ava is not only looking for acceptance through her peers but also the need to understand her rare situation (having wings). 

But when Nathaniel Sorrows, becomes obsessed with Ava believing she is an angel, things get even more complicated for Ava. And all things within her life and her family explodes the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. 

This book was hard for me to get through. Ava is telling the story and the story begins with her great grandmother and continues until it reaches her mother which then begins her story. I didn’t like the way the story was told. There was barely any dialogue let alone any action. Therefore, it was slow and it felt as if the author was reaching even at the beginning of the story. It didn’t feel real from the heart.

Another issue I had with this book is the “magic.” The only person who had any real abilities was Ava’s twin brother. Yes, she has wings and she does some things with them but it is not because she is magical or came from a magical family. She came from family that was beautiful. Seriously, everyone one is the Roux family is describe as being completely beautiful it makes me a bit sick.

Because most of the book is strictly the history of the family, by time it got to Ava’s story I didn’t care for it. But I push through and learned that I didn’t care for Ava.

I thought that a girl born with wings would be a lot more fun. But it wasn’t. This book was about a family going through one tragedy after another. No real action, no real solution and most importantly, the book lacked action and emotion.  Overall it gets 2 pickles.


NetGalley Review: Scintillate (The Light Key Trilogy #1) by Tracy Clark

       Entangled Teen Published Feb. 4, 2014             304 Pages
Entangled Teen
Published Feb. 4, 2014
304 Pages

*I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

When Cora Sandoval was five years old her mother disappeared causing her and her father to leave Ireland for America. Since then her father has been nothing short of overprotective and when Cora gets sick and begins to see people’s auras her father doesn’t let up once.

Not only does she have this ability to see people’s colors but when a Irish foreign exchange student name Finn comes into her world an attraction so intense is born. Her father disapproves and his mother as well forcing Finn to move back to Ireland and leaving Cora.

But Cora isn’t having it anymore. Desperate for answers that her father refuses to give her, Cora goes to Ireland to find out the truth about her mother, her new ability and why her aura is different from everyone else.

This book is very original. A lot of the paranormal books in YA deal with witches, werewolves, vampires and things in that nature. I really appreciated the author taking the step to do something completely different. It made the book much more enjoyable.

As much as I hate to admit this, I really loved the relationship with Finn and Cora. It is extremely intense and not the sappy ‘I can’t live without you’ but the realistic and poetic romance. I thought the author did an amazing job with the details she placed in this relationship and really this whole book.

However, I really didn’t like Cora. There is nothing in me that believed she tried hard enough to find the truth. 1: She didn’t begin really looking til after Finn left, which makes me believe that she was content as long as she had Finn. 2: She always backed down from her father. She would give some fight and then stop. Because of this I felt she didn’t have the strength to follow through. Also she has this new ability and doesn’t really do anything with it. Through the entire book I was saying to myself ‘I know she can do something with that ability why isn’t she trying?’ This was extremely frustrated because I was right and guess what? It happens at the END of the book UGH!

I also think her father was overly dramatic. I understand being overprotective but he was too much. Not only was everything a secret but he would throw fits if he didn’t get his way with Cora or simply walk away from her. I was completely over him.

I am hoping that in the next book Cora ‘mans up’ for a lack of better term and just learn about herself and how to protect herself from danger. I am also hoping that there is something still going on with Finn and Cora. Yes, there is a love triangle happening. If you didn’t expect one whelp you’re wrong.

Overall this book gets: 3.5 Pickles its a bit closer to a four but I am content with this rating.

NetGalley Review: Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

Skyscape Published Dec. 1, 2014 273 Pages
Published Dec. 1, 2014
273 Pages

Penny Farthing is near death when surgeon Calvin Warwick is able to successfully swap out Penny’s bad heart with a brass ticker. But the moment when it is found that Warwick killed people in order to save Penny with an updated Ticker, Penny isn’t so happy that she was saved.

During Warwick’s last day of trial, the Farthing factory was bombed, their house was broken into and Penny and her brother Nic receive a ransom notice, demanding their parent’s secret information in order to have their parents back unharmed.  

With the help of Penny’s best friend Violet, a gentleman around the town (whatever that means) Sebastian and a young army general Marcus, Penny and Nic go on the search for their parents and the truth about Penny’s ticker.

The first pretty cover of the year!!!!!

This book was a dry read. The plot, the characters everything seemed un-lifelike which is crazy considering that the topic of life centralizes the entire book. Penny  lacked development and character. She did what she wanted and how she wanted.  She had little regard for her own life, which again is crazy!

The storyline didn’t really provide enough to keep me interested in the story. As much as I love when books start off in a really great scene, there is a way to do it right and the author did not provide enough of a griping point in order for me to understand why things were moving the way they were. Yes, do you get that information but the vagueness of what happened to her, her sister and the man who gave her a new heart last for way too long for me to enjoy the book.

Also the author added a very unnecessary element to a world of science; paranormal. It was thrown in there without any type of back-story or anything leading up to it to make me believe that the paranormal topic should be there.

What I did like about this story was the steampunk aspect of it. It was detailed and creative and there was a lot of though behind it.

Overall, the book was okay. Nothing spectacular.

2 Pickles