Double

Double

He never claimed to be the missing Cassiel. He just neglected to deny it. Given the choice between being a nobody, nameless and homeless, or being a somebody, with everything you’ve never had,  who wouldn’t hesitate? However, pretending to be someone else isn’t easy, especially when no one is who they seem.

Jenny Valentine’s young adult novel, Double (available for purchase tomorrow), begs the reader to ponder the essence of a person’s character – what defines a person and how that affects, or is affected by, an individual’s choices. Slow to build momentum, plot turns in the later portions of the book are certain to build suspense. Many of the characters seem lacking in dimension, but Chap’s struggles with ethical and moral decisions help readers identify with him. Despite annoying changes in tense during parts of the book, Double is an enjoyable book for teens and may lead to discussions.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Beyond the Grave

Beyond the Grave (Past Midnight, #3)

It’s hard to have a normal life when your parents are paranormal investigators. Charlotte’s mother is in a coma after a previous encounter with The Watcher. Her father and sister are struggling to live, the business if falling apart, and Charlotte is left floundering, trying to hold it together and spend time with her boyfriend who is becoming more secretive each day.

Mara Purnhagen’s Beyond the Grave is the third and final book in her Past Midnight series. The book is strong enough to stand alone for those of us who haven’t read her earlier novels, but the characters seem a bit flat and the build up and discovery drags. Luckily, the action at the end mostly makes up for the slow clues.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Catch and Release

Catch and Release

Polly Furnas had a plan. Graduate highschool. Marry her sweetheart. Go to college, and have children. MSRA was not in the plan. Neither was spending weeks in the hospital and loosing her eye. Somehow, out of everyone in her hometown who survived the infection, she survived, along with a fellow highschooler, Odd. Now she has a choice. She can lie around wallowing in self-pity or take Odd’s offer for a fishing trip. She can choose to fight to live or slowly die inside her new body. Plans change.

Blythe Woolston’s Catch & Release is interesting, a bit disturbing, and just perfect for analyzing our views and anger. With writing and a story line that gets under your skin, Woolston wraps it up with Odd’s letters to his grandmother, effectively putting a balm on the infected story. A new book with merit for discussing what we make of life and those around us, Catch & Release is certain to find its own among teens looking for something out of the ordinary.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Pure

Pure

Julianna Baggott’snew  young adult dystopian novel, Pure,promises to deliver. Touted as the new The Hunger Games Trilogy and with movie rights already sold for the first novel, the hype is indicative of a best selling book.

Baggot’s descriptive writing pulls the reader in, and the premise behind the book is horrifying. Atomic bombs, set by those wanting to purify the Earth, have drastically changed the world. Secret agendas abound and the main character, a strong female lead, starts out strong. However, after the initial chapters, the book seems to be carried by remaining momentum rather than driving to a capitulating climax.

My main complaint, and one that I can’t let go of, is that the science in the book moves is so far removed to make the book fantasy rather than science fiction. With all of its promises and good points, for me the book failed to deliver.

The book comes out today, so yu can pick up your own copy and see what you think of it.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.

Deceiving the Protector

Deceiving the Protector (Resurrection, #2)

Haunted and hunted by the man who claims to hold her sister’s life in his hands, Lia doesn’t want to be rescued. Tate has a job to do though, saving the wolf shape-shifters who are now hunted by humans. He is not one to be deterred from his cause, and when the two causes collide, tensions heat up. Dee Tonorio’s Deceiving the Protector is the second book in her Resurrection series. Not having read the previous book didn’t diminish the story, which has no trouble standing on its own. While many paranormal romances tend to be lacking, Tonorio has developed a rich fantasy world with shape shifters which only promises to increase in her future books.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The Shadowing: Hunted

Hunted (The Shadowing, #1)

Callum Scott is predominantly a normal boy. He does well enough in school, plays rugby, and keeps a low profile. The only problem is that for as long as he can remember he has seen ghosts. Now his premonitions are growing and he is being chased by a large creature from another place. Life is about to get interesting.

Adam Slater’s The Shadowing: Hunted would be a mediocre paranormal young adult novel with characters who are screaming to be further developed. However, he has managed to weave new aspects into his brand new paranormal series which may just set the foundation for a great story.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The Garden of the Purple Dragon

Garden of the Purple Dragon (The Dragonkeeper, #2)

In the second book in the Dragon Keeper series, Garden of the Purple Dragon,
Carole Wilkinson takes the story of former slave turned dragon keeper, Ping, to a new level. Faced with the dessertion of Danzi and the responsibility of raising his son, Kai, Ping is forced to grow in new ways. As always, Ping represents a strong female character in the middle grade fantasy genre and Wilkinson’s prose paints a beautiful picture of not only Ancient China but also of the diversity of human character. In my opinion, this is a buy-worthy series for families who enjoy reading aloud or individuals who enjoy reading on their own. All of my children have been excited over the series, and I like being able to share some books which portray females in strong roles, despite typical treatment of them in the era.