Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Traffick by Ellen Hopkins

Traffick (Tricks, #2)Traffick by Ellen Hopkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this Hub Challenge Top 10 Amazing Audiobook!!! Awesomely narrated by: Julia Whelan , Madeleine Maby , Rebekkah Ross , Kirby Heyborne , Jacques Roy their many voices were heartbreaking, gut wrenching and ultimately hopeful about young adults who become prey to drugs, alcohol, prostitution, violence and the fallout to themselves and their families. No one but Ellen Hopkins can write these novels in verse as authentically and gripping. Teens will gobble up both the book & I highly recommend this audiobook, I could not stop listening. It was great to listen to my favorites Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne and be introduced to new narrators, too! Highly recommended!

View all my reviews

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

Home of the BraveHome of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katherine Applegate's novel in verse is superior, Kek is a young boy from Africa trying to understand what it is like to live in America (without his Mother, Father & Brother). Due to the war, Kek has lost his father and brother and does not know if his mother is still alive. Will immigrant Kek be able to survive in Minnesota filled with snow, dead trees and a language he does not understand? With the help of his neighbor, Hannah, Kek will migrate the often hard path that life is while going to school. He also falls in love with a cow and works on the farm with his cousin Ganwar. I loved Applegate's African proverbs and how they help Kek strengthen his resolve to find find his mother and discover his new character in a new world. Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Empress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies, #1)Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the first page, I could not stop reading and turning the pages! Oh the world building was spacious and the characters-- many authentic but so many devious, who can you trust? Rhiannon is the last royal Ta'an alive and soon to be crowned but just as when she was a youngster, someone is conspiring to end her ascension to the throne and Rhee thinks she knows who... With lots of technology and terror, Rhee's life is threatened yet again but what goes out to the world is that she has died and they are searching for the man who killed her (he did not kill her nor does he even know her!?!) Each chapter is from the point of view of Rhee or Alyosha, the poor DroneVision refugee turned movie star. Each chapter ended with me wanting more, more, more! I definitely can't wait for the sequel and the heart pounding adventures, conspiracies, and mysteries galore! A must read for those who love scifi-fantasy and a rip roaring good read from debut author, Rhoda Belleza!

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 19, 2017

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American StreetAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book which I read for #2jennsbookclub in May & #yearofya Debut Authors topic for March broke my heart. After finishing The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, the shooting in this book devastated me. As a reader, I rooted for Fabiola's life in Detroit along side her mother. But her mother is detained at the airport & sent to NJ with no resolution in sight. Even though Fabiola wants to care for her aunt and 3 cousins, when she arrives at American Street, they are involved in their lives and Fabiola is left to figure things out for herself and that is just a real shame. When will Fabiola see her mother, why does Tray hit Donna, what will she tell the Detective to get her mother back to Detroit? The suspense, loneliness, violence, greed, and secrets all spell doom for Fabiola and her 3 Bees cousins. I loved Fabiola's Haitian culture, beliefs, and her native religion and how it sustained her but I ached for the mother she so needed, the American world & family that let her down, and the harshness of living between two worlds. A tough read, teens will love this urban fiction and diverse characters.

View all my reviews

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold

What Girls Are Made OfWhat Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner Group and Carolrhoda Lab for the ARC, What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K Arnold. I wish I could have enjoyed this book – not only did I dislike Nina, but her mother was totally responsible for messing her up in so many unbelievable, vilke ways and the chapters dealing with women, saints, and torture were in the book, why??? Gut wrenching, this story was without redemption, which is an important element in many, many novels. Nina’s only saving grace was the time she served for community service at a no-kill shelter and the fact that she continued after she fulfilled her time. Seth and her “best friend” Louise were self serving characters and one dimensional. Even after reading The Author Note I agreed with the author about not liking Nina and her choices. I did not like how the plot and characters delivered the very important message, “What are you made of?” Maybe girls will like reading Nina’s story and take something positive away from it, I was just sorry I could not love this book.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Takedown by Corrie Wang

The TakedownThe Takedown by Corrie Wang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, Disney Book Group, and Freeform for the ARC, The Takedown by Corrie Wang. I also read this for the March twitter chat on debut authors with #yearofya & it has been highly touted by blogger Kelly Jensen in “Faces of Color on 2017 YA Books”. Wow, what a gripping read! Kyla Cheng is a high school senior ho rules her school, best friends with Sharma, Audra, & Fawn, and friend with benefits (lots of doubt and kissing) to long-time crush, Mac Rodriguez. Kyla’s voice was straightforward as she flatly and to the point, tells of the video that destroys her life. With all kinds of technology (in a near future time) someone releases to her school and administration a video of Kyla and her English teacher having sex. Kyla denies is the person in the video (she has never had sex!!!), over and over again, all the while her friends do not believe her. As the mystery mounts and Kyla chases down clues, her hater sends out her incomplete college applications, Kyla is kicked out of the school clubs, suspended from attending classes, she continues to realize she has somehow disappointed her mother. As the plot thickens, Kyla will accept how invasive technology has become and it is through a concerted effort including Mac, Sharma, & tech geek, Rory, that Kyla tracks the twisted trail towards her hater. That said, I did not really like Kyla for many reasons; she was a mean girl, she refused to look inward at her actions, words, and thoughts; she was self-absorbed and constantly judging Mac and her mother. What I did like about Kyla was her spunk, her loyalty, and her unfolding honesty with her mom. I could not put this book down, teens will love the technology, the suspense, plus the high school and family drama. This book had great characters, plot, and is a totally enjoyable tense psychological whodunit!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Start of Me and YouThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paige lives in a small town and has finally decided she wants to get on with her life after her boyfriend of two months drowns. Paige has a list of things she wants to accomplish this year and dating Ryan Chase is top on the list as well as join a club, and swim. She has awesome best friends who always have her back and when she becomes involved in Quiz Bowl, meeting Max, Ryan's cousin may help her win Ryan. I loved Ryan and Max, both guys were real, nice, and hiding pain. I also chuckled with her divorced parents dating again and her contempt of her younger sister. As Paige heads into living again, she will heal slowly, learn to live again, and believe big time that she can heal and live again.

View all my reviews