Mrs. Zed's Book Blog

The right book in the right hands at the right time.

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Book two has been out a few months so I finally made it a priority to read The Program by Suzanne Young, and I’m glad I did.  This novel has a fairly intriguing dystopian concept where the suicide rate for teens has skyrocketed so the solution is to cart potential infecteds away to mental hospitals where their memories are erased to cure them.  As in any YA novel (seriously, this is so irritatingly common) there is a love triangle thrown in, but I was more interested in the evolution of the main character Sloane.  It was neat to see her as “normal,” react to her newly cured friend, go through the curing process herself, and then falter along as she readjusts to life.  If I brought book two home from school I’ll likely read it soon.

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Book two has been out a few months so I finally made it a priority to read The Program by Suzanne Young, and I’m glad I did. This novel has a fairly intriguing dystopian concept where the suicide rate for teens has skyrocketed so the solution is to cart potential infecteds away to mental hospitals where their memories are erased to cure them. As in any YA novel (seriously, this is so irritatingly common) there is a love triangle thrown in, but I was more interested in the evolution of the main character Sloane. It was neat to see her as “normal,” react to her newly cured friend, go through the curing process herself, and then falter along as she readjusts to life. If I brought book two home from school I’ll likely read it soon.

***

Filed under The Program Suzanne Young Sci Fi Dystopia YA

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“You know I’m never going to be able to not kiss you again, right?” he said. “For the rest of my life, every time I look at you, I’ll have to kiss you.”

Some swoon worthy YA romance in a rather creepy novel!

Excerpt From: Young, Suzanne. “The Program.” Simon Pulse, 2013-04-29T08:00:00+00:00. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Filed under The Program Suzanne Young YA first kiss

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I read this novel in two chunks, before and after my trip of a lifetime on the West Coast Trail, but it is simple enough that I don’t think the week off in between made much difference.  The fact that I didn’t miss the book at all does factor in to my rating though!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has the stated premise of what would you do if your goodbye love letters accidentally got sent, but most of the novel is actually about a love quadrangle.  Lara Jean has secretly loved her sister Margot’s boyfriend Josh for a long time.  When Josh and Margot break up Lara Jean begins fake dating Peter in part to hopefully make Josh jealous.  What ends up happening is expected and therefore believable teen drama.  There is an interesting familial layer to the novel as well—the Covey sisters, including the youngest Kitty, live with their dad after their mom passed away when they were little, as well as some subtle notes on racism faced by the Korean American family.

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I read this novel in two chunks, before and after my trip of a lifetime on the West Coast Trail, but it is simple enough that I don’t think the week off in between made much difference. The fact that I didn’t miss the book at all does factor in to my rating though!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has the stated premise of what would you do if your goodbye love letters accidentally got sent, but most of the novel is actually about a love quadrangle. Lara Jean has secretly loved her sister Margot’s boyfriend Josh for a long time. When Josh and Margot break up Lara Jean begins fake dating Peter in part to hopefully make Josh jealous. What ends up happening is expected and therefore believable teen drama. There is an interesting familial layer to the novel as well—the Covey sisters, including the youngest Kitty, live with their dad after their mom passed away when they were little, as well as some subtle notes on racism faced by the Korean American family.

***

47 notes

trishisthinkingagain:

catagator:

I’m trying to talk up more backlist YA on the Tumblr parts since it seems like the right place to do so.
This weekend, buy yourself Hilary T. Martin’s Wild Awake if you want a great contemporary YA book about mental illness. It’s pulsing and manic and honest, with a mystery and romance that is, at heart, a novel about grief and overwhelming loss. It is $1.99 at all e-book retailers. 
I wrote a lengthier review of the book here, and Hilary wrote a guest post for Stacked last fall about mental illness in YA fiction. 
This is worth far more than $2.00. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re in for a huge treat. 

Amazing book!

For frugal readers who still like quality…

trishisthinkingagain:

catagator:

I’m trying to talk up more backlist YA on the Tumblr parts since it seems like the right place to do so.

This weekend, buy yourself Hilary T. Martin’s Wild Awake if you want a great contemporary YA book about mental illness. It’s pulsing and manic and honest, with a mystery and romance that is, at heart, a novel about grief and overwhelming loss. It is $1.99 at all e-book retailers

I wrote a lengthier review of the book here, and Hilary wrote a guest post for Stacked last fall about mental illness in YA fiction

This is worth far more than $2.00. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re in for a huge treat. 

Amazing book!

For frugal readers who still like quality…

(via yahighway)

Filed under Wild Awake

0 notes

While it took me a little while to get into this novel, once I got going I didn’t really want to stop.  It was a pleasant surprise to enjoy yet another book set in a boarding school, but Frankie is bright and determined so I definitely wanted her to succeed.  I would have hoped for some longer lasting changes from her efforts, but based on the prevailing patriarchy and stiff social expectations what ended up happening is probably pretty accurate.  There was also technically a love triangle but thankfully Frankie spends more time on the Bassett Hounds then on her love life!  Worth a read ( and a few chuckles or eye rolls depending on how you feel about her vocabulary and Matthew’s editing).

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While it took me a little while to get into this novel, once I got going I didn’t really want to stop. It was a pleasant surprise to enjoy yet another book set in a boarding school, but Frankie is bright and determined so I definitely wanted her to succeed. I would have hoped for some longer lasting changes from her efforts, but based on the prevailing patriarchy and stiff social expectations what ended up happening is probably pretty accurate. There was also technically a love triangle but thankfully Frankie spends more time on the Bassett Hounds then on her love life! Worth a read ( and a few chuckles or eye rolls depending on how you feel about her vocabulary and Matthew’s editing).

***

Filed under E Lockhart The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks YA

0 notes

Love Letters to the Dead is a lovely novel about the complexities of grief, friendship, love, family, and adolescence.  I really appreciate how the various situations (including new love, quiet lesbians, sexual abuse, the loss of a sibling…) were all done in what felt to be a true rather than contrived way.  Yes, certain issues circle around allowing for nice closure at the end, but it still felt right.  It didn’t take me long to get wrapped up in Laurel’s story and hope for happier times for her.  My one issue is the actual letters themselves.  While I really liked the connection between the people she chooses to write to and her journey, the letters themselves didn’t feel very real…it could have been a novel of diary entries with some smaller letters to famous dead people because they didn’t feel like true letters to me.  Nonetheless, it is a solid story with a lot of heart and I definitely recommend it.

***1/2

Love Letters to the Dead is a lovely novel about the complexities of grief, friendship, love, family, and adolescence. I really appreciate how the various situations (including new love, quiet lesbians, sexual abuse, the loss of a sibling…) were all done in what felt to be a true rather than contrived way. Yes, certain issues circle around allowing for nice closure at the end, but it still felt right. It didn’t take me long to get wrapped up in Laurel’s story and hope for happier times for her. My one issue is the actual letters themselves. While I really liked the connection between the people she chooses to write to and her journey, the letters themselves didn’t feel very real…it could have been a novel of diary entries with some smaller letters to famous dead people because they didn’t feel like true letters to me. Nonetheless, it is a solid story with a lot of heart and I definitely recommend it.

***1/2

Filed under Ava Dellaira Love Letters to the Dead YA

0 notes

Fault Line is not enjoyable, but it is important.  There are several reasons why I am recommending this provocative YA novel:
1) I like that it considers the aftermath of a sexual assault from the viewpoint of the survivor’s boyfriend.  It seems rare to here about the challenges of coping with the aftermath of a trauma that occurred to someone close to you.
2) I like that the main female, Ani, is strong, yet clearly vulnerable right from the beginning and that her way of coping with the assault is realistic and devastating.
3) I think it would be interesting for students to read this alongside Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
4) 50% of the proceeds go to www.voicesandfaces.org

Fault Line is not enjoyable, but it is important. There are several reasons why I am recommending this provocative YA novel:
1) I like that it considers the aftermath of a sexual assault from the viewpoint of the survivor’s boyfriend. It seems rare to here about the challenges of coping with the aftermath of a trauma that occurred to someone close to you.
2) I like that the main female, Ani, is strong, yet clearly vulnerable right from the beginning and that her way of coping with the assault is realistic and devastating.
3) I think it would be interesting for students to read this alongside Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
4) 50% of the proceeds go to www.voicesandfaces.org

Filed under C Desir Fault Line sexual assault rape YA survivors

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I really liked this novel, perhaps because I’m a sucker for romantic ghost stories!  My only complaint is that the relationship between Liv and Malcolm moves really quickly—from zero to I love you in a very short amount of time.  I don’t want to give anything away, but it involves a boarding school, ghosts, a secret society and murder.

***1/2

I really liked this novel, perhaps because I’m a sucker for romantic ghost stories! My only complaint is that the relationship between Liv and Malcolm moves really quickly—from zero to I love you in a very short amount of time. I don’t want to give anything away, but it involves a boarding school, ghosts, a secret society and murder.

***1/2

Filed under Amy Talkington Liv Forever ghosts mystery

0 notes

Hysteria is okay.  I really liked the concept, but I think there was an issue with follow through.  I wouldn’t describe this novel as a psychological thriller, more a cross between a murder mystery and a YA boarding school tale.  That being said, I didn’t know what really happened to Mallory and I wanted to find out so I kept reading.  Were there some really cliche parts?  Yes.  Did I still enjoy the novel?  Yes.  I plan to read the sequel to her first novel, Fracture, and then I will decide where I’d rate Megan Miranda as a YA author.

**1/2

Hysteria is okay. I really liked the concept, but I think there was an issue with follow through. I wouldn’t describe this novel as a psychological thriller, more a cross between a murder mystery and a YA boarding school tale. That being said, I didn’t know what really happened to Mallory and I wanted to find out so I kept reading. Were there some really cliche parts? Yes. Did I still enjoy the novel? Yes. I plan to read the sequel to her first novel, Fracture, and then I will decide where I’d rate Megan Miranda as a YA author.

**1/2

Filed under Megan Miranda Hysteria mystery YA

9,568 notes

politicsprose:

diversityinya:

10 Recent Contemporary LGBTQ YA Books

In honor of Pride month, here are 10 YA books about contemporary LGBT experiences just published this year. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, now’s a great time!

We only have a few of these, but I can always buy more :-)

(via yahighway)

Filed under LGTBQI