By Kasie West
Publication date: Feb. 12, 2013
HarperTeen, 343 pages
Source: From my friend April
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.
— Goodreads.com description
I saw a flurry of people recommending Pivot Point to my friend Jamie on Facebook over Thanksgiving, which encouraged me to dig it out from my to-read pile. Man, why did I wait so long to read this book? It was so good!
Chapters flipflop between two realities for Addie after her parents’ divorce — one if she chooses to stay with her mom in her paranormal community and one if she chooses to stay with her dad in the “normal” world. The decision gets tougher and trickier as the chapters go on, and I loved the ambiguity of it all.
In the end, she makes a very rough choice and we’re all left DYING to get our hands on the sequel, Split Second which comes out in February. I cannot wait!
I loved the friendship and romance in this story, but mostly was intrigued by Addie’s strength and the paranormal elements at play. If you haven’t read this one yet, you’ll definitely want to pick it up before the sequel comes out.
The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4)
By Richelle Mead
Publication date: Nov. 19, 2013
Razorbill, 438 pages
Source: Purchased for myself!
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .
But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.
Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.
— Goodreads.com description
I kept delaying my trip to the bookstore to pick up The Fiery Heart because I didn’t want it to be over too quickly. That fear was totally founded: I plowed through it in a day and the painful wait for Silver Shadows, book number 5 in the Bloodlines series, is already on. Is it July 2014 yet?!
I was someone who once judged these books by their names and covers, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Vampire Academy/Bloodline books are some of the most engaging, suspenseful and emotionally charged young adult novels I’ve read.
In The Fiery Heart Adrian and Sydney are as compelling as ever — as are the friendly faces of the full returning cast of characters, from Rose and Dmitri to all our new Bloodlines friends.
I’m going to keep this review spoiler-free for those who haven’t read it yet, but I will say it reminded me of Blood Promise. Richelle Mead knows how to rock a fourth book in a series, you guys. This one slayed me: both because of the depth of emotion it made me feel and the turning point it presented in the series.
Page 301: It started out a little cheesy (hey, it IS a Vampire Academy book), but quickly became one of the most meaningful scenes I’ve read in a long time.
Page 412: GOOSEBUMPS UP AND DOWN MY ARMS.
I know I’ve gotten a little rave-y over these books, but stick in my mind days, weeks, months after I’ve finished them. So amazing.
By Alexandra Bracken
Publication date: Oct. 15, 2013
Disney-Hyperion, 512 pages
The gripping and highly anticipated second installment in a dark YA trilogy about teens with dangerous powers on the run from the government.
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children-and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts-has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future-and who now wouldn’t recognize her.
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam-and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart-she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?
I’m a big fan of Alex Bracken’s in general and particularly enjoy the gritty, intense Darkest Minds series, so I was excited to pick up book two, Never Fade.
Only…I totally blanked on what happened at the end of The Darkest Minds.
Thankfully, I had a copy on hand and could reread the last few chapters. It helped MAJORLY, so if you have a copy around, I highly recommend doing the same to get back into the zone.
Once I got into Never Fade, there were a lot of highs and lows. Lows: My attention lagged in parts; I was ready to read ahead a bit. Highs: When the action came, it was CRAZY. Like, very emotionally charged. I feel so invested in these characters!
Anyway, that’s a typical reaction for me during the second book in a series, so I’m not too concerned. I’m ready for the third and final book!
Have you read this one? What do you think? If you haven’t read it yet, now is your chance. Enter below to win a copy of the book, plus a fun t-shirt!
The Beautiful and the Cursed
By Page Morgan
Publication date: May 14, 2013
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 352 pages
Source: Blog tour
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
— Publisher description
Just when you think we’ve seen it all when it comes to teen supernatural books — vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, demon killers, angels and more — we have a book about gargoyles. Which, I have to say, is pretty cool.
As someone who is leaning a bit more contemporary and a bit less supernatural/paranormal these days, I was pretty pumped to try out something different. Yay for different! I really applaud Page Morgan for her creativity here.
Where this book really worked for me was in terms of it’s creepy factor: I loved the gothic vibe and the grotesque bits (I think that was actually the original name of this book if I’m not mistaken) and the London setting.
Bonus factor: I really enjoyed the two sisters’ point of view on this one. Generally, I don’t love the bouncing back and forth, but I found both sisters to be tough and interesting in their own rights and was happy to keep checking in with them both.
A few things didn’t work for me: Instalove, slow start, some love triangle action.
Ultimately, I was hoping it would be a bit more City of Bones and it ended up more along the lines of Die for Me by Amy Plum or Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Now, that being said, fans of those books will likely want to check it out. For me, though, it wasn’t a favorite.
Use the form below to enter to win one of five signed swag packs for the book. Or head to the blogs Books Complete Me and Once Upon a Twilight to correctly pair up as many Team Dispossessed trivia questions and answers and Team Waverly trivia questions and answers as you can. Two winners will be randomly chosen from those who get the most correct. Mine are below and the rest can be found on the blog tour site!
Team WAVERLY Trivia QUESTION: What is the name of the demon hunting society the Waverly siblings are drawn into?
Team DISPOSSESSED Trivia ANSWER: Gargoyle common grounds
About the author:
Page Morgan has been fascinated with les grotesques ever since she came across an old, black-and-white photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle keeping watch over the city of Paris. The gargoyle mythologies she went on to research fed her imagination, and she became inspired to piece together her own story and mythology for these remarkably complex stone figures. Page lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their three children.
By Andrea Cremer & David Levithan
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Philomel, 358 pages
Source: Borrowed from Jillian <3
Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.
— Goodreads.com description
I think it’s so fun when two fabulous authors combine forces. It’s so fascinating to see how their writing styles mesh. In this case, Levithan goes a little more paranormal, a la Cremer, and Cremer brings a bit more of a literary sense to her writing, a la Levithan. Three cheers for collaboration!
Love the concept, love the mashup of their writing…but unfortunately, not quite in love with the storyline. I am a big fan of unresolved sexual tension. Um, who isn’t, right? So, for my tastes, Stephen and Elizabeth got together FAR too quickly. I was about one-fourth through the story, and couldn’t help thinking, “Well, now what?” Also, it was a bit witchier than I anticipated.
So, not quite my taste, but still a fun concept and successful collab of writing styles.
Do you guys have a favorite co-authored book? I have to say, Levithan has been the champ of this for me previously in his work with John Green and Rachel Cohn. Sigh. Literary idol! I love you!