By Robin Benway
Publication date: Jan. 14, 2014
Walker Children’s, 320 pages
Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. But when Maggie’s parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her “new team” flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.
— Goodreads.com description
Anyone who is dying to get their hands on the next Ally Carter Heist Society book — like me! — will absolutely need to check out this lovely series from Robin Benway.
Going Rogue is the sequel to Also Known As (check out my review here), a fun and smart book about a teenage girl who happens to be an master lock-cracker and who comes from a family of secret agents. In this sequel, her friends are in on the action and her parents’ employers are acting fishy.
There’s plenty of action, romance, intrigue and international travel. Adventure lovers will gobble this series up. I adore it!
PS: If you haven’t read Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait! you must! Click here to see my review of that one.
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 Marie Lu
Publication date: Nov. 5, 2013
Putnam Juvenile, 369 pages
The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!
He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.
— Goodreads.com description
Things to love about it:
- It’s dual points of view — which I usually dislike — but the voices are so distinct and the information and perspectives they provide so vital that it’s really enjoyable.
- It’s got it all: Fighting, suspense, loooooooove, political intrigue, family, death, betrayal. All the good things!
- Speaking of loooooooove…June + Day = one of the best dystopian romances out there. Their longing, their fierceness, their stubbornness, the paper clip rings…they all just melted me.
If you have read these books, you’ll remember that Prodigy ended on quite the cliffhanger. And by “quite the” I mean a spoiler SO GUT WRENCHING I WAS LIKE OH NO YOU DIDN’T MARIE LU!
Because of this revelation (I’m being vague so I don’t spoil anyone) and the fact that I’d JUST read Allegiant, I was scared to death. Truly, I read the whole book feeling crazy nervous.
Thankfully, I am super duper thrilled with how the series ended. Totally satisfying.
This is the point in the post where I kick myself for not taking a picture earlier this month when I went out to lunch with Marie (Isn’t that fun?! Thanks, Penguin, for facilitating!). Marie! Next time! Thank you for writing such a beautiful series and for taking the time to let me gush to you about it.
Readers, check this one out. Let me know in the comments if you have or if you will!
Crash Into You
By Katie McGarry
Publication date: Nov. 26, 2013
Harlequin Teen, 474 pages
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.
— Goodreads.com description
WHAT IS THE DEAL, KATIE MCGARRY!
I read Pushing the Limits and I hate Beth.
Then in Dare You To I really thoroughly enjoy her.
But in Dare You To I hate — and I mean DESPISE — Isaiah.
Well, BOOM, here comes Crash Into You and I think he’s the bee’s knees.
What is this! Three cheers for an author who can totally suck me into her main character’s point of view and alter my opinions from book to book. Don’t you love it when an author totally turns around your opinion about a character you thought you knew?
Anyhoo. I think this series is really soap operay, but I love that from time to time. Definitely check it out if you like your YA angsty. Oh, and bonus factor: There’s Fast & Furious-style drag racing!