Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)
By Veronica Rossi
Publication date: Jan. 28, 2014
HarperCollins, 400 pages
The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).
Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.
The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.
Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.
Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.
In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.
— Goodreads.com description
I love these books. It took me awhile to get into them at first — I put down the first book twice after just a chapter or two — but I’m so glad I stuck it out. And while I’m sad the series is over, I have to say I’m really happy with how things ended in Into the Still Blue.
I should have done a reread — and recommend you at least do a refresher flip-through of the last book — because it took me quite a long time to remember each of the characters and to get back up to pace with the terminology.
But once I did, ahhhhh! Veronica Rossi’s writing is so emotionally compelling. Cinder and Talon and Perry and Aria and everyone — they’re all so vivid to me and I’ve become attached. I have to say, Roar might be one of my favorite characters I’ve read in a long time.
PS: Am I the only one put off by these covers? Those models look NOTHING like Perry and Aria to me. Oh well!
The Promise of Amazing
By Robin Constantine
Publication date: Dec. 31, 2013
Balzer + Bray, 384 pages
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.
Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.
One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.
— Goodreads.com description
Ahhh, man, with a title like The Promise of Amazing and a book description like that, I had high hopes for this novel. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to its promise.
A lot of big points, like the secret Gray’s group of friends is hiding, were alluded to time and time again, but actually revealed a bit too late in the story. That led to a lot of confusion for me as a reader — not quite sure what I was supposed to know already and what I was supposed to wait to find out.
Also, the love story felt a little too quick and forced.
I’m so sad to report that this one wasn’t a winner for me. What do you guys think — will you give it a go?
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!
Sean Griswold’s Head
By Lindsey Leavitt
Publication date: March 1, 2011
Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, 288 pages
According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object-an item to concentrate her emotions on. It’s supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold’s head. They’ve been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas-it’s an alphabetical order thing), but she’s never really known him.
The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father’s newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it’s working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking-er, focusing on-Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He’s cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.
In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.
— Goodreads.com description
How enjoyable is this book?!
Sean Griswold’s Head is one of those contemporary books that have issues, sure, but they are so easy-breezy to read. They don’t weigh on you – you look forward to picking them up, laughing a little, watching the main character mess up and then grow as a person. It’s just plain good stuff.
Payton’s reaction to her dad’s MS diagnosis was frustrating – she basically freaks and freezes him out – but I connected to that element of the story for some very personal reasons. Sean Griswold’s Head is a good book for any YA reader, but because it’s so light and non-preachy it’s particularly a must for any teens going through similar situations.
After this book and Going Vintage, I’m definitely a Lindsey Leavitt fan. Can’t wait to see what she’s up to next. Have you read either of her books? Did you feel the same? Let me know!
This summer, my dear friend Jamie has been coming up with fun posts each Friday and I’ve totally been tagging along on the fun. First she did an A to Z Bookish Survey (Jamie’s | Mine), then it was My Life in Book Titles (Jamie’s | Mine).
Now, it’s yearbook-style bookish senior superlatives! Love this. Here we go…
Most Likely to Change the World
Katniss from The Hunger Games — the girl’s a revolutionary!
Lola & Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door
She probably doesn’t think she’s funny, but Ruby Oliver from E. Lockhart’s books cracks me up
Most Likely To Become Famous For Their Athletic/Musical/Artistic Abilities
Jasmine from Amplified by Tara Kelly
All-Around Good Person
Clara from Unearthly — I mean, she’s not good all the time but she is an angel…
Willem from Just One Day, bigtime! What a ladies’ man!
Most Likely to Be Fought Over
Rose from Vampire Academy
Mostly Likely to Be Friends Forever
Jessica & Hope from Sloppy Firsts
Most Likely to Have Their Own Reality Show
Mallory from Going Vintage — doesn’t the premise of this book sound like a reality show too?
Bennett from Time Between Us
Most Likely to Survive an Apocalypse
Alex from Ashes — those books are hardcore SCARY!
Most Likely to Be a Villain
Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter. Gosh, he sucks.
Will from The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas — so shy! Loved him.
Most Likely to Break Your Heart
Will from Cassie Clare’s Clockwork books — he’s so lovable but he doesn’t believe he can be loved! Oh, the emo!
Bella from Twilight literally speaking — changed into a vamper
Most Likely to Get Arrested
Dani from Stealing Heaven — she’s a thief, but her heart’s not in it, so she’s begging to get caught!
Self Proclaimed God/Goddess
Percy Jackson, demigod
Best Person to Bring Home to Mom & Dad
Roger from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Most Likely to Make You Cry
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Dares to Be Different (in world, plot, storytelling, etc.)
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Most Likely to Make You Swoon
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Most Likely to Be a Favorite of 2013
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead (here’s hoping!)
Most Likely to Change the World (or change your life)
Golden by Jessi Kirby
Book You Are Most Likely to Keep Putting Off
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (sorry, Tara)
Most Likely to End Up As Christmas Gifts for Everyone You Know
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Most Likely to Be Thrown
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (UGH WARNER I CAN’T EVEN)
Most Likely to Be Reread More Than Once
Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty OMG
Most Likely to Make You Read Through an Earthquake Because It’s THAT Engrossing
I couldn’t put down The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Most Likely to Be Passed On to Your Children
Jessica Darling’s It List #1 by Megan McCafferty
Most Likely to Break Your Heart into a Million Pieces
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead (BRIDGE SCENE)
Most Likely to Brighten Up Your Day
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols — ahh, summer books!
What do you guys think of my choices?