6th through MS, 280 pgs., published by Random House, 2017.
“a gorgeous summer tale” for those who enjoy books like THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall or DEAD END IN NORVELT by Jack Gantos.
This book has a great home feel about it.
When a tornado rips through the neighborhood, Maddie not only loses her dog and her house, along with the other devastating losses, but her friends go pear-shaped on her, a newcomer comes between her and her “boyfriend” and on top of that, other complications surface with her new living arrangements.
Things are hopeful if one can circle back to one’s family. If one can circle back..
This is a good teen series with some problems, but mostly it has to do with the story being a hunger games for the romance set. There are some very obvious foreshadowing and hand holding which I do not like in my books, but for many of my teen readers is just fine.
I have learned that in a school library the goal is to get the largest number of kids reading, and this book series is one that does that. There is just a smidge of action, but any death and destruction are off screen with tertiary or unknown characters. The plot is just what it looks like : hunger games alla Princess Diary meets the Bachelor, but the characters are not going to shoot each other with bows, just mean glances and a well aimed verbal barb. There is a love triangle, and like I said I don’t like books that lay out plot devices so blatantly with the intention “Giant Neon Sign… This will be important… Can you see how she is going to get into trouble in book two?!” But it is a teen romance. And for a teen romance not a bad book.
Parental note… Well, here is where I get a little squiggly. There is no sex. There is no drugs. But the whole arranged marriage at such a young age always makes me uncomfortable. And this entire story is very patronizing to young women. If your teen loves Cinderella stories with a dash of romance and a splash of danger then go for it.
I finished a two part teen series that was refreshingly fun to read. It started with The Girl who Never Was and ends with the Boy with the Hidden Name by Skylar Dorset. Along with such bylines as “cross between Neverwhere and Alice in Wonderland” and great cover art I had to read this. I am going to base my review primarily on the second book since oddly enough that was the book I started with:
The Boy with the Hidden Name, by Skylar Dorset
Age Range: 12 – 17 years
Grade Level: 7 – 12
Series: Otherworld (Book 2)
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (December 2, 2014)
This is an entertaining series about fey creatures, and the humans who live around them in and around Boston. There are evil elves, sexy goblins, ancient wizards, giant Corgis, dragons, cave horses…and a little bit of love. Our main character is a young girl Selkie (and yes I do know that is an Irish creature who wears a seal skin and No this girl is not one of them) a half troll half fey girl in the middle of a prophesy to end or possibly save the world. Ben LeFey is her love interest, a Seelie boy who has a lot of power and loves (we think) Selkie. Names in this series have power, like in most high fantasy series, name something and controll it. (Hence the no Name theme in the book titles).
Book two starts right after book one and Selkie is trying to get over how who she thought was her one true love Ben has just walked out on her to find his Mom. Then the sky goes black, and bells in Boston start to explode out of their towers. It turns out the Seelie (think pretty evil elves) have blotted out the sun and plan to take over the Earth and remove all the humans who they view as an annoying disease on the planet. But to do that they need to invade Boston, Oh, and kill Selkie. Book one had a bit of a pacing problem, but book two is nonstop action. And it is well paced action at that. I found this to be a fantastic read with humor in the right spot, funny characters, and a story that while somewhat predictable, threw enough twists and laughs to make it a fun journey.
I highly recommend this series to readers who don’t want _another teen love story_ that revolves around pretty people and their supernaturally perfect lives. Yes there is love, but it is secondary and provides more humor than romance. I mean the Goblin King’s line “I am really good at seduction” is used as a punchline. And besides Ben is fated to betray and then kill Selkie. Not the stuff of most teen romances these days. So if you want to go on a lark and don’t mind hopping a train to the underground, join Selkie, Ben, and all the other crazy cast of characters on an adventure to save or possibly destroy the world…
Romance / Adventure novel set in the present with fantasy elements
First, I will state that this book has an interesting concept and while it lags in the middle it picked up and had me interested once the characters stopped playing and had a sense of urgency again. My final impression was this is an entertaining and appropriately themed book with only miner PG13 moments.
So the concept is of a almost eighteen year old girl (Abby) who is desperately in love with one boy(Derick) and the length they go to stay together despite discovering they are Kaloans, a non Earth, plane hopping spirit being. Abby happens to be a Guardian, descended from the royal house of Kalos whose parents sent her here to live as a human with a group of other Kaloans each with a unique magical talent:invisibility, telepathy, empathy, persuasion, firemancy, etc
There is a bit of mystery, why do the bad people want to capture Abby? Why is there a magic book that writes words that are unique to each person? Why does Will (a human) act so weird when he is around Abby, but normal when he is alone with Megan (Will’s sort of girlfriend)? How come Mark thinks he is destined to be Abby’s husband, and Derick thinks he should abandon her?
I know it is a romance, but the thing that makes a romance believable is if the reader grows to love the main crush (Derick) with Abby. In this, first page, BAM they are in deep love, and she is getting her first kiss. And then she pines for him until the kidnapping, then they run away together and buy a house on a beach in Florida to play at being married, sort of. It was also risky killing off what should have been a very good bad guy, Aedan, the power hungry ruler of Kalos. I also found the perspective jumping not helpful in this book. Derick and Abby never spend much time apart so why jump from one to the other?
Because I liked the Ending (from boat chase to world hopping) I am going to say go ahead and read it, the last 140 pages do pick up and get interesting.
Parents, note there is underage drinking, coed sleeping in beds together-no sex but plenty of “tingly feelings”, talking about getting married at 17-18, and some violence against the kids by adults. It also romanticizes reckless behavior with no consequences.