Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Review: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, Book 1), by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, book 1)
By: Rick Yancey
ISBN-10: 0399162410
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Cassie Sullivan’s life is turned upside down when aliens invade Earth with the intent of wiping out humanity—one “wave” at a time. Miraculously, Cassie survived all four of the attacks that erased most of the population. But she knows the aliens, also known as the Others, aren’t finished yet, and she’s ready to make a last stand against them—even if she dies in the process.

It includes:

• Violence (gruesome descriptions of death and injuries)
• References to virginity and sex
• Nudity
• Kissing
• Profanity (a few F-words, godd*mn, sh*t, b*tch, h*ll, and d*mn)

This is the first in a young adult post-apocalypse trilogy. The story is told from multiple point of views, and is very intense. Language and sexual references are used crudely throughout, and some violent scenes are quite icky.

Readers who enjoy post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller novels like The 5th Wave might also like The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken, Gone, by Michael Grant, and:

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Review: The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train
By: Paula Hawkins
ISBN-10: 1594633665
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Rachel lost her job months ago, but she still takes the train into London every morning. One day she is staring out the train window and notices something out of the ordinary. When it is announced that a woman has gone missing the next day, Rachel thinks she just might have the key to solving the mystery.

It contains:

• Profanity (F-word, b*tch, p*ss, Jesus Christ, God, bloody, bastard, h*ll, and d*mn)
• References to sex (his hands on her hips in the shower, someone gave two men oral sex in a book, a married couple kisses and it is suggested that they are nude, a husband wears an apron in front of his wife and nothing else, a husband buys his wife a “silky black teddy,” mentions of having had sex)
• Adultery (a man cheated on his ex and cheats on his current wife multiple times, a woman cheats on her husband, a married woman tries to seduce her therapist)
• One character is an alcoholic and drinks constantly
• Violence (a woman has bruises and a cut on her head, a disturbing story about a baby dying, murder, accidentally cutting fingers, descriptions of blood, abusive husbands, choking, knocking someone unconscious, killing someone with a corkscrew)
• Vomit
• Lying

The Girl on the Train is an engaging adult thriller that follows the perspectives of three interconnected women. It can be read by mature young adult readers, as there are no sex scenes and not too much language, though there is quite a bit of troubling violence.

Readers who enjoyed The Girl on the Train might also like The Kind Worth Killing, by Peter Swanson.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, Book 1), by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, book 1)
By: Barry Lyga
ISBN-10: 0316125849
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No one knew until it was too late that Jazz’s dad is a serial killer. Now Billy Dent is locked up in prison, but Jazz is still plagued from the “lessons” Billy taught him as a child. So when another killer invades Jazz’s small hometown in Lobo’s Nod, Jazz knows this is his chance to track down the murderer, and prove once and for all that he’s nothing like his father.

But with Billy’s voice invading his head 24/7, Jazz secretly wonders if the truth is otherwise.

This book contains material appropriate only for mature teens or adults. It includes:

• Profanity (godd*mn, d*mn, h*ll, and cr*p)
• Violence (many disturbing descriptions of mangled, dead bodies)
• A few references to sex, as well as male and female private parts
• Reference to a condom
• It is mentioned that a boy is a virgin
• A teen boy gets “hard” when a girl sits in his lap
• Awareness of women’s bodies
• Kissing with tongue
• Many references to rape (some quite descriptive)
• A dead body is naked
• Brief reference to masturbation

I Hunt Killers is a young adult mystery thriller that will keep readers turning the page, but contains a lot of inappropriate and disturbing content. It should be all right for fifteen or sixteen year olds and up to read, so long as they have a strong stomach.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review: Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #5), By Laurell K. Hamilton

Book Review: Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #5), By Laurell K. Hamilton
By: Laurell K. Hamilton
ISBN: 0515134465
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Anita is called upon to raise a graveyard full of zombies, but instead finds herself in a web of vampire murder investigations and fey magic.
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: Cruel Beauty, by Rosamund Hodge

cruel beauty cover large hd by rosamund hodge, ya young adult retelling romance fantasy
Cruel Beauty
By: Rosamund Hodge
ISBN-10: 0062224735
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Ever since she was a young girl, Nyx has been prepared to marry a demon known as the Gentle Lord on her seventeenth birthday, after a deal her father made with him when Nyx was just an infant. But Nyx knows the monster is anything but gentle, and all these years she’s been training herself, readying to meet him—and kill him.

It includes:

• Lots of references to sex
• One implied sex scene
• Kissing
• Partial nudity
• Some violent descriptions and death threats
• A seventeen year old drinks wine
• Some disturbing scenes (touching a dead person’s tongue; demons crawl over a character and try to possess her)

Cruel Beauty is a sweeping and luscious young adult retelling of Beauty and the Beast, told in first-person. Nyx is a strong young woman who is faced with the task of defeating her new husband, while at the same time feeling guilty for giving into her deepest desires. This standalone is not very content-heavy, but the plot is darkly written, and the abrupt, shocking ending may not apply to everyone’s liking.

Readers who enjoyed Cruel Beauty might also like:

Winterspell, by Claire Legrand

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Review: The Scorpio Races, By Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races
By: Maggie Stiefvater
The Scorpio Races

Puck Connolly may have decided to enter the dangerous Scorpio races as a scheme to keep her family together, but the repercussions of her choice will change herself, her family, and community in ways she could never imagine.

Exciting and unpredictable, The Scorpio Races is full of rugged danger, reckless ambition, and refreshingly understated romance. Readers who have read Shiver or The Raven Boys (Also by Maggie Stiefvater) will find that this story is completely unique in tone and setting. The Scorpio Races is a stand alone novel with no series, sequel, prequel, etc and ends in a way that is both satisfying and true to the characters.

It includes:
  • References to the size of a woman's chest
  • Kissing
  • References to groping, and theoretically having someone share your bed in a non-plutonic manner
  • Urinating in someone's shoes
  • Injuries
  • Death
  • Killing
It also contains some religious references to church, confessions and penance as well as some mythical elements that are critical to the story's setting.

You may also enjoy:

Book Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1), By Maggie Stiefvater
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye, by Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
By: Cynthia Hand
ISBN-10: 0062318470
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Lex’s brother Ty tried to kill himself once before, but no one suspected he would make a second attempt . . . and succeed. Now Lex is struggling with the aftereffects of her brother’s suicide as everything in her life seems to be falling apart.

This is a young adult book and contains:

• Depictions of Ty shooting himself in the chest with a rifle
• Graphic violent nightmares
• Profanity (a few F-words, b*tch, *sshole, sh*t, d*ck, douche, butthead, and misuses of God’s name)
• Kissing with tongue
• References to making out
• Valium, wine, and drinking
• Preteens and older characters smoke (although the main character makes several stands against cigarettes)

The Last Time We Say Goodbye is an emotional, in-depth look at what it’s like to lose a family member to suicide. The characters obviously do not approve of the fact that Ty killed himself, and Lex is angry at him and even blames herself for his death. Fans of Unearthly should also be aware that this standalone is very different from the author’s paranormal trilogy, and more mature.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review: Talon (Talon, Book 1), by Julie Kagawa

Talon (Talon, book 1)
By: Julie Kagawa
ISBN: 0373211392
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All Ember wants out of this summer is freedom without all the confinement, observation and isolation her early dragon years have contained. All Garrett wants is to find the dragon he's suppose to kill and kill it, but when hunter meets hunted Ember and Garret find their lives taking some rather unexpected, exciting and potentially lethal turns.

Talon is a moderately slow paced young adult, urban fantasy centered around dragon shape-shifters trying to blend into human society, the rules of their secret world and the people who hunt them. As the first book in its series, Talon does not have a completely conclusive ending.

It contains:
  • Underage drinking
  • drunkenness
  • girl kicks guy between legs
  • fist fight
  • injuries (blood no gore)
  • killing/death
  • kissing (some references to tongues and in one instance a girl straddles a guy - clothed)
  • guy attempting to feel up a girl kisses & slaps her
  • admiring references to shirtless guy's physic
  • awareness of nudity but no descriptions
  • cr*p is used in one instance

If you are looking for a reasonably light young adult read with occasional scales/fire breathing and a dab of romance, then you may enjoy Talon.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Review: A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls
By: Patrick Ness
ISBN-10: 1406311529
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Connor just wants his life to go back to being normal again . . . But that was before his mother became so ill she had to be hospitalized several times, and before he met the monster.

Parents should be aware that this book contains:

• Mild profanity (three uses of h*ll, one d*mn)
• Brief mention of a man and woman cuddling while nude
• Vomit
• Some violence (killing, fighting, and injuries, such as blood and a broken arm)
• Bullying

A Monster Calls is a middle grade novel, but can be read by older readers as well. The story is extremely emotional and depressing, and a few scenes might disturb younger readers, so I would advise parents to be cautious in letting young children read this book. Fans of Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy should also be aware that this book is entirely different from his dystopian thriller series, but just as moving and well-written.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book Review: Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8), By Jim Butcher

Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8)A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 8
By: Jim Butcher

As a new warden for the White Council, Harry Dresden has the responsibility of hunting down Warlocks. So when black magic starts claiming lives in Chicago, it's his job to find the culprit and bring them to justice regardless of their age or reasons.

Proven Guilty is a fast paced and enjoyable installment in the Dresden Files that leaves Harry's life changed. It contains graphic injuries, an execution, profanity, teen pregnancy, references to drug use, nudity, arousal, and would be sexual situation, although there are sex scenes.

Readers should be aware that while it is not strictly necessary to read the first eleven Dresden Files in order, there is an overriding story that is easier to follow if you do.
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