Somehow, this month became the month in which I read YA novel after YA novel. It wasn’t intentional; I blame the library. Several new releases I’d had on hold came in at the same time and, well, I just went with it.
Not into young adult novels? Then don’t read the post, silly!
Shatter Me Tahereh Mafi – Juliette’s been locked in a mental institution for the last two years. She hasn’t spoken with anyone, touched anyone in that length of time. This is a good thing. Because when she touches people, they feel excruciating pain. So when she’s given a roommate, a male roommate, no less, she’s not surprised. She’s terrified. Once you get past the whole “Rogue from X-Men in a post-apoc-type world” storyline, you’ll fall in love with Juliette. Told in a haunting, lyrical style, it’s like reading an epic poem. Normally, I’d find it distracting. Instead, I loved the book so much, I’m going to have to go out and buy it for myself, and force it on people who haven’t read it yet. Juliette, despite everything she’s been through in her young life (never being touched, never feeling loved, bullied and taunted relentlessly) she’s chosen to survive rather than give up.
Charmfall Chloe Neill – Something’s causing a magical blackout in the city of Chicago, and Lily and Company have taken it upon themselves to find out whey. Help comes from an unlikely source, one that pisses off her were boyfriend Jason to no end. Neill’s third outing with the Dark Elite is fluffy and fun, but ultimately does little to further the overall storyline. What it does do, though, is provide a glimpse into the kind of life the Adepts will have once they give up their powers, and it brings up some interesting questions about their future.
Truth Julia Karr – Truth picks up where XVI leaves off, with Nina having turned 16 a few weeks before and therefore considered “of age”. Holiday is approaching, and in between trying to find time to spend with her boyfriend Sal and trying to get her Pops sprung from the detention center, she starts wreaking havoc with a group called the Sisterhood. It’s good to see Nina is still headstrong and unwilling to sit by, keeping herself demurely out of danger, and Karr keeps up her subtle commentary on crass commercialism and the general ways of being a social sheep. And for once, the potential love triangle she sets up doesn’t bother the hell out of me, because both boys are equally deserving of Nina’s affections.
Geek Girl Cindy Benett – Jen’s a bad girl who’s determined to turn a geek boy to “the dark side”. She gets more than she bargained for when she finds she actually enjoys his sci-fi nerdiness, hanging out at the bowling alley with the family, and volunteering at the senior center. Of course, her happiness doesn’t last long. Not when it all hinges on a bet she made with her friends, who are determined to undermine her. I loved Jen. Her change was completely believable and genuine, and even though the plot is ripped straight from She’s All That, I didn’t care. I did care when she got her heart broken, and I didn’t want the story to end.
Nevermore Kelly Creagh – Isobel and Varen, the cheerleader and the goth, are paired together on a high school English project on the life of Edgar Allen Poe. What comes after is a story of stereotypes and breaking them down, intertwined with one possible explanation of Poe’s imagination and the creation of his twisted world. There were a number of problems with this book. The aforementioned stereotypes bugged the shit out of me. The story took too long to get going, and the love story was just, well, there. Like one moment it’s not, the next it’s like, oh hey! The saving grace? Varen and the Poe aspect. Varen is sardonic, smart, witty, the bad boy with the secret soft side. The way that Creagh winds Poe’s world into the last quarter of the story makes the pages speed by, and in the end, even if you find Isobel annoying (which I did, for most of the book) your heart will break for her. I’m interested enough to want to read the next book in the trilogy, Enshadowed, due out in August.