Itty Bitty Book Reviews, Start of Summer Edition
Hey everyone! It’s time for another round of Itty Bitty Book Reviews. I’m trying something new for these reviews – keeping my reviews to 250 words or less! I mean, they are supposed to be itty bitty, and I tend to be wordy, so here goes….
Amanda’s take: Okay, so many of you know that one of my favorite series is Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist series. When VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates), the magazine I review books for, sent me Yancey’s latest book back in March, I almost did a hand stand. I may have let out a little shriek, which startled the husband, but I digress. This book….so many things. First of all, it’s classic Yancey plotting – some slower parts, but when it picks up, it hits at 400 mph. Cassie is one of the few left after aliens have decimated Earth’s population. She’s alone and looking for her family after making a promise to her little brother that she would come for him. The alternate viewpoint in the story is that of Zombie, a teen who was recruited into one of the last human armies and is now responsible for a team of kids. I won’t spoil anything, but when the plot comes together and you have that lightbulb moment about how everything fits? LOVE IT. Yancey’s pacing, characters, and overall story are just superb. I think the man could write about a fence painter and I’d read it. He’d find a way to make even that interesting.
Leverage by Joshua Cohen
Pub date: February 17, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Amanda’s take: I am not a sports fan. Never really have been. So when I heard that this book was about sports, I at first passed. I did not know exactly what the book was about – and after I heard people raving about it being intense, I became curious. So onto my to-be-read list it went, and it sat there until a few weeks ago. Sports is only a small part of this book – this book broke my heart into a million pieces and refuses to pick them back up. It’s revolting and intense and difficult to read, definitely what I would call a trigger book. Some reviewers have called it the male version of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. The story is told from two viewpoints; Danny, a gymnast who aspires to go to the Olympics, and Kurtis, the new kid on the football team. It’s a story of sports, steroids, abuse, and what happens when a prank goes too far. But it’s also, and most importantly, about bullying in high schools. You will, after reading this, want to find the nearest high schooler and bring them home, feed them, and tell them everything will be okay. Part of me feels like this should be required reading for parents, teachers, and high schoolers. Highly, highly recommended.
Amanda’s take: Here is my requisite Regency romance novel! I’ve read a few recently but this was the one that stuck out. It pretty much is a Regency-era version of Princess and the Pea, with lots of witty banter and steamy scenes and two main characters, Olivia and Tarquin (that name!), who are just destined for each other. Tarquin needs a bride and knows that Georgette would be a perfect duchess, but it’s Olivia, her twin sister, that has his attention. Olivia is the exact opposite of Georgette – curvy, opinionated, and unconventional. And worse yet, Olivia is engaged to another man. I love this book simply because the perfect woman for this big, strong man isn’t the perfect little princess that always needs rescued in all the fairy tales. Olivia is a hoot, loud and not afraid of letting people know what she thinks (which is a huge no-no in this era) and the attraction between her and Tarquin just sizzles. A fun read.
I know it’s a short set of reviews, but we just moved and I’ve spent the last couple of months organizing, packing, and unpacking! But here is my short-list of books I can’t wait to get my hands on – books that, if they’re any good, might show up in the next Itty Bitty Reviews!