Double

Double

He never claimed to be the missing Cassiel. He just neglected to deny it. Given the choice between being a nobody, nameless and homeless, or being a somebody, with everything you’ve never had,  who wouldn’t hesitate? However, pretending to be someone else isn’t easy, especially when no one is who they seem.

Jenny Valentine’s young adult novel, Double (available for purchase tomorrow), begs the reader to ponder the essence of a person’s character – what defines a person and how that affects, or is affected by, an individual’s choices. Slow to build momentum, plot turns in the later portions of the book are certain to build suspense. Many of the characters seem lacking in dimension, but Chap’s struggles with ethical and moral decisions help readers identify with him. Despite annoying changes in tense during parts of the book, Double is an enjoyable book for teens and may lead to discussions.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Pure

Pure

Julianna Baggott’snew  young adult dystopian novel, Pure,promises to deliver. Touted as the new The Hunger Games Trilogy and with movie rights already sold for the first novel, the hype is indicative of a best selling book.

Baggot’s descriptive writing pulls the reader in, and the premise behind the book is horrifying. Atomic bombs, set by those wanting to purify the Earth, have drastically changed the world. Secret agendas abound and the main character, a strong female lead, starts out strong. However, after the initial chapters, the book seems to be carried by remaining momentum rather than driving to a capitulating climax.

My main complaint, and one that I can’t let go of, is that the science in the book moves is so far removed to make the book fantasy rather than science fiction. With all of its promises and good points, for me the book failed to deliver.

The book comes out today, so yu can pick up your own copy and see what you think of it.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.

The Fallback Plan

The Fallback Plan

Esther has just finished college and moved back in with her parents. Recognizing that her childhood is now over, she realizes that the next stage in her life is ready to begin. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know what that next step is. Pushed into a babysitting job by her mother in an attempt for her to do something other than eat cereal in her pajamas, she spends a good portion of her time imagining that she is the mother of her charge and the lover of her charge’s father. The rest is spent smoking pot with some friends and sleeping with the guy she is attracted to but doesn’t like.

Leigh Stein’s The Fallback Plan is nothing if not consistent. Mirroring the main character’s aimlessness, the book drifts along without any real purpose. Perhaps those in a similar situation would find the book enjoyable, but it is hard to rally for characters who are apathetic about their own selves.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The Sleepwalkers

The Sleepwalkers

Caleb’s life is all set. He has his plans laid out for after high school graduation until the arrival of a letter from an old childhood friend. Shortly after, he sets out on a road trip with his best friend, Bean, to find out what is going on. Arriving at his old hometown, he finds that secrets have been kept there for years.

J. Gabriel Gates’ The Sleepwalkers brings a new scene for teen horror. Reminiscent of Stephen King and John Saul, the story is artfully written and skillfully suspenseful. While I found I had many questions about some of the story’s end, it merely added to the disquieting feeling of the book.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Cinder and Ella

Cinder and Ella

Cinder and Ella are two of four sisters. Both their older and younger sisters are selfish, their father quit doing anything to help the family before disappearing altogether, and their mother spins all day at her spinning wheel, effectively ignoring her daughters to the point that she has forgotten that Cinder and Ella are two individuals. Ella, tired of being forgotten and taken advantage of, sets out on her own, leaving Cinder to take care of the family.

Melissa Lemon’s telling of the Cinderella story, Cinder and Ella, is only marginally related to the original fairytale. With an evil prince on the horizon, and a story of living trees, the book’s closest tie with the original tale is the name of the book. While the book is a decent read, the characters, with few exceptions, just aren’t very likeable.

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided by the publisher.

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake: A Novel, by debut author Jenny Wringfield, is a heart felt book about the Moses family. With well-developed characters and descriptive prose, Wringfiled embraces the reader amidst a Southern family in which everyone has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. Where many books pit right against wrong, The Homecoming of Samuel Lake not only recognizes shades of grey but also recognizes all of the other colours pertaining to our decisions and beliefs concerning humanity and family.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.