Books, YA Fiction

Don’t Get Caught, by Kurt Dinan


3 Stars

10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.

Don’t Get Caught was a very entertaining book. It held loads of promise, quirky characters, and fun moments, but not much of serious substance. It was, in every sense of the word, a “fluff” book, meaning that it wasn’t too deep, but overall, a nice break from dark, depressing fiction.

From the start, we are introduced to the Chaos Club, a mysterious school organization that is known for their epic pranks. So when Max and his friends walk right into a setup, they’re out to get revenge. How? By creating pranks of their own to outcompete the Chaos Club and draw them out of hiding.

Just from this blurb, it should be obvious what type of book this is. A fun one. And on that, it delivers. The pranks these kids pull are entertaining to read… if you don’t think too hard about it. This books is not without its plot holes, but they’re quickly moved away from by the next prank. Another great thing about this book is that the clichés, although there are plenty, work, because of the nature of the book. Advantageously, the clichés read like jokes and enhance the story, when generally, clichés work against the book. This book also made me smile and maybe even chuckle a bit multiple times, which is quite an accomplishment.

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Books, YA Fiction

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between, by Jennifer E. Smith


2-3 Stars

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

I’m not sure if there’s any reader who doesn’t know Jennifer E. Smith, known for her so-cute-I-want-to-die YA romance and contemporary novels. I’m a bit late to her work, and this book was exactly what I was expecting… and what I wasn’t expecting.

When I picked up this book, I was definitely in the mood for some fluff, meaning light and entertaining and very, very adorable. It definitely delivered in that department, but I’ll be honest. I was also looking forward to some hardcore musings about relationships, starting over, and just life in general. I don’t know if all of Smith’s books are very fluffy, but I expected a little more depth than usual, since the entire idea of the book is based on love and letting go, which is a subject a lot of young adults (especially when heading to college) experience. I think the layout of the book would have worked more efficiently if the focus was on the broader topics (like college and love in general) instead of solely Aidan and Clare’s relationship. The drama seemed a little forced, and it was almost making a mountain out of a molehill.

Aidan and Clare are pretty solid characters. I wasn’t wholly invested in them, but they had good chemistry together and I enjoyed reading about their struggle. Their relationship was strong and I could definitely feel their attachment to each other, especially towards the end. But, there is an endless amount of problems and feelings you can graze over when it comes to breaking up and love. Since the main and supporting characters (Stella and Scott) both had their own set of problems concerning college and intimacy (like Aidan and his father’s struggle to reach out to each other, as well as Stella and Scott’s relationship), this book would have worked better if Smith looked over young adult struggles in general, maybe even slightly zeroing in on just a few.

Although I enjoyed the drama and cuteness, I would consider Hello, Goodbye, And Everything In Between full of wasted potential. This novel could have been very eye-opening if it didn’t go down the path of cutesy romances and fluff. I’m sure Smith wanted to write something light and cute, but this kind of topic doesn’t really fit with those words. I would suggest this someone who wants a short and entertaining read.



YA New Releases for May 2016

It’s almost summer! May, along with October, is one of the more popular months for books to come out. So, good luck on AP tests for our high school readers, and remember to relax and read!

179273951. A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) – Coming May 3rd. 2016

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

This is a very highly awaited sequel to Mass’s Goodreads Choice Award-Nominated A Court of Thorns and Roses. I am very excited to see how the series continues.

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