Books

Daughter of Deep Silence, by Carrie Ryan

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2.5 Stars

I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

This was a book I was super excited to read, and I went into it expecting awesomeness. Perhaps that was the reason I was so disappointed, but even then, this book is just so mediocre it’s infuriating.

From the premise, excitement is ignited with the promise of a strong, awesome heroine. Un-likable, flawed characters are extremely popular nowadays, and I admit that I myself find them to be the best kind of character. However, Frances Mace, while appearing strong at first, quickly proves to be moody, helpless, and worst of all, obsessed with making out with the guy who most definitely had a role in the brutal murder of her entire family. Her transformation from revenge-obsessed, kick-ass heroine to love struck, useless female happens in those pages in between the inside cover and the first chapter, and I was thoroughly unamused.

The rest of the characters were pretty cardboard-cutout, the love interest most of all. The way I know this book was unmemorable is the fact that although I read this book just a few weeks ago, I couldn’t remember most of the characters’ names.

The plot was okay, not particularly engaging, but not bad either. In fact, it’s probably the reason I finished this book at all. However, no matter how good the plot may be, Frances’ ridiculous actions/personality bring the whole thing down.

Overall, Daughter of Deep Silence is a book with potential ultimately sunk by a terrible, terrible main character. I’m not sure who I’d recommend this to, but overall, it’s not a bad choice for a fast read you can forget soon after.

-Liz

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Books, YA Fiction

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han

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3.75 Stars

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Believe it or not, I have good experiences with Jenny Han. I’ve enjoyed The Summer I Turned Pretty series and the Burn For Burn books that I am “currently” reading (the third book just happens to never be around…). These are the types of books that you shouldn’t think too much about, or else you could ruin the joy of the drama and angst. From what I’ve seen, the characters might get on your nerves a bit, but that’s okay, they can improve and develop normally and the plot is enjoyable enough. I always expect the same with the light contemporary books, but To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before seemed to receive a ton of negative reviews so I had lower expectations than usual. But honestly, if you just take this one in naturally, you’ll actually somewhat enjoy it. Of course I can’t speak for everyone, but the story is entertaining and if you don’t analyze the plot too much, it’s actually pretty sweet overall.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before follows Lara Jean Song as she navigates through school, heartbreak, and boys, mainly boys. You see, Lara Jean copes with all her past loves through writing sugary sweet/dramatic love letters that are meant for nobody else’s eyes, but hers. But, it all goes to crap after someone mails the letters to each of her crushes and they come to confront her. Josh, Lara Jean’s sister’s ex-boyfriend and family friend and Peter, popular school douche and first kiss are the main ones. As she is confronted by Josh about the letter, in order to turn him down she forms a fake relationship with Peter, who is supposedly trying to make his ex-girlfriend, Genevieve, jealous. The more messier it is, the better!

The story might seem a tad unrealistic, but was definitely entertaining. It made me smile and laugh a number of times, mostly out of the pure cuteness of Lara Jean’s family and her relationship with Peter. While Lara Jean herself is another subject, the overall attitude and dynamic between her and her family was quite heartwarming. Lara Jean’s relationship with her sisters is what stood out to me the most, probably because I can relate to all the heartbreak, confusion, and love towards one another when facing a crisis, be it minor or major. Kitty, Lara Jean’s younger sister, was one of my favorite characters, and Margo, the elder one, was great while she was present in the book. After Margo comes back from college to visit, she has to deal with a colossal mess, and the way she and Lara Jean tried to understand each other was very relatable and necessary.

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Books, YA Fiction

Starflight, by Melissa Landers

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4 Stars

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

Starflight doesn’t seem to be the most popular release of this year, but it definitely should be. I haven’t had this much Firefly-esque fun since The Lunar Chronicles. It definitely proves you don’t need a ton of angst, science, and drama to entertain.

The story begins with Solara analyzing the populace willing to acquire a servant, as she is just released from her “group home”. Solara is so desperate to find a new life she indentures herself to the rich asshole who hated her during high school, Doran. As Solara soon attempts to escape onto a new ship by tricking Doran, their plan goes wrong as they discover secrets about themselves and others that could put them in grave danger. After that, Doran and Solara go on a series of crazy adventures that include space pirates, death duels, and lots of other questionable antics.

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Books

New Releases in YA for July 2016

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Ah, one month of summer, gone. Luckily, we have quite a few very exciting books for this month, so enjoy!


1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany – Coming July 31, 2016

harry_potter_and_the_cursed_child_special_rehearsal_edition_book_coverBased on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

Ok, who isn’t excited for this book/script? That’s right, nobody. In preparation, I have reread the entire HP series, re-watched all the movies, and even watched the fan-made A Very Potter Musical (which is hilarious, I might add). I am so ready for this.

2. This Savage Song, by Victoria Schwab – Coming July 5, 2016

23299512There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Schwab has written some really excellent stuff in the past, (if you haven’t already, read A Darker Shade of Magic), so high expectations!

Continue reading “New Releases in YA for July 2016”