Tag Archives: ya reads

Insurgent: A Divergent Novel by Veronica Roth
Book Reviews
July 9, 2012 posted by Nikki

Insurgent: A Divergent Novel by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

When Divergent ended, Tris and her crew were in deep trouble. As the pages of Insurgent begin, her situation hasn’t improved at all. In fact, and to my glorious delight, this novel picks up exactly where Divergent ended, so we don’t miss a thing. Knowing they can’t stay out in the open for long, they head for the Amity headquarters, seeking refuge – as temporary as it will inevitably be.

But the Amity has rules. Rules that the likes of Tobias and Tris, accustomed to the Dauntless way of life, have difficulty following and their stay at Amity is short lived. Was it really ever going to be any other way? However, before they depart, Tris confronts Marcus, demanding answers and he gives her some insight into a situation that affects them all. Problem is, when she tells Tobias, he dismisses the information as lies, a mere attempt to manipulate her and everyone around her. Tris tries to forget what Marcus told her, but his words rest in the base of her stomach, even though she promised Tobias she’d let it go.

The factions continue warring and Tris and Tobias find themselves in the very thick of it at every turn they make. It seems wherever they go, trouble soon follows, and in war, you’re only as safe as those whom you entrust your life with…

But whom can she trust? As the story unfolds, Tris unexpectedly runs into several other characters that she never thought she’d see again, each one offering up pockets of information about their bleak fate. As their bank of information continues to grow, it becomes obvious to Tris that her and Tobias might not sit on the same side of the fence. She loves him with everything in her heart, but she can’t make him see what she can see, and in the end, Tris realizes, in an act of complete Abnegation, she must sacrifice his trust and love to save everyone from the big bad evil that lurks outside the fence.

There is not one single moment of down time in this installment. As 500 + page novels go, this one is quite the showstopper. After re-writing it three times, I still feel like my above plot review does not do the story justice, but in the interest of not giving away the absolutely jaw dropping plot turns that unfold, I decided a more generic explanation of events was required.

Tris, and her character development, however, is something I am completely willing to discuss. She becomes so Dauntless in this novel that it’s infuriating. She places herself in reckless after reckless situation without, as Tobias so aptly phrased it, ‘any regard for her own life’.

And I hated her for it.For a good 300 pages, I wanted to punch her in the face. But for the life of me I couldn’t put the darned book down!

I yelled at my book, slammed it shut in fury (only to open it again immediately), and harassed various friends via facebook at several points in the story. Repeatedly.

For someone who was so meek and unsure of herself at the beginning of Divergent, Insurgent sees her grow into a ruthless fighter. My heart ached for Tobias as she ran off into the night, went behind his back, kept information from him, and used his own weaknesses against him – all in the name of the greatest good for the greatest number of people. And that’s what she’s doing, I get that – the Abnegation in her pushes her to forgo her own desires to save everyone else, because she knows she can. But, as I came the end of the novel, I realized that it wasn’t completely self-sacrificing. Tris wanted to do those things. The Dauntless inside of her is a scary, wild lioness not to be messed with. And maybe, just maybe, she’s too Dauntless for Tobias…

This is not one of those warm fuzzy reads. My stomach was in knots as I flipped page after page. Betrayal after betrayal will follow these characters on their journey, rendering everyone’s actions questionable. By the end, I was a hot, anxious mess.

This story is thrilling, addictive, and fantastic in every single way. Once you pop this one, there will be no stopping till the last word on the last page. Technically perfect, creatively brilliant, Insurgent reminded me why I’m a compulsive reader. Veronica Roth, you’re my version of a rockstar.

Pages: A whopping 525

Publication date: May, 2012

Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books, a HarperCollins Imprint.

Teaser quote: “You’re more than Dauntless,” he says in a low voice. “But if you want to be just like them, hurling yourself into ridiculous situations for no reason and retaliating against your enemies without any regard for what’s ethical, then go right ahead. I thought you were better than that, but maybe I was wrong!”

Rating: ★★★★★ DUH!

Book Reviews
February 2, 2011 posted by Christina

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephenie Perkins

“Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long awaited French kiss?”

For ages all I ever heard was about this book was mostly OMG SO GOOD, LOVED IT!!! or BEST BOOK EVER. And always in caps lock. After the 100th tweet of that nature, I thought, alright time to bump it up on my TBR pile, this one’s next.

When Anna’s fake tanned, bleached teeth, Nicholas Sparks-esque father ships her off to the School of America in Paris, a French boarding school, she is less than impressed. With no more than oui and crepe in her French vocabulary it’s safe to say she was in over her head.

Fortunately, right after her arrival she meets Meredith and is taken under her wing along with her group of friends – Josh, Rashmi and…Étienne St. Clair. We learn from the blurb all of Étienne’s merits – smart, charming, beautiful, as well as his downfall – Ellie, his girlfriend. Though there’s a spark from the first moment Anna and Étienne meet, he, and any feelings other than friendship, are strictly off limits…or are they?

I guess looking at the story objectively there isn’t anything new being conveyed here -it’s a boy meets girl kind of story, but what Stephanie Perkins does so amazingly well is the story’s execution.  The writing is COMPLETELY absorbing and realistic, but cute, with characters that are endearing and display real emotion that you can’t help but invest your whole heart into their story.

Living vicariously has always been a favorite hobby of mine. After being introduced to a character like Étienne St. Clair, it didn’t take me long before I firmly planted myself in Anna Oliphant’s place. He has an English accent and can speak perfect French; he’s intelligent, witty, loves history and has stacks of books in his room. I die. Oh, and he’s gorgeous.

Sometimes I found it a bit irritating being constantly reminded how beautiful Anna thinks he is but it’s a flaw that’s easily forgiven. Especially since, when you’re that infatuated with someone it is sometimes all you can think about.

Étienne isn’t all perfection though, he has faults and issues that he deals with – some are more serious, like his issues with his dad, others are kind of cute, like his fear of heights.

Anna is a very endearing character; her looks aren’t classically beautiful but reminded me of Georgia May Jagger. She’s smart, funny and a total movie buff with a few neurotic tendencies. She’s strong but has her moments of weakness; she’s brave but sometimes gets scared – scared of confronting the truth, scared of being alone, even scared of feeling things that she knows to be wrong. Though these qualities might be flaws, they are what make her real.

I really loved that Anna and Étienne’s relationship was based on friendship, running slowly and naturally and took time to develop over the course of the year, as opposed to some books that take place in a time span of two weeks and both characters had to work hard for the desired outcome.

The chemistry between these two was electric and yet so sweet. There were moments that were so perfect it made me squirm with excitement making the book a total guilty pleasure, because only in a work of fiction can you create such perfection. This is the stuff daydreams are made of – I’m looking at you chapter twenty.

Sure some parts felt like a fantasy, but they’ve been masterfully brought to life with a dose of realism that let you believe in the story that’s being played out.

When I spotted a quote by Pablo Neruda (uttered by the charming Étienne), this book stole my heart for good. Quotes by Neruda? I die. I totally Rachel-Zoe-seeing-something-amazing die.

No doubt, Anna and the French Kiss will be the kind of book that friendships are formed over.
“Do you like Glee?”
“No….do you like Italian food?”
“Do you like Anna and the French Kiss?”

Usually, hype makes me nervous; it can set a book up to be a major disappointment. So while I tried not to have high hopes, any fears I had were for naught. I’m sure next time you look up awesome in the dictionary, the cover of this book will be there.  In the end all I can say is – J’adore ce livre!

Pages: 372
Publication Date: December 2010
Publisher: Penguin
Challenge: n/a
Rating: : ★★★★★

Teaser Quote: “I mean really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.”

Did you love Anna and the French Kiss as much as I did? Come share your favorite part in the discussion thread! Click here.

The Unwritten Rule – Elizabeth Scott
Book Reviews
September 11, 2010 posted by Nikki

The Unwritten Rule – Elizabeth Scott

He’s looking at me like – well, like he wants to look at me. Like he likes what he sees, and he’s smiling and his eyes are so blue, even in the faint glow of the porch light they shine, and I nod dumbly, blindly, then grope for the door handle, telling myself to look away and not yet able to do it.

“Sarah,” he says, softly, almost hesitantly, and my heart slam bangs, beating hard, and this is what it’s like to want someone you can’t have. To want someone you shouldn’t even be looking at.

Sarah is in quite the predicament. She’s riding that rollercoaster of first love – the pain, the exhilaration, the ups and downs. Only problem is, she’s doing it solo – unrequited style. She’s been in love with Ryan since the eighth grade, but now he’s dating her emotionally stunted best friend, Brianna, and Sarah is forced to stumble through each day, the pain of seeing them together pulling at her insides with every second that passes.

Brianna has crappy parents who clearly don’t want her around, and Ryan seems to make Brianna feel like she matters to someone. At least, that’s how it looks to Sarah, which is why Sarah is so hell bent on keeping her feelings completely and totally to herself. How could she take Ryan away from Brianna, when she has so little to start with?

Besides, there’s no way Sarah could compete with the sassy, sexiness that is Brianna – and Brianna makes sure Sarah knows it every single day. Brianna might have crappy parents, but that’s no excuse for the way she treats those around her. Its obvious to the reader that Ryan is nothing more than a self-esteem booster for Brianna, and while she might actually love Sarah, she doesn’t know how to show it. I couldn’t help but wonder if Brianna only kept Sarah around to make herself feel better.

But then, it seems, Ryan sees through Brianna’s dance, and decides to take his affections elsewhere – right into the garden of Sarah! Turns out, Ryan has kind of been in love with Sarah for ages, but got all caught up in the whirlwind that is Brianna and time just got away. But he wont stand for that anymore. He wants Sarah, and nothing – nothing – will stand in his way.

Not even Brianna, when she walks in on Ryan and Sarah lying curled up together in Sarah’s bed.

The Unwritten Rule is interesting exploration through the rules of dating and friendship. Were Ryan and Sarah wrong to pursue each other when Brianna was still so clearly caught in the middle. Did they consider her feelings enough? With the way Brianna was treating the pair of them, should they have considered her feelings at all? When is it okay to break the rules of friendship for matters of the heart? These are all questions I asked myself repeatedly throughout this story.

Sarah and Ryan are both likable characters, but I found Brianna to be shallow, callous and difficult to read. She’s clearly got some emotional issues, but the way she treats those around her makes my stomach squirm. You’d think, with her home life being so terrible and all, she’d value the love of her friends a little more.

The Unwritten Rule is a home run for Elizabeth Scott. This is a great, contemporary chick lit read!

Publication date: 2010

Pages: 210

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: “I wasn’t happy with you? Brianna says. “Almost eight weeks, Ryan. And then you go and – ” she glares at me. “Is this my anniversary present? You could have at least picked someone decent. Someone I’d believe you want and not just who you used to make yourself feel better.”

Delcroix Academy: The Candidates – Inara Scott
Book Reviews
September 4, 2010 posted by Nikki

Delcroix Academy: The Candidates – Inara Scott

Dancia Lewis is far from popular. And that’s not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia’s mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just…happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt.  So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to anyone, belieiving this way she can supress her powers and keep them hidden.

But when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia’s days of living under the radar may be over. Only, Delcroix is a school for diplomats’ kids and child geniuses–not B students with uncontrollable telekinetic tendencies.  So why are they treating Dancia like she’s special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make Dancia feel welcome.

And then there’s her mysterious new friend Jack, who can’t stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at the Academy and wants Dancia to help him figure out what.  But Dancia isn’t convinced. She hopes that maybe the recruiters know more about her “gift” than they’re letting on. Maybe they can help her understand how to use it…But not even Dancia could have imagined what awaits her behind the gates of Delcroix Academy.

From the onset, it’s pretty clear that Dancia is supposed to be an average, run of the mill character that teenage girls everywhere should be able to relate to. With her average, grades, average appearance, less than impressive wardrobe, and no money or classy possessions to show off, Dancia has pretty much resigned herself to a life less lived. Except, although she seems unwilling to admit it, there is something exceptional about her. She has an odd kind of power and can make things happen with her mind. She doesn’t understand it, she can’t really control it, but whenever she ends up using it, bad things happen. Dancia chooses to ignore her power and enters the big fat land of denial.

The Delcroix Academy recruits her. She doesn’t understand why – Delcroix is supposed to be for talented people, and talent is something she’s seriously lacking. Still, there is no possible way they could know about her abilities, right? That couldn’t really be why they want her, could it?

Jack seems to think so. He’s another recruit, just like Dancia. No special, obvious talents (unless you count a juvie record and a bunch of failed efforts under his belt). But Dancia senses something special about Jack immediately. Something special, in her kind of way. Just when Dancia starts getting close to Jack, Cam puts himself in her line of vision. Dancia doesn’t understand his newfound interest in her – he is the most attractive guy in school after all – but when his attention seems unrelenting, Dancia allows herself to roll with it.  Suddenly, she finds herself caught in the middle of a love triangle. Has the world gone completely mad?

Except, she doesn’t like Jack. Honest. She likes Cam. Smart, funny, handsome. Jack is nothing but a troublemaker. So why, if she feels nothing for Jack, does the world stop spinning when he kisses her?

Then the truth comes out about why she was really recruited to Declroix, and all hell breaks loose.

I found Dancia’s naivety completely and utterly frustrating, but if I’m honest with myself, the way she behaved is completely and utterly believable. It’s every girl’s dream come true to have the school hearth throb chasing after you. Unfortunately, I don’t buy it. Even though Cam does seem genuinely interested in Dancia, I refused to let myself believe its true. I can’t pin point it exactly, but there’s just something about it that makes my stomach turn – and not in a good way.

Jack, on the other hand, is totally nuts about Dancia, but I’m not entirely sure it’s for the right reasons. Is he interested in her because of her power, or does he really like her for who she is? I can’t tell yet, but I’m really hoping it’s the latter. In case you didn’t already figure it out, I’m Team Jack.

Delcroix Academy: The Candidates starts off a little slowly, but once the action gets going, it becomes one of those novels that you just can’t put down. It’s Inara Scott’s first novel, and I’m definitely going to be watching to see how this story pans out.

Pages: 293

Publication Date: August 28, 2010

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: Jack leaned against the porch rail, his body once again a relaxed slouch. his voice was soft, coaxing. “How can you say that? I’m no bully.”

Six Impossible Things – Fiona Wood
Book Reviews
August 17, 2010 posted by Christina

Six Impossible Things – Fiona Wood

“Fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things…”

It always seems to be that when one thing goes wrong in your life, other things like to join in and make it even worse. When it rains it pours right? It’s under these circumstances that we meet fourteen year old Dan Cereill.

After his father’s business goes broke, he announces that he’s bankrupt, gay and moving out. Dan and his mother are left to face the liquidators as Dan’s whole life is literally taken away from him. At the same time, his mother’s great Aunt Adelaide has passed away and left the house to Dan’s mother. The family collects their few belonging and tries to start again.

Not long after they move in, Dan meets his next door neighbor (and soon to be new classmate), Estelle. Needless to say he is head over heels in 5 seconds flat.  He also meets his new roommate, Howard, Aunt Adelaide’s dog, and the very cool Oliver, who lives in the stable house.  With a new house, school, friends and a new lifestyle, can Dan and his mother cope to make this new life work?

Six Impossible Things is quite a remarkable book. Loosely based on Cinderella (Dan Cereill is an anagram for Cinderella), the story also has a touch of Lewis Caroll’s Through The Looking Glass as well as a bit of the Ugly Duckling. Though it references these stories the book itself is still quite unique and makes these connections without being obvious.

Dan himself is a total sweetheart, so many times I felt like reaching into the book and giving this kid a hug. I thought he was really an amazing character who steps up to the plate despite the unfortunate situation around him. Even though he’s young, he displays maturity, yet still stays true to his age. It was great to see him grow and see how he was dealing with things (while not dealing with others).

His crush on Estelle is also quite cute. Unlike other books where there’s a love interest just because the girl is super super gorgeous, Dan likes her for more than that. He stumbles around a bit but really works at making her see him for what he really is. It was very sweet, and always maintained the feeling of it being real.

Dan’s mother was a very human character. As a kid in this situation you’d probably look to your mother to stay strong and pick up the pieces but in this story, I was pretty disappointed by her behavior. She’d be moody, sad, and sometimes even neglectful of Dan, often she sabotaged her own business and chance at income and failed to recognize just how much Dan was trying to make her happy. You’re not always going to like a character and though I didn’t like her, she was still very real. It’s realistically how many people would cope (or not cope) in the situation.

This book is skillfully written, with not only great characters (both main and minor) who each had their own defining personality, great dialogue, but also by adding just the right amount of humor so that this book doesn’t come off as depressing. It seems with so much heartache this book would be much sadder, but it was instead a very sweet and heartwarming novel that I really enjoyed.

Pages: 263

Publication Date: August 2010

Rating: : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: He gives me an assessing once over. “Out of your league, man, unless you do something about the look,” he says.
“You said outward stuff doesn’t make you cool.”
“It’s definitely not
the thing, but it’s a thing. It’s one of those paradoxes life throws up – it can’t make you cool, but it can make you uncool.”
Now he tells me.

Author Interview with Simone Elkeles
Author Interviews
August 15, 2010 posted by Nikki

Author Interview with Simone Elkeles

As you all know, to celebrate the release of her new novel, Return to Paradise, we’re celebrating all things Simone Elkeles this month. Everyone here at yaReads has Elkeles Fever and were stoked when she sat down for an interview with us. If you’ve been following any of Simone’s stories, chances are you’re going to love this interview! Strap yourselves in, folks. This one is too awesome for words.

Return to Paradise gives readers a bit of closure. Is this it for Maggie and Caleb, or will we be treated to another novel?

The story is finished after Return to Paradise.  However, I want to tell my fans that they will feel much better about the ending I have in store for Maggie and Caleb this time!

I know what my favorite moment is, but I’m dying to know what your fave Caleb and Maggie moment in Return to Paradise is…

I would have to say when Maggie and Caleb are kissing in the lake.  Things really heat up and I think my fans are going to be surprised by what Maggie does next.  I’m just so proud of her!  She’s so much stronger than she was in Leaving Paradise.

Will we ever learn what Maggie and Caleb got up to during the year they spent apart?

I think the most important thing that happened while they were apart is that they learned what’s most important in life:  being with the ones you love.  I know many of my fans were upset with the ending of Leaving Paradise, but I didn’t think Maggie and Caleb were ready to be with each other yet.  However, after a year apart. . .

I’m curious to learn what happens to Leah next – will we ever find out?

Everyone has a lot of healing to do, but Leah more than anyone.  I think Leah has a rough road ahead of her, but I have no doubt that she will prevail.

Of all the characters you’ve created, Caleb is definitely my fave. Who is your fave?

I get asked that question a lot, but there’s no way to pick!  (It would be like having to choose my favorite out of my children.)  I love Caleb because he is so strong in most areas of his life, but he needs Maggie to be complete.  I love Maggie for the way she forgives Caleb and Leah even though she’ll have scars forever.  Of course, I love Alex and Carlos for pushing the envelope, but still being very caring.  I respect Brittany and Kiara for not giving up on the guys they love, even when the boys make things very challenging!  See what I mean?  I could never pick!

Of all the characters you’ve created, which did you find the most challenging to write, and why?

All of my characters were challenging in different ways.  I had to do quite a bit of research to write about Alex and Carlos and their gang affiliations as well as Hispanic culture.  I talked to kids in Juvenile Detention facilities, met with police officers who work in tough neighborhoods, and even went on a “ride-along” and got to wear a bullet-proof vest!

You seem to have quite an affiliation with bad boys being reformed by good, wholesome girls. Why is that?

I love bad boys.  They’re my weakness.  Find me a hot and sexy bad boy and I melt.  I think it’s my “female gene” that makes me want to fix those bad boys.  If I can fix a bad boy, I can fix anything! (females are natural people-fixers, in my opinion)  Alex and Carlos and Caleb are a mixture of a bunch of boys I know or did know throughout my life… I’m totally sarcastic and “get” guys like that.  And just like behind a good man you’ll find a good woman, behind most bad boys you’ll find a good heart.  (Not all bad boys are redeemable in real life, but I write fiction and my bad boys are ‘curable!’)

How do you go about choosing your character’s names?

I get asked that question all the time.  Listen, if you were obnoxious in high school your name is somehow connected to the rude girls in my books, ha ha.  My friends laugh when I say to beware of pissing me off because you just might find yourself in one of my books (although Darlene was a great friend of mine in school and she’s the mean girl in Perfect Chemistry and Madison is the daughter of my best friend and the mean girl in Rules of Attraction). I’m a girl scout leader, so I use a lot of my girls’ names in my books.  I use last names of people I know most of the time or I make them up.  I will also go to baby name websites and find names that I like.  Sometimes I even use names from my fan mail.  My fans have some very cool names!

What’s in your TBR pile at the moment?

My “to read” pile is enormous because I can’t remember the last time I felt like I had enough time to read!  But, I definitely want to make time to read Mockingjay when it comes out.  I loved The Hunger Games!

For you, what are the best and worse things about being a writer?

There are so many things I love about being a writer!  I love the satisfying feeling of writing “The End” when I finish a book.  I love my RITA award I just won at the Romance Writers of America conference!  (seriously, she’s so pretty. . . I can’t stop looking at her!)  But, most of all, I LOVE MY FANS!  The wonderful comments I get on my Facebook, myspace, and twitter really keep me going when I’m feeling down or frustrated.

Can you tell us what you’re working on next?

I’m currently working on Chain Reaction, the third book in the Perfect Chemistry series.  This one is about Luis, the youngest Fuentes brother.  He’s such a good guy who doesn’t live with the angst that his big brothers have always lived with.  Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams.  When he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he’s never known to try and save her from herself.  Just when he thinks he’s got life all figured out, Luis learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life.  Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?

Glimmerglass – Jenna Black
Book Reviews
August 10, 2010 posted by Christina

Glimmerglass – Jenna Black

“Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she’s had it with being her mother’s keeper, so she packs her bags and heads to stay with her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn’t just an ordinary teenage girl—she’s a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, she finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone’s trying to kill her, and everyone wants something from her, even her newfound friends and family. Suddenly, life with her alcoholic mom doesn’t sound half bad, and Dana would do anything to escape Avalon and get back home. Too bad both her friends and her enemies alike are determined not to let her go . . .”

I’ll be honest; I picked this book by its cover. I think in the summary all I saw was “faerie”, “runaway” and “Avalon” before the cover caught my attention and I went “Ooooooooo, I’ll take it!” Often, that’s not a good plan but luckily this time it worked pretty well.

Dana Hathaway has had enough. Enough of having to deal with her alcoholic mother, enough of being the parent, enough of being embarrassed, of constantly moving and enough with her current life. She’s particularly had enough of not knowing the truth about her father. When Dana’s mother fell pregnant years before, she ran away from the city of Avalon and from big shot Fae Seamus Stuart – Dana’s father, to go into hiding and keep Dana away from the Faerie world and its politics.

Avalon is the only place where the mortal world and the Faerie world intersect, and that’s exactly where Dana runs away to in order to meet her dad and escape her former life. Little does she know that her rare status as a Faeriewalker as a result of being half human, half Fae is a coveted position and she’s just walked into the middle of a political war.

Glimmerglass is the first young adult novel by Jenna Black and is the first in the Faeriewalker series. I found the writing to be really engaging and even though it is a fantasy book, for someone who hasn’t read any books about Faeries, I found the concept and rules of the Faerie world easy and quick to grasp. The events in the book mean the characters are always on their toes and it’s very go, go, go.

Soon after arriving in Avalon, events bring Dana to meet sibling Ethan and Kimber. Ethan is of course, gorgeous even by Fae standards and there’s an instant attraction between the two.  His sister, Kimber is guarded and hostile when she and Dana first meet but soon enough a friendship blooms. But what are their motivations for getting involved with Dana?

Our main character Dana is a sixteen year old girl trying to find the parental support she’s been lacking all these years. She’s quite a strong character, having to deal with one crisis after the other but one that also makes mistakes that are true to her age. She’s aware of herself and when she’s being stupid or whiny, but recovers fast, especially when it comes to her potential love interests. She can get a bit blinded by her hormones, but I guess she is sixteen, so she’s forgiven.

I was glad to see that the times when I would think “Oh man, I would freak out and cry if that happened to me” Dana did do that (but without coming across as a baby), which made it more real as opposed to characters who push on tear-free through impossible situations. Perhaps the only weird thing was Dana’s love of Victoria’s Secret and that she reads “dirty” books….haha, uh…awkward.

This book is full of twists mainly with whom exactly Dana can trust and whose side should she be on. No character in this story was two dimensional, each had a definite personality and it made for great reading, with Finn being a personal favorite. By the end you still don’t know who you can trust and can’t trust which gives a great lead (as well as other unanswered questions) for the next book.

Great start to a new series! I’ll definitely be checking out the next book in the series, Shadowspell when it comes out early next year.

Pages: 294

Publication Date: August 2010

Rating: : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: “How many of us are there?” I asked, because there was no point in arguing I wasn’t a Faeriewalker. I wished I could convince myself I’d been hallucinating earlier, but I knew what I’d seen.
I felt, rather than saw, the look Ethan and Kimber exchanged.
“The last one before you died about seventy-five years ago.”