Friday, December 28, 2012

End of the Year Mini-Reviews (of 11 books!)

Before I get to all my year end best lists, I wanted to make sure I say a few lines about all the books I read this year that I didn't get a chance to review.  So here you go!

SMALL DAMAGES by Beth Kephart

In this sun-drenched character study, Kenzie goes to live in Spain where she plans to give up her baby after its born. As usual, Kephart has a keen eye for details and prose you can get lost in. I loved the foreign setting and Kenzie's slow realization that she's the master of her own destiny. (acquired: bought)


Sequel. Mara and Noah are back and the story gets even crazier.  This installment is loooong, with most of the thrills coming in the second half. (acquired: review copy from publisher)

34 PIECES OF YOU by Carmen Rodrigues

After a popular girls commits suicide, three teens (her brother, her best friend and her best friend's sister) try to piece together why she did it.  Out of the 3 POVs, I was most interested in Jake's story. This is a pretty dark book, but the writing is lovely.  I ended up passing it on to a fan of Ellen Hopkins. (acquired: BEA)

TEN by Gretchen McNeil

A teen retelling of Agatha's Christie's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, TEN is horror-lite, in the vein of Christopher Pike (and just as implausible as those books). Great atmosphere building on the island, some truly messed-up secondary characters and a decently sympathetic heroine make this a fast, thrilling read. (acquired: BEA)


I just had to see what this whole "new adult" genre was all about, didn't I? In this case, "good girl" Abby makes a bet with "bad boy" Travis and ends up having to live with him for one month. Although Abby and Travis's relationship - if it existed in real life - would be considered about 99% disaster (he's violent, possessive and gives her a horrible nickname) and maybe 1% beautiful, I have to admit this was compulsively readable fiction. (acquired: borrowed)

SURVIVE by Alex Morel

All Jane wants to do is take a lethal mix of pills when she flies home for Christmas, but then her plane crashes and she fights to survive with a boy named Paul. This was a very touching romance/survival story that reminded me a lot of the movie Titanic. (acquired: review copy from publisher)

SCARLET by Marissa Meyer

Sequel. Due in 2013. A certified page-turner, SCARLET cemented my love for this series. The way Meyer incorporates the original fairy tales and yet updates them to this crazy futuristic world with Lunars is brilliant. (acquired: review copy from publisher)

SEVER by Lauren DeStefano

Third book of trilogy. Due in 2013. I thought this was a surprising and worthy end to this series. The plot flows as steadily as the River Rhine before hitting some major rapids and careening us off a cliff at the end. (acquired: review copy from publisher)

No cover yet


If you've read Leila Sales' other books, you know that she's funny, with impeccable comic timing. This one is darker and more raw than her first two books - it's about a teen outcast who creates a suicide playlist after all - but Leila imbues Elise with such genuine warmth and offbeat humor that despite the depressing particulars of Elise's life, you can help but smile at Elise's keen observations and turns of phrase. Destined to be a fave of 2013! (acquired: review copy from agent)

OVERRIDE by Heather Anastasiu

Sequel. Due in 2013. OVERRIDE continues the adventures of Zoe, Adrian and their crew of rebels against the system.  Zoe has a big disadvantage to overcome - her severe allergies - if she's going to be of any use to the rebellion.  This is an entertaining installment which sets up the final showdown in the last book well. More during Dystopian February. (acquired: review copy from author)

STARGLASS by Phoebe North

Debut due Summer 2013. Terra becomes part of a plot to overthrow the ruling elite on her generation ship, but falls in love with her target. You'll hear more raves from me about STARGLASS next year, but for now, know that I loved the depth and originality. (acquired: review copy from publisher)

And with that, I'm all caught up! 100 books read for the Goodreads Challenge 2012. Woo hoo!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Congrats on meeting your Goodreads goal! :D

34 Pieces of You sounds interesting though as you said, dark. A lot of these covers are really pretty too!