Good For You by Tammara Webber

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YA Review: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just ListenYA Review: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Penguin Group, LLC

Format: Kindle, 2008

Reviewed by: Ellen

Genre: YA

Final Grade: 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 out of 10

Choosing your favorite Sarah Dessen book is more challenging than choosing your favorite cocktail – they’re all so awesome (plus cocktails are also easier cause many contain whiskey…not a fan). While Judith has already shared her favorite, I felt it’s time to introduce you all to MY favorite, a book I love so much that I almost purchased it when I found a copy in South Africa just because it was there, which contains one of my Top 3 YA Hotties Of All Time!

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YA Review: Aspen by Rebekah Crane

AspenAspen by Rebekah Crane

Publisher: In This Together Media

Format: Kindle ARC

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: YA

Final score: 9/10

 

Plot: Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor (yes, that’s not a typo) does not want to remember what happened that night in Boulder, Colorado. A devastating car crash killed Katelyn Ryan, the girl who used to sit in front of her in class, while she survived. Not only does she need time to heal physically, she doesn’t know what to do about Katelyn Ryan’s ghost, who insists on following her around and haunting her every moment. After the accident, Aspen finds herself the focus of (nearly) everyone’s sympathy. People she never spoke to before are suddenly asking how she’s doing and she’s being invited to social events. This, for a girl who went unnoticed for years and liked it that way is an adjustment. The only person who seems to understand her anxiety is Ben Tyler, Katelyn’s boyfriend.

With their attraction to each other growing and the class speculation about will-they-won’t-they, Aspen feels as though she’s living the dead girl’s life – fortunately she and her two misfit friends and stoner mother Ninny are at hand to keep her in touch with reality, if only she could share the truth with them about what happened that night. But the funny thing about secrets is they always come out in the end.

Review: Do you ever have those moments where you fancy a trip down memory lane and head back to high school? I do every so often and usually these kind of books deal with really serious ‘issues’ and are all reminiscent of how awful high school actually was. This wasn’t (I’m happy to say) one of those books. Aspen is a quirky, funny and touching book about loss and dealing with the consequences of our actions. There’s no bullying in this book, no students making others’ lives hell – the school community actually gathers around to help Aspen and those affected by Katelyn’s death. If anything, the funny parts of the book are where Aspen is almost killed with kindness from her classmates – she even gets voted Homecoming Queen!

I suppose my only issue with the story was the fact that Aspen’s secrets started to make her ill – yet she wouldn’t tell anyone. Not her friends, her family or her therapist. It annoyed and frustrated me, but it was totally realistic in many ways. That’s why I give Aspen 8/10.

Based on the following criteria:

How much did I like the heroine? 8: Aspen is a great character – she looks after her young, irresponsible mother, who’s always chasing losers and searching for her bong. She’s the responsible one who has to make sense of what’s happened. She’s smart, witty and I really liked her. She has her insecurities like most teenagers – her hair won’t stay straight and is mercilessly curly – she just wants to stay under the social radar, but her new-found popularity makes it impossible. She’s a very likeable heroine – and you don’t see that a lot.

How much did I like the love interest? 9: Ben was a sweetheart, the kind of guy we’d all have liked in high school. Popular without being a jerk, handsome, athletic and sensitive. He’s carrying his own secrets and anxieties and finds support and solace in Aspen. I liked the dialogue between he and Aspen – it rang true. This is how I’d imagine teens to speak to one another.

How believable is the plot? 8: Hard to answer this one – seeing ghosts isn’t my reality thank God – but the realism isn’t important here. It’s a great story and I wanted to keep reading to see whether Aspen was mad, having a nervous breakdown or had a brain tumour. The pace was consistent throughout and none of the story dragged.

How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc. 9: Rebekah Crane writes some seriously good-quality dialogue. I laughed out loud in places and felt all sentimental in others. I would happily read more from this author – she’s awesome.

How much did I want to keep reading? 9: I read and read and read until I found out what had happened and why Aspen was so messed up inside. I had guessed some of it, but this didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. There were plenty of secrets that came out at the end which made sense of everything.

Final score: 9/10 – a funny, thrilling story that made me smile, laugh and thank my lucky stars I wasn’t that popular in high school!

Aspen is out in June 2014.

YA Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black


Coldest Girl in Cold TownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2013

Format: Library Hardback

Reviewed by: Judith

Genre: YA Vampire

Final Score: 8/10

Judith’s thought process when picking out a book: “oooh, great cover! Sold! Wait…now, what? It’s about what?” A lot of times that awesome cover grabs me and sucks me in and then I’m stuck with a dud. Luckily that didn’t happen here! Look at that cover! It’s freaking-fan-tastic! And score! I was only just mildly confused and pleasantly surprised by this unique brand of vampires…

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YA Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

AlteredAltered by Jennifer Rush

Publisher: Hachette Book Group, January 1, 2013

Format: Kindle and Audio Book

Reviewed by: Ellen

Genre: Young Adult

Final Grade: 9/10

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The Immortal Circus by A.R Kahler

immortal circus

The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels #1)

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc

Format: Kindle edition

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: Paranormal

Final Score: 8/10

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Book Reveal: We Won’t Feel A Thing by J.C. Lillis

Today on ILYAF, we’re featuring an upcoming YA release by J.C. Lillis. Now, if you don’t know J.C. Lillis, let’s change that right now! Last year, she wrote and released an amazing YA love story about two nerd boys falling in love. It was an unusual pairing of comic books, YA, and gay fiction and it really struck a chord with us. It’s called How to Repair a Mechanical Heart and if it were ever in a cover art contest (is that a thing?!), she would totally win.  See why? Read the full post »

NA review: Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc

Format: Kindle edition

Reviewed by: Judith

Genre: NA Contemporary

Final Score: 9.5/10

So, the other day I put out an open call on twitter: “Please…” I wheedled. “Please please please I need a new book to read…oh and a list of your favorite virgin heroes cause I want a piece of them!” From this pathetic plea, I got two promising recommendations, one of which was Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan. I didn’t know anything about it but holy smokes, that cover did a number on me (the back muscles! The black and white! The–gah! Everything!) so I bought it and started reading. Little did I know that a few days later, this book would take the NA indie world by storm. People left and right were recommending it, bloggers were promoting it with high praise, and the author herself was graciously responding to tweets and sharing mutual author love. I gotta tell you that straight up: this book rocked my socks off! It’s hard to do but I couldn’t put it down even though–wait, before I get to that, read on…

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NA Review: Tell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt

Tell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt CoverTell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt

Publisher: Carina Press

Format: Kindle ARC

Reviewed by: Judith

Genre: NA Contemporary

Score: 5/10

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Spotlight and Giveaway: Two Roads by L.M. Augustine

Today, we’re very happy to be a part of the blog tour for L.M. Augustine’s new release, Two Roads. If you don’t know anything about this NA read about coming to terms with who you are and who you love, you are in for a wild ride! Plus a giveaway!

download (4)

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