Publisher: Razorbill

Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard | Mini Book Review

Posted November 13, 2017 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 1 Comment

Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard | Mini Book ReviewDangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard
Published by Razorbill on September 4, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Retelling
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gift
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2.5 Stars

A modern-day retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a chilling twist

Harper has never been worried about falling in love, something she is skeptical even exists. But everything changes when Logan moves to town, and to Harper's shock, the two tumble into an intense romance. It's everything she never thought she wanted.

Then she meets Logan's twin brother, Caleb, who was expelled from his last school. True, he's a bad boy, but Harper can't shake the feeling that there's something deeply sinister about him--something dangerous. When Logan starts pulling away, Harper is convinced that Caleb's shadowy past is the wedge being driven between them. But by the time she uncovers the truth, it may be too late.

The author of Prada & Prejudice, You Wish, and Ripple delivers a modern-day retelling of a famously gothic tale, full of suspense, lies, and romance.

This review is incredibly tiny because I don’t have much to say. I was very disappointed in what could have been an amazing book. Mandy’s writing was great, and her storytelling was wonderful. But the publisher did readers a huge disservice by telling us that this is a Jekyll and Hyde retelling. That’s a major spoiler, and it made me far less intrigued and curious. I knew what was going to happen before I even opened the book, and I was right on the money. This could have been very exciting and suspenseful, but all I could do was roll my eyes at the dumb decisions Harper made.

2.5 Stars

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher | Mini Book Review

Posted May 6, 2015 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 4 Comments

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher | Mini Book ReviewThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Published by Razorbill on October 17, 2007
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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0 Stars

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I have not reacted this negatively to a book in years, and I was so unbelievably upset by it that I had nightmares. I disagree with all this book stands for, and would not have even finished it if I were not reading it for a class assignment. Bottom line, I feel like this book glamorizes suicide. It makes it look like it’s ok to kill yourself. I was so mad at Hannah the entire time, and my opinion of her and her decision grew less and less as I heard her snide voice and her petty justifications. She killed herself because people were mean to her (in sometimes awful ways, yes.), and instead of confronting them she went and killed herself and then blamed them for it. She did something much worse to them than they did to her by blaming them for her death. It seemed like a revenge suicide—like she killed herself to get back of them, and it just made me mad. People don’t kill themselves for reasons. They do it because a switch has been triggered in their brain that makes them feel like it’s a necessity. It’s a mental thing.

If I set my opinions and feelings aside, I can agree that the writing was done very well. The author inserts Clay’s thoughts and actions as he is listening to Hannah talk, which is unique and real. I enjoyed being in the moment with him. Clay cares deeply, and his thoughts seem very accurate for someone who has his hands tied and is unable to help. Hannah’s voice, while sarcastic and rude, is very much like an argumentative child who is mad at everyone (which is basically what she is). They both portray emotions that are brought out in the reader, and I was very convinced. There has GOT to be a better book out there about suicide, though, because this one is pretty awful in my opinion.

0 Stars

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway (Book Review)

Posted March 20, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 11 Comments

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway (Book Review)Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Published by Razorbill on April 10, 2008
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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4 Stars

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.

Audrey, Wait! is one of those hidden gems that hardly anyone seems to know about. I know I have heard very little about lately, what with all the buzz for new releases lately. This story is hilarious and so much fun, and I am so glad I read it!

1. The idea behind the story is magical. We’ve all dumped someone, but I’m pretty sure not all of us became a band’s muse because of it. I’m also confident in saying that not all of us have a hit song written about us. This is Audrey’s life, and her story is so funny.

2. I love how the entire book is Audrey talking to the reader. She wants us to hear her side of the story, since we obviously read all about it in People magazine and saw it on the news. As she is telling us her story, she adds additional parenthetical thoughts like “(I’m sure you’ve heard The Song by now.)” I really liked the fact that we were included. I felt like I was hearing about this over junk food at a sleepover.

3. Audrey is someone I would have been friends with in high school. She is down to earth, funny, a little eccentric, a music lover, and she marches to the beat of her own drum. And honestly, she handled this overnight fame like a pro. All she did was dump her boyfriend! That’s it! And all of a sudden she’s being asked for autographs, hit on by celebrities, stalked by the paparazzi, and ripped a part by teeny boppers on online message boards. I loved, loved, LOVED her voice. She is just so funny! This is my favorite quote, and sums her up in as few words as I can think:

“Oh Jesus, they had heard the song. They had heard the song and listened to the lyrics and then got totally paranoid and hacked into my email account and figured out that Evan and I had slept together, and now I was going to have to sit through some intervention where my parents talked about sperm and condoms and responsibility and teenage pregnancy statistics. And then they’d probably ship me off to one of those wilderness camps where they give you a name like Little Running Bear and make you scavenge for food to build up your self esteem until you swear to be abstinent for the rest of your natural life.

I’ll tell you this right now: me and nature? Not so much.”

Perfect, huh? I read this quote two or three times, and laughed each time. 

4. Really, I loved all the characters, except for snotty Sharon. Evan is the typical boy band boy, but we get to see him grow up and change with his fame. It was refreshing to discover that I liked him more after he became a famous musician than before. Usually that goes the other way. Victoria is Audrey’s best friend, and the kind of person I need in my life to push me into adventures. She’s spunky and a lot of fun. She’s in total contrast to Audrey, and it was so much fun to read about their friendship. I also love Audrey’s new love interest, James. He’s a nerd and he’s shy and sweet, and he says some of the most swoonworthy things. I love how he adores Audrey. I just want him all to myself!

5. Bendomolena, Audrey’s fat cat, is definitely one of my favorite characters in the book. And seriously what is with that name? I would love to hear the story behind that name. Anyway, Bendy is amazing. Even though she does not get to say anything, she says enough with her mannerisms. I am a major cat lover, and I think this is the first book I’ve read with a cat as a character. She made me smile.

6. My main complaint is all the swear words. I can not tell you how many f-words there were in this book. This young adult novel had more swear words in it than most adult novels I have read, and I started to get really annoyed. I also did not love the characters as much as I could have. I really dislike profanity in books.

Overall, this book was an adorable romp through the life of a teenage girl whose claim to fame did not get the best of her. When she finally got to confront the World she did it with style and panache that I could not help but cheer for. I loved it!

4 Stars