Category Archives: YA

[Review] Boy Nobody – Allen Zadoff

Book Title:                  Boy Nobody (The Unknown Assassin, #01)
Author:                         Allen Zadoff
Number of pages:   340

Synopsis:

boy nobody - allen zadoff coverThey needed the perfect assassin.

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die-of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when he’s assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s mission.

 (re: Goodreads @ Boy Nobody – Allen Zadoff)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

— If you’re on a book slump and enjoy spy-espionage YA-thrillers, then this book should help you get over that hurdle. It basically feels like a young adult Jason Bourne series
— The pacing is incredibly gripping, action-oriented, and delivers succinct chapters. It follows a first person perspective of a sociopathic assassin featuring modern tech in social media and handheld gaming
— There is diversity in this book but it can feel like it panders to terrorist propaganda without making any waves to change the way of thinking
— Character development is a hit-and-miss. Instalove/lust propels various plot points which is both surprising and predictable given reader skepticism
— Rating: 3.25/5

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Initial Thoughts

With Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS, iZombie, Stalker, The Blacklist and perhaps every other rehashed crime television show; I should really become a profiler. Or at least reincarnate into someone who has aspirations for preventative crime.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.


Continue reading [Review] Boy Nobody – Allen Zadoff

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[Review] Firefight – Brandon Sanderson

Book Title:                  Firefight (The Reckoners Series, #02)
Author:                         Brandon Sanderson
Number of pages:   432

Synopsis:

brandon sanderson - firefight coverThey told David it was impossible–that even The Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart–invincible, immortal, unconquerable–is dead. And he died by David’s hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there’s no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic–Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

(re: Goodreads @ Firefight by Brandon Sanderson)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– I recommend reading the Mitosis novella before Firefight. (It isn’t game changing to not have read it but it will help in understanding some references.)
– The world-building is pretty darn creative—it beats the setting in Steelheart if I’m being honest—with plenty of imaginative detailing that continues to exude a cinematic feel. Basically: more epics, more metaphors, more awesome.
– Fast-paced read driven by continual action and atmospheric tension in exploring an unfamiliar landscape even while delving into Phaedrus’ and Firefight’s back story.
– While some minor characters are difficult to connect to, David’s progression of growth remains solid and can be easily rooted for (assuming you can stomach his bad metaphors).
– Reminder notes throughout the text regarding concepts/magic systems from Steelheart. (A reread isn’t necessary.)
– Rating: 4.38/5

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Initial Thoughts

It was Boxing Day. There were ordinary sales and satisfactory crowds. Into Indigo I go. Paperbacks, hardcovers, Firefight, Moleskins. Moving on—wait, wtf, huh, why is it out so—?!!?! Seriously though, thanks to Indigo for selling this book early. It made this shopping day well worth the crowded mess in malls.

Quotes will not be included in this review until well after the release date—which is tomorrow, January 6, 2015—so go ahead and get yourself a copy.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] Firefight – Brandon Sanderson

[Review] We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

Book Title:                  We Were Liars (Standalone)
Author:                         E. Lockhart
Number of pages:
  227

Synopsis:

we were liars - e. lockhart (book cover)A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

(re: Goodreads @ We Were Liars by E. Lockhart)


Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– If you are dying to read this book, forgo every review and just read.
– Putting on that detective hat may ruin the reading experience. The “big twist” isn’t earth shattering if readers can uncover the clues.
– The narrative follows an unreliable narrator and often reads with a staggered-yet-lyrical bounce. The descriptive prose is vivid but often overbearing and too dramatic—teenagers don’t think/speak the way this novel imagines them.
– The plot centers on a mystery and how the protagonist cannot recall a pivotal moment that changed her family. Everything else is filler content; basically tom-foolery, eating lots of food, and romantic dilemmas.
– Themes (money and power, corruption, racism and discrimination, misogyny, etc.) are lacklustre in development and add limited commentary to inspire change.

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Initial Thoughts

First-world problems.
To eat that scone or not.
A fair-skinned girl; a boy quite the opposite.
Three musketeers, three French hens, a BLT sandwich. Three.
A skeptical hat. An ill-conceived plan. A lot of hype.
No one likes the truth.
Truth can save you.
Truth is boring.

Read it (or don’t).
And if anyone asks you how it ends, please consider the TRUTH.

In another world, this may have at least made it past the first round of proofing. (Maybe not, maybe not, maybe not.)

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] We Were Liars – E. Lockhart