Review – Buzz Books 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter

25579577I’m not going to add the full description for this as the one on goodreads is long and this isn’t really one book, it’s twenty small ones! However, I’ll post a small part of it:

“Excerpts include new work from established leaders in the field (James Dashner, Jennifer Donnelly, Patrick Ness, and Lauren Oliver), authors best-known for their adult books (Eleanor Herman and Cammie McGovern), and newsmaking titles such as the highly graphic History of Glitter and Blood, Illuminae, and The Thing About Jellyfish.”

So, for this review I am only going to comment on the book that caught my eye – meaning the ones I would actually buy!

The first excerpt is taken from ‘The Thing About Jellyfish’ by Ali Benjamin, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.

The excerpt of this book shows Suzy visiting an aquarium with her class, discovering the Irukandji jellyfish and returning home. There is also a very emotional part which includes a ‘flashback’ to when Suzy’s mother has to break the news to her daughter that her best friend is dead. I’ll admit, being a crybaby, my eyes more than ‘welled up’ at that scene.

I haven’t discovered many children’s books covering this serious topic and it is nice that it is out there, where it can support a child going through a similar situation. Regardless of the fact that the book is aimed at children, I honestly think I’d read this as Suzy seems very mature and from the excerpt it appears that the ‘jellyfish’ are her way of coping with her friends death. 

“Everyone’s story is different, all the time. No one is ever really together, even if it looks for a while like they are.”

Find this book on Goodreads

‘The Accident Season’ by Moira Fowley-Dayle, published by Corgi Childrens.

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

This book appears to be very intriguing and I want to know more about Elsie (who she is, her link to the story) and why Cara’s family are cursed. One goodreads user compared this book to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart which happens to be one of my favourites, making me even more interested.

I don’t think the excerpt revealed much about the story apart from Elsie and Cara’s best friend, Bea, who reads tarot cards. For this reason however I want to read the book even more as it makes it a ‘mystery’, but the excerpt was not boring either. I have already added this book to my ‘to read’ shelf on goodreads!

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Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long. Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.

Before seeing this I had not heard of this book (similar to a few others in Buzz Books). The plot description seems captivating and although the excerpt does not give much away, I would definitely consider reading the full book. Also, I feel as though the hag statue has some sort of significance later on in the book? I could be wrong but I guess I’ll have to read it and find out!

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What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler, published by Harper Teen

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

I liked the fact that the excerpt showed some of the ‘background’ to the story as some excerpts do not really show much link the the story at all. This made me more interested to read the story as it didn’t feel like ‘irrelevant’ information and overall, I found the plot idea good.

Find this book on Goodreads

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom, published by Poppy

The Rules:

Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened–both with Scott, and her dad–the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

This excerpt shows what life is like for Parker as she is blind. It shows her routine and also how she copes with her disability. I like the fact that Parker still wants to be independent despite her disability and she doesn’t let it stop her from doing things in life such as going for a run and going to school, and she definitely does not like being treated differently because of her blindness. 

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, published by Balzer + Bray

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

I had heard of this book before I picked up Buzz Books, especially considering it was published two months ago. As a fat girl myself, I like the idea of positive fat representation in the media, including books, and therefore I desperately want to read this book!

So many people see being called ‘fat’ a bad thing. Of course I know there are health risks linked with being fat, but there are also health risks faced by skinny and underweight girls, and aren’t many models these things?

What I’m trying to say is if someone calls you ‘fat’, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If someone told you you weren’t skinny the way some people tell fat people they’re not fat, you’d be pretty pissed off right? Willow seems to deal with this in the sense that she allows herself to be called fat and almost embraces it. By declaring the fact that she is fat she can almost stop other people from ‘bullying her for it’, and I like that.

The review doesn’t reveal too much about the book, only the basic background of Willow. However, as I had already heard of this book, I definitely know I wanted to read it, and I definitely know I will.

Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger, published by Albert Whitman

After her high school is rocked by an anonymous bomb threat, “perfect student” Gabriella Mallory is recruited to work on a secret crisis helpline that may help uncover the would-be bomber’s identity.

Gabriella Mallory, AP student and perfect-daughter-in-training, stands barefoot on a public toilet for three hours while her school is on lockdown. Someone has planted a bomb and she is hiding. The bomb is defused but the would-be-bomber is still at large. And everyone at Central High School is a suspect. The school starts a top-secret crisis help line and Gabi is invited to join. When she does, she is drawn into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse with the bomber, who has unfinished business. He leaves threatening notes on campus. He makes threatening calls to the help line. And then he begins targeting Gabi directly. Is it because her father is the lead police detective on the case? Is the bomber one of her new friends. Could it be her new boyfriend with his complicated past? As the story unfolds, Gabi knows she is somehow connected to the bomber. Even worse she is part of his plan. Can Gabi reach out and stop him? Or will she be too late?

I hadn’t heard of this book before reading the excerpt. I liked the fact that the start of the book was the start of the story and the plot, meaning it had a point. The excerpt ‘drew me in’ to the book which was good and I found that where the excerpt ended made me want to read on! So yeah, I’m definitely adding this to my to-read list.

Find this book on Goodreads

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

All I can say is wow! The plot of this story sounds absolutely amazing, and the excerpt definitely is!  It doesn’t reveal too much about Olly or really anyone, but shows the basis of Maddy’s disease and how it affects her. I really don’t know what else to say as the excerpt doesn’t give too much away haha. I had already vaguely heard of this book so I kind of knew I wanted to read it, however I didn’t think it would be one I would actually pick up (we all have those books, right?) until I read the excerpt, and I have now decided I will definitely read it!

Find this book on Goodreads

 

Apologies for such a long review however there wasn’t really any other way to do it. If you’ve stuck around to the end of the review (ie. if you’re reading this now) then thank you for taking your time to read it! 

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