Verb Vixen

I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Friday, June 17
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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer- Michelle Hodkin

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I am obsessed with everything about this book.  I’d describe it as a psychological thriller with a paranormal twist. I don’t know that I can speak coherently about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer because I get so excited my voice gets all high pitched so only dogs can hear it. Instead, I’m going to give you my snapshot opinions.

Two words: NOAH. SHAW. If you don’t fall head over heels for him then there is something seriously wrong with you.  I may have to agree with @Lindsiking who says he’s her new favorite male protagonist.  He is the proof that you should always judge a boy by the books he reads.

Mara’s interactions with Noah have this wonderful Beatrice and Benedict (Much Ado About Nothing) aspect to them.  I love their snarky, witty banter. It was impossible for me to not ship them.

If you want to judge a book by its cover, this is definitely the book you want to do that with.  This cover is stunning: dark, twisted, and compelling.  Say the title out loud; there’s something melodious about it and yet, something sinister too.  ”Unbecoming” is the perfect word for the plot.

The ending is AH-MAZING; I’m actually scared for what will come next!

I had the great pleasure of meeting Michelle at BEA and she is adorable, sweet, funny, and charismatic.  Her charm translates to her writing which is full of clever, intelligent wit.  For example:

"My God, you’re like the plague."

"A masterfully crafted, powerfully understated and epic parable of timeless moral resonance? Why, thank you.  That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me" (p. 89).

HELLO! THAT IS GENIUS AND LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY!

Mara Dyer lives up to its buzz in the YA community. It is due out in September from Simon and Schuster’s Books for Young Readers.  Pre-order your copy here.

Overall: A

Follow Michelle on Twitter at @MichelleHodkin or on her blog The Michelle Show.

This ARC was provided gratis by Simon and Schuster at BEA.

Tags:   #ya lit, #michelle hodkin, #simon and schuster, #i read #ya #young adult #young adult fiction #the unbecoming of mara dyer


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Tuesday, June 7
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Elemental

 Elemental- Tiffany Dominguez

From the very beginning of Elemental, I loved the chemistry between Luke and Eva.  Their story unfolded in an action-packed plot.  The affiliations of characters with the four ancient elements appeased my classic sensibilities and the European settings had me wanderlusting. The final fight scene holds a decent character twist too. I will say that I went into this book thinking it was going to be of the “boarding school” motif and there was very little set at the school.  That being said, I can’t say I was truly disappointed. All in all, the plot and the characters made this a good read.

Overall: A- 

Tags:   #ya lit, #i read #ya #young adult fiction #elemental #tiffany dominguez #kindle


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Monday, June 6
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Hex Education: Not as Riveting as It Sounds

Hex Education- Emily Gould and Zareen Jaffrey

With a suggestive title like Hex Education and such an adorable cover, I expected so much more from this book.  I found the plot predictable and the overall reading too juvenile for my liking.  I thought the idea of the home-coming, the movie background, the family goth sensibilities were all good ideas, but it was really the coven members with all their charm that redeemed this book a bit. They reminded me of a witch’s version of the Babysitter’s Club and that is precisely the age and reading level I’d recommend for Hex Education.  On the question Linc or Paul: I think they both have their flaws and neither truly captivated me.  In the end, I felt kind of bad for the villain, or at least understood the motives behind the actions. 

Overall: B-

Tags:   #i read, #ya, #young adult fiction, #ya lit, #emily gould, #babysitter's club, #hex education #zareen jaffrey



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Wednesday, June 1
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The cover for the last book in Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey Series, The Iron Knight was just released today. No seriously, like two minutes ago.  What do we think!?
At BEA Julie told me it was her favorite of all the covers.  Is it yours?  
I happen to love all the covers for this series, something that rarely ever happens. 

The cover for the last book in Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey Series, The Iron Knight was just released today. No seriously, like two minutes ago.  What do we think!?

At BEA Julie told me it was her favorite of all the covers.  Is it yours?  

I happen to love all the covers for this series, something that rarely ever happens. 

Tags:   #iron knight, #iron fey, #ya lit, #cover reveal #julie kagawa #ya #young adult fiction #harlequin


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Tuesday, May 17
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Illusions

Illusions- Aprilynne Pike

It took some time for me to decompress from this book in order to write this review.  I love Laurel.  I love David. I love Tamani.  But let me tell you, EVERYONE makes mistakes here and at every turn I wanted to scream at them.  The plot has come leaps and bounds engaging in more complicated twists and turns and leaving us at an agonizing end point.  We’re talking cliff hanger galore.  I’m delighted with some of the choices Laurel has made, though the real decisions are yet to come.  Now, to begin the long and dreaded wait till we get out hands on the next installment of the Wings Series.

Overall: A-

Tags:   #ya lit, #illusions #aprilynne pike #young adult fiction #i read


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Friday, May 6
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Bitter Frost Series

The Bitter Frost Series- Kailin Gow

Gow weaves an interesting and intricate tale of a paranormal world where Fae, Pixies and Werewolves abound.  I devoured the first four books in the Bitter Frost series in a single night.  Bitter Frost, Forever Frost, Silver Frost and Frost Kisses were that good.  I felt compelled to know what happened next and entrenched myself in the story of Breena, Kian and Logan.  My real disappointment however is that each book feels like a abbreviated read.  The four books could have been combined into two without cutting any narrative.  Additionally, I have to wait for the next book! I hate waiting, especially when I read all 4 others in so short a span of time.

Overall: A-

Tags:   #i read, #ya lit, #forever frost, #young adult fiction #paranormal romance #bitter frost #kailin gow #silver frost #frost kisses


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Thursday, May 5
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Wanderlusting

The Last Little Blue Envelope- Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes was full of life, love and adventure. I found the adventure in The Last Little Blue Envelope slightly less adventurous but the romantic tensions far more believable.  The realism of Ginny’s struggles with the boys, dealing with her aunt’s death, the pressures of college applications, and her rollercoaster of emotions are spot on.  Just like the first book, the Last Little Blue Envelope left me with a desire to go on my own adventure.  Despite the fact that I need to stop myself from booking a European vacation now, it was well worth the read.

Overall: A-

Tags:   #i read, #13 little blue envelopes, #maureen johnson, #ya lit, #young adult fiction



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Now that is a SERIOUS cover for the final book in the hush, hush series.

Now that is a SERIOUS cover for the final book in the hush, hush series.

Tags:   #ya lit, #silence #hush hush #becca fitzpatrick #covers #i read #books #young adult fiction #paranormal romance


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reblogged via selfmyths

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Tuesday, April 26
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The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test-Aimee Carter

As I mentioned in my recent Starcrossed review, I love the current trend of Greek mythology in YA.  While The Goddess Test doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it was a genuinely entertaining and easy read.  Updating the story of Hades and Persephone and using the pantheon as the basis for characters, Carter pays homage to the ancient and modern alike.  Among its greatest features is The Goddess Test’s changes to the ancient concept of the “heroic test” with the addition of Christianized virtue ethics.  Even Aristotle would be proud. 

 Overall: A-

Tags:   #i read, #ya lit, #young adult fiction, #greek mythology, #aimee carter #the goddess test


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Friday, April 22
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Bargains and Betrayals

Bargains and Betrayals- Shannon Delany

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I love the 13 to Life series, but at the end of Secrets and Shadows, I balled my tiny ineffectual fists, threw the book to the ground, and stomped my feet like two year old in the midst of a tantrum.  Why, you ask? Well, because I found the ending to be only the most infuriating ending ever! Here’s the good news and the secret, the ending of Secrets and Shadows is worth it because it sets up Bargains and Betrayals brilliantly. 

Bargains and Betrayals, in my opinion, is the best in the series so far. The plot moves quickly from danger to action and Jessie shines throughout.  Bargains and Betrayals highlights her growth from the initial 13 to Life.  The rest of the characters gain more depth as well, in part because of the new perspective provided by Alexi’s point of view. Additionally, the writing is not only fantastic but has moments of such great wit that I actually laughed out loud.  (My favorite line hint: Love is like a lobotomy- read it to find out what I mean). 

I don’t do plot summary (cause I HATE THAT!), so just trust me on this one—the characters, the plot, the writing will not disappoint. Bargains and Betrayals is worth a read and the wait since its due out this August.

Overall: A

Arc provided gratis

Tags:   #young adult fiction, #ya lit, #13 to life, #i read #shannon delany #bargains and betrayals #shifters #paranormal romance


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Saturday, April 9
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Troy May have Fallen, but It is Not Dead

Starcrossed-Josephine Angelini

I didn’t know it when I started reading, but I’ve been waiting all my life for this book.  You think I’m being melodramatic, but I’m not. I read it twice in the past two days. What makes Starcrossed so unbelievable?  Well for starters it makes Greek Mythology modern and convincingly brings it into the paranormal romance/young adult genre in a way that others have not achieved.

Using the Trojan War and the love of Paris/Helen as it’s origin point, Starcrossed is as epic as Homer’s Illiad and Odysseythat is at its core. The hallmarks of Greek mythology are all there—lust, envy, rage, revenge, love, loyalty, and pietas. Angelini improves upon the classic tale greatly, notably making the modern characters far more endearing than their ancient counterparts. The end leaves us with both gravitas and the promise of a future quest. Between beguiling adults, burdened teens, and fated destiny unfolding, the only thing that’s missing (as of yet) are the meddling gods. I don’t yet have words for how excited I am to read the second book.

I pre-ordered my copy because this is one book that MUST be in every YA and paranormal fan’s library.  You can get yours here

With the release of Starcrossed and Kelly Keaton’s Darkness Becomes Her, dare I hope that Greek Myths are the next big thing in YA?

Overall: A+

Arc provided gratis by Netgalley

Tags:   #i read, #young adult fiction, #ya lit, #starcrossed, #troy, #josephine angelini #homer #illiad #odyssey


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Wednesday, March 30
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Red Glove

Red Glove- Holly Black

The seedy underbelly of Black’s dystopian world of curse workers stole my heart this time around in a way it didn’t in White Cat.  There is something about Cassel in Book 2: about his desire to be good, his inability to do so, his coming to terms with who and what he is, and his decisions that ripple with consequences that make him seem more mature than the Cassel of White Cat. The arc of the story is brilliant with a believable yet unforeseen plot twist.  Black preys on emotions manipulating her audience just as well as she does her characters. The struggle of Lila and Cassel to rise above the misfortunes of their relationship reminds one of Romeo and Juliet, if Romeo and Juliet weren’t idiotic, whiny, and delusionaly optimistic.

Overall: A

e-Galley provided gratis by Simon and Schuster Galley Grab

Tags:   #i read, #holly black, #red glove, #ya lit, #young adult fiction, #curse workers #dystopian #magic


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Thursday, March 10
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I Can See Clearly Now The Rain is Gone

Clarity- Kim Harrington

Well actually, the rain isn’t gone; it just got here, but it makes me feel better pretending it is gone.  Besides the song title vaguely relates to Clarity and seeing and psychic powers. Or it does in my head, so shut it.

Harrington’s debut novel, Clarity, kept me on the edge of my seat from the very first page.  Being from a summer town myself, I appreciated the Massachusetts Cape setting. As for the plot: it is full of mystery, suspense, drama, and two cute boys. Clarity has everything a reader could possibly want. 

Did I mention Clarity herself yet? Cause Clare is bitchin’.  She’s a strong, independent, intelligent, and fearless heroine. Her tough exterior is balanced perfectly by her internal vulnerability. She also has a psychic power, the ability to read objects and learn people’s secrets, which is kind of cool. I hope that Clarity is quickly followed by a sequel; you can’t leave us with the threat of someone who’s feeling “are not born of affection but of sickness,” and NOT tell that story. 

Overall: A

Tags:   #i read, #young adult fiction, #ya lit, #clarity, #psychic, #mystery, #kim harrington



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Tuesday, March 8
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Demonglass

Demonglass (Hex Hall 2)- By Rachel Hawkins

I often think it must be immensely hard for writers to out do themselves when they had a really strong first book.  That is why I find it so impressive when writers are able to build a series well, ever increasing the characters and plot in complexity.  But I’ll tell you, Rachel Hawkins makes it look easy with Demonglass, which exceeds expectations and builds upon her first book Hex Hall with brilliance.

Not only do you get to fall in love with Sophie’s sarcasm, wit, and snark all over again, but you also get a plot with even more intense emotions, entangled alliances, and engaging twists than Hex Hall did(which is saying something!).  Archer Cross (btw still my favorite boys name in a series ever) makes his somewhat skulking return to my delight, but add to the chemistry mix Cal, who seems more substantial as a love interest than in the last book.  It will be exciting to see how Hawkins improves upon this series in book 3, but if I had to guess, I’d say the only place this is going is up.

Overall: A

Tags:   #i read, #young adult fiction, #ya lit, #rachel hawkins, #demonglass, #hex hall



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Friday, March 4
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Ashes, Ashes We All Fall Down

Darkest Mercy-Melissa Marr

The final book in the Wicked Lovely series does not disappoint.  Wrapping up the entangled stories from the previous books, this book touches upon all of the character we have come to love, instead of seeing the story through a single narrator’s eyes.  There are quite a few twists and turns in the tale, and even a new, mysterious character.  While I was surprised by how happy the ending was considering Marr’s dark tendencies, but was satisfied with the logic behind it. 

Overall: A

Tags:   #darkest mercy, #melissa marr, #ya lit, #i read #wicked lovely #young adult fiction



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