Thursday, October 1, 2015

Reviews: Galley Group - October 1st

Reviews of soon-to-be published YA reads by Galley Group*
October 1st

Kristen from Brentwood

A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

Identical twin sisters Kelsey and Michelle are very different, but inseparable. Michelle has a new boyfriend, Peter, who is going to Afghanistan. When she drops him off at the airport she gets into a car accident on the way home and dies.  Without her sister Kelsey is lost. When she receives a Skype call from Peter she pretends to be her sister and begins to fall in love with as Michelle. The book is told in third person which wasn't the best way to present it. If it would have been told in first person it may have been less confusing.This story as a whole just didn't work. There is nothing inappropriate in the book and can be given to a younger reader. 3 STARS

Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Jesse is a 19-year-old country star. Maya is a high school senior who wants to be a musician when she is out of school. On Shadow Day at school students are paired up with someone in the industry that they are interested in. Maya is of course paired up with bad boy star Jesse. He treats her like utter crap and of course she falls in love with him. There are a lot of details that don't matter to the main story line: American Idol type show, $500 cowboy boots, battling football teams, a sex crazed brother, etc. A Suffolk teenager would not get this not to mention it has a predictable ending. 1 STAR

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

This has my two favorite things: romance and drama. West is the star of the football team and his big secret is that his father is dying of cancer. His father was the football star when he was in high school and has a larger than life personality, but now he is battling for his life and no one can know. Maggie is selectively mute. She has chosen not to talk because she witnessed her abusive father murder her mother. She is afraid that people will ask her what she saw and she doesn't want to talk about what happened. One night at a field party West has a breakdown in front of Maggie since he know she won't tell anyone. After this Maggie and West bond. The two connect through their losses. This is definitely explicit in its sex scenes and is absolutely for an older teen or even a new adult. 4 STARS

Brian from Patchogue-Medford

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

A girl's former friend who supposedly commits suicide by burning herself to death leaves her a voicemail right before she dies. June hadn't listened to the voicemail until after her friend's death. As she listens to it more and more she starts to find clues in the message that may lead her to find out what really happened to her friend. There is a big twist in the book and once I got there I stopped reading. It presented itself as a different genre, but then became something else. 2 STARS

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

I was very excited to get this book since I liked another Stead book, but this was horrible. It is about three best friends in 7th grade. One of the friends is involved in a sexting scandal which seems creepy for such a young age. It is told in the three perspectives of the friends. Stead also plays with a second tense where a character is narrating the actions of someone else with "you". The book ends up being bland and very one note. 1 STAR

James from Huntington

The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe

This is a ghost story and a time travel story mixed together. It works if you just let your mind mush it together. The story takes place at the NYU film school. Wes and his friend are filming a seance when they see a girl that no one else sees. Wes becomes obsessed with the appearance the title character Annie. After meeting with Annie a few times we are brought back to Annie's life in the past where you learn about her family and how she is ashamed that they were slave mongers. She is in the future to try and find a way to go back and ruin her family's livelihood that she is ashamed of. Wes and his friends will try to help her find what she needs, but the actions she takes in her past may effect their present. There was a lot of padding that wasn't needed and the book could have been cut down to about half the size. However, plenty of teens would like this if they like ghost stories. 4 STARS

*Galley Group is a group of young adult librarians that meet about every 6-8 weeks to discuss ARCs, or galleys, they have read in the interim. They discuss plot, age group, writing, audience, opinion, etc. The group was made to help with collection development and reader's advisory for our teen patrons. If you would like more information about Galley Group contact Derek! The reviews contained in this post were written from notes I took during the group's meeting.

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