Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Reviews: Galley Group - November 12th

Reviews of soon-to-be published reads by Galley Group*

Kristen from Brentwood

If You're Lucky by Yvonne Prinz

I admit, I didn't finish this book, I read the first few chapters and skipped to the end to find out the mystery! 17-year-old Georgia's dare-devil brother, Lucky, drowns while surfing during a storm in Australia. Lucky is a daredevil but he isn't careless. Georgia doesn't believe he drowned by accident. Now enter Fin, who says he was Lucky's best friend. Georgia doesn't trust him, as he slowly begins to take over Lucky's life. Oh and did I mention Georgia has a mental illness and begins to see her dead brother. Is Fin a psycho or just a well-meaning friend? Spoiler alert...he's a psycho, he killed Lucky! Since I didn't actually read the book, cant tell you what age group it's appropriate for. (can't star it since I didn't read it)

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

We all have that one friend that goes above and beyond for everyone, completely selfless, but then complains about it and acts like a martyr....this is Arden Huntley! Arden does ANYTHING for everyone, including taking the drug rap for her best friend Lindsey, getting her expelled from school and risking any chance of getting into a good college. Arden's mother was the same way, up until a few months prior when she got fed up and left the family to move to New York City. One night Arden goes online, asking Google, "Why doesn't anyone love me as much as I love them?" and up pops the blog "Tonight the Streets Are Ours." The blog is a day-to-day journal of a boy, Peter, a year older than her, living with his family in NYC. Arden becomes obsessed with the blog, and when Peter writes that his girlfriend has broken up with him, Arden picks up Lindsey and they take off to mend Peter's heart. But Peter's online persona is different than real life. One night in New York open's Arden's eyes to her mother, to herself, and to her best friend. Underage drinking, but otherwise pretty tame. 2.5-3 STARS

We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean 

Unreliable narrator alert!!!!!!!! The book opens with Cellie following her twin sister Alice and Alice's boyfriend, Jason, out of the mental hospital that they have just escaped. Cellie is afraid that Alice and Jason are going to leave her of course, she sets the barn they are hiding out in on fire....totally normal reaction, but then again, they did just escape a mental hospital. The rest of the book is told in Alice's perspective. She wakes up, back in the mental hospital, only now she's being charged with Jason's death, but she doesn't really remember what happened except that Cellie did it. She tries to tell everyone that it was Cellie, but since she's taken the rap for Cellie's destructive pyro behavior in the past, they believe she's a co-conspirator. Alice's doctor suggests she start a journal to help her remember what happened. We are given flashbacks of young Alice and Cellie...age 5 or 6, living with their dead grandfather's body, living on birthday cake, afraid to tell anyone....of abusive foster families...of Jason...and of Cellie's love of setting things on fire. Alice believes her sister is in the highly guarded D Ward and wants to get to her before Cellie can get to her and kill her. As the flashbacks continue we learn that Jason wasn't really a good guy, in fact, like Cellie, he liked to set fires. Finally, at the end, we learn what really happened the night of the fire. SPOILER: Cellie doesn't exist, she is Alice's destructive split personality, a fact that Jason knew all along. In fact, Jason is the one who set the barn fire, in hopes of sending them (he and Alice) to a better place where "Cellie" can't hurt Alice anymore. So yeah, the guy tried to kill them and Alice is crazy. I would recommend for high school kids, nothing sexual but it's disturbing and violent. 3 STARS

Khan from Port Jefferson

Teen Boat!: The Race for Boatlantis by Dave Roman and John Green

A senior in high school who turns into a yacht. The illustrator is John Green, but not THE John Green. THE John Green does give a blurb on the back of the book and he love sit. This is the sequel to the first Teen Boat!. It is basic high school stuff with weird boat references throughout. There is a giant boat villain who is trying to destroy Boatlantis. Boatlantis is a city that people thought only existed in myths, but turns out is real. Now it is being threatened and TB (what he is called by his friends) and his friends must come together to protect the city. If the reader is willing to accept the odd boat and ice themed powers it is entertaining. This graphic novel can go as low as 12-years-old. 4 STARS 

Willful Machines by Tim Floreen 

If you combined the movies Ex-machina and Transcendence  with graphic novel Alex + Aida you would get this YA novel. Sixteen-year-old Lee, who is also the son of the President of the United States, goes to a prestigious boarding school where he lives his life in the closet. The only person that knows about his sexuality is his best friend Becks. In this world A.I.'s have been created, but they are being watched carefully by the government so they do not take over. Charlotte, an A.I. that has escaped her physical body, loaded herself to the internet and is trying to destroy the world. As a result amendments are created by the government to control the A.I. population and its relationship with the human world. New guy Niko catches Lee's attention and the pair start to hang out, but there may be more to Niko than meets the eye. Does the new guy at school have a tie to the escaped Charlotte? 15 & up gay YA, sci-fi, dystopian - 5 STARS

Rebecca from Longwood

The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason
Book 3 of the Stoker and Holmes series.

Here is some background on Books 1 & 2: This book pairs together the great niece of Sherlock Holmes and the sister of Bram Stoker. Evelyn is a Venator which means she is the Buffy the Vampire Slayer of her generation. They are paired together by the curator pf the British Museum to work as part of a secret service for the Princess to solve mysterious paranormal cases. There is also a third character named Dylan who serves as the point in a love triangle and nothing more. The main villain of the series is called the Ankh. This third installment takes place right after the pair have just faced the villain, but it has fled. After this, Stoker and Holmes are asked to chaperon a visiting Princess from another country. There is a chess board owned by the royal family that is missing the Queen piece, but a letter is soon found that may have clues to its location. This clue is soon stolen by the Ankh and the team must set out to get it all back. These books have a mix of mystery, romance, and steampunk. The only thing the author can better is for this third book in the series to contain if a little more background from previous novels. 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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