All posts tagged: young adult

crane

Crane (Legends Saga #1) by Stacey Rourke

In the first book of her Legends saga, Crane, Stacey Rourke takes on Washington Irving’s unforgettable tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It’s a story we’ve all seen retold many times – through animation, on the silver screen, and, most recently, for television . It would be easy for anyone handling the story to fall into issues of over-familiarity, but Stacey Rourke manages to bust through that obstacle without a hitch. Instead, she gives readers a mystifying and vastly entertaining reimagining that stays devoted to the nuances of the original characters while taking the legend we thought we knew in a pulse-pounding new direction. Meet Ireland Crane: smart, sassy, and refreshingly original. Newly arrived in Sleepy Hollow, she’s determined to leave her past mistakes behind her and start fresh as a guidance counselor at the local high school – that is, until bodies start piling up and whispers abound that the legendary Headless Horseman has made his return. The situation worsens when a scraggily old hobo shows up in Ireland’s life claiming to be Rip …

Review: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

When Duncan Meade enters his senior year at the esteemed Irving School his spirits are low and his expectations are lower. After an entire summer away, he still can’t manage to sway his thoughts from the disastrous events of the cold February night of his junior year when a traditional secret party went from harmless to heartbreaking in the blink of an eye. Everyone at Irving remembers Tim Macbeth, the albino boy who transferred in to finish his senior year among them. Everyone’s heard the rumors of his surreptitious relationship with Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of the school’s star athlete. But no one knows the whole story of what really went on, or the events that lead to the terrible incident at the senior party. Those details are gone – until Duncan finds something special left behind in his room. It’s a gift from Tim: the whole story. As Duncan unravels the threads of Tim’s fateful senior year he struggles with the weight of his own: most notably the Tragedy Paper, a staggering and historically difficult …

Review: Inevitable by Kate Bennett

When I was contacted late last month by author Kate Bennett with the opportunity to review her debut novel, Inevitable, she described it to me as, “a young adult contemporary romance with a slight supernatural element.” This goes a long way to describing her own modesty because approximately six chapters into the book the reader realizes that the “slight supernatural element” is actually an unexpected and original twist that will not only secure your rapt interest in the novel, but will keep your attention clinging to it even after the final pages. (And for the record, it doesn’t involve vampires!) What it does involve I can’t precisely say because that will just spoil the entire element of surprise, which is a great contribution to the book’s overall charm. What I can tell you is that Inevitable, which was published in January, boasts a charming series of characters made all the more interesting when they’re thrust into unimaginable circumstances. The heroine, NYU student Carina Lombardi, zings the narration along in a way reminiscent of a smart, …

Review: Initiate by Tara Maya

Earlier this month I was invited by authoress and fairy tale extraordinaire Tara Maya to read and review her novel, Initiate. Published in December, Initiate is the first in a fantasy series called The Unfinished Song. In true fantasy form Maya delves into a world at once familiar and richly exotic. Wars wage, passions are fueled and in a centric plot a young girl becomes a woman. It’s part coming-of-age story, part retribution tale and so much more between the lines. Dindi, our protagonist, encompasses the coming-of-age story. Hopelessly embroiled in her own continuous blunders, her chances of achieving her dream are slim to none: that dream is to pass the initiation test and become a Tavaedi, a member of a powerful society who are part dancer, part warrior and universally revered. Her trials are many, from scheming fellow Initiates to the Test itself and all manner of set-backs betwixt. Initiate shifts to other characters with their own stories including Kavio, a Tavaedi warrior wrongly accused of a crime and thus forced into exile. Then …