Heir of Fire - YA Review by Greta H

Reader: Greta H.
Age: 17
Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub Date: 09/02/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I loved this book, and one big part of that was the huge amount of character development there was for everyone. The protagonist really opens up after two books of being quite closed off, and I ended up liking her a lot more than I did before. She isn't the only one to grow as a character; we get to see this firsthand with the switching perspectives throughout the book. Not every book can successfully pull the switching perspectives off – especially after having a single one for the first two installments of the series – but Heir of Fire does it very well. It makes sense to do so; the reader gets to see Celaena in the new foreign land she's traveled to, but is also able to keep up with things going on with the other characters she left behind. This book is compelling and definitely one I had a hard time putting down, unlike some mid-series books can be. Overall, it is very well written.
Memorable or Forgettable: Heir of Fire was memorable for me because it gave me a new appreciation for the characters of the Throne of Glass series. There were several plot twist points that were very well done and quite powerful. The ending made me extremely excited for the next book to come out!
Cover: I liked the cover. It goes with the first two books. I very much appreciate that it is drawn, and that it depicts the main character fairly well.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

tags:  fantasy / action / romance / Throne of Glass series / ya lit

The Lost Prince - YA Review by Derek D

Reader: Derek D.
Age: 13
Title: Seaborne #1: The Lost Prince
Author: Matt Myklusch
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pub Date: 5/26/15
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: This book was an exciting story about loyalty, morality, and betrayal.  The main character, Dean, along with his former crewmates, Ronan and Rook, search for a magical golden orchard on the legendary island of Zenhala for a ruthless pirate king. Delivering information of the orchard’s whereabouts will grant them their freedom to travel the world on their own. On the island, Dean must take a series of trials to prove that he’s a prince who was lost in a pirate raid 13 years ago. The gang quickly uncovers a plot to assassinate Dean, which makes them question otherwise trustworthy island leaders. As they uncover more about the island’s economics and history, Dean and Ronan start to question if what they’re doing is following an honorable pirate code, which is to steal only from those who can afford it or those who deserve it. Meanwhile, Rook is loyal to the pirate king and tries to convince Dean and Ronan to find and report the location of the orchard. The book has lots of action, along with plot twists that will keep you reading. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an interesting and adventurous read.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book had a dynamic set of characters involved in an action filled story taking place in a beautifully described setting. It raises a thought provoking question of how you can be an honorable pirate and thief. All these things make this book a memorable read.
Cover: The cover features Dean rushing through the air on his makeshift parasail that is mentioned throughout the book with the Snapdragon by his side. It did tempt me to pick up this book and it accurately portrayed the book’s contents.
Age Range: 12 through 13
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

tags:  adventure / mystery / pirates / ya lit

Illusive - YA Review by Jarod D

Reader: Jarod D.
Age: 15
Title: Illusive
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub Date: 7/15/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: This book is the book for you, if you enjoyed reading The 39 Clues, X-men, or just like to read about crime and mutants. The story is written in third person, starting out with a young girl who was born with abilities. But the thing is...she's a criminal. Join her and her friends in this comic themed, law-and-order journey, as they discover something...well, someONE, who will change their terms of business forever.
Memorable or Forgettable: I enjoyed how there were few abilities in the overall story. There weren't too few, but there weren't so many that you just got bored of it all. The storyline is intriguing, and the series of events had me reading; just TRYING to guess what would happen next.
Cover: The cover portrayed the book’s contents perfectly.  At first I was a little skeptical but as I read on, I understood the cover.
Age Range: 12 through 13
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 2P Only for special interest

tags:  dystopian / action / superpowers / ya lit

The Bane Chronicles - YA Review by Claire W

Reader: Claire W.
Age: 13
Title: The Bane Chronicles
Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennen, and Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub Date: 11/11/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: In each little story the suspense was great and each story had its own plot. Magnus really grows throughout the whole book and we learn details about him that make him a much more in depth character in my eyes. The dialogue was good but the only thing is that the dialogue doesn't match the time period. For instance one story in set in the early 1700s and I didn't feel Magnus' dialogue fit very well. The plot within the whole book was quite eye opening to me. And the message it sent. You had to be looking pretty hard to find it, but it was worth it.
Memorable or Forgettable: I believe this book will be memorable because rarely in a book do you find out a lot about an immortal character. They are just there and are sometimes helpful but you don't get to know them. They can sometimes become very lacking characters that don't even feel like real people. Cassandra Clare did a very good job of making him relateable even though he is immortal.
Cover: I loved the cover. It really had that feeling of magic and mystery Magnus always displays.
Age Range: 12 through 15
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: This is a collection of short stories so I can’t really give a proper summary. But I can tell you just a bit. The beginning stories are all about Magnus' life long before The Mortal Instruments series and some before The Infernal Devices too. They explain parts of his manner and relationship with some fairly odd people. But the stories near the end of the book are about Magnus and Alec which we have all been hoping for.

tags:  fantasy / magick / The Mortal Instruments / The Infernal Devices / ya lit

Bloodwitch - YA Review by Solvi W

Reader: Solvi W.
Age: 15
Title: Bloodwitch (The Maeve'ra)
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: 05/13/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I liked how unique the plot and world of the story were; this is definitely not your typical vampire story. Unfortunately the book seemed a bit complicated and fast-paced, and I feel like the author could have taken her time to add some scenes and deepen certain characters, like Malachi and Jeshickan. I suspect this will be a series, but I'm not sure, so as a single book my recommendations would be to slow down, but keep the action.
Memorable or Forgettable: The setting was in a kind of Victorian European country, but Aztec culture was also a very strong theme, which made the world interesting and memorable. Some of the characters were also pretty cool. I loved the main character, Vance, because he was so relatable despite his naivete. I was a little disappointed that some of the other intriguing characters didn't seem to get their share of attention.
Cover: The cover art is colorful but mysterious. The subjects of the cover also referenced elements of the story: winter woods, and a bird feather.
Age Range: 14 through 17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 2P Only for special interest
Additional Comments: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' books seem to have gotten similar comments. I haven't read any of these beyond this one, but I agree with their reviews.

tags:  fantasy / paranormal / vampires / shape-shifters / ya lit

The Blood of Olympus - YA Review by Tristan H-B

Reader: Tristan H.B.
Age: 13
Title: The Blood of Olympus
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pub Date: 10/07/14
Galley: No
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: This is the final book of the series so things are getting wrapped up. They are facing the final battle. Since we have known these characters for at least five books they are endearing and you can't help but like them.
Memorable or Forgettable: This was memorable because I have been waiting for this since The Lost Hero.
Cover: The cover made me want to pick up the book and it reflected the contents.
Age Range: Under 12 through 15
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

tags:  fantasy / mythology / adventure / Heroes of Olympus series / ya lit