Powerless - YA Review by Nick B

Reader: Nick B.
Age: 15
Title: Powerless
Author: Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: 06/02/15
Galley: No
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I am unsure what to think of the book Powerless. It has a fairly decent and original plot. The characters are mildly developed throughout the story.  However I think the author could have made the book longer and included more details. In the story the characters live in a world where people have superpowers and are marked as being a hero or a villain. The world sounds very interesting and the author could have done a more detailed explanation of the world and its history. The author has much to improve on in her writing style. 
Memorable or Forgettable: The book was mildly entertaining and mildly memorable. However if the characters and world were more developed this could have been one of the better books of the year.  When I picked up this book and started reading I had hope that it would be an interesting book to read. However because of the lack of character development and a very predictable story line it did not succeed in being an interesting read. I hope that in the sequel the author can improve upon her lack of character development to create a far better book.  
Cover: I hate the cover of this book. It displays an eye with some sort of glimmer/reflection type sparkle. This cover could have depicted any of the much more interesting parts of the story such as a hero using his powers against a villain or the logos of hero and villain. Instead they put a picture of a girl's eye on the cover which poorly reflects the contents of the book.
Age Range: 14 through 15
Quality: 3Q - Readable
Popularity: 2P - Only for special interest

tags:  fantasy / suspence / ya lit

Mechanica - YA Review by Veronica K

Reader: Veronica K.
Age: 14
Title: Mechanica
Author: Betsy Cornwell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub Date: 08/04/15
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: This was an okay book, I guess. The main character was interesting and well developed. The rest of the characters just seemed there. The book did feel like it was only about her, which it was, but I could have used some other interesting characters as well. The plot, while interesting, was not exactly believable for the situation the main character was in.
Memorable or Forgettable: I'm going to remember how lame the romance was. Seriously, get rid of the love story! At least tone it back a bit! But other than that, this had a good message that most sane people will remember after reading this book.
Cover: While the cover was interesting, it requires serious mental gymnastics to connect it to the book.
Age Range: Under 12 through 15
Quality: 3Q - Readable
Popularity: 3P - Some teen appeal

tags:  fantasy / steampunk / fairy tale / Cinderalla / ya lit

Cuckoo Song - YA Review by Cian D.

Reader: Cian D.
Age: 11
Title: Cuckoo Song
Author: Frances Hardinge
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pub Date: 05/12/15
Galley: No
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I liked how it wasn't too realistic - they used lots of imagination. For example, one person can make it snow. There were lots of twists and turns. You can't predict what will happen next. I'd give an example, but I wouldn't want to spoil it. The author described events in the book well. There was a part where they were riding a motorcycle and the author described how the character felt. It stuck with me. As I got further it got more intresting and I liked it more.
Memorable or Forgettable: It wasn't too far outside of reality. There weren't Griffins or Unicorns. The parts outside of reality mixed well with their reality. It was very unique and was unlike any book I've read before.
Cover: The cover looked interesting and scary which did tempt me to pick up the book and read the back. Though I think the cover only reflects a small part of the story. It would be hard to make a cover for this book that didn't give away part of the plot.
Age Range: 12 through 13
Quality: 5Q - Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P - Broad general teen appeal

tags:  fantasy / changelings / ya lit

Seven Second Delay - YA Review by Sam T

Reader: Sam T.
Age: 15
Title: Seven Second Delay
Author: Tom Easton
Publisher: Holiday House
Pub Date: 02/27/15
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I really liked the witty, funny characters, engaging plot, and the realistic dialogue. The characters and setting felt as if they were real; you could feel emotion with each word spoken by the characters, with some sarcasm mixed in for comic relief. Action-packed and suspenseful, it kept me reading until the end. 
Memorable or Forgettable: It was memorable, I think, because it sort of took the now-cliched "post-apocalyptic world" setting and did something really interesting with it that also makes an interesting commentary on the technological world we live in today. 
Cover: It looked interesting to me, and I think it reflects the contents pretty well.
Age Range: 14 thru 17
Quality: 4Q - Better than most
Popularity: 5P - Everyone wants to read it
Additional CommentsI found the very end a little disappointing in that the corrupt and evil Minister is still allowed to be in office, although I do realize that either way he would have won, and the ending it has is probably the best possible one under the circumstances.  I really did like, though how she ended up with Adam. That was satisfying.
Annotation: In a bleak post-apocalyptic world, Mila is an immigrant from a now-defunct EU in a strange new land, a futuristic UK called "The Isles" where all citizens have phones implanted in their heads and live-stream their daily lives onto the Internet. Soon labeled as a threat by the government, she escapes with the help of some unlikely allies and is aided by the seven-second delay in her new phone's video feed. Can she stop the corrupt Prime Minister in time and save her own life?

tags:  post-apocalyptic / dystopian / suspense / ya lit

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