Posts tagged with coming-of-age

Jun 4 2018

Grey Sister, by Mark Lawrence

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Grey Sister, the second book in Mark Lawrence's Book of the Ancestor series, combines the magical schools and super-powered children of Harry Potter, the mystical sisterhood of Dune's Bene Gesserit, and more violence and looming ice than Game of Thrones. The various elements don't fuse together perfectly, but there are some A+ ideas in play...

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May 21 2018

The Sky is Yours, by Chandler Klang Smith

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I picked up Chandler Klang Smith's novel The Sky is Yours for two reasons: I liked the cover art, and several reviewers compared it to a Jane Austen novel. I still like the cover art, but the Austen comparison is a total bait-and-switch. Both novelists touch on similar issues—sex, marriage, social position—but they're about as similar as cherry cough syrup and an actual cherry...

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May 21 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Sky is Yours, by Chandler Klang Smith

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This week's Book Giveaway is Chandler Klang Smith's debut novel The Sky Is Yours, which I fully admit I picked due to its awesome cover art. Of course, I've been burned by seductive covers in the past, but hope springs eternal. A full review will follow shortly...

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Nov 20 2017

Red Sister, by Mark Lawrence

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Let me start with a word of warning: Mark Lawrence's latest fantasy novel Red Sister is really, really violent. Scenes include (but are by no means limited to) the execution of a child, the torture of an older woman, and the fatal beating of an animal. There's a lot to admire about this book, but readers with delicate sensibilities should take heed...

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Oct 10 2016

The Goal, by Elle Kennedy

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Earlier this year, we reviewed the first three books in Elle Kennedy's Off-Campus series, a collection of New Adult romances set in the college hockey world. The final book in the quartet, The Goal, has recently been released, and it has just as much easy charm as its predecessors...

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May 9 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle, by Rick Riordan

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This week's Book Giveaway is Rick Riordan's new book The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle. Riordan has a gift for making total Mary-Sues into appealing, sympathetic characters, but humanizing an actual god might be a tall order, even for him. Our review will follow later today...

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Mar 9 2015

The Cake House, by Latifah Salom

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After complaining (a lot) about anyone having the nerve to describe Cymbeline as “William Shakespeare's undiscovered masterpiece” and reviewing Jenny Trout's Romeo and Juliet/Hamlet-inspired Such Sweet Sorrow, we're concluding our totally unplanned rush of Shakespeare-themed posts with a review of Latifah Salom's debut novel The Cake House...

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Oct 22 2014

The Secrets of Tree Taylor, by Dandi Daley Mackall

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If you, like me, feel a pang of sadness whenever you remember that Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series has really and truly ended, I have good news: Dandi Daley Mackall's coming-of-age novel The Secrets of Tree Taylor hits a lot of the same notes, and hits several of them even better...

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Aug 20 2014

Girl to the Core, by Stacey Goldblatt

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Stacey Goldblatt's Girl to the Core has the makings of a sweet, inspirational coming-of-age novel... cursed with a story-crippling flaw. Goldblatt's heroine is Molly O'Keefe, the only girl in a large, boisterous Irish-American family. Molly's a pushover, so when her boyfriend Trevor cheats on her she knows she'll need a distraction to keep herself from taking him back. Unexpectedly, she finds one in the Girl Corps, a Girl Scouts-like group...

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Jul 2 2013

The Car Thief, by Theodore Weesner

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The back cover of Theodore Weesner's The Car Thief describes the book as a "modern American classic" featuring “heartbreak, cruel realities, and stunning personal triumphs”. That may be true, but allow me to issue a word of warning: you have to wade through a lot of heartbreak and cruel reality before you get to any personal triumphs...

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Jun 4 2012

Utterly generic

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The trailer is out for the upcoming movie adaptation of Stephen Chbosky's 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I know people are excited about this, but I was rolling my eyes at the sight of Paul Rudd playing the requisite oddball-yet-understanding English teacher, and...

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Jul 26 2011

There Are No Stars in Brooklyn, by Meredith Gran

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Meredith Gran's graphic novel Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars in Brooklyn is frequently compared to Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series, and the two comics do share a certain hipster vibe...

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Jan 18 2011

Josh Berk

Josh Berk is a Pennsylvania-based librarian with a professed (and, in our opinion, inexplicable) love of the Hardy Boys mysteries. His debut novel, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, is one of ou...

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Jan 18 2011

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, by Josh Berk

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When I opened the package containing Josh Berk's debut novel The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, I assumed it was a book aimed at elementary school students. The colorful cover, the goofy nam...

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Jun 7 2010

Seita Parkkola

Finnish author Seita Parkkola is the author of the award-winning horror/fantasy novel The School of Possibilities, one of our Featured Book picks. According to the (possibly questionably translat...

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Jun 7 2010

The School of Possibilities, by Seita Parkkola

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The School of Possibilities is the English translation of Seita Parkkola's award-winning novel Viima, originally published in Finland in 2006. While the book isn't perfect, it is an unusua...

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Mar 20 2010

Michelle Cooper

Australian author Michelle Cooper is a speech and language pathologist who specializes in learning disabilities and reluctant readers. Her novel A Brief History of Montmaray is one of our Feature...

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Mar 20 2010

A Brief History of Montmaray, by Michelle Cooper

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I have never learned to love Dodie Smith's novel I Capture the Castle. I don't care how classic it is: if I spend 99% of a novel thinking wistfully of giving all of the characters a swift ki...

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Feb 11 2010

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater

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We here at Wordcandy admit it: we judge books by their covers. This doesn't always work for us (note our recent post on Atlas Shrugged), but we still believe that great cover art is an impor...

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Feb 9 2010

Maggie Stiefvater

We approve of Maggie Stiefvater: her characters are relatively sane, her mythologies creative, and her sentiments on fanfiction just what the civic-minded public likes to see. Her novel Shiver is...

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Jan 19 2010

Isobelle Carmody

Isobelle Carmody is the Australian author of both the Obernewtyn Chronicles (the first book of which is one of our Featured Titles) and Alyzon Whitestarr, an excellent standalone young adult fanta...

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Jan 19 2010

Obernewtyn, by Isobelle Carmody

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Isobelle Carmody wrote Obernewtyn, the first novel in her Obernewtyn Chronicles, at the ripe old age of fourteen. Admittedly, the book wasn't actually published until she was thirty, so we'r...

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Nov 18 2009

Diana Peterfreund

Diana Peterfreund is the author of both the "Secret Society Girl" series and the YA horror/fantasy novel Rampant, one of our Featured Book titles. Note: While you should, as always, check out Ms....

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Oct 12 2009

Rosemary Clement-Moore

Rosemary Clement-Moore is the author of the excellent YA novel The Splendor Falls (which we loved, and chose as one of our Featured Book titles), and the Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series (which ...

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Sep 18 2009

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is best known for his insanely entertaining Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, but he is also the first contributing author and outline-producing mastermind for The 39 Clues, one...

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Aug 12 2009

Carrie Ryan

Carrie Ryan is a North Carolina-based author of young adult fiction. Her debut novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth was one of our Featured Book picks.

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Aug 12 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan

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A word of warning before we begin: on the Depression Scale, Carrie Ryan's debut novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth ranks somewhere between Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games and Schopenhauer...

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Jul 20 2009

Fate, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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YA author Jennifer Lynn Barnes has quite the talent for creating unlikely heroes. Her The Squad series features cheerleader secret agents, while 2007’s Tattoo and its recently released...

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May 22 2009

A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy, by Charlotte Greig

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Charlotte Greig’s thoughtful, beautifully-written debut novel A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy hovers somewhere between the general fiction and YA shelves: the story’s heroine is very—...

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Feb 27 2009

Tom Becker

Tom Becker is a British fantasy author. Darkside, his debut novel, is both the first installment in a projected series and one of our Featured Book titles.Note: We feel a strong sense of kinship ...

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