Tag Archives: young adult fiction reviews

2 Sentence Book Reviews: Young Adult Fiction

i’m overdue for some book reviews, and will be posting reviews of 24 books this week. as i’ve done in the past, i’m posting two sentence book reviews. in each case, the first sentence is a summary of the book; and the second sentence is my thoughts on the book. i include a 1 – 5 star rating also. and occasionally, i’ll have an additional note.

let’s get started with Young Adult Fiction:

allegiantAllegiant, by Veronica Roth
4 stars
the third and final installment in the Divergent series brings a sort of teen-led revolution and wrap up to the series. the author took some big risks (which is obvious by how many amazon reviewers were not happy with this book’s approach or ending), but i felt the risks paid off and made this final installment less predictable than it might have been.

maze runner
The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure, by James Dashner
4 stars for the first book, 3.5 stars for the other two
a group of teenagers push through a series of deadly tasks as part of an ill-formed and twisted scientific plan to rid the world of a deadly pandemic. often interesting, certainly nonstop, but ultimately uneven, with plenty of missed opportunities for deeper insight into motives, relationships, and humanity.

firecrackerFirecracker, by David Iserson
4 stars
a rich and self-centered teenage girl gets kicked out of her elite private school and is forced to attend public school as a super-smart loner with an axe to bear and lessons to learn. the writing is fantastic and the main character is brilliantly witty and snarky, though as a whole, it feels a concurrently over-the-top and lacking depth.

hollow cityHollow City, by Ransom Riggs
5 stars
the second installment of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children finds the children on the run for their lives. these books almost defy description: beautiful in writing, layout, creativity, and full of metaphorical insight into every person’s uniqueness.

tomorrow’s reviews: five fiction books

2 sentence book reviews: young adult fiction

yay! this is the week my readers either love or ignore (traffic tells me many are in the latter camp). i have found that writing reviews of the books i read really helps me remember them. and i hope it helps some of you make reading choices (and avoid others). i allow myself two sentences for each review (unless i’ve already written an official endorsement): the first sentence is a summary of the book, and the second sentence is my opinion of it.

here’s the plan for the week!
monday: 8 young adult fiction books
tuesday: 2 fiction books, 2 non-fiction books, and 2 graphic/illustrated books
wednesday: 10 christian living and theology books
thursday: 10 parenting, church and ministry books

Young Adult Fiction

the half life of planetsThe Half-life of Planets, by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
3.5 stars
a teenage girl and a guy with asperger’s wrestle with identity, friendship, and love. halpin’s YA fiction has mostly been way subpar to his otherwise fantastic books, but the voice of this character with asperger’s brings this one up a click or two.

divergentDivergent, by Veronica Roth
4.5 stars
in a dystopian future chicago, a teenage girl is forced to choose a lifetime with one of five personality-driven factions. sure, dystopian future YA faction is getting overplayed, because it provides, as does this book, a magnifying lens into the real internal searches of today’s teenagers.

insurgentInsurgent, by Veronica Roth
4 stars
in part two of the trilogy, our heroine uncovers the plot to overthrow “the way things are.” part two of trilogies are rarely the best slice (but while i haven’t read the third part yet, i’ve rarely seen such vitriol on amazon reviews).

requiemRequiem, by Lauren Oliver
4 stars
part 3 of the Delirium trilogy finds the government’s physiological suppression of love, starting at age 16, blown apart and dismantled. the story wraps up somewhat predictably, but is still satisfying.

after the snowAfter the Snow, by S. D. Crockett
5 stars
yup, another dystopian future–this one told from the perspetive of a teenage boy trying to survive in a chaotic world of almost-perpetual winter. culturally insightful and brilliantly written, this is now one of my top 10 favorite YA fiction books.

ender's gameEnder’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
5 stars
you know: super smart kid is recruited for a space training academy to prepare him to lead an alien battle. one of the many cases where the book is SO MUCH better than the movie.

looking for alaskaLooking for Alaska, by John Green
5 stars
high schoolers at a boarding school bond in the first half, then struggle to find meaning and explanations for pain in the second half. highly recommended, john green’s insight into teenagers and creativity with plot and word proves that young adult fiction doesn’t have to be predictable or cheesy.

somebody up there hates youSomebody Up There Hates You: A Novel, by Hollis Seamon
4 stars
teenage guy in hospice wrestles with who he is and why he’s dying. full of pain and beauty.