Sunday, May 3, 2015

Day 3 - Quick Reviews

It's day 3! Time to kick off the reviewing of all the books with a little something different. I know that you're about to be inundated with reviews, as well as Q&A's, over the next couple of weeks, but there were some that I just couldn't squeeze in. Which is where this come into play.

Here are some reviews of three books whose authors I've interviewed for this year's event. :)

Blank by Trina St. Jean (April 1, Orca Books): Blank is a powerful look at memory, at identity, and at anger. Jessica is trapped in a life that doesn't feel like hers. It doesn't feel like anything, and it confuses and scares her. Her memories gone because of a freak accident on the family farm, she now has to piece together who she was while discovering who is around her and who she is now. Her anger at not knowing is quite visceral. She doesn't know who anyone is, she doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how to act around them. It leaves her floundering, trying to keep hold of anything that's in any way the least bit familiar. But can she go back to who she was before the accident? Will she ever be able to find the old Jessica? After reading her diary and talking to her friends, does she even want to go back to who she was? Her journey through memory and life is honestly told.

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger (May 12, Knopf/Random House): 5 to 1 is a structured dystopia where one girls fears a cage and one boy longs to escape possible death. The book alternates between their point of view, giving us both sides of the trials that could make him her husband. It's an intriguing imagining of a future where male children outnumber female children by a dangerously high ratio, where women hold all of the power but cannot choose their own husbands. Through verse we see the girl living a life of luxury, not wanting to choose a husband, not wanting to be a pawn of her grandmother's. And through prose we see the boy, a simple farm boy with a desire to escape, to be free, and a plot to make sure he is not picked. They both want the same thing but their unspoken assumptions about the other keep them from knowing that. Each sees the other as full of opportunity, while they are trapped. Can they move away from this and finally work together? This book is intriguing and rather possible, given how many countries currently value male children over female.

Vanished by E.E. Cooper (May 12, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins): Vanished is an intense mystery, one girl's search for her runaway friend and the secrets and lies left uncovered in the empty space she left behind. Kalah is a very compassionate girl, a girl caught in her feelings for her friend and her boyfriend. But when Beth disappears? Kalah feels lost, like the rug has been swept out from underneath her feet, and scrambles to find her after realizing she cares for Beth more than she thought. What follows is an increase in tension and suspicion as hidden truths are revealed, as another friend disappears, and as Kalah becomes unsure as to who's really missing and who's hiding, waiting to come back. This book delves into the darkness of friendship, into how far some will go, and how far some go in order to uncover the truth.

Hopefully, these have piqued your interest. Blank is out now and 5 to 1 and Vanished are both out of May 12! And many thanks to the authors and publicists who sent me copies of these to read. :)

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