Wilder Girls

by Rory Power

 

For me this one was just alright. I think it had a lot of promise but just didn’t wow me. I think part of the problem is that I went in with all the hype around the book. Also I am not a Lord of the Flies fan, I know I know. So when I was reading all the reviews and articles saying it was a feminist Lord of the Flies it might have tainted it a bit. I didn’t click with any of the characters, they were developed I just felt like they weren’t fully developed. The story line was good but I think it was missing something. Overall it was entertaining and I think with the right elements it would be a great show or movie. For me it ended up being 3 stars, and I think I’ll try to read it again sometime much later and see if I can get behind all the hype.

 

About the book: A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh, new debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Read an Excerpt:  Something. Way out in the white-dark. Between the trees, moving where the thickets swarm. You can see it from the roof, the way the brush bends around it as it rustles to the ocean.
That size, it must be a coyote, one of the big ones hitting shoulder high. Teeth that fit like knives in the palm of my hand. I know because I found one once, the end of it just poking through the fence. Took it back and hid it under my bed.
One more crash through the brush and then the stillness again. Across the roof deck Byatt lowers her gun, rests it on the railing. Road clear.
I keep mine up, just in case, keep the sight raised to my left eye. My other eye’s dead, gone dark in a flare-up. Lid fused shut, something growing underneath.
It’s like that, with all of us here. Sick, strange, and we don’t know why. Things bursting out of us, bits missing and pieces sloughing off, and then we harden and smooth over.
Through the sight, noon sun bleaching the world,     I can see the woods stretching out to the island’s edge, the ocean beyond. Pines bristling thick like always, rising high above the house. Here and there, gaps where the oak and birch have shed their leaves, but most of the canopy is woven tight, needles stiff with frost. Only the radio antenna breaking through, useless now the signal’s out.
Up the road someone yells, and out of the trees, there’s Boat Shift coming home. It’s only a few who can make the trip, all the way across the island to where the Navy delivers rations and clothes at the pier the ferries used to come and go from. The rest of us stay behind the fence, pray they make it home safe.
The tallest, Ms. Welch, stops at the gate and fumbles with the lock until at last, the gate swings open, and Boat Shift come stumbling in, cheeks red from the cold. All three of them back and all three of them bent under the weight of the cans and the meats and the sugar cubes. Welch turns to shut the gate behind her. Barely five years past the oldest of us, she’s the youngest of the teachers. Before this she lived on our hall and looked the other way when somebody missed curfew. Now she counts us every morning to make sure nobody’s died in the night.
She waves to give the all clear, and Byatt waves back. I’m gate. Byatt’s road. Sometimes we switch, but my eye doesn’t do well looking far, so it never lasts. Either way I’m still a better shot than half the girls who could take my place.
The last Boat girl steps under the porch and out of sight, and that’s the end of our shift. Unload the rifles. Stick the casings in the box for the next girl. Slip one in your pocket, just in case.
The roof slopes gently away from the flattop deck, third floor to second. From there we swing over the edge and through the open window into the house. It was harder in the skirts and socks we used to wear, something in us still telling us to keep our knees closed. That was a long time ago. Now, in our ragged jeans, there’s nothing to mind.
Byatt climbs in behind me, leaving another set of scuff marks on the window ledge. She pushes her hair over one shoulder. Straight, like mine, and a bright living brown. And clean. Even when there’s no bread, there’s always shampoo.
“What’d you see?” she asks me. I shrug. “Nothing.”
Breakfast wasn’t much, and I’m feeling the shake of hunger in my limbs. I know Byatt is too, so we’re quick as we head downstairs for lunch, to the main floor, to the hall, with its big high ceilings. Scarred, tilting tables; a fireplace; and tall-backed couches, stuffing ripped out to burn for warmth. And us, full of us, humming and alive.
There were about a hundred girls when it started, and twenty teachers. All together we filled both wings off the old house. These days we only need one.
The Boat girls come banging through the front doors, letting their bags drop, and there’s a scramble for the food. They send us cans, mostly, and sometimes packs of dried jerky. Barely ever anything fresh, never enough for everyone, and on an average day, meals are just Welch in the kitchen, unlocking the storage closet and parceling out the smallest rations you ever saw. But today’s a delivery day, new supplies come home on the backs of the Boat Shift girls, and that means Welch and Headmistress keep their hands clean and let us fight for one thing each.
Byatt and me, though, we don’t have to fight. Reese is right by the door, and she drags a bag off to the side for us. If it were somebody else, people would mind, but it’s Reese—left hand with its sharp, scaled fingers—so everyone keeps quiet.
She was one of the last to get sick. I thought maybe  it had missed her, maybe she was safe, and then they started. The scales, each a shifting sort of silver, unfolding out of her skin like they were coming from inside. The same thing happened to one of the other girls in our year. They spread across her whole body and turned her blood cold until she wouldn’t wake up, so we thought it was the end for Reese, and they took her upstairs, waited for it to kill her. But it didn’t. One day she’s holed up in the infirmary, and the next she’s back again, her left hand a wild thing but still hers.
Reese rips open the bag, and she lets me and Byatt root through it. My stomach clenching, spit thick around my tongue. Anything, I’d take anything. But we’ve got a bad one. Soap. Matches. A box of pens. A carton of bullets. And then, at the bottom, an orange—a real live orange, rot only starting to nip at the peel.
We snatch. Reese’s silver hand on my collar, heat roiling under the scales, but I throw her to the floor, shove my knee against the side of her face. Bear down, trap Byatt’s neck between my shoulder and my forearm. One of them kicks; I don’t know who. Clocks me in the back of the head and I’m careening onto the stairs, nose against the edge with a crack. Pain fizzing white. Around us, the other girls yelling, hemming in.
Someone has my hair in her fist, tugging up, out. I twist, I bite where the tendons push against her skin, and she whines. My grip loosens. So does hers, and we scrabble away from each other.
I shake the blood out of my eye. Reese is sprawled halfway up the staircase, the orange in her hand. She wins.

Thank you Netgalley and Delcorte Press for allowing me to read Wilder Girls. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by my free book. 

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The Breathless

by Tara Goedjn

 

 

No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.

Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.

And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.

And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead

The Breathless is a gothic book I wouldn’t call it horror but it has that spooky mystery undertone to it. It was an OK  book for my YA reader and I.  The book just didn’t hold it in the creepy spooky category for us. Maybe its the fact that I read a lot of these types of books on my own in the past and even to this day. For me I just didn’t click with the book or characters. I did loan it to a friend who doesn’t like real creepy books and she said it was scary for her. So I’m thinking The Breathless would be the perfect book for readers looking to decide if this type of genre is their cup of tea. I think I was expected something different when I started reading it. Overall I think this is a hard one to rate because some will love it and some won’t and it really just depends on what your definition of creepy scary is.

Thank you Delcorte Press for sending me a copy of  The Breathless. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

The Go Between

by Veronica Chambers

 

 

 

I don’t know I just wasn’t feeling this book. I guess it was the rich kids having rich kid problems that let’s face it I’ve never experienced that just threw me off. I didn’t really connect with the characters and just felt that it was an OK book but maybe one that just wasn’t for me. I’m sure there is a reader out there for this book and they would love it. As for me and my middle grade reader we liked it alright but both of us decided it wasn’t on our recommend list.

 

 

 

About the Book: 


She is the envy of every teenage girl in Mexico City. Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle Cammi to those who know her best.

When Cammi s mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly. Her mom s first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi s new friends assume she s a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic.

At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will be her way of teaching her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?

Thank you Delcorte Press for sending me a copy of The Go Between. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Windfall

by Jennifer E Smith

 

 

We have all seen the people on TV that win the lottery and we’ve all thought about it. What would you do if you won the lottery? Windfall is a classic rags to riches story set in modern times. Teddy doesn’t have much and his mom works hard. When he gets a winning ticket for his birthday he goes a little wild, I mean who wouldn’t right? He’s 18 I guess it’s to be expected. I felt sorry for poor Alice who is in love with Teddy and then money changes everything and he turns into a rich snot. I don’t believe the old saying “money changes people”. I have some friends that won the lottery and they won big but you know what they are still their sweet self’s and they didn’t change personality wise. This is a contemporary fiction book which for me can be hit and miss. I have a few authors that I really like so I’m always looking to add a few more new ones to the bunch.  I haven’t read any of Jennifer E. Smiths books before at the library and always meant to grab one but never did. So I was happy to read Windfall as my first novel of her’s. Overall Windfall was OK if I had to grade it I’d give it a good solid C. It’s not a bad book and if you really like contemporary than you would love this one I think. For me I just didn’t get invested in the characters or the story line.

About the Book: Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

Thank you Delcorte Press and Blogging for Books for sending me a copy of Windfall. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Arrows

by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

 

I love mythology, I love it so much I took every college course I can on the subject. My guidance counselor was like if it was possible this would almost be your minor. 🙂 So when I saw this YA book that was about Cupid’s son I knew this book would be cute. It was a really  sweet story about love, fixing wrongs and figuring out what is right even when you’ve been always told the opposite of what your feeling. Aaryn is the son of Cupid and when he was down on earth to complete his final things didn’t go as planned. Instead Karma his target was hit with the arrow of love, no matter how bad Danny treats her she just can’t seem to break that spell. To right Aaryn’s wrong his dad sends him down to earth and he has to fix it. But now he is a human and human emotions are coming into play. I know at times Karma drove me crazy with never giving up on Danny but sometimes it’s not that easy to give up on the one you love with all your heart.  Arrows was a great little YA book and while it does deal with adult situations and teen pregnancy / first time teen parents. I think the author did a great job at not making all fun and games. Can Karma find love? Can she continue with her dance dreams? Can Aaryn make the council realize that love isn’t just an easy hit with cupids arrows?   I think teen’s that enjoy romance books or mythology will enjoy Arrows.

summary: Dance prodigy Karma Clark’s unrequited love for Danny is unbearable until Aaryn, son of Cupid, tries to fix his mistake and ends up falling in love with the beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return.

thank you Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press, and Melissa Gorzelanczyk for sending me a copy of Arrows. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.