YA Adventure

All the book covers link to the Tattered Cover bookstore page for that book.

coldfuryCold Fury, by T.M. Goeglein
This is a very interesting look at what might have brought the Mafia so much success (ie, paranormal activity). I like the insights into the mafia world, and I like the main character’s transformation from an innocent to someone who desperately wants to get her family back (and who is willing to do what it takes). The romance is mild and not as believable as it could (ie, Sara Jane’s reasons for choosing him), but it doesn’t detract from the intensity of the story. There are two more in this series, and I’m already partway through the second. The story: Sara Jane’s 16th birthday doesn’t go how she expects when she leaves her first dance in a huff and goes home to find her house destroyed and her family missing — and then people are chasing after her, as well. Sara Jane follows clues left for her by her dad, only to discover that her dad and his ancestors before him is part of the Mafia…a huge part. Now Sara Jane must walk a fine line between the innocent girl she once was and a confident mobster — all without letting the rest of the Outfit learn that her father is missing and without being killed, herself. (YA adventure/suspense, released 6/13, publisher: Speak)

emeraldgreenEmerald Green, by Kerstin Gier, transl. by Anthea Bell
I so loved this! It’s a great finale, even though I wasn’t quite sure why Gwen acted toward Gideon as she did in a couple places. Still, the romance was lovely, the intrigue was heart-pounding, the characters were fun — it is all good! :) The story: Although heart-broken by Gideon’s duplicity, Gwen continues her role in time-traveling society. She wants to learn why Lucy (her cousin) and Paul (Lucy’s husband and a Guardian) stole the other chronograph — and she needs to know why Gideon appears to have betrayed them all. Leslie, her best friend, and Xemerius (the ghost demon) continue to help…and soon Gwen learns that her role is both crucial and terrifying — and that Gideon will do almost anything to stop her from being hurt. Can the two of them stop the Count and save them all? (YA time travel/mystery, released 10/13, publisher: Henry Holt)

infinityglassInfinityglass, by Myra McEntire
I really liked this. Interestingly, I read the first one a couple years ago and wasn’t thrilled — but this one totally sucked me in (which means, of course, that I’ll now have to go back and read both the first two). I liked the characters, I liked the romance, I like the mystery — and I loved the premise of the different dimensions (in time). The story: The Hourglass group has been looking for the Infinityglass for a long time, but things are crucial now that they’ve interrupted the flow of time by saving a loved one from death (in the past) and changing the future/present. Because of that, Rips in time (which include people) move from the past into the present. But now they’ve learned that the Infinityglass is a person, and the member of the Hourglass group chosen to go and get her has to persuade her to help them. It’s complicated even further when Dune, the chosen one, realizes he’s attracted to Hallie (the Infinityglass)…and her mom is the one standing in their way. (YA paranormal/time travel, released 6/13, publisher: Egmont)

united we spyUnited We Spy, by Ally Carter
I loved this too, although it felt a little tired to me. (Not tired as in ‘done before,’ but tired as in ‘this is the 6th book and I might be out of things to say’). Still, especially when taken with the other five Gallagher Girl books, this is an amazing and clean story with strong and compassionate characters — a win-win, in my view. Cammie is such a fighter, but she also has compassion and is willing to think about the consequences of her actions. I’ve loved Zach since day one, so it’s wonderful to see more of him and learn more about his backstory. Bex, Macie, and Liz are also great characters — and it was fun to see Liz have a bit more of the spotlight this time. Many things come together here, and although I did think the plot itself was on the thin side, it was good to see a wrap-up (and not everything is resolved — Macie, especially, has some open threads). The story: Cammie and her friends are seeing the light at the end of their spy school tunnel, as they’re only months away from graduation. But the Circle of Cavan isn’t interested in their piddly lives and continue to wreak havoc…in fact, their havoc is of the world war kind. Cammie’s mom begs the girls to leave it to the professionals, but when Preston (one of Cammie’s and Macie’s friends) is taken, the girls know they can’t simply sit back and wait. So they do what they do best and throw themselves into the fray — and when Cammie’s mom and Joe Solomon disappear, Cammie knows it all depends on what they, a group of four spy trainees (and Zach, of course), can do to save them all. (YA adventure/spy thriller, released 9/13, publisher: Disney-Hyperion)

sapphire blueSapphire Blue, by Kerstin Gier, transl by Anthea Bell
Yes, the second in this trilogy is just as good as the first, imo. The tension has increased, the mystery has increased, and Gwen is just as spunky and enjoyable as in the first book. Also, she finally tells people about her gifts, so that’s one mystery somewhat solved. The ending is kind of cliff-hangery, though, so if you can wait until October before reading this, you’ll have number three (Emerald Green) to read right away (I couldn’t wait, clearly, and now I’m chomping at the bit — however, I actually ordered Emerald Green for myself, an indication of how much I love this trilogy). I’m definitely not happy with Gideon, but I’ve been informed that Gier does redeem him (by someone who can read German, so she has already read the final book). And who knew that a favorite character could be the ghost (demon) of a gargoyle?? But yes, Xemerius is wonderfully unique and charming, and Lesley is still amazing. I’m looking forward to seeing how Charlotte handles the resolution of things, as well — all in all, just a well-rounded and exciting trilogy. The story: Gwen now has to prepare for a ball with the Count, and after their first (and only) meeting, when he tried to choke her with his mind, she’s not exactly looking forward to it. Her mom, who had insisted that Gwen stay out of the dangerous stuff, is also not happy. Gwen is sure Gideon thinks she can’t pull it off, and it doesn’t help that most of the secret society thinks she’s a traitor…and she wonders herself what’s going on when she breaks rules to meet with her grandfather (who is currently dead) — and his support of Paul and Lucy is unwavering. And to add insult to misery, Gwen finds herself falling for Gideon, even though she still doesn’t completely trust him…. (YA time-travel/adventure, released 6/12, publisher: Henry Holt)

ruby redRuby Red, by Kerstin Gier, transl by Anthea Bell
I loved this! I love the time-travel element, I love Gwenyth (man, she’s spunky), I love Lesley, and of course, Gideon is a nice, romantic side-kick. I also love that I can’t really tell it’s a translation — that’s huge. The last book I read which was translated was very clunky (even though the plot was good), but this one is pretty seamless. The plot is intriguing (though I definitely picked up on the clues dropped throughout — that’s okay, though; I like when clues are dropped, as long as they’re brought to fruition, and I’m assuming they will be by the final book), and even though I was a little annoyed with Gwenyth’s refusal to tell *anyone* about her ability (with no good reason, imo), enough time is spent on other things that it’s okay. And yes, I’m already halfway through Sapphire Blue (and loving it too). :) The story: Gwenyth knows about her family’s time-traveling genes, but she thinks (as does everyone else) that it must be her cousin Charlotte who has the gene. In fact, Charlotte has spent her entire life preparing for the work of a time-traveler. Gwenyth, otoh, has spent her life like a normal kid — well, aside from the fact that she can see and talk to ghosts. However, when Gwenyth suddenly finds herself in the past, she realizes that someone made a mistake…or someone lied. Turns out, it was her mom who lied to everyone about Gwenyth’s birthday, and Gwenyth truly is the girl with the gene (and now the huge responsibility). Gwen is taken to the Lodge, where the Guardians try to give her a crash course on time traveling — and she meets Gideon, her partner in crime (the male time traveler). Gideon is gorgeous, but his arrogance turns Gwen off (mostly). Then, despite the annoyance of having to plan times to travel (or her body will do it anyway), Gwen discovers a mystery: the two previous time travelers stole one of the Chronographs (which help them regulate their travel). Without them, the Circle of Twelve cannot be completed and…well, Gwen’s not sure what will happen, but everyone assures her it’s serious. Can she do her part, even without knowing all (or any, really) of the details? And what’s going on with Gideon and Charlotte, anyway? (YA science fiction/adventure, released 4/11, publisher: Henry Holt)

perfectscoundrelsPerfect Scoundrels, by Ally Carter
I read all of this, and I did enjoy it very much. The only reason it didn’t get a full five stars is because the con was tricky enough that I didn’t pick up on what was happening until the very end. And yes, that’s probably a good thing, but it meant that I didn’t feel like things were being resolved as much as I personally prefer. Also, I felt like the resolution of Hale’s personal life didn’t quite happen — and it shouldn’t, totally, since he’s grieving. But because Kat constantly mentioned (in her internal narrative) how worried she was about him, I wanted to see a little more about how he was handling things. *shrugs* I’m sure it’s a personal preference thing, but I didn’t sense the closure that I think could have been there. Still, I enjoyed it very much and read it feverishly. :) The story: When Hale’s grandmother dies unexpectedly, her will reveals some huge surprises — like Hale inheriting the family business (a multi-million dollar corporation). His trustee is also a surprise…so much so that Kat and her friends are asked to look into it. Kat doesn’t know how much to involve Hale, as he’s grieving, and soon she’s in over her head. Plus, Hale is struggling, and Kat feels like she’s failing him on every level — can she save him and his family’s work? And will Hale forgive her when he realizes how much she’s done behind his back? (YA adventure/mystery, released 2/13, publisher: Hyperion)

out of sight, out of timeOut of Sight, Out of Time, by Ally Carter
I loved this! There are so many reasons this series is at the top of my list for great girls’ reading: 1) Cammie is strong and vulnerable at the same time (and this book deepened that — it wasn’t nearly as light as the others, but she still persevered and showed her inner strength); 2) Just as Cammie gets older and matures, so do the emotions and circumstances deepen; 3) Despite the growing tension and struggles, it’s still a ‘clean’ read (meaning, even tween girls can read this, and although they may not understand some of the deeper feelings, there’s nothing here they shouldn’t be reading); 4) All the relationships are growing with Cammie, and I love how they’re portrayed. Yeah, I just really loved it :D It sounds almost like the next one could be the last (or at least, the last in this series — the great thing about this idea is that Carter can definitely continue writing Cammie and her friends — they’ll simply get new goals or problems to overcome). The story: Cammie wakes up in a convent at the end of September — the problem is, she remembers yesterday as the last day of spring term (ie, June). She’s in bad shape physically, and worse, she can’t remember a single thing about her summer. Once back at Gallagher Academy, everyone wants to know what happened to Cammie. Soon she and Zach and her friends are trying to retrace her steps. Along the way, the Cavan seems to know more than they should, and they try to capture Cammie more than once — and her memory doesn’t seem to be returning…but she knows it has something to do with her dad and his death. Cammie’s memory continues to fail her, and she feels like she’s failed everyone and doesn’t know who to trust. (YA adventure/suspense, released 3/12, publisher: Hyperion)

Uncommon Criminals, by Ally Carter
I’m such a fan of Carter’s books — and this was no exception! I really enjoyed the second in her Heist Society series (which opened with Heist Society). It’s not only Kat but the entire group which make this story sing! Of course, I can’t help but root for Hale, and I also love Gabrielle and the twins — and the return of an old ‘friend’ adds even more tension, in my opinion. The story: Kat has been stealing art to return to those who should own it, but now she’s been asked to steal the Cleopatra Emerald — and when things appear to go off without a hitch, Kat learns she’s been had…and that’s so not on. (YA adventure, released 6/11, publisher: Disney-Hyperion)

Only the Good Spy Young, by Ally Carter
It amazes me how I like each one of these better than the last — and I loved the first one (I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You)! This one is very good, with the mystery and spy stuff increasing nicely. The story: After surviving the last attempted kidnaping, now Cammie is stunned to learn that her favorite teacher is supposedly one of the ‘bad guys’ — and she and her best friends work to undercover the truth, which is still related to her dad’s death. (YA adventure, released July, publisher: Disney-Hyperion)

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About Robin

I'm a reader, a writer, a mom, a writing coach...and someone who loves the outdoors.
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