Ranking Recent Reads 3

  1. Some kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand

What it’s About: With her parent’s marriage falling apart, pre-teen Finley is sent to live with her father’s parents, even though he father has been estranged from his family for her entire life.  Forced to deal with grandparents, aunts, and cousins that she’s never met before, while dealing with her own feelings of anxiety and depression.  Finley escapes into the magical Everwood, which she writes about in her notebook.  But then she goes into the woods behind her grandparents’ house and discovers that it is the Everwood she has been writing about, and it needs her to save it.

What I Thought: There is a lot to like about this book.  Finley’s mental troubles, something that I have some familiarity with, really resonated with me, and I have to tip my hat to Claire Legrand.  The only real problem with this book is the false advertising.  The description makes it sound like the book will be much like another Legrand book I’ve read, The Year of Shadows, which had a strong fantasy arc to go with a strong arc about a broken family.  But Some Kind of Happiness is really just about the broken family, and Finley’s internal struggles.  So if you’re looking for a heartfelt contemporary read then check this one out, but if you want a fantasy story you should look elsewhere.

  1. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

What it’s About: Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes end up at the same school, and a fellow student who they have both had problems with turns up dead in a manner ripped from the Sherlock Holmes stories.

What I Thought: A decent murder mystery and I’ll be checking out the sequel when it comes out.  I could have done without the hints of Holmes/Watson romance, though.

  1. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

What it’s About: There is a city where acts of violence create monster.  Half of the city is ruled by Kate’s father, who makes the people pay him for protection from the Corsai and Malchai.  The other half’s leader wages a war against the monsters, using the only three Sunai in existence as his secret weapons, raising them as his own children.  One of them, August, is sent to high school to get close to Kate.

What I Thought: This book has been getting absolutely rave reviews from just about everyone, which might have made my expectations too high.  I didn’t love it as much as everyone else seems too, but it’s still a very good story.  My biggest problem was that I just didn’t feel particularly connected to Kate or August, though I seem to be in the minority there.

  1. Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

What it’s About: Anika is the third most popular girl in school, but just like everyone else, she lives in fear of Becky, who makes Regina George look gentle and good-natured.  So when Anika starts being pursued by both the school’s resident loner and the guy Becky has been after forever, she knows that there will be hell to pay if Becky finds out about this.

What I Thought: The description of Mean Girls meets Perks of Being a Wallflower gives you a good idea of what you will find in this book.  I’ve seen some people blast this book because they don’t like some of the views expressed by Anika, but I really don’t think you’re supposed to agree with her about everything.  She is a very flawed protagonist, but I was still invested in her story.

  1.  Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

What it’s about: Celestine is a model citizen in a world where people who prove themselves to be less than perfect are literally branded as flawed.  Living next door to one of the judges who controls the system, and in love with his son, she has never questioned the son.  But then she tries to get people on a bus to give up their seat to a flawed person, breaking the law against helping the flawed, and she finds her life falling apart.

What I Thought: The Scarlet Letter as a YA dystopia.  And I loved it.  I was deeply invested in Celestine and her relationships with those around her, particularly her sister, who had always been the rebel of the family but who froze when Celestine made her stand on the bus.  My one real complaint is that I now have to wait for the sequel.  April fourth is so far away.

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