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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: love stories, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 39

Woot woot!

The two characters that my high school readers wanted MORE written about are here! I did a happy dance about reviewing the continuing saga of Ben and Colleen and their roller coaster relationship. When we left the two in Stoner and Spaz, Colleen had returned to her life of addiction. Now she has returned to Ben, to the chagrin of Ben’s grandmother who is excited to have him pursue his film career and the cultured life. Colleen leaves, returns, leaves, returns, moves in, for a short time. Can she be trusted to make a new life for herself? If the ending scene is any indication, my YAs will be happy. This is such a great book for character studies. I will encourage teachers to use it in the classroom.

ENDERS' Rating: ****
Ron's Website

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2. Fateful by Claudia Gray

Tess, in servitude to a rich, unfeeling matron, plans to escape once the Titanic lands in New York City. The night before boarding, she is bullied by a frightening man on the streets of Southhampton, being saved by an equally unsettling, but handsome, young man. As bad luck would have it, both were in first class on the gigantic ship’s maiden voyage. Without much fanfare, Tess finds herself in the middle of a werewolf supremacy battle, and in love with one of them, mysterious, handsome, rich Alec. Paralleling the amazing Titanic movie, these star-crossed lovers transverse 1st to 3rd class navigating the tense war between werewolves. Tess is saved from death, even her beautiful BLONDE locks, which the cover does not depict. (Old cover, new cover seen here is correct. But does she looks like a servant?) Though Alec and his nemesis lie with the dead for identification, can she be sure of their state? I can see another series brewing. Gothic/ supernatural/love fans will enjoy the book.

ENDERS' Rating: ****
Claudia's Website

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3. Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

Okay, I have to get this off my chest right now: panty hose were invented in the 1950s. Outside of that anachronism, I enjoyed reading the continuing soap opera of the lives of Cordelia, Letty and Astrid. Cordelia is fitting well into the gangster society of her half-brother. Letty has lost her one love, but her singing career is taking off due to being in the right place at the right time. Astrid is kidnapped with a gunny sack over her head, but a blood bath saves her to marry her true love, Cordilia’s brother. What will these girls face next in The Lucky Ones? The big D? Let’s all tune in for the third novel and see. Godbersen is a fine author who keeps the reader wrapped around her little finger.

ENDERS' Rating: *****
Anna's Website

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4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Move over zombies, vampires and werewolves for the capaill uisce, the sea monsters that are faster than the winter wind and blood-thirsty for whatever throbs with blood. Well, there goes a girl’s romantic dream of horses! Actually the novel has been the dream of Maggie Stiefvater for years, and we all should cheer that she followed through with writing her finest novel to date. On the isle of Thisby water horses come ashore. Some are captured and trained for the Scorpio Race each November, full of blood, mayhem, death and a prize. Sean Kendrick is the undisputed king of four of the races and trains a capall named Corr, the other half of the team that is to be beat. Another orphan on the island, Puck Donelly, enters the race to pay off the back rent owed by her and her two brothers, to the horrid landlord threatening eviction. Of course the race is the climax of the story boiling with hatred, sexual prejudice, intimidation, attempted murder, and love. The narrative is shared by Sean and Puck. What I love about the writing is that Maggie allows the reader to incrementally piece the stories of these characters together from the evidences of the narration with zero omniscient presence. It is brilliant! I didn’t want to put it down, but I did. I wanted the story to also last longer. I want it to win awards.

ENDERS' Rating: *****
Maggie's Blog

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5. The Anti Prom by Abby McDonald

It is prom night for popular Bliss, bad girl Jolene, and nerdy Meg. Their prom night is far from imagined perfection. In alternating chapters the girls tell the story of their shared all night adventures that are reminiscent of the feel of “Adventures in Babysitting.” Bliss interrupts a lap dance of her best friend and boyfriend in the limo. Jolene is stood up. Meg’s date shows, but ditches her. A comedy and tragedy of errors follows Bliss’ decision to seek revenge, dragging her new posse’ along on each escapade. Highly entertaining, and ending with a feel-good but unsappy ending, this one will fly off the shelves in libraries. I reminds me again how fun creating stories from different perspectives can be.

ENDERS' Rating: ****
Abby's Website

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6. You Against Me by Jenny Downman

“Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene.” I remembered that line often as I read this amazing book that better receive some awards. In this story of “star-crossed lovers” those two households are crumbling under the stress of lies, harassment, brutality and rape. Mikey sister, Karyn, was raped at a private party by Tom Parker at his unsupervised home. The only witness was Tom’s younger, bookish sister, Ellie. But what did Ellie witness? She told police and her family that she was asleep and saw nothing.

Mikey and his mate, Jacko, infiltrate the Parker manor to beat Tom to a pulp only to discover a huge party to welcome Tom home from jail. Mikey ends up trying to pump Ellie for information and their mutual attraction snowballs immediately. Deftly executed prose entangles Mikey and Ellie’s love story with Karyn’s slow progression to a new normalcy, with the exposure of emotional abuse of Ellie by her father whose son is following his harassing footsteps. Younger teen readers will not appreciate the depth of plot and character development of the story, but will be tantalized about the intimate scenes. Older teens will appreciate the raw emotions of the love story and easily see the pressures on all the characters in this story of family deception and manipulation, and a story of a relationship that is bruised and bandaged but surviving.

ENDERS' Rating: ***** Jenny's Website

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7. Chime by Frannie Billingsley

For those who think there is no creativity any more in fantasy writing, you obviously need to read Chime! For those who think that young adult lit has no meat, you obviously need to read Chime! For those who think there are no more deliciously creepy stories, you obviously need to read Chime!

Biony is a beautiful teenager who blames herself for the death of her wonderful stepmother, the condition of her twin sister Rose and the fire that destroyed all her stories in the library. When lion-maned Eldric becomes a boarder of her father she slowly begins to turn on the switch about herself, the Old Ones in the swamp, and other amazing revelations.

Rose's outbursts and commentaries made me laugh out loud. Biony's musings were innocent, complex, amazing. Here is a sample: "Slicing yourself is harder than you'd think. Your skin doesn't slice, not like bread or cheese. Your flesh pushes back. It's resilient, like the skin of a mushroom."

The swamp was creepy and mesmerizing at the same time. I may never walk on a boardwalk at the beach again. But at least the beach will not give me a deadly cough...

This is no book to rush through. You need to take a bite and chew sixty times. Be prepared for each bite to have another literary flavor.

ENDERS' Rating: ***** Franny's Website

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8. Ingénue by Jillian Larkin

Lorraine knows that Jerome and Gloria are desperate to perform and eat, so traps them with an audition ad tailored to entice. Clara faces having to choose between flirting with flapper life again and wonderful, patient, redeeming Marcus. Her foray into writing for the "Manhattanite" social rag unveiled her wonderful writing, but also lured her like a siren to her wild flapper days. Jillian joyously peppered the dialog with idioms of the time, entertained us with Clara's antics, and had us holding our breath with the building tensions of the entrapment of Jerome and Gloria. Will they make it out of their first performance alive?

ENDERS' Rating: ***
Jillian's Website

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9. Dying to Meet You by Aidan Chambers

Karl is in incurable love with Fiorella, a girl in love with the written word, especially her favorite author. This all-about-me girl insists that Karl unveil his soul to her in letters. It appears that Fiorella has not noticed that Karl is a shy plumber’s assistant with a perchance for fishing and visual art. Karl shows up on the doorstep of the favorite author from whose viewpoint we witness the unfolding of this Cyrano de Bergerac-ish story. The author (Aidan?) and Karl seem to be kindred spirits and before he knows it, the author is assisting Karl, hanging out and fishing together. The unexpected friendship results in surprising pathos, tradegy and some kinks in Fiorella’s grand plan. Chambers switch-ups in writing styles were fun to read. Does the young man get the girl?

ENDERS' Rating: *****
Aiden's Website

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10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Oh no, another Cinderella story you may say. But read on! Cinder is a cyborg and a mechanic, and the sole source of income for her evil stepmother and two stepsisters. Even a disguised Prince Kai is a customer. Her adoptive father brought her home from Europe when she was eleven, newly injured but repaired with computer and mechanical body parts. But since his death her 17-year-old life is in jeopardy. Living in a kingdom of New Bejing, all the inhabitants live in fear of a plague that has swept through earth the last ten years. When Prince Kai’s father dies of it, as does one stepsister, Cinder is faced with an over-eager scientist looking for a cure, and seeing her as the key. King-apparent Kai is attracted to her and her smarts, not knowing that she is a dreaded cyborg, considered a dreg of society. Add an eminent invasion and enslavement of the planet by the Lunars and there is ample tension in this plot. But Cinder is more than a human repaired. The surprise ending really does make me, the sequel-hater, eager for the second volume! This is the new, hot series on the planet, and maybe the moon.

ENDERS' Rating: *****

Marissa's Website

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11. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

I adored these characters. My only complain was that adding editorial existential angst was not needed when the novel was poignant just because of the characters' situations. That said, having support meetings in the "literal" heart of Jesus was pretty funny. Outside of my whining about that one point, an excellent, excellent novel by one of the most clever and intelligent authors in the YA field right now. Hazel and Gus' trip to Amsterdam was so well written.

Loving my autographed copy!

ENDERS' Rating: *****
John's Website

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12. all these things i've done by Gabriella Zevin

If you think the economy is bad now, just imagine if chocolate was hard to find in the United States. Even worse that that: illegal! I think I would join Anya Balanchine's gangster family that deal in the illegal importing and selling of chocolate. (Me shuttering!!!) Coffee is illegal also, but that is not a big deal. (I used to believe it turned your knees black, so what is the allure? But I digress.) Anya's older brother, Leo, was permanently disabled in a "hit" meant for his father. In the same hit, their mother was killed. To add to the family trauma, as Anya and her little sister were playing under their father's desk, hit men broke into their home and executed him while he sat at the same desk. All over the control of chocolate and coffee. Anya's life is further complicated by a lousy boyfriend who is a villain. She is pursued by the son of the assistant DA, a star-crossed lovers situation if I ever saw one. Her grandmother, who should be the head of the family business, is slowly fading away. Even though Leo is older, Anya has to take on the burdens of her family. The lousy, now ex, boyfriend? He causes so much trouble that Anya ends up in jail at "Liberty House." The extended family are not helping Anya's dire situation either. I think the reader will really feel the pressure of a teenager who has far too many worries and responsibilities for her age, the horror of Liberty House, the economic decline of New York City, and the insanity that creates criminals.
ENDERS' Rating: ****
Gabrielle's Website

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13. Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Two best friends choose to leave their suffocating lives in rural America and head to the Big Apple to seek their fortunes and happiness. Faced with their first crisis, the two friends part, one to an amazing dream, the other to the streets. Their parallel lives intersect and drift apart once again. Can 1929 New York bring them the happiness both want, or does the cruelty, violence and despair rule everything?

Anna Godbersen just finished the draft of the 2nd book in the series.

ENDERS' Rating: *****

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14. So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

In the Northwest it is hard to imagine moving to another state to following a boy. The distances are just too far. But Brooke adores Scott Abrams so much that she moves from...New Jersey to New York City and ends up in the same school as he is! Brooke is hiding something from herself and us as readers, and she does it very well. But she discovers that those hidden qualities are really an asset at this new school. Is the move worth it? Is living with her aloft dad worth it? Is Scott worth it?

ENDERS' Rating: ****

Suzane's Website

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15. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Spoiler for those who have not read Shiver or Linger...

Just as Sam is "cured" of warping into a wolf's body, Grace becomes infected and changes at a dizzying rate, never knowing where she will show up as a scratched, naked teenage girl. Cole has thrown aside his passion for drugs and rock and rock and embraces research on himself for "the cure" to be perfected. But all is not well. A renegade wolf has just killed a new changelings and community leaders are outraged. Isabel's father amasses state support for exterminating the wolf population. Coupling the werewolf phenomena with the controversy of wolf control in the United States is a great addition to this final, dramatic installment.

ENDERS' Rating: *****

Maggie's Website

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16. the piper's son by Melina Marchetta

Family tragedies can pile up on a person at dizzying speeds and Thomas Makee's pile is suffocating him. He has dropped out of school, dropped his music and family, but hasn't dropped his obsession with a former girlfriend, nor drugs. When he tumbled from a table and acquires 10 stitches, he starts part-time jobs in cubicle-ville and at a restaurant sink. Francesca, from Saving Francesca, works at the restaurant owned by a relative and practices her music in the back room. Tom and Ned, the cook, yell suggestions to her from the kitchen. Loved that! Back to the tragedies...they affect the entire family, sorrow dripping from the stories of Georgie, Tom, Dom and others. I was getting depressed. But humans do have the ability to choose their futures, and there is lots of right choices being made to shovel out of the misery. The family dynamics in this Italian (I am pretty sure) family are loud, argumentative and volatile.

Probably not the cheeriest review I have written, but I am hopeful for all the family! Lots of language, so best for older YA readers who can also wrap their minds around the heaviness of the plot. Well worth the read.

ENDERS' Rating: ****

Melina's Website

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17. starstruck by Cyn Balog

After a 3-year absence Dough's boyfriend, Wish, is returning to the east coast to attend school once again with her. She has seen his photos on Facebook and he has grown from 14 year old cute to 18 year old GORGEOUS! Great senior year coming up right? But Dough has changed also. There is 70 more pounds of her to love, but will Wish still love her? Will he be more than perfection? And what is with his distaste for rain?

ENDERS' Rating: ***

Cyn's Blog

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18. Afterlife by Claudia Gray

The saga continues, and concludes, the love story of Lucas and Bianca that began in Evernight. The story begins in the bloody aftermath of the vampire attack in which Balthazar’s evil sister turns Lucas into a vampire. Lucas is crazed with his ingrained hate of vampires and the loss of Bianca and his blood lust. Balthazar and Bianca convince Lucas that the only place he will be safe during his volatile stage is Evernight Academy. Unfortunately, it is also the most dangerous location for Bianca. If you like a story with layered conflicts, this is the one for you. In fact, a spreadsheet of the conflicts may be useful. Just kidding. And what is going on with Mrs. Bethany, the spooky head mistress? Why is she befriending Lucas who she barely tolerated before? And Bianca’s parents, who hate wraiths, how will they respond to their daughter now? Fans will not be disappointed.

ENDERS' Rating: ****

Claudia's Website

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19. Center Field by Robert Lipsyte

Mike is a center fielder. He lives by the example and motivational messages of a great major league center fielder. But between a bum ankle, a new Latino player, and his irritating yet popular girl friend, things are not going smoothly. Then abrasive, sexy, brainy Katherine Herold enters his life and she creates an amazing major league opportunity for Mike. An irritating weasel of a nerd causes Mike to overreact in the hall, and he ends up being a double-agent, sorta, for the nerds versus his coach that he adores! If that is not enough, a controversy arises over the new player’s nationality and age. His family becomes part of the intrigue. If it sounds convoluted, it is not. Wow! What Lipsyte novel is NOT good???

ENDERS' Rating: ****

Robert's Website

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20. Freak Magnet by Andrew Auseon

In the midst of dystopia, vampire and violence stories emerges a refreshing story that definitely is my “feel good” novel of the year thus far.

Charlie is the freak. Gloria is the freak magnet. So both of them think! One day at a coffee shop Charlie spots the most glorious creature to grace the earth. You guessed it: Gloria. In his over-the-top, freakish way, he hits on her despite the warnings of his best buddy. Gloria disses him and heads off in her totally black persona way. Fate interweaves their lives and they continue to intersect. Gloria hates to admit it, but Charlie is hot, but still a freak. But her admissions to his endearing personality continue during their lucky encounters. This he said/she said format digs into her blackness, his love and fear for his family, and their growing affection. Charlie’s antics at his job with his quirky co-workers are laugh-out-loud funny. Gloria’s de-icing reveals the loss that she has felt the last year. This is a book that reminds us that love is in the world, if we only trust it.

ENDERS' Rating: *****

Andrew's Website

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21. So Many Boys by Suzanne Young

In this episode of “The Naughty List” novels, Tessa has given up her skirt in the Smitten Kittens cheer squad and her nocturnal sleuthing of cheating boyfriends. In fact, SOS has been disbanded. Her hands are full with trying to have a relationship with her college freshman boyfriend, Aiden. Then someone hijacks the SOS files and takes on cases, for hire and for revenge. Tessa misses her cheering days, and the squad leadership decides she can come back if she dates sweet, popular Jake Townsend. But Aiden’s actions are complicating things. An old enemy is moving in. The Kittens are not so peppy any more. Another boy, besides Jake, is showing interest. What ever will Tessa do? Entertaining, humorous and soapy. Next: A Good Boy is Hard to Find.

ENDERS' Rating: ***
Suzanne's Blog

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22. Torment by Lauren Kate

I was enthralled with the beautiful cover of the sequel to Fallen, about a difficult love between an angel, Daniel, and a mortal, Luce. Daniel has picked true love over residing in heaven and he enters an uneasy truce with the head of the demons, Cam, for eighteen days. Within that time they both will hunt and kill as many of the Outcasts of Heaven as possible to save Luce from them. Why do they want her? That I will not divulge! Luce is hidden in a high school on the California coast for Nephilim, descendants of angels and humans. I was disappointed by the separation of Luce and Danie, and Luce’s complaints. Fallen angels, demons, half-mortals...their lives are complicated!

ENDERS' Rating: ***

Lauren Kate's Website

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Haven Moore has always lived in Snopes City, Tennessee, the granddaughter to a controlling matriarch who sees Haven’s dead father and Haven as “of Satan.” Despite the counseling of the esteemed pastor of the local church, Haven continues to have graphic, sensuous dreams involving Ethan and Constance who lived and loved during the 1920s. Haven knows minute details about New York City though she has never traveled there. Haven is Constance, reincarnated. When the gossip fallout from her latest vision makes life unbearable for Haven and when a bland, mysterious man torches the family mansion, Haven escapes to NYC with the help of her dress design partner, Beau (who is my absolutely favorite character). She is drawn to a secret society that harbors people with useful talents to exploit and is drawn to a society playboy who is the reincarnation of Ethan. Cat and mouse chases, trips to Rome, the freaky gray men and even the devil himself create a tense reading experience. I was eager for the climatic conclusion and was not disappointed. Keep reading to the last page. Teen gothic romance readers will love the story. Yep, a sequel: All You Desire is due August 2011

ENDERS' Rating: ****

Q&A with Kirsten

Blog and Website

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24. Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson

Sylvie and Carl have been best friends since…forever!

Sylvie knows that now they are in high school their friendship will blossom into a romance, then marriage, just like they pretended when young. Carl seems to have forgotten the master plan. He is moody, distant and overly excited about a soccer player on the boys’ team at his school. For Carl’s birthday they go to a Chihuly glass exhibit in London, and Carl’s glass dreams splinter around him. Though there were enough hints as to Carl’s passion, Sylive just doesn’t get it. Love will do that to you.

ENDERS' Rating: ***

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25. where she went by Gayle Forman

Adam had pulled Mia back from death in If I Stay. Now he faces the results of a promise he made her in the hospital. Though Mia lives, Adam has lost her. As his rock career rockets, he finds himself anxious, popping medicines a little too often, avoiding the band, and dreading the European tour. His manager gives him an extra day in New York to settle his mind. As he walks through the city he runs smack into a billboard with Mia and her cello plastered on it; and he finds himself in the audience of her concert. Word spreads that he is there, even to the star. In a night a bit reminiscent of a darker Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Mia leads Adam to her favorite NY locations all night long. In a dramatic confrontation, Mia shares a shocking revelation. Fans will love the ending. I know that I did. The main quandary now is when will Forman’s next book be released?

ENDERS' Rating: *****

Gayle Forman's website includes a good book trailer

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