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book reviews for the thrifty soul

Archive for the category “LIBRARY IT! reviews”

Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Despite what the title indicates this book is not your average Love-At-First-Sight YA novel.  It has substance–a great story filled with unique and realistic characters.

It’s a Library It! rating not because I don’t love it (I really, really do), but because I don’t feel any burning need to reread it.  It’s a story that I’ll remember, quite possibly forever, because it was fun and sweet and filled to the brim with average, real world problems.

The story begins with Hadley missing her flight to London to attend her father’s wedding to the woman Hadley’s never met. Her father, who is rather estranged from Hadley, is a professor at Oxford.  He left to teach as a visiting professor for a semester and never came back, leaving Hadley filled with bitter feelings toward Charlotte, his fiancee.

It doesn’t help that her mother has had a difficult time moving on–even though she tells Hadley their divorce was for the best.  We can see the way her divorce broke Hadley’s mother as well as how she’s trying to put herself back together.

So needless to say, she’s not exactly thrilled to be flying all the way to London and missing her flight is the last thing she wanted to deal with. But if she’d been just four minutes earlier, she’d never met Oliver.  A native Londoner, he’s charming, clever, and a Yale undergrad–combined with his accent he’s basically perfect.  (Insert swoon here!) Read more…

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge takes place in the nation of Ludania, which is fairly clearly a post-fall-of-modern-society country, but aside from that remains essentially timeless. The society is divided into a traditional caste system, but the castes are kept entirely distinct by language – each caste has its own language, and to acknowledge the language of a higher caste than your own can be deadly. The story centers around Charlie, a girl in the merchant class, who has a secret: she can understand all languages.

The first half of The Pledge focuses on building the world and characters, with the biggest issue being Charlie’s struggles to hide her secret talent.  Although I enjoyed getting to know the characters (the relationship between Charlie and her little sister being one of my favorites), the first half felt a bit slow, with some fairly obvious hints at the plot to come, but no actual advancement.

In the second half, however, we are met with bursts of action and revelations. Although the action sequences were dramatic and invigorating, sometimes it felt like the overall plot could have used a bit more drive. In addition, many of these plot twists and revealed secrets were somewhat predictable. However, that didn’t mean I didn’t still enjoy those twists nonetheless. Read more…

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Daring to be different, aren’t I? This one is planted firmly in the LIBRARY IT category, ladies and gentlemen.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Emmy, Ender’s Game was one of my favorite books!”

It’s one of mine too, so I feel your pain.   But trust me, this isn’t a book you’re going to want to reread. (Except when you get confused later.) Orson’s attempts to draw out The Mystery (i.e. time travel) AS LONG AS POSSIBLE gets SUPER ANNOYING.

But I think you’re supposed to be confused.  Or I hope you are.  Because I’m still confused.

Pathfinder is the beginning of Orson’s newest Serpent World series for YA readers.  Though the summary of this first book reads like one for a fantasy novel, the story stays true to the author’s sci fi leanings.

I felt like half of this book was a quest to confuse the reader, and the rest of it was the character plot.  So as much as I really hated the time travel confusion, I adore the fact there is time travel–because the plot it creates is totally brilliant. Read more…

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