Tag: YA

The Dark Side of Nowhere by Neal Shusterman

The Dark Side of Nowhere
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published: August 14, 2012
240 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Jason is having a bad day. The kind of day when you just don’t feel like yourself. Only for Jason, it’s not just a feeling. He really isn’t himself. Not anymore. Who is he? That’s the problem. Jason isn’t sure. And it’s not just him. Everyone in town is acting weird. His friends. His parents. Everyone. Billington is usually such a normal town. As Jason is about to discover, nothing will ever be normal again…

Kim’s Review:

We love Shusterman here at Jessica’s Reading Room. He hooked us with Scythe and the more I’ve read, the more I love him! While most of his books come in series, he does have some standalones. This is one, and a short one at that. He seems to know exactly the right length for his books. The Toll was nice and big and I didn’t even care, this one is short and concise and I enjoyed it!

I’ll admit that the plot twist was a little obvious. However, I still liked it and the characters fit the story well. I was engaged and I couldn’t wait to see how the story concluded. I didn’t see any loose ends dangling and I was a little surprised that I liked the ending as much as I did.

Overall, I think this is a great book for teens who don’t normally like reading, but want to try it. I thought it was fun and interesting and Shusterman stays upon his high pedestal of excellence!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol

Author: Amy A. Bartol

Published: August 1, 2017

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 6-27, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.

On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.

Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.

But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

Jessica’s Review:

Secondborn has an interesting concept about birth order and where you fall in society. And you better not have a third child without permission! (Only firstborn’s can have children).Roselle is our protagonist and she is the second born child to a very elite mother, a mother who could care less about Roselle.  Roselle even grew up on television and she is well known.  But once her 18th birthday hits all life changes for her, she has to become a part of the army.

This is a coming of age story and Roselle’s fight to survive.  There is also a love interest thrown in which I could have done without, but it becomes important later in the book and I am sure for the future books of the series. 

Secondborn is similar to Divergent with the different sections of society (in Divergent you have a choice) with a female protagonist becoming who she is meant to be with a love story with a hottie thrown in.  Ultimately it was just an ok read for me as it did not really add to the YA/Dystopian genre.  I’ll stick with the Divergent series which I really enjoyed, despite the unpopular ending that I saw coming and actually enjoyed.   

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Friant’s Video Friday: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Illustrated Version)

Today Kim brings you a video review of the illustrated version of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. She previously reviewed the novel here.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Published: April 11, 2017
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The international bestseller that has touched millions of readers around the world is now available in a deluxe illustrated edition, featuring powerful illustrations by acclaimed artist Oliver Jeffers.

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance. But Bruno decides there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK