ARC/Book Review: Timekeeper – Tara Sim

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Title: Timekeeper (2016)
Author: Tara Sim
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 368 pages
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

Review

Steampunk isn’t a popular subgenre within YA fiction, so imagine my excitement when I discovered Timekeeper. A Victorian world controlled by clocks, where the protagonist is a mechanic who falls in love with a clock spirit! It sounds like my kind of thing, so I jumped at the chance to read it with The Fanboy Book Club .

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ARC/Book Review: Last Seen Leaving – Caleb Roehrig

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Title: Last Seen Leaving (2016)
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Extent: 336 pages
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Review

Last Seen Leaving reminds me of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, albeit a rather watered down version of it. The stakes aren’t as high. The characters aren’t as complex. The evil is more predictable. Plot-wise, there are similarities as well: missing girl makes national news, their love interest comes under scrutiny, volunteers search the surrounding areas and find clues that turn out to be red herrings, and there’s more to the story than just a person’s disappearance.

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Book Review: Everything Leads to You – Nina LaCour

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Title: Everything Leads to You (2014)
Author: Nina LaCour
Publisher: Dutton Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Extent: 312 pages
Release Date: May 15, 2014
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Review

The moment I started reading Everything Leads to You, I knew it was going to be an enjoyable book. We’ve got a protagonist called Emi who’s a really passionate set designer, and a love interest called Ava, who comes into Emi’s life in an unexpected way. The plot revolves mostly around three things: Emi’s romantic relationships, the movie she is working on, and Ava’s past.

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Book Review: The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson

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Title: The Art of Being Normal (2015)
Author: Lisa Williamson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Extent: 353 pages
Release Date: January 1, 2015
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

Review

I picked up The Art of Being Normal not really knowing what it was about — I’ve heard of the title before but had no recollection of the blurb when I started reading, one random night when I had nothing to do. Well, that turned out to be quite a lucky decision, because I ended up flying through this book in two days, it was that easy to read.

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Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (2012)
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Extent: 359 pages
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common.

But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Review

Aristotle and Dante is about two boys who couldn’t be more different but found themselves connecting in ways they didn’t think were possible. Ari is a quiet, angry, inexpressive boy who doesn’t know how to express or communicate his emotions. Aptly named, his counterpart Dante is a sensitive, brave boy who knows how to and does so quite often. When they meet and become fast friends, their lives change for the better.

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