YA Round Up: The “Me” Overload

12 Jan

Lots of books to review this week but unfortunately none of them made it to the Buy Now! list. A recommendation, however, got me something to add to the list – Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones. I trust her to give me a good time, so it went on the Buy Now! list without needing to pass the sample test.

For those new here, here’s the process:

  • I go to the Science Fiction and Fantasy section of Amazon Teen
  • I download samples for all the new titles since the last time I did it
  • I read the samples and decide whether I’ll read them or not.

I’m on the brutal side, but I have to be or I’d spend all my time reading and no time writing, earning money or having a life…

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude: The book starts with a global disaster – the death of almost all the world’s males. After stumbling for a page or two, the story got going, but then jumped from prologue to book and jumped thirty years and from third person to first person. And I lost interest. Another one of the pitfalls of prologues – the author loses the reader in the transition to the main novel. Next!

Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton: Ugh, prologue… Seriously. If I ever use a prologue, shoot me, okay? (Never say never I know but why do so many people insist on a prologue?). And not just any prologue – a super-prologue! I might unfairly maligning the book, but a separate short story is not the way to start a novel. Next!

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff: As far as I can see, nothing to turn me off in this book, but nothing to turn me on either. I want to be excited, not read from a “why not?” stance. (Oh, and it’s another first person narrative). Next!

Water Wars by Cameron Stracher: Another first person narrative (yes, we’re three out of four here). And one with the narrative trick of “I’ll never forget the first time I saw…” – the narrator is an older version of the main character telling us about the past. Right from the start I’m removed from the action and so I don’t care enough to continue. Next!

OH LA LA I AM LOST IN NEW YORK by Joe Lernor: Yes, the title is in all-caps. My Kindle is yelling at me. I don’t like when people (or inanimate obects) yell at me. The book then opens with weather and we’re up to four of five with first person narrative. Next!

Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson: Normally I don’t even bother downloading teen vampire fiction but this one had such an over the top title that I just had to see how it started. Guess what? You got it! First person narrative and not only that but witty teenage girl protagonist with a stepmom and an evil step-sister. Next!

Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber: I can’t believe it. First person narrative teenage girl hanging out with her boyfriend and friends. I’m assuming by the title that this is a werewolf story so that gives it three strikes. Next!

Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell: Vampires, werewolves and fallen angels. Add in zombies and you have my four avoid-like-the-plague character types (unless done in a whole new way – this one doesn’t). Oh and it’s first person with a prologue. Next!

The Doomsday Box by Herbie Brennan: This book is a tricky one. At first I thought “Yay! Third person narrative!” but the narration is so far inside the protagonist’s head that it might as well be first person. And she’s a spoiled, shoe-obsessed teenage girl. Next!

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson: And the last book for today is… you guessed it… in first person narrative. However, it’s saved by a unique voice. The speaker is formal to an extreme and uses antiquated speech patterns and vocabulary. I’m not in love with it right away, but the voice does intrigue me. So, instead of getting a Next! it’s going to get a Maybe. If I run out of books to read I’ll give it another chance and put off the decision until later.

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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Book Reviews


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