Skip to main content

Little Monsters


Little Monsters by Kara Thomas (324 pages)
Overview: When the new girl comes to town, she makes the perfect prime suspect when her best friend goes missing. When Kacey Young moves in with her father she doesn't know, her step mom, step brother, and half sister, she doesn't know what to expect, but she knows it will be better than living with her mom. Soon enough, she's fallen into place with her new siblings, Andrew and Lauren, and her two best friends Jade and Bailey. Life is great until she stumbles upon the trail of her best friend's possible murder. Overall: 3.5

Characters: 3 What I loved about The Cheerleaders was how real the characters were. They had a weight and gravity that you see hints of in this book, but it isn't quite all the way there. Kacey is the best fleshed out of all the characters. She makes a great main character as she straddles the inside and outside of Broken Falls. While her family members don't have her sense of gravity, their plotted dynamics are sweet and endearing. I wish we'd gotten to learn more about Bailey and Jade, though. I think it would have taken the story to a completely different level if Thomas had used her third person to shift into that dynamic a bit more.

Plot: 4 I was engaged by the twists and the turns of the book. You're intentionally set up to get everything before Kacey does, though, which wasn't my favorite. I like discovering with the character because it eliminates the lag between your "wow" moment and waiting for the character to have hers. Overall, though, the developments were well plotted.

Writing: 3.5 The limited third POV with Kacey is interspersed with journal entries that are from Bailey (though they're not labeled). I wish that they weren't journal entries. The entries just made Bailey sound unbelievably flat and one dimensional. It made some reactions of the people around her feel unbelievable. If what Bailey wrote about had been expressed in action scenes, it would have done multitudes to bring the book completely to life.

Links of Interest:
How Do You Read? Essay Here
The Cheerleaders: Review Here
There's Someone Inside Your House: Review Here
Into YA Bookstore: Interview Here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top Reads of 2018

This year's best of 2018 list has tons of new categories to fit all of the amazing books I read this year. I've had the chance to read so many advanced books and recent releases, so most of what I read were books that came out in 2018. I mostly choose contemporary, so I've started with my favorite debut as well as the best books in other genres I've ventured into. After that, I have smaller categories in the contemporary genre. I hope you find new books to love and give to your friends and family for the holidays. If you're interested in learning more about the books on the list, click their titles to go to my reviews. Let me know if these are some of your favorites in the comments, and tell me your favorite books!
Best In Genre Top Debut
Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell Nothing Left To Burn gave me the craziest book hangover. I was so immersed in the story, and I couldn't stop reading to do anything that I actually needed to be doing. There is a toxic relat…

The History of Jane Doe

The History of Jane Doe by Micheal Belanger (2018)
Overview: Ray knows the entire history of his hometown, Burgerville, Connecticut. He also knows lots of different tidbits about the world as well. But, for his first written account of history, the story must center on loss, why, and fleeting moments of happiness. He has to tell the story of his first girlfriend, hidden by the anonymity of the name Jane Doe. Told in Before and After chapters, Ray explores the highs and lows he had in his fleeting relationship with Jane and his recovery from crushing loss. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 Jane is coping with clinical depression that probably stems from a combination of family history and past trauma. She goes between trying to hide her scars and struggles and exposing them, tiny piece by piece to the people she loves.
Ray is fascinated by Jane and the way she looks at the world and the town he's lived in all his life with fresh eyes.
His friend, Simon, is dorky and not quite all together b…

Down and Across

Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi (320 pages)
Overview: Scott, or, technically Saaket, is sick of studying rat poop. And the job has barely started. His Iranian parents are thrilled, though, because the internship will look great on his resume as he works to become a doctor, or some other respectable thing. Instead, when his parents leave for a month to care for his grandfather who lives in Iran, Scott jumps a Greyhound bus to DC in search of one thing- Grit. To find it, though, he'll have to track down the Georgetown professor that made him want the character trait and whose quiz proved he doesn't have it. What he doesn't realize, though, is the girl sitting next to him while he irons out his scheme is a bigger ticket to the summer he is looking for. Overall: 5+++++

Characters: 5 I'm so in love with all of them because they all felt so REAL. Even impulsive, whimsical, borderline manic pixie dream girl Fiora is grounded in the same place we all are. Ahmadi makes us underst…

The Astonishing Color of After

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (472 pages)
Overview: Leigh's mother dies by suicide. The image haunts her mind. She and her father grapple for why as the grief sets in. All that she left behind are crossed out lines, an attempt at a note, and one mentions wanting her to remember. Remember what, Leigh doesn't know. But when a giant, red bird that must be the next incarnation of her mother delivers a package full of relics from her mom's family in Taiwan, she knows that she has to go visit them. Her father, an scholar in East Asian studies, arranges a trip for her to meet her grandparents for the first time, and, despite the language barrier, Leigh begins to connect with her mother's parents and heritage all while trying to piece together what her mother is trying to communicate before time runs out. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Leigh sees and communicates with the world with colors. Emotions are not happy or sad but parrot green and magenta. The other sense…

Two Can Keep a Secret

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (327 pages)
Overview: Ellery and Ezra have moved to Echo Ridge right when the beloved science teacher is killed in a hit and run. They come across the body on their drive into town which sets the tone for their time in Echo Ridge. It seems that the killer of the homecoming queen from five years ago has returned with a slew of threats against the new court. And then, Brooke, one of the princesses, goes missing. Echo Ridge goes from a rich, suburban New England town to the sight of a possible serial killer, and true crime fanatic, Ellery, is going to solve it the mystery. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Ellery and Ezra aren't super memorable. They're fine. Likable enough, but nothing stands out to make them special. Ezra is reduced to a minor, minor character, even though he's originally painted as important and Ellery is your classic new girl in town, true crime fanatic. I just can't find anything that stands out about her as much as I w…

What If It's Us

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (448 pages)
Overview: Ben and Arthur meet at the post office during a flashmob. Well, Arthur followed Ben into the post office because he thought he was and, and, just as they started talking, in true form with Arthur's New York fantasy, a flash mob erupted. When the boys and split up, Arthur loses his chance at connecting with Ben, but when he can't stop thinking about him, he explores ways to reconnect even in a city of a million empty faces like New York. Even if they can find each other, with Arthur going back to Georgia at the end of the summer, will it even be worth it? Overall: 4/5

Characters: 4.5 I'm not sure what to say about the characters. I liked them enough, but I didn't feel any real attachment to any of them. I liked the cast of friends, but they all lacked a certain weight that would give them a stronger sense of reality. My favorite relationship in the book was the friendship between Dylan and Ben.…

Into YA with Lianne Oelke

Nice Try Jane Sinner recently turned a year old which means that Lianne Oelke has been a published author for a little while now. Today, she's here to share some of the things she's learned going from a querying writer to debut. She had some awesome things to say, so dive in and check out our conversation below, and thank you to Lianne for chatting with me!

1. I absolutely love that your book is set on a college campus. Even though Jane is still in high school, It's awesome that this is adding to college YA books (which we desperately need more of!) What led you to put Jane's story at the community college instead of at a different high school. 
Jane's story actually first took place in university. I was in university myself when I started writing NTJS. I wanted to find books that showed people like me trying to figure out how to navigate that awkward period after high school when you don't suddenly stop feeling like a teenager, but you're expected to move o…

Radio Silence

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (496 pages)
Overview: Frances has always known her across the street neighbor Aled Last in the periphery. He was Carry Last's sister until she disappeared. Now he's head boy Daniel's best friend. When she and Aled are thrust together on a drunken train ride home, Frances learns she's a lot closer to Aled than she thought. He's the mysterious creator of her favorite narrative podcast, Universe City. But when his identity surfaces on the internet in connection to Universe City, it all starts to fall apart for their friendship, and  Aled's life. Overall: 5

Character: 5 Frances, Aled, and Daniel are all extremely real people. France lives her life caught up on the dream of getting into Cambridge. If it's not helping her admissions prospects, she's not doing it- unless it's under a pen name and involving Universe City fan art. Over the course of the book, she realizes that the Frances in her head that she projects and the Fran…

The Summer of Jordi Perez

The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding (275 pages)
Overview: Abbey's summer has a lot of missions. She wants to rock her internship at a local boutique that features plus sized clothes and hopefully turn it into a part time job in the fall, she wants to have an epic summer with her best friend, and she wants to find the best burger in LA with her friend Jax. She never thought that the summer would also include falling for her coworker Jordi who she barely ever noticed at school, but, suddenly, Jordi Perez becomes her summer. Overall: 4.5 

Characters: 4 Abbey is awesome. She's confident, bold, cute, and also honest. She runs a plus sized fashion blog and knows her stuff. She also talks a lot about loving her body, but having heard her mom talk about "if only she were skinnier" for so long, she has lingering doubts about if others could see her as beautiful as she is. Abbey's other problem is that she's obsessed with the idea that she's just the sidekick i…

Books in Schools

I've noticed that every time I talk about how schools make poor choices in their reading curriculum on Twitter, I get like twenty more likes than usual (which means I get twenty likes), and so I thought I'd bring it here to spread the conversation some more.
I'm finally in my final year of high school English, so I'd say I have a pretty broad feel of what the general curriculum looks like. Mostly, it's books written by older white men from the distant past writing for adults from the same distant past. And, for some reason I haven't quite figured out yet, some governing body took a select few of these novels published for adults of the time, dubbed them "classics" and proceeded to shove them down the throat of every American teenager.
I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish with that plan, though. You're giving a book to the wrong audience. While thrillers like Steven King might have crossover appeal, most adult books are marked to a…