Category Archives: Young Adult

>Teen Review Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs


Goddess Boot CampSeventeen-year-old Phoebe has recently learned that she’s a descendant of Nike (the goddess, not the shoe). Now, in order to learn to control her newfound – and very strong – powers, she’s being forced to attend Goddess Boot Camp. The only problem is, none of the other campers is over the age of ten! It’s not going to be easy to survive camp, train for the Pythian Games, and keep her romance with Griffin going strong, but goddess help her, Phoebe is determined to make it work!

In the sequel to Oh. My. Gods., Goddess Boot Camp picks up pretty much where the first book left off. Diving right back into Phoebe’s life proves to be even more fun and chock full of drama the second time around!

After landing the hottest guy on campus, getting a coveted spot on the track team and coming to grips with her new life in Greece and her new powers– Phoebe just can’t seem to catch a break. Every time she starts to get her crazy life situated another obstacle gets in her way-this time it’s many different obstacles.

For starters, Phoebe’s powers are running amok. Because she can’t seem to get a grip on them her step dad sends her to boot camp with a bunch of kids! Now, before I get too ahead of myself let me explain. Phoebe came into her powers and knowledge of them later in life. Most kids born into the godhood grow up learning about it and have a much better grasp on their powers by the time they are Phoebe’s age. But, because our heroine didn’t have that luxury she is stuck playing catch-up and it is very important that she harnesses her powers sooner rather than later. However, it may be easier if the added pressure of her new stepsister being a counselor their weren’t weighing heavy on her shoulders.

The boot camp isn’t the only stress Phoebe has going on either. There is an upcoming tournament (Pythian Games) that is important to her but her time is stretched thin as it is. Plus–It’s ain’t easy being the new girl and it’s never easy when you fear your hunky boyfriend may be straying. Is it just stress causing her insecurities or something more? Tera Lynn Childs does a nice job of plotting the story and tying up all the loose strings to give readers a satisfying resolution.

With all the teenage drama and emotional highs and lows this book is a super fun and fast summer read that is quirky and cute with easy to love characters, a twist on mythology and a beautifully described setting of the Greek Isles! Fun, fun, fun!

  • Author: Tera Lynn Childs
  • Series: Oh. My. Gods!
  • Release: June, 2009
  • Source: Personal Library

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>Tween Review: Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs


Oh. My. Gods.When Phoebe’s mom returns from Greece with a new husband and plans to move to an island in the Aegean Sea, Phoebe’s well-plotted senior year becomes ancient history. Now, instead of enjoying a triumphant track season and planning for college with her best friends, Phoebe is trying to keep her head above water at the uberexclusive Academy. If it isn’t hard enough being the new kid in school, Phoebe’s classmates are all descendents of the Greek gods! When you’re running against teammates with superpowers, dealing with a stepsister from Hades, and nursing a crush on a boy who is quite literally a god, the drama takes on mythic proportions!

With all the heavy and dark books on the market for the young adult crowd, it is no wonder that we need some happier and fun books to lighten the load every now and then. Tera Lynn Childs is an author I turn to for such a task. Her books are funny, entertaining and un-put-downable!

In Oh. My. Gods. we are introduced to Childs modern day take on Greek Mythology (think Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson for girls). The heroine, Phoebe is in the middle of a highschool crisis. Her mother has re-married and  is uprooting Phoebe to live in the Aegean sea. As any young girl in school will tell you, this is totally un-cool. I mean, we work so hard for getting into programs, trying out for sports and our popularity status that moving can feel like the end of the world…and for Phoebe it does. Especially when she is sent to a special Academy where all the other students think they are a god…well, in this case they kind of are but all the same….it’s a HUGE deal!

Keeping secrets, felling like an outcast, adjusting to a new family in a foreign land….all of those things are issues that can really weigh a girl down. But then, Phoebe manages to get a spot on the divine track team (even though she isn’t one of the divine) and then a total hottie enters the picture and gives Phoebe something to look forward to in her new home.

Readers will stay glued to the pages following Phoebe’s new adventures of trying to find her place and sympathize with her ordeals and homesick feelings…It’s tough being a kid.

Tera Lynn Childs has written an ubercute story that is sure to put a smile on the face of those who read it–It did for me!

  • Author: Tera Lynn Childs
  • Release: May, 2008
  • Series: Oh My Gods!
  • Source: Personal Library

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>ARC Review: Legend by Marie Lu


LegendWhat was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Told in alternating perspectives between male and female protagonists this book is sure to find a welcoming audience of boys and girls that are eager to fill the void The Hunger Games books left. The similarities between the two books are minimal–aside from both being dystopian in concept, there is little else to compare.

The writing style in LEGEND is not flowery or lyrical like in others of this genre yet it still draws you in with the character driven plot. From fairly early on I had a good idea of the events that were to unfold in the story. Normally, one would think that obvious clues would be a deal breaker, but for me personally, I couldn’t put the book down and that is due in large part to the captivating way Marie Lu has written the character’s voices. Both leads are very distinct and different but they each have something that makes them easy to relate to and sympathize with.

The Character of Day (great name for a hero of any sex BTW) was so layered and amazing that I struggle to find ways to describe him with justice. A bit like a futuristic, teenage version of Robin Hood that steals from the rich to give to the poor he is the type of character both young men and ladies will be able to embrace–for different reasons. He is humble and confident. Smart and reckless. Day is full of honor and morals and yet his Society deems him a criminal. Despite his labeling by the republic as “WANTED”, his rebellious actions and infamous heists accomplished has turned him into somewhat of a celebrity–and he still somehow manages to keep his identity a secret…that is until people he cares about are in danger. Day risks everything in a desperate attempt to help loved ones and ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

June is the opposite of Day in many ways. She was raised in a life of privilege and nurtured by her family (her brother) blossoming into the Republic’s poster girl of perfection. She is just as smart as Day mentally, but possibly because of her gender there are some physical feats the criminal has achieved that she is unable to pull off. Obsessed with being better than the criminal in every way in order to bring him down, June takes on a mission that is personal for her in more ways than one.

Throughout the book Marie Lu demonstrates great character development and pulls the readers along in order to see the final outcome and it really is the characters that shine the brightest in this debut. Both Day and June are strong leads that are inspiring in their own ways. I was up until the wee hours of the morning desperate to stay in the author’s world and spend a little more time with these wonderful heroes. Emotional, fast paced, action packed and easy to read, Legend is a must read.

Check out the Legend Fan Page for original sketches (which are insanely awesome) by the author of her characters and a fantastic trailer and other media.

Also Reviewed by:

>Desi’s Favorite Book Boys + GIVEAWAY


I wanted in on the action this week. So, I did what young girls do best…I whined and begged and persisted until the grown-ups caved. 🙂

You see, I LOVE books and I absolutely LOVE the boy characters in them. I mean, I guess it’s a version of sex appeal. I’m all for girl power and all that jazz, but I don’t just want to read about kick-butt heroines because that would get old for me real quick! After all, what would Katniss be without Peeta or Gale? The answer is easy- less likeable.

You may think I’m going to pick Peeta or Gale because of my above statement…a year ago that may have been true. And while I am and will always remain hardcore TEAM PEETA (I have the shirt to prove it;) and sometimes call myself Mrs. Mellark, that fact of the matter is Mockingjay kind of bursted by bubble on a lot of my fan girly obsession with that particular series. Lucky for me, there are many amazing books and fictional hotties to get carried away with. Since I cannot pick only one I am going to pick FOUR!!! *squee*

In no particular order–the first book hottie that is pretty darn awesome is Cole from Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series.  *SIGH*

Cole is a a kick butt guy in a very laid back manner. He is a musician and rock star that just happens to be a scientific genius. The son of uber smart parents, Cole ran off to get lost in the world and lost his way instead. When readers fist meet Cole in Linger, he is at his very worst and there isn’t much to actually like about him. He cheats, he does drugs, he lies and he is an awful best friend…however, all of those thing are actions that Cole has begun doing to mask the pain and insecurity he is feeling. When Cole ropes his bestfriend into doing a new drug that is supposed to gaurantee the best high ever, it is his friend who pays the ultimate price. This jolts Cole a little from his self pity party and with the help of the other characters in Mercy Falls, Cole really steps up to the plate in a big way in Linger and Forever.

I like Cole because he is the bad boy that really isn’t. In fact, I think that if Cole wasn’t so friggin hot he may be kinda geeky–at least in a paralell universe/series.;)

My second book hottie is none other than Denver Beck from Jana Oliver’s Demon Trapper’s Daughter series. Ok, so technically I really shouldn’t be crushing on him cuz he’s like older and all but he is AWESOME! Beck is described as a southern good ole boy that is military trained and traps demons for a living. He is full of charm and lots of wise guy remarks. Tall, fit, blond with an accent… Wanna see how I picture Beck? OK!

Brad Pitt in the early 90’s

*Deep breath-Exhale* Ummmm….yeah. Besides the obvious attraction that my mental picture conjures up, Beck is also a character that has a heart behind that tough guy, witty exterior. He is protective of those he cares for and really good at what he does. Seriously. What girl wouldn’t feel a little safer with a professional demon trapper trained to battle the forces of evil by her side? I know I would. Too bad he’s like in his twenties. Oh well, that is why fictional boys are perfect;).

Okie dokie, on to my third book hottie. The following character is one that I have been crazy about for a while now. His character has been through so much and suffered because of the people and situations surrounding him. Most of the time he is able to joke about things when everything starts feeling too heavy but recent events in this guys life have brought out a darker side to his personality. Who am I talking about?

Shane Collins from Rachel Caine’s Morganville series. Poor Shane! He has had so much bad stuff happen to those he cares about. Shane is passionately protective of those he cares about (including his housemates and girlfriend) and though he comes off as lazy, he is able to get the job done when needed. Despite the recent twist in his personality, deep down Shane is still the fun loving albeit quick tempered character I adore. Anyone for a video game and Hot Dog or maybe a Brisket Taco? 😉

I saved the newest addition to my prestigious list for last. My number four favorite book boy is from Divergent by Veronica Roth. Those that have read the new dystopian book can probably guess who it is but for those late to hop on the Divergent train, I am referring to the character of Four.

Actor Matt Lanter is somewhat Four-like in looks

In the world in which Four lives he is an 18 year old Dauntless trainer(and computer guy). He is in charge of assisting the new recruits in their training. He is somewhat distant and cold at first but that is largely due to the hidden past and secrets he masks. There are only 4 things that Four fears and he has trained himself to face them despite the overwhelming terror he feels from those fears. He is very skilled with weapons and a tough opponent. Four is quite charming and oddly funny when he lets his guard down and when he likes a girl, well lets just say that even reading about it makes me grin like a loon and my face flush.

Well, there you have it, my TOP FOUR favorite fictional guys and the reasons I love them. The thing with book crushes is that unlike a real life boyfriend or crush, I want the world to love them as much as I do. So, I am going to give you all a chance to discover why I love them so much. I am going to giveaway a very special prize. One lucky person will get books featuring all my favorite guys. *SQUEE*


Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)The Demon Trapper's Daughter: A Demon Trappers Novel  The Morganville Vampires, Volume 3 Divergent (Divergent Trilogy)


That is right. One very lucky person will receive my ARC copy of Forever and The Demon Trapper’s Daughter and Brand NEW copies of Morganville volume #3 and Divergent

To enter to win simply fill out THIS FORM then leave a comment for me here and tell me what book boys make you bonkers and all fan girly? Then if you are feeling all warm and cozy do me a favor and share the love. Tell your friends about this contest and maybe JUST MAYBE follow Paperback Dolls? That is all there is to it.

This contest is only open to US readers and will run through June 24th. Winner will be selected via and announced in the Week In Review post Sunday June 26th.

Good Luck & Happy Reading

>Tween Review Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl + GIVEAWAY


Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures, Book 1)Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

The setting of this book was really neat! It takes place present day in a small town in the civil war ridden south where plantation homes still line streets and reenactments of confederate battles still occur. But, in this town there is a secret hidden magical world that holds powers that the towns people have NO idea even exists. 
There is a balance to everything, and in Beautiful Creatures we see balance, along with a “To Kill A Mockingbird” message as basic themes.
The overall storyline is pretty simplistic and interesting until you add in all the paranormal touches which are thread throughout the entire book and what holds everything together tightly.
Basically, a girl named Lena moves into town to live with her outcast uncle who the town gossips about and despises though none of them actually know the man. At the time she moves to town, Ethan, a town native begins having strange and realistic dreams about a girl and a haunting melody. Imagine his surprise when Lena is the new girl at school…you see where this is going yet? You guessed it. A budding star crossed lovers storyline with a few twists!
The romance is good. Ethan proves to be one of those too perfect for words heroes that you wish really existed. I wasn’t as big a fan of Lena’s character…but that could just be because I may have been a tiny bit jealous of her because, well, did I mention how cute and perfect the character of Ethan is? *blushes*
Lena and her family come from a very old and magical bloodline that goes beyond anything I expected!
Anyway, the supporting characters and the mystery are, in my opinion, the real winners of this book. The quirky way they interact with one another and the secret lives some of them have are what made this book really interesting to me, especially since the book is SO long. Those extra touches added to the setting and characters helped hold my interest.
Beautiful Creatures is a good book. I recommend it to people who want to read a descriptive Gothic tale with swoon worthy romance and funny characters. But I warn you…at 592 pages it is a pretty long book!


We’re giving away a Beautiful Creatures t-shirt, SIGNED bookmark and swag! To enter to win like Paperback Dolls on Facebook and simply fill out THIS FORM then leave a comment in this post.

It is not required that you spread the word about this giveaway to win, however it is greatly appreciated and may earn you extra kharma points;)! This contest is *international and will end June 26th.

*In some cases of international winners a Gift Certificate or E-book may be substituted.

>Review: This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger


This Place Has No AtmosphereIt’s 2057 and people live in malls, and the school is fueled by garbage . . . some things haven’t changed.
Aurora, fifteen, has the perfect life–and Matthew has asked her of Homecoming.
Then her parents decide to become settlers in a colony on the moon. Aurora cannot imagine living in a place with no atmosphere. There are only 750 people on the moon. What if none of them is a boy her age?

Moving is never easy, but it can turn out to be better than you expect. For Aurora, moving to the moon ends up being out of this world.

The year is 1986. I had recently moved (AGAIN) to a different state and was about to start school mid semester. I was the new kid once more. It seemed like just as soon as I would start to fit in my family moved. I am sure many adults can relate to the feeling of being up-rooted and moved as a child, but at the time you swear you are the only person who has ever felt that way.

So…I read…a lot. At first it was to pass the time on long cross country car trips following a moving van (remember this is back in the days before TV’s in cars, ipods, cell phones…) But, as I grew older the books and stories I would read would have more purpose than just killing time. Sometimes the books actually changed my perspective on things by telling me a story in which I could so deeply relate. It wasn’t a person in my face telling me that “this too shall pass”. No, it was a story that I could understand and it showed me that things can get better if you change the way you confront them. I know they seem so similar, but it’s a very different thing to show and not tell.

This brings me to the late Paula Danziger’s 1986 release of THIS PLACE HAS NO ATMOSPHERE. I picked up the book because I thought the premise of living under a dome on the moon really cool. And it was…totally, but it was so much more.

Danziger wrote a quirky Science Fiction spoof that is at times funny and sad but if anything it is a wonderful coming of age story. The characters are all very realistic in their actions and the emotions conveyed. Readers get to see a teen, who by nature is feels like the center of the universe, discover that she is a part of that universe. Aurora deals with depression and normal teenage angst, but in the midst of it all she grows closer to her parents and realizes all that she can be and contribute to the world whilst finding her true identity.

And, lets face it . . . finding ones identity is a timeless lesson that continues to be something kids, teens and adults have issues with.

I loved this book. I am so happy to see that it is still in print…with a far less cheesy 1980’s cover. 😉

What were some of your favorite books as a Young Adult/ tween?

Learn All About Paula Danziger 
Book Depository currently has this book on sale.
Barnes & Noble also has the book available on their website.

>Tween Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre


EnclaveWELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups-Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear–to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

What if all of your favorite post apocalyptic and dystopian books were able to marry and produce offspring? The outcome of such a phenomenal mash-up would have the potential to be the most uber fabulous, end all of end all stories. It would have action, adventure, struggle, zombies, sickness, corrupt leadership, strong protagonist, and amazing characters. In fact, it would be exactly like ENCLAVE.

This book has it all and then some!

At first I feared that there was too much going on in the book and fought the urge to compare it to other popular books in this genre. But, sooner rather than later, I forgot why I was so skeptical and surrendered all to the plot. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!

The story is really made of three different parts. The first (and longest storyline) focusing on the people who have been surviving the apocalypse underground for centuries–never setting their eyes on the sun and everything “top side”. Underground they have developed a type of government and assign people jobs (this was very reminiscent of City of Ember). Some people are born to be breeders, some builders, and others hunters. The Hunters are the group of people that go through the tunnels and collect food and try to remove “The Freaks” which are zombie like creatures that live underground and one of the threats to the settlement. However, there is another threat to the long term survival of the enclave and that is their life spans. For an unknown reason, most likely from nutrition or lack of sunlight, the people born and living in the underground enclave’s do not live long, in fact their Elder is 25 years old.

This first part of the book not only introduces us to the characters and their way of life underground, but also to the relationships that become very important through out the rest of the story. In particular that of Deuce, the huntress, and Fade the orphan boy who joined the enclave only years earlier. It is the bond between them that leads us to the second part of the storyline. Together they are exiled from the enclave and forced to try to make it “top side” where gangs of boys are the main threat (this part reminded me of The Hunger Games where Peeta and Katniss are in the arena).

The third part focuses on Deuce, Fade and a couple of new friends and their journey to find a safer place to take shelter. As they travel North we see how the stress and uncertainty of the journey effects their bonds and how they strive to persevere in a hostile world.

Though there are lots of things that on their own would and have already made interesting stories, joined together they made something really awesome. I was very sad when it ended because I wasn’t ready to close the book. I was pleased to discover that there is another book in this series coming out in 2012…it just can’t get here soon enough!

2011 is definitely proving to be full of amazing books and ENCLAVE is one of my favorites!!!

*this book was purchased by Desi