December 30, 2012

Kathe Koja: "Talk"

Title: Talk [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Kathe Koja [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Contemporary
Year: 2005
Age: 12+
Stars: 4/5
Pros: Honest, emotive, and most of all, gorgeously written.
Cons: Could have been longer and more detailed, characters-wise - though still we get to know them enough. Leads first-person voices blur into each other a little sometimes.
Will appeal to: GLBTQ fiction lovers of course, but pretty much anyone who values staying true to oneself and standing up for what ones believes in. And, last but not least, anyone who's a sucker for beautiful, poignant prose.

Blurb: Kit Webster is hiding a secret. Carma, his best friend, has already figured it out, and pushes him to audition for the high school play, Talk. When he's cast as the male lead, he expects to escape his own life for a while and become a different person. What he gets instead is the role of a lifetime: Kit Webster. In the play, Kit's thrown together with Lindsay Walsh, the female lead and the school's teen queen. Lindsay, tired of the shallow and selfish boys from her usual circle of friends, sees something real in Kit - and wants it. But Kit's attention is focused on Pablo, another boy in school. The play is controversial; the parents put pressure on the school to shut it down. And when Kit and Lindsay rally to save Talk, they find themselves deep into a battle for the truth: onstage, and inside themselves. (Amazon)

Review: (Well, first off, a little premise. I'm currently waiting for twelve books, some new some not, to be delivered by a web bookseller. Among them, the notorious last installment in Jeri Smith-Ready "WVMP series" I've been blogging about lately. While I was waiting for said book, I thought I'd shared my thoughts on all the previous ones in the series with you...but I've been reminded that this is primarily a YA blog, so I decided to put my vamp DJ friends on hold and go back to a teen book instead. I also picked something different from my aforegoing stuff, and here goes...).
This is really a very small book - around 130 pages. It basically revolves around a group of high school seniors staging a play called "Talk", by the (fictional) author Lawson Shoals, and dealing with obstructionism on behalf of a group of adults and the very school board. Also, we follow the two leads - gay-in-the-closet Kit and queen-bee Lindsay - coming to terms with their own lives with the help of said play. A pretty simple and even common canvas in itself, on which Koja manages to paint an engrossing, distinct masterpiece
The thing that makes a winner out of this one is the gorgeous prose. Kit and Lindsay's voices alternate, chapter by chapter, in a stream-of-consciousness form, often beset with broken lines, and are interspersed with fragments from the play. The only complaint I have about this is the odd similarity those voices seem to bear sometimes, though the two characters couldn't be more different. Kit is sweet, insecure, torn between the need of coming out of his closet and the desire of escaping from himself. Lindsay is self-centered and ambitious, unable to see her own faults, though she does recognize those in the members of her social circle. Both seem to find what they're looking for in the play though, even if their reasons are completely different. [...]

December 20, 2012

Jeri Smith-Ready: "Bad to the Bone"

Title: Bad to the Bone [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: WVMP Radio (2nd of 4 books, but there's also a free-download novella that is book 3.5 in the series. See Jeri Smith-Ready's site)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2009
Age: 18+ (though Jeri's site actually says 16+, but I think the whole series would be better handled by more mature readers)
Stars: 3,5/5
Pros: Original take on the overused vampire theme. Interesting, mostly tridimensional characters. Radio station and music play a big role (if you love them passionately, that's a real bonus). Plenty of action in this one.
Cons: Can get a bit confusing at times, with all the twists and turns. A couple of graphic sex scenes (if you aren't into the stuff). Gorier than the first.
Will appeal to: Those who liked Wicked Game but are thirsty for more action.

Blurb: Welcome to WVMP, where Ciara Griffin manages an on-air staff of off-the-wall DJs who really sink their teeth into the music of their “Life Time” (the era in which they became vampires). Ciara keeps the undead rocking, the ratings rolling, and the fan base alive - without missing a beat. For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash. With cool tunes, hot costumes, killer cocktails - what could go wrong? To start, a religious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occult preempts the station’s midnight broadcast. Behind it all is a group of self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck. Ciara must protect the station while struggling with her own complicated relationship, her best friend’s romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: (Note: though this blog primarily focuses on YA Lit, I'm currently going through all the WVMP books, because I want to be able to blog about Lust for Life - the last installment in the series - as soon as I receive it from the webstore. So I'm basically doing my homework LOL).
First off, so many things happen in around 400 pocket-format pages, it's difficult to keep up with them all at times. The core of the novel is the threat posed to the station by an alleged cult, that turns out to be a schismatic leg of the Control - an organization that is busy protecting humans from vampires and vice versa (see book 1). But the truth isn't so simple - the final revelation (or not so much, if you follow a certain clue) opens a whole new can of worms, though the two things are closely linked. Also, we have Ciara's dad who could be in league with the bad guys or not, given his con artist status and his recent treachery (again, see book 1), plus his usual double-dealing attitude. Luckily, the station gained two more allies lately, though one of them will meet a sad fate at the end of this novel. Also, Ciara's anti-holy blood (discovered in book 1) comes into the equation a couple of times, with life-changing results both for her and some of her friends; one could say its discovery will actually boot the next installment in the series. You want more? One of the vamps get dangerous (guess who? it was hinted in the previous novel, though I'm not sure Smith-Ready had meant to take this thing so far right from the start)...and oh my, I was forgetting this very small detail...Ciara and Shane take the next step in their relationship, sharing a flat and parenting a...vampire dog (or maybe he's parenting them!). Plus Ciara's friend Lori gets a taste of the vamp side of love. But wait, there's weird and/or sweet family reunions, red hot sex and lots of blood - this time. So this book is packed with everything you ever dreamed of and more, especially action-wise...though, like I said, all this stuff can confuse the hell out of you, especially when reading it for the first time. So, basically, this second installment is more exciting than the first, but watch out for a bad case of vertigo! [...]

December 12, 2012

Jeri Smith-Ready: "Wicked Game"

Title: Wicked Game [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: WVMP Radio (1st of 4 books, but there's also a free download novella that is book 3.5 in the series. See Jeri Smith-Ready's site)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2008
Age: 18+ (though Jeri's site actually says 16+, but I think the whole series would be better handled by more mature readers)
Stars: 4/5
Pros: Original take on the overused vampire theme. Interesting, mostly tridimensional characters. Radio station and music play a big role (if you love them passionately, that's a real bonus). Not too gory for a vamp novel. A few surprises along the way.
Cons: The way book heroine and grunge vamp start their relationship...feels like a vampire version of human rape to me.
Will appeal to: Vamp lovers who want to sink their teeth into something different. Music/radio lovers - even if they don't usually do vampires.

Blurb: Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, '60s psychedelia, '80s goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers just how the DJs maintain their cred: they're vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned. Communications giant Skywave wants to buy WVMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station - and the link it provides to their original Life Times - the vampires would "fade," becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara, in the ultimate con, hides the DJs' vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around - next to Ciara's complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the "gimmick" enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren't so eager to be brought into the light... (Amazon excerpt)

Review: I know, I know. The last WVMP book came out a few days ago, and I'm only starting on the whole series now, 4 years after its first release. My more than valid excuse is, I only set up this blog a couple of months ago - so I want to make up for lost time, plus review the last installment of the series, Lust for Life, as soon as I'm getting it from the web bookseller. So, in the meantime, let's just take a look at how it all began, 4-years-and-something ago...
First off, I usually stay clear from vampire books, especially since Twilight was out. There are so many out there, it's not even funny. I suspect many of you who are reading this have a penchant for vampires instead - and there's nothing wrong with it of course. Only, all the clones in the market are not a compliment to the genre...just an exploitation. If I have to read about vampires, they're required to be unique in some respect - and, according to other reviews and the genre's overview I got, Smith-Ready's are.
What sold me on this series was the music angle, or better, the radio one. Smith-Ready's idea to equate vampires with people who got stuck in their "glorious" and young age was totally brill. Most radio personalities - at least those who work for small, local stations - do tend to get stuck in a music era and overlook what comes me on this, 'cause I'm actually a DJ (I prefer to call myself a "speaker" though) for one of said stations here in Italy, and I've seen my share of that. So the core idea for the book rings true to me, and while on one hand I can sympathize with the vamp DJs, on the other hand I find Smith-Ready addresses a real issue here - fossilization (not only for what concerns radio personalities - or vampires - of course). But she goes even further - her vamps also develop obsessive-compulsive personalities after they're turned, as a way to cope with their new reality and maintain a form of control over it. Another interesting and unexpected detour from the old vampire cliché. [...]

December 04, 2012

Sara Zarr: "Sweethearts"

Title: Sweethearts [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Sara Zarr [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Contemporary
Year: 2008
Age: 12+
Stars: 5/5
Pros: Heartfelt story with flesh-and-blood characters. Addresses poignant themes. Language is simple but masterly used. No forced teenager jargon.
Cons: Bittersweet ending (if you're a fan of happy ones).
Will appeal to: Those who value real friendship and the act of being true to themselves. Those who had their share of school bullying. Those who don't necessarily need a boy-meets-girl type of story. And yes, parents too.

Blurb: As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be - but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend. When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: Before I start on this book,  I have to confess my bad case of allergy to love stories. I don't read YA (or adult stuff either) looking for a display of smooches. So, based on the rather fluffy cover and the misleading title, I shouldn't have read this novel at all...but I trusted the blurb and some fellow bloggers reviews. Boy, am I glad that I did. Though in retrospect, the cover makes sense, since this book also deals with eating as a compensation, and even with having one's heart eaten at (I'm not sure it was intentional though!). But the main themes are bullying/abuse, friendship, and most of all, staying true to oneself.
Jennifer and Cameron meet at Elementary school and strike up a deep friendship. They're both social outcasts, but Cameron is the one who stands up for Jennifer and tries to protect her from the constant bullying. Till one day, when they are nine, Cameron is gone without a word, and Jennifer's classmates perform a cruel joke on her, stating that Cameron is actually dead. Having lost her only friend and anchor, Jennifer feels like her real self - the Jennifer version that only Cameron loved - is dead with him, and painfully decides to "bury" it with her alleged dead friend and start anew.
Eight years after, Jennifer - now renamed "Jenna" - is a new and improved character, so to speak...slim, popular, apparently confident, with a social circle and even an equally popular boyfriend. That's precisely when Cameron comes back from the dead, calling her whole world into question. We follow Jenna since her seventeenth birthday, while she tells her present story alternated with small flashbacks from the past - particularly something that happened to her and Cameron eight years before, courtesy of his dad. There's a build-up of tension and anguish, that finally discharges into a poignant epilogue, though not quite the one we were expecting. Some have commented that it's a drop off, the way nothing actually happens in the end. I think that, in a way, much happens - because Jennifer is able to face what could have been a desperate situation, and to realize (with Cameron's help, eight years later) that she is stronger and more resourceful than she thought. Also, she finally gains a perspective of Cameron's life, and is able to understand the main reason why he's always protected her in the first place. [...]

November 25, 2012

Greg Taylor: "The Girl Who Became a Beatle"

Title: The Girl Who Became a Beatle [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Greg Taylor [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Contemporary, Multiverse
Year: 2011
Age: 12+
Stars: 2/5
Pros: Clean, fun read. Creative premise. May get kids interested in Beatles' music.
Cons: Very light fable. Some inconsistencies (see review). Predictable ending/moral.
Will appeal to: Those who love modern fables and dream of stardom.

Blurb: When Regina Bloomsbury’s band, the Caverns, breaks up, she thinks it’s all over. And then she makes a wish -  “I wish I could be as famous as the Beatles.” The Beatles are her music idols. The next day, she gets up to find that the Caverns are not just as famous as the Beatles, they have replaced them in history! Regina is living like a rock star, and loving it. But fame is getting the better of Regina, and she has a decision to make. Does she want to replace the Beatles forever? (Amazon excerpt)

Review: First off, despite my rating, this is not a bad book. It just turned out to be much more juvenile than I thought it was. And predictable too - but still there is some fun to have along the way.
Regina is committed to her band, and to be honest, she seems to care more about actually playing and being heard than about becoming a star - which is refreshing. The Caverns are also her only link with Julian, a fellow band member and her secret crush. Due to her lack of confidence, Regina has never confessed her feelings to him, nor has she ever played her own songs to anyone. The book opens in the middle of a crisis - Lorna and Danny, the other half of The Caverns, want to quit, because they're tired of endlessly practicing without actually getting any real gig. (Well, yes, this is understandable to a point - but on the other hand, I suppose the abundance of talent shows is responsible for the fact that no one wants to work one's butt off to fame anymore...). This is when Regina makes her wish...finding herself in an overwhelming alternate reality the day after. Her fairy godmother contacts her via the internet (well, this is a revised fable after all, 2011-style!), explaining that Regina has got the chance to live like a rock star for a week (which implies leaving her small town and heading to L.A.), after which...she will have to choose - staying in her new and improved reality or going back to normal. But of course, there's trouble in Paradise too, like Regina is to discover very soon. The band is still collapsing, Julian is still off-limits (or better, he and Regina are...exes! and she is dating a teen tv star who may or may not be the right guy), Regina's problems with her mother have only taken a new path, and fame itself has its pain-in-the-ass moments. Also, the Caverns have actually replaced the Beatles in history, and Regina is not sure she can live with that. Not indefinitely, that is. At first, Regina makes a vow to herself to only live in her new reality for a week and enjoy the ride - then she's going to revert to normal. But of course, there are temptations along the way. [...]

November 22, 2012

Christopher Pike: "Remember Me 3: The Last Story"

Title: Remember Me 3: The Last Story [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: Remember Me (3rd of 3 books)
Author: Christopher Pike [Facebook | Goodreads]
Genres: Supernatural 
Year: 1995
Age: 12+
Stars: 3/5
Pros: Well-established female lead. Story gets closure.
Cons: More no-real-mystery (see RM 2). More clichés. More new age blurbs (again, if you're not into it). Moderate sex references. Some seriously out-of-character moments.
Will appeal to: Those who still need more Shari Cooper.

Blurb: Shari Cooper had died once, and then returned to Earth as a Wanderer. Shari has regained her memory of her previous life. She has realized her purpose in returning to mortal life - to write stories for young people to help them understand the immortal life that is to follow. And it is not long before Shari and her books are known all over the world. Then one special night a story comes to her. An ancient tale that speaks of the origin of mankind and the purpose of human life. Shari begins to write it down, sure that it is nothing more than a wonderful fable. But what Shari doesn't know is that her new book is true - a mystical blueprint that warns of a great danger to humanity from creatures who despise all human beings, but who have a unique and terrifying hatred for Wanderers. Creatures who will go to any length to stop Shari's story from being published. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: Given the above blurb, you may wonder why I didn't apply a "Mystery" label to this book. There's a simple explanation: this is not a mystery. There are only a couple of possible suspects in this book, and once one of them is gone, the math is consequential. Also, don't be fooled - this is not a story about Shari trying to uncover the culprit of a murder plan against herself. Only at the end of the book we do realize someone has been wanting her dead all along. And she with us.
RM 3 opens three years after the ongoings in the previous book. Shari-Jean (see RM 2) is now a famous writer, living with a still crippled, sexually incapable Peter (this is crucial to the development of the story). She is also plagued by strong headaches, courtesy of Jean's fall from Lenny's balcony. She's still surrounded by her old friends - Jim, Jo - but seems to have neglected her (or Jean's) Hispanic roots. Also, she was supposed to write inspirational stories for the young, telling them that death is not what it seems and they shouldn't be afraid of it and we really are all one and blah blah, but apparently, she tends to write the same kind of horror high-school stuff Pike more than often delivers. Notable exception: Shari did write a book called Remember Me, the story of her own death and rebirth. [...]

November 20, 2012

Christopher Pike: "Remember Me 2: The Return"

Title: Remember Me 2: The Return [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: Remember Me (2nd of 3 books)
Author: Christopher Pike [Facebook | Goodreads]
Genres: Supernatural
Year: 1994
Age: 12+
Stars: 3/5
Pros: Well-established female lead (well, part of the time, that is). A sweet siblings reunion.
Cons: Very small action. No real mystery. Some clichés. Some new age blurbs (if you're not into it). Weird and abrupt ending.
WARNING! Moderate sex references (though a not deliberately induced miscarriage is mentioned).
Will appeal to: Those who need more Shari Cooper.

Blurb: Shari Cooper is dead, the victim of a murderous attack. She is on the other side, but she is given a rare offer. To return to Earth into the body of a depressed teenage girl. Shari is given a chance to be a Wanderer, and to do a great service for humanity. It is an offer she gladly accepts. At first she recalls nothing of the afterlife. Perhaps it is just as well. Not everybody on Earth welcomes Wanderers. Of the few who know of their existence, some want them dead. And others, the truly evil ones, wish them much worse than that. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: When you reach perfection, you'd better not tamper with it. Most of the time, it doesn't work (very well).
There's no denying I was excited when I found out that there was more to Shari's story. And, to Pike's credit, it wasn't a three-or-four-books-deal era back when he wrote this. Nowadays, most books are born with a sequel, often two or three, already attached. Remember Me was originally a standalone book, till - after five long years - Pike was struck with inspiration (ahem, not sure) *, or maybe Shari possessed him too, after her brother (see RM, I mean book 1). So Remember Me 2: The Return came to life - and Shari with it. In the sense that she was actually back, flesh and all. Only, she wasn't really Shari anymore.
OK, first off, the blurbs about this book are deceiving. There's no conspiracy against the Wanderers in RM 2. Now, onto the actual review. Let's start from where RM finished (if you haven't read the book yet...spoiler alert!).

RM 2 opens a year after Shari's death, with a total different story about a total different character. Poor, Hispanic, can-see-no-future girl as opposed to rich, all-American, eager-to-live one. Wrong side of town, wrong boyfriend. We follow Jean to a disastrous birthday party (history repeating), at the end of which something happens to her - we're not sure of what. It seems it all turned right in the end though, because after the accident (?) Jean is apparently able to recover (while her bf Lenny, also involved, is crippled for life).
In the meantime, we also follow Shari (and later on, Peter) in the afterlife, chatting with a superior entity called the Rishi, a lot of new age blurb really - though I can't say I was annoyed by that. We learn that Shari can go back in someone else's body, if she agrees - and Peter too, but in his case, because he injured his previous body by purposely ending up his own life, he can't go back in a healthy body, but must suffer a disadvantage of sorts. Guess whose body will Shari wear? and Peter?

November 18, 2012

Christopher Pike: "Remember Me"

Title: Remember Me [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: Remember Me (1st of 3 books)
Author: Christopher Pike [Facebook | Goodreads]
Genres: Afterlife, Supernatural, Thriller/Mystery 
Year: 1989
Age: 12+
Stars: 5/5
Pros: Likeable lead. Interesting set of characters. Emotions ring true. Story sucks you in.
Cons: Not the glamorous, imaginative afterlife you find in nowadays novels, since lead still walks the Earth. Very little action (if you prefer a faster pace).
WARNING! Moderate sex references (if they upset you at all).
Will appeal to: Everyone who doesn't care for very fast-paced books or romance-centered ones.

Blurb: When Shari Cooper awoke at home after being at her girlfriend's birthday party, her family acted like she wasn't there. Then the call came from the hospital. Shari didn't know what was wrong. Not until she followed them to the hospital. There she found herself lying on a cold slab in the morgue. The police said that it was suicide. Shari knew she had been murdered. Making a vow to herself to find her killer, Shari embarks on the strangest of all criminal investigations: one in which she spies on her friends, and even enters their dreams - where she comes face-to-face with a nightmare from beyond the grave. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: My first review had to be about the book that introduced me to YA Lit in my adult age...
First off, I mean to remind you that RM came out long before "dead girl books" became all the rage. Shari's story may sound simpler and less glamorous than the most recent ones about girls in the same predicament as hers. There's no fancy afterlife scenery - you could say there's no real afterlife scenery at all. Like most dead girls in YA Lit, Shari was beautiful, popular and rich in life - but the narration doesn't really dwell upon that. She doesn't come across as a spoiled little brat with a lesson to learn...on the contrary, she's a lively, likeable, lifelike character (OK, I didn't plan on describe her with an alliteration and a bunch of parent words, but it sounds clever on my part, doesn't it? LOL just kidding). She has a truth to unveil though: how she ended up dead. She feels compelled to know, despite her fellow ghost-friend Peter's efforts to steer her toward the Light. Can you blame her?
Pondering about it, the real magic of this book is not in the story itself. The final denouement may surprise you (it did surprise me, though it's not that unpredictable. I probably let the book suck me in to the point where I couldn't see the killer's imprints anymore!), but it's not like Pike came out with a highly original scenario. It's simply a new twist of one of the oldest themes in literature. So, you know, the real magic in the book comes out of Shari. You gotta love her. You follow her and see the world through her eyes, like you were in her shoes. You care for her, dead or alive. You love her brother Jim through her. And so on.

November 10, 2012

A Picnic in the Twilight Zone

Before I actually begin to review my favourite books (and my not-so favourite ones too, of course), I mean to share some thoughts about the main genres I picked out to blog about. You must have noticed this site is mainly dealing with afterlife, supernatural, very imaginative sci-fi and such. Most of the things these books dwell upon are very unlikely to happen, or in most cases, totally cock-and-bull. I, for one, sure don't believe in any of them. Well, like many of you I presume, that's precisely the reason why I enjoy the stuff so much. It's an escape, sort of an out-of-body experience by fiction. Because these things can't happen in the world as we know it, we lustfully suspend our disbelief, in the old Coleridgian fashion, and lose ourselves in the big sea of If Only. Even when our picnic in the Twilight Zone is totally scary, we wear a giant grin and take pics the whole trip through. Mind you, while I don't believe in ghosts or vampires or reincarnation, the real supernatural to me is romance. I would rather be persuaded of the existence of such creatures than expect a strong, valiant (but romantic), hot guy crossing my path and falling for me. (The truth? I wouldn't even care if he did. Really, not my type. But I digress). I think that, deep down, a good portion of those who love romance hope to meet that strong, valiant (but romantic), hot guy one day. Or at least they think he exists, and it's just bad luck if their paths haven't crossed (yet). While personally I love supernatural stuff precisely because I don't expect it to happen anytime soon. Well, actually, anytime at all. So, while I can enjoy an alternate world where young girls investigate on their own death, or vampire djs run a radio station, or clairvoyants foresee their own future, I'm not keen on romance also because it seems to be rooted in a normal, everyday world, where some lucky girls were able to find these rare specimens of men, while the vast majority simply never stumbled on them. (Well, this is not the main reason why I don't like romance, though. In short, the knight in shining armour doesn't do anything for me. I'm the don't-bring-me-flowers type LOL).
I would like to hear your thoughts about all this. Please don't be shy - I may be very opinionated, but never hurt anybody's feelings...not on purpose, at least (insert wink here). Maybe you read romance for the very reason I read weird escape. Maybe you don't believe in Prince Charming, but you are contented with dreaming of him. Same goes for male readers and Pretty Princess. Maybe you read supernatural etc. in order to achieve catharsis, or like me, for fun and for the unexpected (well, maybe for cathartic reasons too, to a certain extent). Let's talk about it!

October 14, 2012


A warm welcome to all the YA Lit lovers...and more (since I set up a Blog Room where books aimed at grown-ups will be discussed too). My name is Roberta, and I'm glad to be in such good company, among many non-teen readers who have a penchant for YA books. Though I'm Italian, I've developed the habit of buying the untranslated versions of the books I'm interested in, since 1) most of them are not available in Italian; 2) I like to capture their original feel; and 3)...I found out that Italian translations are often censored here and there (don't ask - it's beyond me. I can only assume that Italian teens need to retain their uncorrupted purity and innocence, because of course they still possess those virginal qualities).
As hinted at in my Profile Page, I decided to blog YA myself after I found out that most of the books I had read (and enjoyed a lot) largely didn't feature on the blogs I happened to visit. For every book, I'm also going to give you some essential info - aside from the actual blurb, of course - at the beginning of its review, so that you can judge if it's your thing or not. Of course, I still hope you'll take the time to read the whole review LOL.
In short, my aim is to bring some maybe overlooked, but often worthy novels to your attention. I hope I'll succeed. Have a nice stay!