Review: First Comes Love – by Katie Kacvinsky ~ A YA love story with depth (that deserves a better book jacket and a better ending)

Don’t Judge This Book By Its Lame Cover

Good story – Let’s hack it and make it great

  Verdict: A touching look at the thrill of first love between two (mostly) non-standard YA characters. While the book treats its characters – and love – seriously, there is plenty of humor and fun here too. Why only three hearts? Well…some little things and some spoilers below in the hacking section…

Perfect for:  Readers who want to read a more mature and less fantastical version of Bridge to Terabithia or Stargirl. People who like romance stories, obvs.

Summary: Gray notices Dylan at his community college campus and wonders why this new girl is always acting so conspicuously weird and different from all the students who try to blend in (like he does). When they finally meet, Gray is both fascinated and repelled by this confident, strange girl, while Dylan feels it is her personal mission to get Gray to lighten up and have some creative fun. Over time they become friends – and more than friends – but can a relationship between such different people last?  The book is told in alternating first person narratives from Gray and Dylan.

 Just When You Thought You Had Another Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Brooding Loner Guy….

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Review: Anna Dressed in Blood – by Kendare Blake ~ creepy funny suspenseful GOOD

No Hacking Needed ❤

Verdict:  Mystery/horror/paranormal romance that breaks all the molds of these popular YA genres. A suspenseful page turner with plenty of humor and wit. I don’t even like horror novels, but I loved this book!

Perfect for: People who love YA fantasy/paranormal but want to read something that feels fresh and new. 

Summary: Cas is a teenager with a secret life: he hunts troubled ghosts who have turned dangerous and kills them (for a final time) with a mystical knife he inherited from his father who died battling the dead. He moves from town to town with his Wiccan mother searching for these troubled dead, playing a normal teen by day as best he can. When he gets a tip about a powerfully troublesome ghost named Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas knows in his bones that this will not be just another routine job, but he doesn’t realize just how much the Anna case will change his life. 

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Review: Transcendence – by CJ Omololu ~ Akhet are the new vampires

Akhet are the new vampires

There is a kernel of a good idea here

Verdict: Interesting paranormal concept that played out in a disconnected, melodramatic plot with forgettable characters.

Perfect for: People who still love vampire stories, or are bored of vampire stories but still want that romance-between-beings-with-eternal-life thing. People who are interested in the concept of reincarnation.

Find out about what the heck Akhet are and why the book didn’t make the best use of them

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life – by Tara Altebrando – my fave summer YA read

A tasty bowl of froyo with all the toppings

No Hacking Needed ♥

Verdict: Non-stop fun. While technically not a “summer” novel, it sure feels like one!

Perfect for: People who have had relationship drama. People who secretly like watching other peoples’ relationship drama (who doesn’t?). People who love lists and scavenger hunts (who doesn’t????)

Summary: Just before Senior graduation Mary and her friends Patrick, Dez, and Winter decide that they are tired of being semi-nobodies and that they will prove themselves by winning the annual end-of-year Senior scavenger hunt. Which is epic. Meanwhile, as the hunt goes on, MUCHO relationship drama happens because Mary had a crush on rival competitor Carson, who already has a girlfriend but might be breaking up with her maybe, but her best friend Patrick has a crush on her (Mary) and meanwhile Winter is acting weird and omg so much drama! But not annoying drama, don’t worry. Delicious drama, and totally relateable.

Click to read more of the review…and get a glimpse into LitHacker’s heart

Review and Major Hackathon: Return to Me – by Justina Chen

The “Eat, Pray, Love” of Teen Fiction

Some redeeming elements; major hacking needed

 

Disclaimer: I am basing these hacks on an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) I received at ALA conference. The final published version may be different…especially if the publisher takes my advice 😉

Click to see my advice on how to get this book ready for publishing