The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

In the 60’s, I was a little kid playing in the streets of my small town neighborhood without a care.  This novel about the Watson family is a treasure that describes the lives of these American children back in the day.  We lived in two different worlds.

 

They even made a movie from the book and you can see a preview here!

And by the way, what the heck is an Ultra-Glide??  Read the book to find out!

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

“Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow.”—Scott Sigler

 

Confession: I forget the names of most characters as soon as I finish the book. The exceptions happen to be characters that changed my life in some deeply personal way… like Ender and Katniss.

How could anyone possibly live up to the genius of two of my favorite literary heroes?

I’m not going to say Darrow is joining Katniss and Ender on my literary pedestal but this guy is something special.

Darrow and his family have been working themselves to death to prepare Mars for colonization. The food they receive is never really enough to fill their bellies. The work they do is hard and rarely rewarding. Life is harsh for a Red and the government likes it that way.

Following the tragic death of a beautiful young girl Darrow commits an act of rebellion and that is where the story really took off for me. The entire scale and scope of the story shifts as life as he knew it ends and something completely unexpected begins.

I am surprised to admit that Darrow very well could turn out to be the next best thing to hit the YA shelves since Katniss Everdeen. 

The themes in this story are big, important and really relevant to modern society. The characters are memorable, well developed and engaging.

I love it.

Special thanks to Edelweiss, Pierce Brown and Del Ray/Random House for the free e-arc.

The Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Have you ever given much thought to the Nature vs. Nurture debate? You know, the idea that someone is more defined by the things he or she experiences or the counter-argument that genetics determines how a person behaves. I didn’t realize I had strong feelings one way or the other until I picked up The Uninvited by Sophie Jordan.

 

Here’s the premise: an exceptionally talented wunderkind named Davy undergoes a routine blood test that determines she will become a killer. She doesn’t have a choice- no amount of love and support will prevent her from eventually becoming a killer- it is in her nature and someone is going to die at her hand.

 

Deep down I believe everyone has the power to make choices. So I guess I’m on the nurture side of the debate. The Uninvited forced me to break out of my pre-conceived notions and examine the possible power of genetics. The concept is very cool and readers that act first and think about the repercussions later will find Davy Hamilton relatable. Sophie Jordan gives us a dark, sad world that just keeps getting darker; a new dystopian playground for readers to explore.

 

Bring on the darkness SJ, because I’m ready for the second book in this thought-provoking series.

 

**This review was made possible by HarperCollins Children- they shared a free e-proof and I’m sharing my thoughts. How cool is that?! This book is scheduled to be released on January 28, 2014.