Since it's getting very close to when our first Y.A. SF book Olivia's Escape debuts, I thought I'd share some reviews of recent Y.A. books I've read. Enjoy!
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Solomon Reed is an agoraphobic with a panic disorder. In middle school while suffering a panic attack, he stripped and dived into the school’s fountain. Three years later, he’s being homeschooled and hasn’t stepped a foot out of his family’s home since that fateful day. His parents have tried therapy and drugs but nothing has worked. Sol has convinced them it’s better for him just to stay put. As long as he remains inside their home, the world outside can’t harm him.
Enter Lisa Praytor, an overachiever who has set her sights on attending a prestigious college on a full scholarship to study psychology so she can leave their small California town for good. Her plans include writing an essay about her “personal experience with mental illness.” Who better to write about than the kid who jumped into the fountain? Lisa decides to find him and “cure him” and write that winning essay. Of course, she won’t tell him what she’s really doing. She doesn’t want him to think she’s using him, right?
What Lisa doesn’t account for is becoming Sol’s best friend--and then introducing Sol to her boyfriend Clark, a super nice guy and water polo athlete who enjoys Star Trek: The Next Generation every bit as much as Sol. The three become a tight-knit group and genuinely enjoy each others’ company. Solomon comes to feel perhaps the world outside isn’t such a bad place after all. When he asks for a swimming pool, his parents are overjoyed that their son can at last step into the backyard, and they are grateful for Lisa and Clark’s help. But trouble arrives in paradise when Sol realizes he’s fallen in love with Clark and Lisa begins to doubt Clark’s sexual orientation.
Highly Illogical Behavior is a touching story of three teenagers who learn it’s who you’re with that’s more important than where you are.
The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s not easy being a Greco-Roman god--particularly when you anger your father and he hurls you to earth into a garbage-filled dumpster. But that’s not Apollo’s worst problem at the moment. Great Olympus! He’s been transformed into a mere mortal and lost all his god-like powers and portions of his memory. To add insult to injury, he’s now a sixteen-year-old, acne-riddled kid named Lester. He must have really ticked off Zeus!
So begins The Trials of Apollo: Book One The Hidden Oracle. Apollo may be trapped in a mortal teenager’s flabby frame, but he’s still got most of his wits about him. He knows Zeus has sent him on a quest to do great deeds in order to redeem himself and save the world. The real trouble is he’s not got the powers to do it alone, so he has to swallow his over-sized ego and search for help. A street waif named Meg rescues him and reveals herself to be a demi-god like Apollo’s good friend, Percy Jackson.
With Meg and Percy’s help, he gets to Camp Half-Blood where he discovers not all the demi-gods and goddesses are happy campers. Some have disappeared into the woods where the trees seem to be talking, driving them insane. Visions of a malevolent force named the Beast and prophecies from the ancient earth goddess Rhea reveal what Apollo’s quest will be. But without his godly powers, and with his over-inflated sense of importance, can Apollo inspire others to join his fight and face certain death?
Fast-paced and loaded with action scenes and memorable characters, The Hidden Oracle is a strong start to yet another great Y.A. fantasy series by Rick Riordan. Can a movie treatment be far behind?
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Keep it tuned here for news of the release of Olivia's Escape -- from Desert Breeze Publishing. http://blooddarkbooks.blogspot.com