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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Three YA Thumbnail Reviews

As I've been working on the second book in my planned series, I've read a number of young adult titles in recent months to get ideas on how to make characters relatable and the situations they face.

It also gives me a good reason to read more books, a requirement for anybody who wants to get better at writing.

I'll do a few thumbnail reviews of some of the books that I've read in recent weeks and look at what I thought each author did well.

The Eye of Minds: James Dashner's first book in his Morality Doctrine series focuses on a young gamer named Michael who is tasked with tracking down a rogue hacker named Kaine who is causing mass destruction and death in the VirtNet. Dashner does a good job with world building, using the virtual reality concept to create many different settings and put Michael and other characters through different challenges. Dashner is also good at building tension throughout the novel. The ending was a bit unexpected.

The Infinite Sea: The sequel to The 5th Wave, a book I enjoyed. Once again, Rick Yancey narrates through several different characters in a first-person viewpoint, with a few instances of third-person viewpoint. It was kind of jarring, though, to be thrust into the mind of Ringer to start the book -- she was a minor character in The 5th Wave. I thought the book worked better when told through the viewpoint of Cassie and was disappointed I didn't get much insight from Ben, whose viewpoint was shared frequently in the first book. After a strong first book, the second book was a bit disappointing.

H2O: The debut novel by Virginia Bergin, in which Ruby, a teenage girl from England, tries to survive amidst a lethal rainfall that has left most sources of water unsafe to drink. Bergin's biggest strength is the voice she gives to Ruby... there's no question you're dealing with a teeanger who's desperate for company and really wants to find her father. You do have to get used to Bergin's decision to use all caps at certain points, but it does give the impression of a teenager writing in a diary and getting upset at certain points. The ending came off a bit flat, though.

There are some other novels that I read from my fellow Clean Reads authors, but I'll try to sit down and do more detailed reviews of those in the weeks to come.

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