Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prom Books: Giveaway & Teen Reviews!!

So guess what?! 

To celebrate prom, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group sent me four of their best reads to help teens get ready for the big night! 

Check out what some of our teen spies had to say about these books--and answer our questions at the bottom of the post for a chance to win one of them!!

(Click on the titles for Goodreads descriptions!)

What teen Laura had to say!

This one really snuck up and sunk its papery fangs into me, much to my surprise. It captured me from beginning to end and, I admit, I didn’t want it to let go. It left me on the edge of my seat, anticipating until the early hours of morning what came next, and then thrown back, reeling with genuine, side-splitting laughter.

Beth Fantaskey (I know you must hear this quite a lot, but I applaud you for having such an awesome surname) is a truly lovely writer. She dug up from the ground a story I thought was doomed to remain in oh-God-please-don’t-go-there-again territory for eternity and breathed new life into it. Her cultivation of every character was unique and I grew to adore each one, even the villains, but especially Jess.

As far as heroines go, Jessica is my new favorite for this genre. She is fun and fresh and her witty narrative just made me want to read more, more, more!  Although, most of all, she was real. She handled her “situation” with innocent, teenage maturity, not as some unrealistic 30-something counterpart, and made a seamless transition from average American teen to Romanian royalty. That, above all else, was what I appreciated most about her.

What teen Lissa had to say!

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick is all fast-paced excitement – it’s sort of like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens in the way that it’s totally outrageous, semi-unbelievable and great with entertaining dialogue. What I found especially unique about this story was that, even though it’s a suspenseful thriller, the important things about being a teenager – fun, romance, angst – were all present within the 190 pages of the book. I also recognized a reoccurring theme throughout the book, which was aspiration and planning for the future; Perry shot for the stars and he was very aware of his future, this sort of ambition being something I find lacking in a lot of YA. Schreiber’s sometimes clever and sometimes introspective tone really added class to the novel, and Perry’s voice was excellent.

Unfortunately, this book fell short in  many key places. Despite astonishing wit and the convenient, sympathetic past of Gobi, the main character Perry was boring, clueless, and basically the unhelpful, unneeded sidekick. The plot was also a little sketchy for me, because it was 80% in to the book when finally the purpose of Gobi’s mission in New York and the whole problem in the story became clear, thus leaving me confused and uninterested throughout the beginning of the book. When writing a suspense novel, I think the most important thing is to make the objective of the story very clear in the beginning, because otherwise, how is the reader supposed to be anxious of the climax?

I’d recommend Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick to fans of books with a lot of the funny and just as much murder.

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

What teen Rebecca had to say! (Read her full review on her blog!)

Aimee Agresti has a beautiful prose. I simply loved the way she described the setting in such a stunningly manner, engulfing your senses. 

The characters are an interesting bunch that’s for sure. The protagonist, Haven – smart, brave and a little geeky (but in a good way) – is a character I imagine readers will be able to relate to. Very much in the sense that like your average teen, Haven, is unsure, insecure and still figuring out she is. It was a pleasure watching her mature and grow as a person since first making her acquaintance and her arriving at Lexington Hotel. 

Though I found it hard to connect with the story at the start, I persevered and kept on and eventually came to a point in the story where instead of struggling to continue on, my interest piqued and all of a sudden I needed to know what was going to happen and how it was all going to end!

The Fashion Coloring Book by carol + lulu

What teen Chihuahua had to say!

Overall, very well formatted, with a chockload of fashion artists featured throughout the pages. Even in (initial) black-and-white, it's appealing looking through all of the designs. It helps that not all of the book are clothes. For instance, the pages with the windows, which is great incentive for coloring.

However, I'm a little hesitant about coloring directly into the book. I'm not sure if colored pencils will work on such a surface, and I just don't want to ruin it, considering the general quality. Perhaps there should have been at least an invitation to Photocopy pages? Perhaps I should try that, and then post a scan onto DeviantART, because I want to color one of Versace's dresses.

So there you have it! To enter a chance to win one of these books, answer the following two questions in the comment section:

1. Did you (will you) go to your high school prom? 

2. Which book would you like to win?


Eliza Tilton said...

Papery fangs-lol

I went to my prom, with my guy best friend while my current/new boyfriend went with his friend. Then I tried busting a move on the dancefloor and busted my butt instead. Not pretty.

I would love to win Illuminate.

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