Welcome to my blog where I give my honest opinion of Young Adult Fiction.
Twitter @YAFictionReview

Thursday, August 28, 2014

To Be Read Pile

I currently have a pile of books on my nightstand waiting to be read, or to be finished reading. Three of the five are Young Adult books and the other two are ones that my English Professor wants me to read. 

Here are the YA books that are in my To Be Read pile...

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

"When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Pulse (Pulse, #1)


With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters who are so powerful they can flatten their enemies by uprooting streetlights, throwing boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with her unusual talent, the mind--and the heart--can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she’ll have to harness the power of both."

Wicked Games

"To all the locals in the small beach town of Dream Point, Carter and Lilah seem like the perfect It Couple-but their relationship is about to brutally unravel before everyone's eyes.

Carter has always been a good guy, and while Lilah has a troubled past, she's been a loyal girlfriend for the last four years. When smart, sexy Jules enters the picture at a senior-year bash, Carter succumbs to temptation. And when Lilah catches wind of his betrayal, she decides that Jules needs to pay.

By the end of the summer, the line between right and wrong will be blurred beyond recognition. Blood will be shed. Nothing in Dream Point will ever be the same."

-Shawnee Smith

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Pointe by Brandy Colbert


Publisher: April 10, 2014 by Penguin
Pages: 352
Series: N/A

"Theo is better now.

She's eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.
Donovan isn't talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn't do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she's been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse."

I really enjoyed this novel. I first picked it up because I had heard whispers about it online. I knew that it was about a ballerina and her old best friend returning home after being abducted. Since it was such an unusual plot, I knew I had to give it a chance. 

I am glad I did. First off, Pointe was not what I was expecting. I was expecting Donovan to come home and there be this giant conspiracy and the two of them band together to riddle it out. Yeah, that's not what happens. Instead, Theo is left alone to come to terms with what happened and whether she should tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Or should she keep it hidden? 

I thought there were some issues that were dealt with in this novel that are really important in every teen girl's life. Like how do you define rape? Should you date someone else's boyfriend? How much long can you get away with not eating before people notice? These issues are ones that teens struggle with every single day. I applaud Brandy Colbert for tackling them.

I also think it is great that all of the main characters are people of color. So often when you are reading fiction it is hard to find characters that take a different direction. Usually main characters a white, that is just a fact. It was refreshing to read several characters in one book that were black and Hispanic. Usually (and this is very sad) people of color are just token minorities in books. And it is something that needs to change. 

Overall, I thought this was a very emotional and riveting novel. I recommend it to not just those who are ballerinas or people of color, but to any teenager struggling with being who they are and what they want to become. 

So, go check out Pointe by Brandy Colbert! 

-Shawnee Smith

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book to Movie. Rad or Bad. 'If I Stay' Edition.

If I Stay is based on the novel by Gayle Forman. "Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined." You can check out my review of the book here.


           Mia Hall
I bow down to the girl named Chloe Grace Moretz. Though she is still only a teenager (WHAT) Moretz did an AMAZING job portraying Mia! You could see the love, the joy, and the heartbreak. Whatever the story called for Moretz was able to deliver. Mia was just as I imagined her in the book.                                                           It was perfect.

I will be the first to admit that I had some reservations about Jamie Blackley portraying Adam but I take back every negative thing I ever thought about him leading up to this performance. Blackley was able to play Adam in such a way that you, as an audience member, were able to see the love he had for Mia and how he truly felt like shit when he was                                                                kind of an ass. 

 Mom & Dad Hall
To me, the Mom & Dad were not really a huge part of the movie. Yes, the flashbacks show how much they loved Mia and how they would do anything for her and her little brother but that was pretty much it. Their only significance was them being embarrassing in front of Adam and then the car crash. 

I love Kim as a character. I can't remember her much during the book but the movie version of her was awesome. She was such a good friend to Mia and she was there for Adam when he needed someone. That is the definition of                                                                     a good friend, and a good person. 

Grandma & Grandpa Hall
Let me tell you, one of the absolute best and most hearbreaking moments of the entire movie was when the Grandpa was talking to comatose Mia. IT WAS SO SAD! I give all the props in the world to Stacy Keach. He deserves them. As for the grandma, she was not extremely important in the movie (sadly). She was there for a few scenes but did not give much to the plot other than to                                                 show grief over the accident. 

All of the extras and minor characters were amazing! I wanted to just give credit to everyone in the movie because whenever Mia was walking around and they weren't supposed to look at her, none of them did. No one showed that Mia was there. It really helped create the illusion. It was AWESOME! 


Commentary/Voice Over: I stated in my Rad or Bad of The Fault In Our Stars that I am not generally a fan of voice over/commentary in movies. However, in the case of If I Stay, I think it worked. It allowed Mia to voice her thoughts and explain the flash backs. 

Music: Music is a HUGE part of this movie. Being a musician myself (yes, singing counts and being a musician) I am always drawn to the soundtracks of movies. In this case the soundtrack was, I don't want to say amazing again because I keep using that word too much, but it was AMAZING. The performances by Willamette Stone were all so good I would go out and buy their record right now! And whoever played the cello is sooooooooo incredibly good even if you are not a classical music person you can appreciate the beauty. 

Humor: I thought there was a good balance of humorous one liners in the movie to keep it from becoming too depressing. Despite the bleak plot line, you will find yourself chuckling.

Best Day: I loved this scene! I thought it was so sweet and cute and it looked like so much fun! That's all I'm gonna say.


I LOVED this movie! I thought it was a great adaptation. Nothing was taken out or put in the compromised the integrity of the story. I thought the acting was all superb and the music was phenomenal. I definitely recommend going to see this movie, even if you are a fan of the book! You won't be disappointed! 

And I recommend you bring tissues, because I cried. And you all should know that I don't cry unless things are really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY sad. 

-Shawnee Smith