Book Reviews

Sky-Daughter (NaNoWriMo) – Support a Fellow Young Writer

Hey, guys, and thanks for reading Tween Fiction Girl! Today’s post is going to be a unique one, because I’ve never done a book review/human interest combo post. It’s going to be a book review, sort of, but you’ll also need a bit of backstory.

Remember last year, when I did NaNoWriMo? I wrote a book called The Juniper Tree that will never be published because I didn’t like it, but I also came across my fellow young writer Lily Sowell. I read the excerpt of her story on her NaNoWriMo account page, and we got to talking.
It turns out that her book went a lot further than mine. While mine remained an unfinished idea, she went on to publish hers on CreateSpace. I own a copy of it, and I have to say, for a twelve-year-old author, this was a stellar read.

And now for the review bit of the book review.

The book’s title, as you may have surmised from both the headline and URL of this page, is Sky-Daughter. (It sounds a bit ambiguous out of context, but it makes more sense once you read the story.) To give a simple summary, it’s a fantasy story, centered around three young women by the names of Ayanna, Gwynn, and Oriel, set in a place called Ajeda in a time during a long, hard war. (Actually, the e in Ajeda has an accent mark over it, but I can’t figure out how to make it on my computer.)

It’s not an adult book, but that’s understandable. It was written by a 12-year-old for a 12-year-old reading level. I’d recommend the story itself for an age group of about 8 to 14; it’s not too complex and not at all inappropriate, but it’s compelling enough to attract the attention of an older reader, too. I mean, even my mom enjoyed it, and, when it comes to books, she’s hard to interest.

The author’s writing style is brisk and dialogue-oriented, which leaves a lot about the details of the setting to the imagination. I like descriptions, frankly, but even more, I dislike lengthy and tedious descriptions, so I didn’t find this much of a setback. The writing flows, with understandable characters (which is definitely a plus, especially in stories written by younger individuals) and easy, casual dialogue. I made note of the fact that a good portion of the main characters are female. As it was written by a girl, it’s written for girls, even if that particular facet was unintentional; as I myself am an almost-teen girl, this didn’t bother me, but, despite the fact that this book is set in a war, I don’t recommend it for boys looking for a nitty-gritty action story.

A heads-up for anyone looking to purchase the book: it’s NOT flawless. No book is. It has as many flukes as anything I’ve ever written, I’ll admit, such as an accidental g tacked onto the word tightly in the last chapter in the book, or an extra “that night” in a sentence on the first page. As a whole, though, I’d recommend this to young readers who’d like to try out something a little different from the rest of the young adult fiction stories.

For a fun and fast-paced plot, memorable characters, and an interesting origin (how many 12-year-olds do you ever see publishing books?), but taking points off for a couple of grammatical errors and other small flukes, I give Sky-Daughter four stars out of five.

I don’t usually do this with my reviews, but since this book can currently only be bought in two places in the known world, here are the links to Sowell’s outlets.
Sky-Daughter at Amazon.com
Sky-Daughter at CreateSpace.com (by Amazon)

UPDATE:  Sowell released another edition of the book; she fixed the aforementioned typos.  (The webpage still says 1st Edition, but the interior of the book says 2nd).

Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful to you.

~ Summer

Advertisements

Book Reviews: The Maze Runner

Hey, guys! I FINALLY found this book at the library after four weeks of looking, so, needless to say, I checked it out immediately. I expected it to be more of a Hunger-Games-ish sort of story, but, honestly, the book it reminded me most of was Ender’s Game. I mean, seriously. Check it out.

Anyway, I started reading this book, and I noticed the beginning was a little slow. Yeah, they DID have to do an awful lot of setup, but I don’t recommend this if you’re more of an action reader. The book has enough action in it, but it takes a while to get to it. Also, there wasn’t really much character background, even for the characters who’d been in the maze for two years, which really bugged me, but I’ve noticed that James Dashner’s style doesn’t really include too many details.

Also, the scenes involving the only girl in the Glade – Teresa – took maddeningly long to appear at all. She was in a coma for half the book, and when she does appear you’re just sort of thrown into believing that she and Thomas had history before the Maze. The ending, too, was a bit late in the story; you have to read the next book in the trilogy for it to make any sense at all. But there were definitely good aspects about the story as well: the action, once it appeared, was suspenseful and well-written, and everyone acted within character – no one took some crazy leap of faith leaving you wondering why it had to happen at all.

For an awesome backstory, great action scenes, but taking points off for an annoyingly vague style and other various story flaws, I give The Maze Runner 3.7 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you!!

Summer 🙂

Book Reviews: Halflings by Heather Burch

Hey, guys. Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days, I’ve had a sleepover and am about to start another one. Last week, I was duck walking down the hall and saying DERP DERP DERP and I fell into the wall and sprained my knee. So I’ve had a fun last few days.
So, to the review! I got this book at Half-Price Books about a week ago. My mom found it under the Christian literature section, so I figured there wouldn’t be too much – if any – bad language. In fact, it was a very clean book, albeit one with a bit of romance, which I’m not a big fan of. I prefer lots of action and intrigue. Fortunately, Halflings had enough action and intrigue to make up for it, and it was a really cool story. I got a bit bored about 1/3 of the way through the book, but I picked it back up and kept reading it and it got really fun. It’s infuriating how the entire book was just going along at the normal “book” pace, and then right at the end, the line fell really, really fast. I need the sequel. NOW.
For crazy action, lots of character mystery, and almost no inappropriate language, but taking points off for a slow pre-mid-section, I give this book four and a half stars.

Thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful!!

Summer ❤

Book Reviews: Half-Moon Investigations

If you like kids’ mysteries that aren’t dorky and low-level, this is your book. I got this book for Christmas from my parents; I like the Artemis Fowl series a lot, so I got a couple more Eoin Colfer books for Christmas (this one, The Supernaturalist, and the last two books in the AF series I got with an Amazon gift card). I thought the way all the cases were linked was very smart. He was very good at making a few of the characters wholly hate-able and likable. No offense to Mr. Colfer, but there wasn’t anything that really set this book apart from the other mysteries like the Artemis Fowl books did.
I like the way so many details are only thrown in once, so you have to have a good memory. It makes it more realistic, and I like it that way. This is overall a very brainy and recommended book for those that like books that make you think.
For good plot, masterfully tied-together mystery, and great character development, I give Half-Moon Investigations 3.9 stars.

Thanks for reading!!

Summer 🙂

Animal Jam: Hyenas are Coming!

Hey, guys! You’ve probably all seen the new video in the Jamaa Journal about the upcoming animal, the hyenas. I am optimistic about their price. Since the last animal with a video was the deer, and they are only a thousand gems and not ten diamonds, the hyenas will probably be the same.
I like the hyenas’ hairstyle. I did this on purpose with my deer, Daredevil Fierypride, who, hint hint, will be included in the AJ Story 2. Yes, I’m writing that already.
Anyway, to the point. I like the way hyenas look. They have prominent shoulders like a wolf, which is probably going to make wings and some blankets look really awkward on them. I don’t really care, since my wolf, Juniper Spiritbird, walks around with an old hood and old blanket full-time. It actually looks really good. I’ll include pictures of her and Daredevil at the end.
I can already tell there’s going to be an adventure with hyenas in it: probably not a hyenas-only one, but one with a hyenas-only hatch. By the way, did you know that the Hive has an elephants-only hatch on hard mode??
Overall, I definitely want a hyena. According to the calendar at Jammer Central in Jamaa Township, they’re coming to Jamaa on May 29th, 2014. That’s in eight days!

Thanks for reading, I’m glad you took time to read my opinion!

Summer 🙂

P.S. Here are those pics of my characters I promised.

daredevilforblog

juniperforblog

Oh yes, I have a pet cheetah. Jealous, aren’t you? XD