Here are some of the Best of 2014:
The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too…
These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.”
Simmering within Ealing, Iowa, is a deadly genetically engineered plague capable of unleashing unstoppable soldiers—six-foot-tall praying mantises with insatiable appetites for food and sex. No one knows it, of course, until Austin and his best friend Robby accidentally release it on the world. An ever-growing plague of giant, flesh-hungry insects is bad enough, but Austin is also up to his eyeballs in sexual confusion—is he in love with Robby or his girlfriend, Shann?
Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing Pretty Pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn’t exactly one of the guys either, as she quickly learned when her Little League baseball coach exiled her to the outfield instead of letting her take the pitcher’s mound. Liz was somewhere in the middle, and Tomboy is the story of her struggle to find the place where she belonged.
Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg — a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena’s age.
I got my hands on the second book of the 5th Wave by Richard Yancey yesterday….and just finished it minutes ago. Ok, so first things first- is it as good as the 5th Wave? Not exactly, but it isn’t bad. Actually, its quite the page turner. What I did find in it that made The Infinite Sea sometimes hard to read is the level of violence had gone up a few notches since the last book. One of the most graphic parts being that the Silencers (the aliens) actually using little toddlers as detonated bombs. Horrible. Terrifying. And really REALLY hard to read.
The Infinite Sea has infinitely more romantic situations then The 5th Wave, which I found to be rather annoying, However, I do understand that this series is written for teenagers, and not adults such as myself, but still. At times, it felt a little insulting to the reader. Here is this really serious moment, when maybe we will actually figure out why the Silencers are decimating humanity and suddenly, everyone is all starry-eyed and making out. Ugh.
At the end of the day, I would still recommend this book to high schoolers, maybe some more mature middle school readers as well. The premise of the series remains enthralling, and really, Rick Yancey is a terrific author.