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Magan: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr (website | twitter) Publication Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Little, Brown Pages: 320 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: teen proteges, young pianists, parental pressure, older crushes Format read: ARC provided by Publisher. (Thanks!) Summary: After completely abandoning piano and not playing for eight months, Lucy begins pondering if she […]

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September 30, 2014 - 12:01 am

Fifteen Must-Read Tough Subject Books - […] The Lucy Variations — uncomfortable relationship with an adult, parents dictating every move […]

May 3, 2013 - 6:01 am

May 2013 Young Adult Book Releases - […] | Amazon | Magan’s Review […]

April 18, 2013 - 12:28 pm

Magan - Lori — YOU HAVE TO READ MORE SARA ZARR!

April 17, 2013 - 7:49 am

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr - HOBBITSIES - […] Books Rather Be Reading Girl to the […]

April 12, 2013 - 6:38 am

Lori (@Loriimagination) - The only Zarr book I’ve read is How to Save a Life and I really need to fix that. This one sounds so, so great.

April 10, 2013 - 9:18 pm

VeganYANerds - I am so glad you loved this as I’ve read a few reviews that mention it not being Sara’s usual brilliance. Lucy’s life sounds complicated and I feel sorry for her lack of a normal childhood.

I’ve been saving How To Save A Life, but I think I should read it asap!

April 10, 2013 - 4:56 pm

Alexa Y. - I very much want to read this book, because I feel like I could find it easy to relate to on so many levels. I haven’t read any Sara Zarr yet, but I will remedy that, I promise!

April 10, 2013 - 4:26 pm

shoesforall - Your review has made me even more excited to read this book. I can’t wait for May!

April 10, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Cynthia - Yes, yes I want to swim in Sara Zarr’s word again!! Will definitely get this one, I love her writing and it sounds like a great story.

April 10, 2013 - 2:40 pm

Andrea @Cozy Up With A Good Read - I don’t read many contemporary YA novels and I wasn’t absolutely certain about this one, but it sounds amazing. I love that the family is such a large part of the book and I’m interested in everything that Lucy learns about herself throughout the book. It sounds like Sara Zarr has a way with words and I will definitely check out this book (and HOW TO SAVE A LIFE). Thanks for the beautiful review!

April 10, 2013 - 11:39 am

Rachel - I tend to avoid books that involve piano because I played it for many years when I was younger and prefer not to remember that period of my life, but I can totally relate to Lucy so I might actually read this one. I didn’t really like How to Save a Life (I think it was me and not the book), but I’m willing to give Zarr another chance because I know a lot of people love her books.

April 10, 2013 - 9:14 am

Bookworm1858 - I used to study piano (but with zero intention of ever doing anything professionally) so I always like books with music in them and this sounds really cool and dramatic. I liked Once Was Lost a lot so I hope to like this one as well.

April 10, 2013 - 9:13 am

Rachel @ hello, chelly. - I really want to read this one! I can already tell that I’ll be able to relate.. my parents put a lot of pressure on me to play the piano while I was growing up. Basically forced me to take lessons until I was about 16. Funny thing is, I only started to love it AFTER I was finally able to quit haha. So I’m definitely interested to hear Lucy’s side of things. Anyway, awesome review 🙂

April 10, 2013 - 8:13 am

Anna - GAHHH! I have a galley of this one, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t get it to load on my Kindle! Can’t wait to read it.

April 10, 2013 - 4:55 am

Maria - I can’t wait to read this book! (I have too of course. A whole month?! Gah!!!) But I still have Once was lost/What we lost left, which is good because I don’t want to be out of Sara Zarr books to read. Her writing is beautiful.

Magan: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein <website | twitter> Publication Date: March 5, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Pages: 352 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: wilderness rehab, cheating relationships, bad friendships, negligent parents Format read: ARC received via Netgalley (Thank you!) Summary: After Cassie and her two best friends, Lila and Amy, were caught with pot on prom […]

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March 28, 2013 - 4:11 pm

Alexa Y. - I’m sorry that hear that you didn’t end up liking this. It also sounded like a potentially good contemporary to me, and it makes me sad that it turned out not to be the case. I always presume that when a character grows through rehab or journals, there is definitely a strong, positive and LOGICAL change in her – sorry that it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way 🙁

March 27, 2013 - 7:53 pm

VeganYANerds - Like you, I knew about Pretty Amy, but I didn’t realise that it was the prequel to DC, so I’m glad I know, now!

It sounds like this could have been better character-wise, I never like it when a character goes on and on about how tough they are, only to act the complete opposite!

March 27, 2013 - 7:20 pm

Kelly - So many thing you touched on gave me pause: instalove, unresolved issues between the main characters, little character growth, being unable to relate to the protagonist – and when I lay it out like that, it really doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy! Lol

It does sound like I need to read Pretty Amy if I do decide to give this one a shot, so thanks for the heads up 🙂

March 27, 2013 - 1:55 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I got this from Netgalley too but haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet. Like you I had no clue it was part of a series or the companion to another book or whatever. Seems like an odd way to market it.

March 27, 2013 - 10:21 am

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - I threw out a tweet a couple of nights ago about possibly wanting to read this and should I read Pretty Amy first, and got a response that YES I should. So that’s how I knew that I needed to read Pretty Amy before this one. I’ve seen some mixed reviews of both, which tend to make me more curious about books.

I love this review so much because it is the most well-thought-out I’ve read yet. I’ve been on the fence so hard about this one because of having to go back and read Pretty Amy (and there is a novella as well, did you know that?) but I think I’ll just think on it a little longer. Thanks Magan! LOVE your thoughts, as always.

March 27, 2013 - 9:00 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Though I never read Pretty Amy, I have heard of it… but like you, I wouldn’t have known this book was a follow-up to it. Perhaps it’s meant to be a companion novel & not so much a second in a series? I don’t know. But even so, in those companion novels you need the first to get the back story on some of the characters. Which in this case sounds like it was needed.

I love your honest reviews Magan. You highlight points that didn’t work for you, but you’re still respectful about it. Nicely done.

Magan: Hooked by Liz Fichera

Hooked by Liz Fichera ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: January 31, 2013 Publisher: Harlequin Teen Pages: 368 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: Gender and Racial Discrimination, Golf, Bullying Format read: ARC received via NetGalley Summary: When Fredricka (Fred) is recruited to play golf for the men’s varsity team at her high school, team member Seth is […]

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May 26, 2014 - 9:00 am

Played by Liz Fichera (YA Book Review) - […] companion novels! I didn’t read HOOKED (Magan read + reviewed it last year) so it was nice to start fresh in a new story with a few references to Fred and […]

February 3, 2013 - 6:59 pm

Estelle's Shelve It: 2/3/2013 - […] A review of Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols A review of Scarlet by Marisa Meyer A review of Hooked by Liz Fichera A review of Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa […]

January 31, 2013 - 3:33 am

Kristen Evey - I literally laughed out loud when I read the keywords for this book. For some reason golf sandwiched between racial/gender discrimination and bullying struck me as hilarious.

Aside from that, I don’t think I’ll be reading this one. I can’t stand it when characters don’t stand up for themselves. I can handle a little of that, but if they don’t learn by the end to grow a backbone and do something, I just get really, really irritated. I wish the author had done more with this story too. So much potential for awesome! Great review Magan!

January 30, 2013 - 4:51 pm

Mary @ My Sisters Bookshelf - Oh when I saw “golf” of all things in the key words I was excited! Something a little different, you know? But now it sounds like I would end up throwing this book across the room. And that would damage either the book or my kindle, so it’s probably best I just stay away!

January 29, 2013 - 7:56 pm

VeganYANerds - Oh no :/ I do not do well with drama-filled books that continually let the MCs get taken advantage of over and over again. I have this for review but I’m a bit worried that I won’t feel much for it, either. Great review!

January 29, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - Honestly, I’ve seen so many negative reviews of this one already, that I don’t think I’ll be picking this one up. Characters are oh-so critical for me, and it seems like both main characters don’t have any backbone at all. I want to feel the characters and their emotion, especially because this book is centered on the romance. I have the feeling that the romance falls pretty flat, since the characters are flat as well. Even with the uniqueness of being a Native American, I think I’ll have to pass on this one.

Fabulous review Magan! <3

January 29, 2013 - 3:19 pm

Magan - Bookworm — I definitely agree with your point about the hesitation to get the coach involved. Totally. I just wish that at some point, one of them would have taken a stand before it went as far as it did. It was so, so much to deal with. I did enjoy the book, but I didn’t LOVE it like I had hoped.

January 29, 2013 - 3:14 pm

Magan - Alexa — it’s definitely super interesting. Lots going on and I think there are definitely some good takeaways from it! I hope you enjoy!

January 29, 2013 - 10:21 am

Alexa Y. - I’m highly intrigued by this book, especially since it has such a large study of contrasts. The differences between the main characters are definitely something to think about – I’m curious to see how it plays out in this story.

January 29, 2013 - 9:20 am

Bookworm1858 - I really enjoyed this book but I didn’t even think about how passive the characters are. I do understand why Fred didn’t want to involve her coach though-lots of times kids are reluctant to bring in the adults under the assumption that that just makes the bullies sneakier and more aggressive.

Magan: Shelve it, December 2, 2012

Hey friends! It’s so, so hard for me to believe that it’s December. It’s 77 degrees in Austin right now. WHY OH WHY? I need cold weather and hot chocolate to get into the holiday spirit! I’ve been playing my fair share of the ‘N Sync holiday station on Pandora to balance out the warmer […]

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December 4, 2012 - 8:50 pm

The Weekly Wrap-Up (18): Happy December! - […] this book up like craaaazy –  and when I saw it pop up on both Magan at Rather Be Reading AND Tara at Hobbitsies IMM this week, I went hunting. Luckily, it was on NG as an instant […]

December 4, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Alexa Y. - I just got The Sea of Tranquility, and I’m looking forward to checking it out. So many bloggers I love really enjoyed it, so I hope you and I do too!

December 4, 2012 - 7:06 am

April Books & Wine - Ohhh! The Sea Of Tranquility is utterly fantastic and heart breaking and wonderful and good and I wish I had a physical copy of it hahaha.

Hope you dig Hooked!

December 3, 2012 - 10:28 pm

Lisa [is busy nerding] - I’ve heard such good things about Sea. From the same peeps, of course. I hope you love it!

December 3, 2012 - 3:59 pm

Cassie - YAY! I adored If I Lie, I have it on my nook. I saw Hooked on NetGalley and was contemplating it, let me know what you think!

December 3, 2012 - 10:52 am

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Yes!!!! Go read The Sea of Tranquility, like, now!!! It was so amazing. You won’t be disappointed (I surely hope not!)

December 2, 2012 - 8:00 pm

Ashley @ Ashley Loves Books - I saw the conversation between Anna and Jen on Twitter about the Sea of Tranquility – and after I saw it here AND on Tara’s (hobbitsies) IMM, I definitely just went and found it on NG haha. It sounds so good, I couldn’t pass it up!

I am DYING to read If I Lie – I have a hc copy from Corrine, but I’m saving it for when I can be emotionally wrecked haha. i can’t wait to read your thoughts on it!

Magan: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian Publication Date: September 18, 2012 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Pages: 375 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: revenge, unlikely friendships, payback Format read: ARC from Simon & Schuster. Summary: Three girls team up to secretly seek revenge on the people who’ve hurt (or burned) them in the […]

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August 30, 2013 - 9:00 am

YA Review: Fire with Fire by Siobhan Vivian & Jenny Han - […] Fire by Siobhan Vivian & Jenny Han Book 2 of the Burn for Burn series. (Magan’s review of Burn for Burn) Publication Date: 8/13/2013 Publisher: Simon Pulse Pages: 528 Target audience: Young adult […]

September 23, 2012 - 11:09 pm

Shelve It -- September 24, 2012 - […] a brand new release, just published last week. Add the book to Goodreads and check out my review of Burn for Burn. Enter below! The giveaway is open for one […]

September 13, 2012 - 2:00 am

Jasmine Rose - I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it because I’m always kind of fascinated by revenge stories so I’ve been looking forward to this one.
I went to such a small school that we actually didn’t have much of a popularity hierarchy. There were a few kids always got picked on throughout the years, but it wasn’t the throw-them-in-a-garbage-and-humiliate-them-in-front-of-the-whole-cafeteria type of stuff you always read about and see on tv. It’s sad to hear that stuff like what happened to your friend is really out there :[

September 6, 2012 - 5:41 am

Lori - I’m going to go ahead and admit that I scrolled to the end of your review to see if you recommended it first. 🙂 I really love Siobhan Vivian’s books so I’ve been really looking forward to this one. Now I’m even more excited. It’s nice that you could relate so well to it.

September 6, 2012 - 4:12 am

Kristen Evey - Hm, intriguing! This sounded interesting to me from the summary (though I’m with you, and revenge type books are iffy for me). I think this is something that I would enjoy though. Sounds like the writing is top-notch, and I can basically get through any kind of plot if that’s the case. Great review!

September 5, 2012 - 1:16 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I really liked this book! I don’t necessarily condone anything done in it, but I do like the fact that I can understand where each of the girls is coming from. Can’t wait till I get a finished copy!

September 5, 2012 - 4:14 am

VeganYANerds - I know what you mean about wondering why bullies are the way they are, sometimes I read YA and think “come one, people don’t actually go that far” but it turns out they really do. I felt the same way, I could understand the girls wanting revenge but they went to extreme lengths and I was definitely all “What just happened?” at the end!

September 4, 2012 - 11:03 pm

Lisa - This book makes my heart hurt and my skin crawl in the best possible way.

Reading books like this is so hard, but so necessary. How else can we relate to other people’s experiences?

Sorry to be all Debbie Downer. For reals this sounds awesome and HELLO Han and Vivian? YESPLS.

September 4, 2012 - 10:04 pm

Aneeqah - I actually won a copy of this on Twitter, and my copy is going to get here tomorrow! (What, you don’t stalk your books with DC?! ;)) Anyways, I can definitely see how you thought the revenge was unnecessary, I believe that you can avoid revenge and settle things peacefully as well. However, it’s great to hear that the POVs are really distinct! I love when you can easily distinguish each character. =) And the action in the last part of the book sounds amazing!!

Fabulous review Magan! I am even more excited to read this book now. <3

September 4, 2012 - 5:29 pm

elena - I’m SOOO curious about this one! I like revenge stories (to a degree) and this sounds V INTRIGUING. It sounds like the authors did a great job writing the characters and I’m eager to find out more about them.

September 4, 2012 - 3:19 pm

Jamie - Omg this review makes me even more excited to read this one! I’ve been eyeballing it on my shelf since BEA but I’m SO bumping it up after praise from you!

September 4, 2012 - 10:44 am

Tara - This one is on my to-read list and I plan on getting to it every soon. You review is making me even THAT more excited to read it and I can’t wait to see this explosive ending 🙂

Magan: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry Publication Date: July 31, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Teen Pages: 384 Target audience: Mature young adult Keywords: counseling, memory loss, foster care Format read: ARC from NetGalley. Summary: Echo and Noah are paired up when Mrs. Collins, their counselor, suggests Noah get a tutor to help improve his grades after his downhill slide due […]

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June 4, 2014 - 1:28 pm

Magan: Take Me On by Katie McGarry, Magan - […] Me On by Katie McGarry (twitter | website) Previously Reviewed: Pushing the Limits // Dare You To // Crash Into You Publication Date: May 27, 2014 Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Pages: […]

November 25, 2013 - 9:04 am

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (YA Book Review) - […] children Format read: ARC borrowed from Cassie. (Thanks!) RBR reviews of Katie McGarry books: Pushing the Limits | Dare You […]

May 28, 2013 - 9:01 am

YA Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry - […] When I read Pushing the Limits last year, totally transfixed in a train car (I didn’t even care that I was standing for my […]

July 25, 2012 - 5:44 am

VeganYANerds - I’m glad you really loved this, Magan! I feel like you and almost everyone else got a lot more out of this book than I did!

July 24, 2012 - 3:53 pm

elena - Ahh, M, I can feel how you love this one! I agree, the dual POVs, were done so well and they both had their distinct voices. The author really made you feel for these characters, they were so emotionally broken and finding each other was just perfect.

July 24, 2012 - 10:25 am

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - YES! I LOVED this book so much. This is a brilliant review. Your thoughts are excellent. I don’t know how to comment other than to agree and GUSH about what an excellent job McGarry did with this couple.

Great, great thoughts. LOVED reading them! Loved the book. YAY!!!

July 23, 2012 - 5:59 pm

Magan - YA Book Queen – I so, so, so agree with you. Noah and Echo both had their issues and I felt like they were two very independent characters that I completely understood! Awesome comment – thanks so much!

July 23, 2012 - 5:58 pm

Magan - WOOOOOOT! Yay, Alexa! I couldn’t be happier about this! Looking forward to reading your review! 🙂

July 23, 2012 - 5:58 pm

Magan - Hahah – thanks, Vy! 🙂 I had to make my description as concise as possible – I had so much to say!

July 23, 2012 - 5:57 pm

Magan - Yay, Hollie! I hope you love it as much as I did! It’s a really, really great story! 🙂

July 23, 2012 - 2:54 pm

Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea - I have only seen positive reviews for this book, so I think I’m going to take your advice and pre-order this one ASAP! Great review, Magan!

July 23, 2012 - 2:31 pm

Vy (Vy's Blog) - “Noah is an all-star-athlete-turned-playboy” hah! Nice. So glad you liked this book. A really awesome review, Magan!

July 23, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of this book at BEA – and thanks to your awesome review, I am SO bumping it up my reading pile. It sounds absolutely wonderful!

July 23, 2012 - 11:08 am

YA Book Queen - McGarry definitely did an excellent job with the dual POV. I always worry that one character will sound like the other, but she kept a firm hold of who was who and what they sounded like. This was such a great story!

Nice review 🙂