YA Book Reviews - Lost Voices and Populazzi

I've recently read two YA books for Net Galley that I really enjoyed. They both come out late this summer, so be sure to either pre-order them or put them at the top of your "Books to Watch Out For" reading list.

The first is Lost Voices by Sarah Porter, which is scheduled to be released in July 2011. From the back cover blurb:

Fourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life, but she reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of her grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.

A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Luce's own remarkable singing talent makes her important to the tribe—she may even have a shot at becoming their queen. However, her struggle to retain her humanity puts her at odds with her new friends. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder?

The first book in a trilogy, Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

My Review:

This book was difficult to put down. Porter created a fascinating underwater world filled with mermaids who have haunted pasts to overcome. Luce, the newest mermaid, struggles to adapt to her new life and finds herself smack dab in the middle of a mermaid royalty competition . . . Although she's just not sure she wants to be thrust in the spotlight, especially since she isn't sure if she agrees with everything the mermaids do. The ending caught me off guard, as I wasn't ready for it to end. But there are more books to come in this series and I'm looking forward to the next! This is a great book I recommend for anyone ages 12 +.

You can pre-order Lost Voices through Amazon.com:

You can connect with author Sarah Porter on Goodreads here.

The next book on my review cue was Populazzi by Elise Allen, which will be released in August 2011.

Cara has never been one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and always ready with the perfect thing to say. A girl at the very top of the popularity tower. One of the Populazzi.

Now, junior year could change everything. Cara’s moving to a new school, and her best friend urges her to seize the moment—with the help of the Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms into the perfect girlfriend for guys ever-higher on the tower, she’ll reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment, a straight climb up, but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right. 

My Review

Populazzi was such a seriously fun book! Elise Allen must have had a great time naming all of the high school clicks. Oh the memories it brought back!  Cara makes an excellent main character. I totally related to her - shy and uncertain, but oh how desperately she wants to fit in, find acceptance, and become part of the popular crowd. There were lots of laugh out loud moments, embarrassing episodes when I wanted to bury my head under my bed covers with her, and a few heart-wrenching-get-out-the-tissues scenes, too. This is a book I would read over and over again. In fact, I'm looking forward to adding it to my bookshelf for my daughter to read, too. This book is a must read for any chick over the age of 12. Women will enjoy this book just as much as their teens.

You can pre-order Populazzi on Amazon:

You can also connect with author Elise Allen on her Goodreads page.

Would you like to comment?

Peggy Urry said...

Great reviews Danyelle! It's always nice to find good books for my teens.

Maggie said...

Lost Voices looks interesting. My brain is so non-fantastical, that I am very impressed by authors who can come up with imaginary realms and strange worlds.

Elise said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review Populazzi! I'm thrilled you liked it. And yeah, I did have a great time naming all the cliques. :)

Wendy Swore said...

They both sound wonderful. I rolled my eyes at first when I read the bit about the mermaid, but it sounds like the author took it in a really interesting direction. I'll have to check it out.