Saturday, July 26, 2014

XY ya book

Publish date: 5 June 2014
Genre: Young adult (Dystopia)
Author: Shanta Everington
paperback: 152 pag
Publisher: Bridge House (Red Telephone Books)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1907335327
ISBN-13: 978-1907335327
Formats: Paperback and e-book (Mobi only))

Would it possible to live without gender?

Fifteen year old Jesse lives in a world where babies are born neither male nor female – Compulsory Gender Assignment is carried out at birth. Will the secret she closely guards be found out? Boyfriend Zeus, mother Ana’s Natural Souls, and new friend Ork, leader of We Are One, pull Jesse in different directions, forcing her to make her own mind up about who she really is.

There is a movement in the book world called #weneeddiversebooks and it is all about bringing all kinds of diversity to all levels of books from picture books on up to adult books.  The book XY seems to be written just for this purpose.  The book XY is written in the future where for whatever reason 91% of the population is born transgendered and the government decides at birth what sex a baby is going to be and takes care of the necessary surgery than.  The other 9% are born purely male or purely female.  However, there are some people who believe the should raise their children gender neutral and let the child decide for themselves and have the surgery as teens.  And yet there are some that never decide and want to stay gender neutral, the later two be totally against the law.  But our main character, Jesse, must come to terms for herself with her own sexuality as her mother is one of the one that believe that their children should choose for themselves. 
This was a really good book, and even though the book is set in the future there are many good lesson to be learned form it now.  First and foremost, we are one people no matter what.  Sex or no sex you are, we are, all still just one people, and should be treated as much.  This book has a great strong, main character to lead you through a adventure of a lifetime.  There is, love, action, hard decisions, love lost, police action, and protests.  There is something in this book for everyone.  Why not break out of the humdrum of the normal YA books and add a little diversity to collection with this gem.

4 1/2 STARS

About the Author:
Shanta Everington is the author of seven books, including three young adult novels – Give Me a SignBoy Red and latest release XY (joint winner of the Red Telephone Books YA Novel Competition). She has had all sorts of jobs in the past, from baking vegan muffins and working as a private tutor to appearing as a guest agony aunt and running a teen sexual health helpline. With an MA in Creative Writing with distinction, Shanta currently teaches Creative Writing with The Open University. She lives in London, UK, with her husband and two children.

The Giveaway:

1 MOBI copy of XY 

Embed: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jesse watches through the smeared kitchen window as Randy plays football in the back garden with Zeus. Her brother's face is red and shining with perspiration and concentration as he tackles Zeus, before skidding on a muddy patch and ending up sprawled across the grass.

            “Yes! Yes! Come on!!!” shouts Zeus, grinning as he punches the air, shaking droplets of sweat everywhere. He bends over laughing and then he looks up at the window, catching Jesse's eye before she looks away into the washing up bowl full of suds, feeling heat creeping across her chest.

            “He's a proper teenage boy your brother, isn't he?” says Jesse's mother, Ana, smiling to herself as she hands Jesse a tea towel. “All rough and tumble. I'm so pleased for him that he has finally become himself.”

            Jesse feels her shoulders tense up as she fingers the green checked cloth.

            “Thanks for dinner, Mum,” she says, not meeting her mother's gaze as she starts drying the dishes. “The lasagne was lovely. I should go upstairs and do some revision once I've finished this.”

            “I can teach you how to make it if you'd like?” says Ana, beaming at her daughter. “Maybe at the weekend, when you've not got so much school work to do?”

            Jesse doesn't want to learn how to make lasagne. Or shepherd's pie or pasta bake. She doesn't want to learn to cook or study needlecraft or budgeting skills or any of the Female Life Skills on the syllabus. She doesn't want to play football either. She doesn't know what she wants. It was so much easier before. When she wore white and yellow and green and grey and played with trains and dolls at home, when Randy and Jesse shared everything. When they were the same. Before Ana took them to see Maya and they moved into their first flat, next door to the old man who smelled of urine. When she didn't have to pretend she'd made a decision. She feels the corners of her mouth quivering as her mother stares into her face.

            “Oh Jesse, don't worry,” says her mother, rubbing her shoulders. “Your turn will come when you are ready. How are you feeling about things now, darling?”

            Jesse shrugs her shoulders and tries hard to smile but somehow she can't quite manage it. Her mother takes the plate Jesse is busy drying out of her hands and places it on the scratched wooden work top.

            “Don't worry, darling. I only ever want you to be happy. You've got to be ready, Jesse. Remember what happened to George.”

            Jesse nods. She has heard the story of Uncle George so many times, it is etched on her brain, like a recurring nightmare.

“I think Zeus might have a crush on you,” says Randy over breakfast the next morning.

            The family are in the kitchen, sitting around the big, old, oak dining table, a hand-me-down from one of Ana's friends. Most of their belongings are cast-offs. They are used to relying on the charity of others connected to Natural Souls. Ana has set the table with cereal, orange juice, toast and home-made preserves.

            “Shut up,” says Jesse, spooning muesli into her mouth.

            “Seriously. Didn't you notice the way he kept watching you yesterday when you came out into the garden with your tight top on? I don't think it was just your lemon ice lollies he was drooling at!”

            Jesse feels her heart beating a little faster. Zeus is nice, she thinks, but nothing can happen. Zeus is one of the Nine Per Cent. He wouldn’t want her. At least not until afterwards. If she goes through with it.

            “I know you like him!” continues Randy in a sing-song voice. “Don't worry, I won't tell him your secret!”

            “Randy,” says Ana sharply, pouring milk into her bowl. “Don't wind your sister up before school.”

            “I'm not!” protests Randy, rocking his chair backwards and stuffing toast into his mouth. “I'm just saying!”

            Jesse carries on eating, feeling her cheeks burn.

            Randy gets up from the table and whispers to Jesse on his way out of the kitchen, “He likes you, he likes you!”

            Once her brother is out of earshot, Jesse turns to her mother.

            “Mum, can I ask you a question?” she says, playing with her spoon, turning it over and over and watching her reflection morph into something grotesque.

            “Anything,” says Ana.

            “How old were you when you had your first boyfriend? I know it was different for you. You weren't born like us but...”

            “I was fifteen,” replies Ana without hesitating. “The same age you are now. His name was Jack. He was a friend of my brother's too. He was born like you but he was a boy by the time I met him. It didn't last, of course.”

            “What happened?”

            “You mean why didn't it last?” asks Ana, absent-mindedly picking crumbs up off the table. “We were just kids. First love. It wasn't even love. When George died, well...  Jack's family moved away. It's just as well or I wouldn't have met your father and there would have been no Randy or Jesse.”

            She looks up at Jesse with a bright smile. Sometimes Jesse wonders what lies beneath her mother's happy face.

            “I wish Dad was here,” says Jesse. “I wish he hadn't left us.”

            “I know, darling, but we have to be strong for one another. Think about what I said about seeing Maya again soon. Now, you don't want to be late for school, do you?”

            Jesse gets up and takes her plates to the sink before grabbing her school bag and heading over to school. Today she has history, biology, religious education and sex education. It will not be a good day. Her bag weighs heavily on her shoulder. She thinks about the text books it contains and what they are teaching her.

“Ah, Jesse, so glad you could join us,” says Mr Hope as she slips into her biology class five minutes late, after a last minute visit to the toilets to make sure she looks right.

            “Sorry, sir,” comes her feeble reply. She feels her school dress stick to her back as she finally removes the heavy bag and sits down at her desk.

            Jesse looks around the classroom at the other girls. Debra Simmonds is painting her fingernails under the desk. But she isn't like Debra, is she? All the boys want Debra because everyone knows that Debra was born pure. She is one of the Nine Per Cent like Zeus. Jesse isn’t like Debra. She isn’t like the other girls, either. The assigned girls. What if they find out what she is? She wonders how Randy is getting on over at the boys' school. It is all right for him, now he's had the operation. But Jesse is scared. She doesn't know if she can go through with it.

            Artemis smiles at her, through her spidery black fringe. They weren't friends before. But since Randy started going out with her it seems that Artemis wants to hang around with Jesse all day.

            “Everybody turn to page one hundred, please,” instructs Mr Hope.

            Jesse knows what is on that page and she doesn't want to look at it. The human reproductive system. But she has to. It is the same in the other classes; lessons all tell her she is wrong. Her mother is wrong. She wishes it had been done to her when she was born, like everyone else. Why did her mother make her have to choose when?

            “Hi,” says Artemis, as they walk to the lunch hall.

            Chairs scrape along the floor and the cutlery clatters. The air thick with the smell of over cooked food and teenage hormones. Jesse isn't hungry, not after looking at those diagrams all morning.

            “Randy says Zeus likes you,” says Artemis, flicking back her long, black hair as they queue up for their food.

            Jesse can see four tiny holes in Artemis's earlobe, where she has taken her studs out for school.

            “I dunno about that,” mumbles Jesse, wishing she could be on her own again, as usual. She normally avoids conversation whenever she can, sits in the corner gulping down her lunch, pretending to read a magazine, flicking idly over the fashion pages full of celebrities that all look the same and scanning the problem pages to see if there is ever a question from anyone like her. But there never is.

            “No, he really does, he told Randy and everything. He wants to go out with you. I know he looks confident and everything but he's really quite shy. So, he's sort of asked Randy to ask me to ask you out for him!”

            Jesse freezes as the dinner lady with luminous blue eye shadow spoons vegetable curry onto her plate.

            “Don't you like him?” persists Artemis, grabbing an orange juice and passing one to Jesse.

            Jesse shrugs and picks up her cutlery.

            “He's gorgeous and really clever. What's not to like?”

            “Maybe I'm just not ready for a boyfriend,” says Jesse, as Artemis follows her to her usual table in the corner and sits down.

            “Oh, I get it,” says Artemis, waving her hands about. “You're scared! You're scared about having your first boyfriend. What, have you never kissed a boy before or something?”

            Jesse bites her lip and slowly shakes her head.

            “What, never?” asks Artemis, holding her spoon mid-air. “Not even with mouths closed? What about at the youth club disco? Come to think of it, I never saw you dance with anyone. Gosh, girl, I've got some work to do with you! Stick with Auntie Artemis and I'll soon have you coming out of your shell. I like a challenge.”

            Artemis beams at Jesse as she tucks into a piece of naan bread. Jesse smiles and picks at hers. It would be good to have someone to talk to. She can see why Randy likes being around Artemis. She's bubbly and warm and seems to know what to do. Randy was inexperienced like her before Artemis but now look at him. 

            “You're right,” says Jesse. “I am scared.”

            But not for the reasons Artemis thinks. She must never find out the truth.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Quick Pick Papers: Poop Fountain MG

This is a laugh out loud, hilarious book by author Tom Angleberger of the equally funny Origami Yoda series.  The Quick Pick Papers will also become a series according to the end of the book.  The book is centered around three nerdy, geeky, middle school friends named Lyle, Dave, and Marilla.  It seems Christmas vacation is coming up but since Dave is Jewish, Marilla is Jehovah's Witness, and Lyle's parents have to work on Christmas day at the Quick Pick, the three will have nothing to do, so they have made a pact to go somewhere great.  They spent many a days trying to come up with a great place to go, to no avail, until one day in civics class when everyone was showing news stories and a kid named Dwayne reads a story about a major sewage upgrade in their town that will included the replacement of the old sludge fountain.  Well that settles it, the trio has to go see the poop fountain before it is turned off forever.  But you are going to have to read the book to learn the whole epic tale of the trip and visit to the mighty poop fountain.

This book was great! Another smash by Mr. Angleberger, I can't wait to see what the trio get into next, I mean really, how do you top a poop fountain?  I love the fact that the characters are so real, three kids just looking for something cool to do that doesn't cost anything on a day when everyone else is otherwise occupied.  Put this one on your TRL (to read list) and get it soon.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer at Paradise Ranch YA

Lexi is your typical teenage girl who's mom happened to dump her and her dad where they live in Seattle and run off to Hawaii to marry a guy she met on the internet.  Fast forward a year and now her mom wants Lexi to come to the Hawaii for the summer to meet her new step father, Ernesto, and renew their relationship, and well that goes over about as well as one might expect a teenager to take it.  But once Lexi gets there and meets April and April helps Lexi to see there might be a reason to listen to her mother and found out why she did what she did and why she left Lexi and her dad behind.   Needless to say, April becomes Lexi's best friend on the island along with Mitsuo and believe it or not Rory and Kikue (you'll see when you read the book). Over the summer on Paradise Ranch Lexi learns to hula, ride horses, and surf, Lexi will have lots of stories to tell when she returns to Seattle or will she return?
This book is well rounded and will appeal to teens with varying tastes.  Although it will probably be classified more romance it has enough other exciting things going on to hold the interests of those who's interest are not in the romance genre (me).  There are horses, horse thieves, guys with guns, kidnappers, and hula contests just for starters, and this all takes place in Hawaii which by the way you might just learn a few words of the local language if you are not careful.  So, mohalo for spending time with me through my blog and until next time, aloha.


Four months shy of turning sixteen, Lexi Montoya was still trying to come to terms with her parents’ divorce and her mom’s remarriage to a man she met online, relocating to Maui, Hawaii.

Choosing to remain with her dad in Seattle, Lexi had planned to spend her first summer since the divorce hanging out with her boyfriend, Matt, and best friend, Robin. But her dad had other plans, insisting she spend the summer visiting her mom and stepdad at his ranch called Paradise Ranch in Wailuku, in west Maui.

Lexi went there with an attitude. Then she meets a cute Hawaiian guy named Mitsuo, is thrown into a love triangle, become friends with a teen girl living on a ranch next door, April; rides her first horse– an Arabian mare named Poppy– learns to hula dance and surf, and finds herself embroiled in a dangerous rescue mission when Poppy and another horse named Casper go missing from her stepfather’s ranch.

By the time her tropical summer adventure comes to an end, Lexi hates to leave Maui and say goodbye to Mitsuo. But can she stay when Matt is waiting for her back at home to pick up where they left off? Or will he lose her to a summer romance?

SUMMER AT PARADISE RANCH is a great coming of age adventure with young romance and mystery in paradise. Now in eBook, print, and audio.

Book Trailer:

R. Barri Flowers is the bestselling author of young adult novels, including OUT FOR BLOOD, COUNT DRACULA’S TEENAGE DAUGHTER, TEEN GHOST AT DEAD LAKE, GHOST GIRL IN SHADOW BAY, DANGER IN TIME, and CHRISTMAS WISHES: Laura’s Story. His novels can be found in print, eBook, and audio. In addition to bookstores, many of the titles can be found at public libraries across the country.

The author has also written a number of bestselling teen and young adult related nonfiction books as well, including RUNAWAY KIDS AND TEENAGE PROSTITUTION, KIDS WHO COMMIT ADULT CRIMES, and CHILDREN AND CRIMINALITY.
Follow R. Barri Flowers on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, LibraryThing,Flickr,and And learn more about the author in Wikipedia.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dream Warriors MG

Wow, just imagine yourself as a 15 year old, weeks away from graduating from one of the most prestigious high schools in New York and going to MIT in the fall.  When your whole world changes forever and you find out that you are one of the few that can access the dream world and not only that, but one of the elite that is a dream warrior.  Joey is that kid.  He learns his way around  with the help of his best friend Alex, AKA Boudica, and even learns he can do things others can not after his brother's Igor and Sergio bully him for the last time.  But when his older brother thinks Joey has something to do with the real world food supply troubles, that is when some of the dream warriors unite to find and correct the real trouble.
This is another awesome book by D. Robert Pease.  The action, suspense, and intense adventures only can compare with the likes of Percy Jackson and Jack McKinley of the Seven Wonders series.  Mr. Pease's wonderful, intense and detailed world of dreams is so wonderful I can't wait for the next installment to come out.  Keep on fighting Joey and Alex I will be joining you in my dreams, if I measure up.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Boulton Quest series MG

This is a really cool action book for middle graders 12 and up.  It is about two brothers that don't get along that must come to terms with each other to stay alive and save their parents.  Chris is 14 and has the people skills.  Michael is 12 and is a techno geek and bully.  But they quickly learn to work together, trust each other and use each others skills to stay alive and save their parents.  But they go through some pretty exciting, keep you up late, reading by flashlight under the blanket adventures to do this.  It is a very exciting, really cool book, and you will have to read it to see how Michael learns his lesson about bullying, it's a good one he is not soon to forget!

This is the second book of the series and was packed just as full of action as the first.  Chris and Michael are back but this time their awful uncle Robert goes after Chris' girlfriend Katherine to get at the boys and possibly their adoptive dad's latest project that he seems to think is something very powerful and important, so Robert wants it.  So with Katherine's life hanging in the balance and all the adults stuck in Mexico, which is a long story in itself, but one only a adult can get stuck in, the boys along with their friend and Katherine's brother, Thomas must search and rescue Katherine before time runs out.  But what happens on the mountain can not stay on the mountain and that advice comes from the most surprising place, well, person ever, but is this really the end of Robert?  We will have to wait and see.  Be sure not to miss this action packed adventure you will regret it.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Minion MG


What could possibly be worse than being abandon as a baby in a White Castle? Or, being sent to live at the local orphanage that is run by nuns for your first 9 years? Maybe being adopted by a mad, well maybe not mad, but certainly, a scientist, and homeschooled because you aren't allowed to tell anyone about you or your dad or the fact that you can look people in the eyes and make them do pretty much anything you want them to do, but which also means you really don't have any friends.  Yeah, I would pick would pick the last one too.  Michael's dad makes boxes, special little black boxes that do things like create a force field around the person with the box, or turn off all surveillance cameras in the area, and he sells these boxes to the mob for great sums of money.  Right now Michael's dad is trying to make a box that will boost Michaels suggestive powers, but is that what he is really spending time in the basement making?  But when a new criminal comes to New Liberty, The Dictator, and puts a crimp in the mob bosses styles they, Tony Romano and Mickey "6 Fingers",  join together along with Michael to defeat The Dictator and save Michael's father.  But along with The Dictator, New Liberty has also gained a super, The Comet, but where is he when New Liberty needs him most?  Oh and what about Zach the human hedgehog, and Viola, the girl not the instrument? You will have to read the book yourself to find out all the exciting details.

This is a awesome book for middle graders, Mr. Anderson captures the tween set well from the awkwardness of looking for girls at the mall, to what to say to them once you do actually meet and have to speak to one another.  Even the awkward chance run ins and time spent with Viola.  He even has the basic hanging out and tween friend structure between Michael and Zach spot on, chest bump on that.  Also the part where Michael helps the boy get the hundred something dollar hi-tops shows his bond with others his own age, kind of a knuckle bump when he is through, not to mention his fascination with the latest and greatest tennis shoes is so tween/teen.  But when Michael feels betrayed by his father and says, "not technically his son but still his minion", Michael still fought for his dad, because maybe technically he might not have been biologically his father, he has been the one who has been there for him the last several years teaching him, loving him, understanding him, being his dad.  That part was so awesome and the rest to come that you just need to applaud the relationship he built between the two in such a short time. 
This is not a sequel to Mr. Anderson's book Sidekicked, but just as good and just as powerful.  So there is no reason to read them in order, but if you like one you will definitely love the other.

 John David Anderson, author of the acclaimed Sidekicked, has written another story set in a world where superheroes and supervillains are everywhere but where the line between right and wrong, good and evil, is no less elusive.

Find Dave on TwitterFacebook and his website. 

Michael Morn might be a villain, but he's really not a bad guy. When you live in New Liberty, known as the City without a Super, there are only two kinds of people: those who turn to crime and those who suffer. Michael and his adoptive father spend their days building boxes-special devices with mysterious abilities-which they sell to the mob at a price. With Michael's "gift" and his dad's ingenuity, they find a way to get by. They provide for each other, they look out for each other, and they'd never betray each other. In a city torn apart by the divide between the rich and the poor, the moral and the immoral, this is as much of a family as Michael could ever hope for.

But then a Super comes to town, a mysterious blue streak in the sky known only as the Comet, and Michael's world is thrown into disarray. The Comet could destroy everything Michael and his dad have built, the safe and secure life they've made for themselves. And now Michael and his father face a choice: to hold tight to their life or to let it unravel.