July 5, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Young Adult Sequels

This is a very random selection of books; please forgive me.  But I'm trying to get caught up on my backlog so I'm throwing things together any way I can.

Under the Light Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb
Sequel to A Certain Slant of Light
Available now from Houghton Mifflin BFC (Harcourt)
Review copy

A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT has a special place in my heart, because when I went to college it was the first book my roommate lent to me.  How could we not be great roommates when she started our relationship with an offbeat ghost romance?

Now, years later, Laura Whitcomb has written a sequel.  UNDER THE LIGHT is a terrific follow up.  Jenny and Billy are back in their bodies and very confused.  It's been months since the day they remember, but to everyone else they've been there the whole time acting out of character.  Oh yeah, and Billy has a picture of them in bed together.  As they begin to piece together what happened to them, they also begin to fall in love.

UNDER THE LIGHT is a slow book to develop, but oh so lovely.  I feel like Helen's story really ended in A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT and that her parts were a bit extraneous, although I can understand her feeling guilt about what she did to Jenny.  At the same time, I enjoyed spending more time with such a wonderful character.  I highly recommend this duology for anyone looking for paranormal romances that don't follow the usual mold.

Truth or Dare Truth or Dare by Ella Monroe
Book Three of the Capital Girls
Available now from St. Martin's Griffin
Review copy

I've enjoyed the frothy, soapy Capital Girls series.  TRUTH OR DARE is the third book and brings the first arc to a conclusion.  I'm not sure if there will be another book, but TRUTH OR DARE brings all of the big questions to a close.

The series starts shortly after Taylor Cane's death and follows her three best friends: Jackie, Lettie, and Laura Beth.  In TRUTH OR DARE, they finally figure out some of what was haunting Taylor and causing her destructive behavior.  It definitely paints some of Taylor's actions in a better light.

At the same time the girls are moving on.  Jackie is defining herself and figuring out what she wants.  (Her love triangle ends brilliantly.)  Lettie actually seems to have a new arc starting that might take her character in an interesting direction.  And Laura Beth is having to grow up and think about people other than herself.  It's a good entry in the series, which is basically GOSSIP GIRL for people who like a little politics with their over-the-top teenage shenanigans.

Confederates Don't Wear Couture Confederates Don't Wear Couture by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Sequel to Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink
Available now from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BFYR
Review copy

I haven't read PILGRIMS DON'T WEAR PINK, but read CONFEDERATES DON'T WEAR COUTURE anyway because it looked quick and cute.  I was right.  Libby is blonde, bubbly, and loves fashion and history.  It doesn't take her friend Dev much work to convince her to travel with a Confederate reenactment army to help him sell his dress designs to the women who travel with the army.

CONFEDERATES DON'T WEAR COUTURE combines a love triangle with a ghost story and stirs in a hilarious best friend for a delightful summer read.  I liked that the book does not gloss over that the Confederate side was very, very wrong about slavery.  (Dev's motive for not going with the union?  They don't pay as much.  And really, all of the characters have differing opinions on the ethics of the Confederate reenactment army, which is quite realistic.)  I liked that the love triangle wasn't drawn out and that Dev got his own love interest.

I think CONFEDERATES DON'T WEAR COUTURE (and likely PILGRIMS DON'T WEAR PINK) is a good read for history lovers looking to read a contemporary.  And the descriptions of the dresses make me want one.  Too bad Dev isn't a real designer.


  1. Confederates (and it's predecessor) do sound like fun reads! I think my sister would enjoy it, being a history major.

  2. Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed UNDER THE LIGHT. I felt the same way. It was so good to be back inside Whitcomb's words.

    1. I hope she writes another book soon. I appreciate that she takes her time, but I long for more.

  3. I totally want one of Dev's creations (although he's right that the Yankees are going to be too cheap to shell out; at least I would be). Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink is similar but more Pride and Prejudice-y.

  4. I loved A Certain Slant of Light, so much so that I've been really nervous about reading the sequel. It seems like it's getting a lot of positive feedback though. With every good review like yours I'm getting closer to reading it :)

    1. It can be nerve wracking to jump into the sequel of a beloved book.


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