Monday, March 24, 2014

Reading on a Theme: Teens with Superpowers

When I was a kid I really wanted to have magical powers. I loved shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Secret World of Alex Mack. I still love a hint of magic in my life. This Reading on a Theme features a bunch of light and fun books about teenage girls with superpowers. They all take place in a world similar to our own but, in most cases, a subgroup of the population has paranormal abilities. I would have loved a list like this when I was younger. I love it now.

The Adventures of Jillian Spectre was a pleasant surprise. Jillian lives in the Mystic Quarter of Manhattan with her mother. The two of them can see the future. During one of her readings Jillian sees her client die and go to heaven. This moment propels Jillian toward discovering a second power, learning about her missing father, and halting an evil plot. Nic Tatano's new book is fun. I enjoyed reading about Jillian and her friends. There's a nice balance between trying to save the world and trying to just be teenagers. I also appreciated that these teens have a good relationship with the adults in their lives. And, surprisingly, this book comes across as very pro-religion and pro-virginity. The Adventures of Jillian Spectre is out on March 14th, 2014. Review copy from NetGalley.

Pivot Point was easily one of my favorite reads last year, and I impatiently awaited the second in the series Split Second. Split Second is possibly even more heart pounding than Pivot Point. The book alternates between Addie and Laila, who are outside and inside the compound. I loved reading about both of the them. Laila has a difficult home life; she's raw and defensive, and I kind of love her. I really love her interactions with Connor. Addie has some healing to do after the events of Pivot Point, and then there's just something about Trevor. In Split Second it becomes clear just how far the Compound's government is willing to go to protect themselves. I hope Kasie West continues this series. I, for one, would love to read more about these powerful kids.

Even before I read Justine Larbalestier's How to Ditch Your Fairy I was completely captivated by the premise. Charlie (Charlotte Adele Donna Seto Steele) lives in a world where fairies endow their humans with some kind of luck or skill. For instance, a "Good Complexion Fairy" guarantees that you always have good skin and a "Shopping Fairy" finds you good deals. Charlie has a " Parking Fairy," and she hates it because she is always being forced to go on errands so the drivers can get a parking place. Charlie's mission is to get rid of her fairy. And that is no easy task. This book is light, funny, cute, and clever. I think must have a "Memory Fairy."

I had heard good things about Kiersten White's Paranormalcy , and I was not disappointed. Paranormalcy is at least one-part satire, poking fun at both the paranormal romances that populate young adult literature these days and popular culture (think Buffy and Gossip Girl). Evie is special. She can see through glamours, thus her usefulness to the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency). But Evie isn't really all that kick-butt, preferring to use her trusty taser, Tasey, to get the job done. Evie's lack of kick-buttness kind of got me down at times, but it really helped with the whole satire bit. This book is pretty funny. Evie is spunky narrator. Girly to a fault sometimes, sheltered, naive.
Hex Hall was the last library book I finished before moving three years ago. I needed something cheerful and fun for that particular moment. Hex Hall definitely was the right book for that time. Sophia is a witch, and after a series of unfortunate incidents involving her magic she is sent to Hecate Hall (Hex for short), a boarding school for supernatural beings who can't seem to stay out of trouble. Raised by a mortal mother, Sophia has a lot to learn about the magical world. Plus there are these murders that keep happening at the school. Mystery and magic, folks.

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