Category Archives: Laura Wiess

5-Star Books I Read in 2014 (So Far!)

Sometime during the next month, you may have to shop – for yourself or someone else. I have some suggestions, so here are the books I rated 5 stars in 2014 (so far!). Of course, this by no means guarantees you or your people will find them worthy of 5 stars 😉 Listed in order from most recently read and working backward through time. The title links should take you to my reviews of the books:

Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time: A Bookworld Top Pick for Christmas. General/mainstream fiction.

Laura Wiess, Leftovers: YA suspense.

Laura Wiess, Such a Pretty Girl: YA suspense.

Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves: YA urban fantasy. (Book 2 in a series.)

Tiffany Reisz, The Mistress: Erotic fiction. (Book 4 in a series.)

M. D. Waters, Archetype: Futuristic.

Laura Wiess, Me Since You: YA general/mainstream fiction.

Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half: Illustrated memoirs.

This post was supported by Bookworld.

[REVIEW] Leftovers – Laura Wiess

Laura Wiess
Simon & Schuster (US & CA: 1st January 2008; AU: March 2008; UK: 7th July 2008)
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To say queen of contemporary teen fiction Laura Wiess’s books are gritty, dark, and raw are understatements. While devastating, they’re also can’t-look-away reads of consistently high quality.

Leftovers is another wrenching psychological suspense, this time exploring predators and prey, setbacks and revenge. Are Blair and Ardith heroes or anti-heroes? They’re definitely both victims, but is planning a set-up to take down others justifiable because of their pasts? Do they deserve punishment?

Ardith and Blair’s characters are never static, switching from annoying to applause-worthy throughout the entire novel. They’re not always agreeable, but they are understandable, which keeps the novel grounded. It’s tense and gripping; with an ever-growing stain of dread. Leftovers is not a fun read, but it is a must-read.

Trigger warnings for the book: Rape, molestation, dog death, and possibly other things I can’t recall.

[REVIEW] Such a Pretty Girl – Laura Wiess

Laura Wiess
Such a Pretty Girl
Simon & Schuster MTV (US & CA: 2nd January 2007; AU: 20th February 2007; UK: 4th September 2008)
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Such a Pretty Girl depicts a community where the tension doesn’t simmer; it’s explosive. The only way to protect the community is to provoke the offender into re-offending, and Meredith offers herself up as the sacrificial lamb. She’s in no way reluctant, though she must battle her fears to complete the task.

The romance is believable: victims, survivors banding together, trying to cope with their tortured pasts…and now their troubled present. Paralysis and religion thread their connection with conflict and salvation. The theory of a “victim soul” is fascinating.

Meredith’s mother is representative of unfortunate women with internalised – and maybe externalised – misogyny, who only value themselves if they have a man. It’s sad, frustrating, and definitely frightening that Meredith’s mum puts herself before her daughter.

This is a true psychological thriller, which I read in one sitting in the dark, wee hours of the day. It’s sinister, scary, and fully engrossing, and cements Laura Wiess as one of my new favourite writers. She’s an expert at crafting layered, hard-hitting stories. Both books I’ve read by her (the other is Me Since You) are five-star quality, which I highly recommend to fans of contemporary, realistic young adult fiction.

[REVIEW] Me Since You – Laura Wiess

Laura Wiess
Me Since You
Simon & Schuster MTV (US & CA: 18th February 2014; UK: 27th February 2014; AU: April 2014)
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I went into this novel expecting a story of a school shooting. What I got instead was something very different – and unexpectedly triggering. We’re talking not being able to sleep because of crying until 4AM.

So my TRIGGER WARNINGS to you are also SPOILERS:

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