Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Mini Reviews: Suzy P and the Trouble with Three by Karen Saunders and Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike

Title: Suzy P and the Trouble with Three
Author: Karen Saunders
Published by: Templar Publishing
Publication date: 1st January 2014
Pages: 342
Genres: MG/Contemporary/Friendship/Coming-of-age
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Suzy's off camping with her family and best mate Millie. Yep, you heard right... camping!

As if being stuck in a caravan in rainy Wales for two whole weeks weren't bad enough, to make matters worse, Mum's best friend's daughter, super-glam (and super-snooty) Isabella is coming too. When Millie starts spending all her time with Isabella, Suzy is devastated. 

Can her friendship with Millie survive when three is most definitely a crowd?

Feeling miserable? Need a fun, lighthearted read? Then this book will be perfect for you. Just as funny as its predecessor Me, Suzy P, this second installment shows Suzy, Millie, and their families on a camping trip. With a mad dog and a family friend's daughter who insists on getting between Suzy and Millie, nothing can go wrong, can it?

This book is perfectly relatable, and I'm sure everyone has been in the same situations as Suzy at some point. It was great that Suzy refused to change for other people, and I think this will send out a really good message to the younger teens this book is aimed at. I also loved that it revolved around a camping trip because I go camping every summer with my family and we've been doing that since I was 7 or 8 - it's nice to read about something you've done yourself! And then there were Amber's imaginative baby names, which were constant sources of humour throughout the book...

If you need more middle grade books in your life, put this one straight to the top of your list!
Title: Earthbound
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Published by: Razorbill
Publication date: 30th July 2013
Pages: 338
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback/Fantasy/Romance
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told.

Tavia immediately searches for answers, desperate to determine why she feels so drawn to a boy she hardly knows. But when Tavia discovers that the aunt and uncle who took her in after her parents' death may have actually been responsible for the plane crash that killed them--and that she may have been the true intended victim--she flees for the safety of Camden, Maine, where the boy she sees in her visions instructs her to go.

Now, Tavia is on the run with no one to trust. No one, that is, except for her best friend and longtime crush, Benson.

Tavia feels torn between the boy who mysteriously comes to her at night and the boy who has been by her side every step of the way. But what Tavia doesn't know is that the world is literally falling apart and that to save it she will have to unite with the boy in her visions. Only problem? To do so would mean rejecting Benson's love. And that's the one thing Tavia Michaels swore she'd never do.

This is a guest review by the awesome Nikki from Fiction Freak! Thank you for filling up the gap I had in my bloggy schedule you fabulous Hogwarts-awaiting unicorn. 

I have absolutely loved all of Aprilynne Pike's other works - the Wings series, which was one of my absolute favourites, and Life After Theft which was an absolutely amazing read. But Earthbound? Earthbound fell...flat. Maybe it's because I had such high expectations, but either way, this book just didn't deliver.

This book was so absolutely cliche for me. There was the amnesia, there were "visions", a love triangle, and a few others that would be spoilers if I told you. The twists were predictable, save most of the world-building, and I was unimpressed by the "on-the-run" plot. There were so many times I missed something that happened too and I was confused too many times for comfort. I hated Tavia throughout the read. So. Much. She was just so impulsive and naive and I can't really handle those kind of characters. Not only that, when it turned out that people were lying to her, she ran away instead of trying to figure out the why in things. Hell knows it would've saved them a lot of trouble. But I have to give points for being so action-packed. Sort of.

The love triangle definitely wasn't my favourite, though that probably has something to do with me hating Benson. I found it cheesy with all the "fighting against destiny" sort of love that was going on and the "instant connection" she had with Quinn. Some love triangles work out. Some...don't. Benson irritated me because he was just so fake. I never trusted him and he always seemed to steer Tavia in the wrong direction. I wanted to punch him in the face. A lot. However, our mysterious Quinn Avery? I liked him even though we actually don't meet him. What can I say? Mysterious YA boys get to me!

I loved what world-building we saw. It's creative and just completely Pike! She takes a common idea and twists it to make it her own. So at least I loved that part? While Earthbound was disappointing, I'm definitely going to read the sequel, because guys. It's Aprilynne Pike! I didn't really like any of the characters and the plot was predictable, but the world-building was amazing, and with the way Earthbound ended? Yeah, I'm going to read it. Hoping it'll be better? Please?


  1. I really enjoyed Suzy P and the Trouble with Three too - I think anyone who goes camping with their family or has done in the past will find it VERY relatable!
    Earthbound, on the other hand, I had to mark DNF because it was just EVERYTHING I hate about the YA paranormal genre. I agree with so much of your review, Nikki, from the godawful cliches and tropes to the irritating-as-hell characters.

    Great reviews!

  2. I don't think Suzy P would be my cup of tea.
    I'm very surprised at Earthbound though. I read it back in August and loved it so much that I gave it 5 stars. Everything about it was brilliant in my eyes. On the other hand, I couldn't get into the Wings series so maybe it works out that some people like one more than the other.

    Interesting reviews :)