Rummanah Aasi
  I'm writing another slew of mini reviews for YA books I read over a couple of months ago. I apologize if you've been waiting for a long time for my reviews of any of these books. The books listed below are Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter, What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen, The Predicteds by Christine Seifert.


Description: Kat Bishop and her fellow talented teenagers work together to find and steal the "Cleopatra Emerald" from an unscrupulous dealer and return it to its rightful owner, while a former love of her Uncle Eddie tries to get the gem for herself.

Review: While I enjoyed reading another adventure about Kat and the gang, I didn't like this one as much as Heist Society, the first novel. The main reason why I loved the first book is because the teens are able to pull off an incredibly difficult job with intelligence, skill, and determination despite their young age. The heist in the second book was just too easy, especially when it was mentioned time and again how anyone who attempted to steal the Cleopatra Emerald always failed. Needless to say the book was still fun, the characters are likable, and the romantic tension between Kat and Hale sizzles. It's definitely a book you would want to read to escape for a few hours especially on a cold, dreary day.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is mild language and a scene of underage drinking. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: The Gallagher series by Ally Carter, White Cat by Holly Black, The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker


Description: Following her parents' bitter divorce as she and her father move from town to town, Mclean reinvents herself at each school she attends until she is no longer sure she knows who she is or where she belongs.

Review: I read mixed reviews of Dessen's latest book and I think I can understand why readers are so divided. What Happened to Goodbye is a bit different from Dessen's usual teen romances. Instead of girl who has issues meets and falls for a boy who also has issues and they both work together to solve their problems, Dessen opts out to explore one girl's self-exploration and examines the aftermath of an ugly divorce. I thought the characters were realistic, flawed, but allowed the opportunity to grow and redeem themselves. The book's pacing is a direct reflection of Mclean's growth: it's slow in the beginning as Mclean internalizes everything and comes off as cold and secretive. The story picks up once she's allowed herself to open up to others. While the ending may be wrapped up too neatly for some, I thought it provided a hopeful outlook. Readers looking for a good character driven, contemporary read should definitely pick this one up if they haven't already done so.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and a small scene of underage drinking. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin


Description: "Who will it be? Will the head cheerleader get pregnant? Is the student council president a secret drug addict? The whole school is freaking out about PROFILE, an experimental program that can predict students' future behavior. The only question Daphne wants answered is whether Jesse will ask her out, but he's a Predicted, and there's something about his future he's not telling her.

Review: I read The Predicteds for a book tour a while ago and opted out to do a review at the time because I could not honestly recommend this book. Neither a dystopian nor science fiction thriller, The Predicteds did absolutely nothing for me. The concept of the Profile sounds really cool, but it wasn't discussed at all in the book. The characters, including the creator of Profile, talked around the subject, which made the plot snooze worthy and as a result, the big 'twist' was anticlimactic for me. I found the characters to be flat and dull. The Predicteds could have really used an editor because it was very wordy. Long passages could have been shortened by using strong, short sentences. Readers looking for a good thriller with a science fiction or dystopian bent to it should definitely look elsewhere.

Rating: 1 star

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, scenes of underage drinking, and some disturbing images. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: The Cassandra Virus by K.V. Johansen, Clarity by Kim Harrington
5 Responses
  1. Small Review Says:

    Ouch! I was considering The Predicteds, but I was on the fence about it. The issues you had with it would bother me too, so I think I'll be passing. Thanks!


  2. I've been wanting to read The Heist Society for some time. I think It's about time I finally picked it up. There are so many books I want to read and sometimes I feel like I'm never going to get there. Gosh, I need more time in a day!

    As for the Sarah Dessen book, that is one I do want to read. I do love character driven books and I've been in the mood for contemporary fiction a lot lately. It sounds like a very good book that really needs to be read and devoured!

    I like mini reviews!


  3. YaY Minis! FTW! :D

    I have Heist Society sitting on my tbr. I really need to move it up so I can also get to this one. Sounds perfect for me now. It's freezing here! LOL

    I'm also surprised at the Predicteds. I haven't heard much about it and I think I'll be passing on that one. Thanks for the reviews!


  4. Missie Says:

    YES! Exactly. I didn't think book two was a fun as the first. I thought HS was much more clever, but I still enjoyed hanging out with the characters.

    I've read one Dessen novel to date, but I'm looking forward to more. I like the sound of the realistic characters featured in What Happened.

    But I think I'm gonna pass on The Predicteds all together. Thanks for these minis. Very helpful. :)


  5. Uncommon Criminals and Waiting for Goodbye are both in my TBR pile but I liked The Predicteds a little more than you probably because I'm a neuroscience major. I thought the concept was interesting but like you, thought it would have been better if the author had chosen to focus on that rather than the romance.


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