Saturday, May 19, 2012
by Jennifer Roy
Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel Clark lives in two worlds—the outside world of his family and friends and his own, special, inside Aspie world, where he’s not forced to interact with people or worry about wearing his clothes right-side out. The world where he can solve mathematical problems that elude even the brightest graduate students. The world where he feels he can find his own inner truth. People say he’s a genius, but Nathaniel thinks differently. According to a book he once read, a true genius uses his talent to make a contribution to the world. Nathaniel takes the definition literally, and begins his quest for genius status. (description from Amazon.com)
I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was a really accessible glimpse into the mind of someone with Asperger's Syndrome. Nathaniel's mind worked very differently from say, mine, but the author took pains to write so that it was not so foreign that it would be off-putting as a reader to try to understand.
Nathaniel was interesting and driven. I love that he truly strived to become a positive addition to society. He longed for nothing more than to become the true definition of a "genius" - someone who produced something incredible. *Spoiler* I love that his passion drives him not only to become enrolled at MIT, but also to balance that with a "fun" part-time job at a grocery store.
I loved that Nathaniel also had "normal" friends and that he was so high functioning. Being in a band and going bowling or playing video games with friends seem to be things that a lot of autistic/Aspie kids can't do and it was heartwarming to see a character that was inspired to participate so much by his family. I loved the relationship he and his mother had...and while I didn't like his relationship with his father, I understood how it could have developed and thought it was very realistic. It was nice to see his loving stepmother, too.
All in all, I thought this book was very well done and I recommend it anytime you are looking for something a little bit different!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
by Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman
Kevin Johnson is thirteen years old. And heading for juvie. He's a good kid, a great friend, and a star striker for his Highland, New Jersey, soccer team. His team is competing for the State Cup, and he wants to prove he has more than just star-player potential. Kevin's never been in any serious trouble . . . until the night he ends up in jail. Enter Sergeant Brown, a cop assigned to be Kevin's mentor. If Kevin and Brown can learn to trust each other, they might be able to turn things around before it's too late. (description from Amazon.com)
I did not really enjoy this book. I wanted to, but there were a lot of things about it that actually bothered me. I could see that it would appeal a lot to other readers, but it just didn't work for me.
Good things I saw:
*It's a quick read.
*Kevin is relatable and has a great family.
*Sgt. Brown was overall a good mentor to Kevin.
*It gives a good lesson about watching your temper and finding other ways to solve problems.
Things I didn't like:
*Sgt. Brown calling his wife (whom he supposedly loved very much) "Woman," constantly saying he wished she would stop talking at him and just "Shut Up." Grrr... As much as he was good with Kevin, I HATED the example he set as a husband.
*The sub-plot about the illegal immigrants being exploited was tied up too neatly and without a lot of explanation.
*Kevin's almost trip to perma-juvie was tied up way to easily in what I thought was an improbable fashion...
Overall, I had wanted to like this story, but I just found that I couldn't get past what I disliked. I will be recommending this to reluctant readers, though, and pointing out to teens that Myers' co-author is actually a teen himself!
by J.L. Spelbring
Publication date: May 2013
The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.
Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.
Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.
But he does.
His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.
Okay. Generally I purposely shy away from World War II based fiction. I just do...it's a personal preference, I'm not sure why it really developed, but this... this sounds SO intriguing. I love the idea of exploring how the world would be totally different if the Nazis had won the war... I'm pretty sure I'll be reading this one next year.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is.
If you've never read it, I HIGHLY recommend you give it a shot. You don't like Sci-Fi, you say... I will prove you wrong. Try this book. It will change your life.
So. Why am I gushing at you like this??
Well...they are currently filming the Ender's Game MOVIE!! *squee!!*
They've lined up an awesome cast and they've even created a really cool blog that lets you see stuff from the movie sets.
by Reina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. (description from Amazon.com)
I actually really liked this graphic novel. It was interesting because not only was it a good story with a character that was very relatable, but it turns out it's a memoir! The events really happened to the author. Cool.
I didn't really enjoy this graphic novel all that much. I think it's an important topic, and one that many children/teens in urban areas will relate to, but I just didn't connect to it all that much. I didn't really like the illustration style and found Yummy to be a character I couldn't really muster all that sympathy for...
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Council of Mirrors
by Michael Buckley
The Sisters Grimm, book nine
In the final volume in the Sisters Grimm series, Sabrina, Daphne, and the rest of the Grimms and their friends must face off against the Master to decide the fate of Ferryport Landing—and the world. When Mirror fails to escape the barrier using Granny Relda’s body, he turns to his plan B: killing all the Grimms so that the magical barrier collapses. In the meantime, Sabrina has gathered the other magic mirrors as advisors on how to deal with their mortal enemy. They tell her to join forces with the Scarlet Hand against Mirror, in exchange for offering all the citizens of Ferryport Landing their freedom. (description from Amazon.com)
This is one of my all time favorite series! I love, love, love Sabrina and Daphne. I love that they interact with fairy tale characters. I love everything about this series. :)
While I am extremely SAD that this series is over, I also thought it ended in just the most perfect way. The villians are finally tamed, families are reunited, friends have come back together, and love wins out in the end.
Since this is the last book, there's not a lot that I can say without giving everything away, other than... if you've never read this series and you love fairy tales, you should try them...but definitely start with book one, The Fairy Tale Detectives!!
Monday, May 14, 2012
It is no secret that I LOVED Divergent. It was amazing...and while I really enjoyed Insurgent, it just didn't have that same magical *spark* that Divergent did...
One of the things I liked the most about this book...and simultaneously cursed, was that it broadened our world-view and gave much more depth to whole story. Readers got to learn more about each faction - how it was developed, who runs it and where, what are its principles - and how they interact with each other. It was really cool to see how the entire city worked as a whole.
The world-building felt much more developed here, but in Roth's feeding us so much information, you lose the magic of living directly in Tris' head. As such, I felt that the first half of the book developed very slowly... it was not until midway through that I became really solidly invested in the characters again.
And what Tris and Four go through... I just wanted to reach through the book and hug each of them... There are betrayals, there are massive secrets revealed, there are deaths. I cannot say more without getting all spoiler-y.
Now... all that being said...the end of this book goes out with a BANG! I love where Roth took this, though I was left with some burning questions that I can only hope get answered in the final book. For a variety of reasons, book three is a must read!
by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks."
But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along... (description from Amazon.com)
This is actually a really cool book. It's a quick read because it's all done in ephemera... meaning, postcards, pictures, newspaper articles, IM conversations. It's a breeze to flip through, but it builds a really intriguing story.
I loved how every time you turn the page another little layer of the story, or Glory or Frank's story, gets peeled away and the sequence of events builds... is Glory going mad? Is she plotting to run away? Is her Dad holding her captive? What is really happening?
I love how in the end, you think you know what's happened, but maybe not... It's ambiguous, just like real life. There are so many mysteries out there and it's truly impossible to know everything that goes on with everyone around us...
I'm really glad I picked this one up. (Though definitely a library book, not one to buy...)
Friday, May 11, 2012
172 Hours on the Moon
by Johan Harstad
It's been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA's unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space--and change their lives forever.
by Kiera Cass
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. (description from Amazon.com)
I really enjoyed this book. America is an interesting character. I liked her spunk and her honesty...with both herself and the men in her life. I felt like she was someone I'd like to be friends with, you know?
I thought this was a really interesting world. It has a caste system and a very rigid set of rules about etiquette and defining what life choices you can make. I, by no means, would want to live there, but it was an intriguing world to read about!
As more and more secrets became revealed, my interest became more and more peaked. This is a book that, unfortunately, leaves a lot of questions unanswered at the end (it's the first in a trilogy) and my final thought when I finished it was..."HOW long do I have to wait for book two??"
Sadly, book two will not be available until Spring 2013, which feels so far away!!
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Countdown: 27 days to BOOK CHRISTMAS!
by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann
Pink, pink, pink. More than anything, Pinkalicious loves pink, especially pink cupcakes. Her parents warn her not to eat too many of them, but when Pinkalicious does . . . she turns pink! What to do?
This sparkling picture book, filled with such favorites as pink bubble gum, pink peonies, pink cotton candy, and pink fairy princess dresses, celebrates all things pink while showing that being yourself is best of all. (description from Amazon.com)
To be totally honest, I read both this and Silverlicious and I did not really care for either one. I found Pinkalicious to be a bratty little girl that is not really forced to learn any lessons. I understand that the books are fun and cute, but I think they inadvertantly send some poor messages...
I Don't Want to Be a Pea!
by Ann Bonwill
illus. by Sam Rickerty
Hugo is in no doubt as to what he and Bella should go as to the Hippo-Bird Fancy Dress Party. They will go as the princess and the pea and he will be the princess (of course!) leaving poor Bella to be the pea. Indignant, Bella refuses. She has a better suggestion - they will go as a mermaid on a rock and she will be the mermaid (of course!) leaving a huffy Hugo to be the rock. Hugo is not happy. But neither is Bella. They just can't decide on a costume and things reach a crisis when they both flounce off saying they don't want to go to the party at all. After time to consider, both Hugo and Bella calm down and (privately) both choose to dress as a pea as a gesture of making it all up to each other. So when they both arrive at the party as peas, Hugo and Bella announce proudly that they are 'two peas in a pod, just as it should be' underlining the message of the book that friendship is all about give and take. (description from Amazon.com)
Today is the tenth anniversary of Neil Gaiman's creepy, cool story, Coraline. If you've never read it, you totally should. It's only barely over 200 pages long and the story will suck you right in...
But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.
This book has also been made into a movie and a graphic novel. No matter what way you want to get it, the story will be sure to make the hair rise on the back of your neck...
Saturday, May 5, 2012
If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. (description from Amazon.com)
Oh! This is one of those books that I'm really kicking myself for not having read *ages* ago!! Not only was every review I ever read positive, but I got several personal recommendations (shout out to, hmmm...let's see, Danielle, Kim, the Roecker sisters, and Melanie!!) that couldn't stop crowing about how good it was...
I really need to start trusting my friends more.
Well, that and I really need to get over my *thing* about sad, contemporary fiction.
It's true. I tend to knowingly stay away from really great books like If I Stay or Before I Die because I can't stand the idea of choosing to read something so realistic and heartbreaking. And, yet, every time I do, they turn out to be fantastic reads!
Well...enough of that. On to this specific book... what can I say? I loved it. It was sad. Heartwrenchingly sad. I listened to the audio version of this and basically cried my way to and from work for three days. Sucky on the makeup, but totally worth it!
I hadn't realized that this book takes place so much from Mia's point of view as she's in a coma. It reminded me of The Lovely Bones, another *great* book. I love getting to experience that kind of outsider perspective, but with tons of insider insight. It's a really neat device in stories.
Plot-wise, obviously this book is terribly gutwrenching. I think that Forman managed to make the whole scenario even more devestating after she solidly introduces Mia's fantastic family. They truly are one of the coolest families I've read about in YA in quite a while. It was so sad to think of the tragedy that befell them.
My one and only complaint about this book was how abruptly it ended. Now, don't get me wrong. It was beautiful. It was right. *BUT* I immediately wanted more!! Thank goodness, not only do I know there's a sequel, but it's already out so I can read it ASAP!!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
by Marie Lu
sequel to Legend
Publication date: Jan. 29, 2013
The Elector Primo of the Republic has died, with his son assuming power over what's left of the USA's West Coast as it teeters on full-blown chaos. June and Day join up with Patriot rebels so they can rescue Day's brother and head east for the Colonies. In order to help, though, the rebels want June and Day to kill the new Elector, who may be a step up from his dad.
I know you Hunger Games fanatics must have found Marie Lu's Legend by now. It's another great dystopian story. Well, if you haven't yet...go check it out!! And if you have, this is the info on its sequel... I know I'll be reading it when it comes out! :)
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
A World Away
by Nancy Grossman
A summer of firsts
Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, never sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She’s never even talked to someone her age who isn’t Amish, like her.
A summer of good-byes
When she leaves her close-knit family to spend the summer as a nanny in suburban Chicago, a part of her can’t wait to leave behind everything she knows. She can’t imagine the secrets she will uncover, the friends she will make, the surprises and temptations of a way of life so different from her own.
A summer of impossible choice
Every minute Eliza spends with her new friend Josh feels as good as listening to music for the first time, and she wonders whether there might be a place for her in his world. But as summer wanes, she misses the people she has left behind, and the plain life she once took for granted. Eliza will have to decide for herself where she belongs. Whichever choice she makes, she knows she will lose someone she loves. (description from Amazon.com)
When I picked this book up, I wasn't sure how I was going to like it. For some reason I associate all books about the Amish with school reading. Why, I'm not exactly sure...since I never actually read any for school...but that's how they stack up in my head. I was *SO* pleasantly surprised in A World Away.
I thought this was a really well done story. It totally pulled me in and I was so invested in Eliza's story that I found myself crying or laughing out loud in several different spots. This is a book that I think I will read again sometime down the road...and I'm already trying to pass it on to other readers!
This was a book that manages to teach about Amish culture without overwhelming the reader. It has a strong main character that has to make a very tough decision, and it's handled in a very realistic way. As Eliza experiences her Rumspringa, she ends up discovering things about herself, her place in society, her values, and her faith. She never really loses herself, even as she experiences a whirlwind of "firsts." Even more than that, Eliza learns about family. What it really means, who it can include, and how her particular family fits into the larger "English" and Amish societies.
This book was able to cover so many fantastic topics in a serious way without ever verging into "preachy" territory. SO well done. I highly recommend checking this one out!
Full disclosure: ARC received to review for VOYA
by Barry Lyga
illustrated by Colleen Doran
Ryoko, a manga character from a manga world, falls through the Rip into the “real” world—the western world—and tries to survive as the ultimate outsider at a typical American high school.
When Ryoko falls in love with Marissa Montaigne, the most beautiful girl in the school, his eyes turn to hearts and comic tension tightens as his way of being drawn and expressing himself clashes with this different Western world in which he is stuck in. “Panel-holed” for being different, Ryoko has to figure out how to get back to his manga world, back through the Rip . . . all while he has hearts for eyes for a girl from the wrong kind of comic book. (description from Amazon.com)
This was actually a really difficult read for me. I sort-of enjoyed the plot and felt that the concept of the two styles of graphic novels colliding was cool...but, *sigh*. I never really got into it.
I had a hard time with the American style graphic novel drawings. Stylistically, I actually enjoyed the Japananese manga-style drawings a lot more, but they also looked somewhat ridiculous next to the more western style.
As I said, conceptually, I thought the book was great. In actuality, I didn't really enjoy reading it. I'm glad I did and I can say I have, but I would not pick it up again.
by A.G. Howard
Publication date: January 2013
For sixteen years, Alyssa Gardner has lived with the stigma of being descended from Alice Liddell -- the real life inspiration for Lewis Carroll's famed novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But cruel jokes about dormice and tea parties can’t compare to the fact that Alyssa hears the whispers of bugs and flowers ... the same quirk which sent her mother to a mental institution years before.
When her mother takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong for Alyssa to bear, she seeks the origins of their family curse. A set of heirlooms and a moth tied to an unusual website lead Alyssa and her gorgeous best friend / secret crush, Jeb, down the rabbit hole into the real Wonderland, a place more twisted and eerie than Lewis Carroll ever let on.
There, creepy counterparts of the original fairytale crew reveal the purpose for Alyssa’s journey, and unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head.
I have to confess...I just saw this over on Stories and Sweeties' Waiting on Wednesday and I loved it soooo much that I had to put it up here, too!! This story sounds amazing! I love whenever authors take on our classics with a dark twist. I think this one will be great. I just wish we didn't have to wait so long for it...
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The Future of Us
by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Josh and Emma are about to discover themselves--fifteen years in the future
It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long--at least, up until last November, when everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD-ROM in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto Facebook . . . but Facebook hasn't been invented yet. Josh and Emma are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
Their spouses, careers, homes, and status updates--it's all there. And every time they refresh their pages, their futures change. As they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right--and wrong--in the present. (description from Amazon.com)
To be totally honest, I did not really like this book. I had expected to love it, but it just never really worked for me. In the first couple of chapters I was totally into the whole nostalgia thing...I loved flashing back to my high school self...but as the story moved on, it just never grabbed me.
I thought the concept was really cool, but I didn't really connect to either character. The plot didn't seem to move enough for me. I liked the ending, but knew exactly where it was going almost from the start.
I just felt, eh, about most of this book. :/
Did any of you love it?
Clarity, book two
Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.
Only, Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.
But then someone starts playing with her head and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?
One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared. Clare needs to see her way to the truth -- before it's much too late. (description from Amazon.com)
Just because I am so excited I can't even stand it...and I found one of these on my doorstop today (thank you very much, Amazon!)...I wanted to wish you all HAPPY INSURGENT DAY!
I know what I will be doing as soon as I finish my current read. LOL :P
Friday, April 27, 2012
by Lissa Price
In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan. . . . (description from Amazon.com)
First, I want to share the cool book trailer for Starters. I first saw it online, and then they actually showed it on the big screen before my viewing of The Hunger Games movie!! I couldn't believe it!!
Super cool, right? Love it.
Anyway...I really enjoyed this book. I think the concept of body sharing is both eerily cool and REALLY, really creepy! ...and what they planned to do with the bodies. :/
This book is the first and there is only one follow-up from what I can tell. I am really anxious to see what ends up happening in book two. I very much want to see more from not only Callie, but also both the "starters" and "enders" that she ends up teaming up with to bring down the Body Bank...
Though their original goal is met, the situation is by no means resolved...and poor Callie has a bigger issue still than most...
The Iron Fey, book five
Publication date: Oct. 23, 2012
No full summary, yet...but...I do know that this book begins a trilogy that features Meghan's brother, Ethan, and is set after the events of the first five books.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa
A new anthology including Summer's Crossing, Winter's Passage, and a new novella, Iron's Prophecy. There will also be an expanded guide to the NeverNever and an excerpt from THE LOST PRINCE!!
Now the family is homeless, and living in a campground. They have no money. Ember’s beloved dog is missing. School is going to start, and Ember and her sister have no clean clothes, no notebooks. The only place Ember feels at peace is floating in the middle of the lake at the campground. She has to make a fresh start. Can she? (description from Amazon.com)
Y'Tin is brave. No one in his village denies that—his mother knows that it takes a great deal of courage and calm to deal with elephants the way that Y'Tin does. He is almost the best trainer in the village—and, at twelve-years old, he’s certainly the youngest. Maybe he’ll even open up his own school some day to teach other Montagnards how to train wild elephants? That was the plan anyway—back before American troops pulled out of the Vietnam War, back before his village became occupied by Viet Cong forces seeking revenge, back before Y'Tin watched his life change in a million terrible ways. Now, his bravery is truly put to the test: he can stay in his village, held captive by the Viet Cong or he can risk his life (and save his elephant’s) by fleeing into the jungle. (description from Amazon.com)
Y'Tin - his village is taken over, half flee, half are killed...his friends turn on him, his elephant may be finding a new home with wild elephants... life has definitely gone to *shizz!
Although I got a little frustrated with the simplified sentences that the author wrote in, they did seem to fit the story. I liked Y'Tin and was fascinated with his relationship with Lady, his elephant. I found this to be a period in Vietnam that I thought I knew about, but this was definitely a new perspective to view things from.
Sophie - boyfriend assumed dead, father missing, school taken over by crazies wanting to raise an army of Demons... life has definitely gone to *shizz!
A very good wrap-up to the trilogy. I thought it packed just the right punch. There were funny bits, there were cool action scenes, there were hot romantic moments, and the resolution was well done. I am sad to see this trilogy end, but I thought this were left at a good point!
by Mary Lindsey
Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.
Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon. (description from Amazon.com)
I had such high hopes that I would love this book. I first heard about it at BEA last year. The premise sounded cool and the cover was really phenomenal.
Sadly, this book just didn't grab me at all. It was not at all bad, but I got 1/3 of the way through and still felt "eh" about it. With the book award selection committee that I'm on, I just didn't have time to try and finish the book if I wasn't super into it already.
I may try to pick this one up again at some point in the future, but for now...it's a DNF.
If you want to check out some other reviews of the book, you can go to:
Reading Vacation's review
The Summer My Life Began
by Shannon Greenland
Elizabeth Margaret--better known as Em--has always known what her life would contain: an internship at her father's firm, a degree from Harvard, and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is, it's not what she wants. So when she gets the opportunity to get away and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em learns that her family has some pretty significant secrets. And then there's Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn't. Naturally, she can't resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels that for the first time ever, she is really living life on her own terms. (description from Amazon.com)
Are you looking for your next beach read, but you don't quite want pure fluff? This...this is the book for you! Though it started off just a little slow as Em was dealing with her uptight, overacheiving parents, it became an easy to read, engrossing story about a girl finding herself at a beautiful beach bed and breakfast.
I have to mention the setting. This book takes place on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I've been there once for a wedding and it is beautiful. Shannon Greenland totally captured the quiet, wild beauty there and I quite literally just wanted to hop on a plane to go back! There is one specific cave scene that just... *sigh*...you'll see.
Oh, and the food. As Em spends time on the island with her aunt, she explores her cooking hobby. The descriptions of all the meals that Em creates...my mouth was watering as I was reading. I could almost taste each meal. I may even try to recreate a few of the best sounding dishes!
The very best aspect of this book, though, is truly the idea of family redemption and forgiveness. I can't tell you everything without giving away the best surprises of the book, but I will say that the author did a fabulous job showing two families that had to come back together after some painful partings...and in a believable, touching way. Em became the linchpin that drew everyone back together.
This could have been one of those books where "girl discovers self, girl rebels, everyone fights, girl runs off, family follows, family reunites...the end" but it was much, much more. Em discovers some rather large family secrets and decides to follow a new path, but also devotes herself to keeping her family together. Her stubbornness and the results that she is able to acheive made me tear up as I finished the book.
As I said, a great summer read, though perhaps not the fluff you might have been looking for in your next beach read. The Summer My Life Began is more...and it's well worth reading. Plus, I hadn't even mentioned the hot, hot boy that you will love! LOL :)
Full disclosure: ARC received from Publisher for blog tour through NetGalley
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
As thanks, Veronica Roth has posted an exclusive short chapter from Divergent, but from FOUR's point of view!! Check it out! Free Four Chapter
Monday, April 23, 2012
by Deva Fagan
Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own past if she can survive long enough. (description from Amazon.com)