Saturday, December 22, 2012

Infinity Ring: Divide and Conquer


Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.


Dak, Sera, and Riq recently were thrown into a world of time-traveling to change major events in history and restore order to their chaotic world. The SQ has taken over most of their world and lots of natural disasters are threatening to end the earth. With the help of the Infinity Ring, a time-traveling device, they must go back in time and change different events the were changed by the SQ. And, the only help they have is their SQuare, a computer that gives them cryptic clues to finding the next discrepancy in history.

Any fans of Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time will definitely like Divide and Conquer, the next book in the series. Readers who enjoy action-packed books will enjoy this read because the the lots of action and adventure that Dak, Sera, and Riq face.

Divide and Conquer was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It really pulled me in and kept me wanting to read more. Unfortunately, the book was very short and didn’t really include many details, which only would’ve helped this novel. Another thing I would change about the overall series which I noticed was that whenever they were in a very tight situation, the same thing always got them out of it. I think it would’ve been much better if there was a bit more variety to their problems and their various solutions. 


Thursday, December 20, 2012


Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company


Gwen’s life was turned upside down when she realized she carried the gene in her family that allowed her to travel back into the past. After learning much about her family, the Circle, and the past, she begins to do more trips back in time. Not to mention Gideon, the adorable time traveler from a different family, who Gwen finds herself in love with...

Anyone who enjoyed Ruby Red, the book before Sapphire Blue in the trilogy would definitely enjoy reading this as it continues telling the reader about Gwen’s struggles. Since the book mixes lots of genres together-–fantasy, historical fiction, comedy, and romance–-I believe that lots of readers would enjoy this.

Sapphire Blue has one of the best and most original main ideas that I’ve read in a long time. But unfortunately, the author doesn’t do the plot justice. Throughout much of the story, it found myself not really believing in anything the characters were doing. It just seemed fake. Another thing that would improve Sapphire Blue would be adding more action. There is a lot of dialogue and scenes where nothing is happening, yet they are drawn out.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Under Wildwood


Author: Colin Meloy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray


Life has returned to normal...until Prue finds herself with her life at risk once again. She will have to return to Wildwood, where she sees Curtis and joins him to try to save Wildwood from ruin. All the while, in an orphanage on the edge of Wildwood, Curtis’s sisters are working in a machine factory...until the unthinkable happens.

Anyone who read Wildwood would definitely fall in love with its stunning sequel, Under Wildwood. Readers who enjoy fantasy and also just normal life would like this book. Readers who also like fairy tales or folk stories would like this because the author writes in a way which makes Under Wildwood seem like a folk story.

I definitely enjoyed Under Wildwood. It blends my two favorite genres together into a fairy tale that is hard to forget. Unfortunately, some scenes in the book seem forced and awkward, and the characters don’t seem like themselves. But the author makes up for that in the many descriptive paragraphs that really make Under Wildwood what it is.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Raft


Author: S. A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends


The plane you are on just crashed, and you and a boy are the only survivors. The only things you have? A raft. Some flares. No food, except a bag of Skittles. And no fresh water. Robie’s plane crashes flying to her home from Honolulu and she has to fight for survival with Max, the only other survivor. As things get worse and worse, Robie begins to realize things about herself she never knew and will ultimately survive–-or perish in the middle of the ocean.

Even though The Raft is a pretty easy read, the ideas it presents would be better understood and thought over by readers in late middle school. Readers who have read and enjoyed other books, such as Hatchet, would like this book because of the survival plot.

Overall, The Raft was very good. However, the book was rather repetitive and very similar events continued to happen. In addition, it seemed as though some of Robie’s thoughts were too old for her, as though she was much older and wiser. And in other parts, her thoughts seemed to be coming from a five-year old. If the plot could have newer events and Robie could have more relevant thoughts for her age, this book would be amazing.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crewel


Author: Gennifer Albin
Publisher: Farrar Strauss Giroux Books for Young Readers


After being taken away from her family to be a Spinster, a glamorous and yet difficult job, Adelice meets an array of new people who guide her. Some are kind, and some are cruel and deceiving. As Adelice learns how to weave, the special way to control her world, she gets to know these people and finds friendship, enemies, and maybe even a little romance.

Crewel would definitely get boring for younger readers. It mixes fantasy and a futuristic world together into a surprisingly believable and relatable story, so readers who enjoy either of these genres would enjoy this novel.

I did like Crewel. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have. In a lot of the book, the plot was very slow and there was nothing that really pushed me to read ahead. There were also just a lot of long explanations that made it less action-filled, which I think this book could easily be with a bit of tweaking. Overall, however, it was a good read. 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Edge of Nowhere


Author: Elizabeth George
Publisher:Viking


You can hear whispers–or bits and pieces of people’s thoughts, and this special ability forces you to move away from your old home and completely leave you old identity behind. Becca King, previously Hannah Armstrong, moved to Whidbey Island to escape what her cruel stepfather had done. She has to leave her mother as well, and when things don’t go as expected, Becca finds herself learning more about Whidbey Island than she thought she would...including helping to solve a crime.

The Edge of Nowhere is definitely a book for eight graders or high school students because younger readers might easily become bored. Even though the book is centered around a girl, I think that some boys would like this read. Any reader who has ever moved to a completely new place will be able to relate to Becca and her struggles to fit in as the new girl. 

I really enjoyed The Edge of Nowhere. The plot seemed like a very original idea, which made this book even better. The thing I liked best about this book is how it was very truthful and seemed like it could be happening right now. The characters are all very believable and I could relate to them easily even though I’ve never been through anything they are going through in The Edge of Nowhere. 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

That Time I Joined the Circus


Author: J. J. Howard
Publisher: Point


What would you do if your mother ran away and your father died? Well, if you were Lexi Ryan, you would try to find your mother–and end up working for a traveling circus. Callie, Lexi’s mom, ran away when she was younger, and Gavin, Lexi’s dad, just recently died. Since he died right after she betrayed a friend, she has no one to turn to and runs away, attempting to find Callie. Little does she know that she will soon be making friends and working in the circus...and finding answers to some of her hardest questions.

That Time I Joined the Circus is definitely a middle school girl’s book. Boys probably would not like it because of the romance that is weaved throughout this funny and touching book. Anyone who has ever felt lost will be able to relate to Lexi in her struggles to find herself.

I loved That Time I Joined the Circus. The author did an amazing job of making running away and joining the circus seem amazing and fun. I also really enjoyed how the author developed the main character Lexi, because even though my parents aren’t dead or gone and I haven’t betrayed a friend, I could easily relate to her woes. Everything in this book was described very well, making it seem better, and almost magical. 








Friday, October 19, 2012

Magisterium


Author: Jeff Hirsch
Publisher: Scholastic Press


What would you do if you realized everything you thought you knew was a lie? Glenn Morgan lives right next to the Rift, a boundary that keeps her people inside. Beyond it is said to be desolate, lifeless land for miles and miles. But when Glenn’s father finishes work on the Project, a project he’s poured long hours into, life will never be the same for Glenn. Will she survive the shocking realizations and devastation? Or will she give up?

Magisterium would be best for middle school boys and girls. Readers who enjoy reading about fantasy would like this. Anyone who likes books about possible future societies would also like this.

I can’t say that Magisterium is bad, because it isn’t. However, I couldn’t get into the book at all. The writing wasn’t very interesting to me. I did like the main ideas that the author wrote about, though. Another thing that made it hard to like was that I could predict almost everything that was going to happen. It didn’t make me as excited to read on when I already had guessed what was going to happen. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Peculiar


Author: Stefan Bachmann
Publisher: Greenwillow Books


Lately, changelings like yorself have been showing up dead in the river–which gives you an even bigger reason to stay hidden in your house. Bartholomew is a changeling–part human, part fairy–and so is his sister, Hettie. When a mysterious woman takes one of your friends, you decide to investigate and find yourself thrown into a world of traitors, likes, and also, true friends.

Even though the main character in The Peculiar is a boy, girls will enjoy this read as well. Readers who like historical fiction and fantasy will enjoy this read where the author wraps it all together.

I really enjoyed The Peculiar, for several reasons. The plot and story were childish in their ideas, yet somehow grown-up seeming and easy to read. The author also described things in a way that made everything seem more colorful and real. Another thing I loved was that the characters were incredibly realistic and added a bit of depth to the story. 


Note: On page 163, 'Mr. Jelliby' is spelled 'Mr. Jellinby'.
          On page 318, the sentence 'The glass with completely dark...' should be 'The glass was...'
          

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Almost Home


Author: Joan Bauer
Publisher: Penguin Group


Sugar Mae Cole has never had the most stable life. Her father, a gambling and drinking man, leaves and returns randomly. Her grandfather recently died. And now her mother can’t pay for their house and they are forced to leave their home. But Sugar’s mother is taking Sugar to a family member’s house who emailed her about a great job she holds. But when they get there and Sugar’s mother breaks down under the stress she’s been under, Sugar suddenly has to grow up a lot. Will Sugar and her new puppy, Shush, be able to take the stress, or will she break down like her mother?

Almost Home is definitely a book that girl’s would like that boys wouldn’t like. Anyone who likes dogs, puppies, or any animal or owns one will love Shush and understand Sugar’s strong love of Shush. Anyone from fifth grade to eighth grade would enjoy this read.

I really enjoyed Almost Home. The way that the author describes things and Sugar make the story incredibly realistic. Each character was very unique and that made the story very good. Another thing I liked was the main storyline. It was interesting and was clear throughout the story, unlike some books where the plot gets lost. Almost Home is an all-around magnificent book. 


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Prisoner B-3087


Author: Alan Gratz
Publisher: Scholastic Press


What would you do if you were taken away from your family to a series of horrible concentration camps-–the only reason being you were Jewish? Shortly after Yanek Gruener’s parents and several other family members are taken by Nazis, Yanek himself is taken away. After that, he is taken to the Plasz√≥w Concentration Camp, and after that another camp. Yanek soon realizes that he is used to death now–and finds himself wondering if it would be better to survive or not. 

Prisoner B-3087 is historical fiction, (almost non-fiction, since it is based on a true story by Jack Gruener) so readers that enjoy historical fiction will like this. Another thing about this book is that it is very honest. Younger readers wouldn’t like this book because of some of the violence and cruelty that are present in this novel.

One of the things that I kept remembering throughout Prisoner B-3087 was that it is based on a true story. The level of honesty that the author used was astonishing. One thing that I liked about this read is that it isn’t a detailed look at one concentration camp, but instead a broad look at the series of camps Yanek is sent to, all the way throughout the story. As Yanek progressed through several years of practically torture, I found tears coming to my eyes at how hard it would’ve been to be Yanek during those times. 


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shadowfell


Author: Juliet Marillier
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers


After suddenly being orphaned, Neryn begin a long journey to a place that might not even be real–Shadowfell. But Neryn is also hiding an incredible magical ability that would not be looked upon kindly by the cruel king that has taken over her country, Alban. As Neryn moves forward, she encounters challenge after challenged that test her in many ways...including Flint, a strange soldier and friend of the king that she can completely trust...or can she?

Shadowfell is a book that would be enjoyed by middle school girls. Since the main two genres in this book are fantasy and romance, readers that enjoy reading those genres will definitely like this book. Anyone who has every lost a family member will be able to empathize with Neryn and her struggles as she attempts to put her past behind her and move on.

I can’t say that I didn’t like Shadowfell, but I didn’t really like it either. I wasn’t impressed with the beginning, which was very slow and boring. After you got through the beginning, it wasn’t a bad book. However, for some reason I couldn’t get into the book–I couldn’t relate to the characters very much, it lacked the suspense and foreshadowing that lots of readers crave when reading, and I lost sight of Neryn’s main goal in the beginning of this novel. Another thing I didn’t like about this book was that it was almost exactly the same basic plot as another book I’ve recently read, making it harder to really get into. 


Note: On page 180, there is a sentence that begins with "fPut on your cloak...".

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Dark Unwinding


Author: Sharon Cameron
Publisher: Scholastic Press


After being sent by your aunt to your uncle’s estate, where he is supposedly wasting the family’s money, Katharine Tulman finds “Uncle Tully”. Uncle Tully lives on a private estate where another nine hundred people he has taken from London and from poverty live. Katharine also finds that Uncle Tully is surprisingly like a child in his commitment to his workshop, where he invents incredible “toys”. But as Katharine suddenly finds herself learning to love Uncle Tully and his strange habits, she also realizes she doesn’t want to betray him to her aunt–but this will prove harder than Katharine thinks. 

The Dark Unwinding is based in the past, so readers with a liking of historical fiction will appreciate this book. Readers that are really looking to think as they read will definitely enjoy this book because of the questions that it makes you think about as you read.

The Dark Unwinding is definitely a book for older readers. Because of the not very fast (but not slow, it’s just the way the book is written) plot, younger readers would probably get bored. Another thing I didn’t like very much about this book was the barrage of names it presented you with. I got confused very rarely, but it did happen, unfortunately. There were lots of names and facts that you had to remember. However, I did like this book in that it made you think a lot. Just about every chapter there was a new question or idea to ponder. 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Under the Bridge


Author: Michael Harmon
Publisher: Random House


Skateboarding is what Tate and his brother, Indy, love. School is definitely lower on their list of things they enjoy. But for Indy, it’s not something that is even important. After Indy gets in more trouble with his dad, he leaves home and starts making bad choices. And Tate will have to make good decisions to bring him back-–but what happens when there are so many decisions that it is impossible to know which ones are right?

Some girls might enjoy Under the Bridge, but boys will be more interested in the characters and their problems. Readers that love skateboarding will understand Tate and Indy’s loyalty to it. Also, skateboarders will understand what some of the skateboard tricks are that are mentioned throughout the story.

Under the Bridge is amazing in several ways. First of all, each of the characters is completely unique and realistic. Second, the story pulls you in and doesn’t let go without a fight. And last, but definitely not least, each page offers a new scenario where you ask yourself “what would I do?”. The only thing I didn’t appreciate was that the author occasionally used skateboarding terms that I didn’t know, but you didn’t absolutely need to know what they meant to understand the story.


Mystic City


Author: Theo Lawrence
Publisher: The Inkhouse


Soon you will be married to the love of your life, Thomas...but suddenly you aren’t so sure that he really is the love of your life. Aria Rose lives in future Manhattan, or Mystic City. Mystic City runs on power drained from specific people, called Mystics, who have special powers. The Mystics are singled out and live in poverty away from the rest of Mystic City. And after Aria wakes up and doesn’t remember anything about her supposed romance with Thomas, she starts to dig deeper and uncovers secrets that won’t only change her, how she sees the Mystics, and her family, but all of Mystic City.

Mystic City is a blend of fantasy and realistic fiction. Any girl from fifth grade to eighth grade will love this book. 

I definitely loved Mystic City. Especially the plot and idea that the author introduced. This book was a new sort of genre that is becoming more popular–a sort of futuristic fiction. But Mystic City is different than the other books I’ve read and I really liked that about this book. The only thing I would change is that some areas in the story move too fast and I would miss something and have to reread.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bomb


Author: Steve Sheinkin
Publisher: Flash Point


There’s a race going on–-between the Soviet Union and the United States–-to make the first atomic bomb. And it’s an intense race. Spies for the Soviet Union relay information about the atomic bombs the United States is manufacturing. And as the United States draws closer to building the bomb, so does the Soviet Union. 

Since Bomb is nonfiction, readers that enjoy nonfiction books about wars in the past will like this read. Although boys may like this more, some girls will also enjoy Bomb. This book is probably best for middle school to high school readers.

Despite not usually reading or liking nonfiction, Bomb pleasantly surprised me. I’m usually not interested in the topics it covered, but as I read through the book, I found myself very interested and wanting to keep reading. The author managed to create suspense even though I already knew some of the major events that were going to happen. A lot of nonfiction books I’ve read also bombard you with names and dates, but Bomb didn’t, which was very nice for me–and other readers I’m sure.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Fire Horse Girl


Author: Kay Honeyman
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books


Imagine going with your father and a young man you barely know across the ocean to America–from China. Jade Moon is a Fire Horse, which means she is stubborn and dangerous. When the opportunity arises to leave China, and her old life, behind, she takes the trip of a lifetime. Soon she will be making the toughest choices of her life as nothing seems to go right for her, the Fire Horse girl.

Readers that enjoy historical fiction about the 1920s will really like this novel. Since it deals a lot with Jade Moon and the hard decisions she is forced to make, readers that like strong female characters will love this book. The Fire Horse Girl would be best for high school girls.

The Fire Horse Girl wasn’t a particularly great book in my opinion. The entire story meandered its way along, and was very slow and boring. Despite that, I did learn a lot about how Chinese were treated in America in the 1920s. I would recommend this to older readers and readers that are looking to learn something.


Note: On page 202, the sentence "When I woke the next morning, my fingers were..." has two commas.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pickle


Author: Kim Baker (illustrations by Tim Probert)
Publisher: Roaring Book Press


What’s the best cover name for a club that’s actually devoted to pranks? That’s what Ben wonders when he decides to make a club at school for pranks. He invites Frank, Oliver, Bean, and Sienna into his club...the League of Pickle Makers?

Pickle would be best for boys and girls in around fifth grade. Readers that like to play practical jokes will get some good ideas from this book and really want to keep reading.

Pickle is filled with humor and in some parts I was actually laughing out loud. I really enjoyed how unique each of the club members and other characters were, down to what they wore and how they acted. I would have liked this book better if it was longer. I didn’t want it to end and the entire book seemed rather short. Other than that, it was a great read to get a smile on your face.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality


Author: by Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point


You’re the girl with the great personality to people at school, and you’re Mackenzie’s sister at home. No one seems to understand you except your two best friends and Logan, your crush and the boy you hang out with at all of Mackenzie’s beauty pageants.   Lexi wishes for a lot of things, and when they all come true, it isn’t how she imagined. Will she be strong enough to be true to herself even as it gets harder and harder to do so? 

Teenage girls who have ever felt under appreciated will be able to sympathize with Lexi. Girls with siblings that seem to get all the attention will also understand Lexi’s feeling toward Mackenzie. Middle school grades are the perfect age group for reading this book.

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is a great book. The main character seems real in my mind and could walk off the pages at any moment. I love how honest the author makes Lexi–about Mackenzie’s pageants, about her friends, and about how she thinks of herself. 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Whatever After #2 If The Shoe Fits


Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: Scholastic


Abby and her brother, Jonah, have traveled into another fairy tale. This time it is Floom, the kingdom where Cinderella. But disaster strikes when Cinderella breaks her foot (so it won’t fit into the slipper!), the second glass slipper breaks, and Farrah, cinderella’s fairy godmother, is annoyingly uncooperative. Abby and Jonah will have to try hard to save this fairy tale.

Second to fourth grade girls that love fairy tales and fantasy will adore this quick read. Anyone who has ever wished they could be in a fairy tale will thoroughly enjoy reading this. 

If The Shoes Fits is for sure a book for younger readers. For older readers, this book is boring and hard to get into, so younger readers will definitely like it more. The characters and plot are cutesy and interesting. However, the author seems to try too had to make parts of the book and it turns out sounding fake. 



Note: On page 147, in the second sentence, there are two quotation marks instead of one at the beginning of the sentence. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Infestation


Author: Timothy J. Bradley
Publisher: Scholastic


After being sent to the Reclamation School, Andy Greenwood is miserable. After running away from yet another foster home, he is finally sent away into the middle of nowhere to the Reclamation School. After getting in trouble, a huge earthquake destroys the school and releases a wave of mutant, bloodthirsty bugs. Andy and his new friends (and enemies) will have to join together and get rid of the bugs before they spread--to the rest of the world. 

Boys that like sci-fi novels that are based on Earth will enjoy Infestation. This book would be best for fourth to sixth graders.

Infestation seems almost fake. While some books can pull off plots like Infestation’s, the author doesn’t make this book seem real enough. The plot isn’t very complex either, and would be better for younger readers. The characters could definitely use some more development as well, as they seem stiff when they talk to each other. All around the book could use some improvement.


Skinny


Author: Donna Cooner
Publisher: Point (an imprint of Scholastic)


Ever Davies is fifteen years old, three hundred pounds, and reminded of it everyday by Skinny, the cruel voice that is constantly whispering in her ear. When finally Ever has taken too much verbal abuse from Skinny, she decides to have a risky surgery that will help her lose weight. It will take everything she has–-and her few friends–-to help her find her way.

Anyone who has ever been teased or singled out will understand Ever and her struggles. Any girl from age eleven to fourteen that loves stories with very strong female characters will really enjoy this read.

Skinny is a touching and honest book-–honest to the point that it tugs on your heart to read. As Ever struggles her way through school, her surgery, and her recovery, readers will feel as though they are right there with her. At the beginning of the story, I’ll admit I was not very interested in the book. The story was slow and boring but it quickly becomes very good once you get through the first chapters.


Note: On page 211, between the sentences "The music starts up again outside the bathroom walls," and "A soft melody," there is no period.

Monday, August 20, 2012

52 Reasons to Hate My Father


Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Adults


After crashing your car, your father tells you that you have to do a new low-rent job every week for a year. Now what? That’s what Lexington “Lexi” Larabee is wondering. While her friends are on a cruise, Lexi is working for the first time in her life. Her father has assigned her a “liaison”, named Luke, who keeps tabs on Lexi and is a huge source of annoyance for her. And Lexi has always felt as though her father doesn’t care about her at all, considering he’s always working and never goes to anything for her (like her high school graduation), so this really isn't helping. But soon Lexi will find that there really is a silver lining to everything...even something as bad as this.

Any girl who likes to read about other girls solving problems will enjoy this book. Readers that have ever felt as though they’ve been treated unfairly will be able to sympathize with Lexi and relate to this book even more.

52 Reasons to Hate my Father is a serious book wrapped in a fluffy coat. This story is a fresh twist on the tale about a girl who feels like she doesn’t know her dad crossed with a coming-of-age story. Both ideas have been written about numerous times, but 52 Reasons to Hate My Father makes them feel new and fun. This book is hilarious, and made me laugh. Surprisingly, Lexi was very easy to relate to, despite being spoiled and rich. Definitely a book worth reading! 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wicked Sweet


Author: Mar’ce Merrell
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends


What would you do if one of your childhood enemies and his best friend suddenly wanted to hang out with you? Chantal and Jillian have been best friends for a long time and always do a project over the summer. But then Chantal’s enemy Will, and his best friend Parker, suddenly want to hang out with the girls. When Chantal uncovers their sneaky motive, she hatches a plan to get revenge, filled with wickedly sweet cake. 

A must read for girls between fifth and eight grade. Girls that love to cook would be able to relate to Chantal and girls that have lots of siblings can relate to Jillian and her numerous little brothers.

Wicked Sweet is like a cake in itself–a comedy, frosted with romance, and sprinkled with  small town adventure. Despite the silliness of this book, Wicked Sweet actually deals with some pretty big problems in the lives of teenagers. A story of redemption and standing up for yourself, this book doesn’t disappoint in any aspect and will make you cheer and boo along with Chantal and her friends. One thing I really enjoyed about this story was how Chantal and Jillian’s voices were honest and never wavered from the truth. It made this book all the more realistic and likeable.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Struck


Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Adults


A huge earthquake and lightning storm has devastated Los Angeles–-it’s building are dust and a serious chunk has been taken out of the population. In the midst of all this, Mia Price, her brother, Parker, and their mother are fighting to get enough food. They’re some of the lucky ones–-their house didn’t crumble in the earthquake like so many others. And Mia has a secret she has kept for a long time. She has been struck with lightning many times. In fact, she craves it. And when the Seekers, a group that claim they’re going to save the world, and Rance Ridley Prophet’s Followers, who seem to recruit and brainwash new Followers everyday, both say they need her, things are going to get ugly. And that’s before Jeremy shows up, a boy who tells her she can’t get involved with the Seekers. Soon Mia will be learning truths, lies, and the true power of love.

Teenage girls with a liking of novels that incorporate fantasy into everyday life will appreciate this book for what it is. Readers that enjoy novels that have post-disaster themes in them will enjoy this read for sure.

Struck is amazing. The story keeps you on your toes with the plot going in different directions that no reader could even imagine. A very strong female protagonist directs the story in her raw, funny, and, honest voice. Unfortunately, the first several chapters are hard to understand because of how fast the story moves. But it quickly begins to make sense.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Girl is Trouble


Author: Kathryn Miller Haines
Publisher: Roaring Book Press


A new case at school and suddenly a very personal case at home have fifteen-year old Iris Anderson very busy. Her father is a detective and she is following in his footsteps...or footstep. After losing a leg at Pearl Harbor, he came back home–-but before he could get back, Iris’s mother committed suicide. So when Iris uncovers evidence that could question everything she knows about her mother, she has to put her detective skills to the test.

The Girl is Trouble is definitely a book for middle school girls. Girls that love to read mystery novels that make you think would really enjoy this book. Readers that like to solve problems like a sleuth will also like to read about Iris’s adventures.

The magnificent sequel to The Girl is Murder, The Girl is Trouble is just as good, if not better. I usually don’t enjoy reading mystery novels, but this story pulled me in and didn’t let go–-not even after the last page. The characters could jump off the page, the plot is fascinating, and the pace is perfect. The Girl is Trouble is as flawless as can be.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shadow and Bone


Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt


What would you do if you had incredible powers that you didn’t know you had until a stressful moment revealed them? Alina Starkov realizes she has magical powers that could seal the “Unsea”, a giant swath of darkness across the landscape of her country, Ravka. She is taken in by the Darkling, the leader of a the Grisha, a group of magical people. But in a swift turn of events, she suddenly has to take a good look at who she thought were her friends...and make the hardest choice of her life.

Girls and boys who like fantasy and slightly romantic novels will enjoy this read for sure. Readers who have made tough choices will be able to relate to Alina and understand this book all the more. 

Upon starting to read, I was skeptical that Shadow and Bone would be a very good book, but after finishing, I've realized that it definitely has everything a story needs, but not everything a great story needsThe first two or three chapters are very confusing at first, but if you push past them, the story starts to make lots more sense. The entire novel could use more details and could be slowed down slightly. The plot is almost hidden as well, but if you really pay attention, you'll find it. All around, it is a good book that I would read again. 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

All These Lives


Author: Sarah Wylie
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Adults


Do you have more than one life? Dani Bailey has survived a chest infection and a car accident where she should have died and believes that she has nine lives. When her sister, Jena, develops cancer, she starts to think about something someone said once. That when a cat loses a life, it goes into the universe for another cat to use. And when she starts to think about that, along with Jena...she starts to think she should let some lives go–-to help Jena survive another day.

Readers who like dramatic and touching stories will love All These Lives. Teen girls that have siblings will understand Dani’s fierce and loving connection to Jena, and will enjoy this story all the more.

All These Lives
grabs you on page one with Sarah Wylie’s amazing writing. The storyline is precise and keeps you on your toes with its abrupt changes and twists. Dani seems to be so real that you understand exactly what she’s thinking and you feel her emotions along with her. I wouldn’t change anything about this heart lifting debut novel.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bridge of Time


Author: Lewis Buzbee
Publisher: Feiwell and Friends


What would you do if you and your best friend were just taking naps, but when you wake up, its 1864 instead of 2012? Lee Jones and Joan Lee both discover that their parents are getting divorces on the same night–what a coincidence! So when they sneak away from a boring field trip to talk, fall asleep, and wake up in a different time, will they want to go back to that exact same day?

Bridge of Time would attract the attention of boys and girls in fifth grade through middle school. Time travel is a big part in this book, so readers that like that sort of novel would enjoy this.

Bridge of Time is amazing. Despite the main concept being something confusing–time travel–the author tells the story in just the right way that it makes complete and perfect sense. The only thing in this novel that could use a little work are the characters. They are already developed, but not to the extent that many readers enjoy.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Just Flirt


Author: Laura Bowers
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Adults


You’re having the summer of your life at your family’s campground, hanging out with your best friend and honing your flirting skills. Then, the girl who has made your life miserable suddenly is making your life miserable once again. Dee Barton and her mother run the Barton Family Campground after Dee’s father died. She just recently broke up with her horrible boyfriend, Blaine, and already the popular girls’ queen, Sabrina, has taken him as her own. But then things get complicated when the campground runs into trouble and Dee and Sabrina have to work together...despite hating each other.

Just Flirt is perfect for girls in middle school. Especially if they like comedy and romance wrapped together into one novel. It would attract readers who like realistic fiction about girls who overcome big problems in their lives.

Just Flirt is a great book, including everything a book needs. The characters are very developed and seem real and the plot keeps you reading for sure. But several times in the book, the story moves too fast and you miss important information, causing you to reread parts throughout the book. All in all, though, it’s a great summer read that will definitely make you smile. 


Friday, August 3, 2012

For What It's Worth


Author: Janet Tashjian
Publisher: Henry Holt
Imagine you’re having a great time with your friends and first girlfriend, Caroline, when suddenly, things take a complicated turn? Quinn, a fourteen-year-old boy in 1971, is having fun playing his extensive collection of albums and playing with his new band. But then, one of Quinn’s sister’s friends shows up, and turns out to be a draft dodger. Now Quinn is forced to make some tough choices...and it doesn’t help that his Ouija board is suddenly channeling Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin...
For What It’s Worth would be best for boys and girls in fifth grade all the way up to middle school. Readers who know lots of songs, singers, and singing groups from the seventies will appreciate the book to a larger extent than readers who aren’t as familiar with the time period. 
For What It’s Worth is a very interesting story, filled with songs and singers from the seventies. For me, it was hard to understand some parts because of all the musical jargon the author used. If you are willing to look up some names of people and songs, and want to learn something, this book is very good because it includes lots of things that are most likely unknown to the young adult readers of today. Once you get past the music and singers everywhere in the first chapters, For What It’s Worth is a sound novel. The plot was touching and definitely made you want to keep reading, although the characters could have used a bit more development.  




Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

Author: Christopher Healy
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
And the princesses lived happily ever after...or did they? Cinderella, who was saved by Prince Frederic, Sleeping Beauty, who is to marry Prince Liam after he saved her, Rapunzel, who was saved by Prince Gustav (or rather he saved her, depending on how you look at it), and Snow White, who was saved by Prince Duncan, are all suddenly fed up with their husbands and husbands-to-be. Frederic, Liam, Gustav, and Duncan, are also fed up–-because in songs that have spread around the country about their princess-saving deeds, they are all know simply as “Prince Charming”. And suddenly the Princes Charming all have to band together to save the princesses, the kingdom–-and maybe even each other, despite their clashing personalities.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom would be excellent for boys and girls from about fourth grade to middle school. Readers who like to read fantasy and medieval novels will like this a considerable bit more than readers who don’t. 
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a well-written novel. It blends the classic princess fairy tales with an adventure and comedy filled story of heroes and learning to work with others despite your differences. The fresh and new plot, characters, and settings are stunning and mix with the fairy tales with ease. 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monument 14


Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publishser: Feiwell and Friends
What would you do if you were trapped in a superstore where the end of the world seemed to be going on outside its walls? Dean is trapped in a Greenway superstore with six little kids, six high schoolers, and two eighth graders (including his brother), after a monster hailstorm forces the bus he’s riding into the store’s front doors. From there, disaster after disaster forces them to rethink everything they do.
Monument 14 is a great book for girls and boys from around seventh grade to high school. Readers who enjoy apocalyptic settings and survival stories will like this immensely. 
Monument 14 is a stunning story, almost as perfect as you can get. The characters are memorable and completely unique. The plot twists and turns in unexpected ways and directions, creating suspense, tragedy, and romance without becoming just another suspenseful, tragic, and romantic read. Definitely a book worth reading!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Before You Go


Author: James Preller
Publisher: Feiwell and Friends
What would you do if several years ago, a terrible accident rocked your family and things are just starting to feel right again–when suddenly another disaster strikes? Jude Fox still feels guilty about his little sister drowning when he was supposed to be watching six years ago, but he’s beginning to put it in the past. He’s starting a new summer job, finding new friends, and falling in love. But things refuse to be perfect for him...including another horrible catastrophe that will change his life yet again.
Before You Go is a perfect book for boys and girls from fifth to eighth grade. Teens that prefer dramatic novels with a hint of comedy and romance will love this read. 
Before You Go is a very powerful book, encompassing strong emotions and their various responses, like guilt and forgiveness. A beautiful plot seems to be cut short at the end, not seeming to be wrapped up just enough for many readers to thoroughly enjoy. It is a generally sound book, however, and is definitely worth reading.