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


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.


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


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.