Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Scarlet Letterman

The Scarlet Letterman by Cara Lockwood

The opening of the second "Bard Academy Novel" finds Miranda Tate returning to Bard Academy where her boyfriend is he star basketball player and she has a close group of friends. Although her life at Bard should be much better this semester, it has only grown worse.

Miranda is worried about the missing Heathcliff, whose life she is still guarding with the scrap of paper in her locket. There is also the problem of Parker, the witchiest girl in school, who happens to be after Miranda's guy. The situation between Parker and Miranda grows tenser after Parker is attacked by "the sweatshirt stalker" and asks Ryan (Miranda's boyfriend) to be her bodyguard.

Mystery once again surrounds the "part fictional" Miranda, as she is determined to find out who is wearing that sweatshirt. Could this mysterious figure be the missing Heathcliff?

Once again, Lockwood lures teens into the literary world. This novel, as the title implies, discusses The Scarlet Letter and its connections to modern teenage life. A new teacher is introduced in the form of Mr. B, William Blake. I found the literary shout-outs the best part of this series and I can't wait to read the next one just to find these little nuggets. This series is truly a unique YA series.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Countess Below Stairs

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

If you enjoy historical fiction, especially the kind dealing with royalty, you will enjoy A Countess Below Stairs. The book takes place shortly after World War I in a small village in England. Anna Grazinsky, a Russian countess, finds herself and her family penniless after the recent Russian revolution. Anna's father is dead and she takes it upon herself to become the family's breadwinner.

Jobs are hard to get after the war, especially for women. So, Anna turns to a book she has found on housekeeping. This book leads her into the life a maid in a old estate house. Anna has never worked as a maid before and know little of the life "below stairs." All she knows is that she needs to take care of her family and the new Earl, who she works for at Mersham.

Things only get more difficult for Anna as she begins falling for the Earl. A man who is set to marry for money a most horrible woman. Although it might seem cliche this book is not. There are twists and turns you will not see coming. The characters too are delightful and enough to keep anyone enthralled with their lives.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Girl, Nearly 16 Absolute Torture

Girl, Nearly 16 Absolute Torture by Sue Limb

Jess Jordan is at it again in Sue Limb’s Girl, Nearly 16 Absolute Torture, the sequel to her previous Girl, 15 Charming but Insane. Jess is now on holiday (vacation for us Americans) with her mom and her granny. They are traveling to St. Ives to visit Jess’s dad and to toss Grandpa’s ashes into the sea.

Jess is torn between wanting to see her father, and finally discover why her parents marriage broke-up, and staying in Cornwall with her new boyfriend, Fred. This being Jess Jordan’s life, hilarity and embarrassment must go with her on the trip, not to mention her cell phone which she uses as a lifeline between her and her friends back home.

This book was a great follow-up to the previous adventure and picked right up where the last one left off. I really recommend this book for girls who loved Limb’s first book. I can’t wait to read the third book in this series.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hex Education

Hex Education by Emily Gould & Zareen Jaffery

Sophie Stone's parents have just ruined her life. Her father, a famous horror film director, has decided to move their family from LA to his sleepy hometown of Mythic, Massachusetts. The town, famous for being originally settled by a group of witches, is in dire financial straits. Mysterious storms are eating away at the town and the spirits of the people.

Not only is Mythic a spooky small town, but it is a far cry from Sophie's glam life in LA. She has spent her life distancing herself from her father's horror image, but how can she face Mythic as "Spooky" Stone's daughter? Sophie worries about making friends at her new school, until she meets a group of fashionistas like herself. However, these girls have a magical secret; one that Sophie is about to discover she is apart of. This secret might just be the salvation for the town, or it's destruction.

I found this book to be a really fast read. It does have some teen angst in it, but not enough to detract from the storyline. It's a nice subtle book for girls who enjoy chick-lit with a dash of magic. I really recommend it to junior high and high school-aged girls.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Girl, 15, Charming But Insane

Girl, 15, Charming But Insane by Sue Limb

I found this book both charming and insane. We are introduced to Jess Jordan, a 15 year-old English girl who has a typically mixed-up social life.

Her parents are divorced and her only constant communication with her dad is through funny text messages. Her mother is always busy protesting a war (any one will do) and her granny has just come to live with them. Her granny by the way is completely obsessed with death.

Jess's friends are no better. Her best friend Flora is an absolute goddess who has all the boys fawning over her. Her best guy friend Fred is way into horror movies and mangy hair. And, to top it all off Jess is crushing hard on a boy named Ben Jones, who just happens to be the best mate of Flora's new boyfriend.

Things in Jess's life get even more crazy when she gets herself involved with some soup and a hidden video camera. Full of laughs and teen angst this book is a sure fire hit with teen girls. There is also a sequel so the Jess Jordan adventures can continue on when you finish with this book. Overall, I give it a 3 out of four stars (counted down for the formulaic teen angst problems).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Hey guys! I just finished this awesome sci-fi book. It is all about this boy named Matt who is growing-up in the future. He lives in a place called Opium, the country that in Matt's time divides the US from Mexico. Opium is actually a large drug farm ran by El Patron. Matt is El Patron's clone.

Clones in Matt's time usually have their intelligence taken away from them at birth, but El Patron chose to allow Matt to grow-up normally. Matt lives the high life in the lap of luxury. However, not everything is rosy for this clone. First of all, clones are considered cattle and have no rights. Second, El Patron's family hates Matt and he is all alone, except for Celia (the cook) and Tam Lin (his bodyguard).
To top it all off, Matt has no idea what El Patron has planned for him. He also begins to develop a since of self-hatred. People treat him as an animal, so he begins to act like an animal. Plus, there is also the fact that El Patron is an evil man and Matt doesn't know if he will become evil too. He prays to the Virgin Mary that he will stay a good boy, but will it work?

This is a great book if you enjoy sci-fi adventures or books where boys deal with their problems. This book talks about different customs, foods, and traditions in Mexico. I give this book 3 out of 4 stars.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

I know what you are thinking, not another teen vampire book! Yes, on the outside this book may seem like that, but it actually has so much more in it. Vladimir Tod, is such a wonderful character that readers will be able to identify with this young boy.

Eighth Grade Bites is actually the first in a series of Vladimir Tod books that I liken to Harry Potter. Yes this boy is a vampire, but he is also an orphan dealing with his parents' deathes. He is also the only vampire he knows of and feels isolated and weird about this. Plus, he is picked on by the school bullies.

Anyone who has gone through junior high can understand Vlad's feelings, especially when it comes to Meridith, the girl he has a crush on. Vlad feels hurt when he finds out that the girl he likes really likes his best friend Henry. Showing everyone exactly why they call them "crushes."

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of cool vampire stuff in this book too. Vlad lives on blood packs his aunt steals from the hospital and he has some cool vampire powers. There is also a murderous vampire chasing after him, which the reader knows but Vlad doesn't. To top it all off, Vlad's favorite teacher is missing and has been replaced by a strange man in a purple top hat.

A great read for junior high students, boys, girls, vampire lovers, and anyone who has survived the eighth grade. Also, as a note to parents, this book is very tame in language and in "vampire stuff", it was designed for the middle school crowd.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Jinx by Meg Cabot

Jinx is the story of a girl who has left rural Iowa for the big city, New York. Jean "Jinx" Honeychurch has come to live with her aunt and uncle and their three kids. Right away things don't start off well for Jean. I mean, when your nickname is Jinx, how could they?

Jinx has nothing but bad luck. When she arrives in New York no one is waiting for her at the airport, she falls down some stairs, and finds out that her cousin hates her! Tori, her cousin, has turned totally goth since she saw her five years ago. Not only does she wear all black, but she does drugs too!

Jean has trouble fitting in, not only because she is a preacher's daughter from Iowa who is stricken with permanent bad luck, but because she also has a secret past. You see, Jean's grandmother has told her and Tori that one of them might be a witch. A prophecy from a great-great-great-great grandmother says that her granddaughter's granddaughter will be a witch.

This book is full of mystery and fun events. It is the perfect read for anyone who has felt like they just didn't fit in. I hope that Cabot creates a sequel.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Looking Glass Wars

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

I will admit this right out, I have never read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Being a child of the eighties, I fell into the Disney trap. Why read the book, when you watch the cartoon version? I know, I know, I have changed my ways. I know read the book before I see the movie. That being said, I like the story of Alice even if I had only seen the movie.

Although, I like Alice, I love Alyss, Frank Beddor's main character. Alyss is the true Alyss Heart, the one that Alice in Wonderland is about. When she travelled to our world to escape her evil Aunt Redd, she was mistakenly called "Alice." She was also done the travesty of having her life story changed by Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll).

Mr. Dodgson got everything wrong. The "Mad Hatter" is not a stupid tea drinking man, but a member of the Millinery, the elite squad sworn to protect Princess Alyss. The "Cheshire Cat" is really an assassin who help Redd take over Wonderland and kill Alyss's parents. The "White Rabbit" is not a rabbit at all, but Bibwit Harte, Alyss's tutor.

In this first book of a trilogy, Alyss must return to Wonderland and defeat her evil Aunt Redd in order to save her home and her friends. She must also deal with life as an ordinary human. I suggest this book for everyone, even if you haven't read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Maybe, Disney will turn this into a movie too. :)

The Water Mirror

The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer

I should start this entry off by saying that I almost didn't post this blog entry. I usually do not like to write about books I did not like, but in the sense of fairness I decided I should. This book is one of the worst YA fantasy books I have ever read!

I found the plot a contrast of Pulman's The Golden Compass and Funke's The Thief Lord, both very well written books in my opinion. This book however, did not live up to the reputation of either book.

The book had an interesting fantasy concept to it, magic mirrors, multiple dimensions, living stone lions, etc. However, the plot was both boring and complicated at the same time. The characters didn't seem very flushed out and the character of the Flowing Queen was more annoying to me than anything else.

So much great potential is lost in this book. Perhaps it is the fact that this was originally a German book, that makes it such a lackluster American read. In any case, I could barely get through it (I found myself falling asleep when I wasn't even tired). I would NOT recommend this book to lovers of good YA fantasy novels.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ruby Parker Hits the Small Time

Ruby Parker Hits the Small Time by Rowan Coleman

At age thirteen Ruby Parker is facing unemployment. You see, Ruby is one of the stars of Britain's top soap, Kensington Heights. She plays Angel, a role she has had since she was six!! Now, the producers might be giving her the sack, all because she is going through "an awkward phase."

If that is not bad enough; Ruby's parents are splitting up. She doesn't know what to do. What happens when the role model to thousands of girls, suddenly has to take her own advice?

I found this book hilarious. It was a pretty quick read. The only downside to it is the ending. Everything seems to tie itself up pretty quickly. There is an unrealistic relationship with the school bully and everything seems to suddenly work itself out. However, there is a nice twist ending.

Overall, I would recommend this book to girls in middle school (junior high). I think that they would be able to relate to Ruby and enjoy learning about her life. There is also the added touch of the British theme, which is fun for American readers.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You

I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

So, I've already told you all about teenage spy Alex Rider (Stormbreaker, Point Blank), now I have a new spy to introduce you to, Cammie Morgan. Cammie goes to an elite school for geniuses called Gallagher Academy. Her mother happens to be the headmistress and a former spy.

Cammie’s school is a training ground for future female spies (no boys allowed!!!). The surrounding town folk believe the school is nothing more than a rich girls’ boarding school. Cammie doesn’t care much about what these people think, until a routine training mission goes wrong.

Cammie, the Chameleon, is spotted by a local teenage boy. How did he see her, when no one else can? And, why does Cammie feel so attracted to him?

Now, it is up to Cammie and her friends to pull-off the biggest mission of their careers so far, dating. It will take all of the evapopaper, hacking codes, and listening devices they have to decode the most confusing thing in existence, the teenage boy.

To find out if Cammie and her girlfriends succeed, or if they are caught by her mom and tortured, you will have to read, I’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Teen Idol

Teen Idol by Meg Cabot

Imagine that you live in small town Indiana, not hard for this blogger since she does. Now, imagine that you have been given the secret task of watching over the most famous teen movie star in the world! Sweet little Jenny Greenlee, everybody's best friend, doesn't have to imagine any of this, because this is her life!

Jenny, a high school junior, has to keep lots of secrets. Not only, can't she tell her friends that Luke Striker, teen heartthrob, is coming to their school in disguise, but she also can't tell them that she is Dear Annie. Annie is the school's advice columnist, the trusted advisor to the entire student body. As Annie, Jenny must not only give out advice, but keep the problems of individual students confidential.

One such student is Kara, a nice girl who wants to be accepted by the popular kids but gets picked on for being overweight. Jenny must daily wipe away Kara's tears as her fellow students moo at her in the cafeteria. The relationship between Jenny and Kara is an emotional one for anyone who was picked on in high school or was friends with someone who was picked on.

Skipping the part about the movie star, Cabot does a terrific job of portraying high school life, from the catwalk in the cafeteria that students must walk down and be judged, to the boredom of the senior prom. I really recommend this book for anyone who is in high school, or has survived it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Avalon High

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Have you ever felt like you have done something before? I'm not talking about deja vu. I mean, do you ever feel like you have lived life before? That you were someone else in a past life?

Well, that is how Will Wagner feels. Even though he is the star quarterback of his high school football team, has the prettiest girl in school, and is a straight A student, he still feels like his life is missing something. The only one he can talk to about his feelings is Ellie, the new girl in town.

Ellie's parents are Medieval history professors. They are completely obsessed with King Arthur and other Medieval stories. Ellie cannot stand this time period, that is until she starts noticing weird coincidences between Will's life and King Arthur's.

Will and Arthur are both leaders. Will's best friend is name Lance (maybe Lancelot); his girlfriend is named Jennifer (a form of Guinevere), and he even has an evil stepbrother named Marco (a form of Mordred). Could Will's feelings be linked to King Arthur?

There is this secret organization called the Order of the Bear, who believe that Arthur will rise again and will finally defeat evil. Ellie of course, does not believe any of this. especially not the part about her being supposedly, Elaine, the lady of Schlott, lover of Lancelot. She can't even stand Lance!

What do all of these coincidences mean? Is Will Arthur? Will evil rise again? To find out you will have to read, Avalon High by Meg Cabot.

Just as a note, Cabot has created a Manga graphic novel off of this book.

Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Not often does a book touch me so much that I can't stop thinking about it. Even less often does a book scare me so much that I can't stop thinking about it. Life As We Knew It is one of those rare books.

This is the story of Miranda, a girl from Pennsylvania, and her family. It is not your typical story about a family and its dysfunctions, but more a story of survival. You see, in Miranda's world the moon has crashed into a closer orbit to the Earth and it has drastically changed the climate of the world.

The moon has caused huge tidal waves, destroying Australia, Hawaii, other islands, and America's coastal states. It has also caused devastating earthquakes and great volcanic eruptions. You may wonder how this all affects someone in Pennsylvania. Well, the ash from the volcanoes has blackened out the sky. This makes it extremely cold (think nuclear winter) and since there is no sunlight, plants can't grow.

Miranda's family has no electricity, no heat, everyone around them is dying, and they are running out of food and water. To find out if Miranda and her family survive, you will have to read this book. I warn you, this book is not for those who get scared thinking about a post-apocalyptic world.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Flirt: Write Here, Right Now

Flirt: Write Here, Right Now by Nicole Clarke

Sixteen-year-old Melanie "Mel" Henderson loves her granola-eating, free-spirit life in Berkley, California. To everyone around her, she lives a charmed life. A life that has just got better thanks to her winning a prestigious internship at a New York fashion magazine called Flirt. Melanie's dream in life is to be a writer and she sees this internship as a stepping stone to her journalistic career.

However, Melanie is about to slip off that stepping stone. She starts off by coming in late for her first day of work, did I mention that she was a little drunk on champagne as well, to top it all off, it turns out the cute older guy she flirted with (and drank the champagne with) on the plane works at Flirt. Let's just say she doesn't make the best first impression with her new boss, Josephine Bishop.

One of the bright spots in Mel's bad first day is meeting her fellow interns and roommates. You see during this summer long internship Mel and five other girls will live in a loft with a housemother. Her roommates come from all over the world. Olivia is from England, Kiyoko is from Japan, and Alexa is from Argentina. Her other two roommates, Charlotte and Genevieve are from Connecticut, but they aren't exactly friendly to Mel.

In fact, Mel is about to learn that life in the New York fashion magazine world is a lot different than Berkley, California. To find out what happens to Mel and her fellow interns, and what backstabbing Genevieve and Charlotte are up to, you will have to read, Flirt: Write Here, Right Now.

Just as a note, this is the first book in a series. It is also a lot like The Devil Wears Prada for teens.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Point Blank

Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz

This is the second book in the Alex Rider series (see my previous Stormbreaker blog for the first book). Just like the first book, Alex Rider is thrust into another spy mission by MI6. This one takes him to the mountains of France and a boys' school called Point Blanc.

Alex is sent to Point Blanc when the fathers of two of the pupils are murdered. Alex quickly learns that this is not your average Prep School. It only has seven boys enrolled at a time, they are all delinquents, and they are all the children of rich and powerful parents.

Alex is forced to taken on the identity of Alex Friend, the son of a wealthy English noble. However, the fictional Alex Friend is nothing like the real Alex Rider. Alex has to change his entire appearance and attitude to appear the part of a troubled teen.

This book is action-packed and hard to put down. Like any spy book, some of the events are unbelievable, but there is depth in Alex's relationship with MI6, which we begin to explore in this novel. Beware when reading this book that the ending is a little bit of cliffhanger, presumably to be picked up in book three, Skeleton Key. I will do a blog on that book as soon as I have read it. Overall, another great teen spy book.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Wuthering High

Wuthering High by Cara Lockwood

Oh my gosh, I couldn't put this book down!!! This is one of the best teen books I have read in a while. Sure, it might not be what you would call high quality literature, but it was such a fun book.

Wuthering High is the story of Miranda, a girl who is sent to the remote Bard Academy. It is a school for delinquents, but Miranda doesn't feel that she belongs there. You see, all 15 year-old Miranda did was crash her dad's BMW and max out her stepmom's credit card. No big deal, right?

Well, Miranda is in for more than a strict boarding school. When she gets to Shipwreck Island (where the school is) weird things start happening to her. Her room is haunted, her roommate worships Satan, her teachers all have names like Ms. W and Coach H, and there is this weird boy named Heathcliff that keeps following her around. If all of this isn't enough to stress Miranda out, she finds out her teacher are keeping a big secret and she even has the school bully after her.

If you want to find out what happens to Miranda, you should read this book. I can't wait to read the sequel, The Scarlett Letterman. There is even a third book coming out next year called, Moby Clique.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

From the Notebooks of Meanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson

Have you ever had a secret. A secret that you couldn't tell anyone? Well, Melanin's mama has a secret. A secret that she finally decides to reveal to Melanin. That secret is that she is gay.

Melanin is shocked to learn his mother's secret. He is shocked and ashamed. He doesn't know how his friends or the other people in their neighborhood will react. He decides to make his mother's secret his secret.

Melanin has a hard time dealing with his mother's secret. He is just relieved that no one knows about it. That is until Kristen shows up.

I can't tell anymore without giving away the ending of the book. I will say this though, it is a great book for anyone who is struggling with their feelings about homosexuals and homosexuality in general. A well done book for teens and young adults on a very delicate subject.

Dead High Yearbook

Dead High Yearbook

I haven't done a blog on a graphic novel, so I decided to do one on a new and interesting one entitled, Dead High Yearbook. The neat thing about this graphic novel is that it has a hardback cover, making it look like a yearbook. Inside are a bunch of short horror stories to both frighten and intrigue readers.

Each person featured in the yearbook has the gruesome tale of their death recounted in its pages. These deaths include: vampire attacks, murders, accidents, and other frightful ways you could not imagine. A perfect read for anyone in high school or anyone who loves a good horror story.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Forever in Blue

Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares

The last book of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. Even though it is sad to see them go, it really was time. However, with that being said, I must say that this book wasn't the best way to say good-bye.

Unlike the previous three books, this book has a definitely more mature theme to it. Young readers be advised. Maybe Brashares was trying to have her books grow in maturity just as its characters did, similar to Harry Potter. Even if that is the case, I didn't want to know as much about the four's sex lives as I learned.

This book was less about the Sisterhood and more about each girl's love life. I believe it is important for young adult books to discuss sex and it is something young girls like to read about, however I don't think that the attitudes in this book matched those of the previous three.

My overall opinion is that the end of the book was a great farewell to a beloved series, the rest of the book was not a part of the series. It should have become a different book. Just as Meg Cabot did with the American Girl duo, I think that Brashares used this book discuss teen sexuality instead of talking about the friendship of four girls.

Mississippi Trial, 1955

Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe

Hiram loves living with his grandparents in Mississippi. He thinks that there is no better place in the world. He loves riding in his grandfather's pick-up truck, he loves Coca-Cola, he loves fishing, but most of all he loves his grandfather. Hiram's father doesn't get along with his grandfather and when Hiram's grandmother dies, he is forced to go live with his parents in Arizona.

Years pass and Hiram is not allowed to go and visit his grandfather, that is until the summer of 1955. That summer will change Hiram's life forever. It will change his views on Mississippi, his father, his grandfather, and most of all life. And, it is all because of a Chicago boy named Emmett Till.

This book is a great read if you like historical fiction. It deals with the murder of Emmett Till and the subsequent trial. The perfect book for a young person wanting to learn more about this hateful event.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Golden by Cameron Dokey

So, you think you know the story of Rapunzel? Well, think again because in Cameron Dokey's book, Golden, the classic story of the maiden with the lovely golden locks has been turned upside down. Rapunzel is now a bald-headed girl and she lives on a farm not in a tower.
Part of the Once Upon a Time series that puts new twists on old fairy tales, Golden is a quick and delightful read. I can't tell you too much about it without giving away its secrets, but I can tell you it is sure to please any young girl who likes this new fairy tale genre.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

James Bond meets Spy Kids for teens. This book is the first in the Alex Rider series by Horowitz. Alex Rider is a typical fourteen-yar-old British schoolboy, until his Uncle Ian dies mysteriously in a car crash. While looking into his uncle's death, Alex uncovers a secret world espionage. It turns out that his uncle was a top British spy, who was actually murdered! To top it all off, the people his uncle worked for want Alex to be their next agent.

Armed only with a Gameboy, some acne cream, and a yo-yo, all of which are more than they seem to be. Alex is sent off to save his country and possibly the world.

Is Alex the next 007 or the next 00-Nothing?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey

This book was awesome! I see it as King Arthur meets Artemis Fowl. This story is all about a boy and a sword. Alfred Kropp is a sixteen-year-old orphan with an enormous head. He lives with his uncle who is a security guard. One day, Alfred's uncle agrees to steal a sword for a mysterious man. Alfred, against his better judgement, helps his uncle. How was he to know that the sword was Excalibur's? How was he to know that the man that he turned it over to was The Dragon, an evil man? Now with the help of a knight named Bernard and a secret organization, Alfred will try to reclaim the sword. Can a sixteen year-old orphan with a big head save the world?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Thief Lord

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

I recently finished listening to The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. You might know this author from the book Inkheart. This book is about a group of orphans and runaways living in an old movie theater in Venice, Italy. The rag-tag group is led by a mysterious boy who calls himself The Thief Lord. Just as his title suggests, he steals things to support his gang.

Everything is going well for this group of kids until, Propero and Bo's (two brothers) aunt comes looking for them. She wants to raise six-year-old Bo as her son and send twelve-year-old Propero to a boarding school. The two brothers must call upon The Thief Lord and all his cunning skill to save them. However, there is a snag, The Thief Lord is harboring a huge secret. One that might lead to the groups' destruction.

This book is a fun mystery to read or listen to. I would recommend it for upper elementary to middle school aged kids. Older teens would probably find it a little juvenile.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Truesight by David Stahler Jr.

This book takes a look at an interesting world of the future. In the city of Harmony, a young boy named Jacob lives. He is a typical thirteen-year-old. He hates school, his parents are always fighting, and he longs to be a musician. The difference between Jacob and other thirteen-year-old is that he is blind. In fact, everyone in Harmony is blind. They are genetically altered to be this way so that they can have Truesight, an ability to see the world by not being able to see anything.

Even though the town is named Harmony, there is a definite lack of Harmony in it. The colony is facing food shortages, the mayor's daughter wants to be able to see and leave Harmony, and to top it all off, Jacob has regained his sight. Jacob keeps the fact that he can see a secret, but unfortunately it is not the only secret in Harmony.

I really recommend this book for anyone who likes Sci-Fi or Utopian society books, such as: The Giver, The Messenger, Uglies, or Rash.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

New Moon

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

After reading Twilight, I had a lot of unanswered questions about Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. I thought that New Moon might be able to answer these questions. Unfortunately, it left me with even more questions.

In this second book, Bella is dumped by Edward shortly after her 18th birthday. She is heartbroken. Her only solace comes from her new friend, Jacob Black. Jacob and her do daredevil stunts, like ride motorcycles. However, their relationship too is torn apart by a secret that Jacob is keeping.

I can't tell you anymore without giving away the story. You will just have to read the book to find out what Jacob's secret is and if Bella and Edward get back together.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dark Sons

Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes

This is the story of two sons: Ishmael and Sam. Ishmael, the son of Abraham, is from the Bible. Sam, is a modern day teenager. These two boys have the same problem, a new half brother.

Ishmael is the son of his father's maid, but now his father's wife has given him a son. This leaves Ishmael and his mother out in the cold, since his father only needs one son. Ishmael feels abandoned and upset with his father.

Sam's father has recently remarried. Not only has he remarried, but he married a white woman. Sam feels sorry for his new baby brother who is as he puts it "half and half." Sam is also angry at his father for leaving his mother, remarrying, having another kid, and moving far away.

This book is written in free verse and has an interesting style to it. Readers will find themselves relating to both Ishmael's and Sam's stories. Through their pain, the time period differences vanish and what is left are two sons.

what i believe

what i believe by Norma Fox Mazer

This book was a bit unusual. It is all about this girl named Vicki whose father loses his job and the economic impact that has on the family as well as the emotional impact. The family has to move, Vicki has to change schools, they have to sell many of their possessions, and they have to take in a boarder. Vicki keeps all of this secret from her new friend, Sara. She wants to pretend there is nothing wrong with her or her family. Her lies continue as she keeps a big secret from her family and friends.

The unusual part of this book was how it was written. The book is broken into short poems, lists, and other types of writing. Somehow all of these poems, lists, letters, etc. all flow together to tell Vicki's story. She is also nice enough to tell the reader what type of poem it is in the title of the poem. If you can get past the changing format, this is an okay book. It is a quick read, good for summer reading.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I first picked this book up because it was recommend by Ann Brashares (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). I kept reading it because the three main characters: Birdie, Murphy, and Leeda, were just so cool. These three teenage girls from three different worlds come together one summer on a Georgia peach orchard.

Birdie is the orchard owner's daughter and she is going through a hard time. Her parents are getting divorced and she has been placed in charge of the orchard. Birdie would rather eat Girl Scout cookies and watch VH1 then work in the hot sun.

Murphy is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She never knew her dad and her mom is constantly bringing a new boyfriend home. Murphy ends up at the orchard as punishment for breaking the law.

Leeda is the rich girl. She is a distant cousin of Birdie who is guilted into going and helping her cousin for the summer. Leeda has problems of her own. She is unwanted by her parents who feel that they already have the perfect daughter in her older sister, Danay.

These three girls come together for one remarkable and tumultuous summer. If you liked The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, then you will love this book. I can't wait to read the sequel: The Secret of Peaches.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ready or Not?: An All American Girl Novel

Ready or Not?: An All American Girl Novel by Meg Cabot

I have to start this blog out by warning my younger readers that this book is full of sexual content. Parents be warned that this book is for a more mature audience.

Being a fan of Meg Cabot's All American Girl, I was sure I was going to love this sequel. Unfortunately, I didn't really like the sequel. In this book, Samantha Madison finds herself contemplating having sex with her boyfriend over Thanksgiving weekend. She goes through all the pros and cons in her own way, gets advice from others, and then makes her decision.

The part of the book that I didn't like was that the story seemed a little too mature for the immature Sam Madison of the previous book. It didn't really fit into the frivolous nature of its predecessor (SAT word meaning the one that came before).

I think that this is a needed book in the YA Chick-Lit genre, but I believe that Cabot should have made it its own book instead of trying to continue on with Samantha's story. The audience of the first book and this one are not in my mind the same audience.

Lovers of Samantha Madison be warned, this book may not be for you.

A Certain Slant of Light

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

This book for me was a much better ghost story than Restless: A Ghost's Story (see previous post). It is the story of Helen and James two ghosts, or Lights, who possess two teenagers bodies and fall in love. This is not only a ghost story or a romance, it is also a mystery. It is a mystery because Helen and James do not remember how they died or why they didn't move on to Heaven.

Besides the story of Helen and James, it is the story of Billy and Jenny, their host bodies. Billy is a drug addict who has left his body. Jenny's overly strict religious parents have forced her spirit to flee its body. I won't tell you what happens with these two couples because that would spoil the mystery of it all.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Restless: A Ghost's Story by Rich Wallace

This story was a little weird. It is the story of two brothers, Frank and Herbie. Herbie is a 17 year-old senior who is having a rough year trying to play two sports at the same time. Frank is his dead brother. Frank is a ghost and he is the one telling the story.

If Herbie didn't have a hard enough time with an alocholic father, problems at school, and a dead brother, he now as another ghost haunting him! The ghost's name is Eamon and he died in the 1800s. Eamon has an eerie connection to Herbie and his brother. The connection is really what makes this book weird. I didn't care for the book very much. The ending felt tacked on, but it was a quick read.


Witness by Karen Hesse

I found this book to be very moving and very informative. It is all about racism is this small town in the 1920s and how people dealt with it. The Klu Klux Klan has come to these people's town and some people have decided to join it and others are being attacked by them. This book really made me think about racism and why people choose to be racist. It also made me think about why people choose to allow groups like the Klu Klux Klan to hurt others.

The book is written in prose (which is poem-like). It is a fast read and there are pictures of each one of the characters at the beginning to help you identify who they are. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

A human girl falls in love with a handsome vampire, what could make for a better romance story? Bella's parents are divorced and her mom has remarried a traveling baseball player, so Bella decides to go and live with her dad in the cold and dark city of Forks, Washington. There she meets the mysterious Cullen family, including 17 year-old Edward Cullen.

Edward is different than all the other boys who are constantly asking Bella out. For one, he completely ignores her. Then, there is his pale skin and the fact that he and his four siblings are all adopted and living with a doctor who only a few years older than them. Bella also notices how the Cullens never seem to eat at lunch.

Finally, Edward and Bella are thrown together when he saves her life, not once, but twice. They fall in love, but can the love of two people from two different world's survive? Whose world will they choose to live in?

Although, I had a lot of questions while reading this book, they weren't all answered by the end. The one downside to this book is that at times it can be a little slow going. I kept wanting Bella to ask Edward more questions, but she wouldn't. I hope that all my questions and more are answered in the two sequels, New Moon and Eclipse.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Ok, this book has to be one of the best sci-fi books I have ever read! It is all about this town in the future where when you turn 16 you undergo an operation to make you pretty. Everyone is separated into age/beauty groups, such as Uglies, Littlies, and Pretties. The main character of this book is an about to turn 16 year-old girl named Tally.

Tally wants more than anything to become pretty, just like her friend Peris. When Peris becomes a pretty, Tally finds a new friend named Shay. Shay and Tally share the same birthday and Tally excited that they are going to become pretty together. There is just one problem; Shay does not want to be pretty.

Shay wants to live Uglyville (where they live) and go off into the world. A world where people, gasp, do not become pretty!!! She tries to convince Tally to come along, but she refuses. Shay runs away on her own, but Tally must follow after her. You see, Tally will not be made pretty until she lead the awful Special Circumstances Pretties to Shay's secret location.

I won't tell you what Tally does, but I highly recommend this book. I can't wait to read the two sequels: Pretties, and Specials.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Bras and Broomsticks

Bras and Broomsticks

By Sarah Mylnowski

I recently finished listening to this book. It was awesome! It is all about Rachel, a girl who is trying to survive her freshman year of highschool. Her dad is remarrying. Her bestfriend has abandoned her for the A-List group and her 12 year-old sister is a witch (her mom too!)

Rachel decides to use her sister's magic to HER advantage. However, she quickly learns that magic has consequences. This book has two sequels: Frogs and French Kisses and Spells and Sleeping Bags. If you like books like The Princess Diaries or All-American Girl, you will love this book!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

All American Girl

All American Girl by Meg Cabot

Ok, I just got done listening to Meg Cabot's All American Girl and I absolutely loved it!!! It is about this girl, Sam. She is 15 and an artist, unfortunately her sister just happens to be the most popular girl in school. Sam doesn't want to be anything like her sister, but she is thrust into the spotlight of popularity when she saves the President's life.

This book is a must read for lovers of girlie novels. It is also a must read for any girl whoever felt like she didn't fit in. I myself could really relate to Sam and her status of uncool. If I rated on a star system I would give this book 5 stars!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Girls in Pants

Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares
I recently finished listening to Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood. If you have read the first two books in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books you will love this third installment. The book finds the girls preparing to go off to college. As always life changing events are in store for all for girls. Bee (Bridget) is off to soccer camp where an old flame (boyfriend) awaits her. Carmen is facing a life changing family event. Lena's grandmother has moved in with her as she prepares to go to art school. Tibby is finding love and fighting it all the way. I don't want to give too much away about this book, but I definitely suggest you read it and the two books that came before it The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and The Second Summer of the Sisterhood both by Ann Brashares.