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!