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.