Monday, May 21, 2012

The Limit

Title: The Limit
Author: Kristen Landon
Pages: 291
Language: G
Content: G
Levels: Middle/High School
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary: An eighth grade girl was taken today . . . With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn't let up for a moment. In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next, but quickly dismisses the thought. After all, his parents are financially responsible, unlike the parents of those other kids. As long as his parents remain within their limit, the government will be satisfied and leave them alone. But all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push Matt’s family over their limit—and to change his reality forever.

Review: Although a little bit predictable, the book was an easy, interesting read.  It is nice to see a book though for guys to get into ~ mystery, high dollar purchases, action, adventure, tech toys and friendship.  This book gives us a frightening look at what could happen if "big brother" continues to take control of our lives.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Luck of the Buttons

Title: Luck of the Buttons
Author: Anne Ylvisaker
Pages: 224
Content: G
Language: G
Level: Middle School/High School
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary:  Tugs Esther Button was born to a luckless family. Buttons don’t presume to be singers or dancers. They aren’t athletes or artists, good listeners or model citizens. Until tomboy Tugs befriends the popular Aggie Millhouse, wins a brand-new Brownie camera in the Independence Day raffle, and stumbles into a mystery only she can solve, she looks at her hapless family and sees her own reflection looking back. But it’s a summer of change, and it just may be that in the end, being a Button is precisely what one clumsy, funny, spirited, and observant young heroine decides to make of it.

Review: I instantly fell in love with the quirky Tugs Button and the town she lives in.  This book is a very quick and easy read, but full of wonderful characters and insight to a tiny town, where people are as good as their word.   Great characters, great story, an enjoyable book for boys and girls alike.


Title: Bewitching
Author: Alex Flinn
Pages:  338
Language: G
Content: G
Level: High school/middle school
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary: Bewitching can be a beast. . . .
Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn't.  I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I'm not still here because I'm stupid; I just don't age. You see, I'm immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out. I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don't even want to think about it.
Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn't get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn't an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching

Review:  Although the book offered some interesting "insights" to many fairytales, I began to wonder how many tales the author could fit into one book.   The author jumps from one fairy tale, to a modern day story, and back to tale after tale, weaving the stories into the reasons she is in the modern story to begin with.  I have liked several of this author's book, so I wanted to give this one a try too, but it fell a little short for me.  The book however, would be a good, easy read for many kids.

Girl Parts

Title: Girl Parts
Author: John M. Cusick
Pages: 218
Content: PG13/R
Language: PG13
Swears: Too many to count
Level: High School
Recommendation: Not In This Library

Summary: David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat “dissociative disorder,” he can’t get enough of luscious, redheaded Rose — and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Severed from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up to her, knowing that she isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal “companion” is about to become her own best friend.

Review:  Eeeeek.  In my opinion, this book shouldn't be on the shelves.  Extremely mature content, extremely mature language, extremely dissappointing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Premise . ... lonely hormonal teen boys, extremely real robotic girls made to keep them company . . .  you can take it from there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Selection

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Pages: 327
Language: PG (7 minor swears)
Content: PG
Level: High School
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary:  For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.  But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.  Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Review: The Bachelor meets the Hunger Games without any violence.  I began reading, anticipating an extreme dystopian society, but find although the United States has been overtaken, society is much more civilized than other dystopian novels.  There is a only a brief chapter that tells the reader what has happened to the United States to now be under the rule of a king, and leaves me wanting a little bit more history.  America, (the character, not the country) is full of vim and vigor, and I love her spunky attitude.  This book would be a good, easy read for girls, but I can't see any guys picking up this chick lit!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever

Title: The Alchemy of Forever
Author: Avery Williams
Pages: 246
Language: PG (2 swears)
Content: PG/PG13
Level: High School
Recommendation: Optional

Summary:  Incarnation is a new series that introduces a fresh mythology perfect for fans of bestselling series like The Immortals by Alyson Noel and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Ater spending six hundred years on earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world’s riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human’s life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she’s done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.  Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she’s inhabiting—and falls for the human boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she’s his again, and every moment she stays, she’s putting herself and the people she’s grown to care for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?

Review:  I am not quite sure how many immortal series can continue to make a mark in this genre.  This book was an okay read, but didn't stand out as a stellar beginning to a new series.  The story does have a few twists to keep the reader in suspense, but the book just didn't grab me the way I hoped it would.   It is your basic immortal story . .. boy chases girl, girl falls in love with mortal, what will they ever do?

Close To Famous

Title: Close To Famous
Author: Joan Bauer
Content: G
Language: G
Pages: 250
Recommendation: Good Read
Level: Middle/High School

Summary:  A novel full of heart, humor, and charm from Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer! When twelve-year-old Foster and her mother land in the tiny town of Culpepper, they don't know what to expect. But folks quickly warm to the woman with the great voice and the girl who can bake like nobody's business. Soon Foster - who dreams of having her own cooking show one day - lands herself a gig baking for the local coffee shop, and gets herself some much-needed help in overcoming her biggest challenge - learning to read . . . just as Foster and Mama start to feel at ease, their past catches up to them. Thanks to the folks in Culpepper, though Foster and her mama find the strength to put their troubles behind them for good.

Review: Easy, simple, good read.  This book sped by.  The characters were loveable, and some even a little bit quirky.  I enjoyed seeing how people from such different worlds were able to work together, surprising even themselves.  This plot was simple and the story line easy to follow, making for a quick read.  This book would be great for struggling readers and anyone who has a dream.