Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pride and Popularity

Pride & Popularity
Title: Pride and Popularity
Author: Jenni James
Pages: 225
Language: G
Content: PG
Level: Upper Middle/High
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary: Chloe Elizabeth Hart despises the conceited antics of the popular crowd, or more importantly, one very annoying self-possessed guy, Taylor Anderson, who seems determined to make her the president of his fan club! As if! Every girl in the whole city of Farmington, New Mexico, is in love with him, but he seems to be only interested in Chloe. This modern high school adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is a battle of wits as Chloe desperately tries to remain the only girl who can avoid the inevitable falling for Taylor.

Recommendation: A refreshingly clean read.  It was nice to read a book and not worry about language or content.  The story may have been slightly cliche', but the book was interesting enough to want to finish.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Terror of Black Eagle Tavern

The Terror of Black Eagle Tavern
Title: The Terror of Black Eagle Tavern
(Paranomalists Case #2)
Author: Megan Atwood
Pages: 95
Language: G
Content: PG
Level: Middle/High
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary: Todd's family has problems, serious problems; his parents' bar is losing customers at such a rapid rate that they will soon be out of business. While the bar has always been noted as haunted, the ghost has always been friendly. When the mild-mannered ghost is displaced by one with a rotten disposition, the atmosphere takes a decided turn for the worse. Glasses fly, people get caught in freezers, and all sorts of havoc is wreaked. At Todd's request, in step Jackson and Jinx, lead investigators (and only members) of their paranormal club. They pull out all stops and fire up their ghost-hunting apparatus as they prepare to spend the night. It is up to them to figure out what has gone wrong, particularly since Todd's potential scholarship hinges on their success.

Review: Another great HI/LOW book for relunctant readers.  Book two in a series, the author continues to give action, mystery, adventure, and a little bit of drama.  Easy, fun, interesting read.

The Haunting of Apartment 101

The Haunting of Apartment 101
Title: The Haunting of Apartment 101
(The Paranomalists case #1)
Author: Megan Atwood
Pages: 103
Language: G
Content: PG
Level: Middle/High School
Recommendation: Good Read for reluctant readers

Summary: Jane is tired of not being noticed in high school, over the summer she transforms herself from being plain Jane to a Twizzler eating, paranormal investigator named Jinx who has a hard time being positive. Jinx and her best friend Jackson are as different as night and day. Jackson is the popular kid who loves to play sports and everyone knows in name. The one thing they do have in common is their love of paranormal investigations. Jinx is excited about the launch of her ghost hunting website to promote her business; the only problem is, she has yet to investigate her first haunting. Once Jinx and her trusty sidekick, Jackson, start their business they soon have their first client, Emily. Jinx is reluctant to take the case as she sees Emily as the enemy, but through the coaxing of her sidekick and a large supply of Twizzlers, Jinx agrees to take the case. Emily is convinced she is being attacked by a ghost in apartment 101. As Jinx and Jackson investigate their first haunting, they discover some starting surprises and reasons behind the hauntings. Not all is as it appears in Apartment 101.

Review: Short, simple, easy read.  Great Hi/Low for reluctant readers! Believable characters, crazy situations, with enough mystery and action to keep the reader's attention.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dear Blue Sky

Dear Blue Sky
Title: Dear Blue Sky
Author: Mary Sullivan
Pages: 248
Content: PG/PG13
Level: Upper Middle/High School
Langauge: PG
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary: A timely, eye-opening novel showing how war affects families on both sides. Ever since her brother Sef left for Iraq, Cassie has felt like her life is falling apart. Her parents are fighting over her brother having gone to war. Her smart, beautiful sister is messing up. Her little brother, who has Down syndrome, is pretending he's a Marine. And her best friend no longer has time for her. In her loneliness Cassie turns to a surprising source of comfort: Blue Sky, an Iraqi girl she meets through her blog. The girls begin a correspondence and Cassie learns that when Blue Sky says "I want my life back," she means something profound, as she can no longer venture out in her destroyed city. Cassie takes strength from Blue Sky's courage and is inspired to stop running away from the pain, and to reclaim her life.

Review: An interesting view of how war affects everyone - on both sides!  Cassie has a lot to deal with, and her character has to really grow up and search herself.  An interesting read for those interested in war, who deal wtih Down Syndrome, Blog (or read blogs), or want to appreciate all that is good in their life.

Firelight, Hidden,Vanish

Firelight (Firelight Series)Title: Firelight, Hidden, and Vanish
Author: Sophie Jordan
Pages: 323,
Content: PG
Language: PG (o "f")
Level: High School/Upper Middle
Recommendation: Good Read

 Hidden (Firelight Series)Vanish (Firelight Series)Summary: A hidden truth. Mortal enemies. Doomed love. Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Review: Each book follows the adventurous, dangerous, and sometimes downright heartbreaking path of Jacinda.  Teenage life is hard, even when you are not draki.  All three books kept my fingers turning the pages up until the very end.  Not generally a fan of science fiction, I really enjoyed all three books in this series. I read the first one, having NO idea what the series was about. A fresh new series for teens who love vampires, werewolves, or "otherworldy" or "supernatural" themes.

Wish You Were Eyre

Wish You Were Eyre
Title: Wish You Were Eyre
Series: Mother Daughter Book Club
Author: Heather Vogel Frederick
Pages: 442
Content: PG
Language: PG
Level: High School/Upper Middle
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary:  It’s a dream come true for Megan, who’s jet-setting to Paris for Fashion Week with Gigi. Meanwhile, back in Concord, Mrs. Wong decides to run for mayor, so Emma and Stewart team up to make her campaign a success. Jess and Cassidy are also hoping for victories, Jess in the a cappella finals with the MadriGals and Cassidy in the national hockey championships with her teammates. In the midst of it all, the girls—along with their Wyoming pen pals, who drop in for a visit over Spring Break—dive into Charlotte Brontë’s classic Jane Eyre. Some real life romance follows, as Becca may have found a Mr. Rochester of her own. 

Review: I read this book without reading the previous books in the series.  I was surprised to find that I wasn't lost in the stories, but more background on the characters would have been helpful.  (I will soon be reading the rest of the series...starting with #1).  Fun characters, with problems teens can relate to helped move the story along.  I love all the references to classic literature...and find myself wishing I had more time to read some of the great classics like the girls in this book club do. 

Can't Get There From Here

Can't Get There From Here
Title: Can't Get There From Here
Author: Todd Strasser
Pages: 198
Level: High School
Language: PG13 (0 "f")
Content: PG13
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary: Tired of being hungry, cold, and dirty from living on the streets of New York City with a tribe of other homeless teenagers who are dying, one by one, a girl named Maybe ponders her future and longs for someone to care about her.
Review: Very realistic, but dark and somewhat depressing, the book follows a group of runaways living on the streets of New York City. A quote by one of the characters, OG. "Here is where you are. There is where you want to be. But you can't get there from here."
Although there was not a lot of foul language, but it does touch upon mature themes, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, alcohol poisoning, suicide, drug use and prostitution.  Any teen or grown up who has ever contemplated running away from home should read this book.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Texting Through Time

Texting Through Time: Trek with Brigham Young
Title: Texting Through Time / Brigham Young
Author: Christy Monson
Pages: 116
Language: G
Content: G
Level: Upper Elementary/Middle/High
Recommendation: Easy Reading

Summary: When 12-year-old Micah "borrows" his father's experimental time-travel phone, his hopes for seeing the future are dashed as he and his sister, Alicia, end up trapped in the past at Brigham Young's boyhood home. This book is a fun way for kids and adults to dive into Church history and learn that no matter what time period you are in, God is still aware of you.

Review: An easy, fun book for LDS readers.  On a quest to find information for a report, Micah and Alicia teach the reader about Brigham Young and LDS history in a fun and exciting way.


Unspoken (Lynburn Legacy Series #1)
Title: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Pages: 373
Languages: PG (10+ swears, 0 "f" 0 "b")
Recommendation:  Good Read
Level: High School

Summary: Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met—a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous

Review: A new paranormal novel that is mysterious, exciting, enthralling, and inventive.  Although quite dark, the magic and mystery in this book kept me turning pages.  A good read for anyone who enjoys magic, mystery, action, suspense, or paranormal activity.