Thursday, January 23, 2014

Colin Fischer

Title: Colin Fischer
Author: Ashley Miller & Zach Stentz
Pages: 228
Content: PG
Language: PG13 (a few strong swears, no "F")
Level: High School
Recommendation:  Good Read

Summary:  Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.  But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate's birthday celebration, Colin is the only for the investigation. It's up to him to prove that Wayne Connelly, the school bully and Colin's frequent tormenter, didn't bring the gun to school. After all, Wayne didn't have frosting on his hands, and there was white chocolate frosting found on the grip of the smoking gun...

Review:  With the support of a childhood friend, the understanding of his parents, the frustration of his brother, and his meticulous notebook Colin works to make things right. This book left me laughing and cheering.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ten Miles Past Normal

Title: Ten Miles Past Normal
Author: Frances O'Roark Dowell
Pages: 211
Language: PG13
Content: PG
Level: High School, Upper Middle
Recommendation: Okay Read

Summary: Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that “normal target.” She has to milk goats every day…and endure her mother’s pseudo celebrity in the homemade-life, crunchy mom blogosphere. Goodbye the days of frozen lasagna and suburban living, hello crazy long bus ride to high school and total isolation—and hovering embarrassments of all kinds. The fresh baked bread is good…the threat of homemade jeans, not so much.
Review: The characters are all kind of quirky and unique.  And Monster - what a character to add to the story.  The civil war aspect was also nicely added to the book.  It is a short, entertaining read.

Send Me A Sign

Title: Send Me A Sign
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Pages: 384
Language: PG13
Content: PG13
Level: High School
Recommendation: Good Read

Summary: Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s a question her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death

Review:  In this book you will find drama, romance, deceit,  and denial.  So what is “the sign”? Mia finds out what life is all about and what a definition of a friend is. A very powerful read!   Mia does face teen situations - so be aware that the book mentions sex, drinking,  and it does contain some swear words. 

Man Made Boy

Title: Man Made Boy
Author: Jon Skovron
Pages: 368
Language: R (10+ "F")
Level: High School
Recommendation: Okay

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.  Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more.

Review: Man Made Boy is many things and genres. A retelling, fantasy, romance, humorous and contemporary. However behind all this, Man Made Boy is a coming of age novel. Highly entertaining and relatable, Jon Skovron weaves a story suitable for all ages. While I would say more boys would love this, I still think anyone could read this book.  Not a bad read, but this book just ins't the right book for me.   Full of mystical characters, the book keeps you guessing.

Things That Are

Title: Things That Are (Things #3)
Author: Andrew Clements
Pages: 167
Language: PG
Content: G
Level: Middle School
Recommendation: Okay Read

Summary: Alicia may be blind, but that doesn't mean she can't see what is happening right in front of her eyes. Like how her parents try to give her freedom. Or how Bobby now Robert has returned to figure out their relationship. Or even the invisible man, William, and just how dangerous he is to Alicia, to Robert, to their whole family or so the police say. Or is Alicia wrong this time? If her normally sharp instincts are wrong, the results could be disastrous.From award-winning author Andrew Clements, here is a novel full of adventure, romance, and mystery, which at its heart is about trusting even things we know but cannot see.

Review: I read this book without having read the previous books in the "Things" series. I was pleasantly surprised at the suspense that kept me wanting to read more.  An easy, fast read for boys and girls alike.