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Showing posts from November, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.


First line:
"My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something."

Interesting plot. Great characters. Good dialogue. Loads of mystery/intrigue.
Mara has PTSD and hallucinations. Her family moves to another state to help her get a new start after her friends are killed.
Noah is the local newbie, bad boy from England. Mara wants to stop the hallucinations and reluctantly accepts Noah's offer to help. Mara makes one other friend at school, a boy named Jaime. He keeps Mara sane (if that's possible) and smiling (me too!). There are the typical cheerleader/jock bullies. The main one i…

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

In this chilling beginning to The Wolves Chronicles, two little cousins are left in the care of an evil governess. They escape and travel 400 miles to London with their friend Simon and his geese.
Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.



First line:
"It was dusk--winter dusk."

Intrigue. Evil governess. One goose boy. Two mistreated girls. Three different adventures. Wolves within as well as outside
Thus is the tale of Bonnie (rich girl) and Sylvia (poor cousin) as their lives intertwine and their adventures begin.
Some of the aspects of the story were a little hard to believe. Three children travel 400 miles on their own?

What I liked:
Bonnie & Sylvia
Bonnie's courage
Simon
The story
Characters growth

What I didn't like:
Some aspects of story
Convenience of some good things happening

Rating: PG
S: No
V: scary adults
L: No

4 STARS

25% test (p.45):
"...marched up the stairs and along the passages to the nursery. Sylvia followed, her heart swollen with compassion. She long…

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

First line:
I say, "I can't believe you're really here."


Fun summer read. I often wondered about the people who go to the beach house for the summer. Parties, pools, beach, suntans and cute boys.
This story deals with all of the above plus divorce, death and love. Quick, summer read.


What I liked:
Each character's growth
Belly understanding everything about summer isn't glamour…

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents' ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who has changed... Everyone still alive has turned - some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh). Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom - an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home - and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse. This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to find food, shelter, while fighting off the 'Changed' and those desperat…

Author interview with Cindy Bennett

Give us your elevator pitch: Geek Girl is a contemporary young adult novel about a teen Goth girl who bets her friends she can turn a geek boy bad. She soon finds that hanging out with a geek isn’t such a bad thing.

Do you have a snack you eat while writing? I always have ice water and I almost always have Hershey’s dark chocolate to munch on.

Do you have trouble with distractions while writing? What are they? Games on my phone. It’s terrible but as soon as I feel the slightest writers block I pull the ‘Droid out and start playing games.

How do you combat distractions? I try to put the phone down (lol) and then close my eyes for a minute while I try to get back into my characters head. I picture what point I want to get them to in the scene then start writing them to that.

Do you eat or listen to music while writing? I sometimes eat while writing if it’s lunchtime or something, but usually it’s hard to eat while typing. I only listen to music if I’m looking for a particular mood for a scene an…

Geek Girl by Cindy Bennett

"Think I can turn that boy bad?" 17-year-old Jen turns her life upside down when, out of boredom, she makes a bet that she can turn school geek Trevor into someone like her. Instead, the goth girl finds herself sucked into his world of sci-fi movies, charity work, and even-ugh!-bowling. To truly belong with him-and with her new foster family-she must first come to terms with her violent past.

Authors note: Geek Girl has been optioned by Cedar Fort Publishing, and is therefore currently unavailable. It will become available again in December, 2011. Thanks to everyone who has asked about it, and want to know when it will be available!


First line:
"Think I could turn that boy bad?"

Girl gets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy again. This is the basic plot behind GEEK GIRL but it's sooo much more!
Jen is in the foster care system and deals with it by being emo with a crowd of emo friends who like to party. Out of boredom, she bets her friends she can &quo…

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara s…

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming
.

First line:
"Daddy said, "Let mom go first."


Interesting, creepy, claustrophobic story.
First off, I can't imagine being on a spaceship for fifty years let alone hundreds. C…

Finding Hope~Where to Look for God's Help by S. Michael Wilcox

When life's challenges seem overwhelming, where can you turn for help? In this newest volume of the Time Out Classics series, author S. Michael Wilcox offers a profound message of hope and encouragement. Using powerful stories from the scriptures, he teaches that hope can be found in looking past obstacles and moving forward with faith, in looking back at past experiences that may have strengthened us for future challenges, and in looking for times when the Savior walks with us. On those days when we may wonder if Heavenly Father has forgotten us, we have the assurance that each of His servants will receive "the light of the countenance of their Lord . . . every man in his hour and in his time and in his season." And although it may not be your hour now, He will come because He is aware of us, He knows our needs, and He will bless us.

First line:
"  God spoke to the great prophets of the Old Testament in some rather unique ways, most of them deeply visual.…