05. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Food

Sprinkles and Secrets by Lisa Schroeder , 224 pages, read by Angie, on 11/04/2012

Sophie wants nothing more than to be an actress someday. She loves chocolate and musicals and her best friend Isabel. Sophie finds out that she has been selected to audition for a commercial and she is super excited until she learns who the commercial is for…Beatrice’s Brownies. Beatrice’s Brownies is a rival for It’s Raining Cupcakes the store Isabel’s parents operate. How can she be in a commercial for their competition? Especially when Cupcakes isn’t doing so well. How can she tell her best friend? It will break her heart, ruin her family’s business and destroy their friendship.

This is a nice story about friendship and what you do for your friends. Sophie doesn’t always make the best decisions but she really has everyone’s best interests at heart. She has to deal with wanting to be an actress, her friendship with Isabel, her new friendship with a boy and her family. Each chapter is about a different food (mostly chocolate) and there are recipes at the back. Sophie is going through a lot of things other kids her age go through and it makes for a fun, enjoyable story. I’m definitely going to have to read It’s Raining Cupcakes now.

05. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Teen Books

Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs, 328 pages, read by Angie, on 11/04/2012

The Medusa sisters are back. Grace, Greer and Gretchen’s story picks up right where Sweet Venom left off. The girls are now in the getting to know my sister phase; they know what their destiny is but only in a general sense. It seems that everyone who could tell them more keeps disappearing. So it is up to the sisters to find out more information and to get their great aunts the Gorgons back before the doors of the underworld are open or they are dead. They learn more about the factions in this war, but still know little about who is on what side. They don’t know who to trust or where to turn; all they know is each other. But the monsters don’t stop coming for the girls and life doesn’t stop intruding on the monster hunting.

This book is told from each of the girl’s viewpoints in alternating chapters. This gives a wide view of what is going on but it doesn’t always transition the best. All three of the girls have their own unique voices and viewpoints though so it is easy to keep them apart. I love the mythology of this series. I am a big fan of Greek Mythology and I love when an author gives us a different view than just the gods and goddesses. I am really enjoying the Medusa/Gorgon myth. These books are fast-paced and really only take place over a couple of weeks. With the short timelines and the cliffhanger endings it is a little frustrating to read these books a year apart, but they are totally worth it.

05. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, 404 pages, read by Angie, on 11/03/2012

A little Alice in Wonderland + a new take on zombies = a great story! Alice in Zombieland is fun, sexy, witty, sarcastic and a tiny bit scary. Showalter has managed to create a new form of zombie, which in an age of zombie stories that is saying something. Sure her zombies eat people and if you are infected you will turn into one, but that is the only similarity to your regular zombie. These are spirit zombies who are not seen by normal people. Only a select few can see them. Doesn’t mean you can’t be eaten, you just can’t see what is eating you.

In this world we find Alice. Alice leads a sheltered life mainly because her dad refuses to let anyone in her family out after dark (the monsters might get you). But one night Alice convinces him to go out and tragedy strikes; her family is killed in a car wreck and then eaten by zombies. Alice goes to live with her grandparents and attends a whole new school. She meets Kat, who becomes her best friend, and Cole, the local bad boy who Ali is insanely attracted to. From Cole she learns more about the zombies and how to fight them. And she learns that they are not the only one interested in zombies. There are other factions out there that aren’t interested in killing the monsters but using them. Ali, Cole and the gang have to figure out what is going on and get out of it alive.

I devoured this book. The entire time I was reading it I was reminded of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A smart, sarcastic, witty girl who is chosen for a special destiny; her gang of friends that helps her fight monsters; a hot guy with a past who may or may not be her soul mate. They even call themselves slayers! I loved Buffy and I love Alice. The comparison did not hurt this book in the least. Alice in Zombieland was just too fun and too new to put down. I can’t wait for the next installment of the White Rabbit Chronicles.

02. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Mr. Terupt Falls Again by Rob Buyea, 368 pages, read by Angie, on 11/01/2012

Mr. Terupt and the gang are back again. They have all moved on to sixth grade together. Mr. Terupt has recovered from his injury but still seems shaky; he has dizzy spells and stutters. Peter is still trying to get over his guilt. Lexie is growing up too fast, hanging out with high school kids and stuffing her bra. Danielle is worried about a secret her family is keeping from her. Luke wants to be a detective this year and has all kinds of things to investigate. Anna is ready to learn about her dad. Jessica sees everything through a camera lens. And Jeffery is finally getting his parents back.

Mr. Terupt’s lessons are awesome as they read wonderful books throughout the year. The book is set up with each of the kids narrating their own experiences. These sometimes overlap but it does help give a wider view of the story. All the kids are growing up and dealing with more and more things. Danielle and Lexie get their periods. Peter and Jeffery work out their issues by starting wrestling. Anna and her mom start volunteering at a nursing home.

I really enjoy the Mr. Terupt books. I think they are wonderful and really show kids how they are at that age. They are fast reads with the short chapters. I am not sure I liked this book as well as the first. I think there was more emotion in the first one; not that this book isn’t good. Sometimes I also felt like the kids were not talking or thinking like sixth graders. Some of the vocabulary and the way they said things just seemed a little older to me. But in other ways the kids are so typically sixth graders. It is a puzzle.

02. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Andrea, Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner, 325 pages, read by Andrea, on 11/01/2012

Picking up right where the last book ended, Thomas has just recovered from his time in the “white room” within the WICKED headquarters after their journey across the Scorch. As expected, everyone who survived the grueling trial across the Scorch is told they are heroes and what they have done is for the greater good of everyone. However, in order for the last part of WICKED’s experiment to work, they have decided to give everyone their memories back. Thomas, thinking he would rather live without the terrible memories he knows were in his past, declines as does Newt and Minho. However, WICKED decides this is not an offer but a demand. The three boys escape the forced Swipe reversal and things escalate from there. Thomas, Newt, and Minho are caught up in a race to find the others who have gotten their memories restored and stopping WICKED. The last book finally explained who WICKED was and where the Flare came from, but it didn’t really elaborate on some of the situations that may have given readers a clearer understanding of everything that happened. I felt like this last book was all about Thomas and him running for his life rather than the whole WICKED situation and the Flare. It kind of just skated over that. A little bit disappointed about the ending, but overall, it was a good teen dystopia book series.

02. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Janet

The Complete Book of Ghosts by Paul Roland, 208 pages, read by Janet, on 10/30/2012

As the title says, this is about all ghosts, past and present, good and bad, easily seen and hidden.  They have been seen, heard, or felt by people of all ages, all over the world.  Some have been returning because something in their lives was not finished. Some want to pass on information to the living.  Some seem to just want to be noticed and perhaps frighten their audience.  Most people have noticed unusual situations, but try to ignore them or are reluctant to mention them to others.  The author brings up happenings from the Roman ages to the present that have been observed, smelled, or felt.  Sometimes it is a scene or group happening, such as a battle or alignment of soldiers, a disaster taking place, or a sad or happy gathering of people.  It seems that ghosts, or spirits, are all around us, noticed by some, but not all of us.  The author even gives the steps to take to put yourself into a state of mind to be more aware of the spirits (if you choose to do so).