07. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Teen Books

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima , 396 pages, read by Angie, on 01/04/2013

The Exiled Queen picks up where the Demon King left off. Our intrepid band of heroes makes their way to Oden’s Ford. Raisa and Amon are headed to the warriors school and Han and Dancer to the wizard school. Of course there are problems along the way but once they get to the schools the adventure really picks up. Everyone’s favorite nemesis Micah Bayer is of course at the wizard school and he is after Han. Raisa just wants to avoid him so that he doesn’t know where she is. Raisa learns more about herself and her abilities in this book. She is learning what she needs to know to one day be queen. She also learns that Amon has bound himself to her as her captain of the guard and that even though he loves her he will marry another. Han and Raisa meet again and start falling in love even though Han has no idea who Raisa is. Han is also learning a lot about magic not just from the school but from a mysterious Crow who he meets in the dream world. The end of the book finds our heroes once again separated and on the run.

I really enjoy this series. I love fantasy and this book ticks all the boxes. I think you have to read the books as all parts of a series. They don’t stand alone very well and taken individually you can tell they are only parts of a whole. I really like Raisa and Han and think they are interesting characters. You want to root for them and see them succeed. I really can’t wait until the next book.

07. January 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books · Tags:

Heist Society by Ally Carter, 287 pages, read by Angie, on 01/04/2013

Katrina Bishop has always lived the life of a thief; it is her family business after all. But she wanted to take a break and conned her way into one of the best schools in the country. Everything was fine until she was pulled back into her old life. It seems her father is accused of stealing five paintings from a really bad guy, Arturo Taccone. And Taccone wants them back. Only problem is her dad didn’t steal the paintings. Kat has to find the paintings and return them to Taccone or else her father and maybe her life will be forfeit. Kat assembles a crack team of some of the best teenage thieves to help her on this job.

This book was just fun to read. Kat and her team are awesome, smart, witty and extremely talented at what they do. The story made me want to travel to Europe (on a private jet of course) and see all the places they went. It also made me more interested in the Nazi theft of art during WWII (the paintings are masterpieces that disappeared during WWII). I’ll definitely keep Ally Carter in mind when I need another fun read.

07. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, 360 pages, read by Angie, on 01/05/2013

Campbell Cooper is dying and she has been for some time. The cancer she has been fighting since she was a child is finally winning the battle. Cam’s mom doesn’t accept that and wants to try whatever she can to help Cam. She discovers Promise, Maine, a small town with supposed magical healing properties. So she packs up Cam and her sister Perry and moves from Disney World (where she works) to Maine. Promise turns out to be a strange little town. There are purple dandelions and flocks of flamingos. Cam finds not a cure but a life in Promise. She learns to make friends and finds love.

Cam is a fantastic character and your typical dying teenager (if there is one). She is mopey and sarcastic and difficult and fun. You know how her journey must end but the path there was great. I found Promise to be a charming little town and the unusual aspects of it really made you think for a while that miracles might happen. The true miracle in this book is not anything concrete, like a cure for cancer, but it is the miracle of living each day and finding joy in the world around you. Cam’s journey was a wonderful one and definitely worth the read.

07. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, 332 pages, read by Angie, on 01/06/2013

Jessica was a star track athlete with everything going for her. Then there was an bus accident when they were coming back from a meet. One student was killed and Jessica lost her leg. Jessica’s running days are over. You can’t be a track star with only one leg. But her team does not accept that and they pledge to raise the $20,000 needed for a special running leg. Jessica is determined to walk and run again.

I don’t know if I was really emotional when I read this book or what but it definitely got to me. I will freely admit that I got teary-eyed several times (and I don’t get that way over books). There was just something about this story that really did me in. I will admit that there is a Lifetime movie aspect to this book, but it was a really good Lifetime movie! Jessica is what I would expect a girl in her situation to be like. She is sad, depressed, angry and defeated. But she does find her purpose and her spirit again. I really enjoyed her friends and how devoted to her they were and her family was great. I would definitely read this book if you want something to tug at your heartstrings.

03. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books

Blank Confession by Pete Hautman, 170 pages, read by Angie, on 01/02/2013

Shayne Blank has confessed to murdering someone. His confession is slowly revealed throughout the book as he tells his story. It is the story of his new friend Mikey who is being bullied by high school drug dealer Jon Brande. It is the story of Marie, Mikey’s sister and Jon’s girlfriend. It is the story of bullying and drug abuse. It is also the story of friendship. Shayne confesses to murder but did he really do it? And who is Shayne?

This little book definitely grabs your attention and holds it throughout the story. The chapters alternate between Mikey’s story and Shayne’s confession. We don’t know who died (or did they) until the end of the book and the suspense is well done. I really enjoyed Mikey who is a small high school kid who wears suits like armor and who uses his smart mouth like a sword. Shayne is a mysterious character whose back story changes with each telling. I liked their friendship even if it only lasted a few weeks. This is a very compelling story and a quick read.

02. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Teen Books

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima, 506 pages, read by Angie, on 12/31/2012

This book is definitely the setup for a series. We are introduced to the main characters and the central conflict is revealed. We meet princess Raisa who is that in here to the throne. We also meet Amon who is the son of the captain of the guard and Raisa’s childhood friend. Our other main characters are Hanson a street ruffian and Dancer budding wizard of the clans. Their stories intertwined and at the end of the book they are all on their way to the same place. They are all seeking refuge from the imagination of the Bayer wizards who want to control the kingdom.

I enjoyed this book and really enjoyed this four main characters. However not a lot happened in the book. Everything is being set up for the next books. We do you learn a lot about the character and what is happening in the Seven Realms. I can’t wait to see how this series turns out.