29. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Teen Books

The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel, read by Angie, on 06/28/2014

Becca Williamson is a singleton in a high school full of couples. She was dumped by her best friend when Huxley entered coupledom and now her new best friend Val wants nothing more than to be part of a couple. Becca’s sister was dumped on her wedding day and has entered a state of depressed hibernation. Becca fights against the world of couples by taking on the role of The Break-Up Artist. Through an anonymous persona online she will break up a couple if she is paid and she has a very high success rate. Her skills are challenged however when she is hired to break up Huxley and Steve, the golden couple of Ashland High. Things get even more complicated when she starts having feelings for Val’s new BF Ezra. Becca just might be in trouble herself on this one.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I thought the premise was interesting, but I found the story a bit unbelievable. I also thought it was exactly how a man would see teenage girls, knowing nothing about how they think or act or what their lives are like. Every single girl in this book wanted nothing more than to be with a boy. If you didn’t have a boy you were a social outcast. Once you had a boy you moved up the social ladder depending on who the boy was. It is seriously degrading to girls to think this has anything to do with reality. Sure some girls are boy crazy and obsessed with being in a couple, but not all girls and certainly not an entire high school of them. I also thought it was terrible the way Becca was portrayed. Sure she ends up fine in the end, but really the majority of the book she comes off as a bitter, jealous girl who isn’t a couple and can’t stand it. She even makes out with her best friend’s boy friend and thinks its ok. Maybe my feelings aren’t as mixed as I thought. I think this could have been a vastly different book if it had been written by a woman who had actually experienced life as a teenage girl. 

I got a copy of this book from Netgalley.

26. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jane, Paranormal, Teen Books · Tags:

The Trap by Andrew Fukuda, read by Jane, on 06/14/2014

After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene’s mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.

26. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jane, Paranormal, Teen Books · Tags:

The Prey by Andrew Fukuda, read by Jane, on 06/12/2014

For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast… and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.

When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other… if they can only stay alive.

26. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jane, Paranormal, Teen Books · Tags:

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda, read by Jane, on 06/07/2014

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night–a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible–and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever–but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

26. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Jane, Teen Books

The offering by Kimberly Derting, read by Jane, on 06/04/2014

True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.

Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.

26. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Jane, Teen Books

The essence by Kimberly Derting, read by Jane, on 06/01/2014

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

25. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff, read by Angie, on 06/24/2014

Mila and her father are heading to the United States to visit his old friend Matthew. Before they leave they are informed that Matthew has disappeared. They take the trip anyway in the hopes of finding Matthew. Once they arrive seems are not what they seem. Matthew’s wife Suzanne doesn’t seem that concerned about his disappearance and their home seems like anything but a happy one. Mila and Gil head to upstate New York in their quest to find Matthew. What they discover there further changes their perception of the situation. Mila is good at noticing things other people don’t notice and she knows things are not what they seem. The more they learn the less they seem to know about what is really going on. 

This was a real page-turner. I enjoyed Mila as a character. She is very different than most people around her, but really well crafted. I liked her relationship with her parents and the fact that they really seemed to know each other. While her faith in what she knows might have been rocked a bit by the trip, Mila has a very strong foundation to fall back on. I thought the mystery of why Matthew disappeared was also very intriguing. This isn’t your typical who-dunit type of mystery, but more of an unraveling of a damaged person. While not all our questions are answered, the conclusion is very satisfying. 

24. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Teen Books · Tags:

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin, read by Angie, on 06/23/2014

Nicole Castro is a pretty, popular girl who seems to have it all. She is athletic, has a perfect boyfriend, has won a beauty contest, is smart. This all changes when someone throws acid in her face scarring her and ruining her perfect beauty. Nicole doesn’t see who throws the acid and seems to retreat into her home with her mom as her only companion. Jay Nazarro is coming back to school after a humiliating experience. Jay suffers from seizures and had a horrible one during a school assembly. Jay is super smart and a skilled hacker, but a bit of a loner and definitely from the poor side of town. Jay and Nicole meet in the counselor’s office and Jay becomes obsessed with figuring out who threw the acid. The police don’t seem to be making any headway so Jay thinks he can use his hacking skills to do better. Jay and Nicole start hanging out and become friends which pushes Jay even more to figure out the mystery.

This was a compelling read. Once the story really got started I didn’t want to put it down. The story is told from Jay’s point of view and he has a fantastic voice. I liked how much depth these characters had. I thought their friendship was pretty believable as was the reactions of those around them. We get additional glimpses into Nicole’s life through her diary entries and the notes from her psychiatrist. I thought the mystery of who actually threw the acid and why was also interesting. Looking back I can see the clues, but during the reveal it was a surprise. I like that there were twists and turns in the investigation that left the reader wandering what was really going on. I guess my only big complaint was a storyline that seemed to go nowhere. Nicole has a young friend who is dying in the hospital. She visits her and is upset when she dies. However, we never really learn who this girl is and what her connection to Nicole is. Seemed like a storyline with no point and pulled the reader from the real story taking place. I think it could have been eliminated with no issues to the plot. Other than that I really liked the book. 

23. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books

The Body in the Woods by April Henry, read by Angie, on 06/21/2014

Alexis, Nick and Ruby are all volunteers with Portland Search and Rescue. They are out in the woods searching for a missing man when they discover a dead body. It isn’t just any dead body however, it is a murdered girl. And she isn’t the first murdered, homeless girl discovered in Portland. There is a serial killer on the loose stalking homeless girls throughout the city. Soon the three teens find themselves deeper and deeper into the case despite the warnings from the police and their parents. Turns out the killer might have taken an interest in one of the girls. Is it Alexis or Ruby? Can they figure out who the killer is before its too late?

This was a fun, fast read. I liked the search and rescue aspect of the story and the fact that teens really can volunteer for SAR groups. I thought the mystery was interesting and who the killer is isn’t revealed until late in the book. I think April Henry does a great job writing teen mysteries and while I liked Girl Stolen better, I did very much enjoy this one. 

23. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Tammy, Teen Books

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, read by Tammy, on 06/04/2014

beautifulThe final book in the Caster Chronicles. Find out how Ethan and Lena’s story ends and what has become of the town of Gatlin and Amma after Ethan’s great sacrifice in book three.

19. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Mystery, Teen Books · Tags:

Shadows by Robin McKinley, read by Kira, on 06/01/2014

shadows tp edot warp realiztMaggie lives in a world being torn apart by cohesion breaks – aka cobeys, which are breaks in reality, where chunks of space are missing.  Magic has been outlawed in the Neworld where she lives, in order to cut down on the number of cobeys, which seem attracted to magic.  Her own family has had there genes chopped, so that magic doesn’t become active.  Then Maggie’s Mom remarries, and Maggie knows that there is something wrong with her new step-dad, (who’s come from the OldWorld where magic is still practices) – he seems to be surrounded by shadows.  Then all of a sudden some huge cobeys appear right where Maggie lives.  The police come out, and start hauling people away.  Maggie and her friends need to figure out what is happening and how they can stop the cobeys.  Like most of McKinley’s books this title could easily be continued in a series, but she doesn’t seem to pursue the potential series.

16. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Teen Books

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas, read by Angie, on 06/15/2014

If you like feel-good, happily-ever-after stories this series is not for you. This series is full of heartache and despair, death and destruction, and evil monsters. The world of Celaena Sardothien is not a happy one. This is the middle book in a planned six book series and there is a lot going on. Celaena has gone to Wendlyn to try and find out more about the Wyrdkeys from Queen Maeve and to learn about her Fae magic. Chaol and Dorian are at odds with each other after the events of the last book. And the King of Adarlan is just as evil as ever and planning even more atrocities. We also get to meet new, fun characters in this book who I am sure are going to play big roles in the next books. This is a series I really enjoy and eagerly anticipate. I love the complexity of this world and the fact that Maas has thought up such an intriguing and detailed history for it. One of my favorites!

I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley. 

16. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Bryan, Science Fiction, Teen Books

The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card, read by Bryan, on 06/15/2014

hw7.plWhat if the Norse Gods were living among us?  What if all of the past gods were still around, trying to blend into their surroundings and watching for an opportunity to regain their status?  The Lost Gate is about Danny North, the son of Odin and Frea, and showed little magical abilities.  However, he soon learned that he could create gates, making him a Loki-like god.  Since gates are forbidden (the punishment is death), Danny goes into hiding and discovers others with abilities that the great god families do not know about.  The book concludes with a confrontation with The Gate Thief, who could strip Danny of his powers if victorious.  A good light read.

16. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Bryan, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card, read by Bryan, on 06/02/2014

hw7.plTaking place in an alternative history America, this book introduces the Alvin Maker series.  Alvin is born the seventh son of a seventh son, giving him certain magical abilities.  The seventh son uses his abilities to help people, however, there are elements that disapprove of his actions.  However, Alvin’s true enemy is slowly closing in and uses his human allies in his scheme to kill Alvin.

The book was fast paced and interesting.  I would be interested in a prequel that explains the alternative history and political landscape of the United States.  Some of these conversations were intriguing, but not fully played out.

13. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Noelle, Teen Books

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, read by Noelle, on 06/13/2014

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters. That is, without questioning it much—if you don’t count her visits to the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her secret meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—she must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

07. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books, Thriller/Suspense

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, read by Angie, on 06/06/2014

 

Cassie can read people like others read a book. She learned from her mother how to look at a given person and figure out everything about them. Cassie has been recruited by the FBI to join a new program where teenage “naturals” are trained to solve crimes. She joins the group of profilers and emotion-readers and statisticians. The group is training by looking at cold cases and trying to solve them. But their handlers Briggs and Locke are also working an actual case of a serial killer that seems to be escalating. Cassie and the others believe the killer is the same who killed her mom 5 years ago. The types of victims and the professions of some of the victims are too similar to be a coincidence. Then the killer seems to focus on Cassie. It will be up to the whole group to figure out who the killer is before he gets to Cassie.

 

I liked this book more than I thought I would. It was a gripping story with enough action to keep me interested. I liked Cassie and the other naturals and the dynamics between them. The twist on who the killer was and why they were killing was a good one and one I didn’t really see coming. This was a fun read and a good start to the series.

 

07. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Teen Books

Into That Forest by Louis Nowra, read by Courtney, on 05/28/2014

Two girls survive a terrible flood in the Tasmanian bush and are rescued by a pair of Tasmanian tigers who raise them in the wild. Their story of survival is remarkable, as they adapt to the life of the tiger, learning to hunt and to communicate without the use of human language. When they are discovered and returned to civilization, neither can adapt to being fully human after their extraordinary experience. Totally believable, their story will both shock and captivate readers as it explores the animal instincts that lie beneath our civilized veneer and celebrates the ways of the tiger.

07. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

Sunny, Vol. 2 by Taiyo Matsumoto, read by Courtney, on 05/28/2014

The latest manga masterpiece from the Eisner Award-winning creator of Tekkonkinkreet.What is Sunny? Sunny is a car. Sunny is a car you take on a drive with your mind. It takes you to the place of your dreams. Sunny is the story of beating the odds, in the ways that count. It’s the brand-new masterwork from Eisner Award-winner Taiyo Matsumoto, one of Japan’s most innovative and acclaimed manga artists. Translated by Tekkonkinkreet film director Michael Arias!

07. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, read by Courtney, on 05/26/2014

“We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine.”

In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his barding school in Barcelona. For seven days and seven nights no one knows his whereabouts…

His story begins in an old quarter of the city, where he meets the strange Marina and her father, Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o’clock in the morning, a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman, her face shrouded be a black velvet cloak. Holding a single rose, she walks to a gravestone that bears no name, only a mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings.

When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten, postwar Barcelona–a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons–and reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

07. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick, read by Courtney, on 05/20/2014

Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.