Twelve-year-old Raine spends the summer at a mysterious artists colony and discovers a secret about her past.
I really think that this is going to be my favorite Mark Twain nominee. The characters were all so real and the storyline rolled out at a nice pace. Sometimes authors try to stuff things into their stories as they are reaching the end so it feels too rushed. I thought that Raine’s personality as an only child trying to deal with all the upheaval was well done, she is a very grounded character, not flighty like some authors might make their characters when dealing with similar plots. Very well done.
Growing up in the country is never easy, but it sure is funny–especially if you happen to have a sister obsessed with being glamorous, a grandma just discovering make-up, hippie friends who never shower, and brand new neighbors from the city who test everyone’s patience.
I loved April Grace! Having been the older sister, I can’t see her view of what’s it’s like to be the younger sister, but I loved her sarcasm when dealing with her sister. And as a kid, she is rather invisible and dismissed by adults when overhearing and seeing things they think are secret. Very good book, I can’t wait for the next one.
As former Alchemist Marcus Finch pushes Alchemist Sydney Sage to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.
I love companion series, they make the original series so much fuller and you get to see more of that world! Sydney begins to realize that she no longer embraces the Alchemist rules like she used to, the more she is with the Moroi and dhamphirs she is assigned to. Finding out you have been lied to can also be unappealing to someone with the brains to figure it all out. A good continuation of the Alchemist side of the story.
Kay Scarpetta has dealt with many brutal and unusual crimes before, but never a string of them as baffling, or as terrifying, as the ones confronting her now. Before she is through, that book of the dead will contain many names-and the pen may be poised to write in her own.
As I go back and fill in the books of hers that I have missed (something I tell my students not to do!) I try to unravel the storyline from the book I previously read and try to see why certain comments were made or how the relationship between the characters became what it did. This book had a lot of strings come together that were not evident in the telling of the tale but made you wonder enough to make inferences. Of course, the biggest string came with an ending I didn’t even suspect until the very end. Good story if you like her books.
While Kiki Strike is in Paris trying to stop her evil cousin, the princess Sidonia, from all sorts of terrible deeds, it is up to Ananka and the other Irregulars help Kiki find the cure for baldness, foil the evil plans of Oona’s twin, and keep Ananka herself from falling in love with wrong young man.
This series is rather fun, not heart-stopping like some mysteries. The main mystery to me is how all these characters get along, despite the huge differences in personalities, and maybe that is what makes it work so well. The underlying message of friendship, no matter what, makes it worth the read.
In a dystopian colony of the United States where everyone is born with powers of the elements, water, wind, earth, and fire, sixteen-year-old Thomas, the first and only child born without an element seems powerless, but is he?
While I liked this book, I didn’t find myself as engrossed in it as I thought. I’m hoping the sequels are a little more in-depth with the mystery of the past and why the colony chose to close themselves off from any other humans. Some of that is uncovered and part of the storyline, but I want more!
Sixteen-year-old Thomas has always been an outsider. The first child born without the power of an Element—earth, water, wind or fire—he has little to offer his tiny, remote Outer Banks colony. Or so the Guardians would have him believe.
Another dystopian book for this month! I like the way the kids in this book learn to cope with the rigid rules the adults have set, in order to survive. There is one girl who always ignores the rules, several kids that always follow the rules and a pair of brothers who are also treated as outcasts, even within their group. They have to learn to trust each other and know that adults don’t always know best or do the right thing, if they want to survive the assault on their colony. Another one that begins a series I might read as it comes out.
Twenty years after the start of the war that caused the Collapse, fifteen-year-old Stephen, his father, and grandfather travel post-Collapse America scavenging, but when his grandfather dies and his father decides to risk everything to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen’s life is turned upside down.
A quick read for me, I do enjoy reading dystopia novels. There were a few things about the book that made me go “hmm” and a couple of times it didn’t seem plausible, but then again, that’s why I don’t write because I don’t think my stories would necessarily flow smoothly. I might just read the sequel.
Determined to find out what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months earlier, Kay Scarpetta travels to the Georgia Prison for Women, where an inmate has information not only on Fielding, but also on a string of grisly killings.
This was as intriguing as the book that comes before it. I liked all the twists and turns and the characters who seem like minor ones, turning into major ones. I like the undercurrents that flow between the characters and how she pulls all the threads together in a convincing way. Patricia Cornwell is definitely one of my favorite authors.
As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments, MIT and Harvard, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally.
I missed reading a few of her books before this one so I felt a little lost as to what exactly the background of the story was, but I caught on fairly quickly. The story mainly takes place in about a 24 hour period. I did feel there were a few gaps in some of the interactions between the characters but I wasn’t sure if it was because I skipped reading a few of the previous novels or just the way she had written it. It was a fast paced, very riveting book, which shows that the author still has it when it comes to her Scarpetta books. I could see the twists almost before they occurred but it was a very good read.
After her twelfth birthday, Rory checks off a list of things she is finally allowed to do, but unexpected consequences interfere with her involvement in the movie being shot at her school, while a weird prediction starts to make sense.
I read the three books in this series out of order and I still do not have the answers to all the questions that have cropped up as a result. I enjoyed the book, girls, especially, will enjoy reading it. There is light romance as the girls show an interest in boys for the first time. There is coming-of-age angst as Rory looks forward to and realizes that all of her goals as a 12 year-old are not what she imagines them to be. But the questions I have as a result of reading them out of order will hopefully be answered eventually. How did Rory manage to snag a movie star boyfriend in the 3rd book when they weren’t at the end of the 2nd one, why do 2 of the characters write on a blackboard to each other in the 3rd book, and probably a couple of others I don’t remember now. These should have been explained in the 2nd book! I guess that’s one way of bringing the reader back.
In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.
I enjoyed this second book of the series much more than the first. While the first really focused on the religious aspect of the land and characters, this one focuses more on the political intrigue of a person in power. And it is more difficult when that person is a 17 year old queen, who never imagined she would be in this position. I cannot wait for the next book.
When seventeen-year-old Cammie wakes up in a convent high in the Alps, she slowly comes to realize that she’s been tortured, the last four months have been erased from her mind, and an ancient terrorist organization is hunting for her.
I really like this quirky little series by Ally Carter. Who would ever imagine a series of schools that train young girls to become spies for their country? Cammie awakes to find that she is missing her whole summer and part of her senior year in spy school and spends her time trying to make up her school work while trying to recover her memory. This book takes us to many different locales in the pursuit of the truth.
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In this next installment of the companion series to the Vampire Academy series by Mead, we get to see how hard it is to keep the vampires and their half-human, half-vampire offspring, separate and secret from the human population. Sydney is finding it harder and harder to keep her emotions under control. She should be very cautious about becoming close to them but as she spends more time with them, she finds herself becoming more entangled in their lives. A very fun series that is well written and keeps you looking forward to the next book.
Eleven-year-old Neela must solve the mystery when her beautiful but cursed veena, a classical Indian musical instrument, goes missing.
This was a good book but I thought it was a little long on details, mainly due to the explanation of culture and such. I don’t know that too many of my students will give it the attention needed to finish. I enjoyed it and I don’t think that boys will even want to pick it up.
Fifteen-year-old Lizzie Cohen recalls what it was like growing up with her imaginative but disturbed older sister Tess, and how she is striving to reclaim her own life since Tess died.
I thought the book was well written but I don’t think I would recommend this to anyone younger than high school age. It has a lot of disturbing parts where you aren’t really sure if Tess is mentally disturbed, if she only suffers from anorexia, if she is really what she imagines herself to be. It takes her sister Lizzie a long time to come to terms with what happened to her sister and you worry if she will ever do so. This did take me longer to read than I thought it would and definitely not for younger readers.