March 10, 2010

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

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Auden has always grown up too fast. She never really had a childhood. She was always her parents little adult. When the summer before her freshman year of college comes along, she impulsively goes to stay with her father, her stepmother and her new baby sister Thisbe. She gets much more than she expects. She gets a job, meets friends and even has kinda boyfriend. However when her stepmother and dad separate, all the emotions from her parents divorce begin rolling in and everything seems to start to fall apart.

Auden is a complex character who changes a ton throughout this book. She grows up by having the childhood she never had. This book was not angsty as many chick lit books which I appreciated. I loved this book and couldn't stop reading it. I wanted more when it ended.

Posted by Lisa at 2:55 PM

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

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Parker Fadley has been let back into school and allowed to graduated as long as she does all her homework, doesn't get caught drunk in school and meets with the school counselor once a week. She is still trying to push everyone away and but also telling everyone she is fine. The worst part is no one knows why "Perfect" Parker Fadley went from perfect to a drunk loser who tries to commit suicide.

I really enjoyed this book. Parker was a frustrating character who you love to hate. I wanted so badly to find out why she did the things she did that I just couldn't put the book down. I would recommend this book to teens who are looking for a great realistic fiction book with a twist.

Posted by Lisa at 2:53 PM

Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

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Carter is a typical freshman boy. He has good friends that make fun of him constantly, he is really into sports, he doesn't care about school and all he can think about is girls. As a freshman, he is trying to figure all of this out, but he is constantly screwing things up in every part of his life. At the beginning of the year he has a girlfriend named Abby, but he manages to screw everything up because he can't keep his mouth shut. He tries to be the best at every sport, but can't seem to figure everything out. Will Carter ever figure out how to keep his mouth shut, impress the girls and his friends?

I found this book hilarious. Carter is a likable character that everybody can find themselves in. A few of the scenes are over the top, but overall Carter is great. He is learning who he is and who he wants to be. I think he really finds it in the end.

Posted by Lisa at 2:43 PM

November 12, 2009

Faith, Hope and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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Ivy June lives in the back woods in Kentucky. She is not well off but has family that never gives up and works through everything together. Catherine lives in Lexington, Kentucky. She goes to private school, lives in a big house and has a great family as well. When the two girls are set up to do a student exchange program they learn more about each others lives than they ever expected. Each girl has problems of their own that the other begins to understand. In the end, the two girls find they are more alike and different than they ever dreamed.

Faith, Hope and Ivy June is a fantastic book that does a great job describing each girls lives and the turmoil they are in. Each girl deals with a dramatic situation while they are staying together. The two girls realize that they must deal with their situations in similar ways. I found the whole book amazing. It boggles the mind that there are still people living in the United States who do not have indoor toilets and telephone lines. I loved witnessing Catherine's reactions to the new surroundings when she comes to stay with Ivy June. The whole book was so heart felt and wonderful. I couldn't stop reading it.

Posted by Lisa at 4:10 PM

November 3, 2009

Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

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Nina has been a vampire since the 70's. Fortunately, she has never infected anybody else because she has a support group full of other vampires. However, when one of the other members in the group is killed with a wooden stake the group begins to fear for their lives. They begin an investigation into who killed Casimir which leads them down a trail they never expected.

This was great book about vampires. It was comedic and looked at vampires in a totally different light than most vampire books. Even though Nina is trapped in the body of a 15 year old, she acts her true age of 51. Because of this and several other things, I felt the book should be an adult book rather than a young adult book. Overall it was a great book, but I would not recommend it to teens who are wanting a vampire book similar to Twilight. This is completely different in a fun way.

Posted by Lisa at 4:00 PM

October 22, 2009

Slob by Ellen Potter

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Owen is an smart, overweight 12 year old who is always picked on. He only has one friend at school, so he hates going. All he really wants to do is work on his inventions, particularly a TV that shows the past. If he makes his TV work, then he will find out what happened on the day his parents were killed.
Slob is an interesting book. It is not completely obvious why Owen is making his contraption until the middle of the book, which makes it more intriguing. I liked the interactions Owen has throughout the book with his sister, mom, friends and enemies. All of the interactions give away a little more of the story and show Owen's struggles in life. I really enjoyed this book. I don't know how many tweens would enjoy it, but I think reluctant teen readers would find it interesting.

Posted by Lisa at 7:29 PM

October 21, 2009

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

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Miranda's mother is preparing to be on the $20,000 Pyramid while Miranda is trying to figure out the mysterious notes that she has been receiving that seem to be coming from the future. The notes claim that her friend will be saved as long as she follows along. Miranda is very wary about the whole situation but doesn't want to tell anybody for fear of what might happen.
When You Reach Me was confusing at first, but once I began to understand the premise it was a great story. It was not only a story about Miranda trying to figure things out but also a story of family and friendship. I felt for Miranda in all the situations she encountered and wanted to help her through them. I would recommend this book to middle school students and some upper elementary students.

Posted by Lisa at 4:01 PM

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

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Peter meets a fortune teller that tells him that his sister is not dead and that the elephant will lead him to her. This is all very confusing for the boy who lives with military man who will only let him do military things. It is confusing until a magician makes an elephant drop from the ceiling into a woman's lap at a magic show. Then Peter begins his quest to see the elephant and find his sister just as the fortune teller said.
I am a big fan of Kate DiCamillo, but this book was not my favorite. While it tidily wrapped everything together at the end of the book, the book itself was rather confusing especially for young children. There are many characters that the book jumps between and none of them truly act like children. This book is more of a short book written for adults rather than a children's book.

Posted by Lisa at 3:29 PM

Enola Holmes and the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

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Enola Holmes mother has disappeared. She doesn't know where to find her so she must call in her brothers. One of her brothers is Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective. Her brothers assume their mother has runaway and now are in charge of Enola. They want to send her off to boarding school and forget about her. She has other plans. She finds money hidden around the house using clues from her mother and then runs away when she is supposed to be off to boarding school. She ends up in the middle of an important detective case while she is trying to escape. Everything begins from there.
Enola is spunky character who is always fighting what is normal for woman. This is a great series that combines mystery with a spunky young girl who wants to fight against societal standards. Enola is good detective who is great and at figuring out puzzles which are a part of every book. I would recommend this for 3rd -6th grade girls who want to a good mystery.

Posted by Lisa at 11:47 AM

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. Katniss is back from the Hunger Games and is trying to get used to her new life. She is trying to use her money and abundance of food to help other people in her district. When Katniss and Peeta go on their Hunger Games tour to all the other districts odd things begin to happen. There is rumblings of uprisings going on in the districts all because Katniss tricked the Capital into saving both her and Peeta in the games. Katniss is trying to figure out how to save her district, her family and her friends from the turmoil of the uprising and then news about the next Hunger Games comes out and everything changes.
I really didn't think this book could be as good as the first but then it was. It is riveting from beginning to end. It leaves you with yet another cliff hanger for the third book. I am going to have trouble waiting for the next book to come out. The love triangle between Peeta, Gale and Katniss is still unresolved and I have no idea how everything will turn out in the third book. I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes a sci-fi, adventure or just likes reading.

Posted by Lisa at 11:16 AM

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross

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Avery isn't your average teenager. He has super human strength and he can fly. His friends don't know about his powers and now are not being good friends because he is always acting weird and secretive. So, Avery finds new friends who happen to have super powers as well. The only problem is none of them know how to control their powers and they don't know if they can trust Cherchette who says she can save them all and help them control their powers. The group must figure out everything on their own because they can't tell anyone about their powers.
Dull Boy is a fun book about teens with super powers. I found myself rooting for the teens the whole time while also wanting them to tell a trustworthy adult about their secrets. The teens work together as a great team and seem to really enjoy each other even if they don't always get along. I would recommend this book to high level young readers as well as teens.

Posted by Lisa at 10:39 AM