Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Publish Date: January 1, 2013
Pages 295
ISNB# 978-0545333023

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jade just moved into a new house with her dad, stepmom and brother. New house, new school!  Jade loves the house, it's huge and gorgeous.

Then she notices a lot of kids at the school whispering and staring at her all the time. She learns that the house is supposed to be haunted.  A very popular, although mean, girl from the school died there.  Her name was Kayla. 

When Jade's brother reports seeing a 'glittering girl' in his room, Jade vows to protect him.  He's only five years old and she's worried he'll get hurt.

The plot is good, it builds slowly and hints at several conclusions, but the ending is a surprise.

Jade is determined and nice. There are two boys that are interested in her, but there's no love triangle, the whole thing is pretty low-key and the mystery keeps center stage.

There's a sub-story too: Kayla's diary. Kayla gave people numbers, instead of using their names.  Jade (and you) have to figure it out to find out what happened.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Data Runner (Data Runner #1) by Sam A. Patel

Data Runner (Data Runner #1) by Sam A. Patel
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publish Date: June 25, 2013
Pages: 231

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 The only way to transport sensitive info is by Data Runners.  Jack Nill works as a Data Runner to pay off his father's debts. But someone gave him info to carry that everyone wants.

The story is very fast-paced and gets pretty technical. The plot is detailed and keeps you reading.

The characters and world building need some work - unless we're going to get all that information in the second book.

In a way, the book reminded me of SNOWCRASH by Neal Stephenson.  Very technical, in language and computer knowledge and not huge on character development.  It's a good story, but perhaps for a very specific crowd.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Scrap (The Grimmic Chronicles #1) by Emory Sharplin

Scrap (The Grimmic Chronicles #1) by Emory Sharplin
Publisher: Green Leaf Book Group
Publish Date: May 17, 2013
Pages 350
ISBN# 978-1938416354

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

King Ibis is cruel and doesn't care about anything. Tucker is a 12 year old girl that lives in an orphanage and works at a bakery. She has a rough life, but it's the only one she knows. When her friends disappear, she's worried. A woman named Vivian shows up and tells her that she must learn to live and act like a rich girl to resolve the kingdom's issues.

Tucker is sassy and never gives up. For being a 12 year old, Tucker certainly understands things and feel things in a much more mature way. I kept thinking she was at least 16. She also went from dirt poor to rich so easily. She only knew poverty, that isn't an easy transition.

Some of the language, slang and ways things are said just didn't fit in a medieval story. Be medieval or don't.  You can't mix it all up.

A great fantasy story has an onion...or an ogre...this story didn't use enough layers and history, but did use a lot of convenient magic to explain things.

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Books out this Week: August 5 - 11, 2013

August 6th

Wise Young Food by Sean Beaudin
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

From Amazon:  Teen rocker Ritchie Sudden is pretty sure his life has just jumped the shark. Except he hates being called a teen, his band doesn't play rock, and "jumping the shark" is yet another dumb cliché. Part of Ritchie wants to drop everything and walk away. Especially the part that's serving ninety days in a juvenile detention center.

Telling the story of the year leading up to his arrest, Ritchie grabs readers by the throat before (politely) inviting them along for the (max-speed) ride. A battle of the bands looms. Dad split about five minutes before Mom's girlfriend moved in. There's the matter of trying to score with the dangerously hot Ravenna Woods while avoiding the dangerously huge Spence Proffer--not to mention just trying to forget what his sister, Beth, said the week before she died.
 Second Impact by David Klass and Perri Klass
Publisher:  Farrar, Strauss and Gireaux

From Goodreads:  About a boy who sustains serious head injuries while playing football, told in alternating voices by a brother-sister writing team.
 Maybe Tonight? (Snap Decision) by Bridie Clark
Publisher:  Roaring Brook Press

From Amazon: 
Maybe Tonight? opens as the reader is getting ready for the most exciting party of the year—Midwinter’s Night Dream, set in the frosty woods just off campus—with her roommates and best friends Annabel Snow, Spider Harris, and Libby Monroe. Choices unfold quickly and the reader must decide which risks to take in pursuit of social status, adventure, success, and love.
 The Uprising (The Forsaken #2) by Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher:  Simon & Schusters Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:  Alenna escaped. It was expected that she would die on the wheel, the island where would-be criminals are sent as directed by the UNA—the totalitarian supercountry that was once the United States, Mexico, and Canada. But Alenna and her boyfriend, Liam, made it to safety. Except safety, they will soon learn, is relative.

In order to bring down the UNA, they must first gain control of the wheel. If the mission succeeds, the wheel will become a base of revolution. But between betrayals, a new Monk leading a more organized army of Drones, and the discovery of a previously unknown contingent, Alenna, Liam, and their allies might be in over their heads. One thing Alenna knows for sure: There will be a reckoning. And not everyone she loves will make it out alive.
 Infinityglass (Hourglass #3) by Myra McEntire
Publisher:  EgmontUSA

From Goodreads: 
The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn't an object. It's a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?
 The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky
Publisher:  Candlewick Press

From Goodreads: 
The Vietnam War rages overseas, but back at home, in a year that begins with the hanging of one man and ends with the drowning of another, eleven schoolgirls embrace their own chilling history when their teacher abruptly goes missing on a field trip. Who was the mysterious poet they had met in the Garden? What actually happened in the seaside cave that day? And most important — who can they tell about it? In beautifully shimmering prose, Ursula Dubosarsky reveals how a single shared experience can alter the course of young lives forever. Part gripping thriller, part ethereal tale of innocence lost, The Golden Day is a poignant study of fear and friendship, and of what it takes to come of age with courage.
 TMI by Patty Blount
Publisher:  SourceBooks Fire

From Amazon: 
Best friends don't lie.
Best friends don't ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don't post your deepest darkest secret online.

Bailey's falling head-over-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she's never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn't trust smooth-talking Ryder. He's just a picture-less profile.
When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it's time to prove Ryder's a phony.
But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question: Who is Ryder West?

 Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:  Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftops to rooftop.

But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof…

After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crisis. But can you hold on too tight? Too long?

 Broken by Elizabeth Pulford
Publisher:  Walker Books Australia

From Goodreads: 
Critically injured in a motorbike accident, Zara Wilson lies in a coma. She is caught between many worlds: the world of her hospital room and anxious family, and that of her memories and a dream-like fantasy where she searches for her brother Jem. Jem proves elusive but Zara s adventures in her subconscious unlock dark secrets of a troubled childhood. Zara must face up to her past in order to accept her future.

August 8th

Charmed Vengeance (The Aether Chronicles #2) by Suzanne Lazear
Publisher:  Flux

From Goodreads:  In the Faerie realm, Noli Braddock's relationship with her best friend V has grown into something more. But V's mother, Faerie Queen Tiana, has ruled that they are forbidden to see each other. Returning to the mortal realm, Noli joins the crew of her brother's air-pirate ship, the Vixen's Revenge. There she discovers that her brother has hired the scallywag Faerie huntsman, Kevighn Silver. While serving as shipmates, Kevighn and Noli learn that the Earth Court King plans to find a forbidden artifact--one that will bring destruction to everyone Noli loves.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Books out this Week: July 29 - Aug. 4, 2013

July 30

Earthbound (Earthbound #1) by Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Razorbill

From Goodreads:  Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told.

Tavia immediately searches for answers, desperate to determine why she feels so drawn to a boy she hardly knows. But when Tavia discovers that the aunt and uncle who took her in after her parents' death may have actually been responsible for the plane crash that killed them--and that she may have been the true intended victim--she flees for the safety of Camden, Maine, where the boy she sees in her visions instructs her to go.

Now, Tavia is on the run with no one to trust. No one, that is, except for her best friend and longtime crush, Benson.

Tavia feels torn between the boy who mysteriously comes to her at night and the boy who has been by her side every step of the way. But what Tavia doesn't know is that the world is literally falling apart and that to save it she will have to unite with the boy in her visions. Only problem? To do so would mean rejecting Benson's love. And that's the one thing Tavia Michaels swore she'd never do.

 All Our Pretty Songs (Pretty Songs #1) by Sarah McCarry
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin

 From Goodreads:  Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

 Love Disguised by Lisa Klein
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens

From Goodreads:  Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname "Long Meg" for her height. She's also fleeing her own past as an orphan turned thief. Disguised as "Mack," Meg was once a member of a band of boy thieves who betrayed her. When Will is robbed by those same villains, Meg disguises herself as "Mack" again--telling Will that Mack is her twin brother--in order to help Will recover his money. As Mack, she finds true friendship with Will. But is there more? And who is Meg really fooling with her disguise? 

  Bubble World by Carol Snow
 Publisher:  Henry Holt & Company

From Goodreads:  Freesia’s life is perfect. She lives on the beautiful tropical island of Agalinas, surrounded by idyllic weather, fancy dress shops, and peacocks who sing her favorite song to wake her up in the morning. She has so many outfits she could wear a different one every day for a year and not run out.

Lately things on the island may have been a bit flippy: sudden blackouts, students disappearing, even Freesia’s reflection looking slightly . . . off. But in Freesia’s experience, it’s better not to think about things like that too much.

Unfortunately for her, these signs are more than random blips in the universe.

  Seven Minutes in Heaven (The Lying Game #6) by Sara Shepard
Publisher:  HarperTeen

From Goodreads:  My sister wants the truth.

But sometimes the truth hurts.

For months, my long-lost twin, Emma, has been living my life and trying to solve my murder. She's unearthed dark secrets about my friends, my family, and my tangled past. But when it comes to finding my killer, she keeps running into dead ends.

Until my body shows up in Sabino Canyon. Suddenly everyone knows there are two girls who look like Sutton Mercer—and that one of them is dead. At first the police assume the body is Emma's. But as questions and accusations start flying, it's harder than ever for Emma to keep playing me. The truth is bound to come out eventually. And when it does, Emma will be suspect number one in my murder investigation. If she can't find my killer before time runs out, she'll end up behind bars . . . or worse.

Way too much Drama by Earl Sewell
Publisher:  Harlequin Kimani

From Goodreads:  Maya is ready to put the fabulous back into her life—and that means getting her manipulative cousin, Viviana, out of it. Bad enough that Viviana is living under the same roof and tried to claim Maya's boyfriend, Misalo, for herself. Now she's going to Maya's high school and she's part of the quiz team competing on a TV show; alongside Maya, Keysha and Misalo.
Maya has no sympathy when Viviana finally starts to feel the pressure of fitting in to her new world. That's until her cousin does something drastic; and dangerous. Maybe Viviana isn't as tough as everyone thought. Maya could be the only person who can help bring her back safely. Question is; does she want to?

 Star Power (Charly's Epic Fiasco's #3) by Kelli London
Publisher:   Kensington Books

From Amazon:  Charly St. James is on top, and she's determined to keep it that way. That's why she and the producers have come up with a plan to take The Extreme Dream Team to the next level--by turning loners into VIPs. After all, how can you enjoy your new digs if your life is jacked up?

But when Charly meets her first makeover, Nia, she knows she'll have to do more than dress her up and boost her self-esteem. Nia is living in the shade of her twin sister, who is luxuriating in a major case of pretty girl syndrome. And the more Charly tries to get Nia to shine, the more her twin sabotages her mission. Good thing Charly loves a challenge, 'cause these twins' troubles are more than skin deep. . .

 Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy #5) by Jennifer Estep
Publisher:  K-Teen

From Goodreads:  Jwhen it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead.

As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there …

August 1st

 If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
Publisher:  Arthur A. Levine Books

From Goodreads:  Lewis "Shoe" Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he's not used to is white people being nice to him -- people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family's poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan's side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis's home -- will he still be his friend?

Torn by David Massey
Publisher:  Chicken House

From Goodreads:  Witnesses to a mystery on the battlefield, a British medic and an American Navy SEAL confront Afghanistan's fog of war.

In war-torn Afghanistan, a girl walks right into a hail of bullets: Elinor watches it with her own eyes. The young British army medic risks the line of fire to rescue her, only to realize the girl is gone.

To find the missing, mysterious child, Elinor enlists the help of an American Navy SEAL. But in all the confusion, with coalition troops fighting every day to maintain a fragile peace, does Ben have something to hide?

Elinor came to Afghanistan with the hope of changing hearts and minds: What she's about to discover will make her question everything she ever believed about love and war.

  The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford
Publisher:  Scholastic Press

From Goodreads:  Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia--a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she's been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?

As June approaches--when Laura must return to the United States--Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She's only nineteen and doesn't think she's ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn't she take it?


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Compliance (Dust Chronicles #2) by Maureen McGowan

Compliance (Dust Chronicles #2) by Maureen McGowan
Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publish Date:  June 4, 2013
Pages: 378
ISBN: 978-1477816530

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Glory is a double agent. She's training to be a Compliance Officer in the domed city, while rescuing Deviants secretly.  Glory comes off as stronger, yet more confused, very realistic, in this story. 

Cal is good, but how will he be when he finds out the truth about Glory?  Will he still want her?  Or will he just push her away?

The villian was a little predictable, but otherwise the story was good.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Naturals (Lost Souls #2) by Tiffany Truitt

The Naturals (Lost Souls #2) by Tiffany Truitt
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-1620611470

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The second book begins with Tess traveling to the Isolationist camp.

A lot of the book is taken up by flashbacks and how Tess feels.  Depending on how flashbacks are done, I enjoy them.  These were functionally fine, but I was annoyed by the subject matter.

The world building was good on the physical things, but the people and emotional side of things were a bit sketchy.

I didn't like Tess' judgemental attitude toward Sharon - the only other female that can reproduce.  Judge not, Tess!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Above (Above #1) by Mackie Burt

Above (Above #1) by Mackie Burt
Publisher: Carthay Circle Publishing
Publish Date: January 17, 2013
Pages: 354
ISBN: 978-1625150028

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Callie Lane dies when she was 17 years old and was selected to be a Guardian. Callie must attend Guardian School and learn from her mistakes so that she can help her Watched (person she looks over). 

The best part was learning about the Guardians lives and hearing about their mistakes and what they learned from them. I enjoyed the characters, they were decently done and much like an average teenager.  But ones that had to face their mistakes right now.

Definitely looking forward to reading the next installment!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happily Never After (Savannah Shadows #1) by Missy Fleming

Happily Never After (Savannah Shadows #1) by Missy Fleming
Publisher: Melange Books
Publish Date: February 6, 2013
Pages: 180
ISBN: 978-1612355597

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Quinn is 17 years old and believes in ghosts. She actually goes ghost hunting, but hasn't had a really scary experience...yet.

This is a dark retelling of Cinderella.  There's a wicked stepmother and two evil stepsisters.  The scariness is subtle, escalating slowly.  It was really well done.  It's hard to have that level of scariness that isn't cheesy or gory, well done!

The characters were well written, but the story is too short to do them justice.  Also, just a small thing, but a different cover would make a huge difference.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez

The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez
Publisher: Fahrenheit Publishing
Publish Date: February 20, 2013
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0988891611

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

The premise is a great one - a group of people that have the ability to travel through photos to different places and times.  Awesome, right?

Gavin is adopted. His adoptive mother died, his adoptive dad turned into a drunk. He runs away after his dad beats him up again and he's looking for money or anything to help himself to and finds information about his birth family.

Gavin doesn't really show any great growth throughout the story. He's impulsive, screws things up - sometimes it seems on purpose. I didn't care for Gavin, he just seemed dumb at times, not real teenage boy dumb, but 'grown up trying to think like a teenage boy' dumb.

There's a group of 'evil' photo travelers also.  They want the vials of fluid that seem to hold the secret to photo traveling.  Gavin refuses to give the vials his family has to the other group.

I think that the characters need a bit of development and the plot needs some tweaking also.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Alien Legends - A Selection from the Repository of Imagination by Gill Shutt

Alien Legends - A Selection from the Repository of Imagination by Gill Shutt
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publish Date: March 7, 2013
Pages: 274
ISBN# 978-1481135375

I thought that the cover art was beautiful and the concept - give a story, get a story - was really good.  I love well-written alien stories, thanks to Ray Bradbury.

However, these stories did not fire my imagination.  I didn't even read all of the stories because I got tired of slogging through the ones I did read.  Remember, this is just MY opinion.  The writing is good, I think the stories just need some tweaking for excitement.

The After Girls by Leah Konen

The After Girls by Leah Konen
Publisher: Merit Press
Publish Date: April 18, 2013
Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-1440561085

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Three bff's: Ella, Astrid and Sydney.  They have the summer after high school graduation all planned out.  Then Astrid commits suicide and the other two don't know how to handle it.

The grief, anger and even guilt of the two girls is very well done.  Ella thanks that Astrid is still trying to reach out and wants to figure out why Astrid would kill herself.  Sydney just wants to move on and forget all about it.

The writing is excellent and the characters are wonderful.  Grab a box of tissues, there will be crying.

Breathless (Elemental #2.5) by Brigid Kemmerer

Breathless (Elemental #2.5) by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Publish Date: April 30, 2013
Pages: 65
ISBN: 978-0758285539

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We all know that I love the fill-in novellas!  Sometimes...almost more than the actual novel!

This was a great chance to get to know Nick. He's always calm and good, so it was fun to see him 'off' and a little weird.

Nick's journey may be difficult, for himself and his brothers, but sometimes realizing what you really want IS difficult.  This is an excellent addition to the series!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date:  September 29, 2011
Pages: 372

American teen Aurora (Rory) Deveaux moves to England from Louisiana with her parents.  She attends a boarding school, so she's pretty far from her parents.  It's a definite lifestyle change and Rory struggles to fit in, finding her niche.

There's a killer mimicking Jack the Ripper in London and the city is buzzing with speculation. 

I did feel a bit annoyed by all the explanation of British words and things.  I mean, the HP books and movies pretty well taught us boarding school lingo.  Also, did we really need a menu/appetite update that frequently?

What pulled me into reading the book was the Jack the Ripper angle.  It's one of the most famous murder mysteries in the world, and there's virtually no hope of ever solving it.  The addition of a super secret society that can see and speak to ghosts was a nice twist.

Generally the characters and story were a bit boring.  It isn't a bad book, just boring.  Perhaps the second book will be better.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date:  January 1, 2008
Pages: 613
ISBN# 978-1439167397

There are really three parts to this book, but they are all connected, so it's a lot of fun.

1 - Andrew is preparing to commit suicide to be with his one true love. His cousin, Charles tells him about this new company 'Murray's Time Travel', that allows you to travel into the future. Andrew wants to travel to the past to fix HIS issues.  Here we are introduced to H.G. Wells.

2 - Claire Haggerty is bored with everything and everybody. She wants to go to Murray's Time Travel so she can meet a hero from the future - he's in all the advertisements and there are statues of him at the company.

3 - H.G. Wells and his famous time travel machine story.

These sound like three different stories, but they are intertwined with H.G. Wells's story at their center.  It just keeps you reading.  I was entranced - the writing, the characters, the story connections - excellent!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publish Date: January 22, 2013
Pages: 393
ISBN# 978-1606843214

There are people in this world that no one ever notices. People forget them as soon as they meet them. They are nobodies. The Institute tries to find these people when they are yuong and train them as assassins.

Then there are people who can easily influence others, but feel no emotion themselves.  These are Nulls.

Nix is a Nobody.  He's been trained since a small child that no one loves him, it's not possible, and he's learned a lot of ways to kill Nulls.

Claire is out of school for the summer and is moving through her free time being ignored.  Then one day an old man speaks to her - DIRECTLY to her. She's shocked, and amazed. A few days later she looks out her bedroom window to see Nix pointing a gun at her.  Nix and Claire are both shocked to realize that the other can not only see the other, but that they remember what they look like.

But Nix was sent to kill a Null, Clarie.  But Claire is a Nobody too.

There are a lot of twists in the story and it really keeps you involved.  Yes, there is some 'insta-love', but in this situation it works, these are two bleakly alone and lonely people.

Excellent writing and a great story!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Thirteenth (Thirteenth #1) by Georgia Twynham

The Thirteenth (Thirteenth #1) by Georgia Twynham
Publisher: Gosvenor House Publishing Limited (self published)
Publish Date: November 20, 2009
Pages: 336
ISBN#: 978-1907211133

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Val is an ordinary 18 year old girl. But then she finds a new tattoo on her arm and she didn't put it there.

There are 13 chapters chock-full of action.  I liked that the story was so fast paced!

At the beginning I was a little put off, as the trials Val faced seemed too easily conquered and Val just jumped in seemingly without questioning too much. She trusted everyone immediately.

Val comes across as confident, witty and smart. I think her character could still be developed further, maybe in future books?

There were some types and a bit of stilted conversation, but a good editor could assist with that.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Books Out This Week: July 8 - 14, 2013

July 8th

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
Publisher:  Flux

From Goodreads:  Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?

 Shallow Pond by Alissa Grosso
Publisher:  Flux

From Goodreads:  Barbara “Babie” Bunting is constantly mistaken for her sisters, but she’s determined not to end up like her family. She doesn’t plan to stick around Shallow Pond after graduation, and she certainly won’t be ruined by a broken heart. That is, until fellow orphan Zach Faraday walks into the picture, and Babie can’t deny their chemistry.

When her oldest sister, Annie, comes down with a mysterious illness—initially dismissed as “love sickness”—Babie and Zach start investigating what exactly killed the girls’ mother and why their late father became so consumed by grief. What they find changes everything.

July 9th

Half Lives by Sara Grant
Publisher:  Indigo

From Goodreads:  Present day: Icie is a typical high school teenager - until disaster strikes and her parents send her to find shelter inside a mountain near Las Vegas.

The future: Beckett lives on The Mountain - a sacred place devoted to the Great I AM. He must soon become the leader of his people. But Beckett is forced to break one of the sacred laws, and when the Great I AM does not strike him down, Beckett finds himself starting to question his beliefs.

As Beckett investigates The Mountain's history, Icie's story is revealed - along with the terrifying truth of what lies at the heart of The Mountain.

    Shadow of the Mark (Carrier #2) by Leigh Fallon
Publisher:   HarperTeen

From Goodreads:  Megan knew she was destined to be with Adam from the first moment she saw him and now they are determined to be together. But Megan and Adam are Marked Ones, and a romance between two Marked Ones is strictly forbidden…and could cause worldwide devastation.

Only Ever Always by Penni Russon
Publisher:  Allen & Unwin

From Goodreads:  Claire lives in an ordinary world where she is broken with grief. The silvery notes of her music box allow her to escape into the dream-world of Clara. In Clara’s world, powerful people are pulling the strings. She finds broken things to swap at the markets and walks treacherous routes. Claire’s and Clara’s paths are set to collide but which world is real?

 Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
Publisher:  Delacorte Press

From Goodreads:  Romeo and Juliet are gone. Will love live on? Despite the glooming peace that's settled on Verona after the recent tragedy, Montagues and Capulets are brawling in the streets. Faced with more bloody battles, Prince Escalus concludes that the only way to truly marry the fortunes of these two families is to literally marry them together. Everyone is skeptical, but none more so than the pair selected, for the most eligible Montague bachelor is Benvolio, Romeo's best friend, still anguished by the loss of his companions, and the chosen Capulet maid is Juliet's older cousin Rosaline, the girl Romeo first loved and whose refusal of Romeo's affection paved the way for bloodshed. Contrary to their late cousins, there's no love lost between Benvolio and Rosaline, yet they forge a bond to end the renewed feud not only to escape their forced betrothal, but to save their lives and the city of Verona itself.  

Who Needs Magic? (Magic #2) by Kathy McCullough
Publisher:   Delacorte Press

From Goodreads:  Delaney’s spending the summer working at Treasures, a secondhand store at the mall, surrounded by cool vintage boots—and potential clients. But when she finally feels a connection with Jeni, a girl who needs a life-changing, happily-ever-after wish . . . Jeni doesn’t want her help. And to make matters worse, Delaney finds herself competing with another f.g. Glittery, sparkly Ariella is an uber-f.g., granting wishes with a flick of her lemon candy stick, while Delaney can’t seem to make anything happen. Not even a summer romance with her boyfriend, Flynn.

It takes more than waving a chopstick to make big wishes come true. But what good is being an f.g. if you can’t make the boy you like want to be with you as much as you want to be with him?

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher:  Simon Pulse

From Goodreads:  Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

In Too Deep by Coert Voorhees
Publisher:  Disney Hyperion

From Goodreads:  Annie Fleet, master scuba diver and history buff, knows she can’t fight her nerd status as a freshman at her Los Angeles private school. And she doesn’t care—except for the fact that her crush, Josh, thinks she’s more adorable than desirable. Annie is determined to set him straight on their school trip to Mexico. But her teacher has other plans: he needs Annie to help him find Cortez’s lost-long treasure.

Suddenly, Annie finds herself scuba diving in pitch-black waters, jetting to Hawaii with Josh, and hunting for the priceless Golden Jaguar. But Annie and Josh aren’t the only ones lured by the possibility of finding the greatest treasure ever lost at sea. Someone else wants the gold—and needs Annie dead. In deeper danger than she ever imagined, can Annie get the boy and find the Jaguar, or is she in over her head?

Zom-B Angels (Zom-B #4) by Darren Shan
Publisher:   Simon & Schuster UK

From Goodreads:  After spending the last few months wandering around London--a city filled with the dead--B Smith has given up hope for any sign of normal human existence. But then B finds strange signs all over the city--a "Z" plus red arrows. Following them, B finds The Angels-- a group gathered in the hopes of combating the evil dead and the forces that introduced them. But all is not as it seems and it's up to B to find out: what battle are they truly waging?

  Raven Flight (Shadowfell #2) by Juliet Marillier
Publisher:   Knopf Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:  Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec.

Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn's love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favor, no one knows. 

The Saints (Quarantine #2) by Lex Thomas
Publisher:  Egmont USA

From Goodreads:  A cross between the Gone series and Lord of the Flies, Quarantine #2: The Saints contunues this frenetically paced and scary young adult series that illustrates just how deadly high school can be.

Nothing was worse than being locked in—until they opened the door...
McKinley High has been a battle ground for eighteen months since a virus outbreak led to a military quarantine of the school. When the doors finally open, Will and Lucy will think their nightmare is finished. But they are gravely mistaken.

As a new group of teens enters the school and gains popularity, Will and Lucy join new gangs. An epic party on the quad full of real food and drinks, where kids hookup and actually interact with members of other gangs seemed to signal a new, easier existence. Soom after though, the world inside McKinley takes a startling turn for the worse, and Will and Lucy will have to fight harder than ever to survive.

Smokescreen by Nancy Hartry
Publisher:  Tundra Books

From Goodreads:  Nothing in Kerry’s life prepares her for her first summer job. Stationed as far north from Toronto as Florida is south, unqualified and inexperienced, she perceives hazards around every tree. What does she know about fieldwork? Or black bears? Or men? Absolutely nothing—all she’s done with her life so far is competitive dance. If her mother only knew what this job required!

Kerry’s new partner, Yvette, is unlike anyone she’s ever met and something about her doesn’t add up. Her boss is a chauvinist pig and out to get them. When forest fires break out, Kerry and Yvette are drafted for fire duty and sent deeper into the bush—even closer to the fire. As all of northwestern Ontario goes up in flames, Kerry vows to find out what is really going on and uncovers a crime of international scope and scale that will threaten her life.

July 11th

  Plague in the Mirror by Deborah Noyes
Publisher:   Candlewick Press

From Goodreads:  It was meant to be a diversion — a summer in Florence with her best friend, Liam, and his travel-writer mom, doing historical research between breaks for gelato. A chance to forget that back in Vermont, May’s parents, and all semblance of safety, were breaking up. But when May wakes one night sensing someone in her room, only to find her ghostly twin staring back at her, normalcy becomes a distant memory. And when later she follows the menacing Cristofana through a portale to fourteenth-century Florence, May never expects to find safety in the eyes of Marco, a soulful painter who awakens in her a burning desire and makes her feel truly seen. The wily Cristofana wants nothing less of May than to inhabit each other’s lives, but with the Black Death ravaging Old Florence, can May’s longing for Marco’s touch be anything but madness? Lush with atmosphere both passionate and eerie, this evocative tale follows a girl on the brink of womanhood as she dares to transcend the familiar — and discovers her sensual power.

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna
Publisher:  Philomel

From Goodreads:  Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.

Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.

45 Pounds (More or Less) by Kelly Barson
Publisher:  Viking Juvenile

From Amazon:  Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi's life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 2 months, and wants Ann to be a bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less).

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, endless run-ins with the cutest guy Ann's ever seen—and some surprises about her not-so-perfect mother.

And there's one more thing—it's all about feeling comfortable in your own skin—no matter how you add it up!