Monday, August 26, 2013

What Your Friends Are Reading #5

Round 5 of What Your Friends Are Reading!  You can leave reviews at the circulation any time during the year.  We get most of ours over the summer, so there will be a few more of these posts to come.  You can click on the underlined book title to see if the book is available at the Woodward Memorial Library or if it is checked out.

Dark Moon by Steve Feasey
Nick's great Aunt Lenore died and he had to go to her funeral. Nick got turned into a zombie by a voodoo queen. Nick and his friend try to break the zombie curese but almost get killed in the process.
Teen Review: Interesting storyline. However, Wereling, the first book in the series was better. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in vampires, werewolves, and magic.

Case File 13: Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage
Nick's great aunt Lenore died and he had to go to her funeral.  Nick got turned into a zombie by a voodoo queen.  Now Nick and his friends have to try to break the curse.
Teen Review: I liked that it was a mystery.  I would recommend this book to others because it was detailed.  Also, if you like Halloween and monsters, you would love this book.

Undead Much by Stacey Jay
Uber zombies, cheerleaders, and zombie settlers oh my.  Megan Berry is a zombie settler.  What does that mean?  Basically she helps zombies deal with their killer issues. But these uber zombies can't seem to be stopped.  What's a zombie settler to do?
Teen Review:  Well written and way better then the first book in the series, You Are So Undead to Me.  Plus, there are some twists that were really good.  I would recommend this book to those who are into zombie stories.

You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay
Summary:  Megan Berry is a zombie settler.  She helps zombies deal with their killer instincts.  Having zombies follow you around all the time is bad enough for Megan's social life, but things get even worse when someone used black magic to start a zombie apocolypse.  Megan is the only one who has a chance of stopping it.
Teen Review:  This book has a fairly good plot but I liked Undead Much better.  I would recommend this book to people who like surprises and zombies.

Life, Starring Me by Robin Wasserman

Summary: Ruby has been on tour with the musical Bye, Bye Birdie but now she's too old for her role.  Ruby is just a regular seventh grader now.  She thinks life is going to be boring but then she joins the school musical and everything changes.
Teen Review:  I really liked the book.  I liked the sense of reality in it.  Yes, I would recommend the book because it shows how dramatically Ruby's life changed.

Monday, July 8, 2013

What Your Friends Are Reading #4

The Teen Summer Reading Program, Beneath the Surface, is in full swing.  Book reviews have been coming in fast and furious and it is time to share the first batch.
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Short Summary: Sophronia dreaded going to finishing school and avoided the possibility.  But when the finishing school recruits you and your mother forces you, you have to go.  But this finishing school is different.  The classes teach you not only how to curtsy but how to throw knives and escape capture.  Throw in a stolen prototype and evil attacking the school and Sophronia could end up finished in more ways than one.

Teen Review:  Etiquette Espionage had just enough action to captivate your mind but enough cluelessness to keep you guessing.  If you like spy novels it is a great book for you.  Th ebook is based in the 1800s so you get an insight into life in finishing schools.  The characters and plot keep you thinking even when you're not reading and make you want to read well into the night.

by Rachel Renee Russell
Short Summary:
  Nikki's gyms class is having a holiday ice show.  This will give participants an automatic A in class.  Nikki and her friends Chloe and Zoey decide they want to be in the show.  The only problem is they aren't very good skaters. 

Teen Review:  I like the book because it related to how teenagers act so I could relate to a lot of the things that happened in the book.  I would recommend the book to people who like teenage gossip diaries because it is really funny.

by Rachel Renee Russll
Short Summary:
  Nikki is going to write an advice column for the school newspaper.  But pretty soon, everyone wants advice from Miss Know-It-All and Nikki is feeling overwhelmed and like she could use some help.
Teen Review:  I really like the book.  I have almost read the whole series.  I would recommend this to other teen girls who enjoy reading about high school.  This book shows a lot about how school actually is.

Department 19 byThe Third Wheel Will Hill
Short Summary: 
  Jamie Carpenter's father is dead and his mother is missing.  He has been picked up and taken to Department 19 - a government agency responsible for policing supernatural beings and founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing.  With the help of some members of the agency, Jamie has to try to save his mother from a vampire.
Teen Review:  Great book.  Wonderful plot.  This book drew me in so much that after I finished I reread it twice.  I would recommend this book to people who like action and drama.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by: Jeff Kinney
Short Summary: 
More adventures of Greg.  Greg talks about himself growing up.  He talks about a family reunion and his Uncle Gary.  Greg also goes to a Valentine's dance with Rowley and Abigail.
Teen Review:  I liked that this book was very funny.  Yes, I would recommend this book to others because it is very funny and has an unexpected twist at the end.

The Clueless Girl's Guide to Being a Genius by Janice Repka
Short Summary: 
Thirteen year old Aphrodite graduated from college and now teaches 8th grade math.  She becomes friends with Mindy and they learn being a genius is hard.
Teen Review:  I liked this book because it is written in both girls points of view.  I would recommend it to other girls because it has a lot of emotions and friendships.

Ten Good and Bad Things About My Life (So Far) 
by Ann M. Martin
Short Summary:  Pearl is in 5th grade and has to write a paper about what she did over the summer.  The book is her assignment.
Teen Review:  I liked this book because it was a book you could really connect and relate to.  That way I can usually enjoy a book more because it makes sense to me and I can imagine being that person.
Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Short Summary: 
Nick is tough and thinks he knows everything.  But then his friend tries to kill him and he is saved by mysterious warrior.  Nick finds out there is more to the world than he knew.
Teen Review:  It was a good book with a good amount of action and supernatural characters.  Yes, I would recommend this book to people who like zombies and action.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

This Just In

This Just In is a feature that talks about new books that have arrived in the teen section of the library. 

Here are some new titles that have come in in the last couple weeks:

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock
That's the day the trouble started.
The trouble that nearly ruined my life.
The trouble that turned me Dark.
The trouble that begs me for revenge.

Celia Door is just starting high school.  Using giant boots and dark eyeliner as a shield, she's ready to take on her new persona as "Celia the Dark."  Last year, Sandy did something to Celia that is unforgivable and she is determined to make Sandy pay. 

Something Celia doesn't expect is to make friends with Drake, the new boy at school.  They trust each other and he tells her things he's never trusted anybody with before.  But Celia's revenge may cost her Drake's friendship.  Is revenge really worth it?
by Chris Howard
Banyan lives in a world without trees.  That's not all.  There are no birds, animals, or plants.  The world has become a barren wasteland.  Banyan is also alone.  He creates tree sculptures from cast off materials and sells them to the rich.  It makes him enough to eek out a meager living. 

Things change when Banyan meets a woman who says she knows where the last living trees are located.  But if Banyan is going to find them, he's going to have to get past pirates, poachers, and flesh eating locusts.  Banyan teams up with Alpha, a pirate with her own agenda, to try to find the trees.  What is he willing to do to bring back trees?  What is everyone else willing to do?

The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab

Hannah left home 8 years ago, shrouded in mystery.  Since then, Caro has lived her life as though she is an only child.  Her world is rocked when her parents announce that Hannah is coming back home.  No one will tell Caro why Hannah left and Hannah continues to act mysteriously.  When Caro decides to make up lies about Hannah's absence from their home it ends up pushing away her friends, boyfriend, and even parents.  Caro is forced to turn to an unlikely source for comfort.  And when she learns a clue about Hannah's past, she just might be able to save Hannah from her dark secret.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: How To Ruin A Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

How to Ruin A Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
Pages: 234
Location: YA Fiction

Summary: Amy Nelson lives with her mother and tolerates her father on those very rare occasions when he calls her for five minutes or tries to see her.  Basically, she's written him off and kept him out of her life, which doesn't seem to bother him one bit. 

Then out of the blue, Amy gets a call from her father.  He wants her to spend the summer in Israel with him so she can meet his side of the family.  Of course, Amy doesn't want to go.  Even though her father is Israeli and Jewish, she isn't so she doesn't want to waste the summer with a bunch of people she doesn't know. 

However, after talking to a friend, Amy finally decides to take her father up on his offer.  Israel is very different from Chicago, where Amy grew up.  There is only one bathroom in a house full of people.  Everyone has weird names.  Her cousin doesn't seem to like her.  It seems as though it will be a long summer. 

But then Amy meets Avi.  Well, she falls on him.  And since he's friends with her cousin, he keeps turning up.  Amy can't stand him and his arrogant attitude.  She might even hate him.  He's cute and every thing but...well, he's really cute...OK he's super hot, but a jerk, right?  Right?

Amy's trip goes from being long and boring, to ending way too fast.  Will she see Avi again?  Does she really want to?

Review:  This was a fun, fast read.  For the most part, Amy is a really likable character.  She definitely has her flaws and she can be a little too obnoxious or needlessly stubborn sometimes, but these flaws make her character seem more real and believable. 

Reading about Israel was interesting, especially because had points of views from a westerner (Amy) and native Israelis (her family and their friends).  The reader really does learn a lot about Israel and Israeli culture but none of it reads like a textbook or travel guide.  The information is given in a natural way through conversation and observations.

And the slow building relationship between Amy and Avi will keep you flipping pages.   There is definite animosity and dislike between the two at the beginning and right up to the end, even though their relationship has slowly changed, you still don't know if they are going to end up liking each other or totally hating each other.

Bottom line:  If you like romance, foreign lands, and a fun, light reads then definitely check out How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Here we have another Save Us book.  War for the Oaks by Emma Bull is in danger of ending up in the Used Book Sale.  Are you willing to try to save it?

Where to begin.  There is a lot in this book.  We may as well start with the cover - another lackluster affair.
It may not look spectacular, but the cover features two key elements of the story - a dog and the mean streets of Minneapolis. 

Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll.  But her boyfriend just dumped her, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse.  Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night (just like on the cover!) she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk.  Now, more than her own survival is at risk - and her won preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point.

See, Eddi is walking home when she discovers she is being followed by phouka - a man who spends part of his time as a dog (just like on the cover!).  This man/dog/phouka has been appointed Eddi's guardian.  There is a war between the Seelie and Unseelie Faeries and Eddi has been drafted by the Seelie Court  because of a great power in her soul.

See?  There is a lot here.  But it is a lot of awesome.  This book has music and fantasy and will keep you flipping pages to see how things will end.

Check this book out and give it a second chance.  Find it on display in the teen section of the library.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wait...You Haven't Read This?!

Susane Colasanti has written some great novels, such as: When It Happens, Waiting for You,  Something Like Fate.  Her books are about characters that the reader can relate to and by the end of the book, feels like they are good friends.

Her latest novel, Keep Holding On is just another in a line of great reads.  This is the story of Noelle, a girl having a rough time at school.  Her home life isn't great.  She lives in constant fear that people will find out about it.  She's also dating a guy she really isn't that into.  Who is she really into?  Julian Porter.  Oh yeah.  But does he even know she's alive?  Doubtful.  No wait, make that definitely not.  Noelle tries to keep her head down and stay off the radar.

But then Julian starts talking to her and Noelle is even more nervous and stressed out.  Should she give Julian a chance and risk a broken heart or should she stay in a dead end relationship with Matt? 

This isn't just a story about love, though.  There is also a lot of bullying that happens and the story follows how Noelle and her friends react to and deal with bullying when it goes too far.

If you've read Sarah Dessen or Elizabeth Scott, or other Susane Colasanti books, you will definitely want to pick this one up. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Doctor Illuminatus by Martin Booth

Another installment in the Save Us book campaign.  Today we have Doctor Illuminatus by Martin Booth.  If any of you have read the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin (prounounced "Owen" by the way) Colfer, he has a blurb on the front of this book.  What does it say?  "I love this book."  That is a pretty good endorsement.  The Artemis Fowl series is good, so Colfer is no stranger to good books.

I actually really like the cover of this book.

I only just noticed now there is a person in the bottle on the cover.  It makes sense for the story, though.  The inside cover blurb:

Real Magic is Dangerous Magic in this modern-day battle against the dark side of ancient alchemy...

When siblings Pip and Tim move with their parents to an old English country estate and hear a strange knocking from within the walls of the ancient home, they can hardly believe their eyes.  A mysterious boy named Sebastian, the son of a medieval alchemist, emerges and claims that he has been asleep for nearly six hundred years.

Sebastian reveals that they are in danger: His father's bitter enemy, de Loudeac, has also awakened from a centuries-long slumber and is determined to use the secrets of alchemy to evil ends.  Soon, Pip and Tim find themselves entangled in a web of intrigue, sorcery, and horror as they join Sebastian in his quest to foil de Loudeac's villainous scheme.  But can the madman be stopped? 

Alchemists searched for the magical elixir that would bring immortality.  Remember Nicholas Flamel in Harry Potter?  If you were a fan of the Harry Potter series and have been looking for another great magical story, this might be the book for you.  There is a lot of action and suspense..  It is worth checking out. 

Find it on display in the teen section of the library.  Save it before the book sale (which is coming up March 30!!)