January 1

I read some great, great books over the holiday break.  If you like vampire romances, you MUST read Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.  This book is a lot like Twilight, but a little more mature.  Jessica is a senior in high school and she loves math and her friends.  Jessica’s entire world changes at the beginning of the school year when Lucius shows up and insists that Jessica is really a vampire princess destined to marry him.  Jessica spends the majority of her senior year trying to figure out how to get rid of a weirdo like Lucious.

This book is funny and light and serious and dark all at the same time.  If you like vampire books, you’ll love this book.  The book contains some mature language and a few mature situations.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

January 1

If you want a fun, quick read, try Dork Diaries.  These books are a lot like Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  The books are quick to read and have fun cartoons to move the story along.  Nikki is in junior high and she starts the new school year at an expensive, private school.  Nikki gets to go to this school because her father owns a bug extermination business and he removes bugs from the school.  Nikki is really embarrassed about being seen in her father’s van with a giant, fake cockroach on the top.  Nikki doesn’t fit in at first, but then she starts making friends and enemies. 

This is a fun series.  The series is written mainly for girls.  If you like quick, fun books, try the Dork Diaries.

Dork Diaries

January 1

Have your parents ever made you do something you didn’t want to do?  If so, you’ll love reading Project Sweet Life.  The three teenage boys in this book just want to have fun during the summer before high school.  Their fathers have other ideas–their fathers want the boys to get summer jobs.  These boys know the truth though–once you get a summer job, you are expected to work the rest of your life.  The guys just want one more summer of freedom.  A plan is formed–Project Sweet Life–the boys just have to figure out how to come up with the money they would have made working a summer job without actually getting a summer job.  They figure that they need to come up with $7,000 to make it seem like all three of them have been working the entire summer.  They come up with many creative ways to earn $7,000 throughout the book.

This is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.  These three boys have so many funny ideas about earning money.  I loved the personality and the spunk in this book.  This is a great book for anyone who wants a fun, quick read.

Project Sweet Life

January 1

If you have ever been the new kid in school, you will love reading Alibi Junior High.  The main character, Cody, is the new guy at school.  Cody is probably different from most new kids though.  Cody has been schooled by his dad his entire life because Cody and his father are undercover spies.  Cody is able to fight grown men to the death, track bad guys and  speak several different languages, but he has a very hard time fitting into his new junior high. 

If you like funny, action-packed books, you’ll love Alibi Junior High.  I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a great read.

Alibi Junior High

December 20

Troy High is a great book for all of the 9th grade students who have studied the Trojan War, the Illiad, and the Odyssey.  Troy High follows the plot of the Trojan War in modern times.  The Trojan football team and the Spartan football team are enemies.  The boundaries for the schools have recently changed and so the most beautiful girl ( who was previously a Spartan) is now a member of Troy High.  The feud between the two schools is strong and follows the plot of the Trojan War, including the idea for the Trojan horse.

This is a fun, quick read.  If you like Greek Mythology, you must read this book.

Troy High

December 12

Brilliant is the third novel in the Avery sisters series.  If you read my earlier blog post about Lucky, you know that the Avery sisters are struggling to accept the fact that their high-powered mother lost her job.  Brilliant is the story of the oldest sister Quinn.  Quinn has always been the “perfect” child.  She’s smart, obedient and always takes care of everyone else.  Quinn starts questioning her role in the family as the perfect child and starts rebelling against her parents. 

I really like this series of books. I think it ‘s really interesting to see how three different sisters cope with the challenges that face this family.  I love reading this book and comparing it to the book Lucky; the different points of view really make the books interesting.  If you like books about dealing with teenage problems, you’ll love this series.

Brilliant

December 12

 

I think that The Limit is my favorite book I’ve read this year.  If you’ve been in the library this year, you know that I love dystopian books.  The Limit is one of the best dystopian books I’ve come across.  In this dystopia, families are given a credit limit for buying cars, clothes, groceries and toys.  If families go over their credit limit, the teenagers in the family are taken to a “work house” and forced to work off the family debt.  Matt is the main character in this novel and his family overspends one month.  As Matt enters the work house, he realizes that things aren’t quite as they appear. 

If you like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner or Matched, you will love this book.

 The Limit

December 9

 

Phoebe is an 8th grade girl who has EVERYTHING.  Her mother is a high-powered investor and Phoebe’s family has all of the latest gadgets, vacations and an extravagant home.  Phoebe is a very popular girl at school and she feels very lucky.  Phoebe’s life changes dramatically one day when her mother loses her job.  Phoebe has to figure out if her friends really like her for being her, or if they only like the image she clings to. 

This is a fantastic book about a girl dealing with every day problems.  I really liked to read about the decisions Phoebe makes and the way she tries to handle her problems.  In the book, Phoebe has two older sisters.  The author, Rachel Vail, is coming out with two other books.  Each book is about the family crisis from the perspective of the older sisters.  If you like Lucky,  you’ll want to read Brilliant and Gorgeous.

 Lucky

December 5

 

If you are looking for a great “girl book”, you must try Artichoke’s Heart.  Rosemary is an overweight 15-year-old girl who is shy and feels awkward about her weight. It doesn’t help that she spends lots of time at her mother’s hair salon where lots of people comment about and laugh about her weight.  Rosemary decides to do something about her weight.  She tries some diets that aren’t smart at all, but then she figures out how to lose weight without going on a crazy diet.  Along the way, she must learn how to communicate with those around her. 

This is such a fun, uplifting book.  I loved the personality and the tone of this book.  If you like funny, light reads, this is a great book for you.

 Artichoke's Heart

December 1

 

If you like fun, zany books, you will like Teen, Inc.  This is a book about a boy, Jaiden,  who is adopted and raised by a corporation.  All of the decisions in his life are made by CEOs and the executive boards.  A team of professionals puts together a PowerPoint to decide which girls Jaiden should date.  Jaiden knows that his life is bizarre, but he’s all right with it.  The problem comes when he finds a girl that he really likes.  He doesn’t want her to know that he doesn’t have parents, so he lies to her for a while.  Meanwhile, he realizes that the father of the girl he likes is the enemy of the corporation who is raising him. 

This is a funny, funny book with an improbable situation.  I love this book and I can’t wait to read more of this author’s writing.  If you like funny, personality-filled books, you will want to check out Teen, Inc.

 

 Teen, Inc.

November 28

I just finished The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, and I had the time this weekend.  This is a book that made me laugh, cry and think. 

Junior is a Native American boy who lives in a reservation.  His life and the lives of those around him are very difficult.  Junior describes his life in humorous detail.  He soon realizes that he must leave the reservation and go to school in a small town with farm kids.  The kids at his new school don’t like him being there at first and his friends at his old school hate him for leaving.  Junior’s description of his battles, struggles, victories and defeats make you laugh and cry at the same time.

This book is a fascinating glimpse into a boy’s life as he tries to live in two different worlds.  I loved this book and the new outlook it gave me.  You must be warned though, Junior tells his story as a teenage boy.  There is strong language and a few sexual situations in this book.  If these issues make you uncomfortable, this may not be the book for you.

Diary

November 28

If you are looking for a fun, quick ghost story, Three Quarters Dead is the book for you.  Kerry is one of the younger students at a really elite school.  She is all alone with no friends.  She doesn’t fit in, but she loves to watch the most popular girls in school that sit near her at lunch.  One day the girls befriend her and she becomes instantly popular.  Tragedy strikes and the three girls are killed.  That’s where a creepy, haunting ghost story begins.

If you like R.L. Stine or Mary Downing Hahn, you’ll like this book.

Three Quarters Dead

November 23

If you like the Percy Jackson series of the Harry Potter series, you may like The Keys to the Kingdom series. 

The first book, Mister Monday, starts off the entire adventure.  Arthur is just a regular boy.  Well, maybe not regular, he’s about do die.  Arthur has terrible asthma and he visits the hospital a lot.  Arthur has a deadly attack in gym class and a man from another world visits him.  This man gives Arthur a key that allows him to rule a realm of the world.  It’s pretty complicated, but all in all, Arthur has to travel to another dimension, defeat monsters and beasts and then outsmart an evil man and his posse. 

This is a fantastic adventure series and the best part is that the series is complete.  If you decide to read this series, you won’t have to wait for a year between each book.  Each book is titled after a day of the week starting with Monday.  Sunday is already released and that concludes the series.  If you like action, adventure and fantasy, come in and check this book out!!

Mister Monday

November 23

OK, I’ve been talking about dystopian books a lot in the library lately.  Everyone wants dystopian books because they are the hot thing right now.  Here’s a great book for everyone who likes Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Gone.  Black Hole Sun is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that I think you will love.

Durango and his group of soldiers live on Mars.  Lots of people live on Mars because of a disease that destroyed Earth.  Durango must fight against a group of cannibals to protect a group of helpless miners with a treasure.  The setting of the book is classic dystopia, but the great part of the book is the tone and dialogue.  This book is FUNNY.  The characters are laughable and heart-warming. 

If you like bizarre, dystopic books, you will love Black Hole Sun.  Give yourself 75 pages to really get into the setting and figure out what it’s all about.  Come on in and check it out!!

Black Hole Sun

November 14

Many of you have read books written by Janette Rallison.  Her newest book is called My Double Life.  If you like her books, you will love this latest book. The book is written from Alexia’s point of view.  She is an average teenager who is trying her hardest in school.  One day a friend posts a picture of her online.  An agent for the celebrity Kari Kingsley calls Alexia immediately because Kari and Alexia look almost exactly alike.  The agent convinces Alexia that she should pretend to be Kari so Kari can work on her next album in peace.  Alexia really needs the money and that’s where the whole mixed-up plot begins.

If you like light, funny reading, this is the perfect book for you.  I really loved the quick, light plot of the book and I thought the characters were fun.  If you like Janette Rallison or Meg Cabot books, you will love My Double Life.


My Double Life

November 7

I usually don’t like sequel books as much as I do the first book in the series.  I just finished Torment, the second book in the Fallen series, and this time I liked the second book much more.  If you haven’t read Fallen,  scroll down to the blog review I did about that and read all about it. 

In Torment Luce is stuck at another strange boarding school.  This time she is in a California school with many other angels and demons.  Luce has to be seperated from Daniel and she is literally tormented by being away from him.  Luce realizes that she has powers that she can use.  The shadows that have always followed her become imporant to figuring out the past.  Luce meets Miles, a guy who attends her school and she starts having second thoughts about her relationship with Daniel.

I loved this book.  This is the first novel I have read in a long time where the teenage girl gets to make decisions and make important choices that affect everyone in the novel.  This novel is almost like a fractured fairy tale.  The first book Fallen is pretty fairy tale-ish and it’s easy to predict what will happen.  Torment kept me guessing and I was excited to see how Luce dealt with the fairy tale after she found her prince charming.  There will be  a third book out during the Summer of 2011.

Torment

October 24

I LOVE finding a good book.  I HATE being bookless when I have time to read.  So when I was at the Tampa airport for 6 hours, I was so happy to find a great bookstore with a great young adult fiction section.  I picked up The Eternal Ones and loved my time at the airport.  Haven is the main character and she has a really interesting life.  Since her father’s tragic death, she lives with her bossy, bossy grandmother and her reclusive mother.  Haven lives in a tiny town in Tennessee, but she knows that she belongs in New York City.  Since the age of 2, Haven has had fainting spells.  During these fainting spells, Haven has vivid images of Ethan.  She knows everything about Ethan and knows that she must find him.  Haven realizes that Ethan is a celebrity in New York City and Haven sets off to find him.  During this journey, Haven realizes that her life isn’t what she thought it was.

This is an amazing book that will have you reading for hours and hours.  If you like Fallen, The Splendor Falls, Hush Hush, or Twlight you will love this book.  Come in and check it out.

The Eternal Ones

October 24

I love books by Ally Carter.  I think that she is one of the best authors writing “girl books” right now.  She writes fun, quick reads.  You may recognize her from books like I’d Tell You I Love You, but I’d Have to Kill You and Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover. She’s a fun writer and so I’m really excited about her latest book The Heist Society.  This book follows a girl named Kat.  Kat’s family steals fine art and valuables from museums and wealthy people.  Kat has decided that she doesn’t like this life, and she just wants to be a normal teenager.  Kat spends a lot of time making arrangements to go to a boarding school and get out of the family business.  Just as her life becomes normal, she realizes that her father is in trouble.  Kat must get back in the business of stealing valuables, but this time she has to steal them back to save her father.

This book is great. It’s light, funny and so fun to read.  If you like Son of the Mob or any other Ally Carter or Meg Cabot book, you’ll love Heist Society.


Heist Society

October 24

If you like dystopian books, you’ll want to try the book Gone. The setting of the book is so unique.  The book begins as the students from a small California town are sitting in their classrooms.  Suddenly, all of the adults just disappear.  Teachers vanish from thin air, policemen disappear and anyone over the age of 15 vanishes.  This creates a great amount of confusion.  Students are pretty happy to go home from school, but soon realize that there will be huge problems if all the adults are gone.  Who will take care of the toddlers and babies?  What happens when the food supply runs out?  After a few days the kids realize that there is a barrier around the town that keeps them in the town.  In addition, anyone who turns 15 automatically vanishes.

This is an incredibly interesting book about what would happen in really extreme conditions.  The main characters are fun to follow on their quest for normalcy.  If you like The Hunger GamesThe Maze Runner, you’ll probably really like this book, so check it out!! or  Gone

October 3

Wow!!!  I just finished another great sports book. I love sports books by Tim Greene, Mike Lupica and Carl Deuker.  Payback Time is written by Carl Deuker, the author of High HeatPayback Time is different from a lot of other sports books because it is written from the point of view of a high school sports writer.  Mitch is the sports writer for his high school newspaper, but he really wants to be a professional journalist some day.  As Mitch covers the football season, he notices a huge problem with the football team.  The cranky old football coach won’t let the best player on the team have any playing time.  Mitch uncovers the mystery behind this injustice.

This is a book full of wit and suspense.  If you like football, this is a great book for you.

Payback Time

October 3

For all of you who are fans of the Alex Rider series, the Young James Bond series, or the Cherub series, I have a new series that you will want to read.  The Steel Trapp series is about a boy, Steven Trapp.  His nickname is Steel Trapp because he has a photographic memory with instant recall. Steel is on his way to the national science fair when he notices that a woman is getting off of the train without the briefcase she carried onto the train.  He runs to stop her and that’s where all of the action begins.  The briefcase holds a horrific ransom note and Steel becomes involved with a kidnapping ring.

I loved this book because it’s fast-paced and fun to read.  The plot kept me guessing.  If you like spy books and action books, you MUST read Steel Trapp: The Challenge.

Steel Trapp

September 26

It seems like all of the latest books deal with teenagers and supernatural powers.  When I saw the cover of The Ghost and the Goth, I thought it looked light and maybe even funny.  I was mostly right.  This is a light book with some pretty funny twists and turns.  Alona Dare is the most popular, trendy girl in school; everyone is afraid of her powerful popularity.  One morning she skips gym and while crossing the street gets hit by a bus and dies.  She wakes up as a ghost and has to watch her family and friends adjust to the idea that she’s gone.  Some pretty funny things happen with this turn of events.  The only person who can see her is Will Killian.  For some reason Will can see ghosts and talk with them.  Will is the “goth” from the title because he’s always listening to his Ipod, dressing in black and avoiding eye contact to avoid ghosts.  Alona has to ask Will for help and he’s not really excited about that since she treated him like dirt when she was alive.

This is a fun book with lots of laughs.  The book does get really serious toward the end and there’s some more mature language toward the end.  I would suggest this book if you like funny, irreverent stories.

The Ghost and the Goth

September 19

Should a book about football make me cry?  That’s just what happened when I read Pop by Gordon Korman.  This is one of the BEST football books I have ever read.  The greatest part of this book is that it is a great story with football thrown in.  You don’t have to be a huge football fan to understand what is going on.  If you are a huge football fan, you will LOVE this book.

Marcus Jordan moves to a small town in upstate New York.  He is a great football player and wants to try out to be the quarterback at his new school.  This new school earned the championship the previous year and no one on the team (including the coach) is interested in new players.  Marcus finally gets a position on the football team and starts having additional workouts at an abandoned park on his own.  Every day Charlie, a 50-year-old man comes and works out with him.  Even though Charlie is a lot older than Marcus, he tackles harder and runs faster than Marcus.  Marcus learns a lot about football from Charlie, but he also starts learning the truth about Charlie.  When Marcus learns this truth, he wants to help make Charlie’s life better, but he struggles with keeping Charlie’s secret.

This is an amazing book that I couldn’t stop reading.  I laughed, cried and smiled at this unique story.  This book is appropriate for any audience.

Pop

September 17

 

I love it when I “discover” a book in the library.  Apparently the book Need has been in our library for a while, but I just discovered it when a brilliant student returned it.  I’ve heard talk of this book, so I wanted to find out for myself.  I loved this book.  Need deals with immortal creatures and demons, but my favorite part was the main character Zara.  Zara “collects” phobias.  She knows about every phobia known to mankind.  Zara’s life has been turned upside down with the death of her step-father.  She stops caring about anything and her mother sends her to Maine to live with her grandmother.  Zara hates small-town Maine until she meets Nick, the glowering boy in school.  Zara learns deep, dark secrets about her family and her real father.

This was a great book.  If you like Shiver, Evermore, Beautiful Creatures or Fallen, you will love this book.

 Need

September 9

The book Shattering Glass was written several years ago.  When this book came out, I remember people talking about it, but I never had a chance to read it.  I picked it up the other day and had to finish it within hours.  The storyline and plot structure are incredibly compelling.  You should know that the plot deals with a lot of mature content and this book isn’t for everyone.  The ending haunted me and kept me up at night.

Shattering Glass is about Simon Glass.  He is the school nerd.  Four of the most popular boys in school decide to “remake” Simon and make him the most popular kid in school.  This plan works very well at first, but then things start unraveling.  Simon meets a horrible end that the reader learns about from the first page of the book.  Here’s the first paragraph of the book:  Simon Glass was easy to hate.  I never knew exactly why, there was too much to pick from.  I guess, really, we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn’t realized it until the day we killed him.

This book is incredibly powerful, but it’s not for everyone.  If you like edgy reads and you aren’t offended by mature language, this would be a good book for you.

Shattering Glass

September 6

Meg Cabot writes an entire series about a girl who can talk to the dead.  Susannah tries to help the dead find peace and make it to the next life.  Susannah is a high school student and many times dead people appear to her at quite inconvenient times.  I just picked up one of the books in this series–Haunted.  This book isn’t the first book in the series, but it wasn’t hard to get into.  Susannah tries to balance her “dead” boyfriend who she can still see, a new Mediator at school, and her stepbrother’s wild party at her house.  This was a fun, light book considering that it was about talking to dead people.  If you are interested in this series, you should probably start with Shadowland; it’s the first book.  If you’re looking for a good, fun read, try this series.

Haunted

September 4

So like everyone else in the free world, I just finished Mockingjay.  With all of the books that are written in a series, it’s kind of nice to read a series that actually ends.  I’m sure that you’ve heard all about the plot of the previous books.  Mockingjay is darker and moves really quickly.  I liked the images in this book.  I was a little disappointed by the ending, or maybe I’m just sad the series is actually over.

If you like the Hunger Games series, you may want to try the other series that this author wrote.  Suzanne Collins actually wrote a whole series of books before she became incredibly famous for the Hunger Games.  The series is called the Underland Chronicles and the first book is Gregor the Overlander. We have the entire series in our library.  Here’s a quick link to Amazon if you’re interested in reading more about this other series.  Underland Chronicles

Mockingjay

August 25

If you like supernatural books, you should try reading the book Fallen. Fallen takes place at a reform school.  Every student sent to the school has broken the law or broken rules.   Luce is the main character and she is at the reform school because of the mysterious death of her boyfriend.  When Luce first arrives at the school, she is really afraid of the other students.  She soon meets Cam, a boy who charms her and makes her feel safe.  Luce then meets Daniel, a boy who hates her.  Luce can’t stop thinking about Daniel and the strange things that happen while he is around.  Luce can’t help but think that she knows Daniel from somewhere and she is soon suprised to find out how she knows him.

If you like supernatural books with lots of fighthing and action, this is a great book for you.  I really enjoyed the characters and their struggles.

Fallen

August 18

Hex Hall is a fun book about witches, demons, and vampires.  Sophie is  a witch and she has always lived in the human world with her mother.  Sophie has never met her father, but she knows that he is a warlock.  By occasionally using her magic, Sophie tries to make her life better.  One day Sophie performs a “love spell” that goes completely and laughably wrong. Her father decides that she is a danger to everyone in the human world, so Sophie is sent to a school for witches who need to learn to use their powers.  Hex Hall is the name of the school and Sophie realizes that something very bizarre is going on at this school.  Witches are being attacked and Sophie will need to use her powerful magic to solve the problem.

This book was such a fun read.  Sophie’s character is witty and sassy and you can’t help put cheer for her.  The plot of the book leaves room for more books in the series and these books are sure to be just as fun as the first.  If you like to read about the supernatural, give this book a try.


Hex Hall

August 8

I just finished the book Tangled and it had a really interesting organizational pattern. I realize that is a very “English teacher” thing to say, but let me explain.  Tangled is about 4 teenagers.  These teenagers know each other in various ways, and sometimes interact.  The first part of the book is written from Jena’s point of view about events that happened in April.  The next part of the book is written from Dakota’s point of view in May.  Skye writes the next part of the book about her life in June; Owen writes about events in his life in July.  Some of the characters interact with each other a lot and some only interact a little with each other.  I thought that the organization was very creative.


That being said, this book is for VERY mature audiences.  The language is very graphic and the reader gets to read about everything the character is thinking.  This author wrote other noteworthy books, so if you are a follower of Carolyn Mackler, this may be a book for you.  If you don’t like graphic language and situations, you may want to choose another book.

Tangled

August 8

If you like The Hunger Games, you should really consider reading The Maze Runner. The Maze  Runner is about Thomas.  He finds himself in a dark elevator on a long ride.  He can’t remember ANYTHING except for his name.  When his elevator arrives at his destination, Thomas enters “The Glade.”  The Glade is filled with teenage boys trying to survive.  They grow their own food, raise their own animals and run their own society.  These boys also explore a maze attached to their home.  They think that the maze holds answers to who they are and how they can get back to the real world.  All of the boys are in danger of The Grievers.  These are horrific animals that try to kill the boys.  When Thomas arrives, everything starts to change and he starts to break all of the rules.


This is an amazing book that kept me guessing the entire time I read.  I found the book completely unpredictable and so exciting.  If you decide to read this book, read it with an open mind.  The boys in The Glade make up their own words and at first it’s a little confusing.  This book is really worth the effort of the read and I can’t wait for the second book to come out.

The Maze Runner

August 2

So, I sort of started reading a book and got stuck.  I just finished reading Before I Fall and I’m still not sure what I think of the book.  Samantha Kingston is one of the most popular girls in her high school, but she is a complete jerk.  She doesn’t care about hurting other people or spreading rumors.  The only thing that matters to Sam is staying popular and being better than others.  One night she goes to a party and dies on the way home.  Instead of going to the afterworld, she wakes up to find herself reliving her last day on earth.  She relives this last day 7 times and tries to make up for the horrible things that she has done.  This book was all right, but it was really long.  I liked the format and some of the witty conversations, but there is A LOT of mature subject matter in this book.  If you decide to read it, be ready to read about some really mature situations.

Before I Fall

July 23

If you like murder mystery books, you’ll want to read The Body Finder.  Violet is a normal high school girl except for her ability to find dead bodies.  Bodies of people and animals that have been killed “call” to her.  She may see vivid colors or smell a strong smell when a dead body is near.  She also sees a matching “imprint” on the killer of the victim. Violet is drawn to the body and must help the body rest in peace.  Violet usually just finds bodies of animals that have been killed and buried in the forest, but at an end-of-summer party, she finds a body of a teenage girl who has been killed.  More bodies are found and soon the people of the town start to realize that a killer is one the loose.  Violet must decide if she can use her power to find the killer.  Throughout Violet’s struggle and danger, she must deal with her best friend Jay.  Violet’s best friend Jay has always been a support for her, but when she realizes that she is falling in love with him, her life gets really complicated.  I loved this book.  I was drawn in from the beginning.  The organization and format of the book keep you guessing.  I was literally afraid to read the last page of the book, but I gathered my courage and it all worked out.  The relationship between Jay and Violet is so sweet.  If you like suspense and a dose of romance, this is a great book for you.  The romance between Jay and Violet does get pretty intense, so be aware of that.

The Body Finder

July 19

I found a book I literally could NOT put down.  Hush, Hush is told from Nora’s point of view.  Nora is a great student, wonderful friend, and writer for the school magazine.  When Nora’s Biology teacher assigns her to sit next to Patch, her whole world literally changes.  Nora feels like Patch is stalking her, but she finds that there is so much more to Patch than that.  I loved this book.  It was a quick read and I loved Patch’s character.  The plot was easy to follow, but still kept me guessing.  This book is a little mature, so be aware of that before you start.  If you are a fan of the Twilight books, you will probably love this book. I never really figured out what the title has to do with the book, so if you figure it out, send me a message.

Hush, Hush

July 13

There are so many issues during the teenage years.  I found a new book called Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have and this book deals with the issue of being overweight.  This book is written from the perspective of a boy named Andy and he’s very overweight.  He has a great sense of humor, but sometimes life is really hard to deal with.  Andy faces the idea that he can’t fit into his seat at school and he has the most embarrassing moment of bowling over 5 classmates and getting tangled up in a soccer goal net.  Through it all, Andy keeps a good attitude and he makes friends with the quarterback from his school.  Andy tries out for football and that’s where his adventure begins.   This book literally had me laughing out loud.  This is a great book for guys and girls, but it does have some mature content.  If you are uncomfortable with crude language, this may not be a book for you.

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have

July 10

I love it when I find a great series that I can recommend to all of my students.  The Dreamhouse Kings series is about a family (their last name is King) who buys a creepy old house.  In the first book–House of Dark Shadows–the boys in the family David and Xander think that something is really strange about the house.  Besides the fact that the house is old, dark and creepy, there are very strange, unexplained noises and visitors in the house.  The family hopes for the best when they move into the house, but they quickly realize that there is a lot more to the house than meets the eye.  This is an amazing book.  Guys and girls will love this book.  If you like suspense and mystery, this is a great book.  Check it out!!


House of Dark Shadows

July 5

Sometimes you read a book and you just fall in love with it.  That is what happened to me when I read The Splendor Falls. This book is so intense and fun.  Sylvie is one of the best ballerinas in the world until she falls and breaks her leg.  Sylvie lives a celebrity life in Manhattan.  Now she has to deal with the fact that she will never be able to dance again.  Sylvie’s mother has fallen madly in love with a psychiatrist and leaves for a month to go on a honeymoon.  Sylvie’s mother doesn’t want her staying in Manhattan alone, so she ships Sylvie off to live with her cousin in a small Alabama town for a month.  Sylvie is determined to rest,read and do nothing, but when she arrives she finds two boys that keep her mind distracted and a mystery about the huge mansion her cousin owns.  This is a captivating book.  If you like Twilight or Shiver or Evermore, you will love this book.

The Splendor Falls

July 4

Wow!!!  I just read a book written by Tim Green called Football Genius. The book was good, but the really great discovery is author Tim Green.  Tim Green writes sports-based books for teenagers, and he played for 8 years in the NFL.  He was a first-round draft pick for the Atlanta Falcons.  He is an author you want to read if you like sports books.

Football Genius is about a boy named Troy.  Troy can see football plays before they happen.  He can predict future plays with almost 100% accuracy.  This is great because his mother just got a job working for the Atlanta Falcons and she just became friends with one of the superstar players.  Troy has to convince everyone that he really can help the team win.  This was a great book.  It is a fast read, it’s funny, and it has great characters.  If you like sports, I would highly recommend this book.


Football Genius

July 1

Blue Moon is the second book in The Immortals series.  This book follows a girl named Ever.  Ever can touch people and know everything about them in an instant.  She hates this gift because her mind is always full of chaos.  Fortunately, she meets Damen, another Immortal who is in love with her.  Everything is going great for Ever until Damen’s mind is taken over by an evil genius.  Damen publically mocks Ever and breaks her heart.  Ever must figure out if Damen really doesn’t like her or if his mind has been altered.    These books are great.  I can’t put them down and I always find twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting.  You should know, that there is some mature content in this series.

Blue Moon

June 28

The Reformed Vampire Support Group is the latest “funny” vampire book.  This book is about vampires, but it’s not anything like Twilight.  This books is about a group of vampires in Australia.  These vampires don’t have super-human strength, they literally “drop dead” at night, and they have to get their nourishment from guinea pigs.  They don’t live a glamorous life, but they want to be good people–for the most part.  They are led by a church pastor to start support group meetings.  They talk about how to be good people and help others.  The problem is that one of the vampires (Casimir–a really horrible vampire) is killed by staking at the very beginning of the book.  The other vampires must figure out who killed Casimir to save their own lives.  An adventure starts and takes these vampires to places they could never imagine.  I loved this book.  It was funny and a really different take on vampires.  If you like to laugh at vampires, this is a book you will like.

Reformed Vampire Support Group

June 26

I like books.  I especially like books with bizarre titles like  How To Steal A Car.  I thought that this book would be a really great, edgy read.  This is actually one book I was really disappointed with.  The book is short and it’s Kelleigh, a girl who is bored with her life (that’s probably because she’s spending her summer vacation reading Moby Dick).  She decides to steal cars from her family and neighbors so she can just drive around.  I thought the plot of the book would make this a great story, but to tell you the truth, the characters were really annoying.  There wasn’t one character in the entire book that I liked.  Sorry, I can’t really recommend this book because I just don’t know many of my students who would like to read it.

How to Steal a Car

June 25

For all of you who love Twilight, Shiver, and the City of Bones series, you will love Evermore.  Ever is the main character of the book who leads a really sad life.  Her entire family was killed in a car accident that she feels responsible for.  On top of that, Ever can hear the thoughts of everyone she is near.  She tries to hide from this power and is known as the school freak. One day Damen, a gorgeous new student, comes to Ever’s school.  Every girl in school is fascinated by him, but he only has eyes for Ever.  Ever starts to realize that Damen isn’t normal; he is good at everything, super-rich, and makes things magically appear.  Along the way, Drina (one of Damen’s friends) is so jealous of Ever, she tries to kill Ever.  I couldn’t put this book down; it was fascinating.  There were some more mature situations and some strong language in a few places.  If you like supernatural romances, this is a book you should try.  This is the first book in the series, so if you like this one, you should try the next book Blue Moon.




Evermore

June 23

The Dying Breath is the latest book in the Forensic Mystery series.  I’ve blogged a lot about these books, but in case you’ve missed it–here’s a quick review of the series.  Cameryn is the main character and her father is the forensic investigator in a small town.  His job is to document dead bodies in his town.  He takes pictures and tissue samples of the deceased bodies.  Cameryn is 17 years old and she is really interested in this area, so she becomes her father’s assistant.  The Dying Breath is the fourth book in the series and the psychopath (he’s literally a psychopath) Kyle is trying to kill Cameryn.  This book is really intense and describes autopsies in quite a bit of detail.  If you have a strong stomach and you like intense books, this may be a good book for you to check out.

June 22

I really love historical fiction and I didn’t know a lot about Marie Antoinette, so I decided to read The Bad Queen.  This is a fictional book from Marie’s point of view.  She grew up in Austria and then was married to the soon-to-be King of France when she was 14 years old.  She was a scandalous Queen of France because she spent fortunes while the people of France were starving to death.  I really liked this book and it gave me a look into the daily life of Marie Antoinette.  She was able to spend any amount of money that she wanted, but her life was actually really difficult.  She had no privacy and her “friends” gossiped about her constantly.  One of her main concerns was having a son and that is talked about in much of the book.  If you like to learn about rulers of history and you aren’t afraid of a sad ending, try this book, I think you’ll like it.

June 20

The Reckoning is the last book in The Darkest Powers series.  The main characters–Simon, Derek, Chloe and Tori- are running from people who are trying to kill them because of their supernatural powers.  Chloe can summon the ghosts of dead people and make them obey her commands.  Derek changes into a wolf.  Simon and Tori can cast spells.  This book is action-packed and really dark.  The fight scenes are really violent and many scenes are very, very dark.  I really liked this book and the action kept me guessing.  If you are not afraid of dark, creepy books, this may be a good book for you.

June 14

Candor is a really memorable book with an unforgettable setting.  Candor is the name of a fictional town in Florida.  Oscar is the main character.  Oscar’s father wants to build a town that will help teenagers, unite family and let him make lots of cash.  Oscar’s father builds this community and then records music for everyone to listen to 24 hours a day.  The music contains subliminal messages that make you do and think things you didn’t even know you did and thought.  Suddenly teenagers only want to eat vegetables and do homework.  Oscar knows what his dad is doing and he makes his own messages to listen to.  Oscar tries to get away from his father’s messages and think for himself.  When Oscar falls in love with Nia, he tries to keep her thinking for herself too.  This was a great book that really made me think.  I loved the setting of the book because I’ve never really thought about a small town controlled by subliminal messages–fun to read about, not so fun to live in.  If you like different, new books, try this one–you will probably love it.

June 9

I just finished Beastly by Alex Flinnn.  Alex Flinn is one of my favorite writers, but I was a little hesitant to read Beastly.  I heard that it was the modern-day version of Beauty and the Beast and I just didn’t know how much I’d like it.  I was SO wrong.  This is a great book that made me laugh all the way through.  The main character, Kyle, lives in New York City and has everything anyone could want.  His dad is rich and famous, Kyle is handsome, he has tons of friends and he can get any girl he wants.  Kyle is also a JERK.  He doesn’t care what he says or who he hurts.  Kyle meets a witch (she’s in disguise and he doesn’t realize she’s a witch) and she turns him into a beast.  Kyle scares everyone he meets and has to try to reverse the curse.  This is a fun, laughable book.  I couldn’t stop reading it and I would recommend it to anyone.

June 8

The Mark is a brand new novel written by a new author.  Cassie is a girl with a special ability.  She can see a light surrounding people on the day they are going to die.  At first Cassie doesn’t know what this light means, but she soon, painfully figures it out.  Cassie’s parents died when she was really young and she lives with her grandmother.  Cassie is devestated when she sees this light, or the mark around her grandmother.  Cassie has to face many questions about what she should do with this ability.  Do people want to know if they are going to die?  Can Cassie change another person’s fate if she tells them about the mark?  This was a great book that really made me think.  This book did have some mature situations and some mature language.  If you like to think about deep questions in life, this is a good book for you.

 

June 6

So Mote It Be is the first book in The Circle of Three series.  I had never heard of these books, but we have the entire series in the library, so I decided to give this book a read.  The main character Kate is discouraged with who she is. She doesn’t have a date to the Valentine’s Dance and her friends tease her a little too much.  Kate discovers a book of magic spells in her library and she tries one of the spells to see if the spell will make a boy named Scott ask her to the dance.  It works and soon Kate tries new spells.  Things start to go wrong for Kate and she finds new friends Annie and Cooper to help her.  This was a pretty good book.  There were no swear words and no violence, but there is talk of witchcraft.

June 2

Boot Camp by Todd Strasser is a book worth reading, but this book is a difficult read at times.  Boot Camp is about a boy named Garrett.  Garrett does some things his parents don’t approve of and he won’t listen to his parents.  Garrett’s parents decide to send him to a boot camp for misbehaving teenagers.  In the middle of the night, Garrett’s “handlers” come and take Garrett from his bed and transport him to boot camp.  This book is about the horrors of the boot camp, the adults who run the boot camp and the other teenagers who aren’t afraid to inflict pain on each other.  This is a dark book that deals with some mature issues, but I really liked it.  I had no idea that teenagers have so few rights and that places like this exist.  If you’ve read Todd Strasser’s other well-known book, Give A Boy A Gun, you know that he does his research and bases his books on real issues.  This book isn’t for everyone, but if you are looking for a different topic and you are looking to learn about something new, this could be a book for you.

May 31

If you are looking for a great series, you should read I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You.  It’s a big title, but really worth a read.  Cammie Morgan is a future spy.  Her best friends are spies-in-training, her mother is a spy and her father was a spy before he was killed in the line of duty.  Cammie goes to school at the Gallagher Academy, a special school for girls and future spies.  Cammie’s problem is that she falls in love with Josh and he’s not a future spy.  In fact he has no clue about Cammie’s life and Cammie and her friends want to keep it that way.  This is a funny, clean, fast-paced book.  If you are looking for a great read, try this first book of the series.

May 26

The book Shiver is advertised as the next best thing to the Twilight books.  I just finished this book and it was memorable.  Shiver is about Grace and Sam.  Sam is a wolf/boy.  During the cold months of the year, he is a wolf and during the warm months, he is a boy.  Grace is–you guessed it–hopelessly in love with Sam whether he is a boy or a wolf.  One day Sam is in wolf form and he gets shot by hunters; he turns into a human and Grace must save him.  Their relationship develops from there.  I know that this sounds like an incredibly weird plot, but I really liked it.  There is something about the writing and the twists of the plot that kept me reading later and later into the night.  If you like fantasy/romance books, you will love Shiver.  There is some more mature content in the book, so be prepared for that if you decide to read it.

May 22

I just found a great series–The Squad.  This is an action-packed series about cheerleaders who are really secret agents.  These cheerleaders are specially-trained CIA operatives who all have special training and talents in the spy world.  The narrator of the book is Toby, who hates cheerleaders.  One day she is invited to a meeting for cheerleading tryouts.  She thinks that this is a joke at first and then she figures out that the cheerleading team needs her because of her amazing computer hacking abilities.  I loved this book and I can’t wait to read the second book.  If you like the Alex Rider books, the Cherub books, or I’d Tell You I Love You, But I’d Have to Kill You, you will love this series.

May 19

Do you like vampire books?  If so, you must read Suck It Up by Brian Meehl.  This is a book about vampires called Leaguers.  Leaguers are a band of vampires who want to live peacefully among humans.  Leaguers even have their own training school about how to manage their blood cravings.  Morning McCobb is a misfit vampire who is chosen to be the first vampire to reveal his vampire status to humans.  Suck It Up is about Morning’s adventures and misadventures with humans.  This is a great, funny vampire book.  Most books dealing with vampires are dark and full of gloom, but this is a fantastic, laugh-provoking book.  If you like the Vladimir Tod books, you will love this book.

May 16

Claire Martin is a normal girl who likes a cute boy.  Claire is on the swim team and Nate, the boy she has a crush on, never notices her.  Claire has another problem, during thunderstorms, she switches bodies with other people.  It’s usually just temporary.  One clear, storm-free night, Claire switches bodies with Larissa and can’t figure out how to switch back.  Nate has a crush on Larissa and Claire finds that very convenient.  Switch is a great, fun read.  I liked it because it’s a clean book that’s quick to read.  If you want a fun, quick book, try Switch.

May 9

I’m not going to lie–The Breakup Bible is a book written for girls.  Boys, you are welcome to read this book, but the audience is mainly girls.  The Breakup Bible is about a girl named Jen who has just broken up with her boyfriend.  Actually, she has been dumped and she doesn’t understand why.  Jen goes through many difficult situations that turn out to be pretty funny.  Jen has to decide whether she can get over her ex-boyfriend Max or whether she should stalk him until they get back together.  This is a funny, quick read.  There is some language in the book, but it is very humorous and fun.  If you like girl books and reading about feelings, this is a good book to try.

May 6

Some books are fun to read and some books are hard to read.  I just finished reading The Chosen One and it was a hard book to read.  The Chosen One is about a 13-year-old girl who lives in a polygamist community.  Kyra has 3 mothers and 20 brothers and sisters.  Kyra thinks that her life is pretty normal until she is forced to marry her 60-year-old uncle.  This book really made me think about Kyra’s life, but it was really intense and hard to read in some parts.  If you like to get different points of view, this may be a book you like.

 

 

May 4

I just finished reading the first book in the Daughters of the Moon series.  Goddess of the Night is a great, quick read.  This book focuses on Vanessa, a girl with the power to make herself invisible.  Vanessa thinks that she is a freak until she meets 3 other girls who have special abilities too.  This is a fun, quick read, and it is the first book in the series.  If you like the supernatural and you like a romance story, this may be a book for you.

April 16

I’ve been reading a lot of your research papers lately, but when I had a chance, I checked out Locked Inside by Nancy Werlin.  Nancy Werlin is a great author; she writes a lot of suspense books.  Locked Inside is about a girl named Marnie.  Marnie doesn’t have a lot of friends, and she plays lots of online games.  Marnie goes to a private school and doesn’t want to socialize because of her past.  Her mother died years ago; her mother was a huge celebrity.  Marnie gets in trouble when she is kidnapped by an adult that she trusts.  This book is a page-turner.  I really like the suspense and the character development.  If you like books that keep you guessing, this is a great book for you.

 

March 18

Final Lap is another book from the Traces series.  I didn’t read the books in order, but that didn’t really matter. Read the first book and then you can read the books in any order.   This is a great series with fast-paced book.  If you need a great book to read, check out any book in the Traces series.

 

March 16

I just finished another great book in the “Traces” series.  If you’ve read my other posts, you know that these are murder mystery books.  Roll Call is about a killer who only kills people named Emily Wonder.  It’s a great, fast-paced book that had me guessing until the very end.

March 15

The other day as you (my students) were in the library reading your literature circle books, a terrible thing happened.  I finished a book and I didn’t have another book in mind to read.  Luckily, as I mentioned before, I was in the library.   I took a look at the shelves and remembered that I really like the author Alex Flinn.  She wrote Nothing to Lose and Breaking Point.  I picked up the book A Kiss in Time and wanted to laugh.  It looked like the dumbest book I could ever find.  I really do like the author, so I decided to give the book a try.  I am so glad that I did.  A Kiss in Time is about a princess from the 1700s who falls under sleeping spell and sleeps for 300 years.  A boy from our world today finds her, kisses her and sees her wake up.  That’s where the comedy begins.  This princess has no idea how to live in a modern world and she’s pretty annoying.  This boy and the princess must learn to work out their differences and work together.  This was a great, funny book. I love the personality and sarcasm.  If you need a light, quick read–consider A Kiss in Time.

March 10

I just finished another book in the Traces series. These books are really fast-paced and quick to read.  Blood Brother is a book about someone killing patients in a hospital.  Luke Harding must discover who is killing patient and why.  This was a great, quick read.  Pick up a book in this series!!

 

March 9

Wow!!  I just can’t stop reading the books in the Traces series.  I just finished Lost Bullet and it was great.  Luke Harding, the main character, is investigating another murder in London.  He thinks that he is investigating a murder of a doctor, but the case quickly gets bigger and bigger.  This is a great book and a fantastic series.  If you like suspense, mystery and excitement–check out a book in this series.

March 8

So I started reading the Traces series and I couldn’t find the second book.  I just picked up the 4th book and figured it would all work out.  I was right; the 4th book was a great read and I hadn’t missed a thing.  This time Luke is investigating a teenage murderer.  This boy is in prison for killing a man in his own home.  Luke doesn’t think that everything in this case adds up, so he investigates it.  This is an action-packed book and if you haven’t read books from this series yet, I would highly recommend that you check one out today.  They are quick reads and very intense.

 

March 1

If you want a great series full of quick-reads, check out the Traces series.  The first book in the series is called Framed and it is fast-paced.  This series is about a boy named Luke; he lives in a society in the future.  All children and teenagers train to have special jobs when they get older. Luke’s job will be a criminal investigator–he investigates and solves murders.  He just finishes his school work when someone in his school is murdered.  Luke works with his computerized assistant Malc to solve the mystery.  If you like fast reads and suspense, try this book.

February 28

I just finished Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.  If you have ever read a book by this author, you know that the book is intense.  Wintergirls is about a girl named Lia who has an eating disorder.  Lia’s friend Cassie has just died and Lia is struggling with this loss.  This is a very intense book that is hard to read at times.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that describes the thinking of people with eating disorders like this book does.  If you can handle an impacting book, take a look at this one.

February 23

Have you read a book by Caroline Cooney?  She is one of my favorite authors.  I just finished her latest book–They Never Came Home. This is a great book and a really quick read.  Cathy is taking a summer school class and a boy in her class, Tommy thinks that she is his long-lost cousin.  Tommy’s cousin was abandoned by her parents after they stole millions of dollars from their clients.  Tommy brings the FBI in to investigate Cathy and see if she is really the missing cousin.  This book was fun to read and it was written from many different perspectives.  If you like fast-paced books, give this one a try.

February 20, 2010

I just finished the 3rd book in a really interesting series.  The Circle of Blood is about Camryn the forensic investigator.  She and her father take care of bodies after people die.  This is the third book in the series and I think it was the creepiest. Camryn is having many issues with her mother who has just come back into her life.  During this time, a young girl in her town is killed and all signs point to Camryn’s mother as the murderer.  This is a fascinating book.  The bodies and investigations are described in great detail, so these books aren’t for people who get grossed out.  If you like suspense and you have a strong stomach, give these books a try.

February 16

I’ve been reading lots of textbooks for my college classes lately.  I didn’t think that they would really interest you, so I haven’t blogged about them. I did just finish a book that I love though. Many of my most intelligent students told me to read The Warrior Heir.  They were right, this is a book worth reading.  Jack is an average teenage boy who goes to school and plays soccer.  He discovers that he is incredibly special and important to a magical world.  I loved this book.  It has suspense, fighting, romance, betrayal–everything a good book should have.  If you’re looking for a great, quick read, try The Warrior Heir.

 

January 3

Do you like A Series of Unfortunate Events?  If so, you should read A Whole Nother Story.  This book is about a dad and his kids who are trying to protect a time machine.  This family is desperate to protect the time machine because they believe it will help them travel back in time and see their mother who passed away years ago.  The plot of the book is great, but the style of writing is the best.  If you like the works of Lemony Snicket, you will really enjoy this book. It is a quick read and I laughed all the way through it.

 

December 28

I just finished reading the greatest book.  It’s called Beautiful Creatures and it is the newest, most acclaimed book for teenagers.  If you like the Twilight series, you will love Beautiful Creatures.  This book is told from a boy’s point of view; the boy’s name is Ethan.  Ethan actually dreams about a girl and then meets her at school one day.  He finds out that this girl has some very interesting powers that can hurt him and her.  I loved this book.  The characters were great, but I have to say the setting was the thing that really kept me reading.  This book is set in the present time, but it is set in a little town in South Carolina.  The people of the town love their Southern culture and as a result, they do some pretty crazy things.  The scenes in this book are so funny and memorable.  There is a Homecoming dance scene that made me laugh the entire time.  This is a page-turner, but also a really clean book.  I think that anyone will enjoy this book.  Give it a try and plan for the long haul because it’s almost 600 pages long.

 

December 23

I just finished Graceling by Kristin Cashore.  I usually have a hard time getting into fantasy books, but this book was so easy to jump right into.  The setting of the book is a world that has 7 Kingdoms.  Katsa is a girl who lives in one of these kingdoms.  Throughout the kingdoms, there are people called Gracelings.  You know you are a Graceling if each of your eyes is a different color.  Each Graceling has a special, amazing power.  Gracelings may be great at cooking, or climbing, or reading poems.  Katsa has the Graceling power to kill people.  She can fight hundreds of men at a time and win.  She is incredible.  Unfortunately, her uncle is a king of one of the kingdoms and he makes her go throughout the other kingdoms and kill people he doesn’t like.  Katsa hates being a freak who is used to kill others, but she doesn’t think that there is much she can do.  Then she meets a prince from another kingdom who helps her and shows her that she may not have to kill any more.  This is a really great, memorable book.  I loved the writing and I got really attached to the characters.  There is fighting in this book and there are a few mature situations.

December 13

I just finished reading Girl Stays in the Picture by Melissa de la Cruz.  I’m just going to say it–this is a girl book.  This book is about 4 girls who are involved in making a huge blockbuster movie in France.  These four girls fall in love, face betrayal and find friendship.  I admit–I’m not usually into such girly books, but this one was great.  This book moved fast and I really liked the organization.  The plot of the book is moved along by short articles about the girls and their actions.  This book does have some mature content, so just be aware of that.  The author of this book also wrote the Blue Bloods series which I know many of you like.  If you like those books, check this one out. 

 

December 10

In Something Wicked, Horatio Wilkes is a teenage boy who gets twisted up in a murder one weekend.  He and his friends go to a Scottish festival where a brutal murder takes place.  Horatio finds himself in the middle of a mystery AND falling in love.  The Horatio Wilkes books are based on Shakespearean plays.  Something Wicked  is based on Macbeth.  This is a witty, fast-paced book.  There is some mature content, so you will want to be aware of that. 

 

December 7

I just finished reading the strangest book.  Soul Enchilada is a book about a girl named Bug Smoot.  One day she realizes that her grandfather sold her soul to the devil right before he died.  Bug lives a really hard life, has no family, and is almost homeless.  She has to figure out a way to save her soul and the world too.  This book is really interesting and full of voice.  There are a lot of bizarre rituals and there is a lot of language in this book. If you’re looking for a edgy, wacky book, this may be a good book for you.

 

December 1

Do you have a favorite series?  I do.  One of my very favorite series is the Alex Rider series.  If you haven’t read these books, you should really find one and enjoy a great read.  I just finished the 8th book in the series–Crocodile Tears.  These books are AMAZING.  Alex Rider lives in England and is forced to perform secret missions for MI6 (England’s secret service).  Alex has crazy skills and uncovers many, many horrible plots.  You can’t go wrong with any of the Alex Rider books.  Crocodile Tears has so many memorable scenes.  My favorite scene in this book takes place in Africa.  Alex Rider comes face to face with three hungry crocodiles and a psychotic killer.  If you like suspense and adventure, try one of these books.

 

November 22

Seer of Shadows is a great ghost story.  This book takes place in 1872.  A teenage boy named Horace is an apprentice to a photographer.  The photographer wants to make extra money, so he makes it appear as if ghosts are in the portraits he takes.  The problem with this idea is that Horace has a power that brings spirits out of hiding and into photographs.  This is a great book full of suspense.  I loved this book and it’s a quick, quick read.  The best thing about this book is that it’s written by Avi.  He’s one of my favorite authors–you may remember him from Crispen or The True Adventures of Charlotte Doyle.  Pick up this quick read and you will be happy with the suspense and mystery.

 

November 18

It’s not often that I actually get to finish a series, but I did today.  I’ve been reading the Luxe series and I love those books.  The final book came out and I was so excited to read it.  If you haven’t read these books, you should check out my earlier posts.  These books take place in high society New York in the late 1800s.   There are all kinds of bizarre rules that people have to follow when dating and socializing.  These books describe the lives of 4 girls and how they fall in love, face betrayal, and move up the social ladder.  These are great, dramatic books that are quick reads.  Check these books out if you like drama and suspense. 

 

November 15

The Awakening is the second book in The Darkest Powers series.  You can find my blog entry about the first book if you scroll down a little.  I really like this series because it’s full of personality and strong characters.  This book finds the main characters on the run from adults who want to use the supernatural powers of the runaway characters.  This book has some really intense scenes–like when the main character summons the spirits of dead bats.  I’m not really into dark stories, but I’m hooked to this series because of the characters and their interactions.  If you like dark, supernatural suspense books, this is a series you should try.

 

November 11

Oh my. . . . The Season is the first book that Sarah MacLean wrote and it is so great!!  If you like drama and romance and murder plots, this is a great book for you.  In the late 1800s, Alexandra (Alex) is a girl who has to start her first “season”.  That’s just a fancy way of saying that her mother wants her to go to lots of parties and impress rich men so she can get married.  Alex doesn’t want to get married and so she spends lots of time trying to drive the men away.  This is a witty, fun book with a great plot.  I liked this book because it was full of suspense.  I loved this book because it’s not part of a series; it actually ends and things get resolved!!  If you like drama and romance, this is a book you need to try.

 

November 3

I’m always looking for a great series and I think that the Darkest Powers series is really memorable.  The first book in this series is The Summoning (thanks Alyssa).  Chloe is just a normal teenager trying to fit in at school and deal with family issues.  She has a horrible day at school one day when she sees a ghost and everyone thinks that she is going crazy.  Her family decides to put her in a group home in order to get better.  Chloe uncovers many secrets about herself and the other members of the group home.  I thought that this book would be a weird read since there is a lot of content about raising the dead and contacting spirits.  I really didn’t find that weird at all.  I liked the personality and the relationships in the book and I can’t wait to read the second book in this series.  If you like suspense, the supernatural and drama, read this book.

 

October 26

I haven’t been reading novels lately; I’ve been reading journal articles so that I can write papers for some classes I’m taking.  When I saw this book, I knew that I HAD to find time to read it.  I, Q: Independence Hall is a book by Roland Smith.  Some of you may know that this is the author of Zach’s Lie and Elephant Run. I really like his writing, so I was excited to read the I, Q series.  First of all, the title.  Q is the main character and his real name in Quest. So I, Q refers the fact that Q is the narrator of the book.  Q’s mom just remarried and she and her new husband are huge rockstars.  Q and his new step-sister Angela have to go on tour with their parents.  Soon Q and Angela realize that they are in the middle of terrorists, spies, murder plots and fake deaths.  This is a great book that will keep you guessing.  The best part is that it is a series and the second book comes out next month.  This is a great read for students who like realistic action and suspense.

 

October 8

Have you ever read a series of books and you feel like the first book in the series is the best and then the books all go downhill after that?  Well, that’s not the case with the Dairy Queen series.  I love all of the books in this series.  Each book that comes out is just as funny as the book before.  I just finished reading Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.  The first book in the series is called Dairy Queen and I blogged about it last December, so you should really check out that blog post down the page.  I really love this series about a girl named DJ who deals with being very good at sports and very shy.  I love the voice in these books.  The books make me laugh outloud.  If you are looking for a funny book, try this series.

 

September 28

Mrs. Wood gave me this book and if there’s one thing we know about Mrs. Wood–she has great taste in books.  She always suggests the best books and this is no exception.  When You Reach Me is a book about  a girl who lives in the 1970s.  She is fun and has the greatest personality.  I think she’d fit right in one of our classes.  Her name is Miranda and she has a mystery to solve during this book.  It’s a time travel mystery and the time travel impacts her friends and family.  Throughout the book you find clues and at the end of the book you feel really smart that you could keep up with the plot.  This is a fun, quick read and I would suggest it to anyone.

 

September 27

I couldn’t wait to buy and finish the second book in The Hunger Games series.  I really liked this book once I got into it.  If you haven’t heard about The Hunger Games series, scroll down and read my previous post.  This series has everything:  action, suspense, great characters and a touch of romance.  I strongly suggest that you read this series.

 

September 21

Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs addresses a critical issue in our society today.  Crossing the Wire is about a boy from Mexico who MUST come to America.  Victor’s family is really struggling since Victor’s father died.  His family may starve to death if he stays in Mexico.  Victor must get across the border to find work to support his family back home in Mexico.  He and many other people try to cross the border, but without much success.  This book is filled with suspense and drama.  I got so attached to the main character, I almost started crying during our 5th period reading time. Then I remembered that 5th period would probably just laugh at me, so I held it in. This is a great book that deals with a serious issue facing our society today.  Take a few days and read this book. I promise you will learn about the issue of immigration and gain some new ideas.

 

September 14

Nobody’s Prize is the second book about Helen of Sparta.  If you like Greek mythology and adventure, you will really like this series.  I enjoyed this book because Helen does what she wants even though she is a girl living in a world ruled by men.  This book has a lot of adventure, suspense, and action.  Read Nobody’s Princess first and then try this book.  I think you’ll like it.

 

September 7

A lot of you love mythology and books that follow gods and goddesses.  If you do, here is another great series for you to check out.  Nobody’s Princess is the first book in this series and it follows Helen of Sparta.  Helen will someday be the queen and rule over Sparta, but she hates doing all of the things that women are supposed to do.  Instead of weaving fabric and doing embroidery, Helen would rather learn to hunt and fight.  Helen gets herself into a lot of trouble by disguising herself as a boy.  Many different gods and goddesses help her throughout this book.  I really liked this book and it kind of reminded me of the Percy Jackson series.  Try it, you may just think it’s great.

 

September 3

Sometimes you read a book that you know will stick with you for a while.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is that kind of book.  Who comes up with plots like this?  This is another book that takes place in a dystopian society.  Thousands of people are starving while a few people are living like kings.  This society has a tradition called The Hunger Games.  Twenty-four teenagers are chosen and they have to battle to the death. The last teenager alive gets rewards for the rest of his or her life.  I didn’t know if I would like this book, but I really did.  I love the characters and the setting.  I would recommend this book to anyone.  There are deaths involved, but I didn’t think that there was a lot of gore.  If you like suspense and action, this is a great book for you.

 

September 1

Sometimes it’s fun to read an older book.  I just finished reading Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie which was written in the 1930’s.  Even though this book was written so long ago, it is fantastic.  Linnet is a wealthy, wealthy twenty-year-old.  Her best friend Jacqueline and her boyfriend Simon ask Linnet for some financial help. Linnet quickly steals Simon away and marries him.  The setting of the book is on the Nile river when Simon and Linnet are on their honeymoon.  Linnet is murdered and you must figure out who did it.  This was a great book and if you like mystery books, you really need to read something by Agatha Christie.

 

August 26

Do you have a favorite author?  I sure hope so.  My favorite author is Sarah Dessen.  When I find one of her books that I haven’t read, I grab that book, lock myself in a room and read the book cover to cover.  I really love her writing and her vivid characters.  I just finished reading That Summer and I really loved it.  Haven is the main character in the book and she is having an awful summer.  Her mother and father are divorced, her father remarries a much younger woman and Haven’s sister is having a very dramatic wedding at the end of the summer.  Haven is pushed to the side and tries to make sense of all the events happening that summer.  If you like girl books, you will love this book.  I couldn’t put it down because the characters were so loveable.  If you could use a great girl book, try this one!!

 

August 24

Wow, this is a weird book.  Remember, weird isn’t always a bad thing.  I just finished The Sky Inside and it was a crazy ride.  The setting of this book is in the future and the government is trying to control all of humanity.  The human population lives in covered, bubble towns complete with identical houses and parks.  Martin knows that something is wrong when his little sister Cassie is taken away from the family.  Martin and his amazing dog try to break free from the rules to figure out what is really going on.  This book is really futuristic and I really liked it.  It’s one of those books that is a little hard to figure out at first, but you eventually catch on.  If you like science fiction books, this would be a great read for you.

August 13

I think it feels great to start and finish a series of books.  I just finished the last book in The Big Empty series.  This book is called No Exit.  I hope that you’ve been reading my previous posts about the earlier books in the series.  This book was very fast-paced and really surprised me at the end.  This series is really intense and I was pretty happy with the way it ended.  There is an epilogue that suggests that there may be other books.  I’ve searched and I can’t find any other books by this author that seem to follow this series.  Before you get invested into this series, come and talk to me and we’ll figure out if these are the books for you.  Keep reading Titans!!

 

August 9

I’m really interested in the series The Big Empty. This series is about a dystopia (we’ll talk about what that means in class).  Go ahead and scroll down to my blog entries about the first two books.  If you like science fiction and futuristic books, you will really enjoy this series.  This third book is a lot more intense than the first two.  Relationships between characters are more intense, leading to some mature content.  The language in the book is also more mature.  I really liked the plot line.  I’m hooked on this series, so I’ll probably follow it to the end.  Talk to me if you have any questions about whether this is the right book for you.  Keep reading!!

 

August 6

If you ask your parents about the phrase Paradise City, they will probably think of the Guns n Roses song from a few decades ago.  I’m not talking about the rockin’ song from 1987 though (in the spirit of complete honesty, I think it’s an epic song and if you haven’t heard it, you should probably go listen to it).  The Paradise City I’m talking about is the next book in The Big Empty series and it was incredibly intense and exciting.  Paradise City follows the group of teenagers who made it to a new, ideal society.  These teenage kids love living at peace with no military control.  Everything changes when these characters start to uncover a horrible plot within the community.  This book is full of action and the author isn’t afraid to get rid of characters and add new characters.  This second book is pretty intense and has more adult language than the first book in the series. 

 

August 4

I love books that are fun to read AND teach me something.  London Calling is a book with suspense, time travel, and history lessons.  The author Edward Bloor has written great books such as Tangerine and Story Time.  Edward is one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend London Calling.  The main character in London Calling is Martin.  His life is so unfair.  His father has problems, his mom in really strict and he gets in trouble at school for things that aren’t his fault.  The great thing about Martin’s life is his grandmother.  His grandmother has this connection with people who have died and that means that Martin is going to have an interesting few months.  I really liked this book and I love the characters and the personality.  If you like books about history and time travel, this is a great book for you.

July 28

If you like science fiction and suspense, I just read a great book that you will love.  The Big Empty is set in the future.  A horrible disease referred to as the Strain 7 has hit Earth and wiped out millions of people.  In fact the United States has been hit so hard that government officials force people to move from the middle part of America and live on the coasts.  This book is about 7 teenagers who are trying to find their way to a secret society in The Big Empty (the middle of America).  These teenagers all face different challenges and want to escape their lives for different reasons.  I loved this book.  It was full of suspense and the characters were very real.  I would suggest this book to anyone.

 

July 27

Thea, the main character in this book is a lair.  She comes up with funny, outrageous and sometimes hurtful lies.  She tells her neighbors that she has an artificial leg.  She tells her PE teacher that running is against her religion.  Her parents are puzzled and worried about her lies.  Thea goes to visit her grandparents for the summer.  She ends up babysitting her younger cousin and doing a lot of chores.  Thea loves being with her family, but something is not right.  It becomes clear that her family is hiding a secret.  Thea tries to figure out the secret and in the process, she reveals a major, troubling secret of her own.  I really liked The Book of One Hundred Truths and it’s a quick read.  If you have a wacky family or you’ve ever had a summer vacation that hasn’t gone the way you planned, you will love this book.

 

July 26

If you haven’t read a book written by Mary Higgins Clark, I strongly suggest doing this.  She writes murder mystery books that will keep you on the edge of your seat.   I just finished reading her latest book, Just Take My Heart.  This latest book is about a lawyer named Emily who is involved in a huge murder case.  Emily is trying to convict Gregg of killing his wife three years earlier.  Emily is sure that she has the answers and then things start getting complicated in the case.  In addition, Emily has a creepy stalker who is trying to kill her.  Mary Higgins Clark always wraps great plots and fantastic characters together.  Her books are full of intense suspense and murders, but she never uses any offensive language.  If you like suspenseful books, try a book written by Mary Higgins Clark.