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Showing posts from March, 2011

Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire is the second book in the YA paranormal series Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

I lovedRaised by Wolves with my entire book-loving being, so I encourage you to read it before looking at my review of its sequel. You can read my review of the first book here, so would you now kindly avert your eyes if you don't wish to be assaulted with spoilers? Thank you muchly!

Alrighty, so Bryn went through a lot in Raised by Wolves - and it all led up to her becoming the alpha of a whole new pack. Even though she's human. And that's pretty much unheard of.

So, yeah, her pack is pretty different from the other ones out there. But they're happy, and Bryn feels like she's getting the hang of being an alpha.

But then a mangled, bloody teenage boy arrives at the doorstep with desperation in his eyes and announces that he is a Were and that he has come to Bryn - because Bryn helps Weres, and she is his only, and last, hope.

Yet the boy is part of a different pack, an…

Titanic: Unsinkable

Unsinkable is the first book in a YA/middlegrade trilogy called Titanic by author Gordon Korman.

The Titanic is a majestic, unbelievable ship and it is about to set off on its maiden voyage. Four of its passengers already have lives fraught with danger, worry, and hardship - and they don't even know what's coming...

Paddy is a stowaway, accidentally escaping aboard the Titanic to get away from a deadly situation. His trip to America is dampened with a deep grief and a fear of being caught.

Sophie is a first-class passenger that can't avoid the dirty looks of the rest of her class, as she is escorted on to the Titanic with her mother - both of them in handcuffs.

Juliana's father seems intent on gambling away their riches and she is finding it harder and harder to hide from society that he is losing his grip on his sanity.

Alfie has joined his father as a member of the crew - his father a part of the firemen group at the bottom level, Alfie a junior steward to first class. Bu…

New Weekly Writing Challenge!

Thought you bibliophile author wannabes might want to know about Inkpop.com's new Weekly Writing Challenge!

This one is coinciding with Through Her Eyes, a supernatural YA by Jennifer Archer - which sounds pretty awesome actually! In it, the main character looks through the lens of her camera and sees a black and white world of the past that is both mysterious and surreal.

Your mission is to take that same concept and write a short story, poem, or essay about a photograph from the past that you'd like to step into! You can enter here, and the deadline is March 31st, so you don't have a ton of time to come up with your brilliance - so hurry!

Two writers and two commenters will be picked to win a copy of Through Her Eyes and their choice of three other HarperTeen books from the catalog!!!

Awesome, right? :)

The Vampire's Promise

The Vampire's Promise is a YA compilation of three of Caroline B. Cooney's previous paranormal/horror books.

There is a house with a shuttered, circular tower that gives off an essence of creepiness. But inevitably, families do eventually move in, as it once was a beautiful place after all. Althea, Devnee, and Lacey all, at different times, find themselves in the tower room - and in that tower room there lives a vampire. A vampire that offers to grant the deepest of wishes and use his power to promise their dreams come true - at a price.

But how much are these girls willing to give him, to make sure they don't lose what they've been given?

I have read a ton of Caroline B. Cooney books, in fact I own a bunch of them. I primarily read them when I was younger, but I was curious to see what I would think of this trilogy-in-one. It takes Deadly Offer, Evil Returns, and Fatal Bargain and puts them all together for our reading pleasure.

First up was Deadly Offer, which was, in my…

Vixen

Vixen is a YA historical and the first in a new series titles The Flappers by Jillian Larkin.

It's the Roaring Twenties and seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody is a good girl. She goes to a good school, gets good grades, and is engaged to a good Chicago family young man. But underneath all that she is entranced with the mere idea of flappers, with their bobbed hair, booze, and smoky speakeasy lives. Is it possible to explore the world that so fascinates her before she is married and firmly part of high society forever...?

Clara Knowles, Gloria's visiting cousin, has seen it all and done it all - but only a select few know. So Clara decides to take the opportunity to reinvent herself and become the innocent farm girl everybody believes her to be and devote herself to making sure Gloria's wedding goes off without a hitch. But will her secrets, some of which nobody knows, come back to haunt her...?

Gloria's best friend Lorraine Dyer has always lived in Gloria's shadow, and…

Dark Life

Dark Life is a YA sci-fi adventure by Kat Falls.

Ty was the first baby born deep undersea. His parents were two of the first settlers to start farming the ocean floor, after large portions of the land had begun sinking into the water. He loves his homestead, and at fifteen is already thinking of the land he will inherit and work once he reaches eighteen. The farmers below the surface provide most of the food to the "Topsiders", those who still live in the cramped spaces of land, and the commonwealth government, that took power in the days of panic, subsidize their needs.

However, when outlaws begin attacking the settlers' homes, crops and livestock and become more and more dangerous, the commonwealth hold back their subsidies until the settlers catch the outlaws. This is an outrage to Ty, as they are threatening their way of life and refusing to do their job to help. But he can't stand the thought of living Topside and begins fighting for his home.

He is joined by Gemma…

The Branding

The Branding is a new YA fantasy by first-time author Micaela Wendell.

The forests at the edge of Morwen's elfin village have always been dangerous. There have been rumors of children disappearing for good. These stories have just been legend to Morwen until her father becomes one of the missing, and she becomes determined to bring him home.

In Aren, her village, female elves aren't allowed to learn how to fight - but Morwen does it anyway. As she is training she turns sixteen and becomes the target of many an uncouth male elf in the village as her beauty grows with her. But when suddenly her baby sister Brynn is taken into the woods, Morwen hopes that the training she has received is enough - and heads right into the forest to save her.

She does find her sister - but her release comes with a price. The horrible, dark wizard Tobias will let little Brynn go if Morwen will stay as his apprentice. She agrees, and he places a "brand" on her - a brand that will slowly turn h…

Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood is the YA novel based off the new movie coming out - written by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright, based off David Leslie Johnson's original screenplay.

Valerie has lived her whole life in a tiny village where everyone know everyone, and where every full moon the villagers barricade themselves and their livestock inside their homes, leaving but one sacrifice out of doors. This is the way it has been for generations. This is the way they appease the Wolf that otherwise would terrorize the entire village, as it had in the days of old.

When Valerie was only seven, she did the unthinkable and stepped outside one of those dreaded nights, hoping to think of a way to save her pet goat, who was to be that night's sacrifice. That night Valerie came face to face with the Wolf and felt the depth of its evil down to her very core. Since that night, Valerie has always been different from other village girls. She doesn't become breathless at the sight of the town's most handsom…

Guest Post with Bitter Melon author Cara Chow!

As a big fan of Cara Chow's debut novel Bitter Melon, I am thrilled to welcome her to the Bibliophile Support Group to share a little about herself.

Read my review of her book here, and then delve more into the author here:

I’m not exactly a Luddite, but I am slow to pick up new technologies. While I embrace innovation on an intellectual level, on a gut level I am a rigid creature of habit who is prone to stress and resistant to change. I’m the type of person who will wear the same tee shirt or jeans for years until they get holes. Then I’ll go to the exact same store to look for the exact same shirt or jeans, only to find that that model has been discontinued. Another example: my mom bugged me for years to get a DVD player, but I insisted that my VCR worked fine, so why spend the money? (“Why does she sound so annoyed?” I thought. “I’m an even bigger tight wad than she is. She should be impressed.”) Then one day, I went into Blockbusters to rent a film, only to discover th…

Angel

Angel is the seventh book, as well as the penultimate novel, in the YA Maximum Ride series by author James Patterson.

First off - do not read this review if you haven't read Books 1 - 6! Don't ruin the ride for yourself, you crazy, impatient book addict! ;)

Now, for all of you who actually have business reading this...

Max isn't herself. She is heartbroken. She hates being heartbroken. But Fang, the flock member that was her best friend and became more, took off. And when a new threat seems to be breaking across the horizon with a new organization called the Doomsday Group, Max misses his company all the more. But Dylan, who hasn't made his devotion to Max hidden, stays steadfastly by her side, ready to help. This annoys Max. Though sometimes... she can't help but be drawn to him...

But as the Doomsday Group seems to explode overnight and even some of the flock seem to begin agreeing with their insane, antihuman rants - Max starts them off on a global search to figure …

Once Was Lost

Once Was Lost is a new YA literary fiction release by acclaimed author Sara Zarr.

Sam's mother is in rehab after a DUI that brought her longtime problem to light in a small town where news travels fast. Her father, a local pastor, doesn't seem as invested in Sam as he is in his congregation. Sam struggles with the hypocrisy and her sudden lack of faith in the belief system she has held since infancy. She misses her mother terribly - because even though she had to sometimes help her put on her lipstick when her hands shook too badly, living alone with her dad is like living with a stranger she knows too well.

But then a thirteen-year-old soloist in the church choir goes missing, and Sam's faith falters even more. Sam joins in the search, but nothing seems to keep her from feeling as though she is sinking into nothingness...

Once Was Lost has a deeply somber, realistically depressed tone about it. At first it is hard to grasp Sam's character as she is almost invisible withi…

Fang

Fang is the sixth book in the Maximum Ride YA series by constantly-on-the-bestseller's-list James Patterson.

So, anybody who has read my blog for a while now knows that I was a HUGE fan of the first three Maximum Ride books and then was VERY disappointed with the fourth and fifth. If you haven't read the series you should avoid this review for spoilers - and go pick up the blockbuster Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment.

Thing is, as much as I was upset with the turn the plots took in The Final Warning and Max, I still held out hope that maybe, just MAYBE, Fang could get the series out of its preachy, overtly overtoned with environmental issues rut.

And... it did!!!

Okay, I'm still not sure that it was AS good as the first three. But in this one we get a bit more romance between Fang and Max (which is shockingly better than what I felt were painfully awkward scenes in books three and four), and besides a brief humanitarian mission at the beginning of the novel - more focus on …

Consumed

Consumed is Kate Cann's sequel to the totally freaky YA horror novel Possessed.

As loyal Bibliophile Support Group readers, you guys know what I thought of Possessed. Need a refresher? Click here to read my review. The gist of it is - it creeped me out. But it was awesome.

So, obviously I was pretty excited for the second book, right? Right.

I'm always tightlipped when it comes to giving away any details about sequels, as I tend to be a strong believer in if-you-loved-the-first-book-enough-to-wanna-read-the-second-why-do-you-wanna-know-anything-about-it-instead-of-just-read-it-and-be-constantly-surprised???

Yeah, I'm a bit strange. But I embrace it! As all of us eccentric book addicts should!!!

Anyway, I'll only give you a teeny tiny amount of info about Consumed to whet your already starved appetites. BUT if you have not read Possessed DO NOT READ this review!!!

Okay, now let's get down to business.

Rayne believes the threat is over. Morton's Keep, the ancient, remo…

How to Slay a Dragon

How to Slay a Dragon is a new middlegrade fantasy novel by Bill Allen.

Greg Hart is normal, kinda scrawny kid. He likes to write out elaborate fantasy hero sequences in his journal, with himself as the star of course, and spend time alone in his treehouse. Being twelve and about ready to start seventh grade is tough enough without getting chased by the school bully, so he tends to avoid as much conflict as possible.

But when he wakes up by the prodding of a rather rude stick and sees a bunch of cloaked and excited-looking faces, he is unable to avoid the situation. Apparently he has been taken to another world called Myrth, and the magicians of this land believe him to be a legendary dragon slayer prophesied to save the King's kidnapped daughter.

Um, yeah right.

Greg tries his hardest to convince them that they have the wrong guy - but no one believes him. No prophecy has ever been wrong before.

But Greg is afraid that he's been yanked into their world of sorcery and danger to prov…