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Showing posts from January, 2011

Memento Nora

Memento Nora, a YA dystopia coming out in early April, is the debut for Angie Smibert.

Terrorist attacks are nearly a daily occurrence, but Nora has never witnessed one first-hand. But one day, as she's out shopping with her mother, the bookstore they're about to enter explodes and a body falls to the ground directly in front of fifteen-year-old Nora.

Per standard procedure after such tragic events, Nora's mother takes her to TFC - a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic - as keeping such memories can cause serious mental damage. It's her first time, and she'll have her Mom with her to example how you first describe the terrible memory and then take the pill to erase it.

But... a mysterious guy that Nora only sort of recognizes from her school catches her eye. And he does something that is unheard of.

He spits out the pill.

No one else notices. And Nora's mind is reeling as she enters the room with her mother.

Then her mother's memory isn't the one she expects to …

Dorris Bridge

Dorris Bridge tackles the legends in a small town in 1970s California, and manages to be half YA novel and half adult novel, written by Clive Riddle.

High school senior Kyle Burgess likes pranks, partying, and the new girl in school who doesn't seem to notice him except for the guy that bullied her brother (he didn't know). His father, Randall Burgess, is the Chief of Police and is nearly always dealing with small town politics and infighting with the local Sheriff.

But when a series of deadly hit-and-runs begin to plague the town, Randall is determined to get to the bottom of it. These tragic occurrences only strain Randall and Kyle's relationship further, as they've never seen eye to eye anyway. But Kyle can't ignore the legend of the Lights - as he's seen them himself. Blinding bright Lights that dance in the sky and make your head hurt. They've been reported every night of the accidents.

Randall scoffs at the legends and instead focuses his attention on …

Solitary

Solitary is the second book in the six book YA series Escape From Furnace, by Alexander Gordon Smith.

So, ya'll remember my review of Lockdown, the first book in this series? Well, if you don't you can read it here. But to summarize a bit, it was freaky. Freaked me out. Lol. Makes me wonder if Alexander Gordon Smith gets nightmares from his own novel.

If you haven't read Lockdown you should definitely avoid this review, as it will contain inevitable spoilers from the end of Lockdown. So, scurry along now, all right? ;)

All of you who read Lockdown probably don't need much convincing or description of Solitary to check it out. Instead I'll just remind of how Lockdown ended - Fourteen-year-old Alex, framed for the murder of his best friend and thrown in Furnace Penitentiary, was desperate to successfully, improbably escape from the Furnace - something no one has ever done. With him, he had the following fellow prisoners: violent and unstable Gary (that blackmailed his …

Jane

Jane, written by debut author April Lindner, is a modern-day YA retelling of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel Jane Eyre.

Jane Moore finds herself in a difficult situation. Her parents sudden death has left her mourning and penniless, forced to drop out of the esteemed college that she'd worked so hard to get into. Not sure what she's going to do once the college forces her out of the dorm rooms, and facing the reality of homelessness, Jane desperately tries to seek out a job.

Being a nanny was never something that striked Jane as a career choice, but it sort of falls into her lap. She lands the position of the nanny at Thornfield Park, the estate of the famous, brooding rock star Nico Rathburn, who's on the edge of a new tour and album.

Despite being plain and completely inexperienced in romance, nineteen-year-old Jane and scandal-ridden Nico seem to have a connection - and though his unpredictable moods are impossible to decipher, Jane finds herself involuntarily drawn…

Allie Carson: Interpreter Extraordinaire

Allie Carson: Interpreter Extraordinaire is a middlegrade/YA novel by Marilyn Kinghorn.

Since Allie's mother died in a tragic accident, Allie has noticed that her ability seems to be getting stronger. You see, she can speak with animals. She has regular conversations with her dog Whisper, in fact. But in the midst of everyday life, soccer, school, helping to take care of her special needs brother Jonah, and picking up the slack of her forgetful and busy, but well meaning and kind, dad - she can't imagine telling anyone about it. So, she keeps her ability to herself.

In the meantime, Allie has to keep an eye on her suspicious and unfriendly houseguest Gina, a girl her own age that is staying with them for a short time. From Allie's perspective, it can't be soon enough. But when marine animals suddenly begin getting sick and dying, Allie communicates with a young seal and decides to try her best to help. But what can a 6th grader do, even if she can talk to animals?

Allie …

How to Trap a Zombie, Track a Vampire, and Other Hands-on Activities for Monster Hunters

How to Trap a Zombie, Track a Vampire, and Other Hands-on Activities for Monster Hunters is a handbook for young wizards and all of you self-proclaimed fantasy geeks out there, written by A. R. Rotruck.

Have you been dying to learn how to capture a werewolf? How about figuring out how to spot, and make, traps? This is the guide for you if you want to become a master adventurer/moster hunter! No need to wait to get into some fancy wizardry school, How to Trap a Zombie, Track a Vampire, and Other Hands-on Activities for Monster Hunters will help you get there using nothing but your smarts and reading ability, with step-by-step instructions and easy-to-learn monster profiles!

With its full-color, large pages How to Trap a Zombie is full of interactive activities that will get kids to participate and become quite creative! This is a great gift for children that are fantasy inclined. How to Trap a Zombie sparks the imagination and fosters it in a fun, arts and crafts sort of way - putting fo…

The Dragons of Noor

The Dragons of Noor is a YA fantasy novel by Janet Lee Carey. It is also a companion novel to The Beast of Noor.

Children are being taken by the wind, a wind that seeks out and whisks away only those it chooses. And it only ever chooses children. One of whom is Hanna and Miles' little brother, Tymm. The grief in the kingdom is palpable, and only getting worse as the waytrees begin dying and falling - breaking the magical ties that bind the lands of Noor and Oth more and more. Everything is changing in the worst way possible, and Miles and Hanna both decide they must try and stop it, and find small Tymm and the rest of the wind-taken children. But first they need to know where the dragons stand.

Hanna hopes her Dreamwalker ability will somehow help. And Miles hopes his training as a meer (one who wields magic), will keep him from giving into the temptation to use his dangerous and rare gift of shape shifting - in which he could lose himself completely before rescuing anyone at all...

Lighter Than Air

Lighter Than Air is the last book of Henry Melton's YA sci-fi series (which doesn't need to be read in order) Small Towns, Big Ideas, that I hadn't yet read. At least for now. I hear he's going to be publishing another in 2011!

High School student Jon Kish has always enjoyed tinkering with stuff. He finished building the amazing treehouse his now missing dad had designed for him with his best friend Larry, and has always enjoyed making model airplanes. But what his next door neighbor is working on blows him away - a lighter than air foam that is perfect for building. And it isn't long until Jon begins to get ideas of how he and Larry could put that foam to use in the construction of an absolutely perfect prank flying saucer for Munising High School's unofficial Prank Day.

Maybe that'll take his mind off his mother's surgery and his little sister's obsessive and mysterious use of the family's old, slow computer...

It doesn't take long at all to …

Drought

Drought is a sort of thriller/fantasy in the YA category, written by Pam Bachorz.

For 200 years the congregation has lived in the forest, aging very slowly, staying alive because of the Water they harvest by scraping the drops of dew off the leaves of the trees. Only Ruby and a few select others know the truth - it is her blood, a few drops a day, that make the Water special. As the daughter of their beloved, absent Otto, whom they wait ever patiently to return, she has inherited his gift. But her mother keeps it a secret, afraid that Darwin, the man who has enslaved them at the beginning of those 200 years and profits from their backbreaking work, will use the knowledge to harm Ruby.

But Ruby is getting tired of waiting and doing nothing. She's tired of watching her fellow congregates get beaten when they didn't harvest their quota for the day, of seeing her mother take their punishment. And when a new, somehow kind Overseer arrives, Ford, Ruby finds herself drawn to the forbid…

Aldwyns Academy

Aldwyns Academy is a YA/middlegrade companion novel to A Practical Guide to Wizardry, from the Dungeons & Dragons series of books, written by Nathan Meyer.

Dorian Ravensmith has no interest in being a wizard, though his mother is a well-known one. He'd rather be a warrior, like his father. Especially since he hates trying to focus and study, which is required of wizards. But his mother is insistent and puts her reputation on the line to get him into the prestigious, world-famous Aldwyns Academy for Wizardry.

Before sulky Dorian and his stubborn Mom even reach the gates of Aldwyns, dire wolves attack them. And in the midst of panic and fear, Dorian attempts a bit of magic and ruins a spell of his mother's, causing more harm than good. When Lowadar, the headmaster of school, comes to their rescue, this dangerous inadequacy of Dorian's does not enchant Lowadar, and his Mom has to fight to keep his spot at Aldwyns. So, when Dorian meets his stubborn second-year mentor, Helen…

Extreme Makeover

Extreme Makeover is, yes, another YA sci-fi by Henry Melton.

This one came out back in 2008 and features Deena Brooke, an overweight senior high school student with a painfully overprotective single mother. Without any real friends (it's kind of hard when her Mom wants her to focus primarily on homework and is leery about new kids), Deena is rather lonely, but faces her situation with frank reality and a smart, if underachieving, head on her shoulders.

But when during a school run a sudden, violent storm breaks out and one of the huge redwood trees in her small California town of Crescent City falls on her - she survives. It's probably the most remarkable thing to ever happen to nearly invisible Deena, since everybody is shocked (and relieved) that she is relatively fine after the event.

Of course Deena knows how much pain she is (silently) in, but she's fine enough in her estimation. Yet when she wakes up - she has healed surprisingly fast. And out of nowhere she has a hanke…

Linger

Linger is the second book in the YA paranormal trilogy Wolves of Mercy Falls, written by Maggie Stiefvater.

You know the drill. I sound like a broken record. If ya haven't read Shiver (the first book), go read my review of THAT here, and avoid this review for possible SPOILERS of Shiver, okay? OKAY? All right.

Now, continuing...

Sam is cured. He can stand out in the freezing temperatures without feeling the urge, the involuntary pull, of the wolf inside of him needing to take over. Sam can now be with Grace. But instead of just enjoying his new permanent humanity, he finds himself obsessed with the new wolves Beck turned - especially one particularly unstable one named Cole, whom Sam can't quite figure out. Does he take Beck's place and help them?

Grace has Sam back - but something is wrong with her. She doesn't feel well, and she's never been one to get sick. She fears that whatever is wrong with her may still keep Sam and her from being together forever... Has her ti…

Dangerous Neighbors

Welcome to the first post of the New Year of 2011! How exciting to face a brand new year with brand new books to tickle the fancy of all of us slightly crazy, totally passionate bibliophiles!

Dangerous Neighbors is a YA historical novel, written by National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart.

It is the time of the Philadelphia Centennial fair of 1876 and Katherine has decided that she is no longer willing to live. Her twin sister Anna has died - and Katherine's entire life has always been about protecting her reckless and emotional other half. But she failed her. She is gone. And Katherine is ready to rid herself of her future at the fair.

This is the story of the day she decides to do it and what happens.

First off, I have to say how strange it was to go from Wish by Alexandra Bullen, directly to Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart. Why, you ask? Well, if you read my review of Wish you'd remember that it was about a girl dealing with the death of her twin sister! I couldn't bel…