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Showing posts from October, 2012

Escape From Home

Happy Halloween, Bibliophiles!!!

Escape From Home is a children’s historical fiction novel by AVI, the first of the two Beyond the Western Sea novels.

In 1851 Ireland, fifteen-year-old Maura O’Connell and her twelve-year-old brother Patrick are living day to day knowing that at any moment they will be turned out of their home. Poverty is terrible in their village and when a letter arrives from their father containing the money to purchase tickets to join him in America, where he went to find work, it feels like salvation.

Yet the lifetime spent in Ireland is too hard for their mother to give up, and Maura finds herself and her brother fighting to get to the ship that will get them to America all on their own…

Laurence Kirkle is an eleven-year-old son to an esteemed English lord. He finds himself at the brunt of his elder brother’s jealousy and cruelty every day and finds no comfort in his parents. He despises his life and desires to get away from them – his life doesn’t seem to ever i…


Poltergeeks is a YA paranormal novel by Sean Cummings.

Fifteen-year-old Julie Richardson has never led a normal life. Her mom, a powerful witch, has been training her in her powers since she was very young – and it’s all quite common-place to her.

Though her mom almost never lets her do anything without calling her first. Annoying.

But when Julie and her best friend Marcus (who’s been in on the secret for years) witness a poltergeist literally throwing a little old lady out of her home – Julie figures it’s time she take care of something herself.

Unfortunately, it appears there’s more behind the supernatural attack than a plain poltergeist – instead it’s starting to feel like a targeted paranormal assault, one that becomes increasingly personal as a full-out display of vengeance is unleashed on Julie’s high school, resulting in a tragic event.

And once Julie no longer has her mother’s experience to rely on, is it even possible she can fix everything on her own?

Poltergeeks is an awesom…

The Dark Unwinding

The Dark Unwinding is a Victorian-era YA mystery novel with some steampunk flavor by Sharon Cameron.

In 1852 England, seventeen-year-old Katharine Tulman yearns for independence – but finds herself in want of it since she is an orphaned daughter living with a rather greedy, dictatorial aunt. But she finds ways to exert her usefulness and look to the future when she hopes to have a bit more influence over her own life.

When Katharine’s aunt hears rumor of Katharine’s uncle squandering the family fortune on bizarre, nonsensical pursuits she sends Katharine to be a witness to his madness and get him committed to an asylum. Though an unpleasant task, she is willing to do it – as it is also her future comfort being wasted as well.

But what she meets is not a lunatic – but a genius. He’s childlike, certainly different and eccentric – but a man that is employing hundreds of workers and their families on his land – all of whom were rescued from the workhouses of London. It’s a strange, unorth…


Crush is a humorous middlegrade novel by Gary Paulsen, and the companion to Liar, Liar and Flat Broke.

For maximum reading pleasure, I’d recommend reading Liar, Liar and Flat Broke before Crush – that way you’ll have all the background on these amusing books!

Usually fourteen-year-old Kevin Spencer has a superb gift of gab – that is, until Tina Zabinski, the Most Beautiful Girl in the World, is within eyesight. In that case he’s a frozen, mute, dumb, clumsy involuntarily foolish facsimile of himself.

But he knows that they are Destined to be together – if he can ever speak two words to her without tripping.

When a new guy arrives at school and begins spending time with Tina, Kevin knows he needs to speed up the process of actually asking her out on a date. But before he does that, Kevin decides that he needs to take a scientific, observational approach to the ways of men and women’s romantic lives.

Kevin wants to be an expert before he attempts anything. He’s determined to figure out…

The Assassin's Curse

The Assassin’s Curse is a YA fantasy adventure novel by Cassandra Rose Clarke.

Ananna of the Tanarau is a pirate’s daughter. A captain’s daughter. And she has always wanted to one day sail her own colors through the vast, gorgeous sea – but instead of fulfilling that dream, her parents want to marry her off to another pirate clan.

Well, that just doesn’t work for this seventeen-year-old buccaneer. Instead, Ananna takes off – but escaping her betrothal isn’t simple in this world. Soon the pirate clan she’s rebuffed has sent assassins after her – the kind that never lose, the kind that use the abhorred blood magic.

Wouldn’t you know, though, that Ananna would screw up their record? When she stands off against one, she accidentally causes a curse to be activated that binds her to her would-be assassin.

Now, not only is she escaping her past but she’s on a quest to break the curse by venturing into an area of magic, beings, and lands fraught with danger she never looked to seek, with the …

A Promise to Love

A Promise to Love is Serena B. Miller’s newest historical romance novel.

When Ingrid Larsen arrived in Michigan in 1871, from her native Sweden, she certainly didn’t expect to end up the servant of an irrational, cruel woman who would be screaming at her about accidentally breaking a tea set.

Instead, she thought she’d be happily starting to live the American dream of religious freedom when meeting up with her twin brother, Hans, whom she is very close. But he wasn’t waiting for her as he was supposed to. Once the money ran out, she had nothing else to do but start working. Ingrid didn’t mind working – but her worry about her brother’s disappearance and the continual abuse of her new employer has her wondering what the future will hold now.

Then she crosses paths with Joshua Hunter. A handsome, newly widowed farmer with five children and a farm he’s trying to make successful. When circumstances arise that Ingrid sees in his principled, ocean blue eyes would destroy him – she spontane…

Kingdom of the Hill Country

Kingdom of the Hill Country is a YA sci-fi follow up to Henry Melton’s Star Time, and the second in the Project Saga series.

Since this is a book two, I would recommend reading Star Time before reading this review. My review of Star Time is right here and I strongly encourage you to read it!

To avoid spoilers, I am hoping that you are only continuing to read this because you’ve already read Star Time. Yes? Okay…

It’s been eleven years since the supernova flare that caused the death and sickness of many on Earth and destroyed technology as we know it. Civilization has been trying to hang on, pockets of law and order and towns desperately hold on to the way of life and safety they’re used to.

But not everybody is so willing to rebuild society. There are violent, bloodthirsty, selfish bandits that are slowly but surely terrorizing the Texas Hill Country where Helen Black, the young, headstrong and independent horse doctor, resides. Her horses are in danger – and so are the women that the…

The Wild Queen

The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots is a YA historical fiction novel by the great Carolyn Meyer.

When she was only six days old, Mary of Scotland was crowned Queen after the death of her father. Her mother was concerned for her future and set up a match for little Mary – a match that would one day make her the Queen of France as well by marrying the little dauphin. So, at only five years old Mary is sent to France to be raised alongside her future husband and the rest of the royal family.

It was unorthodox upbringing for a queen, but Mary grew close as siblings to her future husband and became a French girl through and through. Yet everything fell apart when her young husband dies and Mary, now a young woman of eighteen, sees her life fall apart.

All the years in France, away from her mother and her homeland, have come to nothing. She is childless, stripped of her title of Queen of France, and unwanted by her deceased husband’s grieving mother.

Trying to pull h…


Nevermore is the final novel in the YA fantasy adventure series Maximum Ride by James Patterson.

If you haven’t been reading this series, this certainly isn’t the place to start! Go back to the beginning, to the two gloriously entertaining and cinematically fun books Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment and Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever. I can’t guarantee you won’t be disappointed after those first two, though… I know I was.

Point is, don’t read this review if you don’t want to be spoiled by future plots. Only seasoned Maximum Ride vets should be reading beyond this point…

Max and her flock – minus the recent loss of one of the beloved members and the abandonment of another – are trying out school again. Max really can’t stand it, but Nudge is so desperate to be normal she figured there in enough of a lull in the whole “Save the World” mission to let her try.

She knew it wouldn’t end well.

And while things are going kablooey, yet again, Max also finds herself more and more drawn …

A Love Surrendered

A Love Surrendered is the third and final novel in Julie Lessman’s 1930s era historical series Winds of Change.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to read the Winds of Change series from the first book, A Hope Undaunted, I would suggest avoiding this review. In fact, I’d recommend reading the Daughters of Boston trilogy first and foremost – a luxury that I forewent when I got the chance to read the second Winds of Change novel, A Heart Revealed. I started late – but that doesn’t mean you have to! Don’t ruin the surprises!

I’m trusting that you’ve made the right decision…

The youngest O’Connor sibling and officer of the law, Steven, finds himself the only single man left in his large Irish-American family. From his sisters and his best friend he feels pressure to give the world of women another shot – but Steven is haunted by mistakes he’s made in the past and doesn’t trust himself anymore. Not much can convince him otherwise.

But then there’s Annie. Orphaned in Iowa, she’s moved to Boston…

Cross My Heart

Cross My Heart is a YA mystery/romance set in 1585 Venice by Sasha Gould.

Sixteen-year-old Laura della Scala has spent the last six years in a convent – only ten when her father sent her there, forcibly, to save money. She has missed her older sister Beatrice desperately, and longed to clearly remember her deceased mother’s face.

But shortly before she’s about to be confirmed, her father sends for her.

Why? Because her beloved sister Beatrice is dead.

Before she even has a chance to grieve over the death that pierces her heart so deeply, her father expects her to replace Beatrice as the fiancĂ© of Vincenzo – an old merchant with a monstrous disposition – to help continue his ambition to redeem his wealth and position in society.

The gowns, dinners, and sudden introduction once more into society does nothing to quell the building panic in Laura. The thought of marrying Vincenzo horrifies her, and the thought of her sister bearing the same future before her death saddens her.

When a wom…

Size 12 and Ready to Rock

Size 12 and Ready to Rock is the fourth Heather Wells mystery by Meg Cabot.

Oh my goodness!!! I have been waiting for this book for so long! Along with many of you, I’m sure. I’ve been a huge fan of this series (and of course the author) for YEARS – so long that reviews of the first three books aren’t even on this blog, since I read them farther back than that!

Anyway, it’s pretty clear that I’m thrilled to be back in this first-rate, humorous, mystery series once more!

If you haven’t read the previous books (Size 12 is Not Fat, Size 14 is Not Fat Either, and Big Boned), you most definitely shouldn’t read this review as it will give spoilers of awesome things that are always better read in order!

Final warning to look away unless you’re a Heather Wells reader…

Okay, it’s been three months since an extremely happy change happened in Heather’s life – and with the New York College residence hall she is the assistant director of, Fischer Hall a.k.a. “Death Dorm” nearly empty as the summe…


*Yes, you're at the right place! With the change in seasons (and temperature!) I decided a change in look was appropriate here at the Bibliophile Support Group! Hope you like it!

Seraphina is a divinely unique YA fantasy by debut author Rachel Hartman.

The kingdom of Goredd has experienced four decades of peace between humans and dragons due to a treaty that allows dragons to fold themselves into a human shape and use their lucid, unemotional, scientific minds as scholars, teachers, and ambassadors. It isn’t a peace that all are comfortable with, though.

In fact, the knowledge that their old enemy walks among them ranges from uneasiness in some to outright hostility and violence in others. And as the anniversary of the treaty nears, tensions are even higher than normal.

Seraphina Dombegh, a musical prodigy that has almost implausibly joined the royal court as an assistant the belligerent court composer, has reason to fear both sides. That’s why she works so hard to guard her secret…

Girl Out Loud

Girl Out Loud is a YA contemporary fiction novel by Emily Gale.

Kass Kennedy’s dad is On the Up, which means another chance at public humiliation in his quest to get her to superstardom. This time around he has decided she will audition for The X Factor.


Only problem? She can’t sing. Not well, anyway.

She doesn’t have on-stage charisma, since she doesn’t have any desire to be on stage. At all.

But she realizes from experience that explaining this to her dad won’t do any good – though she’ll try.

In the end, Kass knows she’ll have to grit her teeth and get through it because it seems that these ideas he gets are the only thing that keeps him Up – otherwise she, her budding criminal mastermind little brother, and her quiet mother will be enduring the Dark Days of his sadness and depression.

They all know he has something – but he’s never agreed to be diagnosed or treated. And now she’s stuck auditioning in front of, potentially, the world’s definition of a “Mean Judge”. Simon Cowe…

The Sorceress

The Sorceress is the third book in a YA fantasy adventure series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott.

If you haven’t read The Alchemyst or The Magician, I strongly suggest you avoid this review and the inevitable spoilers that will result. Be a smart reader! Don’t ruin your books!!! :)

Sophie and Josh Newman suddenly find themselves in London, after leaving Paris behind in shambles. Dr. John Dee and his cohorts are still after them – and the final pages of the Book of Abraham the Mage, the pages required for the Final Summoning.

Since the Dark Elders are determined to regain their power and access to the human race, they will not rest until those pages are found, and Sophie and Josh’s prophesied abilities are in their hands instead of Nicholas Flamel’s.

In the meantime, the twins are racing to find a moment to time-out and take in the new stunning skills they suddenly have. But Flamel believes their only hope in defeating Dee is to find someone willing to tea…

Twice Upon a Time: Beauty and the Beast, or the Only One Who Didn't Run Away

Twice Upon a Time: Beauty and the Beast, or The Only One Who Didn’t Run Away is a middle-grade retelling of the classic fairy-tale by Wendy Mass.

Beauty’s name has always been laughable. She’s most certainly not beautiful, nor anything else you’d associate with such a name. Instead she likes to read and collect strange objects that are interesting to her. The worst thing, though, is that her older sister is indeed lovely and it seems to make the burden of her name all that much heavier.

Prince Riley hates dancing, sports, and being out with the public too much. Despite being second in line to the throne after his impressive older brother, he’s still expected to do these things – though he dreads it every time. Instead, he spends as much time as possible staring at the stars and working on alchemy to figure out the secret to eternal life, one worm at a time.

When odd circumstances force Beauty into the outside world on a expedition of sorts and Riley finds himself on the wrong end of a…