Wednesday, July 29, 2009
This is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series. I don't normally read fantasy, but the cover looked cool and had a quote that described the book as funny, dark, and sexy. It introduces readers to the Downworlders and Shadowhunters. Shadowhunters kill demons to try to make the world a better place. Downworlders are vampires, werewolves, etc. and if they get out of hand, the Shadowhunters might come after them too. Most humans cannot see either. However, Clary can. She is the main character who finds out about this world while at a club. She watched a Shadowhunter kill a demon and wondered why no one seemed to notice except her. That's when Jace, a shadowhunter, realized that she had "the sight."
Later, her mom disappears and Clary begins to find out the truth about her mother and father's involvement in the other world. A lot of mystery and action follow as she and Jace try to track down her mother.
I recommend this book to both guy and girl fans of fantasy. Though someone had said this was a Twilight readalike, I would disagree. Not everyone will get caught up in the fantasy world of the Mortal Instruments. CLICK HERE for more info about this series and books 2 and 3, City of Glass and City of Ashes.
Chibi Vampire is a manga series about Karin Maaka, a teen girl vampire. Except there's a twist...instead of feeding off people's blood, she gives blood to people. And this blood makes them feel refreshed and full of life. Her mother shuns her because of her difference, but her siblings try to teach her how to use her special talent for good.
In the first volume, Karin meets a new student, Kenta, who she has a strong urge to bite, so she tries to avoid him at all costs. Things get difficult when he gets a job at the same restaurant where she works. This is a fun manga that has about 13 volumes out so far. This is great for people just getting into graphic novels.
Looking for a book packed with magic, action, and murder? Skulduggery Pleasant is a new series that is just right for you. The series follows Stephanie, who is your average 12 year old. Then her famous horror writer uncle dies and leaves her his creepy estate in England. stuck there alone one night during a storm, an intruder breaks in and threatens her. A tall mysterious man wearing a trench coat and hat saves her. He is Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton magician who was friends with her uncle. Suddenly Stephanie finds herself in a world where the dead can come back to life and magic is real and deadly.
You can read an excerpt of the book by clicking HERE
If you are a bit squeamish, this book is probably not for you! Though much of the violence is created through magic, there is a lot of fighting and death. Nothing too graphic though. It is also very funny and has a great story of the struggle between the good and evil magicians. The second book is also out now, but I haven't read it yet. I would recommend the series for ages 13 and up.
Alex Miller and his mother have been running for years. When he was younger, Alex witnessed a crime. To protect him, the FBI put him and his mother in the Witness Relocation Program. After Alex makes a great play during a football game and has his picture in the paper, his mother and him move to Virginia Beach. Though the criminal is in jail, he still has people on the outside working for him to try and track down Alex.
In the meantime, Alex is trying to make friends and build a new identity for himself. He decides to try to fit in with the skaters, which is difficult because he has never skated before. When Alex's enemies get closer to discovering where he is, the drama and action really picks up. This is a great page turner that will keep you reading and wondering what happens next. Recommended for ages 12+.
Though the cover makes the book look like it's for kids, Suzi Clue is actually an awesome mystery book for teens. It follows Suzi, a freshman girl with a unique fashion sense and pink stripes in her hair. Suzi's locker is next to popular GiGi's. GiGi is the lead candidate for prom queen until someone locks her in the gym basement and plants spiders in the pom pom bag. GiGi emerges with spider bites on her legs and a threat written on her locker. Soon the other candidates for queen find themselves in similar predicaments and the school is abuzz with word of a prom queen curse. Suzi loves a good mystery, so of course she decides to solve it and save prom.
I really loved this mystery because Suzi was a very realistic character who is witty and smart. As she gathered the clues, I tried to solve the mystery, but luckily there were enough twists and turns that I didn't find out until the very end when Suzi finally did. Recommended for ages 13+
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Phoebe has her future all planned out for her, attend her senior year of high school in California with her best friends and then graduate and go to USC together. She even has a lock on a cross country scholarship there. Unfortunately, her mother returns from a trip to Greece engaged with plans to move her and Phoebe there. Devastated, Phoebe reluctantly leaves Cali behind and hopes to do well in her studies and running at her new Greek school. But once she gets there she finds out that the school is full of teens who are descendents of Greek gods and goddesses. And they have special powers. They even look down on her for not being a descendent. Without special abilities will Phoebe be able to make friends and keep her goals in academics and running? Read the book to find out, I enjoyed it immensely and especially recommend it to track or cross country runners. There's even a sequel called Goddess Boot Camp.
Vladmir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
This is the first book in a new series about Vladmir Tod. Vlad is half vampire. The only people who know are his best friend and his aunt. His parents were mysteriously killed a few yrs ago, so he lives with his aunt. Vlad wants to be a normal 8th grader, so he satisfies his thirst for blood with packets his aunt brings home from the hospital.
One day, Vlad's teacher disappears. He is soon replaced by a substitute who is very odd and seems to have it out for Vlad. Does he know Vlad's secret? And if he does, what does he want?
This is a great book full of action and humor, I would recommend it to anyone into vampires
Vladmir Tod: Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer
This is the second book in the series about Vlad. In this book, he starts high school with his best friend Henry and Henry's cousin Joss, who is new to town. In his first yr in high school, Vlad gets picked on a lot and still doesn't quite know how to talk to his crush. To add to his misery, Vlad's uncle warns him that there is a vampire slayer in town out to kill him. During winter break, Vlad visits his uncle in Siberia and meets with a bunch of vampires who want to teach him how to use his skills. These skills will come in handy when faced with vampire foes and the slayer who wants him dead.
Unlike the first book, this one delves deeper into this secret world of vampires and describes what kind of powers they have. There is a lot of mystery and action in this book and a surprise ending will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Vladimir Tod: Tenth Grade Bleeds
I'm a fan of this series and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good vampire story without mushy romance. Though there is some romance, it definitely isn't the main focus of the story. If you haven't read the Vladimir Tod series before, start with the first book, Eighth Grade Bites (reviewed above).
In this 3rd book of the series, Vladimir must say good bye to his uncle Otis who has been in town protecting him. Now on his own, Vlad is being stalked by two vampires and a nosy schoolmate. One vampire wants him dead and the other wants Vlad's father's journal. Vlad is also struggling with his growing need for human blood...from the source, and growing apart from his best friend Henry. Will Vlad become a killer vampire or will he be killed by his vampires stalkers? Lots of conflict and action in this one!
Would you rat out a friend if your future was at stake?
Michael Kerrigan, star of East Scranton's track team finds himself in such a predicament. His loyal friend Joey stashes drugs in his locker the weekend before school officials run an unannounced drug sweep. Suddenly Michael has lost his job, the track season he worked so hard for, and possible track scholarships for college. Everyone urges Michael to rat out his friend who really did it, Joey, a known drug dealer, but loyal friend. What will he do? What would you do?
Rich Wallace gives readers that question in the short 115-page drama, One Good Punch. Recommended for readers who want something short and to the point or areinarushtodoabookreport!
Derby Girl is about Bliss, a 16 yr old Pageant Queen...sort of. Her mother wants her to be a pageant queen but Bliss is into indie music and boys. She finds a flier for a roller derby match, so she and her friend Pash check it out. Bliss instantly falls in love with the unusual sport and heads to tryouts the next week. Though she was never very athletic, Bliss discovers that she is really really good at derby. Even though she is the youngest- and claims to be 18, she becomes one of the stars on her team. She also meets a hot guy who is into music and derby too. Suddenly she finds her life consumed by derby and finds herself alienated from her family, who has no idea she is in derby, and her best friend Pash.
This is an exciting story with the usual drama of high school and boys with the added element of derby action and excitement.
Here's a trailer for the movie Whip it! which is based on the book. I'm super excited to see it!
Also, here's a link for the local roller derby team, Quad-City Rollers.
Sixteen year old DJ has been running the family farm ever since her dad broke his hip and her two older brothers left for college. It hasn't been easy for her, but she rarely complains and enjoys the hard work. Her father's friend, football coach for a rival high school's team sends over his quarterback to learn hard work from DJ. She shows him the ropes of working on the farm, helps him train for the upcoming football season, and unexpectedly finds herself falling for him. With his encouragement, DJ begins to speak up for herself and let her family know that she needs a life outside of the farm. And that life includes trying out for her high school's football team.
Dairy Queen is a funny book, easy to read, and full of realistic teen dialogue-nothing poetic or airy. The story has a typical romantic subplot, but takes a few twists and turns, and ultimately focuses on the bigger changes in DJ's life.
DQ is filled with likeable, real characters- DJ is not your typical smart or beautiful heroine, she is your everyday girl struggling with insecurities and being pulled in many directions. Although not preachy or cheesy, the book teaches readers the importance of finding balance in life, speaking up for yourself, and overcoming obstacles.