Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Things A Brother Knows.By: Dana Reinhardt

I was attracted to the novel, because I grew up with two older brothers. The brothers in the novel never got along. Levi was the youngest brother, he was 17 years old. Boaz was the older brother, who had been a Marine . The two brothers take a walking trip from Boston-to Washington D.C. together.

The author handles the family incidents very well. Dana Reinhardt, the author does an excellent job for her first novel.
We find ourselves focusing on Levi, who struggles through High School , while his older brother Boaz is doing his time in the Marines. Pearl and Zim are the friends who support Levi, while the other brother is gone away to the Military. Levi graduates from High School in the end.
When Boaz comes home from the Military, it is very noticeable that he has changed. So Levi follows Boaz one day to see where he goes. Levi finds out Boaz never finds out what he believed.

I recommend this novel very much.

LRD 5/31/11

Sunday, May 29, 2011

We'llAlways Have Summer By Jenny Han

This novel takes place, after Isabel Relly Conklin's first year in College during the summer. Belly is faced with making a choice of marraige between two brothers she has loved for many years Jeremiah, and Conrad Fisher. The problem is, Jeremiah proposes marriage, but Conrad Fisher confesses that he still loves Belly.

Belly has many problems organizing her wedding to Jeremiah. She is a smart teen, but young in age. She is 19 years old, and her Mom does not approve of the marriage. In fact, she makes it a point to tell Belly she will not attend the marriage. Belly's Dad is also opposed to his only daughter's wedding. Now who will give Belly away ?

Belly, and Taylor planned the wedding. It's a small wedding with twenty people invited. The couple will be married on the beach. The best man will wear khaki shorts. The bride's dress in the end, was sought out by Belly's Mother, who became a big help to her daughter with the arrangements on the special day.

Unfortunately, it poured down rain on the actual wedding day. Belly married Conrad not Jeremiah. I loved the novel, and it kept me on my toes. Read the novel it is great!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Anna & the French Kiss By Stephanie Perkins

Honestly, I read this novel to enhance my knowledge of Paris, France. The beginning of the novel was boring to me, it took about 100 pages before my interest was satisfied. The plot has to do with teen girl Anna, and Etienne , who are shipped off to boarding school.

The plot thickens, and School continues. School becomes a way to make friends with each other. They are Lab partners in School who become close friends. Finally, they become a couple , and date each other .

The teens are in a dormitory situation, while they attend school in France. A lot of teens start dating each other , and they branch out visiting famous sites around Paris. For instance, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Seine River, the Louvre Museum of Arts, the Champs de Elysee where many shops and cafe are located. Notre Dame is visited because of the famous stained glass windows, and gargoyles, high ceilings too. The Cathedral is an example of Gothic architecture worldwide. When you look inside of the Cathedral, your breath is taken away from the beauty.

This novel is a good read, and I recommend the n novel.


What Can't Wait By: Fishley Hope Perez

The title of the novel caught my eye, so I began reading it trying to decipher the story line was about. It turned out a Mexican lived in a run down neighborhood in Houston,Texas . Immigrants wanted to make ends meet rather, than accomplishing a College Education. Marisa is the main teen character in the novel. She is very bright , and wants to attend College.

In fact, Marissa makes it into the School of Engineering in Austin, Texas. This means she will live on campus, and be far from the home she grew up in.

Marisa has a good friend that later becomes her boyfriend called Allan. He is Mexican, and will attend a College in Houston, Texas. In this novel, a dance like a prom occurs, which is exciting for the student that attend High School. Marisa's family expects her to work, and give her wages to the family. Marisa has to give her wages to her Father.

There are many incidents throughout the Novel. I recommend the novel . It is a good read. Read the novel yourselves to find out the final ending.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Unthinkable by Shirley Duke

If you're looking for a quick creepy story, pick up this book. However, if you're looking for substance and an overall satisfying story, this might not be the route to take.

Omar has this problem where he has horrifying visions of people's deaths. He takes these visions and turns them into stories that he posts online because, as far as he's concerned, these are just weird dreams. Suddenly, though, his stories are coming true - starting with the murder of a former friend. Once it happens again, he makes the connection and realizes he needs to stop the images from coming true. When rewriting the story doesn't work, he knows he has to stop the visions - and his own life. Suddenly a girl shows up and she knows what he's going through and knows how to help him, without resorting to suicide. Is she the answer to his prayers, or does she have something sinister up her sleeve.

The book started out pretty good. Being such a short book (only 103 pages) it went by really quickly, but in doing so, lacked certain things like character development and other elements that draw out the story. It could have been slowed down. I would have like to have been invested more in the characters and seen more of the visions and incidents connected to them. However, for a quick chill, it works...up until the climax when we learn the truth. I personally rolled by eyes but maybe my expectations are too high. Then everything got wrapped up in a neat little bow, which seemed to easy - especially when the villain is supposedly "partially immortal." Again, maybe my expectations are too high but I think this novel could have pushed for more.

Based on the size of the novel, I think it's aimed either lower level readers or hesitant readers. It's a scary story simple enough to draw them into the world of reading without overwhelming them. It does a decent job in that aspect. Aiming for simplistic, though, makes it just that - simplistic. I thought the book had more potential than it achieved.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

They say that every small town has it's secrets, and Cryer's Cross, Montana, is no exception. Toward the end of the school year Tiffany Quinn disappears. Most of the town helps in searching for her, and after five days they stop searching not finding her. The new school year begins with two new kids from Arizona joining the school. Kendall tries to make friends with Jacian, but he's being a difficult person to become friends with. Marlena on the other hand is very friendly, and makes friends with Kendall easily. A few weeks later her best friend since birth, Nico, goes missing. The police question Kendall implying she had something to do with his disappearance. They search for him, but do not find any trace of him besides his abandoned car. As the weeks go by Kendall keeps hearing Nico's voice coming from his old desk. Kendall thinks she's going crazy, but she thinks that if she listens to the voice she might find Nico.

Overall, I was disappointed with the book, and I don't say that often. The book had a good premise, and as I was reading everything seemed to drift farther away from the plot. After Nico went missing the author had Kendall yearning for his safe return for most of the novel. It was only toward the end that something actually happened. The story wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be.

T.B. 5/22/11

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakoji

Black bird is graphic novle that consist of eight volumes. Story and art by talented Kanoko Sakurakoji. Wonderful story and art work, if you are the romantic type.

Misao sees things that other people don't. Normally, the annoying monster would do harmless things. But on her sixteenth birthday, these creatures she sees take it up farther, trying to kill her. They would be the only bother, until demons have gone serious into killing her or taking her for their own. She's saved by a childhood friend from her past, Ky Usui, who just happens to be a demon himself. Avoiiding moments of death with Kyo protecting her, her own future turns out that she's a rare, "Bride of Prophecy". Which blood gives power and flesh offers immortality. The demons are set onto her, and it just happens that Kyo wants Misao as well.

If you love romantic mystery tails, I recomend this book for you.

World War Z by Max Brooks

Taking place about ten years after the zombie war World War Z recounts experiences from all over the world as the zombie plague spreads, and what is left of humanity fights back against the seemingly unstoppable zombies. It all starts in China where a little boy is bitten while moon fishing with his father. When Dr. Kwang Jingshu arrives the boy has bitten several others and is bound and locked away. After an encounter with patient zero, he calls and old army buddy who works Chongqing Medical University. The old buddy makes a call to the Chinese government who sends armed men from the Ministry of Health. They round up everyone in the village to ascertain who has had contact with the infected. Even though the rest of the world didn't see it at first, Dr. Kwang Jingshu knew this was not an isolated incident. The book then recounts stories from Tibet, Greece, Brazil, and Palestine about how the infection spread, and how the governments were fighting back. Slowly the armies all over the world were loosing ground and troops to the zombie plague. Survivors were scattered all over land and sea. There is even a United Nations on a boat floating somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. It's decided that the United States is the first country to fight back in. As the refugees fight back the tide in the war is turned. Once the United States is taken back, everyone spreads out to the rest of the world taking it back from the zombies. The world returns to something like it was before the zombie war, but it will never be the same again.

One of, if not, the best zombie book I've read. It was very human and emotional. Most zombie books and movies have a small group of survivors taking down the zombies, but World War Z had what was left of humanity come together and fight back. It's our will to survive and our will to fight that makes this book a really good read.

T.B. 5/18/11

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


There has been an increase in certain activities in one area of the world that is leading to the people either appearing vacant headed (zombie like) or becoming quite violent. The phenomenon is spreading. A few older teens, a school teacher, a researcher who has come to the area to study the phenomenon and its meaning, have seemingly not been affected. One went home from school, celled her traveling parents only to discover they no longer knew she existed, when she returned to school to document her existence, all evidence had vanished as if it never was. All these folks eventually find out that their lives have been expunged. They no longer have lives. They meet each other when they find themselves in some sort of surreal forested area with an assassin. No matter where they go, the end up back where they started.
All but one escapes back into the changed real world after the assassin is eliminated. They embark on a journey to get their lives back. In the end, it appears that at least two have done so, but perhaps only appears. What exactly is going on here, well it feels like it could really happen, or be happening right now. There is a lot to think about in this unusual futuristic, dystopic, scary novel. I enjoyed it a lot. A thoughtful teen reader should as well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Body Finder by Derting

This novel is a great romantic suspense story which combines the teenage drama of falling in love with the suspense of finding a serial killer.

Violet has a unique ability to sense bodies of people and animals that have been killed. She senses the "echo" that the body projects, whether it is a sound, sight, taste, or smell. In addition to the echo, the body leaves an similar "imprint" on the killer. She can then connect the imprint the killer wears to the echo she senses on the body, even though she's the only one who experiences the phenomenon. Luckily the Chief of Police is her uncle and trusts her ability. For the most part, though, she just finds animals. All of that changes, though, when she finds a body in the water, the first body of a man kidnapping girls and killing them. When the next girl goes missing, Violet thinks that she can use her ability to not only find the missing girl's presumably dead body, but also catch the killer. In the meantime, Violet has noticed that her best friend Jay is way more attractive than he was before the school year began, and she's not the only one who has noticed. Now she has to ignore the jealousy she feels towards the females swooning around him and figure out how to keep her feelings in check so that she doesn't ruin their friendship.

I really enjoyed this novel. I thought that it had an even mix of dealing with the hunt for the killer and typical teenage love drama. The novel also includes a few chapters from the killer's point of view which is a nice touch. While I'm not a fan of "paranormal," Violet's ability was really interesting, especially how it wasn't limited to humans and she would sense it with animals. This novel had a nice flow to it and really held my attention - the climax leaves just enough out to have you guessing what's going to happen in the last chapter. It was a great book, although the romantic aspect of it might dissuade boys from reading it.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Karma by Cathy Ostlere

This book is just amazing in my own eyes! Is a complete story, as described by the author in the beginning is "a novel in a verse". This story takes place in the 80's to be more precise in 1984. We meet Maya who is traveling from Canada to New Delhi, India, with her father and their goal is to bring her mother to rest in her homeland. Bapu is traveling with Maya, Bapu, Maya's father.
The very same day when they arrive to India, prime minister Indira Gadhni is murder, all of the sudden a chaos is created all over the city. Maya and her father are now trapped in this mess, and to make matters worse, Maya can not seem to find her father. With the help of a good friend, Sandeep, Maya tries to stay alive and make it home.

This story is all about suspense, adventure and also a mix of feelings sandness, at the end happiness surronds the end.


Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin, illustrator Lisa Brown

Back during and after the Civil War, photography was gaining in both quality and popularity. Still, many photo's were less than perfect. Unexpected shadows appeared on many. Some photographers and mediums took advantage. They called the photos pictures of the dead and offered to hold seances to contact the soldiers killed in the war and see if their pictures appeared on a family photo, see if there were contacts of the auditory kind. In one family, the nicer boys did not return home. Only the darker brother, clearly with secrets returned. Quinn's mother went into deep mourning for her lost son William. Jennie was to have married William. Jennie had been able to feel her brother's presence and wanted to feel the presence of William as well. She wanted to help her grieving relatives find closure. So it was that she contacted a photographer/medium with mixed results but with a ghostly picture of the family with an angel looking over them. Jennie learns a lot about photography and what really happened to Will and Quinn when she becomes a spy, coming up with clues from the picture - she recognized the angel- an intercepted message, an incomplete letter/confession, a news article, until finally she knows the entire sad story of Will's death and Quinn's survival which puts her life in peril. This causes to leave her family home and set off on her own, rare for a young lady of that time. The book is illustrated with eerie sepia colored pictures with the shadowy figures very visible.

I enjoyed this bit of history, I think even if a reader was not a history fan, the story could be read for the ghostly mystery and enjoy it. JDW5/5/11