Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beautiful Dead Series by Eden Maguire

This series must be read in order or it does not make good sense, even then there are problems. It is strictly for chic lit or beach read fans, its that light. I have read Phoenix and Jonas. Jonas is the first but not the first I read.
There is an overlord named Hunter who brings souls back to earth from limbo. He brings around 10 at a time for a period of around two years. During that time they are essentially undead but not really zombies. They can be seen by humans, they are quite beautiful in appearance apparently. In one place Hunter says no heart no blood. Hunter is also a beautiful dead having been shot some 100 years previously trying to protect his family. It was on his farm which is now nearly forgotten and rotting away. This is where the beautiful dead live and grow vegetables. I've no idea why Hunter has the power to bring folks back from the dead, how he chooses who to bring back or why they need to grow vegetables. They have that period of time to resolve whatever issues caused them to be caught in limbo. It is hard to resolve issues when you are not free to move around, question people, look for clues. Enter Darina, who just happens to know four of the beautiful dead, all recently killed in apparently tragic accidents, or maybe murder. Darina is sorely grieving her boyfriend of just a few months, Phoenix. She has driven her run down car out into the boonies while mourning and stumbled upon the farm and the beautiful dead. She is warned off, she refuses to stay away obsessed with the boyfriend and getting him back. Finally Hunter just seems to give up on scaring her away and says he will give her very limited time with Phoenix if she works to discover how Jonas was killed. She does everything all wrong but is constantly forgiven. She does endless forbidden things to see Phoenix and gets him punished by Hunter. Anyway, it goes on and on til finally the circumstances of Jonas's death are uncovered, he can move on. Darina still cannot move on, obviously the beautiful dead then ask for her inept help uncovering the truth about Arizona's death, and so it goes. This series is a fast read but not a very good one. JDW4/21/11

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Small Free Kiss in the Dark By:Glenda Millard

This is a novel about life when your down on your money, but you believe in the power of hope, and stuggle to survive

There are several characters in the novel, who cope with the situation as best as possible. The first character is "Skip", who lives on the streets , when the world explodes into chaos. Then we have "Billy" an older homeless man friend of "Skip", who the two of them are trying to escape the war -torn city. Next comes "Max" who is an abandoned boy. "Tia" is a teen Mother, who has a baby called "Sixpence." They all live in an amusement park, and hide in the shadows.

The boys walk to a supermarket , where they had been before. It was all destroyed by fire, so they found a store that provided infant formula for the baby "Sixpence." They also found jam and baby food in a jar. When the boys came back from the grocery store, Tia and Sixpence were missing. Then the boys remembered that "Tia" and "Sixpence" always liked to be around the refreshment pavilion.

"Billy" and "Max" made an Art project for "sixpence" . The men made 47 paper cranes for the baby. They figured "Sixpence" would like when it was to cold to go outside, so they strung the paper cranes on string, and hung them up in the tunnel, so "Sixpence" could gaze at the cranes.
Besides it kept the baby quiet.

This novel was informative, and interesting to me. I have never gone without food, or been homeless. The novel is a very good read.

Deadly By: Julie Chibbaro

This is a novel that takes place in the 1900's in New York. The novel has to do with the outbreak of typhoid fever. People are falling ill every week, but have no clue, or the cause of how they are getting this disease. As the you might know, this illness is a killer.

There is no evidence of how people are getting typhoid, until a sixteen year old Prudence Galewski, takes a job as an Assistant in a laboratory that the signs of Typhoid appears. It seems one woman has worked in every home , where the fever has ravaged. Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant worked as a cook for each home, where the Typhoid is evident. The newspapers nick named the Irish cook as "Typhoid Mary." Oddly though, Mary was not sick any day of her life.

This is a historical genre written by the author of this novel about Mary the cook. I enjoyed the novel very much , but I loved the Historical aspect, and the intrigue to the novel.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mexican White Boy By: Matt de la Pena

This is a novel about a teen who searches for his identity called Danny. Danny is half Mexican and half white. One summer he spends with his cousin , and new friend on the baseball fields, and back alleys of San Diego county, California. Danny was convinced that his white skin came from his Mother's side of the family. Danny's father went back to Mexico. Danny speaks no Spanish, which hinders him . Danny's Mother is a blond blue eyed American; and the father a Mexican race with a spec of black. This novel has a message for teens, as well as adults. No matter what problems we might have in life, we can still reach our dreams with a positive attitude. This novel is super interesting, because it takes place in the alleys of San Diego, California, and on baseball fields too. I myself only know some of the basics of the baseball game. The novel became very impressive with Danny's pitching at 95 miles per hour. Many people in our society where brought up as children, and teens to speak their native language, but after their eighteen year old birthday they seem to only speak English. This novel is a good read. LRD/4/18/11

Borderline By: Allan Stratton

This novel attracted my attention due to the fact, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant escaping over the border into the United States. Little did I know the plot was completely different. This is a story about a Muslim teen who is placed in a private school, where he is the only Muslim attending the school. Sami, the Muslim teen tries to save his Father, his family, and his own life, because the F.B.I. goes to Sami's home, and the F. B. I. believes this is a Center for Terrorist Activities. This novel makes you wonder could this really happen in the United States ? I mean where the F.B.I. has the right to barge into a home , and search around for evidence without permission, or notice. It is very scary to anyone who goes through this event. This novel in sections, or parts can be thrilling, or scary. Read the novel, so you can understand the plot, and incidents from the novel. I enjoyed the novel very much, and much of the happenings you can read about today in some newspapers, or magazines. Sami risks his life to uncover the truth, when his father is implicated in a terrorist plot. This novel is very appealing and I liked the novel very much. LRD/4/18/11

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Haunting of HIll House by Shirley Jackson

This novel is in our young adult collection for the teens who enjoy scary novels and were interested after the movie made of the book. However, beyond liking scary stories, I do not feel as if this novel has much teen appeal. Dr. Montague has a desire to investigate the mysterious Hill House and invites a few people to spend some time with him at that house. The only way he can stay is if someone connected to the house is a part of the group - enter Luke the heir to the house. Then there is Theodora and Eleanor. The four of them arrive at the house to hear about it's chilling past and to prepare for what might go bump in the night. As they adjust to life there and survive the threatening presence of the house, they begin to see that something sinister must be going on as one person in the traveling party keeps becoming the center of the haunting. This book was originally written in 1959 and so I think it might be possible that some dissatisfaction in the novel comes form the age and different time periods. The truly "scary" portions are few and far between. One thing this has going for it is that it's more odd and unsettling than outright scary. The way the characters act at certain times makes me feel like they've gone crazy and are talking gibberish but think what they're saying is witty and wise. As I read, though, I began to think that it might all be a reaction to the house, as if the house is affecting them. I don't know if this is the case or if their behaviors is all in the realm of sanity given the time period. I like my theory and if that's the case, the house as an overwhelming power that makes it truly creepy and strange. There is no explanation for why any of it is happening and as a reader that leaves me unhappy, but I guess it allows the story to live on to haunt again. I like how the book makes the house as much a character in the novel as Eleanor and the others. There is also some great juxtaposition between the dark evils of the house and the peaceful beauty of the surrounding area and brooks. If you want a book that's going to keep you up at night, I don't think this is the one you want. It is an odd novel, though, that does a good job of showing the downward spiral of one character affected by the strange, disturbing house. mmk

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Interrogation of Gabriel James by Charlie Price

Two police detectives are interrogating a high schooler, cross country runner a few days after he was taken to the hospital having been beaten by a bat wielding drug dealer. Gabe was found at the scene of a double homicide. One of the victims is the younger brother of the girl he had been almost stalking in hopes of becoming her boyfriend. The other is a drug dealer, probably also responsible for the beating of a homeless manwho Gabe considers a friend. Readers learn all the action leading up to the beating and shootings through the interrogation. There are also some ugly personal family secrets that come out. And, at least one of the bad guys was doing hate crimes and animal cruelty as well. This is a short book, fast read and I don't think especially well done or mysterious but readers who are into the tv shows Criminal Minds and CSI may well enjoy it. JDW

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Gardener - S.A. Bodeen

TroDyn Industries is a scientific complex just outside of Melby Falls. They own most of the businesses, and have paid for most of the equipment and supplies at the high school. Mason is considering doing a summer internship there, but his mom doesn't want him to. She doesn't give him a specific reason, so he decides to go snooping in his mom's room. He discovers that she used to work for TroDyn. He sneaks into the nursing home where she works to confront her. She doesn't want to talk about TroDyn. As his mom checks on her patients one of them, a teenage girl, wakes up. Mason helps her escape, and along with Jack, head to Jack's parents cabin. The stay for a day until the police show up. They go on the run again and head to Powell's Books, where a former TroDyn employee is giving a talk. Dr. Emerson ends up explaining that the teenage girl was an experiment to see if humans could be created to supply themselves with there own food. The girl is really weak and the only way to save her is to take her back to TroDyn. Mason will soon discover that there is more of a family connection to TroDyn than just his mother being a former employee. I enjoyed this book. A few plot points I had figured out before they were revealed in the book. It was just a matter of paying attention to the little things that may seem minor. I liked the idea that maybe one day we could live by producing our own food like plants do. Let's just hope that humans don't run out of food any time soon. T.B 4/9/11

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Subject Seven - James A. Moore

It seems like the government is always trying to create some type of super soldier to use for battles and wars. Subject seven was genetically created for that reason, but he was deemed a failure. He was to be killed when he escapes. He was ten years old, and has been in hiding for the last five years. When he finds out that not all of the failures were killed he seeks them out. Hunter, Cody, Gene, Tina, and Kyrie are all adopted, have been having blackouts for days at a time, and have woken up in places far away from where they live. Subject seven gets them all to Boston, and reveals the truth that they are genetic failures of an experiment to create sleeper super human soldiers. When they come under attack by forces from the company that created them, subject seven says one phrase, and they turn into the super humans they were created to be. After the battle they decide to go after the head of company, and set off to destroy her. I think that there needed to be a little more character development, but over all it was an entertaining book. It kept you wanting to read the next chapter to find out what would happen next. The way it ended seemed to hint at a sequel, but didn't see anything on the authors website about one at this time. T.B. 4/5/11