Thursday, November 29, 2012

Deadpool-Monkey business by Daniel Way

Deadpool is an assassin for hire. But on the long run, he had seek the desire to change his ways. Which is why  he travels to New York in hopes to learn from the best. Spider-Man! However it doesn't go as smoothly as he thought it would. There has been a murder and Deadpool is first suspect in the list. With an alibi Deadpool joins Spiderman to find out who is targeting hit-mans and why. They didn't see that coming.

Second story is about the origins of hit-monkey. How did a wild monkey became one of the hit-man legends.

Writer: Daniel Way
Art: Carlo Barberi & Tan Eng Huat

Art is very detail yet maintains the style that most love about a comic book. If you love spider-man this is the book for you. There is action, mystery and comedy in this comic book. Recommend if you like all of the above.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

This is a fun, quick read.  Its not gonna win any medals or awards but I recommend it all the same.
I think anyone who has heard the Chicago Ghost Urban Legend of Resurrection Mary would enjoy this.  Its the legend of the girl who was killed on prom night and still walks seeking a ride to prom?
She wasn't called Mary or Anna in my Iowa hometown where I first heard the tale.
This has a new spin.  Anna is trapped in a house where she viciously kills anyone who happens to enter.  Cas Lowood, a boy about the age of Anna when she died, is a ghost buster.  He and his white witch mom have come to town to release Anna and send her to where she belongs.  He has the knife his dad used before he died ghost busting.  Nothing much goes as planned.  People die, Cas loses his knife and Anna and Cas seemingly fall in love.  Anna is released but not to a final resting place, rather from that evil which trapped her in the house, perhaps the same evil that killed Cas' father?  Cas is possessed of an Obeahman requiring very special release using his mom, a kid and his grandfather who practice a bit of voodoo and black magic and some of the school kids who first introduced Cas to Anna and actually made it out of the house alive.  Anna, at first evil turns out to be quite likeable.  Cas lightens intense scenes with humorous statements.  And there is a sequel which I am about to read:  Girl of Nightmares.

Legend by Marie Lu

This is another first book in a teen dystopia series.  Day is a loner rebel who the current government wants captured and executed.  He is causing so much trouble.  June is a prodigy about Day's age who is highly trained by the government as a spy, assassin guard etc.  She loves to go off on her own to challenge herself, something government training cannot do, she is so advanced.  Their worlds collide when Day pulls off a heist of plague medicine in which June's beloved brother is killed.  Plague pops up in one poor sector or another with no real sense as to why.  Victims' doors are marked and the medical police cart them away.  Occasionally a different sort of mark is placed on a door, though no one knows the significance.  It is known that there is cure and prevention for plague but only wealthy people have access to it.  There are other horrific things this government is doing.  Kids who fail their training trials at aged ten are theoretically sent to labor camps and are never seen again.  June is assigned the task of finding Day and bringing him in.  She is highly motivated to do so by the loss of her brother.  When she succeeds, she is already seeing things a bit differently.  She even seems to have fallen in love with Day.  His capture results in the death of his mother and the capture of his brothers as well.  Day's execution time is set.  But before then, June has discovered the truth about her brother's death, the plague and other things the government is doing and sets out to free Day and his brothers instead.  At story's end Day is freed, one of his brother's is dead, June has become a rebel and there is still Day's younger brother to rescue.  This book just sets up the series.  Anyone reading this will really want to read the next books.  Think about the Nazi regime and their labor camps and other stuff that regime did.  I suspect that this is where the story is going - though I will have to find out along with everyone else.  Its an easy enough read, I recommend it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wizzywag by Ed Piskor

this story just like any other starts off with a simple kid named kevin who enjoys challenging things in life whether it is a puzzle or a situation that later rolls into becoming a one of the famous first time hackers. Kevin (the main character) was just a regular kids who got bullied in school but had a good close friend. these two would basically do everything together, but on main thing they liked to do was to figure things out. so a little bit down the line of the book they started to fool around with a phone booth that they would walk by all the time. they discovered that if you would whistle at a right pitch you would be able to use free long distance phone calls, as kevin being the main character he had perfect pitch to do this. but many other people could not do this, so they would need to get an illegal device called an "blue box". as being kids with an illegal toy the police question them on how they are getting free long distance calling on the phone booth. this is just a little bit of the begin, i have to say it is a little slow through some parts but it is a good read on my parts. "wizzywag" shows an interestingly perspective on the tail of a hacker who got blown way out of proportion by the media.

Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler

This book came out the year Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility turned 200. This novel plays homage to the classic with a modern twist.

Gabby and Daphne are sisters with nothing in common. Gabby, the older sister, has stepped up to help her mother after her father left them. She's the sensible sister who works hard, studies to get good grades, and does her best to make sure her sister behaves. Considering how her father broke her mother's heart, Gabby doesn't believe in love and wants nothing to do with boys. Daphne, on the other hand, lives in a romantic fantasy world of happily ever afters. She meets the new boy in town and instantly believes he's her soul mate. She is spoiled and irresponsible because she's so wrapped up in her dream world to pay attention to the harsh realities of her family's situation. Then a financial crisis leaves the family dependent on the one boy in town Gabby can't stand - the person responsible for the death of the only boy Gabby ever had feelings for. When her mother has to go out of town, Gabby is forced to be even more responsible for her oblivious sister. Pretty soon everyone has boy issues, whether they want them or not.

This book does a decent job of maintaining the gist of Austen's novel. There are modern issues that fit nicely into the story that all seem realistic. However, for two-thirds of the novel I couldn't stand either main character. Daphne is a spoiled brat who desperately needed a reality check and Gabby was so narrow-minded and critical of everything she was just downright unlikeable. I could understand where each girl is coming from, but they were both so extreme that they were annoying. In the last hundred pages both girls received a bit of a slap in the face which thankfully brought them around to some resemblance of sanity.

Aside from some unbearable main characters, the book wasn't horrible. You could relate to the character even if you couldn't stand them and the book makes you believe change and happily ever afters are possible.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Every Day - David Levithan

Since the day he was born, A has woken up in a different body each day.  He doesn't interfere in the persons life unless he absolutely has to.  On day 5994 A wakes up in Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon.  They have a perfect day by skipping school and have a picnic near the ocean.  After A leaves Justin all he can think about is Rhiannon.  A few days later he wakes up in Nathan and he goes to a party Justin and Rhiannon will be at.  It is there A, inside of Nathan, gets to dance and have a good time with her.  After A moves on to another person Nathan claims to have been possessed and his story spreads across the news.  A few days later A meets with Rhiannon at a bookstore and tells her what is going on.  It takes her a few days to process the whole situation, but accepts that A is a different person each day.  No matter what body A is in he sees her every day, unless he's to far away from her.  Nathan continues to hound him over e-mail about who and what he is.  A finally tells Nathan what is going on and that he wasn't possessed.  When Nathan sees A in two different people two days in a row, he starts to believe what A is saying is true. Rhiannon on the other hand thinks that it won't work out between them since A is a different person each day.  Can A and Rhiannon find a way to be together, or are they destined to love each other from afar?

I'm very glad I choose this book to read.  I loved the story and really liked how the book ended.  The way the story unfolds you as the reader will get sucked in. You feel what the characters feel, and that to me, makes a book really good and enjoyable when the author is able to do that. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Forget Me Not - Carolee Dean

     This is a novel written in verse, it takes place at a high school and like any high school is full  of drama and self-discovery.  
    Ally, the main character, a high schooler that can not believe a picture of her is going around school being texted to everyone. She is afraid her life will be over, her reputation will be lost and she wants to figure out how everything got started.
    The counselor at the high school by the name of Mr. Toms has spoken to Brianna Connor, a teen attending the high school in order to investigate if she has anything to do with this but she denies sending a dirty picture of Ally
    Elijah has his own set of problems and can barely handle them, wants to know how he got into this deep hole and wants to find the solution of how to get out. He has landed in this hole after taking a whole bottle of over the counter sleeping pills, and now he can see ghosts.
   There is a link between Ally and Elijah, actually there is a link between Elijah and Ally because Elijah has been in loved with Ally and would do anything to save her.

Ally continues to try to have her normal life socializing with her friends, she attends a party where drugs are distributed for all to try but she is not interested in any drugs she wants to know how this picture got distributed.

The book takes a twist Ally has been in a accident and she ends up in a coma state, the accident shattered her two legs but the really twist was for Elijah becuase at the hospital something important happends Elijah kisses Ally. After this he reacts how could he do this if he knows she is at the hospital in a state were she is vulnerable and she is still trying to figure out her picture issues.

The book has a very interesting plot because it relates to what the current high school generation is dealing with. All this aspects of technology and issues about privatecy that we as a society are living now a days.
Most of all it has a great conclusion to how Ally and Elijah are able to solve their dilemmas and are able to mature and self-discover what they are really searching in life.
LRD&RPA 11/15/12

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Amber House by Kelly Moore and daughters

The cover of this book is gorgeous and perfect for the story which is set on Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.  Amber house is alive or seems to be.  Within it are secrets of the past (everwas), present and possible futures (Neverwas).  Relatives of the first inhabitants with the right gift can see these secrets by touching something in the house such as a stair railing or a long forgotten toy, or sometimes by looking into a mirror.

Sara, her five year old mildly autistic brother Sammy, her mother have come from Seattle for Grandma Ida's funeral.  The plan was to sell the family estate and get back home for Sara's 16th birthday.  Sara's mother does not want the house, does not want to go into the house.  Sara has visited her grandma only once at the family estate.  It includes a stable with horses, a dock with a sail boat named liquid Amber, a huge maze with a gazebo at the center and lots of secret passages.  There is
also a legend that somewhere inside is hidden a treasure of lost diamonds left by the first resident.  He was a gem smuggler later turned slave smuggler.  When his wife went mad from the loss of a child, he took one of the slaves as a mistress.  One descendant of that liaison was an abolitionist. One descendant wrote a book about Amber House, possibly from the vision she had.  One lives on the edge of the property along a river with her grandson Jackson.  She has cared for grandma Ida many years.  Jackson is thought to be fourth cousin to Sara.

At the reception following the funeral, things change.  Sara meets a local teen Richard and perhaps forms a friendship.  Mother reconnects with old acquaintances.  There is a chance to hold a gala 16th coming out for Sara and at the same time a realtor's open house to show case the manse and maximize profits for Sara and Sam's future.  Mom plans the affair. Sara hangs with Richard and acts appropriately so that all the important teens and their parents will  attend the party.  And, Sara and sometimes Sammy and Jackson explore Amber House searching for its secrets.  With all mom's demands on Sara, she doesn't have a chance to figure her real feelings towards Richard or Jackson. So it goes through a successful gala the likes of which neither Amber House  nor the neighbors have seen in a long long time.  But, something happens to Sammy along the way, he goes to sleep and doesn't wake up.  He is thought to be in a coma of unknown origin.  Sara suspects the house has stolen his soul.  She must confront some horrors if she is to rescue Sammy. 

Sara has the house's history in a book, she has her fortune, she has her experiences with the mirrors and objects in the house but she does not go about anything in a systematic way which frustrates me.  There is to be a sequel to this story, which I assume will fill in the blanks in the House's story and end its taking of the souls of its children which seems to lead to madness in the survivors. 

I enjoyed this story very much and look forward to reading about Sara's relationships with Jackson and Jackson and the House of Amber. JDW

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught

This is fairly easy to read even though the narrator and his friends are 17 and in high school  I would give it to any one from 6th grade and up.

Freak, Sunshine and Drip have been friends for at least 9 or ten years.  They are alphabets as they call themselves.  They have medical diagnoses that keep them out of normal classrooms and on the short bus to special classes.  They are regularly harassed and even beaten by a BD student and his gang.

One day the bus drops of Sunshine near her home then Drip and Freak and Sunshine just disappears.
Folks immediately accuse Jason (Freak) of hurting Sunshine.  He does not stand up well for himself because of his alphabet.  Through repeated questioning, DNA testing, a search, a severe beating in the hands of the bullies, its easy to see how much Freak has grown to love Sunshine, how much he is hurting for his loss and scared for her, and how much adults distrust him and he therefore distrusts them.  Jason and Derrick (Drip) know about Sunshine's secret place along the river, her secret stash in her room, her scent (like honeysuckle).  They do not know about her greatest secret and greatest secret stash.  They know they could not hurt their friend.  One FBI Agent who gets to know Jason, who looks past his alphabet earns Jason's trust and learns all the truth he can share.  It is with certainty that we also know Jason and Derrick, especially Jason did nothing to hurt Sunshine.  The search for Sunshine ends due to money issues and a sense that perhaps she left on her own.  Agent Mercer lets Jason in on what he knows.  Jason later repays this trust by calling on him for help, which he freely gives.  There is a realistic, bitter sweet ending. Sympathetic readers are likely to shed a few tears and learn a little of misperceptions about persons with a wide range of disabilities.  JDW

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

This is called a romance but it is very much more than that and it is not about pushing sex!

Echo and Noah are both traumatized teens who used to be very different from who they are as the book starts.  They were popular.  They were smart.  He was a jock, she an award winning artist.  They are now in an experimental counseling project hopefully to help them deal with their traumas and to move on. They do want to move on they say they want normal.  Initially, except for the counselor Echo's friends and probably former friends, her father, her step mother are all irritatingly clueless to her needs.  Noah has experienced something similar but has found a new group of friends who use marijuana and drink beer.  He is kept from the only thing important to him, his younger brothers, by equally clueless adults in his life.  Both are seniors only a couple of months from graduation.  After their counselor asks Echo to tutor Noah they unexpectedly fall in love.  Its a very special relationship that is enjoyable to read.  For Echo getting to normal means remembering what happened to her and for Noah it means letting go of anger.  His anger extends to abusive foster parents, the people in authority who refused to believe him and the foster parents of his little brothers who are trying to keep them from him.  I'll say right now that the adults only moved slightly towards understanding these two very likable, determined, hurt teens.  It is Echo and Noah who must change the most.  Noah has to stop fighting everyone so hard, apologize.  Echo remembers her trauma accepts that the person who caused it cannot change, accepts that she has been replaced in her family by a stepmother and her new half brother.  They move on, they are excited about their future, perhaps it will be together.  Noah's brothers will be in his and Echo's art is a part of her future.  I think the story ties up too neatly, still I enjoyed it.  Recommended JDW