Friday, October 25, 2013

Tiger & Bunny by Masafumi Nishida

Super powered humans had appeared in the world, and they had been walking among us for 45 years. Some of them fight crime while promoting their sponsors on the hit tv show HERO TV.

They are called NEXT. Thanks to HERO TV, people love NEXT, even though they are far from understanding them. However not all NEXT use their powers for good.

But this story revolves around a veteran hero Wild Tiger. His years of experience doesn't help his ratings and they are not to pick up any time soon. Ordered by his employer, he has to try and work along a rookie named Barnaby Brooks Jr.  with a big attitude. Being the water to his oil, Wild Tiger will have to overcome his differences with Barnaby, if they want to take down the bad guys.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Diamond Willow features a 12-year old girl in inner Alaska. The overriding theme is her relationship with her family, friends, and particularly with one of her family's sled dogs. Willow doesn't feel very special, her best friend likes a boy better than she likes Willow and her dad seems to love his sled dogs more than her.  Tragedy strikes along the way and Roxy's ,her favorite dog, eyes are harmed. As she tries to do what is best for Roxy, Willow finds herself on a path that leads directly into a snow storm. 

Diamond Willow is written in a short writing style, the majority of the pages contain diamond-shaped text. Within each diamond-shaped page is a "hidden" message in bold print. This may seem gimmicky, but in my opinion I feel that this  works because Frost is such a great writer who has so much respect for her audience, her audience include 10-14 year olds. Is a beautiful story,  the story itself has a deep plot and beautifully written.

RPA 10/24/2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What starts off as a typical teen romance, surprises the reader with its depth and moral issues.

Samantha Reed lives a charmed life as the daughter of a Senator, but the life next door seems far more appealing. The Garretts are chaotic and messy, while her life is full of order and perfection. When Jase Garrett crosses the border between their homes, Samantha becomes a part of his world and his family. As she adjusts to this new love and new life, her mother is planning her next campaign, with the help of a man named Clay who has as much interest in Gracie Reed as he does her campaign. Samantha feels as if she's losing her mother to this man's influence, but that's not the only thing she's losing over the summer as friendships get questioned. Then her life gets completely turned upside down after a horrible accident affects not only her family, but also the Garretts. Samantha is then faced with a tough decision where, no matter what she decides, someone is going to get hurt.

This book starts off as a simple romance. Samantha meets Jase and at first he's new and tempting, especially because her mother has always disapproved of the Garrett's lifestyle. Then the novel throws in the situation with her mother and Clay and how Samantha can see the man corrupting her, but Gracie is oblivious to everything. On top of that is the character Tim, the brother of Samantha's best friend, who is basically throwing his life away with drugs and bad decisions. While Samantha is finding real love, her best friend Nan is dealing with long-time relationship that doesn't seem to make any sense anymore. Then tragedy strikes and everything is complicated further. It seems like so much is going on, but it all works flawlessly together. You fall in love with all of the characters - even Tim who is an unlikeable character at the beginning becomes a champion at the end. You want to see things work out but you realize that Samantha is in an impossible situation. This book is about sacrifices and second chances and doing what is right despite the consequences.

I've read plenty of "fluff and stuff" romances that are nice for that warm, happily-ever-after feeling. This book isn't like that. Not to say that it doesn't have some form of a happily-ever-after, it challenges the reader and has a depth to it you don't see in many teen romances. It is definitely worth the read.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Etched in Sand
by Regina Calcaterra

This is the true story of the life of Regina Calcaterra and her four siblings.  It's a story that details the horrific abuse and torture that all five children endured their whole childhood by their mother.  Each child had a different father, and there was no contact with any of them. Their mother, Cookie, would abuse and torture the children because she hated their fathers.  Cookie was mentally ill, an alcoholic, and drug addict.  It's also the story of how the welfare and foster care systems failed to provide  and protect the children from their mother.

This is also the story of  Regina's determination to keep her siblings together. She did her best to try and provide the basic needs for her sisters and brother at any cost.  She always insisted that they all attend school as she believed that was the only way they would be able to have a better life for themselves as adults.  Along with the love that they had for one another and their survival instincts they were able to survive and achieve their goals.

Regina's sisters and brother eventually married and have families of their own and are doing well.  Regina put herself through law school and is a lawyer in New York and lives on Long Island.  She also ran for a Senate seat in 2010. She is a board member to You Gotta Believe, an organization that works towards finding older foster children forever homes, just to name a few of her many accomplishments.

I didn't know if I could finish this book it was hard to read the unspeakable things that the Calcaterra children had to endure.  It was heartbreaking when the children were returned to their mother time and time again. I kept going because no matter how many times Regina's mother beat her down, Regina never lost hope that she and her siblings would someday have a better life. 


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

In Quill people are sorted in three different groups. The Wanted are those who are strong and intelligent. The Necessary are those who are needed for farming and other tasks. And then there are the Unwanted, the creative ones. Many people in Quill did not want to be labeled as Unwanted, for the Unwanteds are put to death, or so everyone thought.  Marcus Today (or the Death Farmer as Quill knows him), has a little secret. He is sent the Unwanteds to eliminate, but he saves them instead and brings them to a place called Artimé.  Artimé is a place of creative, magic, and wonder. Quill is a gray dim place, with a ruler who will fight to keep it that way. Each year during the Purge, the thirteen-year-olds are sorted, among this year are twin brothers Alex and Aaron Stowe. When they are separated, Alex is deemed Unwanted and Aaron is deemed Wanted, times in both Quill and Artimé are in for a change. KS10/13