Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Mist on Brontë Moor



The Mist on Brontë Moor

By Aviva Orr

Summary: When Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth. Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with her great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, she becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Bronte and is given refuge in the Bronte Parsonage. Unaware of her host family s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world completely foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Bronte family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell. Will Heather return to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will she choose love and remain in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, YA

Published: December 22, 2012

Similar: Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Amazing. Beautiful. Bittersweet. These are the words that sum up how I would describe this book.

First, let's talk about Heather.  Her struggle with alopecia is apparent from the first page, and it is very well written.  Some reviewers claim that she didn't struggle with it as much as she should have while staying with the Brontës, but I say nay-nay.  The girl was in 1833; she had other things on her mind, and it is still a fairly big struggle in the story, so I don't agree with them.  The one thing that I feel is inconsistent as far as the alopecia goes is the cover. In the book, she has to cut it off, but on the cover she is pictured in the graveyard with long flowing hair. That's it. And I didn't care about that at all, so in my opinion, it was flawless.  I thought it was a bit strange that she didn't realize she had traveled back in time sooner, because even though it seems far fetched, there were so many obvious signs! Other than that, I thought she was a great main character. 

The love story was  a bit of a love-hate relationship for me, and probably the only reason this book isn't getting five stars.  In the 1800s, I am almost certain it was not common to snuggle by the fireplace.  Especially after you have only known the person for two weeks! Once I got over that little fact, I was soon in love with Branwell. He was so charming, yet he had a vulnerable side to him as well.  I did not know the Brontës had a brother, and I looked him up while reading this because I was so interested.  He seems like he was very talented, but for reasons that I won't tell you because they might spoil the book, he never became as famous.

As some of you may already know, I have a Brontë obsession.  Currently, I'm trying to read every single book they ever wrote. So now I will go on a rant on how I think it is completely AWESOME that Charlotte, Emily, and Anne (kind of) were all main characters! I know this book is fictional, but I feel as if I got to know them by reading this. Silly, right? Still; I will never look at Jane Eyre the same way again. 

Now, the ending.  Don't worry; there's no spoilers here, but I feel like I need to say that the ending was a rollercoaster of emotions for me.  I don't know how to say it any differently.  It was not an ending that completely killed my happiness and made me want to curl up into a ball and sob(Mockingjay!) but it was not a happy, sunshine and rainbows, and they all lived happily ever after ending.  I loved it.

I know that if I don't end this soon, I will ramble on and on, so I'll close with this; The Mist on Brontë Moor is one of the best books I have read this year.  It's the kind of book where you become overly attached to the characters and feel sad when it's over.  I have no idea if there could be a sequel to this, but if there is, I would buy it in a second.  You need to read it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #2




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted on Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to show upcoming releases we can't wait to read!






Mila 2.0

Debra Driza

Summary: Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.


Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.



Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.



Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.


Does  that not sound amazing? Plus the cover--WOW.  I need this book. Now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Agnes Grey


 

Agnes Grey

By Anne Brontë

Summary: Agnes is the daughter of a minister whose family was in financial difficulty. She has only a few choices for employment. Agnes experiences the difficulty of reining in spoiled children and how wealth can corrupt morals. She later opens a school and finds happiness.
 
Genre: Classics
 
Published: December 1847
 
Similar: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
 
My Rating: 4 stars
 
 
I always have trouble writing reviews for classics; I mean, they're still in print for a reason. They have managed to be loved by people of multiple generations, which is no easy feat. So, I don't ever like critiquing them, or saying I disliked them.

Thankfully, I don't have to do either with Agnes Grey. I've read Anne Bronte's sisters' books, but I had yet to read hers. So, I downloaded a copy of this book on my kindle and started to read.

This was not a classic where I was yawning and wondering what the heck was going on. For a classic, it's pretty easy to understand,and I liked Agnes from the start. Sometimes I would think, "This girl has terrible luck!", but it wasn't so bad that the book was unbelievable. This book is semi-autobiographical, so there's no doubt in my mind that Anne Bronte had to put up with this kind of behavior.

Mr. Weston was another likeable character; after all the jerks Agnes had to put up with, it was nice to meet another character who was kind and caring, and not selfish and mean. (I need to go on a small rant about Tom; that kid was a psychopath in training! Dismembering poor little birds! Animal cruelty is the one of the first signs of a serial killer, people! Okay, now back to the review.)

All together, this was a wonderful story. I would definitely recommend it to people who like to read classics,especially the romantic ones, but even if you don't, Agnes Grey is still a book that you might like.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren. It highlights the books that we have received, bought, downloaded, or borrowed this week.
This is a picture of the books I bought this week (from a thrift shop, the only place where you can buy three books for under three dollars!), not including my e-books, which I got A LOT of: 



The Merchant of Death

D.J. MacHale

It looks good! I love books about other worlds, so hopefully I'll start this soon.





Click Here

By Denise Vega

I read this about two years before, but I didn't finish it; I quit after the twentieth page.  I'm giving it a second chance now, so hopefully it's better than I remember it.




Flippped

By Wendelin Van Draanen

I'm going into this book not really knowing what to expect.  I don't usually overly enjoy romance, but...there's a little chick on the cover! I couldn't resist.

 
Now, onto e-books....


Raggedy Ann Heart

By Heather McPhaul

I'm more attracted to the cover than the plot, but it was free, and it could be good.  It got good reviews, so fingers crossed!


The Mist On Bronte Moor

By Aviva Orr

I'm currently reading this, and it is SO GOOD.  Highly recommended, especially for Wuthering Heights fans like me. 

 



The Clairvoyance Clock

By K.M. Parr

 The title and the plot made me need to buy this!

 

 To Dream, Perchance To Soar

By Ashlyn Nafina

I find this cover really pretty.  I think I'm going to read this ASAP.

 

 

London Escape

By Cacey Hopper

The plot had me hooked! I just realized I've been reading a lot of books that take place in Europe recently.

 

 

Corridor

By R.M. Parrish

What can I say? I'm a sucker for dystopian, and it looks interesting.

 

 

The Escape

 By Samantha Abigail Ashford

It reminded me of Hannah Montana.  Hey, don't judge; you know you loved that show when you were younger.



 
So, that's what I got this week! They all look pretty good, so I'm excited!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Origins: The Fire

Origins: The Fire

Debra Driza

Summary: Heart-stopping and electric, MILA 2.0: Origins: The Fire contains a short prequel story and an excerpt to MILA 2.0, the first book in a riveting Bourne Identity–style trilogy by Debra Driza.

Mila can't remember anything before the fire that took her father's life. It's normal to have some memory loss after traumatic events, but Mila doesn't remember if she's ever learned to ride a bike, or if she's ever been in love. Nothing.

What she doesn't know is that she isn't supposed to remember—that she was built in a computer science lab and programmed to forget. Because if she remembers, she might discover her true identity.

The question is: If she relived the fire, what would she see?
 
Genre: Adventure, YA, Science Fiction
 
Published: January 8, 2013
 
Similar: Mila 2.0
 
My Rating: 3.5 stars
 
 
This is a VERY small little teaser for the YA novel Mila 2.0.  I would estimate it at about 16 pages tops. Now, I will say this; it was a very well written teaser, but I definitely was hoping for something a bit more substantial.  This was more like a prologue to Mila 2.0, not a novellette like I was hoping for.  I would have enjoyed having a bit more. 
 
However, like I said before; it's very well written.  I could picture the fire that Mila was in as I was reading.  This author, if Mila 2.0 is as well-written as Origins: The Fire, (and I am sure it will be) has the potential to be as good a storyteller as Suzanne Collins--I say potential because 15 pages doesn't quite seal the deal for me. Still, that is a very high compliment from a Hunger Games fan like me.
 
Another thing I liked was that it included chapters from the main novel, which I am DYING to get my hands on; I entered a giveaway for an advanced reader's copy, and I lost. Go figure.  Anyway, from what I read, it looks super good.  And, this book is free, so I can't really complain too much about it being so short, when it didn't cost me anything. I got more than what I paid for, that's for sure.
 
This little story succeeded in its purpose; it made me want to pick up Mila 2.0 and read it.  However, since it doesn't come out until March, I will be impatiently waiting for about a month.  I would recommend this to people thinking about reading Mila 2.0; it's a good teaser.  Even if you're not sure you want to read it, I still would try Origins: The Fire, because I have a hunch that this author is going to be pretty popular.

Writing Advice For Teens: Creating Stories

Writing Advice For Teens: Creating Stories

By Mike Kalmbach

Summary: When all you have is a blank page, it's often tough to begin writing.

Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories aims to help you overcome that initial hurdle by making it easy for you to write down simple, focused ideas and craft them into stories.

However, coming up with ideas is not enough. Teen writers need to understand basic story structure so they can avoid typical writing problems.

Filled with plenty of tips, advice, and examples to help any teen writer, the first book in the Writing Advice for Teens series focuses on getting ideas down quickly and pounding out that first draft. After following the advice and using the techniques outlined in this book, you should understand how to bring the stories locked in your mind to the surface.


Genre: Non-fiction

Published: April 24, 2012

Similar: Creative Writing For Dummies

My Rating: 4 stars

Forget the fact that this says 'teens' in the title.  The writing advice given in here is really beneficial to anyone from kids, to teens, to adults. 

I really wasn't planning on writing a review of this., but after reading it, I feel like I have to tell people about this. I normally don't read how-to books, but this was free, and I have been writing short stories since I was a little kid, so I though, what the heck? I'll try it. 

I was surprised how full of useful information this book was. I have never used my highlighting feature on my kindle too much, but I was highlighting things left and right on this. Almost every other sentence was yellow after I had finished this! From writer's block, to not overwriting, to useful tools when writing, this book has it all.  If you are struggling with writing, you won't be by the time you finish this book. It helped me out a LOT. I was able to correct some of my problems, and get really helpful tips as well, like filling out character charts--there was even a sample that came in the book!

So, I would recommend getting this book. It has great info, and it's cheap. What more can you ask for?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Hermitage House Miracle


Hermitage House Miracle

By Malcolm Ater

Summary: The Hermitage House Miracle starts with a deep hook. "I've given you the last six years of my life, and for what? To always be running from one town to another? Never having a life of my own just so you could live?"

As Jamie lay alone in bed, not knowing his mother had just been killed while driving drunk, he was filled with disturbing thoughts. His mother's last words to him before going out did not make sense. He was even more confused when she had added, in a drunken slur, "If I had a lick of sense I'd have let old Ernie do what he wanted!"

Why had his mother said she had given him the last six years of her life when he was twelve years old? 

After being sent to live at the Hermitage House for Children, Jamie begins to have a series of strange and troubling dreams. Each dream is about a little blond-haired boy who has a little sister and a mother and a father. But the mother is not his mother who was killed in the car accident and he had never known his father. Yet his dreams are always about the same family, especially the little boy and his dog. And the father programs computers and makes games, even promising to build the boy a video game so lifelike the boy will think he's actually inside it...

Genre: Juvenile, Fantasy

Published: May 26, 2012

Similar: Currently N/A

Rating: 2.5 stars

I had mixed feelings about this book. I can see why it was free for kindle now.

First, I liked it. I thought, well, that's nice, it'll be a book about him finding his family or whatever. (No, that isn't a spoiler--you get that it's going in that direction from his first night at Hermitage House.) Well, at the halfway point it started getting funky.  I kept thinking, What the heck? The author took it into a completely different direction than you thought he was going, and I really disliked that direction. Let me put it this way; he should have kept going straight instead of taking a right turn. Now, I had to read more of what can only be described as a realistic fantasy, and I didn't like it. The part about that stupid video game really ticked me off. When the title said miracle, I didn't think it was going to be a literal miracle, and I didn't like that he waited until I was HALFWAY INTO THE BOOK to have that be apparent!

And another thing. This is a spoiler, so if you don't like spoilers, don't read this. The ending was not up to par. The sisters read the letter that he had left to find his family, and, I'm not joking, their reaction was, 'oh, whatever, thanks for the lottery ticket Jamie!' And when the parents saw Jamie, his father saw him and it was a little to...accepting for me. I mean, the rest of the family acted like I think I would act if my dead sibling or child ended up being alive. they were crying and they couldn't believe it. Dad was like,"I knew you would come back!" Umm...no you didn't.  He's supposed to be dead.  You HOPED he would come back. Also, when Jamie told about Scout, dad was just like, "I think I figured out what's going on! Your dog's spirit never rested! It was always looking for you Jamie, and now he can finally be in peace!" Well, yeah, because I don't know about you, but that is the first explanation that jumps into my head! And apparently, the rest of the family thought the same, because there were no raised eyebrows or anything! (In my head, I kept thinking of the wife going: Oh, honey, you're so smart! It must have been a ghost! Why didn't I see it before?) I might understand if Jamie came up with that...creative idea, but the dad--well, it just seemed to not fit.

Don't get me wrong. I did not hate this book. I liked most of the parts. But the parts that I didn't like I REALLY didn't like. So, I'm not sure I would recommend this book or not.  It got increasingly weirder with each chapter.  But, if you don't mind that, it's a good book.

Waiting on Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted on Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to show upcoming releases we can't wait to read!

The Disgrace of Kitty Grey

Mary Hooper

Kitty is living a happy, carefree life as a dairymaid in the countryside. The grand family she is employed by looks after her well, and she loves her trade, caring for the gentle cows and working in the cool, calm dairy. And then, of course, there is Will, the river man who she thinks is very fond of her, and indeed she is of him. Surely he will ask her to marry him soon? Then one day disaster strikes: Will disappears. Kitty is first worried and then furious. She fears that Will has only been leading her on all this time, and has now gone to London to make his fortune, forgetting about her completely. So when Kitty is asked to go to London to pick up a copy of Pride and Prejudice, the latest novel by the very fashionable Jane Austen, Kitty leaps at the chance to track down Will. But Kitty has no idea how vast London is, and how careful she must be. It is barely a moment before eagle-eyed pickpockets have spotted the country-born-and-bred Kitty and relieved her of her money and belongings. Dauntingly fast, she has lost her only means of returning home and must face the terrifying prospect of stealing in order to survive - and of being named a thief ...

When I first saw this book's cover, I really liked it, and clicked on it to see what it was about.  The summary completely hooked me.  I will get my hands on this book no matter what!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stormbreaker


Stormbreaker

By Anthony Horowitz

Summary: They told him his uncle died in a car accident. Fourteen-year-old Alex knows that's a lie, and the bullet holes in his uncle's windshield confirm his suspicions. But nothing prepares him for the news that the uncle he always thought he knew was really a spy for MI6--Britain's top secret intelligence agency. Recruited to find his uncle's killers and complete his final mission, Alex suddenly finds himself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Genre: Juvenile/YA, Adventure

Published: January 1, 2000

Similar: Silverfin by Charlie Higson

My Rating: 3.5 stars

I liked the action in this book. It was how a spy story should be--thrilling, daring escapes, unique plans, and all that. Also, the book was not predictable in its plot; there was no overly obvious foreshadowing or anything, which I liked. 

However, even though there was a fair amount of action, I was at times not interested in this book, believe it or not. Perhaps it was just that my mind was a bit preoccupied, but I really didn't feel engaged in the story the whole time. Also, it seems that despite all the intense training Alex had, he was getting by with more luck than he was with skill. I mean, this kid almost died at least four times, but something extremely lucky would happen at the last second and he would miraculously be saved. He should have been dead by the end of this book, honestly.

All in all, it was a good story, and I enjoyed it, but I didn't fall in love with it like some people did. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Airman

Airman

By Eoin Colfer

 
Summary: In the 1890s Conor and his family live on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. Conor spends his days studying the science of flight with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king’s daughter, Princess Isabella. But the boy’s idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor tries to intervene, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he has to fight for his life, as he and the other prisoners are forced to mine for diamonds in inhumane conditions.

There is only one way to escape Little Saltee, and that is to fly. So Conor passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines on the prison walls. The months turn into years; but eventually the day comes when Conor must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the air.
 
Genre: Steampunk, YA
 
Published: June 1, 2007
 
Similar: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
 
Rating: 5 stars
 
Ahhh, Airman.

How shall I put it--this book is more than awesome. It is more than fantastic. It made me laugh, and it made me cry. I'm not joking. To describe this book, I would have to make up a word  because there is no describing it.  I couldn't put it down; I read it in two hours because I WOULD NOT under any circumstances stop reading.  I needed to find out what would happen next, otherwise I knew that I would not be able to think of anything else.
 
This book plays with your emotions, and you feel as if you really are the main character.  I cried when he was in pain, I rejoiced when he was happy, I was anxious when he was about to do something dangerous.  I was an emotional trainwreck by the time I had finished this.  That is what I WISH every book would do to me.  So far, very few have, and Airman is one of them.
 
Conor Broekhart is awesome. He is smart, brave, and come on! Who doesn't like a person with a multicolored beard? No one, that's who. (Intrigued? Confused, perhaps? Well, then, read the book!). 

The plot was also awesome. It was pageturning action, with a mixture of heartwarming and heartbreaking parts as well. Eoin Colfer is a stupendous author.

All together, this book was my favorite thing to read ever. It beat out Hunger Games! After I was done, I immediately went back and reread my favorite parts at least two more times and thought to myself, "Dang. This is GOOD."  This is the ONLY book I have ever done that with. So, you should definitely read it, no matter your age gender, whatever. Just read it. I can't emphasize that enough.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Feedback

Feedback

By Robinson Wells

Summary: Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy’s deadly rules and brutal gangs.

Or so he thought.

But now Benson is trapped in a different kind of prison: a town filled with hauntingly familiar faces. People from Maxfield he saw die. Friends he was afraid he had killed.

They are all pawns in the school’s twisted experiment, held captive and controlled by an unseen force. As he searches for answers, Benson discovers that Maxfield Academy’s plans are more sinister than anything he imagined—and they may be impossible to stop.


Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Adventure

Published: October 2, 2012

Similar Books: Currently N/A; this series is too unique for me to have read anything close to it.

Rating: 4 stars

Feedback is Variant's sequel.  For my review of Variant, click here. I was really hoping that this would be as spectacular as the first, but it was sadly not.  In fact, at some parts in this book I was debating putting it down because, quite frankly, some parts of this book are disgusting.

First, it had some super repulsing parts, mainly the box cutter scenes. (It's what the kids do to make sure no one's a robot, and it was seriously grossing me out. I was trying not to gag, I kid you not.) when Benson mentions seeing the 'pink of bone' I literally almost lost it. I mean, ewww! That's not exactly a wonderful mental image!  Also, there was this one part where I all I could think was, "Well. That escalated fast." (view spoiler)Spoiler: [It's the part where one of the characters, Isaiah ends up getting beaten to death. First, they're doing interviews with him.  Then, some random yelling. Then, Isaiah ends up getting murdered. Ummm....okay....I guess these kids have tempers?]  Some people complained about this in Variant, but I didn't see it.  In Feedback, I understood what they were talking about.

But, the story was still mostly enjoyable. When Robinson Wells wasn't bringing up the dreaded box cutter, I was really engrossed in Feedback. It's the kind of story that you just get completely swept up in; not as much as Variant, but still very good. Benson and Becky's relationship developed even more, and you find out some things about Maxfield Academy at the end that clear up a lot of confusion you might have from the first book. 

So, four stars.  It didn't live up to all of my expectations, but I wasn't too disappointed.

Alphas

Alphas

Lisi Harrison

Summary: At OCD the losers are tormented.

At Alpha Academy, they're sent home.

Skye Hamilton has scored an invitation to the ultra-exclusive Alphas-only boarding school where beta is spelled LBR . What happens when the country's best, brightest, and hawtest begin clawing and scratching their way to the top?


Genre: YA, Chick Lit

Published: August 25, 2009

Similar Books: The Clique by Lisi Harrison

Rating: 4 stars

LBR and OCD? I was rather confused by the summary, as all I could come up with was obsessive compulsive disorder, even AFTER Googling it.  I got that LBR was Loser Beyond Repair, but OCD gave me nothing.(If anyone knows what this means, please comment and tell me!) In addition, I was actually kind of afraid to read this book after the reviews I read which pretty much said that the book was hopelessly annoying.

Confusion and fear aside, though, I read it anyway. And I really enjoyed it. 

Yes, I understand what the people were complaining about in their reviews. 'Serious-leh' was 'serious-leh' getting on my nerves by the time I finished the last page. But, that was simply how the character talked, and I have heard many teen girls say it like that.  I only caught lip-kissing once or twice, and I wasn't that annoyed by it. I mean, you could have them kissing on the cheek...I guess.  The real thing I was a bit annoyed at were that all the girls,and I do mean ALL the girls, besides Charlie were serious witches, and Charlie definitely wasn't an angel either. (Unintentional pun! Ha ha...yeah.) But by the end of the book, most of the main characters had gotten better and were less narcissistic, and I'm pretty sure the author is going to have them improve as the series goes on anyways. Besides, it's called Alphas for a reason, people.  I wasn't expecting them to be saints at all.

This book was published by Poppy, whose books are mainly for tween and teen girls.  They did well with this one. I think teen girls will enjoy this a lot.  It has cute boys, a cool plot, and humor that girls will love. The problems that the girls faced were regular teen problems as well; boy troubles, rivalries, all that good stuff.

Four stars for a fun read.

The Perfect Place to Run

The Perfect Place to Run

By Beth McGirt Adams

 
Summary: Kayla Demery knows that God has someone special planned just for her, but as she is just 16, that's a long time coming. On a church Purity Retreat however, her idea of God's plan for her life is seriously challenged when she falls for Nate, a guy who has no relationship with God whatsoever.
 
Genre: YA, Christian, Realistic Fiction
 
Published: December 15, 2011
 
Similar Books: Currently N/A
 
Rating: 3 stars
 
Cute, predictable--those are the words I would use to describe this book. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. It was all right; a bit above average, but not quite 3.5 stars.

I'll start off with what I didn't enjoy.  If this seems harsh, it isn't meant to be.  I simply have very many feelings about this book, and not all of them are good.

Kayla annoyed me. I'll just come out and say it. She started out as a holier-than-thou Christian, in my opinion. Oh, he has a scar; what a bad boy! Oh, I can't kiss, it's not God's plan for me. Sorry, but that's just how I saw her character.  Even when she realized that she loved Nate, she was still convinced that it wasn't God's plan for her life because he wasn't a strong enough Christian guy.  Well, DUH! He just became one! You can't expect him to be Billy Graham or anything! Give him some time!  And  also, I don't think there's nothing wrong with falling in love on a purity retreat.  I would consider that luck, because then that person would have the same values you do.
 
And then, we have Mark. Mark was having a hard time getting it through his head that Kayla wasn't interested. A REALLY hard time. Wow. That's all I can say.  And, yeah; the plot was a bit predictable. I knew right away what was going to happen as soon as I heard how the author described Nate and what Kayla thought of Nate.

What I did like: It wasn't poorly written, which is sadly common with indie/self-published books. I didn't have to constantly correct spelling and grammar errors. And, after Kayla started being less judgmental, I started to like her. The characters, for the most part, were well-written; when I mean that, I mean that they were 3-D and dynamic, not that I necessarily liked every single one of them. (See above rant.) So, it's a nice, clean read. I would recommend it to christian teens, especially girls.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Variant

Variant

By Robinson Wells

Summary: Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape--his only real hope for survival--may be impossible.


Genre: YA, Dystopian, Adventure, Mystery

Published: September 26, 2011

Similar Books: Currently N/A

Rating: 5 stars!

WOW. The last time I read something, this engaging, this exciting, was when I read Hunger Games. I kid you not. At first, it did not seem like an action kind of story at all, but as I went along, the story gets better and more action packed. Variant is not some generic YA novel; it was an awesome, original, read with twists and turns that you will never, ever, EVER expect. It is amazing!

The plot was good to start with. I can honestly say it kept me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning, but by the end of the book, I was completely out of my seat and jumping up and down. (Figuratively, of course) Maybe this is the greatest testament to how much I am in love with this book: I don't like giving out five stars at ALL. I am trying to work on being a more critical reviewer. But I could not give this book anything less. It deserves six stars, in my opinion. I haven't said that of any book but HG.

And gosh! That ending--I won't give anything away for those of you who haven't been fortunate enough to read Variant, but let's just say that I had Feedback, Variant's sequel, on hold at my library literally two minutes after finishing this book.  And no, that's NOT an exaggeration. I was expecting a cliché, happily-ever-after kind of closing. But the cliffhanger that Robinson Wells wrote could not have been more shocking, more fantastic! He should teach other authors to write endings; I can't emphasize how spectacular it was! I know for a fact I will be staying up tonight, thinking about this book. I have never read any of this author's books before, but Variant has made me a die hard fan. I think one word sums up Variant: awesome.

A Selective History of Max Werner

A Selective History of Max Werner

By Scott Forbes

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Max Werner can see in the dark – a secret not even his best friend Tom knows. More sly than brave, Max has used his special gift for years to roam the streets of his neighborhood committing petty crimes and various acts of harmless delinquency. He prefers hiding from danger, safe in the shadows that only his sight can penetrate, rather than confronting anything head on.

His misdeeds bring him more than a few stolen goods, however, when he runs across a band of inhuman thieves that don’t take kindly to Max invading their territory. These strange bandits kidnap Max’s little sister as punishment for his indiscretion, forcing him to put what little courage he does have to the test.

Afraid to make the rescue attempt alone, Max must first convince Tom to join the adventure. Even with his perfect night vision, the giant spiders, bottomless pits, and blood-thirsty criminals that stand between Max and his sister may mean that none of them make it out alive.

A Selective History of Max Werner is a young adult adventure for all those who have ever wondered what secrets lay in the deepest shadows, the blackest cave, or the darkest night.

Genre: Juvenile/YA, Adventure

Published: October 17, 2011

Similar Books: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

My Rating: 2 stars

Well. It wasn't terrible.

I have this thing where when I really dislike a book, it makes me a bit queasy.  (Weird, right?) But, anyway, after finishing Max Werner, I had a really bad stomach ache.

I don't really know exactly why I disliked this book. I just couldn't get into the story. I found it absolutely, mind-numbingly boring. And none of the main characters were really people I wanted to cheer for. I hated Max, I hated his sister--I disliked all of them, though I disliked Tom the least. And the goblins! I don't enjoy goblins I guess, because this is the second book I have read about them, and I didn't like the other one either.  They were disgusting creatures. I didn't even like them as the antagonists, which says a lot.

The writing was rather mediocre for me. When I read a book, I want to be completely and totally immersed in it--not checking every two minutes to see how many pages are left, which is exactly what I was doing when I was reading this.

The worst part is, this is a book that I should like.  I love books about thieves, and the blurb reminded me so much of Artemis Fowl that I couldn't wait to read this book.  I was really disappointed when I started reading, though.

However, people may have a different opinion than me.  If you want to read this for whatever reason, do it, because I was in the minority on this one--everybody else seemed to at least slightly enjoy this book.  Maybe you'll like it. Goodness know I didn't.

Asking for Trouble

Asking For Trouble

Sandra Byrd

Summary: A nub of doubt rose inside me—the kind that popped up, unwelcome, anytime I tried to rationalize something that wasn’t exactly true or right. This time I swallowed it back. I lived in London now. It was time to take matters into my own hands.

When her family moves to London, 15-year-old Savvy Smith has to make her way in a new school and in a new country. She just knows the school newspaper is the right place for her, but she doesn’t have the required experience. Can she come up with a way to prove herself and nab the one available position on the newspaper staff at Wexburg Academy?

LONDON CONFIDENTIAL: Where British fashion, friendships, and guys collide, and where an all-American girl learns to love life and live out her faith.


Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Christian

Published: April 1, 2010

Similar: So Not Happening By Jenny B. Jones, Pies & Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick

Rating: 4 stars

This book takes place in England!  That alone made me want to pick up the book. And when I did, I wasn't disappointed. I really did enjoy it.

The main character was a 3-D person who I loved. I could relate to Savvy trying to adjust and knew what she was going through when she was sad that her old friends had moved on. In fact, I think almost any girl has gone through what Savvy goes through in this book, though they may not have moved to England.  Also, Savvy is a strong Christian girl, but was not a stuck up, 'I'm so much better than anyone else' christian girl. She is very likable, and  I was so mad when Hazelle was acting like a complete snob towards her!

However, at some parts I was a tiny bit bored. I couldn't really tell you why;  I just simply lost interest for about twenty pages, though I quickly regained it. And sometimes, the author would over explain the English words--for example, I already knew what the loo was, and smart as well, and I'm sure many other readers did as well. But, all together, I enjoyed Asking For Trouble. Now, I have to go and find the next London Confidential book!

Top Ten Characters

These are my absolute favorite characters from various books! I haven't reviewed all of the books they're from, but I'm working on it!

1. Katniss Everdeen of  Hunger Games (This girl is on fire! This girl is on fi-re!)
2. Thomas Rose from Seeds of Discovery.  This book is the #1 reason I still read indie.
3. Rue from Hunger Games.  If Katniss hadn't been the winner, I wouldn't have cheered for anyone but Rue.  Sorry, Peeta.
4. Turtle Wexler from The Westing Game. If for some reason you haven't read this book, I would HIGHLY encourage you to do so! You won't be disappointed!
5. Peter Pan from Peter Pan. Though I like him better in Peter and the Starcatchers,  I ADORED this book as a little kid. 
6. Conor Broekhart from Airman. This book is so unappreciated!
7. Prim Everdeen from The Hunger Games.  Three Hunger Games references so far!
8. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. I loved her. Especially when she hit Gilbert Blythe on the head with her slate.  Awesomeness.
9. Molly Aster from Peter and the Starcatchers. I died inside when she grew up and wasn't featured in the series anymore.  Aside from Peter, no one is better than her in the series. She was an awesome heroine!
10. Finnick from Catching Fire. Forget Peeta or Gale...I'm Team FINNICK!

Uglies

Uglies

By Scott Westerfield

Summary: Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to "the Smoke" and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The "Special Circumstances" authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Genre: YA, Dystopia

Published: February 3, 2005

Similar Books: Third Generation: Enigma By Charlotte Birch

Rating: 3.5 stars

This would have gotten four stars, but I wasn't interested in this book at all until page 100, which is way too late.  I would have found it to be fine if I had at least liked the book at the start, but I literally had to force myself to read it up until that page, which is NOT fun.  I would have abandoned this book, had it not been for friends assuring me that Uglies was one of their favorites and that I would love it.  That being said, once I got past a turtle-slow beginning, Uglies was a very interesting read.

This book was wasn't a generic YA dystopian title: oh, life sucks, every one's dying kind of stuff. It has its own unique spin on the government's oppression, with a plot that didn't seem too familiar to me.  And later, it became even more intriguing. By the end of the book, I was left wanting more. And there were some unexpected plot twists, which I absolutely love.



This book isn't a plain, just-for-fun story, either. It brought up some questions for me. Would I dislike it if everyone got to be pretty?  What would I do to obtain 'prettiness'? 


The only thing I could not stand was that, as I have already said, I didn't like was the fact that the first 100 pages were absolutely boring for me. It took me at least two weeks to get into this book, because I didn't want to read it. And when I did, I found Tally to be shallow and selfish at first. I ended up liking her, but I was annoyed with her for a while.  I know that her selfishness is intended, but for some reason, it still rubbed me the wrong way.  This fact didn't have any affect my rating, though, since it is my problem and not the book's.

So; a good book, but one that is unbearably slow to start. 

The Mysterious Howling

The Mysterious Howling

By Maryrose Wood

Summary: Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?


Genre: Juvenile, Mystery, Humor

Published: March 1, 2010

Similar Books: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Rating: 4.5 stars

 Summing up The Mysterious Howling in two words, I would say: 'surprisingly stupendous.'  It's Helen Keller, Mary Poppins, a tad Sound of Music, and a little extra something; wolves.

I wasn't sure I would like this because from the description, it sounded like it was for little children, and I didn't want to read something that I would hate. But, for some reason, I checked it out at my local library. I was bored, so I started reading it the next day, and promptly finished in less than two hours. I didn't put it down; I couldn't put it down.  It was amazing. It only got four and a half stars because five stars for me is 'blew all other books out of the water' good, and it wasn't exactly that, but it was definitely close.  It was very, VERY original, which is what I think might have been my favorite thing about it. I had never read anything like this before! I'd read a couple books about governesses, but this story had a unique twist. I mean, come on! She's raising wolf children; if that's not 'original' or 'unique', I don't know what is! Not to mention the fact that this story had some moments where I simply had to giggle. And, this book made me learn some things as well.  Like the origin of the name Cassiopeia.

When I started reading, I wasn't sure the author would be able to pull this book off, but they did.  And at the end, I wanted to go out and get the rest of the series as soon as possible! I would recommend this book to kids, teens, and adults, because even though the story is juvenile fiction, anyone can read and love it!

Investigating the Hottie

Investigating the Hottie

By Juli Alexander

Summary: Peterson. Amanda Peterson. When my life suddenly turns into the Princess Diaries meets Mission Impossible, can I do in a week what I haven’t managed to do in all my fifteen years—reel in a hottie?

Investigating the Hottie is a completed young adult romance. When Amanda spends a week with her aunt, Christie, she learns that her aunt is a spy. Christie admits that Amanda has security clearance and has already started her training. When her aunt asks her to investigate a teenage hacker, Amanda thinks that spending time with a nerd should be doable despite her social ineptitude. Unfortunately for Amanda, the hacker is a hottie.


Genre: YA, Romance, Humor

Published: December 27, 2012

Similar Books: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Rating: 3 Stars

This book was hilarious, though some parts were a bit unrealistic in the end. I enjoyed this a lot, but I was kind of bored at the end, hence the three stars instead of four.

Some things I liked were that this book made me laugh hysterically in a few parts. It is a great book for fans of Ally Carter, and it doesn't rip off Gallagher Girls like I feared it might when I saw that it was 'Great for fans of Gallagher Girls.' And Will was quite dreamy, I have to say.


However, as I mentioned before, this book didn't have a very exciting ending. I was a bit bored with it. Also, some commas were missing from certain places, but that was only about twice, and only a grammar nerd like me would ever notice that, so it isn't that bothersome. Other than that, there was nothing really bad about this book. It was a laugh out loud story!

Twin Crush


Twin Crush

By Nabila Owens

Summary: Cassidy and Presley are twin sisters, but they are both different. Cassidy is a popular cheerleader, while Presley is a quiet artist.  Their first year of high school, they both fall for a guy--the same guy! What will happen?

Genre: Juvenile/YA, Realistic Fiction

Published: February 9, 2013

Similar Books:  Currently N/A

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Twin Crush is a short story, the first book in the High School Wars series. I'm going to be honest. It was a bit cliché, and at times could have used editing and polishing. I am pretty sure that this is a new author, so I'm sure she'll improve as she writes more, but at the beginning of the book, she told what the girls were like and such rather than showing the reader.

But, somehow, I enjoyed this story anyway. It managed to get me feeling sorry for Presley and ticked at Tucker and Cassidy, and a story that makes me feel something is the kind of story I like best. There is no doubt in my mind that Nabila Owens has a lot of promise as a writer, and yes--I will definitely be buying the rest of the High School Wars series when it comes out. I would recommend this to girls of any age--it's about teens, but is appropriate for girls younger than that. Although I think this book would have been better if the author had made it longer--it felt rushed at times, I enjoyed this book.


Bella At Midnight

Bella At Midnight

By Diane Stanley

Summary: In the little village of Castle Down, in a kingdom plagued by war, lives a peasant girl called Bella. Blessed with a kind family and a loving friend, she manages to create her own small patch of sunlight in a dark and dangerous world. Bella is a blacksmith's daughter; her friend Julian is a prince -- yet neither seems to notice the great gulf that divides his world from hers.

Suddenly Bella's world collapses. First Julian betrays her. Then it is revealed that she is not the peasant she believed herself to be: She is Isabel, the daughter of a knight who abandoned her in infancy. Now he wants her back, so Bella is torn from her beloved foster family and sent to live with her deranged father and his resentful new wife. Soon Bella is caught up in a terrible plot that will change her life -- and the kingdom -- forever. With the help of her godmother and three enchanted gifts, she sets out on a journey in disguise that will lead her to a destiny far greater than any she could have imagined.

Genre: YA/Juvenile, Retellings, Fantasy

Published: April 11, 2006

Similar Books: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

My Rating: 4 stars

It never fails to amaze me that there are so many retellings of Cinderella, and yet each one is so unique from the other.  This one was for younger readers, but teens can still enjoy it as well.  Bella captured me from the very beginning, and, though I can't say I could identify with her--she IS Cinderella after all, the author wrote in such a way that I 'felt' her emotions.  This book wasn't all Cinderella, either--there were a lot of unique things in here never mentioned in the original fairy tale, so readers won't know exactly how the book ends. In all, it was a fun read, and, though I think it's best for girls ages 8-12, people of any age can enjoy this book. 


Hunger Games

Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Summary: Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.

If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance

Published: October 31, 2008

Similar Books: Arena One by Morgan Rice, I Am Alive by Cameron Jace

Rating: 5 stars! (Six, if that were possible!)

WOOSH! Did you hear that! that was the sound of my mind being blow. Let's just say this book set the bar for awesomeness. I got this for Easter and I couldn't help myself--Even though I wasn't supposed to read it yet, I took a little 'peek' that ended up lasting for 12 pages.  Hunger Games hooked me from the start.

The things I liked--no, LOVED about this book were:
1.) the action. I've never read a book that had so much action and yet wasn't some cheesy crap that reminded me of a bad 'guy flick'. It was well written and kept me wanting to read more.
2.) The romance; one of my friends put it like this; ' I wish I had someone like that.' So, all my guy friends who read this were really into the action scenes, and all my girl friends were crying over loving kisses in a cave. (Read and it'll make sense.)
3.) the whole book. There was really nothing bad to say about it. Even though there was a  certain scene where I was sobbing and mentally yelling "WHY!", I actually DID understand why Suzanne Collins had to put it in there. It was for the best.  And she succeeded in making this particular scene even more beautiful in the end, which made me need to get even MORE Kleenex. So I really can't complain. 

So. I am done with my rant on how this book was the equivalent of a hot fudge cookie sundae with a cherry on top. Or, an all-expense paid trip to the Caribbean.  Or becoming best friends with the superstar you idolize.  Or--well, you get my point.

Now, you must go out to the library, or the bookstore, or a friend who owns it, or wherever you get your books, and READ IT. No matter if you're a guy or a girl, or someone who hates reading.  You'll LOVE the Hunger Games.  I promise!

Cerulean


Cerulean

Anna Kyss

Summary: One hundred years ago, people were forced to retreat to the seas...
Chey's ocean home seems lovely on the outside, with its rainbow-hued reefs and soul-tingling Whale-song, but the beauty hides secrets and despair.

One thousand blues can be too many...
Some people cannot live amid them all.

After losing her parents and best friend, Chey would do anything to fight off the apathy that threatens her: swim in a brood of jellies, break her sector's rules, and even breach the Surface. A forbidden encounter sets Chey on a desperate search for a way to save her people... and herself. One question plagues her. Can she survive long enough to find a cure?

Genre:  YA, Dystopian

Published: November 13, 2012

Similar Books: Currently N/A

Rating: 4 stars

This is a great dystopian novel.  At first, I wasn't exactly sure what was going on, because the author doesn't tell you everything by the first page; she shows you as the story on.  Because of this, I  understood the full story as the book continued. I can honestly say that this is a really original plot--I have never read anything like it, and I am not sure that I ever will.  Yes, it's dystopia, but it won't be like any dystopia you have ever read! There is not even a trace of Hunger Games in here, something that pleased me, since many dystopian novels have taken traces of HG's plot. Cerulean was original, interesting, and I couldn't stop reading! The cover is really awesome as well, which is what made me get this book on my kindle. 

This story has made my 2013 favorites.  I highly, HIGHLY recommend reading this--I can't stress that enough!  I'm almost positive that this book has a sequel coming out, and I can't wait to read it!

Robin: Lady of Legend


Robin: Lady of Legend

By R.M. Arcejaeger

Summary: What if Robin Hood wasn't the man you thought him to be—what if he wasn't a man at all?

Robin of Locksley is young, headstrong, and about to receive the worst birthday present of her life. Still struggling to define herself in a society that believes women are fit for little more than governing a household and bearing children, she balks at her father's plans for her future, but the consequences of her rebellion prove deadly. Hunted by both her father and the Sheriff, Robin is forced to hide her identity and seek refuge as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest.

Disguised as a lad for protection, Robin maintains a careful isolation from the world around her...until she chances upon a young boy being beaten to death by the Sheriff's soldiers. Her rescue of the youth marks the beginning of her leadership in Sherwood forest and of the unfortunates who seek refuge therein. Robin's endeavors to provide a life of honor and purpose for her people while aiding the land's downtrodden win her high esteem, but enrage the Sheriff of Nottingham, who plots a deadly fate for her and her band.

As the Sheriff's traps close in around her and assassins seek to bring her down, Robin must risk losing love, leadership, and life if she is to save her people and fulfill her destiny as one of history's greatest heroes.

Alive with adventure and danger, sword fights and heists, hatred and love, Robin: Lady of Legend is the never-before-told tale of the girl who became Robin Hood.


Genre: YA, Retellings

Published: January 1, 2012

Similar Books: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

Rating: 5 stars!

 I was completely taken by this book. It was not some crappy retelling like some of the books I've read, it was a good twist on the original tale. I read the original story a couple of years ago, so while I was reading this, I could remember some of the scenes--but in this book the had the added element that Robin was secretly a girl. I was reading this book before bed, and I was going "Well, I'll read just one more minute!" thirty minutes in a row. When I finally got to bed, I couldn't wait to wake up and finish it. The writing was excellent with no errors, which pleasantly surprised me since I got this for free on the kindle store. In short, this book was  AWESOME and I would highly recommend it.  And, even if you haven't read Robin Hood, you can still read this book without wondering what is going on.

No Boys Allowed


No Boys Allowed

By Marilyn Levinson

Summary: Cassie's dad moved away, her best friend Bobby is driving her nuts, and her great uncle Harry has invaded her house. It's time to boycott boys!

When her dad moves away to marry another woman, Cassie Landauer decides that there will be no boys allowed in her house --- or her life. Not even her best friend, Bobby! But then her mom invites Great Uncle Harry to stay with them for a few months. That's the last straw.

Great Uncle Harry takes over Cassie's bedroom, treats her like a little kid, and is always around the house. Cassie is sick and tired of it! But how can she boycott boys when one of them is living in her home?

All boys can't be that bad . . . can they?

Genre: Juvenile, Realistic Fiction

Published: November 1, 2005

Similar Books: Currently N/A

Rating: 3 stars

First off, the main character, Cassie, was incredibly rude to her best friend for no reason. I felt so bad for him. He tries to talk some sense into her, she yells at him for simply being a guy. I found it rather annoying, actually. Also, I really wasn't interested in this story. I tried, but it was pretty boring until the end. It's not that it wasn't a terrible story. I just wasn't engaged.

Now that I've gotten the negatives out of the way, this was a  realistic story. Cassie and Corinne were both struggling with their dad leaving them, and it was very believable. Uncle Harry was awesome. I loved him so much; he was like the grandpa everyone wishes they had. And in the end, as stated above, I started to enjoy this story; otherwise this would not have gotten as many stars.

This is a good read for anyone who has gone through a divorce in their family.



Double Take


Double Take

By Melody Carlson

Summary: It's spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over Ivy League pressure, her parents' marital problems, and her boyfriend's neglect, Madison gets in her car and drives west. Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Anna Fisher wants to escape the so-called simple life--which for her consists of caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking, and gardening--and she's well aware that her future will simply be more of the same with a man she doesn't love. Suddenly, worlds collide when Madison and Anna meet in a small town, realize they look uncannily similar, and decide the grass is definitely greener on the other side.
Readers will love this funny and provocative tale of switching places from bestselling author Melody Carlson. As they get a glimpse into two very different worlds, they may find themselves happy to be just who they are, where they are.
Genre: YA, Christian
Published: April 15, 2011
Similar Books: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, Trading Faces by Julia DeVillers and Jennifer Roy
Rating: 3.5 stars

At first, I hated this book. For example, when the girls decide to trade places, I was mentally shouting, "This is so stupid!" I could not imagine two girls who literally met each other five minutes ago to agree to such an idea. I would never trust another person to do that unless I had known them for a while. For example, what if one of the girls was a thief,who would steal all the other's stuff and then run? for me, this was very unbelievable.

But soon the book didn't seem so stupid. The plot got better, and I was really getting into it. The characters were easy to relate to. (I think I would die if I were in Madison's shoes!) Malachi was also a bonus to the book. I only wish it had more of him!

All in all, four stars for a fun and enjoyable read.




Inside Out


Inside Out

By Maria V. Snyder


Summary: 
Keep Your Head Down.



Don't Get Noticed.


Or Else.





I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.



Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance

Date Published: April 1, 2010

Similar Books:  The Plantation by Stella Samiotou Fitzsimons

Rating: 5 Stars!

Oh my gosh!!!! This book was the best thing I have read in a while. At first, I thought, 'ehhh, it's okay.' I hated Trella because she seemed like, well, a pretty awful human being who didn't care about anyone. But then, a little bit before the halfway point, I started to love it. The plot twists were COMPLETELY unpredictable, but not so unpredictable that they were unbelievable, which is hard to do. You started to understand Trella more. Oh, and the ending was awesome, I must say. I saw that there's a sequel, and I'm getting it as soon as possible, even though this book is great as a stand alone book as well. So, in closing: well done, Maria V. Snyder. Well done. You have just gained another fan!