Sunday, June 29, 2008


This installment of the Vampire Kisses series is a delight. It is much better than the last couple in the series. Granted, there are still problems with the novel, like Raven ALWAYS gets out of trouble too easily and she never gets caught by the adults in her life when she is doing something she isn’t supposed to. These issues don’t take away from the storyline thought.

It’s summertime in Dullsville and Raven is chomping at the bit to get out of school. The only thing putting a damper on her plans is that Alexander still hasn’t returned from Hipsterville from reuniting Valentine with his brother and sister. The only thing she can think to do is to hop the bus to Hipsterville for an impromptu visit to her Aunt Libby’s house.

Raven takes the first opportunity she gets to head to the house Alexander and Jameson have rented. Her time with Alexander is never long enough. After a quick dinner it’s time for her to head back to her Aunt’s house. Before she goes inside though, she decides to check out The Coffin Club, the goth club she visited the last time she was in Hipsterville (even though Alexander warned her not to go there alone.)

Once inside, she immediately can tell the place has changed. It is a lot more crowded and it seems a little more intense. She is intrigued by one person in particular - a motorcycle riding, leather wearing, purple haired man. She can’t seem to take her eyes off of him. He scares her and intrigues her at the same time.

While looking around the club, Raven gets turned around and stumbles upon something called The Dungeon. The Dungeon is located underneath The Coffin Club. Some very interesting people are in attendance, including Jagger, Alexander’s long time enemy. Is it possible that Raven is in over her head this time?

Ellen Schreiber has written an enjoyable installment in Raven and Alexander’s complicated relationship. It seems clear that she doesn’t have any plans to stop writing this series. Even after 5 books, only a couple of months have passed since the beginning of the series.

PENDRAGON: MERCHANT OF DEATH by D.J. MacHale (Graphic Novel)

The Pendragon series is extremely popular at my middle school, but I’ve never read any of them for myself. So, this graphic novel is my first introduction to the series.

Bobby Pendragon is a “traveler,” but he doesn’t know it. His Uncle Press picks him up the day he is on the way to a big basketball game and takes him to an abandoned subway station. Once there, he makes it to the flume and is transported to Denduron. Bobby has no idea what he’s doing there. His Uncle hasn’t had time to explain anything. It turns out he is meant to save worlds like Denduron from disaster.

Bobby becomes very frustrated with the responsibility of saving Denduron and is asked to keep a journal of the events he is going through in order to keep everything straight and for future reference. He was given a way to send his journals to someone he trusts back on Earth and the only person he can think of is his best friend Mark. Through Bobby’s journal entries to Mark, we get the whole story of Denduron and the problems they are facing.

I enjoyed the story, but I do feel that I missed some of the story. I feel like I need to go back and read the whole story.

AUDREY, WAIT! by Robin Benway

Have you ever broke someone’s heart? Broke up with them when they weren’t expecting it? Audrey did. And boy did it come back and bite her in the behind.

When typical teenage girl, Audrey, broke up with her self-involved, rock star wannabe, boyfriend Evan, she never expects him to write a song about it. She definately didn’t imagine that song, “Audrey, Wait!”, to skyrocket to the top of the charts. In the blink of an eye Audrey goes from a normal music loving girl to a star.

Audrey is hounded by paparazzi, begged for interviews from newspapers and magazines, and rumored to be a muse for the music industry. Basically, her life is turned upside down.

One perk, that her best friend enjoys more than she does, is when Audrey receives the royal treatment. For instance, when attending the concert of one of their favorite bands, Audrey and Victoria are wisked up to the special VIP balcony area where food and drinks are freely available and there is an unobstructed view of the hot band members. They even have an opportunity to rub elbows with the band - with some interesting end results.

Throughout all the challenges Audrey faces during the song’s popularity, you really get to see what kind of girl she is. She is strong, confindent, and smart - definately someone you’d like to have in your corner. She learns a lot about herself, her friends, and popularity. AUDREY, WAIT! is just plain fun to read. Audrey’s voice comes through so clear through the book that she’ll feel like a friend when you get to the end.

EPIC by Conor Kostick

What if the quality of your life depended on how well you played a MMORPG? What’s a MMORPG you ask? It is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Well, on New Earth that is exactly the way life is.

On New Earth, violence is illegal. Epic (the MMORPG) was created for people to clip up, enter the world of Epic, and take out their agression on fictional characters rather than doing harm to a real person. However, over the years, the purpose of the game shifted and became the determining factor for what kind of job you had, where you were able to live, and what supplies you received. Central Allocations, a small group of people in charge of all the decisions, controls everything.

Erik’s family is having a tough time. They have had some solar panels break and aren’t able to produce enough olives to meet their quota. Their attempts at getting replacement solar panels have been unsuccessful and the family is afraid Central Allocations will require them to move to the salt mines for punishment. In addition to the family problems, Erik isn’t doing well in the game himself. In order to have a chance to go to University you must accumulate wealth and status in Epic. Erik just continues to get his characters killed because he trys to kill the same dragon everytime he enters the game. His last “death” is the final straw though. Out of frustration he does something he has never done before. Erik creates a character that is female instead of his usual male character that resembles him in real life. Instead of going by his own name he chooses one he thinks befits a beautiful character - Cindella. Immediately upon entering the game as Cindella, things begin to look up. Characters that are a part of the game begin talking to her and giving her things. Soon she realizes the characters are pointing her toward a quest.

With his newfound status in Epic, Erik uses his accumulating wealth and the help of his friends to take on Central Allocations - once and for all. They are up against the most dangerous players of all. Ones with more wealth and experience. But, if Erik can defeat Central Allocations, he’ll be able to save his family and possibly create a better life for them and those of his friends - possibly even the world.

EPIC is an interesting story. There is no problem keeping up with the “real” world and the “Epic” world. The author does a great job of distinguishing the two. If you enjoy Fantasy or Sci-Fi, then you’ll enjoy this story. There is a sequel called SAGA that has already been released.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Look at the cover. What do you see? Yep, a demon! Demons don’t generally promote a feeling of tranquility do they? However, this one is smiling which is unusual. When you read the first line of REPOSSESSED, First thing I did was, I stole a body, you don’t quite know what you are getting into. Thoughts of a demon inhabiting a teenager and running around causing havoc enters your mind. But, you soon find out that isn’t the case at all.

Kiriel is one of the fallen, condemned to a life in hell tormeting the poor souls that are unfortunate enough to end up there. He’s performed the same function for thousands of years and he is sick of it. All he wants is a little vacation. He knows he can’t run away from Hell forever, but really, who is gonna know if he leaves for a while? No one checks up on him to make sure he is tormenting enough souls or anything.

After a lot of observing, Kiriel inhabits a young teenager named Shaun right before he is about to be hit by a bus. He was going to die anyway; so what if he didn’t get to experience the last 2 seconds of his life. Kiriel wants to experience life for a change instead of just watching. He enjoys everything: walking, feeling the breeze blow across his skin, and, of course, eating (he falls in love with ketchup).

Not knowing how long he is going to be able to stay inside Shaun’s body, Kiriel doesn’t waste anytime experiencing life. While he begins to interact with the people in Shaun’s life, he realizes that he doesn’t just want to disappear. He wants to leave a mark on the world before he goes back. He comes up with four things that he can influence for the better before his time ends on Earth. He plants 4 seeds, hoping they’ll grow after he isn’t around to tend them anymore.

REPOSSESSION is a delightful book. There are many sections that make you laugh out loud and definately even more that just cause a smile to spread on your face. I love the unique idea that a “demon” from Hell comes to our world and understands how important life is. He knows you should make the best of every minute you have. Granted, all of his motives aren’t selfless. He definately has some things he specifically wants to accomplish for himself but in the grand scheme of things, Kiriel is just a really great guy.

It is clear why this title won a Printz Honor. See my previous post about NIGHT ROAD by the same author.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

IDENTICAL by Ellen Hopkins

One family - damaged by tragedy. A father who drinks too much; an absentee, professionally-driven mother. Twin girls left in the middle.

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical twins - each with their own deep, dark secret. One daughter attracts the inappropriate attention of their damaged father. The other daughter, usually ignored, takes part in riskier and riskier behavior just screaming to be heard. Both girls suffer in silence, living behind the facade of a perfect, all-American family.

Ellen Hopkins has written another gripping novel in verse that will leave you on the edge of your seat. If you are at all familiar with her work you know to expect the unexpected. Prepare for your jaw to drop when you reach the end of this gripping tale. You absolutely won’t believe your eyes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

FEAST OF FOOLS by Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine has done it again. She starts FEAST OF FOOLS like she does the other books in the Morgenville Vampire series - right in the middle of the action which grabs you by the hair, yanks you in, and won’t let go until the story is over.

At the end of MIDNIGHT ALLEY, the foursome living in the Glass House gets some unexpected visitors in the form of Claire’s parents and (in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Speak) the Big Bad - Mr. Bishop A.K.A. Amelie’s “father.” With him in town there has to be trouble a-brewin’.

On top of the trouble that is inevitably on the way, Claire has to deal with the stress of her parents being in town. She is, of course, worried about their safety, but also has to convince them that she isn’t going to move in with them - that she is perfectly capable of staying at the Glass House. Claire’s duties to Amelie are still a high priority which requires that she continues her work with Myrnin while at the same time making it to all of her classes during the day.

The Big Event (where everything hits the fan) takes place during an invitation only masquerade feast. Claire manages to get herself an invitation and is front row center when everything comes to a head. Mr. Bishop is in Morganville for one reason and if he doesn’t get what he wants he will declare war on those that oppose him. Battlelines are drawn, people are in danger. You’ll never believe how this one ends.

Rachel Caine is an amazing writer. She writes so vividly that you can picture everything that is happening in your head like a movie. As crazy as it sounds, I feel like I know the characters from the book and I love the developing relationships between Claire and Shane / Eve and Michael. The one drawback to the series is they are definately NOT stand-alone novels. If you picked up FEAST OF FOOLS without having read the other three in the series I think you’d be lost. So, take my word for it. If you haven’t read GLASS HOUSES, THE DEAD GIRL’S DANCE, and MIDNIGHT ALLEY go do it right now! You won’t regret it.

UNWIND by Neal Shusterman

In a not specified future, the battle between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice reached the boiling point and culminated with the “Second Civil War” also known as the “Heartland War”. After many deaths on both sides, an agreement was reached - a compromise. The Bill of Life was added to the Constitution.

The Bill of Life states that life starts at conception and is protected until the age of thirteen. Once a child reaches the age of thirteen, the parent has the right to Unwind them. Unwinding is a possibility until the child reaches eighteen and once the child is eighteen, they are safe. Unwinding is a process where the child officially remains alive - but in a “divided state.” Every part of the body is harvested at a Harvest Camp and preserved and later used for people that need replacement parts. For instance, if someone is suffering from heart failure - instead of have bypass surgery you just get a new heart that once belonged to a child that was Unwound.

The story follows three kids - Connor, Lev, and Risa - strangers until fate brought them together on their separate ways to be Unwound.

Connor is a hot-head and has caused his parents just a little too much trouble. He accidentally comes across the papers his parents signed to agree to the Unwinding and decides to escape instead of allowing the government come and take him away.

Risa is a ward of the state living in an orphange. She is a gifted pianist, but not quite gifted enough to prevent her from being Unwound.

Lev is a tithe. His parents are so dedicated to their religion that they tithe 10% of everything they have. Lev is the 10th child in the family and knew he was going to be a tithe from the moment he could understand. He looked forward to the Unwinding and felt he was fulfilling a special purpose with his life.

UNWIND by Neal Shusterman is a frightening look at what a technologically advanced society could turn out to be when the government has the ability to control life to the extent that every part of the human body is available for a problem-free transplant. Yes, it would be nice to replace the part of your brain that was causing epilepsy, but would you want to know that some child between the age of thirteen and eighteen “died” for you to get it? Shusterman gives us a brief look at the possible ramifications of a society that has a Bill of Life.

SUCKS TO BE ME by Kimberly Pauley

Being a high school student is stressful all by itself. Crushes, friendships, homework, the list goes on and on, but for Mina Hamilton life just got a little more complicated. You see, Mina’s parents are vampires. Her dad was accidently turned by her Uncle Mortie and since her mother was pregnant with her at the time, she waited to become a vampire until after Mina was born. The problem?? Mina’s parents never told The Council about having a baby and humans are NEVER supposed to find out about vampires and since Mina is human, she isn’t supposed to know. Once The Council finds out, Mina is told she must make the biggest decision of her life. To become a vampire or not.

She’d be able to continue seeing her mom and dad.

She’d lose her best friend Serena
She wouldn’t sleep anymore (and she LOVES a good nap)
She’d never be able to have children
She’d always look sixteen
She’d have to move around every 10 years or so

Mina is forced to take vampire classes for a month prior to making her decision. There she meets other kids her age contemplating the same decision and some information about vampires she never learned from her parents. In the beginning, she doesn’t see much good to becoming a vampire.

Follow Mina’s thought process through her witty narrative and frequent lists she includes in the story. Lists like, “Why It Sucks To Be Me,” and “Why It Really Sucks To Be Me.”

Mina is a strong female character that you can’t help but like. She stands up to the resident “mean girl” at school, she is nice to most everyone, and she is struggling in the romance department like most teenage girls. What more could you ask for in a young adult book?

The author, Kimberly Pauley, is the creator of YA Books Central.

NIGHT ROAD by A.M. Jenkins

Do you love vampire stories? Do you like it when an author takes a unique approach to the vampire myths? Well, Printz Honor winner, A.M. Jenkins, has created a very unique story indeed. Cole, a hemovore, lives a life of solitude. He travels from town to town - never staying more than a week or two in any one place. He feeds just enough to keep the Thirst at bay.

Cole receives word that he is needed at The Building in New York City. The Building is an apartment building that was purchased by Johnny, the hemovore that created Cole, in order to create a safe place for other hemovores that make up their Colony. The Building has everything a heme needs to survive. Rooms with complete darkness, humans (omnis) for feeding, and companionship. Cole is uncomfortable in The Building. He feels it makes a heme weak and less prepared to deal with the harsh realities of the world. He desperately wants to get back to his traveling routine.

Johnny has a mission for Cole. One that is suited to his lifestyle. It seems that one of Cole’s long-time friends has had an accident and created another heme. A young eighteen-year-old named Gordon. Gordon needs to learn the ways of a heme in order to survive and to keep The Colony safe by preventing people from finding out about them due to reckless behavior. Cole accepts the challenge and hits the road after only staying at The Building one day.

Together with Sandor, the heme that created Gordon, Cole prepares to become a teacher. Gordon must learn the proper place and way to feed, how to protect himself during the day, and the importance of cutting his ties with his old life. The journey leads to great revelations for both the teacher and the student.

NIGHT ROAD by A.M. Jenkins is a faced-paced book, even though it isn’t action packed. This is definately a story for those of you that enjoy character development. Cole is a character that you’ll want to see happy. You’ll want the story to continue after you finish the last page.

Widget For Current Blog Posts

Click here for Current Updates from my Wordpress Blog.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm Back After A Long Absence

I just started exploring DeweyMonster’s blog and found this fun and interesting blog activity. Weekly Geek is of course a weekly event. Each week there is a different topic to respond to or an activity to complete. One week might be “rearrange your blog” week or like this week, Weekly Geek #7, is Photo Week, where we post our book related photos. Favorite reading nook, to-be-read pile, to-be-reviewed pile, etc… Visit Dewey’s Blog for more information. Every Saturday a new Weekly Geek activity is posted.

So, on top of getting my pictures posted which will be easy, I’m going to use WG #6 as an excuse to kick myself in the rear and get caught up on my book reviews. Here are the reviews to come this week. I hope!!

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

Epic by Conor Kostick

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Undone by Brooke Taylor

Paper Towns by John Green

Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

The Sky Inside by Clare Dunkle

Twisted Sisters by Stephanie Hale

Wish me luck.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Designs by Barbara