Monday, February 28, 2011

The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee

When Meg Pickel s brother goes missing, she finds herself in a strange situation&She meets the famous writer Charles Dickens, who is having trouble writing. This writer s block is due to a worry that London isn t safe. This book follows his journey to learn why so many children are going missing&maybe he can help Meg! Read The Haunting of Charles Dickens to find out!

What a gem! Saying that this book is extraordinary is an understatement. Buzbee s writing will keep you up at night! The book is filled with adventures and haunting details that kept me on the edge. Not only is the writing in this book astounding, the illustrations are strangely beautiful! I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Panama City, Florida United States

Zombiesque by Stephen L. Antczak

16 haunting stories about zombies fill the pages of this
unique book. The first story would have to be my favorite!
It is an anecdote about an insatiable zombie who eats his
friends, trying to quench his thirst for blood! Even more
stories make this book a thrill. Just wait till you get
your hands on this book, you ll read it again and again!

This book gave me nightmares, that s for sure! I truly
felt like I was in the story. Each story contained vivid
details, which scared me in the most delightful way! I
couldn t put the book down! This book has a specific
audience. If you re the type of person who enjoys historic
books, back away. You must have an open mind to ghosts,
werewolves, and zombies! This book is the next best thing!

Language is bad!

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Panama City, Florida United States

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Seventeen-year-old Lena lives in a world where love, or amor deliria nervosa, is nothing but a disease deemed to be fatal by the government. The only way for society to flourish as it should is through complete eradication of love, and that is where the cure comes in. All inhabitants of the United States of America living within the heavily militarized border are required to have the procedure on their 18th birthday. This cure takes away all the intense feelings of love won and love lost, of fixation and obsession, and of euphoria and despair. Lena, of course, simply cannot wait for her procedure. She has always been different, set apart by her infamous and long-deceased parents who just so happened to be branded with the most shameful labels society has to offer: one is a sympathizer; the other took her own life. Lena just wants all this pain and worry to disappear, but then Alex comes into her life -- Alex, who bears the scar of the procedure on his skin. This means he is completely safe to interact with, right? Right?

In my opinion, Lauren Oliver's second novel, Delirium, was not in the same caliber as her debut, Before I Fall. Although Oliver's fluid writing style is still there, peppered with beautiful similes that make her books such a joy to read, the setting and plot of Delirium just doesn't have the originality of her first book. Thirty pages in, my mind was flashing warning signals, and the existing similarities between Delirium and Scott Westerfield's Uglies series began popping up. For some reason, I felt like Lena was, for a lack of a better word, somewhat of a bimbo. She is passive and hesitant, and her doubt about herself and the world around her can be quite annoying sometimes. I understand that most books are centered on characters that aren't special in the conventional sense but end up maturing and discovering the rebel within themselves as the book progresses. It felt like Oliver was aiming for this growth, but Lena fell short. She does indeed become more confident by the end, but the transformation process was lacking.

The other thing about Delirium is the speed of its plot development. The first half of the book was a chore to get through -- almost nothing occurred. Total stasis, almost perpetual boredom. The addictive quality of a novel is a big factor for the reader's enjoyment, and the crawling pace of this book was the biggest turn-off for me.

With all that being said, Delirium does have its lovely parts. Each chapter is preceded by a short passage taken from various pieces of literature that exists in the Delirium world. They give insight into the novel and are all gorgeously crafted by Oliver. The ending was quite an intense ride as well. It definitely leaves the reader wanting of the second installment of the Delirium trilogy. Overall, an applaudable addition to the YA dystopian genre.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Palo Alto, CA USA

Friday, February 25, 2011

Destiny's Path by Frewin Jones

Branwen has started her journey to save Brython. She is aided by her two trustworthy companions. Rhodri, a half Saxon who used to be a slave to Herewolf Ironfist until he escaped and was saved by Branwen. And Blodwedd, who is the messenger of Govannon of the Wood (one of the Shining Ones). She was an owl until she was charged with watching over Branwen and now she is an owl trapped in a human's body. Her final companion is Fain her trusty falcon guide. But Blodwedd brings tidings of distaster, the coastal village of Gwylan Canu is in danger, so they sneak into Doeth Palas to warn Iwan, the son of the Lord and Lady of Gwylan Canu. Once he is sure they can be trusted he goes to plea with Prince Llew to help him. To make sure all goes well Branwen and her companions follow, and on their journey the old ways are revealed to her. When they reach the coastal citadel they discover Rhodri's true feelings for the owl girl and the treachery of Prince Llew.

Destiny's Path is an enticing book that keeps you always anticipating what will happen next.This book was very easy to follow and had an amazing flow from one chapter to the next. I think the theme of this story is is to have faith in those who guide you. I would recommend Frewin Jones' book to any girl who likes adventure books with a dash of romance.

Battle scenes might not be proper for younger children

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Makanda, Illinois USA

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

In this collection of short stories, Mercedes Lackey and
15 other authors have added on to the Heralds of Valdemar
series with tales about the Heralds, Bards, and Healers of
Valdemar. Follow along as they take you through the land
of Valdemar and learn about the powers of the Heralds,
Bards, and Healers, the Elite forces of Valdemar.

Learn about a healer-to-be who feels a terrible danger
before it is reported&

The life of a Man after he was changed and the child he
found in the forest&

The adventures of a young Herald-to-be and the mistakes
she makes&

And so much more as Mercedes Lackey and others take you
through the magical land of Valdemar.

Larry Dixon, Elisabeth Waters, Tanya Huff, Mercedes Lackey
and others in 15 new stories tell you the little things
that happen in the background of the novels by Mercedes

This book was effective at getting me to continue
reading, and the vocabulary wasn t too0 difficult, so I
think just about anyone could read this book. In
comparison to other books I have read by this author, this
book does well and could easily be added to her Heralds of
Valdemar series.

One of the things I liked about this book is how the
characters and the setting together can make you feel as
if you are in the book, and in some parts, if I try hard
enough, I can imagine the scene in my head. Sadly, I was
left wondering what happens to some of the characters, and
some of the stories seemed to end a little too soon.

The weakness of this book is the shortness of the stories,
which makes you hope that the stories will be picked up
later. The strength of this book is the diversity. The
book doesn t follow the same plot or design each time,
leaving you wondering what twists will be added next.

I found this book interesting, and hope Mercedes Lackey
continues to work with these authors. I would recommend
this book to anyone who likes to read about magic and

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Ardmore, Oklahoma United States

No Longer Daddy's Little Girl by Aarica J. Blackett

This book was written for young girls who have grown up in households without fathers. The author is trying to give advice to girls like these on how to move on and grow to be stronger from a situation like this instead of succumbing to the statistics that girls without fathers will not live good lives. By sharing her own personal experiences, and the experiences of other girls, Aarica J. Black aims to show these girls that they are not alone. Instead of letting the experience take over your life, she tries to show you how to find hope and be a better person despite having an absent father. This book teaches young women how to move on in life, and overcome the odds.

I picked this book up expecting a thick self-help book, and got a maybe 50-page memoir. The author's purpose was to tell girls without fathers how to move on and be better people, but I don't think she did that effectively. The book is filled with anecdotes from her life and the lives of others, and not much else. I was disappointed. I also expected this book to be aimed at a broad spectrum of girls in varying situations, but it focused mainly on black girls in divorced families. There isn't a problem with this, except that the summary doesn't tell you that it's focused on black families and divorce. I think she focused more on stories from other girls rather than telling you how to move on, and that is where her book fails to help. If she had added more advice, rather than stories, and maybe comments from psychologists, or any comments from professionals, it would have been a better book.

Overall, I give this book a 5/10 and recommend it for ages 10 and up.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Sykesville, MD United States

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dillion's Dream: Water and Earth by Dr. Shawn Phillips

Dillon's Dream: Water and Earth is set in modern day United States in a quiet town. Dillon and his friends are making their way through high school using their fantasy game as a way of bonding together. While walking home one day, Dillon is hit by a car, or what he thought was a car at the time, and wakes up in an infirmary on the moon. There he is confronted with many new and strange things. He learns that there are other intelligent species in the universe and that one of the oldest ones have taken him in. Through a course of events he ends up on a mission with his best friends where their fantasy game becomes a reality as they travel to a new planet in hope of recovering a stolen artifact from a Mulshin deserter. They face many hardships along their journey and their skills are put to the test in an epic survival of the fittest where magic is real and it will kill you if you don't fight back.

Personally, I didn't like the book until I read it a second time. The first time through, I felt that it was rather confusing to the reader and the events in the beginning of the story didn't flow as much as they could of. Dillon's sudden jump from being a normal boy, living out an average life, to living with another race on a space station was rather abrupt, but that's ok. I think that's how the author wanted it to seem. However, what I have problems with is the time period in between Dillon waking up in the infirmary and actually training his team. The book could be a little clearer on how he gained an immense amount of knowledge, if not skill, of the martial art that they train in. Once they get to the new planet however, the book becomes much more interesting and flows better. Reading through the book a second time a couple weeks after the first time through also helped to clarify some of the more confusing points and revealed some of the metaphors and allegories to prejudice in our world. I can't wait to see how the second book of the trilogy develops.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Berwyn Heights, Maryland United States of America

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish

Savannah Grey is always moving from foster home to foster home. She doesn’t know why, but she knows she just has to. Then she meets Reece, a guy who seems to understand her better than everyone else. He even knows about the strange marks on her neck, that seem to amplify her voice, and he has them too. Soon, Savannah starts to feel like nothing can hold her voice back and it will be the most powerful weapon on Earth. What she doesn’t know is that the Earth might need her weapon too.

This book was great. I loved the horror aspect and the creatures. He really made the characters come to life. I wished he would have explained the creatures better. Overall, it was a very good book.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Small Persons With Wings by Ellen Booraem

Mellie's life has been ruined since kindergarten where she told her class a fairy was living with her. Throughout the years, she has been mocked, teased, and constantly embarrassed of her slip-up about the fairy. When her grandpa dies, Mellie and her family move so they can clean up and sell her grandpa's inn. There she finds out a secret; one that connects her and her family to the fairies. Soon, everything is out of control with The Little People, and it will take friendship, love, and all of her determination to put it all right again.

Small Persons With Wings is very well written, but almost to the point where the story could occasionally be boring. The plot, settings, and characters all seem real; though, and it's a cute story in general. I would recommend this book to younger readers between fourth and seventh grade. Ellen Booraem certainly knew what she was doing when writing this book, and I hope there is another one soon to come.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fresno, California USA

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Running Dream is about 16 year old Jessica, who loses her foot in an accident that occurs while returning from a track meet. This is especially devastating to Jessica, because running is her life. Without a foot, it is a struggle for her to relearn how to walk, let alone run again. Hope comes in the form of her track team and a math genius named Rosa who has cerebral palsy, and with their help the impossibility of living a normal life seems possible. The story follows Jessica through sad yet beautiful time in her life, and she learns to look beyond disabilities, both her own and others', to see the people behind them.

The Running Dream was a fantastic read. The characters were realistic, and their hopes and worries brought them to life. The author very effectivly portrayed the emotions of Jessica's tradgedy, and had me so thankful for two feet by the time I finished the book. I learned a lot about prosthetic limbs while visiting "Hankenstein," who made her fake foot, with Jessica, and I also gained appreciation for how hard it must be to have cerebral palsy. The Running Dream was a lot different from Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series; it seemed to be geared to a older audience and did not contain as much humour. There were, however, laughs along the way, and I would definitly recommend The Running Dream to anyone who likes realistic fiction and wants an thought provoking story that will change the way you think about your two feet forever.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: , Pennsylvania USA

Teenage Waistland by Lynn Biederman

Follow the lives of three morbidly obese teens trying to find themselves in this coming-of-age story. Marcie, East, and Bobby meet when they sign up for a clinical trial for a lap band for teenagers. Romance, deception, and every day life collide when they join the trial with a group of teens and form Teenage Waistland. Even more problems form when a long buried secret surfaces that threatens to destroy the bonds formed between the group. From orientation to a year after the surgeries, readers enter the lives of three teenagers who are stuck between who they are and who they could be.

I rather enjoyed Teenage Waistland. The characters are realistic and the situations they are in placed in are true to life. The overall story line of the novel pulls the reader in at the beginning of the story and keeps them hanging until the last word. Though the time line and characters are a little hard to follow, the authors take the time to clarify what happened in a certain scene. The added plot twist of the secret adds a dash of mystery to the story and raises the novel from a story about teens to a page- turning drama. All in all, the story was extremely interesting and would make readers want to pick it up again and again.

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Pottstown, PA United States

A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

In the book, Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon
Mull, the main character Jason, lands up in the world of
beyond. As Jason wanders, he finds a castle and asks
advice on how to get back to his own world. The king told
him he needs to find a word to destroy the evil emperor
because he is the one who holds the key. Here, Jason also
meets his partner Rachel and they begin their quest to
find the word. On their journey, Rachel and Jason meet
Ferrin. After attaining on piece of the word, they go to
a big city and they break up because Ferrin does not feel
safe. While there Jason competes in a competition to get
the next part of the word. After meeting back up with
Ferrin, they go to White Lake. As Rachel goes to attain
the next piece of the word, she finds out Ferrin is
working for somebody. After they ditch him, they go on to
keep finding the rest of the word. Jason meets the
emperor, and tries to destroy him with the word. Will he
succeed or not? Find out be reading the book.

I really like this book. It is filled with many descriptive words
that paint the setting of the story for you. In my
opinion, the detail goes on for a little too long at
times. In the end, it leaves us wondering what is going
to happen to Rachel and Jason, but closes the plot of this
story while leaving it open for the next book. I would
recommend this book to anybody ages 8-16, although anyone
older would enjoy it too. It is a really good book that I
could not put down.
Reviewer Age:10 Uxbridge, MA USA

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


In DOUBLE OVERTIME, written by Dana Lotito, high school student Miles Anderson is trying to figure out his life. As the new kid in school, Miles experiences several obstacles in life: he can’t get the girl he is interested in to date him and he also has way too many unresolved issues with his older brother, Adam. On top of all that, he feels pressured to uphold the family legacy: excelling at basketball. Miles needs to organize his life, and fast, before things get even worse.

In the book there are references to basketball skills and many basketball games are played. However, you don’t have to be a basketball player or fan to enjoy this book. What I liked most about this book was its descriptive language and the plot. Anyone that enjoys reading realistic fiction with touches of humor will like DOUBLE OVERTIME.

Warning: There is romance and some heavy swearing in some parts of this book. There are also instances of underage drinking.

Reviewer Age:10

Reviewer City, State and Country: Rochester, New York United States

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rumors of secret societies are always floating around,
especially in a city as big as New York. Nick, Patch,
Lauren, and Phoebe have grown up hearing whispers of a huge
clandestine organization, but they assumed that if there
ever was a secret society, it would have disappeared by
now. So imagine Nick, Lauren and Phoebe's surprise when
they discover that they part of a new class of Initiates of
the Society, a group dedicated to helping its members
achieve their greatest dreams and find sucess. Tattooed
with the symbol of an ankh on their neck, the high
schoolers are roped into lavish parties and find themselves
part of a society that may not be entirely benevolent,
which becomes apparent when body is found dead in Central
Park with the ankh tattoo on the neck.

I really enjoyed reading Secret Society. Secret societies have always
fascinated me and the fact that there could really be an
organization like the one in the novel gives me the creeps.
The Society is pretty evil, and has a lot of power
politically, socially and economically, which is good for
its members and not so good for its opponents. The story is
fast-paced and there is never a dull moment as Nick, Patch,
Lauren and Phoebe try to discover the mysteries of the
Society. The characters were a little boring and one-
dimensional with not much growth or development, but the
stellar plot and pacing make up for the novel's other
faults. Secret Society ends on a cliffhanger and I cannot
wait to read the sequel to find out what happens.
Recommended for fans of mysteries and prep school

Reviewer Age:19

Reviewer City, State and
Country: Aston, Pennsylvania United States

Case Closed by Susan Hughes was updated

Case closed is a very interesting book. It talks about  erie unsolved events from 1457 bce to 1968.  It covers a wide range of cases including Hatshepsut the lost queen to the lost INS dakar sub.  It has many great pictures relating to the case. The thing I like the best was that it is packed with information. It tells what the case is then describes how the scientist went on to solve it.  It is a perfect book for a classroom.

Susan and Michael's work combine perfectly to make a book any kid would enjoy. It is packed with good info and appealing pictures to make it come alive. It makes you feel like you are there at the scientist's side. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries. It might just lead you one to many more unsolved mystery books!
Reviewer Age:12  Uxbridge, ma usa

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The past year has been beyond life-altering for Meghan Chase. Suddenly thrust in the world of Faerie and the rivalries between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, Meghan realizes her importance in this beautiful yet cruel world, a world that has silently existed alongside hers ever since she was born. To complicate matters further, the Seelie and Unseelie have become threatened by a new kind of Faerie - the Iron Fey, brought to life by the ever-increasing reliance humans have of technology. Meghan, with the aid of the Unseelie prince Ash and childhood friend, the Faerie Puck, has already defeated the first Iron King and successfully retrieved a stolen scepter in time to stop a Faerie war. Meghan thought she was never going back, especially since she and Ash had been banished from the Faerie world together - a punishment for their forbidden love. But the rise of a second Iron King changes all that, and Meghan finds herself once again in the complicated world of Faerie, on a quest to save the entire Faerie race.

This third installment of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey series does not disappoint and continues the momentum of the two previous novels. There were barely any dull moments, and the trio is always on the move. I did find the apparent helplessness of Meghan a bit annoying at times - every time they meet an enemy, it was Ash and Puck protecting her while she screamed or fainted -but the girl did mature emotionally throughout the book. I adore the twist at the ending and applaud Meghan for her courage and sense of responsibility. This trilogy-turned-saga will end with The Iron Knight, told from Ash's perspective. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the next book and would recommend this series to fans of fantasy and faerie novels.

sex is implied, although not graphically described

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Palo Alto, CA US

Friday, February 11, 2011

Vesper by Jeff Sampson

Emily Webb is a quiet girl, the kind of girl you could definitely call a geek. She has only one friend, and is perfectly comfortable hiding behind her glasses and oversized sweatshirts. Suddenly, it's as if she wants to change her ways, but only at night. It started the night that the other Emily was murdered. Ever since Emily C. from school was found shot, it seems that she has developed a split-personality, changing from a nerd to a party girl. During the day, she wouldn't dare to flirt with another girl's boyfriend or sneak out of the house from her second story window. She wouldn't dare to be courageous for any reason, but at night, it seems she does exactly this. She doesn't understand what's happening to her and she can't handle when things start to get even stranger. Will Emily figure out why she's going through such difficult and confusing changes? Will she figure out if all that is happening is related to Emily C.'s murder?

Vesper by Jeff Sampson, to start out, was absolutely fantastic. It was interesting, humorous at times, supernatural, and even witty. It had the perfect amount of detail and was very easy to understand. As soon as I received this book and started reading it, I just had read it straight through. I had to find out what Emily Webb would do that night, things getting more intense with every page that I read. I was filled will curiosity from head to toe as I turned the pages. Out of all the books I have reviewed for Flamingnet, it was my favorite so far and I would give it a higher rating than "10" if possible. It has definitely made my list of top books to read. Jeff Sampson did an extraordinary job on this novel and I recommend it to all young adult readers, especially those with a tendency to read about anything supernatural.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fairborn, Ohio USA

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Will Save You by Matt De La Pena

Kidd comes from a difficult past into a group home where he feels misunderstood and abandoned until he befriends Devon, another troubled teen.  After Kidd is forced to renounce his friendship with Devon, he runs away to Cardiff, California and works at a beachside campsite.  In Cardiff, he falls in love with Olivia, a beautiful girl who understands Kidd and the responsibilities that come with being born into deceiving circumstances.  Just as Kidd begins to embrace his new life, his past catches up with him and he is forced to confront regrets that have shaped the rest of his life.  These choices lead him to discover that things are never as they seem.
Matt de la Pea tells Kidd’s story through journal entries that truly embody the perspective of the protagonist.  This style helps in understanding Kidd and left me wanting more.  The character development is a prominent feature throughout the novel and my only real complaint is the inconsistencies presented after the plot twist.  I wish that the plot would move along a bit faster, but for a lazy weekend read, this book is perfect.  I’d suggest this to older teens that are capable of confronting difficult topics and fans of realistic fiction.
Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Midlothian, Virginia United States of America

The Legacy by Gemma Malley

Would you want to live forever? But what if there was a price? The drug Longevity can do just that, keeping your cells at a state of eternal youngness and making death something abnormal a person chooses to do. Here lies a problem. If no one is dying and there are still children being born the world's resources will be quickly used up. The solution to this dilemma is making a declaration for people to sign that if they are going to start using Longevity at age sixteen they can never have children. In this society children born illegally are called Surpluses, and live in a dark depressing building called Surplus Halls. Anna is one of these Surpluses who live in these buildings and fully believes that what her parents did was evil and that their purpose in this world is to work and atone for their parent sins. But one day her life is turned upside when she meets a boy named Peter who speaks out against the Surplus Hall and tells Anna about her parents who love her and who want to bring her home again. Anna and Peter eventually escape the Surplus Hall where they meet back with Anna's parents who work for the Underground, an organization committed to fight against Pincent Pharma the company that makes Longevity. Sadly, Anna's parents kill themselves to save the children and because of a little known loophole Anna, Ben and Peter are now legal citizens and are no longer Surpluses. Peter starts to work for the Underground and meets his half-brother Jude and the leader of the underground, Pip. It soon comes to light that a deathly disease is killing people who take Longevity. Richard Pincent, the mastermind of the Pincent Pharma Company, is on the hunt for the cure and will stop at nothing to find it. Through various clues Richard believes Peter has the formula on a ring he wears. And he will stop at no means to get it. Will the Underground get rid of the people's addiction to Longevity? Will Richard Pincent find a cure? Or will the world succumb to this horrible disease?

This book series is very well written and has a great plot that fans of science fiction will love. In the first book it starts off small mostly based in one location with few characters but as the series grows more characters are added with a faster paced plot and many twists and turns along the way. The ending was an especially delightful surprise and was a shocker! Every question is answered every loose end is tied up and it leaves with an epilogue that is the icing on the cake. I would highly recommend this series to anyone.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Loves Park, Illinois United States

Flight of the Renshai by Mickey Zucker Reichert

The country of Bearn is faced with the threat of an army of pirates while the Renshai face banishment from their home. After an intense battle, the Renshai are forced to leave their home in the Fields of Wrath. Meanwhile, Saviar, Calistin, and Subikahn, the sons of Kevral Tainharsdatter, face their own trials: one from swordsmen, one from wounds, and one from himself. In all cases, the world is in peril and it will all come back to the army of "pirates" and their leader.

This book was hard to get into but once I did I loved it. Ms. Reichert is a talented writer but often goes into almost too much detail. Most of the characters are very well developed but some of the more important ones were not. Other than that, the book is well written and definitely a page turner. Mickey Zucker Reichert has a great series on her hands and I am excited to see where she goes from here.

Please note: There is some strong language in this book, and some adult themes.  Personally, I don’t know if this book is for younger readers.

Content: 2
Rating: 7
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Era, Texas U.S.A.

Flight of the Renshai by Mickey Zucker Reichert

The Flight of the Renshai is a story of three brothers on a journey to find their place. Their tribe, the Renshai, are a tribe dedicated to the sword. Long ago they were exiled from the Northlands; the tribe had settled in Bearn working for the King as a part of his army. Now spies from the North have succeeded in the banishment of the Renshai yet again. Additionally, a fleet of pirates are on the verge of destroying all of Bearn. In the middle of all this are three brothers: Calistan, Saviar, and Subikahn. One is a brilliant swordsman who is traveling to the North to kill the man who murdered his mother. Another brother is struggling with who he is and his parents separate heritages. The third brother is struggling with his sexuality and who his father wants him to be.  The whole time, the pirates are drawing nearer, and an epic battle awaits the people of Bearn,who will need the Renshai to survive. In the end it takes the Renshai and the Northmen coming together along with the Bearn to defeat the marauders.  By the end, the brothers have made their own personal journeys. Calistan discovers that vengeance is not the answer,  Saviar learns that a man can live happily honoring both of his heritages, and Subikahn finally accepts who he truly is and also gains his father's acceptance.

My opinion of this book is that it is very complicated.  I had a hard time getting into the story
itself.  It has several plots that are happening at the same time and it was difficult for me to follow.  I did enjoy reading about the struggles that each brother went through on their own journeys, but it wasn't enough to hold my attention.  I feel that maybe this book was meant for someone older then my age of twelve.

Content: 3
Rating: 4
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas USA

Rhymes With Cupid by Anna Humphrey

Elyse swore off of boys when she found her boyfriend cheating with her best friend...on Valentine's Day. This makes working at a gift store, almost a year later, kind of difficult, but she has other problems to worry about. She can't pass her driver's test, she and her mother are barely making ends meet, and Elyse's friend, Dina, is still obsessing over her ex-boyfriend. So Elyse tries to set her up with a cute guy that walks into the store while she and Dina are at work. It turns out that the cute guy is Patrick, her next door neighbor and new driving teacher. However, it seems like Elyse and Patrick have more in common than Patrick has with Dina. Which will Elyse choose: her friendship with Dina or her love with Patrick?
Rhymes with Cupid was an okay read. The story line was pretty typical and I felt like the characters did not act their age. The characters are supposed to be juniors and seniors in high school and I thought they acted a couple years younger. I did like the ideas the author had for the characters and I think she mostly developed their personalities. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a high school romance novel.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Brownsburg, Indiana United States of America

Yummy by G. Neri

The book Yummy by G. Neri is about an eleven year-old boy named Yummy. The book relates the difficult life of Yummy and how in an instant his whole life was turned upside down. Yummy is known as a troublemaker and people always portray him as a gangster. His father is in jail and Yummy was taken away from his mother due to child abuse, so he lives with his grandmother and the many grandchildren she takes care of. Yummy is a member of a gang called The Black Disciples, and he is always looking for ways to prove himself to them. If you want to advance in the gang you had to prove yourself, so that's what Yummy tries to do. In the middle of the story things go terribly wrong when Yummy tries to prove himself. When Yummy is walking he sees that a few members from a rival gang are playing ball in the Black disciples' territory, so he decides to take care of it. Yummy is scared and doesn t know what to do, so he decides to make a run for it. The members of the gang hide Yummy, while a huge manhunt is underway. Everyone is looking for Yummy and it is all over the news. At the end of the book we see that the Black Disciples are getting tired of hiding Yummy. What will they decide to do?
When I close my eyes I picture myself in a dirty crime-filled city. I see people hurrying down the streets because they are scared of the gangs that have taken over their city. I can hear gun shots in the distance and the wail of police sirens. The main character is Yummy and he can be the sweetest little boy at times. On the other hand he can also be the scariest person. The mood or voice of the book was sort of a thriller where I couldn't wait to read what happened next. There was sufficient detail, not too much and no too little. I believe the author G. Neri achieved his purpose. The book was unlike any other I've read, and it was very inspirational.
Gangs and violence Reviewer Age:13 Uxbridge, MA USA

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Inheritance Almanac by, Michael Macauley

Ever wondered what Aren meant? What if you needed the inside scoop on elves? Well, then look no further than the Inheritance Almanac. Learn all there is to know about dwarfs and dragons. Discover the importance of many different locations and battles. Find out everything about the books Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr. So read the Inheritance Almanac and explore the world of Eragon.

Probably the most informative book I have ever read in my life. This book is full of all kinds of things you might not know about the world of Eragon. I have a lot of friends that read the Eragon series and now I know what they're talking about. I think that everyone would love this book and find it as cool as I have. Now I can tell my friends that I know everything about the series from A-to-Z.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas America

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Steampunk'D by Jean Rabe

This book is an anthology of short stories by different authors. Each story is very different, but all are under the category of steampunk. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction. In steampunk, the stories are set in the late 1800s or early 1900s in a world that resembles our own. However, the story explores futuristic technology based on steam. Also, the history of the world may be different. For example, in one story titled The Battle of Cumberland Gap, the Americans lost the Revolutionary War. When the story takes place, the British and the French are battling over coal in Kentucky using steam-powered and land-traveling warships. This altered history and technology are typical of the stories in this anthology. However, the characters and plots vary greatly. Also, some stories contain fantasy elements in addition to science fiction ones.

I greatly enjoyed this collection of stories. I have always liked science fiction, but I had never heard of steampunk before I read this anthology. However, I discovered that steampunk is a very interesting and diverse genre of literature. Every story in the collection was set in its own unique world. The amount of character and plot development varied from story to story and, because of their shorter length, each story is simpler than a novel would be. However, each had enough substance to be entertaining. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, or alternative history and who enjoy short stories.

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Royersford, PA United States

Rex Zero by Tim Wynne-Jones

Rex Zero: The Great Pretender is a book about a boy named Rex Norton-Norton who is known as Rex Zero by his friends. In the beginning, Rex is going on a vacation with his friends, James and Buster, to a cottage in Quebec. Rex is fired up until he hears his family is moving. At the cottage, Rex tries to put moving out of his mind and almost does until he, James, and Buster start talking about the new 7th grade school, Hopewell, that they would all go to if Rex were not moving. When Rex gets back home, he tries to find a way to still go to Hopewell from the new house. He starts struggling with registration, transportation, deceiving his parents, and finally, money.

I think the author's purpose was to entertain young readers with his work and he did an awesome job of it. The writing flows well but at times the author used terms that were unfamiliar to me. I think that the book would be appropriate for ages nine and up. My overall response was that it is interesting, and it is a great book. The book always keeps you guessing. I would definitely recommend this book to all of my friends and even some adults.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Dickinson, Texas U.S.A.

Rex Zero by Tim Wynne-Jones

Rex Zero, The Great Pretender is the last book in the Rex

Zero series. Rex is a 7th grade boy whose family is moving

to a new school district. He is not happy about having to

make all new friends at his new school and about 3 big high

school bullies. He is also very concerned about losing his

old life and his old friends. The book is about how he

deals with these problems. One thing he does is develop a

plan to pretend to his parents that he is attending the new

school, but take the bus back to his old school. Another

thing he does is he tries to outsmart the bullies.

My opinion of this book is that any boy my age would like

it a lot. I really enjoyed it because Rex deals with the same

kinds of problems we all deal with, such as how to stay close

with our friends despite obstacles in our way and how to deal

with bullies. The fact that Rex is the narrator helps make it

easy to understand what he is feeling and where he is coming

from. I liked the book as much as crispy turkey bacon in the

morning. My favorite part is when Rex and his class at his

new school write a story together. The description of how they

do this is really funny. The fun he has doing this helps the reader

see that he is adjusting to his new social situation while remaining

connected to his old friends.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Always a Witch

Always a Witch, the sequel to the acclaimed novel, Once a Witch, depicts a young witch named Tamsin, her witchy family, and the antics a magical teenager can get herself into. The basic plot is mostly about the rivalry between Tasmin’s family (the Greenes) and the other evil witch family living in New York City at the time. Tasmin must go back in time to make sure that history doesn’t get all screwy, the way her family predicts it will. She employs herself in the evil household and makes nice with the 1800’s version of the family she hates, all to save her modern-day family. And it turns out that this long standing family rivalry is well deserved. The evil family has even more secrets than we know. Tasmin must stand victorious or else the fabric of time will be unravelled and all will be lost.

This book was pretty good, but took a long while to get into. I would have enjoyed it more if the author hadn’t put in so many sensory details. The plot was embedded so far into the overabundance of details and side stories that it was difficult to remember all the main points. This did enhance the picture in my head but made the book far too wordy. I had to reread paragraphs several times to get back into it at some parts. This book was enjoyable up to a point, but after reading for so long, I stopped being interested. It read like a good Fanfiction, which is by no means a bad thing, but gives you an idea of how incredibly detailed it was. I would only recommend this book to avid fantasy readers, and I do think that most of the people that enjoy fantasy would enjoy it. I read MacCullough’s two “Witch” books out of order, so I think it works well as a standalone book.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Exeter, NH USA

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan

Danny Lipman is just your average thief, or so it seems. One day, while attempting to rob an ordinary looking country house, he stumbles upon something greater than a few expensive paintings. Young Lipman has actually discovered the headquarters of one of the biggest MI6/CIA secret organizations, the Shadow Project. Inside the walls of the Project's underground fortress, teenagers learn to leave their bodies behind and travel in an invisible, immaterial, seemingly unstoppable energy body. Using this new technology the MI6 is able to find out vital information and track the terrorist group, the Sword of Wrath, which is becoming more powerful every day. But when one of the agents gets trapped in her energy body, the leaders of the Project are unsure what to do. They realize that Danny has a special talent that may be able to help the Project more than they had thought.
The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan is a good, entertaining book! I found myself turning page after page and just couldn't put it down. Throughout the whole book there are scientific descriptions behind everything, MI6 and CIA spy action, and a bit of magic! The way Brennan mixes sci-fi with action and fantasy is enough to keep readers fascinated. I found this book enjoyable and interesting!

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Harleysville, PA USA

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

Imagine living in a time period when no one knew how infectious were spread. Prudence Galewski, the main character of Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro, sees people around her becoming ill with typhoid, a deadly disease that once plagued many. Prudence is a budding female scientist who quits school to work as an assistant in a laboratory. She and her supervisor discover what they think is the key to the spread of typhoid - human carriers. Prudence must learn to balance her own doubts with scientific facts in order to stop the spread of typhoid and establish a successful career for herself. Part mystery, part historical fiction, this book is an exciting, fast paced read.

This book was filled with information, but was presented in an engaging, interesting way. I enjoyed that the book was written in a journal format because it made me feel more connected with the main character. I did find some elements in the book to be slightly unbelievable, such as when one of her father's old friends found a way to contact Prudence after her name is printed in the paper. I enjoyed reading from Prudence's perspective, however, because I found her to be a fresh, engaging narrator. This is the first book I have read about the history of a disease, and I found it quite enjoyable. I would recommend it to teenage girls interested in the history of medicine.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Bayside , WI U.S.A.

Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch

Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool is a wonderful novel by Odo Hirsch. It takes place at Darius' house. To sum it up, it's about a young boy named Darius who is trying to help his parents find or get something great for the Bell gift. You see they are poor and the Bell gift is always something spectacular. They are afraid that 1) they won't be able to give a great gift which would mean the Bell name will no longer mean anything or 2) they will lose their house. The deal is they present a gift every twenty years and they get the house. After an earthquake, Darius finds what he names the "glitter pool" and hopes that they can use it as the Bell gift. Will it all work out? You'll have to read Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool to find out.

I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to others. It was easy to read and follow. I think that an age group of nine to twelve is good for this book. It was interesting to see what poverty is like and what they would do in that kind of situation. I didn't find this book as entertaining as other books but I still liked it.
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon U.S.A

History of the United States by Erik Sass

I recently finished the book History of the United States by Erik Sass. This book was about the entire history of the United States, and it covered everything from the Pilgrims coming over to the Americas on the Mayflower until the NASA space rocket missions. Although the word History may make your eyes glaze over in boredom, the mix of fun facts that are mostly unknown among the common population in the book make the book seem more fun than reading a history textbook. In the mix are lies turned truth, fun facts, and sidebars about useless information that will boost your trivia knowledge. I hope you will consider reading this book. Read the book History of the United States by Erik Sass and prove your history teacher wrong when they are giving yet another false lesson. With this book, you won t be that clueless again.

The book History of the United States by Erik Sass is a very unique one, a history book with very unusual and strange facts tied into the mix. It was a easy book to digest, however, I found that at some points I found myself being averted from the book because sometimes, the book phrased things just like my history textbook does. Then, I would suddenly read a fun fact and I would have all my attention on the book once more. This book goes through almost every event in US , including the ones that I would rather not mention. There were a lot of details, which I learned from, but at the same time I found myself skipping over some. I suggest that Erik Sass go through the book and just cut the details down just a little bit. If this is done, he will have a very successful book on his hands. I would recommend this book to others because it made history fun for me. So for all you history buffs out there, here is some more history to drink in. And for those not so keen about history, give this book a try, because this is the book for you.

his book receives a 2 because there are some topics that adults should screen before letting their child read it. Examples are references to alchohol, intimacy, drugs, etc.
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Braintree, Massachusetts United States of America
The main character gets caught at a party were drugs and alcohol are discovered. Her parents send her to a summer camp for "troubled teens," where she discovers that nothing is as it seems. She falls for two boys both misterious in their own ways. One linked to her past the other trying to hide his away. She grudgingly stays at camp trying to leave, not beleiving she's just as different as the rest. All the while her ghostly stalker fallows her trying to tell her the truth.

I thought this book was very exciting, taking twists and turns I never expected. The main character grows very well throughout the story, overcoming obsticles and realizing things she never thought possible. I liked how she made friends with the people she was forced to stay with, and kept peace between them as well. I think that this is one of those books that you can only like if it ends a certain way, and the author masterfully ended it just right. Leaving an opening for a second or even third installment. I can't wait.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon USA

Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell

Trickster's Girl is about two main characters and their hopes of saving the planet. This book is set in the future where trees are in grave danger. Without trees the earth can't survive. A shape shifter named Raven comes to find Kelsa (our main character) in hopes that she will be able to believe in magic to help him save the planet. Kelsa has just lost her father and is still grieving but when Raven shows up it gives her some kind of purpose so she can go on. Throughout the book they go on a journey to Alaska but meet obstacles along the way.

Trickster's Girl fits into the genre fantasy and adventure. I was very interested in the plot the author had set up. The whole magic aspect of the story makes me very excited because I love magic. I loved this book but I am sad to say that I felt a little old reading it. I think teens and preteens who love magic and a good adventure would love this book. It has everything you need: some magic, a little bit of mystery and a lot of adventure.

Reviewer Age:19
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mantua, NJ USA

Secrets of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Kara Gillian is a homicide detective with the Beaulac, Louisiana Police Department. She also happens to have a special talent for detecting anything "arcane" in our world. Not to mention she can summon demons in her basement.

Kara is currently assigned to a special task force along with FBI agents Ryan Krystoff and Zack Garner. Right now they are assigned to investigate murders linked to a rock band. But these murders are definitely looking like the work of someone or something "otherworldly".

Readers of books one and two in Diana Rowland's series will definitely not be disappointed by this third installment. Rowland once again writes the perfect blend of police procedural and paranormal fantasy. So whether you are a fan of either genre or both, you will be sure to enjoy this riveting novel.

I really liked how Ms. Rowland gave some more info (although just a few hints) into the background of agents Garner and Krystoff. And speaking about the sexy Agent Ryan Krystoff (in my mind he is sexy) I am dying to know where his and Kara's relationship will go. Does he want friendship-or something more?

Also explored is the relationship between Kara and the demon Lord , Rhyzkahl, who she is now bound to and must summon once a month so he can "explore" our world. Sure Kara gets to ask him three questions, but asking questions of a demon lord must have a price, right?

Diana Rowland has worn many hats in her life including a street cop, detective, crime scene investigator, computer forensics expert and morgue assistant (among many others) and I can see where she uses her expertise in these fields to add to her research for the Kara Gillian series.

I really enjoyed Secrets of The Demon and highly anticipate book four from Ms. Rowland.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: hearne, Texas USA

The Immortals by Paul Stewart

Nate Quarter is a lamplighter for a phraxmine in the Deepwoods in the third age of flight.  His only possesions are a small lufwood box and a portrait of a sky pirate from the first age of flight.  When the mine sergeant threatens to kill him, Nate escapes from the mine with a goblin named Slip.  The two friends go to Great Glade, one of two great cities.  There they meet a man known as the Professor, a banderbear named Weelum, and a mineowner’s daughter, Eudoxia Prade.  They soon learn that Eudoxia’s father has been kidnapped by gyle goblins from Hive, the other great city.  They leave for Hive at once. They find that the only way to rescue Eudoxia’s father is to pretend they are soldiers from the Hive Militia.  Eudoxia’s father, Falston, is rescued, but Eudoxia and Nate, upon leaving the gyle goblin palace, are caught by the real Hive Militia, and forced to march.   When they reach the Midwood Docks there is a battle between the people of Hive and Great Glade.  During the battle, an ironwood bullet lodges itself deep in Eudoxia’s ear.  Will Nate be able to get Eudoxia to Riverrise in time?  And what will happen to the rest of the Edge with a mysterious storm brewing overhead?

The Immortals was an astounding book.  It has the same qualities as the other Edge Chronicles books: adventure, fantastic creatures, flight, fussy academics, and a little romance.  I have read all nine of the other books and I have to say this one is my favorite. The first nine books were actually three trilogies, each about one character, but this book is as good as any trilogy.  I found it amazing that because they were storm-touched, Quint, Twig, and Rook could never really die until Nate got rid of Golderayce One-Eye so Twig and Rook could be united with Quint. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a change from his or her normal read.  The Edge Chronicles are wonderful, and I am sad that they had to come to an end.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, IA USA

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

As an angel-blood, Clara has a purpose in life, the sole reason she exists on earth in the first place. With nothing to guide her but visions of a boy in a forest fire and the annoyingly confusing comments her angel mother tells her, Clara and her family move from sunny California to snowy Wyoming in an attempt to complete her purpose. It is there that Clara comes face to face with Christian, the boy in her dreams, and delves into the complicated world of high school love and Nephilim war. As circumstances become even more perplexing, Tucker appears in Clara's life. Fun, normal, dimpled Tucker. Clara is the one who must make the decision, for who else can do so for her?

Cynthia Hand's debut, Unearthly, was gorgeously written. She managed to depict an authentic teen voice without going overboard with the standard ALL CAPS to express emotion and the internet slang (ie. OMG, LOL, WTF) that has infused itself into the world of teenagers. To say that I flipped open this book with skepticism would be an understatement, since I've had almost traumatic experiences with YA angel books before. Surprisingly, Unearthly proved to be different from the rest. Unlike the cliches that are prevalent in other angel books, the dark and brooding fallen angel who falls in love with a human girl, this book delivers a unique twist that left me flipping the pages one after another deep into the night.

Of course, we also encounter the infamous love triangle here, but the author handled it well, and I thank her for not following the conventional route most other YA books do. There is actually a development in the boy's and girl's relationship, a concept often lacking in YA fiction. Instead of love at first sight, a steady build-up of attraction occurs that seems real instead of crafted. I especially adore the ending. Oh, how I grinned like a maniac at the book in my hands when Clara finally makes up her mind.

This is the beginning of a great series, and I will definitely be on the look-out for future works by Cynthia Hand.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Palo Alto, CA US