Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Book of Lies by James Moloney

The story begins with four mysterious men carrying a boy, Marcel, to an orphanage close to Fallside. When he gets there, Lord Alwyn, an evil magician, makes him listen to a book that tells a story. The book is called the book of lies and anything you say that is a lie, will be recorded in it. When the truth is told, it glows golden. Bea, another orphan, secretly places cotton balls into Marcel's ears to help him not hear the story. If he does hear it, then he will forget everything he has ever known and believe that this is his true story. The book told him his name was Robert before his ears were plugged so he believed that. When two men get ahold of Marcel, he leaves the orphanage with Bea, Nicola, and Fergus. However, that is not so easy because Lord Alwyn has placed a ring on his finger that will not come off until he finds the courage to get it off, and if he leaves the orphanage, Termagant will come. Termagant is Lord Alwyn's evil beast that will cause destruction and death. Marcel leaves anyway, eager to find out how his life actually was before he was taken. He finds out he is related to Nicola and Fergus and that they are royalty. Their mission now, is to throw King Pelham out of power because Marcel, Fergus, and Nicola's parents are the rightful king and queen. Do they manage to succede?

The Book of Lies is a very entertaining book. While I was very interested in it, it wasn't a page turner for me. I can't compare this book to any other book because it is so different. It is fantasy, however there are many other features that make it its' own genre. The book was written in third person, and it flowed really well. If it was written in first person it may not have shown all of the wonderful details it does now. Lastly, The Book of Lies ended in a way that gives you enough knowledge to know what happened, but you want more.Content:

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7
Reviewer Age: 13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, PA U.S.A.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Titans of Chaos by John C. Wright

Titans of Chaos revolves around the story of five orphans, Amanda, Colin, Vanity, Quentin and Victor who are running away from their parents mythological deities. Each orphan has a unique power which they have to use to save the universe.

Titans of Chaos is an "unique" book about five "unique" orphans with "unique" powers but what makes this book special..... Titans of Chaos revolves around the story of five orphans, Amanda, Colin, Vanity, Quentin and Victor who are running away from their parents mythological deities. Sounds interesting, well yeah it is, the idea anyway but the story is brought down by poor execution. The author gives each orphan a special power. Colin has super strength, Vanity can see doors through solid objects and Quentin can see dead people and summon them. Other than that I'm not really sure what their powers are let alone how they work the author cuts their powers on and off at a whim. He does attempt a rudimentary explanation concerning their powers that leaves a lot to be desired. This failed explanation leads to a lot of confusion during the action scenes when they are actually using their power. Frankly you don't know what going on. You would at least think you would know what planet the characters are on and then you find out that their on Mars. I will give the author points for unpredictability you never know what going to happen which is good and kinda bad because not knowing whats happening, whats going to happen, or what has happened leaves you wondering a lot. Overall I would compare this book to the Super Bowl XLI . "Assuming" the Chicago Bears came into the Super Bowl with a plan to win the plan was brought down by poor execution and of course by Peyton Manning.

Content:Some profanity and sexual comments worthy of a surprised smiley face.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 5
Reviewer Age: 17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Starkville, Mississippi USA

How to Be a Budget Fashionista by Kathryn Finney

Are you on a tight budget and want fashionable things? Are you a fan of Dooney & Bourke but have the budget for Wal Mart? If so, then this book is for you. It's an easy guide to show you that you can shop til you drop without dropping your wallet. It also compares side by side the expenisve and inexpensie and sometimes the only difference is the price tag. How to Be a Budget Fashionista also shows the new style trends that anybody can afford. It also gives great tips on easy to make facials, creams, conditioners, etc. If you are a shopaholic, you will go crazy over this guide.

At first when I received the book, I was kind of surprised. I was expecting a twenty page book that says "Watch your budget" over and over again. But, to my surprise, it gives the reader an in depth look on how to save. I got some great tips that I used on getting makeup and some online stores. What did turn me off was that it seemed like it was written for a 30 year old women. Most of the time it talks about salaries and how to balance one's mortgage and spending. Most teenagers don't have to worry about that. Some of the stores I haven't even heard of and when I looked at them online, they were for high class business women, not teenage girls looking to save a dollar or two here and there. Overall, the book was good, but not for a 16 year old.

Content:There were a couple of curse words but that was the extent of it.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 4
Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Villa Hills, Kentucky United States

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

When 17-year-old Dominique, or Dom for short, meets the boy of her dreams it is when she least expects it. She is sandwiched between a fat lady and this insanely gorgeous boy, covered it mud, standing next to a porta-potty. However, even though it their relationship seemed to be off to a rough start, things somehow flip upside-down, much to the suprise of Dom. As their love grows they end up experiencing many firsts: true love, dates, sloppy kisses, and boyfriends, together. If only he came with instructions...

Anatomy of a Boyfriend is an extremely fun book to read. The author, Daria Snadowsky, perfectly captures the emotions of a teenage girls perspective on a first relationship. Though the plot is a bit dry and fluffy for the first half of the book, it is still fun to read. The climax of the book comes as quite a shock, and will keep you turning pages as fast as you can. Anotomy of a Boyfriend is definately geared towards girls and is a great quick summer read.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7
Reviewer Age: 13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Marblehead, Massachusetts

On The Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck

This book is about a kid named Davy growing up in World War 2. Davy's dad was in World War 1 and his brother is in the second. The first section of the book is about him before the war, everything a game. The other three sections are living in war times. Most of the book is lighthearted and funny but the last section is really intense. It's about how hard war times are. The ending is a little obvious but it was so beautiful it didn't matter.

I loved this book. It is funny yet still beautiful. All the characters are well developed especially Davy's dad.The only problem is the beginning is a little unclear. It is definitely up to Richard Peck's usual standards. You will fall in love with this book at first sight.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
Reviewer Age: 10
Reviewer City, State and Country: San Francisco, California America

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Septimus Heap - Book Three - Physik by Angie Sage

In this third book in the Septimus Heap series, the ghost of the awful Queen Etheldredda has come back to the palace, and her prescense creates chaos within the castle walls. She's as dangerous now as she was then, despite her ghostliness, and now she seems to be after Princess Jenna. Her plan also includes her son, an old looking glass, and Septimus Heap, Jenna's adopted brother. The looking glass is more than an ordinary mirror--it can send people back in time, to the time five hundred years ago when Etheldredda ruled the kingdom. When Etheldredda arranges for Septimus to be sent back, Jenna will do anything to find her brother--even if it means putting her life in even greater danger.

Physik is the wonderful third book in the fantastic Septimus Heap series, but even readers new to the series will enjoy this magical adventure. It's full of the same wonderful characters from the previous two books, as well as a few new--and just as believable--ones. The story itself is at least as good as the previous two, if not better. Angie Sage's imagination is brilliant, and it shows in this book! Besides being a brilliant story, Physik is also well-written, in such a way that will have the reader racing through the pages, eager to find out what happens next--and, at the end just as eager for the next book!

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10
Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Asheville, NC USA

Friday, February 09, 2007

Raven by Dean Whitlock

Raven has fled the Baron Cutter’s estate. Four years later, she goes back to find her mother who did not accompany her. Trying to find the truth, she goes back and finds her mother with a new child and she is married to the baron!! Raven flees. When the Baron dies, Raven’s mother is shipped off as a bond servant. Raven goes to find her with the unexpected help of a boy named Hero.

This story had many surprises, from finding that raven’s mother has a child to seeing everything from a bird’s eye view. There were a few parts of the story that could have been heavily elaborated on, but other than that the story was fine. Whitlock uses an extensive vocabulary, and a lot of strange curses. Overall, this was an excellent book to read again and again.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7
Reviewer Age: 13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Shippensburg, PA

Mistletoe by Hailey Abbott, Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, and Nina Malkin

In this book, there are four stories all about romance and happiness. In Working In a Winter Wonderland by Aimee Friedman, a college girl named Maxine Silver is looking for a job so she can buy the perfect dress for her friend’s party. Low and behold, the guy of her high school dreams walks up and tells her about a job at his department store. She takes it… then finds out it is for the elf position. In Have Yourself a Merry Little Breakup by Hailey Abbott, Aria(the main character)’s best friend, Emily, went off to college. She is coming back for winter break and Aria needs to help her friend’s boyfriend find the perfect gift. Marcus, Emily’s boyfriend, is having a rough patch and doesn’t think he and Emily will make it. Aria doesn’t know if she has feelings for Marcus or not. In Scenes From a Cinematic New Year’s by Nina Malkin, a star named Connor, is going to be going home for Christmas. When a surprise audition pops up, he has to go. On his way there his car breaks down an there is only one house around, so he knocks on the door. Inside is a girl named Talisa. They go out and check his car to ge it working. Afterwards they fall in love, but he can’t find her after 3:15. In the Christmas Choos by: Melissa de la Cruz, Kelsey Cooper and her boyfriend have been together for a long time. She only has $42 to spend on his present. She finds the perfect jacket, but it is $400. So she sells her grandmother’s dress to buy him the jacket.

This is a wonderful book written by four aspiring romance writers. I loved how it was four stories in one. I would recommend this to anyone looking for one of those awwwww… moments. These sweet stories will have you wishing you had a guy like him.

Content:mature reader

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8
Reviewer Age: 13
Reviewer City, State and Country: ,

Vanishing Act by John Feinstein

Last year, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson saved Chip Graber, Minnesota’s point guard, from blackmail at the Final Four. Now they’re back at the U.S. Open to witness one of the year’s best tennis events. But things don’t go as planned when Nadia Symanova, a talented new Russian player, is kidnapped on her way to her first match. Stevie and Susan Carol, along with their friends Bobby Kelleher and Tamara Mearns, take the challenge to figure out what happened to Nadia and where she is. But they’re saved the trouble when her kidnappers return her. The duo soon realize that there’s more to this story then meets the eye. As they keep investigating a trail leads to Susan Carol’s uncle, Brendan Gibson. What did Brendan have to do with the kidnapping? Who really kidnapped Nadia Symanova and why? These are the questions that you’ll keep asking yourself when you read the book.

John Feinstein did an excellent job on this book as he captivates the reader in a suspenseful mystery. His writing style was so eloquent that it made me feel that I was with the main characters in their quest for the truth. Even though the book is written as a sequel to Last Shot, there really isn't much connection between the two books. So, anyone can pick this book up and enjoy it in the same way that I did.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7
Reviewer Age: 12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Champaign, Illinois USA

Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin

Going Nowhere Faster stars Stan, a boy handicapped by his name and the weirdness of his family, but with an extraordinary mind. Ask Stan any math question, or anything about the video collection of Happy Video, where he works, and he'll blink, and in that time, come up with the correct answer. Still, though, Stan has a difficult time in life. He doesn't have a girlfriend. He has one friend. He hasn't even applied to college. He doesn't know where he's going with his life--or even if he'll make it through the summer, as someone is out to get Stan!

Going Nowhere Faster is a well-written book. It's very interesting, and I especially loved Stan's very...unique family. Going Nowhere Faster is full of interesting characters, especially Stan himself. He gets into the most hilarious situations, too! It's a funny, fresh, and wonderful story that's well worth reading!

Content:Some adult guidance

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Asheville, NC USA

Monday, February 05, 2007

Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan

Henry Atherton is an average boy. When he wakes up on a not so average day, he finds out several things. First of all, his parent's relationship is ruined because his mother is having an affair with his dad's secretary. Secondly, when he goes to work for old Mr. Fogarty, he finds a mysterious fairy named Pyrgus Malvae, the Crown Prince. Pyrgus is from a different world, the Faerie Relm, and he is next in line for Emperor. He doesn't care for politics too much anyway. While he is out roaming the streets, Brimstone of the glue factory captures him and needs to sacrifice him to the demon Beleth. Pyrgus gets rescued by the Emperor's guards [his father's]. When his father knows he isn't safe in their world anymore, he gets sent in their magical portal to the Analouge World [the human world]. Pyrgus somehow gets sabotaged in the process, so instead of going to an island, he gets sent to Mr. Fogarty's backyard. Henry and Mr. Fogarty try to help Pyrgus get back to his own world, but something else goes wrong. The whole time this is going on, his sister Holly Blue, is trying to help get Pyrgus back and find out who sabotaged him. Will he get back to the Faerie Relm safely?

When I first started the book, I thought it would be about a war going on [because of the title]. However, after reading a few chapters I knew that it wasn't. The chapters go back and forth from character to another to another so you have to pay attention to understand the whole story. The vocabulary is understandable and has a great variety. I would recommend this book to people who like fantasy because of the different 'species' of characters. There is great foreshadowing to help you predict events that would happen later in the book. I found this book very well-written, addicting, and I can not wait to get the second book to read in this series!

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8
Reviewer Age: 13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, PA USA

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Not Like You by Deborah Davis

Kayla's mother, Marilyn, is always moving them from place to place. Even though she claims to be starting a new, better life for them every time, things don't usually change. Most of the time, she's just moving on and leaving her life in one place (and, she likes to think, mistakes there) behind. Kayla feels like the only mistake that Marilyn can't leave behind, but in New Mexico, she's starting to put down roots for herself. She's making some money with her dog-walking, she's got a new friend, Luz, and she might even have the attention of an older guy. She doesn't want to be an afterthought in her mother's life of men, booze, and mistakes, but she's not sure what her own life should be, either. Can Kayla find a balance between having her own life and loving her mother?

Not Like You is a pretty good book. Certainly, the subject matter, though heavy, is handled admirably, with even some funny moments! It has some wonderful characters, and the story itself seemed to have a lot of potential. For the most part, it was wonderful, but there were moments when Deborah Davis's obvious talent for writing did not shine through, for no particular reason. Not Like You is a very painfully real, honest book. It's a good one, and certainly worth reading!

Content:For a mature reader because of some sexual situations.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8
Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Asheville, NC USA

Bloodline Two: Reckoning by Kate Cary

The story takes off right where Bloodline ended. As Quincey Harker turns his back on his bloodline, he leaves his home at Castle Dracula and goes in search of Mary Seward. Mary has since fled back to her home of Purfleet and wants nothing to do with the darkside. But Mary soon realizes that she can't get away. Her father succombs to a strange virus where are his blood is taken from his body and soon, Mary's patients are dying from the same affliction as well. She knows that evil is near and when Harker comes to her asking for help, she has to decide whether Harker truely wants to turn his back on evil or whether he's toying with her emotions.

After reading Bloodline, I've been waiting to read this sequel and it has definately lived up to the first. I couldn't stop reading the book once I started. The author has left the story in a place where it could be continued, so I'm hoping there will be a third book to follow. This book is for anyone interested in action, mystery and horror and it even has some romance. These books have made me very interested in stories about Dracula and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Content:There is some violence in here, so this is not for younger readers.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10
Reviewer Age: 20
Reviewer City, State and Country: Philadelphia, PA USA

Farseed by Pamela Sargent

Ship, the space ship that harbors and rears humans, executes her mission: plant humans on different and various planets. The humans are Ship's "children," and grow and create a community on whahever planet they are placed on. However, in this particular instance, the one band of humans separates into two, one moving south from the northerners. These two bands share a hatred, until Nuy, a human from the south, and Leila, a human from the north, unknowingly set out, to meet each other. Leila simply wants to see what happened to the first group that was sent out, of whom never returned, but Nuy is chased out, for bringing one of the northerners into camp.

The plot was very intriguing and suspenseful, as it switched from Nuy's view to Leila's. As an uncorrected copy, I found some typing errors, but other than that, the words were obviously carefully chosen, and the flow was excellent. At the beginning (since I personally have not read the first book), "Earthseed," it was a little confusing, but things straightened out later on. This is the only problem I found in the book itself, the rest was exceptional. Ship's view was fascinating, I enjoyed both the prologue and epilogue... Although if I were to choose, the epilogue was superior, and enticed me to read the next book. As a reader, I sincerely hope that Pamela Sargent will write a third!

Content:Adult guidance, as the book uses profound words for using the bathroom, and has some vague sexual content.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7
Reviewer Age: 12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Eagle Creek, Oregon (OR) USA

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

When Ali asks her mother about a mysterious picture she found in the attic, she begins to learn about something that happened in her mother's life that she just wants to forget. The missing child in the torn up picture haunts her as she takes a position as her aunt Dulcie's babysitter at the lakehouse her mother used to go to as a child. Slowly, Ali begins to put the pieces together to form a story about a child, Teresa Abbott, who drowned in the lake some 30 years ago as a child. Then Sissy, a mean child comes to into the lives of Ali and her cousin, Emma and they begin to find out the truth about what really happened that night.

I really liked reading the book. While the book wasn't as suspenseful as I was hoping, the story really kept me interested and I couldn't stop reading. This book is definately for younger readers, but even older ones will enjoy the story. Reading this book has made me want to read more mysteries, especially Mary Downing Hahn books!

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8
Reviewer Age: 20
Reviewer City, State and Country: Philadelphia, PA USA

Friday, February 02, 2007

Star Crossed by Mark Schreiber

Starcrossed tells a tale of two starcrossed lovers, caught in modern day time. When Christy first meets Ben, it is at the one place she least expects, the plastic surgeons office. Both wanting to remove unwanted tatoos and painful memories. Besides the fact that Ben has the same name as her last Christy's last boyfriend, they have nothing in common. Christy is and impulsive, wisecracking horoscpe junkie, and Ben is a well mannared college freshman. Together, they dig up old memories, and create some very new ones.

Starcrossed is a comic romance tale of what it takes to forget your life, and your memories, and just how bad lies can get. The plot plays off of a twisted version of Romeo and Juliet giving it a familiar, yet different, feel. The story moves along very quickly, and keeps the reader turning pages, especially towards the shocking end. It is a relatively fast read and would most likely fit to the interests of girls around 12-16. Overall Starcrossed is wonderfully enjoyable, and very exciting to those who are familiar with romance.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
Reviewer Age: 13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Marblehead, Massachusetts USA