Sunday, February 28, 2010

Once a Witch

Tamsin Greene is a seventeen-year-old witch in a family of witches that have special talents. Tamsin’s talent is supposed to be more powerful than anyone else's. It has been nine years since her magic was supposed to show, and nothing has happened, making Tamsin's life difficult at best.

One day, a handsome professor comes into her grandmother's shop asking for help finding an important clock. Tamsin, although she knows she can't find it without any talents, agrees, in hopes of proving herself to her family. Tamsin's search soon turns into an extraordinary adventure through time, with powerful dark magic entwined. With her friend for help, they unravel the mysteries of the Greene family's past in this enthralling story.

This book can't be set down. Every chapter has a cliffhanger ending, keeping interest throughout the book. The plot moves quickly and never lacks excitement. It is easy to sympathize with Tamsin, making the reader a part of the book. The climax is slightly confusing, but most questions are answered in the epilogue. At the end, there isn't a strong theme to finish the book, which leaves plenty of space for a sequel. I would definitely recommend this book as a good read.

This book contains some bad language, underage smoking and drinking.
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Milwaukee, WI USA

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow

"The Popularity Papers" by Amy Ignatow is a girly book written in the form of a pseudo slam book (as the colloquialism goes). Full of print and cursive writing alongside hand drawings, the two main characters fill pages of the book trying to decode popularity. These are the two authors of the book, although they are fictitious entities made up by Amy Ignatow. The two girls share their feelings, describe classmates, recount school events, and go back and forth as they discuss what makes other students popular (which they try to emulate).

The structure of this book is fun and will make reading enjoyable for young girls that are a bit put off by large blocks of text in regular chapter books. The book describes crushes but is in no way graphic. It is mentioned how some kids have gone through divorce, the loss of a parent, and the betrayal of a friend. Most shocking of all is that Ignatow chooses to have one of her "authors" have two fathers (homosexual, of course). The book does not promote this lifestyle, but it does put it in a positive light. Overall, this book is entertaining and will make young girls keep turning the pages, giggling along the way.

This book mentions traumatic events, as well as homosexuality.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Troy, NY USA

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga

"Meanwhile" by Jason Shiga is one doozy of a graphic novel. The main character is a boy whose journey starts out with ordering ice cream. Readers make decisions that lead to different pages with different scenarios, the first of which is as simple as chocolate versus vanilla. The boy then goes on to meet a mad scientist with many inventions. The story diverges yet again when the reader decides which device the boy will tinker with. More diversity comes when new characters emerge--some of which are directly correlated with a doomsday of sorts. The story goes on in many directions afterward.

This book is remarkably creative. The cartoon slides do not progress in a linear fashion; rather, they are discombobulated and connected with lines. Also, the tabs on the sides that protrude from each page make this interactive book fun to flip through as the story progresses. The style of art is quirky and fun for young children. After going through just a few of the boasted 3,856 story scenarios, readers will not be surprised to read on the last page of the book that the author graduated college with a degree in pure mathematics.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Troy, NY USA

Monday, February 22, 2010

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls's book Half Broke Horses is the true story of Walls's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. Growing up on a ranch in Arizona with her parents and two younger siblings, Lily felt there was something more in life for her. At a young age, she began teaching and traveled across the country. Half Broke Horses takes the reader through Lily's life from work, to marriage, to raising her own family. It's a true testament to the struggle women had during the Great Depression.

Out of all the books I have reviewed for Flamingnet, Half Broke Horses is my favorite. The true accounts of Lily's life were so detailed, it almost felt like I knew her. Walls was able to portray Lily's thoughts and emotions through a first-person narrative. Lily's life was so extraordinary. She lived every day to its fullest and truly lived to the statement, "Live like you were dying." This book has inspired me to do the same. I can't just live every day thinking of what could I do, but instead, do it. I can't rave about this book enough. I got my mother to read it, and she loved it just as much as I did. Anyone who wants to read an inspirational book, without wanting to be preached to, this book is for you.

There are some curse words in the novel.

Reviewer Age:18

Reviewer City, State and Country: Villa Hills, KY USA

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shadow of the Dragon by Kate O'Hearn

Shadow of the Dragons has a little bit of everything, romance, mystery, adventure, and more. Kira and Elspeth are the main characters that are leading a rebellion to abolish an unfair law. During their adventure, they visit the future, past, and back to the present following a prophecy. This is a interesting book and every page leaves you wanting more. With an unexpected ending, this book is wonderful to read!

Shadow of the Dragons caught my attention from page one! I can honestly say I didn't want to put it down. The main characters (Kira and Elspeth) really are exciting and make the story all the better. The author, Kate O'Hearn, really excelled on this story. The story is not only original and exciting, but it also presents a unexpected twist. This book left me wanting more, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, TX Wood

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CancerVixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto

Marisa Acocella Marchetto draws on her experience as a cartoonist for Glamour and The New Yorker to write and illustrate this graphic novel. Cancer Vixen is Marchetto's memoir, describing her fight with cancer. Marchetto starts off before her diagnosis, with her exciting Manhattan life then takes you step by step through her journey with cancer. Marchetto takes a comedic approach to a very tough subject. Cancer Vixen tells an "overcoming cancer" story in an upbeat and inspirational way.

Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto puts a funny spin on a tale about overcoming cancer. Marchetto, a big city fashonista, takes you throughout her journey with friends, doctors, needles, her mother and great shoes. Marchetto is witty, honest and real. The characters all grab your attention, especially her overbearing mom and loving fianc←. Marchetto's colorfull drawings add to the story and bring everything to life. But, even though it is full of bright colors it is a heavy topic that Marchetto is able to respect. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and hope to read more from Marchetto.

CancerVixen dove into a very deep and emotional topic and describes in detail doctor visits and procedures.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Amherst, MA USA

The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story by Hanan Al-Shaykh

This is a true story. Kamila Al-Shaykh, the author's mother, lived in Lebanon. Kamila's father left her family when she was young. Soon after, Kamila, her mother, and her brother moved to Beirut, the capitol. There, they lived with an old, strict family. When Kamila's sister, Manifa dies, Kamila is promised to Manifa's widower at the tender age of nine. At 13, she is married against her will to Abu-Hasan, Manifa's widower. She gives birth to her first child at age 15,but she does not love Abu-Hasan. She loves Muhammud, a 17-year old boy. Two years later, she gives birth to Hanan, the author. Things grow tight and tempers run high between her family and Muhammud. Kamila dreams of eloping with Muhammud, but she can't bear to leave her two daughters. Will she ever be able to marry her true love and begin the life she imagined?

I think this is definitely one of the better books I've read. It draws the reader in because it has so much new information. It's all about how life was in the typical Lebanon household. I think that because they were, and are so poor, that they have so much pleasure in small things. Just going to the movies, drinking coffee, and smoking cigars were wonderfully engaging pastimes. The book clearly expresses the emotions and tragedies of Kamila. The book is so sentimental. At the back of the book, There is an old, faded photograph of Kamila and Muhammud. You can see the youthful joy and happiness in them. It makes me want to cry. I think the author did that purposely, to make us remember her mother by writing each detail in a way that makes us want to mourn for Kamila. I think it is a wonderful book, and I would recommend it to people who are looking for a bit of a romance, but also some adventure.

There is lot's of cussing, and mention of sex. Also an inappropriate scene of romance.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Eagle River, AK United States

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

People of the Sword by Neil O'Donnell

People of the Sword is about druids, goblins and knights. In this book all of these people are enemies, but when Crarnock takes the lead of all the goblins he turns them on the humans. Knights and druids have to work together to beat him. It’s a never ending race between good and evil. This is an action adventure book with a little mix of romance in it also.

I found that the beginning of this book was a little hard to follow, and the characters at the beginning were not well explained. As the story went along I started to follow more and more and it made more sense.

It’s a great book with lots of action and fighting scenes and a little romance. The author was great, but it really wasn’t my type of book. He did make me feel like I was apart of it all and was engaged in all the fighting. The book had a serious tone, and he made the characters fit well together. I wouldn’t say that this was my favorite book, but I would recommend it to anyone who loves action.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola , TX USA

King of RPGS 1 By: Jason Thompson

Shesh Maccabee is the hard-core gamer of the University of California in Escondido. Aided by Theodore Dudek, Shesh makes his name as the ultimate gamer. But with a dark twist. Every time he plays a game his split personality takes over and turns him into his character. In Dudek's eyes, this is the number one gaming skill, but it lands Shesh in a deadly dilemma with Gavin Slane. How will Shesh ever manage college?

Poor Shesh! All this because of a game. The King of RPG's was a book I could really enjoy. All the artwork was really cool along with the story board. Anyone who loves the wonderful world of gaming will love this book.

Reviewer Age:13
Mineola, Texas America

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hunger by Michael Grant

Hunger is a thrilling sequel to Michael Grant's book Gone. It's a fictional story showing how kids survive when everyone above 15 disappears. But survival is the least of their problems. More and more children are developing strange powers. This causes a split between the normal and power ridden kids. On top all the civil war threatening to boom Sam, the leader of the Perido beach, is trying to protect his side from Caine, his twin brother, and his gang. Not to mention the darkness trying to kill them all. As the society and food starts to run low things crumble, war rages, and blood will be drawn.

This book is great for any one who enjoys a good story. Michael Grant is a fantastic writer and has treated us with a new prize indeed. This story keeps you hocked from the beginning, always begging for more. I would, though, recommend reading Gone first. It is the first novel to the 'Gone' collection. Hungry really showed how much order, communication, and maturity are needed for the everyday society we live in. So if your ever in a hungry mood for a new fascinating book, pick up Hungry by Michael Grant. 5 stars to this one and two thumbs up!

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Germantown, TN United States

In Shade and Shadow by Barb and JC Hendee

In Shade and Shadow is the first installment of the second
series in the ongoing Saga of the Noble Dead. Since
returning from her last journeyor's assignment two seasons
ago, Wynn Hygeorht has found it difficult to adjust to life
in the guild; not to mention much of the order envies her
for bringing back one of the greatest treasures in the
guild's history. But things stir up in Calm Seatt after two
sages are killed and a translation folio is stolen by an
unknown suspect. Many investigations are initiated by
Siweard Rodian, captain of the Shyldfalches, as it is his
duty and determination to solve the murder of the two sages.
However, as Captain Rodian digs deeper into the mystery, he
feels there is more to the translation project than meets
the eye. Wynn is also curious about the death of the two
sages and believes they were killed by a Noble Dead. During
one encounter with the Noble Dead, she is protected by a
majay-hi, or wolf, which she later discovers is the daughter
of Chap and Lily who was sent to protect her. Around the
same time, Wynn runs into a past friend, Chane, who is an
undead. The three work together to figure out the meaning
behind the stolen translation folios while also attempting
to vanquishing the Noble Dead yet they discover a hidden
truth in return.

This book is surprisingly good and very
descriptive, but it is one of my harder books to get into at
first. The plot is nicely woven together and very
interesting but I found it was the author's writing style
that took me awhile to get used to. The author liked to add
many miscellaneous little details that strayed from the main
topic, which consequently became confusing at times. Other
than this, In Shadow and Shadow is a great book for young
readers and has a captivating plot that will keep you
turning the pages!

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City,State and Country: Knoxville, TN United States

The Amberstone: Saving the Flame

In the early years of the Planet Vale, a healer named Alma is forced to become a flame inside an amberstone. When Carrie leans on a meteorite in her rock garden, she is pulled onto the planet Vale, where she finds the Amberstone. Alma speaks to Carrie, begging her to go to Lobo the Gray Wolf. Carrie and Alma have to brave an old manor, floods, and even people they thought were friends. However, with the help of Alma, Carrie finds friends in places she never thought possible.

I thought this book was very good. The author did a great job of having Carrie find courage within herself. There were a few problems though. To understand thoroughly the book, you really should read the prologue, and it I thought it took until chapter 5 for the story to become exciting. Another thing that might be a problem for some readers is that you see through the eyes of so many different characters that the story can get a little confusing. The plot was great; Carrie and Alma have to face obstacles that make the book interesting. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new adventure.

Content: 1
Rating: 7
Reviewer Age: 10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rockwell City, IA USA

Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin

As the son of a serial killer, Cameron Miller has had a very troubled life. Trapped in a cellar for days at a time, he reads the haunting newspaper clips of his father's victims, and sits trying not to listen to the muffled screams and inhaling the sickly sweet smell of death. His father's filing cabinet contains golden information; families that have lost their sons to his father, families that need a miracle of their son returning.

When his father dies, Cameron decides to become Neil Lacey, a short and scrawny 14 year old with hazel eyes and brown hair. Cameron cons the authorities into thinking he is really Neil Lacey, and he must trick his new family with only the newspaper clippings to provide him with the information he needs. He soon realizes that living the life in a prim and fancy neighborhood on the coast isn't nearly as easy as it would seem to be.

As he starts to settle into his new life, his bubble of protection is soon ruptured when his father's accomplice tracks him down. The accomplice threatens his new family and Cameron's secret unless Cameron steals valuable items from his new house. Will Cameron's identity be revealed? Can he manage to trick his rival? Is all hope lost for the Laceys?

Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin was spectacular. It was short but definitely not sweet. This harrowing yet incredibly written tale had the right amount of detail and expressed the woe of a teenage boy's experience that no one should ever have. The first few chapters were a bit confusing. However, once the plot was fully explained, I was stuck to the book. The characters came to life, and they were easy to relate to. This book has many, many unsuspected twists and turns, and an ending that will blow your mind. The end of the book is probably the one of the biggest surprises that I have ever had. Counterfeit Son is fantastic, and I would recommend it to anyone (age 12 or older) who loves a good mystery.

Some material (some frightening situations) and violence that may not be suitable without approval from an adult.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Osseo, Wisconsin United States

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Imagine having a photographic memory, imagine being extremely smart..... Well that's exactly how eleven year old Melody is except there is one problem, she can't talk or walk. Every day she goes to school to a special class for kids that have problems and every day they go over the alphabet. For her, though, she is past just learning the alphabet. Melody belongs in advanced classes but she has no way of letting anyone know that. Doctors and experts diagnosed her with cerebral palsy and insisted that she wasn't capable of learning. Little did they know she is destined to prove them wrong. With a little help from a friend and a lot of hope, Melody finds what she's been looking for all her life. She will prove to the world what she can accomplish.

I've never read any of Sharon Draper's books before, but what caught my eye on this book was the cover. It is very interesting how the fish is jumping out of its bowl and it goes very well with the title. The characters were written very well and sometimes I found myself getting frustrated with some of Melody's problems. I started worrying if it would end okay. Even though it had some sad parts I really enjoyed reading Out of My Mind. I would recommend this for kids 11 and up.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: , NM USA

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

Corine Solomon is a handler. She can touch an item and know it's past and sometimes its future. People are always after her. They want to use her gift to solve mysteries, find missing people, and many other things. That's why she is almost never in the same place for a long period of time. She has made her own record, staying in the same place for 18 months. She is tired of finding people, even though she likes to help. When her ex Chance shows up, she knows she's going to have to do something. Corine doesn't want to leave her home, but when she figures out someone dear to them both is missing, she knows that she has to help him. Will Corine be able to "handle" the situation? Will she be able to help Chance even though their love doesn't really exist anymore?

Blue Diablo was a very good novel. It was the perfect story involving supernaturals. Ann Aguirre did an amazing job creating the story with vivid detail. I, myself, love anything that involves witches or magic, so this was a very interesting story. I recommend this book to any young-adult supernatural lovers.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fairborn, Ohio USA

Xoe by Sara C. Roethle

Xoe thought her life was normal. She believed her best friends Lucy and Allison were both human. That all changed when a new kid named Dan comes to their school. Lucy and Allison thought he was just a pretty face but Xoe had her suspicions. Everything changed one night after Lucy was scratched by Dan and the next thing they knew "normal" was no longer in their vocabulary. Before they could even grasp the situation Lucy was a werewolf, Dan was a werewolf and there was a vampire in town. Jason, the vampire, was sent to help protect everyone from Dan and together realize that nothing was ever normal. Especially when Xoe finds out that she isn't human.

Xoe was one of those books that you think is just another werewolf/vampire book. That observation changes as soon as you begin reading. This book has everything I look for in a novel: action, adventure, fantasy and romance. I would reccommend this book to anyone who likes a good fantasy novel and anyone who likes the Twilight Saga. Xoe is one of those characters that you remember and want to see her in a happy ending. I love how the author makes Xoe vulnerable yet strong. I loved this book and I am happy to be able to add this book to my bookshelf. I can't wait to read more from this author.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mantua, New Jersey USA

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Runaway Dragon by Kate Coombs

The book The Runaway Dragon by Kate Coombs is a mixture of romance, courage, mystery, friendship, and comedy. In Kate's first book, The Runaway Princess, the main character, Meg, runs away when her parents lock her up in a tower to attract suitors. While Meg is away and trying to have some fun for once in her life, she finds adventure on the same path as a dragon named Laddy, her old friends, and she meets some new friends along the way. Now Meg is back with a grown-up Laddy and the horror of her life; Laddy has escaped! She and her friends must find Laddy and save each other's necks; all the while defeating the evils of the land. Can Meg complete her quest and be with her love, or will she come to an end as well?

This book was the perfect sequel to its starter. In the first book there wasn't a ton of action or anything to really grab your mind, but now in the second book, you don't even want to set down the book for a second!The only weakness I felt this book had was how it ended. It left you hanging on the edge of your seat, hoping for more to happen. So by this observation, I can only hope and wish for there to be a third book coming to complete the first wonderous two. I learned from reading this book that things aren't always as they may seem, and that you just have to keep thinking(and being) optimistic to acheive the greatest. I have to admit its not the best book in the world because compared to the Talking To Dragons series, this is nothing; even though it is a good comedy/action book that all ages can enjoy.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fresno, California USA

I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay

A young boy, named Jack, lives with his sister and his
mom. Jack has a lot of hobbies from photography to fixing
things. His mom is dating Rob and Jack likes him but he
thinks that they are doing fine on their own. On top of
his problems at home, at school, a bully named George Hamel
got everyone to call Jack "Butt Head". Jack can barely get
up in the morning. He won't turn to his mom for help
because he doesn't want to make her unhappy. When Jack's
grades and participation are slipping, he thinks he must
find help. Will Jack ever conquer the bully?

"I am Jack" is such a wonderful book to read. I really loved seeing
the point of view of Jack. He is a very sweet kid and
doesn't anyone to get hurt. Jack has a lot of hobbies and
I had a little trouble keeping up with all of them.
Susanne Gervay did a great job capturing the harm of
bullying. "I am Jack" is an awesome book for a child to
read and learn.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State
and Country: Oakmont, Pennsylvania United States

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe by Charlene Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner

"Wolfsbane and Mistletoe" by Charlene Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner is a book of short stories all about werewolves and Christmas. All of the stories take you to different places and through different emotions. Each tale has a complete story that leaves you wanting more when you have to move one to the next. The plots vary from biblical figures, well known book series and good old family values. Some of the stories are hilarious with connections to other things in the world, logical with explanations and serious with mystery.

I found the book enjoyable and interesting. Some of the stories had me laughing, and others were more serious. But all in all a very good read if you want mystery, humor and connections. Some of the stories were so outrageous, I had to tell someone to see their reaction and if it was similar to mine. All of the authors that wrote for this book did an amazing job and should be commended for this collaboration.

Reviewer Age:16

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

The Human Corpse Trade: Byron Carmichael Book One by J. Eric King

Fifteen years after his father's disappearance, Byron Carmichael is accepted to a summer study program at the prestigious Bradenburg University. There, he meets the Winston family: Dr. Winston, Nick and the beautiful Gracie. It is Dr.Winston who introduces the three teenagers to their summer assignment: to research Byron's father's work. He had invented a highly realistic simulation, a huge technological advance. When the young scientists accidentally find themselves trapped in early America, it is up to them to solve the mystery of the grotesque human corpse trade of the time and to get themselves out of the increasingly dangerous game before they are trapped inside forever.

Overall, The Human Corpse Trade was a mediocre read. The plot had the potential to be interesting but wasn't well developed. The characters were flat and unrealistic. The way they spoke was awkward and grew bothersome over the course of the novel. Nick was the only character with much substance, but even he tended to be uninteresting and was shoved into the background when Gracie and Byron interacted. The high point of the novel was the well researched and realistic-seeming historical content. The author's use of vocabulary was unvaried and didn't add anything to the story. The romance between Byron and Gracie feels contrived and unnecessary to the plot. I wouldn't recommend this book and I don't plan on reading any of the follow up novels.

Reviewer Age:17

Reviewer City, State and Country: San Diego, CA USA

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

In the magical world of Lorinar, Nimira is an exotic and dark-skinned trouser-girl who sings and dances in music halls for money. She's away from her homeland of Tiansher and is extremely poor, so when wealthy Hollin Parry offers her a job singing with an automaton, she readily accepts. But rumors that the automaton is haunted cause Nimira to closely examine it, and she discovers that a fairy is trapped in the mechanical body! As she talks to Erris, the fairy, he tells her how the current Ambassador of Magic killed the previous Ambassador and how fairies are being tortured by a council of sorcerers that Hollin is a part of. As Nimira tries to help Erris, she can't help falling in love with him and is determined to find a way to save him.

I thought that Magic Under Glass was an okay book. The synopsis makes it sound like it will be an action-packed romantic fantasy, but I think it fell short of its expectations. I liked how the author created a new magical world, but it had parallels to history, like Lorinar resembling England and Tiansher, where Nimira was born, resembling India or Africa. I also liked the similarities to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which I am currently reading. However, I didn't think the relationship between Nimira and Erris, the automaton, was believable. She was supposed to be in love with him, but there wasn't much development, character- and relationship-wise, between the two of them. Even though there were things I disliked about Magic Under Glass, I still enjoyed reading it, and I think fans of fantasy will find this book to their liking.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Aston, Pennsylvania United States

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Twilight Gods by Hayden Thorne

London was a beautiful place in 1851. It attracted people near and far to see the Great Exhibition full of new inventions, and exotic treasures. Fifteen-year-old Norris discovered mysterious shadow folk among the crowds of people. His life was starting to bore him until a strange widow became a renter of one of his parent s vacant rooms. She slowly revealed the secrets of the shadow folk, and his connection to them. In the end, he is faced with a life-changing decision.
The characters were wonderfully drawn by Hayden Thorne. Her writing was very impressive, and she makes this story very captivating. The Twilight Gods was a real page turner in the end. The story's characters were so real, I feel like I actually met the family. I recommend this book to YA readers who like a fun, supernatural, history read.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Springfield, OH USA

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Regina Afton used to be part of the Fearsome Fivesome, a girl-only clique. The Fearsome Fivesome is feared and admired by the students of Hallowell High. When a brutal rumor is started about Regina and her best friend's boyfriend, she is kicked out of the clique. Now her ex-best friends are out for vengeance and the bullying gets worse. Regina tries to set things right with her friends, but they only believe the intense rumors around school. She takes comfort in the company of Michael Hayden, a boy with a grim past that she used to bully. Regina realizes that Michael could be more than friends and she tries to make things right from her past. Can Regina set things right or will the Fearsome Foursome send Regina to rock bottom?

Some Girls Are is a very intense novel. As the bullying increases, you want to keep reading to figure out what will happen. This book seemed realistic because sometimes rumors get out of hand and you can get bullied. This books makes you realizes that, in high school, you really need good friends that will have your back. If you enjoy romance, suspense, or drama you should pick up this book and start reading it.

Some Girls Are contains some sexual content that may not be suitable for some readers

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Enon, Ohio USA

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Silver Shoes by Paul Miles Schneider

Donald Gardner's family takes a summer road trip through Kansas, which is the most boring way Donald could imagine spending his summer. On their trek home, his family is on its last roadside stop when Donald's mother meets a poor woman. To get money, this poor woman sells the only thing she has to Donald's mother: a single silver shoe.

When the school year begins, Donald brings the shoe in to show his classmates, and the connection between The Wizard of the Oz by L. Frank Baum and the shoe is made. One girl from his class relates how in the book by L. Frank Baum the shoe is silver as well. Later when Donald walks home from school with his friends, he is dared to try the shoe on, and from then on strange things happen around Donald. A man, George Clarke, comes out of hiding and meets Donald. Together they untangle the true secrets behind Baum's story.

The beginning of the book was a little slow but quickly jumped into the rush of the story. Otherwise, it was an upbeat and fast paced read. It brought in elements from L. Frank Baum's book and added a new story that will please Baum's fans. When I began reading the book I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book to not only to fans of Baum, but also to people who want a thrilling ride.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, PA United States

The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein by Libby Schmais

The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein by Libby Schmais is a realistic-fiction journal about a teenager named Lotus who is an anything French addict. Her greatest aspiration is to live in France and live as an existentialist. She is not looking for love, but when a cute boy walks into to the French Club she created, she is head-over-heels. When Lotus hears that her best friend, Joni, feels the same way about the new boy, Sean, she hides her feelings, for she doesn't want to stomp on the socially awkward Joni's first crush. This book talks about how insane a teen's life can be and shows how boys can test friendship.

It is necessary to say that this book will not be the next literary masterpiece of the decade, but it is a truly "livre intressant." I loved how the author decided to use French continually during the book; it really brought out the main character's character! While the book did move fast enough, I felt there was really no plot line. The book really didn't go anywhere. Also, I didn't like many sexual comments that littered the pages, even though I am a teen, and this is a teenage book. Overall a "merveilleux" read!

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake Bluff, IL The United States of America

Monday, February 01, 2010

Day of the Assassins by Johnny O'Brien

Jack Christie and his best friend Angus enjoy playing
their Point-of-Departure World War 1 video game although
they do not realize what an impact World War I has on
their present day lives. How could something in the past
affect the present? After Jack and Angus discover a secret
library in Jack's house that used to belong to Jack's
father, their adventure begins. When the boys bring in an
artifact found in the library to show their history
teachers, they learn about things that they thought were
impossible and somehow end up in 1914. They learn that
time travel does exist. They also learn about how the
scientists who invented this amazing, or maybe terrible,
method of time travel have entirely different viewpoints.
The VIGIL group does not want time travel to be used
because of the unknown consequences. The Benefactor wants
to use time travel to change history by preventing the
assassination of Franz Ferdinand. It's up to Jack, stuck
in time before WWI, to decide. Who will he side with?

Day of the Assassins, by Johnny O'Brien was a pretty
good book. It had some aspects of historical fiction and
science fiction so if you like either science fiction or
historical fiction you would probably like it. Part of
this book takes place right before WWI and the
assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. If you are
interested in that period of time you would probably like
this also. The beginning of Day of the Assassins was a
little slow but after I got into it I couldn't put it
down! This book showed a different side of the trigger of
World War I, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. You see
the assassination through the eyes of the assassins.
Overall, Day of the Assassins was a good book!

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Harleysville, PA USA