Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kiss Me Deadly by Trisha Telep

Kiss Me Deadly is a collection of love stories edited by Trisha Telep. There are thirteen short stories with in this book; all based on love. Each story deals with the classical love connecting two people but also the love of an idea, object, or state of mind. An example of this is in the first tale, "Assassin's Apprentice." Rose, our protagonist, is on a quest for vengeance for her family's murder. She stalks the demon for weeks, but she does not take the chances she is given to kill him. This is due to the fact that once he is dead she will have nothing to live for. Rose's love of her family and her love of revenge results in her being caught with a massive decision. In the end each story concludes with the protagonist having to make a decision between two or more loves.

I loved Kiss Me Deadly. The writers chosen to be included in this book amazed me. Each author had the wonderful ability to make me picture every little detail inside my head. The mood of each tale varied from one extreme to the other, which made me empathetic for the characters. The main problem I had was that a few of the tales had weak beginnings. I was completely turned off but as I read more the story became interesting. The basic fact that the authors made their protagonist love not only a person but also something else really kept me reading and helped me feel like I was part of the story. Overall I recommend this book not only to the romantics but those who get sucked into paranormal tales with plenty of conflict.

I rate this a 3 because there is reference to drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Reviewer Age:19
Reviewer City, State and Country: AZ City, Az USA

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Solid by Shelley Workinger

Clio thought that she was a typical high school girl. She had been living a semi-normal life with her book-writing mom. That was before she learned that she was a victim of an experimental drug. Clio and many others had been gathered together in a special school to help them and the army learn more about their abilities. But Clio and her new friends find out that not everything was as it seemed. The group start a quest for the truth and learn a shocking secret.

Solid was a good book but it's not the best I've read. It had a great plot and some good scenes but I found
it hard to relate to since the main character was a girl.  It's a good girls book but not so much for guys. I did,
however, find that there was plenty of action and suspense to keep me from putting it down. I think girls would enjoy this book more than I did.

Reviewer Age:13
City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas America

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shadowland by Alyson Noel

Ever and Damen have been through a lot.  They've fought two evil Immortals defeating one and almost defeating the other.  But, Ever made a fatal mistake, literally.  She accidentally helped Roman curse Damen, bummer right?  Now Ever and Damen must travel into the Shadowland and beyond to find a cure, all without touching.
So Ever screwed up again.  She tends to do that a lot in this series.  Now she and Damen are separated by a new curse, this time physical.  I don't see their relationship growing or changing in anyway.  They are running through molasses, barely moving forward and then being thrust back yet again.  The book is written well enough and is entertaining enough but as for deep or complicated changes you're going to have to look somewhere else.
Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Greenwood Village, Co USA

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Magickers Chronicles: Volume Two by, Emily Drake

Jason Adrian faces many things. First, it's the normal stuff like starting high school and soccer games. Then, it's the strange stuff like fighting the Dark Hand, protecting his friends, and dealing with bloodthirsty wolfjackles. As if his life wasn't hard enough, he has to find the last Gate to anchor a save haven for the Magickers. Find out what happens in The Dragon Guard and The Gate of Bones.

The last two books of the Magickers series were great. There was plenty of action in the classic battle between good and evil. Every event was so epic that I couldn't put it down. But it seems to drop off at one point, other than that this book was flawless. Everyone would love this book, especially Harry Potter fans.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas America

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Shifter by Janice Hardy

Nya is an orphaned girl with a strange and powerful talent. She tries to keep the talent secret, for if anyone finds out she could be in danger. Unfortunately, she must learn to use her talent when her sister, among dozens of other children, vanishes. She learns about a terrible plot, puts those she loves in danger, and must fix the other wrongs she's done.

As she faces impossible odds, she discovers her talent is even more powerful, and more dangerous, than she thought before.

This was a wonderful book that had an interesting plot and exciting storyline. While I read, I often wondered if everything would turn out right, and was alternately relieved and horrified at the turn of events, and always surprised by Nya's talents. Hopefully I can get Bluefire, the second book. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Santa Fe, Texas USA

Sleepless by Cyn Balog

Julia, a redheaded girl who was kidnapped at age seven but escaped, is pitied by the world for her tragic past. She is a misunderstood, lonely outcast among her peers but takes to a boy named Griffin, who becomes her first boyfriend.  Griffin helps her to move on with her life and not dwell in the past. Since he always plays tricks on her, Julia believes that the phone call she receives notifying her of boyfriend’s death in a fatal car accident is just another one of his pranks. Then reality hits and she realizes it was no joke at all. Griffin’s best friend, Bret, is in love with Julia and is hopeful that after Griffin’s death Julia with fall for him. But she doesn’t feel the same way about him. 

Julia, sad, lonely, and lost, can’t sleep well anymore and her dreams are now filled with grief. Eron DeMarchelle is her sandman, a supernatural being who helps humans sleep and who was sent to her when she was a child. He helps to provide her with better nights during her troubling time. Chimere, Eron’s mentor, has been stricken with him forever and would do anything to gain his love and admiration. But Eron’s affections already belong to another. Eron longs for Julia. His 100-year term as a sandman is almost up and his return to a human is quickly coming.  Will he break his contract and risk being stuck as a sandman forever by pursuing his love for her, or will he lose his chance of a lifetime and possibly the woman of his dreams in order to guarantee his return to humankind? As the fight for Julia’s heart, and also Eron’s, gets increasingly intense the stakes involved grow even higher.

I really enjoyed reading Sleepless. From the moment I saw the delightfully gorgeous cover and read the first page, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. The author did an amazing job at developing the characters and creating a gripping tale that will hold your attention until the very end and even long after. I was smitten with Eron and I now long for a sandman of my very own. The story is written in two perspectives, Eron’s and Julia’s, and the chapters alternate between the two. I thought this added to the book’s overall appeal and allowed me to have a better feel for what was going on. I highly recommend this cute, young adult fantasy and I’m excited to read more novels by this author. Sleepless is the second novel of Cyn Balog . Her debut novel was Fairy Tale and she has yet another, no doubt enticing, novel named Starstruck, which will be released the summer of 2011.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Upper Strasburg, PA USA

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Calla Tor is suppose to become the female alpha to a new pack after her and Ren mate, but Calla's life is not that easy. When Shay Doran comes to live in Vail, things go bad. When Calla offers Shay her healing blood, and saves his life, she becomes more attached to him than she is supposed to. With the matting day less than a month away, the werewolves will have to either ban together or break apart forever.

This book has very good visual components; you can really feel that you are there in the book. The author makes the characters come alive, and believe that what is happening to them can happen. Since this book was told in first person, it makes the book even more believable. The vocabulary was perfect for my reading level. The ending was good but it does leave you anticipating for the next book. I would recommend this book to people who liked books about werewolves, romance, and adventure.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Northglenn, Colorado United States of America

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, by Cora Harrison, is a captivating story of a young orphan girl growing up in the late 1700s. The main character, Jenny Cooper, struggles to find a suitable husband, despite her poverty and scandalous secret. Throughout the course of the book, she goes to many balls and parties, and also finds the family she never had in the wonderful Austen family. She and her cousin, Jane Austen, become fast friends and have many adventures together, and learn how to behave as proper young ladies in society. The main theme of the book is that true love really does exist, which classifies it as a romantic novel for young adults.
This book was written in the form of a diary, which gave an inside glimpse into the narrator's thoughts and emotions. While the main character was well-developed, the setting was a little weak. The book was more about how the main character felt than what was actually going on around her. It only focused on Jenny's side of the story, leaving out details about what happened to the other characters, like Jane Austen and her siblings. The vocabulary was at a lower level than was expected, which made the book seem more appropriate for younger readers. I appreciated the happy ending, but it left me wondering how the other characters ended up. However, it was a light-hearted and touching book that served its purpose to show what life was like for young women in that time period. I would recommend it to any girl who likes a feel-good romantic story.

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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Half Upon A Time by James Riley

I recently read the book Half Upon a Time by James Riley. This book is a parody on Jack and the Beanstalk. In Jack s village, you are thought highly of if you rescue a princess and then marry her. Jack, however, wants no part in rescuing a snobby princess and then marrying her. But one day, a girl falls out of the sky with the words Punk Princess written on her shirt. But something was wrong. This girl didn't look like a princess. And where was Punk?

The book Half Upon a Time was a very funny book. It was funny for me because the author took a classic fairy tale I have known since I was little and turned it into a humorous novel for our age group today. The descriptions of the settings in the story are very descriptive. I was always able to imagine myself in the place where the characters were. Even though most of the characters are from an era where knights and princesses and villages were dominant, they had traits that reminded me of how people act in today's society. After the end of the book, I was left hanging because the characters had just begun a new adventure right before the book ended. I think that this book could be the next Harry Potter. The vocabulary was definitely age appropriate. I found the book very interesting, and I would really like it if the author would continue the book and make it a series. As you can see, I enjoyed the book Half Upon a Time.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Braintree, Massachusetts United States

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan

Lena's life revolves around the ocean and she longs to surf with her friends, but her dad won't let her because of his near death experience with surfing. Lately though, something has been drawing Lena to Magic Crescent Cove and she doesn't know what it is until the day of her sixteenth birthday. It's a mermaid. While she continually searches for the mermaid, she'll learn about her family. When she looks into the mermaid's mirror, her life will change forever.

I absolutely loved The Mermaid's Mirror! The characters seemed real and after reading this story it made me feel like mermaids actually existed. L.K. Madigan did a good job describing the Lena's personality as well as the setting of the book and the feeling of surfing. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the ocean, mermaids, and romance.

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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Angels Unawares: Fall For Grace by Sofie Couch

Angels Unawares: Fall for Grace is a young adult novel by Sofie Couch that follows Grace Breeden. She has just moved to a new town, where most of her eccentric family lives. She's going to her cousin's school, her first normal school since the accident that killed her mother and left Grace scarred. Grace isn't normal, and not just because of the scar that mars her face, she can see blue guys, which is her name for the dead people that float invisibly around us. She routinely talks with her long-dead grandmother, and has become accustomed to hiding the fact that she can commune with the dead. Then why, at this new school, are there so many blue guys? And why can handsome blue guy Salter suddenly touch people? How come Grace has never seen her mother, when she is bugged by so many other ghosts? And who, or what, is determined to see Grace dead? In this story of angels, recovery, and love, Grace and Salter must figure out what is happening in the strange town on the Porpotank river-before another person ends up dead.

This book was interesting in some parts, but I felt that it was lacking in others. The setting, a small town on the Porpotank River, is beautifully described and came off as very real. However, the same cannot be said for some of the characters. Strangely, I felt that the more minor characters, such as Grace's cousins and their friends, had more depth and personality than the two main characters, Grace and Salter. I thought that both characters didn't have much background or personality, and that the love story between the two seemed forced. The thing that disappointed me the most was the ending. Almost all of the problems are left unsolved and it seems as if the book needs another fifty pages to wrap it up. This book, however, is the first in a series, and I would hope that the problems will be solved later on, but I am not at all motivated to spend another few days reading a sequel. I found the writing to be dull in some parts and the action scenes didn't seem quite right. I would not recommend this book to someone; I found it to be forgettable and boring, and even though some parts were very poetic and well-written, and the author conveyed her theme of recovery and love well, the rest of the book was lacking.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Milwaukee, Wisconsin United States

True Tails

According to the author, True Tails is a true book about a child who at two years old mysteriously discovers that he can communicate with animals through his mind. The story follows the author all through his childhood, his high school years and into his forties. Throughout the book there are different situations with animals where Jon helps them, plays with them, or just meets them. The animals that the author meets include anything from pigeons to peacocks and from snakes to whales. The author wrote the book to share his life experiences and to let people know that you are never alone.

This book is an autobiography. The author achieved his purpose of sharing some of his life experiences with others. However, kids like me might not be able to understand or relate to some of the things they read in the book. I didn't enjoy reading the book when I came across inappropriate concepts and bad language. I wouldn't recommend this book to my friends, but some adults might like it.

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

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No Sleep Till Wonderland by Paul Tremblay

No Sleep till Wonderland, written by Paul Tremblay, is a book that fits fairly neatly into the mystery genre. It's main protagonist, Mark Genevich, is significantly different from any other private detective you are likely to come across in any other mystery novel. Alternating between wanting to throttle him to laughing out loud because of his utterly zany and confusing lifestyle, the book is a fairly quick and entertaining read. Mark Genevich suffers from narcolepsy but this does not stop him taking on cases even though he is likely to fall asleep at the most inopportune times. At the start of the novel he is scraping the bottom of the barrel but finally, against his will, be begins to attend group therapy, which proves to be the start of a series of events that will literally change the course of his life. Through a friendship he develops in therapy, he becomes ensnared in a world that includes drugs, arson, identity theft and a host of sad and angry characters.

You will not be bored by this book, although potentially confused at times. If you live a fairly
"normal' life, you will find yourself wishing Mark Genevich, the protagonist, would just do things that made more sense, like being honest with the police. Written in the first person, his wit and "thumb your nose" attitude has a certain charm and draws you in. You find yourself rooting for this somewhat hapless though determined private eye and glad when things begin to go his way. If you are looking for an interesting and witty book, you will enjoy this novel but be warned there are mature themes and a fairly descriptive sexual encounter. This novel is the second in a series and is written in a way that does not require you to have read the first.

There are two instances of sexual encounters, one of which is very descriptive. This book did not in any way resonate with me as a "teen" book and felt more like an adult (20's) book.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: South Pasadena, CA USA

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not safe for vampires

In this novel, the main character, Thomas L. Watson, is a vampire and has been one since the Civil War.  However, unlike some other vampires, he does not drink human blood.  In the year 2037, Thomas is a scientific researcher working under Professor Goldsmith with fellow researcher Allee on a project to harness the hydrogen atom for energy.  As the research nears completion, Thomas begins feeling somewhat human and becomes increasingly ill.  He must discover what is causing his symptoms and then enlist Allee s and possibly even vampires aid.  Flashbacks to how Thomas became a vampire and interactions he has had with humans and other vampires in the past are inserted throughout the story as well.
This is not your typical fantasy novel.  The grammar, punctuation, and capitalization are nonstandard.  This is probably done to mirror the way people actually speak and has an interesting effect on the novel.  As for the plot, it was entertaining and intriguing.  The characters are varied, and there are several unexpected plot twists.  However, I found the novel a bit confusing.  It would have been nice for the story to have been longer as the plot seems too rushed.  This book, because of its unusual writing style and shorter length, may be especially good for teenagers who are reluctant readers.

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

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Enchantment Emporium by, Tanya Huff

To a Gale girl, family is everything. But when Alysha takes over her Gran's old store, can she stand the strain of family members who want to "help"? As if a barrage of phone calls every hour isn't enough, Alysha discovers moving to Calgary may have more than a few consequences. Why are there dragons flying over the store? Is there really a wizard living in the area? And, who is that handsome newspaper man? In the race to find out what's happening before it's too late, readers, along with Alysha, will discover the strength of family ties, the wickedness of a wizard, and the strong emotions that sweep us along the path of life.

One of my favorite things about this book is Gran's store. It's a little hole-in-the-wall shop with just about everything inside. And just like the store, this novel has a little bit of everything thrown into the plot. Readers who love mythical creatures will love the sections about Alysha's special visitors and Dragon Lords. Readers who love romance will find it sprinkled throughout the pages. For me, I was drawn in by how strong the family ties between characters were. Everything---every choice, action, and flavor of pie----was determined by how other family members would react to it. While this isn't my favorite book (I was a little turned off by how the Aunties seemed to "breed" their descendants), other readers interested in fantasy books will have their hands on an entertaining novel if they choose to give it a try.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, TX U.S.A.

Nonna's Book of Mysteries by Mary Osborne

Fourteen-year-old Emilia wants nothing more than to become a painter, but during the fourteenth century in Italy, that's near impossible. That is until Makarios, a foreign painter, recognizes her talent and asks her to become his apprentice. As Makarios's apprentice, Emilia gets more worldly exposure and maturity, and, through an old family treasure, she gleans wisdom.

At first, this book seemed really interesting; it's talking about Renaissance Italy! How could someone write a boring book in that time period? Apparently, Mary Osborne can. The author certainly did her research, and she tries to show this by cramming a copious amount of factual information into her novel. Did she really need to put Italian words in every other sentence? Not only that, the author has no writing style; as my English teacher would put it, she needs more showing and less telling. The book is a huge mix of cliched storylines, and the plot is not captivating. She uses so many foreign names for the characters that I had a hard time remembering who is who. The author's characterization is faulty; even her main character is flat. In her historical fiction novel, Mary Osborne's certainly got the historical part down, just not the fiction.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hinsdale, IL US

The Midnight Charter by David Whitley

The Midnight Charter is a realistic story about how everything was for sale, even people. The story begins with Mark being sold to a doctor by his father. Soon after being sold Mark meets Lily who teaches him to read and write. Upon learning of these abilities Count Stelli makes him his apprentice. From there things get both much better and worse for Mark. Meanwhile Lily still tries to uncover the answer to the question that has plagued her whole life: Who am I?

This was a decent book for people who enjoy reading. The state of Angora was fairly believable and the wording was good. It was fairly easy to picture the places and people. There were some scenes that it felt like I was there but others where there wasn't much to it. I would recommend this to people who love to read and have good imaginations.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Machesney Park, Illinois USA

Monday, October 04, 2010

I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson

This is a story about a girl Emma, whose last name is Freke. She hates her name and how she looks. She feels like a freak. She is freakishly tall has freckles and orange hair. She knows nothing about her father or his family. Then one day she receives and invitation to the Freke family reunion and that's when everything changed.

I give I, Emma Freke a 10/10! It is one of the best books I have read in along time. It had very good imagery, I could see the places and people when I closed my eyes. I felt like I was the main character, Emma. I felt the pain and loneliness she felt. It had just enough detail. I would recommend this book.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: braintree, ma usa

The Boneshaker by Kate Milford

Natalie Minks know that strange things happen at crossroads, but the crossroads at Arcane, Missouri seem awful boring, until Dr. Jake Limberleg and his medicine show come to Arcane and turn everything upside down. When her mother becomes ill, whispers engulf the town in uncertainty and Limberleg prescribes odd medicines, Natalie knows something is up. She uncovers "bone shaking" secrets and finds that the town's future rests in her hands.

This book is not one I particularly liked, it tended to jump from one subject to another. I found myself rereading a lot to figure out what was going on. The characters were not very well-described except for the main character Natalie. The book had a very slow start. I wouldn't recommend this book.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: boothwyn, PA USA

Dracula by Nicky Raven

Dracula by Nicky Raven is the abridged version of the classic, Dracula by Bram Stoker. It is a lot shorter, one tenth of the original. On each page are added illustrations, depicting certain scenes in the book. It is written through a narrative, following two main characters, as they live through their encounters with the vampire, Dracula, and his followers. It is very fast pace, compared to the original, and a definite thriller.

Honestly, the book wasn't very interesting. Opening the book, my attention was not grabbed, and I had a hard time completing it. Desptite that, the pictures were pretty, and did help add to the experience. Although not as captivating as the original, Raven organized the book in a better way. It was very easy to follow, and I thought everything transitioned well from journal entry's to a narrative. It was a fairly small book, and the character developement was done well. I would recommend this book to a lower age audience than suggested, because it seemed to be more of a story book, despite some of the content. I would also recommend this book to someone who has already read the original Dracula and had a hard time keeping up with it, or got bored. Overall, it wasn't a horrible book, but it also wasn't outstanding.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Springtown, Texas United states

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dark and Stormy Knights

With this novel, P.N. Elrod has compiled a collection of nine short stories written by many of today's hit "urban fantasy" authors. All of the stories have a paranormal-like quality to them. One hit story was A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews. Readers of her Kate Daniels series can see what Kate's life was like before she met the shapeshifter, Saiman. I especially liked the Russian mythology woven into this tale. Another story that stood out for me was Rachel Caine's Even a Rabbit Will Bite, which was about a young dragon trainer. Other stories involve ghost hunting, vampires, and knights in shining armor, so there is something for everyone included here.

I'm not much of a short story reader, but I wanted to give this collection a try. There was a good variety of authors and stories to keep me interested throughout reading, even if I didn't enjoy some stories as much as others. This was also a great introduction to the urban fantasy genre. After reading this, I found some new authors that I would like to read more from. While this genre isn't for everyone, it's worth giving this collection a try. This would also make a perfect fall read.

Has some sexual content

Reviewer Age:23
Reviewer City, State and Country: Philadelphia, PA USA

Jump by Ginger Rue

Brinkley Harper is Miss Popular at her high school. She is
a beautiful cheerleader with a football player as her
boyfriend. Brinkley always gets the lead in school plays -
whether she deserves it or not. When Brinkley is almost
expelled, she has to go to therapy as an alternative.
Brinkley thinks she is perfect and that is an issue with
her counselor. Brinkley has never known what the life of
an unpopular girl was like - that is, until she wakes up
in a poor, Goth girl s body! Will Brinkley learn her

This book speaks the truth! Brinkley is
described as a disdainful, upper-class cheerleader who
walks right over the underdog. It is only fitting that
Brinkley has to live the life of a girl she considers a
nobody . I found myself relating to this story. All
teenagers will be delighted with this book's wit and
humor. After all, everyone knows a Brinkley!

Content: 1

Rating: 10

Reviewer Age:13

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