Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World Of Food: Brains, Bugs, and Blood Sausage by Andrew Zimmern

Have you ever considered eating a beating frog heart or worm filled cheese? For most of us, the answer is no. For Andrew Zimmern, these are both tasty snacks.  Zimmern is a true foodie and aims to find good local food, where you least expect it. In this book, the Bizarre Foods host explores the world of food and travel, one bite of brain at a time.

This book seems like it would be page after page of disgusting depictions of nasty pots of moose jelly and head cheese, but its more like a behind-the-scenes journal. There are a lot of gross dishes, but its more a natural extension of the Travel Channel show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Overall, its pretty light reading, broken into chapters each describing a food adventure. Zimmern has a strong, adjective- heavy voice. He has a true passion for food and it carries through in his writing. I liked the little fun facts sprinkled throughout that give a bit of insight about a culture or type of nosh.  I think this book would be best read on vacation, where you need no emotional characters or twisting plot, just a good read that may inspire you to seek out an exciting meal.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Crescent City, CA USA

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dragon Castle by Joseph Bruchac

Why is Prince Rashko the only intelligent being in his family? No one knows. His parents mysteriously rode off in the middle of the night. His lovesick brother welcomed the Baron Temny and Princess Potenshenie - who may be their fiercest enemies - inside the protective walls of their castle, Hladka Hvorka.  However he may find help in the story of his ancestor Pavol the Good and his slaying of the seven Dragons. As he follows Pavol's story he finds there's much more to him and this castle than meets the eye. It is also possible that Rashko is the foolish one.

At first I had trouble with some of the words as the characters use some Slovak in their speech. Though as I eventually figured out, it translates the foreign words into English next to the Slovak words, and if you still don't understand, there is a glossary in the back. It was entertaining from the beginning through to the very end. All of the characters are deep and it makes them so real, even the bad guys! I believe we all have a mini Baron Temny and Princess Poteshenie inside of us and this is a perfect way of showing this. I recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy, especially on the subject of Dragons.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rockwell City, IA USA

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nashoga: Book 1 of the Redstone Series by Rebecca Weinstein

In this book, a wolf named Nashoga has been driven from his pack by a rival wolf and his minions.  He makes friends and travels far on his quest for justice.
In this book, the auther tells the story through the eyes of an alpha wolf named Nashoga.  I enjoyed the uncertainty, the way you couldn't tell what would happen next. My favorite detail was how she described everything. I could see it as clearly as if I was there. I was, however, depressed and disappointed by the ending, which made several paragraphs earlier in the book pointless.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: woodbine, maryland USA

OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy

A Jewish girl at a Christian debate camp; what could go wrong? Ellie Taylor never thought that her religion would pose a problem at camp, but when an opportunity arose for her to gain a full scholarship to Benedicts, the school of her dreams, she started to rethink everything. With the help of Devon, the scholarship benefactor's grandson and her sizzling new crush, she might be able to pull the wool over his grandma's eyes. But when her deceit is made known and her family starts falling apart, Ellie might lose everything and everyone she loves. OyMG is right!
OyMG is a hilarious and fantastic addition to my library of books. Amy Fellner Dominy has written a story that shows kind of what life is like for teens during their first crushes. It also helps people, especially the teens of today, understand what can happen when people are prejudiced and don't respect others religions. It's a wonderful lesson that is put into a magnificent storyline. I can't wait to have my friends read it!

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: fresno, California USA

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Accidental Ashes by Sara C. Roethle

'Accidental Ashes' is a top-notch fiction-fantasy novel written like a mug full to the brim with warm coffee - creamy with creativity and rich with reality. And everyone loves coffee.

In her previous book, Xoe Meyers, an extreme coffee lover of 17 years, is thrust into a realm she thought never existed; one completely built out of myths and legends. Her friends are vampires and werewolves, evil is lurking behind every corner, and nothing, absolutely nothing, is what it seems. Then again Xoe is thrown into a world of questions when she is cursed to bare the title 'half demon' upon her back.

The story continues in 'Accidental Ashes' when Xoe's powers begin to reveal themselves. She can burn things when she is angered - which seems to happen more frequently now - and her body seems to just mend itself when hurt. On top of it all, Xoe's father, who abandoned her as an infant, seeks out Xoe to warn her about more evil, coming closer and closer by the day. All collides in a fierce, illuminating birth of flames, as truth, dreams, and reality are spun together in an everlasting whirlwind, revealing the dark secrets from beyond.

If you're looking for a phenomenal fiction novel, Accidental Ashes will attract with its twists between haunting drama and uplifting levity. Sara C. Roethle begins and completes each chapter to perfection with the exactly the right proportion of apprehension, sense of evil entanglement and admirably, astonishing perception. I simply relished this absorbing fiction novel.

Content: 1
Rating: 9
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Akron, Ohio The United States of America

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dark Passage by M. J. Putney

     In the romantic sequel to Dark Mirror, the gang is finally back in their own time period, only to face drama back home.  Tory and Allarde get closer together, but they get torn apart ton to a levitating mishap which gives Torys magic away to Allarde parents. He is to be disowned if he stays with Tory, so she does the brave thing and leaves him, with a huge hole torn in both their hearts. Cynthia is left at school for the holidays and finds a companion in Jack. She dines with, dances with, and even shares a Christmas kiss with him. But Cynthia being the daughter of a duke is turned off by his poor status. Can she overcome to love him? The group then goes on another adventure through the mirror to help Nick in 1940. They need to rescue a scientist who was inventing a medicine that one of nicks family members needs desperately. Can they do it in time? Will the Irregulars ever solve their relationship dramas? Read Dark Passage to find out.
    This book was dreamily romantic, with a couple dashes or drama and a splash of adventure.  It was a fun read. I would probably recommend it to girls my age, not to many boys though. Even though this book was very sweet and romantic, that was pretty much the whole of the story. Not as much adventure as I thought there would be. I really loved the characters in the book, especially Jack with his fun and teasing nature. Overall this book was fun and sweet, and definitely worth the read.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Leawood, Kansas USA

The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson

The Friendship Doll tells the story of early America's relationship with Japan. They sent us 58 dolls as Ambassadors of Friendship, and this book follows the path of one doll, Miss Kanagawa. She traveled from New York to Oregon, visiting the Chicago's World Fair and many museums all during the time of the Great Depression. However, Miss Kanagawa's life of traveling from museum to museum was cut short when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. She was declared unpatriotic and was to be destroyed or hidden. In the story, she appeared one last time to cheer up the old lady who last knew her many years ago, but to this day her actual location is unknown.
In my opinion, The Friendship Doll, is a good book, but a bit confusing. As the book follows Miss Kanagawa's journey as an ambassador doll from Japan to the United States of America, the story line jumps around a bit. As Miss Kanagawa travels, she meets young girls, and the changing of the main character, from one young girl to the next is what makes this book confusing to me. This book takes place in the past, so while children might not realize it, they are actually learning American history. All in all, I think this is a wonderful book, and any young girl who enjoys more of a fantasy type book will definitely enjoy The Friendship Doll.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Nappannee, Indiana United States of America

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Million Miles from Boston by Karen Day

Lucys mom died when she was six, so she lives with her dad and brother in Boston, where the worlds most annoying boy, Ian Richards, just happens to live. She cant wait to get away for the summer at Peirson Point. She and her family have been going to the point ever since she was little, and it hasnt really changed. But, as soon as they arrive, news is brought to them that a new family is spending the summer, and it just happens to be Ians family. How could Lucys summer get any worse? How about her dads new girlfriend constantly coming up to see him? Her summer is a complete disaster, until she finds an unlikely friendship with Ian. And is her dads girlfriend really so bad?
I liked how the author made you feel like you were right there in the book. You could get a good picture in your head of what everything looked like. I felt like I could understand the characters easily.  I found the book very interesting. I thought there was too much information sometimes, but it was still good.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, Iowa US

The Resisters by Eric Nylund

 Ethan was torn from his home, the only place he had ever known. Fed an unbelievable story by Madison and Felix and then realized that he was fed a lie his entire life. So he joins the resisters--a group fighting the Chzar with mechanical insects. His ride is a hornet. The only problem is they almost have his sister.  He goes on a mission to save her and others.  
I think the author did a really good job writing The Resisters. The detail of his world makes you feel like youre there as Ethan, fighting for your life and the life of the planet. It stands out from other books that I have read.  One of the ways it stands out is the aliens unique bug-robots including spiders and ants.  When describing the ant, the author wrote But the thing that made Ethan involuntarily scoot back in fear was the stinger that extended from its rear.  It was six feet long&smoldering with heat.  And pointed at Ethan.   You could easily make a video game out of the idea. Many kids and teens would like this book. The only thing I didnt like about this book is how short it is and how there isnt a second book out yet. If you read it and like it then you should like The Roar by Emma Clayton. I recommend this book to people 10 and up.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Uxbridge, Ma USA

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

I thought that Dark Eden, by Patrick Carmen, was a most enjoyable read. The plot line features a group of seven children who are struck with completely debilitating fears. These seven children are all the same age, and are all seeing the same therapist, Dr. Stevens. Dr. Stevens recommends a place called Fort Eden to help them with their terror. The story follows one of the children, Will, a fifteen year old teenager who already knows everything about the other people- and Fort Eden. The reason behind this is that he has hacked Dr. Stevenss computer and borrowed the files on it. He knows that something is amiss about the place, so he hides and refuses to enter. His hiding place is a place just outside the fort called The Bunker. In his race to find out what is wrong with Fort Eden, Will tries to save the girl he has been secretly watching for a long time, ever since the sessions with Dr. Stevens before Fort Eden. But will Will be able to save her, and deny her the cure, or will he even be able to save anyone? It will be impossible to stop reading once you get going.
I enjoyed reading Dark Eden, but it had large draw backs as well that made it hard to read in some places. Even though it had problems it was a very easy story to get swept away in.  It had a good story line, fantastic characters that are really very easy to relate to, and a most puzzling dilemma. One of the draw backs I thought held the book up was that it seemed to be pushing hard for a creepy, slightly scary theme, but never really achieved it. Whenever it got a little bit scary, it always killed the suspense by adding good or happy elements to the book. The angle in which the story is written is through the observers eyes. I enjoyed this because I have never read a book like that, it was rather interesting. The other major drawback in the book was the explanation. The story seemed to branch out into a completely different story when it finally explained everything. The explanation never even seemed like it was trying to flow with the rest of the story. It almost seemed like the author took the easy way out. It was such a good book, and the story was so well written, however, that it I could not stop reading this book once I picked it up. This book may have flaws, but if you focus on them, you can never enjoy this book as what it is, a good read.  

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Monrovia, MD USA

Monday, August 22, 2011

Heir To Power: Book 1 by Michele Poague

Kairma is a member of the Healing family, and its her duty to become the next Miral, or leader, of Survin, her secluded home nestled in the shadow of a huge mountain. The once- pretty little girl was perfectly accepted in her community, that is, until she was bitten by a White One. The White Ones are horrid creatures whose bite causes fever. They haunt the people of Survin, striking fear into the hearts of those who see them. Kairma was the first to survive their bite. Years later, at age sixteen, the fever has left her with pale skin and white hair, so similar to that of the White Ones, so different from the dark skin and hair of her people. Now, Kairma faces discrimination from many members of the village. As if coping with this isnt enough, a stranger has come to the village, and an ancient law orders that he must die. When Kairma and her grandmother Isontra, the current leader of Survin, choose to allow him to live for the present, discriminators only have more reason to hate the Healing family. The stranger then starts trying to convince members of Survin to go to the city, his home. The Survinees are forbidden from leaving their valley, though. Will they leave for the city and risk exposing the location of the Healing Crystal, the very center of their village  and purpose for their seclusion? Will the Survinees allow the stranger to live? Will men from the city attack their village to harvest its gold and make the Survinees lose their home forever?
I really enjoyed this book! I do think its lengthier than it needs to be, but the overall story is original and creative. For me, this book was well worth the length. I like the fact that this book doesnt use a corny or common formula. It has a completely unique plot, with all the action and adventure you could hope for, as well as a touch of social drama and romance. If youre looking for a book thats simply a good read, this is the one for you.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Crescent City, CA USA

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 parents' 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 cannot wait to get the second book to read in this series!

There is mild violence.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, Pennsylvania United States of America

All You Desire by Kirsten Miller

In All You Desire (the second book of the The Eternal Ones series) Haven is paranoid she can tell that the black man is watching her again, but no one not even her boyfriend, Iain, will believe her. But when her best friend Beau goes to find a boyfriend that he may have known in a previous life and disappears Haven and Iain must leave their beloved Rome and travel to New York the home of the Ouroboros Society and its leader the black man whose name is Adam. The Ouroboros Society is a secret society for people who have been reincarnated. The people of the Ouroboros society each have a talent that they improve on each life and many of them are the famous actors, politicians, or business people of today. This book is an exciting and dark adventure of Haven desperately searching for her friend Beau and the love triangle that Haven is in the middle of.
Opinion of the book:
All You Desire is a magical and enchanting book. Although is can sometimes get a little to dark for my taste because of a main part of the plot being reincarnation, I like it because a big part of the reincarnation is the love and soul mates that are formed over their lives.

        Adam is a confusing character in a good way, he loves Haven so much an Haven thinks she could be in love with him but he has done so many evil things in the past and Haven feels that every good thing he does is only for her sake. Iain is so important to the story and my second favorite character. Iain is one of the only reincarnated person that can remember every detail of each of his lives, he is born every life with his purpose to find Haven and they love each other dearly but Adam is starting to pull them apart. Beau and Leah are my favorite characters because although they are both only in the ending of the book they both are so unique and so well developed. Leah is a fortune teller friend of Havens who comes to help her later in the book and Beau is the one who is kidnapped at the very beginning of the book.

        Reading this book is sometimes a little confusing and the book is definitely for mature readers only but I have not read the first book so that may be only my opinion. This book is very hard to classify because I dont think it is fantasy or science fiction but I would compare it to Twilight or other vampire book because of its darkness and its focus on love. One of the only things I really did not like about this book was the ending it was such a cliffhanger it has been driving me crazy all week!

I would definitely recommend this to teens and adults for a fun read.

Homosexuality and reincarnation.
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Holland, Michigan USA

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth OppelVictor Frankenstein, his brother Konrad, their distant cousin Elizabeth are in the library one day when they discover a secret passage. Surprised that they hadn't found it before, they go down the passage to find a secret library, filled with books about ancient medicine and alchemy. When Konrad falls deathly ill, Victor returns to the "Dark Library" and finds the instructions to prepare the Elixir of Life - supposedly the only one that really works. With the help of Elizabeth, their friend Henry, and an old alchemist, Polidori, they set about collecting the ingredients for the Elixir. Surviving the dangers of creating the Elixir, they then fight for the Elixir with Polidori, who wants it as his own. Narrowly escaping Polidori (and his lynx Krane) they return home to give Konrad the Elixir, and his health returns. But soon after, they discover the Elixir does not work - when Konrad dies. Crazed, Victor vows that he will someday raise his brother from the grave...

This book was exciting at every turn, as well as dark and mysterious throughout. It is a very interesting prequel to the classic story Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. I think that it is a very accurate portrayal of Frankenstein's childhood, the author captured his character quite well. The book is also quite realistic, almost as though it actually happened. There was only one thing I didn't like, though I can't explain it well, it was sort of like the levels of a video game, if you understand what I mean. There's an objective, they have to go through the challenges, complete the task, and then they go through another "level". It's not too bad though, and i really liked the book despite that.

Quite gory toward the end, examples: fingers being chopped of with a chisel and hammer, then being flayed and cut up. And cutting open a lynx's stomach with guts spilling out. I thought it was cool, but it might be a little over-the-top for others.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Santa Fe, TX USA

Victor Frankenstein, his brother Konrad, and their distant cousin Elizabeth are in the library one day when they discover a secret passage. Surprised that they hadn't found it before, they go down the passage to find a secret library, filled with books about ancient medicine and alchemy. When Konrad falls deathly ill, Victor returns to the "Dark Library" and finds the instructions to prepare the Elixir of Life - supposedly the only one that really works. With the help of Elizabeth, their friend Henry, and an old alchemist, Polidori, they set about collecting the ingredients for the Elixir. Surviving the dangers of creating the Elixir, they then fight for the Elixir with Polidori, who wants it as his own. Narrowly escaping Polidori (and his lynx Krane) they return home to give Konrad the Elixir, and his health returns. But soon after, they discover the Elixir does not work - when Konrad dies. Crazed, Victor vows that he will someday raise his brother from the grave...

This book was exciting at every turn, as well as dark and mysterious throughout. It is a very interesting prequel to the classic story Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.  I think that it is a very accurate portrayal of Frankenstein's childhood, the author captured his character quite well. The book is also quite realistic, almost as though it actually happened. There was only one thing I didn't like, though I can't explain it well, it was sort of like the levels of a video game, if you understand what I mean. There's an objective, they have to go through the challenges, complete the task, and then they go through another "level". It's not too bad though, and I really liked the book despite that.

Quite gory toward the end, examples: fingers being chopped of with a chisel and hammer, then being flayed and cut up. And cutting open a lynx's stomach with guts spilling out. I thought it was cool, but it might be a little over-the-top for others.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Santa Fe, TX USA

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

I feel really tired.

But it's a good kind of tired. Like after you run a marathon. Or after you finally finish taking all your finals. You're exhausted but content and your heart is just a teensy bit heavy.

Saving June details Harper's life after her older sister June commits suicide. Unable to bear it all anymore -- the hurt, her mother's tears, the unfamiliar pats on the back by random strangers -- Harper escapes to California with her best friend Laney, her sister's apparent acquaintance Jake, and June's urn. California was June's dream, and fulfilling it for her seems like the only way Harper can come to terms with what happened. But a place is just a place. Mostly. And the journey there is only a road trip. Sort of.

Man, I cannot stop myself from pausing every once in a while, picking up Saving June again, and re-reading some of the standout passages. I'll probably be willing to shout the title of this book from the rooftops, and it's coming out in paperback. Seriously? Saving June deserves a hardcover edition and a few weeks in a comfy spot on the NYT Best Sellers List.

Why all the enthusiasm? Our protagonist Harper has backbone and doesn't take crap from anyone. Puke on her, and she'll puke on you. Jake is a sweetheart with a music obsession and a spiny exterior. Laney is fun and flirty and fiery, and I'm running out of adjectives that start with f to describe her. This is what all fictional characters should strive to become. They should have a life and a heart and a soul and a personality. Physical attraction isn't a bad trait, either.

Really, this book was about healing and maturity and dealing with death. I feel like reading it has made me a different person (that's what all great novels should do, in my opinion). But it also made me chuckle and sigh. And this weight on my chest just won't disappear.I recommend Saving June to anyone looking for truly beautiful YA contemporary fiction.

Sexual content.

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

Gaia Warriors by Nicola Davies

Everyone has heard of the threat of global warming. Scientists believe that this devastation is inevitable, and humans must prepare for its effects now. Although it is bound to happen, we know of several ways to slow down the process. These methods include reducing CO2 and methane emissions, especially in areas of the world such as the United States that produce the most of these gases. Many methods will have to be used by large companies and factories, but there are also ways that normal people can reduce their own carbon footprint like walking or biking instead of driving a car, reusing clothes, and being careful about electricity use. Everyone must work together to help protect our world and become Gaia Warriors.
I love to learn about science, and I wanted to explore the study of global warming because of its prominence in political and intellectual talk. This book helped me to not only learn the terrible effects of the problem, but it also showed me many ways that I can do my part in slowing down the process of global warming. The book was written in a very friendly manner, and people of any age could enjoy this book. It is a book compiled into many segments of stories and opinions of different scientists and everyday people. This makes it interesting to read because there is a wide range of interests explored, such as athletics, fashion, travel, and (of course) the environment. I wish that everyone would read this book so we can work together to ensure that we are prepared for a raised global temperature.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, Pennsylvania United States of America

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw

In a once beautiful, but now dark and cruel world Kate Winters is about to discover just how dark it can be.

When Kate discovers that she can bring a blackbird back to life her whole belief of existence is shattered. She must now except that she is a Skilled and learn the secrets of the ancient book Wintercraft to stop the cunning and ruthless Council members from destroying Albion and the few loving people she has left. As her home is destroyed and her best friend isnt who he says he is, Kates old life will never be the same again. With secret passages, hidden libraries, and murdering immortals Kate will embark on a journey that will change her life&&but for the better or the worse?

Jenna Burtenshaw has created something entirely new that is a mixture of genres, but cannot be placed in any specific one which makes it quite wonderful. The setting was dark, intense, and well fleshed out. It really fit will with the theme of darkness and death.

The writing is also well done and very fluid and impassioned. The only problem I had with was the charactors. Kate is nice and sweet, but slightly bland. Her best friend Edgar at first seems sweet and soft, but turns mysterious and possibly untrustworthy. The rest of the charactors, which there are few of, are also good but still have that bland quality. The plot was my favorite part of the book because the best plots are unpredictable, and this one was very much so. The ending was somewhat commendable and completed the book with contentment.

  I would recommend this book to older teens, because of the violence and bleak atmosphere. It is a great read and I never got the feeling of wanting to put down, so in my opinion it was a fun way to fill my day.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Colorado Springs, Colorado United States of America

Amos Daragon by Bryan Perro

Amos Daragon: The Mask Wearer is a book about Amos Daragon, a teenage boy, that one day, when hunting crabs, meets a mermaid who sends him on a quest to meet someone named Gwenfadrille.  On his quest, things are beginning to turn to stone at random.  He later figures out that this was caused by gorgons, and he meets Beorf, a humanimal that can turn to a bear.  While Amos continues on his quest, Beorf fights the gorgons and eventually gets turned to stone.  Amos later accepts the mask wearer title and with it, an army under his command.  In the end of the book, there is a war with the naga, snake humanimals.  How does the war end? Does Amos save Beorf? Read and find out!

I think the author's purpose was to provide an entertaining book to read.  I think the book would be good for ages 9-13, but my parents thought they might like it too.  The book is well written and keeps your attention with the storyline feature of going back and forth in time. For example, there is a point where someone travels back in time, becomes young again, and then raises an army for Amos.  The author did a good job putting in mythology at certain parts in the book and it wouldn't be as good without it. I would recommend this book to most of my friends and anyone who likes mythology.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Dickinson, Texas United States

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Open Wounds by Joseph Lunievicz

Growing up in Queens in the 1930s with a drunken abusive father and a strict grandmother, Cid Wymann hasn't had a lot of exposure to the outside world.  This changes when he, one day, sneaks out to follow his grandma to church services.  When he arrives at a movie theatre, he threatens to tell unless she lets him see the show with her.  There, he watches Captain Blood, a dashing swordsman, and his dream of becoming a fencing master is born. Cid eventually becomes friends with two boys as they unite to battle the bullies in their neighborhood.  As Cid grows up and his father goes missing, he is placed in the custody of his cousin, a disfigured war veteran called Lefty.  Cid begins to learn fencing from Nikolai Varvarinski, a Russian sword master, and faces new challenges, develops new relationships, and starts to discover who he truly is.

This book was a sad, but exciting, coming-of-age book that kept my interest until the very end, as well as after I had finished it. It dealt with many different issues such as World War II, culture differences, poverty, and drug reliance in a manner that helped you feel as if you were living in the 1940s with Cid. The setting and mood was mostly dark, but it fit the plot well.  Times were tough, Cid fended for himself, but the overall feel of the book had an edge of hope that made the reader cheer him on as he faced his enemies: some human, some within himself. Cid and all of the characters were all very believable. Cid was violent, he got into fights like teenage boys do, and he acted like you expected him to after getting to know his personality traits. The story is told from Cid's perspective, which fits the style of the book. It is intense, powerful, and very interesting. The author ended the story almost abruptly, but it fit with the plot. I loved the whole book: Cid's confusion and heartbreak, all of his struggles that built his entire character. I felt like I could have been his best friend. I would recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy an intense page-turner.

some language, addictive drug use (opium, morphine)
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, OR USA

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sirensong by Jenna Black

Dana is a Faeriewalker, a mortal who can travel between the world of humans and Avalon. When she is invited to an enemy queens court, it is impossible to say no, as she is going as a guest or as a prisoner. Needless to say, the guest option is much preferred. At the first meal in the queens court, a bomb explodes, nearly killing the Faerie princess. Naturally, Dana is framed, and she must run to save her life and those of her friends. Will the rules of court master her, or will Dana somehow find a way to rescue everyone?
Full of courtly intrigue with romance and fantasy mixed in, Sirensong really is for fantasy readers. Its rare to read a book in the fantasy genre with so much romance! It was a nice change, and the author utilized humor well. The chick- flick ness of this book does make it a girlie read though. The relationships between the characters is fascinating, from the alcoholic mom to the complicated boyfriend, these characters are not clich← and the setting in which they interact is utterly unique. Nonetheless, there was minor sexual content and use of language that was unnecessary, the book would have been even better without it! Overall, I would recommend this book to fantasy and romance readers alike.

A major portion of the book was devoted to the drama of Dana, the main character, being required to lose her virginity to the Erkling to save her boyfriend. Though she never actually loses it, it is a major portion of the plot. Also, there is quite a bit of language used.
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Colleyville, TX U.S.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rescuing Rover by Raymond Bial

This book is about dogs that need help across the US. They need help because they are abused, not cared for, or are homeless. In this book, there was a couple who found a dog in a brand new pet carrier while they were taking their trash to the dumpster.  The dog had her mouth taped shut. The couple took pity on the poor dog and took her home. According to the book, the dog is now happy and healthy. Although animal shelters can help with these problems, we need everyone to pitch in and help them. The shelters cannot do it alone. The book, also, details a day in a life of an animal shelter worker.  Although the job can be sad and heartbreaking it can also be joyful and pleasant.  The author gives good information about bad breeders and puppy mills.  He informs us about how we can help them. This book starts out sad by telling the tragic story of a dog but ends happy by telling you how you can adopt and help them.
Overall, I thought it was a good book because it informed me about this terrible situation. It also influenced me and made me want to help them. I would recommend this book for children in grades 3rd and up that are not too sensitive.  This is because it had some really sad parts. Though it is sad it is a real problem that needs a real solution.

Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Purcellville, VA USA

Thief-Book 2 in the Brides of Alba by Linda Windsor

Thief is an incredibly well-written piece of historical
fiction.  The story begins with a banished mercenary named
Caden and a minstrel and thief named Sorcha.  Through an
unlikely twist of fate the two meet and Caden offers a way
out of a proposal Sorcha has been forced to accept.  They
escape together, but Sorcha soon learns that there is way
more to Cadens past than she could have ever imagined, and
that he might know more about her that she would like.  As
their pasts catch up with them, they must decide if they
will ever be able to trust, or love, each other.
I have
read several of books by Linda Winsor and I have loved every
one, and this is no exception!!  Thief is a great work of
historical fiction that really makes you feel like you are
witnessing the events as they unfold in sixth century
Scotland.  The characters are complex and interesting
without being unreal, and the plot moves along quickly to a
surprising conclusion.  I highly recommend this book to any
teen reader!

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and
Country: Virginia Beach, VA USA

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back-to-School Apps Offer Big Bang for Buck

Awake at Dawn by C. C. Hunter

Kylie is just starting to feel normal at Shadow Falls camp, where she lives with witches, fae, vampires and, of course, werewolves. Suddenly a ghost comes and tells Kylie that someone she loves is about to die and she is the only one who can stop it. But the ghost won't give any clues to who is about to die. On top of all that Kylie starts gaining odd powers like enjoying blood and superhuman speed and strength. Just as Kylie is about to be with Derek for real, he starts pulling away, and Lucas shows up in her dreams. A weekend away with her mom should help Kylie feel better but she might not even make it back to Shadow Falls alive.

Awake at Dawn was pretty good. I thought it could use more descriptions of the settings but this helped me imagine it how I thought it should be. The characters were descriptive in their thoughts and feelings. I recommend this book to people who like the House of Night series, Hush, hush, Nightshade, Fallen and Hex Hall.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Northglenn, Colorado United States

Friday, August 12, 2011

Departures by Robin Jones Gunn

Departures, by Robin Jones Gunn, consists of two novellas. The first one called, "Now Boarding at Gate 10," is about a girl named Christy Miller. Christy is on her way to Wisconsin for her grandparents' 50th anniversary. There, her childhood crush finally starts noticing her. She likes this guy, but is still thinking of her previous boyfriend, Todd. Christy Miller learns many things in "Now Boarding at Gate 10," and so will you.

Now flipping to the second novella. "In the Event of a Water Landing," involves 15 year old Sierra Jensen and her friend Jana, along with Jana's brother Gregg and his friend Tim. They are on their way to Jana and Gregg's summer cabin for the weekend. Sierra and Jana have always been competitive, but haven't been very interested in guys...until now. Though Sierra and Jana don't announce that they are competing for the same guy, it is apparent throughout the book. The girls decide that although they may like guys, they aren't sure they are "ready to blossom," as Sierra would put it. Sierra decides that one day she'll stop being a tomboy and act like a woman, but not today.

Departures is a well written book, but is kind of a letdown compared to some of Gunn's other books. This book uncovers lies about dating, and I would recommend it to others. This book is short, sweet and clean, therefore I would recommend it for ages 12 and up. Although this book was pretty good, it went a little slow, and I found myself daydreaming at some points. All in all, I think that this book is definitely worth reading, and I would encourage you to give it a try.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rapid City, SD USA

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Viola in the Spotlight by Adriana Trigiani

Viola, a real New Yorker at heart is back and totally ready to hang out! Andrew and Caitlin, her best friends, are growing distant as changes enter their life. She then realizes that she has to make up her mind, is her heart really set on Brooklyn? Does she really have her heart set on Brooklyn? What makes it so different from anywhere else?

Personally, I thought this book was a little bland but a relaxing read. I think that this book compares to Chicks With Sticks (it's a Purl Thing) by Elizabeth Lenhard. I don't think that I would recommend this book because it is not interesting enough for me. I think that the author should improve the quality of the story by adding a bit of adventure. I found it totally predictable.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake Bluff, IL USA

If I Could Fly

This book is about a fifteen year-old girl named Doris.  Her parents are musicians who perform late at night at parties and club, so she is used to being home alone.  However, when her mother leaves her and her father, her father finds a new girlfriend.  An incident occurs when a violent classmate attacks her best friend.  Doris is even more alone, so she seeks company with the pigeons on the roof of the apartment building she lives in. Doris finds what her full potential is and who she really is.

I personally thought the book was very slow paced and confusing at times.   It had an interesting plot,but it was somewhat slow moving.The book would have been much better if it moved at a faster pace.Ms. Cofer had a lot of Spanish phrases and words in the book.It would have been helpful if she had put some sort of glossary or had defined them in the story because I could not understand those words.Overall though, it had interesting characters and an interesting plot.
Reviewer Age:13: Uxbridge, MA USA

Monday, August 08, 2011

Concrete Savior by Yvonne Navarro

Concrete Savior is the second novel in the Dark Redemption series. The book continues the story of Brynna Malak, a fallen angel who is trying to gain a second chance at Heaven through good deeds done on Earth. Amidst her budding relationship with Eran Redmond, a Detective in the Chicago Police Force, and the ever-present fear of attack from Lucifer's Hunters, Brynna begins to uncover the truth lurking behind a series of daring rescues. Although the anonymous hero is preventing the deaths of citizens, there are still disastrous consequences of each saved life. Brynna suspects the dark trickery of demons is involved as she digs deeper and deeper into the mystery in this fast-paced and intense read.
I found this novel to be fascinating, full of action, romance, and well-developed characters. Each individual is very realistic, containing unique flaws and talents with a very clear mindset and personality and I particularly enjoyed how you find yourself reading from the point of view of the majority of the characters, including both the heroes and the villains. This way I felt I had a better grasp on the reasons behind everyone's actions and the many different parts of the overarching plot. I also appreciated the distinctive complexities of the plot, as fantastical creatures and superhuman elements are interwoven in the typical drudgery of city life and human existence. The writing itself was not particularly powerful or complex, but it was effective in recounting the thoughts and conversations of the different characters and fairly adept at describing the scenery. Overall, I found the book to be extremely suspenseful and definitely a page-turner, with an intricate plot and deep exploration of the characters.
There was some intense violence and mature language.
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Needham, MA USA

Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay

Dead on the Delta is about a girl named Annabelle Lee. She is one of the few people immune to fairy bites in the entire city of Donaldsonville.  When a murder comes up, it's up to Annabelle to save the day. She becomes entangled in an ongoing investigation about a drug (aka breeze house) ring and when a lover from her past comes up, things get downright complicated. What Annabelle finds out in her own investigation puts everyone under suspicion, and the identity of the murderer is so surprising, you'll have to read the book to find out.
The author who wrote Dead on the Delta is a genius. With an exciting plot and surprises around every corner, this is a great murder mystery. The characters are so vivid, you get sucked into a world where fairies are real and romance runs rampant. I could hardly put the book down! The only flaw I found in the book was the excessive swearing, which distracted me from the story line. Overall, Dead on the Delta was a great book, and I would gladly recommend it to those who like mysteries, adventure, and romance.
I gave this book a content rating of 2 because there was a lot of swearing, alcohol, a drug ring, and mentions of sexual activities.
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rockford, Michigan U.S.A.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Education World: Facebook Joins Team to Banish Bullying

Education World: Facebook Joins Team to Banish Bullying

Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

RE: Color Struck

You're welcome:) Thanks for the nice email, and good luck with your writing!

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RE: A Caper in Fabel

I noticed that the trolls (who were second-class citizens much like the Native Americans & African Americans) were from a land called "Low Sneeran." In the story, the "wall" Humpty Dumpty sat on was actually a dam. When the "wall" fell, Low Sneeran flooded. I later realized Low Sneeran is an anagram for New Orleans. I think he was referencing Katrina.

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Adventures of Hood and Fudd by J. Bradford Lawler

The year is 1888 and Jedediah Hood, a Half-Breed (half Cherokee, half Irish) was driven out of his home with his mother and sister when his father was murdered by a group of outlaws and their leader Emmett Stone. They then fled to the Cherokee tribe. Now, coming back to his homeland to claim his father’s land, he finds an unlikely friend in Ruben Fudd. His hometown of Iron Gate has had many attacks from a man-eating mountain lion. Also, a mysterious stranger has been confronting Emmett Stone and his group of outlaws. Hood will stop at nothing until justice and safety are restored in Iron Gate.
This is a good book worth reading. It is on the shorter side but the number of pages is just right for the amount of story in the book. The author puts you on your toes just waiting for the next page and the ending is phenomenal.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Philadelphia, PA United States

Hastur Lord by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The book Hastur Lord is about Regis Hastur and his brother Rinaldo. Read as they embark on a mission to stop from being a part of a growing empire, and bring their land back to the way it was before the years of chaos. Will they be able to withstand all the empire throws at them? Can they trust the people they are around? Can they trust each other? Most important, can they save their planet from being just another toy in the empire's hands?

The book is very serious and sad. But the story was told great, and the characters were painted perfectly. The only thing I could have wished more out of the book is that it had more fun times in it. But I think it would be a better book for a higher age lever.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Olympia, Washington United States

Friday, August 05, 2011

Soppy vampire books

Soppy vampire books really... Grrrr... they really destroy all admiration I held for all those novels beforehand which portrayed the deathly horror of good old fashoined vamps. Yes, I am one of those who recoils in desgust at the books plastered in stupid people posing about thinking 'look at me I'm so cool - I'm in love with this vampire dude, and, and, he's just soo deep'... grrrr (again). Look guys, I've got nothing against those who like this genre (if it can be classed as one), but who here has the decency to agree with me? P.S. as my little brother stands over me whatching every word I type, I feel obliguied to add that he said "Soppy vampire books really pop my spine" - which in all fairness doesn't make much sense but he gets the jist. (ah, lil bro, you so crazy!) I apolagised if I sounded cruel and unsavoury, I really am... but can you convinse me that there's even one good vampire book out these days?

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RE: Fast Readers

Unfortuneatly, I have to slightly dissapoint you. I am one to savour each and every word written, I am a one to hate in the slow reading department, however I usually get to finish a book within a week. But the novel to face ratio is emmensly high and somewhat constant. You can see me doing not much else. If I were one of those to pick up a book and skimm through its pages I would find myself not becoming one with the story, becoming part of it... and plus deslexia runs through my blood - however I do not believe I posess it, no matter how confusing things are to me, all I think is - I shall become senile oh too quick!

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RE: need more reads!

I have to appologise by the fact that recomending books is not really my forte. However, I have read many which are good, but they may come across to seem weird and obscure. Or others a bit heavy (know what I mean?). And sometimes I can find myself at a loose end - reading material is short in my household, and I am afraid to say that biding by the facts of me living here - in the united Kingdom, I cannot reveiw like yourself. But, I do find solice in reading the novels which distant relitives and friends recommend for me. No matter the contents.

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RE: The Hunger Games

i loved hunger games... people were saying they didnt like mockingjay because of how catniss and all the other characters turned out but i think it shows how u are changed by every little thing... imageine if the one u loved turned against u, if your family would die if u made 1 mistake, so what i mean (not giving away any spoilers) is even though we saw 2 different catnisses i think it was VERY important for the plot.

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A Caper in Fabel

Great mystery novel for kids AND adults. Most people do not recognize the metaphors & social commentary in this book. It is a cross between Animal Farm, Sherlock Holmes & Shrek. I give it a 10!!!

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RE: Fast Readers

ive got the same problem, people always think i only skin the page, and in class when peole read aloud argh so painful

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Wonderland by Joanna Nadin

Grabbing the envelope containing the precious application for drama school, Jude knows that once again her self-doubt will get in the way of her mailing it.  So when she brings the letter back home and places it back in her drawer, her mind begins to wander back to earlier days; back to the outgoing childhood friend, named Stella, that she used to have. Stella had come during those sorrow-filled days after her mother had passed away when she was only eight, and had encouraged Jude and was there for her when her mother no longer could be. She realizes that if Stella were still here then she would mail the letter for her, because Stella was always the brave one, the one who was never afraid of anything.  Not long after that, to Jude’s surprise and overjoyed happiness, Stella arrives, the picture of perfection and ready and willing to turn Jude into that glowing, standout actress that she longs to be.  Jude has always dreamed of moving to London and getting away from her boring, lonely, unremarkable Churchtown life where she lives unhappily with her pathetic dad and younger brother above the local post office owned by her father.  She sees drama school and Stella as that glimmer of hope for her life; but when Stella begins to take things too far, will Jude embrace her new identity or take back what is rightfully hers: herself?
I enjoyed Wonderland, by Joanna Nadin, and I think that she did a very good job at writing and planning the plotline for this story.  She wrote in short fragments a lot of the time, which kind of represented how people sometimes think, and I thought that was pretty unique and made the pages fly by quicker.  I enjoyed the characters; Ed seemed like he would be the perfect boyfriend, Jude was extremely easy to relate to, and Stella’s outgoing personality made for an interesting read. The conclusion definitely was surprising. I was not expecting what had happened at all; I would have never guessed that it would, but in a way, it definitely did make sense, and I enjoyed how the story came together in the end.  Wonderland is a great, quick summer read and I am looking forward to seeing what else Joanna Nadin writes in the future.
There was a lot of alcohol substance, sex and sexual suggestions and such, foul language, smoking, illegal drugs, and unruly behavior, rebellion, and disobedience.
Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Upper Strasburg, PA USA

I So Don't Do Famous by Barrie Summy

Since seventh-grade Sherry (short for Sherlock) Holmes Baldwin has an eighth-grade boyfriend, she is sort of a celebrity at her middle school. On top of that, she is a very well-known detective in the spirit world for solving mysteries with her spirit mother. In "I So Don't Do Famous," Sherry gets to work on her biggest case yet-in Hollywood, California! People have been committing burglaries in the houses of young celebrities, and it's up to Sherry to discover who's hosting the heists. Also, she's got to convince the Beverly Hills Police Department that she can solve this mystery.
I thought this book was GREAT! I also reviewed the third book in this series, "I So Don't Do Makeup," and I liked both books. I could easily picture the setting of the book, since Ms. Summy described it so well. The author's voice was that of a 13-year-old, as it was in first-person narration. I could picture Sherry as a real person because the author did such a good job of sounding like a thirteen-year-old girl. Again, this was a great book, and I would DEFINITELY recommend it to someone who likes mysteries.
Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hopkins, Michigan USA

The Immortal Lost by H.R. Phillips

The Immortal Lost is about a twenty-three year old girl, home to visit after graduating collage, who has always been slightly different. Dylan Black has the ability to see into others minds. What her mother calls a gift, she has learned from a young age to be a curse. A fun pass time that now she tries to avoid, thanks to a strange man who gave her horrible thoughts it seems on purpose. Now he's back to haunt her dreams and her conscious mind. Along with too very real people, one of which is a very good looking younger man, who try to answer her questions, but their answers only lead to more questions.
I thought H.R Phillips book was a bit jumbled. Instead of starting in Dylan and the main male character's past, and jumping forward, it seemed most of the book was made up of flash backs. It made it confusing and hard to understand. He was really descriptive and I could easily picture the environment the characters were in. The tightness of Dylan s family and few friends made me envious. I didn't quite understand the plot but it was an ok, fast read.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Glendale, AZ United States

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Map of Me by Tami Lewis Brown

In The Map of Me by Tami Lewis Brown, Margie goes on a mission to find her Mama who disappeared and left a note on the fridge saying, I HAVE TO GO , but where? She tries to find out and ends up on a HUGE adventure. Margie makes herself promise to find Mama and save the day and to live up to her sister, Peep, who is a genius and is always getting money for good grades. Margie soon finds herself kidnapping her sister while trying to get to a chicken museum in the car they stole from her Dad.  Since Mama is obsessed with chickens and needs only one more to complete her collection, the chicken museum is a reasonable place to search for her.  The whole time Margie wonders, Should I have done this? Can I turn the car around and give up? But she always answers, no , and the search continues.
This book is a little young for me, so that may be why I do not give it such good reviews but to younger people (ages 7-9) it would be perfect. The one thing I did not like about the book is that the ending did not wrap up the story for me like it could have.  It seemed like a sequel may be in the works (if there is that would be great!)

Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rchester, New York U.S.A

Liar, Liar by Gary Paulsen

Fourteen year old Kevin is really good when it comes to getting people to do what he wants. Right now he wants to make a girl like him. To do that, he needs to spend time with her. ᅠ The story takes place mostly at Kevin s school. He tells about having a terrible disease to get Katie to do his school project for him. He gets his teachers to let him out of class. He also convinces his friends to get his class work for him. Everything is going wonderful till people realize he is not telling them the truth. Kevin has to find out some way to turn things around, especially when he is faced with the possibility of losing his family. Can getting a girl to like you be worth it?

Gary Paulsen gives the reader a lot of different reasons why it is not a good idea to lie. The character Kevin, is faced with many decisions to make.  The book keeps you wondering what will happen next . It is a good book for middle school students.
I had to ask my Mom what was meant on page 17, last sentence of the first paragraph.  She wasn't real happy.
Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Glenwood, Arkansas USA

Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

What would you think if you and your sister touched a handprint in an ancient Tuscan archeological site and suddenly you ended up six hundred years in the past? Well that s what happens to Gabi Betarrini, an American girl who finds herself stuck in fourteenth century Italy. Dressed in medieval gowns, Gabi seems to be having the time of her life, especially when a certain Italian knight is looking her way, but life is not all perfect in the hills of Tuscany. The ongoing battle between the Houses of Forelli and Paratore threaten the safety of both families and it gets extremely personal when Gabi hears that her sister might be a captive of the Paratores. Given a heartbreak ultimatum Gabi must think of how she will save her sister and how she will ever make it back home to her own time.
Gabi Betarrini, the female protagonist, displays a refreshing modern twist to the traditional female lead. Her strong willed personality, obvious intelligence and ability to solve problems without depending on a male counterpart makes her a good role model to young adult readers. The book was well written for the proposed audience and it was obvious that the author put a lot of time into research in order to present historically accurate information. Though the ending was a bit clich← and expected I would definitely recommend this novel, the plot twist made it very hard to put down.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Reston, Virginia United States of America

Nightspell by Leah Cypess

When Princess Darriniaka goes to Ghostland with her brother Varis, she has only one thought:  I have to rescue Callie, even if it means staying here!  Darri doesn t even consider the fact that her younger sister Callie might not want to leave.  Soon after Darri arrives at the castle, Callie tells her that Prince Kestin, whom Darri had been planning to marry in order to free Callie, has been murdered.  It is only later that Darri learns Callie is also a ghost.  Darri refuses to leave her sister in Ghostland but how can Callie return home if the touch of sunlight will kill her (for real this time!)?
I never thought I d say I liked a ghost story, but Nightspell was amazing.  This book is called a companion story to Mistwood, which I also reviewed (, but this story was much easier to follow, and seemed to have nothing in common with Mistwood.  It was interesting that ghosts were the result of murder, a chance for the person to get revenge on their killer.  This is a book that I think anyone would like, unless you don t like really gross-sounding things.

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

In Trouble by Ellen Levine

    Set in the late 1950 s during the McCarthy Era, Jamie and Elaine are best friends and now they are finally juniors in high school. Elaine has a college boyfriend named Neil and Jamie could have a boyfriend, if only she would open her heart up to Paul. During this time, girls who get in trouble are ignored, made fun of and are sometimes even sent away. So what happens when Elaine gets in trouble . Will she be sent away, leaving Jamie without her best friend? Will Elaine and Neil get married? Jamie s head spins with all of these thoughts. Also at this time, Jamie faces her haunting past of what happened that night and also the reunion with her Dad as he comes home from prison. Who knows what will happen to Elaine, but she is one girl of many facing trouble during this time.
   In Trouble was a book that took me back to the 1950 s and gave me the idea of what happens to girls who are facing teen pregnancy. The setting was really important in this book because teen pregnancy in the 1950 s was very unthinkable. Discrimination and being sent away were very likely if you were a pregnant teenager. Jamie, as the main character, was very dynamic, meaning she changed drastically throughout the book.  Throughout the book I felt sympathy for Elaine because she was a pregnant teenager without much support from her family or her boyfriend Neil. However I loved both of the characters, and I think the author did a great job including them in the plot. Also, I thought the author did a great job of explaining what happens to girls who get in trouble and the consequences they must face. I really liked this book and I would recommend it to girls 13 years and above, due to the talk of pregnancy and abortions.
I would advise adult guidance for this book because it does talk about abortions, pregnancy, and rape.
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Springfield, Ohio USA

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Calla Tor is a Guardian, and can shapeshift seamlessly from human to wolf whenever she wants, which is helpful when she and her pack must protect the sacred sites for their masters, the Keepers. As the alpha female, Calla must lead her pack and marry the alpha male of a rival pack, Ren. But when she illicitly saves a human boy, Shay, she feels an undeniable attraction to him. When Shay causes Calla to question the Keepers' rules, her impending marriage, and her whole lifestyle, Calla must make the choice to remain dutiful to her pack or follow her heart.
I loved Nightshade and thought that it was a great addition to the paranormal genre. Now that there is a plethora of vampire novels, authors are shifting their books towards werewolves, which is the mythical creature that takes center stage in Nightshade. I liked that Calla and her pack are non-traditional werewolves: they can shapeshift at will and not just at the full moon, and there is a whole pack heirachy with rules and regulations that makes the novel very interesting. An important part of Nightshade is the love triangle between Calla, Ren, and Shay. In the vein of Twilight, I'm sure these two male leads will spark a lot of debate and cause readers to pick the one they like better. I think both options are realistic for Calla but I just hope that the romance debate won't get in the way of Nightshade's actual plot, which is very interesting. Nothing that Calla has been told about the Keepers and the Guardians (which is what the werewolves are called) is true and she must find out the truth in subsequent novels. Overall, I really enjoyed Nightshade and can't wait for the next book!

Reviewer Age:19
Reviewer City, State and Country: Aston, Pennsylvania United States

RE: Ameca J and the Revenge of Rex-Ultar

The book is now uploaded to our list of available books to review. I look forward to reading the review!

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Ameca J and the Revenge of Rex-Ultar

The second book in the Ameca J series has now been sent to Flamingnet for review, hopefully available in the next couple of days.

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FLAWLESS is about a high school student named Sarah.  She is completely stunning, except for her enormous nose.   When her peers tease her, Sarah is able to stand up for herself: she is a strong person.   A new student, Rock, arrives in school and his presence changes everything.  Sarah is immediately in love.  If loving Rock wasn’t complicated enough, Sarah’s friend, Kristen, announces she likes Rock too.  Kristen is drop dead gorgeous and Rock falls for her.  Sarah has to hide her feelings for Rock while helping Kristen maintain the relationship.  Sarah knows she has to let the truth come out no matter what the price.
I really enjoyed FLAWLESS.  I was constantly trying to find times during the day so I could read.  I found it really enjoyable and relatable.  I found myself experiencing the same emotions the characters experienced.  It all seemed so real.  I learned that you always need to be true to yourself.  I would definitely recommend this book to others because it was a good plot and I was never bored.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Valparaiso, Indiana USA 

Lunch-Box Dream

The book Lunch-Box Dream is about a young boy named Bobby who is taking a road trip with his family. They are planning to visit various Civil War battle sites. Things don’t go quite according to plan, and after an accident, they are forced to take a bus back home. Here, they see first-hand the horrors of racism and segregation. This work of historical fiction is set in the late 1950s, a time of racial turmoil.

Lunch-Box Dream has a very good setting, and I think the author does a very good job of describing many of the places they went. I didn't really like the writing style of this book. The way it was written didn't keep me interested in the story. I felt it was dull. The viewpoints switched between many different characters, and I often wondered how a certain chapter was relevant to the rest of the story. I didn't feel like I knew the characters very well, and most of them didn't seem to have a unique personality. The ending didn't seem to have a climax, and the book ended rather abruptly. The one main flaw of the book was the changing viewpoints, which often didn't make sense with the rest of the story. I did think the author was very good at describing things that the characters saw throughout the book. It was a nice view into the lives of people during that time period.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Otsego, MN USA

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Calli Be Gold

Hi, Thank you for the nice review on Calli Be Gold! I'm glad the reviewer enjoyed the story. I think it will resonate with any kid who has superstar siblings but hasn't quite found his or her area to shine. I'm working on a companion book, narrated in the voice of Calli's best friend Wanda. --Michele Weber Hurwitz

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The Ameca J Series

Following the Top Choice review of my first book, Ameca J and the Legacy of Menindus, I will be posting the 2nd in the series this week, Ameca J and the Revenge of Rex-Ultar so that my reviewer can read the sequel. So watch this space...

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Bubblegum Psychology by Heidi Kice

Bubblegum Psychology is the story of Brenna Fawn Goldsmith, who is sent to a sanatorium after committing arson. During the sessions in which the sanatorium's doctors try to figure her out, she tells them lies about her crime and her life. All of this changes, however, when she is transferred to Dr. Cannon. He is a young psychologist who catches her lies easily and works to find out what is really going on in Brenna's head, and what exactly she set on fire. Brenna makes many "crazy" friends in the sanatorium, and learns a little about what it means to be sane.
Bubblegum Psychology was a fantastic book. The author created some very memorable characters, from the boy who hated the color brown to the doctor obsessed with having a miracle schizoprhenia case. Brenna herself was very realistic, from the way she reacted to her placement in a sanatorium to the way she treated her new friends. There was just the right amount of humor, as well, which came in the form of the other kids in the sanatorium and Brenna's over-the-top lies during her psychology sessions. The story had plenty of exciting moments, and I held my breath as Brenna made life-altering decisions. I would reccommend Bubblegum Psychology to everyone who likes realistic fiction, and spends time thinking about thoughts.

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


Do u know whats the Hardest Riddle in the world ?

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Monday, August 01, 2011

The Return: Midnight by L.J.Smith

Stefan is trapped in the dark dimension, until Elena and Damon save him that is. Being in the dark dimension hurts Stefan more than noticeable and he needs more blood than Elena can give him. While he is still weak, a mysterious, magical flower has turned Damon into a human. Of course, Damon is not okay with this, and will do anything to be turned into a vampire again. But, what will happen when he accidentally drags Bonnie along with him? Leaving Matt and Meredith alone to save Fell's church from evil spirits, Stefan and Elena hurry to save Bonnie. Will they make it in time? Are Matt and Meredith capable of stopping the evil power taking over their home town?

L.J. Smith is one of my favorite authors. I absolutely adore all of her books. She is a fantastic writer and her novels are always addicting, entertaining, and flat-out amazing. This would have to be one of my favorite series because it is so interesting and fun to read. This book, in particular, I liked, because it seemed so realistic to me, even though it is clearly impossible for anything like this to actually happen. It was dark, exotic, witty, entertaining, romantic, and everything I look for in a good novel.  I love books about vampires and this book takes that to a whole new level.  I recommend this book to any lovers of vampires or supernatural novels.

Content Rating: 1
Rating: 10
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fairborn, Ohio United States

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Tempest has a seemingly perfect life. She has a loving family, the perfect boyfriend and a group of friends surrounding her. But there’s something peculiar about Tempest. Her mother is a mermaid who has left the family to pursue life under the ocean. Tempest will have to make a decision, and quickly. A mermaid’s seventeenth birthday marks the time when she makes life-changing choices. She must choose to either stay as a human or follow in her mother’s footsteps. She finds a desperate craving to give herself to the water, but fights it harder and harder each day. As her seventeenth birthday approaches, Tempest meets Kona, an extremely talented surfer. His amazing abilities on the water hint of non-human powers, but is it a trap for Tempest? Her birthday creeps nearer, and she’s more lost than ever.

This book was a fresh idea made into an enjoyable read. There are lighthearted moments of romance sprinkled through the pages, and deeper moments when Tempest is questioning her morals and the actions of her mother. This book mixes fairy-tale fiction, action, romance, and realistic fiction into a perfect teen novel. There are also several unexpected twists that make the book a page-turner. Finally, a book on supernatural beings that aren’t vampires!

Content: 1
Rating: 8
Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Leawood, KS United States

The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book by Jeff Kinney

Within this book, there are a variety of fun activities to do, some of which relate to various parts of the Wimpy Kid series. There are things like "Design Your Dream House," "Plan the Ultimate Road Trip," and several quizzes (for instance, "Take a Friendship Compatibility Test," "Personality Test," and "How Well Do You Know Your Friend?"). One of my favorite parts is "What's in Your Brain?" - on one page, it has a brain filled out by Greg, and on the other is a blank brain for you to separate into parts of what is normally on your mind. There's a great comic section near the end, followed by a good amount of space to write your own 'story'.

This Do-it-Yourself book is really funny, creative, and entertaining. I think that other creative Wimpy Kid fans would be delighted to buy and do the activities in this book. However, I do feel that the Predict YOUR Future part was kind of boring and long (except for the one part, the Predict YOUR Future game, which happens to be one of my favorite parts of the book!) I also enjoyed the comics towards the end of the book, which I keep re-reading! This book should keep Wimpy Kid fans busy for awhile!

Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Evanston, IL USA

Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz

Calli Be Gold is a book about an eleven year old girl from a family of over achievers. She just wants to be average, but her dad is determined to find an activity in which Calli is absolutely outstanding. Sometimes Calli would feel like she did not even fit in her own family. But when Calli meets a little boy who needs her help but will not admit it, she is determined to help.

The plot was interesting; it kept me wondering about what was coming next. The characters were realistic, and the situations were true to real family issues. As I read the book, I felt like I was a bystander in Calli's life, as she struggled to find her passion. I recommend this book as an interesting, fun diversion.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rockford, MI USA

Author Interview

Flamingnet is proud to introduce author L.L. Helland. Read all about her new book, The Hellandback Kids: Be Careful What You Wish For, at!

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RE: need more reads!

I JUST finished reviewing a book called All You Desire which is the second book of the Eternal Ones series. I was stunned by it and it is really focused on love but not to much for me. It is mostly about reincarnation and the love part comes in when soul mates are formed after many lives.

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RE: Gypsy Knights

It was a fun read! Thanks :) I can't wait to read the next one!

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