Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Big Book of Spy Stuff by Bart King

Have you ever wanted to be a spy? If yes, then you should read this book. It is jammed packed with information about spies. Some of the stuff in it is: How to make a secret code, sneak around without being seen, and how to defend yourself. It also tells you about almost every spy there ever was. Some of them are people you know about but didn' t know there were spies. Take Roald Dahl for example. Most people know he was a writer. But you didn 't know he was a British spy in World War 2!

I absolutely loved this book! A reason I loved it is that the author puts it in certain way that you learn stuff but it doesn' t seem it. It was also very informative. An example of this is it has 30 chapters. In each chapter it has certain information about a topic. Then it goes into lengthy discussion about it. For example, a chapter title is Spymasters. It then talks about what they are. I recommend this book to any ages.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Uxbridge, Ma USA

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

With Earth dying, the Empyrean sets off to colonize "New Earth". Waverly must take on an incredible amount of responsibility for a 15 year old girl. The second to be born in space Waverly is expected to carry out the mission, and who better to do that with than the first born in space and utterly handsome Kieran. Although she's aware of what she must do Waverly can't help but dream of a more exciting life than just marriage and mothering. However, her wish comes to pass when the second ship, also set out to colonize New Earth, the New Horizon suddenly attacks the Empyrean and attempts to kidnap all of the able females. Are the people on the New Horizon really evil or is all the things she was told growing up just a lie. And who exactly is the mysterious and kind hearted Seth, and how will he help get back what she's lost?

While the idea was brilliant, the writing wonderful, and the plot ingenious, the characters annoyed me to no end. One second you liked a character and the next you hated them. It was hard to follow because it was written in three different peoples point of view, who all at least at some point hated one of the other characters. It infuriated me and caused my emotions to go all bipolar. While the characters were lacking the rest of the book was not. It keep me on my toes the whole time, with almost no predictability. The images were stunning and realistic, and the whole story well developed and very authentic. I read in a day because I could not put it down. It was enjoyable and I cannot wait until the next book comes out.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Colorado Springs, CO United States

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Hangman in the Mirror by Kate Cayley

The Hangman in the Mirror takes place in Canada, and is based on a true story. 15 year old Francois, newly orphaned, is looking to increase her standing in society, and does so by taking a job as maid to Madame Pommeroy. For once in her life, she is well fed and well dressed. She still longs to be more than she is, however, and steals a pair of gloves from her employer. When she is caught, Francois needs to use a loophole in a law to marry a hangman... or be hung.

"The Hangman in the Mirror" was an excellent book, written with a lot of detail and dialogue. I was easily able to picture the 18th century Montreal that the author described, especially the dirt and poverty of Francois's original home. The characters were likeable though flawed, and the struggle in Francois between being a faithful maid and owning something of her own was very realistic. I also liked how the characters had small things in their past that connected them. I would recommend "The Hangman in the Mirror" to girls who like historical fiction.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country:Pennsylvania, USA

Shifting by Bethany Wiggins

Summary: Maggie Mae is almost eighteen and she can't wait to be out of foster care; she's been bounced from house to house since she was five-years-old and her family died. Since she turned sixteen, Maggie Mae has had a serious secret that she hasn't told anyone: she is a shape shifter. Now she is living in Silver City, New Mexico with her last foster parent, Mrs. Carpenter, and is trying desperately to fit in and graduate. Dating Bridger O'Connell seems like a good start, but then Maggie Mae realizes she is being hunted because of her secret and she doesn't know how many people, including herself, will be hurt before the chase is over.
Opinion: This book was really good! I loved Maggie Mae's character and felt that I could relate to some of her problems. The story line was original and I was happy that Bethany Wiggins did not write a cookie-cutter romance novel. I appreciated how Wiggins threw in some legends from the Navajo culture and related them into the lives of the characters. Overall, this book was really good and I would recommend it to pretty much everyone.

Content: 1
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10
Reviewer Age: 16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Brownsburg, Indiana United States of America

Crossed by Ally Condie

In this sequel to Matched, Cassia leaves her home to work in the Outer Provinces. No one knows that she's actually on the search for Ky, who was sent to another work camp. But when she hears that Ky has escaped into the desolate canyons, Cassia leaves the Society and follows him. During her search, Cassia hears more talk of the Rising, a rebellion that is planning to overthrow the Society. She desperately wants to join and is willing to sacrifice anything to be a part of something important.

Crossed was an okay novel and I liked it well enough. It's obvious that Crossed is the second book of the trilogy because not that much happens and it is used as a build up for the final book. Unfortunately, this makes Crossed pretty boring in terms of plot. I enjoyed the writing, but that didn't make up for the lack of action. The book is also split into two parts, which Ky and Cassia each taking turns to narrate. I liked this a lot, especially when the two were separated, because the reader could see what each was doing. However, as soon as their stories intersect, the double narration is annoying because I could never tell you was actually talking. Despite the slow pace, there were still enough twists and turns in Crossed to make me want to read the last novel in the trilogy.

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael D. Beil

Full of excitement and adventure. The Red Blazer Girls are a mystery solving band-as well as best friends. Sophie's dad works at a restaurant, and at one point meets a famous movie star. Her dad asks if his daughter and friends could meet him while he was filming his movie. After the girls meet him they love him even more than before, and when he asks Sophie to take care of his dog, Tillie, she is so excited. And when father Julian asks them to solve another mystery, their all for it. But when Tillie chews up one of the baseballs for their mystery, will they be able to solve it? Or will it end up a disaster.

The author did a really good job writing the book. It made me feel like a knew the characters and they were my good friends. She really went in depth in a lot of things that were very interesting. The pictures in it also helped a lot with understanding what the girls were talking about at some points. I would definitely recommend this book to people who love mysteries, especially mystery loving girls.

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Skokie , Illinois USA

If I Die by Rachel Vincent

In this story, Kaylee, a female banshee, and her enemy Sabime, must team up to defeat an evil incubus. Who, ironically, is a teacher at their school. The only problem with the plan is Kaylee. She s going to die in less than a week. And the teacher can t be left alive for that long. Unfortunately, Death decides to knock at Kaylee' s door. Has Kaylee run out of time?

The first half of the book is pretty good. If you can get past the cursing, sex scenes, course jokes, sex scenes, sex scenes, and more sex scenes. I swear, it was like the author didn t know how to keep sex out of her book! Every other chapter is about something sexual. First it' s an 18 year old getting pregnant. Then it s Kaylee finding out her teacher is an incubus. And not just an every-day incubus. He 's an incubus in heat. Later, it s Kaylee witnessing another student s miscarriage. And let 's not forget Kaylee s experience with her boyfriend. Might I mention that this experience happens in her bedroom? In her bed?

Thankfully, the author only focuses the first half of the book on sex. It' s only mentioned a couple times in the second half of this story. The second half of this book focuses on Kaylee' s decision on whom she will choose as a boyfriend.

Overall I found this book very disappointing. It seems geared for a more mature audience. If the first half had been as good as the second half, it would' ve been a lot more enjoyable.

The entire first half of the book was ENTIRELY focused on sex. It had a couple F-bombs, and it had MULTIPLE characters cursing. Also, it got extremely violent toward the end of the book. I'm not at all pleased that this book was said to be Young Adult Fiction.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Yucaipa, California United States of America

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Worst Vampire Ever by Caissie St. Onge

It seems like most vampires lead charmed lives filed with fast cars, huge mansions, and eternal beauty. Not Jane Jones. Her family barely makes ends meet and she s far from the classic stunning vampire. In fact, Jane s even allergic to blood, making her weird even by vampire standards. For the last century (give or take) she has been moving from high school to high school. However, something is amiss at her newest school (besides the vampire-infested student body). When her creepier-by-the-minute history teacher assigns Jane a group project, she learns more about her past then she ever wanted to.

This book seemed to have a lot of potential. I ve read more than my fair share of vampire novels, but this one seemed to have a new concept. I really thought the idea of an awkward teen vampire could turn into a really fun read. Sadly however, this book fell short for me. The beginning was quirky and funny. It really set up a cute coming-of-age story. Jane talked about what vampire myths were true and false, about her family. Then, as I read further the plot started feeling kind of disjointed. It had good moments throughout, but the overall conflicts felt forced. I respect that the author tried to be surprise the reader but the twists just felt unnatural. There is a love triangle just kind of thrown in, but it didn t really ever develop. I m not sure if I would pass by this book completely, though. Although I didn t love it, I didn t feel like it wasted my time. It was a pretty light read. I think it would be good for the beach or a book report. So, if you re looking for a quick vampire read, this might be worth a try. But buyer beware: it s no Twilight.

Reviewer Age:14

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

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. Author, Ally Condie, did a good job of describing the dystopian world in which 16 year old Cassia Reyes lives. In Cassia's world, a government called ‘The Society’ decided everything about you, what your occupation is, who you marry, and even when you die. Cassia is perfectly content with her world, until her ‘Match Banquet’. The Match Banquet is a banquet where those people who choose to be married see who ‘The Society’ has chosen for them. Cassia is pleased to be matched with her childhood friend and believes everything is perfect until she reviews the microcard of her match and sees someone else's face,someone who isn't her match. The Society never makes mistakes, so what is going on? An impossible choice leaves Cassia confused and suddenly wanting a different life, a life where she (not The Society) makes the choices about herself.

I thought Matched was an excellent book. I felt like Ally Condie really allowed me to get into Cassia's head. I felt her troubles and her pain as if it was my own. I'll be the first to say, I'm not a romance fan. However, this book made me want to read more. I recommend Matched for anybody who wants a book with the perfect balance of struggle, romance, and reality.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Tipp City, Ohio United States

Emma by Jane Austen

Emma Woodhouse knows one thing for sure: she is an amazing matchmaker and she is never going to fall in love. . . It seems like it would contradict itself, right? Well, Emma has a new project to find a lover for the simple and shy Harriet Smith. Emma soon finds out that she's gotten in too deep and if she keeps trying, she might lose everything!

'Emma' by Jane Austen, was very fun to read. Emma reminds me so much of myself that I found myself comparing myself and life style to hers! Jane Austen does an excellent job of getting the reader involved in the story by using very imaginative wording to get you painting your own pictures of the settings and characters.'Emma' is a classic novel about romance and a girl that just wants to live life to it's fullest and Jane Austen could not have done a better job.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Tatamy, PA USA

Eve by Anna Carey

Eve has always lived within the walls of the School. Because the Plague wiped out 98% of the population, Schools have been formed to take in orphans and teach them a trade. Eve finds out on the night before her graduation that the School isn't what she thought it was. The promise of going out to practice her trade was a lie. Eve and he graduating friends are destined to be taken to a nearby building to be used as breeding mechanisms. Eve knows she must escape. When she does she meets Caleb, a male. She has been kept from males her whole life because she was taught of their dangerous ways. but soon she falls for Caleb. A griping love story set in a dystopian world.

I really liked Eve. It was a fantastic book that told of a realistic world that could someday be ours. I really liked the writers style, but thought at times the characters were somewhat unrealistic. The story itself is great and there is a sequel. I liked the way the author ended it, Eve left me wanting more. I would recommend this book highly to anyone in the young adult age group.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Tipp City, OH United States

The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston

In 1628, Bess Hawksmith loses her entire family to the plague, except her mother who is hanged for witchcraft. Bess escapes her own hanging and finds shelter and training in a warlock named Gideon. When he tries to make her his forever, she flees. In present day England in 2007, immortal witch Elizabeth befriends local teenager Tegan. Wary of letting someone into her life and past, she trains Tegan as a hedge witch. In the time they spend together, Tegan learns of Bess s past on the run from Gideon and notable moments in history in which she lived.

Brackston did a wonderful job combining the genres of historical fiction and fantasy. This page-turner would be great for introducing the fans of historical fiction to fantasy and vice versa. At first I was skeptical of Tegan s character, but by the end I could not imagine the story without her. The story truly brings you into the plot and makes you feel as you are there with Bess in each of her adventures. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, fantasy, or stories relating to the Salem Witch Trials (like I do).

Reviewer Age:22

Reviewer City, State and Country: Bay City, Texas USA

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Snow Queen's Shadow by Jim C. Hines

The book starts out in a small tavern in the kingdom of Lorindar, where we find out Snow and Talia are trying to capture the infamous witch hunting duo, Jack and Jill. Shortly thereafter Queen Beatrice dies, due to her injuries sustained in The Mermaids Madness. Snow unwilling to accept this, tries to place her soul in a new body but fails, and in doing so breaks her mother’s mirror and unleashes a Demon out on the world.

The book was a true page turner; I could not put it down. Hines did an incredible job closing up this series, and showing us you really can’t trust a fairy. His battles are fast paced and believable and his characters are fun and lovable with their wit and humor even when they are facing death. I read this without having read the first three but after this I may just have to. This book is good as a stand-alone, but I’m sure it will be out of this world when I read the others.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carbondale, IL United States

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Death Catchers by Jennifer Anne Kogler

One day, Elizabeth Mortimer is reading a newspaper when the letters change to from a new headline saying Lizzy's best friend, Jodi, just died. Lizzy is even more confused when her grandmother, Bizzy, insists that Lizzy tell no one. When Lizzy goes to check on Jodi, Jodi is nearly hit by a car, but she is saved by Bizzy, who pushes Jodi out of the way. When Bizzy and Lizzy are alone, Bizzy explains that they are part of an ancient bloodline, descended from Morgan Le Fay herself! Together they must stop the death of the Last Descendant against overwhelming odds, including Morgan's sister, Vivienne. Can an old woman and a young teenage girl save the day?

The Death Catchers was an amazing combination of the real world and ancient Arthurian sorceresses. It was scary when Vivienne froze Jodi and Lizzy, and Jodi didn't remember it at all. The idea of the Merlin statue in the graveyard was interesting. I hope there is a sequel to this book. Really, this is a good book for anyone who is intrigued by the story of King Arthur.

Reviewer Age:12

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

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Everyone thinks that Juliet died. They are wrong. She didn t kill herself, Romeo did. He killed her because he wanted to become immortal. And by doing this he became a spirit that took bodies that were dead and tried to break up true loves. What he didn t expect is that Juliet would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Life. Her job is to keep true loves together. For seven hundred years, Juliet has been doing her job and Romeo his, until they don t. They could become human again if they fell in love again, but Juliet has fallen for another and Romeo will do everything to stop them.

This book was okay. You could really understand Juliet s point and also Romeo s. I loved the concept for this book at the beginning but as the story continued on, it got boring. Almost all the characters were perfectly developed. I would recommend this book to people who liked Falling Under and Eden.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Northglenn, CO United States

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Golden Ghost by Marion Dane Bauer

Delsie wants a dog more then anything. She then goes to a mill with her friend Todd and finds old abandoned houses. All the doors to the houses are locked.... except one. Delsie finds a surprise in the house, and is curious about it. Is the surprise good, or bad?

This book was a big disappointment. I expected the book to be larger, but it was a very small book with big print. It really only talked about how much Delsie wanted a dog, and there was too much description. The author really made it look like something great was going to happen, but nothing did. I knew the end before I read it, and I didn' t like that I finished the book in about a half hour. The only good part about the book was the 6th chapter, and that was it. If you want a good book and something that doesn' t waste your time, don' t get this one.

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Yucaipa, California United States Of America

Friday, October 14, 2011

How to Be an Attractive Man (eBook) by Adam Kisiel

How to be an Attractive Man is a concise, yet effective guide to bring out the attractive man in all of us. Adam Kisiel outlines 101 rules to help readers become more attractive men. These rules include wardrobe tips, grooming pointers, personality enhancers, and many more. The format of Kisiel s guide allows for the ultimate convenience and flexibility. The book encourages readers to choose the tips they wish to use and ignore those that they don't like. This provides each reader with a unique experience with becoming a more attractive man.

To give a proper review of this book, I decided to put some of the tips to the test. After implementing some of the advice in Kisiel s book, I felt more confident as a person. While the book aims to help men become more attractive, I think the tips help men become well rounded individuals. However, the best benefit of this book is the format. Readers do not have to invest a lot of time to take away all the nuggets in this book, and they can skip tips that they do not want to use. It is arguably the most convenient men's-help guide available. Overall, I recommend How to be an Attractive Man for its useful advice and easy-to-read format.

Reviewer Age:21
Reviewer City, State and Country: Eden Prairie, Minnesota United States

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Not-So-Still Life by Liz Gallagher

My Not-So-Still Life by Liz Gallagher is about a girl named Vanessa also known as Nessie. She's a girl who has her own version of fashion. She's always dyeing her hair different colors and wearing funky makeup and clothes. The thing is, she wants to grow up faster. Everyone is always asking why she wants to grow up so fast and telling her that she's not ready for it. However, she thinks she is ready, until she gets into a situation and realizes that everyone's right, she's not ready to grow up quite yet.

My Not-So-Still Life by Liz Gallagher was a great book. It shows that even if you think you are ready to grow up, you'rer probably not. And sometimes it will take you into a situation, like Vanessa, before you realize it. It also shows you some things about friendship,that a true friend will forgive you for your mistakes eventually, knowing that you didn't mean to hurt anybody. I like everybody's style of art. Everyone's art is unique and beautiful.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon U.S.A

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Flat Broke by Gary Paulsen

In the book "Flat Broke" the main characters are Kevin and John Paul. Kevin has lost his allowance due to lying. He is constantly thinking of ways to make money. His Aunt Buzz is refusing to pay him for working for her, because he lied to her too. Kevin baby sits a little boy named Markie to earn some money for his drivers' test. Kevin is always thinking of ways to get a girl named Tina to like him. He tries to earn money for two tickets to the school dance, and so he sets up poker games in his basement. I enjoyed reading this book, and hope Mr. Paulsen writes another book to keep the series alive!

In my opinion, "Flat Broke" was very fun to read. I think that Mr. Paulsen achieved his writing purpose very well. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends to read. I enjoyed this book because I got to enjoy a funny book. I liked the ending because it left it open for another book. I hope there is going to be another book in this series to continue the adventure and humor.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Glenwood, Arkansas United States

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Torn by Erica O'Rourke

Torn by Erica O’Rourke was a wonderful mystery with a touch of magic and deception. In the beginning of the book, Maura’s best friend, Verity is murdered one night while they are out together. Maura gets away, but her best friend wasn’t so lucky. Maura wakes up in the hospital and for the first time she meets the mysterious Luc. When she gets out of the hospital, she goes to Verity’s funeral and sees some very strange things. Maura also finds an object that could help her find Verity’s killer. The police are still looking for the murderer, so Maura’s mother is worried about her and hires a bodyguard named Collin to keep her safe. She soon meets a friend of Luc’s named Evangeline who tells her information that will change everything. Maura and Luc soon start to piece together the murder and discover a magical world. I think that this book fits into two categories, mystery and romance. It is a mystery to find Verity's killer and stop the Torrent, but it is also a romantic book because she has to choose between two guys.

While reading this book, I felt like I was right there with the characters because the setting was so good. The mood of the book is deceiving because you feel like there is always something more than what meets the eye. I think that the characters in this book are very real because I can imagine them as real people. I think they seem this way because they don't seem phony or fake. They have traits that real people would have. The voice of the author is serious, sometimes sarcastic, and at some times funny. I think it was appropriate that the story was told in first person because it was easier to follow the story that way. The author left me wondering what happened to some characters and part of the plot at the end because it isn't a satisfactory ending. She also leaves you hanging, so there could definitely be a sequel. I definitely think that the author achieved their purpose to entertain because I was very entertained by this story and I really enjoyed reading it. I think that this piece was very well written because it was very descriptive and I made really good mental pictures in my head. It was also easy to understand. One of the strengths in this book is the many twists and turns that this mystery has. Other books in this genre have been a little slower than this book, so I like this book because it has a faster pace. I found this book very interesting because of how well this book was written and how the plot was laid out. One thing that I did not like is that the ending of this book isn't very satisfactory; it still leaves a couple things not completely resolved. I definitely think that this book could have a sequel. I would recommend this book to others because I really enjoyed it. I think that it is a book that everyone can enjoy because it is such a great mystery and a little bit of magic.

When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica S. Perl

A girl named Zelly really wants a dog. Her parents, on the other hand, aren't so willing to give in. They don't think she's quite ready for the responsibility. But when Zelly's grandpa, Ace (as everyone calls him) comes up with an idea involving an orange juice jug and some extra imagination, things change. You'll need to read the book to find out the rest!!

I was a HUGE fan of this book! I thought the author used a lot of imagination, and was thoughtful and amusing. I also really enjoyed how the author maintained the very humorous spirit of the character of Ace throughout the book. Of course, the other characters' spirits were maintained, too, but there was something in the way the author created Ace that was very entertaining. If you read the book, I have a feeling you'll know exactly what I mean...I don't want to spoil YOUR experience of reading it! The only problem I found was that I wanted the author to write more, like a series or something! I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a little fun!!!

Reviewer Age:10

Reviewer City, State and Country: Evanston, IL USA

Castlebots by Terry Goudy

Scott Freeman is a fifteen year old who has successfully completed a game in Star Park, a virtual gaming world in which he is employed. He is planning to do another test run to make sure it will be safe for costumers. Scott also hopes to use the second test to search for a cure for his sister's illness. Unfortunately, after a failed kidnap attempt to capture Scott, a military official, General Z, sends him back into the virtual world taking away Scott's ability to control the game. This time the scenario is set around a disaster where the Earth may be destroyed. While Scott must hurry to save Earth, someone else secretly entered the game with him. This mysterious person has it in for Scott. Is there any hope left for the Earth or Scott? And is Scott the hero everyone thinks he is?

This book was strong and well written. A few times Goudy seemed to be leading to something that could have branched off in numerous ways but he ended the thought before it could really take off. I thought the plot and characters were really complex and enthralling. At times it seemed that more information from the back story should have been included. His ideas for the setting of the virtual world were extraordinarily creative and unusual. I am excited to continue the adventure in the second book.

Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan

Eleanor Crowe hates being told what to do. But when she gets pregnant with her boyfriend and is forced to choose between either marrying him and working at his parents fat camp or moving back to Kenya with her missionary parents but without her baby, she wishes someone would tell her what to do. Unsurprisingly, Eleanor hates the idea of working at the camp. But once she begins working there, she finds that she likes working with kids and can finally imagine herself being a mom. Then something terrible happens on the day the baby is to be born, and Eleanor is in turmoil once again-what should she do about her baby and her husband?
This book is a welcome change from the the tired stories in which a young girl has a baby but her parents accept her for what she is because that's not what real life is always like. This book is real and at times a little depressing, but for me it is a great story. I love the character Eleanor because she seems so strong. Since Pregnant Pause is from her point of view you can see all of her problems and feelings. I also like the change of scenery and I think the camp for overweight kids is a great setting. I would have liked if there were a little less focus on Eleanor's husband and a little more on flashbacks from when she was younger. All in all, the book is a great read for mature readers and especially for girls to see what one mistake can do to them and their futures.
Sexual references and death.
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Holland, Michigan USA

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Rebel Angel Crawford thinks her messed up life in Alabama can’t get any worse. Then after a mysterious accident and a run in with detectives who want to ask some questions about a missing person, she gets a job offer at a morgue. Angel experiences cravings for human remains instead of cigarettes and blood rather than alcohol.  Angel Crawford had a tough life just living as white trash. And now she's a white trash zombie.
This book was very hard to get into and boring to read. After a very slow beginning, I began to think the book was dull. Then the middle spiced things up a little body-wise, but the ending was too fast paced and the whole book was a blur of events that just seemed to repel readers; not attract them. There were many points in the book that fooled the reader at the climax of the story, but good tricks are always revealed. My Life As A White Trash Zombie also had some colorful language not suitable for younger children. Overall this book was okay, but not recommended for readers who hate sappy stories about tough life.
This book had many references to drugs and alcohol with a lavish amount of curse words in the mix too.
Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Addison, IL United States

One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire

October Daye is finally getting back to normal. She is now Countess of Goldengreen, she's taken on a squire, and life is good. But, when life is good, that means it's about to get real bad, real soon. Someone has taken the sons of Duchess Dianda Lorden, leader of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist, captive. That means that a war between land and sea is going to happen in the near future. To prevent this disaster from happening, Toby has to find the kidnapped boys and prove that the Queen of the Mists isn't the kidnapper. She's going to need all the help and luck she can get! Toby's quest is taking her from San Francisco to the underwater land and she has a deadline: three days. She has to find the boys and solve the mystery of the kidnapper before three days are up, or the whole land is going to pay. But someone is against her, and whoever it is isn't playing fair. As the battle gets closer and closer to Toby's personal life, one thing is obvious: everyone is not going to survive this war.

'One Salt Sea' is the 5th installment in the October Daye series. Having only read this book out of the five in the series, the plot was very confusing, and I would definitely recommend reading the first four before reading this one. But what I did understand had me hooked. The main character, Toby, was very stubborn and hardheaded and that made the book even more exciting - it was never boring! The author did a good job of writing descriptively, although the language was a bit excessive, and some scenes were inappropriate. Overall, it was an excellent book.

There was a lot of bad language and a couple inappropriate scenes.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Tatamy, PA USA

Monday, October 03, 2011

Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass

Shadow Fall, by Seressia Glass is the third book in the Shadow Chasers series. Kira works as a freelance antiquity expert, but doubles as a Shadowchaser, trying to keep the balance between Light and Shadow. She serves the Egyptian goddess Ma'at, and is romantically involved with an ancient Nubian warrior named Khefar. Kira's magic has sudddenly become unpredictable. An Atlanta exhibit about the Egyptian Book of the Dead goes horribly wrong. Her old friends are starting to turn on her. But while trying to fight the Shadow, she may finally find out the truth about her mother.
Though I had never read any of the Shadowchaser books before this, I more or less understood everything. Seressia Glass's writing immediately pulled me in. There was just enough amount of action, balanced out with a bit of romance. Glass weaves Egyptian mythology into the story, giving it an added depth. Kira's struggle throughout the book felt very real, and I couldn't help but hope things would work out for her in the end. There were plenty of twists to keep me turning the pages. This book has made me fall in love with Glass's writing. She knows how to write captivating books that will leave people wanting more.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Otsego, MN USA

Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane

Sometimes its nice to read about an impossibly Utopian workplace. Sometimes it feels comforting and familiar when stereotypical characters invade a corporate thriller. Sometimes it works when a novel tries to superimpose the concepts of Absolute Good and Absolute Evil onto Corporate America.

This is not one of those times.

Omnitopia Dawn, authored by Diane Duane is set in 2015, a scarily imminent time in which a Good CEO and a Bad CEO battle in the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) field. Corporate America obviously can't have the Good CEO and the Bad CEO  directly interact and so these roles are overly stereotyped and clich├ęd.

The Good and Bad CEOs, and the Good CEO's online game, are actually playing pieces in an ongoing conflict between the "Forces Of Good" and the "Forces Of Evil". This explains why they're so painfully typical.

Omnitopia has to deal with  obstacles of a massive rolling out that their transformational update carries. They also have to deal with a massive attack by an organized group of hackers that plan to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from them.

Pretty awkward, as you might expect from a world of corporate thrill trying to resolve a greater conflict than it could or should handle. The charachers are cliched and the plot is typical. However credit is due, for the world of Omnitopia that the author builds around you is .........beautiful. It really is.

Content: 1
Rating: 6
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Monsey, NY USA

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Dungeon Crawlers Ep. 1 and Ep. 2 by Stefan U. G. Leblanc

This series is about the adventures of two brothers from a urban town into a technologically advanced world.  They find a map to a crystal of immortality and embark on an adventure to find it. They overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to  get what they needed in order to find the crystal. This book fits into the category of fiction. It is also kind of an adventure.

This book was a very interesting read. I found it both riveting and page-turning. The language used in the book was fine for any age group. The author did a great job of using words to bring you into the story. I felt like I was really there. I would recommend this to anybody who likes fantasy/fiction.
Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hunting Valley, Ohio USA

Verity Gallant knows she s different, but her life takes a completely unexpected twist when an odd hysterical man gives her a mysterious book and a wooden ball. When reading the book, she finds the stories all relate to one evil character, the Mistress of the Storm. Soon after, a mysterious Grandmother that no one s ever met shows up. She claims to be there to help Verity s pregnant mother. Verity knows Grandmother is mean, but when Verity and her friends Henry and Martha find out that Grandmother is the Mistress of the Storm, the stories become frighteningly real. They find out that the Mistress is attempting something with Verity s new baby sister. But is Verity strong enough to save her?

The attention to detail in this book was great. The surroundings seem almost real. I could smell the salty air and feel the sea spray. I love how relatable the characters are. Just when things get really dramatic, there s a little comedy to lighten the mood. The characters' feelings are contagious. The plot, however, was kind of predictable. Overall it was a very good book that I would recommend to people who like fantasy that s a little scarier.

Reviewer Age:12

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

Verity Gallant knows she's different, but her life takes a completely unexpected twist when an odd hysterical man gives her a mysterious book and a wooden ball. When reading the book, she finds the stories all relate to one evil character, the Mistress of the Storm. Soon after, a mysterious "Grandmother" that no one's ever met shows up. She claims to be there to "help" Verity's pregnant mother.  Verity knows Grandmother is mean, but when Verity and her friends Henry and Martha find out that Grandmother is the Mistress of the Storm, the stories become frighteningly real. They find out that the Mistress is attempting something with Verity's new baby sister. But is Verity strong enough to save her?

The attention to detail in this book was great.  The surroundings seem almost real. I could smell the salty air and feel the sea spray.  I love how easy it was to relate to the characters.  Just when things get really dramatic, there's a little comedy to lighten the mood. The characters' feelings are contagious.  The plot, however, was kind of  predictable. Overall it was a very good book that I would recommend to people who like fantasy that's a little scarier.

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

Vallar by Cindy Borgne

Summary: Ian is a pyschic working for the powerful marscorp faction on Mars. Ian has visions of a girl that is important to him, and when he is taken on a raid of an enemy base, he begins to realize that marscorp isn't as nice as he was raised to believe. When Ian has a dream about an enemy mine, Marscorp immediately goes to kill and take control of the mine, but Ian realizes that the girl he dreams of is a member of that enemy faction. Ian nearly dies there, but an enemy soldier rescues him, and is then shot and killed by marscorp soldiers. Ian questions his beliefs over and over, eventually providing false information to his superiors to protect the innocent people caught in this terrible war. Will Ian ever be united with this mysterious girl, and find a way to end this war??

Opinion: I REALLY liked this book…at times I thought that the descriptions were very good, and other times not so good. This book is suitable, I think, for even little kids to read. I personally havent read enough sci-fi books to compare this to other books in its genre, but I think that it would definitely be in the top of its genre. There is very little inapporpriate language, which makes it an even better book, to me. I wish that the book had been longer, since the end leaves you hanging, so I really hope that there is a sequel.

Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book

Dwight is in trouble again. After the events of last year, the class is now in seventh grade. Harvey, over the summer, made an origami Darth Vader. He instigates fights with Dwight and his origami Yoda. Some of Yoda’s advice to a student seems like a threat and is brought into more attention by Harvey. Dwight is suspended and may even be expelled, all because of Harvey and Darth Paper. If you want to find out what happens in the end, read this funny book.

This is the second book in the Origami Yoda Book series. I was hoping that a second one would come out after thoroughly enjoying the first one. An example of its humor is on page 57 when a pizza bagel blew up in the microwave. The character Dwight reminds me of the character Fregley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. An example of this is on page 116 where Sara says he’s always sitting in holes. Those must be in the back of his house. I liked how the book was set up in little short stories of what Origami Yoda did to help them. I also like being able to make Darth Paper with the help of instructions at the end. I recommend this book to people age 10 and up and anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

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

Saturday, October 01, 2011

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Anya Balachine has had a tough life growing up in crime-ridden New York City. The year is 2083, and the prohibition on chocolate and caffeine, along with rations on water, food, and paper, has made her Russian Mafiya family very influential in the city. But since both of Anya's parents are dead due to their Mob ties, Anya want nothing to do with the family business of selling black market chocolate. This is especially important when she becomes friends (and maybe something more) with Win, the son of the Assistant District Attorney and later when she is accused of poisoning her family's chocolate supply. Can Anya ever separate herself from her background, or is she destined to lead the Balachine regime like her father?

I really liked All These Thing I've Done. The novel was set in the future, but it wasn't really a dystopian because it was very similar to today. There weren't really any new technologies, just a lot of rations and caffeine and chocolate are contraband. I was disappointed that All These Things I've Done did not explain why and how these things became illegal. I enjoyed the fact that Anya's family is part of the Russian Mafia; I thought it was very interesting and not something done a lot in YA literature. Anya was a very strong and capable character and if she took over the leadship of her crime family in subsequent novels I think it could really shake things up. I liked the relationship Anya had with Win, especially the fact that their backgrounds are so opposite, but I felt like the romance was rushed. I know there will be a sequel, so hopefully we can get to see their relationship develop further. All in all, I really enjoyed All These Things I've Done and can't wait to see what Gabrielle Zevin has in store for us next.

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

The Project by Brian Falkner

Luke and Tom are two normal pranksters. That is until a flood occurs in the neighborhood. In that flood they find the most boring book in the world written by da Vinci. It is worth 2 million dollars, and they are out to get it. They come back that night to steal it. There they get chased by German speaking strangers. If you want to find out if they get the book and solve the mystery, read The Project by Brian Falkner.

The Project really surprised me. It had the perfect combination of action, humor, and mystery.  The author also does a good job describing scenes. An example is, "It was running faster, as if it were trying to escape from some unseen horror. It smelled strange also, a vaguely putrid stench of pollution and decay." My favorite character was Luke. He was smart and didn't put his life before the lives of the people of earth. The other thing I liked about him was that he was brave and was prepared to die for his friends.  I think that if you like this book then you would like Trackers by Patrick Carman. I recommend this book to people 12 and up.  

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

Stake Out by Bonnie J. Doerr

After meeting Old Turtle at a New York aquarium, Kenzie vows to help the sea turtles at all costs. So when someone starts stealing turtle eggs near her new home in the Florida Keys, she s on the case! With the help of her dog, Salty, the KTC (Keys Teens Care), and friends Angelo and Ana, they try to track down the thief before he or she destroys every turtle nest on the beach. Could it be angry Anita, the meanest women on the beach? Or the mysterious Shalima and her skin care products? Or might it be someone who s supposed to be protecting the turtles in the first place? You ll have to read the book to find out.  
This book is the perfect mystery. Full of suspense, action, and drama, Stake Out is one of the best mysteries I have ever read. It has just the right amount of family matters to balance out the plot, and the author paints such a vivid picture in my mind that I can almost smell the sea salt. The unexpected twists are just delightful! This book is great for people who love mysteries and people who love the environment. I liked this book so much that I will read it again and lend it to all of my friends. I highly recommend reading Stake Out by Bonnie J. Doerr.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rockford, Michigan U.S.A.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

It is 1929 and Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur have always dreamed of running away from their dull lives to the glamorous New York City. For Letty, New York means a chance to become the star she is destined to be. However, the path to stardom is not as easy as she thought it would be and finds herself conflicted between her desire for stardom and sticking with her morals. For Cordelia, New York is where her long lost bootlegger father lives. However, when Cordelia finds herself falling for the son of her father's sworn enemy she finds herself stuck in a Romeo and Juliet type scenario. And then there is Astrid Donal, a young flapper who appears to be living the New York dream. However, behind her wealth and beauty Astrid's life is not as perfect as it seems. Throughout their time in New York, each girl discovers that life in the city brings both pleasure and danger.
As someone who loves reading historical fiction, I really enjoyed this book. Set in New York City in 1929 the reader gets a look into the Prohibition period and the glamorous flapper life. The plot itself was also very interesting and at many times unpredictable. I finished this book in a day and found it a quick and light read. Even if the reader does not know a lot about the 1920's or Prohibition, the book gives enough information so that the reader is not lost and understands the plot and the setting.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Potomac, Maryland United States of America

Vlara's Song by Neil O'Donnell

Vlara's Song by Neil O'Dennell is a quaint little collection of medium-length short stories all set in the same, fictional world. The title story is about a druid priestess on her travels after the death of her lover, and there are many other interesting tales, including one about a troll who just happens to be a monk. Other works include the story of a soldier who loses his memory in the midst of battle, and the real story of what happens when a writer dies.
The first thing I noticed about this book was the format, and more specifically its strangeness. Unlike most anthologies, Vlara's Song lacks a table of contents. It's not technically necessary, but not having one irked me. The second unusual thing I noticed was that, for a collection of short stories, all the stories were very long. Especially the title story, which was actually divided into chapters. This isn't a good or bad thing, but it is quite different. As far as the writing goes, I found it to be average, and there were several parts where I felt I could have spiced it up. I do, however, admire the creativity of the last tale, The Realm of Author. The imaginative idea of an afterlife where authors go to live in and expand upon their own stories is truly interesting. Unfortunately, it still didn't pack much of a punch in the writing style department, so in the end, this book still earns a 7 out of 10.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sykesville, Maryland United States

The Hellandback Kids: Be Careful What You Wish For by L.L. Helland

The Hellandback Kids: Be Careful What You Wish For is about
four siblings, Chris, Brittany, Trisha, and Jon, who are
sent to their Grandmother's house in Scotland over the
summer. Maybe it's the ghost of their Grandfather that keeps
showing up, or the chicken that magically appears in
Britanny's room, or the wax bride that disappears from
Trisha's, but soon enough the four realize that something
wierd is going on. That realization is only enforced when
each of them is sent spiraling into a new world; Trisha to a
handsome suitor wanting to suck the life from her, Brittany
to bubonic-plague infested England, Jon to an important
corporate job, and Chris to a strange, cold land inhabited
by the fuzzy, green Bundlebobs. Although they are all
struggling through their own adventures, the Hellandback
kids find time to help each other, and learn an important
lesson: Be careful what you wish for.
The Hellandback
Kids: Be Careful What you Wish For was a very original story
that followed diverse characters in a fun, imaginative plot.
The story started out a little slow, but the adventures
quickly speeded up and drew me into to the Hellandback kid's
exciting summer. I enjoyed the large amount of symbolism
included in the story, especially Mr. Mole, Mr. Rat, Mrs.
Lips and Mr. Windbag who worked in the corporate world with
Jon. The author definitly drove home her message of being
careful for what you wish for well with four examples that
allow readers of different ages and personalities to relate
to the theme. The ending tied up all the immediate loose
ends, but still left me with enough questions to warrant a
sequel. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes
fantasy and adventure, and has a good understanding of

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and
Country: Harleysville, PA USA

Deviant by Adrian McKinty

This story begins with Danny Lopez' s move to Colorado Springs from, wait for it - Vegas, baby! He goes from the hot Nevada air and the never-ending clash of America' s Playground to the silence and chill of Pikes Peak. Naturally, he' s unhappy with this change, but worse than the new house, cold weather, and almost non-existent town, is the school, Cobalt Junior High Charter School. Everything they say is scripted, not just for the students, but the teachers too. With the exception of their predestined discussions and class reading, the school operates on the silent system - all the time, lunch recess, before school, after school. Oh, and of course they wear uniforms. Why would anyone send their child to this school? The answer is simple; test scores, twelfth highest in the country. They even specialize in kids who have had trouble in other schools. This naive, and utterly doomed, attempt at controlling adolescents leads to secret societies, ways around the system, and maybe invent a serial killer?

Pretty crazy huh? That' s pretty much how I 'd describe this book - crazy. Adrian McKinty went above and beyond with this book. He gave a new perspective on the traditional school system, dove into the conflicts of a rapidly spreading family dynamic, and gave fascinating insights to the psyche of the criminally insane all in about 360 riveting pages. This book is exciting but also fascinating and well-detailed. I strongly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. You won' t regret picking it up.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Cibolo, Texas United States