Saturday, December 31, 2011

Scored by Lauren McLaughlin

Scored is set in a world where every kid is continually watched by cameras and scored according to their actions. Any kid who gets a high score is guaranteed a college education and a good job. However, a low score ruins any hope of a successful life. Imani is tested when her best friend's score drops suddenly and she has to choose between her future or her best friend. Imani's high score of ninety is in jeopardy. If the cameras catches her with her low scoring friend, Imani's score could drop considerably. What will she choose?

Scored is an interesting science fiction novel that has an original plot that I guarantee you have never considered. The choice between doing what feels right and what everyone says is right is very complicated and occasionally hard to follow. What makes this story so interesting is that I can actually imagine this happening. For example, an employer could say,"Hey we could hire people easier if we could watch them all the time." The novel's unique story line is fascinating and the writing competent.

There are some inappropriate actions surrounding her friends sudden plummeting score that may make this book difficult for younger readers.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Holland, Michigan USA

Friday, December 30, 2011

Vamparazzi by Laura Resnick

All Esther wants to do is be an actor. So an off-Broadway play is perfect for her, right? However playing the damsel in distress in "The Vampyre" may do her more harm then good. She must: work with an actor who claims he is a real vampire, crazed fans, and paparazzi. Then one of the fans turns up dead; all the blood was sucked out of her. When one of her fellow actors becomes lead suspect in the murder, she is determined to help. Even if it means putting her own neck on the line.
I found this book to be pretty boring. The plot contained developed characters, but the author used too much detail and I couldn't really relate to the characters. It is a definite twist from other Vampire romance novels, but is not a thrilling read like I would have expected. This was not a book that moved me or got me involved in the plot.
This book contains profanity and violence.
Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Coconut Creek, Florida U.S.A

Total Blueprint for World Domination (eBook) by Jolene Stockman

The Total Blueprint for World Domination follows a similar formula to Stephen Covey's highly acclaimed Seven Habits series.  Jolene Stockman directs readers through nine scenes towards dominating the only real world out there, yours.  These scenes help readers visualize the world they want to be in, develop an action plan towards accomplishing their goals, and ultimately following through with your blueprint.  Stockman moves readers through these scenes at a swift pace and as a result avoids overwhelming readers at each phase of the process.  Despite similarities that will be seen amongst all books that cover this subject matter, Stockman delivers enough unique messages and methods that will provide a great deal of value to the teenage/young adult group that the book suits best.

As I began reading the Total Blueprint, I wasn't immediately sold on Stockman's premise of an action plan towards world domination, and associated the book with most other self-help books I had read throughout my life.  However, as I continued to read through each scene, I found that Stockman reached a special niche that allowed the Total Blueprint to differentiate itself from other self-help books.  First, as mentioned before, the Total Blueprint is a fast-paced read.  Readers will not be bogged down for hours reading about what to do.  Instead, readers can act on Stockman's message as they read the book.  Second, there is a companion website to the book that will help you develop a digital version of your blueprint.  Finally, amongst all of the ideas and philosophical messages, Stockman points directly to action that can be taken immediately to reach your goals, and readers will develop the skills to discover what we can do today to dominate our future world.  Although this book may be best suited for teens and young adults, there is still value for older readers who would like a shorter book.  The Total Blueprint for World Domination is a worthwhile read for the unique features it brings to readers, and I recommend it to young adult readers in search of an action plan for success.

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Scored by Lauren McLaughlin

*Scored *is set in a world where every kid is
continually watched by cameras and scored according to their actions. Any
kid who gets a high score is guaranteed a college education and a good job.
However, a low score ruins any hope of a successful life. Imani is tested
when her best friend's score drops suddenly and she has to choose between
her future or her best friend. Imani's high score of ninety is in jeopardy.
If the cameras catches her with her low scoring friend, Imani's score could
drop considerably. What will she choose?

*Scored* is an interesting Science fiction novel that has an original plot
that I guarantee you have never considered. The choice between doing what
feels right and what everyone says is right is very complicated and
occasionally hard to follow. What makes this story so interesting is that I
can actually imagine this happening. For example, an employer could say,
"Hey we could hire people easier if we could watch them all the time." The
novels unique story line is fascinating and the writing competent.

Boilerplate by Paul Guinan

Boilerplate is a robot soldier, written as a historical fiction novel in a graphic novel form.  A man named Campion made the robot.  The robot was meant to end real men dyeing.  Boilerplate was combat with Teddy Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia. Campion and his robot also circled the planet with the U.S. Navy, went through the South Pole, made movies. 
I liked the idea of a robot going to war.  The story was well written and is important now that we are finishing a war.  I think it would make some kids feel good that have parents in war.  Overall the pace was quick and the topic was interesting.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Newburgh, NY US

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Shatter Me

In a ruined post-apocalyptic world, seventeen-year old Juliette is locked in a mental asylum. Her ailment? Anyone she touches gets a surge of intense pain. She has been locked in a dreary, monotonous cycle in the colorless world of her prison. That is, until a strange boy is sent to be her new roommate and changes everything.

The beginning of Shatter Me read like a journal, with crossed-out portions and Juliette 's staccato thoughts. As the story progresses, the book turns more into a sci-fi romance adventure I didn' t see coming. The writing is very unique. Mafi uses a slew of metaphors to bring her heroine' s unique viewpoint to life. Although I did like this book (and couldn' t put it down at points), it got a bit too fanciful for me at points. I really enjoyed the fast-paced plot and adventure, but the story lacks when it slows down for make-out scenes, more overdone then Twilight, full of fondling and pulling of clothes. There are just too many cheesy romantic scenes that just got tedious and lengthy (read Hush; Hush for a romance with a touch more class) and pretty unrealistic. However, if you just sort of skim the steamy scenes, you actually get a pretty suspenseful story. The development of Juliette' s character is very believable, as well as her internal struggles. The end clearly leaves room for a sequel, which I will await with the hope for classier kisses and more chases. Overall, I would recommend this book to people fans of Twilight and paranormal romance.

There are some pretty steamy make-out scenes that get kinda iffy for younger teens.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Tigard, Oregon USA

Fort Mose by Glennette Tilley Turner

This book is about Francisco Menendez, a man born around
1700 in West Africa. He was captured and brought to North
America where he was enslaved in South Carolina. In 1724, he
and a small group escaped and traveled to St. Augustine
where they became free men. There he joined a militia group
and fought against the English for freedom.  In 1738, he
helped build Fort Mose, which was the first black community
and an actual stop for slaves looking for freedom on the
Underground Railroad. We learn about the groups of people
whom lived there and the struggles they went through to
remain free citizens.

    I found this book entertaining from beginning
to end. I think this book would be good for ages 10 + and is
filled with lots of good information and pictures that help
the reader get a clearer idea of what life was like back

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country:
Henrico, VA US

Arabat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker

Candy Quakenbush is back better than ever in the third and final Abarat book. Candy decides to return to Abarat, instead of staying home. She meets up with friends, new and old, to try and stop Mater Motley once and for all. With people telling her what to do and who to be, Candy becomes unsure of her abilities to stop Mater Motley. Secrets are told and steps are taken that could lead to the demise of Abarat and the rise of absolute midnight. Can Candy keep Abarat from going into eternal darkness, or will she fail and die?
Abarat: Absolute Midnight is the best book in the Abarat trilogy. Clive Barker did an amazing job ending this series. Although it could sometimes get confusing, the overall story is wonderful. I kept waiting for a little romance for Candy, and I finally got it in this book. Barker did a good job of making the story real as well. I could see the Sea of Izabella and the islands of Abarat in my mind. It is a good series and I recommend it to those who love action and adventure books.

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

The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne

French spy Justine DeCabrillac is attacked on the streets of London by an assassin.  Close to death, she appears on the doorstep of the one man she trusts, hates, and loves-Adrian Hawkhurst.  Hawker wanted Justine to come back into his life, but he never wanted her to be dying in front of him.  While Owl heals, Hawker plans his revenge on the assassin and together, they solve the mystery of the attack...and their passionate past.
I really enjoyed The Black Hawk.  It is set in France and England during the French Revolution.  Adrian is a spy for Britain and Justine is a spy for France.  Bourne created the characters to make them realistic and relevant to the time and setting of the story.  The plot was constantly moving and there were no slow parts; I couldn't put the book down once I started.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance as well as historical fiction.
Adrian and Justine are lovers and novel recounts their many passionate encounters throughout the years they have known each other.  Also, many people make sexual comments throughout the book.
Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Brownsburg, Indiana United States of America

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

It is 2195 and after an ice age and nuclear war, a new Victorian age has been born. New technology and manners are the basis of this world.  It has been one year since Nora Dearly s father died, or so she thinks. Soon, after Nora gets home from boarding school, she is kidnapped by zombies of all people. But these zombies are cured zombies and don t want to hurt her. Somehow she manages to trust and eventually love one of the zombies, Bram. But they know that there is no way for them to be together forever because the cure only lasts five years. As the two come together more troubles come in front of both them. Will they be able to help the world they have come to know or will they lose what the pair values most?
This book was great. The alternating perspectives really helped the story. I loved how the relationship between Nora and Bram was portrayed. I loved the word choice in this book; it really made the book even better. This was defiantly the best zombie book I have ever read. I recommend this book to people who liked Rot and Ruin, Fallen, Beautiful Creatures, and Hunger Games.

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

Trapped by Marc Aronson

Trapped by Mark Anderson is a great book about "how the world rescued 33 miners from 2,000 feet below the Chilean Desert." It's a non-fiction book that shows what happened when a mine caved in. All the miners were fortunate enough to live, none died. It really helped their survival skills and showed how stressful it can be to get miners out when they are stuck underground. It also shows all of the support you get while trapped.
Trapped by Mark Anderson is a great book. When I first looked at and got the book I didn't realize it was a true story, it just sounded like a good book. When i received the book and told my parents about it my dad said "they made a book out of that already?" and he told me that it happened last year. Then I felt bad because I don't remember hearing or knowing anything about this event. It turned out to be a very good book. It shows all about how stressful it is to get the miners out and how many people care for you and want/try to help. It was a good life lesson book and very interesting too.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon U.S.A

Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

Every You, Every Me by David Levithan is a good and mysterious book. Evan loses Ariel, his best friend. He blames himself for it even though he knows he did the right thing. One day as he's walking home he finds an envelope on the ground. He knows it's none of his business but he's curious so he opens it up. Inside he finds a picture. The next day he finds another picture, this time it's of him. He goes on this wild goose chase finding the spots in the photos and receiving more photos trying to figure out who it is and why they are doing this to him. Read this exciting novel to find out who's sending him the letters and why.
Every You, Every Me by David Levithan is a good and mysterious book. I thought it was kind of weird in the beginning because of all the crossed out parts but then I got used to it. It seemed to me that Evan was starting to go crazy if he wasn't already because of everything that had and was happening. I was confused for most of the book and wondering what had happened to Ariel. In the end you find out and it makes things so much clearer. All in all I thought it was pretty good but kind of confusing too.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon U.S.A

The Pink Locker Society: Girls in Charge by Debra Moffitt

The PLS (Pink Locker Society) is a group of middle-school girls who run a website, where girls at their school can get their questions answered. The PLS gets the most questions about PBBB s (periods, bras, boys, and bullies). When the PLS gets in trouble with the school principal, they re not sure if they can save the business. But when the PLS gets an invitation to the Tomorrow s Leaders Today conference, they are on a mission to convince the principal just how much their advice helps girls. Despite their effort, Principal Finklestein tells the girls that they may not go on the eighth-grade class field trip&to New York City! Jemma, Kate, and Piper really don t want to miss out on the trip, which would have also allowed them to go to the Tomorrow s Leaders Today conference. Read the book to see how it will end.
Overall, I did like the book. The author did a great job with the writing, and although the book was pretty predictable, she did a great job building in humor. My advice to you is that if you re the kind of person for which a predictable book will ruin the experience, this may not be the perfect book for you. However, I don t like totally happy endings, and while I did predict that this was just going to be one of those books with an annoyingly happy ending, it actually ended rather bitter-sweetly. I think that this book is really adventurous, and, in conclusion, I would recommend it (if you' re a preteen girl).

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

The Death Cure by James Dashner

The end is near. The end of the Trials and the end of the world. In this third and final installment of the Maze Runners series it is up to Thomas to decide. The final surviving cities all around the world are succumbing to the mind eating Flare Virus. There is no known cure and it appears that there never will be. That doesn t stop the organization WICKED and their deadly experiments.  What is worth sacrificing to save the world?
James Dashner s thrilling finale to the Maze Runners series is an amazing book, filled with just as much excitement and suspense as the first two. The eerie future world in which Thomas and the Gladers live  is  truly an  interesting and scary place. I would recommend this book to any fans of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, but not without reading the first two books! The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials are vitally important in The Death Cure. This book is guaranteed to keep all readers on the edge of their seats!

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Harleysville, PA USA

Reaching Through Time by Lurlene McDaniel

Reaching Through Time is an amazing three-in-one book, written by Lurlene McDaniel. In book one, Sarah wakes up to find herself in a place she s never seen before. Her name is her only memory. As she tries to remember where she is, she meets a handsome man named Heath de Charon. He tells her that he found her unconscious at his gate, and quickly brought her inside to heal her. Time passes unusually fast, though, and as she goes to bed at night, she hears voices, calling out to her, begging her to return. Confused, but determined, she tries to figure out who she is, and where she belongs.

 In book two, Drake Iverson begins looking for a job, and finds one at a very unusual house. An old man and his daughter live there, and he is told to write facts and descriptions on unique items that belong to the old man. As he continues to go to the house, he starts liking the girl, Gina, much more than a friend. But when he brings up the nerve to ask her to the movies, she refuses. Also, time seems to differ in this house from others.  As Gina becomes sick, he is determined to help her, no matter what it takes. In book three, Maura is a new girl. When she meets Dylan, she gets scared that he knows her secret. He has his own secrets, too. As they keep running into each other, they end up falling in love. On Sundays, though, Dylan starts to act different. Maura knows that she wouldn t want her secret known, but she tries everything she can to learn his.
Reaching Through Time is a really good book. In most parts, my eyes couldn t be separated from the pages. The author s mood is usually serious, and sometimes even sad.  Great descriptions are used, for I can easily picture the scenes. In book one, the main character is Sarah. In book two, Drake is the main character. In book three, Dylan and Maura are the main characters. I believed in all of the characters as people. In each book, I love the wording used, because it drags readers in. I believe that the author was wise to write the stories in third person. It allows me to understand the characters better. At the end of the third book, however, I was curious what became of Maura. Lurlene s writing is effective and powerful, with no overly-mature vocabulary.  The book has many strengths, such as wording, and great plots. However, one weakness is that, again, in the third book, I don t know what became of Maura.  This book compares to others written by Lurlene, because it has to do with a love and loss. All-in-all, I found this book very moving and fluent. The ending is one of my favorite parts, and the author did an awesome job wrapping up the stories. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to those who love romance novels.
In the second story, there are some slightly sexual situations.
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Orwigsburg, PA USA

How Tia Lola Saved the Summer by Julia Alvarez

Recently, I finished the book How Tia Lola Saved the Summer by Julia Alvarez. Twelve year old Miguel is not looking forward to having to share his home with a lot of people and definitely not with a bunch of girls. The girls too thrilled at the thought of spending their vacation in a small town in Vermont, either. Thankfully, his aunt Tia Lola makes the summer an exciting adventure.  And over the course of their stay, everyone changes for the better& with a little help from a little magic, of course.
     Reading How Tia Lola Saved the Summer was a pleasant and enjoyable read. I think that this book was very nice in the sense that it had a happy ending and that everyone was content at the end of the book. This book is age appropriate and kids of the age group will enjoy the book a lot. However, I found the book to not have any surprising twists or turns which would make me want to keep on reading. I thought that the book was great, but if there was a curveball thrown somewhere in the book that would not have been expected it would have made the book even better. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good book to read and I think there should be a sequel for it.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Braintree, Massachusetts United States of America

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Kid From Southie by John Red Shea and Michael Harmon

Aiden O Connor is confused.  He lives in South Boston, known as Southie, with his mother, who can t keep a job thanks to his drunken father s uncontrollable rage and the damage he causes at every bar she works at.  And although Aiden tries to use his skill at boxing to rake in some money, it s not quite enough to pay off the rent.  Aiden finally decides to make some easy money with his friend Tommy to help rebuild his life.  Unfortunately, this involves getting mixed up with the Irish mob.  Although Aiden is fulfilling his dream of never eating Salisbury (fake) steak again by using his influence and the money he gets from working for the Irish mob, he is still thoroughly conflicted about his job, his friends , his struggles with power and money, his family, and whether he s good enough for the girl of his dreams, Angelique.  This book is the story of a 16-year-old s journey to becoming a man through power, love, friendship, betrayal, and the decisions he makes to become the person he wants to be.
A Kid from Southie is a terrific book.  Aiden s personality is consistently loyal and honorable: a kid who tries his best to provide for the people he cares about, but torn between two lives that can t coexist.  The story is told from his perspective, which helps keep the story real and clear by telling what he was feeling and the reasons behind the decisions he makes.  The mood was kind of a dark one, mostly due to the setting in the sketchy parts of Southie, but Aiden s feelings set the tone for the most part, with his internal battles and the goals he sets for himself.  Sometimes, a little more detail on character s appearances or the description of places throughout the book would ve added a little more color and made it easier to picture in my mind.  There was also some inconsistency with ages and times, I noticed.  The language fit the setting, but it did get pretty crude, and a couple of scenes definitely encourage me to recommend it to older audiences due to some mature content.  Altogether, it was a well-written, interesting, and all-around good book.  I couldn t put it down.  I would recommend this book for anyone who can deal with some mature content and language who is looking for a fantastic read.
Crude language, sexual innuendos, violence, drugs, alcohol
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, OR United States

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Short Handbook for Writing Essays in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Have trouble writing that essay that is worth half of your grade. Then the Short Handbook for essays in the Humanities and Social Sciences is the book for you. This handbook will teach you how to change that boring old piece of paper into an argument that the reader will love. The authors, Salvatore and Dan Allosso, both very good teachers, have arranged this book in a way that is easy to read and understand so that you get the most out of your writing. This book will teach you to take the right notes, squeeze the information out of them, and create a paper that in unique and enjoyable.

I found this book very informative. I had an essay assigned when I got this book and it helped in a way the teacher couldn't. I learned how to look at notes and get the right information. Then it taught me hold to form that information into an essay that could display the topic in a clear, flowing way. I am sure that I will find this book to be essential in every essay that I write, and anyone who is having trouble with their writing can be sure that this will help.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas America

Shadow Magic By Kitty Wells

     Maddy Lloyd is a girl with a magic secret. She has three

tiny ceramic cats that one at a time comes to life. The

pocket cats help Maddy to solve problems. It's when her

cousin Chloe moves in the house that Maddy meets Nibs, the

second cat. Nibs tells Maddy that there is a problem in

the house and she believes that has something to do with


     Maddy's cousin Chloe is in middle school, she is not very

friendly to Maddy or anybody and this is because she feels

homesick. Thanks to magic powers, Nibs makes Maddy

invisible and this helps her to spy on Chloe. Maddy will

find out the problem and when it is solved, Nibs goes back

to be ceramic and Maddy waits to meet the next pocket cat.

     I liked the book because it is about magic. I also

liked the fact that the cats came alive and they act like

real ones even if they are two inches tall. I loved the

main character Maddy because she is a kind and caring

girl. Her determination also helps her cousin to stay and

make new friends. I wish I could live the same experience

as the main character since I love magic and cats.

My favorite part of the book is when at the end Chloe

apologizes to Maddy for being rude and they become closer

again. I admire the forgiveness of Maddy to her cousin and

the real friendship that unites the two girls. These are

special feelings.

     I will recommend this book to a friend because the story

is interesting with a hint of magic. In conclusion the

story is amusing but at the same time helpful to kids by

teaching how to deal with everyday situations and making

the right choice.

Reviewer Age:9
Reviewer City, State and Country:

newburgh, ny usa

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Magebane by Lee Arthur Chane

This book is an adventure book with magic in it. It is about a country where they are divided from the rest of the country by a massive magic wall called the Great Barrier. MageLords rule this world over the commoners. The commoners are not happy with the rule of the MageLords and are forming secret societies that are trying to revolt. They would revolt except that the MageLord have magic that can blow them apart. The government is very corrupt, and the King doesn't rule, the MageLords do. Will anything change?

This author is a very good author. He makes you feel like you are standing right next to the characters. Some of the book was a little inapropriate, but it was a very good book. This book's strength is that the author, as I said before, makes you feel like you are right there. Its weakness is that some of the book is a little hard to understand until you read farther. I would recommend this book to others.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hunting Valley, OH USA

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Kiss of Frost is the second book in the Mythos Academy series. In this book, the students at the academy go on a holiday. Before they leave, Gwen almost gets shot with an arrow. She thinks this is happening because a Reaper wants revenge for another Reaper. Once the students arrive at The Winter Carnival, strange things start happening. Eventually, Gwen is led through a series of events that will lead her to uncover the truth behind it all!

While I really enjoyed this book, I felt like the main character Gwen, was a bit on the whiny side for me, which kept me from really enjoying her character. I actually really enjoyed the supporting characters in this book more so than the main ones.

The book was fast paced and definitely easy to read in a day or two. This is my kind of book. Over all I really enjoyed the book, the fast pace of the story and plot with the twists that it took. It kept me guessing and anticipating the next page!

I haven't read the first one, but now, I definitely want to go back and read it. I look forward to the next book in this installment!

Reviewer Age:26
Reviewer City, State and Country: West Columbia, Texas United States

Monday, December 19, 2011

Forbidden (eBook) by Amy Miles

This book is about a vampire named Roseline. Roseline was made into a vampire her wedding night by her husband Valadimir. Roseline was sixteen when this happened. Valadimir is abusive to Roseline. One night after a very brutal beating, Roseline escapes to America. When Roseline gets to the US, she attends a private high school. At the school, Roseline meets a boy named Gabriel. She is unexpected attracted to Gabiriel. Will Roseline really escape Valadimir? Will she figure out her attraction to Gabriel?
This book was not very good. The book is a lot like Twiligjt. It had a lot of similarities such as Roseline saving Gabriel in a car crash, Gabriel has to save Roseline, and Roseline having no spine at ALL! ᅠWhat happened to the days when girls didnt always need a guy?! Why dies the VAMPIRE need to be saved by the HUMAN! Why? Honestly. When I heard about the book, I thought it would be really good. It started out good, a girl leaves her abusive husband. I was really hoping that Roseline would be a strong and independent woman, but I was so sadly let down. I would not recommend this book to anybody who wants to read something meaningful.ᅠ

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Baltimore, Maryland U. S. A

All You Desire by Kirsten Miller

This book is a sequel to a book called The Eternal Ones. It takes place in Rome and New York. It is about a girl named Haven who reincarnates after every life that she lives so that she is with her love, Iain Morrow, forever. She also has another man who has been her lover in past lives. His name is Adam Rosier and he runs a group called the Ouroboros society. In the past, he has been evil. After Haven s best friend, Beau, disappears while going to New York to meet his soul mate, Haven knows that she must find him. She rushes to New York and with the help of Adam Rosier and a mysterious group called the Horae, she just might find her friend. It is a romantic mystery.
While reading this book, you feel like you are part of the story. The author is very descriptive. The mood is romantic, yet it is also mysterious because this book is about love and soul mates. It is mysterious because as you read, you figure out lots of secrets. I believe that the characters are real people because they live real lives and they seem like a person that I might meet in my own life. I liked the characters because they were all unique and they added essential parts to the story. The author s voice is normal, just like the voice of someone who would be telling you the story orally. I liked the style of this book because it wasn' t very specific and I could let my own emotions tell the story. It was told in first person, which is very appropriate. The author ended the book well except for one thing;  she left us wondering what happened to a certain character. The author achieved their purpose because I was very entertained by this book.  The writing was beautiful and very well done. The vocabulary was age-appropriate. The strength of this book is the beauty of the writing, but the weakness is that sometimes the writing was too long and too descriptive when it needed to be short and concise. This book was one of the better books that I have read in this genre, but not the best. I have not read other books from this author except for the first book in this series. I didn t really learn anything in this book, but it was still a good read. I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to others, but I would recommend it to mainly girls.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Leawood, Kansas United States

The Dragonfly Prophecy by Jacquelyn Castle

This novel, entitled The Dragonfly Prophecy, is a wonderful tale of a seventeen-year-old girl named Lexi Blane, who is struggling to survive in a world which is both her own, and somewhat foreign to her, after waking from a two month coma. But that s impossible; she was in the Bahamas with her parents and her boyfriend, William, while everyone says she was in the coma. But, as her aunt says, her parents are dead, and no one knows anything about William. As her aunt takes her in, Lexi sees William in her dreams every night. He explains the truth about her parents death, himself, and an alternate universe. Aided by her best friend, Chase, who explains what William happened to leave out, like Lexi s superhuman abilities, Lexi sets out to live with her parents and William, while Chase tries to convince her to stay. Getting caught up in an evil scheme for the dominance of two worlds, a captivating love triangle with two men who aren t who they seem to be, and battling bad guys with super powers, Lexi Blane makes an amazing journey in The Dragonfly Prophecy.

It got interesting right away (about page 16), I got engrossed quickly. I found this a truly suspenseful story. So suspenseful, in fact, that I read it in just a few hours, and by the time it was over, my hands were shaking. The incredible story line and action will leave you refusing to put it down. The memorable characters are amazing, and I wish they were real people.  Jacquelyn Castle writes powerful messages in the story, and although some are more difficult to understand, they get through. The Dragonfly Prophecy is one I'm telling all my friends to read.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Alton, MO US

Lost in Time by Melissa De La Cruz

Lost in Time is the sixth installment in the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de le Cruz. This stunning novel tells the stunning stories of three characters: Schuyler, Allegra, and Mimi. Schuyler and her newly bonded husband Jack are in Cairo looking for the Gate of Promise. But, there may be more going on with the Gate of Promise then what is on the surface. Allegra is about to be bonded to Charles, her twin, until a human from her past makes an appearance. Who will she choose? And who's lying? Mimi is traveling to the Hell to rescue her beloved Kingsley. She travels with her human Conduit Oliver. But, in Hell Mimi and Oliver's eyes are opened and will soon understand the meaning of true sacrifice.

   This book was a fast paced action-romance that was very enjoyable to read. I've never read any of the series before, but now I'm hooked. If you enjoyed Twilight and other vampire love stories, this book is for you. You end up falling in love with all the characters, hoping they will live through their trials and tribulations. It is a beautifully crafted story, a true work of art. This story will leave you thirsty for more Blue Bloods.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Silver Spring, Maryland USA

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

There is no Long Distance Now by Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye s There Is No Long Distance Now is a collection of forty short stories that explore the interconnectedness of humanity.ᅠ In brief tales about various facets of life, she conveys that every person on the planet shares a commonality - whether it be language, religion, family, hardship, or hunger.ᅠ In fact, everyone worries and changes over time.ᅠᅠ

One episode that stands out in my mind is Mary Alvarez Is Ninety Today.ᅠ The author starts with a quick sketch of a person - we don t know if it is girl or boy - who has gone to the store to buy lactose-free milk at 6:48 am in the morning.ᅠ S/he is angry that his/her family drank all the lactose-free milk.ᅠ S/he snaps at an older man in line who is carrying a heart balloon.ᅠ Instead of snapping back, he kindly tells her it s for his mother for her ninetieth birthday.ᅠ The milk-getter is immediately remorseful.ᅠ The story then cuts off, leaving the protagonist with a feeling of compassion toward the aged Mary Alvarez as well as the older man.ᅠ Another episode highlights a twelve-year-old girl s concern for her party-minded older brother.ᅠ Additional stories explore death, divorce, religion, and prison.
I really enjoyed There Is No Long Distance Now.ᅠ It is a perfect book to pick up, read a bit and then put back down.  Furthermore, the author has a way of writing that pulls the reader into the world of the characters.ᅠ Nye does use multiple pop culture references such as Miley Cyrus, O Magazine, Family Dollar, and AT&T, which could date the book in a few years.ᅠ However, this future problem is minimal when compared with the fact that the book is simply engaging.ᅠ In all, There Is No Long Distance Now is a must-read.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Chicago, Illinois USA

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer

Sarah Weaver had never been in an all girl s college before.
She wasn't exactly excited about going to one now, either.
Then, she met Maddy. Maddy and her best-friend, Agnes, are
both rich and exciting to be around. Maddy and Agnes
convince Sarah to move into a huge house, off campus. They
act as if they're the best of friends, the type of
friendship any girl would want to have. They cook together,
buy each other presents, and share all of their secrets.
More and more flaws start to show in Maddy and Agnes'
behavior. Maddy seems to be a compulsive liar and Agnes
seems to be obsessed with Maddy. Strange events between the
girls start to really freak out Sarah. Are the girls really
sharing all their secrets? Could shocking new secrets ruin
their friendship, or even more?
Vicious Little Darlings
was a very interesting, and exciting story. It was full of
suspense at every corner and some events were much
unexpected. This story was particularly interesting to me,
especially as a teenage girl. The story of the girl s
friendships and betrayal will relate to any teenage girl s
life, which is why I recommend for all girls to read this
story. The ending of this story was extremely shocking which
made it an amazing novel. I absolutely loved this story. It
was super enthralling to me and I believe any teenage girl
would enjoy it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country:
Fairborn, Ohio USA

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sudden Flash Youth by Christine Perkins-Hazuka, Tom Hazuka, and Mark Bud

Sudden Flash Youth is a collection of very short stories; all under 1000 words. Each is done by a different author and shows their own personal side youth and adolescence. These stories are about anything from babysitters to unplanned pregnancies. Sudden Flash Youth shows the truth of the teenage years. Sudden Flash Youth is definitely recommended for anyone wanting a fresh look at the glorified and horrified parts of the teenage years.
I really enjoyed reading Sudden Flash Youth . I liked having the stories so short so you can just jump from one to the other. I also like having a new author with a new perspective for reach story. I also think that the overall theme is very interesting and fun to follow. I will definitely recommend this to my friends.
Explicit language and themes
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hopkins, Michigan United States

Friday, December 09, 2011

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Esmerine has just achieved her siren's belt, making her one of the highest class of mermaids. Exciting her even more than that is the fact that now she will be working alongside her older sister, Dosia, who is also a siren. But the day after Esmerine's siren ceremony, Dosia goes missing. After persuading her parents to allow her to go look for Dosia on land, Esmerine teams up with her childhood friend Alander, now a winged man. They work together to find Dosia and find their relationship turning into something Esmerine had only dreamed of. She finds many new challenges and experiences on her search for her beloved sister.
First off, I must say this: this book is not set in the present time. The dialogue is old-fashioned. If you don't like historical fiction, you will not enjoy this novel. I do not specifically love historical fiction, but I do enjoy the occasional historical novel. In my opinion, this novel would be greatly improved by having it set in present time.
The other major problem I have with this book is the movement of the plot. Between the Sea and Sky is supposed to be a romance, but Alander and Esmerine's romance hardly develops at all until the book is more than half over. From reading the summary on the back, you would think the whole novel would be focused on that romance, but that isn't the case. The plot did not engage me for much of the book, and I often found myself bored while reading.
One thing I do like about the book is Alander's character; he is the perfect mix of annoying and kind to Esmerine, which creates a minor conflict. Overall, I don't really like this book.
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Leawood, KS United States

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Vision by Jen Nadol

Cassie has a special gift. She can see when someone is about to die because they get a special "glow" around them. She must decide to either tell them, therefore possibly saving them and not. If she tells the person that they are going to die and they save themselves them she is dooming someone else to death. In this book, Cassie meets a boy with a similar gift and they must work together to help people.
I thought The Vision by Jen Nadol was a very good book.It is actually the sequel to a book called Mark so it was a bit hard to get into not knowing what I was going on, but if you've read Mark then I'm sure that will all be clear. I thought it was a bit predictable; I mean girl see's boy she likes on first day of school and he instantly falls for her? Who wouldn't have guessed? Other than that I thought there was some originality.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: TIPP CITY, OH United States

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Planet Earth has been ravaged by disease, war, and pollution, and the only hope for humankind is to travel into space and inhabit a new planet. The passengers on the Empyrean and the New Horizon are anxiously awaiting arrival, and forty-some years they will be the first humans to set foot on another planet. Waverly likes her existence on the Empyrean: she has a loving mother and a great boyfriend, Kieran, who is expected to be the ship's next captain. That all changes when the crew from the New Horizon attacks the Empryean and kidnaps all the girls. Why are they doing this? And how will Waverly help the girls escape and get back to their home?

I really enjoyed Glow. I'm not big on science fiction, but the synopsis sounded so interesting, so I thought I would give it a shot. I'm really glad I did because I thought Glow was a great novel. The beginning is a little boring, but after the girls have been kidnapped, Glow becomes a lot more fast-paced. The book has split narration between Waverly and her boyfriend Kieran, who is still on the Empyrean. I liked reading both points of view because different things are happening on the ships. Waverly is trying to escape, and Kieran is involved in a power struggle for control of the ship with another boy his age, Seth. I liked the twists and turns that occurred throughout the plot, especially as Waverly uncovered secrets on the New Horizon. I think fans of adventure or science fiction will enjoy Glow.

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

Z.Raptor by Steve Cole

In Z. Raptor by Steve Cole, Adam Adlar has just gotten used to normal life. He presumes that he is done with Geneflow, their leader Samantha Josephs, and their evil ways. Josephs has stolen secrets from his dad's virtual reality simulator. They have then taken this and turned it in to something very evil. Adam is walking to his dad's office when he notices that someone is following him. This turns into  a high-action chase scene. When he finally does get caught these people reveal themselves to be FBI agents. They show him and his dad, whom they also caught, a video from a girl who is calling for help. Although, that is not the only thing unusual about the video. It also has a raptor in it. It is a living breathing prehistoric raptor. It looks as if Adam is going to get caught up in Geneflow's schemes again.

The author paints a vivid picture of the setting and characters in your head. He makes both seem real, and he lets you "feel" if the characters and settings are good or evil. He gives them a sort of vibe that you would like in a story. The author puts his adventureous and suspenceful voice into the writing. I found the book very interesting and very effective. It is informative and is a real science fiction novel. It had some parts that could be improved,and it felt like he was trying to force some parts of the book into action scenes. Despite this I would recommend it to others because it is a very interesting and well written book. It also sets the scene for the trilogy, and I would definately read it if I could.

I gave it this rating because of the violence and gore factor. It has gruesome descriptions of fights with blood and death.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Overland Park, Kansas United States

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

KenKarta: Battle of the Onoxmon by Alison Kartevold

This book revolves around two different plots:  that of the captured princess, Sophia, and the rescue efforts of her sister Veronica, the stable boy Zane, and her Equitier (horse) Dalminyo. This trio has to rescue Sophia from the evil dark lord Leamoldae and his rather grumpy dragon. They also have to find the Onoxmon, the most powerful piece in the universe, and return it to their father, who is one of the only people on the teir who can control its power. While this rescue effort is taking place, Princess Sophia is busy exploring the dragon's cave, finding fairies, and making friends with the dragon himself, Daelkay. So, how do you think this story will play out? Will Veronica be able to rescue Sophia, and will they be able to return the Onoxmon to their father in time to win the war? You ll have to read the book to find out, and while you’re reading, watch out for the vicious habyahs!

I liked the book Ken Karta Battle of the Onoxmon. It has a good story line and vivid characters with real emotions. I think it’s interesting how the plot splits into two separate yet connected plots. As soon as you understand the different terms in the book like teirs and pieces, the story makes perfect sense. Even though the whole princess captured by a dragon story has been told many times, the author finds ways to make it fresh and exciting. The only critique I have of the story is that the beginning is sort of confusing, but it is a great story overall. I would recommend this book to people who like fantasy.

Rating: 8

Content rating: 1

Reviewer Age: 12

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

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Being Frank with Anne by Phyllis Johnson

Anne Frank led a normal life before the Holocaust. She enjoyed parties and friends and boyfriends... pretty much the life of a teenager. Her perfect life was turned upside down when her family and a few others were constricted to the Secret Annexe during the Holocaust. The one thing that Anne found joy and hope in was her diary, "Kitty." 'Being Frank With Anne' is a poetic form of Anne's diary. It shows her emotions, her thoughts and her heart. This presentation of the diary will bring the world more understanding of Anne's world during the Holocaust.
When I first flipped through 'Being Frank With Anne', I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was poems. I started it reluctantly and then found myself getting drawn into Anne's world. By the end of the book, I was writing down my favorite poems. Most of the poems make you really think about the play of words and the message the author is trying to get across. Phyllis Johnson did an excellent job of portraying Anne's thoughts and feelings during the Holocaust. You will find yourself smiling and feeling sad as if you were there with Anne.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Tatamy, PA USA

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Intrigues by Mercedes Lackey

In Intrigues, the second volume of the Collegium Chronicles, Mags has grown a little older. But the events of winter still haunt him, and when a foreigner is seen with blood on his hands in the king's chambers, his life becomes a misery. While his friends are trying to clear his name, he begins to believe that there is some darkness within him, especially when he and Dallen are riding at night and something attacks him, causing a horrible accident. Dallen is severely injured, and could be permanently crippled. Mags very nearly kills himself and decides to run away so that Dallen can heal and choose again. Will Mags be reunited with Dallen, will the mystery of the foreigner be solved, and who or what is this mysterious force that attacks Mag's mind?
A very good book. A nice sequel with very well written characters. Other than the magic, the characters seem very real, and the emotions of the characters are very easy to feel. The book had a nice plot, and the transitions between characters weren't abrupt. I do wish that the book had been a bit longer, though. It seemed like it ended a little early to me. The book as a whole was very interesting, just like all of the Heralds of Valdemar books. Intrigues fits perfectly into the series, and I can't wait to read the sequel.

Michael Bart

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

   Imagine what it would be like to have no memory of your family, to have never had a home, or even a single person that loves you. It has been like this for as long as Grady can remember. Every time they reach a new village it s the same routine. The small boy dresses in his old opossum hides, muffs his hair, dirties his face, and then crawls into the old wooden crate. He shocks the frightened villagers so badly when he bursts out of the crate that they feel privileged to have paid their few coins to get a closer look at a real Feechie, the mysterious swamp people from the wilds.

  Floyd, the greedy mastermind of the Feechie act, is the closest thing to family that Grady has ever known. Grady understands that Floyd only keeps him because the scam brings in money, but when the villagers begin to doubt the existence of the Feechie, the future opens up new possibilities for the charlatan s boy.
I loved this book and will definitely be reading it again! It was an adventure following Floyd and Grady as one searched for riches and the other for belonging. If you are going to read this, be prepared to feel something. The author puts you right in Grady' s position. I could actually feel his loneliness, his longing for a family, and his desperate need to belong. There were some good messages in this book. The relationship between Floyd and Grady showed how important it is to be able to depend on somebody. The villager s prejudice against the Feechie and the fact that a person' s character is more important than their physical appearance were also strong themes as well.
   When I first read the description I was afraid it was just going to be a feel good kind of story but it really was exciting. Once I started, I was hooked. I could hardly put it down. This is definitely one of my favorite books!

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Alton, MO US

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

13 year old Alex is an Unwanted. Therefore he is doomed to die.  Or so he and the rest of the country of Quill think. But the Unwanteds are taken to the magical world of Artime, home to decades of Unwanteds. There they learn to use art magic, as a harmless tool and as a deadly weapon. When Alex makes the mistake of contacting someone in Quill, he puts Artime in grave danger. Can Alex save his newfound home and friends? He has one chance to try, or they ll be gone, forever.

I ll admit this book was quite original. Its characters were deep and relatable. It s plot was new and like nothing I d ever seen before. However, it didn' t really enrapture me.  I mean it was far from boring, but it didn' t really make me want to sit down and read it the moment I had time to. I figured out most of the plot partway through the book and spent the most of the rest of the book waiting for the main character to figure it out. I recommend this to almost any reader who loves art, magic, giant flying tortoises, and giant flying cheetahs. (Who wouldn 't, right?)

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

The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix

War, war, war. To Tessa war has always been a part of her life. Her parents work and give most of the money they make to the war. Tessa goes to school and learns how to help with the war. People dedicate their life to this war.
 Then one day Tessa meets up with her used to be childhood friend, Gideon, a now traumatized war hero.  In a split-second decision Tessa decides to follow Gideon when he runs away.  This is when the real adventure begins.  Tessa and Gideon discover many mysteries, while escaping near death situations and making life altering. So, the question is will you join them on their quest to discover freedom, excitement, and most of all-the truth.

The always war is an exciting and surprising book. Try as I might, I could not figure out the twisted ending to this book. I like that in a book.  This book was definitely a page turner. I loved everything about this book except that it was a little hard to get into. But once you' re into it, you' re into it. I stayed up past my bedtime to finish this book. Overall, the Always War is a great book, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to read fast paced, action packed books.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rapid City, SD US

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Willa knows she is fortunate. She lives in an almost perfect family. Though she doesn' t get everything she wants like her sisters, she is happy. But when Willa 's father, that she hardly remembers, kills his wife and children and is on his way for her, her life spirals out of control. With everything that happened, Willa uncovers secrets that her mother hid from her and a family. Will Willa make everything better or will Willa destroy everything she loves?
This book was okay. I felt that it was very rushed throughout the whole book. Since this book was written in first person, it helped me to see how Willa really felt about everything. This book showed to me that a perfect family really isn' t perfect. I recommend this book to people who liked Identical and Thirteen Reasons Why,
Willa cuts several times throughtout the book
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Northglenn, CO United States

Between by Jessica Warman

A little after 2:00 a.m. on her eighteenth birthday Elizabeth Valchar wakes up to a thudding on the side of her parents' boat. She tries to awake her friends, but to no avail. Liz decides to venture out by herself. What she finds is shocking. Lodged between the boat and dock is her own body laying facedown in the water, dead. She tries to find an explanation for what is happening and why she can't remember anything. Suddenly there is a boy with her, a boy who can see her. He was a boy from her school who was killed in a hit-and-run the year before, his name was Alex Berg. He tries to help explain what is happening to her. He says it is a puzzle she must piece together. With that this journey of romance, guilt, secrets, and mystery begins.
"Between" by Jessica Warman is a suspenseful and mysterious story with hints of darkness underlying it. There are many memorable characters, who are usually not what they first appear.  It's a high school story of a popular girl after she dies that keeps you guessing what happened, who the characters really are, and where she will end up next until the very end. I enjoyed this book very much. I actually had trouble putting it down. I would recommend this book to girls ages 13 and up because there is some mature content, but while telling a good story it touches on some issues girls of today face.
There is mature content in this book.
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Makanda, Illinois USA

My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Tansy is just a regular teenage girl, her parents are divorced, and she feels her father doesn't pay any attention to her anymore. In a desperate attempt to get some attention she dates the bad boy in school, but getting caught vandalizing a building on a date wasn't the kind of attention she was looking for. Her pathetic meter has reached an all time low, so along comes Chrissy, a fair godmother that comes to rescue her by granting her three wishes. Those three wishes don't go as planned though, bringing Robin Hood to the twenty-first century was pretty bad, but being transported back to the Middle Ages to recreate the story of Rumplstiltskin was worse. Luckily, she has the help of her family and the cute police chief's son, Hudson to help.
My Unfair Godmother is funny, entertaining, and romantic. It is a unique story, which makes it unpredictable. The characters were very charming and original. The main character Tansy was relatable and likeable. The relationship with her and Hudson wasn't too over the top. I liked that she didn't make the two immediately fall in love, instead she made the relationship develop over time, and had them actually not like each other very much in the beginning. The fairy Chrissy made me want to read on in the book. Her quirky personality and funny banter with the leprechaun got me laughing. Overall I enjoyed reading this book because it was something fresh, new, and entertaining.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Enon, OH USA

Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noel

Rio Jones is the new girl in California and has just left her whole life behind back in New York. To add onto all that, she has to find a way to fit into her fansy private school. Then she meets Jas and Mason. Two art geeks who welcome her in. But Kristi decides to do the same. Rich, a cheerleader, and everyone's worst nightmare. Rio accepts Kristi's offer and joins Kristi and her pack. But being popular comes with a few rules. Rio, at first, is having a great time being popular, but as she becomes closer to Kristi and her crowd, she learns living in the fab lane isn't as fun as it seems.
Art Geeks and Prom Queens got my heart racing with every page. The moment I read the first chapter I was hooked. I couldn' t stop reading until I was done, and then I still wanted more. Readers will not know what surprise is waiting on the next page. Questions will swirl inside your head. Will Rio accept to join Kristi and her friends? What does Kristi have in store for Rio? A brilliant book that captures the highs and lows of being a teenage girl. You won' t be able to stop.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Laurel, Maryland U.S.A

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door is a novel about the way younger versions of a person influence the way that person lives their life. In Lola's case, she fell in love very early with a boy named Cricket. His sister's budding gymnastics career separated them and created some misconceptions about his and Lola's relationship, breaking Lola's heart in the process. He moves away right after that. This book is written three years down the line from those events, and we see the aftermath of Lola's broken heart. She is doing pretty well for herself though, a budding costume designer dating a 22 year old rocker she's quite eccentric. But when Cricket moves back, what will happen to her life?
This is the companion book to Anna and the French Kiss and (and this is saying something) it is as good or better than its companion. The refreshing language and interesting takes on controversial topics such as gay marriage and marijuana make it eye opening but not to edgy. The main character Lola does many, many things that are not necessarily smart or legal but she is always punished when she does these things and so therefore the book has morals, which is not something you usually see in a book dealing with topics such as these. The best thing about this book is the scenes where Lola is upset. Every bit of raw emotion she feels in these far between moments are felt in our own bodies and it is heart wrenching. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.
Sexual and drug related content.
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Exeter , NH USA

War and Watermelon by Rich Wallace

War and Watermelon is the story of a 12 year old boy in 1969. He is going through such hardships as the Vietnam War and the threat of his older brother getting drafted. And then there' s the absolute terror of starting Middle School and having to deal with girls. But in the midst of all this, he and his brother go to the legendary Woodstock to see all the acts they have been listening to on the radio for so long. But what they take away from the concert is not the musical experience, but the love and hope they find there.
I thought that this book was a quick, easy read. I would probably recommend this book to someone younger than I.  I liked the topic because you don' t hear very much about Woodstock. I also thought that all the stuff about the best friend and trying to get girls was really funny. Overall, it wasn' t really my type of book, but I still enjoyed it.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fairfax, VA USA

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara is a normal teenage girl with an unfortunate friendship. Her best friend, Rachel has a new friend who seems determined to undermine Mara and Rachel 's friendship. Things turn abnormal however, when Mara and Rachel are pressured into going into a dilapidated building that ends up collapsing and leaving everyone dead, except for Mara. Amongst the post-traumatic stress and new move, Mara' s world is turned upside down. But the secrets of the building collapse keep haunting her. Was it really just an untimely accident or was there more to that night than she can ever uncover?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a definite page- turner. It had me hooked from the start. While the references to hallucinations can be challenging to discern as fiction or reality, it adds to the book and makes the ending even more impactful. The interesting characterization as well as the character relationships really set this book apart. Finally, it' s an entertaining read while raising interesting moral questions, a trait difficult to find in most books. This was a fantastic read and a definite suspense thriller that I would recommend to any avid fiction reader.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Colleyville, Texas USA

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Texas Gothic, a novel written in the supernatural genre, was a fun read. What I liked about this book was the setting, which was in Texas, where Amy spends the summer at her Aunt s ranch. Her Aunt decides to go on vacation, so Amy and her sister, Phin, have the responsibility to watch her ranch. There, Amy encounters her goats in a tree, a hot cowboy, and ghosts! Her aunt sells products that are secretly enchanted because Amy s whole family is full of witches!

Amy says, I was the designated grown up in a family that operated in different reality than the rest of the world. It' s funny because Amy considers herself one of the normal people of her family, even more so than her Aunt or Mother, who are supposed to be more mature than she is.

I really enjoyed reading about Amy' s character because of the dimensions she' s given by the author. She considers herself normal in a family of witches, she meets a cowboy cutie, Ben (who s basically like the boy next door), and her opinions of certain characters such as her sister Phin, are hysterical. The adventures Amy and Phin go on are of course entertaining because Phin is a sloppy genius and Amy is a wannabe normal teenager. This book is very original with a supernatural and romantic twist.

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Locust Valley, NY United States

Awakening Dreams

Becoming the target of countless attacks in the cold

plains of Calgary isn't exactly on everyone's List of

Favourite Things To Do, but for fifteen year old Grace

Severin, this is becoming increasingly normal. In a world

where Greek gods live among mortals and love takes an

unexpected twist, Shawn L Bird's first book in her Grace

Awakening series is bound to have readers begging for the

next book. Packed with suspense, Awakening Dreams is about

tenth grade Grace, who was never really looking for

romance. But after a sudden fainting spell, all of a

sudden one of the school's biggest druggies wants to date

her, a twelfth grade music genius won't leave her alone,

and might her best friend secretly have a crush on her? On

top of this, the druggie keeps on mysteriously

disappearing, and worst of all, a war between the gods to

end all things creative is breaking out. Somehow Grace is

connected to all this. As her erratic life continues to

unravel, Grace finds herself dreaming dreams that link to

another universe. In a world where Greek gods live among

mortals and love takes an unexpected twist, Grace must

discover her true self and destiny before it's too late.

There's no doubt about it,  Awakening Dreams is a

definite page turner. As already mentioned, the book is

packed with unforgettable suspense. Who is trying to kill

Grace? Why is Ben so certain he's been in love with her

forever? What's with all those overheard conversations

that don't seem to make any sense? are just a few

questions that plague readers throughout the entire

reading experience. When I read the book, I felt like I

was Grace herself, and the dialogue only added to this

effect by latching onto your nose and reeling you into

intensely vivid conversations. The characters are all very

unique. They're very fun to read about and fall in love

with. However, one of the things that I didn't like about

the book was how at the end, readers are never aware of

why Grace is the heroine of the story. I am aware that the

author was trying to limit the reader's knowledge on the

whole Greek gods and the war concept (because readers

are only aware of what Grace knows), but it would have

been nice if the author had ended the book allowing

readers to understand why Grace is important to the story.

Another thing I didn't really like was how the structure

was just a bit weak. For example, there was no climax.

Some might argue that the book did in fact have one, but

I'll let you decide when you read it. There is a little

profanity; but overall, the novel is very tame. I would

recommend Awakening Dreams to anyone twelve years of age

and up, who has a passion for romance novels with a blend

of fantasy.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and

Country: , Ontario Canada

Variant by Robison Wells

In Variant by Robinson Wells, Benson Fisher is a seventeen year old foster kid looking for a way out of the system. He believes he 's found that way when he s accepted to Maxfield Academy, a snooty rich school in New Mexico, but when he arrives he realizes he totally wrong. There are no adults. Not one. The whole school is run by students. As soon as he gets there Benson is told that he must join a gang. That is he must if he' s going last very long. He has three options: Society- follow all the rules, handle administrative tasks, keep your nose up in the air; Havoc- the schools version of a street gang, handles the kitchens and grounds keeping duties; Variant- everyone else, handles janitorial work. There s only one really important rule at Maxfield, don' t try to escape. The students aren' t allowed to leave, not that they could get out anyway, at least, no one ever has. When Benson discovers what' s really going on at Maxfield he is determined to leave, but how? There s one other thing. He can 't trust anyone.
I loved this book! Robinson Wells did a fantastic job of creating relatable characters. He gave you their stories and mostly allowed you to play out their decisions, whether it was which gang they joined or who they sided with in an argument. The story also carries with it a thin layer of suspense created by the complacency of the other students. You find yourself asking questions like, Why don' t they care? and How can only one of seventy-five see the problem here? The perfect structure the students created in the school is astounding. Everything s worked out so that there s no fighting. Each new student chooses a gang. Each gang has certain chores. The different gangs stay out of each other s way as much as possible, the best way for keeping peace. It' s both fascinating and a little terrifying. Not to mention the story ends on a wonderfully irritating cliff hanger that' ll leave you impatient for the sequel.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Cibolo, Texas United States of America