Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Thing about the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt

      Kelsey finally has a chance to start over. Now that she is starting public school she can get her life back on track. Focus on college, get good grades, and keep her past a secret. No one knows that Kelsey was recently kicked out of Concordia Prep or the reasons behind her expulsion.  Kelsey soon finds that life at Concordia Public isn’t as easy as she thought, especially since she met Isaac.
    Isaac is on his last chance. This Senator’s son has been kicked out of so many private schools that if he can’t make it work at Concordia Public he is off to boarding school. Kelsey wants to stay far away from this bad boy, but when they are forced to work on a school project together the two can’t help but grow close. No matter what her feelings are for Isaac, Kelsey must keep her secrets. As their project to bring the students of Concordia Prep and Concordia Public together draws closer, Kelsey struggles to keep her past hidden.
    Told from alternating view points of Isaac and Kelsey, The Thing about the Truth, keeps readers on the edge of their seat as Kelsey’s lies start to unravel. Author Lauren Barnholdt chose to write the story from a before and after standpoint, which only adds to the suspense of finding out about Kelsey’s past. The Thing about the Truth is a great story and a quick read. The characters are real and the author does a great job conveying their emotions.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Katerina Trilogy Book One: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

It’s 1888 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, should be concerned with balls, her studies at school, and attracting a rich and powerful husband. Instead she’s trying to hide her necromancy from her family. It’s a dark secret – and a dark power. One best kept to oneself. But Katerina accidentally raises a corpse – or two. Once her secret is out, various powers within the Russian aristocracy scheme to involve her in their intrigues against the crown. Katerina strives to remain loyal to the tsar, but that path may lead to the death of everyone she loves. 

The Gathering Storm is a historical paranormal novel rich in detail and description. Katerina is an interesting character, quite headstrong and unique for her time. The fantasy/paranormal aspect of the novel develops gradually, slowly seeping into the realism of the plot. And yes, there’s romance - an unwanted suitor and an impossible no-win love situation. The ending leaves some loose ends, but that’s not unexpected with a series. Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and something a little different for fans of paranormal romance. 

By the way, Book One will leave you wanting Book Two, which won't be published until October 2012. To keep up with the author's latest news while you're waiting, check out her blog or friend her on Goodreads!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Lexington Larrabee has everything. Fabulous clothes, an expensive car, a mansion, a jet at her disposal and a check for $25 million dollars waiting for her….that is until her dad spoils everything. After causing one too many scandals Lexi’s father decides she has to earn her inheritance… all $25 million. Now she must complete 52 weeks of 52 dead end minimum wage jobs before she can cash in on her fortune. Now add in the fact that her father has stuck her with a babysitter, granted a very cute babysitter who is quite ripped, and Lexi’s world pretty much sucks. But there is more to meets the eye with this rich girl. Underneath her fabulous lifestyle, Lexi’s lives in a world without love. Will her 52 jobs be able to solve her problems or will Lexi be drawn back into her old life of scandal?
     52 Reasons To Hate My Father is a great summer novel. We have all seen the socialites scattered on the tabloids, but in Jessica Brody’s new novel she adds a certain twist to the out of control rich girl that we usually see. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father will keep you entertained and smiling as Lexi struggles to adjust to her new lifestyle.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I was reading this book called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and realized that part of it takes place in the time of WWII. It is about a boy who's grandfather dies. All his life Jacob (the boy) had thought that his grandfather's spooky stories were lies - fairy tales.  Then he's told that he is crazy because he saw a monster that killed his grandfather but the police said that the death was caused by a pack of feral dogs. After some time of nagging his parents, and his psychiatrist saying it might be good for him, Jacob and his father decide to visit the island where the grandfather spent time with the "peculiar children.". (Jacobs grandfather was evacuated to this "orphanage" as a child.) Jacob finds the school and it is in ruins. Everybody died years ago when it was bombed by German planes. He sees a girl, chases after her, and runs into a cave/tunnel-ish thing. He travels back in time and ends up in the year 1940 on September 3rd.  

In this book the school is in a loop, a day in time that repeats over and over, and every night the planes bomb them (though they are not demolished). These "peculiar children" are using the loop as a hiding place. But just what are they hiding from?
~review by Elise Guthrie, rising 7th grader, HMS

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood

Bliss was a semi-predictable but nonetheless lovely fantasy story. Rose Bliss, the most responsible of the four Bliss children, is left with the task of running the family bakery while her parents are out of town. While this would normally be an overwhelming job, it's made even more so since this is no ordinary bakery. It's a magical bakery whose confections seem to clear up everything from heartbreak to the flu. But not while the 'rents are away! For now, the magical cookbook is locked away and only Rose has the key. However, no sooner have Mr. and Mrs. Bliss driven away than mysterious Aunt Lily arrives on her motorcycle, claiming to be a long-lost relation and vowing to help lift the burden of running the bakery from Rose's shoulders while her parents are gone. There's something odd about Aunt Lily, though, if only Rose could figure out before it's too late...

Tween readers will enjoy this tale of a girl who's burdened with more than her share of responsibility and has a few insecurities about her appearance and self-worth. Mayhem and mischief abound, and many of the recipes reminded me of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's "cures" from Betty MacDonald's classic tales. I enjoyed this book, and the cliffhanger ending was just enough to peak my interest in a sequel.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

“Hershey’s Kisses, the Thin voice said. Twenty-five calories.
The Thin voice whispered, Brown rice, one hundred thirty-five calories. Steamed broccoli, two cups, fifty calories. One bite of chicken, thirty-six calories. Two hours on the exercise bike.

A diet is temporary, the Thin voice said knowingly. Being thin is forever.”

The Thin voice won’t go away. It is constantly there to remind Lisabeth Lewis that she is a failure. Everyone is thin, why not her? Life deals another twist of cruel fate when Lisabeth makes a deal with Death himself. Her new job? She is now Famine…as in one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Lisabeth must now face hunger in a way that she never thought of. She is slammed face first into a world were millions go without food every day, not because they are on a diet, but because they are on the brink of starvation and death. Lisabeth must learn to use her new power to not only help fight the injustices of the world and keep balance, but also the personal demons that live inside her.

Jackie Morse Kessler uses the historic story of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the current epidemic of eating disorders to create a story that will suck you in. As the Thin voice plagues Lisabeth into a world of despair, you are completely enthralled at the ironic twist of her being forced to be Famine. Kessler’s unique writing style is sharp, refreshing, and completely addicting. Given the fact the Hunger is only 177 pages, Kessler is able to create a storyline that is well developed, but quick to the point. Hunger is the first installment of the Riders of the Apocalypse series. Rage, the second in the series, was released in April of 2011 and the third installment in the series, Loss, was just released in March 2012. Once you start this series you will not want to put it down.