Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Review: Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry

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In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world.  It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak.  Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future.  Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable.  Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long to ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Similar but the same as The Giver, the first book in the series.  Kira lives in a village where those that get injured or are deemed weak are put out in the field to die.  Kira was luckily saved by her mother at birth even though she was born with a twisted leg.  All her life Kira has had to work very hard to show that she is of value.  When her mother dies, she is taken in by the Council and is praised for her valuable sewing skills.  As was expected, things aren't always as great as they seem.  I enjoyed seeing Kira grow in this book.  I liked the new characters introduced, Matt and his dog, Thomas the Carver and little Jo.  I can't wait to see what happens next.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review: Midnight Hour - C.C. Hunter

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Being a dyslexic witch is a curse in itself, but Miranda Kane's time at Shadow Falls has helped her harness her magical powers.  Now, just as she's finally mastered them and is preparing to graduate with her friends, a near-death experience threatens to ruin it all.

Miranda awakens in the hospital with a mysterious tattoo that no one can explain.  As she struggles to make sense of it--and questions her feelings for a certain irresistible shape-shifter and a hot new guy--the strange markings begin to spread all over her body, leaving her desperate to find answers.  But before she can solve that problem, a new one arises: her sister is missing.

Has her sister been kidnapped?  Miranda will risk her life to find out.  Will she live to share the day she's worked so hard for with her friends?  When the clock strikes midnight, will Miranda make it to her graduation at Shadow Falls?

3/5 stars (like it)
This was a great conclusion to Miranda's story.  I love that C.C. Hunter focused a trilogy on each of the main characters.  First we had Kylie and her struggles with finding out who she was.  Then Dellla and oh how much I love Della.  Her struggles with love and her new powers.  Now Miranda with a love triangle, her new sister and possible new powers.  I love all the characters in the series.  I loved the ending.  I feel though that even though graduation happened we haven't seen the last of these characters.  I would love to see what life is like for them as they enter the workforce beyond college.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Book Review: The Return of the Witch - Paula Brackston

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After five years in the Summerlands, Gideon has gained his freedom.  Elizabeth knows he will go straight for Tegan, and that she must protect the girl she had come to regard as her own daughter.  In the time since the dramatic night in Batchcombe woods, Tegan has travelled the world learning from all manner of witches, and she is no longer the awkward teenager and novice spellcaster she once was.  However, her skills are no match for Gideon's dark, vengeful power, and he succeeds in capturing her.  Will Elizabeth be able to find her?  Will they be able to defeat their nemesis once and for all?

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I felt like the first book had a conclusion that I was happy with.  This book seemed somewhat unnecessary except that it gives some of the characters a happy ending.  New characters are introduced in this book.  I would have rather have liked to read a book about Tegan only and her time spent learning from other witches.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac - Gabrielle Zevin

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If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss.  She wouldn't have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn't have hit her head on the steps.  She wouldn't have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia.  She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace.  She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place.  She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her "Chief".  She'd know about her mom's new family.  She's know about her dad's fiancee.  She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her.  She wouldn't have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Naomi wakes up with amnesia and the last age she remembers being is 12 years old.  Her parents are happily married.  So it is a big surprise when she wakes up and finds out her mom is married to an old flame and she has a little sister.  Also surprising is that her dad is about to get married to a Tango dancer.  With the help of her best friend Will and her boyfriend Ace, she learns about her life.  During that time she questions why she did the things she did and why she ever wanted to date Ace.  In the end she ends up learning more about herself and changes to become someone better.

Book Review: The Beginning of Everything - Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything - Robyn Schneider
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Varsity tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before--before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book reminded me very much of Paper Towns by John Green.  Seems to me that all the terrible things that happened to Ezra were actually the best things to happen to him.  His friends were jerks that never cared about him.  His girlfriend only went out with him in order to look good.  Because of all of this he rekindles an old friendship with someone who truly cares for him.  He develops new relationships with friends and gets over his girlfriend.  In the end, even though Ezra's life was not what he thought it would be it actually seems like he grows up and becomes a better person.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Book Review: Dreamfall - Amy Plum

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Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure.  She thought things couldn't get any worse...but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there's a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there.  Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life.  Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they'd rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears.  And if they can't find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I didn't think I would like this book as much as I did.  The perspectives changed from Jamie, who is a pre-med student observing the experiment to Fergus and Cata who are stuck in the nightmare.  It was interesting to see how the kids trapped figured things out as well as know what was going on in the outside world.  The ending just let me hanging and I will definitely read the next one.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Book Review: Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi

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In a world of danger
an unlikely alliance
breathtaking adventure
 and unforgettable romance...

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie.  Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors.  So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry.  He's searching for someone too.  He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope of staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I was surprised at how much I actually liked this book.  Although at first Aria seems like she's high maintenance and whinny, she turns out to be pretty tough.  Perry seem very serious, and although he is I ended up really liking him.  I actually liked all the characters in the story.  Although we did not get to know Talon all that much, I'm sure we will.  I like how this book was not just about a love story but about how to people change and become stronger.  I can't wait to read the next book  to see what struggles Aria and Perry along with their friends and enemies will have.


Book Review: Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry

Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world.  It i...