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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All the Lovely Bad Ones (YA) (4.5/5)

All the Lovely Bad Ones (YA) (4.5/5)

Corey and Travis go to visit their grandmother for the summer at her Vermont bed and breakfast. Apparently the B&B is known for being haunted. Granny doesn't believe in ghosts. Corey decides that a return of the ghosts will help her grandmother's business. By pretending to be a ghost, she stirs up the ghosts that are there and chaos ensues.
This is a good, quick read. Both boys and girls will enjoy this book. It is appropriate for MS and HS students.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Repossessed (4.5/5) (YA)

Repossessed (YA) (4.5/5)


One of the fallen take over a teenager's body because he wants to experience life and humanity. He knows he won't be able to stay in the body long but he decides to do it anyway and has fun with it. He likes to experience the little things--doing homework, eating Fruit Loops etc. As he spends time in this body, he begins to try to fix things in the boy's life--how his younger brother has no friends, how a girl who likes him doesn't think she is beautiful etc. A lot of humor in this book. I think HS students, especially boys, would like this book.

Lean Mean Thirteen (5/5)


Lean Mean Thirteen (5/5)

I love the Stephanie Plum series. I usually end up laughing out loud as I read these books. This one was no exception. In this book, Stephanie's cheating ex-husband is kidnapped and she is a suspect. Of course the real bad guys are after her and mayhem, chaos and a few ruined cars ensue. Stephanie is once again protected by her two men, Morelli and Ranger. Grandma and Lula are in their usual rare forms. These books are great. I think this is my favorite series.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Austenland (5/5)


Austenland (5/5)

Jane has a major crush on Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. She uses him as the measuring stick for all the men she meets. They all fail to compare. Her old aunt dies and leaves her a 3 week vacation to Austenland where she can become a character in Austen's world and find her own Mr. Darcy. While there, she meets a hot guy and a stiff Mr. Nobley. She begins the life of an Austen heroine.
This is a cute, quick read. Good chick lit that will appeal to fans of Jane Austen. It is a nice homage to a great author.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunrise Over Fallujah (YA) (4.5/5)


Sunrise Over Fallujah (YA) (4.5/5)
This book tells the story of Birdy, a young man from Harlem who is in the Army and is currently in Iraq. This book shows the gritty, realistic side of war and its effects. This book can be tough to read at times but it is very powerful and emotional. Readers will come to care about Birdy and his platoon members. HS and adult readers would like this book. This is an especially good boy book.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cracker (YA) (4.5/5)


Cracker (YA) (4.5/5)
Cracker is turned over to the US Army by her owners when they cannot afford to keep her. Cracker is going to be trained as an Army dog and go to Vietnam. Rick is her handler and eventually, after training, they bond. They get shipped to Vietnam and Rick sees the reality of war. Cracker does very well in Vietnam and begins to earn a reputation as a great search dog. The disturbing thing is what happened to these dogs when the war is over--most of them were either put to sleep or left in Vietnam. Some lucky dogs were sent back to the United States. Thankfully, military dogs are no longer considered "equipment" and are returned to the US after their military duty.
This was a quick read. This book gives a good glimpse what Vietnam was like and would be a great book for MS and HS boys. Fans of war books and dog books would like this book.

Lucy


This is Lucy, our soon to be 12 year old Maine Coon. We lost her brother, Ricky, almost a year ago to FIP. Lucy is also known as "Pretty Girl." She is slowing down and losing patience with the youngster cats in the house so she spends most of her time sleeping in her own spot. Lucy loves to eat and will rub your arm 3 times with her paw to beg for food.

Charley's Web (4/5)


Charley's Web (4/5)
Charley Webb is a newspaper columnist. She is named Charlotte after Charlotte Bronte. Her siblings are also named for Brontes: Emily, Anne and Bram. They had a dysfunctional childhood as their mom left them when they were very young and their father emotionally closed himself off. Charley is contacted by a convicted child murderer on Death Row to write her real story. Charley is hesitant at first to do but agrees. She begins to visit Jill at the prison and hears disturbing tales of a murderer's childhood. On top of this, Charley's columns seem to have upset a reader and he/she is sending threatening emails, saying that soon Charley's children will be hurt.
This book has good suspense and will keep readers guessing to the very end. Readers will be hooked into this book. I think this is my favorite book by Fielding to date.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Crossword Murder (4/5)


The Crossword Murder (4/5)
First in a cozy mystery series. Rosco is a PI investigating the murder of a newspaper crossword writer. He ends up getting help from Belle, another crossword writer from another paper. She believes that the murderer's identity can be found in puzzles that the murder victim created just before his death.
This is a good mystery--good twists and turns. It kept me guessing until the end. There is also a romantic aspect in it as Rosco and Belle get close during the book. I will continue with this series.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Flight (YA) (5/5)


Flight (YA) (5/5)

This is a rough book to read. Zits is a 15 year old boy who has been bounced from foster home to foster home. No one wants an ugly Indian boy with a huge chip on his shoulder in their home. Zits enters a bank with the intention of shooting people. He begins to travel through time and hits certain parts of his history--Custer's last stand, seeing his father when he was being born; these memories or spiritual visits makes Zits realize why he is what he is. There is a lot of harsh language and graphic violence in this book, but it is needed. HS students, especially boys, will love this book. It has action, attitude and hits home. It is a quick read as well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Wednesday Wars (YA) (4/5)


The Wednesday Wars (YA) (4/5)

Holling Hood is in 7th grader. He gets stuck being the only student in his classes on Wednesday afternoons. His teacher, Mrs. Baker, decides to fill those days with teaching him Shakespeare. He isn't thrilled at first but he sort of gets into it as time goes on. This book follows an academic year and chapters are broken up by months. As a backdrop more than a focus, the Vietnam War is happening. Elements of that time work into the book but it is almost done as an afterthought, though ya readers will still learn from it.
This book would be a good read for reluctant readers and can be used in both MS and HS. Boys would like this book (some war stuff, some sports stuff and escaped rats are always popular). There is a lot of humor throughout this book, which I enjoyed.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

People of the Book (4/5)


People of the Book (4/5)

People of the Book is inspired by the true story of the Hebrew codex. This book has been protected through numerous war times. People repeatedly risked their lives for this book and its safety.
This novel jumps from location to location and time period to time period. This illustrates the life cycle of this book and that its power and sacredness spans time and place. There are many characters in this book, which can sometimes be a bit confusing, but they are all interwoven so in the end, it all works out.
There is a parallel story of Hanna, a book conservationist, in modern time. Hanna has been hired to restore this codex and as she examines its layers its story begins to unveil itself. Hanna is a strong female character. She has a dysfunctional relationship with her mother, an important medical doctor. Hanna finds herself, in many ways, as this book progresses. These discoveries empower her more.
Horrifying images of hatred and holocaust are portrayed throughout this book. The violence and unfounded hatred is disturbing to readers. It should be. The fact that this hatred is still happening today is something that we need to take notice of. One will not forget this book quickly. It will haunt readers for some time after they close the cover.
Brooks has a powerful writing style, creating strong characters, an intense sense of setting and a powerful conflict that can only be true to life. Readers will care for and about these characters. The settings are so well described that readers will feel like they are there, witnessing first hand the acts of violence. The conflict will rip through the hearts of readers. This book would be a great one for discussion. It could be used in a high school Global History class right up through adult book groups. This book spans the ages.

Jimmy's Stars (YA) (4.5/5)


Jimmy's Stars (YA) (4.5/5)

This book takes place during World War 2. Ellie's older brother Jimmy is drafted as a medic in the Army. He promises Ellie that he will be safe and be home for Christmas. She and he are quite close and she is focusing on his promises as a way to keep going while he is fighting the war. This book shows the effects of war on the soldiers in both a physical and mental way. It also shows the effects of war on the family members left behind.
This book would be good for MS readers or HS readers. I think both boys and girls would like this book. It has a lot of war stories in it and has strong male and female characters.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bitten (4.5/5)


Bitten (4.5/5)

This is the first in a series. The book focuses on Elena, a werewolf. She has left her "pack" to go to Toronto and try to live in the human world. She has limited success but is now involved with Phillip, a human. As she is working on this relationship she is summoned back to help the pack defend their land from "mutts". This brings her back to Clay, a man from her past. Elena must confront the fact that she is trying to bridge worlds and also confront her past.
Good action, good mystery, good romance with some good sex scenes. I enjoyed this book and have already ordered books 2 and 3 in the series.

Kiki, the bitch cat


This is Kiki, my bitch cat. She is a 4 year old Maine Coon that we got from a rescue group. Kiki was born with a heart murmur. In October 2008 she was diagnosed with HCM and given approximately a year left to live. She is good about taking her daily heart medicine and is responding well so far, ruling the other fur kids with an iron paw.

Friday, February 6, 2009

CR: Bitten


CR: Bitten

I was home today and needed a little werewolf fix. I am about halfway through this book and am enjoying it. I like Elena, the main character. She's a tough cookie; of course, being a werewolf probably helps.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

JF: A Snowflake in my Hand (5/5)


JF: A Snowflake in my Hand (5/5)

The author of this book worked for years in NYC's Animal Medical Center, mostly with cats suffering from cancer. She tells the stories of many brave patients and makes these cats come alive with the tales of their antics. This book will pull at the heartstrings of animal lovers. Readers will come to care about both the animals and the human clients of this practice. A good, quick read.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

JF: The Boy Who Dared (YA) (4.5/5)


JF: The Boy Who Dared (YA) (4.5/5)

This is a fictional account of a true person, Helmuth, a teenage boy in Germany during Hilter's reign. He begins to work against the Nazi party by distributing pamphlets denouncing Hilter and his war. This is a powerful book. It shows that even Nazis were not necessarily for Hilter, but acted as such as a means of survival. This is a quick, good read and would be a great boy book.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

JF: Bone by Bone by Bone (4/5)


JF: Bone by Bone by Bone (YA) (4/5)

This book tells the story of David, a white boy, and Malcolm, a black boy, and their forbiddent friendship down South in the 1940s. David doesn't understand why his father won't let him be friends with Malcolm. David's father threatens to shoot Malcolm if he ever enters their house. Trying to understand the hatred is changing David. This is a good, quick read of historical fiction.