Monday, August 31, 2009

Book Review: Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Stealing Heaven Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Danielle has been stealing since she was a child, and she is good at it. She and her mother have wandered from town to town, never making any permanent attachments, stealing from the wealthiest homes and moving on. It worked well for them, until Dani discovers that she wants more.

Dani, despite being a thief, is a very likable character. Her mother is a master manipulator, who you are sometimes left wondering, who she really cares for and does she really care for Dani. The characters are well developed and likable and the dialogue and banter between characters is often humorous—sometimes even laugh out loud funny.


Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some language, and some sex, although there are no graphic descriptions.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Book Review: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5) The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In the final book in this wonderful series Percy Jackson must finally lead the other demi-gods against Kronos to save Olympus from the evil influence of the Titans.

I loved this series from start to finish. Riordan is a wonderful author and knows how to keep a series interesting. Each book was filled with wonderful friendships, surprising twists and turns, and a healthy dose of humor.

Highly recommended! (Especially for fans of Harry Potter who don’t know what to read next.)

Cautions for sensitive readers: Only cautions for this book would be the violence, but since it is intended for a middle school audience it doesn’t have any other cautions.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teens Top Ten Voting Has Started!

Now through September 10, 2009 you can vote for your favorite books from this year's Teens' Top Ten Nominations! This is your chance to choose your favorite. Simply click on the button on the right side of our page, and you will be able to cast your vote. Hurry, there isn't much time left!

After you vote, comment on our website so we can find out what the favorite nominated book was here in Kokomo! We would love to hear what you think!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book Review: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Wildwood Dancing Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jena is the second oldest sister in a family of five girls. She is the take charge person, family business person, and problem solver. The girls’ father, ailing and in frail health leaves their castle in the mountains for better weather and a much hoped for recovery in a better climate. While he is gone, Jena is to take care of the family finances and their merchant business while her older sister Tati helps out with household affairs. If they have any difficulty they are told they can count on their kind uncle Nicholae for counsel and help. As winter sets in and tragedy strikes the girls find themselves trapped under the domineering thumb of their cousin, Cezar, who is out for vengeance against the wildwood folk of ancient lore. Magic, mystery, romance, and true love all find a place in this novel.

The author is a wonderful writer, and the quality shows in how she builds her story. Her characters are thoughtfully developed and well rounded. And if you stick with it the story is well worth the time and effort. This book is definitely one that you appreciate more in hindsight than when you are at the beginning struggling with the foreign vocabulary. She does include a pronunciation guide and a glossary with pronunciations in it which are extremely helpful. If you like audio, you might listen to the audio version just to hear the words, places, and names said aloud—it really helped me in the beginning.

Highly recommended, but it will take a sophisticated reader who is willing to put up with the foreign names to get into this worthwhile and wonderful story.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Some violence is present, but there is no foul language or sexual descriptions.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Review: Airman by Eoin Colfer

Airman Airman by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
WOW! This was an action packed thrill ride from start to finish. Conner Broekhart was born to fly, or born flying to be more precise. Conner has always been interested in balloons, gliders, and heavier than air craft that would be able to take him into the skies. King Nicholas of the Saltee Islands has encouraged Conner’s interest and even had a tutor, Victor Vigny, teach Conner what he needs to know to be an airman. Until the unthinkable happens. The King and Victor are brutally murdered and Connor is accused of the crime and sent to the prison on Little Saltee to mine diamonds for the rest of his life. Conner struggles to survive the prison and keeps a tight hold on his dreams of flight, possibly the only way he will ever escape Little Saltee.

I loved this book, probably one of my favorites this year. Conner is a noble hero who often uses brains over brawn. The book easily takes you through many years in Conner’s life and doesn’t drag at all. The supporting characters are well developed. Fencing, flying, and daring rescues and escapes make this one exciting book. In some ways it reminded me of the Count of Monte Cristo and other classic literature, except in a more modern style.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is no foul language in this book and no sex. It does contain some violence.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Review: Thaw by Monica M. Roe

Thaw Thaw by Monica Roe

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
First let me say that my dislike of this book is no reflection on the author’s abilities or skills. In fact, I found her writing style appealing. The story has a fascinating premise, a young man is sent to a rehab hospital in Florida to regain the use of his body after suffering from Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome. Her depictions of the syndrome were interesting as were many of her characters, with the exception of one character—our main character Dane.

Dane is an extremely caustic narrator. He is self centered and selfish, and cares for no one but himself. Although he begins to “thaw” throughout the course of the book, I found it difficult reading about this highly intelligent teen with the emotional capacity of a computer. For instance, after one of his ski teammates injures himself in a meet, Dane states that he wishes we humans were like the rest of the animal kingdom and followed Darwin’s survival of the fittest. He says, “Why can’t we just cull out the dead weight so the rest of us can achieve the way we’re meant to?” He later goes on to show that his only interest is in himself and winning when he says “In spite of Forrester’s crap, I think we’ll still win this one.” Dane shows no concern for his injured teammate, and it is ironic that he ends up being the one that becomes dead weight that others have to help to survive.

As Dane struggles to regain the use of his body, he does begin to soften and become a little more considerate, but still for the most part he is obnoxious.

The book is well written, but I found a difficult read because I didn’t like Dane. It will find it s audience, but it definitely isn’t me.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Some sex (although nothing explicit) and foul language are present in this book.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Byte: Scat by Carl Hiaasen


Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review: Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It (Moon, #1) Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a difficult book for me to review. In many ways I enjoyed the book immensely, and up until I finished the book I probably would have given it four stars. The ending, however, really pulled that rating down, and my rating would have been lower, if not for the fact that the rest of the book was so strong.

Life as We Knew It is the story of Miranda and her family’s fight to survive after an asteroid knocks the moon into an orbit closer to the earth. The change in the moon’s orbit results in earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and eventually the complete blockage of the sun. Survivors are left without easy access to food, gas, heating oil, and electricity. It becomes a fight for survival.

This story had a way of enveloping the reader into its’ world. I often felt as if I and my family were living through this disaster and struggling to survive. This realism is actually why I finally decided to award this book three stars. It was kind of difficult to leave behind the setting of the book. A story that can pull you in and make you believe is definitely worth three stars.

Cautions for sensitive readers: This book does contain some mild language and violence. It is a struggle for the characters to survive and their world has become a hostile place. There is no sex, but there are some references to it.