Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review: Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Marked (House of Night, #1) Marked by P.C. Cast

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
All Zoey Redbird wanted was a place to fit in. She thought that place was with her ordinary human friends at her high school until the vampyre tracker marked her as a fledgling vampyre and changed the course of her life forever. Now Zoey must try to fit in at the House of Night, a school for vampyre fledglings, but making that even more difficult is the fact that she has been specially marked by the goddess Nyx and is not the average fledgling. If she makes it through the Change she will become an adult vampyre, if not she will die.

This is the first book in the House of Night series. It is an interesting combination of two of the more popular trends in teen fiction: vampires and boarding school stories. While the book is enjoyable on a purely escapist level, it lacks depth, and is terribly predictable. The dos and don’ts of proper teenage behavior are a bit preachy at times. Other than that, if you are looking for a quick read that doesn’t require much thought, this book fits the bill. It is a fun story if you are willing to put up these flaws.

I would recommend this to teens who are fans of either the boarding school stories or of vampire stories.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some foul language present in the book that may offend readers who don’t like bad language in their books. Since this is also a story about vampires, you can expect to find some violence and sexuality.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Review: Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is a hard one for me to review. There are parts of the book that I found intriguing, but there were times that I felt that that main character was exceedingly annoying and whiny. I guess to answer the question of whether or not I liked this book I should ask myself another question, am I willing to read the sequel Dead Tossed Waves. Surprisingly my answer is yes, I definitely want to read the sequel. I want to know what is going on. There were too many secrets in this book that were never unraveled, I hope the author will give us some of those answers in Dead Tossed Waves.

Mary lives in a village surrounded by high fences that are the only protection they have against the Unconsecrated, beings who have risen from death and hunger for human flesh—yes zombies. When her mother becomes one of the Unconsecrated, Mary’s life begins to fall apart. Her brother, angry that she let her mother become one of the walking dead, sends Mary to the Sisterhood where she is to become one of the sisters instead of getting married. Inside the walls of the Cathedral where the Sisters dwell Mary learns that both the Sisters and the Guardians have been keeping secrets from the people. They know more about what causes the Unconsecrated to return than what they have let on, and they know the secret that somewhere beyond the Forest of Hands and Teeth there may be others living. Mary’s one dream has been to see the ocean her mother spoke about, but trapped behind fences and by the confines of her society, she fears she will never see what is beyond the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

This book was intriguing. Sometimes you could really feel how trapped Mary felt she was by both the Sisterhood and her brother. Sometimes she gets a little too obsessive and unpredictable, but that can make her an interesting narrator. I did get frustrated with her obsession over Travis, despite his being taken by someone else.


Cautions for Sensitive Readers: This book can be violent and gory at times, but is definitely worth reading.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Book Review: Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

Hope Was Here Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hope has moved around a lot in her young life. She lives with her aunt, Addie, who has basically been a mother to her since she was born. When an unscrupulous business partner takes off with her aunt’s savings and forces her to close the diner she owns, Hope and her aunt move to Mulhoney, Wisconsin to help run the Welcome Stairways, a local diner owned by G. T. Stoop. G. T. is fighting a battle with leukemia and hires Addie and Hope to run the Welcome Stairways while he focuses on his battle with cancer and winning the local Mayoral election where he is running against the unscrupulous Eli Millstone. Politics, love, and food all make an appearance in this appealing and surprisingly quick read. Bauer’s characters are well drawn and feel like old friends.

Recommended for those who like realistic fiction and are looking for a fast and entertaining read.

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Book Review: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Although most of my reviews focus on newer books, sometimes it is good to visit the classics. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is often thought to be the first young adult realistic fiction novel. In the genre of teen literature it is a classic that still proves to be relevant to today’s teens. It is a story of growing up, dealing with consequences, and relationships.

Ponyboy lives with his brothers Darry and Sodapop. Since the death of his parents Darry has taken on the role of provider for his family working hard and sometimes coming down hard on Ponyboy. He and his brothers are greasers and are constantly being attacked by the soc’s when they are alone. One night an attack goes too far and Ponyboy and his friend and fellow greaser Johnny find themselves in over their heads and nothing will ever be the same again.

S. E. Hinton was a teenager when she wrote this novel and she demonstrates a clear knowledge of the feelings and issues of teens. This well written, quick read should be on everyone’s reading list!

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