Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Review: Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

Hearts At Stake (The Drake Chronicles #1) Hearts At Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Solange Drake’s sixteenth birthday is approaching, a birthday that will change her life forever.  Unlike other girls who look forward to their sweet sixteen, Solange’s birthday worries her and her entire family.  For on her sixteenth birthday, Solange will go through the bloodchange and if she survives she is prophesied to be the next queen of the vampires.  Her survival isn’t a guarantee, after all her last brother to go through the blood change almost didn’t make it, and when assassins are out to kill you just because you were born as a female Drake your survival is precarious at best.

Fun, engrossing, light and fluffy are the four words that come to mind when I think of this book.  Dialogue is one of Harvey’s strengths and the interaction between her characters is often fun and witty.  I especially loved the relationship between Lucy and Nicholas better than the other storyline and even found myself wanting to flip forward to see what was going to happen with them.  I am dying for more Lucy and Nicholas, and I hope we will see much more of them in the sequels. 

Cautions for sensitive readers:  It reads like a classic romance novel, but this book is tame enough for even sensitive readers without any sex and just a little kissing.  You will find some mild profanity and violence, but for a vampire romance novel this book was very mild. 

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When you finish Hearts at Stake don't forget to check out the sequel Blood Feud which was just released today 6/22/10!!!  Not convinced?  Watch the trailer for Blood Feud.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


It is time for that 1st giveaway!  I have four copies  of D.J. MacHale's book Pilgrims of Rayne (Bk 8 in the Pendragon series).

The Pilgrims of Rayne (Pendragon, #8)

To win:
  • You must be a KHCPL Library Patron.   
  • You must fill out the following form:  Enter Contest FORM
  • (If the form does not work for you, you are welcome to email me at mwheelock@khcpl.org and I will make certain you are entered in the contest.)
  • Four winners will be chosen randomly by Random.org.
  • Make sure you have your parent's permission before entering this contest.
  • Contest ends on June 30, 2010 at midnight.  

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review: Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Prada and Prejudice Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a teen girl on a class trip to England should be having the time of her life” (pg. 1)

Callie is a self described clumsy, loser who can’t get any of her classmates to give her the time of day. It is the summer before her sophomore year and she is supposed to learning about London’s historic sites for European History next year, but she can’t seem to catch a break since her best friend Katie moved away last year. After a particularly embarrassing incident, Callie engages in some retail therapy and purchases a pair of red Prada pumps, hoping to redeem herself in the eyes of her classmates. Shortly after leaving the Prada store, Callie trips and wakes up in 1815. How is a loser from the 21st century supposed to get along in the year 1815? By pretending to be someone else of course!

Fifteen year-old Callie is a loveable and endearing character. I felt I knew Callie instantly. She is clumsy, awkward, and flawed, yet a character you just want to know and be friends with. Her antics are hilarious and the situations she gets into are a riot. Hubbard has done an excellent job with all of her characterizations, but Callie’s character is the true Gem. You find yourself cheering as she transforms from a self-conscious, uncertain teen to a confident young woman.

I found this book to be one of my favorite reads this year. I didn’t want it to end and longed to spend more time in 1815 with both Callie and Alex. This is a fantastic debut novel and one that is highly recommended.

Cautions for sensitive readers: None.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Review: Whisperby Phoebe Kitanidis

Whisper (Whisper, #1) Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since the age of three, when her sister first showed her how, Joy has been able to hear whispers. Whispers are people’s desires and wishes, the thoughts they think but don’t often express. Joy has always gone out of her way to try to give people around her their whispered wishes, but her sister Jessica isn’t as happy with her own ability to hear the whispers and goes out of her way to make people miserable by telling the truth they don’t want to hear. When Joy hears Jess whisper that she wants to kill her hearing and even kill herself if that is what it takes, Joy knows she has to save her sister at any cost.

This book has a little bit of everything. It has paranormal abilities, friendships, family, adventure, and even a touch of romance. I really like Joy’s growth throughout the novel as she discovers that not everything is as it appears to be and that sometimes she needs to think and act for herself. In the beginning Joy goes out of her way to make people happy even at her own expense. Slowly she discovers what Jessica has known, that even the best of friends may have selfish desires and thoughts. She comes to terms with the fact that she can’t make everyone happy all of the time and becomes stronger because of it.

One concern I had was that I thought having a young man enter the story with abilities similar to Joy’s was a bit of a stretch, but I did like Jamie, and in the end, was glad he made an appearance.

Overall I would say that this book is a fun fast read. I read it completely in two days, and am a very slow reader. If you can’t tell by the review, let me just say, that there isn’t much for me to say for this book. I liked it, it was entertaining, and a little different from some of the paranormal fiction out there. The ability to hear whispers was intriguing, but the best part was how Joy struggles to respond to those whispers. Joy does a lot of growing up in this short novel, and without hearing the whispers this could have been more of a coming of age story than a paranormal story.

Recommended for paranormal fans.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Some violence, no sexuality, some language.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society Heist Society by Ally Carter

Katarina Bishop attempts to leave her old life of crime to attend a prestigious high school, but finds herself in the midst of a prank that leaves her expelled. With her failed con, she winds up back in the family business, “art distribution.” Kat’s best friend, Hale, convinces her to steal back a mobster’s prize art collection in order to save her father from unmentionable torture. Unfortunately, the art is being housed in the one museum that is impenetrable.

Heist Society takes off at lightning speed and doesn’t let up until the end. Then, it leaves you wanting more! The characters are people who are usually viewed with contempt, thieves, but Carter makes them endearing. The attempted caper becomes a background story for a girl rediscovering her family roots. However, the excitement comes from the impossible task of stealing back a priceless art collection in less than two weeks.

Usually, I have the unfortunate ability to see what is coming next in the story. I couldn’t do that with this book. The main characters traveled all over the world to gather a team and gadgets to pull off their heist. The relationships between the characters kept the book from becoming your typical mystery. A little bit of art history makes this story complete. I can’t wait to read another book by Ally Carter.

Guest Reviewer: Courtney Klueh, KHCPL South Children's Librarian

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Make a Splash Read: Summer Reading Club 2010

Summer reading club starts Monday June 7th!  Come into any library location to sign up!  Don't forget you can earn extra prizes by filling out our YA Tic Tac Toe board.  Following our blog, Twitter or Facebook pages will help you complete your Tic Tac Toe board so visit our sites, comment on them, and get those squares marked off your board.

Also stay tuned for more reviews for great summer books.  All here on your KHCPL Teen Scene Blog, Twitter, and Facebook Pages.

For more information about Summer Reading Club, Programs, and Prizes visit our website! 

SUMMER READING CLUB 2010 : Make A Splash - Read!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Review: After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

After Ever After After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Jeffrey Alper has learned to live with cancer. He has passed the 5 year critical mark and now must face the challenges of being a normal 8th grader. Whatever that means? Jeffrey, Lindsey, the new girl in class from California, and Tad, also a cancer survivor, are friends that learn to work together for a common goal. Through their adventures, they learn to stand up for themselves as well as the ones they love. Together they learn to survive and start living again.

After Ever After by Jordan Sonneblick is a delightful book about 8th grader, Jeffrey Alper, a cancer survivor of 5 years, who now must face the challenges of being a normal 8th grader, a new girl in class from California who thinks he is cute and is a big distraction in science class, and a best friend, also a cancer survivor, who is plotting how to help Jeffrey pass the state standardized tests and graduate. Together they keep the reader turning pages to see what kind of mischief they will get into next.

The story is told from the point of view of Jeffrey who is not sure he is up to the challenges of 8th grade. Jeffrey’s older brother, Steven, was important to him as he was going through the challenges of fighting cancer but now has now moved to Africa, to ‘find’ himself. Jeffery often wishes he was around so he could talk to him.

The characters of this story become real as you get into the book. I felt the frustration Jeffrey feels when he has difficulty passing the state standardized tests. I wanted to help him study. However, it was a PE teacher who saw that he had the capability to get the job done that inspired him to keep trying along with his two friends, Lindsey and Tad. Both friends in their own way set out to help Jeffrey pass the state tests.

I enjoyed this book immensely! I would highly recommend it to everyone, young and old. I did not realize until after I had read the book that it is a sequel to Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. The characters were realistic, loveable and unpredictable. The ending was not what I expected but it was very appropriate for the book. It could not have ended any other way after I thought about it. For a tender and funny story about the challenges of being 8th graders and dealing with friendship, this book is a great read.

Pat Heinig, Guest Reviewer

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