Friday, February 26, 2010

Academy 7



Book Info
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
YA

Summary
With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . .

My Thoughts
This was a fun YA SciFi that kept my attention all the way through. Both characters, Aerin and Dane, are running away from their past and the horrible things they have gone through. They are also rivals and want to achieve the top honors at Academy 7 but when they are punished they start to see that they are not so different. Aerin is a former slave from a distant planet while Dane is the son of a leading military officer but the Romeo and Juliet angst is not at the forefront. Their dark pasts and deep scars keep them from being completely honest with each other but as time goes on they become great friends and then romance blooms. I thought this was a fun read with great pacing, dialogue, and character development.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Game Night!


I know many libraries have game nights for their young adults and this is one that I would like to suggest Settlers to both librarians and the youth! The Settlers of Catan is a cross between Risk, Monopoly and Oregon Trail. It may seem hard at first but after playing the first time around I caught on and had the best time.
Now every game night we have one or two games going!

One of the most successful games of all time, Settlers of Catan is a trading and building game set in the mythical world of Catan. Players roll dice to determine which resources are generated each round and then must strategically trade those resources with other players to get what they need to build their settlements, cities, and roads. With multiple ways to gain victory points and a board that changes in every play, Settlers of Catan is a game that can be played hundreds of different ways. The base of a hugely successful franchise, with multiple engaging expansions, Settlers is the core game of many collections, and is a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends. (amazon.com)

Price:
Original Game- $33.60 (amazon.com)
Expantion Pack- $16.00 (amazon.com)




Monday, February 15, 2010

Devil's Kiss

Book Info
Devil's Kiss
by Sarwat Chadda

Summary
As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilqis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn’t normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a warrior in her order’s ancient battle against the Unholy. Billi’s cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He’s ready to slide back into Billi’s life, but she’s met someone new: amber-eyed Mike, who seems to understand her like no one else and effortlessly stakes a claim on her heart.
But the Templars are called to battle before Billi can enjoy the thrilling new twist to her life. One of the order’s ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have guarded for almost a thousand years - King Solomon’s cursed mirror, a source of unimaginable power. To save the lives of millions, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than she could have imagined.

My Thoughts
I read this book in one sitting because I could not put it down once the action started. Billi (love this name) is the first girl to be trained into the order of the Templar and not everyone is a fan. She has to deal with several problems: a domineering father who seems not to love her at all, Gwaine who hates the changes to the Templar’s, and her best friend Kay returning after a year’s absence. This is just the tip of the iceberg! Mike, who you soon realize is a fallen angel, is using Billi to help him release his trapped brethren and bring about the 10th plague. I was glad that the author did not drag out this discovery and placed it near the middle of the book- most authors would drag it out and make it the big reveal but not Chadda! This was an excellent book that kept me highly entertained throughout.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Buying Spree!

I went on a shopping spree at Borders this weekend buying all sorts of books, everthing from picture books to YA! I could not stop myself even though I had a pile from the library sitting beside my bed. Oh well. Just thought I would share the damage done to my wallet.



House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
Dream house . . . or bad dream?
When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house. They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.
I am a sucker for a haunted house book! Can't wait to start this series.


Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen (Author)

Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren't any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. Michelle Knudsen's disarming story, illustrated by the matchless Kevin Hawkes in an expressive timeless style, will win over even the most ardent of rule keepers.
How can any librarian pass this book up? It is sitting right next to Bats at the Library

So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

New York's social darling just woke up in a nightmare: Oklahoma. Problem is, it's right where God wants her. Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy's MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model. When Bella's mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet--a factory worker with two bratty sons--Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less!
Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers.
At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying--but kinda hot--editor of the school newspaper. But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it's not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter's instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.
How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be giving her the total smackdown?

The Splendor Falls

Book Info
The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
YA

Summary
Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship. Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness.
Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand. Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

My Thoughts
I picked this book up because it was about an ex-ballerina. I love the ballet and any book that talks about the ballet, even if it is the mourning of loosing said career due to a freak accident. I continued reading because I really liked Sylvie and her feisty nature. She is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life now that her ballet career is over. She starts to live out in the garden where she feels most at home- another activity I wish I could enjoy more (it is way to hot in Texas to garden in the Summer). Her love of gardening is a suprise to her but it fits her new personality that she is growing into.
Her dog Gigi is adorable too, usually dog characters are flat and feel like props that an author throws in to move along a plot but Gigi takes on a life of her own. The book has the usual love triangle with Sylvie trying to figure out if Shawn or Rhys is the cause of the trouble happening in the small Alabama town. Overall it is a bit overlong but a good read, especially if you like a paranormal mystery with a creepy old house added to the mix.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Book Info

Beastly by Alex Flinn

YA
Summary

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

My Thoughts

I know what you're thinking- not another Beauty and the Beast book! But wait before you pass judgement because this book is good and the movie is coming out later this year. What I really like about this book is that it is told from the Beast's point of view. Kyle is the most popular boy in school but when he humiliates the class witch at the school dance she turns him into the monster he is inside. Kyle is then shut away with the housekeeper and a blind tutor, as he learns about himself and how outward appearance is not everything. The chats he has with other fairytale creatures who have also been transformed (The Frog Prince) or are thinking about the process (The Little Mermaid) help show that this is a world where curses do happen. I recommend this book to anyone who likes the retelling of fairy tales or to those who want to read up on the upcoming movie.

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