Thursday, July 29, 2010

Triskellion 2: The Burning

Triskellion 2: The Burning
by Will Peterson

The danger has passed.  After all the supernatural weirdness with ancient burials, mysterious strangers, live television archeology shows, and the strange behavior of bees, twins Rachel and Adam are finally going home with their mother to New York.

Except, they aren't.

Instead of heading to the airport, the helicopter takes them to The Hope Project, and they are drugged and trapped in a "research" facility.  Their mother is also taken, and the twins have little choice but to comply for the time being.

Fortunately, their mysterious friend, Gabriel, is still in contact with them and he helps them begin a journey that will take them to foreign lands where they will meet other twins like themselves.  Twins with abilities that even they cannot imagine.  Twins who help Gabriel to find the others of his kind who have visited for centuries.

Can the mystery be solved before the twins are reclaimed by The Hope Project?  And will they ever figure out who the other person is who seems to be tracking them?

Final thoughts:  Great second book.  It continues the story, adds new ideas, and leads to an amazing conclusion that bodes well for book 3.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Write Like...

So, I submitted one of my blog entries to I Write Like and got this...  

I write like
Bram Stoker
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Interesting.  And I've never even read Dracula.

Friday, July 23, 2010


by Maggie Stiefvater

After Sam's last conversion from wolf back to human, everything changed.  He's changed.  He's not changing anymore.  He and Grace seem to have found the cure and now he never has to worry about being a wolf again.  He never has to worry about being away from Grace again.

But things never end up happily ever after.

Now Sam must deal with the newest werewolf, Cole, who seems determined to either be a wolf forever or die trying.  There is also Isabel, who has her own issues.  And Isabel's dad, who thinks that wolf hunting seasons and licenses are only for those who don't have the money to buy off the town officials.

And there's Grace.

Grace, who is the love of Sam's life.  Grace, who is his soul mate.  Grace, who is sick and won't let anyone help her.  Grace, whose only comfort is the woods, where she feels safe, even as the other wolves surround her.

Can Sam and Grace really have a life together when everything conspires to tear them apart?

Final thoughts:  Excellent sequel to Shiver.  It continues the story with a new tangent and makes us hungry for the third book.  

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Misty Gordon and the Mystery of the Ghost Pirates

Misty Gordon and the Mystery of the Ghost Pirates
by Kim Kennedy

Misty's family has always been a little odd and Misty has been forced to live with that fact all of her life.  Her parents are estate dealers.  Basically, they check obituaries every day and then go to the homes of the recently departed to buy off their stuff for cheap and sell it at their Dearly Departed Antiques Store in town.

It's not something they do to get rich.  There's really no money in the business at all.  And because they are so broke, Misty has been forced to accept these hand-me-downs from the dead whenever she's needed something new.  Her room is a mishmash of furniture from dead people.  Her clothes aren't much better.

When the town's psychic finally kicks the bucket, Misty rides with her dad to the house to pick up some of the odds and ends... Mostly odds.

There's a strange vanity that locks when it feels like it.  A diary that attacks people who try to read it.  And a pair of glasses that can see more than the normal, average, everyday kind.   

With her new possessions, Misty also finds out the secrets of her town and its oldest citizens.  

Now she and her friend, Yoshi, must find the hidden treasure of a band of pirates and keep it from their descendants, or the whole town could be destroyed.

Final thoughts:  There were some really good moments in this book.  However, they were really just moments.  The author has a good idea, but not a great style.  The end just seemed to be crammed in without a lot of thought.  I had to re-read a few passages over to try and clarify things because they went by so fast.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, July 16, 2010


by Emily Whitman

Addy is the bastard child of a seamstress and no one, not even her mother, will let her forget it.  When she goes to school, she is bullied by her wealthier classmates.  When she's at home, she's told to remember her place and keep her mouth shut.

After yet another "incident" in which she loses her temper, her mother has decided that enough is enough.  She's to work for the town's eccentric inventor as his daily maid.  No longer allowed to go to school, she is forced to clean his house, make meals, and keep things in order.

But Addy never has been much of a rule-follower.  When she goes into the library that has been locked for years, she discovers not only dust and spiderwebs, but an elevator that goes through time.

Tired of being forced to live a life that she does not want, she steps into the elevator and goes back to medieval England where she's mistaken for the betrothed Lady of the local Lord.

It takes time and a lot of effort, but Addy feels like she's finally found her place in the world... and the one she's meant to be with.  Unfortunately, her soul mate isn't the Lord of the land; he's the falconer.  And now Addy has a choice to make.

Marry a man she does not love and live in the time she feels most at home, or leave forever to avoid being near her love without being able to be with him.

Final thoughts:  It takes a few pages to get into it, but once in, it's hard to let go.  While some of the choices Addy makes seem a little convenient, overall the story is good.

Rating: 4/5

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer at Crazy for Books has a great idea for sharing ideas and thoughts about book blogging.  She's created the Book Blogger Hop.  The rules are simple and the sites are great, so if you blog about books, seriously think about signing up.  If you don't blog, well now you've got a great resource for book info!

The book I'm most itching to get my hands on is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  I can't wait to see how The Hunger Games series finishes out.  Second most itchy book is Linger, the sequel to Shiver.

Monday, July 12, 2010


by Lucy Christopher

Gemma was just trying to get something to drink at the airport before boarding the plane with her parents.  She just needed a few minutes away from them.  Just a few minutes to be by herself.

And then she wasn't.

He was there.

And through a little clever talking, some preparation, and some drugs in her coffee, he took her.

Now she's trapped in the middle of the Australian desert with this man who seems to know her far too well and she has nowhere to go.  It's just the two of them and the open desert for miles.

All he wants is for her to love him.

All she wants is to get away.

Final thoughts:  This is Gemma's letter to her captor, so it's written in first person.  It takes a little getting used to, but the story is very much worth it.  It's a powerful tale of the effects of Stockholm Syndrome on the victim, and even on the kidnapper.  Well worth the read.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Abby Carnelia's One & Only Magical Power

Abby Carnelia's One & Only Magical Power
by David Pogue

One day, while making a salad and realizing that she was missing an earring, Abby Carnelia discovered that she was special.  Not in that way that all parents thinks their kids are special.  No.  Really, really special.

Abby can spin hard-boiled eggs.  Only hard-boiled eggs.  Only clockwise.  And only if she tugs on both ears at the same time.

Ok.  So it's not much of a trick.  But it is magic... right?

So Abby's parents send her to a new magic camp that's opened up for the summer.  There, Abby discovers the tricks of magic and the fact that she's not alone.  There are others like her.  And people are looking for them.

Can Abby figure out the truth about her power and the people searching for people like her before it's too late?

Final thoughts:  Clever premise.  I enjoyed reading about Abby and her discoveries.  My only complaint with this was that the book's narrator is a writer for the New York Times (no, really, the author is), but the writing itself is stilted and awkward, as if Abby (in 7th grade) had written it instead.  I wish it could have flowed a little better.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Exile of Gigi Lane

The Exile of Gigi Lane
by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

I'm Gigi Lane and you wish you were me.

Gigi has known since she was seven that she was destined to be popular.  It was just a natural progression for her.  She's got well-off parents, is great with adults, and knows how to look good.

She also knows what everyone else is doing wrong and isn't afraid to tell them.  And now that she's in line to be the next Head Hottie to rule the school, she'll have the perfect platform to be the most popular and share her wealth of knowledge with everyone around her (whether they want her to or not).

But things go horribly wrong at the Founder's Ball when she's called out for being the "mean girl" that she is in front of everyone, and they all agree.  She's sent to Alaska for the summer only to return and find herself in a new role.


She's not welcome anywhere at school, but still has to go there.

Can the former mean girl reform herself before her senior year is over?

Final thoughts:  I read it in one day and enjoyed it, but then kept coming back to things.  While Gigi changes, she doesn't really change much.  In the end, she still has her mean girl tendencies and an insane desire to be popular, which, going what she went through, doesn't seem grounded in reality.  But Gigi isn't really grounded in reality.  She's set up her own world in her head based on how she thinks things should be: not how they actually are.  And the whole exile to Alaska just seems placed there to explain why she's out of the loop on the first day of school, not to help her learn anything.  It's nice to see the mean girl get her comeuppance, but it would be better if it were more realistic in the way it's done. 

Rating: 3/5

Friday, July 2, 2010

After All, You're Callie Boone

After All, You're Callie Boone
by Winnie Mack

Fifth grade is ending and summer is just beginning for 11 year-old Callie Boone.  Things are changing all around her.  While Callie wants to keep things the way they are, her "friend" doesn't and abandons her without telling her why.

Now Callie is facing her first summer without her best friend, without sleepovers, and without someone to hang with during the long, boring days.

Instead, she's looking at a summer of being stuck at home with her daytime TV addict of a grandma, her uncle and his ferrets, her 3 year-old brother (who's not yet potty trained), her 15 year-old brother (who's got a potty mouth), and not much else.

That is, until Hoot moves in on her block and things change radically.

But is Callie ready to change with them?

Final thoughts: This is a nice, safe read about friendships and growing up.  Callie is faced with some hard choices and she reacts like many 11 year-olds.  She can be angry and temperamental, but also very generous.  A nice coming-of-age story for the elementary/middle school girl.

Rating: 4/5


by Thomas Fahy

It starts with the dreams.

Then waking in a place completely different than where they went to sleep.

Then the newscasts saying that someone else is dead.

Someone else who died the same way they were killed in the dreams.

Something is going on in this sleepy town.  And no one can rest (literally) until they figure it out.

Will they be able to stop the murders?

Will they be next?

Final thoughts:  Spooky cover, but not much follow-through.  The premise was interesting; however, there were too many redirecting attempts and flashbacks.  This is reason!  No... That!  He is the killer!  No... Her!  Very confusing.  Sure to be in theaters soon, though.

Rating: 2/5


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