Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gypsies, Tramps, and Weeia

Separate from the Unelmoija Series, although part of that world; "Gypsies, Tramps, and Weeia" focuses on Danni, a young Weeia marshal assigned to protect Paris. Sure that she would get assigned to some hellhole, Danni is pleasantly surprised when she is assigned the most plum placement out of anyone in the academy. Although she graduated top in her class at the academy, she was sure that her undesirable heritage would hinder her getting a good job, instead she gets the city of love, Paris.

There is no fanfare when she arrives, her superior can't even be bothered to meet her and her living quarters haven't been inhabited in nearly half a century. Stuck working on cleaning, plumbing, and orienting herself to this new city, she almost loses excitement, but then excitement finds her. She uncovers some shady dealings and starts working to prove herself to her boss and to herself. Soon she'll have the respect of everyone. A great read, perfect for fans of Elle Boca and urban fantasy. Mix "Nancy Drew" with "Vampire Academy," set it in France and you have an idea of what to expect.

I received this book for free from the author in return of my honest, unbiased review.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Living

A little slow to start but endlessly absorbing once you get into it! Shy thought it would be an easy summer working on a cruise ship, anything to get his mind of his grandmother who recently passed away from Romero's disease, but things are about to get a lot more complicated. Things are all fun and games on the ship, until they're not. When a huge earthquake takes out the west coast, massive tsunamis are headed towards the cruise liner and Shy is in for the ride of his life. He's worried about his safety, his crush Carmen, and of course the safety of his crew mates and the passengers, it's going to take everything in him to survive. It's an emotional roller coaster and an excellent survival story. There are also political and ethical quandaries for teens to ponder. An excellent read, I can't wait for the next in the series. For fans of Ashfall and other natural disaster survival books!

A Summer of Sundays

A cute book that is a must read for middle children. Sunday hates being the "third of six" children, she always gets lost in the shuffle. This summer her family moves to a small town so that their father can finish renovating a library and Sunday is determined to make her mark. She plans to do something so that she finally gets noticed. The only problem is she has no idea what to do. While looking for light bulbs in the library basement she stumbles across an old manuscript and some letters, it's good, really good. She thinks if she can discover who wrote it she'll get some credit. she and her new friend Jude, start spying around town to see who could have written it. Was it the crepe lady? Jude's mom? The mean, old, scary neighbor? While trying to make her mark she makes some new great friends in the process and discovers a lot about herself and her siblings. A cute, touching, middle grade read.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Odette's Secrets

A beautiful book, written in poetry-like prose; this tale of a young Jewish girl living in France during the Nazi occupation will be sure to thrill readers. Loosely based off a true story, this fictionalized young adult novel is essential for those interested in historical fiction, World War II, and the Holocaust. Told through the eyes of a child, it is heartrendingly innocent and tells of fear and hope and what it means to be a Jew. Once Paris is overrun with Nazis and Jews start getting deported, Odette's mother sends her to a small village in rural France to pretend she is a Christian cousin of some friends. Although Odette was scared at first she finds she likes the peasant life and even better, she actually likes Church. Things change though when her mother rejoins her and some people suspect them of being Jewish. A great introduction to the Holocaust for young readers.

Some Girls Are

This is essentially, "Mean Girls" on steroids. No exaggeration. One of the girls is even named Regina and they wear matching clothes on certain days, plus... they're evil. Regina is almost raped by her best friend's boyfriend, and no one believes her. She goes from being the best friend of the most popular girl to the most hated girl in high school. She is a social pariah. She seeks solace in Michael, one of the boys she used to mercilessly bully and torment but that doesn't seem to be enough. She's angry and she wants revenge. Now that she knows how awful it feels to be bullies, beat up, and laughed at she suddenly has sympathy for all those she used to torture. Rather than lying low and dealing with the bullies (like she deserves!) she keeps trying to get even. Michael tries to get her to stop but she's convinced that it's not fair and she needs to take down others with her. Ugh. Soo much ugh! Thank goodness high school was nothing like this. Super violent, bullying is the norm, and no one seems to learn their lesson. I couldn't stop reading it though, it was a train wreck and I wanted Regina to grow up. I would have even taken a cheesy ending but instead... ugh!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer

Absurd, over the top, and probably good fun for younger audiences. This short graphic novel picks up where the classic tale of Pinocchio left off and liberally fills in the blanks. Geppetto and many townspeople have been murdered by something mysterious. The townsfolk don't believe when Pinocchio tells them that something is underfoot. They just believe that people are missing because there are no bodies and no visible bad guys. Whenever Pinocchio kills one of them the body disappears and he has no proof. What's a poor puppet to do? Campy, ridiculous and good fun. Pinocchio lies and then rips off his nose to use as a stake, I couldn't make that up if I tried, just look on the cover. He is gripping two bloody wooden noses. Apparently there are more graphic novels in the series but I am content with just reading this one. Kids will get the most kick out of this.

The Thirteenth Tale

This novel is a book lover's dream; it's lush, gorgeously written, and the way the author lovingly talks about reading and the power of books makes you want to curl up with this unique novel even more. Margaret Lea, a book lover of the highest order and part time antiquarian book dealer and amateur biographer, finds a mysterious note. It turns out to be from the world's most famous living author, Vida Winter. Margaret is stunned, she has never even read one of Vida's 50+ novels, and how on earth does Vida even know who she is? Vida knows she is reaching the end of her life and she wants to set the record straight. For years, she has spun tales about her life, fearful for people to peer too closely in at her. However, now she is ready to get it off her chest, so she asks Margaret to be her biographer and thus begins a complex tale of deceit, mental health issues, and overall a most peculiar childhood where nothing is as it seems. Once you get started reading this there is no stopping, you have to barrel along to the end where even more surprises wait. A complex, beautiful, and haunting read. I can't wait to discuss this with my book club!