Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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“Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
                                                                                                                                                          The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: be a weapon. Or be a warrior.”

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Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

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Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt – with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

 Review by: fmarie0112
        When I first started reading this book I instantly though I wouldn’t like it. The main character, Kate, was judgmental and got on my nerves. It was obvious that some of the other characters in the book felt the same way and many times I found myself cringing because of what she had said. I just kept thinking about how embarrassed I would be if I had acted that way. After a few chapters of this I almost wanted to stop  reading the book, but I continued to read the book and I’m glad that I did. As the story progresses you get to see Kate grow and become more understanding, while not letting go of her personal beliefs.
        Kate grew up in a very conservative Christian church and she followed the rules set forth by her religion very strictly. Initially this was one of the things that bothered me because she did not only followed the rules but she also acted as if she was forcing her belief upon others. When her friend Emily got an abortion due to an unexpected pregnancy she was practically shaming he for her decision. Ultimately, this caused Emily and Kate to get into a fight that resulted in them not talking for most of the summer.
        When Kate goes to camp she is faced with many fellow counselors who also don’t follow her strict beliefs-here are boys are girls sleeping in the same cabins! A counselor lying and breaking the camp rules! As the story continues Kate is faced with these many dilemmas and she struggles to understand how she could be friends with people who do not share the same beliefs as her. Should she just say quiet and let others live their lives as they please or should she voice her beliefs as she always has? This is a constant struggle for Kate as she exits her sheltered life and enters the real world. I enjoyed watching Kate grow as the story goes on (despite how frustrated I was with her in the beginning) and I grew to respect her for staying true to her herself, not giving into peer pressure and not abandoning her beliefs.

Lifeblood (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

This review contains spoilers for Firstlife by Gena Showalter.

As Tenley “Ten” Lockwood’s Firstlife ended, she chose her realm in the Everlife. This decision, though, has many consequences as the war between Myriad and Troika continues. One of these is that the love of her life, Killian, is Myriadian, which means they can’t even touch each other without getting hurt.

Ten is a Conduit, which means she absorbs the sunlight and directs it to Troika. They need sunlight because it acts as a fuel for their bodies. There are only two Conduits currently in existence and the other one is in hiding so Ten’s role is even more important for Troika’s survival. Myriad realizes this, so they are doing everything they can to get to Ten, mostly by using Killian against her.

Another weapon they use against her is Penumbra, a disease capable of draining Troikans of Light. They placed it into two humans and there is a chance for it to be spread to more. Ten is the only one who can cure them but with all the fighting it is extremely difficult to reach them.

With no end in sight for the war and Ten’s life constantly in danger she realizes that everyone isn’t who they appear to be and that nowhere is safe anymore. A big battle breaks out in Troika and a lot of innocent people die. Ten really wants this war to be over and she will do anything to stop it.

I liked Lifeblood by Gena Showalter because it was suspenseful and I couldn’t stop reading. I recommend this book because it was very different and well written.

The Girl Who Could Fly

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Review by: Glory Skyfire

This book, as you would expect, is about a girl who can fly. Her name is Piper McCloud.

When Piper reveals her powers in the middle of a baseball game, she expects her family and new friends to be surprised, but proud. What actually happens is that her new “friends” shun her, her overprotective family drags her home, and she has to hide from the paparazzi. When the mysterious director of a special school shows up at her farm and promises to teach her to control her powers and help her meet other people with similar abilities, Piper accepts.

When she gets to the amazingly futuristic Institute, she meets a group of super-cool kids who can control the weather, use telekinesis, and more.

Despite a cover review comparing this book to X-Men, the director of the Institute is definitely not Professor X. Dr. Letitia Hellion has an ulterior motive for gathering all these very special children… and if they knew what she was doing, they wouldn’t like it.

But eventually, Piper loses a friend, does some exploring and finds the flip side of the Institute: a mission to totally destroy everything that makes her and her fellow students special. Through rigorous planning, misunderstandings, a few fights, personality conflicts, and a lot of character development, Piper manages to convince the others that they should leave. But quite a few obstacles will be thrown in their way… including a betrayal.

Pros:

This book has a very sweet and true message that originality is a good thing and trying to squash someone’s natural gifts is not good for them.

The characters are all strong and well-defined. Piper has endearing strength of character and natural curiosity. The antihero was empathetic and intriguing. Even the most minor named characters have defining moments that serve to make them sympathetic.

The plot twists – There are two major ones I can think of, and while the first one is stunning while remaining logical, the second one had me empathizing with the villain – in a good way.

The setting – descriptions are very well done, which is natural, because the setting serves as a partial focus of several plot-lines.

The non-human characters – Forester has a very good imagination, and the descriptions during Piper’s out-of-bounds exploration were clear and totally easy to see.

Anything I don’t specifically mention below was probably good.

Quibbles:

Some of Piper’s portrayal is exaggerated and stereotypical. I feel that Forester should have shown more respect for her character’s uniqueness instead of throwing a few mildly insulting, unrealistic “old-timey rural farmer” clichés into a present-day setting.

The book is significantly darker than it seems at first glance. A main character is tortured. Several other sympathetic characters are irreparably harmed. One is killed. Everyone is out to get the main squad, and by “get”… I mean brainwash and practically kill. This is all described in painstaking detail. It’s more like “Whoa, things have just gotten unexpectedly horrifying,” than “Ooh, plot twist.”

The author is trying to be punny, and can’t figure out the right/write way to go about it. The Institute’s full name can be shortened to I.N.S.A.N.E. Also, the flying girl is Piper McCloud? Really?

There is a sequel, The Boy Who Knew Everything, but I would like to warn you not to read it. It doesn’t even approach the quality of the first book. The new characters are much flatter. The plotline adds so many irreconcilable elements to the world of The Girl Who Could Fly that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief and enjoy the story. The moral is saccharine and schmaltzy and is crammed forcibly down the reader’s throat. I couldn’t finish the second book, and it almost ruined my ability to enjoy the first one.

Summary of the Review:

I give this book a very precisely calculated 3.75 out of 5 stars. It’s worth a read, but possibly not a purchase, so see if your local library has it. I loved the characters, plot, and writing, but several other elements of the story were slightly lacking, which prevents me from giving The Girl Who Could Fly four stars. You’ll probably like it, so you should try it and let me know how it is.

 

Freya (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Freya, the Norse goddess of love and war, beauty and death, has been living as Sarah Vanadi in a mental hospital. For years she has been growing weaker from the decreasing number of worshipers for her. Freya isn’t getting many worshipers at the hospital but she has nowhere else to go.

All this changes when a government employee comes to see her because he knows her true identity. He’s trying to recruit her to join his organization, Finemdi, that collects gods so they can get more worshipers. Freya is suspicious of him so she declines, but he won’t take no for an answer. He tries to take her by force, but she manages to get away with her meager strength. She and her new mortal friend Nathan create new lives for themselves in Orlando, Florida so that they won’t be easily found. Unfortunately, they meet Dionysus and he hands them over to Finemdi.

Freya will not stand for what they are doing to the gods they capture but has to play along anyway. She knows that she needs to open the eyes of the other gods so they can revolt against the government and be free. All of this comes at a price, but Freya is prepared to fight.

I liked this book because it included a wide variety of gods from different civilizations and I learned a lot of new myths. I recommend Freya by Matthew Laurence because it was interesting and I couldn’t put it down.

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles Review

Review by: shipperprincess52

Stars- 3.5/5

Summary- It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.
X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future.

Thoughts-The  Edge of Everything was amazing. I couldn’t put it down, especially when X was around. X was my favorite character, just because he was so clueless about the human world. It made me laugh and cry, he was just so cute. Then there was Zoe, I liked her enough, but she just didn’t hook me the same way as X or even Jonah, Zoe’s younger brother. When Zoe and X were together though, I loved her, the way she talked to X, and everything about their relationship. I really liked the book and I’m really excited for the next one.
Age- 13+

Stalking Jack the Ripper

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Review by: shipperprincess52

Stars- 5/5

Summary- Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome.

Thoughts- This book was AMAZING!!! I couldn’t put it down. After I finished it, Stalking Jack the Ripper was all I could think about. I read this book almost two months ago and I still spend hours at thinking about this book and Jack the Ripper. I highly suggest it for everyone!
Age- 12+