Sunday, November 22, 2009

In my Mailbox

Credits go to the story siren! :)
Bought: Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Poison Ink by Christopher Golden
Faking 19 by Alyson Noel
How to teach filthy rich girls by Zoey Dean
Won: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins from The Book Vixen
That's what I got this week.
P.S. I'm still trying to make my blog better so sorry if the quality isn't that good. I'll get better over time. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

School Review The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

Reading level: Young Adult 9-12
Publisher: Puffin (April 12, 2004)
Rating: 4.5 stars!
From: Teacher
Buy here:
In this novel, Yolen attempts to answer those who question why the Holocaust should be remembered. Hannah, 12, is tired of remembering, and is embarrassed by her grandfather, who rants and raves at the mention of the Nazis. Her mother’s explanations of how her grandparents and great-aunt lost all family and friends during that time have little effect.
Then, during a Passover Seder, Hannah is chosen to open the door to welcome the prophet Elijah. As she does so, she is transported to a village in Poland in the 1940s, where everyone thinks that she is Chaya, who has just recovered from a serious illness. She is captured by the Nazis and taken to a death camp, where she is befriended by a young girl named Rivka, who teaches her how to fight the dehumanizing processes of the camp and hold onto her identity. When at last their luck runs out and Rivka is chosen, Hannah/Chaya, in an almost impulsive act of self-sacrifice, goes in her stead. As the door to the gas chamber closes behind her, she is returned to the door of her grandparents’ apartment, waiting for Elijah.
Through Hannah, with her memories of the present and the past, Yolen does a fine job of illustrating the importance of remembering. She adds much to children’s understanding of the effects of the Holocaust, which will reverberate throughout history, today and tomorrow.

I thought the book was a must-read. I felt it was a bit short but the writer executed the story well. You should pick it up at the library if you see it. It's a haunting tale of life, death, memory, and sorrow. It's described as a younger children's book but the topics are a bit mature.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My review of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Reading level: Young Adult
Pages: 198
Rating: 5 stars!
From: Amazon
Buy Here:
Melinda starts off high school on the wrong foot and it's because of something that happened before school even started. Everything was going fine until that party. She knows why she called the cops but she isn't telling anyone, not even her best friend, well now it's her ex-best friend. After the party, her friends dump her and leave her to fend for herself at Merryweather High. She's a freshman. And friendless.

Melinda doesn't mind the stares and snickers all that much but it's the rumors that she doesn't like. They are wrong, all wrong. They don't know anything about that night. Only Melinda knows what happened. Although no one would believe her if she did speak about it. There is someone else that knows, but they are keeping their mouth shut also. That's a good thing.

Melinda dreads school everyday, although she has found comfort in her Art class taught by Mr. Freeman. He gives her the freedom to open up through art and at first she is skeptical and her emotions are non-existent. But as the year progresses something inside Melinda clicks, and art is the one thing she has to stay strong.

There is also this boy, David Petrakis, who is in her Biology class. He teaches her a little something about life and ends up being a good guy and a friend to Melinda.

I would recommend this book to all of my friends. It's a quick read and made me think. The author's writing is very real and captures a high school perfectly. I felt like I could relate to Melinda in a way. The story behind Melinda is heavy and may be for more mature readers.
I felt bad for Melinda because she doesn't trust her parents with the truth and keeps it to herself and you only find it out about half-way through the book. Laurie Halse Anderson is a great young adult author and I'll be checking out more of her books.

My review of Cycler by Lauren Mclaughlin

Reading level: Young Adult
Pages: 250
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (August 26, 2008)
Rating: 4 stars
From: Amazon
Buy at Amazon for only 2 cents! (If you buy it used):
Jill McTeague is a normal high school girl. She's got good friends who are helping her to snag a date to the prom. Not any date, though. She's been asked by her science lab partner but brushed him off saying it was too early to plan for the prom. She'd rather go with Tommy Knutson. They have Calculus together and she catches him looking at her throughout class.

There's only one small glitch in her plans. As long as her cycle stays on course, she can attend the prom as Jill. But if there is even a slight miscalculation on her part, she may be Jack at the time.

Jack is the person she becomes for four days prior to her period each month. The cycling from female to male started three years ago. She and her mom have been to all the doctors and had all the tests done, but no one can explain it or give her any help. So the McTeague family has taken matters into their own hands. When Jill becomes Jack, he is forced to stay home from school (they've created an ongoing need for blood transfusions each month for Jill by way of explanation) and denied access to the outside world. Jack has no access to the Internet, or a cell phone. His only stimulation comes from the piles of books, DVDs and porn Jill or her mother procures for him (thanks to the sticky notes he leaves for Jill when he's visiting).

Things are going along smoothly for Jill and her crush, Tommy, has started noticing her, no thanks to the crazy J-bar incident at the local ski slope. Now Jill just has to get him to ask her to the prom. However, in the meantime, Jack has snuck out of the house on his latest visit to peek at a sleeping Ramie, Jill's best friend. Jack is obsessed with Ramie. Mrs. McTeague strips Jack of all privileges and locks him in his room.

As the prom gets closer and closer, the cycling becomes more complicated for Jill and Jack. Jill has a harder time forcing Jack's residual thoughts into oblivion, and being around her best friend draws conflicting emotions within her.

I really liked this book. It was interesting with the different views. The author's writing kept me from getting bored. It was cool what it would be like if that happened in real life. I think it's one of the first books about that subject. There was inapporpriate language. Something I didn't understand was why Jill kept on saying Mal. It kind of disrupted the flow of the story. I thought that it was cool but freaky that Ramie and "Jack" are having a relationship. The ending was a bit fast for me but overall this was a good book for 13 year olds and up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What I'm reading

Right now I'm reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and The Devil's Arithmetic (For School),
I Just finished Cycler so I'll put a review of it up soon.
I'm going to read The Summoning
I have 8 books ordered from Amazon so they should be coming soon. :D
Comment what you've been reading about.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Going Bovine by Libba Bray book review

Pages: 496 pages
Reading level: Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte Books for young readers (September 22, 2009)
Rating: 5 stars!
From: Library
Buy here:
When Cameron, a high-school slacker, finds out he has fatal mad cow disease, he sets out on an epic quest to find a cure and maybe save the world, too. Accompanied by his friends -- Gonzo, a dwarf, and Balder, a Viking god disguised as a long-suffering yard gnome (don't ask) -- Cameron faces an increasingly bizarre series of misadventures involving a punk angel, New Orleans jazz musicians, and snow globes in this very postmodern retelling of Don Quixote.

I thought this book was wonderful! It was funny from the beginning and I liked reading from a boys point of view for a change. The book was filled with alternate realities, snow globes, and people obsessed with reality t.v. The book kept me flipping pages with it's quirky characters. Going Bovine is sure to become a classic in the Young Adult section and I will be reccomending this book to my friends (even though some of them gave me strange looks when they saw me reading a book with a cow on front).
There was a bit of language bit it didn't subtract from the book's quality.
Overall: Amazing book, and it's definitely worth a read!

Some contests to enter :D
This is the link to join Frankie's contest.
Another contest is for the Blue Bloods sereies books 1-4
Here is a contest for
The Silent Gift :
And The Secret of Joy:
Dani Noir:

Monday, November 9, 2009

My review of The Clique by Lisi Harrison

Publisher: Poppy (May 5, 2004)
Pages: 220
Age: 9-12
From: Garage Sale
Buy at:
Rating: 4 stars
Lisi Harrison's debut novel introduces us to THE CLIQUE - a quartet of popular girls attending private school in New York. These girls are wise (and rich) beyond their twelve years, valuing their designer clothes, sparkling homes, and precious cell phones above all else. At the top of the clique is Massie, a girl whose room is modeled after an all-white posh hotel suite.

When her father's longtime friend has a stroke of bad luck, Massie's dad lets his friend, his friend's wife and his daughter stay in the guesthouse. This girl may be Massie's peer and new classmate, but, since she is clad in overalls and Keds, Massie is reluctant to make friends.

I thought the book was a fun and quick read that kept me going because there was so much drama and gossip. This first book is a great debut for the series and I recommend that you read the whole series if you're into drama and gossip books like Gossip Girl and Private.

My review of Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez

Publisher: Harcourt Paperbacks (Sept. 1st 2008)
Pages: 208
Reading level: Young Adult
Rating: Did not finish
From: Local Library
Buy at:
aisy Giordano is a junior at Nightshade High and a "norm." Her sisters have inherited her mother's psychic abilities: one can read minds and the other has the gift of telekinesis. Her father, who vanished mysteriously five years ago, was also a "norm". Though her mother assures her she is probably just a late bloomer, Daisy can't help feeling left out at home.

School is not much better. Her former best friend Samantha, the "it girl" and star cheerleader of Nightshade High, has returned from summer vacation sporting the "walking dead" look complete with the mini casket on wheels she drags behind her. When Daisy is encouraged to join the cheerleading squad, she wonders what complete humiliation Samantha has in store for her this time.

Daisy's mom, being psychic, works with the town police chief on tough cases. When her mom seems stumped on a case involving the mysterious death of a teenage girl, Daisy is determined to help her. It doesn't hurt that the police chief's son just happens to be her best friend and the cutest guy at Nightshade High. But when the girl's body mysteriously disappears from the morgue and the girl herself makes a surprise appearance at Daisy's first pep rally as a cheerleader, things get really interesting.

I wasn't overly impressed with this book, and I don't feel that there's a lot to say about it. I felt that it was underdeveloped and more could have happened. I was bored after the first few pages and decided not to finish it. I guess it wasn't the right book for me.

My review of Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Publisher: Razorbill (April 10, 2008)
Pages: 320
Reading level: Young Adult
Rating: 4.5 stars
From: Half-price books
Buy on:
Audrey's tired of dealing with her boyfriend's egocentric attitude. So she breaks up with him. Should be the end of it, but it's not. Because Evan writes a song about the break-up and records it with his band, and "Audrey, Wait!" skyrockets up the charts. As the song grows more popular, so does Audrey. All Audrey wants is to be normal (and maybe go on a date with super cute James), but when the paparazzi are stalking you and people you've never met are following your every move on the internet (and hating you), being normal isn't easy.

This book is so much fun for a lot of reasons -- number one, Audrey is hilarious. She's spunky and fun and cool. Number two, even though Audrey's situation is abnormal, Audrey's just your average girl, and is really easy to relate to. I quickly became attached to her character, and I read this book in a few sittings. This is also a fun novel for music lovers.
The only problem I had with the book was that the characters swore a lot and made me feel a bit awkward when they swore.
So if you're ok with swearing, this is a wonderful book.

My review of Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Release date: October 21, 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Age group: Age 9-12
Overall: 5 stars!
From: School Library
Buy the book:
CHAINS by Laurie Halse Anderson tells the story of Isabel, a slave trapped in New York City in the early days of the Revolution. Sold to Loyalists when her former owner dies, she's offered the chance to spy for the Patriots. But does their talk of liberty really include her? What about the British, who promise freedom to slaves who join their fight against the rebels?

I finished this book a few days ago and as soon as I put it down I thought I NEED TO READ THE SEQUEL!
The plot is very interesting and kept me turning the pages without skimming at all (which I usually do at dull moments in books). The author did a great job at researching the information and it was interesting to hear a familiar person's name from one of my text books while I was reading. In some parts of the book I would envision myself in Isabel's shoes because it was so well described.The historical context isn't simplified, the Patriot cause isn't glorified, and the characters are flawed, complex, and rich. I am in love with this book and have put the sequel in my TBR pile. It's a great example of historical fiction. Pick up this book when you have the chance!

Hi there

Hi this is my first blog ever so I'm new to this but I'm going to be reviewing books from a kids point of view (I'm 11) because most of the blog sites have an adult/teens view on the book. I hope you enjoy my site and I'll try to update it as often as possible! :D