Wednesday, December 2, 2009

BBoB Will Be Back...

The blog has been pretty empty lately. My apologies! Life took over and forced me to neglect this new enterprise of mine.

I'll be getting back to a proper posting schedule in the next week or so, so stay tuned! Lots of reviews to come!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Question of the Month

The concept behind the Question of the Month is simple. I ask a question and you chime in with your responses! Not too complicated, but always fun!

The Question of the Month is: Do you have a book or book series that you just can't get through but really want to finish?

My Answer: Little Women. I received the book as a Christmas gift years ago and have started it a good number of times, but something about the style never pulls me in enough to finish it. I have all three books in the trilogy and am determined to finish it. I keep hoping if I save it till I'm older, I'll be more drawn in, but that hasn't worked yet. :p

Now it's your turn!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Format: ARC
Genre: YA, supernatural, romance
Perfect for: those who loved Hush, Hush

Angels, I predict, will be the next big trend in teen fiction. 'Fallen' is a supernatural romance of the celestial kind. It follows Luce as she begins attending Sword and Cross Academy, a school for delinquents. Admittedly, Luce doesn’t know if she belongs there, but by a strange course of events finds herself there nonetheless. Though it seems like torture in the beginning, that all changes when she sees Daniel. She doesn’t know why, but she feels a connection to him and a past she cannot remember.

Daniel, however, does know the connection and knows they cannot give in to their feelings for one another. He has played this game every seventeen years and never has the ending been happy. But here he is again; faced again with a girl he is destined to meet over and over again.

But fate has different plans for this lifetime. Everyone at Cross and Sword is about to find out just how much one small decision can change the hands of fate.
I loved 'Fallen'. Really. Fallen, the first in a series, will have you hooked. The characters are engaging. Luce is so unlike other heroines in similar situations, though she was a bit over the top at the end, I admit. The good vs evil is done in a way where by the end, you know that both sides have secrets and not all of them are good.

Was the battle scene a little long for my taste? Yes, but the rest of the elements of this star crossed lovers/holy war saga won me over. I loved it! Check it out!

UPDATE: Check out the book trailer!

Review: The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Title: The Hollow
Author: Jessica Verday
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA, supernatural, romance
Perfect For: dark fantasy readers

When Kristin died, Abbey knew life would never be the same. With her best friend gone, the mystery of her death still unknown, and school rapidly approaching, Abbey has a lot on her plate. Abbey takes solace in walking through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery she and Kristin used to haunt. Life seems unbearable until she meets Caspian, a mysterious, good looking guy who keeps on appearing at just the right times. Caspian makes Abbey happy and slowly fills the gap left by the negative things of the past, but happiness doesn't always come easy. Abbey still wants to know what happened to Kristin, and Caspian, however genuine he seems, is hiding something.

I'm unsure of how I feel about 'The Hollow'. While I was pretty addicted to the book and read it pretty quickly cover to cover, I still found some issues with it. When it comes to positives, the writing style was catchy and drew me in instantly. The characters were fleshed out well. I feel like we really did get to learn a lot about Abbey and even a bit about Kristin, for however little time we saw her in flashbacks.

The negatives of 'The Hollow'? While engaging, the story started out slow, continued slowly through to the middle, kept on chugging through to about fifty pages before the end and THEN picked up. I didn't have any idea of what the story was about until 3/4ths in. Some books work fine that way, Twilight, for example, but this... Not so much. I would have liked to know more about Kristin's disappearance, more about the caretakers, and definitely more about Caspian.

I'm not giving up on the series and am looking forward to the next title by Jessica Verday, even though the first book didn't leave me completely enthralled. It's an addicting read with good characters- characters I want to know much more about. 'The Hollow' is part one in a trilogy.

UPDATE: Watch the Book Trailer!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Treats (with no worry of cavities!)

Looking for a good supernatural read? Here are my Top 5 picks for Halloween!

For Young Readers...

Number 5: Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
- Molly and Michael have far more to worry about than getting accustomed to their new home when their step-sister begins talking to a ghost named Helen.

Number 4: A Time For Andrew: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
- Changing places with a ghost is never a good idea and Andrew is about to find out why.

Number 3: Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
- You'll never look at a ventriloquist dummy the same way again after this spooky story about the far from innocent Slappy.

For Older Readers...

Number 2: Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan

-Macabre enough to make you thirsty for more.

Number 1: Lord Loss by Darren Shan
-Bloody, but awfully satisfying to the reluctant Halloween reader.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Before the Movie... Try the Book!

Before you see 'Cirque Du Freak: The Vampires Assistant' in the theater, try this book! Below is a quick review of this great series.

Title: Cirque Du Freak
Author: Darren Shan
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Readers, YA, Supernatural, Vampire
Perfect for: reluctant readers and vampire fans alike

If you had to choose to become a half vampire to save your best friends life, would you? Darren, a normal grade schooler, is faced with that question in author Darren Shan's book 'Cirque Du Freak'. The first in a series of 12, this book follows Darren as he gives up everything to save a friend by becoming a vampires assistant. Trails and tribulations ensue as he slowly learns the ways of his new half vampire life.

'Cirque Du Freak' is great for reluctant readers, especially boys. It has a good mixture of action, angst, vampire fun, and most importantly, is an excellent start to an excellent series. Enjoy this read!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Forever Favorites: The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper

Welcome to the first ‘Forever Favorites’ post here on BBOB. This is where I spotlight my favorite books, or in this case, series.

The first installment of this is a series called ‘The Dark Is Rising Sequence’. Written by Susan Cooper, it has been around a long time. While it has a huge fanbase in the UK, it is lesser known here in the States.

Series: The Dark Is Rising Sequence
Titles: Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King, Silver on the Tree
Author: Susan Cooper
Genre: YA, Juvi, Supernatural, Arthurian folklore

'The Dark is Rising Sequence' follows a group of kids as they embark on a journey to defeat a group of supernatural solders known as the ‘Dark’. Our cast of characters includes Will, a young boy who finds out that he isn’t a mere mortal, but a warrior of the ‘Light’; Bran, an albino Welsh boy who has a past not even he could have guessed; Jane, your typical no nonsense school girl; and Simon and Barney, her brothers. All find themselves on paths that were destined to be in a life and death battle as the Light and Dark are ready for their final meeting. Arthurian folklore is present throughout the books and told in a way that isn’t at all confusing for those who know little about it.

It’s complicated writing a review for a series, especially this one. Each story has a different purpose and you’ll meet characters in each book. ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’, the first book in the series (sometimes referred to as prequel of sorts), showcases Jane, Simon, and Barney. Will, the main character of the book isn’t featured until ‘The Dark Is Rising’, the second in the sequence. 'Greenwitch', the third title, is Jane's story. Bran is my favorite character in the sequence. He is introduced in ‘The Grey King’, the title I enjoy the most out of the series for its action and lyrical descriptions of Wales. Finally, in the final title ‘Silver on the Tree’, our heroes are together for the first and last time, each playing their own part in the climactic battle.

The series is a great pick for both ages 9 and up. Adults can easily enjoy it, as well. Those with an interest in good stories with Arthurian ties should love this title. While it isn’t the most action packed series on the market, it is full of lyrical descriptions that make you feel as if you, too, are experiencing what the characters are. In fact, the descriptions of Wales are the sole reason I want to travel there someday! If you haven’t read this series, take a chance on it. If you saw the (horrible) movie supposedly based of it, read this series. I promise, this series is amazing. I will cherish 'The Dark Is Rising Sequence' by Susan Cooper for the rest of my life and hope you will, too.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Review: Crashed by Robin Wasserman

Title: Crashed
Author: Robin Wasserman
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Perfect For: Older teens who enjoyed 'The Uglies Trilogy'

‘Crashed’, sequel to ‘Skinned’, follows Lia as she continues on her journey to find herself, or rather, her NEW self. As a ‘skinner’ or ‘mech’, Lia has the body of a robot, but memories of her old human life. She was ‘reborn’ by her family after her human self's young death, something we learn all about in the first book of this series, 'Skinned'.

We meet Lia, Jude (the self proclaimed leader), Riley (his friend and lacky), and the other Mech’s living in their own community, away from the ‘orgs’ or humans. When a supposed ‘mech’ attack kills hundreds of ‘orgs’ and the ‘mech’ in question has the same face as Lia, suspicions turn the already unsettled world between ‘mechs’ and ‘orgs’over the edge.

I enjoyed ‘Crashed’ by Robin Wasserman. The trilogy, similar in a sense to The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld, is proving to be a unique take on teen sci-fi. ‘Crashed’ has a nice mix of action, romance, and intrigue. While it dragged a bit in the middle and suffers from being the middle book in a trilogy, it kept me entertained and I came away happy to have read it. Is it the best in the series? No. I have to say I enjoyed the first book more than this, but then again, that can be said for many middle books in trilogies like this. Regardless, I’m still looking forward to reading the next installment of the YA Sci-fi series.

Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Title: Blood Promise
Author: Richelle Mead
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance
Perfect for: older teens who enjoyed Twilight and want something with a little more bite

What a whirlwind of a book! Just like the previous Vampire Academy titles by Richelle Mead, I couldn't put 'Blood Promise' down! The story centers around Rose as she heads to Dimitri's home town in the hopes of keeping a promise they made to each-other before their world was ripped apart. Rose's future as Lissa's Guardian are put in danger as her journey takes her into more dangerous places than she ever expected and she has to decide once and for all, does she have the power to destroy her first love?

I gave myself a week to finish this book and proceeded to finish it within the first two days. The writing style is just as addictive as the other fantastic books in the series, with a few weak points. It seemed to me that she was in Russia with Dimitri's family too long. We got so used to Rose as being a very proactive person that watching her be indecisive for so long was tiring and made the middle of the book feel long. My other problem was that she was separated from the secondary characters we've come to know and love for too long. Some may say that was the point of the novel, to keep them separated, but, in all honesty, they could have found each-other a little bit quicker.

Even with the problems, I still found 'Blood Promise' engaging and can't wait for the next book in the series. Mead has a great series on her hands!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy 'Hush Hush' Day!

'Hush Hush' by Becca Fitzpatrick should be in most bookstores now!

A few years back, I read a supernatural romance about vampires by a stay at home mom named Stephanie Meyer. Upon finishing her book, I knew it had a big, bright, future. I got the same feeling with 'Hush Hush'. It will be big, folks. Go to her signings NOW, because this series is going to be a popular one!

My review of 'Hush Hush' can be found by clicking one of the two tabs in this entry!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hello Fellow Readers!

Me, again! Just wanted to catch you up on what I've been reading recently. Anyone paying attention to my Goodreads (look on left sidebar!) will notice I have added a few titles to it recently. All will be getting formal reviews from me in the coming weeks, but I thought I'd give you all a quick preview!

First off, any young readers out there fans of comics and manga? 'Over My Dead Body: 43 Old Cemetery Road's' by Kate and Sarah Klise is great. It's not a traditional book and uses letters, newspaper articles, comics, etc, to tell the story of a old house and its residents: A writer, a boy, and a ghost. Quick review? It's quirky and I love it. Check out the first book in the series 'Dying to Meet You: 43 Old Cemetery Road' first for background, then dive into this fantastic sequel!

Next up, by Robin Wasserman is the second book in the Skinned Trilogy, 'Crashed'. I have been looking forward to this for a while and had pretty high expectations. Did the book meet them? Eh, sort of. It was good, but, for me, had some problems.

Last up on this mini recap of books, the fourth Vampire Academy book (author: Richelle Mead) entitled 'Blood Promise'. What a whirlwind of a read. I picked it up and literally couldn't put it down. Was it perfect? No. Was it worth the time spent reading it? Oh yeah.

More detailed reviews of these are coming soon, so stay tuned! As always, I encourage you to comment and if you have any book rec's you'd like to share, let me know! I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Review: Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Title: Witch & Wizard
Author: James Patterson, Gabrielle Charbonnet
Format: ARC
Genre: Fantasy, Scifi, Adventure
Perfect for: Fans of Maximum Ride

After siblings Whit and Wisty wake up to armed soldiers breaking down their door, they find themselves on a ride that will change their lives forever and possibly one that might change the world. Told from both Whit and Wisty's point of view, Witch & Wizard follows the two as they discover powers within them that they never knew existed, all while trying to survive the all-powerful 'One That Is The One' that seems to want them out of the picture permanently.

When I write anything, I tend to toss the reader into a situation they know nothing about to grab their attention. Patterson and Charbonnet take that idea to a whole new level with 'Witch & Wizard'. From page one, we find ourselves in the middle of events we don't understand. Essentially, we are as clueless as the main characters, learning the ins and outs of this foreign world just as they do. The style drew me in automatically and made this a roller coaster of a read. Much like Pattersons Maximum Ride series, the chapters are short, making it easy to step away for short breaks.

While I enjoyed the story of Whit and Wisty, I did have one problem with 'Witch & Wizard'. While action is great, I would have loved some back story to go off of while reading. Since this is the first in what looks to be a series, I'm sure we'll get more of it later, but it would have been nice if the reader wasn't left in the dark about everything till the final few chapters.

While I'm not over the moon about this fantasy adventure, I think it's worth checking out if you like action packed titles like 'Maximum Ride' or 'Among the Hidden'. 'Witch & Wizard' will keep you on you on your toes, I'm sure!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Q/A: A Little About Me...

Who are you, anyways?
I'm Brooke. Just your regular girl who decided to grab a bit more space here on the web to voice her opinion on items she loves-- books!

Why review books?
I've been around books all my life working at libraries and bookstores. Still do, matter of fact! The main reason I write these reviews is because it's fun. Sharing good titles is something I enjoy.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?
My aspirations are to be a writer. In a perfect world, I would write for TV, but it's quite a hard thing to get into when you aren't in California! I'm currently working on scripts and manuscripts that will, hopefully, one day be published!

Do you have a favorite movie? Book? Color?
Movies- Newsies, Star Wars, Beauty and the Beast
Books- The Grey King (Cooper), Aliens ate my Homework (Coville), Cirque Du Freak (Shan)
Color- Purple

What should we expect from this book blog?
Expect it to get better! I'm making tweaks all the time in hopes of making it great. The layout will most definitely change eventually, but I'm not that much of a webhead, so bear with me. :p

Between Spiderman, Superman, and Batman, who's the best?
Spidey all the way! Batman seems to have anger issues to me. Superman, well, he's strong, but not the best. Now Spidey might be depressed half the time, but he always gets the job done and always has the perfect sarcastic line ready for this enemy. Gotta love Spidey. :p

There you have it! If you have more questions you'd like to ask, leave me a comment!

Review: Gone by Michael Grant

Author: Michael Grant
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA/Sci-fi
Perfect For: Kids 12+

The kids in Perdido Beach didn’t know that the morning they went to school would be the last bit of normalcy they’d experience for a long time. Everything was normal until ‘poof’, everyone over the age of fourteen was gone. Together, the unsure leader Sam, the brainy Astrid, her autistic brother Little Pete, the new boy Edilio, and the scared sidekick Quinn have to unlock the mystery of the strange disappearances and the strange powers kids all over the town are starting to get. They think help has come when the kids from the expensive private school arrive, but soon find out that when everything you know disappears, you can’t trust anyone.

I really enjoyed Gone by Michael Grant. From page one it had me hooked. Anyone who likes action will love this story. Every page turn brings about a new twist that has the reader wanting more. The characters seemed real enough for me, although in some of the situations, I had to remind myself that they were all under fourteen! I liked Little Pete’s character. Although we don’t see everything he can do, I see him doing some great things in possible future books. The story in Gone has a complete beginning, middle, and end, but I warn you now—it’s open ended. You’ll want more.

Overall, I’d recommend Gone to anyone who enjoys a fun sci-fi- end of the world as we know it story. It’s a fun story that really makes you think—what would you do if your world were turned upside down like Sams?

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Format: ARC
Genra: Juvi/Scifi/Social Commentary/mystery
Perfect For: Sci-fi fans 12+, but also might work well for reluctant male readers looking for action and mystery

James Dashner’s The Maze Runner is a solid action packed title sure to please anyone who is a fan of ‘all or nothing’ sort of mysteries and sci-fi. We meet our main character in an elevator with no memories of how he got there. Thomas knows his name, but has no memories of his past, only vague whispers of memory. When the elevator door opens, he finds himself in a world where your main goal is to stay alive. Even more mind boggling is this 'colony' is surrounded by an ever-changing maze filled with creatures that no one wants to mess with.

Though Thomas arrives feeling like many of the other kids who have arrived before him, he soon discovers that he is different. Things that should feel foreign seem familiar and he finds himself drawn to tasks he knows nothing about. The mystery deepens when another person arrives in this strange camp, a girl, with a message that sends the whole makeshift world upside down. The kids need to discover the mysteries of their little world and discover them fast as the maze that surrounds them gets more tricky and dangerous every day.

Admittadly, this novel started out slow for me. The language took a while for me to get into and Thomas, I felt, was in the dark too long. Even with the rough start, however, I did enjoy The Maze Runner and am looking forward to the future titles in this trilogy.

This book has an Intriguing and original storyline that can be classified as not only sci-fi, but social commentary, as well. Many questions are posed in this book and, with a sequel on the horizon, many are left unanswered. Still, what we did get in The Maze Runner makes for a good action packed adventure that is sure to please and have you waiting at the edge of your seat for more.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Review: Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Format: ARC
Genra: YA/Supernatural/Romance/Highschool
Perfect For: Teens and Adults who enjoy Supernatural Romance

Nora is your traditional high schooler-- smart, confident, and working hard towards a good future. Everything is planned out and going well, until Patch becomes her Biology partner. Patch is good looking, mysterious, and pretty much makes a habit of toeing the line and going with whatever suits him best, regardless of how it could be regarded. Nora is immediately aware that there is something dark about Patch, but can't help feeling drawn to him. When she suspects she is being followed, resulting in disastrous consequences for those around her, she doesn't know who to trust. Should she trust Patch, the boy who lives in shades of grey, even though it seems all the crazy things started after his arrival? Ultimately, Nora has to make decisions and those decisions will change her view of what's possible in the world.

I loved Hush Hush. Becca Fitzpatrick has a great standalone tale that exemplifies YA supernatural fiction. This angelic high school title pulled me in from page one and held my attention till the final word on the final page.

The characters are unique in the fact that they aren't all clean cut. Sometimes we girls enjoy rooting for the bad boy type and Patch is definitely that kind of guy. Nora is a strong character, insistent on trying to figure out what is going on and who she can trust. The connection between the two characters, however instant, catches the reader like kids to a candy store. Secondary characters are present throughout the novel and, though easily predicable, help even out the this supernatural tale of romance, action, and mystery.

Fitzpatrick has a hit on her hands and when you read it, you'll see why. The lack of vampires and werewolves is refreshing, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more angel themed romances for teens to come based off the reception of Hush Hush. And those who are looking for a series? Good news! Even though this could easily be taken a standalone, a sequel is in the works! I highly recommend this title to supernatural romance fans of all ages. You are sure to enjoy it!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Title: Elsewhere
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA/Afterlife/supernatural
Perfect For: Those who enjoy reading the many definitions authors have of life after death

Liz is dead and in the beginning, it isn't very fun.

Elsewhere really surprised me. This book was sitting on my bookshelf being unread until I was bored out of my skull and had nothing else to read but it. I'm very happy to have had to chance to read this strangely amazing book. Yes, it took a while to get used to the voice and at one point in time I wasn't quite sure where the plot was, but it was one of those books I just couldn't put down.

The book deals with acceptance, love, and the issue of moving on. It's funny, sad, and a very different view point of Heaven than past books I've read.

Here's the deal: Give Elsewhere I try. It's one of those you'll either love or you'll hate. But it's definitely worth a look.

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Girl Power/Adventure/Romance
Perfect For: Those suffering the 'Post Twilight Blues'

Graceling, written by a debut author, was a page-turner. Katsa, the niece of one of the Seven Kingdoms, has been Graced with the ability to fight, wound, or kill anyone in any element. It is a Grace her uncle takes full advantage of. When a prince from another kingdom enters Katsa's life making her wonder if there could be more to her life than being the kings thug, everything changes and loads of action, adventure, romance, and girl power ensue.

Graceling had me hooked from start to finish. The world in which the characters live is unique and written so the reader doesn't feel overwhelmed by the universe the author created. The characters are likable and engaging. Cashore did a great job weaving all the elements together, making the transitions between fighting scenes to romantic scenes believable.

A quick word of warning--This is a YA book and does contain some parts that are more suitable for older teens than pre or young teens. The romantic scenes that take place in this book are not vulgar or crude in any way and are probably more innocent than you'd find in current popular teen fiction.

Overall, I really liked Graceling and recommend it to both teens and adults.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Review: Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Title: Palace of Mirrors
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Reader/pre-teen/fantasy/fairytale
Perfect For: Pre-teens or early teens

Pretend you're a peasant who knows that she is much more than a normal girl. Pretend that for years you've been told that danger is out to get you. Pretend that danger has come and the only thing you can do is run towards your true destiny. Cecila is a strong minded girl of 14 who, along with her friend Harper, find themselves in an adventure so important the fate of the kingdom rests upon their shoulders.

Haddix has shown in the past that she has mastered the art of fairy tale and Palace of Mirrors is no exception. Her characters have a well thought out voice and are kept relatable for the preteen/teen audience. This book is funny and endearing. It was hard to put down and should be a quick read for most. What I really enjoyed about this book most, however, was the uplifting story-line and the ease of the writing style. It's not perfect. There are some bits that seem to be slightly rushed and the meaning of the title takes a while to get introduced, but overall, the pro's very much outway the cons.

This book is very much a 'happily ever after' story you don't want to miss!

Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Title: Need
Author: Carrie Jones
Format: ARC
Genre: YA/Supernatural/Romance
Perfect For: Twilight/Supernatural Romance fans

When Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr are mentioned in relation to a book, I have high hopes. I expect something with a good story, over the top romance, and a very addictive nature. I was not disappointed by Need. Jones delivers a 'can't put down' read with all the supernatural elements that have made teens and adults swoon since Twilight was released.

Need follows Zara, a girl whose father just passed away and has been sent to Maine to get through her grief. Zara is your typical high school girl-- athletic, sarcastic, and smart. She has some problems-- A) she's still not over her fathers' death and B) she's being stalked. Why and by whom, she has no idea. As the novel goes on, more questions pop up: Do Pixie's exist? Could her stalker be one of them? If they do, what about creatures called 'weres' that can change into animals and are the mortal enemy of the Pixie's? And the biggest question: What does Zara and her past have to do with any of those supernatural (and impossible) things?

Need grabbed my interest right away and didn't let go till I turned the final page. While there were some weak points, overall, I enjoyed the story. Jones did a good job at keeping the story upbeat and quite funny. There were multiple times when I literally laughed out loud b/c of the exchanges between characters. Her characters are distinct and easy to tell apart for the reader.

Weak points of Need? I would be lying if I didn't say that I saw the twists coming from a mile away, but, as with other novels of this genre, I didn't mind much. At this point, it would be hard not to know what's coming with this genre. The ending felt rushed and could have been a little longer for my tastes.

I think that fans of the supernatural genre, will like this YA novel and be clamoring for more by the end. Enjoy the read!

Review: Star Wars Rebel Force #1- Target

Title: Star Wars Rebel Fore #1- Target
Author: Alex Wheeler
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Reader/Sci-Fi/Star Wars
Perfect For: Star Wars fans of all ages

After years of depressing EU novels, this is a refreshing breathe of fresh air. Rebel Force: Target by Alex Wheeler is a book I am so happy to have given a shot. This series takes place shortly after A New Hope and stars our heroes Han, Luke, and Leia, along with other favorites. The series is a glimpse of what happened to get the group to get them from A New Hope to The Empire Strikes Back.

In Target, Han, Leia, Luke, and the droids are sent to Muunilinst to gather secret funds that Alderaan housed there. With Alderaan destroyed, they need them and need them soon if they are to deal with the Empire, which is on there tail. But there is an unsuspecting traitor in our heroes mist who only wants to please the Empire.

Target has what you've come to expect from Star Wars EU with out the depressing story lines and character deaths. I suggest that if you are a fan of star wars, young and old, you pick this up. Perfect for the age group it was written for (8 to 12), but also perfect for those adult EU fans who don't want to continue past NJO or LotF and want to feel the sense of escapism they found originally in the SW universe.

Review: The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer

Title: The Teashop Girls
Author: Laura Schaefer
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Reader/Growing Up
Perfect For: Girls 9-14

The Teashop Girls is about Annie, a girl who loves everything that has to do with tea and the tea business. After years of watching her grandmother run her local tea shop, she believes she is ready to be the ultimate tea barista. Problems arise, however, when the customers dwindle and the bills aren't getting paid. Annie knows she needs to help, but how, especially with her best friendships look like they're about to be pulled apart and barista boy may or may not have a thing for her?

This is a cute, simple story about a girl fighting to keep her passion, as well as her families passion, alive. Also in the mix is the story-line about her friendships changing into something different. On the verge of going into high school, each has their own things going for them, quite different from when they ran the Teashop Girls secret club. A realistic subplot that anyone can relate to.

Although The Teashop Girls is simple and slightly predicable, it is a good example for girls who want to read a book about a strong young teen who knows what she wants to accomplish and tries her best to do it. I recommend it for the young teen audience (9-14). It might be too simple for anyone over that, in my opinion.

Review: The Roar by Emma Clayton

Title: The Roar
Author: Emma Clayton
Format: ARC
Genre: Young Reader/Sci-Fi
Perfect For: Kids 9-14

I'll admit it-- I took my time getting to this book. The cover didn't catch me, nor did the blurb on the back. Months of it hanging over my head, I finally gave in and I'm quite glad I did! This book turned out to be much more than I expected. It was a page turner, despite the lack luster cover.

The story follows Mika, a pre-teen boy who's sister disappeared a year prior and is believed to be dead by everyone but himself, as he finds himself involved in things much larger than he ever expected. Mika lives behind the protective Wall put up fifty years ago to save people from the dreaded and highly televised animal plague. After a new Pod Fighter video game is put up at the local arcade, Mika and his classmates are encouraged to play, as well as take a nutrient drink that is supposed to help them grow big and strong. But for what? That mystery propels this young adult novel. What is behind the wall? What has the government been hiding? What is the purpose of the new 'fit' regime and, most importantly, how do Mika, his sister, and his friends fit into that plan?

I couldn't put this YA novel down and recommend it those who might not be ready for Enders Game, Hunger Games, or The Uglies Trilogy yet, but want something that is fully planted in Science Fiction.

Review: Tombstone Tea by Joanne Dahme

Title: Tombstone Tea
Author: Joanne Dahme
Format: ARC
Genre: YA/Supernatural/Fantasy
Perfect For: Teens/Adults

You know you love a book when you read the last sentence and your first thought is 'I really want a sequel'!

A surprisingly engaging title! I'm very happy I picked this book up at ALA this year. The story follows Jessie, a sophomore in a new high school, who, on a dare from the 'in' group at her new school, spends a night in an old cemetery. The visit to the cemetery opens a can of worms when her 'gift' of sight makes her quite popular with the residents of the cemetery, especially one very negative spirit. With the guidance of her friend Paul, she faces all her fear about her gift and, in doing so, learns much more than she expects about what being living is all about.

The title and cover brought me in originally, the lyrical text sucked me in, and the unique characters sealed the deal. I loved Tombstone Tea. The characters didn't seem forced and the romance, however slight, was spot on. Jessie's journey from being afraid of her gift to accepting it seemed more natural than other 'ghost seer' titles. Everything just worked.

Fans of Laura Whitcombs, 'A Certain Slant of Light' will most likely enjoy this supernatural tale. Highly recommended.

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Format: ARC
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Perfect for: Teens/Adults

The Hunger Games was one of those `can't eat, can't sleep, must finish' kind of books for me, so like many other fans, I could hardly wait to get my hands on Catching Fire, the sequel. I had high expectations and was a little worried about this `middle' book not living up to them. Boy, was I wrong to worry.

Catching Fire surpasses The Hunger Games by a mile. We are brought back to our heroes, Katniss and Peeta, a few months after they won their Hunger Games. If their win had been as past wins were, all they'd need to worry about is getting through the Victory Tour, but unfortunately for them, their journey is not destined to be easy. Before the tour, Katniss learns that the government is mad about the duos actions during the last few minutes of their Hunger Games and is warned that any wrong move will cost not only her, but everyone around her.

What transcends is a novel that truly will surprise you. Collins takes turns that you won't see coming and, trust me, those turns are perfectly executed. Peeta and Katniss are once again joined by a unique group of characters, old and new, in this most recent adventure. Relationships are tested further to the point where, as a reader, you will choose a side. And, again, Collins writes this gruesome reality in a very clean, non-gruesome way.

If you loved The Hunger Games, then I know you don't care if I recommend it or not. You already know to read it, as well you should. This novel is better than is predecessor and highly recommended.

Welcome to the Book Blog!

Welcome, guest, to my newest endeavor--my book blog. Here you'll see reviews, written by me, on various titles in the Juvi/Teen book market. Why Juvi/Teen? I love those age groups. For some reason, even though I'm long out of high school, the juvi/teen scene still catches my attention. With this blog, I hope to let you in on upcoming and new titles, as well as some of the older titles that you might not have picked up yet!

This is still the preliminary stage of the blog, so I assure you, it will get better with time! Comments are welcome and I'm open to suggestions!

Thanks for taking a peek and spread the word, will ya?!