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!