Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Deborah Lynn Jacobs. CHOICES

Wow! What an intriguing book. Kathleen has just lost her brother in a car accident. She’s devastated. Then strange things begin to happen. She wakes up to a different reality each day. One day she’s Kathleen, another she’s Kate, and then Kay and Kathy. In one reality she’s lost her best friend and her mother is in a downward spiral, while in another she’s still has her best friend and her mom is doing great. But one aspect is constant in all realities – Luke. He seems to follow her to each world. Perhaps he has some answers to what is going on? She also wonders if she can find the “reality” where her brother is still alive.
The premise of the book really piqued my interest. Fortunately, it turned out as cool as it sounded. I really enjoyed this book. Now I’ll have to check out the author’s other books.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

E. Lockhart. THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS

This is the story of Frankie Landau-Banks and her transformation from geeky, debate club girl to secret, criminal mastermind of Alabaster Prep Academy. When Frankie arrives back at school her sophomore year, she’s blossomed into a pretty girl with a great figure. The boys begin to notice her, and the most popular boy in school, Matthew Livingston, takes her on as his girlfriend. She also becomes close to all his popular friends. However, she begins to realize that she’s only allowed to hang out with these people because she’s his girlfriend. They don’t really take her seriously. When she hears about a secret boys-only organization, she is intrigued, but also mad that Matthew doesn’t share any of it with her. So, she hatches a plan that culminates with no one ever underestimating Frankie again.

I’m amazed at how each of Lockhart’s books have their own distinct tone and personality. I’ve loved them all, and they’re all so different. This one is so sophisticated and smart. Frankie is a prime example of a smart girl realizing the importance of remaining true to herself, no matter what the people around her expect or want of her. Go Frankie!
This is definitely one of my favorites for the year, so far.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Jen Calonita. SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE: ON LOCATION

This is a highly enjoyable sequel to SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE. Kaitlin Burke has made it through the challenges with the press from book one, and now she’s beginning filming on a new Hollywood blockbuster. One bonus she got out of her experiment in high school is her boyfriend, Austin. Things are going smoothly with him, until she finds out that she has to work with Drew, her ex-boyfriend on the new movie. And, the film’s publicity guru is making Kaitlin go to events with Drew and pose as his girlfriend. How will she work this out with Austin? Will he be able to deal with her complicated Hollywood life? As in the first book, this one lets the reader in on many star secrets. Plus, Kaitlin has some of the same issues as regular teen girls. In fact, one thing I like about this series better than other rich girl/celebrity type books is that it doesn't get bogged down or obsessed with all the designer names. That aspect is there, but the focus is on the characters. It's a fun way to spend an afternoon!

My review of the first book is here: Secrets #1

The third b
ook is due out next month. It's called SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE: FAMILY AFFAIR:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beth Evangelista. GIFTED

Being a gifted student doesn’t help George R. Clark in school one bit. In fact, the school football players, aka the Bruise Brothers, use him for their amusement quite often. Even though George’s dad is the principal they get away with a lot. They pull pranks on him like shoving him in the garbage can and running his underpants up the flagpole. Now it’s time for the annual 8th grade science camp trip where all the kids go stay for a week at Camp Rose. The trouble is that George’s dad isn’t going on the trip, so he’s afraid that without that minimal protection, the Bruise Brothers are gonna have a field day with him. Especially when he learns that he’s sharing a room with them at the camp. Overnight with the Bruise Brothers? Will he survive the camp?
This was a funny, warm-hearted story of a boy who learns a lot about himself when disaster strikes. I highly recommend it!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Cynthia Leitich Smith. TANTALIZE

Calling all vampire fans! I know some of you are always looking for more vampire books. This is an interesting twist on the vampire theme, which has grown remarkably the last few years. It is written by veteran and well respected Cynthia Leitich Smith (point 1 in its favor). It’s set in Austin, Texas (point 2 in its favor, according to me), where Quincie Morris and her uncle are re-opening the family restaurant with a vampire theme. They aren’t vampires, but they think it’ll make the restaurant unique. As the opening gets closer, their chef and friend Vaggio gets murdered in the kitchen. It looks like a werewolf got him. Oh, did I mention, there are werewolves in this book (called werepeople). Quincie’s best friend happens to be a wereperson, so things get a little complicated when the police begin questioning him. There is a lot going on in this book. In fact, it’s quite the gothic fantasy! If you’re into vampires, werewolves or both, check it out!

Also, check out this interview with the author about the book:
http://community.livejournal.com/notyourmothers/50304.html

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Linda Urban. A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT

Zoe Elias desperately wants to be a piano player and play at Carnegie Hall. But, her father buys her an organ. Not a grand piano, an organ! The organ comes with free lessons and songbooks called THE HITS OF THE SEVENTIES, and Zoe reluctantly begins lessons. The more she plays, the more she begins to like it, despite lessons focusing on theme songs from old 60’s TV shows like GREEN ACRES and I DREAM OF JEANNIE. Then her teacher enters her in a local competition, so she really starts to get serious. One of my favorite quotes is about playing the piano:

When you play the piano, you have to get the heart right. Which is harder than getting the notes right. Each note can only be right in one way…A robot can get a B-flat right. But getting the heart right is something only a person can do. And the ways to do it are as many and as different as there are people in the world.

This was a surprisingly fun book filled with quirky, interesting characters. What a gem. I’m glad I read it.

The author’s website: http://www.lindaurbanbooks.com