Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rachel Vail. LUCKY

Phoebe Avery is a lucky girl. She and her sisters live in a big house with a housekeeper and nanny. She has four wonderful best friends. And on top of all that, she and her friends are planning a fabulous end of year party to celebrate graduating from eighth-grade. They’ve planned every detail from the fashion photographer to the engraved invitations. Now Phoebe just needs to find the perfect dress. (Of course, if everything is going perfectly, you know it won’t stay that way – otherwise there’d be no book, right?) Phoebe does find the perfect dress, the dress that really makes her feel beautiful. Then a crisis in her family endangers her entire way of life. She’s too scared to tell her friends, so she hides it as long as she can. Will Phoebe begin to realize what is really important in her life, or will she long for the days before the crisis?

This was a nice fun book about friendship and remembering to be grateful for what you have. I enjoyed it. I found the different personalities between the friends really well written. I could really see all of them clearly. The interactions and dialogue was also realistic for eighth grade girls (I’ve been around them long enough to say that!). Plus, the sisters had a fun & true dynamic.
This is the first of a trilogy. The book jacket states that there will be two more books that are told from the other sisters' points of view. That sounds intriguing, so I’ll be on the lookout for those.
This is the first one I’ve read from Rachel Vail. Click here to find out more about her or click here to check out her other books.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mary E. Pearson. THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX

I intentionally steered clear of any reviews of this book before I read it. After reading merely a snippet of a review, it already seemed so intriguing that I didn’t want to spoil it. I’ll sometimes do that with movies too. I hate getting all the good parts ahead of time in the trailers. That ruins it for me. So, I went in with barely any knowledge, except that I knew it would be good. Indeed it was! Wow! If you’re like me, stop reading right now, go get the book & read it without any sneak peeks. But, if you do need a little more of a teaser, go ahead and read on.

Jenna Fox wakes up after a year-long coma. All she knows is that she was in a terrible accident. She doesn’t remember anything about her former life. She doesn’t recognize her mom, dad or grandmother. She doesn’t even remember the meaning of some simple words like curious or lost. Although, for some strange reason, she can remember certain historical events down to the last detail. She’s been given a set of DVDs of her life try to jog her memory. Her parents must have really adored her, since they recorded nearly every detail of her life. While watching the videos, Jenna notices characteristics that are different between the Jenna on screen and herself. As the memories return little by little, the questions begin piling up. Plus, the accident itself is still a mystery. She wonders what happened to her two friends that are showing up in her memories. Were they with her during the accident, and if so, why does she keep hearing their voices?

This was an incredible book. It lived up to all my expectations. It is set in the near future where science and ethics are even more intertwined than they are today. Scientific advancements have introduced so many questions about what is right and wrong. Just because we can do something with science, does that mean we should? I’m being intentionally vague here, so as not to spoil the book. Read it. It will give you a glimpse into what might be in our not so distant future.

If you'd like to learn more about this author or see her other books, check out her website here. Or her visit or blog here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

David Lubar. HIDDEN TALENTS

I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while, since a student heartily recommended it to me several times (thanks Joe!). I finally got to it.

After getting kicked out of every regular school around, Martin is shipped to the last possible stop in school land – the alternative school. You know, the school where all the “troubled” or “problem” kids go. Martin is sent to live there, which is a bit of a shock, although, he isn’t so sad to leave his dad. Martin’s new roommate is a kid who appears to like starting fires, so they call him Torchie. Then he meets Cheater, a kid accused of constantly – yep, you guessed it- cheating, Lucky, a kid who “finds” a lot of missing items around school, and a jumpy kid named Flinch. At first, Martin feels like he doesn’t belong with all these strange kids. But as he gets to know them, he realizes that they are really not so bad, and he’s beginning to really enjoy having friends for the first time in his life. Plus, he’s been noticing some intriguing characteristics of his friends. He realizes that maybe they aren’t “troubled” at all, but rather are very exceptional. Each seems to have a hidden special talent. Martin must decide how to handle this. Does he tell them? What will they say? Also, since the school is being considered for closure, Martin wonders what will happen to him and his friends. Can they do something to keep it open and keep everyone together? Perhaps their “special” talents can help.

This was one of those books I wanted to read straight through. I couldn’t put it down. The little snippets of info throughout the book (letters from Parents, memos from the Principal, teacher feedbacks, etc) were different and funny.
I loved each of the kids and the dialogue was hysterical! Martin could be a stand-up comic (those poor teachers!). Loved it!

I’m reading the sequel as soon as I can get my hands on it.

I had forgotten how hysterical David Lubar is. Click here for his other books.

I reviewed SLEEPING FRESHMAN NEVER LIE back in Feb of 2007.


Monday, July 7, 2008

HOW TO BE BAD by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski & Lauren Myracle

Jesse, Vicks and Mel are off on a road trip. They have all they need to get to Miami with Jesse’s mom’s car, Mel’s money, and Vick’s Fantastical Florida only just met Mel a while back. Jesse reluctantly lets Mel go with them after Mel offers to pay for gas and hotels. With these three vastly different personalities - Jess the strict Christian, guidebook. The main reason they’re heading to Miami is to see Vick’s boyfriend, who has gone off to college. She misses him terribly. Jesse just wants to get out of Niceville. Mel invited herself to go along. While Jesse and Vicks have been best friends for years, they’veVicks the wild child, and Mel the good, rich girl – you can imagine that in a 9 hour drive across the state, anything is bound to happen. And it does. The girls stumble upon two different alligators, a mysterious cute stranger, a hurricane, a pirate hotel and Epcot center. But most importantly, the girls gain true life-long friends by letting go of secrets and insecurities.

I really enjoyed the way this is written from all three points of view. You get to see the world through each of their distinct personalities. These characters are well-developed, realistic, and I cared about them. This was a hilarious and mighty fun road trip!

Enter a chance to win a signed copy of the book on the publisher's site & take a quiz to see which girl you are here

All 3 authors have written a lot of other great books too. Check out their sites & blogs:
E. Lockhart’s website: here
blog: here

Sarah Mlynowski’s website: here

blog: here

Lauren Myracle’s Website: here
blog: here