Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Melissa De La Cruz. THE VAN ALEN LEGACY

This was one of those reviews that took me a while to sit down and write, because there is sooo much going on in this book. I needed time to let in sink in. I know I say this every time, but this series really does get richer and more interesting with each installment.
We join Schuyler with Oliver on the run because of the events in Rio. She is blamed for Lawrence’s death. She can’t grieve for him in peace with her family and friends, because the Conclave thinks she killed him. Schuyler and Oliver are getting worn out from changing cities every few days to escape detection.
Meanwhile, back at home, Bliss has an intriguing visitor. Not your normal run-of-the-mill visitor; no, this visitor is a spirit inside of her. Sometimes she blacks out. Other times she witnesses what he’s doing, which really freaks her out. She feels like a tourist in her own body. She’s trying to remain strong and in control to figure out what he’s trying to accomplish.
Finally, the third point of view we get is Mimi. She’s with Kingsley on a Venator hunt for Jordan Llewellyn, who disappeared during the Rio incident. As we learned at the end of the last book, Jordan was no ordinary little sister to Bliss.
And all that was only in the first 20 pages or so. We learn more about the history of the angels, as well as what the Van Alen Legacy is and Schuyler’s part in it. I can’t really say much more without spoiling it. It’s incredibly satisfying, and it left me excited about the next installment.


For the author's website, click here.

Also, let me tempt you with a book trailer:



And even cooler is this interview with the author about the book! Check it out:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wendy Mass. EVERY SOUL A STAR

Wendy Mass is becoming one of my favorite authors. Her books are so original and memorable. Each one is special in its own way.
This one brings together 3 very different teens: *Ally lives on an isolated campground called Moon Shadow where people go for all types of stargazing events. Her family has been preparing for the biggest event of all, a total eclipse of the sun. Thousands of guests will be coming to her camp in a few weeks to witness this major event.
*Bree feels like she was adopted. Her family is really into science and she’s totally not. She’s gorgeous and planning her future as a model. Her idea of fun is NOT a campground.
*Jack is a loner who reads science fiction and draws aliens. He was not looking forward to summer school. Fortunately, he gets an opportunity to skip it, if he goes to Moon Shadow with a group of stargazers to help out his teacher.
All three teens meet at Moon Shadow, each under different circumstances. They are dealing with their own challenges and obstacles. Meeting one another becomes exactly what they need.
I loved this book for several reasons. First, I enjoyed that it was from three different points of view. Each character was distinct, interesting and realistic. I began to care for each of them. Second, the campground was a wonderfully unique setting. Wow, what a cool place to live or visit. There are special attractions around the camp called “Unusuals.” Some of them include a labyrinth, a star garden, a sun garden, and an art house. Last, I gained a whole new appreciation for astronomy.
I experienced something fresh and interesting – and that’s the best kind of book!

Here are some of the author’s other special books:
HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL my review here


A MANGO SHAPED SPACE my review here
11 BIRTHDAYS is in my "to read" pile. Check out more about WENDY MASS at her website.



Sunday, October 4, 2009

Katherine Paterson. FLIP-FLOP GIRL


How timely. Katherine Paterson just received a lifetime achievement award from the International Board on Books for Young People today! Well-deserved!
Now about FLIP-FLOP GIRL…
Vinnie is already dealing with the death of her father when her mother uproots her and her brother to go live with her grandmother in a new town. She’s angry and she feels guilty about her brother. Mason has stopped talking or eating. She thinks it’s because of her yelling at him at the funeral. In the new town, the only positive is her new teacher. She likes him a lot, and he seems to care about her. Then she encounters a mysterious girl who has a rare confidence about her, even though she appears to be an outcast. Her name is Lupe. She doesn’t have any decent clothes and she appears to only have one pair of shoes, orange flip-flops. Plus, while it bothered Vinnie that no one wanted to talk to her or play with her, Lupe seemed oblivious to this and happily played hopscotch alone. Perhaps this girl, this flip-flop girl, will be just the friend she needs.
This is a wonderful, honest depiction of the emotions a child goes through after a death. Vinnie’s anger and loneliness are intense. Lupe is an intriguing character. It’s a meaningful and compelling story you won’t soon forget.
Check out her website for more by Paterson (you know her from Bridge to Terabithia, Great Gilly Hopkins, Jacob Have I Loved, etc...)