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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Testing (YA)

Book #119 Read in 2014
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (YA)

This is the first book in a young adult dystopian trilogy.  Similar to the Hunger Games, there is a completion or a "testing" of young people selected from each colony.  Those people are tested on a variety of elements and the failing of such tests can have dire, even deadly, results.  Cia is one of the forerunners of the testing.   Will she be able to retain herself and her humanity and survive the selection process?

The book was engaging and kept my interest.  Cia was a brave and intelligent main character.  The plot had good twists and turns and the story had a complex set of secondary characters.  I will read the other two books in the series.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Maggot Moon (YA)

Book #118 Read in 2014
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (YA)

This book is a young adult dystopian book.  It is a "what if" in regards to putting man on the moon...detailing what could have happened in that ended differently.  Standish is a 15 year old who can barely read or write, but he is intelligent (he has a great vocabulary), brave and resourceful....all traits that come in handy in this "Big Brother" like world.  Standish lives with his grandfather; his parents disappeared after his mother was physically abused for speaking out against the government. 

I read this book in one sitting.  The chapters are short and interesting; this book would be ideal for a reluctant reader, especially males.  It flows well and has a lot of action throughout the book.  I recommend it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

All Fall Down (YA)

Book #117 Read in 2014
All Fall Down by Ally Carter

This is the first book in the Embassy Row series.  Grace's grandfather is the American Ambassador and she has grown up in the political scene.  Three years ago, her mother died and Grace is convinced that she was killed by a man with a scarred face.  When she goes to live with her grandfather, she doesn't expect to find that man there...but is he really a killer?  Or is this a way that Grace has made up to cope with the loss of her mother.  At times, Grace was unlikable but overall she was an interesting character.  The plot had good elements of mystery and humor and had an interesting cast of secondary characters. 

I received an ARC of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fallout (YA)

Book #116 Read in 2014
Fallout by Todd Strasser (YA)

This book takes the premise of a nuclear bomb being dropped in 1962; only Scott's family has built a bomb shelter.  What happens when neighbors want to stay in it too?  Will Scott's father, who took the threat seriously enough to build the shelter, have stocked in adequately in preparation?  What happens when a group of adults and children are stuck in a bomb shelter for a few weeks in close  quarters?  This book reminded me a bit of Lord of the Flies set in a bomb shelter.  It was a good, quick read.  I think this book is more geared towards boys.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tombquest: Book of the Dead (YA)

Book #115 Read in 2014
Tombquest: Book of the Dead (YA)

This is the first book in a new YA series.  Besides the book, there is a companion game that I can see kids getting into.  In the book, Alex is a sickly youngster.  When he takes a turn for the worse, his mother, who is a Keeper, uses the book of the dead to bring Alex back to life.  But this also brings other things back to life that probably should have remained dead.  Alex's mother is kidnapped so Alex, along with Ren (his best friend) try to find his mother and figure out a way to stop more dead things from coming back to life. 

This was a good, quick read.  Reluctant readers would enjoy this fast-paced book.  Alex and Ren are intelligent and brave characters who are interesting to read about; this book also has elements of history and paranormal to it.  I will read more of this series.  I received an ARC of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Book #114 Read in 2014
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

This classic novel has been on my shelf for years.  In the mood for a meaty read, I decided it was time to read it and I enjoyed the gothic novel.  Rebecca was the first wife of Maxim de Winter and she died.  Max seems to be moving on when he meets a young lady and marries her shortly after.  He brings her home to Manderley and she realizes that not everyone is happy about there being a new Mrs. de Winter.  As layers are pulled back, revelations that are not necessarily cheerful occur.  This book reminded me of another favorite of mine, Wuthering Heights.  I found both books to have lush writing.

Monday, December 1, 2014

November Reads

November Reads:

1.  Under the Egg (YA)  4.5/5  library book
2.  First Frost (5/5)
3.  Blood of my Blood (YA)  5/5  3rd in series
4.  End Times (YA)  4/5
5.  Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits (YA)  5/5
6.  The Graveyard Book (YA)  4/5
7.  Quarantine #2:  The Saints (YA)  5/5
8.  The Here and Now (YA)  4.5/5  Kindle
9.  The Spiritglass Charade (YA)  5/5  2nd in series  Kindle
10.  How to be a Heroine (5/5)

113 books read in 2014