Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logster (5)

When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they’ve both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she’s a girl, Bet’s world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will’s world is much larger. He is allowed—forced, in his case—to go to school. Neither is happy.

So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They’ll switch places. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.

I purchased this book because: The cover is lovely ....... I am just a sucker for a pretty cover

Opening lines: Everything I needed to wear beneath my clothes was already in place. I selected a shirt the color of unspoiled snow, eased my arms into the sleeves, slowly did up the buttons from narrow waist to chest and finally to neck.

Pages in Novel: 186

Isn't the cover to his novel lovely ... And it is hardback as well ... This is a lovely wee book to read and you will finish this in one sitting if you are a quick reader ... I am a sucker for stories about girls dressing up like boys Yentel and Shakespeare in Love to name a couple ... So I just loved this novel ...

When Bet and Will hatch their plan to let Bet pretend to be Will at an all boys school it sounds so simple ... But it turns out to be anything but ... Bet has to quickly adept to the world of men in order to survive .... There are some really cute parts in this novel that will have you laughing out loud .... And you do tend to forget that we as male and female are really quite different ... From the way we walk, talk and think .... Can Bet really get away with being a man?

Favourite quotes I liked:

And why give up and declare a thing impossible before even trying? Pg 11

Paul Garderner liked to say that there were no accidents in life, that everything happened out of choice or through design, that everything for a reason. But from where I sat, so much of life did seem accidental, haphazard. How else to explain why one person lived while another died? Pg 17

All I see, Will, is a boy who is unwilling to do what it takes to get what he wants out of life. pg 26

We were all willing to do whatever we had to in order to keep him happy. Pg 116

My only complaint about this book is that nearing the end of the novel I felt it was wrapped up to fast .... But in saying that I am giving it 5 stars because I really did enjoy it ... It is light hearted, funny and whisked me away to another world for a few hours of enjoyment :)

I rate this book 5 *****

me, the missing and the dead by Jenny Valentine (41/2)

Fifteen-year-old Lucas Swain hasn’t seen his father for five years. One day, his dad just vanished. And the strange thing is, except for Lucas, nobody seems to care.

Then things really take a turn for the bizaree when Lucas discovers someone who might be able to help find his father. Her name is Violet, and she's reaching out to Lucas. But it would all be so much easier if Violet wasn't a pile of ashes in an urn.

I purchased this book because: Saw it on another blog site and was curious

Opening lines: The minicab office was up a cobbled alley with little flat houses on either side. That's where I first met Violet Park, what was left of her.

Pages in Novel: 201

This is a short wee book but one that I really loved .... I can see how it was shortlisted to be a finalist in the William C Morris Debut award ... I felt it was abit jumpy at the start of the novel but then the storyline picked up and it flowed lovely after that ....

The story is about a young boy Lucas who finds an urn of a woman and is strangely draw en towards finding out about her. This curiosity leads Lucas on a journey to discover not only who Violet is but also alot about himself.

There are some really funny parts in this book but still manages to keep the serious side to some of the issues that are touched upon ... It is quite an honest book in its story-telling which I found really refreshing ...

I loved the banter between Lucas and his grandparents especially with his grandmother .... Very funny and touching at the same time .... And for a wee novel of just 201 pages there is alot hidden between its pages ...

Some of my favourite quotes are:

But doesn't getting up that early just mean there are more hours to fill with being old? Pg 12

If you think about it, a person being dead isn't any barrier to finding out what they are like. Half the people we learn about in school have been dead for ages. Pg 28

I've said it before - it's the not knowing that drives you mad. It's the imagining things that you wish you couldn't think up all by yourself. pg 64

Thug - I said he should tell her that we learned about thugs in history, and they were actually this amazing caste of assassins in India a hundred or so years ago. They strangled people with a long scarf with a rupee sewn into each end. It was their destiny to be a thug. They had no choice and they accepted it as their role in the order of things. Pg 70

For every decision I make there's the other thing, the alternative route, and I find myself hankering after it as soon as it's gone. Pg 79

It occurs to me that all most people do when they grow up is fix on something impossible and then hunger after it. Pg 115

This is a great wee book and I really liked it ... It is written beautifully and you cannot help but love the main character of Lucas and get invested into his world .... I would definitely go out and purchase another book by this author ...

I rate this book 4 1/2 ****

The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A Nielson (41/2)

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, she is convinced that the mermaid means her harm. After all, the island is steeped in stories of mermaids' curses and the ill-luck that they bring. But Adrianne is fierce-willed and courageous and is determined to protect her family and the islanders from danger. Yet when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid, her family is scorned. They believe that once active, the mermaid cannot be quieted until an islander sacrifices herself to the sea. But is the legend true? And will their fear make them force Adrienne to test it? This is a haunting story of love, surrender and strength

I purchased this book because: Alot of hype around the book and wanted to see if it lived up to the reputation ...

Opening Lines: Pelting rain battered against me, stinging my skin and eyes, almost driving me backwards, Forcing myself to continue, I felt my way down the slick rock face one foot at a time. I clung to the cliff face a moment, crying into the dark squall raging around me.

Well I have been reading lately about fairies, vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters so why not try Mermaids ....... This is a really nice book and actually deals with alot of grown up issues ... Bullying and feeling alone is a major one ...... I read this book in nearly one sitting .. I just gobbled it up ... My only complaint with the book was that it ended .......

I don't want to go into details because it would totally spoil the book but there are sooooo many different avenues and characters in the book that I would love the storyline to continue ....

I love the main character of Adrianne she is feisty, firely and vulnerable all rolled into one .... And it seems that no matter what she does it is never enough to satisfy those around her .... So when the legend of the Mermaid suddenly threatens the Island everyone turns to Adrianne ...

I loved the storyline of Lady Lauretta Durran and how it inter weaved throughout the whole novel ... There is nothing like a good mystery ......

Some of my favourite quotes are:

Don't let the few harsh things of life blot out your happiness in everything else, Adrianne. pg 40

If you let fear control what you do, you'll never get anything done. Pg 42

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely read more from the author ...

I rate this book 4 1/2 ****

Monday, December 27, 2010

Meg Cabot Site

If you are a big fan of Meg Cabot then you have got to check out her site ......... There are loads of goodies and information on the site ...... Plus it is just fun ...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Looking for something to read in 2011

With the New Year just around the corner we thought you might like to know some of the books we'll be reading throughout 2011.

So what do you think?

Are we going to read something that you've read before or can't wait to read?

We'd love to hear your thoughts on our selection for 2011.

From us all here at Exclusively Books we'd like to thank you for visiting our site and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Insatiable" by Meg Cabot [5]

Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper.
But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn't believe in them.
Not that Meena isn't familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you're going to die. [Not that you're going to believe her. No one ever does.]
But not even Meena's precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets - then makes the mistake of falling in love with - Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It's a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.
The problem is, Lucien's already dead. Maybe that's why he's the first guy Meena's ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while meena's always been able to see everyone else's future, she's never been able to look into her own.
And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare. Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future...
If she ever has one.
OK, so after reading the Twilight and Evernight series ... I promised myself that I wouldn't pick up another vampire novel again ... Well so much for that promise ... So for all those lovers of vampire novels you will want to sink your teeth into this one.
Meg Cabot is a brilliant writer and I love her novels and she has really outdone herself with this one. It's funny, exciting, romantic and mocks the whole vampire genre which I love, but at the same time it keeps you glued to the pages to find out what happens next. The characters are all brilliant in there own special way and I couldn't decide who I like best as they each have something special about just them. The plot is well thought out and very funny as it takes the Mickey out of all those vampire novels and movies and I loved how she has made mention of a few of them.
While this book is quite light-hearted it is not a book for young teens, I would recommend 17 and over at least. This would be a great summer/winter read and you will enjoy it. Hopefully there will be sequel next year sometime.
I rate this book 5 stars.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sleepless by Thomas Fahy (4)

SOMEONE ELSE WILL DIE SOON she tells herself.


A few days after the first time you walk in your sleep, you kill someone. That's how the end begins.

Emma Montgomery has been having gruesome nightmares. Even worse, when she wakes up, she isn't where she was when she fell asleep. And she's not the only one. One by one the students of Saint Opportuna High start having nightmares, and sleepwalking. And the next morning one of their classmates turns up dead.

Something is making them kill in their sleep. Emma and her friends need to band together, to keep themselves awake until they can figure out what's behind the murders--before anyone else dies.

Thomas Fahy, author of The Unspoken, which Pubishers Weekly called, "a page-turner that just might keep readers up at night," again brings readers a nail-bitingly horrifying novel.

I purchased this novel because: Loved the cover .... Very creepy :)

Opening Lines: Emma doesn't really notice the cold night air or the damp grass beneath her feet. Only the howling sound in her ears. That same sound dragged her out of bed a while ago. It made her walk downstairs and go outside to the shed where her dad keeps the old splintery shovel. That sound is the reason she has to keep digging - to find out what it wants ...

Lovin the cover ... Very 'I know what you did last summer' and 'final destination' .... If you do not like a good horror book this book is not for you .... I have to admit I did read it in bed at night but I did leave the light on ........ lol ...

There is abit of swearing in the book a few words and it is definitely not a novel for young teens as some of the scenes are pretty graphic ... This novel will keep you guessing until the end of the book which is great :) .... And would be a pretty good film if someone picked it up ...

There are two major characters in this book Emma the female lead who is scared to fall asleep as strange things happen when you are asleep .... And Jake the male lead ...... Between the two of them can they figure out what is happening in time to save their friends and themselves ...

Some of my favourite quotes are:

She used to say that lists can remind you that the world isn't such a big place after all, that small things matter. Pg 23

Emma has been thinking about that wand - wishing that there were enough magic in the world to undo painful things. Pg 44

We can be so unaware of the messages behind what we're really seeing. Pg 139

Well if you want to get your blood pumping and your heart rate racing a little bit then read this wee book ... Just make sure you keep the lights on ...... You have been warned :)

I rate this book 4 ****

Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard (41/2)

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

I purchased this book because: Saw the cover and wanted a funny light read

Opening lines: It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a teen girl on a class trip to England should be having the time of her life.

This is a cute wee book to read ........ Light hearted and funny ..... If you love your Period romances and Pride and Prejudice then this book is for you .....

Callie the main character finds herself back in time and is thrown into a world of balls, dresses and where the men rule the world ........ And where would a novel be without its dashing Duke ....... Callie is definitely a girl from our time that has to adjust very quickly to ways of 1815 ...

This is a quick read and one that I really liked ... If you are a fan of Lost in Austen or Austenland then you will gobble up this book ...

Favourite Quotes from the novel are:

"Everyone has a place in society. It would do you good to observe yours" Pg 106

I force myself to turn away from the woman and look at the guy standing next to her. And when I do, I lose my breath entirely. The Duke. Pg 35

I really enjoyed this wee novel ... So if your looking for something nice and light with a few laughs along the way go out and get a copy :)

I rate this book 4 1/2

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I am not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells (5)

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

I purchased this book because: Saw it on a book blog site and just had to get it

Opening lines: Mrs Anderson was dead.

I could not put this book down ........ It was brilliant in a really weird and sick pageturning way ... Reading it ..... Did make me think of the Character of "Dexter" expect that it is a younger version when he is just finding out what he is .....

The Character of John is brilliant ... And very detailed ...... He has a very unique way that he looks at the world and sometimes you cannot help but laugh out loud with what he thinks ... I cannot tell you how much I really liked this book ..... Obviously it is about the character of John who thinks he is destined to be a serial Killer because he displays the 3 charactrists of a serial killer plus a number of other clues along the way .... When a series of murders happens in his small town how will he be able to keep himself away .... And will his curiousity get the better of him .........

I have so many favourite quotes in this book that it is hard to choose which ones I like ... But here are a few ...

"The project I did last year was on Jeffrey Dahmer," I said. " He was a cannibal who kept severed heads in his freezer." "I remember now," said Max, his eyes darkening. " Your posters gave me nightmares." "Nightmares are nothing." I said. "Those posters gave me a therapist." Pg 27

There was a new monster in town, it seemed - would its presence awaken the one I kept hidden? Pg 30

"I'm a good person." I said, "because I know what good people are supposed to act like, and I copy them." Pg 37

Sure, we have dead bodies in the basement, but we also have a chapel, so it all balances out. Right? pg 38

Could I stop myself? Once I tore that wall down, could I rebuilt it? Pg 133

This book is probably not for everyone ... But if you love thrillers and a book with a little bit of bite to it and do not mind some blood and guts along the way ......... Then you will love this book ......... The sense of humour in the book is brilliant .... The way it is written is very clever and I cannot wait to read the next book .... And you will fall in love with John Wayne Cleaver !!!

I rate this book 5 Stars .........

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Happy Ever After" by Nora Roberts [5]

Childhood friends Mackensie, Parker, Laurel and Emmaline
have formed a very successful wedding-planning
business together. while helping thousands
of happy couples to organize the biggest day of their lives,
three of the four women have all found love
themselves - but workaholic Parker
remains resolutely single.
Her business is her life and she devotes all her energies to it.
But as she is forced to re-evaluate her friendships,
Parker finds that someone is about to divert her focus...

This is the fourth book in the Bride Quartet series and the one that I have been dying to read. I have absolutely loved the previous three books and each of the other girls and their men have been wonderful to read about, but for me it was Parker's story that I have been waiting to read about.

Nora Roberts has finished this series off beautifully and it's such a shame to see it end, but it was done well. I loved watching the romance between the efficient and dedicated Parker and bad boy come hero Malcolm. They suit each other to a tee... Malcolm comes across as this bad boy but he has morals that match Parker's own. Parker is looking for love...just like the love her parents shared for each other. There is just something about Mal that makes him fascinating and infuriating at the same time and the chemistry sparks between them. There are so many wonderful moments between both of them...they make you laugh and sigh all in the same breath. The moments between the girls are wonderful and it's terrific to see that they all care for each others happiness as well as their own.

You'll just love this series...drama and romance mingled with breath-taking scenery as they put together the most wonderful wedding days as well as other parties, you'll be lost in your imagination. The book is easy to read and you'll laugh and cry and just get lost in the characters and just like me you'll become addicated to this wonderful series.

Books in order...
1. Vision in White
2. Bed of Roses
3. Savour the Moment
4. Happy Ever After

Give this series a try and I promise you'll love them.

I rate this book 5 stars.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Jane" by April Lindner [5]

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge come-back. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.
But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing revelation from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?
I couldn't put it down...
Jane Eyre is my favourite love story of all time and when Irish told me that a modern version is being written, well I just had to give it a try. You will not be disappointed...
This book has been so cleverly written into a modern day version of the wonderful classic story of Jane Eyre. You will be swept up into it right until the amazing, and truly satisfying end. Jane has all the mystery, romance and laughter that the original has and will enchant you all over again.
Jane is a young girl who has had a very sad and unhappy childhood, while away at college her parents are killed and Jane is forced to find work. Applying for a nanny position she is sent to Thornfield Park to look after young Maddy, there she meets her brooding and handsome employer Nico Rathburn. He is a famous rock star who has an interesting past, and slowly Jane falls in love with him. There are dark secrets in Nico's life that will keep these two apart, but will love triumph in the end...that is the decision that Jane will have to make for herself. You will totally fall in love with these two characters they are remarkable.
This novel stays true to all the poignant parts from the original and has been cleverly brought into the modern well written and very easy to won't be able to put it down until your finished. I just can't rave enough about this book...if you don't read anything else for the year, please read this one, you will just love it. This would be a awesome Christmas present for the person who loves romance and a great introduction to the younger generation of a truly marvellous classic love story.
I definitely rate this book 5 stars.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Bright Young Things" by Anna Godbersen [5]

The Year is 1929.
New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things:
Flappers and Socialites seeking
Thrills and chasing dreams
in the anything-goes era of
the Roaring Twenties.
Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star...
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined - and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for ... and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall - together and apart.
For all those fans of the divinely written 'Luxe' series comes the brand new novels from Anna Godbersen, this time set in the late 1920's in the last summer of the jazz age.
I absolutely loved this first book from the new series, it was a lot more fast paced than the Luxe books and the girls in this one are more independent and more feisty. The boys at the moment are just the dressing for the girls and it's nice to see that role reversed. The detail from the era is just breath taking you really feel like your in the 1920's surrounded by all the glitz and glamour of the flapper period. It has mystery, romance, betrayal, humour, jealousy and all the things that you come to expect from the Luxe series...but I think even better.
'It is easy to forget now, how effervescent and free
we all felt that summer. Everything fades: the shimmer
of gold over White Cove; the laughter in the night air;
the lavender early morning light on the faces of skyscrapers,
which has suddenly become so heroically tall.
Every dawn seemed to promise fresh miracles,
among other joys that are in short supply these days.
And so I will try to tell you, while I still remember,
how it was then, before everything changed -
that final season of an era that roared'.
So just a little taste of what is to come and what to expect in this new and exciting series from Anna Godbersen. A must read for the year and a definite stocking gift for Christmas, your girls will just fall in love with this series.
I rate this book 5 stars.

"Bad Girls Don't Die" by Katie Alender [4 1/2]

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence: dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy, thirteen-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own antisocial, anti-cheerleader attitude.
When a family argument results in tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunctional to dangerous. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green; she uses odd, old-fashioned language - and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her weird behaviour. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves, water boils on the unlit stove, and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough for the girls to see their breath.
Alexis wants to believe it's all in her head, until these seemingly harmless occurrences become life-threatening - to her, to her family, and to her budding relationship with the student council vice president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey; but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?
This is a cool new series by a first time author Katie Alender. It is the first of three novels with the second coming out in June 2011 entitle 'From Bad to Cursed' and the third is due out in 2012.
Great teen read and introduction to ghost type novels, nothing gory or real scary in this book, probably just a little creepy... Really well written and very easy to read, the story flows well although just a little slow to begin with. The characters are very believable and you do become involved in what is happening to them.
"I stood perfectly still, looking up at the house and the
dark sky beyond it.
A band of mist drifted away from the moon,
making way for the next set of clouds -
what I hoped would be the picturesque backdrop
I'd been waiting for".
This has a really interesting cover to it and if your like me you just had to have the hardback version. This series is worth trying and the girls will love reading it...perhaps not at night for them though! Great introduction the the wonderful world of spooks and specters.
I rate this book 4 1/2 stars.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"The Shack" by WM. Paul Young

Book club read for November

Mackenzie Allen Phillip's youngest daughter, Missy,
has been abducted during a family vacation
and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered
is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness.
Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack
receives a suspicious note, apparently from God,
inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.
Against his better judgement, he arrives at the shack
on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest
nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's
world forever.
In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly
irrelevant, The Shack wrestles with the timeless question:
Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?
The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform
you as much as they did him. You'll want everyone you know
to read this book!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"I am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore [4 1/2]

John Smith is not your average teenager.
He regularly moves from small town to small town. he changes his name and identity. He does not put down roots. He cannot tell anyone who or what he really is. If he stops moving, those who hunt him find and kill him.
But you can't run forever.
So when he stops in Paradise, Ohio, John decides to try and settle down. To fit in. And for the first time he makes some real friends. People he cares about - and who care about him. Never in John's short life has there been space for friendship, or even love.
But it's just a matter of time before John's secret is revealed.
He was once one of nine. Three of them have been killed.
John is Number Four. He knows that he is next ...
What a terrific series this will turn out to be, I was quite surprised with it. In all there will be six books and the first is in the process of being made into a movie with the release date possibly Feb 2011.
So the basic story is that a group of Aliens have fled from their home planet and landed on earth, yes they look like us and blend in to a degree, they have special abilities when they become of age. Yes it was a small group of children and their minders and the children are special.
This book is about 15 year old John Smith and he is Number Four in a group of Nine. All John wants is the chance to settle down for a little while and make friends, be a normal teenager. He has this for just a little while until those that are hunting him find him and then the running starts all over again.
Reading some of the other reviews the one thing that I did notice was how people pointed out how the science in the book just doesn't add up, well this maybe true but you need to realize it is just a story and it doesn't necessarily have to make sense. It was fast paced, intriguing enough to keep you reading on and you feel for young John who is just a kid and wants a normal life without the running. I actually enjoyed reading this book and it's a great one for those of us with boys in the home, lots of action and things blowing up to keep them interested. Cool story. Next installment is entitle "We are Six" out spring 2011. Looking forward to seeing what they do with a movie version of this as well.
I rate this book 4 1/2 stars.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Nearly Departed" by Rook Hastings [4]

"Ive seen a ghost," said Emily.
"Well, not seen one exactly. Heard one.
At least, I think I have..."
Woodsville is not like other towns. night falls a little earlier there, the shadows are darker and denser, and everyone knows it's a place where strange things happen. Even if they won't admit it.
Bethan would prefer to be anywhere but here. Jay has his theories, but isn't ready to share. Hashim sees more than he'll say, while Kelly's demons are all too flesh and blood. but Emily's freak-out brings them out of denial and face to face with the supernatural. Anywhere else, Friday night would be date night. But not in Weirdsville...
This was a real cool novel to read ... no vampires, werewolves, faeries ... but about ghosts and ghost hunting. This is the first in the YA range where I've come across this genre and thoroughly enjoyed it too.
It really takes you back to your school days and what it was like as a 15 year old, the boys feel all the boy things and the girls are just girls and what they get up too. The four main characters are all so likable and you really start to enjoy them the more you find out about them. I loved the way the author has them all meet through a project and they find out that they have a lot in common with each other and become friends, when normally they wouldn't be. The plot was spellbinding and leaves you guessing right up until the last minute as to what happens. This novel reminds me of a few T.V series with little twists about it.
"As he waited in the old history block, Jay watched the footage from the camcorder
on his laptop for about the hundredth time since he'd first transferred it on Saturday afternoon.
All weekend he'd studied and studied it, resisting the urge to call the others in
until he'd tried every possible way to explain what was on there.
he still couldn't believe what he was seeing, and if he couldn't even believe his eyes
then what were the others going to think?"
pg 160.
"They heard a thin, high-pitched squeak from behind,
like fingers being scraped across a blackboard. As one, they slowly turned towards the sound.
In the thick condensation that filmed the bedroom window,
a finger-thick line was being drawn by an unseen hand.
Silently, they stood transfixed as they watched the message finally form:
help Her."
pg 214.
Four accidental friends have a destiny that awaits them and the beginning of a new friendship that will try and test the bounds of what it means to be true friends. It's eerie and spooky and you'll just love it. The next installment is entitle "Immortal Remains" and it's out now. This is a must read for both boys and girls and they will totally enjoy it.
I read this book 4 stars.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay (41/2)

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Well Kristie you have done it again ... Picked another crackin book .... I read this book in 2 days and it took me that long because I started it at 4 in the morning and then read it nearly completely through ....

The chapters are easy and small and have you totally hooked from the moment you open the first page ... You cannot help but continue reading to see what is going to happen next ...

As with all books which involve the holocaust you do find yourself being sicken and disturbed by the subject matter and this book is know exception ... My heart ached reading about the conditions of the families involved but most especially when it involves children ...

I had never heard of the events which inspired this novel mainly 'the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup in Paris ... But after reading about it, it did make me want to research more about it ...

While reading this novel you will experience a wave of emotion ... Sadness, anger, intolerance and the worse one turning a blind eye on what is happening around you ....

The main character of Sarah will draw you in almost immediately .... And you go on a journey with her with a great hope that everything will be ok because you just cannot imagine the alternative ...

Favourite quotes ..."The woman who stared back at me was at that dreaded age between forty-five and fifty,that no-man's land of sag, oncoming wrinkle, and stealthy approach of menopause. " Pg 6

"On the way down, confronted once again with the unpleasant refection in the elevator mirror, it suddenly occurred to me that I had put up with Bertrand's jabs for too long, and always with a good natured shrug. And today, for some obscure reason, for the first time, I felt I had had enough." pg 21

"She hated the voices being lowered when she entered the room. If they had told her, if the had told her everything they knew, wouldn't that have made today easier?" p 40

"It was the last time she ever saw them. No one came back. No one at all." Pg 44

"I love him, I really love him. I love the way he is. She had whistled, impressed, but unconvinced. Well, lucky him then. But for God's sake, when he goes too far, tell him. Just tell him." Pg 52

"When those children arrived in Auschwitz, there was no 'selection' for them. No lining up with the men and the women. No checking to see who was strong, who was sick, who could work, who could not. They were sent directly to the gas chamber." Pg 116

"I thought, feeling helpless, useless - I wanted to shout, to scream out to her, to them, that I knew, that I remembered, and that I could not forget." Pg 181

"Sorry for not knowing. Sorry for being forty-five years old and not knowing." Pg 192

Loved, Loved, Loved this book ...... It is heartbreaking with a glimmer of hope in it ... And hopefully a very powerful message that we as a people do not forget but remember so that we never do it again .........

I rate this book 4 1/2 ****

If you wish to see more information on this subject please click this link ...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Discussion Questions for Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

1. What did you know about France’s role in World War II—and the Vél d’Hiv round-up in particular—before reading Sarah’s Key? How did this book teach you about, or change your impression of, this important chapter in French history?

2. Sarah’s Key is composed of two interweaving story lines: Sarah’s, in the past, and Julia’s quest in the present day. Discuss the structure and prose-style of each narrative. Did you enjoy the alternating stories and time-frames? What are the strengths or drawbacks of this format?

3. Per above: Which “voice” did you prefer: Sarah’s or Julia’s? Why? Is one more or less authentic than the other? If you could meet either of the two characters, which one would you choose?

4. How does the apartment on la rue de Saintonge unite the past and present action—and all the characters—in Sarah’s Key? In what ways is the apartment a character all its own in?
5. What are the major themes of Sarah’s Key?

6. de Rosnay’s novel is built around several “key” secrets which Julia will unearth. Discuss the element of mystery in these pages. What types of narrative devices did the author use to keep the keep the reader guessing?

7. Were you surprised by what you learned about Sarah’s history? Take a moment to discuss your individual expectations in reading Sarah’s Key. You may wish to ask the group for a show of hands. Who was satisfied by the end of the book? Who still wants to know—or read—more?

8. How do you imagine what happens after the end of the novel? What do you think Julia’s life will be like now that she knows the truth about Sarah? What truths do you think she’ll learn about her self?

9. Among modern Jews, there is a familiar mantra about the Holocaust; they are taught, from a very young age, that they must “remember and never forget” (as the inscription on the Rafle du Vél d’Hiv) Discuss the events of Sarah’s Key in this context. Who are the characters doing the remembering? Who are the ones who choose to forget?

10. What does it take for a novelist to bring a “real” historical event to life? To what extent do you think de Rosnay took artistic liberties with this work?

11. Why do modern readers enjoy novels about the past? How and when can a powerful piece of fiction be a history lesson in itself ?

12. We are taught, as young readers, that every story has a “moral”. Is there a moral to Sarah’s Key? What can we learn about our world—and our selves—from Sarah’s story?

Winner of Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

The winner is:


Well done ..... Send us your postal address via our email and we will post the book out to you !!

Winner of Meridian by Amber Kizer

The winner is


Well done !!!!! .... send us your postal address via our email and we will post it out to you !!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"13 to Life" by Shannon Delany [5]

Everything about Jessie Gillmansen's life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But while showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she's about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent - he's a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie's small town. It seems change is the one thing Jessie can't avoid.

Wow, wow, wow. I loved the cover to this book as soon as I saw it and then reading the review thought yep that sounds interesting. Well that's an understatement ... this book was fantastic, I just could not put it down and that hasn't happened for a little while now. First I must warn you the next installment isn't until Feb 2011 so you might be tearing out your hair while waiting ... I know that I will be!

So Jessica or Jessie to her friends has had a pretty rough last year, her mother was killed right in front of her in a car crash and her best friend was in a coma for a week. Now she has been asked to show the new guy around the school and while he might be handsome he is also arrogant and dangerous. But as Jessie gets to know Pietr better she realizes that they have things in common but that he is also hiding a dark secret. Torn between showing her loyalty to her best friend and fighting her attraction toward Pietr, she secretly starts to become involved in his life, and this will change everything.

This novel is so well written that you totally get engrossed and before you realize you've finished it. I loved the way the author has a real sweet relationship starting to develop between the two main characters and how the friendship between girls is important and shouldn't come between boys. Sacrifice is a strong theme throughout this novel and it's interesting to see how the characters deal with it. It's fast paced, full of suspense and action, add a little touch of danger and romance and you have the perfect teen read. I can't wait to read the next installment to find out what happens. This would be a great christmas stocking filler for your girls.

Totally Enjoy.

I rate this book 5 stars.
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