Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Everfound by Neal Shusterman, 500 pages

The final book in what was a wonderful series. Each book really was as good as the previous. The only thing that made it better was listening to the author talk about them.

Everwild by Neal Shusterman, 432 pages

This is the 2nd book in the Skinjacker series. I was very excited to get to hear Neal Shusterman actually talk about this series. These books are really good.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman, 228 pages

Calvin Schwa is a boy so bland that he is essentially invisible. Antsy Bontano is intrigued by this, and decides to test it, and then profit from it. What happens next will leave Antsy, his family and the Schwa changed forever.
I've been reading a much of Shusterman's books to prepare for his visit Tuesday, and I'm upset that I've waited this long to discover him. His books are poignant, sweet, funny and great.

Death in Salem by Diane E. Foulds, 279 pages

This nonfiction book looks at the people involved in the Salem Witch trials, from the afflicted, to the accused, the clergy and the judges, and even the elite of the time. It gives a short bio of each person, how they reacted during the trials and what happened to them afterwards. The book was a little dry at times and didn't bring history to life, but if you want a plain, factual look at the people involved, this is a great resource.

Fables: Storybook Love, 190 pages

This series continues to get darker and better with every edition. I can't wait to see where the storyline is going to go next. I'm enjoying watching The Big Bad Wolf and Snow White's courtship.

Fables: Animal Farm, 127 pages

The storybook characters have been forced to flee their land and are now dwelling in New York City, except for the non-human ones, who live on a secluded farm away from mundies, as they call regular humans. But those characters are no longer content to live a quiet life, tucked away on the farm. Who will survive this animal revolution?
This graphic novel series is great, very much intended for mature audiences. There's a byplay between Goldilocks and the 3 Bears that goes into Goldie's relationship with Baby Bear, and it's not because his bed was "just right". The artwork is great and the storyline is compelling, it really gives a whole new backstory to my favorite fairytale characters.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

College Weekend by Kate William, 198 pages

Jessica Wakefield is having a blast visiting her brother, Steven, at Sweet Valley University. And after just one day, she's found the perfect college guy. Zach Marsden is twenty years old, tall, dark and handsome. They make an awesome campus couple-at least, that's what Jessica thinks. There's only one problem: Zach believes that Jessica is a college junior! And she's going to make sure he never finds out the truth. Elizabeth Wakefield is in love...with college! When Elizabeth spends all night writing a paper for a journalism class, Steven and Jessica think she's crazy. But then the professor gives her the opportunity to be a real live reporter. With an offer like that, will Elizabeth ever go back to high school?

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman, 328 pages

This was one of the most touching and sad books I've read. I picked it up thinking it was going to be about high school bullies and that was completely off base. Wonderful read, I can't wait to see Neal Shusterman on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Twist a Dragon's Tale by Cressida Cowell, 246 pages

These books are just lots of fun to read. Hiccup is an unlikely Viking hero who continues to fall into adventure after adventure. I have to say that Toothless is my favorite part.

Everlost by Neal Shusterman, 313 pages

Neal Shusterman is coming to the library in less than a week so I've started reading his books. This features Nick and Allie who die in a car accident and end up in a land between life and the afterlife. This land is Everlost and the children who reside are called Afterlights. Allie is not content to settle for the answers she's been given and is determined to find a way home.
This was an outstanding book that I'm upset I'd missed for so long. I'm going to start the next one very quickly to see what happens to Allie and Nick.

Fables: Legends in Exile, 127 pages

The fairytales have fled their land, those who survived the attack of the Adversary, and now are living in New York City. Snow White's sister, Rose Red, is believed dead and she is working with their sheriff, the Big Bad Wolf, to figure out who did it. This was a great graphic novel, very adult, bringing a new view to some old stories. I especially liked the story at the end telling of how The Big Bad Wolf and Snow White met. I will be picking up the rest of the graphic novels very soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris, 342 pages

I've read all the Sookie Stackhouse books many times, and enjoyed them all. I was stuck in the van for 20 minutes waiting for someone and this was the only book I could find in the van so I started re-reading. After that point I was 50 pages in so I went ahead and finished it. If you like vampire books with sex appeal and lots of humor, this is a series you don't want to miss.

Circus Mania by Douglas McPherson, 230 pages

This is a non-fiction look at circus life and it's history, centered in England. While it was interesting, it didn't cover enough of the historical aspects and centered too much on England for it too be truly enjoyable for me. There were a multitude of references that I didn't get because I didn't grow up watching English telly, so you might want to pass on this if you don't have that background.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Royal Stuarts by Allan Massie, 370 pages

The Royal Stuarts were a family that seemed destined to destroy themselves through bad choices and passion. Mary, Queen of Scots and James of the King James Bible are two of the most famous members but the family is filled with people who changed England and Scotland forever.

This novel follows the Stuarts from their earliest known beginnings up to the last known member, a Cardinal in Frascati, Italy, along with all the sweeping sagas inbetween. Allan Massie's book "The Royal Stuarts" is a gripping read for anyone who is a fan of English history, royalty or just history in general.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mister Creecher by Chris Priestley, 390 pages

This is Frankenstein meets Oliver Twist as a teen book. Billy is a London pickpocket who finds himself as an ally of Mister Creecher, Frankenstein's monster. Mister Creecher is determined to get from Frankenstein what has been promised and needs Billy's help. I don't want to give away too many plot details so I'll leave it at that. I really enjoyed this book, finding it a great behind-the-scenes look at two great classics, up until the end. This book left me feeling the same way The Hunchback of Notre Dame did, wanting to rewrite it with an ending I liked instead. But that is the way a good book works, making you feel ownership of the characters and the storyline. I really think Lisa Brown would enjoy this book.

M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker, 180 pages

I've seen every episode of M*A*S*H over the years and part of the movie, but have never read the book. I finally decided to change that. It was difficult at times to read the book because I kept comparing it to the tv show, especially Hawkeye. The book was good on its own but I did feel, guiltily, that I didn't like it as much as the show.

Newfangled Fairy Tales Book #2 edited by Bruce Lansky, 112 pages

This is a collection of fairy tales retold with a twist. Funny, odd and a fast read.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Holidays in Heck by P.J. O'Rourke, 265 pages

I'm not familiar with P.J. O'Rourke's work as a political humorist but saw this book and thought it was a humor book about traveling with children. I discovered my mistake almost immediately but will read pretty much anything (it's an addiction) so I went ahead with it. I'm glad I did because he's a funny writer who has traveled the world and now is bringing his family some of the time. While he's more Republican than I normally enjoy, the book was enjoyable enough that I was willing to forgive him for that, lol.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Killer on Board by Kate William, 227 pages

Convicted murderer John Marin is back! His one goal: to kill Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. Using his cunning and ingenuity, he has escaped from jail and is stalking the California coast in search of his prey. Thinking Marin is safely behind bars, Ned Wakefield takes his family on an island vacation. But little does he know that while his daughters are swimming in the hotel pool, John Marin is plotting his final revenge. Will Ned get to the twins before it's too late? Or will this vacation be Jessica and Elizabeth's last?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Stranger in the House by Kate William, 215 pages

When Ned Wakefield learns that John Marin, the man he sent to jail for murder, is out, he's gripped by fear. He'll never forget Marin's last words: "I'll get you, Wakefield. Your precious little girls will never be safe again." Ned hires a private detective to keep an eye on Jessica and Elizabeth, and cautions his daughters to be alert to strangers. But then Elizabeth meets Ben, a young novelist, and Jessica meets Scott, a gorgeous television intern. Forgetting their father's warning, they fall right into Marin's deadly trap. Can Ned rescue the twins-or will they be John Marin's next victims?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Anno-Dracula by Kim Newman, 359 pages

Imagine a world where Dracula wasn't vanquished by Van Hesling and his compatriots, but instead not only won but married Queen Victoria, ushering in a world where vampires not only walk among "warms" but rule England. Then throw in Jack the Ripper killing vampire streetwalkers and you've got a great twist on a vampire story.

Jessica's Older Guy by Kate William, 197 pages

Jessica Wakefield's told one of the biggest lies of her life, and now there's no way out. If Zach Marsden finds out that Jessica's really just a high school girl visiting her big brother at Sweet Valley University, he'll dump her. And Jessica's secret is going to be very hard to keep-especially when her boyfriend, Ken Matthews, shows up at SVU for a surprise visit. Elizabeth Wakefield has been offered the chance to make a grown-up life for herself at Sweet Valley University! She's ready to kiss high school good-bye...until Todd Wilkins and the rest of her friends and family tell her that this is a great opportunity. Elizabeth feels miserable. Doesn't anyone care about losing her?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heartless by Gail Carriger, 385 pages

This is the 3rd book in a really fun series. This is what you would call regency paranormal steampunk (did you even know such a thing existed?) and each one has me laughing and eagerly turning pages. My one regret with this book is that there wasn't enough zombie porcupines in it!

American Pickers Guide to Picking by Libby Callaway, 209 pages

I like watching American Pickers on the History Channel so when I saw this book come into the library, it was a definite must read. I could never walk up to someone's house and see if they would let me pick, but I like reading about it. You wouldn't want to read this book if you haven't seen the show, but fans of the show will enjoy this.

The Woman's Crusade by Mary Walton, 284 pages

This book covers Alice Paul, one of the fighters who helped gain the vote for women. Every time I read some of this book I would get angry and outraged at the thinking that kept us from being able to vote for so long. I've never been denied something because of my gender (except maybe writing my name in the snow, lol) but there is still discrimination inflicted throughout America and the world. If you want a book that will educate, entertain and leave you more determined to use your vote, this is a book you must read.

Claw by Jack Younger, 219 pages

Remember watching Birds and thinking nothing could be scarier? Imagine it with pet cats going crazy and attacking one and all in groups. This was a totally hokey read from 1976, complete with a cigarette ad in the middle of the book. It was bad in a good way, I will never look at a group of cats the same way.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chocolate Covered Murder by Leslie Meier, 249 pages

A dead body enrobed in chocolate, all in all, a sweet murder mystery. I really like this series, but you couldn't pay me to live in Tinker's Cove since they have a high number of dead bodies turn up.

Jessica the Genius by Kate William, 197 pages

Everyone knows that Jessica Wakefield lives for sun, fun, and guys. So how did she manage an almost perfect score on her SATs? There's a rumor going around Sweet Valley High that Jessica cheated. Will acing her college boards mean acceptance at the university of her dreams-or will it ruin her chances forever? Todd Wilkins is driving Elizabeth Wakefield crazy. Now that college basketball scouts are showering Elizabeth's boyfriend with flattery and attention, he thinks he's hot stuff. He even tells Elizabeth she's lucky to have him! When Todd's head gets too big to fit through the Wakefields' front door, will Elizabeth send him walking?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Nightmare in Death Valley by Kate William, 196 pages

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are trapped in Death Valley! Led astray by the promise of hidden treasure, the Sweet Valley gang is in serious danger. A torrential rainstorm is brewing on the horizon, and they're being pursued by three escaped convicts! When the gang decides to split up, things only get worse. While Jessica is held at gunpoint by the convicts, Elizabeth hangs from a rocky cliff, perilously close to falling. Will the twins save themselves-or perish in the valley of death?

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry, 519 pages

The long awaited sequel to Rot & Ruin is finally here. Benny and his brother Tom are finally setting out to find the jet Benny and Nix saw fly over the mountains. Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Tom are leaving Mountainside for good, but saying goodbye to friends is hard. From the very start, nothing goes as planned. And before they know it, some of them are facing Gameland, where children and teenagers are forced to fight zombies in pits for the amusement of adults. Also, clues lead them to believe that Charlie Pink-eye is still alive!
I don't want to give anything away about this story, but it was fast-paced, filled with twists that I didn't see coming and heartbreaking in places. I hated everytime I had to stop reading due to real life. All I can say is that Jonathan Maberry better write a third book for this series or I might be forced to track him down and relive Stephen King's Misery.

Life is Not a Stage by Florence Henderson with Joel Brokaw, 264 pages

In my mind Florence Henderson will always be Carol Brady, but she has a long career before that. She was on a ton of tv shows, Broadway and even a movie before she become the Mother of the Mullet. She overcame a very hard childhood, and seems to be upbeat and optimistic to this day. This was a good read.

The Treasure of Death Valley by Kate William, 199 pages

Elizabeth has struck it rich! On a special school survival course, she discovers real gold nuggets and a treasure map. She knows that she should forget the map and stick to the trail, but how can she resist the lure of adventure and more gold? Jessica, wanting to be richer than Lila Fowler, leads the group on the treasure hunt. Little does she know that three convicted murderers are right on their heels. Will the group abandon the temptation of gold? Or will their group lead them into horrifying danger?