Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review~Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm by Perry Romanowski

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The title is what drew me in on this one...I am addicted to lip balm (well, dependent on it anyway). I really enjoyed this collection of answers to life's beauty/cosmetic questions. The answers were easy to read and informative without getting boring.
I picked up some tips and discovered some alternatives to try that are less expensive than the name brands.
Thanks Perry for putting together this collection-especially loved the hair info as I was considering purchasing one of those outrageously priced items you can only buy on TV!

Thanks to Harlequin for allowing access via NetGalley.

Book Review~Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

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Loved this book! Can't beat the premise...a world where people's digital lives take precedence over normal living (you know-face-to-face interaction with real people). Maddie's dad is the head honcho of Digital School. DS was created in reaction to school shootings, beatings, etc. to ensure children could learn in a safe environment-their bedroom. Though Maddie is following the course determined by her DS path, she has an inner battle that's been waging for some time whether DS really is the best answer. People don't have conversations anymore. They communicate through multiple online identities, study groups, without ever meeting face-to-face. When she gets invited to attend study sessions that actually meet in a room, with a teacher and other kids, she meets Justin and that little seed of dissent starts to reemerge. Justin begins to show Maddie what she's been missing and then the excitement begins.
This novel is sure to be loved by the YA audience. It has great potential for teens to contemplate how they're living their digital lives and the value of human contact. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Books for Children for allowing access via NetGalley.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review~Shine by Lauren Myracle

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I think my middle school students will enjoy this one, especially since we can never keep Myracles's Internet girls series on the shelf. I haven't read any of her other books. And, I must confess that this one was a little more dramatic than I expected.

Shine takes on the serious issues of sexuality and hate crimes quite gracefully. Cat has withdrawn from all her friends ever since the event with Tommy. Cat drops hints throughout the story that Tommy was forcefully sexual with her when she was thirteen. Now three years later, her former best friend has been found tied near a gas dispenser, with the nozzle stuffed down his throat and a insinuating note on his chest. Cat realizes the local sheriff will not be making finding those responsible a priority, so she decides she'll start asking some questions. If she hadn't kept to herself the past three years, her inquiries might have gone unnoticed, but she draws some unwelcome attention.

The twists and turns keep the reader guessing as to who is the likely suspect. Even when the guilty person is confirmed, the suspense continues and the reader will not be disappointed.

Thanks to Amulet Books for allowing access through NetGalley.