Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Review~The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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Four orphan boys find themselves bought by a nobleman named Conner, and they are unsure of what he has planned. While traveling to Conner's home, they discover their lives are on the line when suddenly there are only three of them left. The nobleman soon lets the boys in on his plan--he wants to try to pass the boys off as the long, lost Prince Jaron in two weeks time.

The story is told by Sage, a strong-willed, defiant, boy who does not want to be prince, but does not wish to be killed either. He befriends one of Conner's men and a kitchen maid named Imogen who pretends she is mute to avoid Conner's advances and only speaks to Sage.

It's a cute story and I enjoyed it. It was a refreshing change from all the dystopian and paranormal books that are being published right now. Seems that it would appeal most to middle-aged readers, maybe in the 8-12 year old range.

Much thanks to Shelf Awareness and Scholastic for providing an advanced copy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Review~Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman

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So not what I expected...the author took the story and ran away with it-in the opposite direction than I would've guessed.

When Lynn and her friend Dani started chatting with people online, they decided to make a game out of it. One of the main rules of the game was that they wouldn't identify their true identities. Lynn wasn't really sure why but she did give her real name to a soldier named Logan who was in hid mid-twenties while she was just about to enter high school. After Lynn and Logan met, things got a bit out of control. Logan went AWOL and ended up sneaking into Lynn's house to stay until morning when he would figure out what he was going to do. Within a few days, Lynn had him trapped in a tiny, secret  room in the back of her closet naked.
While this was all going on, Lynn's mother's boyfriend Hayes, had gotten into some trouble when he bungled up a drug deal and the guys he screwed were looking at Lynn's house for him. Lynn soon becomes tangled in her mother and Hayes mess while still trying to keep her own secret.

Thanks to NetGalley and Soho Press for access to this title. 

Book Review~Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi

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As a flu epidemic seems to be killing or infecting everyone that hasn't had the AIDS vaccine, Peyton realizes the boy who has been crushing on her forever is actually a decent guy. Decent enough, in fact, to fall in love with. When Peyton's dad tells her that she carries the secret to stopping the plague, she decides to go into the shelter instead of leaving town with Chris, breaking both their hearts.
When she surfaces four years later, her sole mission is to head to Disney World to meet up with her father. Peyton soon finds herself bringing along a rag tag group of children and the boy whose heart she broke on her journey. 

Though a decent zombie story, it shares a lot of similarities with Maberry's Rot & Ruin. I know plenty of kids that will thoroughly enjoy it, even though some of it felt a bit forced. For Chase/Chris to be the very first human for Peyton to see after four years in the shelter was a little too convenient. I actually considered stopping reading right there. The only reason I'm glad I did finish was so I have something to go on when I suggest the book to my students.

Thanks to NetGalley and NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC for access to this title.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review~Give Death a Chance: The British Zombie Invasion 2 by Alan Goldsher

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I like zombie books, I really do. But, this may well have been the stupidest book I have ever read. I don't know if it would've been any better if I read the first one. The whole thing was just ridiculous. I just couldn't wait for it to be over. I kept hoping it would get a little better, something would happen that would redeem the book, but no luck. Sitting here now, I'm just wondering what the Beatles would think of this book-would they laugh about it or be hugely insulted???

Thanks to NetGalley and BooGoo Press, INscribe Digital for access to this title.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review~Lassiter: A Novel by Paul Levine

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A bit like a Law & Order episode-kind of predictable (especially the ending). Lassiter has always felt guilty about some of the flings he had back in his football days, but when Amy confronts him about being involved in her sister's disappearance, he decides he's going to have to do some digging into the past, which will not be pretty. Lassiter soon discovers it's not just the undesirables in the porn industry with something to hide.

Thanks to Bantam House and NetGalley for access to this title.

Book Review~The Dispatcher by Ryan David Jahn

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This was the start of a good run of adult suspenseful thrillers on my reading list. I had heard about this title from somewhere and was thrilled when I saw it on NetGalley. It was a good read that took hold right in the beginning and was like a roller coaster ride-you want it to be over, but at the same time you don't want it to stop!

There may well be nothing in the world stronger than a father's love. Ian Hunt proves this again and again throughout this book. To begin with, even though his daughter was kidnapped seven years ago, he never gave up hope that she could be alive. Though it may be a little unbelievable that a father would be able to identify his daughter's voice after seven years, this can be forgiven once one gets caught up in the chase to reunite father and daughter. I know I really enjoyed reading this, but now that I sit here trying to write about it, the incredulity of the story seems abundant. That being said, it really is a thrill-ride and I can forgive the far-fetched little details in exchange for an engaging read.

Thanks to Penguin Group USA, Penguin Books, and NetGalley for access to this title.

Book Review~The Ninth Step by Barbara Taylor Sissel

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I have to say this is another one where the cover did not do the story justice at all! One could easily pass right by this one and miss a hidden gem. The angst that Livie feels from the devastating day when her fiance, Cotton, up and disappeared on her is so palpable, you can taste it. I'm not quite sure how Sissel managed to make me feel sorry for Livie without pitying her at the same time. The idea that Cotton could actually try to walk back into Livie's life paired with the fact that she might just let him is almost too much to bear. And, if getting caught up in how Livie and Cotton's relationship will untangle itself wasn't enough, then the reasons behind Cotton's leaving, and eventual return, are sure to pull you in...definitely recommend this one!

Thanks to Barbara Taylor Sissel, AuthorBuzz, and NetGalley for access to this title.

Book Review~Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

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This was definitely not a book to be judged by the cover. To be honest, I almost didn't read it, there was something about the cover that didn't appeal to me and I can see my students doubting me if I were to recommend this book for them. That being said, I am pleased that I started it because I did get hooked pretty quickly.

It was easy to get sucked in when it started because just like Nick, you didn't know what was on the mysterious discs that seemed to make everyone start acting so strangely. Once Nick becomes a player in the world of Erebos, there really is no looking back. It requires complete commitment and may just turn out to be a matter of life and death.

Thanks to Annick Press and NetGalley for access to this title.

Book Review~Shatter by Michael Robotham

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Absolutely LOVED this book. I was very pleased to find a new (to me) author in the adult suspense genre that I felt was worth reading. I felt an instant liking for Joe O'Loughlin. Somehow, he felt very ... familiar. I got sucked into the story very quickly and was often surprised by the twists and turns. Before I even I finished the book, I had recommended Robotham's O'Loughlin books to my husband, my dad and some girlfriends. Have already gotten some of the other titles in the series and am looking forward to finding out some of the history that was alluded to in this installment. Thank you so much to Little, Brown and Company, Mulholland Books and NetGalley for access to this title.

Book Review~13 Hangmen by Art Corriveau

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This was a cute one. A nice break from some more serious books I've been reading. When Tony is about to turn 13, he is left a house on 13 Hangman Court by a mysterious uncle he only met once. Once his family moves into the house, Tony finds himself right in the middle of one big mystery. Being such a mystery fan, this is an absolute thrill for him, an escape from the monotony of being harassed by his mother to try and eat better to lose some weight and being teased by his brothers who can just about do it all.

A must read for middle grade boys. A might read for girls. A definite escape from all the other fantasy fiction out there.

Thank you to Abrams, Amulet Books and NetGalley for access to this title.