Wednesday, December 14, 2011

BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY by Jacolyn Dolamore

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

Rachel's Thoughts: This book was a good read, probably more relaxing than anything because it doesn't get into serious topics or evoke deep emotions of any kind. It was just a quick, easy read. I continued to turn the pages, wanting to know what happens next but not because I was invested in the characters and cared about them a whole lot; more so because I liked the world the author created and enjoyed reading about it. I couldn't see what Esmerine saw in Alan and often times he downright irritated me and then the ending seemed very quickly pulled together. Like I said, a good book for light reading. I gave this book 4 bookmarks.

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

This book is said to be for ages 12 and up.

Rachel's Thoughts: I have to be honest, I was so enthralled with this story that there may have been a kiss or two, and I really don't remember because the pacing moves so quickly. It's just that good. I think this is a great one to read along with your teen and then afterward discuss the underlying topics such as poverty, dysfunctional government and the fact that extreme power corrupts extremely. I also really liked Katniss' character and how strong she is, able to hunt, and protect herself. I thought the author did a wonderful job at showing us the warrior in Katniss without making her into a blood thirsty conqueror. This is one of those books that I not only bought after reading the library copy, but I went out and bought the trilogy hard back. I have allowed my own daughter to read this series and now she is a Hunger Games fanatic! So is my husband. :)  I gave this book 5 bookmarks.

Lakela's Thoughts: This is my new favorite book! I loved everything about it, the story, the characters, everything. I'm addicted. I gave this book 5 bookmarks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RIPPLE by Mandy Hubbard

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

This book is said to be for young adults and from what I hear, it's the first in a two part series. 

Rachel's Thoughts: When I started reading this story I was hooked from page one. It's a different take on the mermaid tale (tail, too). One in which mermaids are not sweet, innocent maidens. I liked how she broke some of the normal assumptions of mermaids such as not giving her mermaid a tail, and other twists you'll have to read the book to learn about. Lets just say I never found myself wanting to put the book down. The end seems to wrap everything up, but from the author's website, it looks like she's doing another, making this a two part series. I'm definitely interested to see where she takes the second book. I gave this book 4 bookmarks.

Lakela's Thoughts: This was a quick read for me, and I liked how the mermaid was different than most mermaid stories. I gave this book 5 bookmarks.

Monday, May 23, 2011

PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal. 

This book is said to be for grades 7 and up and is the first in a series.  

Rachel's Thoughts: I really liked this book! I had a hard time putting it down! It was such a unique idea. We have fairies, hags, vampires, werewolves, water spirits, gremlins, trolls and more. Unlike popular stories lately, she puts a bad spin on vampires as well as fairies. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy this book, I can't wait to get my hands on the next one in the series.I gave this book 4 bookmarks.

Lakela's Thoughts: I gave this book 5 bookmarks. 

MONSTER HIGH by Lisi Harrison

They prefer to call themselves RAD (Regular Attribute Dodgers), but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, but this year two new girls enroll at Master High School, and the town will never be the same.

Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and cheerleading. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters who might be stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normi" world can be rough for a chic freak like her.

She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver--but can a normi be trusted with her big secret?

This book is said to be for middle grade plus. This book is the first in a series.

Rachel's Thoughts: This would be a fun read for a tween or teen. But as an adult reading it, the teeny-bop lingo kind of grated on my nerves as well as the need to explain the brand name of every piece of clothing and shoes. Otherwise, it was a fun read. I gave this book 3 bookmarks.

Lakela's Thoughts: I really liked this book. The story moved quickly and the characters were fun to read about. And I liked all the fashion and art references. I gave this book 5 bookmarks. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.
There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

This book is said to be for young adults although I couldn't find a more specific age group.

Rachel's Thoughts: The story begins strongly and then it seems to lull. All the while, you're waiting to find out if in fact her love interest is a merman. You wait, and you wait, and then the book is over. Huh? I liked the idea of the story and her writing, but I really felt like it dropped me at the end with not so much as a fishing net to grab on to! So, I guess I'll say that I enjoyed the story and really hope there's a sequel so I can find out if her love interest is who we all think he is. I gave this book 4 bookmarks.

Real Mermaids DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS by Helen Boudreau

Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning...

If she hadn't been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?

Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?
Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?

This summer is about to get a lot more interesting...

This book is said to be for tweens to young teens.

Rachel's Thoughts: This book is most certainly not for older teens who are looking for a deep, thought provoking story. Unless of course they are die hard mermaid fans like myself. :) This is a lighthearted story definitely geared toward tween girls. As far as the story itself, I thought it moved along quiet well and had some fun little mermaid 'facts' to satisfy the fantasy lover in me. I gave this book 4 bookmarks.  

Lakela's Thoughts: I really liked this book. It was quick, easy to understand, and about a girl in junior high (around me age) who starts to experience new things in life, she just happens to be a mermaid. I gave this book 4 bookmarks. by Tera Lynn Childs

If Phoebe Castro can keep her grades up and have another stellar cross-country season, her dream of attending USC with her best friends is only a track scholarship away. She’s made all her plans, so it’s a complete shock when her mom announces she’s marrying a mysterious stranger and moving them half-way around the world—to Greece.

Phoebe’s stuck on a secret island in the Aegean attending the super-exclusive Academy, where her new stepfather is the headmaster and the kids are anything but your average students—they are descendants of the Greek gods, super powers included. That’s right, Greek gods are no myth! If Phoebe thought high school was hard, she knows this is going to be mortal misery.

Securing that scholarship seems like Phoebe’s only ticket out of Greece, but training and maintaining her grades will be grueling, even without a sabotaging stepsister from Hades and a gorgeous guy—what a god!—who just might be her Achilles heel. One thing is for sure—summoning the will to win and find her place among the gods could be Phoebe’s toughest course yet.

This book is said to be for grades 7 and up and is the first in a series.

Rachel's Thoughts: I enjoyed this book and thought it to be very entertaining. It was fairly lighthearted  aside from the fact that her father is deceased and throughout the book she deals emotionally with his passing. The story was well done in a way that made me want to throw my jogging shoes on and hit the running trails. I found myself getting angry at those who mistreated her and being glad when she finally found friends at her new school. All in all, I thought it was a positive story and well written. I gave this book 4 stars. 

Lakela's Thoughts: 

MARKED by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

From Goodreads: In 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres not only exist but are also tolerated by humans. Those whom the creatures "mark" as special enter the House of Night school where they will either become vampyres themselves, or, if their body rejects the change, die. To Zoey, being marked is truly a blessing, though she's scared at first. She has never fit into the human world and has always felt she is destined for something else. Her grandmother, a descendant of the Cherokee, has always supported her emotionally, and it is she who takes the girl to her new school. But even there the teen stands apart from the others. Her mark from the Goddess Nyx is a special one, showing that her powers are very strong for one so young. At the House of Night, Zoey finds true friendship, loyalty, and romance as well as mistrust and deception. She realizes that all is not right in the vampyre world and that the problems she thought she left behind exist there as well.

This book is said to be for grades 9 and up and is the first in a series.

Rachel's Thoughts: This book is full of 'teen talk', which I didn't mind at all seeing as it's a young adult novel. It was a page turner at times, but the problem I had was that the chanting during ceremonies grew until they were on page after page, causing me to skip those sections all together. I did enjoy this book for the story it told, but the too-much-chanting got in the way, so I don't think I'll read the next book in the series. I gave this book 3 stars.