Sunday, May 31, 2009

Skinned by Robin Wasserman

Lia wakes up after a car accident that has killed her body. Before she died her brain was removed and scanned so that all of her memories are now stored inside her new body - a computer shaped like a person with skin-like material covering it. As a "skinner" she no longer needs to eat or sleep and she can't age or die. Each night she uploads her memories of the day so that when this body stops working she can be downloaded into a new body. Although she was the most popular person in school before her accident she now finds herself at the center of a controversary about who or what she is now and even her friends, boyfriend and sister aren't sure if Lia still exists. Lia isn't sure of that herself. Only Auden, a boy she wouldn't have looked at twice before her accident, seems to understand what Lia's going through and tries to help her. This book is sure to make you think about what it means to be alive.
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Friday, May 29, 2009

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

Ally - She and her family own and run the Moon Shadow campground. Ally loves her life at the campground in the middle of nowhere and dreams of discovering her own comet one day. The campground is situated in the perfect spot to view an upcoming total eclipse and Ally's family has been preparing for the hundreds of people who will be arriving to view the eclipse. What Ally doesn't know is that her parents have sold the Moon Shadow and are planning to move the family back to a city.
Bree - She dreams of being a model and has the looks to succeed. Her parents and sister are science nerds but Bree is completely focused on being the most popular girl in school and training for her future career. But all of her plans are destroyed when her parents tell her that they will be moving to the Moon Shadow campground and running it for at least the next three years.
Jack - He is an outsider at his school and is facing summer school after failing science. So when his teacher Mr. Silver calls with an offer to be his assistant during a trip to observe an eclipse he jumps at the chance.
These three teens come together for two weeks that will change all of their lives.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happenstance Found by P. W. Catanese

Happenstance awakens at the beginning of the book in an underground city with a volcano about to erupt over him and no memories of his life before that moment. He is rescued by Lord Umber who also receives a note about Happenstance warning him to be sure to develop Hap's talents. On the way back to Umber's home they notice that a ship is following them and Hap is sure it is Occo, the evil man mentioned in the note. Although they try to ditch Occo's boat he still finds Happenstance on land and for the first time they can see that Occo has legs that bend backwards and several eyes all over his face. They manage to fight Occo off temporarily but Happenstance knows that he has to find his lost memories and the secret of who he really is before he brings more danger to everyone who has helped him.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

This book is set after a devastating war between humans and faeries. The humans have supposedly won the war but lots of magic still exists in the world including exploding rocks and trees that will grab hold of people and drag them into the earth. Liza has heard all her life about the dangers of magic from her father. He is so adament about all magic being banned that just weeks before he set Liza's baby sister out into the woods alone when she was born with pale, faerie-like hair. A few days after that Liza's mother disappeared. After a beating from her father Liza has a vision while looking into a mirror. Scared about what her father will do if he finds out that she seems to be having magical tendencies, Liza runs away to try to find her mother. Her friend Matthew and her cat Tallow follow her. What they find contradicts all that they have learned about magic, the war, and who is actually the enemy.

Nation by Terry Pratchett

Mau lives on a small island. He has been away from his island for 30 days and is returning home where he will go through a ceremony that will make him a man in his culture. But while he is returning home his island is hit by a tsunami and when Mau returns, everyone he has ever known is dead. The only person still on his island is Daphne, a girl from England who was traveling to be with her father. Her ship was carried inland by the wave and has crashed in the jungle with only Daphne surviving. At first Daphne and Mau are wary of each other but they soon learn to communicate and work together to help all the other refugees who are arriving. Although Mau thinks he should feel grateful to be alive he feels that if he is to thank the gods for saving him he must also blame them for killing everyone else. He is also faced with the role of chief of this new group even though he is officially not a man or a boy anymore. Besides trying to keep all the new people happy and healthy a new threat arises when Daphne reveals that the captain of her ship had faced a mutiny and that the murderous mutineers are still in the area, possibly now in command of the local cannibals.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Isabel and her younger sister Ruth are slaves and orphans at the time of the Revolutionary War in the United States. Their mistress planned to free both the girls on her death but when that time comes her will is nowhere to be found and a greedy relative sells the sisters to a new mistress and they are taken to New York. Their new owner is a mean and spiteful woman and she and her husband support the British in the brewing war. Since her owners are known to be Torries and the American patriots would like to catch them at something Isabel is asked to spy on her Master. She reluctantly agrees to help out in exchange for a promise to help return her to her home. But despite the valuable information she gives to the Patriots she finds that neither they nor the British are willing to help her, even when the mistress sells Ruth to a new family in the West Indies and has Isabel branded. Isabel knows that she is the only hope for her sister but first she has to find a way to escape from her owners and make a way off of the island of New York.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud

Halli lives with his family in the house of their ancestor Svein. The people of Svein's house have heard stories of his heroic, almost superhuman, deeds all their lives including his defeat of the Trows, the creatures that live over the mountains and devour humans. Since Halli is the youngest son he knows he will not ever be the ruler of his house and spends his time pulling pranks and talking his way out of trouble. During the Gathering, a big celebration with everyone who lives in the valley and all the heroes' houses he meets a girl named Aud and they become friends. At the end of the Gathering, however, Halli witnesses the murder of his favorite uncle and is determined to get revenge on Olaf Hakon. Halli travels outside of his family's lands for the first time in his life only to find that when he is given the chance to kill Olaf, he lacks the will to become a murderer. But the Hakon's do not forgive so easily and they let everyone in the valley know that they will come and kill Halli and his entire family. Although he is the younger son it is up to Halli, with Aud's help, to defend his house and family.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dear Julia by Amy Zemser

Elaine has been practicing her French cooking since early childhood. Now 16 she is a master chef just like her role model Julia Child. But her mother, a strong feminist congresswoman, will not accept that her daughter would spend her life slaving away in a kitchen just like women in the past did. Elaine meets Lucida whose life's ambition is to become famous in any way possible. Unfortunately, Lucida doesn't seem to have talent in any field at all. When Lucida hears about a chance to produce a local TV show she decides that they must make a cooking show with Elaine as the star. But when a competitor causes problems for Elaine and Lucida their friendship is tested and they must rely on both of their odd families for support.

I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader by Kieran Scott

Annisa moves from New Jersey to Florida and on the first day finds that she is the only girl in the school who is not blonde. As if that wasn't enough to put her on the outside of the most popular girls in school, she accidentally breaks the cheerleading captain's nose. When she makes the cheerleading squad she is not welcomed with open arms, especially because she is interested in dating the ex-boyfriend of one girl on the team. But Annisa perseveres and with her help the team manages to make it to a major cheerleading competition. Lots of fun!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Alexis is an outsider even with the other outsiders at her school. She spends her free time taking photographs around the creepy old house where she lives with her parents and younger sister Kasey. But recently Kasey has been acting strangely and doesn't seem to remember lots of things she has done. Even weirder, during the times she has these odd reactions her blue eyes turn green. Their father ends up in the hospital after the brakes on his car were cut and Alexis remembers that Kasey was in the garage the night before. As she is wondering what might be going on with her sister she is approached by one of the cheerleaders who suggests that Kasey is possessed by a ghost. At first Alexis is not interested in anything Megan has to say but as things at home get spookier she has no choice but to ask for help with her sister as well as solving the murder of Megan's mom many years before.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Luthiel's Song: The War of Mists by Robert Marston Fanney

In book one of this series Luthiel saved the vampire-like Vryl from madness with her blood. Now she must try to save all the elves who raised her from Lord Zalos and his plans to ruin Luthiel as well as take over the world. Luthiel, Othalos the werewolf, her dragon, and one of the Vryl set off to try to make peace with the Fae and to defeat the huge, deadly spiders called Widdershae. At first the elves and other Fae are skeptical of Luthiel and the Vryl's claims that they want to have peace but when she fights the spiders alongside them many come to believe her. But Zalos manages to make her attempt to save the high lord of the world look as though she is actually attacking him and he leaves with many followers. He also uses an ancient prophecy to try to turn all of the Fae against Luthiel by claiming that she is the "Blood Witch" who will bring about an end of days. Luthiel must use her magic and her new ability to talk to people in their dreams to try to persuade them that she is on the side of good and love before she is crowned queen of the Fae.