Sunday, August 21, 2011


by Maggie Stiefvater

I realized with my last post about Stiefvater's newest novel that I had not taken the opportunity to write about one of her earlier published works-Lament. While I did not enjoy this book, or its sequel Ballad as much as The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, they were still good book choices.

Goodreads Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.

I enjoyed this book, and found glimpses of Stiefvater's writing-style from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I liked James the best of all the characters. Parts of him-the goofiness and loyalty- reminded me of my favorite Harry Potter character, Ron Weasley. This is a great few books if you are looking for something with Celtic lore-faeries and romance.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races is a new book by Maggie Stiefvater, author of the Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver, Linger, and Forever) that I love so much. It isn't out yet, but this description was posted on Goodreads, with another fantastic trailer on YouTube.

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Candy Shop War

by Brandon Mull

Goodreads Summary:

Welcome to the Sweet Tooth Ice Cream & Candy Shoppe, where the confections are a bit on the . . . unusual side. Rock candy that makes you weightless. Jawbreakers that make you unbreakable. Chocolate balls that make you a master of disguise. Four young friends--Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon--meet the grandmotherly Mrs. White, owner of the Sweet Tooth, and soon learn about the magical side effects of her candies.

In addition, the ice cream truck driver, Mr. Stott, has arrived with a few enchanted sweets of his own. But what about the mysterious man in the dark overcoat and fedora hat? Why are all these "magicians" trying to recruit Nate and his friends? Who should they trust?

The mystery deepens and the danger unfolds as the four youngsters discover that the magical strangers have all come to town in search of a legendary, hidden treasure--one that could be used for great evil if it fell into the wrong hands. The kids, now in over their heads, must try to retrieve the treasure first. And so, the war begins . . .

Who knew candy and little old ladies could be so dangerous! The main group of characters are funny and relatable. They mesh well together but are different enough that every reader can find someone they identify with. There are some parts that are pretty terrifying, but not too many that it takes over the book.

This is another book where the cover is very deceptive. It wasn't until after I read and loved the Fablehaven series that I decided to read this book. I also had a former student literally shove it into my hands on the last day of school and make me promise to read it. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life

by James Patterson

Goodreads Summary:
Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.

This story is funny and touching at the same time. Rafe's life isn't easy, and as a reader I realized that he was lonely and trying to do everything he could to fight it. It made me sympathetic to his character in a way that wasn't cheesy or sappy. For example, he cares a great deal about his sister, but still teases her like a brother would and tells her to get out of his room. There were even a few twists that kept the story from being stale. I was surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did.


by Amanda Hocking

Goodreads Summary:
When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

I enjoyed this self-published book a great deal. Wendy is not perfect-she's even kind of a brat-but you still want what is best for her. I really enjoyed her brother Matt and his fierce loyalty. This book reminds me of a cross between Twilight and The Replacement. I have a paperback of this book, but they are now currently unavailable until 2012 because they are being republished by a company. It might be a little wait for the sequels in this trilogy-Torn and Ascend- are republished.