Reviewed by Theresa L. Stowell for TeensReadToo.com
Mysterious Mr. Socrates found a one-year-old child in the back of a gypsy cart with the label "L'EnReviewed by Theresa L. Stowell for TeensReadToo.com
Mysterious Mr. Socrates found a one-year-old child in the back of a gypsy cart with the label "L'Enfant du Monstre." Thinking the child was just physically deformed, Mr. Socrates turned to go; however, the toddler called out to him, and when he looked again, a reformation was taking place. This infant was able to change his facial features, so the deformity disappeared for a few moments. Mr. Socrates immediately recognized the value in this ability.
Four short years later, Modo shows advanced intellectual ability. He is able to read, complete complex mathematical equations, and study languages. Mrs. Finchley, a governess, has been hired by Mr. Socrates to care for him and Tharpa, an Indian man, has been retained to teach him combat skills. The only stipulations on Modo's life are that he cannot leave the three rooms that Mr. Socrates has declared as his and that he must concentrate only on studies that will increase his intelligence.
Though he can feel and even see a protrusion on his back, he is not allowed to see himself until at five, when he is given a mirror by Mr. Socrates. Modo is devastated by what he sees. His face, in fact his whole head, is deformed.
When Modo turns fourteen, Mr. Socrates finally allows him out of his rooms. Unfortunately, the journey that Mr. Socrates takes him on is not the gift he had hoped it would be. On the train to London, Mr. Socrates informs him that he will be aiding in the protection of England. His first task is to survive on the London streets without warning or help.
As the story progresses, Modo succeeds in that first task, so Mr. Socrates and a secret society called the Permanent Association send him on more difficult and dangerous assignments. Together with another agent, fifteen-year-old Octavia Milkweed, he undertakes a series of adventures in an effort to save the grandson of the queen.
Slade's gripping tale touches the heart, and readers will root for Modo and Octavia as they show the adults around them that loving others and offering mercy are among the strongest traits people should desire. The most important theme in the book is that physical appearances do not always reflect a person's heart....more
Jessica has always known she is adopted. Her parents, the Packwoods, have told her the story of how thReviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com
Jessica has always known she is adopted. Her parents, the Packwoods, have told her the story of how they, as anthropologists, were studying her family in Romania when they were attacked. Jessica's birth parents begged the Packwoods to take their daughter to safety. Eventually, Jessica's birth parents and many others of her family are killed and the Packwoods return to the United States with a new baby.
Jessica hates the story. She hates the fact that her parents were the kind of freaks that anthropologists wanted to study in the first place and how her birth name sounds so ethnic and strange. Antanasia - what kind of name is that?
Jessica starts to get a little freaked out when she sees a strange and mysterious guy watching her from afar. At the same time, she starts hearing her birth name whispered in the air. Antanasia... When the same strange and mysterious guy shows up at school, she doesn't know what to think. It turns out he is an exchange student named Lucius Vladescu. When Jessica points him out to her mother and tells her how he gives off a weird vibe, she doesn't seem too surprised to see him. Jessica's mother even invites him home for dinner to talk.
All of this happens within the first 17 pages of the book.
Jessica (Antanasia) is a Romanian vampire princess who was betrothed to Lucius when they were born. The promise of their marriage has held their two clans, the Dragomirs and the Vladescus, in a tentative peace for years. If the wedding doesn't take place, there will be a large-scale war which will most likely lead to the destruction of the Dragomirs.
Jessica has a difficult time believing any of this. She has a hard time believing anything that can't be explained logically. Lucius attempts to win her over, while Jessica attempts to live her life like normal - pretending she isn't a vampire princess.
Both Jessica and Lucius go through major changes in the novel. They have time to examine their true feelings about family and duty. Beth Fantaskey does an excellent job keeping the reader guessing until the very end. You will constantly be reassessing your opinion about how the story will end. Personally, I found myself getting very nervous as I was getting toward the end of the book and I still thought there was so much that needed to happen.
Luckily, Fantaskey does a brilliant job tying up loose ends. JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE could easily be the beginning of a series (I don't know if there will be a sequel or not), but it can also work as a great stand-alone novel.
JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE has become one of my new favorite young adult vampire novels. I know I'll be reading it again....more
Trella is a scrub - but she's not your average scrub. She has one friend and prefers to spend her timeReviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com
Trella is a scrub - but she's not your average scrub. She has one friend and prefers to spend her time in the pipes rather than with the overcrowded living quarters of the other scrubs. They're forced to clean the Inside for the Uppers. Trella doesn't know much about the world, but when her friend comes to her and says there's someone who wants to meet her, she's suspicious.
What she discovers is something she never imagined. Unknowingly, she starts a revolution. Now, people who once scorned her are helping her complete tasks, steal food, and giving her valuable information, all for the hopes of a better life. Everyone wants to know what's on the Outside.
Everywhere Trella goes, danger follows. The Pop Cops have captured her best friend. He's sentenced to die if she doesn't get to him in time. They're watching her every move and questioning her acquaintances.
Plus, she doesn't know who to trust. She's going by her instincts, but the last time a rebellion occurred, the leaders were betrayed. Trella's hoping she trusts the right people and, with time running out, hoping that they find something that makes all their sacrifices worthwhile.
With INSIDE OUT, Maria V. Snyder leads readers on an edge-of-your-seat science fiction adventure ride filled with twists and turns you'll never see coming. Snyder has quickly become a favorite author of mine. I can't wait to see what she and Trella have in store for us in the next book of this series....more
Fifteen-year-old Alfrieda Emerson already had enough to deal with before finding out she has freaky pReviewed by Allison Fraclose for TeensReadToo.com
Fifteen-year-old Alfrieda Emerson already had enough to deal with before finding out she has freaky psychic powers.
Crammed into a one bedroom trailer with her mother on her half-uncle's property, Allie's life has been pretty miserable since her mom decided (thanks to Oprah) that she has fibromyalgia and can't work anymore. Every Thursday, her mother's lawyer, "Big Ed," comes to spend the night, and Allie has to escape to her creepy neighbor's opulent home.
The eccentric Kizzy keeps telling Allie that she has the Gift, but Allie never believed her until a fall from a ladder into the bull pasture triggers something strange in Allie's brain, and she's suddenly able to keep the bull from charging her with a mere thought. Later that night, a hippyish ghost named Trilby appears out of nowhere, claiming to be Allie's spirit guide.
Apparently, Allie has passed "the first test," but Trilby refuses to tell her anything more, except that Allie is part of an ancient prophecy.
Things get weirder when Kizzy gives Allie a moonstone pendant that has been in her family for generations, saying that Allie is meant to have it. If this piece of jewelry means even more magic, Allie wants nothing to do with it. But despite her reluctance, she finds herself in the middle of a magical tug-of-war between those who would misuse the power of the moonstone and those who would see the prophecy fulfilled.
It's time for her to live up to her destiny as "The Maiden Who is Strong of Mind" so she can protect the people that she loves.
This first book in the new UNBIDDEN MAGIC series starts off with great promise, and draws the reader into Allie's world, where ancient conspiracy and magic meet the most common of circumstances. Watching the main character grow to take charge of her life and deal with her new role left me itching to read the next book and find out what happens to her. ...more
Reviewed by The Compulsive Reader for TeensReadToo.com
In his chilling new novel, Neal Shusterman paints a picture of a world where there aren't any cuReviewed by The Compulsive Reader for TeensReadToo.com
In his chilling new novel, Neal Shusterman paints a picture of a world where there aren't any cures and doctors, just surgeons and replacements.
Three unwanted teenagers face a fate worse that death -- unwinding. Their bodies will be cut up, and every part of them used, from their brains to their toes. But if they can stay out of the authorities' clutches until the age of eighteen, they just might survive....
The most frightening science fiction novels are always the ones that are most similar to our world. Shusterman doesn't fail to describe how a wrong solution to a modern issue can affect generations to come. Thought-provoking, terrifying, and almost inconceivable, UNWIND will keep you reading late into the night. ...more
Pretend you live in Manhattan, across the street from a little park. Now pretend you wake up one nightReviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com
Pretend you live in Manhattan, across the street from a little park. Now pretend you wake up one night and the park has sunken into the ground and left a big hole. Wait, it gets weirder! Pretend you see a mud-covered creature climb up out of the hole using a rope, and it waves at you. What would you do? If you're twelve-year-old Ananka Fishbein, you sneak out of the house and climb down the hole. Once down the hole, you might find a secret room. (I say "might" because I'm not sure which park you're imagining, but for the sake of argument let's assume you live across from the same park.) In that room you would find a trap door that leads to what appears to be a never ending hallway of closed doors. This, my friends, is the Shadow City.
The Shadow City is entirely underground. No one knows how far it runs, how many rooms there are, or even where it all leads. Most people don't even know it exists, except for Ananka, and the mud-covered thing that waves like British royalty. Ananka has about a million questions about the Shadow City, the mud creature, and the new girl in school that no one has ever seen before, the one and only Kiki Strike.
Who is Kiki Strike? She's not about to tell. But she has put together an amazing assortment of girls. The Irregulars are misfits, borderline delinquent, unappreciated, Girl Scout rejects, and they've never met until Kiki came along. Ananka is curious and courageous, and has access to a vast peculiar library that her parents call home. Luz Lopez is a mechanical genius, she can design pretty much anything and make it work. DeeDee Morlock is a chemistry whiz, explosives and poisons are her specialties. Betty Bunt is a master of disguise who hasn't been seen, as herself, in four years. Oona Wong is the best hacker and forger in Manhattan. Kiki Strike is, well, Kiki; no one ever seems to get around to figuring out why or what she's masterminding. Together these girls will explore, map, and ultimately control the Shadow City.
I loved this book! After awhile, you get so wrapped up in the intrigue and adventures you forget, like the rest of the girls, to ask why all of this is happening. It's exciting, confusing, and completely absorbing. I didn't want to put it down, and my sister kept getting mad at herself for falling asleep while she was reading, even though she was completely exhausted. One of the most fun parts of this book, aside from the story itself, are the interesting and surprisingly useful lists at the end of each chapter. They include things like "How To Take Advantage of Being a Girl," "How to Catch a Lie," "How to be a Master of Disguise," and "How to Kick Some Butt." It also includes information about other underground cities, various New York City landmarks, and more. KIKI STRIKE is definitely geared towards girls, but far from too girly for a boy to appreciate.
The story, while complete in and of itself, is still a bit open-ended. I hope that means we get to see more adventures from Ananka, Kiki, and the rest of the Irregulars. Kudos to Kristen Miller, and can I join? ...more
Heather Tildy has finally "become a woman." But instead of becoming closer with her cool older sisterReviewed by YoungBibliophile for TeensReadToo.com
Heather Tildy has finally "become a woman." But instead of becoming closer with her cool older sister, all Heather gets is a visit from her old imaginary friend, Amy.
And it turns out that Amy is actually a ghost, and her only chance of getting to the afterlife is through Heather.
Unfortunately, Amy doesn't really want to go back, so it looks like Heather's plans of sitting by the pool staring at her crush, Drew, have been sidelined.
Heather needs to find a way to send Amy on to the next life, but Amy is doing everything she can to hamper Heather's efforts. With a little creative research and help from a new friend, Xavier, maybe Heather can help Amy out, and save her summer.
I really enjoyed HAINT MISBEHAVIN'. The way the story is written really makes it sound like a teenager speaking, and while the story seems light and fun, it touches on some deeper issues. I'm glad to see that this is the first of a series. I can't wait to see how Ms. Hardegree develops Heather's character and see what other messes she gets into!...more
DON'T DIE, DRAGONFLY is the first book in Linda Joy Singleton's THE SEER series. If the next books areReviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com
DON'T DIE, DRAGONFLY is the first book in Linda Joy Singleton's THE SEER series. If the next books are as good as book number one, this is sure to be one of my favorite book series (earning a place next to books by such fabulous authors as JK Rowling, Tamora Pierce, John Marsden, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and Scott Westerfeld).
Some problems have caused Sabine Rose to be expelled from her old school, and she just wants her time at Sheridan High to be normal. No more creepy weirdness--namely, having psychic visions. Unfortunately, wishes don't always come true. Her psychic powers are acting up again.
In her visions, Sabine sees a girl with a dragonfly tattoo. These are scary, dangerous visions, and Sabine doesn't know what to do about them. Can she figure it out before it's too late?
This is a very enjoyable novel, suspenseful and full of great characters. Linda Joy Singleton is a great writer! This is highly recommended for anyone who loves a good mystery with a great paranormal element. Book number two in this series is in my to-read stack; I can't wait to get a chance to read it! ...more
Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com
Since the accident that killed her family, Ever can see auras, hear people's thouReviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com
Since the accident that killed her family, Ever can see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person's life story just by touch. She also has regular conversations with her dead sister. She didn't ask for these new talents and her efforts to hide her gifts have left her a freak at her high school. But when Damen Auguste enters the picture, everything changes.
Damen is movie-star gorgeous, mysterious, and the one person who can block all the psychic energy Ever keeps trying to avoid. Damen and Ever are drawn to each other, but Ever can't shake the feeling that there is something that he's hiding. He's the only person that Ever can't read anything about. Damen has no aura, Ever can't hear his thoughts, and she has know idea who - or what - he really is.
Every once in awhile, a book comes along that I end up getting sucked into and become addicted. EVERMORE was one of those books. When I wasn't reading, I was thinking about how I could sneak away to read some more. I couldn't put it down. I dreamt about this book. When I finished, I couldn't get it out of my head. This book was simply breathtaking.
Ever is a wonderfully realistic character that grows throughout the novel. The guilt she feels over her family's accident and her grieving process are heart-wrenchingly real, as is her growing acceptance of her new psychic gifts. I also loved the scenes with Riley, Ever's little sister. Who knew a ghost could be so funny and charming? I know she's just waiting to have her own series written about her. And Damen...well, what can I say - I'm in love. If you're looking for a new lit-boy crush, Damen is it.
Alyson Noel knows how to write for and about teens, and this is one of her best books yet. I can't wait to find out more about the mysterious Damen and step into Ever's world again.
Combining mystery and romance, EVERMORE is the beginning of the next must-read paranormal series. Be sure to get your hands on this one - you'll be swept away. ...more