The joy of this book isn't necessarily the story, which is very much like a 1940s movie (and actually IS set in 1946): innocent, glossy, charming and...moreThe joy of this book isn't necessarily the story, which is very much like a 1940s movie (and actually IS set in 1946): innocent, glossy, charming and apparently vaguely autobiographical. The joy comes from finding this long lost gem from a familiar and cherished friend from childhood. It felt very much like sitting down and looking through an old photograph album--nostalgic, comforting, gently bittersweet. The story itself concerns a twentysomething girl actually paying to be an apprentice with a summer theater company with the usual cast of leches, heros, jealous co-stars and unrequited pining in the wings. It's a lovely visit back to simpler times for any age group. (less)
This is a beautifully told story of a family tragedy through 15 year old Natalie's eyes. It's the summer before her sister Claire is heading off for c...moreThis is a beautifully told story of a family tragedy through 15 year old Natalie's eyes. It's the summer before her sister Claire is heading off for college and both are involved in the half ennui half elation of summer freedom. That is until Claire is in an accident that leaves her in a coma.
The narrative is sometimes quite funny and sometimes tear jerking, told in what feels like a clear and realistic voice of a girl caught between being a grownup and being a child dealing with realities that no one of any age ever hopes to have to. (less)
This is book one in a new series by Haddix titled "The Missing". She's written several other children's books, including the Shadow Children series. T...moreThis is book one in a new series by Haddix titled "The Missing". She's written several other children's books, including the Shadow Children series. This is the first book of her's I myself have read--and I am SERIOUSLY hooked. Written at what I would consider a middle school level, it still deals with some heady things and captured my attention throughly. It's an interesting premise--13 years ago an unregistered airplane suddenly appears at an airport terminal. When it's boarded, it's discovered that it is full of 36 unidentified babies--and no one else. The FBI takes "control" of the situation.
Flash forward 13 years to meet Jonah, who is adopted, his 12 year old sister Katherine who is not, and their new neighbor Chip, also 13. Typical teenagers really--until Jonah and Chip start getting ominous and anonymous letters in the mail, leading Chip to discover that he, too, is adopted. People and notes begin to appear from nowhere--and disappear in a flash--even in the FBI offices. Slowly the three teens get a grasp of a much bigger, much more terrifying picture. Kidnaping, time travel, government coverups and control...it's all in here. And the ending....well, the ending is going to leave readers dying for the next book to come out. I highly recommend this book to all mystery readers regardless of their age. I think sci-fi readers will like this one too.(less)
Mitchard is a rare breed of writer who can capture the emotions and hearts of both the adult fiction and the teen fi...moreon sale 7-3-08 young adult fiction
Mitchard is a rare breed of writer who can capture the emotions and hearts of both the adult fiction and the teen fiction world (She's the author of the tearjerking Deep End of the Ocean, among many other books) . I agree with the publisher that this book is a 12 and up--it deals with some fairly violent themes as the book goes on--but the story is gripping and suspenseful and easily kept THIS adult's attention--in fact there were points where I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
This is the story of Mally and Merry, identical twins who, on the eve of their 13th birthday, discover there is more to their minds and talents than just being able to communicate with each other telepathically (not unheard of in twins, especially identicals). These new talents begin to tear their lives apart as they pull away from each other trying to deal with and/or deny them. But they are a part of a generations old tradition of powerful women and what is required of them cannot be avoided or denied--and it's very nearly the death of them.
The story is tight for the vast majority of the book--my only gripe is with the last chapter. Mitchard becomes a bit ham handed trying to tie up too many loose ends and give the reader the back stories of too much. My best guess is she's trying to lay the groundwork for a follow up novel with these characters, but it was done in such a below par way I was severely disappointed--it was tedious and anticlimatic. For that reason alone I give it 4 out of 5 stars.(less)
This debut novel by Pauley is a cute and quick read about 16 year old Mina(yup, just like in Dracula) who must decide in 4 weeks whether she wants to...moreThis debut novel by Pauley is a cute and quick read about 16 year old Mina(yup, just like in Dracula) who must decide in 4 weeks whether she wants to become a vampire or not. She's the illegal child of two vampires (Dad got turned right before she was born, Mom joined him shortly after), so it's not like she's not used to the concept. Except now the Vampire Council has found them and is forcing her family to go by the rules, which include pre-turn classes for Mina, complete with career days, and the possibility of breaking their family up. The pop culture references are very current, which means this book is unlikely to have long term appeal, but it's a fun read for someone trying to get the bad taste of Breaking Dawn out of their mouth. Very teenage, there is romance, AND a happy ending. I think Meyer's fans will dig it.(less)
This is teen targeted fiction published by Bloomsbury Children's Books, but the premise is so completely fascinating that I'd literally recommend this...moreThis is teen targeted fiction published by Bloomsbury Children's Books, but the premise is so completely fascinating that I'd literally recommend this book to the 12 to 102 crowd with no reservations.
It's the year 2140 and the fountain of youth has come to the world by way of Longevity, a drug that literally lets people live forever. But it's caused a problem--if everyone lives forever, the planet is going to fill up--FAST. The solution is to ban anyone on Longevity from having children, and banning all other medications so that folks NOT on Longevity die fairly quickly. Of course, rules get broken and illegal children get born--they are the Surpluses. They are cruelly rounded up and, if "trainable", put into institutions to learn service trades in order to atone for their existence. The others are destroyed.
Society has become static--no new people means no new ideas. There is not youthful enthusiasm--Surpluses are taught to be fearful automatons. But of course there is a rebel faction trying to rescue the children and keep the "old ways" of freedom and variety alive.
This book is extremely well thought out, and I found it equally terrifying and fascinating. The issues brought up in this book haunt me still--this would make an AMAZING book club selection because you just HAVE to talk about it--the issues are too big and too exciting/chilling to keep to yourself.
I admit it--I'm just not a medieval times or dragon person. I know this is a wildly popular book, but I can't even get through the first few pages. I...moreI admit it--I'm just not a medieval times or dragon person. I know this is a wildly popular book, but I can't even get through the first few pages. I even tried to watch the movie, thinking that would spark my interest, but I only made it through a half hour or so of that before I was bored to tears. I admire the boy that wrote this and wish I could join the millions of fans of his on this journey, but I just can not.(less)
I see why teenage girls are hooked on this series. It IS entertaining--a quick and absorbing read. There are some new twists on vampirism that are cle...moreI see why teenage girls are hooked on this series. It IS entertaining--a quick and absorbing read. There are some new twists on vampirism that are clever (I've read so much vampire stuff that I truly appreciate anyone trying to be even remotely original). I found it to be written a bit below the level of reader it's aiming for, with a far too simplistic view of 17 year olds-- current models and 100+ year old vampires that DIED 17 year old boys. But I'm sure the idea is to hook 'em young and keep 'em hooked, though she seems to be churning these books out at a pretty good pace. I'll be reading the series certainly. And now I'm even more interested in her "for adults" novel Host to see if the sophisication level is dramatically increased.(less)