Ryan Dean West doesn't have it easy. He's fourteen, a junior and stuck at a boarding school for delinquents. Everyone makes fun of him for being so yoRyan Dean West doesn't have it easy. He's fourteen, a junior and stuck at a boarding school for delinquents. Everyone makes fun of him for being so young. He wants Annie, but she just sees him as an adorable little boy. Ryan Dean West has decided to take Annie's advice and "grow up" or at least grow a pair of balls. This is his year and he's going to make some changes.
Sometimes you are going along reading a perfectly good book and then all of a sudden the book changes. Maybe you don't even notice it happening, but all of a sudden you're mind is someplace completely different than where you started this book. Andrew Smith, is clearly made of some genius. By the end of this book, everything I thought it was about was wrong. By the time I saw it coming it was too late and my chest was already tight with ALL OF THE FEELINGS! This book is a roller coaster of emotions, so keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times and just enjoy the ride.
Ryan Dean West, oh how I love you. He made me laugh so much (well maybe giggle). He just felt so real and unscripted. He was such a little shit sometimes, but very true. I would have hung out with him if we went to the same school even if he is a bit pervy (aren't we all). The other characters in this novel were fantastic too. Each of them just worked so well and even if you couldn't like them they fit. Mostly, there are a couple of people I did not care for and began to loathe as the story progressed. There are just terrible people in the world and there's no avoiding that fact. Joey was a great mediator for all the crap that Ryan was stirring up. Ryan was just so lost and Joey was always there to try to set him straight.
Don't think this is just a book about the guy getting the girl though. If that's all you think this is you'll be very surprised. There are so many things that this book holds, I couldn't even begin to list them all. This book is a delicious rainbow cake. Layer after layer of scrumptious story cake. (Does that even make sense?) Anyways, this book is amazing and I'm too O_O to talk rationally about it. I also don't want to spoil a glorious (tear-filled) second of it. If you want a book to make you feel all of the things. Do not miss reading this one.
First Line: "I said a silent prayer."
Favorite Lines: "I said, 'Okay. I don't care. I lose.'"
"'The Wild Boy of Bainbridge Island doesn't talk,' I said. 'He grunts.'"
Now that everything is back to relative normality at the Castle Glower everyone starts to settle back into their routines. That means lessons for CeliNow that everything is back to relative normality at the Castle Glower everyone starts to settle back into their routines. That means lessons for Celie. The Castle starts acting strange though and Celie finds herself late to lessons and in a tower she has never seen before. In this tower she finds an egg. A large strange egg. Celie isn't sure what's inside, but with the help of the Castle she's going to find out and take care of it. Something is happening with the Castle and this egg might just help Celie decode what it is.
Another lovely tale of Castle Glower. This one was a lot of fun too. I just really love all the personality that the castle has. Also, I love Celie. She's very in-tune with the castle and very adventurous.
I loved how the Castle prevented her from telling people things. It made the Castle seem much more alive than in the first novel. It was nice to get to know some of the characters that weren't really in Tuesdays at the Castle. Celie's eldest brother and parents were some that we got to see more of in this novel.
The ending of this kills me though. When I turned the last page I couldn't even believe it. I want more. I need more. When's the next book coming out!?
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fun adventure novel with a hint of mystery.
First Line: "There are a lot of things that can hatch out of an egg."
Favorite Line: "His face was white, bordering on green, and there was a small thread of blood oozing from his head wound."
The Templeton Twins, Abigail and John, are inventors just like their father. They are clever kids, so when they get kidnapped by Dean D. Dean they knoThe Templeton Twins, Abigail and John, are inventors just like their father. They are clever kids, so when they get kidnapped by Dean D. Dean they know just what to do. Dean D. Dean has accused their father of stealing his idea, so he figures that kidnapping the Templeton Twins will be a way to get the credit for the invention. What he doesn't count on is the cleverness of the Templeton family (and their ridiculous dog).
This was such a fun story. I loved the narration. Check out the first line below for a little hint of what you will find inside. This will be a great novel for boys and girls of all ages. There's adventure, kidnapping and lots of fun. At the end of each chapter there's some review questions (they aren't very serious though). The narrator is just really fun and makes the book quirky inside of just a regular story.
Abigail and John were great kids too. I liked that we got to see how clever they were and some invention that they came up with. Their dog was great too, even if it was ridiculous.
The story had some twists and turns to keep things a bit unpredictable. If you're a fan of middle grade novels like The Willoughbys or The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, this will be a book for you to check out immediately. This was a silly, wonderful book and I can't wait for more of The Templeton Twins!
First Line: "The Templeton twins, Abigail and John, were blah blah blah, et cetera, and so forth."
Favorite line: "The Ridiculous Dog was a fox terrier of the 'smooth-haired' variety."
Such amazing illustrations. I also love the stories. A picture book short story collection? YES! These stories are great for kids to help with ideas aSuch amazing illustrations. I also love the stories. A picture book short story collection? YES! These stories are great for kids to help with ideas and vocabulary. ...more
Debbie is in love with her best friend, Lisa. Lisa is really into church though and her new boyfriend. Lisa is so into her new boyfriend, that DebbieDebbie is in love with her best friend, Lisa. Lisa is really into church though and her new boyfriend. Lisa is so into her new boyfriend, that Debbie feels lost and alone. Enter Emma, Tim and the Church of Blue. Debbie isn't sure she really wants to try this new religion of Blue, but she does want someone to hang out with. Emma and Time seem to understand her and are ready and willing to help her take the leap and admit what her heart wants. But, with all the chaos of the actual quest to get there, will Debbie work up the courage, or even get an opportunity? Will Blue provide?
This novel was fantastic. I loved Emma and Tim. Even if Emma was completely in denial about what was right in front of her. I loved that they had a list of tasks that they would check off as they went about their quests. Like mooning people and getting an autograph of someone named after a president. They were strange, but a good way to have fun. I really love it when people start their own religion in novels as a way to try to understand the world and themselves. I don't know what it is about it that makes me love it so much, but I do. Moira was FANTASTIC too. I really loved that she was a bit different than everyone else and on purpose. She was a time traveler, but one who just pretends she's in a different time period. It sounds fun. There were a lot of great characters in this novel, like the bowling alley skanks and their skank network. Debbie was an okay person I guess. I didn't love her Full House obsession. I know some teens who get hooked on old shows like that though, so it's not unrealistic. It was hard to understand fully her crush on Lisa, because she's not really in the novel too much. It seems like the point of the novel was not so much about Lisa at all, but Debbie realizing and excepting who she is by herself. Definitely check this out if you love funny novels that have a lot of driving and a lot of misfit characters.
First Line: "My dad's a regular guy, and my mom's a total kook, so I guess I had a fifty percent chance of coming out normal. Leave it to me to screw it up."
Jacqueline followed her boyfriend to his college instead of going where she wanted. She thought they were forever. Instead, she gets dumped. Shortly tJacqueline followed her boyfriend to his college instead of going where she wanted. She thought they were forever. Instead, she gets dumped. Shortly thereafter, she nearly gets raped. Her savior is Lucas who beat her would-be rapist before things got too hairy. When she points him out to her friends, they think he will be her perfect bad boy rebound. Jacqueline isn't so sure, she is sure that she's sick of her attacker following her around. It seems like Jacqueline can't stop running into Lucas either, but maybe she doesn't want to.
So this is my first New Adult novel (this is New Adult right?). It seemed like a YA novel just with steamier college moments. I enjoyed it. It's nice to read something with protagonists closer to my age. I thought this was a good romance-y type novel and will definitely read other books by Tammara Webber.
Lucas, Lucas, Lucas. He is a yummy bad boy. He's not even that much of a bad boy. He's mostly just tattooed and has a bit of a rough life. He's really just a nice guy who puts on a bad boy exterior. He's smart and charming and secretive. He was a really great love interest.
Jacqueline wasn't a terrible character... I didn't care much for her at times, but other times I was proud of her. She had some rough things happen to her and I appreciate that in some aspects she didn't just dwell on them. She actually just ignored them, which is where I was a bit frustrated. Sometimes it can be hard to know what to do right after something happens, but it seems like she could have made some better choices. In the end she mostly redeemed herself so that made me happy.
There were some super steamy moments in this. I feel like this is Forever by Judy Blume for this generation. It goes much more into detail about Jacqueline's feelings (physical and emotional) and it shows how sometimes a sure thing, isn't.
I think this would be a great read for older high school kids. For some of them it might even make them reconsider giving up their hopes and dreams for an iffy relationship. It will also show that what a great guy you can find if you dig a little. Definitely check this out if you're looking to try a New Adult book or just want something a bit steamier than regular YA.
First Line: "I had never noticed Lucas before that night."
Favorite Line: "My last coherent thought, as Lucas took his time kissing and touching every part of me he could reach and my body was arched into his, was oh... so this is what all the fuss is about."
Though there is still more for Daire to learn, time is short. Not only does Daire have to step up her learning, but she has to figure out what is goinThough there is still more for Daire to learn, time is short. Not only does Daire have to step up her learning, but she has to figure out what is going on between Dace and her. Cade seems to have found a way to feed on their love and that will make him harder to defeat. Daire and Dace have to decide how they can defeat him, but whether they are apart or together it will still be a challenge. Neither one of them knows just how deep Cade's evil goes until everything is revealed. Even that knowledge may not save them though.
A great sequel to this series. The one thing that bothered me was Dace. He seemed way to mature in this novel. He did some things impulsively but for the most part he was incredibly level-headed. I don't remember him being like this in the first novel, but it was a while ago.
I really liked how the story progressed in this novel. Lots of secrets were revealed and it was interesting to see Daire learn more magic. Cade also changed a lot in this novel. He seemed much worse, much more suffering. It was nice to have some more Xotichl in this novel, because I think she is just fantastic.
The evil twin vs. good twin seemed a bit overemphasized throughout the novel. Even Dace seemed to be getting sick of how many times that comparison was made. It would have been better to just have Cade doing more evil things, I think that would have shown the point better.
The ending of this book is O_O. It doesn't even really end. I liked seeing things from different characters viewpoints, but what the hell Noël? Seriously! I just need the next book soon. Sooner than May! Regardless, I very much enjoyed this installment and will eagerly wait for the next.
First Line: "Horse carries us across an expansive terrain with Raven riding high on his neck."
Favorite Line: "My silent plea for forgiveness, chased by a single life-restoring breath."
Tina M. attends a "fancy" school. At this school she is taking a philosophy class in which she has been assigned to keep an existential diary. She decTina M. attends a "fancy" school. At this school she is taking a philosophy class in which she has been assigned to keep an existential diary. She decides to address her diary to Sartre, who is one of the philosophers they are studying. In it we watch Tina discover how to be, how to grow up and who she really is.
This was a very amazing graphic novel. The illustrations and Tina made it truly fantastic. I loved the idea of a YA graphic novel about existentialism and philosophy. It made a great parallel for Tina's coming of age story. Some people may find Tina a bit irritating or snobbish, but I just took her as some one who had a lot of learning to do. It's easy to latch on to a concept to help define yourself by. I of course was reminded of Persepolis in the tone of this story. This is a great book that will make you think about it long after you put it down. It will inspire you to read (more) Sartre. The friendships in this were very well done and you really got a sense of each person that Tina hung out with. Definitely check this one out if you enjoyed Persepolis or love graphic novels that make you think.
First Lines: "Dear Mr. Jean-Paul Sartre, I know you are dead and old and also a philosopher. So, on an obvious level, you and I do not have a lot in common."
Alice Bell grew up knowing that her dad was different from other dads. He was paranoid and wouldn't let the family out after dark. He was worried thatAlice Bell grew up knowing that her dad was different from other dads. He was paranoid and wouldn't let the family out after dark. He was worried that the monsters would get them. The only problem was that no one else saw these monsters. He would put the house into lockdown at night though, which put a damper on any kind of social life. Then, in a blink of an eye, Alice's whole life changes. Now she knows that her dad isn't crazy because she can see the monsters now too. Alice knows that the reason she can see them is so that she can destroy them and that's just what she sets out to do. She will need some help though because things are going to be far more complicated than she could imagine.
What a great zombie novel. A zombie novel for girls with scary zombies in it. YES! I really liked how the author approached the zombie concept in this story. Maybe some will find it a bit too religious for their liking, but I thought it was done well and not overly preachy.
My big issue with the book is the love interest. It was an insta-love which fine whatever, but the thing that got me is that Cole was a complete a-hole. Seriously he was so mean all the time to everyone including Alice. That is not the kind of guy you want a relationship with. He didn't really seem to get nicer the more we got to know him either. I realize that due to his life choices he's not going to be all rainbows and kittens, but it seemed like a dangerous relationship for Alice to put herself into. That's not to say I wouldn't put myself into the same situation, but as an outside observer I must make not that it is a bad idea to take up with bad boys that mistreat you(even if they also save your life). That being said...
This novel had me hooked from page one. It was a complete joy to read. There was love interest and amazing zombie action and secrets and mysteries. It was just a really enjoyable read. I would highly recommend this if you're looking for a story that packs a punch. There were also a lot of really hilarious moments. I was laughing a lot.
Alice was fun and I liked that. She took up with people easily, which was nice so she wasn't just moping all over the place. Not that she didn't have good moping reasons, but it's really boring watching someone just be depressed (*cough* New Moon *cough*). The banter between the characters and the awkward situations made me giggle gleefully and I just had a lot of fun reading this novel.
If you like zombie novels that are action-filled, but have a bit of romance on the side definetly pick this one up. Just buy it in hardcover, because this book is completely gorgeous. The color of the cover, the actual cover, the spine work, the endpapers, this book is hands down the most gorgeous one I've seen ever.
First Line: "Had anyone told me that my entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, I would have laughed."
Favorites: "Besides that I'm-totally-a-serial-killer face, he had black bands tattooed around his wrists and brass knuckles tattooed over his...well, knuckles."
"Honestly, if you stuck your head inside a dead horse's rectum, you wouldn't smell anything close to this. (I haven't, by the way. I was only guessing there.)"
London has lost her brother, her best friend, Zach died. Her mother refuses to acknowledge her and her father has immersed himself in his work. LondonLondon has lost her brother, her best friend, Zach died. Her mother refuses to acknowledge her and her father has immersed himself in his work. London feels alone. She has a hard time talking to people who know, because she doesn't want to hear them say they are sorry for her loss. She misses Zach so much and it's hard for her to cope without him. She tries to find comfort in two other pairs of arms though. She holds on to her old boyfriend Taylor and new guy Jesse. Though London will soon realize that a few stolen kisses can't even begin to make her whole again, she may realize that she isn't as alone as she thought and can take the first step towards moving on.
This book was pretty devastating. At first it seemed like a typical novel about grief and a family flung apart by it. As you dig deeper into the novel and find all the events that transpired, it just gets hard to read. London has suffered a terrible loss, but it was so much worse than that too. She lost her mother when she lost her brother, because her mother blames her completely. I understand why London sought comfort with other boys. Taylor helped her remember all the great things about her brother, while Jesse let her forget any of it ever happened.
I'm a bit torn about the religious aspects of this novel. I felt like they didn't run deep enough; there wasn't enough of London and Zach's background. On the other hand though, faith is a funny thing and sometimes no amount of background goes to explaining how deep it can run in a person. I thought the faith we did see gave a glimmer of hope to London and it was nice to see her with that hope.
Again, this is a novel written in verse, and it fit the novel nicely. Novels about very tough subjects just really work well in verse, especially the feeling of being alone. A mostly blank page with the words "She has four brothers. Count them. One, two, three, four. And my one is none." really hits hard. When there are less words, you can focus on the meat of the story.
If you like stories that will make you sad, but hopeful check this one out. It was a great read and I can't wait for what Carol Lynch Williams has next in store for us.
First Line: "After it happened, no one in school would talk to me."
Favorite Lines: "Somehow, I open the van door and stumble out onto the green, green grass of our lawn. I am the stupidest girl at Smyrna High. I am."
Kendra has always lived in the shadow of her older brother Grayson. His OCD and other anxieties cause him to always be the main concern while Kendra iKendra has always lived in the shadow of her older brother Grayson. His OCD and other anxieties cause him to always be the main concern while Kendra is pushed to the side. Kendra knows she has to be perfect, to make up for all the ways that Grayson isn't. Being perfect is a lot of work though, and Kendra can't do it all. When she can't quite cut it in Calculus, she does something risky, to make sure that everything still looks perfect. When Kendra's world starts to crumble though, she seeks comfort in the rock quarry where her brother always goes. When she finds him there she comes up with some semblance of a plan and takes him on a road trip he won't soon forget. Kendra decides that a road trip is all they need, it will make her problems disappear and cure Grayson. Things aren't always that simple though but this may still be just the thing they need.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Kendra and Grayson. It wasn't perfect, but they did seem close like siblings. Grayson has OCD and it drives everyone a little crazy, including Grayson himself. It's not something he wants to do, but he can't seem to kick some of his habits. He's been in and out of treatment centers, but nothing seems to fix him. Kendra is the other child, not sick so not a concern. She tries not to stir the water that way her parents have the time and energy to deal with Grayson's problems. She usually never does anything to disturb the peace. Then she kidnaps her brother.
He falls asleep when she is supposed to be driving them home from the rocky quarry, and Kendra decides she doesn't want to face the music so soon. She knows things are going to get bad quick, and she just isn't ready. She figures she can bring Grayson along too and maybe it will help him, maybe it's just the exposure therapy he needs. They meet someone interesting along the way at one of the places they stop to rest at. She's a quirky character with a hard life. I really liked when her and Grayson were telling riddles. Riddles are always fun :)
This was a great novel about finding who you are and knowing that not being perfect is okay. Nobody is perfect and there are varying degrees of imperfection. Grayson has a lot of problems, but he's still a good person. He's still smart and friendly, he just counts a lot and goes a little crazy sometimes. Kendra made a big mistake in her quest for perfection, that made her a bit imperfect, but she's also not a bad person. This book also shows the relationships between brother and sister, when both sides feel like the other side gets way more attention. It was good to see them love each other and get all the ugly off their chest. This was another fantastic read from Jennifer Brown, if you haven't checked her out yet you should.
First Line: "I was six the first time we found Grayson at the quarry."
Favorite Lines: "When the cops had rolled into the parking lot, we knew we were in deep trouble."
"We landed on the other side, my brother's legs still shaking, but a brightness to his face that I hadn't seen in a very long time."
Jaime doesn't remember his sister all that well, so he doesn't really miss her. He feels strange about this because everyone thinks that he should. JaJaime doesn't remember his sister all that well, so he doesn't really miss her. He feels strange about this because everyone thinks that he should. Jas, the other twin, is still alive though and he loves her. The grief of losing a child is too much for his parents, so they go their separate ways; Jaime, Jas and their father move to the Lake District. Here Jaime finally has a good friend, but his dad wouldn't approve. Jaime's father doesn't do much but drink though, so it's not like he really cares. Jaime just wants his family to be whole again, before things get any worse. He just wants everyone back together and happy...is that too much to ask?
This was an incredible story. I really came to like Jaime as our narrator. He had a very frank yet idealistic look at life. Jaime is only ten-years-old, and sometimes it shows but it doesn't make the story any less wonderful. This can be a hard story to tell, and I loved the way Annabel Pitcher tackled some difficult subjects. Death can be a long sad story, but this novel was written with a different outlook. Jaime was not immersed in sadness, because he didn't really remember his dead sister. If there's nothing to remember, then there is nothing to miss.
His sister Jas on the other hand, had a piece of herself missing, but she still managed to run the household. It sucks that their dad pretty much completely checked out. They had to fend for themselves, until he felt like intervening. Jas' boyfriend sounds pretty great too, he seems like a good guy.
Sunya was another awesome character. I would have really enjoyed having a friend as vibrant as she was. She just had this total energy and air about her. I'd love to see her in high school.
The end of this book is what really got me. The whole book was fun and interesting, with small bits of grief leaking in. The end though just hit me, much like it hit Jaime. Consider yourself forewarned. This story was a fairly quick read, but from an amazing perspective. I always enjoy stories where the main character is a little removed from the main storyline. I felt like there was grief running itself through the story and covering everything but Jaime, so it was nice to see what was going on in his head. Definitely check this one out if you get a chance.
First Line: "My sister Rose lives on the mantlepiece."
Favorite Lines: "I stared up at the sky and raised my middle finger, just in case God was watching. I don't like being spied on."