Prue is not entirely sure what is going on, but she knows one thing for sure. Her brother was abducted by crows, brought to the Impassable Wilderness...morePrue is not entirely sure what is going on, but she knows one thing for sure. Her brother was abducted by crows, brought to the Impassable Wilderness and she has to get him back. She also, can not let her parents know that he is missing. Of course a rescue mission into the forest is not an easy task, but luckily Prue has help whether she wants it or not. Curtis sees Prue sneaking out into the woods and decides to follow her. They've both heard terrible stories about the fate that awaits those who dare enter the Wilderness, but they are not at all prepared for what they find there. Before they hardly even get inside, they are separated and both have to find a way back together to find Prue's brother.
So I'm not entirely sure this can really be considered a Middle Grade novel. I mean, it has a certain quirkiness like The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, but some things just don't work. One thing that I didn't love was the vocabulary. So many words I had never seen before, it seemed like someone had too much fun with a thesaurus. I mean vacillating, I have never seen that word, and I'm a pretty avid reader, so... Another thing, is it seemed a little too Portland-y for me. Clearly not all people are like that, but it had this sort of hipster quirk to it that I was just like, huh? Prue acts like a weird thrift store loving adult more so than a young girl. It just didn't really work with me especially on top of the vocabulary. Also, why is this story so dang long? I feel like there were a lot of things that were just put in to beef the book up. At times, it was a bit boring. The story itself was interesting and adventurous, but entirely too long. I don't mind long novels, but I need enough story instead of just filler pages. I did love the illustration. Carson Ellis also illustrates the Mysterious Benedict Society and Lemony Snicket books. They are just really great. I was a bit surprised how much I did enjoy the story. Animals that can talk sometimes put me off, especially if they don't all talk. Like the horses in Wildwood didn't talk, but were ridden around, where as most of the other creatures did. If you want to give this one a try definitely do, but I can't say that I would recommend this to Middle Grade readers, just because it seems to be written more for quirky adults.
First Line: "How five crows managed to lift a twenty-pound baby boy into the air was beyond Prue, but that was certainly the least of her worries."
Favorite Lines: "As she walked, she breathed a quick benediction to the patron saint of sleuthing. 'Nancy Drew,' she whispered, ' be with me now.'"
Juniper Berry's parents used to love her a lot. Now they mostly just ignore her. Being the daughter of famous movie stars isn't very exciting. She has...moreJuniper Berry's parents used to love her a lot. Now they mostly just ignore her. Being the daughter of famous movie stars isn't very exciting. She has to hang around the house all day, lonely, save for her dog and her tutor. She doesn't much like her tutor. When playing in the woods, Juniper stumbles upon a boy her age, she is excited to make a friend. Terrible things lurk in those woods though and the things that Juniper and Giles have in common are things they'd rather do without. Both of their families are acting strange, and Giles might have a lead on what made them this way. They follow their parents to a tree that leads underground and what they find there will tempt and terrify them.
I really love middle grade books like this one. Gorgeous illustrations, fun protagonists and an interesting but odd tale, really make this novel pop. Juniper was a very fun character and I liked seeing things from her point of view. She was a strong and educated girl, that was very curious about lots of things. Juniper always wanted to know the truth about things and would study to better understand them. The whole underground world was quite fabulous to, even in it's limited description. I loved the concept with the balloons, even though it makes balloons seem sort of terrible. You would think that her parents would know better, they should have known that fame wasn't everything. Instead though, her parents leave it up to Juniper to save them when they can't save themselves. I would recommend this to Coraline fans, it has the same sort of creepy feel to it, with frightening things lurking in dark places. One thing is for sure I really want to read more Kozlowsky as soon as possible.
First Line: "The house was a mansion, the lake was a pool, Kitty was a dog, and Juniper Berry was an eleven-year-old girl."
Favorite Lines: "Then, finally, she saw the light. The night was over. The sun had begun to rise."
When things get rough in Marcie's parents marriage, she's dragged away from Idaho and all her friends to New Hampshire. What she thought at first was...moreWhen things get rough in Marcie's parents marriage, she's dragged away from Idaho and all her friends to New Hampshire. What she thought at first was going to be a summer trip, last well past labor day. Marcie now doesn't know if she will ever be going home, and it's hard to have long-distance friends and a boyfriend. Her mother has her own issues going on, so Marcie is left on her own. Then a cute boy starts paying her attention. What starts out as a friendship may turn into so much more. How can she live two lived though, how can she know who to love? Will she ever go home, or is she stuck in New Hampshire forever?
This book wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be. A bit more emo and crazy. It all starts when her mother and her discover something shocking about her father, and Marcie's mother decides they need some breathing room. I live in New Hampshire, so it was fun getting to read about some local places. It's always nice when you can picture exactly how things look and where they are. I can understand where Marcie is coming from when she starts seeing J.D. Even though she cares about Linus, he's 300,000,000 miles away(not the actual distance) and it gets lonely by yourself. Marcie just wants to fall in love, because she doesn't know if she has. It's hard when you have it to see what it is. The characters weren't overly developed, that while possibly making it hard for some people to feel for them, fits the books style. It would have been awkward if Marcie starting writing biographies of all her friends. You had all the information you needed for this part of Marcie's life. This would have been an interesting novel to have been written in alternating viewpoints though, then I think the characters would have popped a little more. I love novels written in verse, so I devoured this one in a single sitting. I loved the format and that it was mostly like Marcie was writing it in her diary. Katie is in a hard position as a friend to both Linus and Katie. It's tricky being caught in the middle while still trying to be a good friend to both sides. She seemed like a fun girl though and I can't blame her for some of her actions. This was a still a sweet story despite all the craziness. Love prevails within the Leftovers(Marcie's group of friends) so you have plenty of smooching to read about ;) I would definitely recommend this to lovers of novels in verse, realistic fiction and, of course, love.
First Line: My mother doesn't understand that this is a summerhouse (meant to be lived in only during the summer).
Favorite Lines: MarsBars pheromones? EmoK8 no, more like, on the bright side, i'm now the girlfriend of a sex god.
Jacob's life has been pretty ordinary. The most excitement he has is his grandfather's fantastical tales about a home he lived in. In this place, he s...moreJacob's life has been pretty ordinary. The most excitement he has is his grandfather's fantastical tales about a home he lived in. In this place, he said, there were girls who could float and boys who had bees living inside them. All the children that didn't fit in anywhere else came here. They were watched over by an old bird. Jacob doesn't believe that these are 100% true tales, and eventually stops listening. When his grandfather dies under very mysterious circumstances and Jacob sees something in the woods, he starts to wonder if maybe his grandfather was crazy, and if maybe he has gone crazy too. Jacob can't get his grandfathers final words out of his head, so he searches for the things that were mentioned. This leads Jacob to a mysterious island near Europe with his father. Here Jacob figures he can learn some pieces of the truth about his grandfather, and the peculiar children he once knew.
Wow. This book was so different from the typical YA fare. It still had an angsty teen boy in it, but he was intelligent and had a great mystery set out before him. The pictures were all quite peculiar and some downright creepy (like the clown-twins pictured on the back cover). Ransom Rigg's wrote Jacob very well, he had lots of emotions and questions and was just a fantastic and touching character. I loved the stories his grandfather told about the peculiar children. I only wish Jacob's grandfather was in the book more often, he seemed like an offbeat kinda guy. All the character's came to life, and I loved the description of the island. It sounds like a presently dreadful place to be. It added a great element of dreary suspicion to the whole story. I think this is a fantastic novel for all sorts of people. It's contemporary, has paranormal aspects, magic and a creep-factor with plenty of mysteries to keep you tied up.
First Line: "I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen."
Favorite Line: "It was an almost-too-perfect morning."
When Leah starts roaming around outside of the country club, she meets Porter. They take a fast ride which leads to making out in the grass. Now Leah...moreWhen Leah starts roaming around outside of the country club, she meets Porter. They take a fast ride which leads to making out in the grass. Now Leah can't get him off her mind. They never call each other and they never make plans. Porter just shows up on the road with a car to whisk her away. Soon Leah's going to have to make some decision though, because she can't have everything. Leah is going to have to decide whether to follow the easy path for her, laid out by her sisters and mother or the path that she wants to take.
I feel lukewarm about this novel. There was nothing particular that I disliked, but I didn't really like it all that much. The one thing I did like was the feeling that Leah got with Porter. It's understandable because he's pretty mysterious. He just shows up and that's that. Leah was very self-absorbed though. She also felt liked she deserved everything that she got. Really things just fell to her, because it was family tradition. Leah never had to make hard decisions, but was always complaining about her life. I would have liked it a lot more if she was more of a rebel. She did what she was told and fit in perfectly. She barely even changed throughout the whole novel. Most of this book is Leah complaining about and observing her family. I want more heat. I mean, "kiss" is in the title! All we get is scrapes of a sort-of relationship. None of the characters even stick out. Everyone fits in their confusing roles, without any personality beyond what Leah seems fit to stick them with. Her mother is psychotic and Valerie is confusing. I don't even get how she went from annoying leech to best friends with Leah. It didn't really make sense to me. I don't regret reading this book, but it wasn't really for me at all I guess.
First Line: "'Leah!' My mother rolls her eyes, sounding completely exasperated as she steps down the three thick stone slabs at our front door, her heels clacking."
Favorite Line: "It seemed he preferred to communicate nonverbally through erratic gearshifting and sudden, violent breaking."(less)
In the future, there is a virus that makes everyone over the age of eighteen completely infertile. So babies are high market. Harmony and Melody are t...moreIn the future, there is a virus that makes everyone over the age of eighteen completely infertile. So babies are high market. Harmony and Melody are twin sisters who had never met before. They grew up very differently. Harmony grew up in a church sect believing that girls shouldn't pimp themselves by selling their babies to the highest bidder. Melody grew up groomed to sell her baby for the highest price imaginable. So it's quite a surprise for Melody when her sister shows up out of the blue. Having an identical twin can certainly be a problem and is one that Melody will have to face, even though she thought her and her sister were nothing alike. Melody gets matched with the top guy in the fertility market, but a case of mistaken identity takes her and her sister on a crazy little ride. Both girls aren't sure if they want to live up to what has always been planned for them.
This book was really awesome. I loved both the characters, they were alike in a lot of ways, but also different enough so you could tell them apart. This was a fascinating world that Megan McCafferty created. A place where people rarely had and kept their own babies, but rather had teen girls make babies and buy them. Looking around today, there would be plenty of teen babies to buy! I appreciated that there was a virus that caused the infertility and since our narrators were so young, they didn't know much of the details about it. I imagine that most people didn't know a lot about the virus except that it makes people unable to have babies. Zen was the sweetest character, even though he acted like a tool sometimes, he really wasn't. Poor vertically challenged boys :) The only thing that got under my skin was the slang in this novel. I feel like it added to the novel in some ways, but was completely distracting an confusing in other ways. Sometimes they would mention something by it's initials and it would be something they hadn't brought up yet, so then you have to wait until they finally talk about what the acronym stands for before you can understand it. Sometimes this was a little irritating, and I would go back to see if I missed something. This was another great dystopian though, with a realistic world full of real obligations. I think both kids felt pressure that is very relatable even in this day and age, especially Harmony. She had a lot of pressure to get married young and start a family, even though she didn't get to pick who was married. I think this happens in certain parts of the US all the time, and it sucks for the people involved, the boys and girls. Some of the boys don't want to be married of either. Harmony and Melody were very relatable characters with extraordinary lives/adventures. I was hoping this book would wrap up a lot nicer than it did, but I guess I'll just have to wait and read the sequel to find out what their next moves are. If you like dystpoian novels, make sure you check this one out soon!
First Lines: "I'm sixteen. Pregnant. And the most important person on the planet."
Favorite Lines: "I feel each syllable, his chest buzzing against mine. I can't seem to catch my breath."
Kate's parents have died in a horrible accidents. Kate and her sister, Georgia, now live with their grandparents in Paris. Paris is quite a step away...moreKate's parents have died in a horrible accidents. Kate and her sister, Georgia, now live with their grandparents in Paris. Paris is quite a step away from the bustling NYC. Kate likes it here though, she can sit at cafes and lose herself in books. That is until she sees Vincent and his friends. There is something about him, maybe due to the loss of her parents, that draws Kate in. All of a sudden she is thrown into a world she can hardly believe is real. Kate isn't sure she can stand to be part of this world where death looms so closely. She has to make a decision, between living a life of happiness or safety. Though some things aren't ever really choices.
I absolutely j'adore this novel. I don't know what it is about it, maybe it's the writing, the romance or the adventure? Whatever it is, it's perfect. I devoured this novel in one sitting, the pace just kept me turning pages. Amy is a great heroine, who can realistically be fawned over by a supernatural boy. She is witty and intelligent and strong minded. I was so relieved to have a bookworm heroine instead of a make-up and gossip fiend. Vincent, oh boy, what can I say about Vincent...*swoon* Vincent was such a good guy, even bathed in mystery he seemed so perfectly imperfect. He had flaws like anyone else, but he was in general good. Anyways, all the characters were so perfect, and I love the playful banter of Jules and Ambrose. I really enjoyed the facts about what they were. It is a unique idea for YA and I just found it truly fascinating. I loved how they explained it too, in such a horrifying but fun way. This book makes me wish I lived in Paris though, it sounds so dreamy and full of the kinds of guys that any girl would fall in love with. The States are filled with crass people. It's hard to believe that this is Amy Plum's first novel, her writing was beautiful and set a perfect pace throughout. Another thing I loved about this novel is how it ended. It tied up in such a nice but realistic yet dreamy way. There is definitely enough for a sequel, but you aren't left with huge unanswered plot-lines. This is the way series books should end! So if you have not read this novel yet, you 100% have to, you will not regret it.
First Line: "The first time I had seen the statue in the fountain, I had no idea what Vincent was."
Favorite Line: "'The answer would be...because we're zombies!' and he let out a horrible groan, stretching his mouth open and baring his teeth as he curled his hands into claws."
Some children are content with their home lives and never dream of adventures. Some children are Ravished and end up on adventures they did not antici...moreSome children are content with their home lives and never dream of adventures. Some children are Ravished and end up on adventures they did not anticipate, but do not altogether hate. September falls into the latter cater gory. One day she's washing the same old teacups as everyday and then she looks out the window and sees the Green Wind and his Leopard and agrees to come away with him. September expects more fairies in Fairyland, she didn't expect to be abandoned by the Green Wind so soon and she certainly didn't expect to meet a Wyvern. September was in general ill-prepared for her Fariyland fate, but excepts the challenge that she is to defeat the evil Marquess that rules Fairyland with fear and chains it's inhabitants wings so that she can control the air too. Of course she'll find some help along the way, and question whether she wants to go on or go home.
This is hands down one of my favorite books ever. It was everything. Catherynne M. Valente has a way with words and imagery that just sucks you in and never lets you go...until your clock stops. The cast of characters were completely delightful and each one of them finds a way into your heart or at the very least nestles into your head. I loved all the folklore and mythology that Catherynne wrote into this story. I especially loved the Arab Nasnas tied in with Aristophanes speech from Plato's Symposium. The origin of love is an interesting and fascinating concept and I really loved Plato's version, which is also mentioned in the musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I adored the Interlude's that let you in on the Key's adventure, just as you may have started to forget about him. I really would hate to give away too much, but I am certainly looking forward to more like this from Catherynne. I may just have to pick up some of her adult novels. And oh, the illustrations are funky and fun and really just so perfect to go along with Catherynne's writing. If you like bold and adventurous girls that are plopped into odd, whimsical fairy tales, make sure you buy this one right away. Rarely do you find a book with this much heart and adventure.
First Line: "Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents' house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small amiable dog."
Favorite Lines: "(It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.)"
"September had never seen so many stars, and Nebraska was never poor in stars. There were so many unfamiliar constellations, spangled with milky galaxies and the occasional wispy comet."