There are a LOT of Teen Vampire novels on the market now and I think I'...moreSucks to be Me - the All-True confessions of Mina Hamilton Teen Vampire (maybe)
There are a LOT of Teen Vampire novels on the market now and I think I've read about 3/4 of them. This one is a worthy addition to the genre. Mina's voice is so clearly just a normal teen girl with loving parents (who happen to be vampires) and a best friend (who she can't confide in regarding the whole vampire thing) and a crush on a boy or two (one of whom is totally into the vampire thing, and one of whom isn't).
Summary: Mina is a 17-year-old girl who has known since she was 10 that her parents were vampires, but it hasn't really affected her average suburban life. True, they don't exactly love sunbathing, and they don't sleep, and they forget to eat, but Mina has adjusted to all that. But the Vampire Council didn't know that Mina existed, and now that they know, she has to attend Vampire Sessions and her weird Uncle Mortimer is her sponsor. Worst of all, she has just 4 weeks to decide if she wants to become a vampire or not. She slowly learns all the things about the vampire life that her parents never told her, in order to give her a normal upbringing. On top of all that, there's a trio of cute to gorgeous boys that seem to suddenly be interested in her. This book is Mina's journal, and Mina never met a situation that couldn't use a good pro and con list along with little chapter header stickers of vampires myths and the truth as Mina sees it.
The most difficult thing about book about alternative worlds is getting the "rules of the world" in there without having a big boring chapter about how the world works. This is a clever way of doing that, we learn what the vampire rules are right along with Mina. The chapter headers of myths and truths with little drawings of bats and other pictures that illustrate the myths are really cute. All the characters are fully drawn, but Mina's voice is what really made me love this book. She's so typically a teen, who thinks a lot of this vampire stuff is TOO GROSS FOR WORDS. I laughed out loud at several places because of Mina's observations.
Light and funny - a GREAT beach read for teens and anyone who likes vampires in any guise! (less)
Biological terrorists release a virus that kills everyone over the age of 14. This story focuses on the children who are at Isles of Wonder, a Disney-...moreBiological terrorists release a virus that kills everyone over the age of 14. This story focuses on the children who are at Isles of Wonder, a Disney-like theme park. In many ways, these kids may be better off than those outside the park. The park is completely automated and self-contained, with recycling of water and creation of their own electrity. They are gated off from the outside world, and they have several children who are the offspring of employees at the park. They have some specialized knowledge of the park systems, just by listening to their parents talk about their work. Some children step up to become leaders and organize all the things that need to be done. A world without adults, it could be paradise for kids....or could it?
This was an engrosing and interesting book. It's very much like Animal Farm in that it examines the governing system that the kids work out and how it comes about. It looks at the personal relationships between the kids and looks at how people decide how to do the "right" thing. It was a really good book, but the idea of watching your parents die right in front of you, might be disturbing for younger readers. It's not graphically mentioned but as time goes by, some of the older girls do become pregnant. It is fascinating how many of the kids form their own unrelated "families" with older children playing the role of parents.
If you think you can handle the more graphic scenes, you should read this book; it really gives you a lot to think about. (less)
This is an amazing first novel, and I hope the first of many set in this world. One often hears of young adult fantasy novels touted as the "Next Harr...moreThis is an amazing first novel, and I hope the first of many set in this world. One often hears of young adult fantasy novels touted as the "Next Harry Potter", this is the first novel I've read in a long time that truly could be. The world of the Republic of Califa is so positively dense with a fully realized society with political structure and intrigue, wars and religion, different cultures, races and magical creatures with complicated alliances to humans. All this and wonderfully quirky characters who come to life and interact with each other in believable fashion.
Flora Fyrdraaca, a Girl of Spirit, is approaching her 14th birthday when she'll celebrate her Catorcena, coming-of-age party that she has certain tasks she needs to complete before then or her Mother, the General will give her the Look that has reduced colonels to tears. But it also means that next semester she'll be old enough to go to the Barracks and follow her mother into the military, and she doesn't want to, but hasn't mustered the courage to tell her mother that. On top of that the family home which has 11 thousand rooms that move around randomly, due in part to the fact that her mother has banished the family "Butler", a magical creature bound to the family for centuries. Flora finds Valefor, the banished butler and he helps her with some of her tasks, but seems to have some ulterior motives.
She also has her occasionally mad father, Poppy to deal with, a mass of exuberant dogs, a fashion plate of a best (boy) friend, Pirates (well, one anyway!), murderous bird creatures. Thank goodness, Flora has some magic skills of her own to help her along, even if they are occasionally undependable.
It would easily take me pages and pages to describe everything that's going on in this book, but take my word for it; it doesn't overwhelm you at first, but slowly draws you in and when you've finished you just go ......Wow. There's also a tone to the book that's quite catchy, I found myself naming all the nooks and crannies of my own home. (I often walk down the Inevitable Short Hallway of Doom and think, I need to vacuum this ISHoD.) Did I mention it's also sneaky funny? The kind of funny that you don't see coming and then all of a sudden there you are, chuckling madly at the book while your family eyes you warily.
There are so many other books that could be written about this world, and characters that haven't even been addressed yet. I found myself wondering about Flora's two sisters (one disappeared, one in the military) who were barely mentioned in the book. I'll be standing in line to buy (or waiting on Amazon to ship) any more books by Ms. Wilce set in this world.
There is mild violence in the book, but the vocabulary and length (431 pages) would make it difficult for any reader under 12. If you love fantasy, you owe yourself the pleasure of this book. You can join me in waiting for the next one!
Set in Romania, this novel is about five very different sisters coping with life on their rural estate, Piscul Dracului, when their father goes away f...moreSet in Romania, this novel is about five very different sisters coping with life on their rural estate, Piscul Dracului, when their father goes away for the winter for his health. Uncle Nicolae and Cousin Cezar at the estate next door will be there to help if they need it. No one knows that the sisters have been crossing over into the Other Kingdom, a Fairyworld inhibited by the Fairy Court and other wondrous creatures. The girls have certain rules to protect them in the Other Kingdom. For many years the rules have kept them safe and kept the real world and the Other Kingdom separate. Now, one sister may have broken the rules and put them all in danger and events from the Other Kingdom are spilling over into Piscul Dracului.
The focus of this book is on Jenna, the "sensible" sister and her frog Gogu, who Jenna knows is a creature from the Other Kingdom. She's had Gogu almost from the beginning, when she and her sisters first started going to the Other Kingdom and the frog is her confident and best friend. But who is the frog, really? Do his alliances lie with the girls or with the Other Kingdom? Slowly, things start to happen that make you wonder how it all fits in, Cousin Cezar starts acting all paternal, and Night People show up in The Other Kingdom and haunt some of the sister's dreams.
I enjoyed this book, I like books about Fairylands, and I like the approach of this one, that Fairyland may not be all it seems, but that most people mean you no harm. The approach to the Night People is fascinating. It's Romania, you'd expect Vampires, right? Well, the Night People aren't exactly Vampires....or are they?
The only reason this didn't get 5 stars from me is that I found the characters of the sisters to be just a little stereotypical - the sensible one, the beauty, the brain, the vain one, the baby. Besides that they way the whole plot fits together a little too neatly. But all and all a good read, completely clean, no real violence (less)
Matisse is the daughter of two artists, who is definably a city girl. She loves everything about living in New York City. Then her father becomes ill...moreMatisse is the daughter of two artists, who is definably a city girl. She loves everything about living in New York City. Then her father becomes ill and seemingly overnight the whole family's life changes. They move to a small town in upper New York State and neither parent is really working anymore. No one is talking about the changes. Matisse reacts by withdrawing from everyone, her old friends in New York, her parents, her potential new friends in Prague.
This book is really about families, and how easily everything can fall about when people stop communicating. This would be a good book for teens with families in any kind of crisis to read. The contrasts between city people and country folk are more for amusement value and they ARE amusing. Between attacks by Satan's goose and the upcoming event of the year - the Hayride.
Mattisse' struggles to adapt to Prague are funny and endearing as she learns to not judge people by what's on the outside and how much a solid family means even to an independent city girl. (less)