I loved this book so much I hugged it when I finished. I wanted to text my kids at 2am and tell them how much I cared about them. I don't remember theI loved this book so much I hugged it when I finished. I wanted to text my kids at 2am and tell them how much I cared about them. I don't remember the last time I've felt this way about a story. This one will stay with me for a long time. ...more
After reading and loving Doller's debut, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, I knew I would make time to read her sophomore novel no matter how much time I think IAfter reading and loving Doller's debut, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, I knew I would make time to read her sophomore novel no matter how much time I think I don't have - glad I did! Once again my heart pours love for her characters. Callie is on the run with her mother - who is quite a basket case - after a divorce gone bad. Ten years later, the two have basically nothing, and you wonder how long someone could live a life like that. I wanted to scoop up poor Callie, yell at her mother for being no mother at all, and whisk Callie away. And this was all before I knew that sleeping on couches and owning only two t-shirts was not the worst of it.
Callie is not the only character I wanted to help. Her father Greg isn't really sure how to be a father to Callie, but boy does he try his best! He wants to make up for lost time, but Callie isn't going for it. She has never had anyone truly care for her and suddenly be concerned as to her whereabouts. Their relationship starts off rocky and it was so rewarding watching their relationship evolve and grow.
I was really nervous about the romance in this book considering Callie's past. We all hear about stories about girls with no father figures who act out sexually. Even though Callie isn't perfect I was happy to read that she was basically a normal teenager in regards to her sex life. When it seems she has real and honest feelings for a boy named Alex in her new hometown, I was waiting on the edge of my seat for quite a while to see this all go south. To my pleasant surprise, I was wrong a lot of the time. When Callie confides in Alex about her past, I felt like I took a breathe for the first time. This was a huge breaking point for Callie and I was so proud of her.
With two stand-out books under her belt - I cannot wait to find out what Doller is up to next! ...more
I am a fan of Ellison's debut, The Butterfly Clues, so I was excited to read her sophomore novel especially with added ghosts, mental illness3.5 Stars
I am a fan of Ellison's debut, The Butterfly Clues, so I was excited to read her sophomore novel especially with added ghosts, mental illness, and murder. The opening chapter of this story was absolutely spectacular! I can't remember the last time I read a first chapter like that! The story quickly moves into the mystery of Stern's death and Olivia's mothers mental illness. Olivia struggles with the fact her mother has officially gone over the edge, lost her mind. I love the relationship between Olivia and her mother. Olivia reflects back onto the good and bad times with such love, admiration, and fondness. Olivia's relationship with her father is not so perfect...on the account of the fiance. Olivia's parents split just before her mother's breakdown and Olivia isn't taking the step-mom-to-be very well. Understandable, for sure. Instead of making this dynamic absolutely stereotypical, Olivia's step-mom-to-be has a daughter whom Olivia loves to pieces. This young girl adores and looks up to Olivia, and my heart melted when Olivia put all of her feelings aside about the fiance and loved that little girl right back. I thought that was so incredibly special and was thrilled to see it played out like that in the story.
Since her best friends death, Olivia has lost the sight of color. This does Olivia's budding career as an artist no good. She sees this as a sign of her impending mental breakdown and keeps it a total secret from anyone. Olivia is good at keeping a lot of secrets. She doesn't tell anyone that Stern has been visiting her. Not in her dreams, but right there in her bedroom. Young readers will love the light paranormal ghost element and the childhood romance that will never be. Like the saying goes, when a door shuts another one opens. Even through the stress of the impending trial, Olivia has a second chance at finding happiness. Austin's timing isn't exactly perfect and he has more secrets racked up than Olivia, but you want one thing to go right for the girl and hope the odds aren't all stacked up against them.
5 Stars to the series. I recommend this series for everyone including middle schoolers looking for a little sci-fi adventure.
Another series, that I l5 Stars to the series. I recommend this series for everyone including middle schoolers looking for a little sci-fi adventure.
Another series, that I love, is coming to an end. *pass the tissues* If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it! Jenna Fox has been on so many Best Of and state-wide librarian lists it probably set a record. In this final installment, Locke is giving back to the resistance that helped him escape from his engineered life. He searches for a life of his own and in a sense tries to catch up to Jenna who has been living for over 200 years. What he finds is adventure, love, and a career dedicated to helping people. Any review will just about spoil something for a new reader. So, you have to trust this librarian that the series is more than worth a read. Great for middle grades who love science fiction, but not really looking for aliens and spaceships. Dystopian lovers and beginners new to the genre will also enjoy!
I have to say that this series wrapped up really nicely. Mysteries are solved, relationships evolve, and by the end of the book we honestly know what happens in the end. No cliffhangers, no 'what the hellz' - it all worked. So ready to read what Pearson has cooking up next!...more
With no memory of how she was rescued from the Fade and no friends because she is an outsider, life in the Arclight is pretty much crap. Marina is livWith no memory of how she was rescued from the Fade and no friends because she is an outsider, life in the Arclight is pretty much crap. Marina is living in a compound that is dedicated to keep the good in and the bad out. Only problem, that doesn't happen, the Fade find their way in, and sometimes she feels like she doesn't know what side of the wall she belongs on. Eventually, Marina is forced to make a decision based on a pile of lies from the people she trusted the most. Arclight makes a good addition to the dystopian genre. The concept is really original and pretty darn complex. I liked the world building of the Arclight, but was a little confused as to what the Fade were. Robots? Aliens? Something new? I was hoping to have a little more understanding of what these things were. It does come in time when Marina comes face to face with one. This is where story got especially good for me. Marina and Tobin, a boy who lost his mother to the Fade, start going past the boundaries and breaking rules. Love rule breakers! They soon become romantically involved, which wasn't a giant surprise. The build up was there since the beginning. There are a few doozies in store for us, though! The last few chapters move pretty fast when the tensions are at an all time high and the secrets just start spilling over. Every time a question is answered, another one turns up.
Good pick for a young reader looking for mystery, suspense, and science fiction. Readers who are looking for complicated story lines and a whole new world will be especially pleased. 14+...more
Sometimes a book comes along and you kick yourself for not reading it sooner. This, my friends, is a fine example. Orphan boys all playing against eacSometimes a book comes along and you kick yourself for not reading it sooner. This, my friends, is a fine example. Orphan boys all playing against each other in a "be the Prince or die" game is pretty entertaining to read about. I absolutely loved Sage and, of course, rooted for him to win the crown the entire time. His determination, wit, and street smarts are without a doubt one of the best parts of this book. He doesn't have much of a choice to play along with Conner's evil plan to take over the kingdom, but Sage certainty makes life difficult for Conner and his cronies He manipulates others and pulls off some pretty sweet cons of his own. Young readers will love Sage's will to stay alive and his ability to turn things around to his favor on a dime. Dare I say he is the fantasy version of a young James Bond? (minus the high tech gadgets, of course) The supporting cast, two other boys who are all competing to become the false prince, a servant girl, and the confidant are all amazing characters as well. They each bring something original to the table and in the end your feelings go back and forth about them. Good guys, bad guys? At times the lines are blurred.
The twists and turns around every corner will keep readers of all ages tuned in. Charlie McWade does an outstanding job providing the voices for so many characters. His Sage voice is my favorite, although I do wish he had a little variation when he switched to his Carthian accent. Still...excellent! Can't wait for book two and hope you jump on this one soon. Ages 8+...more
I thank my lucky stars that I haven't lost anyone to war, and my heart goes out to all of those in the Armed Forces. When I think about all o3.5 Stars
I thank my lucky stars that I haven't lost anyone to war, and my heart goes out to all of those in the Armed Forces. When I think about all of the kids who have parents in the military my heart breaks for them. To live in fear every day praying your parent(s) make it home is something I can't fathom. Jeff has lived with this fear and her nightmare comes true - her father is injured in an attack at an orphanage that Jess has been collecting school supplies for. What's worse, her best friend's mother is killed in the same attack. Jess has to somehow juggle all of these emotions of blaming herself over the death of her best friends mother, her father's injuries, and being the strong and steadfast big sister. Bless her, the girl tries. She has been taught to be tough, reliable, and a fine upstanding military daughter, and I was waiting for her to just break. She did, but not for long and her friend Sam was there beside her.
This is a great middle grade read to introduce young readers to the really tough subject of war and loss. Jess, Sam, and Meriwether have a great relationship that will serve as great examples of what true friendship is really like.