Jack's father has always been a perfectionist, but lately, his need to control every aspect of the family's life has stepped up a notch. Mr. Barrett,...moreJack's father has always been a perfectionist, but lately, his need to control every aspect of the family's life has stepped up a notch. Mr. Barrett, Jack's dad, has been offered a wonderful opportunity with the company he works for, the Eden Corporation. Eden owns a gated village in Paradise, a nearby town, where only the most successful and devoted employees are invited to live. The village is all inclusive and there is no need to ever leave. The village even has a school for the children of the employees.
Mr. Barrett's family isn't handling the news of the move very well. His wife has been drinking more and more since Mr. Barrett's controlling nature has intensified. Troy, the youngest child, has used his rebellious attitude to spark conflict within the household. Gram, Mr. Barrett's mother and the boys' biggest protector, doesn't mince words when it comes to how crazy she thinks moving the whole family to a strange community is, and Jack, the oldest son, tries to keep the peace by attempting to please his father and trying to keep Troy under control.
Eventually, the day comes and the family packs up and moves to Paradise. Jack's mother has gone ahead in order to get the house ready so it is just Mr. Barrett, Jack, Troy, and Gram following the moving van. Once they reach the entry gate, Jack sees a site that leaves him speechless. Jori is a beautiful girl that works at the entry gate of Paradise and a girl that he definitely wants to get to know better, but for some reason, Mr. Barrett doesn't want him to have anything to do with her. His exact words are, "She doesn't belong in Paradise." This statement is just one of the things Jack, Troy, and Gram consider strange when they get settled in their new community. Everyone seems too happy, their mother hasn't been seen since they've arrived, and Mr. Eden, the owner of the Eden Corporation, has been sneaking into the Barrett's house at night and taking Troy somewhere after knocking him out so he won't wake up. The boys, with a lot of help from Gram and Jori, attempt to get to the bottom of all the mysteries and find a way out of Paradise.
THIS SIDE OF PARADISE is a science fiction thriller reminiscent of The Stepford Wives. It was awarded the Hal Clement Award for best science fiction novel for young adults in the United States. This is Steven Layne's first novel and is far from perfect, but at the same time, has many characteristics that will appeal to young readers.
Beth Frasier is on the right track. She is editor of the school newspaper, has a great best friend, and is lined up to the be valedictorian of her sen...moreBeth Frasier is on the right track. She is editor of the school newspaper, has a great best friend, and is lined up to the be valedictorian of her senior class. Her life has been so focused on academics though that she doesn't feel like she has enough variety on her transcript to attract the great film schools that she wants to be accepted to. In order to remedy this she trys out for an empty spot on the drill team. She is devasted when she finds out she doesn't get the spot. She is totally shocked though when she is approached by the head cheerleader and told that she didn't make drill team because the cheer squad wanted her to join their squad instead. Reluctantly, she agrees. In part because she finds out that Stephen Wills, the hot, star quarterback, is going to be at her first practice. She wants to have the opportunity to hang out with him. She totally ends up regretting her decision.
It turns out that Stephen and most of the football team are vampires. He wants Beth to become one as well so she can work on the problem of vampires being in the sunlight. If she doesn't find a solution to the sunlight problem, Stephen says there is no reason to keep her around so she is working on a timeline with no idea how to even start.
Beth is very upset over the whole situation. The fact that she isn't able to walk around during the day like everyone else really has hampered her life plans. She fights her desires to feed from her mother by getting her hands on some blood bags from her father who is a doctor at the hospital. With the help of her best friend and an unlikely ally, Clayton who has been her arch rival at school, she comes up with a plan to get rid of Stephen and attempt to return her to her normal self.
If you like this story, check out the sequal, Good Ghouls Do which is already out.
All Nick wanted was a cell phone so he could talk to his girlfriend, Jen, in the evenings. What he got was a nightmare he would have never imagined.
Ni...moreAll Nick wanted was a cell phone so he could talk to his girlfriend, Jen, in the evenings. What he got was a nightmare he would have never imagined.
Nick's mother, who works hard everyday, usually from daylight to sometime in the night, doesn't earn enough money to keep much food in the house, much less afford to keep the phone turned on. Nick works almost everyday in the hospital cafeteria after school and has saved up money to buy a cell phone.
After school one day, before he headed to work, Nick rode his bike to a store that was advertised used cell phones on a flyer he received in the mail. Once he walked in, Nick noticed that there weren't many phones on display that looked like they'd be cheap enough for him to buy. He only had fifty dollars for the phone and the minutes. When he told the salesperson how much he had to spend, there was only one phone that he would sell at that price. It surprised Nick that it looked pretty cool and considered himself pretty lucky, even with the drawbacks. The drawbacks were that the Caller ID had been disabled and there were no returns or refunds. So, once he bought the phone he was stuck with it or just out the money. In the end, Nick decided to take the phone and paid for one-hundred and fifty minutes and left the store.
When Nick arrived home after work, his mother still wasn't home from her job so he used the time to make his first call to Jen. As soon as he turned it on, it rang with an annoying mewing sound. He answered it, thinking he'd just have to tell the caller that the previous owner didn't own the phone anymore. Instead, what he hears on the other end of the line was a nasty, threatening voice asking who he was, what he was doing with the phone, and where he lived. Frightened, Nick hung up and quickly called Jen only to have Call Waiting constantly beep in on their conversation. Disappointed with the first use of the cell phone Nick turned it off for the night so it wouldn't ring and wake up his mother once she got home from work.
What follows is a nightmare for Nick. He is asked to gather supplies in order to help the persistent caller. The only way to get the supplies is to steal them, something he has never done before in his life. Having the cell phone leads him to lie to Jen, which is something else he has never done. He knows the phone isn't good for him, but he feels compelled to keep it, thinking he can save someone involved in this horrible mystery. In the end, his life unravels completely, leaving him in jail, sentenced to be executed, and eventually landing in hell. However, with lessons he learned while he had the phone, Nick leads himself to a better place.
William Sleator has written a faced paced horror novel that requires the reader to suspend disbelief and accept the story for what it is – a thrilling read, not to be picked up right before bed.
ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND has been out for a long time and I've always been drawn to the cover, but never gotten around to reading it until now. Why did...moreANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND has been out for a long time and I've always been drawn to the cover, but never gotten around to reading it until now. Why did it take so long you might ask? Well, I just never got around to purchasing it, but since my ebook spurt lately it was only a click of a button away. I'm glad I finally read it.
This is the story of first love. First head-over-heels, can't-think-of-anything-but-him kind of love. Dominique (Dom) is a serious girl and dreams of becoming a doctor. She keeps a Gray's Anatomy reference book by her bed and for fun has her parents time her playing the game Operation in order to improve her fine motor skills.
Dom has great parents, a supportive best friend, and now that she's met Wes, a super boyfriend. Before Wes, Dom's never been interested in guys. She doesn't want to talk to them, much less hook up with them like her best friend does all the time. But, all that changes with Wes. Together they share many firsts and soon Dom's life is a whirlwind of emotions.
Daria Snadowsky has written a very believable story about first love. The events in the story are very realistic. Everything from the obsessiveness Dom feels to the sexual experiences her and Wes share (even going so far as showing Wes getting most of the sexual gratification because Dom is unsure of how to be pleasured and is too shy to talk to Wes about it).
The only aspects of the story that bothered me, at times, were these:
1) Dom's obsessiveness (even though I said it was realistic, it still got on my nerves. 2) We didn't get to see enough of the love story develop. There was a little friendly conversation, a tad of flirting (mostly over IM), and then full on love! But, I guess it feels like that sometimes doesn't it?
ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND definitely will take the reader back to relive those nice and not so nice memories of first love.(less)