Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review: The Supernaturalist, by Eoin Colfer

The Supernaturalist
By: Eoin Colfer
ISBN-10: 0786267666
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Cosmo is used to test highly dangerous products at the menacing Clarissa Frayne, along with hundreds of other boys. Cosmo knows he won’t make it much longer at Clarissa Frayne, so when he has the chance, he escapes the horrible institute to find freedom in Satelite City, a high-tech, futuristic version of our world. After being rescued by a group of kids who call themselves the Supernaturalists, Cosmo teams up with them. Their mission? Rid the world of tiny, bubble-like creatures who feed on human life force, otherwise known as Parasites.

The Supernaturalist is a relatively clean young adult–middle grade standalone that deals with:

• Experimenting on young boys against their will
• Some minor profanity
• Stealing
• Violence (shooting, explosions, and chases)
• Death
• Mention of beer
• A kiss

This book is trademark Eoin Colfer: it’s exciting, action-packed, and full of witty characters and hilarious dialogue.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Book Review: Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, Book 1), by Anthony Horowitz

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, book 1)
By: Anthony Horowitz
ISNN-10: 0399236204
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Alex isn’t your average fourteen-year-old British schoolboy. His uncle was a highly trained agent, and also Alex’s legal guardian, but now Ian Rider is dead, and as Alex gets dragged into the secret spy service MI6, he comes closer and closer to finding the man responsible for his uncle’s death.

It includes:

• Violence (shooting, murder, deaths, punching, chases, and explosions)
• An intense scene in which a young boy is trapped in a water tank and nearly killed by a giant jellyfish
• Mild profanity (d*mn, h*ll, and bloody)
• One instance each of smoking and drinking wine
• A character is forcefully drugged
• Frequent rash decision-making and life-risking

Stormbreaker is the first of nine espionage thriller books following the main protagonist, Alex Rider. These books are always smart, entertaining, and quite violent, but there aren’t a whole lot of positive role models.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Review: Across the Universe (Across the Universe Trilogy, Book 1), by Beth Revis

sarahsreviews sarah's reviews book review across the universe trilogy by beth revis cover hardcover old sci-fi science fiction ya young adult romance
Across the Universe (Across the Universe Trilogy, book 1)
By: Beth Revis
ISBN-10: 1595143971
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Amy wasn’t quite sure what she was getting into when she agreed to be frozen and loaded onto the spaceship Godspeed while the ship attempted to reach a new planet.

When Amy is violently awoken from her long slumber, she is astonished by the strange living conditions of the people around her. When she meets Elder they team up to find out who is behind her attempted murder before more frozens are killed.

Parents should be aware that this book contains:

• Profanity (d*mn, sh*te, one b*tch and *sshole each, and “frex”)
• Sexuality (kissing, reference to past sexual activity, public sexuality, sexual attraction, and nudity)
• Violence (murder, mildly gruesome descriptions, and attempted rape with some details)
• Reference to incest
• Sedative drugs
• Suicide

Across the Universe is a mashup of young adult mystery thriller, science fiction, and romance. This first book in a trilogy alternates narratives between the two main characters. The story should be appropriate for teens as most of the sexuality and violence are significant to the story.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Book Review: Ink and Bone (The Great Library, Book 1), by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone (The Great Library, book 1)
By: Rachel Caine
ISBN-10: 045147239X
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In the year 2025 the Great Library of Alexandria is the most important building in the world, because it contains the things that are valued the most: books.

Jess gets accepted to train as a Scholar in the Library and he discovers many dangerous secrets in between classes such as spies, betrayals, and forbidden alchemy magic.

Parents should be aware that this book contains:

• Profanity (p*ss, d*mn, God, and h*ll)
• Kissing
• Stealing and selling books illegally on the black market
• Violence (blood, murder, starvation, war, imprisonment, traveling through a teleportation machine and blowing up, leaving a baby to die)
• Drinking

Ink and Bone is a fascinating mix of historical fiction, sci-fi, and dystopian. The story is beautifully written, narrated in third person, and lead by a strong main character. The target audience is for teens, but the story is fairly clean. The plot is fast-paced and exciting with a hint of romance, rebels known as Burners, and heroism and bravery.

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Review: Delirium (Delirium Trilogy, Book 1), by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium Trilogy, book 1)
By: Lauren Oliver
ISBN-10: 0062112430
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What if love was considered a disease?

On her eighteenth birthday, just ninety-five days away, Lena Haloway will get the operation that will cure her of the most deadly of all diseases, also known as love. But Lena is just beginning to realize that the operation strips away all other emotion in people as well, when she meets Alex and commits an unforgivable crime: she falls in love with him.

It includes:

• References to sex
• Kissing
• Making out with partial nudity
• Profanity (two F-words; many uses of sh*t)
• Violence (clubbing and shooting people, as well as animals)
• References to a suicide
• Teens drinking and smoking at a party

Delirium is the first book in a beautifully written young adult dystopian trilogy that takes a look at a disturbing future. It does contain profanity, sexuality, and violence, but nothing is too intense, and should be appropriate for ages fourteen and up.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Book Review: Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, Book 8), By Darynda Jones

Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, Book 8)
By: Darynda Jones
ISBN: 1250045657
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With Beep's imminent arrival, Reyes' strange behavior, Hell Hounds caging her in, and numerous lurking threats, Charley doesn't have much energy left for solving Cases, but cases seem to find her wherever she decides to go.

Eighth Grave After Dark
is the eighth Charley Davidson novel and a pivotal book in the series. While the prior books were each focused on various intertwined problems/cases, this installment seems much more of a meandering jumble, but it's an incredibly informative jumble riddled with twists, turns, and answers to long standing questions galore . . . and raises a whole slew of new questions. We also get a brief glimpse at a second viewpoint character.

Eighth Grave After Dark is an adult, urban fantasy and contains:
  • Profanity (F word, *ss, sh*t, etc)
  • Description of childbirth
  • Detailed sex scene (includes oral)
  • Murder
  • Reference to rape
  • Suicide
  • Permanent destruction of souls
Fans of the series will find it somewhat lighter on sex than prior books.

While this book/series does reference God, demons, Lucifer, Hell, Heaven and various other biblical figures/places/theology, it is not and does not claim to be a Christian book. Christian readers will find many views and elaborations etc that do not fit with Christian theology.

More Charley Davidson Books:
  • Book 1: First Grave on the Right
  • Novella 1.5: For I Have Sinned
  • Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
  • Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
  • Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
  • Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light
  • Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge
  • Book 7: Seventh Grave and No Body
  • Book 8: Eighth Grave After Dark (Review)
  • Book 8.5: Brighter Than the Sun
  • Book 9: The Dirt on Ninth Grave
  • Book 10: The Curse of Tenth Grave (expected publication 2016)
  • Book 11: Untitled (expected publication 2017)
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Book Review: Rites of Passage, by Joy N. Hensley

Rites of Passage
By: Joy N. Hensley
IBSN-10: 0062295195
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Sam McKenna is one of the first-ever girls to join an all-boys military school, which she expects to be a piece of cake, as her father is a general and she’s grown up a military brat all her life. But the training turns out to be much harder than she anticipated, especially when it becomes obvious that someone is trying to get rid of her and all the other girls. Plus, her growing crush on her drill sergeant isn’t making anything easier.

Parents should be aware that this is a young adult book and contains:

• Profanity (some uses of d*mn, h*ll, and sh*t, and one F-word)
• Physical attraction
• Kissing
• Two teenagers of the opposite gender sleep in the same bed and cuddle
• Cruelty and harsh treatment, especially toward a teenaged girl
• Name-calling
• Fighting

Rites of Passage is a contemporary standalone debut with strong main characters and a riveting plot. The abuse Sam suffers just because she’s a girl will make readers care for her even more, and the ending is solid, but not entirely satisfactory.

Readers who enjoyed Rites of Passage might also like The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Review: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, Book 1), by Ally Carter

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, book 1)
By: Ally Carter
ISBN-10: 1423100034
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Cammie is an undercover teenaged spy who goes to Gallagher Academy, an all-girls school run by her supercool mom, but her double life starts to bother her when she meets Josh, a nice, normal boy her age, and she can’t tell him who she really is.

It includes:

• Lying
• References to a death
• Some fighting
• Simulated kidnappings
• Dreaming of a “very sexy kiss”
• Mild language
• Sneaking out to meet a boy

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You is a clean, cute, and uplifting young adult novel about the power of truth and friendship.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Book Review: The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz

The Hired Girl
By: Laura Amy Schlitz
ISBN-10: 076367818X
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Joan has a passion for learning—but when her cruel father burns her only three books, Joan flees to Baltimore, where she changes her name and gets hired as a servant girl for a Jewish family, the Rosenbachs.

It contains:

• Profanity (Jesus H. Christ, h*ll, and d*mn)
• A girls gets kneed in the eye by a cow and has to get stitches
• Lying
• A father is cruel to his daughter
• References to a mother’s death
• A man kisses a girl against her will
• Kneeing a man
• Reference to a prostitute
• Kissing
• A boy flirts with girls
• Brief mention of sex
• Mentions of smelly outhouses
• Some characters drink wine

The Hired Girl is exciting historical fiction written in the form of Joan’s diary. Readers will easily be able to sympathize with the smart, strong narrator. There are also interesting discussions about religion and feminism woven into the plot.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Book Review: Dangerous Boys, by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Boys
By: Abigail Haas
ISBN-10: 1471119165
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Chloe desperately wants to escape the small town she’s been stuck in all her life to go to college, but when she gets caught up in Ethan and Oliver, two brothers, she wonders if she’ll be able to leave after all.

It includes:

• Profanity (F-word, sh*t, d*ck, and other minor words)
• Lots of kissing, making out, nearly having sex, and a character sleeps with (in the innocent sense) her boyfriend
• Cheating on a boyfriend
• Violence (reference to someone dying in a car accident, stabbing someone, bashing someone’s head, a lake house is set on fire)
• Reference to the main character’s father leaving his wife for another woman
• Chloe’s mother is depressed
• Mention that an off-duty copy had a few beers at a party
• Chloe’s mother takes pills

Dangerous Boys is an interesting, psychological young adult mystery, but fans of the author’s Dangerous Girls may find this novel to be slower paced.

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