Posts tagged eBook

Viminy Crowe's Comic Book

“…and that’s when the hullabaloo began.”

Viminy Crowe’s Comic Book by Marthe Jocelyn & Richard Scrimger; comics by Caludia Dávila

Viminy Crowe's Comic Book

When chubby, geeky Wylder Wallace spills lunch on cool and aloof Addy Crowe at Toronto’s ComiCon, she dashes to the bathroom, leaving behind the latest issue of her uncle’s steampunk comic hit: FLYNN GOSTER in GOLD RUSH TRAIN. Wylder, a fan of the Flynn comics, opens this new one eagerly, astounded to see the girl who was just yelling at him inside the comic. Fascinated, he follows Addy into the bathroom, and the adventure begins…

Flynn Goster and Gold Rush Train

This is undoubtedly one of the funniest and amazing stories that I’ve read in a good long time. From the moment I was introduced to Wylder and Addy, I wanted to be there with them. Alas, I was only and observer and had to live vicariously through them. I’m a comic book fan myself (Superman!) and often wish I could be a part of the story, and not just in the comics I read. The Man of Steel helps Wylder out at a fast food joint to choose between onion rings or French fries. Big smile on my face when I read this. Great way to open the story.

Behind a cardboard display of Flynn Goster in Gold Rush Train at the Toronto ComicFest lies an unexpected adventure for Wylder and Addy. Wylder relishes the moments of freedom from his mother (despite her incessant text messages) and Addy just wants to be (more…)

Under the Egg

A great art history mystery…

Under the Egg by Laura Marx FitzgeraldUnder the Egg

Only two people know about the masterpiece hidden in the Tenpenny home — and one of them is dead. The other is Theodora Tenpenny. Theo is responsible for tending to the family’s two-hundred-year-old town house, caring for the flock of unwieldy chickens, and supporting her fragile mother, all on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. So, when Theo discovers a painting in the house that looks like a priceless masterpiece, she should be happy about it, but Theo’s late grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and if the painting is as valuable as she thinks it is, then her grandfather wasn’t who she thought he was.

When Theo’s grandfather passes away, he leaves her with a mystery to figure out…”Look under the egg.” When she discovers what she thinks is an unknown, perhaps lost or stolen masterpiece, Theo discovers a completely different side to her grandfather. Armed with her knowledge of art history and a new best friend, Theo sets out to the museums of New York to find what’s really “under the egg”. The answer is closer than she knows. (more…)

The Glass Casket

Love, Death, and Magic

The Glass Casket by McCormick TemplemanThe Glass Casket

Death hasn’t visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders’ bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal. Rowan’s village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan’s door once again. And this time, its appetite is insatiable.

This was a fantastic read from start to finish. The storyline itself has a very dark, fairy tale-like quality to it. Templeman’s writing is very vivid, splashing across the pages in vivid whites and reds. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but something to read well into the night. Despite being a very dark horror/fantasy driven plot, there’s a love story at its heart. Which begs the question…how far would you go to be with the one you love? All in all a very engaging read. This is Templeman’s second novel and I’ve read great reviews about her debut novel The Little Woods. It’s so hard to find great mysteries for young adults, so I’m looking forward to reading that as well. On a side note, I don’t know why it’s called The Glass Casket. From the cover and the title I expected a darker Snow White-ish retelling, but the glass casket does not factor in that much of the plot. If anyone else who reads this has any insight, let me know.

Age 13+

Publisher: Delacorte Press (February 2014)

ISBN: 9780385743457

Available as an eBook

Image from www.goodreads.com

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from the publisher.

julia karr - xvi

Everything Is Not What It Seems

XVI by Julia Karr (Book 1 XVI Series)

Every girl gets one. An XVI tattoo on the wrist—sixteen. They say they’re there for protection. Some girls can’t wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay. Then, with one brutal strike, Nina’s normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there’s one boy who can help—and he just may hold the key to her past. But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure…for Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.

The year is 2150 and women’s rights and the freedoms we enjoy today (at the moment) are just a memory. The world that 15-year-old Nina Oberon lives in is frightening to me. Frightening because it’s all too plausible. The Governing Council controls the populace through the Media. Through the Media girls are “trained” to become a sex-teen when they turn sixteen. There’s even a guide for this transition. How to dress and act to attract guys. Girls become adults at sixteen, identified by a tattoo on the wrist – XVI. This becomes an invitation (unwanted or not) that girls are ready for sex. Girls don’t have many choices, they either marry above them or get accepted into the FeLS (Female Liaison Specialists) program. (more…)

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“If you had one day left to live, what would you do?”

Fracture by Megan Miranda (Book 1 Fracture Series)

By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening….

The plot of this novel is very similar to The Body Finder Series by Kimberly Derting, but has thrilling psychological aspects that make it unique. The story is told from Delaney Maxwell’s POV as she tries to navigate the ups and downs of life after death, literally. Fracture is an apt title in many respects. Throughout the story we see the fracturing of Delaney’s home life, friendships, and her own sanity. (more…)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

“I knew there was something peculiar about you…”

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Book 1 Miss Peregrine)

A Mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.

This novel is amazing! The first thing you want to do when you pick up this book is flip through the pages to look at the unearthly mysterious collection of vintage photographs. Riggs has done an amazing job of pairing each photo with the narrative being told. Instead of trying to imagine what these children look like, these photos give us almost the whole picture of their personalities. The part we have to imagine is their peculiarities.

Jacob is definitely someone you can sympathize with as he struggles to make sense of his grandfather’s death and the mysterious “magical” life he led before. Jacob learns that the stories his grandfather told him about his childhood, featuring children with peculiar abilities and terrifying monsters, are actually true. (more…)

No Safety in Numbers

Let’s Go to the Mall!

No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz (Book One TBA Trilogy)

(Review based on Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of the book.)

Hundreds of people go to the mall everyday, but for 4 teens, a trip to the mall could be deadly. Marco, Lexi, Shay and Ryan have come to the mall for reasons all their own. Marco works as a busboy at a mall restaurant. After being chased by school bullies in the parking garage, he discovers a device attached to the AC unit for the mall. Lexi is out with her parents for some family time, which rarely happens because her mother is a state senator. Shay just wanted to escape the house her family has just moved into, but she had to come with her grandmother and sister. Ryan is running an errand for his older brother, a QB for the local football team, of which he is a member too.

Told from alternating points of view from these four teens, we start to get a picture of what each of them is like and how they handle the situation at hand as their world descends into chaos. We also start to get a feel for each of their personalities, which I hope the author will delve into more in the remaining two books in the trilogy.

The tagline for this trilogy in “Contagion meets Lord of the Flies in a mall that looks just like yours.” I haven’t read LOTF, yet, however I know the story. I thought Contagion was a huge bore. My favorite disease on the loose move is Outbreak. Dustin Hoffman rocks! Sorry, getting off topic a bit. (more…)

The Season

Murder, Espionage, and Romance

The Season by Sarah MacLean

Author Sarah MacLean has written many best-selling historical romance novels, but with The Season, she jumps into the young adult realm. As an avid romance reader, I have not had the pleasure of reading her previous novels, but if The Season is anything to go by, she has won my reading loyalty.

In the tradition of Jane Austen’s novels, MacLean has created characters that can hold their own with the likes of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. As the only daughter of a Duke, 17-year-old Lady Alexandra “Alex” Stafford is being launched for her first season in London society. Despite her mother’s wishes for her to catch a suitable husband, Alex wants nothing to do with the marriage-minded men of the ton. She finds them dull and not at all her intellectual equal. She longs for adventure, not romance.

Alex and her friends Vivi and Ella (also being launched for the season) find themselves embroiled in an espionage plot against England and childhood friend Gavin. When Gavin’s father dies under suspicious circumstances and Alex overhears something she shouldn’t, the mystery deepens and a budding romance begins. (more…)

The Friendship Doll

Ambassadors of Friendship

The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson

(Review is based on an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of the book.)

This is a story about friendship, friendship between nations and friendship between people. While researching Hattie Big Sky, Kirby Larson came across a picture of an American farm girl standing next to a life-size Japanese doll, and a story was born.

In 1927, to strengthen relations with America, 58 life-size, beautifully crafted dolls were made and sent as Ambassadors of Friendship. They toured the country, with many of them eventually ending up in museums where we can see them today. One mystery remains, 13 of the 58 are still missing.

This is the story of Miss Kanagawa and four girls, who unknowingly need her guidance. Miss Kanagawa sees herself as “the Ambassador.” Larson has created a character that lives and feels. To the Japanese, dolls are not playthings, but noble creations who have a purpose.

“When the Japanese gave a doll in friendship, it was bestowed with great meaning and honor…even adults speak about dolls as though they were almost human. A doll is not simply stored in a box. She sleeps waiting for a child to wake her.” – Jamie Tobias Neely The Spokesman-Review, March 3, 1993

Miss Kanagawa has a mystical otherworldliness to her. When you look into her eyes, she has something profound to say to you. She often likens herself to a samurai, because she is also a noble, honorable warrior. (more…)

Flip

Psychologically Thrilling Version of Freaky Friday

Flip by Martyn Bedford

What would you do if you woke up in someone else’s body? This is what happens to 14-year-old Alex Gray. He wakes up and doesn’t recognize the room he’s in or the face in the mirror. He’s trapped inside the body of another boy, Philip “Flip” Garamond. Everyone sees him as Flip, all except the family dog, Beagle. While trying to navigate the world he now finds himself in, he tries to remember how he may have gotten there. With no memory of the past six months, he has nothing to guide him. Trying to reach his mum, he gets told by one of her coworkers not to call and that it’s a cruel joke to play. With this answer, Alex is afraid to find out what happened to him.

However difficult it may be, he tries to live Flip’s life in Flip’s body, with Flip’s family, friends, and girlfriends. All his reactions and thoughts are Alex’s though, and in the end, he wants his life back. When he finally does go back to his own house, he learns that he was the victim of a hit and run and has been in a coma for the past six months.

Not knowing how to get back into his own body, Alex scours the Web for answers. He finally gets a response from a group of people who are known as Psychic Evacuees.

Psychic evacuation is when a psyche or soul leaves its original body and transfers to another. In doing so, it replaces the psyche of its new body, or corporeal host.

Armed with this new information, Alex attempts to find answers on how to get his and Flip’s lives back in the proper place. (more…)

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