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  • Stray by Elissa Sussman

    Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 5/26/2015 11:00:00 AM
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Stray is a dystopian fairytale, with elements of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Maleficent.  Princesses are sent to  academies to learn to control their magic and catch a husband.  Those who can't control the magic or Stray,  are "Redirected" to become fairy godmothers to other princesses.  Girls follow the "path" to help keep them pure, and wife material. The fairy godmothers help guide them, while also being asked to report on their activities to the headmistresses of the academies. 
     
    Aislynn has recently been redirected and sent to learn how to be a fairy godmother for Lianna, a crown princess.  Aislynn adjusts to her new reality, from princess to servant in one day, with the help Brigid and Thackery.  She also uncovers a sort of underground railroad for girls being hidden from the Evil Queen Josetta, Linanna's aunt. 
     
    While I enjoyed the story, I was bothered by how all the princesses are desperate to catch a husband. They have to hide their magic at great personal cost, frequently causing personal injury. Even after marriage, if they are "caught" displaying magic, their husband's can send them to be "redirected" , and keep the kingdom they got through marriage.  I felt like there was a emphasis on the girls being blindly submissive and feeling the need to catch a husband to the exclusion of all else. 
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  • Read Between the Lines

    Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 5/26/2015 11:00:00 AM
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Read Between The Lines by Jo Knowles
     
    Bullied in gym class, Nate breaks his middle finger.  You know, THE finger.  This event, and finger, starts a cascade of interlinking events, revelations, and yes, more one finger salutes.  The characters are interesting, believable, and many are sympathetic to the reader.  It illustrates the many ways that students struggle in school with issues that have nothing to do with academics.  The social landscape that teens struggle with daily is revealed here with compassion and poignancy. 
     
    The title " Read Between the Lines" asks us to look beyond the obvious meaning of the phrase, and to read between the lines of these character's lives as they try to make it through the day, high school and their day to day struggles. 
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  • I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

    Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 3/26/2015
       
    Product Details
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     I liked this book a lot.  Skylar Evans just wants to hold things together just for the summer and then she can go to San Francisco and start college and her life.  She has fought hard not to fall into the trap she has seen other girls fall into- drinking, boys, dead-end jobs, teen pregnancies.  She has made a pact with her best friend Chris, and they are getting out of their dead-end town.  Things start to unravel for Skylar when she sees Josh Williams, home from Afghanistan after losing his leg. Both Josh and Skylar work at the only motel in town, the Paradise, and their sense of isolation starts to fade as they spend more time together. 
     
    I thought the characters were very realistic and the dialog was as well.  This novel deals with some pretty big issues: parental loss, suicide, PTSD, military service and sacrifice, and love, among others. The main characters are young , 18-19, and dealing with these big issues is hard.  Nothing was sugarcoated, and there was no happily ever after ending.  But life isn't like that, it is?
     
    I can't recommend this book highly enough.
     

     
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  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold

    Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 3/24/2015
    Product Details
     



    "I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange."
    After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
    So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
    Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, "Mosquitoland" is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.
     
    From Goodreads
     
     
    Mosquitoland book trailer
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  • The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

    Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 3/24/2015
    Product Details
     
    "Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, Twylla isn't exactly a member of the court.

    She's the executioner." From Amazon.
     
    I was very intrigued by this opening description.  There are many books about girls hoping to be moved into the castle and win the heart of the handsome prince.  Twylla was forced to go to in order to save her younger sister.  She is shunned at court because her touch is lethal, and her only companionship is that of a loyal guard.  She was forced to kill the only person who dared to become her friend, so she doesn't try to seek companionship.  Her betrothed, Prince Merek, who is immune to her touch, is returning to the kingdom after an absence of several years.  Her old guard falls sick right after a new guard joins her security detail, and Tywlla begins to form a connection to him, causing the queen to ramp up to new levels of crazy. 
     
    I thought Twylla was a believable character, and her  hesitation over who to trust logical in the face of her circumstances.  She didn't hesitate to try to improve her situation and fight for herself.  I thought the world building was great and the story had twists I didn't see coming, which is always fun.  I hate seeing the ending coming from the third chapter! 
     
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  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

    Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 3/19/2015 5:00:00 PM
    Product Details
     

     Mare is a Red, a poor commoner destined to serve the elite and powerful Silvers. Finding herself working in the King's Palace as a servant surrounded by everything she hates, Mare wishes for a life free from the Silvers who suppress those she love the most.  Silvers have supernatural powers and silver blood that are proof of their noble and entitled class, right?  That is, until and accident reveals Mare’s true powers.

         One line in this plot twistingly mind-blowing book sums up the whole story, “Anyone can betray anyone.”

         The first time 22 year old author already has a mega dollar book deal for this trilogy and a movie option.  Means this one is getting lots of buzz.  Gotta say… so far I can go along with that.  This book is a fast paced easy read.  A little bit fairy tale, dystopian, and fantasy mixed together.  And…pretty cool cover art.

     
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  • Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

    Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 3/19/2015
    Product Details
     
     
    Finally a good book with a male lead!  Female protagonists seem to dominate the YA scene.  Don't get me wrong I love a strong kick butt chick lit book, but it is time for the guys to shine. 

    Ben, our leading man, tells his own story.  Other than some dialog, Ben's is the only point of view we hear.  His thoughts become our thoughts.  Quick get-to-the-point sentences, tense descriptions that help build suspense, and action that take readers on a thrill ride.  Part James Bond complete with deadly weapons disguised as innocent objects, part Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot's (or any other great detective) intuition for clues and tells with a Bourne Identity rapid paced plot.  Boy Nobody and Allen Zadoff delivers!  This is a don't-bother-me-until-I-am-done book.

    Excellent for those looking for a fast read.  Excellent for reluctant readers  Guys and gals will love Ben's story.  The best part is that the ending is completely unexpected.  Even I didn't see it coming and I usually can.  I loved it!  Sequel is already in my hands and I cannot wait to start. 
     
    Read this book!!!!!! 
     
    Boy Nobody book trailer 
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  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowel

    Posted by Lisa Lockmiller on 3/18/2015
    This amazing love story is told in the alternating perspectives of Eleanor and Park.  Set in the 1980's this is a story of 16 year old Eleanor, an insecure, slightly overweight, redhead from an abusive home and Park, a quiet, 1/2 Korean boy who is not sure where he fits in at his mostly white town.  Eleanor is the new girl, a train wreck and easy pickings for the school bullies.  Park just wants to blend in and be as unnoticed as possible.  The two begin a reluctant relationship over comic books and music that slowly builds into one of the sweetest romances ever.  Boy will you ever root for these two!  And every girl will wish for her version of Park. 
     
    READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!
     
    Dreamworks has recently purchased the movie rights to this book and the author Rainbow Rowell is slated to write the screenplay.  I really hope they get the casting right.
     
     
    Eleanor and Park book trailer 
     
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Last Modified on January 27, 2016