Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bluestar's Prophecy by Erin Hunter

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's a story of a she-cat named Bluestar, but she doesn't start out as Bluestar, because she has to earn that title. She starts out as Bluekit, then Bluefur. She is one of two candidates to become deputy of her Clan. Thistleclaw also wants to become the leader of ThunderClan, but he is bloodthirsty and loves battles.

WHAT I LIKED: The cats (What's not to like, they're Warriors! They growl!); Lionpaw and Sweetpaw, because they're awesome apprentices who train, but later, sad things happen to them; the four Warrior Clans; and the (sometimes) peaceful Gatherings. 

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Moonflower, Bluestar's mother. She's super protective of her babies, and she's shiny.

MY FAVORITE PART: When Bluefur puts the smackdown on Thistleclaw because he tried to hurt a random kitten.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Thistleclaw and his apprentice are evil. They jumped on a random kitten like RAWR!

CHARACTER I DIDN'T LIKE: Thistleclaw. He's mean to Bluefur and evilly ambitious.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should read this book because it's like a soap opera for little kids.

MOM'S TAKE: I've flipped through this and read one or two of the Warrior novels and a couple of the manga. Boys and girls reading longer chapter books and who enjoy animals will like these -- both Hannah and her little brother read them. There is some violence and character death, so if your child is particularly sensitive, especially about animals being harmed, you might want to steer clear.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Warrior Cats Online.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's about a 17-year-old girl named Cassia, who lives in the future, where every choice you make is pre-decided by the Society. She's Matched with her best friend, Xander, which means he's the only one she's allowed to marry, but she falls in love with an Aberration, Ky. At first, she tries to ignore it, because she's never broken the rules before, ever, but she doesn't want the Society to decide everything, and she decides to make a stand against them.

WHAT I LIKED: When Ky taught her to write her name; her little brother, Bram; and the secret society.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Cassia's Grandfather. He "didn't go gentle." He leaves something very important to Cassia. He's someone Cassia can always talk to.

MY FAVORITE PART: When Ky taught her to write cursive, because no one could write anything, they could only type.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Cassia's Official, because she's the one who played mind games with her and was mean to her; and that the Society decided everything for everybody.

CHARACTER I DIDN'T LIKE: Cassia's Official. She was dishonest with Cassia. She was aloof.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I would recommend you read this, because the storyline is good.

MOM'S TAKE: Most of the female characters in this start out weak, but that can be attributed to the Society having made decisions for everyone for generations. Cassia eventually does find her strength and rebels against the Society, but I found myself being very impatient with her up until that point.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Ally Condie's website.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's about a boy named Mackie, who is not really the real Mackie. The real Mackie disappeared, and he took his place. His friend Tate's little sister, Natalie, is stolen, and Natalie's replacement dies and is buried. Everyone, except for Tate, thinks it's the real Natalie. So Mackie has to go to the House of Mayhem to get help to save Natalie. (Mackie has a crush on Tate.)

WHAT I LIKED: Stories about how people used to keep fairies, demons and other dark creatures from taking their children; Mackie's friend Roswell helps him keep secrets; Mackie's family making sure there's no iron in the house; and the House of Mayhem versus the House of Misery.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Emma, Mackie's sister. She's the reason he survives, because she does everything she can to keep him alive, like getting him medicine and cutting his hair with aluminum scissors, instead of iron ones, so he doesn't have to go to the barber (which has lots of iron, so it's important for him not to have to go there). She talks to him, because he doesn't have very many friends.

MY FAVORITE PART: When Mackie goes to the House of Misery to talk to the Lady about returning Natalie. (The Lady is a baby-stealer, and she steals a baby every seven years.)

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The Lady stealing babies. (She needs to get her OWN life.)

CHARACTER I DIDN'T LIKE: The Lady, she steals babies and takes them away. Sometimes, she keeps them as toys.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should read this unless you think it might be too scary or horrible for you.

MOM'S TAKE: Parents of pre-teens are going to want to read this before deciding whether to let their child read it. It could be frightening for younger readers. Many of the adult characters in this book figuratively look away from some of the terrible goings-on in the Slag Heaps, and, in turn, the town of Gentry is prosperous. The teenage characters rebel against "going along to get along."

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Brenna Yovanoff's website.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weirton Book Company

Hannah and little brother Robbie pose with one of their favorite booksellers, David. David and Jaime always know what books to suggest!

The Weirton Book Company is located at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV. It is where I get most of my books and is my favorite bookstore.

WHY IT IS MY FAVORITE BOOKSTORE: There are couches, chairs and benches to sit in while you browse. Also they sell candles, so it always smells good. The owners, Jaime and David, are very friendly and helpful.
FIND IT ON THE WEB: Yahoo! Reviews of the Weirton Book Company


Monday, July 18, 2011

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's about a girl named Nimira, and she lives with a theater troop, where she performs as a "trouser girl," an ethnic dancer. A rich man named Mr. Hollin sees her act and invites her to his house to perform with his robotic automaton. She finds out that the automaton is alive, with the soul of a fairy prince, Erris, inside. Hollin may sell Erris and another person wants to destroy him!

WHAT I LIKED: The crazy lady who isn't crazy; that Nimira was a different ethnicity; there are fairies; there is a mystery to solve; paranormal (ghosts and dark creatures).

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Karstor, he helps Nimira and Erris. He isn't unkind to others.

MY FAVORITE PART: When the evil minion attacked Nimira and her friends.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Mr. Smollings, he was unkind and manipulative.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You'll probably like this book. In this book, people must face tough choices and there aren't any easy answers. The characters must be emotionally  strong.    

MOM'S TAKE: Mom couldn't be here tonight.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Jaclyn Dolamore's site.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

ABOUT THE BOOK: It is about Jason, a 16-year-old baseball pitcher, who is sucked into another world (called Lyrian) through a hippo. (Weird.) He was summoned by the Giddy Nine. He meets Rachel (she's 16, too) who walked under a rock formation while on an outing with her parents. They meet the Blind King and, to get back to their own world, they have to defeat the evil emperor Maldor.

WHAT I LIKED: Maldor's minions; the seed people; the hippo (who doesn't like a hippo?); death pies; Jason outsmarting people; Rachel was just plain awesome; Ferrin.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: The Blind King. He was nice, he did cool things and he tried to help other people. He's blind AND awesome.

MY FAVORITE PART: Jason faces off with a funky snake that can make him say crazy things.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Jason and Rachel were betrayed by someone they trusted. And that's not fun.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should read this book! There's no heroes, and Maldor is really mean to the people and enslaves them. There's nothing good about that. But Jason and Rachel come to save them!

MOM'S TAKE: The running theme in this book is doing the right thing despite any difficulties. This book would be good for both girls and boys who are reading longer chapter books and like fantasy. 

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Brandon Mull's website.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

ABOUT THE SERIES: This series is about a girl, Meghan Chase. Her best friend is an ancient fairy who likes to give people donkey heads. Her brother is stolen by a  fairy, and she has to go to the Nevernever to get him back. She meets the Winter Prince, Ash, who is hunting her. (It's kind of creepy.)

WHAT I LIKED: The super-awesome, sassy cat, Grimalkin; Puck's pranks (mostly) are very funny; cool fights between the good characters and the bad ones (like Titania--although she's not exactly bad, she's just not nice); the characters have a lot of background, so it gives you an idea of what the characters are like.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Grimalkin, Cait Sith (fairy cat). He's just awesome. He's smarter than everyone else and very cool about it. He plans ahead. So does Ash, but Grimalkin is obviously cooler!

MY FAVORITE BOOK: The Iron Daughter, because Meghan kicks butt and saves the guy!

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Too much kissing.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Read these books! I liked the plot and the characters (except Rowan--he's a jerk). The plot isn't ridiculous, like some, and the characters seem more real.

MOM'S TAKE: An interesting, unique twist on the fairy mythos, with a strong female lead. Despite what Hannah says, there isn't a lot of "kissing." I was very comfortable with her reading this series. This is a great series for girls who are pre-teens and teenagers and enjoy fairies. 

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Julie Kagawa's website.