Monday, March 31, 2014

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I had been wanting to read another book by Gillian Flynn since finishing Gone Girl last year. I finally picked up Dark Places and could not put it down. I was so captivated by the plot and the back and forth narration between present and past. I highly recommend this as a suspense thriller/murder mystery. A little mature and dark for some of the students.

Amazon Summary
Libby Day, the protagonist of Flynn’s disturbing second novel, was, as a seven-year-old, the only survivor of her family’s brutal murder by her older brother, an event dubbed by the media the “Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” Twenty-five years later, she has become a hardened, selfish young woman with no friends or family. Since the tragedy, her life has been paid for by donations of well-wishers, but, with that fund now empty, Libby must find a way to make money. Her search leads her to The Kill Club, a secret society of people obsessed with the details of notorious murders. As Libby tries to gather artifacts to sell to The Kill Club (whose members, it turns out, doubt the guilt of her brother), she is forced to reĂ«xamine the events of the night of the murder

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (Abe Book)

Ask the Passengers is on this years Abe List. While selecting this years titles I made a note to myself to read this book as it sounded interesting. I absolutely loved this book and I love this author. I was excited to read this book as it is the same author as Please Ignore Vera Dietz, one of my recent favorite titles. I hope to read this for book club next year as I think the students will enjoy is as well as create a great discussion regarding coming out in high school and being accepted.

Amazon Summary
Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better.

In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

I have been wanting to read this book since it came into the Library. I absolutely loved Hate List and was looking forward to more from Jennifer Brown. However, I felt this book fell flat. I didn't care too much about the chaarcters and felt the road trip was endless. This will not be a favorite of mine.

Amazon Summary
Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. To Kendra, the only way she can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But even in the midst of the road trip's flat tires, gas-station food stops, and detours to quirky roadside attractions, eventually Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Uganda be Kidding me by Chelsea Handler

If you like Chelsea Handler, you will like this book. Handler details her traveling adventures over the past two years with friends and family. I liked the book but not as much as her others. However, there were definitely a few laugh out loud moments while reading the story.
Amazon Summary
Wherever Chelsea Handler travels, one thing is certain: she always ends up in the land of the ridiculous. Now, in this uproarious collection, she sneaks her sharp wit through airport security and delivers her most absurd and hilarious stories ever.

On safari in Africa, it's anyone's guess as to what's more dangerous: the wildlife or Chelsea. But whether she's fumbling the seduction of a guide by not knowing where tigers live (Asia, duh) or wearing a bathrobe into the bush because her clothes stopped fitting seven margaritas ago, she's always game for the next misadventure.

The situation gets down and dirty as she defiles a kayak in the Bahamas, and outright sweaty as she escapes from a German hospital on crutches. When things get truly scary, like finding herself stuck next to a passenger with bad breath, she knows she can rely on her family to make matters even worse. Thank goodness she has the devoted Chunk by her side-except for the time she loses him in Telluride.

The Elite by Cassandra Cass ( Sequel to The Selection)

I loved this book. I absolutely loved The Selection and couldn't wait to keep reading The Elite. The only dissapointing thing is waiting now for The One when it comes out in June. I liked this better than Delirium and Matched. Someone recommended this book and compared it to The Bachelor meets the Hunger Games and I think it is a great summary.

Amazon Summary
Kiera Cass’s The Elite is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction, fairy tales, and reality TV. This sequel to The Selection will enchant teens who love Divergent and The Bachelor.

In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate televised competition. In the second book of the Selection series, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love?

The Elite delivers the adventure, glamour, political intrigue, and romance readers of The Selection expect, and continues the love triangle that captivated them.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Selection by Kiera Cass ( Abe Book)

I loved this book. Someone described this book to me as The Hunger Games meets the Bachelor. Ever since hearing that description I could not wait to read this book. The Selection did not disappoint, it is a dystopian love story. I can't wait to read the sequel.

Amazon Summary
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ( Abe Book)

Seraphina is on the new Abe Lincoln list for 2015. I do my best to read all 22 titles every year. Seraphina is a fantasy novel about dragons living among the people in a made up land. I am not a huge Fantasy fan but was willing to give it a try. I got as far as half the book before I put it down. I do not enjoy made up lands and languages and struggled with this book. I kept reading hoping it would get better but at 200 pages I had to give up. This was one of the student nominated titles so I think the students who like fantasy would be interested in this read. Maybe I'll try to finish it another time.

Amazon Summary
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

I have been a fan of James Dashner since the Maze Runner series. I had high hopes for this new series, but unfortunately I felt it fell flat. After 100 pages, I made the difficult decision to stop reading the book. I wasn't engaged in the story or the characters and couldn't force myself to finish. I think their is an audience of students who would enjoy this book, but it just was not of interest to me.

Amazon Summary
Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?
   But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.
   The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.