Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau

So...Cia is in the middle of her independent study when she uncovers a plot.  It is different from what she thought.  Something happens to her mentor and friend in the president's office, and she is a witness to it.  What she sees changes everything.  The rebellion and its leader are not what she thought.  In fact, nothing is as it seems.  Her father's warning about not trusting anyone is still sounding in her head, but she has to put a team together to accomplish the task set forth by the president.  Cia works out who she wants on the team and devises a series of tests to see if they can be trusted.  The problem is she is unsure about what the right answer is for her and the country.  What she believed is not as clear as she originally thought.  This is a fast-paced end to the series that should not be missed.

Okay, this is a definite issue.  Book 2--not my favorite, but this one is quite good.  There arge twists throughout the entire book all of the way to the end.  I have to say--it was worth reading book 2, Independent Study, to get to this book--book 3 of this series.

I loved this book.  Don't miss out.  Read the whole series--The Testing, Independent Study, and Graduation Day.  BTW--The Testing takes on a double meaning--no, I am not going to reveal that here.

Book 6 in SRC14.

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

Cia has passed the testing, but she cannot remember what happened during this phase of her education.  She feels uneasy about it, and she cannot quiet the voice from her father that reminds her to "not trust anyone".  However, Cia has been given what appears to be a great opportunity by being assigned to the president for her independent study project.  But, she cannot accomplish everything without help from others.  Who can she trust?  Is it true--she really cannot trust anyone?  Even the president?  

This sequel reads like a book 2 in a series generally reads for me.  It is my least favorite.  It is a good story, but it was a bit slow to start.  However, I loved The Testing (the first book in the series), so I had to read this one.  A good read, but not a great one IMHO.

Book 5 in SRC14.

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

Jackson Greene is the type of kid that gets into trouble but is impossible to stay mad at.  He is fiercely loyal to his friends, and he is extremely clever.  But, Jackson got caught, and he is not allowed to have a cell phone.  This is extreme punishment for a kid who likes to stay connected.  He has vowed to be good, and he has given up scheming.  Or, at least he had given it up until he unfolds a plot where his ex-girlfriend is being cheated out of the election for class president.  This brings Jackson out of retirement.  Now, he is going to have to put together a crew to bring down not only the student running against Gabriela but the greedy principal as well.  Will Jackson be able to do it without getting caught or having people know that he was behind it?  Read this fast-paced story to find out.

Okay, so it is really unfair for me to tell you about this book because it does not go on sale until the end of this month.  But, well...sorry.  It was great.  I love a good con story, and this was a fun one to read.  In the vein of The Sting and Ocean's 11, 12, and 13, this story will have you wanting to move the pages quickly to get to the next part.

Book 4 in SRC14.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The One by Kiera Cass

I am not sure why it has taken me so long to write about this book.  I read it in one night.  It is book 3 in a fantastic trilogy that I literally devoured.  I could not wait for this book to come out even though I knew what was going to happen--or at least it better have happened the way that I wanted.  But, maybe you are wondering what the cause of my fascination is.

Here is the set up for the entire series.  Of course, it would be impossible to just talk about this book without giving too much away.  Trust me when I say--you want to read the entire series.  It was awesome!

America is a lower class citizen, but she is "randomly" chosen as one of 35 girls who are vying to be a princess.  But, America is not really interested in being a princess because she is in love with someone else.  So, she goes to the prince and convinces him that he should keep her in the competition as long as possible so that she can tell him the truth about what goes on behind the scenes.  He is intrigued and agrees.  Do you think you know where this is going?  Well, you are right, but it is impossible to put down because you want to make sure that you are right.

MUST READ--The Selection, The Elite, and The One!
Just in case I haven't convinced you yet--watch the video.  Then read these books.
Book 3 in SRC 14

Monday, May 5, 2014

Skinny by Donna Cooner


Ever Davies lost her mom when she was ten, and she turned to food as her comfort.  Now, she is an overweight fifteen year old girl who broke a chair on the stage at school.  This incident made her decide to have weight loss surgery.  She wants to lose weight so that the negative voices she hears will be quiet.  However, her inner voice--which she has named Skinny--does not go away.  Skinny keeps feeding her with negative thoughts that keep her from moving on.  Now, Ever must decide whether she will listen to Skinny or the people around her who care about her.

Wow! This book was amazingly moving.  It gave me a sense of the emotional turmoil Ever went through as she started losing weight and the fear of gaining it back.  But, what I really found fascinating was the facts that the author shared about the science of how the surgery worked.  Anyone who thinks this is the easy way out for losing weight is so wrong.  It is a brave choice, and I take my hat off to those folks.

I heard the author speak, and she shared with us that she had the surgery.  I think that is why it seemed so authentic.  Give this one a try.  I could not put it down.

Book 2 in SRC14

The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson

It is 1854 in London, and people are getting sick.  They have cholera also known as the blue death.  Eel is helping the best he can but all of the people around him are dying.  He and his best friend must find a way to help all of the people in the London neighborhood around Broad Street.  Eel has 3 jobs to help pay someone to keep his secret.  His first job pays for his room and food; his second gives him half the money he needs to pay for his secret; his third is for a doctor that explores scientific and medical research.  When his second employer's family is sick, Eel goes to the doctor to get help.  The doctor listens but explains that the family will die, but he wants to explore the reason that they were getting cholera.  The doctor has a new theory, but people won't believe him without proof.  Eel and his best friend, Florrie, must find the proof needed to prevent more deaths.  Will they find it in time for the meeting with the board?  Will anyone believe Eel since he is just a mudlark?  Will Eel be able to protect his secret?

cover_imageFind out in The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson.  Book 1--in SRC14

This is historical fiction and based on the 1854 London cholera epidemic.  LOVED this book.  It reminded me of Fever by Laurie Halse Anderson.  Also, it made me think of Code Orange by Caroline Cooney.