Books

RevolutionRevolution by Jennifer Donnelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alex’s story of the French Revolution amidst Andi’s struggle with grief was a different twist than I’m used to reading but it worked. Unfortunately, I never really felt their turmoil. There were no tears. Thus, I can’t give it a 5 star rating.

Jennifer Donnelly‘s website

Review on TeenReads

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Payback TimePayback Time by Carl Deuker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Carl Deuker‘s Website

Pick of the Week – 60SecondRecap

Review on ReadManyBooks


Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Lauren Oliver’s website

Review on TeenReads


Incarceron (Incarceron, #1)Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Review on TeenReads


Paper Trail

Paper Trail by Barbara Snow Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disturbing – especially after events in Arizona yesterday

Profile of Barbara Snow Gilbert on TeenReads

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The PactThe Pact by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Movie trailer:

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Dog on It (A Chet and Bernie Mystery, #1)Dog on It by Spencer Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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I Heart You, You Haunt MeI Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Poetry at its best

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WillowWillow by Julia Hoban
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Willow’s parents are killed in an auto accident – while Willow was driving. Now Willow is trying to keep the pain away.

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Lipstick Apology

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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The GoatsThe Goats by Brock Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Older book but fantastic survival tale. Some descriptions date the book which might turn a reader off.

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Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Suspenseful action to the end

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Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just as riviting as Hunger Games

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Unwind (Unwind, #1)Unwind by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them.

Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.
In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers’ ideas about life — not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.


The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1)The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel’s returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

Sneak Peak



PopPop by Gordon Korman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book just pulls you in. Powerful story. Is the ‘pop’ worth it?

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When Marcus moves to a new town, he doesn’t have any friends. While practicing football for impending tryouts, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with former NFL star Charlie Popovich, nicknamed “The King of Pop”. Charlie is a charismatic prankster, and the best football player Marcus has ever seen. But when his behavior starts getting more and more erratic, Marcus learns the secret that Charlie’s family is desperate to hide: Charlie is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s from the concussions he sustained while playing professional football.

As Marcus starts at his new school, he meets the starting quarterback: Troy Popovich. Right from the beginning, Marcus and Troy disagree — about football, about Troy’s ex-girlfriend Alyssa, but most of all, about what’s good for Charlie’s future. Marcus is betting that he knows what’s best for The King of Pop. And he will risk everything to help his friend.


L.A. Candy (L.A. Candy, #1)L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer . . . everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can’t wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.

When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a “reality version of Sex and the City,” they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!

Soon Jane is TV’s hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara—free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres—and she’s lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane’s spotlight.

In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it’s not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.

L.A. Candy is a deliciously entertaining novel about what it’s like to come of age in Hollywood while starring in a reality TV show, written by a girl who has experienced it all firsthand: Lauren Conrad.


Wake (Dream Catcher, #1)Wake by Lisa McMann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Are you in my dreams?

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Ever since she was eight years old, high school student Janie Hannagan has been uncontrollably drawn into other people’s dreams, but it is not until she befriends an elderly nursing home patient and becomes involved with an enigmatic fellow-student that she discovers her true power.


If I Grow UpIf I Grow Up by Todd Strasser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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In the Frederick Douglass Project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence. Many teenagers drop out of school and join gangs, and every kid knows someone who died. Gunshots ring out on a regular basis.

DeShawn is smart enough to know he should stay in school and keep away from the gangs. But while his friends have drug money to buy fancy sneakers and big-screen TVs, DeShawn’s family can barely afford food for the month. How can he stick to his principles when his family is hungry?

In this gritty novel about growing up in the inner city, award-winning author Todd Strasser opens a window into the life of a teenager struggling with right and wrong under the ever-present shadow of gangs.


Over the End LineOver the End Line by Alfred C. Martino

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disturbing ending

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Kyle Saint-Claire is everything Jonny Fehey wishes to be: a star on and off the soccer field, a brain, and one of Millburn High s most popular students. Jonny unhappily accepts his lesser social status–but then he scores the go-ahead goal in the county soccer championship and everything changes. Jonny is invited to victory party with the in crowd, and alcohol flows freely as toasts are raised in his honor. But in his moment of glory, a classmate is raped and Jonny’s world begins to unravel. Through years of friendship, Kyle and Jonny have always stood up for each another, but suddenly their friendship is tested. All their training together, pain, and dedication become meaningless; Jonny s preconceived notions are shattered; and someone is out for revenge.
Exciting sports action combines with an undercurrent of evil in a suspenseful tale of pride cometh before the fall–and an ending that Jonny never saw coming.


Wish You Were DeadWish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

captivating

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Str-S-d:
I’ll begin with Lucy. She is definitely first on the list. You can’t believe how it feels to be in the cafeteria and turn around and there she is staring at me like I’m some disgusting bug or vermin. Does she really think I WANT to be this way? I hate you, Lucy. I really hate you. You are my #1 pick. I wish you were dead.

The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-d wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes. The students of Soundview High are scared and worried. Especially frightened and wracked with guilt is Madison Archer, Lucy’s friend and the last person to see her the night she disappeared.
As days pass with no sign of the missing girl, even the attention of Tyler, an attractive new student, is not enough to distract Madison from her growing sense of foreboding. When two more popular students disappear after their names are mentioned on Str-S-d’s blog, the residents of Soundview panic.
Meanwhile, Madison receives anonymous notes warning that she could be next. Desperate to solve the mystery before anyone else disappears, Madison turns to Tyler, but can she trust him when it becomes clear that he knows more than he’s sharing?
The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances . . . before her name appears in Str-S-d’s blog.

In the spirit of stories like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Todd Strasser updates the teen thriller for the techno age with Wish You Were Dead, the first installment in a new “thrill”-ogy.


This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Survival tale – 1 year later. I love the way the author weaves in the importance of family and faith.

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It’s been over a month since Miranda Evans has written in her diary, a month of relative calm for her and her family. It’s springtime, and with warmer weather comes rain, and the melting of the winter’s snow. The shad are running in a nearby river, and Miranda’s brothers Matt and Jon leave home for a few days to see if they can catch some to supplement their food supply.

When they return, Matt brings with him a girl named Syl, who he introduces as his bride. But that’s not the only shock Miranda and her family have to deal with. A few weeks later, Miranda’s father, stepmother, and baby brother show up at her door. Accompanying them are three strangers, a man named Charlie Rutherford, and two teenagers, Alex and Julie Morales. These five people have crossed America together, becoming, in their own way, a family.

Miranda’s complicated feelings about Alex, curiosity, resentment, longing, and passion turn into love. Alex’s feelings are equally complex. His plans to escort Julie to a convent where she can be taken care of, so that he will be free to enter a monastery, are destined for failure. He wants desperately to live up to his moral code, but his desire for Miranda is too strong. He proposes to Miranda that they take Julie and go to a safe town.

But before Miranda and Alex can go off together, a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and in its aftermath, Miranda makes a decision that will change forever her life and Alex’s, and the world that they live in will never be the same.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick read

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When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he’s honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn’t feel like a hero.

There’s a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can’t shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can’t quite put all the pieces together.

Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad—Justin, Wolf, and Charlene—the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

National Book Award Finalist Patricia McCormick has written a visceral and compelling portrait of life in a war zone, where loyalty is valued above all, and death is terrifyingly commonplace.


The First Commandment (Scot Harvath, #6)The First Commandment by Brad Thor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A master assassin. A vendetta years in the making. And a counterterrorism operative who will risk everything — even treason — to keep the people he loves alive.

Brad Thor, the New York Times bestselling author of Takedown, delivers an explosive international thriller featuring Navy SEAL turned Homeland Security operative Scot Harvath, who somewhere, somehow, has left the wrong person alive.

“Thou shalt not negotiate with terrorists…”

Six months ago: In the dead of the night, five of the most dangerous detainees in the war on terror are pulled from their isolation cells in Guantanamo Bay, held at gunpoint, and told to strip off their orange jumpsuits. Issued civilian clothes and driven to the base airfield, they are loaded aboard a Boeing 727 and set free.

Present day: Covert counterterrorism agent Scot Harvath awakens to discover that his world has changed violently — and forever. A sadistic assassin with a personal vendetta is wreaking havoc of biblical proportions. Unleashing nightmarish horrors on those closest to Harvath, the attacker thrusts everything Harvath holds dear — including his life — into absolute peril.

Ordered by the president to stay out of the investigation, Harvath is forced to mount his own operation to uncover the conspiracy and to exact revenge. When he discovers a connection between the attacks and a group of prisoners secretly released from Guantanamo, Harvath must ask himself previously unthinkable questions about the organizations and the nation he has spent his life serving.

A renegade from his own government, Harvath will place his life on the line as his search for the truth draws him into a showdown with one of the most dangerous men on the face of the earth.

Brad Thor roars through this nonstop adventure full of international intrigue, twisted betrayals, and ultimate revenge.


The Truth about ForeverThe Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about, the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

http://www.sarahdessen.com/the-truth-about-forever

The Truth About Forever | Sarah Dessen via kwout


Fire Will Fall (Streams of Babel, #2)Fire Will Fall by Carol Plum-Ucci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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ShadowStrike poisoned the water of Trinity Falls two moths ago. Now the Trinity Four, the teens most affected by the poison, have been isolated in a remote mansion under 24-hour medical care while scientists on four continents rush to discover a cure. Meanwhile, U.S. operatives scour the world for the bioterrorists responsible for this heinous crime, as two teen virtual spies, also infected, hunt for the criminals on the Internet. The danger remains real—for ShadowStrike has every reason to pursue the Trinity Four, and their evil plan will unleash a new designer virus that’s even deadlier than the first.


Unwind (Unwind, #1)Unwind by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them.

Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.
In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers’ ideas about life — not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.


The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1)The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel’s returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

Sneak Peak

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