Thursday, May 16, 2013


by Patrick Carman

New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, 2013.
Young Adult Science Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic
371 pages
 The year is 2051, and the world is still recognizable. With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters so powerful they will flatten their enemies by uprooting street lights, moving boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with great talent, the mind—and the heart—can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she’ll have to harness the power of both.
My Thoughts:
First, I want to say that I love the cover - though it only slightly fits the story. Second, I want to say that the above description is not very accurate. The book did not have very many "riveting action scenes". There were a few brief glimpses of some of the characters powers throughout the beginning and middle of the book.  The only true action scene was at the end and it fell a little flat in the "riveting" department. Patrick Carman has so many amazing ideas,  yet too often I find the actual book to be rather disappointing. I felt that Pulse was just a build-up to book two in the trilogy. It actually felt a little like a middle "bridge" book of a trilogy to me. I hope that book two will be more exciting and fulfilling to read. And yes, I will be reading it. 

If You Find Me

If You Find Me
by Emily Murdoch
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin 
Young Adult 
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
My Thoughts:
This book was actually quite disturbing and horrifying in some ways. Carey and Janessa are amazing characters that fight for a better life despite their upbringing. The family dynamics throughout this book were heartbreaking and touching at the same time. the most terrible thing to me is the realization that what happened to these young girls really does happen to some people in this world. It is extremely sad and I will admit I shed a few tears while reading this book. There were a few times where it seemed a little wee bit over the top as in, "could all of this really happen to the same girl?" But yes, it probably very well could happen. Yes, I felt sadness and anger and horror as I read this book, but what I felt most was the love, hope and resilience that the characters felt, despite the ugliness in their life.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Maggot Moon

Maggot Moon
by Sally Gardner
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2013, c2012.
Young Adult, Dystopian/alternate history. 279 pages.

From Goodreads:

What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell — who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright — sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big...

I really don't know what to say about this book. The first time I started reading it I was kind of tired and the book made absolutely no sense. In fact, I felt like I was on something that was truly messing with my brain. However, the cover literally haunted me as did the summary I had read. So I decided to try one more time before turning it in. I am so glad I did. Standish Treadwell is an amazing character. He is flawed in many ways, but that is what makes him so human and endearing. I was literally sucked into his world and was rooting for him clear to the very end. I may have even shed a tear or two at the end. Warning: I would not suggest this for anyone under 16, possibly even 18. Standish does have a tendency to use some very naughty words quite often. There are some rather violent moments as well. Also, there is a specific scene at the end that might offend certain people. That aside, this was a unique and brilliantly written novel. If you have read other books by Gardner don't expect this to be the same. I have only read two, The Red Necklace and I, Coriander - both of which I loved, but in very different ways. And don't forget to pay attention to the subtle drawings in the margins. The portrayal of flies, rats and maggots is quite fascinating.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Paper Artist

Paper Artist: Creations Kids Can Fold, Tear, Wear, or Share
by Gail D. Green, Kara L. Laughlin, and Jennifer Phillips

Capstone Young Readers. Minnesota 2013.
Children's craft book.

"Fold it! Tear it! Share it! Wear it!" This book contains numerous ideas for everything from jewelery to hats and picture frames to wind-chimes. The crafts vary in difficulty from easy to quite complex so there is something for everyone though most will require some form of adult supervision. The The materials lists and directions are quite clear and the colorful photos are fabulous. If you are looking for unique and creative crafts to give as gifts then definitely check out this book.

I read a free digital copy of this via NetGalley.

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys
by Maggie Stiefvater

New York : Scholastic Press, 2012.
Young adult fantasy, 390 pages.
Blue has always led a rather unconventional life with her household full of psychics. But things are about to get even stranger now that she has met the Raven Boys. She has always avoided boys in general thanks to a prophecy from her mother. Raven Boys in particular are best ignored as they are everything Blue is not. The spoiled private school boys come from money - old money, they have deep, deep family roots and not a care in the world. Despite psychic prophecies and such differing backgrounds, Blue's fate seems to be intertwined with this strange group of boys and their quest for something not quite of this world.
Stiefvater is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. I have loved everything I have read. Each world she creates is fabulously different from the others. Her characters are deep and diverse. I can't wait for the next book in this series. 


by Sherri L. Smith

New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2013.
Young adult sci-fi, dystopian, 324 pages.
Delta Fever has devastated the Gulf Coast after numerous devastating hurricanes. The area has been quarantined and walled off from the rest of the country. Despite the disease and the separation, people have survived and even in some cases flourished in the wasteland. The fever affects people differently depending on their blood type. Thus the people have segregated themselves into tribes for their health and protection. Certain tribes are more dangerous than others as they are insane from the illness and need fresh blood to stay alive. Other tribes are in danger as the hunted because they remain quite healthy despite having the fever in their system. Fen finds herself alone after an attack on her tribe. Well, not quite alone, she has a brand new baby whose blood has not been tainted with the fever. She is desperate to get her across the border into the Outer States where she can hopefully live a better life. As they traverse the dangerous terrain they are hunted, trapped, caught and escape at various times. To further complicate matters, they encounter a scientist from the other side who is trying to find answers and a cure for the Delta Fever. As they travel together Fen realizes she needs answers too, though she never knew she had questions.  

I love the cover, I love the idea and the characters were interesting. The ending was not my favorite because it made me cry. But at the same time I liked it because it was an actual ending, something that is rather rare in this genre.