Wednesday, April 25, 2018

BangBang by Barry Lyga

Sebastian has lived (if you call it living) with the guilt of having accidently killing his baby sister when he was 4. He is just biding his time until it is the right time to rectify his past by killing himself. Then he meets Aneesa, his new neighbor, who has to deal with racism due to the fact that she is Muslim. They bond over the youtube show they create about making pizza. Sebastian realizes that he has to forgive himself, and that life should be lived. Plan on crying a little bit!

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Americanized: Rebel Without a Green CardAmericanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved this book. It is more than just a memoir. It has some history, life advice and advice about getting along with family. There is interspersed FAQ, which are real questions kids would have especially in this day and age. Things like, "I'm undocumented, what do I do now."

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Kat and Meg Conquer the WorldKat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an amazing book about friendship!

Kat is attending a new school. She has a lot of anxiety issues, and is not very social. Meg has ADHD and has a hard time keeping friends. They end up working together on a year long science project. They find out they both love watching Lumber Legs, a YouTuber who records himself playing Kate's favorite video game.

I loved this book! The girls friendship is the type of friendship we all want. They have their little tiffs, but they are there for each other when they really need each other!

I think readers who enjoy young adult realistic fiction will really like this book.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Impossible FortressThe Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is 1987 and Billy and his best friends Clark and Alf can only think about one thing-- getting their hands (and eyes) on the Vanna White edition of Playboy. Although Billy loves creating programs on his Commador 64, the magazine is more important. They hatch a scheme to trick Old Man Zelinsky into selling it to them, but it falls apart when his teen daughter Mary starts talking to Billy about an upcoming programming contest.
Billy's priorities shift to working with Mary, who is a programming genius to build a game to win the contest. Clark and Alf come up with plans to make money off the Vanna White magazine. Billy realizes he likes Mary and doesn't want to be part of their plans. Then she seems like she doesn't feel the same way and Billy takes part in a plan that has disasterous consequences. Billy feels horrible. Then, a secret that Mary has hidden comes out and Billy wants Mary to forgive him.

I really liked this book! I love any book that is based in the 80's because it feels like I am coming home, but I also loved how my feelings for all the characters changed throughout the story. The 80's feel is very reminisicent of Eleanor and Park. I really think I read enough young adult books to figure out twists, but the surprise twist in this book through me for a loop. I never saw it coming!

If you are looking for a nerdy 80's book, I think you will like this book as much as I did!

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Otherworld (Otherworld, #1)Otherworld by Jason Segel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars
Otherworld is about an immersive virtual reality game. I knew this when I started the book, so I was pleasantly surprised that there was a little more to this book.
Simon is troublemaker, who really is just misunderstood. His best friend, Kat, is no longer talking to him, and the only way he feels he can talk to her is in Otherworld. He uses his moms credit card and purchases the expensive equipment needed for he and Kat to meet in Otherworld. He of course gets in trouble.
Kat is injured in an accident and is "locked in" her body. Suprisingly, she is chosen for a special study using new, improved equipment for Otherworld. Mysteriously, Simon is given new equipment to be able to go into Otherworld and try and save Kat.
Simon soon realizes that Otherworld is more than a game. Things that happen inside the game are beginning to have consequences in the real world. Simon and some new friends, have to figure out how to shut down Otherworld before it is too late.

I enjoy a fast paced virtual reality based book. The story was a tad predictable. After doing a little research, it saddens me that people say the story line was copied from Tad Williams Otherland. Similiar story lines, but based for a new generation of readers.

Readers who enjoyed Warcross or Eye of Minds will enjoy this book.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Talon (Talon, #1)Talon by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ember and Dante are a rare sent of dragon twins. They are hatchlings who are being assimilated to live among the humans. Garrett is a member of the Order of St. George, whose mission it is to hunt and kill all dragons. They meet and have instantaneous forbidden attraction.
Ember doesn't realize she is being trained to be part of the Talon elite group of assassins called Vipers. Once she finds out she begins to question all she knows. Luckily, there is a rogue dragon, Riley, who has been hanging around. Once she finds out Talon's plans for her, she runs to Riley. Riley tries to convince her to run away and become Rogue, and help save other hatchlings from the evil Talon.

I read Firelight by Sophie Jordan a few years ago and was hoping the stories would be different. I guess there is not much you can do with dragons who can become human except have them question their existence and get involved in a love triangle.

While I like the concept of dragons as main characters, I do not think I will be reading the rest of this series.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

To Kill a KingdomTo Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a pretty amazing book! I hardly ever do 5 stars! It is so unique!

Lira is a monstrous siren who has been collecting the heart of the prince for her birthday for the past 17 years. Elian is a prince who would rather be on the sea; he has sworn to kill the siren he calls The Prince's Bane, who killed his best friend.

Lira's cruel, power hungry mother, the Sea Queen, expects all the ocean creatures to bend to her will. Lira tries to make her proud, but fails. The Sea Queen punishes her by turning her human and ordering her to get the Prince's heart.

Elian does not want to be King, he just wants to stay on the sea. He finds Lira in her human form and "saves" her. He hears of a way that he can kill the Pirate's Bane once and for all, and set out on a journey to a different land with Lira attaching herself to the group hoping to solve some problems of her own.

This story is very unique. The storyline flows smoothly, although I found myself reading faster because I wanted to see what was going to happen! The chapters are told from different POV, sometimes Lira and sometime Elian. What I found very intriguing about the writing was that when you started the chapter, you weren't sure whose POV it was, but it didn't matter! It fit either character. The character development was very well done and very believable. I loved how snarky they were with each other.

The writing of this story was amazing! I am looking forward to reading more from Ms. Christo!

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