Monday, April 26, 2010

The Face

Author: R.L. Stine
Title: The Face1

Series: Fear Street (book 35)
Publication Date: 1996
Number of Pages: 172
Genre: Fiction/YA
Synopsis: “They say something horrible happened that day. But Martha can't remember any of it--not the smallest detail. They say it will come back to her in time. But someone wants her to remember now. She draws his face, over and over--the face of a dead boy. She can't control her hand. And she can't remember how he died. But she's going to find the answer."

I seem to be going through a bit of an R.L. Stine kick this year. But I’m happy to say that so far out of the books I have read (for the first time) or re-read I haven’t been disappointed yet.
The best thing about The Face would have to be how you learn about the accident and what happened at the same time as the main character, which makes it seem almost like your part of the story.
While the story was quite interesting, I didn’t care for the main character or any of her friends in the book.
My favorite part of The Face is how Martha begins to suspect that she is going crazy because she keeps drawing the face of a boy that she can’t remember having ever met.
My only problem with the book would have to be that the end kind of reminded of Eye Candy, which a bit backwards considering The Face came out years before Eye Candy.
The Face was an extremely quick read with just enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. Given the chance I would definitely re-read or buy it somewhere down the road.

The Face earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.
Orchid
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1. The Face was borrowed from the library.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (42)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Library:
Author: Isaac Asimov
Title: I, Robot
Series: The Robots (book 1)
Publication Date: 1950
Synopsis: “They mustn’t harm a human being, they must obey human orders, and they must protect their own existence…but only so long as that doesn’t violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities-and unforeseen risks. For the scientists who invented the earliest robots weren’t content that their creations should remain programmed helpers, companions, and semisentient worker-machines. And soon the robots themselves, aware of their own intelligence, power, and humanity, aren’t either.
As humans and robots struggle to survive together- and sometimes against each other-on earth and in space, the future of both hangs in the balance. Here human men and women confront robots gone mad, telepathic robots, robot politicians, and vast robotic intelligences that may already secretly control the world. And both are asking the same questions: What is a human? And is humanity obsolete?"

Author: Susanne Dunlap
Title: The Musicians Daughter
Publication Date: 2008
Synopsis: "Amid the glitter and glamour of musical and court life in 18th century Vienna, fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria Shurman is trying to solve a brutal mystery. Who killed her father, an acclaimed violinist, and stole his valuable Amati violin? When Haydn himself offers her a position as his assistant, it gives Theresa access to life in the palace–and to a world of deceit. Theresa uncovers blackmail and extortion even as she discovers courage and honor in unexpected places: from a Gypsy camp on the banks of the Danube, to the rarefied life of the imperial family. And she feels the stirrings of a first, tentative love for someone who is as deeply involved in the mystery as she is."


Author: Kathleen Duey
Title: Sacred Scars
Series: A Resurrection of Magic (book 2)
Publication Date: 2009
Synopsis: "Sadima, Franklin, and Somiss, driven out of Limòri by a suspicious fire, are living in a cave hidden within the cliffs that overlook the city. Somiss is convinced the dark passages of the caves were the home of ancient magicians, and his obsession with restoring magic deepens. Sadima dreams of escape — for her, for Franklin, and for the orphaned street boys Somiss has imprisoned in a crowded cage. Somiss claims he will teach these boys magic, that they will become his first students, but Sadima knows he is lying.

Generations later, Hahp is struggling to survive the wizards' increasingly dangerous classes at the Limòri Academy of Magic. He knows the fragile pact he has forged with his secretive roommate, Gerrard, will not be enough to put an end to the evil. It will take all the students acting together to have any chance of destroying the academy. Building trust, with few chances to speak or plan, will be almost impossible, but there is no choice."
Author: James Patterson
Title: Fang
Series: Maximum Ride (book 6)
Publication Date: 2010
Synopsis: "Max and the Flock are flying high over Africa, but this time they're not alone. A sky full of cargo planes accompanies the team as they bring much-needed aid to the continent's poverty stricken regions. Among the volunteers is the mission's benefactor–the mysterious billionaire, Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen. Max is intrigued by his generosity, but there's also something about him–and his intense scrutiny of the Flock–that makes her nervous."


I'm really excited about this weeks pile of books. I picked up I, Robot because I loved the movie, plus I've been meaning to read an Isaac Asimov book for ages. The Musicians Daughter sounded really good so I decided to give it a shot (and so far it's really good). I was happy when I saw Sacred Scars was available from my library and so immediately put it on hold. I also got Fang which I read last night.
So that all for me this week in books. Cannot wait to see what everyone else got. Hope y'all had a fantastic book week.

Orchid
____________________________________________
1. All books were borrowed from my library.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wish List Wednesday (6)

Titans of Chaos by john C. Wright, 2007
The students have been kidnapped, robbed of their powers, and raised in ignorance by super-beings. The five have made incredible discoveries about themselves. Amelia is apparently a fourth-dimensional being; Victor is a synthetic man who can control the molecular arrangement of matter; Vanity can find secret passageways through solid walls; Colin is a psychic; Quentin is a warlock. Each power comes from a different paradigm or view of the universe. They have learned to control their strange abilities and have escaped into our world: now their true battle for survival begins.


Why: Because the Chronicles of Chaos was one of the best fantasy series that I have stumbled upon. Plus I'm just dying to know how it all ends and I love the covers for the whole series. Titans of Chaos is the third book in The Chronicles of Chaos; first two being Orphans of Chaos and Fugitives of Chaos.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (41)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Gift:
Author: Heather Brewer
Title: Eighth Grade Bites
Series: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod (book 1)
Publication Date: 2007
Synopsis: “Vlad has to keep his vampire urges under control while dealing with the pressures of middle school. Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates junior high. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: He's being hunted by a vampire killer."

Author: Heather Brewer
Title: Ninth Grade Slays
Series: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod (book 2)
Publication Date: 2008
Synopsis: “High school totally bites when you're half human, half vampire.

Freshman year sucks for Vlad Tod. Bullies still harass him. The photographer from the school newspaper is tailing him. And failing his studies could be deadly. A trip to Siberia gives “study abroad” a whole new meaning as Vlad connects with other vampires and advances his mind-control abilities, but will he return home with the skills to recognize a vampire slayer when he sees one? In this thrilling sequel to Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad must confront the secrets of the past and battle forces that once again threaten his life."

Borrowed:
Author: Rev. John W. Lynch, S.M.
Title: Bernadette: The Only Witness
Publication Date: 1981
Synopsis: “St. Bernadette was blessed with the privilege of seeing the Mother of God during her lifetime, but she still was not granted complete happiness her on earth.

The Blessed Mother told her that she could not promise her happiness in this life, but in the next.
In St. Bernadette’s story, we see a shining example of how to overcome our sufferings here on earth so as to gain the happiness of heaven.”

Library:
Author: Peter Dickinson
Title: Angle Isle
Series: Ropemaker (book 2)
Publication Date: 2006
Synopsis: "The spellbinding sequel to the prizewinning novel The Ropemaker.

Once the twenty-four most powerful magicians in the Empire pledged to use their magic only to protect the people. But the promise that bound them has now corrupted them. They have become a single, terrible entity with a limitless desire for domination. Only the Ropemaker may be able to stop them, but he has not been seen for more than two hundred years."

Author: Tom Clancy and Diane Duane
Title: Runaways
Series: Net Force Explorers (book 16)
Publication Date: 2001
Synopsis: "Net Force Explorer Megan O'Malley tracks her missing equestrian teammate Burtto a mysterious online courier business--a service to which many runaways aresent out, but few ever return."

I would like to thank Dahlia who gave me the first two Vlad Tod books to me; Thanks D. Now I can re-read them when ever it suits my fancy; especially since they’re both great reads.
Bernadette: The Only Witness was borrowed from my Mom’s collection of religious books. I picked up the story about Bernadette because she was in my top ten Patron Saint list; plus it sounds like an interesting read.
The rest are books that I picked up on my latest library run; I'm super excited about getting to read Tom Clancy's Runaways. Along with Peter Dickinson's Angle Isle, which is the sequel to The Ropemaker. *yay*
I was going to read Dead Until Dark, but Holland read it before I did and said that it wouldn't be something I would enjoy. So I'm not reading it now.
Hope y'all have a great week in books.

Orchid

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know

Author: Diane Mozcar
Title: Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know1
Publication Date: 2006
Number of Pages: 177
Genre: Christianity
Synopsis: “Here are the saints and sinners, popes and kings that God used to shape his Church and change the world. You’ll meet Clovis and Charlemagne, Luther and Pope Leo, Suleiman and St. Francis, the Arians, the Franks, the Huguenots, and others whose sins or sacrifices altered the course of history. Here, too, are the wars and plagues, the ideas and institutions and, yes, the miracles that gave birth to our Christian civilization and often threatened to doom it. Experience the battles of Tours and Lepanto, the Crusades, the Russian Revolution, and Fatima, the miracle that foretold (and offered a way to prevent) the conflicts that killed millions in the twentieth century. Wars and terrorism have rendered the first years of our new century no less bloody. Has God now abandoned us? Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know finds the answer in history."

Since so many different topics are covered in this book I’m going to make this a very short review by saying that Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know was great.
The thing I liked most about this book would have to be how the author, Diane Mozcar, made a book based on ten dates that are very prominent in history come across as interesting and not dry in the least bit.
While the whole book is really good certain parts have stuck more in my mind then others, like, the chapter about Fatima. It was by far one of my favorite things to read about in the book.

Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know earns 5 out of 5 pineapples for taking a potentially boring read and making it hard to put down.
Orchid2
_________________________________
1. Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Kkow was borrowed from Holland.
2. I do believe that this is my shortest review ever (it’s only 88 words long).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wish List Wednesday (5)

After finding that she is the lost princess of Roumania and the mythical White Tyger, Miranda's fate is still uncertain. The ghosts of her enemies cluster about her, the insane spirit of the Baroness takes possession of her body for a time, and demons released by her mother are abroad. Through it all her heart calls out to Peter, whom she has come to love, and to her best friend Andromeda. Any answers may lie only in the hidden world of spirits, where death is but an inconvenience, and Miranda is the most powerful creature of all: the White Tyger.

Why: Because it's the last book in the series and I've been putting off getting it for, like, two years. But now I'm dying to no how it ends.

Orchid

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Society of S

Author: Susan Hubbard
Title: The Society of S1
Publication Date: 2007
Number of Pages: 320
Genre: YA/Fiction
Synopsis: “What if everything you knew about your family was a lie: What if, when the lies began to crack, beneath them lay a truth so dark and deep, yet so compelling, that it pulled you inside? The Society of S, a taut, character-driven literary mystery, is the future of vampirism, told in a voice that will haunt you—-and make you think."


The Society of S was okay, not the best book I have ever read, but not so bad that I would consider boycotting the sequel or another book by the same author.
The reason why The Society of S was just an okay book would have to be that the pace was entirely too slow, it took me three days to read a three-hundred page book, and that the main character was boring and weird, but not in an interesting way. Plus she spent more time by herself without interacting with other characters, which in my opinion makes for a dull read.
While the plot had promise, hence why I picked it up, it could have used more action and less of Ari referring to herself in the third person (in her head none the less).
I felt that the book wasted a great opportunity to quicken its pace, after a murder in Ari’s neighborhood, because frankly the story kind of fizzled out around there. Because when the murder happened I was like, yes, the stories about to really get going, but then it just staled out and became anticlimactic.
Although it was still a pretty good read once you get used to the slow pace. The characters were okay and they were definitely different from one another. The story also had an interesting concept.
Like I have already said, my least favorite part of the book was the slow pace; it’s been so long since I read it that I cannot recall a scene that I would mark as my favorite.
The Society of S was good, but might be more enjoyable to you, than it was for me.

The Society of S earns 3 out of 5 pineapples.
Orchid
___________________________________________
1. The Society of S was borrowed from the library.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (40)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.


Library:
Author: Kate Brian
Title: Private
Series: Private (book 1)
Publication Date: 2006
Synopsis: "Tradition, Honor, Excellence . . . and secrets so dark they're almost invisible.

Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in. Until she meets the Billings Girls."

Author: Kathleen Duey
Title: Skin Hunger
Series: A Resurrection of Magic (book 1)
Publication Date: 2007
Synopsis: "Sadima lives in a world where magic has been banned, leaving poor villagers prey to fakes and charlatans. A "magician" stole her family's few valuables and left Sadima's mother to die on the day Sadima was born. But vestiges of magic are hidden in old rhymes and hearth tales and in people like Sadima, who conceals her silent communication with animals for fear of rejection and ridicule. When rumors of her gift reach Somiss, a young nobleman obsessed with restoring magic, he sends Franklin, his lifelong servant, to find her. Sadima's joy at sharing her secret becomes love for the man she shares it with. But Franklin's irrevocable bond to the brilliant and dangerous Somiss traps her, too, and she faces a heartbreaking decision."

Author: Jack Higgins
Title: Sure Fire
Series: Rich and Jade (book1 )
Publication Date: 2006
Synopsis: "For twins Rich and Jade, their lives have just been turned upside down. When their mother is tragically killed in a car crash, their long-lost father, John Chance, appears to collect them at the funeral. He's a bachelor who lives on his own, and it's clear that Rich and Jade aren't welcome. But when Chance suddenly disappears, Rich and Jade uncover the truth: He's a spy. And now, whoever kidnapped their father is after them, too. Sure Fire is a gripping adventure from the master of the modern thriller."

Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: White is for Magic
Series: Blue Is for Nightmares (book 2)
Publication Date: 2004
Synopsis: "A year has passed since Stacey Brown saved her best friend from a horrible death. Now she's having nightmares again, haunted by ghosts of the brutally murdered . . . and by a crazed stalker. As she desperately casts healing spells, a new student named Jacob enters her world. Beautiful and mysterious, he reveals that he is also having dreams. To stop a killer, they must join together. But can Jacob be trusted? Or will this new love cause her darkest dreams to come true?"

This week I have decided to finally read White is for Magic, which I have been putting off for ages and to try Private. So far White is for Magic is pretty good.
Although, the book I'm most excited about reading this week would have to be Skin Hunger, I can't wait to start it. Sure Fire sounded intersting so I pick it up to round out my options for the remainder of the week.
Hope y'all had an awesome book week. :)

Orchid
Side note: All books were borrowed from the library.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Charmed Life

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Title: Charmed Life1
Series: The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (book 1)
Publication Date: 1977
Number of Pages: 216
Genre: Fantasy/YA
Synopsis: “Cat doesn't mind living in the shadow of his sister, Gwendolen, the most promising young witch ever seen on Coven Street. But trouble starts brewing the moment the two orphans are summoned to live in Chrestomanci Castle."

I absolutely adored reading Charmed Life, the first book in Diana Wynne Jones’s the Chronicles of Chrestomanci, it was an incredibly fast paced read and one her best works that I have read.
Cat was by far my favorite character in the book. I liked him because he seemed so lost for the majority of the book, and then he came into his own near the end of the book. On the other hand, I couldn’t stand his sister, Gwendolyn; she was truly a horrible person, especially with the way that she used Cat to further her own agenda.
Although it was pretty easy to guess what was going to happen at certain points in the book; I don’t know if they were just obvious or maybe I just managed to piece them together before the big reveal.
My favorite part of Charmed Life would have to be the final battle between the good guys and the bad guys. I liked that part because it had the most action and because Cat finally did something cool.
My least favorite part of the book would have to be how easily Cat let himself be pushed around for the majority of the book, but he totally made up for it in the end.
Charmed Life was an excellent read that I’d recommend to anyone wanting to give Diana Wynne Jones or fantasy books a try.

Charmed Life earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
Orchid
______________________________________________
1. Charmed Life was borrowed from the library.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wish List Wednesday (4)

Runaway by Meg Cabot
Emerson Watts is on the run: from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself.

With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can't explain, and nothing but the live Stark Angel fashion show on New Year's Eve to look forward to, Em's reached the end of her rope. . .what's the point of even going on?

Why? Because I absolutely love this series and cannot wait to see how it ends. Plus I also think that it's one of Meg Cabot's best works.

Orchid

P.S.
I'm still alive. Last week was so hectic, being that it was Holy Week. It was such a long, busy week that I didn't even have the time or energy to read. Oh well, It was great and I hope to have more posts up soon. Happy (belated) Easter.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Armageddon Summer

Author: Jane Yolen with Bruce Coville
Title: Armageddon Summer1
Publication Date: 1999
Number of Pages: 272
Genre: YA/Fiction
Synopsis: The world will end on Thursday, July 27, 2000. At least, that's what Reverend Beelson has told his congregation. Why should the world end now, when Jed and Marina, two teenagers with more attitude than faith, have just fallen in love? Told in alternating chapters from both Jed's and Marina's points of view, this is a story about faith and friendship, love and loss...and the things that matter most at the end of the world."

Armageddon Summer is another one of those books that I have read before, just not in a few years.
One of the things I liked about this book was how it was told from the viewpoint of both of the main characters (Marina and Jed) and the little excerpts (of Reverend Beelson's sermons, which were kind of creepy) that were thrown in.
The best thing about the interchanging chapters was that on one hand you had Marina was a believer who was beginning to have her doubts about the “coming” end of the world; while on the other you had Jed who didn’t believe that the world was about to end and was only there to look out for his dad. I think it made the story that much better with the differing viewpoints.
Once they get up on the mountain top to wait for judgment day and for the 160th person to show up, things got considerably creepy, especially when the electric fence goes up and they are pretty much prisoners with no way to escape. Not that the majority of them wanted to leave.
I don’t really have a favorite part of Armageddon Summer, it was at times a little odd, but still one of the most memorable books I have ever read.
My least favorite part of the book was when the reader, me, was introduced to the fact that after the world had “ended” of the, I can’t remember how many people that were “left”, the women and girls of sixteen would become the in essence Eves and would be paired up to repopulate the earth; which was totally gross, since most of the men weren’t exactly young or even moderately young.
Armageddon Summer is definitely one of the best books I have read by Jane Yolen; yet it is also very different from her Pit Dragon series. While a great book Armageddon Summer might not be suitable for younger readers.

Armageddon Summer earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
Orchid
___________________________________________
1. Armageddon summer was borrowed from the library.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In My Mailbox (39) ... I'm Still Alive

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.


Library:
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Seeker- William Nicholson
Stolen- Vivian Vande Velde
The Off Season- Catherine Gilbert Murdock
The Restless Dead- M. T. Anderson, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Herbie Brennan, Nancy Etchemendy, Annette Curtis Klause, Kelly Link, Deborah Noyes, Marcus Sedgwick, and Chris Wooding
Death In the Air- Shane Peacock
The Reminder- Rune Michaels

Borrowed:
Rowan of Rin- Emily Rodda (borrowed from Dahlia)
Saint Augustine's The Confessions (borrowed from my Mom)

Guess what? I just found my memory card, so now I can post reviews from my library. yay!
I have already read all of the books in this weeks IMM, and let me tell you they were all great. I'll try to check out everyone elses IMM's at some point. Hope y'all have had a great week.

Orchid

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dragonsong

Author: Anne McCaffrey
Title: Dragonsong1
Series: Harper Hall (book 1)
Publication Date: 1976
Number of Pages: 244
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: “On the planet Pern, after her father forbids her to indulge in music in any way, fifteen-year-old Menolly, runs away and takes shelter with the planet's fire lizards who, along with her music, open a new life for her."


Dragonsong was just as good as I remembered it being the first time that read it a few years back, although I think I probably enjoyed reading it more this time around then last.
While Menolly was treated pretty badly by the other girls in Dragonsinger, I felt worse for her in Dragonsong then I did in Dragonsinger.
There was only one thing about the book that I didn’t recall as clearly as the rest of it, and that would be that I thought she ran away earlier on in the book. Oh well.
My favorite part of Dragonsong would have to be when Menolly finds herself too far from her shelter and has to out run Thread. Well, we all know from the synopsis of the second book that she survives, so I don’t feel bad about putting it as my favorite part of the book.
My least favorite part of the book would have to be when her father gives her a lashing for making her “twiddles” when she was supposed to be teaching the kids while their Hold waited for a new Harper. It was my least favorite part because he was embarrassed that someone would tell the Harper that a girl was teaching in his Hold.
Dragonsong was definitely worth, the long, wait; it is also, in my personnel opinion, a great place to jump into Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books.

Dragonsong earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

Orchid
_________________________________________
1. Dragonsong was borrowed from the library.

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