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Archive for December, 2007

I happened to pick this book up at a bookstore the other day so I would have something to read while my husband went shopping.  I love books about vampires and this one looked good.  I have to say that I loved it! I have found a great new vampire series and I am delighted.  The book’s cover does not reveal how witty and laugh out loud funny the book it.  The Accidental Vampire is the story of Elvi Black (formerly Ellen Stone) who was turned into a vampire by accident on a trip to Mexico.  Elvi and her friends (all mortals) watch cheesy movies to find out what Elvi needs to do, but as many of them are getting older (most are in their 60s), they decide to help Elvi out by finding her a mate, a vampire mate to be specific.  After placing an ad in the paper, they incur the wrath of the council for having outed the vamprie community.  Luckily, Victor Argeneau is sent and soon realizes that they are not trying to flout the laws because no one there knew they existed.  Soon Elvi has a troop of men following her around to see what she will do next.  This takes conventional vamprie myths and turns them on their ear.  Added to that is a town full of people who would do anything to protect their own hometown vampire.  It is a wonderfully sweet story, but also very funny.  Now I just have to go read the rest of the series to see if they are as good as this one! I can’t wait!!!!

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If I had known this was the second book in the series, I would never have picked it up first, but, alas, I did not.  Luckily it was easy to catch onto what had happened previously.   Meet Sarah Dearly, a recently turned vampire who is dating a master named Thierry.  Do to an unfortunate incident with a gun in which she kills a vampire hunter, Sarah is now known as the Slayer of Slayers.  Unfortunately, she has no special abilities and no way to defend herself against hunters that now want to prove they can take down the Slayer of Slayers (did I mention that her killing the other hunter was just pure dumb luck?)  So Thierry gives her a couple of bodyguards to watch over her.  But that is not the worst of Sarah’s problems.  Her apartment is bombed, Thierry is pulling away from her, and her friend Quinn keeps hitting on her.  Surely Sarah has it all under control, right?  Well if not she can act with the best of them.  This is a fun beach read type book (unless you are a vampire of course) and was cute if not wholly engrossing.  I may pick up the others in the series to see what happens, but it is not a series that I think I will become obsessed with.

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Percy is back in the their installment of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  Things have gone from bad to worse and now the goddess Artemis has disappeared just like Annabeth.  A quest is set down by the Oracle, but Percy is not one of the ones who gets to go at first.  But thanks to a malady that befalls one of the questors, Percy gets to go.  This book is there things really come to a head.  The gods cannot ignore the fact that Kronos is rising again.  They need the heroes more than ever, but one of them could mean their end forever.  We meet more gods in this book including Apollo, Artemis, and Aphrodite.  The gods are just as capricious as they were in the original tales, but it seems so much harsher in a modern setting set against the kindness of Percy.  This book feels like it is really launching the series.  The first two were exposition somewhat and to give readers a taste of Percy, but in this one it feels like the main course.  Now there is a purpose and reason to what is happening and it is up to Percy to go out and do some pretty hard stuff.  I can’t wait for the next one (and I won’t wait as long to read it!)

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In this funky, fun new series, meet Toby Klein, a rebel hacker who hangs on the fringes of high school. But after being issued an invitation to be on the varsity cheerleading squad, her life is about to change….big time.  Having always thought of the cheerleaders as ditzy, dumb blonds, Toby is amazed to discover that they are an elite group of CIA operatives.  Of course they are perfect because who would suspect a cheerleader?  So Toby undergoes a Stage 6 makeover and becomes “one of them.”  Suddenly she is popular beyond belief and going on covert missions.  Toby likes the spy aspect much more than the cheering/ popularity part, but she slowly gets a handle on it.  Before she knows it she cannot imagine life before The Squad (she freaks because she thinks she is turning into a true cheerleader at one point).  This is a great mix of action/adventure and high school drama.  Barnes does a great job of mixing the action and romance/drama of high school.  Once you think about it, the cover of cheerleaders as operatives makes so much sense.  By picking the loner girl to turn into a cheerleader, Barnes lends a great deal of irony to the story.  It is a great new series, but of course once more I have read the advanced reading copies and so will have to wait for them to come out which isn’t til April and then wait even longer than that to actually see more in the series!!!!!

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Percy Jackson is back in the sequel to The Lightning Thief.  I had not read the net two books in the series because I felt I should go back and re-read the first, but now I have and so I read the next two.  In this book, Percy has almost made it through a year at school without any incidents.  But on the last day of school he has a bad dream about his friend and satyr, Grover, and then gets into a fight with some nasty monsters and sets the school on fire.  After heading back to Camp Half-Blood, Percy discovers that Grover is in serious trouble.  But things are wrong at the Camp and Chiron, the training master, has been fired for supposedly poisoning the camp. Now Tantalus, who used to reside in Hades, is in charge.  When Percy tells him of Grover, he does not send Percy as Percy plans, but sends Clarisse instead.  So Percy does the only thing  he can think of, he sneaks out with his half brother/ cyclops, Tyson, and his friend and daughter of Athena, Annabeth.  Soon they are battling monsters, stealing the Golden Fleece, and  fighting for their lives.  In this action packed adventure, Riordan does not disappoint with the stories he  started in Lightning Thief.

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Holm has done a great job with Babymouse and she does not disappoint here.  This is the story of Ginny Davis, a 7th grader, who is having a rough year.  Told through To Do lists, IMs, homework, notes, letters, and report cards, you delve into the world of Ginny and all the trials and tribulations of being in middle school.  The format reminds me of the Regarding the Fountain books by Klise.  Kids are always asking for books in this format, but there jsut aren’t a lot out there.  Though this book seems light and funny, it does have a serious undertone.  Ginny is happy, but life at home is not perfect and slowly as the year progresses, her grades and attitude slip.  Luckily she has her fairy godmother (her grandpa), her friends, and a couple teachers.  This is a rough year not only because it is 7th grade, but also because Ginny acquires a stepfather and her brother turns into a juvenile delinquent.  That would stress any girl out.  I am always surprised by how much you can learn about a character from books like this since there is not narration, you have to draw the conclusions yourself.  I really loved reading about Ginny’s life and hope that we get to heard what happens next.

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I thought this looked like an interesting non-fiction book that would be filled with interesting information.  Unfortunately, it was poorly written and confusing.  The book reads like a list of princesses without giving any information that girls might be interested in.  The princesses come across as these cutout people without interests of their own.  In addition, the author takes and mixes up contemporary and historical princesses.  You are never really sure that you are reading about the present or past.  Those should have been divided up.  There are little sidebars on most pages that give “details” about the lives of princesses, but sometimes they are narratives nad I am not sure if they are fictional or taken from a source since none are cited.  The layout is fun, but the writing is lackluster and will not grad young girls attention.  I was severely disappointed in this offering.

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