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Archive for December, 2008

  I read this book because I thought it might be good for Battle of the Books.  Plus, I haven’t read much realistic fiction lately so I figured I should catch up some.  It might also be because I didn’t read either of the Moxy Maxwell books and feel a mite guilty.  Anyway, this book is about a girl names Violet, her best friends Lottie and Edddie, and a new girl names Melissa.  Violet does not like Melissa from the start.  She is from Detroit and acts all crazy about boys and make-up.  When Lottie starts hanging out with her all the time, Violet gets very angry.  Basically, this is a coming of age story in which Violet is not quite ready to grow-up but hte people around her are.  I liked it well enough, but had a hard time placing the time period.  The cover does not really give too many details since it is fairly ambiguous.  It could be now or it could be from long ago.  All in all, while I was not head over heels for this book, I think it would appeal to lots of kids.

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Cyberia by Chris Lynch

  I’m not sure if I like this book.  Part of my feels like I do, but then when I reflect on what actually happened in the book, I am a bit disappointed.  Zane lives in a techno-wired world.  When his dad gives him this new techno toy, Zane discovers it lets him speak to animals.  His dog Hugo informs him that something is horribly wrong and only he can save the animals from being destroyed.  I did not realize that it was book one in a series and maybe that is why I feel like nothing was really accomplished in this book.  I don’t really care what happens, but could see some kids that would be interested in the series.

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In the third book in her sidhe-seer series, Moning goes an even darker route than her last book.  MacKayla is still trying to hunt down the Sinsar Dubh and learns more about herself, Barrons, V’lane, and the book.  While I enjoyed this book, it was also deeply disturbing.  Barrons gives MacKayla lessons on how to withstand The Voice (meaning someone can command you to do anything) so she can resist the Lord MAster (bad guy who killed her sister).  It reminded me of the occlumency lessons Snape gave Harry.  Those didn’t work out so well either.  In any event, MacKayla does gather some allies to her side, but the book ends on  Samhain (otherwise known as Halloween) when the veil between the Unseelie prison and the mortal realm is weakest.  Let’s just say the book does not end on a high note, but Moning does not leave the reader totally bereft.  She offers as a note at the end the consolation that things will get better.  I can’t see how, but I guess she knows best.

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A Match Made in High School I requested an ARC of this book since it seemed to relate to a  teen relationship class I teach.  It was hysterically funny,  so much so that my husband kept asking me what was so funny as I was reading it out loud.  Walker has nailed this one on the head and I will definitely be using it in the class I teach.  It is about a senior class that is required to go through a year of Marriage Education in order to graduate.  Fiona Sheehan is paired up with star athlete Todd Harding.  They are “married” in a fake ceremony along with the rest of their classmates and then the misery begins.  First off, Fiona has a major crush on Gabe who happens to be “married” to Todd’s girlfriend.  Todd decides that for their shared activity, Fiona should be the cheerleading squads water girl.  Meanwhile, they are playing these horrific prans on each other while Fiona’s mother is trying to get the school to stop the whole program.  While very funny, this book is also insightful and touching.  I highly recommend it.  A cut above your average YA book!

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 Having not read Shakespeare’s Secret, Broach’s debut novel, I didn’t know what to expect of her writing style.  After reading it, I know her books are ones I will continue to search out and read as they are published.  Masterpiece is a funny, touching story about friendship and art.  Marvin, a beetle, feels sorry for James, the boy who lives in the same house as Marvin and his relatives.  When James is given a pen and ink set by his Dad for his birthday, Marvin decides to surprise him with a drawing.  James is surprised all right, but before he can hide the drawing, his mom finds it and thinks her son is an art prodigy.  His dad, a professional artist, takes him to the met to see some other pen and ink drawings and it is there that James becomes embroiled in a plot to save a painting.  Meanwhile, Marvin is getting a taste of life outside the house and is loving it.  He and James become good friends though they can’t talk to each other and have many wonderful adventures throughout the book.  This is the type of book that would be great for someone who liked Chasing Vermeer, but personally, I liked it better.

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Book Cover Eve Dallas is back in her 29th mystery.  This time, a priest is killed while drinking the wine at a funeral mass.  But things are not always what they seem and soon Eve is up to her eyeballs in a murder that keeps getting more nad more complicated.  Things with her and Roarke are great in this book, although he doesn’t play as big a role in the case this time around.  I, personally, think that’s a good thing.  I mean if he is supposed to be this megabillionaire, can he really keep skipping work to play detective with his wife?  I know it’s fiction, but still.  Anyway, this book was also a nice break from some of the past ones when Eve’s life or the life of someone she knows is threatened.  Or the killer is on a killing spree and she has to track him down.  All in all, I thought it was a solid offering for the series.

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Yet again I did not realize this was part of a series about a bunch of men making a bet to see who would marry last.  This is the final book in the quartet and tells the tale of the Earl of Norcroft.  We learn early on that Lady Kathleen MacDavid must marry the Earl in order to break a curse on their families.  Unfortunately, she falls from the train on her way to talk to him (no, he does not know she was coming) and gets amnesia.  The Earl is suspicious, Kathleen (called Kate by the Earl) is frustrated because she can’t remember anything, and the Earl’s mother is delighted to have an eligible young lady about.  The Earl and Kate end up spending time together, getting to know each other and falling in love.  Then tragedy strikes when Kate remembers everything and is afraid to tell the Earl for fear he will think she has been lying this whole time.  Hilarity ensues and all is resolved by the end.  What is interesting about this book is that the Earl’s mom and Kathleen’s aunt and grandmother all dabble in magic a bit and the reader is left wondering if the amnesia and some of the other events were caused by magic.  That is never really resolved, but was not really a main point of the story.

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