Monday, May 31, 2010

My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Title: My Double Life
Author: Janette Rallison
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Teen Fiction
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: When eighteen-year-old Lexi of Morgantown, West Virginia, becomes the body double of a famous pop star, she discovers that the girl she is replacing is actually her half-sister, and that their father is a famous rock star. (King County Library System)
Opinions: I LOVE Janette Rallison! Not only that, but this is one of the best books she has ever written. Lexi is a likeable interesting character. She has grown up poor and not knowing who her father is. But when she is asked to become the body double for famous pop star Kari Kingsley, she puts two and two together and realizes her father is Alex Kingsley famous lead singer of The Journey Men. In the book you see Lexi learning who she is and who she wants to be and whether or not she needs a father to be all she wants to be. This is a FABULOUS book, that I couldn't put down.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Wedding Planner's Daughter by Coleen Paratore

Title: The Wedding Planner's Daughter
Author: Coleen Paratore
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Adore
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: Willa, a romantic girl who wants a father, tries to find a husband for her mother, Cape Cod's most popular wedding planner. Twelve-year-old Willa Havisham is a classics reader, a cherry-cordial eater, and quite possibly the world's worst wisher. But when she and her glamorous single mother, Stella, move to Bramble, Cape Cod, Willa's wishes are beginning to come true: She makes her first-ever best friend, Tina. She bonds with her hip, candy-making nana. And best of all, steely Stella is falling for Willa's English teacher, Sam -- he's perfect dad material! But before Willa can marry off her mother, or dance with her adorable crush, Joseph, a pit gets stuck in the wishing well.... Can Willa undo the damage before Stella misses her chance to say "I do"? Find out as Coleen Murtagh Paratore unveils humor, hope, and lots of love in one hopelessly romantic modern fairy tale!
Opinions: This book was not what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a light fluffy read. However, it had a much deeper layer of a young girl who wants a father and wants her mother to be happy. I have to say that Coleen Papatore is excellent at developing fun and interesting minor characters that supplement the story nicely. I have to admit that there was a moment when I cried, so it wasn't all light fluffy fun. However, it was pleasant and enjoyable and I had a good time reading this book.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Teen Fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school...that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, Gallagher Academy might posit itself as a school for geniuses but what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher girl falls for a boy who doesn't have a code name? Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women hasn't prepared her for what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her school (it's really not a last resort place for snooty heiresses with nowhere else to go), her family (her mother is a retired spy and headmistress of the school for goodness sake) or her life (daughter of spy royalty and destined for great things)? (King County Library System)

Opinions: I randomly picked up an ARC of this book when I was working for a book distributer with dozens (okay- hundreds) of other books. Slowly, I worked my way through the pile, (okay- still working on it). I decided to read this one on a trip I was taking with my husband. I was sitting on the plane reading it and burst out laughing. Not once or twice, but many times. It was hysterical to me. It is funny and quirky and totally fun. Cammie and her friends attend an all girl school for spies in training and yet they don't understand boys. Liz, Bex and Macey all try to help Cammie figure it out by using their tried and true spy skills, which leads to an unforgettable climax. Ally Carter is a great writer and this is totally a FabulousRead.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Title: Frindle
Author: Andrew Clements
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: When he decides to turn his fifth grade teacher's love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control. (King County Library System)
Opinions: I have long been a lover of this book. It is short and a super quick read, but I still get chills every time I read it. If you didn't already know, I am a lover of the written word. I am fascinated by language and this book is about the evolution of the word "frindle". A young boy decides to invent a new word and this book shows where the word goes and how he soon loses ownership of it. It is a beautifully written book with fabulous characters, especially Nick and Mrs. Granger. This is the best book Andrew Clements has written and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Title: Out of My Mind
Author: Sharon M. Draper
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: none
Premise: Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. (King County Library System)
Opinions: I didn't know what this book was about when I started reading it. I needed something to read and I picked it up. Wow. The beginning page is stellar and immediately hooked me. Melody has cerebral palsy and cannot speak. She can't tell her parents she loves them or what her favorite color is. She can't communicate what she wants for dinner or that she likes sparkly clothes. Everyone assumes she is stupid, but Melody is brilliant. She has a photographic memory and absorbs knowledge like a sponge. Then when she discovers and aquires a device that will allow her to speak for the first time, a whole new world opens up to her. Yet still people make assumptions about her and try to label her.

This is a moving story that will have you thinking about how you treat others and how you value the people around you. It was beautifully and respectfully done. I was very impressed with this FabulousRead, and hope you are too.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston

Title: Agent in Old Lace
Author: Tristi Pinkston
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: LDS Adult Mystery
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: Shannon Tanner s perfect life is turned on end when she discovers her boyfriend, Mark, is not what he seems. Fearing for her safety, she enlists the FBI, who puts its best man on the job Rick Holden, who dons a dress and goes undercover as Shannon s roommate. For a while it seems that life is safe again, until Mark kidnaps Shannon s best friend. Shannon realizes the only way to save her friend and herself is to send Rick, her only protection, away. Agent in Old Lace is a thrilling combination of action, suspense, and romance that will keep you turning the pages until the end. (PG Library System)
Opinions: I actually got introduced to Tristi Pinkston through an on-line chat group long before I learned that she was a published author. So I was excited to take the opportunity to read one of her books. Agent in Old Lace was released last year to the LDS market. As a fan of mystery books, I really loved reading it, though I had some difficulty at first. The difficulty revolves around the fact that the bad guy was supposedly a good upstanding Mormon. In my brain, that didn't jive. But then I realized, the more that I read, that just because you belong to (or say that you belong to) a certain religion does not mean that you live the standards that religion teaches. It is the person, not the religion, who has chosen to take the wrong path. Once I realized that, then I was able to thoroughly enjoy reading this book.

I love Shannon as a character as she does not just sit by and play the victim, but does what she can to help herself out of the situation. I also really love the various law enforcement officers, especially Rick. The relationship that builds over time between him and Shannon is fantastic and they are able to find humor where it is needed while trying to capture the man who has been steadily destroying Shannon and her family. For mystery lovers out there who are tired of overly violent novels. This is a fun, clean read and I highly recommend it.