Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Janette Rallison

Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Teen Chick Lit

Okay, so last post was a little departure. This one is a HUGE ONE!!

I recently had a baby and I like to read nice happy books right after I have a baby. I think that is has something to do with the hormones, but whatever. So I went to my library and started looking for some fluffy, happy books to read. That was when I discovered Janette Rallison. I adore her! Her books are light and fun and SO FUNNY!!!

I am going to be getting "Just One Wish" in at the library this week, and will probably post a reveiw of it once I get it. I also and hoping my library will buy "My Fair Godmother" but we'll see.

So I am a lazy bum and don't want to do individual posts for all of the books of hers that I've read, so here is a list with their premises. They are all clean and all wonderful. I'm listing them in the order that I liked them the most. Starting with the most awesome.

It's a Mall World After All- While working at the mall, organizing a school fundraiser, and trying to prove that her best friend's boyfriend is seeing another girl, high-school student Charlotte's best intentions always seem to backfire

All's Fair in Love, War and High School-When head cheerleader Samantha Taylor does poorly on the SAT exam, she determines that her only hope for college admission is to win the election for student body president, but her razor wit and acid tongue make her better suited to dishing out insults than winning votes.

Life, Love and the Pursuit of Free Throws-High school freshmen Josie and Cami try to remain best friends as they compete for basketball awards and boys.

How to Take the Ex- out of Ex-Boyfriend-Giovanna rashly breaks up with her boyfriend Jesse when he refuses to help her twin brother with his campaign for Student Council president, but fixing her mistake may be more difficult for her than she realizes.

Revenge of the Cheerleaders-High school cheerleader Chelsea seeks revenge against her younger sister's rock-and-roller boyfriend after he embarrasses her once too often, but when she falls for his older brother, things become really complicated.

Fame, Glory and Other Things on My To Do List-High school junior Jessica uses the arrival of a new boy to further her schemes of winning her ex-boyfriend back and becoming the next big Hollywood movie star.

Playing the Field-Thirteen-year-old McKay tries to keep up his algebra grade to stay on the baseball team, while dealing with his attraction to a girl named Serena

Things Trilogy by Andrew Clements

Titles: Things Not Seen, Things Hoped For, Things That Are

Author: Andrew Clements

Reviewer: Stephanie

Genre: Teen Science Fiction

Rating: Love

Alerts/Warnings: Things Hoped For is a little creepy.

Premise: Things Not Seen-When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.

Opinions: In a departure from our normal format, I decided to review an entire series. I read the first book "Things Not Seen" several years ago (2005), and loved it. Then in 2006 I read "Things Hoped For" and thought it was wonderful though creepy. Today I read "Things That Are" and felt satisfied.

The Things Trilogy (for lack of better terminology) is a wonderful series about Bobby, a boy who one day wakes up and is invisible. He can't explain it or figure out how this has occured or how to fix it. The first book is from Bobby's perspective. The second is from a girl (seemingly unrelated though SPOILER they are connected.) The third is from Bobby's friend who is blind.

I LOVE this series. I find the ideas behind invisibility interesting and the reprecushions of making someone invisible and then visible repeatedly highly fascinating and a interesting dilemna. I also love that Bobby meets Alicia, a blind girl. The connection of a boy who can see but can't be seen with a girl who can be seen but can't see is wonderful and meaningful to both of these characters.

I would say that the second book did creep me out. Not a little bit, but a lot. (Take it for what you will, I get creeped out easily and with my hyper-active imagination logic sometimes goes out the window.) However, now that I've read the last book, I would be completely willing to read the second one again, and i don't think that I would be as creeped out. (You never know though.)

The third book was wonderfully satisfying. All my questions and unresolved issues from the first two books were answered and resolved by the end of this book. It wasn't a nice neat package, but I like books that don't end in a nice neat package. I am very content with the ending.

This is a great series, and I highly recomend it to anyone that has ever thought about being invisible or thought they were being followed by an invisible person. (But I could be the only one that has ever been so freaked out that I was certain that an invisible person was after me. No, I'm not crazy (well maybe a little bit) I just was dreaming.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

Title: How to Ditch Your Fairy

Author: Justine Larbalestier

Reviewer: Stephanie

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Rating: Love

Alerts/Warnings: None

Premise: In a world in which everyone has a personal fairy who tends to one aspect of daily life, fourteen-year-old Charlie decides she does not want hers--a parking fairy--and embarks on a series of misadventures designed to rid herself of the invisible sprite and replace it with a better one, like her friend Rochelle's shopping fairy. (King County Library System)

Opinions: I thought that this book was so funny. This is a world where almost everyone has a fairy that helps them with some aspect of life. (A loose-change fairy, a never-be-late fairy, a clothes-shopping fairy). Charlie has a parking fairy. Now if you are an adult, this sounds pretty awesome. But to 14 year old Charlie, it is the worst fairy ever. She is constantly being used so people can get good parking spots. Even to the point of kidnapping her.

I thought that it was delightful to read and I really enjoyed the characters and the premise. It also made me think about what type of fairy I would want. (Some of them sound great, others sound pretty obnoxious!) It wasn't super deep, but it was highly entertaining and I definitely recommend it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Title: Dragon Slippers

Author: Jessica Day George

Reviewer: Karen

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Rating: Fabulous

Alerts/Warnings: None

Premise: Orphaned after a fever epidemic, Creel befriends a dragon and unknowingly inherits an object that can either save or destroy her kingdom.(Pleasant Grove Library)

Opinions: This book was a fantastic read. I found the story fascinating. It takes on the whole "damsel in distress" idea and twists it to show a main character that is strong and willing do what needs to be done (not matter how silly or evil others around her may be). I highly recommend this for any teenager who needs to learn that girls/women do not have to sit by why someone else decides what road their life should take. I also fell absolutely in love with the dragons in this story. The descriptions of their characters and personalities really brought them to life to me and made me care what happened to them. Overall, I came away feeling that this was one of the best fantasy books I have read in a while. Jessica Day George did a FANTASTIC job and I look forward to reading more of her other works.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Title: Airhead

Author: Meg Cabot

Reviewer: Stephanie

Genre: Teen Fiction

Rating: Love

Alerts/Warnings: some very mild sexual referrences

Premise: Sixteen-year-old Emerson Watts, an advanced placement student with a disdain for fashion, is the recipient of a "whole body transplant" and finds herself transformed into one of the world's most famous teen supermodels.(King County Library System)

Opinions: I thought that this book was compelling and thought provoking. Not only was it fun to read but it made me think about ethical dilemas and problems. I loved the ideas behind becoming a new person, literally. The characters were likeable with very real emotions. I thought that Meg Cabot did a wonderful job at making her characters come to life. There was some mild sexual referrences and I would definately say it was a teen book. I loved it and am excited that there is a sequel coming out later this year. (I think this summer.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Farwalker's Quest by Joni Sensel

Title: The Farwalker's Quest

Author: Joni Sensel

Reviewer: Stephanie

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: WORSHIP!!!

Alerts/Warnings: some very mild violence, though nothing graffic or disturbing

Premise: When twelve-year-old Ariel and her friend Zeke find a mysterious artifact which has not been seen in a long time, it proves to be the beginning of a long and arduous journey that will untimately reveal to them their true identities. (King County Library System)

Opinions: I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! It caught my interest right from the beginning and kept it right to the very end. I usually have some guesses and premonitions about where a story will go, but not with this one. I kept getting surprised (in a good way). The characters were intruiging and complicated and human. I can't think of anything that I disliked about this book. It was a breath of fresh air and a treat to read.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

Title: The Candy Shop War
Author: Brandon Mull
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mid Grade Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: When fifth-graders Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon meet the owner of the new candy store in town and are given a magical candy that endows them with super powers, they find that along with its benefits there are also dangerous consequences. (King County Library System)
Opinions: This is a fun read. The writing is a little simple, but is perfect for the pre-teen readers out there to read on their own. One of the best parts of this book is that the villains are not stupid. They are intelligent and they force the heroes to step far out of their comfort zone to deal with situations that would try an adult. This is a fun and imaginative read and I definitely recommend it if you are trying to gets your kids to enjoy reading.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Title: Palace of Mirrors
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: Fourteen-year-old Cecilia has always known she is the true princess of Suala, but when she and her best friend, Harper, decide to speed up her ascendancy to the throne, they find danger and many imposters who challenge her claim. (King County Library System)
Opinions: This book is fun and interesting. It is somewhat a sequel to "Just Ella". Suala is a country at war and the life of the princess was threatened at her birth. So she was hidden away. Cecilia has always known that she was the true princess and when she tries to ascend the throne, a whole mess ensues.

This book has likable characters and is fun and quick to read, although a little slow at the beginning. The ending was a little predictable, but I still really enjoyed reading it.