blo Teens Read and Write: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thanks and Teaser Tuesday 8/31/10

 First and foremost...

MEGA THANKS to all for your wonderful good wishes about our safety! We genuinely appreciate all the love and concern sent our way - 

Blogging Buddies are the BEST! 

And now, back to our regular programming...

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's what you do...
  • Grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select a few sentences from anywhere on the page
  • do not to include any SPOILERS!
  • make sure you tell the name of book and the author so we can add the book to our TBR pile!
 Dark Goddess
by Sarwat Chadda
pub: Jan 2011
page 10

The shape turned its long, lupine head and out of the darkness predatory green eyes glowed. Its snarl was deep and low, so elemental that the air quivered. Big Red stepped closer, dragging its long, still-bloody claws along the plaster, digging deep grooves along both walls. There was no way past it. Behind Billi was a window and a four-metre drop. She was trapped.

Creepy, huh? I just started reading this DEVIL'S KISS sequel it's looking good so far!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Surrounded by Fire!

Sorry we've been out of the loop but last week the mountains around our house caught fire and we had to evacuate! The firemen informed us while Jake and Mom were away so Gregory and I started the panic - I mean process of packing up. 

The computers went in the car first and we've been incommunicado ever since. We didn't have any damage and are getting things in order. We should return to normal in the next couple of days.

I did pick up MOCKINGJAY and read it. I'm hoping to get the review up soon! Sorry about not answering email or doing any commenting but we'll get to everything soon!

Thanks for understanding! Hope all is well with everyone!

Monday, August 23, 2010

SURE FIRE by Jack Higgins

Sure Fire
by Jack Higgins
Pub: October 2007/ Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 256

For fifteen-year-old 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. Dangerous, fast-paced and packed with action, Sure Fire is a gripping adventure from the master of the modern thriller.

SURE FIRE follows the adventures of Rich and Jade, twins who lost their mother in a tragic car accident. At the funeral a mysterious man appears who they quickly find to be their father. Forced to stay with him in his tiny apartment the twins start to discover things about him they would never have guessed and are thrown into a world of lies, guns, and explosions.

Sure Fire keeps you turning pages, loaded with action, adventure, deception, twists, humor, and lots of gun fights!

Rich is the more book smart of the two and Jade the more physically gifted. I gotta say I didn't like them at first, and not because they weren't automatically super spies, because they were obnoxious brats. But they eventually turn around and end up being awesome.

All secondary characters are outstanding  - a bunch of super-cool guys from the world of espionage. They all feel like they've been around the block and then back around the block to assassinate the target they just scouted out. 

Kind of like this, only less fluffy.

The situations in which Rich and Jade find themselves feel very real and not dramatically over-the-top, giving the book an epic yet non-campy feel. 

Fantastic start to a thrilling series, SURE FIRE is like The Bourne Identity with kids - a great read for anyone who likes exciting action-adventure that ends with a bang! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

YA Fantasy Showdown - Favorite Characters Battle It Out!

It's still going down! 

The first ever YA Fantasy Showdown. In celebration of Suzanne Collin’s final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, a group of bloggers are pitting some of the best-known characters in YA in the ultimate showdown. And you get to pick the winner.

You read the battles, evaluate the characters, and vote for who has the honor of moving on to the next round. It’s a tournament like you’ve never seen before (because there’s more). The authors have been asked to participate and advocate their character in writing their own version of the battle. It’s going to be truly epic. Or at least a good way to pass the time until Mockingjay comes out. It's been going on since August and 10 and our favorites are still in the running! 


Go check it out and see how your favorites are fairing!
And check out their Anouncements page for a chance to write a battle!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday – 8/18/10

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

by Kelly Keaton
Feb 22, 2011/Simon Pulse

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. 

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued. 

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of
New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her. 
Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed

What are you waiting for?

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaser Tuesday 8/17/10

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's what you do...
  • Grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select a few sentences from anywhere on the page
  • do not to include any SPOILERS!
  • make sure you tell the name of book and the author so we can add the book to our TBR pile!
Sure Fire
by Jack Higgins
Page 105

"So where are we going?" Chance asked as they turned onto a narrow road and headed away from the air base.
"No speak" The driver said again. 
"Is that far?"
The driver glared. Chance smiled back.

The Education of Bet
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Page 51

"A pub? I can't go in there!"
"Of course you can," Will said, steering me toward the doorway. "You're Will Gardener now, aren't you? And this is the sort of think Will Gardener does. It's what all the boys who go off to school do: we squirrel away our money, and, whenever possible, we sneak out at night and go to the local pub to smoke and drink. Come on, then."
He yanked me through the door.

What's Your Teaser?

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Monday, August 16, 2010


We've been yapping about the not new August book release (and soon to be movie) I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore (the 10,000 year old alien)  and now we're lucking enough to score two books to give . Thanks Jen!


Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real. Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.

And here's one of the most beautiful casts we've ever seen!
Alex Pettyfer (Beastly) - Alyssa says "He's so HOT" - , Dianna Argon (Glee) - Jake and Gregory say, "She's smokin'! - and Timothy Olyphant (Justified) - Honestly, we all love him (Jake and Gregory in a non-romantic sense) - if you haven't seen Justified on FX you need to.
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Gregory Soccer AvatarThe movie is set to release Feb 2011 - aka NOT soon enough! - but the book is available and how nice to visualize this bunch while you're reading!

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Friday, August 13, 2010


The Thirteenth Chime
by Emma Michaels
pub: Aug 13/Bokheim Publishing


No one knew of its existence until it was removed from the attic upstairs.
In a beautiful house that overlooks the sea, an antique clock has the power to change the course of their lives.

The power the clock resonates will not only force Destiny and ex-boyfriend David on a journey into the depths of one man's mind long dead, but into the mind of a man filled with hatred and bent on revenge.

With the only clues to the nature of the clock having disappeared into the sea, Destiny and David must retrace the steps the man had taken into the darkness, before they fall prey to the trap he had set in motion over half a century ago.

Hatred never dies. 


Destiny meets up with friend Steph for a relaxing vacation by the sea. Unfortunately, on their first night Steph and Steph's mom, Leslie, get attacked. Instead of contacting her fiance, Scott, for help, Destiny call's her ex, David, who is always good at solving problems. The police think it's a normal break-in but Destiny knows otherwise.

She witnessed some sort of presence come out of an antique grandfather clock and assault the women. While she's worried she sounds crazy, David is open to the idea of this type of thing - not so much ghosts as the someone experiencing intense emotion and the body leaving behind residue that super-sensitive people can sense. 
Destiny and David set out to find out the history of the clock which leads them to uncover a strange and twisted mystery - one they must solve before others get hurt. 

Other than the beginning attack, the pacing starts slow but picks up as Destiny and David uncover more clues and the danger escalates. Destiny is a likable character - smart and determined although she has trouble defining her feelings for David making her a bit wishy-washy on the relationship front. 

David is a clever, brave fellow, with an overwhelming need to take care of others, and is clearly still in love with Destiny. They explore their feelings but there's more confusion than romance happening here. Theirs is more of a deep fondness/friendship.

With a splash of paranormal, this is foremost a mystery and it really kept me guessing. I wasn't sure which way things were going and the final explanations while they made sense, genuinely caught me by surprise which I loved!
In the end this becomes more David's story than Destiny's - he gets more of the action, adventure, danger and unraveling of the clues. That was fine by me because David was an appealing guy. I'll be interested how the sequels go since I see David and his story as the more interesting focus in the future. 

 In general, I thought the writing could have been tighter - fewer adjectives, more showing, less telling. Something else that bogged the story down for me was every piece of dialogue having a tag telling me who was talking. Especially when there are only two people in the room, I don't need every line of dialogue followed by 'he said,' 'she said,' etc. I can figure out who's talking.  Admittedly, I read an ARC so these issues could have been cleared up in final edits. 
THE COVER: LOVE it! While the font seems a bit cartoonish for the drama that unfolds, I adore the eye, the clock inside and the color - gorgeous!

BOTTOMLINE: Slow to start but through clever sleuthing (yeah, don't I sound like Nancy Drew)  builds to exciting suspense and thrills. More friendship than romance, a smidgen of paranormal - and David would tell you it was all explained by science anyway! - an original premise and a mystery full of twists and turns I didn't see coming! 
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Emma Michaels was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, until she moved at eighteen to Washington State. Suddenly, the world was a new place filled with tall green trees that reached further for the sky with every moment, making her want to do the same. Ever since, she has tried to make her life something new and different from what it was before, pursuing her future career, setting high goals and reaching for them with every moment. With her Debut novel, The Thirteenth Chime being released August 13th 2010 and future releases planned Emma Michaels aspires to one day make it to the top ten of the New York Times Best Sellers List. With her fiancé at her side and her small white Chihuahua, Hope, she writes, reads, reviews and tries to live everyday to its fullest, whether in the pages of a good book or reaching out to others.

Emma Michaels on the Web:


Thursday, August 12, 2010

MANIFEST by Artist Arthur

by Artist Arthur
pub: Aug 1/Harlequin 
Teen Fiction
256 pages

When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City.

But Lincoln is nothing like Krystal imagined. The weirdness begins when Ricky Watson starts confiding in her. He's cute, funny, a good listener—and everything she'd ever want—except that he was killed nearly a year ago. Krystal's ghost-whispering talents soon lead other "freaks" to her door—Sasha, a rich girl who can literally disappear, and Jake, who moves objects with his mind. All three share a distinctive birthmark in the shape of an M and, fittingly, call themselves the Mystyx. They set out to learn what really happened to Ricky, only to realize that they aren't the only ones with mysterious powers. But if Krystal succeeds in finding out the truth about Ricky's death, will she lose him for good?


 MANIFEST combines paranormal, mystery and coming of age in a unique novel that has several supernatural elements and a delightful cast of characters.

I loved the cultural diversity of the characters and their different backgrounds and backstories. The mysterious origins of the paranormal powers is interesting and there are still answers to be had in sequels, but I got enough to find it intriguing. 

The plot is slow to develop - there is a lot of Krystal whining about her life and talking about her daily happenings - but the story picks up and becomes more fun as the mystery of Ricky's death ties in with other strange happenings. Krystal, Sasha and Jake work together and make a clever team.

Krystal complains a lot which made it hard to like her. Hey, it wasn't just me. Even Ricky, the dead guy, called her out for being a spoiled brat, rude to her mom and step-dad when they were trying to be nice and generally being a morose whiner who didn't appreciate her family. 

Her parents don't help. The adults won't tell her anything - "That's grown folk talk" - and keeping Krystal in the dark about their family situation, when she is obviously in emotional trouble, just isn't smart. Some of the family drama is resolved in the end but I wish Krystal's character had gotten less annoying sooner, and the adults had been brighter. 

The secondary characters are a treat - Ricky (dead guy), Sasha and Jake are all unique and engaging. Krystal has an adorable guy, Franklin, pursuing her and while the romance isn't developed here, it's sweet and looks good for the sequels. 

Be aware that the mystery and deaths revolve around teen exploitation but nothing is overt or explicit - anything revealed isn't more than you would see/hear in a news story.

THE COVER: I like it - especially because of the accurate portrayal of the main character. 
BOTTOM LINE: I would have enjoyed MANIFEST more if I liked Krystal better/sooner, but if you can get through her whining phase, the story picks up and the other characters make it worthwhile. Light on romance but original paranormal premise, a bit of magic and gripping mystery. The plot has a satisfying arc while leaving enough questions that I'm ready to find out what happens next!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday – 08/11/10

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

by Lauren DeStefano
March 22, 2010

What if you knew exactly when you would die? 

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. 

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home. 

by Andy Mulligan
Oct 2010

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

Raphael is a dumpsite boy. He spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash, sifting it, sorting it, breathing it, sleeping next to it.Then one unlucky-lucky day, Raphael-s world turns upside down. A small leather bag falls into his hands. It-s a bag of clues. It-s a bag of hope. It-s a bag that will change everything.Soon Raphael and his friends Gardo and Rat are running for their lives. Wanted by the police, it takes all their quick-thinking, fast-talking to stay ahead. As the net tightens, they uncover a dead man-s mission to put right a terrible wrong.And now it's three street-boys against the world..

What are you waiting for?

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