Jul 3, 2014

When I was in elementary school, I read many, many books on monsters and the paranormal. Books about ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, mummies, werewolves...and vampires. Outside of books, there wasn't a lot to see with vampires at the time. You might catch classic Universal monster movies or the later, bloodier Hammer horror movies on late night TV (assuming you could convince your parents to let you stay up that late). Scooby-Doo and other Saturday morning cartoons would have vampires (usually just cranky old men in costumes), there were some horror comics that had vampires in

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

By Holly Black
Rated by Bethany T.
Nov 16, 2013

When seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up hungover from a wild party at a remote farmhouse, surrounded by dead classmates, she thinks things can't get any worse...until she discovers a mysterious vampire named Gavriel chained up in the same room as her bitten ex-boyfriend Aiden, who is about to turn into a full-fledged bloodsucker at any moment.  Acting on impulse, she saves Gavriel and Aiden from the horde of vampires responsible for the massacre, and prepares to drive them to Coldtown--the quarantine zone where vampires mingle with humans in decadent parties that last for years, all broadcast on

The Crossover

By Kwame Alexander
Rated by Kate M.
Jun 24, 2014

Josh Bell, known as Filthy McNasty to those on the court, is one of top two players on his middle school basketball team. The other player is his twin brother, Jordan. The two are expected to become big stars as their father was an amazing basketball player before he retired, known to his fans as Da Man!
Filthy and Jordan are ready for an epic year on their team, taking them all the way to playoffs, when things are complicated by a new girl, who captures Jordan's eye and their father's heart problems. 
This book is an amazing example of poetry crossing all the boundaries! What a

Jun 8, 2016

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

My favorite thing about The Dark Days Club is the historical accuracy. It is very

Aug 5, 2016

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down

Mar 16, 2015

Hazel lives in an out-of-the-way town where faeries are real. The locals know enough lore to stay safe and be respectful, so for the most part the magical creatures leave them alone. Not so much with the tourists, who come because of the stories and to see the horned boy who has been sleeping, unchanged, in a glass coffin in the forest for generations and who sometimes end up dead. So everyone knows the fae are not to be messed with; sometimes it can't be avoided, though. Hazel and her family have had faerie contact in the past that has shaped them in ways they keep secret--sometimes secret

Dec 17, 2008

Are you looking for a good read this holiday season? The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is my new favorite. Frankie follows in her father's footsteps by attending the elite Alabaster boarding school. Her freshman year was relatively uneventful. With the help of her older sister she has managed to make a good group of friends that are slightly nerdy but still somewhat popular. At the begining of her Sophomore year Frankie is pining once more for the handsome Mathew Livingston. When he finally asks her out Frankie is swept up with the feeling of being popular. She

Oct 29, 2018

Raw and real.

Both the contents of the story and the telling. Macy's aggressive, powerful voice assaults and engages readers immediately from the first page. By the third, her actions emerge similarly:

His nostrils twitch.

Yeah. He's pissed.

"What you're not picking up on is how much is at stake here, Macy. Nobody's gonna give you a lollipop anymore just because you throw a tantrum."

"What did you say, motherfoe?" I throw my desk.

The other kids hide under their desks like it's a tornado drill. Teacher Man pushes the office button. I'm going. Don't even need to give me a

Jun 11, 2018

Cameron and his mother have been on the run for years. But every time they begin to feel safe, his father catches up with them, and they have to leave for a new place and start over again. But this time is different. The old farmhouse they have moved to is full of disturbing secrets from the past. And they won’t leave Cameron alone.

This is a great little book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a ghost story that has some creepiness, but is one of those that you feel good about when everything is finally revealed.

People who are not fans of super scary books will like this one.


The Doubt Factory

By Paolo Bacigalupi
Rated by Chris K.
Nov 4, 2015

Alix's exclusive school is targeted by an anonymous group of vandals who turn out to be radical activists out to get her father, putting her and her family in danger. The group claims that Alix's powerful father helps corporations that knowingly allow innocent victims to die in order to make enormous profits from unsafe products cover up their wrongdoings, and they want her to help blow the whistle on his misdeeds.

This is an exciting, high-tech mystery-thriller in which orphaned activists go after the corporations that have contributed to the deaths of their families.

This is a

Mar 9, 2016

Good, but not great. Published thirteen years ago, it doesn't quite hold up today. Ginny is unbelievably pathetic throughout most of the story, and only toward the Hollywood-like ending does she-surprise-develop some confidence. Normally I love pathetic people because I can relate to their insecurity, but Ginny's character is a tad too two-dimensional, not a fully fleshed out character worthy of my concern. I also didn’t like how the author handled the date-rape subplot, as if she just needed a “juicy” reason for us to stop liking that character, rather than giving that heavy subject matter

The Edge of Never

By J.A. Redmerski
Rated by Debbie F.
Aug 26, 2014

Camryn and Andrew both have secrets. And when they unexpectedly meet on a Greyhound bus they prove that fate can’t be ignored. Andrew has decided to take a bus to Wyoming rather than catch a flight to see his father. Camryn has hopped on the bus with no particular destination in mind.  From the moment Andrew steps on the bus, he is drawn to Camryn, and their first contact is intense. She thinks he is pompous, he thinks she is beautiful. Both Camryn and Andrew have their own issues but their bond soon develops from travel companions to friends to exactly what each other was missing and needs

The Electric War

Rated by Julia B.
May 16, 2019

In The Electric War, readers dive into the initial application of electricity in late 19th century America and the substantial struggle that sprung from it. A decade-long conflict is waged on the effectiveness, danger, and control of direct and alternating current. Great minds such as George Westinghouse, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison utilize their knowledge and prowess of electricity to compete in the race of lighting the world. 

The most compelling aspect of The Electric War is the focus on the false portrayal of alternating current by Thomas Edison and the extent that these great minds

Jun 22, 2016

To unify the discontent of the people, a nobleman of the court brings together four orphans in his plan to find an impersonator of the king’s lost son. They must compete fiercely for the role, they face certain death if not chosen. Sage, one of the boys, can see that the nobleman’s plan is suspicious, but he must be chosen, he has his own agenda as well.

This was such a fun quick read! I couldn't put it down, I just had to keep reading. I loved the main character and the way he not only kept secrets from other characters but from us as readers. This book was not predictable because of all

The False Prince

By Jennifer A. Nielsen
Rated by Jared H.
Feb 26, 2014

The kingdom of Carthya is in trouble. The royal family is dead, the neighboring kingdoms are starting to whittle away at its borders, and a civil war is brewing between nobles. To prevent chaos from descending upon Carthya, Conner, an unscrupulous nobleman, devises a desperate plan. What if the king's youngest son, who has been lost at sea, suddenly returns to save the kingdom and stop the invasion of its neighbors? All he needs is someone to act the part. Enter Sage, orphan, impertinent thief, and general pain in Conner's side. He is one of four boys chosen to be groomed to play the part of

The Family Romanov

By Candace Flemming
Rated by Kate M.
Sep 23, 2014

The beginning of the end of Romanov rule of Russia began with the ascension of Nicholas II. Ill prepared for the crown by his father, Nicholas depended heavily on his new wife Alexandra (married under the shadow of the death of Nicholas’ father their marriage was seen as a curse by the Russian people). Problems for the Romanovs multiplied when Alexandra, after several difficult pregnancies, produced only female heirs leaving the line of succession unsure. A disconnect from the government and the people, and an overdependence on Alexandra and her religious advisors, made Nicholas appear weak

The Fault in Our Stars

By John Green
Rated by Kate M.
Mar 2, 2012

Hazel has been hovering on brink of death for over 2 years. At 12 she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and just when all was lost she was entered into a drug trial which holds the cancer at bay, never curing her, but keeping it from killing her. But she knows her time is limited. Because of the disease she cannot go to school and mostly sits around the house reading and watching America's Next Top Model.

One fateful day, her mom forces her out of the house to attend a cancer support group where Hazel first meets Augustus Waters, who will change her world. Augustus is a cancer survivor

The Fault in Our Stars

By John Green
Rated by Kate M.
Dec 21, 2012

My favorite books of 2012 (in the order I read them)!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Who has read this and not fallen in love immediately with Augustus and Hazel? An epic love story about two amazing people with cancer. This book will make you laugh, make you cry (sometimes at the same time) and change your outlook on life. Go read it now if you haven't already.

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe This was a refreshing break from the post-apocalyptic books that I had been consuming at the time. A dangerous pathogen infects a small island, killing many of the residents. What is life like

The Fifth Wave

By Rick Yancey
Rated by Jennifer R.
Apr 17, 2015

On a day like any other day, the Others arrived. Their mothership lit up the sky and the human race was forever changed. The Others came in waves taking away electricity, bringing upon the world a plague, sending out evil drones to take care of the survivors, and now, they have taken on the form of humans. The idea of trust (or lack thereof) and the depths that humans will sink to survive are constantly replayed over and over through the actions of the multiple protagonists that Yancey introduces in the story. We meet the main protagonist, Cassiopeia “Cassie” Sullivan when she is at her lowest

The Game of Love and Death

By Martha Brockenbrough
Rated by Dawna O.
Mar 22, 2016

It’s just a simple game of dice between Love and Death. Love is personified as a man and Death is personified by a woman. They each pick a player and roll the dice, the players have to choose each other over everything else or Death will take her player. Death has always won the game, since the beginning.

The Players: Henry, who is white, is an orphan who lives with a rich family, attends a private school on a scholarship, and plans to go to college when he graduates. Flora, an African American, is also an orphan who lives with her grandmother, sings at a nightclub, and dreams of becoming a

The Game of Love and Death

By Martha Brockenbrough
Rated by Kate M.
Feb 26, 2016

A beautiful love story set in the jazz age of Seattle. For centuries, humans have been the pawns in the game between Love and Death. You may be familiar with a few of the challenges, Antony and Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and Paris, Romeo and Juliet. And Death always wins…always.

A new game is afoot and Love and Death have chosen the players.

Flora is an African-American girl who is truly at home in the sky. A plane mechanic by day and a jazz singer by night, Flora lives with her grandmother and is trying to save up enough money to finance a flight around the world!

Henry works at the

The Ghosts of Heaven

By Marcus Sedgwick
Rated by Chris K.
Dec 1, 2016

This consists of four stories--"quarters," Sedgwick calls them--from four different eras. Each is a compelling, haunting meditation on human nature. Each has horror undertones, confronts suffering and misery. Each is distinct in style, tone, setting, and action. Each involves philosophical musings about the meaning of spirals in the way of Jungian archetypes (universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct; Wikipedia).

There is the girl who watches as her prehistoric hunter-gatherer tribe is ambushed and hunted

Feb 2, 2016

Cleopatra De Nile is like the queen of the school but then Frankie and Melody come along and now to her it’s all “Frankie this”  and “Melody that”. She was determined to make school hard for the normies which is pretty much any one not like her or doesn’t come from a royal line. Becca and Brett are together and Frankie (a normie) lost her head for him. Becca was sworn to get revenge over Frankie and she wasn’t the nicest ghoul on the school. Now Melody on the other hand was trying to keep her boyfriend Jackson from being exposed.

To find out more about the book you’ll have to read it.

Apr 27, 2015

Okiku is a vengeance spirit. Her story is the one that inspired countless Japanese films and horror stories, and now it's her turn to tell it. Okiku spends her days traveling the world seeking out child-murders and giving them her form of justice (often involving drowning and/or the ripping off of heads). She's content with this existence until she meets Tark. The boy with the strange tattoos and the demon on his back. Tark ignites feelings that Okiku hasn't experienced in over 300 years, and she's not about to let some demon take them away so easily. 
I loved the Japanese folklore and the

Apr 17, 2015

Elisa is a princess and she is also the bearer of a godstone—a stone with magical properties found in the navel of a chosen bearer once every 100 years. To keep her secret safe, Elisa's father arranges a marriage to a king in a distant land. Although Elisa has never met him and knows little of him, she marries the kind King Alejandro. Shortly thereafter, Elisa is kidnapped by rebels . . .

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

By Bandai Entertainment
Rated by Kate M.
Aug 26, 2009

I have been watching quite a bit of anime lately to get ready for the anime festival coming up on November 7th (mark your calendars). There was one anime which I loved but just didn't seem to fit the festival, so you won't get to see it on the big screen but I would recommend checking it out from the library and watching it at home. Makoto is having a bad day. She woke up late, and just barely made it to school on time. Before the end of the day she has flunked a math test, almost set the school on fire in foods class and while trying to clean a classroom Makoto slipped and fell in the science

Jun 13, 2018

Twelve year old Jonas lives in what seems like an ideal world. Everything is chosen for you, where you live, who your spouse is, what your job is, because, according to the community leader, when people have the opportunity to choose, they choose wrong. But Jonas never expected his life assignment to be the Receiver. He is assigned to learn from the Giver, but not what he thinks he is going to learn. With the help of the Giver, he begins to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.

I don't remember reading a book as fast as I read this one. It was a great read. I couldn't

Apr 17, 2017

Fifteen year old Aya has learned to hide from the men who hunt females, then auction off their breeding rights to the highest bidder. She has avoided capture and lived freely with a rag tag group of women in the mountains. But when she is caught by businessmen on a hunting trip, she must learn to fight to survive in a whole new way.

I was hooked from the first few pages. This book was very well written, with some very raw, emotional, and controversial scenes/topics. Kristen Simmons shows a dystopian world where the feminist struggle is eliminated and their worst fears are brought to life

Aug 1, 2016

Adelaide is a countess used to getting anything she wants, but she is tired of all the comfort and luxury. So she poses as a servant to escape and start a life in the new world by going to the glittering court. It was designed to transform impoverished young women into the upper class so they can gain powerful and wealthy marriages in the colonies across the sea. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from everyone but the son of the man who created the court, who is a hiding a dangerous secret of his own. It is hard to deny the attraction simmering between them, but if acted upon, it

The Glittering Court

By Richelle Mead
Rated by Octavia V.
Jun 4, 2016

Richelle Mead, well-known for the Vampire Academy series has written a new book, The Glittering Court. While there are no vampires or werewolves in this new fantasy series, there is instead, Adelaide, Countess of Rothford.  Adelaide lives with her grandmother and has no source of income, leaving marriage her only choice. At least that's what her grandmother has told her.

The gentleman her grandmother has arranged for her to marry is the Barron of Ashby, Lionel Belshire. He owns two estates, farms barley and makes his house servants eat barley every morning to boost morale. He really hopes