January 2008


 The Midnight Twins

Meredith and Mallory Brynn are identical twins – born on different days.  Meredith was born at 11:59 P.M. on December 31st and Mallory was born at 12:01 A.M. on January 1st of the next year.  Merry and Mally share many of the things that other twins do like a special language, sympathy pains, and telepathy.  No matter how much they share with each other and how identical they look, they do have differences.  Merry is the head cheerleader and Miss Popularity whereas Mally is all business.  She is a jock and prefers to spend time alone.

The Brynn twins are known and loved all throughout town but even more so after a New Year’s Eve disaster.  While babysitting their little brother and cousins, a mysterious fire breaks out that nearly takes the twins’ lives.  The physical devastation is nothing compared to the emotional damage they endure.  Merry and Mally notice they don’t dream the same dreams after the fire and begin seeing visions.  Mally sees things that are going to happen and Merry sees what has already happened. 

The girls begin to get disturbing visions of a long time family friend which end up putting them in an extremely dangerous situation.  They must rely on their special “gifts” to survive.

THE MIDNIGHT TWINS is a fascinating novel.  The first two chapters were hard to get into because of the detailed explanation of the twins and their “gifts” but once you get to the night of the fire, the story really takes the reader on an emotional ride.

Here are some of the books that I can’t wait to read when they come out.  Leave a comment and tell me what you are waiting for.

Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer
Feb. 7th

Cindy Ella

Circle of Blood by Alane Ferguson
Feb. 28th

The Circle of Blood

Moby Clique: A Bard Academy Novel by Cara Lockwood
March 4th

Moby Clique (Bard Academy, the)

Final Warning: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson
March 17th

A Maximum Ride Novel (Maximum Ride) 

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
March 25th

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments)

Frostbite: Vampire Academy 2 by Richelle Mead
April 10th

Frostbite (Vampire Academy, Book 2)

Unbelievable: Pretty Little Liars #4 by Sara Shepard 
May 27th
Pretty Little Liars #4: Unbelievable (Pretty Little Liars)

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Pfeffer
June 1st

the dead and the gone

Feast of Fools: Morganville Vampires #4 by Rachel Caine
June 3rd

Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

Well, I’m sure there are more, but this is all I can think of right now.  There are always new books coming out so sometimes I forget.  Maybe writing these down will help me remember.  Remember to leave me a comment to tell me what you are waiting for.

 

Would you make the choice to live forever even if it meant you wouldn’t be allowed to have children?  In the year 2140 most people do.  In order to take Longevity, people have to sign the Declaration.  People that choose to have children anyway are arrested and put in prison and the children are taken and put into something that resembles an orphanage.  The children are referred to as Surplus.

Surplus Anna is one of the most promising occupants of Grange Hall, a bleak and cold housing unit for illegal children.  She is proud of her accomplishments as a housekeeper.  She will soon reach the age where she leaves Grange Hall and is placed in a permanent job.  Anna is happy she has been able to pay back society for exisiting.  She feels anger toward her parents for even putting her in this situation and adding to the drain on the world’s resources.  Anna doesn’t think much about a life of freedom until Peter shows up at Grange Hall and tells her things that only her parents could know.

Together, Anna and Peter set out on an adventure that changes their lives forever.  They both find family they didn’t know existed and Anna learns just how much she can care for another person. 

THE DECLARATION is a frightening look at what can happen when the government takes control over life itself.  As appealing as living forever may seem, it is clear the consequences far outweigh the benefits.

the-dead-and-the-gone.jpg 

Companion Novel to Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer.  Release date: June 1, 2008 

As is the problem in Life As We Knew It, the moon has been hit by a meteor and is knocked off of its axis.  The moon is now closer to the Earth which sets off a chain reaction of natural disasters throughout the world.  Alex Morales lives in New York City which is devastated right from the start.  The Statue of Liberty has been wiped out and many people were washed out to sea by huge tidal waves caused because of the change in the location of the moon.  Water is slowly seeping its way farther and farther into New York and closer and closer to where Alex lives with his family on 88th Street.


Alex is working at a pizza place the night of the event that changes his life forever.  When he gets home from his shift, he finds out that his mother has been called into work at the hospital in Queens, leaving his two sisters by themselves.  Their father had already left for Puerto Rico to attend a family funeral so it is left to Alex to take care of his sisters until they return.
Alex and his sisters must deal with food shortages, random electricity outages, and extreme weather changes.  They attempt to keep their hopes up even though their parents never make contact, information is hard to come by, and they are forced to do gruesome things just to survive.  Alex and his sisters learn how important family is and that tragedy can sometimes bring people closer together than ever before.


While the dead and the gone covers the same event as Life As We Knew It, it is told in a different way.  Where LAWKI is told in first person, tdatg is told in third person.  The third person perspective gives the reader a broader look at the story, but was hard to get used to after reading LAWKI.  All in all, the dead and the gone is a gripping tale of love, faith, and survival.  It is a page-turner and will consume you when you start the book.

Naomi Porter regains consciousness as she is being put into an ambulence.  She hears an unfamiliar voice claiming to be her boyfriend and opens her eyes to see him sitting beside her on the way to the hospital.  The pain in her head is so severe that she doesn’t worry about the fact that she has no idea who the guy is holding her hand and telling her everything is going to be okay.

In the hospital, Naomi learns that she fell down the steps of her high school and hit her head hard enough to cause brain trauma.  The mysterious boy who kept her company in the ambulence and stayed in the hospital with her until her father arrived turned out to be a boy she didn’t really know.  James is a boy with a troubled past and new to her high school and just happened to be there when Naomi fell.  He didn’t want her to be alone so he lied to the paramedics in order to get permission to ride to the hospital with her.  Naomi feels an immediate attraction to him especially after she realizes she can’t remember anything in her life from the past four years.  She can at least remember James since she met him after he woke up.

The next several months are difficult for Naomi.  Her father, a writer by trade, calms his nerves in the hospital by starting a list of things Naomi doesn’t remember.  Things on the list include:

1.  Will Landsman – her best friend and her co-editor on the high school yearbook.
2.  The divorce of her mother and father.
3.  The fact that her mother has had a child with her new husband and she now has a sister.
4.  Ace – her boyfriend.
5.  How to drive.

When her father is finished with the list it is five pages long and contains one hundred and eighty-six items on it.

Once Naomi starts the school year everything becomes more complicated.  She has to deal with people that knew her as she was before the accident and change her behavior based on their cues.  She begins to analyze her life and make decisions about what is important to her now – and sometimes she realizes that what was once very important to her might not be as important to her now and visa versa.

MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC is another wonderful novel by Gabrielle Zevin.  The characters come alive on the first page and find a place in the reader’s heart.  It is a love story without being a “love story.”  Pick it up and you won’t be disappointed.

 

If you didn’t think the nineteenth century was full of drama then think again.  Life in New York in 1899 was very eventful.  At least it was for the very wealthy.  Elizabeth Holland has been a perfect daughter her entire nineteen years of life.  She has been groomed for years to be perfect – to talk when she was supposed to, to receive visitors on Sundays, and always appear happy no matter when she was feeling on the inside.  People in New York expect her to marry well and continue the traditions of high society.

Life for Elizabeth isn’t easy though, even though all she has to do is sit around and look beautiful.  It turns out, since the death of her father, her family is having financial problems and aren’t able to keep up the type of lifestyle they are used to living.  One thousand dollar gowns, priceless works of art, and trips abroad are a thing of the past unless something can be done to secure the family’s place in society before everyone learns of their trouble.  Mrs. Holland thinks Elizabeth can save the family by marrying Henry Schoonmaker – New York’s most eligible and most sought after bachelor.

The news of her impending engagement is a surprise to Elizabeth.  She has always held out the hope that she would marry for love and in fact, has been in love for quite some time.  Elizabeth has been having a secret relationship with Will Keller for many years.  The relationship must be kept a secret because Will is an employee of the Holland family.  He works in the stables and drives the carriages for them and carrying on a relationship with someone of lower status would be something that would ruin Elizabeth’s reputation and the Holland family name.  Word of her engagement puts a strain, understandably, on Elizabeth’s relationship with Will. 

Elizabeth’s secret relationship with Will isn’t the only thing that becomes more difficult after the wedding becomes public.  Henry doesn’t want to get married any more than Elizabeth does.  He resents the fact that he is being forced to wed and give up his freedom.  Penelope, her supposed best friend, is infuriated by the news of the wedding.  She expected to marry Henry herself and is planning to break up the wedding by any means necessary.  Elizabeth’s personal maid, Lina, finds out about Elizabeth and Will’s relationship and is hurt because she has grown to love Will herself.  Even more problems crop up when Elizabeth’s younger sister, Diana, begins to have feelings for Henry.  Finally, and most devastating to Elizabeth, Will tells her he is leaving New York and heading west to California.  How can a proper girl deal with all of these problems and be expected retain her poise?

THE LUXE is a fascinating look at life at the turn of the century.  It is historical fiction at its best.  For those of you that fall in love with the book like I have can look forward to the fact that the author is currently working on a sequel.

 

Kate Winthrop exists at Millbank High School.  She isn’t on the lowest  rung of the social ladder, but definately isn’t at the top either.  The story begins with Kate attending a party put on by the Proud Crowd, the A-listers of the school.  An invitation showed up in her locker and even though she was reluctant to go since she doesn’t run in those circles, her two best friends, Callie and Dev, insist she go so she can tell them all about what happens.  The party isn’t a fun experience for her though.  Gretchen, the queen bee of the school, lets her know with catty remarks that she was never supposed to be there.  She also calls her 71 and Kate becomes curious about the refernce.

One night at home while on the computer, Kate gets the answer to her question about 71.  She receives an IM giving her a website leading her to the Millbank Social Stock Market.  The MSSM is a ranking of all 141 girls in the senior class at Millbank High.  Kate learns that she is ranked number 71.  After filling in Callie and Dev about the stock market, they device a plan to increase Kate’s value.  In order to enter the market, you have to put in $500.  At the end of the school year, the person with the largest portfolio, wins the pot which would be about $25,000. 

After developing a business plan, Dev, Kate, and Callie, begin to implement the changes to her wardrobe, hair, and other daily behaviors.  Throughout the ups and downs of the market, Kate learns about friendship, love, and the importance of popularity. 

J.M. Steele, author of The Taker, has written another relevant novel about the pressures of high school.  The unique angle to this story is the stock market element.  It would be a great way to connect literature to an economics class.

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