July 2008


Bliss in the Morning Dew has hippie parents and when they ditch her at her grandmother’s house on their way to Canada she is forced to survive in a world that is completely alien to her.

After living on a commune for years, Bliss expects high school to be like The Andy Griffith Show and is looking forward to starting frienships with people her age.  Her grandmother enrolls her at Crestview Academy, an elite school that used to be a convent, which makes her both nervous and excited.

Much to Bliss’ relief, she doesn’t have any trouble finding girls to hang out with and everyone seems to be extremely patient with her asking questions like: 1) what is a parade float? and 2) what are Flavor Straws?  Everything seems to be going great until she begins to hear the voice of a long dead novitiate – Liliana.  Liliana is trying to get someone to perform a ceremony that will release her spirit and allow her to have power again and since Bliss has always been able to sense things from the “other” side, she seems like the perfect candidate.

Lauren Myracle, the author of TTYL, has written a disturbing horror novel that takes the reader deep into the hippie culture.  She mixes facts from the 1969 Charles Manson Family Murders, a creepy ghost story, and typical high school drama into a wonderfully creative story.  The use of quotes from 60’s culture TV Shows, Commercials, and Transcripts from the Charles Manson trial add to the charm of this book.  While the middle of the story is a little slow, it doesn’t detract from the quality as a whole.

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As a fan of apocalyptic science fiction, I was very excited to read GONE by Michael Grant. 

In the blink of an eye, everyone over the age of fourteen disappears.  POOF!  Teachers in the middle of a lesson, mothers preparing their babies’ bottles, people driving down the road – all just GONE!  Panic begins to spread and no one knows what to do.  Sam, who proved himself a hero in the past, is automatically given the role of leader in Perdido Beach or the FAYZ as it becomes known. 

Sam, together with Astrid, her autistic brother Little Petey, Quinn, and Edilio  begin to attempt to piece together what happened.  They eventually discover a transparent barrier surrounding the area and the power plant at its center.  The barrier forms a ten mile radius around the plant.  It is painful to the touch and there don’t appear to be any openings. 

On top of being forced to care for themselves, Sam and the others must make sure that the young children are cared for.  Several people take up the task of caring for the babies and toddlers at the day care.  One young man even inventories stock and continues to run the local McDonalds so people can come in for something to eat.  Everyone is nervous, but things seem to be under control – until the kids from Coates Academy show up.

Coates Academy is the prestigious boarding school up the hill from Perdido Beach.  The Coates Academy leader is Caine and he makes it very clear that he intends to take charge of the town.  Things start to take a turn for the worse shortly after Caine takes charge.   Bullies are the ones running the town and many don’t feel safe.

Three other things are causing everyone to feel scared:

1) Some of the kids are gaining powers.  Some can heal wounds, others can move things around with their mind, and some develop super speed.
2) Animals are mutating.  There are seagulls with talons, coyotes that can talk, and cats that can teleport from place to place.
3) Once you hit your fifteenth birthday (exactly to the minute you were born) you POOF!

It’s a frightening world.  Bullies against the weak; Rich kids against the townies.  Lines are drawn and sides are chosen and everyone prepares for battle.  If you enjoy science fiction or liked LORD OF THE FLIES , this is a book for you.  Don’t let the length scare you off because it is definately worth the read.  My only complaint is the ending.  It leaves you with many unanswered questions.  Nothing was really solved.  Michael Grant has said that he plans this to be a six book series and is finishing up book #2 now.  He intends for a book to be released every summer until the series is complete.

As a fan of apocalyptic science fiction, I was very excited to read GONE by Michael Grant. 

In the blink of an eye, everyone over the age of fourteen disappears.  POOF!  Teachers in the middle of a lesson, mothers preparing their babies’ bottles, people driving down the road – all just GONE!  Panic begins to spread and no one knows what to do.  Sam, who proved himself a hero in the past, is automatically given the role of leader in Perdido Beach or the FAYZ as it becomes known. 

Sam, together with Astrid, her autistic brother Little Petey, Quinn, and Edilio  begin to attempt to piece together what happened.  They eventually discover a transparent barrier surrounding the area and the power plant at its center.  The barrier forms a ten mile radius around the plant.  It is painful to the touch and there don’t appear to be any openings. 

On top of being forced to care for themselves, Sam and the others must make sure that the young children are cared for.  Several people take up the task of caring for the babies and toddlers at the day care.  One young man even inventories stock and continues to run the local McDonalds so people can come in for something to eat.  Everyone is nervous, but things seem to be under control – until the kids from Coates Academy show up.

Coates Academy is the prestigious boarding school up the hill from Perdido Beach.  The Coates Academy leader is Caine and he makes it very clear that he intends to take charge of the town.  Things start to take a turn for the worse shortly after Caine takes charge.   Bullies are the ones running the town and many don’t feel safe.

Three other things are causing everyone to feel scared:

1) Some of the kids are gaining powers.  Some can heal wounds, others can move things around with their mind, and some develop super speed.
2) Animals are mutating.  There are seagulls with talons, coyotes that can talk, and cats that can teleport from place to place.
3) Once you hit your fifteenth birthday (exactly to the minute you were born) you POOF!

It’s a frightening world.  Bullies against the weak; Rich kids against the townies.  Lines are drawn and sides are chosen and everyone prepares for battle.  If you enjoy science fiction or liked LORD OF THE FLIES , this is a book for you.  Don’t let the length scare you off because it is definately worth the read.  My only complaint is the ending.  It leaves you with many unanswered questions.  Nothing was really solved.  Michael Grant has said that he plans this to be a six book series and is finishing up book #2 now.  He intends for a book to be released every summer until the series is complete.

Hannah has just moved with her father to a new town AGAIN. She can’t understand how her father doesn’t understand that he can’t run from his problems.  Once she gets settled someplace they seem to get into a financial situation that her father would run away from rather than solve.  It never seems to work.  Her father promises that Maplecrest is going to be different.  Boy was her ever right – just not in the way he meant.

Hannah is used to being the new girl in school.  She has made picking out the rulers of the school an art form.  At Maplecrest, they are the Cheerleaders and the Cheerleaders are led by Maggie Turner – with her pale skin, glowing blonde hair, and brilliant blue eyes, Hannah can see why she attracts so much attention.  

 

Lukas approaches Hannah at lunch on her first day.  He comes to warn her.  He doesn’t want her to get pulled into the popular crowd.  The popular crowd, he warns her, are flesh eating zombies that are slowly killing off the people in town.  Hannah’s mind immediately flashes to all the For Sale signs she saw in the yards of the homes her and her father passed on their way into town but zombies?  There was no way she was going to believe that.  She could clearly see by the comic books Lukas carried with him that he was letting his imagination get carried away.  While glad to have a friend at school, she didn’t like him talking about zombies and quickly put it out of her mind as crazy talk.

 

When the Cheerleaders approach Hannah she is both excited and nervous.  Can she make the cut and win a spot on the squad? What will she have to do to be accepted by the girls?

 

Brian James has written an exciting horror novel set in an everyday teen setting – high school.  What could be more horrifying?

Dewey Monster suggests that in order to get caught up on book reviews we enlist the help of others.  We are to:
1) post books that we’ve finished but haven’t yet reviewed.
2) ask people to ask us questions about the any of the books in the comments section.
and
3) write the reviews by answering the questions that commenters have left.

If you leave your web address in your comment, I’ll be sure to link to your site when I refer to your question in the review.

So, here it goes.  Give me some good questions that will generate interesting details about the following books.  I really want to get caught up on my reviews.


TWISTED SISTERS by Stephanie Hale


UNDONE by Brooke Taylor 


CHOSEN by P.C. and Kristin Cast


LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow


EVERNIGHT by Claudia Gray


UNBELIEVABLE by Sara Shepard

I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s questions.

Karin is a vampire – she just isn’t like her other vampire family members.  Whereas they drink the blood of humans for nourishment like traditional vampires, Karin has a problem with having too much blood in her body.  Her blood constantly increases.  It builds up faster the closer she is to a human with the type of blood she is attracted to.  If it builds up too much, it gushes out in the form of a horrible nose bleed.  Sometimes if someone is around her and the time is right she can bite someone and inject the blood into them.  Her problem is, she can’t erase the memories of the people she bites.  She must rely on her siblings for help.

Karin’s life becomes even more difficult when a transfer student arrives at her school.  Kenta Usui causes Karin’s blood to increase everytime she is around him.  She has trouble just looking at him.  What is even worse is the fact that Kenta witnesses Karin biting someone, becomes suspicious of her, and is determined to find out what she is doing.

Karin must attempt to control her problem and figure out how to handle her relationship with Kenta.  This is an interesting concept for a story and turned out to be pretty cute and I’m glad I gave them a chance (even though I bought the first one because the main character’s name, Karin, is spelled like my first name).   I’ve read 5 volumes so far and plan to read the others soon.  There are novelizations and an animation series available as well.

This week the topic is Magazines.  Thanks to the Dewey Monster for some guiding questions.

1. Name of magazine.
I subscribe to several magazines, but they are all from professional organizations except for “The Writer.”

2. Do you subscribe or just buy it now and then?
I subscribe and have for several years.

3. What’s your favorite regular feature in the magazine?
I enjoy their main cover stories most.

4. What do you think your interest in this magazine says about you?
I hope that my interest in this magazine reveals that I’m a creative person.  I have a desire to write and desperately want to write a book.  (I have one going, but I keep making excuses not to work on it.)

5. How long have you been reading this magazine?
Several years

6. Is there any unique or quirky aspect to the magazine that keeps you reading?
Nope.  This magazine is pretty straight laced.

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