September 2008


I am fast becoming a fan of Gordon Korman.  I’ve enjoyed SCHOOLED and BORN TO ROCK and I’m looking forward to his installment in the 39 CLUES series.  When I saw THE JUVIE THREE on the shelf I knew I had to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed.

As I read the book I almost had the feeling that I was reading a young adult version of the 1989 movie The Dream Team starring Michael Keaton.  Douglas Healy, a former juvenile delinquent, gets approval from the state of New York to start a unique halfway house for young criminals.  Healy hand picks three young men serving sentences in juvenile detention centers to be the first to try out his program.  All three boys are going to get out of the detention centers and live in an apartment with Healy, go to school, do community service, and attend regular group therapy sessions.  There are very strict rules in place.  Just one broken rule and back to jail they’ll go.

The three boys are:

Gecko – in trouble for being the get away driver during a robbery planned by his older brother.

Arjay – in trouble for accidentally killing a boy during a fight even though it was totally self defense.

Terence – in trouble for planning a robbery job.

The boys have been given a second chance, but Gecko and Arjay seem to realize that better than Terence. One night when Terence is trying to sneak out there is a terrible accident.  Mr. Healy falls off of the fire escape and hits his head on the pavement in the alley outside their building.  The boys panic.  They load Mr. Healy in the car and take him to the hospital and take off.  They don’t want to go back to jail so they devise a plan to go about business as usual and hope that Mr. Healy comes home quick and forgives them. So, Gecko, Arjay, and Terence continue to go to school, attend their therapy sessions, and do their community service – hoping no one realizes Mr. Healy isn’t around.

You’ll develop feelings for the boys and hope that everything turns out for the best.  The story is touching while at the same time sprinkled with humor.  You’ll want to know more about the boys when the story is finished.

I am fast becoming a fan of Gordon Korman.  I’ve enjoyed SCHOOLED and BORN TO ROCK and I’m looking forward to his installment in the 39 CLUES series.  When I saw THE JUVIE THREE on the shelf I knew I had to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed.

As I read the book I almost had the feeling that I was reading a young adult version of the 1989 movie The Dream Team starring Michael Keaton.  Douglas Healy, a former juvenile delinquent, gets approval from the state of New York to start a unique halfway house for young criminals.  Healy hand picks three young men serving sentences in juvenile detention centers to be the first to try out his program.  All three boys are going to get out of the detention centers and live in an apartment with Healy, go to school, do community service, and attend regular group therapy sessions.  There are very strict rules in place.  Just one broken rule and back to jail they’ll go.

The three boys are:

Gecko – in trouble for being the get away driver during a robbery planned by his older brother.

Arjay – in trouble for accidentally killing a boy during a fight even though it was totally self defense.

Terence – in trouble for planning a robbery job.

The boys have been given a second chance, but Gecko and Arjay seem to realize that better than Terence. One night when Terence is trying to sneak out there is a terrible accident.  Mr. Healy falls off of the fire escape and hits his head on the pavement in the alley outside their building.  The boys panic.  They load Mr. Healy in the car and take him to the hospital and take off.  They don’t want to go back to jail so they devise a plan to go about business as usual and hope that Mr. Healy comes home quick and forgives them. So, Gecko, Arjay, and Terence continue to go to school, attend their therapy sessions, and do their community service – hoping no one realizes Mr. Healy isn’t around.

You’ll develop feelings for the boys and hope that everything turns out for the best.  The story is touching while at the same time sprinkled with humor.  You’ll want to know more about the boys when the story is finished.

Alexis lives a dysfunctional high school existence.  She keeps to herself taking and developing her own photographs in a darkroom at home.  She doesn’t have any friends at school.  She watches her parents grow farther and farther apart while they focus on their careers instead of home, but most unsettling of all is her younger sister’s fascination with her doll collection. Kasey won’t allow anyone near them and Alexis knows she has heard Kasey talking to them in the middle of the night.

Strange things have been happening around the old house they live in.  Water boils on its own, doors open and close automatically, and Kasey’s eyes begin to change from their normal blue to a fiery green.  With the help from an unlikely ally, Alexis begins to put together the pieces of a mystery that will lead to the cause of the disturbance in her house and the cause of her sister’s evil possession.  

As far as ghost stories go, this is a good one.  There are several layers to the mystery and the author generates a completely creepy feeling throughout the entire book.  Be sure to pick up this book as soon as it comes out in April of 2009.  You won’t be disappointed.  Plus – what a cool cover!  Even the cover is creepy.

Alexis lives a dysfunctional high school existence.  She keeps to herself taking and developing her own photographs in a darkroom at home.  She doesn’t have any friends at school.  She watches her parents grow farther and farther apart while they focus on their careers instead of home, but most unsettling of all is her younger sister’s fascination with her doll collection. Kasey won’t allow anyone near them and Alexis knows she has heard Kasey talking to them in the middle of the night.

Strange things have been happening around the old house they live in.  Water boils on its own, doors open and close automatically, and Kasey’s eyes begin to change from their normal blue to a fiery green.  With the help from an unlikely ally, Alexis begins to put together the pieces of a mystery that will lead to the cause of the disturbance in her house and the cause of her sister’s evil possession.  

As far as ghost stories go, this is a good one.  There are several layers to the mystery and the author generates a completely creepy feeling throughout the entire book.  Be sure to pick up this book as soon as it comes out in April of 2009.  You won’t be disappointed.  Plus – what a cool cover!  Even the cover is creepy.

 

Daisy Giordano is back for another installment of Nightshade, CA wierdness.  This time, a beloved teacher has been murdered and it looks like a werewolf is to blame.  To top off everything else, a new and handsome student named Duke Sherrad moves into town proclaiming to be a fortune teller descended from Gypsies.  Daisy doesn’t believe he is authentic and hopes to prove he is a fraud.  She suspects he is connected to the teacher’s death in some way and works with her sisters to solve the case.

Daisy’s relationship with Ryan is put to the test and Poppy finds love in a very strange place. All of this takes place while Daisy is in charge of planning the Prom’s After Party. DEAD IS A STATE OF MIND is just as enjoyable as the first book in the series, DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK.  While you will probably enjoy this story if you were to pick it up first, it would be better if you had the back story from the first book.  Look for the third in the series, DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR, to be published sometime in 2009.

Daisy Giordano is back for another installment of Nightshade, CA wierdness.  This time, a beloved teacher has been murdered and it looks like a werewolf is to blame.  To top off everything else, a new and handsome student named Duke Sherrad moves into town proclaiming to be a fortune teller descended from Gypsies.  Daisy doesn’t believe he is authentic and hopes to prove he is a fraud.  She suspects he is connected to the teacher’s death in some way and works with her sisters to solve the case.

Daisy’s relationship with Ryan is put to the test and Poppy finds love in a very strange place. All of this takes place while Daisy is in charge of planning the Prom’s After Party. DEAD IS A STATE OF MIND is just as enjoyable as the first book in the series, DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK.  While you will probably enjoy this story if you were to pick it up first, it would be better if you had the back story from the first book.  Look for the third in the series, DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR, to be published sometime in 2009.

 

Daisy Giordano is the youngest in a family of powerful women.  Her mother is a well-known psychic and often helps the police with difficult cases.  Her oldest sister, Rose, can read minds and Poppy, who is a year older than Daisy, has the ability to use telekinesis.  Daisy feels left out since she is the only one in the family that doesn’t have psychic powers.

The Giordano sisters live in Nightshade, CA, a town known for being strange, but when Samantha Devereaux, the queen bee of the school, shows up after summer break with a new style, things really start to get weird.  Teenage girls are being attacked all over town and Daisy starts to believe that a vampire might be the culprit.  Daisy is sure that the key to solving the mystery lies with Samantha.  Daisy enlists the help of her best friend, Ryan, and begins to get to the bottom of the problem.

DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK is the first of a new series following the Giordano sister and their creepy hometown.  The story is simple and predictable, but still very enjoyable.  The sequel, DEAD IS A STATE OF MIND is coming out in January of 2009 and a third in the series, DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR, is also planned.  If you enjoy stories with a little mystery, a little romance, and a lot of supernatural activity then DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK is for you.

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