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St. Martin’s Griffin – December 23, 2008

CRACKED UP TO BE is the story of Parker Fadley.  She once held the position of queen bee of the school.  She was the Captain of the cheerleaders, always landed on the honor roll list, and had the same basketball-star boyfriend since freshman year.

After a particularly wild party at her boyfriend’s house, something happened that left Parker with major feelings of guilt.  She no longer feels like she deserved to live the life of perfection and slowly starts alienating herself from everyone and everything she once thought was so important.  The problem is, the people around her don’t want to let her slip into the background.

If you are in the mood for a light pick-me-up then CRACKED UP TO BE isn’t the book for you. It is filled with page after page of pain.  Parker has to deal with feelings of loss and helplessness and discuss all of her painful experiences and poor decisions in therapy once a week.  

You’ll read obsessively until you learn what happened to change Parker’s life so drastically. The author eludes to the event throughout the story, but only reveals the whole picture when Parker is forced to come to terms with her decisions.  While the entire book is filled with painful, awkward, and difficult situations, the story still ends on a hopeful note.  It is definitely a book you don’t want to miss.

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Cracked Up to Be

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?

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?

Rayne McDonald has a complicated life, not that she didn’t ask for it.  She went through the a complicated process of applying to become a vampire by taking classes, keeping a Blog of her process, and getting her blood tested in order to match her with her blood mate.  It wasn’t her fault that her dreams of becoming a vampire were destroyed when her assigned blood mate accidentally bit her identical twin sister instead of her.  It takes a while, but everything gets back to normal until she finds out she has been destined to be a vampire slayer.  Completely opposite from what she wants to be.  Rayne is left close to death after her battle with the vampire she was sent to kill and had to be turned into a vampire herself in order to be saved.  Her blood mate, Jareth, turned her even though now they are both “handicapped” vampires; the deadly disease that Rayne had caused both her and Jareth to be weakened.  They are both vampires, but they don’t have the super strength and powers commonly associated with the undead.  Also, they can both go out in the sun without bursting into flames which is a good thing since Rayne still lives at home and needs to remain a high school student.


GIRLS THAT GROWL is the third book in the BOYS THAT BITE series.  It picks up where the second book, STAKE THAT! leaves off.   Jareth has become a beach bum since he hasn’t seen the sun in centuries and now can enjoy it without perishing in a ball of flames.  Rayne is feeling a little distance between them since he isn’t dark and brooding anymore.  She also gets her new assignment from Slayers, Inc which is to infiltrate the cheerleading squad since there have been suspicious disappearances from the varsity football team and growling has been heard coming from the girls’ locker room after cheerleading practice.
Rayne is what you could call a Goth Girl.  Dark, brooding, tattooed, and pierced.  Goths are considered the lowest rung on the social ladder of high school cliques.  Cheerleaders are her enemy and getting on the squad isn’t going to be easy.  In fact, she has to rely on blackmail to get herself on the squad. 

After seeing proof of the werewolf problem with her own eyes, Rayne and Jareth decide to track down the problem from where it originated.  The cheerleaders went to a cheer competition in England and when they came back from the trip the strange occurrences and disappearances began.  So, Jareth and Rayne make the trek to England to find the local Lycan pack to get to the bottom of everything.  What they find is a rogue wolf that wants to start his own pack and is resorting to desperate measures to do so.  Rayne and Jareth face many challenges and dangers on this trip that test their feelings for one another.


Read GIRLS THAT GROWL in order to find out if Rayne can save the day once again and whether or not she has what it takes to be a cheerleader and learn to live with a blood mate that would rather surf the waves than dance all night at raves.

Beth Frasier is on the right track.  She is editor of the school newspaper, has a great best friend, and is lined up to the be valedictorian of her senior class.  Her life has been so focused on academics though that she doesn’t feel like she has enough variety on her transcript to attract the great film schools that she wants to be accepted to.  In order to remedy this she trys out for an empty spot on the drill team.  She is devasted when she finds out she doesn’t get the spot.  She is totally shocked though when she is approached by the head cheerleader and told that she didn’t make drill team because the cheer squad wanted her to join their squad instead.  Reluctantly, she agrees.  In part because she finds out that Stephen Wills, the hot, star quarterback, is going to be at her first practice.  She wants to have the opportunity to hang out with him.  She totally ends up regretting her decision.

It turns out that Stephen and most of the football team are vampires.  He wants Beth to become one as well so she can work on the problem of vampires being in the sunlight.  If she doesn’t find a solution to the sunlight problem, Stephen says there is no reason to keep her around so she is working on a timeline with no idea how to even start.

Beth is very upset over the whole situation.  The fact that she isn’t able to walk around during the day like everyone else really has hampered her life plans.  She fights her desires to feed from her mother by getting her hands on some blood bags from her father who is a doctor at the hospital.  With the help of her best friend and an unlikely ally, Clayton who has been her arch rival at school, she comes up with a plan to get rid of Stephen and attempt to return her to her normal self.

If you like this story, check out the sequal, Good Ghouls Do which is already out.