Tuesday, June 28, 2011
My fifty-fifth book was The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan. This book is the sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. This book is about Gabrielle (or Gabry) who is Mary's daughter. Mary named her after Gabrielle, the girl from another village that was turned into an unconsecrated by the Sisterhood. At the end of the last book, Mary was found by a lighthouse keeper, who trained her to take care of the lighthouse. Now, many years after the first book, Gabry is sixteen and scared of everything. So, on the night that her best friend Cira and her very handsome brother, Catcher, try to talk her into crossing over the fence and into the abandoned amusement park, it is out of character for her to listen. She knows that she shouldn't go beyond the wall. Everyone has always told her that it's not safe and Gabry has never even been tempted to go beyond it before. But, Gabry is too in love with Catcher to resist. As everyone else in the group is racing to the abandoned roller coaster, Catcher and Gabry climb on the old carousel. They are the only ones that see the Breaker (an Unconsecrated, or as they are called in this town Mudo, who has died and turned in an area where there are no other Mudo around. To continue the infection, they are much faster than anyone else) that comes running into the park and heads towards their friends. As Catcher races off to save Cira, one of Gabry's former friends races towards her and Catcher is able to save her just in time. But he gets bitten and tells Gabry to run back to the town. The kids that were in the park that night are punished by being forced to join the military. But Gabry notices that Catcher isn't in the group that has been captured. Gabry, so afraid of everything, must risk her life and get over her fears to find Catcher in the abandoned town outside of the park. But she finds something there that truly surprises her, including a Mudo worshipping cult, a mysterious boy who seems to know who she is, and Catcher, now infected, but still alive. The first book was great, but I think this book topped it. Gabry is much less annoying than Mary was in the first book. Definitely worth reading.
My fifty-fourth book was The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. His books Holes and There's A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom are some of my favorites from when I was younger. It's cool that there are books for when you get older, too. Alton Richards is looking forward to a summer of relaxing, and possibly getting a job, when his great uncle calls. His uncle has recently gone blind and needs Alton to be his cardturner when he plays bridge. Alton's mother is desparate to get the money he will no doubt leave to them, if Alton can just get him to like them more. So, Alton begins to learn how to play bridge, which he finds is actually kind of interesting. He also learns about the "crazy" Castaneda family, who have also been after his money for years. Toni Castaneda was his cardturner until they had a big fight. Alton slowly gets to know his uncle as well, who he starts calling Trapp. They play bridge three times a week. As Alton gets to know Trapp, he also learns about his past, why he stopped playing bridge, and the mysterious Annabel, Trapp's "perfect" bridge partner who was sent to a mental institution by her husband. Annabel also happens to be Toni's grandmother. What Alton learns about Trapp, Toni, and the history of the Castaneda family comes as a surprise to him and the reader both.
My fifty-third book was Butterface by Gwen Hayes. This book is about a girl who was born with hemifacial microsamia, which causes scars on your face. She's been told that she's lucky because she isn't as disfigured as some people are. But when she meets Lucky O'Leary, she feels anything but lucky. She's in love with him but she's convinced that he only likes her as a friend, because who could love a girl that looks like her? When Lucky starts spending a lot of time in the diner she works in, she starts to hope that he could possibly like her. When he finally asks her out, it seems that he does. But then she finds out why his friends are trying to get him to take her to a party. This party proves that she really was right all along. Or are things not what they appear?
Thursday, June 23, 2011
My fifty-second book was The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I heard that this book was similar to The Hunger Games. And it is, except that it isn't at all. Instead of being forced to fight other children (like Katniss), the main character of this book (Mary) has to fight people that have been infected (they're basically zombies) and are trying to eat her. Her father disappeared months before and her mother watches for him outside of the fences every day. Mary knows that she is supposed to be with her mother, because if she wandered too close to the fence, one of the many Unconsecreted could bite her and infect her. Which happens, of course, because Mary gets sidetracked with the laundry and the boy named Harry asking her to the banquet. Mary's brother, Jed, is so angry with her for allowing their mother to pick to live in the jungle as an infected person instead of killing her that he will not allow her into his home. So, because no one has spoken for her, she is sent to live with the Sisterhood at the cathedral and become a sister. It soon becomes clear that they have many secrets from Mary, and even from the entire town. Travis, Harry's brother and the boy Mary is really in love with, gets hurt and is cared for in the cathedral. Mary realizes just how much she loves him while caring for him. She also finds out about a girl that has come from the outside world, walking on a fenced in path that connects to the village. No one can use this path, so it means that the girl, Gabrielle, came from another place. When Mary sees a flash of bright red outside of the fence the next day, she realizes that it is Gabrielle and that the sisters have turned her into an Unconsecreted because she would have revealed their secret. But she's different from the others. She's very fast and even finds a way to knock down the very secure fences. After the invasion, there's no turning back. Mary, Travis, Harry, Cass (Mary's best friend), a little boy named Jacob, Mary's brother Jed and his wife Beth are able to make it into the fenced in path, which they walk down for many days. They don't know what is at the end of the path, if there's even anything at all. Very good book. I the entire 308 page book in one day.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
My fifty-first book was Stuck On Earth by David Klass. This book is about an alien named Ketchvar III, who is sent to Earth to evaluate whether or not humans should be destroyed. He inhabits the body of Tom Filber to evaluate the situation. He soon finds that it is dire and that humans are violent, unhappy people who are destroying the Earth. After several days of being bullied and teased at school (Tom Filber isn't exactly popular to begin with) only to go home to be yelled at and chased around the house by his mother, Ketchvar is ready to annihilate the human race altogether. Just when everything seems bleak for Planet Earth, Ketchvar (in Tom's body, of course) meets his neighbor, Michelle Peabody. From Michelle, Ketchvar learns that not all humans are like the family he unluckily chose to be inserted in. Michelle is kind and sweet. Because of this, Ketchvar decides to give humans another chance. This book, of course, has an enviromentally friendly message. And, though the author does try throughout most of the book to shove this message down the reader's throat, I enjoyed this book. The author has a very interesting style and voice. Overall, not bad.
Monday, June 20, 2011
My fiftieth book was Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Mirjam Pressler. Yay!! Halfway there!! There is no way to measure how excited I am. Last year, I read 54 books. I've almost passed how many books I read in whole year! :D So, this book is about Johanna, a German girl who's grandfather owns a popular clothing store. On a class trip to Israel, she finds out that her grandfather was a member of the Nazi party. Johanna has always loved her grandfather, she even gets along better with him than her father, but she can't put what she learned out of her mind. She can't help but wonder if he stole the store from the Jewish owners, whom she meets one of in Israel. When her grandfather commits suicide, she becomes convinced that her grandfather bought the store for less than it was worth. But her father, even though he knows the truth, won't discuss it. Johanna tries to investigate, but keeps coming to dead ends because no one in the family wants to talk about what really happened. Can Johanna find out the truth? Or will she just be quiet like her family wants her to, not waking the "sleeping dogs"?
Friday, June 17, 2011
My forty-ninth book was Matched by Ally Condie. This book is about Cassia, who lives in a world where the Society controls everything, including what you eat, what you do for a job, and even who you marry. Cassia has never questioned the Society, so it seems natural when she is matched to her best friend, Xander. It's rare that a girl is matched to someone they know, but they tell her it has happened before. When she goes home to view information about him on a special disk the Society gave her, she sees Xander's face, but she sees another face flash after his. Cassia is shocked, because the Society has never made a mistake before. There's another problem: she knows the other boy, too. His name is Ky and he lives down the street from Cassia's family. His uncle and aunt adopted him after their child was killed by a rare criminal: violence doesn't happen in this world. So, is Cassia meant to be with Xander? Or is she really meant to be with Ky? She must choose between the guy she's known all of her life (and the life the Society wants her to live) and the guy she's quickly falling in love with.
Monday, June 13, 2011
My forty-eighth book was Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick. Alex Gregory gets drunk and takes his mom's car to go rant at his dad, who has recently divorced his mom. But he doesn't get all the way. Halfway there, he crashes his car into a yard and runs over a lawn gnome. He is sentenced to one hundred hours of community service at a retirement center. His mother gets to pick the patient. Of course, she picks the most difficult patient she can find, named Sol Lewis. Sol doesn't like Alex from the very beginning and Alex has a difficult time of convincing him he's not a bad guy. In between cursing at him in Yiddish and playing practical jokes, Sol actually begins to develop a friendship with Alex, based around their mutual love of jazz music. Pretty soon, Alex learns that, not only can Sol play guitar, he was actually quite famous for doing so. Only, Sol hasn't played since the night that his wife died in a tragic car accident. Alex started his community service at the home very unhappy with the whole situation. By the end of his sentence, his relationships with his divorced parents, his best friend, Laurie, and, especially, Sol, have changed for ever.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
My forty-seventh book was How To Take The Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison. Giovanna Petrizzo brakes up with her boyfriend, Jesse, after he decides to back Wilson in the school's presidential campaign instead of her twin brother, Dante. After all, Wilson is the most popular boy in school and the mayor's son. Dante is the underdog and he's doing it for a good cause: to get the school's council to pay for a memorial for a student who died the year before. So, when Jesse decides to be Wilson's campaign manager, Giovanna breaks up with him. Instead of teaching Jesse a lesson, it just makes her lonely. Soon she realizes that she wants him back. But she can't get back together with Jesse without betraying Dante. So, what's a girl to do except become Dante's campaign manager. With the two ex's going head-to-head, it's bound to be the most intense race for class president. But, when the dust clears, will Jesse still love Giovanna? Or will he be too wrapped up in stuck-up Bridgit to even notice her?
Thursday, June 9, 2011
My forty-sixth book was Invasion by Jon S. Lewis. This is kind of an odd book for me...an odd book period, actually. But I still kind of liked it. Invasion is about Colt McAlister, who's parents are killed in a bizarre accident. Soon, Colt finds out that it wasn't an accident. Colt's mother, a reporter, had found out something about the billion dollar corporation Trident, who develops everything from weapons to prosthetic limbs. The something his mother found out was going to be the subject of the new article she was going to write. So, along with his childhood friend Danielle and his new friend Oz (who Colt is convinced he knows from somewhere), Colt tries to find out what really happened to his parents and what Trident is hiding. (And no, this Trident is not the company that makes toothpaste.)
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
My forty-fifth book was the Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan. I got this book at the library (it's really a must for a book to have an interesting spine...otherwise, I won't pick the book up...I just skip over it.) This book is about Gemma Stone, a girl who lives in Australia. Her sister, Debbie, is getting married and Gemma is the flower girl (flower girl at 14?? Really??) and she's not excited about it. She's even less excited when she meets the family Debbie will be marrying into. The Websters are obsessed with all things military. The daughter, Jackie, who is Gemma's age, actually wears fatigues all the time. So, as a sort of escape, (and because Gemma's crush, Nick, asked her to), she auditions for The Tempest at her school. Because of this, the troublemaking boy that has a crush on Gemma tries out for the play, too. They get paired up to do an audition scene together, which Gemma is not at all excited about...doesn't the drama teacher know she's meant to be together forever with Nick?! She tries not to judge Raven by his crazy family like the rest of the town, but it’s hard because anytime she goes over to his house, chaos consumes the family. Everything is going alright between them for a while, but when Raven is cast as the villain in The Tempest, he storms out because he knows that's how everyone in town sees him. Gemma doesn't know what to do. Then, when tragedy strikes Raven's family, it becomes even harder to connect with him.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
My forty-fourth book was Leap Day by Wendy Mass. Yet another of my sister's books. This is the last one for a while, because I got some from the library. haha Anyway, this book is about Josie Taylor, who was born on Leap Day. So, when this book takes place, she's technically only had four birthdays, even though she's sixteen. Josie likes to feel special and being the only person in school with this birthday really does that. Her family even goes all out on this birthday, because this is the one time every four years she actually gets to celebrate her birthday on the actual day she was born. This book was written in a very interesting and cool way. The whole book takes place on one day: Leap Day. Starts early in the morning, ends late at night. Normally entire books about one day are boring but this one breaks the mold. It's very interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat, even though this isn't an "action" book. Another interesting thing the author did was write one chapter through Josie's perspective and the next chapter is from everyone else's. For example, Josie's mother brings her muffins for her birthday and someone steals them. In the next chapter, you learn who it was and why they did it. It's very different, because, instead of just knowing what is happening with one character, you know what all of the people Josie comes into contact with are thinking. Very interesting book and writing style.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
My forty-third book was Half Upon a Time by James Riley. This was another book of my sister's (her favorite, actually), so I said I would read it. It was actually very good. Jack lives in a fairy tale (not one that we would think was "normal", though.) It seems like everyone around him is rescuing princessess and going on adventures and that they want him to do the same. But he feels like he just doesn't have it in him. Then May comes along. She is wearing a shirt that says "Punk Princess", so he assumes she's a princess from the land of Punk. What he doesn't know is that she's from our time, transported back The Huntsman, who is also trying to hunt her down. Yes, the Huntsman. As in, Snow White. Then she finds out, not only is he trying to find her, but her grandmother is actually Snow White and she's been kidnapped by the Wicked Queen. Then, just when she thinks her story couldn't get any weirder, she meets a handsome prince, an imp, a giant, a wolf-man, Little Red Riding Hood, a magical genie, an evil fairy, a tiny fairy, and Repunzel. Yeah...she has a very busy week.