Sunday, March 18, 2012

Infamous: By Sherrilyn Kenyon



The world has fallen in love with Nick Gautier and the Dark-Hunters.

Now Nick’s saga continues in the next eagerly anticipated volume...

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That’s the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn’t the average teenager. He’s a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.

He’s learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive and keep a girlfriend so dang hard? But that isn’t the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.


While not as breathtakingly addictive as the first book in the series, Infinity, Infamous is still so delectably addictive that I spent the following two days after I picked it up unable to do anything else but read it.

Infamous like the previous books in the series is a rollercoaster ride of adrenaline pumped action. Unlike the zombie attack that Nick had to deal with before, or the killer coach, this time Nick has to deal with even worse enemies and issues including; killer insects, felony charges, and last but certainly not least, his father. While these attacks and enemies don’t seem as scary as a full on zombie attack, killer werewolves, or even getting shot, let me assure you this is one of the tightest situation Nick has ever been in

Not only are the enemies great, but the magic and powers reach a new peak. This is the first book in the series we really get an inside look at Nick’s powers and what he can become. Kenyon does a great job creating engaging powers that leave an air of mystery as to what will happen to Nick’s future. She explains how things can change from the future readers have seen, and really open up the series to a new set of possibilities.

All in all Infamous was fun and exciting. Its high level of adrenaline pumping action was exactly what I was looking for and it met expectations handily. All in all a great new addition to the series.


Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Published: March 13, 2012

Price: $18.99

Curveball The Year I Lost My Grip: By Jordan Sonnenblick



Sometimes, the greatest comebacks take place far away from the ball field.

Meet Peter Friedman, high school freshman. Talented photographer. Former baseball star. When a freakish injury ends his pitching career, Peter has some major things to figure out. Is there life after sports? Why has his grandfather suddenly given him thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment? And is it his imagination, or is the super-hot star of the girls' swim team flirting with him, right in front of the amazing new girl in his photography class?


I’ve been a fan of Jordan Sonnenblick for years, ever since he wrote Drums Girls and Dangerous Pie. In my opinion, he’s one of the best non-genre YA writer out there. His books are ALWAYS filled with fantastic characters, touching stories, and are incredibly well written.

That being said, Curveball The Year I Lost My Grip, is no exception to Sonnenblicks other great books. In fact, just liked the characters in Sonnenblick’s other books, the protagonist Peter, his best friend AJ, and his grandfather are all fantastic characters. They are relatable, realistic, and likable. Of course besides being fun characters to read about they also grow in realistic yet significant ways. No character is two dimensional, and each had enough spark and life to them that they could have their own book written about them if Sonnenblick had wanted.

Of course besides having fantastic characters the story itself was interesting and well written. Curveball speaks on a number of important issues. It touches on losing the thing that most defines you, rediscovering who you are, viewing life through another’s eyes, and even the struggles of Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, it does all of this while maintaining a speedy pace and while creating an interesting love story.

All in all Curveball is a fantastic book. It’s well written, the story is engaging, and the characters superb. Another homerun from the king of YA fiction.

9 out of 10


Publisher: Scholastic Press

Published: March 1, 2012

Price: $17.99

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Goblin Secrets: By William Alexander



A boy joins a theatrical troupe of goblins to find his missing brother.

In the town of Zombay, there is a witch named Graba who has clockwork chicken legs and moves her house around—much like the fairy tale figure of Baba Yaga. Graba takes in stray children, and Rownie is the youngest boy in her household. Rownie’s only real relative is his older brother Rowan, who is an actor. But acting is outlawed in Zombay, and Rowan has disappeared.

Desperate to find him, Rownie joins up with a troupe of goblins who skirt the law to put on plays. But their plays are not only for entertainment, and the masks they use are for more than make-believe. The goblins also want to find Rowan—because Rowan might be the only person who can save the town from being flooded by a mighty river.


While aimed at a bit younger audience than I usually like this Goblin Secrets was full of interesting characters and makes for a entertaining book.

Rownie’s a fun and brave protagonist perfect for the target audience. Hi’s transformation over the book acts as a great coming of age/strength story that kids will love. Of course besides being a great actor Rownie is determined, strong, and quick witted. All in all a fantastic underdog.

Of course while I liked Rownie, Graba and the Mayor make fantastic antagonists (Graba very much reminded me of a combination of Ursula from The Little Mermaid and a number of the characters from Spirited Away). They are gruesome combination of parts, take advantage of the weak, and are just despicable.

Speaking of combination of parts, I thought it was an interesting creation to make people part machine, but I would have liked an explanation as to why it was that way, or why goblins were not that way. Basically I wanted more back story.

All in all I thought it was a fun book for its age group. It has a likable protagonist, despicable villains, and an interesting world full of goblins and half machine half human creatures. In a word FUN.


Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published: March 6, 2012

Price: $16.99

Starters: By Lissa Price



In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan. . . .


When I read the synopsis on Starters originally I wasn’t sold on the book. I thought it seemed a little too into the romance and relationship and couldn’t see where the story was going to go.

Then I read one of Price’s e-books that tied into the book, and liked the characters (especially Michael) and thought it was engaging. So I figured why not give Starters a shot.

I’m very glad I did.

Starters is a really good book. Price does a good job building this post apocalyptic world where the only humans left are the very old and the very young. I found myself being sucked into the story, and found to my dismay that before long I had reached the end of the book (it was also to the dismay of my work as I realized I hadn’t done anything except read that day, because I just couldn’t put the book down.) The book is not short, it was just that engaging.

Callie is a great protagonist, she’s strong, smart, and determined, while at the same time not infallible. This combination makes for a relatable protagonist that readers will find themselves rooting for. Michael is a character that I really liked in the short story I read, but I didn’t feel like he had any real presence here in the actual book. I’m hoping more short stories and possibly Enders, the next book in the series, features Michael more prominently, as I feel he’s a fantastic character that has a lot of potential that I don’t believe was given his fair share in the first book.

Of course, besides characters, the book is well written and full of much more action than I was expecting. I really was caught off guard by the abrupt changes that occurred in the story, caused by some of the blackouts and whatnot, but I have to say it was very well done and made for very interesting twists to the story.

Speaking of twists, if for nothing else than readers should read Starters just for the last page. I was shocked when I read it and can’t wait for the next book to come out.

All in all a great start to a exciting new series.


8 out 0f 10


Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Published: March 13, 2012

Price: $17.99