Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

As a young girl, Grace was dragged off by a pack of wolves and bitten.  She seemed to be spared by one wolf in particular, not that she really remembers much of it.  Now she spends her time watching the wolves.  It's a growing obsession.  People are wary of the wolves in Mercy Falls.  One day a boy from her school gets attacked by wolves, and is presumably dead.  A huge wolf hunt ensues, and Grace runs out to stop the destruction of the wolves she has watched for six years.  Her favourite wolf gets shot, and inexplicably turns into a naked teenaged boy.  Turns out, the wolves are werewolves.  Grace and 'Sam', spend stolen days and nights together as the temperature drops (the factor that will turn Sam back into his wolf form) and fall in love.  Sam knows that this is his last chance to be a human and he is willing to risk everything to stay that way.  This is definitely a love story, and a good one at that.  Pick it up!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

This is the third book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan.  It should be consumed in one bite.  I have never read such a gripping, thoughtful and suspenseful third book.  Ever.  While this book is a continuation of much of what happens in the second book, The Dead-Tossed Waves, it could still be considered a stand-alone, and this is partly what makes it so good.  The intensity is at an all-time high in this book as it is told through the fierce Annah's eyes (Gabry's sister) as she makes her way alone in the Dark City.  When she is reunited with her sister, the reunion is almost bitter sweet, for several reasons.  (I won't tell you what they are though!)  As the horde of Unconsecrated rain down around her, it seems like life is choked out of the Dark City.  Annah and Gabry take one day at a time while they find themselves prisoners on an island without much hope of escaping.  This book is not to be missed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins

Surprisingly, book 2 in the Gregor the Overlander series was as good as a second book can get.  It kept up the momentum of the first installment, was action packed, carried a consistent 'overlander' story line while the underland story took shape.  Given my dislike for fantasy and science fiction, I am impressed by how much I'm enjoying reading the series.  The prophecy in this story was alluded to in the first book, so it came as no surprise that this novel is based off of Underland founder Sandwich's second prophecy.  If you like talking bats, spiders, roaches and rats, then this series is for you!

Dying to Tell Me by Sherryl Clark

Dying to Tell Me is a story that will find its way into many 12-14 year old' hands.  The mystery is carefully woven along with the main character, Sasha's extra sense.  We first find Sasha on her way to a small town in Australia, where her cop father is setting up a one man operation in town.  They are getting a fresh start from Sasha's estranged mother.  Sasha starts off her first day in Manna with a severe fall.  She regularly sees details of past and present events involving murder.  Mostly though, Sasha is an angry teenager, trying to take care of her little brother Nicky while their dad is away at work and maintaining a better relationship with her father.  Did I mention she can talk to her German Shepherd, King?  Her ability to 'see' what others do not sets her on a wild goose chase both present and past to save the ones she loves and set others free.  If you like mysteries, you'll want to pick this up.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

This series came out a while before Collins' hugely successful Hunger Games series came out.  I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games series and didn't know if I would be pleased stepping back in experience and skill level to read the first in the Underland Chronicles.  In some ways, this dark fantasy was exactly as I expected.  The story is not quite as complex as her more recent series, but then, it seems to be aimed at a younger audience.  It still has much to digest.  Gregor, older brother to a toddler named Boots, follows her down a vent one day in their building's laundry room.  They fall into the world beneath ours, the Underland, where humans, spiders, cockroaches, bats and rats struggle to find a balance for power through alliances and war.  Initially, Gregor's only plan is to get out of the Underland and back home as quickly as possible.  His escape turns into a complete disaster and in the midst of the chaos, he finds that he is part of a much bigger plan.  The Underland has been waiting a long time for him.  The goal of the quest he finds himself is too precious for him to say no to.  It's a great first book with an ending that is far more satisfying than most other first books in a series.  I can't wait to devour the second one!