Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is by Ray Bradbury. This is the classic Bradbury tale of a world without books. Guy Montag is a fireman and it's his job to destroy that most evil of all relics of the past - books. After his wife attempts suicide and the girl across the street disappears, Guy realizes he is not happy and begins to question his world and its rules. When he is caught collecting and reading books he is forced to run for his life. A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended Read. A classic tale that is a must read for all literate individuals.

Ratings: 8th grade - 10 out of 10 - MP (mild profanity) - AC (some mature thematic content) - V (violence).


1984 is by George Orwell. The must read classic of total government control that brought the character of Big Brother into the national conversation. Written in 1948, the book follows a character who struggles against government control of every aspect of his life. The ultimate struggle of the individual against an all controlling totalitarian regime. You can't help but see a creepy similarity between 1984 and 2013. A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended Read.

Ratings: 9th grade - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content) - V (violence).


11/22/63 is by Stephen King. This epic novel centers around Jake Epping, who is convinced by an ailing friend to travel through a "rabbit hole" in time back to 1958 and prevent the assassination of J.F.K. in Dallas on 11/22/63. His friend Al found the time portal in his diner, but was diagnosed with lung cancer and was physically unable to complete his "mission". Jake takes the name of George Amberson and sets out to change the future. As he moves through the past, he discovers that the "past is obdurate" and resists change. Even if he is able to kill Oswald and prevent the assassination will history be changed for better or worse? A fascinating intense novel that really takes you back to the world as it existed in the late 50's - early 60's.

Ratings: Adult - 9 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content).

Monday, February 25, 2013

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You is by Ally Carter. The first book in the new Gallagher Girl series. A charming new series for girls. Cameron Morgan goes to a very special all girl's school, a school where her mother is head mistress, and they train young ladies to become spies. Cammie can speak over 10 different languages and is able to kill a man seven different ways with her bare hands, but she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy. She can hack his computer, implant a tracker in his shoe, and dig through his garbage, but how does she handle a relationship when she has so many secrets?

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray is by Ruta Sepetys. This is an amazing book! It is the story of a Lithuanian teenager and her family deported to a Siberian work camp by Stalin. This is a largely untold story about an amazing group of people from the Baltic states caught between the Russian Communists and the Nazi's. The author is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee and this is a personal story that has needed to be told for a long time. Well done! A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended Read.

Ratings: 8th grade - 10 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).

Take Me There

Take Me There is by Susan Colasanti. This is the story of three friends and their struggles in high school with classmates, teachers, parents, and dating. Rhiannon's boyfriend has just broken up with her to date the "mean girl" in school and she is at a loss as to how to win him back. She turns to her best friend James who, unbeknownst to her, has a crush on her. Their mutual friend Nicole has just broken up with her boyfriend, who desperately wants her back, but she thinks she likes her English teacher. Typical Colasanti fare. If you enjoyed her past books you will love this one as well.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - MP (mild profanity) - AC (some mature thematic content).


Darkside is by Tom Becker. The first book in the Darkside series. Jonathan Starling lives in modern London. His father is in an asylum for the mentally ill and now his home has been ransacked and mysterious strangers seem to be trying to kidnap him. As he seeks answers, Jonathan finds himself in Darkside, a section of London hidden from mortals and loaded with fairies, vampires, werewolves, and other creatures from human nightmares and legends. Can he find what he needs to save himself and his father? A series boys will enjoy.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10 - V (violence).

Snow White, Blood Red

Snow White, Blood Red is edited by Terri Datlow and Ellen Windling. This is a collection of fairy tales re-written for adults. It seems that when the authors, who are fabulous in their own right (i.e. Charles De Lint, Tanith Lee, Patricia McKillip), were asked to do work on this project they were just told to "make them for adults". This book reads like a contest to see how much sex, violence, and gore can be crammed into a beloved fairy tale. While one or two are engaging, most are filled with violence and sexual content. We cannot recommend this collection for anyone under the age of eighteen.

Ratings: Adult - 4 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content) - S (fairly graphic sexual content).

Free-Fire Zone

Free-Fire Zone is by Chris Lynch. The third book in the Vietnam series. Rudi knows he's in trouble when he receives his draft notice. He has always relied heavily on his friends to help him out. He knows he's not smart like Beck or brave like Ivan or dependable like Morris. Now he's a Marine in Vietnam and to everyone's surprise, including his own, he's finally found himself. Or has he?

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10 - V (violence).


Sharpshooter is by Chris Lynch. The second book in the Vietnam series. Ivan is the only one of his friends who is excited about going to Vietnam. He has protected his friends and will now protect his country. He enlists in the Army and becomes a sniper. Now he's "in country" and must come face to face with the reality of war.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10 - V (violence).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy is by Ally Carter. The second book in the Gallagher Girl series. Camie and her friends at the Gallagher School for Girls have been invaded, by boys. Boys from the Blackthorne Institute. Girls and boys training together to be spies; there's a prescription for trouble. When a top secret list is stolen from the school the girls must decide if they can work together with the boys, or if the boys can even be trusted. A cute sequel in a charming series girls will enjoy.

Ratings: 6th grade - 7 out of 10.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

City of Glass

City of Glass is by Cassandra Clare. The third book in The Mortal Instruments Series. To save her mother's life, Clary travels to Alicante to find a warlock who has the cure. Jace does not want her there, and if that's not bad enough, Simon is thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters. Clary and her friends find themselves rushing to prevent Valentine from unleashing his demon army on the city and destroying the Shadowhunters. Parental Warning: This story does elude vaguely to a homosexual relationship.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content) - V (violence). 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Z Apocalypse

Z Apocalypse is by Steve Cole. The third book in The Hunting series. Adam Adlar and his father are summoned to Washington to meet with another scientist and her handicapped daughter who have found a way to speak to Z monsters. This time it's a Z Dactyl and what he and his new friend Zoe discover pit them against Geneflow once last time - but this time the stakes are higher than ever. With the help of an injured Z Dactyl named Keera and his old friend Zed the teenagers set out to save the world - again.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Hunt for Dark Infinity

The Hunt for Dark Infinity is by James Dashner. The second book in the 13th Reality series. Tick and his friends are called on again by Master George. Something is happening in the thirteen realities, people are going insane and the realities themselves and all those in them are disintegrating. The evil Reginald Chu has created a device that will destroy the realities and it's up to Tick and his friends to destroy it before all is lost. A charming second book in a delightfully suspenseful series.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

The Fright Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club is by Kate Jacobs. The first book in a new series of novels aimed at women. Georgia Walker is a struggling single mother of a mixed race child and New York business owner. When the father of her daughter abandons them, she starts her own commission knitting business which grows into the Walker and Daughter yarn store. This book is the story of a group of very different women who meet to knit and share their lives every Friday night at Walker and Daughter. Their stories become entwined as they began to share, not just a love of knitting, but the ups and downs of their lives.

Ratings: 10th grade - 8 out of 10 - MP (mild profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone is by Abraham Verghese. A marvelous story of choices and how they can change everything. Marion and Shiva Stone are the twin sons of a British surgeon and a young Indian nun. Born in an Ethiopian hospital they must survive their mother's death, their father's desertion, and Ethiopia as it hovers on the brink of revolution. Raised by two Indian doctors who work at the hospital where they were born, both boys grow up with an interest in medicine. This is a magnificent and moving story of medicine, miracles, betrayal and two brothers whose destinies are joined forever. A great read!! A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended book.

Ratings: Adult - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content) - S (non-graphic sexual references).


Overseas is by Beatriz Williams. A charming love story about a Wall Street analyst who discovers the man she loves is a soldier from WWI brought forward in time. Captain Julian Laurance Ashford began as an infantry officer in France during WWI. One day a mysterious woman emerges from the shadows to save his life with an unbelievable story. When he finds himself brought forward in time to modern day New York he begins a journey to locate the only woman he will ever love. Kate Wilson is a Wall Street analyst who hasn't had a boyfriend since college. Then one day billionaire financial genius Julian Laurence waltzes into her life and nothing will ever be the same. A great "beach read": fast and fun.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - MP (mild profanity) - AC (some mature thematic content).