Trick or treatment : the undeniable facts about alternative medicine

From Lola Ferris
author: Singh, Simon &  Ernst
Trick or treatment : the undeniable facts about alternative medicine
If you are considering treatment with unconventional techniques please read this book before you make a phone call to a specialist in such methods. A medical journalist (Singh) and a medical doctor (Ernst) set out to discover the truth about the lotions, potions, pills and pummeling that make up the world of alternative medicine. They were determined to be objective, to investigate clinical trials, and any scientific evidence that might support claims that alternative medicine works. What did they come up with? Very little evidence that the scientific method was used to evaluate such treatment. Claims of specialists in this field were found to be anecdotal in most cases, and a placebo effect in others, with very little true scientific investigation ever taking place.

Using many fascinating historical case studies, they ask what works, which
claims are the truth, who is ripping you off, who can you trust, which cures have some merit and which can be harmful. Written in a lively, reasoned style, this book is a must for anyone thinking of using alternative therapy, although if you’ve already spent time and money and are a true believer, reading this book will only result in a headache.

The Pretty One

From Teen Book Reviewer Loudmilla
author: Klam, Cheryl
The Pretty One 
Cheryl Klam’s The Pretty One told the story of two siblings’ rivalries. Lucy Fletcher was always the prettiest girl at school who always won over all the guys and to top it off, always got the lead in their school plays. Her younger sister, Megan, always wanted to be like her older sister. Megan thought of herself as ugly and fat, which is why (in her mind) no one ever talked about her and no guys ever liked her. When a terrible accident leads Megan to get plastic surgery, her world just had a 180 flip. Now, boys are suddenly all over her and everyone knows her as
much as they know her sister. After Megan gets her surgery, she gets the lead in her dream guy’s play, taking her sister’s spotlight. Megan feels as if now, nothing can ever bring her down because she’s just as good as her sister. But, when a new face leads to jealousy between the two, their fight just begins.

The Pretty One was a very good book. I would recommend others to read this. It holds a very important message within that I feel should be shared with the world. At first, it didn’t seem as if the book was actually going to be very good, but in the end, it really was worth it. I hope others enjoy this book as much as I did.

The Red Necklace A Story of the French Revolution

From Joanna, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Gardner, Sally
The Red Necklace A Story of the French Revolution
The Red Necklace is about a gypsy boy named Yann who lives in Paris during the French Revolution. He was born with the gift of mind reading, throwing his voice, and sometimes seeing the future. On the night of a special performance with his companions, he meets Sido. She is the daughter of The Marquis de Villeduval, who doesn’t care about her. They only have a brief conversation, but they are tied together forever. Count Kalliovski wants to use her as a pawn in his game to expand his fortune. For Sido, Yann will take on Count Kalliovski head on.

The beginning of the book was rather rushed and slightly confusing. People seemed to die right and left in every single chapter. Things that happened were almost like they played no purpose at all. The characters seemed two-dimensional and undeveloped. Everything was explained blandly. As I got farther into the book, everything fell into place. The bigger meaning of things was thrown at me, and the characters got more personality. I thought it was extremely unrealistic how Sido and Yann fell in love in the first five minutes of seeing each other after about 5 years. Towards the middle-end of the book, it got a lot better. There was more
suspense and you actually had to use your brain to understand it.

If you enjoy the slight fantasy, romance, adventure stories I recommend this book. Personally, I thought it was only about a 6.5 or 7 out of 10. The reading and vocabulary is pretty simple. The amount of French was bearable, but if you had no knowledge of French, you could still read it. I suggest giving this book a try, but it won’t really pull you in until page 200.

Three ways to capsize a boat: an optimist afloat

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Stewart, Chris
Three ways to capsize a boat: an optimist afloat 
Chris Stewart is one of the funniest travel writers you’ve never heard of.
He was the original drummer for the band Genesis (he played on their
first album); he’s also been a sheep shearer and circus performer.  He
jumped at the opportunity to skipper a small sailboat, even though he’d
never been sailing before.  We start our adventure on a 21-foot craft,
which Chris is learning to sail in Littlehampton, England, with the help
of an acquaintance.  It is not an auspicious beginning.  Then he’s off to
Greece, to deliver a sailboat, a Cornish Crabber, to the owners in
Spetses.  The boat has been in dry dock in Kalamaki all winter and is in
terrible shape; it doesn’t even have a motor.  Chris finds two men to help
repair it; they’re both named Nikos and they drive a three-wheeled tin
van.  Then Chris enlists the aid of another neophyte, and they sail the
Aegean Sea to Spetses, accidentally setting the boat on fire more than
once along the way.  His greatest adventure is joining the crew of an
expert sailor and teacher, Tom Cunliffe, aboard his vintage sailboat from
Brighton, England to Newfoundland, retracing Leif Eriksson’s journey
across the Atlantic.  There are ice floes, icebergs and a ferocious storm.
 One of my favorite passages: “And then I saw something I don’t ever want
to see again as long as I live: a colossal wall of gray water bearing down
on us. It obscured the very sky; it stood half as high as the mast.  There
was no way we could avoid being swamped.  My legs went weak and I
whimpered inwardly.” By turns, the book is a lesson in sailing,
history and geography.  Combine those with humor, and you have a winning combination.

Little girl blue: the life of Karen Carpenter

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Schmidt, Randy L.
Little girl blue: the life of Karen Carpenter
 This is an extremely well-written and well-researched biography of Karen
Carpenter, the singer of The Carpenters.  Full disclosure: I grew up on
her music and to this day, when I hear her voice, I’m completely
transported to another place and time.  Mr. Schmidt delved into the early
days of the group, with her brother, Richard.  A biography of Karen is
also a biography of Richard, so inextricably were their professional and
personal lives entwined.  Richard was immensely talented in music as a
child, so his mother Agnes nurtured that, and even relocated the family to
California to expand his opportunities.  As it turns out, Karen was
talented as well, in drums and as a singer.  Karen and Richard both
attended California State University at Long Beach, which contributed to
their early success.   Laymen will learn a lot about the music business.
Readers will learn how Richard was adept as an arranger, composer and
pianist and how he was always on the lookout for songwriting talent.
Sadly, both brother and sister had turmoil in their personal lives.  I
knew that Karen died from anorexia and laxative abuse, but she also abused two other substances as well.  Highly recommended for a complete picture of a supremely gifted musician.

A Visit from the Goon Squad

From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Egan, Jennifer
A Visit from the Goon Squad
This is the story of Bennie Salazar a record executive/former punk rocker and his neurotic young assistant Sasha.  It recaps their lives and the lives that have crossed their paths throughout  the years.  This kaleidoscope of dreams, successes, failures, despair and disillusionment captures the music and drug scenes and the freedom of Generation Y.  This is ultimately a story about Time, the “Goon Squad” that visits us all.

Blood Oath

From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Farnsworth, Christopher
Blood Oath
This thriller adds new meaning to “secret service.”  Nathaniel Cade is an agent sworn to protect the president of the United States.  He is the ultimate killing machine.  He is dark, brooding and dangerous.  He is the president’s vampire.  His mission is to protect humanity from evil forces.  Zach Barrows, an ambitious, young White House staffer becomes Cade’s reluctant handler in his crusade.  Non-stop action, a charismatic vampire, a sarcasticpartner,  conspiracies and an arch enemy, what more could you want?  A sequel, soon!