From Carly Skudin, Teen Book reviewer
author: Scott, Elizabeth
Grace by Elizabeth Scott is about a girl named Grace who was raised to be an angel; a messenger of death by suicide bomb. She refuses to die for the cause and is on the run in search for freedom. She is traveling to reach a border she may never find. On her journey she travels amongst evil-minded soldiers on a battered and broken-down train across the desert. She is accompanied by a mysterious and puzzling character named Kerr on her journey for freedom at the border. Grace struggles to be invisible, but her fear of discovery appears large as she remembers and recalls the sequence of events and her struggling past that delivered her to her questionable or uncertain fate.
In this book Elizabeth Scott creates a world where you are told what you will be. A life without choices and many, many sacrifices. A colorless life, without beauty and connection and it is excessively cruel. In such a basic story the reader’s mind is continuously swirling as it puts together the pieces of information and the actions of the protagonist, Grace, and Kerr.
To me, this book was exciting and kept you on the edge of your seat when you wanted to find out what the next obstacle would be on Grace’s quest for freedom. It was a bit confusing, however, with the characters and the fact that some characters were spirits. This book had some historical fiction and religious beliefs to it, with all of the sacrifices for an almighty Keran Berj. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, suspenseful books, and someone who can keep track of characters. Overall, it was a well-written book.
From Divya, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Maberry, Jonathan
Rot & Ruin
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, is a great sci-fi novel about how humans would exist post-apocalypse. Benny’s earliest memory is of the First Night, when his brother Tom ran away with him, leaving behind his parents to be taken by zombies.
Now, fourteen years later, the two Imura brothers live in the village of Mountainside, where only a fence separates them from the Rot and Ruin, home of the zombies. Fifteen-year-old Benny now has to get a job in order to keep his food rations, and he finds one in the “family business” of bounty hunting. However, his entire view of the world is altered when he ventures into the Rot and Ruin for the first time with Tom. All of his heros aren’t who they seem and he realizes he is always in constant danger, both from zombies and people. All the while, this teen has to deal with his crush on his best friend and the loss of his parents. I would definitely recommend this book (9 out of 10 stars) because it has action, suspense, mystery, and romance all in one. So go out and read this book!
From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Gross, Andrew
The Glassman family are found brutally murdered in their home. Ty Jauck, an ex-cop now a private security investigator, was April Glassman’s friend. He tries to solve the crime and becomes entangled in a worldwide economic terrorism plot. As the body count rises, banks collapse and global panic sets in, Ty joins forces with Naomi Blum, an agent from the U.S. Department of Treasury, to find the masterminds and to prove that he is not the murderer.
From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Farnsworth, Christopher
The President’s Vampire
In this sequel to Blood Oath, vampire Nathaniel Cade and his human handler, Zach Barrows, must save mankind from creatures who not only kill but spread their contagion that changes humans into snakeheads. Suspend your disbelief for a wild non-stop action thriller adventure, the interaction between Cade and his sidekick Zach are worth the trip.
From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Meaney, Roisin
Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes
Hannah Robinson’s life is perfect. She is dating a great guy and she is starting her own business. The grand opening of her cupcake shop is days away, her friends are having a party for her and Patrick announces that he is leaving her for another woman. Small town life holds no secrets and everyone immediately knows about her painful situation. It is a story about heartbreak and tragedy but also shows the warmth of family, friends and love in this small Irish town of Clongarvin. A good summer read and who can resist a little tears, romance and cupcakes?
From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Thurman, Rob
Blackout : a Cal Leandros novel
What would you do if you woke up on a beach littered with slaughtered giant spiders? Usually, this is a typical day for Cal Leandros but he doesn’t know who he is or where he is, he just knows that he is a killer. He begins to discover little things about himself and starts to create a new life until one day someone arrives in town who claims to be his brother and wants to take him home. This brother, Niko, is a stranger and home is a place where monsters live. Blackout is the sixth book in the series.
From Gene, Teen Book Reviewer
author: McCormick, Patricia
titl: Purple Heart
Patricia McCormick has already enlightened the world with Sold and Cut. Purple heart is no different. Purple Heart is about a young Matt Duffy who awakens in a hospital in Iraq with no idea how he got there. He was also injured and because he has a traumatic brain injury he does not know how or why. The one little memory he has is of a little Iraqi boy being blown up. The next day he is awarded the Purple Heart medal.
After he has recovered and joined his squad, he keeps having flashbacks about the young Iraqi boy being blown up. Matt soon finds out that the boy was Ali the Iraqi boy that his squad had befriended. With this memory his conscience keeps nagging him. Could he have been the one who killed him? In the second half of the story Matt goes on a series of missions. Although some of the members of his squad get killed, he learns how to pull through and protect the others.
Patricia McCormick uses figurative language and has such a way with words that you feel like you are actually fighting alongside Private Duffy. And the idea with using a younger man with modern war was excellent. I recommend this book to young male readers who have interest in wars. This book is also good for parents who have teenagers that play games such as Call of Duty or Halo Reach. If they like to play those action packed video games, then maybe they’ll like this action packed book.
From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Pope, Barbara Corrado
Solange Vernet has been found murdered. A young inexperienced magistrate, Bernard Martin, investigates the crime. Who was the beautiful Solange? Was her murder a crime of passion? Is the spurned artist Paul Cezanne guilty? He has a violent temper and his paintings speak of dark, gruesome deeds. Or was it her lover, Darwinian scholar Charles Westbury, who in a jealous rage took her life? Martin is a charming character whose stubborn quest for justice makes him an unassuming hero. The Blood of Lorraine is the sequel which tells more of Martin’s tale.
From Sarah Bielskas, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Engle, Margarita
The firefly letters : a suffragette’s journey to Cuba
In the book The Firefly Letters, three completely different girls meet in Cuba and go on a journey that will change their lives forever! As Cecilia is dealing with a new husband (who was chosen for her) and a baby on the way, the other girls have some problems of their own! Fredika wants to explore the country in hopes of inspiring herself to write, but along the way she wants to help free the slaves.
Elena is different from the other girls because she comes from a very rich and proper family, rather than a poor or slaved family. Elena searches for freedom from being “locked up” by her mother and not being able to go outside to do the one thing the girls all have in common. They all like to catch fireflies and set them free.
I enjoyed The Firefly Letters because I liked how the author wrote about the lives of three very different girls, and shared with us what was happening to them all at the same time. I would recommend this book because it was insightful and an interesting read.
From Jackie Cantwell
author: Standiford, Les
Bringing Adam home : the abduction that changed America
This is the heartbreaking story of the 1981 abduction and murder of Adam Walsh, the son of John Walsh, the host of America’s Most Wanted (AMW) T.V. program. According to the authors (and later the Hollywood (FL) PD), the case is now solved and closed. Les Standiford is a well-known author and Joe Matthews is a retired detective and polygraph expert from Miami-Dade PD and is now an investigator on the AMW program. Joe assisted the detectives early in the investigation of the murder, and was called upon by John and Reve Walsh in 2006 to conduct a complete, methodical private investigation to solve the crime once and for all. Joe was given access to all the original police files. The Walshes suspected all along that Ottis Toole, a drifter and admitted serial killer, was Adam’s murderer. Toole had confessed to the killing several times over the years, and then recanted. But he knew things that only the killer could know.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), Toole died in prison serving other charges in 1996. He was never charged with the murder. The book serves as an indictment of the Hollywood PD, the Broward County authorities, and of the incompetent investigation of the murder.
The most dramatic evidence is a photo taken of Toole’s Cadillac floorboard carpeting. You absolutely must see this photo, enhanced by Luminol to detect blood, to believe it. Incredibly, this (and other damning) evidence was there for the detectives to see all along. Some passages were difficult to understand due to the coincidence that many surnames began with “H”, such as, “Hoisington made an effort to do what Hessler ordered, but by the time Hoffman and his partner Hickman had finished with Toole … “. (There are also characters named Hart, Hughes, Haggerty, and Hardaman, I kid you not). Another confounding aspect of the book was the typographical errors. There is reference made to a Gerald Schaffer, Toole’s one-time cellmate. Schaffer’s name is misspelled twice later in the book. There is a Cast of Characters section in the back, but it is of limited usefulness. Fans of true crime will most probably like this book.
It comes with a warning, however: the subject matter is very disturbing and sometimes graphic.