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Monday, July 5th, 2010 02:26 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com)


Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.


Thoughts: )
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Friday, July 2nd, 2010 12:36 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or Second Story Press.)


Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Follow the interwoven stories of two girls and one woman, their lives all tied to the enigmatic figure of Caliban, the character first introduced by Shakespeare in The Tempest, his famous play of love, loyalty, and magic. Caliban is the strange, half-wild man Prospero and Miranda discovered on an island after being shipwrecked. Rough Magic forms both prequel and sequel, telling the stories of the sorceress Sycorax, Caliban's mother; Miranda's daughter Chiara, who becomes like a daughter to Caliban; and Calypso, a magical young woman with ties to them all. All three must fight against a world that sees magic as evil and uses women as political pawns. Finally, it is the island and its power that draws them all back, demanding amends from the humans who have exploited its natural wonders. A spellbinding story that combines an old-fashioned tale of dragons, shipwrecks, adventure, and sacrifice, with an inspiring message of the earth's power and our environmental responsibility.

Thoughts: )
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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 12:20 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca or direct from Second Story Press)


Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) In this quirky collection, award-winning author for young people Kathy Stinson offers characters and plotlines that reflect the many ways teens learn about lust and love. From the first stirrings of same-sex desire on a lakeside beach to troubling paternity questions around a teen pregnancy, 101 Ways to Dance reflects the spectrum of teen sexuality from the very sweet to the very scary. These stories offer many opportunities for important and engaged discussions, while content and writing style ensure a great selection for reluctant readers. A must-have for all junior high and high school libraries.

Thoughts: )
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Friday, June 18th, 2010 12:36 pm


Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) When a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake Ransom, he and his older sister, Kady, are plunged into a gripping chain of events. An artifact found by their parents—on the expedition from which they never returned—leads Jake and Kady to a strange world inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, a world that may hold the key to their parents' disappearance.

But even as they enter the gate to this extraordinary place, savage grackyls soar across the sky, diving to attack. Jake's new friends, the pretty Mayan girl Marika and the Roman Pindor, say the grackyls were created by an evil alchemist—the Skull King. And as Jake struggles to find a way home, it becomes obvious that what the Skull King wants most is Jake and Kady—dead or alive.


Thoughts: )
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Thursday, June 10th, 2010 02:02 pm

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) It's the future, and most jobs are done by machines. Now that school is over, Lisse and her friends are consigned to a bleak neighborhood for the permanently unemployed. Then they receive an invitation to the Game, which transports them to a paradise. Is it a dream or a computer simulation? Each time they play the Game, the new world seems more and more real...

Thoughts: )
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 01:31 pm

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Zoey needs a break after some serious excitement. Sadly, the House of Night school for vampyres doesn't feature breaks on its curriculum - even for a High Priestess in training and her gang. Plus juggling three guys is no stress reliever, especially when one is a sexy Warrior so into protecting Zoey that he's sensing her emotions. Wider stresses lurk too, and the dark force in Tulsa's tunnels is spreading. Could Stevie Rae be responsible for more than a group of misfit fledglings? And Aphrodite's visions warn Zoey to stay away from the immortal Kalona and his dark allure - but they also show that only Zoey can stop him. She's not exactly keen to meet up, but if Zoey doesn't go to Kalona he'll exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. She just has to find the courage to do what's necessary, or everything that's important to her will be destroyed.

Thoughts: )
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Thursday, May 13th, 2010 10:28 am

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) The good news: Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. The bad news: Ancient evil with the face of an angel has been let loose – that and various other nasties (whose faces aren’t so angelic). Grandma Redbird is in trouble. Heath is in trouble. The House of Night is in trouble. Okay, let’s face it – Zoey’s whole world is in trouble! But when the trouble comes from a being who appears to be beauty personified, will the world believe it? Especially when only a teenager and a group of misfits are the only ones who really understand the danger he brings. Will Zoey have the strength and wisdom to reveal the truth? Especially when, in the House of Night, the truth is often hard to come by...

Thoughts: )
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Sunday, May 9th, 2010 07:32 pm

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, the only two Zoey has left are undead and unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her? Zoey's adventures at vampyre finishing school take a wild and dangerous turn as loyalties are tested, shocking true intentions come to light, and an ancient evil is awakened in PC and Kristin Cast's spellbinding fourth House of Night novel.

Thoughts: )
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Saturday, April 24th, 2010 08:17 pm

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies. And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends. So begins the gripping third installment of this “highly addictive series” (Romantic Times), in which Zoey’s mettle will be tested like never before. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey doesn’t have a clue how to help her, but she does know that anything she and Stevie Rae discover must be kept secret from everyone else at the House of Night, where trust has become a rare commodity. Speaking of rare: Zoey finds herself in the very unexpected and rare position of having three boyfriends. Mix a little bloodlust into the equation and the situation has the potential to spell social disaster. Just when it seems things couldn’t get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. It looks like the People of Faith, and Zoey’s horrid step-father in particular, are tired of living side-by-side with vampyres. But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely reflects the truth…

Thoughts: )
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Monday, April 19th, 2010 11:14 am

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

Thoughts: )
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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 02:00 pm

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Thoughts: )
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Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 12:35 pm

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...


Thoughts: )
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Saturday, March 6th, 2010 09:44 pm

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.


Thoughts: )
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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 02:51 pm

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either...


Thoughts: )
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Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 02:00 pm


Summary: (From GoodReads) Before there is peace, blood will spill blood...

The Clans have finally arrived in their new home, following the prophecies of their warrior ancestors. The journey was difficult enough, but now they must struggle to establish territories and learn the hidden dangers of this unfamiliar world. Most importantly, Leafpaw knows they must find a replacement for the Moonstone: a place to communicate with StarClan. Otherwise there will be no way to choose new leaders, no way to share medicine cat secrets, and no way to know whether the Clans are on the right path.

The future seems uncertain, and more than one cat is harboring sinister plans that could lead to violence and darkness. As all the warriors wait for a sign, some of them begin to realize that the threats they face in the forest may not be as perilous as the threats they face from within.


Thoughts: )
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Saturday, January 30th, 2010 01:38 pm


I told you all it wouldn't take me long to finish the sequel!

I don't really have much to say about this one, not that I didn't say in the earlier commentary for Too Young to Die. The protagonist in this book has switched from Melissa to her best friend Jory, which was probably for the best given how Melissa dies at the end of this book.

Someone has to die, after all. It's a Lurlene McDaniel novel.

I forgot to mention a more few staple traits in her books. The protagonist nearly always has a friend who's more boy-crazy and fashion-conscience than she is, there's always some internal debate about whether or not to have sex (but in the end the protagonist makes the "right choice" and abstains), and the protagonist muses about God at least once per novel.

One of these days I'm going to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write a few novels that use the same formula, only switch things around a little. Maybe make one of the characters gay (I have yet to see a gay character in one of her books) or make somebody's religion something other than Christian. Just so that such a novel actually exists.

Ahem, yes, all ranting aside...

I recently took a look at my old reading records (I keep a spreadsheet of the books I read in a given year), and it looks like 2005 was my best year thus far, with me having read 85 books. (Keep in mind that I only started keeping these records in 2005, so that doesn't mean that 85 books is the most I've ever read in a single calendar year.) I think I'd like to beat that record this year. I won't list a specific number, but I will try to get more than 85 books read by the end of December 2010. I've got plenty of books that need reading, after all, and until I find steady employment again, plenty of time to read them in.

And when I do find steady employment again, I'll keep making time to read. I posted recently about how I sometimes find myself reading more when I have other things to do, like work, since I can read on the bus there and back, as well as on my breaks and my lunch. Depending on how long the bus commute is and how long my work shift is, I could have 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, with nothing else to do but read.

Sounds like heaven to me!
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Saturday, January 30th, 2010 08:41 am


Back of the book: Sixteen-year-old Melissa Austin has always worked hard to get what she wants. As the school year begins, her work is paying off. Her grades are up, and she landed a coveted spot on the high school Brain Bowl team. She and her best friend Jory Delaney, are determined to have the best junior year ever.

Then Melissa receives devastating news about her health. At first she refuses to accept the doctor's diagnosis, but as her illness gets worse she cannot deny the truth. The caring and closeness Melissa feels toward her family, and especially toward Jory, help her find the inner stength to hace the mysteries of living and dying.


Thoughts: )
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Friday, January 22nd, 2010 05:16 pm


Summary: A fascinating look at the world of the Amish, as seen through the eyes of a young Amish girl growing to adulthood. Through Ellie's experiences, including a runaway buggy and a death in the family, readers get a real-life picture of the Amish lifestyle. The first book in the "Ellie's People" series.

Thoughts: )