Artichoke’s Heart is a typical realistic fiction story where the overweight teen girl clears up her relationship with her family, deals with her mother’s illness, gets a best friend, gets over the bullies at school, gets the boy she has a crush on, and learns to be good to herself. The premise is familiar but the writing and characters draw you in.   It is poignant and sweet. I would recommend it for teens and adults. Younger readers should be aware that there is some mature language and topics. Posted by MichelleRead More →

To be completely honest, Breaking Dawn, the end to the highly successful Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, was not everything that I had hoped for. However, it does succeed in giving the delightful love story between Bella and Edward that has enthralled us for three books a resounding finish, and Meyer has pulled out all the stops drafting this story. Adding in a few new twists, lots of characters, and bringing back the vampires we love to hate, Breaking Dawn shatters the Twilight mold and boldly enters a whole new arena. One of the new features in Breaking Dawn is having a large section ofRead More →

In Dyan Sheldon’s Planet Janet, we meet 16 year-old Janet, a melodramatic, misunderstood, and self-absorbed teen. Attempting to transcend life’s “mundane crap” Janet, accompanied by best friend, enters her “Dark Phase,” which is marked by dark clothing, thinking about “DEEP AND MEANINGFUL THINGS”, and calculated pursuit of Elvin, an aspiring filmmaker. Meanwhile, life at home in London grows increasingly rocky. At first we only get glimpses of Janet’s family, all seen through her sarcastic teen eyes, so we don’t really know what’s going on in the house.  But when her parents’ normal fights erupt into full crisis and her brother’s volitle personal life gets out ofRead More →

Walker feels like his life has been going downhill since his father died.  In Ron Koertge’s Where the Kissing Never Stops, this high school junior has to come to terms with the fact that his dad wasn’t who he thought he was, that his life is going out of control, and to top it all off, his mom has take a job as a stripper. Walker’s relationships in the book, with his best friend, Sully, his new girlfriend, Rachel, and his mom, allow him to explore his changing feelings, insecurities, and daily challenges of growing up.  He learns his father left him some land to useRead More →

Impossible  by Nancy Werlin stands on a very interesting plot, forces you to feel emotion and makes the reader try to think about possible solutions.  Even though the recommended reader age starts at 12 years, or 6th grade, I would never recommend this book to anyone younger than a mature 7th grader.  Some of the main topics include rape, teenage pregnancy, mental illness, love and marriage.  They are presented in a mature way.  The rape is not described, but it is always there.  Also, Lucy talks very bluntly about her feelings toward her rapist.    It seems weird to say this, but Impossible also had aRead More →

A La Carte is a quick, enjoyable novel by Tanita Davis.  In it we get to know Lainey, a 17 year-old African American girl who aspires to be a professional chef.  She dreams of having her own cooking show and loves spending time in the kitchen of her mom’s restaurant and in her own home kitchen where she finds both solace and a creative outlet in the preparation of food.  She’s forced to confront real life issues and struggles when her childhood best-friend Sim, and secret crush, gets into some serious trouble and runs away, asking for Lainey’s help (both in money and secrecy) toRead More →

Another great book by Melissa Marr! Ink Exchange is cleverly more of a continuation than a sequel. In Wicked Lovely the story revolved around Aislynn, Seth & Keenan. They appear throughout Ink Exchange but it focuses instead on Aislynn’s mortal friend Leslie and the faeries Niall and Irial. I am already looking forward to another book! There are so many other characters with interesting stories to tell. Will the third book be about Ani, Rabbit, Gabriel, Bananach, or the Winter Queen? It gets me thinking about other books and wondering how many other stories could come from minor characters that you usually pay little attentionRead More →

Miles, a smart but socially awkward teen, is tired of his friendless, dull life in Florida, so Looking For Alaska by John Green begins after has convinced his parents to send him away to boarding school in Alabama so that he can seek “the Great Perhaps.” There he meets his roommate and soon-to-be best friend, Chip, called the Colonel, and Alaska Young, the moody, gorgeous, wild girl who instantly becomes the object of his lust and his curiosity. Miles is quickly enlisted in their group of friends and they bond over elaborate pranks, studying, and assorted rule-breaking. About halfway through the book a tragedy occurs, and those left spendRead More →

The first book in a trilogy, Magic or Madness, by Australian author Justine Larbalestier, is the mesmerizing story of 15-year-old Reason Cansino, who has lived with her mother in the Australian bush on the run from her grandmother her whole life. When her mother goes insane, Reason is sent to live with her grandmother, whom her mother has taught her to believe is an evil witch. Once in Sydney, Reason must decipher the mixed messages she received from her mother growing up about the magic her grandmother practiced, and the neat, seemingly normal picture her grandmother presents to her. When she discovers a secret key and a long-dead catRead More →