Category: YA-10

Sookie Stackhouse #7: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead
by Charlaine Harris
ebook, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Ace Hardcover (first published May 1st 2006)

Synopsis:

Betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse must now not only deal with a possible new man in her life-the oh-so-handsome shapeshifter Quinn-but also contend with a long-planned vampire summit. With her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans, the local vampire queen is vulnerable to those hungry for a takeover. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she’ll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.

OK, officially I think this was one of the best plots. There were so many conflicts, Sookie had and there were so many choices she had to make. I am glad she did the straight-talk with Quinn, I like him – I don’t want him to be hurt. Oh yes, you heard right, I finally like someone and I keep thinking he is real, is it not weird to want a character in a book to be happy and not hurt?
There is a whole lot happening here, and I am sure anything I say will not really get the message across. Only thing, I don’t understand why the Vamps are not burning the Fellowship guys, crap. I hate them. And for once I felt sympathetic towards Sookie, I felt really bad for her in the end.

CymLowell

Kid Konnection: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
by Jeff Kinney
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 3rd 2008 by Puffin (first published April 1st 2007)
Synopsis:

The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to

It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all `Dear Diary’ this and `Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.

Since its launch in May 2004 on Funbrain.com, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.

What can I say about this book, that has not already been said? It is a total-laugh-riot. OMG! There is no way, you won’t laugh, while read this “Journal” (as Diary is a very Girly name) and it is not Greg Heffley’s idea either, it is his mom’s.

Greg Heffley is a 6th grader, who is small for his age. He has a elder brother Roderick, who he thinks is bent upon humiliating him; a younger one Manny, who he hates because his parents love him the most and best friend Rowley, who is just plain below his standards. This book chronicle one school year, and has pretty cute illustrations on every page. Jeff tries to become popular among girls, stands for election, tried to become a star with his comic strips and volunteers for being the safety girl for the kindergarten kids because of the free hot chocolate they got for doing it. Each and everything he tries, turns out to be a failure.

There is lot of sarcasm, humor and laugh-out-loud commentary. I am not sure if I would want to read it to my 6th Grader but I do think the humor will be well appreciated and enjoyed by older kids, say 9 and above. But I think parents would have to make the call, really because this doesn’t really give you any moral messages and Jeff comes out to be not the kind of kid you would want, but there is lot of self-deprecating humor and lot of talk about how middle school is. It is enjoyable and I immensely enjoyed it too.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #6) by Charlaine Harris

Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #6)
by Charlaine Harris
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 16th 2009 by Gollancz (first published 2006)

Synopsis:

As a person with so few living relatives, supernaturally gifted Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse really hated to lose one. But she never thought it would be her cousin Hadley, a consort of the Vampire Queen of New Orleans. Since Hadley was a vampire, she was already dead – weird! And now, as unexpected heir to Hadley’s estate, Sookie discovers that someone doesn’t want her snooping around, going through Hadley’s possessions and her past. But why? And who?

Well, I need to confess, I liked Bill a lot. Maybe better than Eric, but unlike many other lovers of this book, I did not like earlier that Sookie and Bill’s relationship was on the rocks. Now, that it is definite that they are never going to be together, I am making an effort to like Eric and Quinn. Quinn, of course what is there not to like, but through out the book I kept on thinking that Quinn would definitely turn out to be a bad guy and poor Sookie will be hurt again – hmm, you have to read to find out if I was right in thinking so.

With the entry of Queen of Louisiana, things have got a royal feel, and I, like Sookie, am more than ready to return to Bon Temps. One last thing, I totally love Amelia, she is so cute and of course Bob, her cat.

Kid Konnection: Theodore Boone, Young Lawyer by John Grisham

Theodore Boone, Young Lawyer
by John Grisham
Paperback, 263 pages
Published June 10th 2010 by Hodder Paperbacks (my copy came from Hachette India)
Synopsis:

When it comes to giving advice on divorce issues and impounded pets, 13-year-old Theodore Boone is first choice with his teachers and classmates. Theo knows more about the law than most lawyers.

But he also knows he has no business getting involved in his home town’s first murder trial in years.

That is, until a witness tells Theo he saw things the day of the murder that could bust the case wide open. The only problem is, he’s too scared to talk – Theo is the only person he’ll trust.

With the trial about to be lost for lack of evidence, and a witness who won’t take the stand, suddenly Theo finds himself caught in the middle of his – and the town’s – biggest case ever . . .

My Husband bought me this book from a Book Exhibition. And I was so so happy to buy a John Grisham book finally. All his books are really affordable, and that is what I LOVE. They should publish more and more books here rather than selling imported editions at exorbitant prices; now I can actually give you a list of authors I want 😉

This IS the YA book. It is for the young people and that’s what I like about it. It for you and me, who have no idea about judicial systems, the terms used and the way the system out there works. All of this and more are explained really well by Theo Boone. Theo Boone is a 13-year old boy who knows law better than most Lawyers out there. His dad is a real-estate lawyer who seldom leaves his office and goes to courtrooms, his mother is a divorce lawyer, his uncle Ike is defamed lawyer, who know works on filing tax and such things and he is friends with Judge Gantry, who also is his role model. He is the kid lawyer, who gives free advice to his friends and others on legal issues. From saving a fellow students home, to saving the troublesome dog of a beautiful grader.. he has done it all and more. When a high-profile murder case where in the state accuses the victim to have been murdered by her own husband than by a robber, Theo has no idea that he will be actually in the middle of the drama.

Contrary to the many negative reviews I read, I actually really enjoyed this book. I loved Theo, he is your perfect kid, who listens to your parents and does everything they say. He wants to be a lawyer or a judge some day and loves spending time in the courtrooms rather than in his school. He knows all the lawyers, policemen and everyone in the court. My only qualm was that Theo was just too perfect – but I would love it if Aarya becomes a perfect kid like Theo, which I know is rarity. It really is predictable and I have feeling this is going to be a series. I think Theo will make a great detective/ Lawyer too.

I think this will make a perfect gift for kids in your family, there are no graphic content, it is a perfectly clean, enjoyable read.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse #5) by Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse #5) by Charlaine Harris
Mass Market Paperback, 295 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Ace (first published 2005)

“Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s pretty and well-mannered and has only a few close friends – which isn’t surprising, since not many people can appreciate Sookie’s abilities as a mind reader. It’s not a quality that has the guys beating down her door – unless they’re vampires, werewolves, or other supernatural beings. And now some of them aren’t just friendly – they’re family.”

“When Sookie sees her brother Jason’s eyes start to change, she knows he’s about to turn into a werepanther for the first time – a transformation he embraces more readily than most shapeshifters she’s known. But her concern for her brother becomes cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population – and Jason’s new panther brethren suspect he may be the shooter.”

Now, Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first.

Another installment and we are on fire. Eric got back his memory, Sookie is richer but for how long? There is a sniper in town who is aiming for the shifters and the shifter’s community think it is Jason, Sookie’s brother. Now Sookie has to do something to help Jason and keep him and herself alive. This is another spicy installment, but defniitely not my favorite. Well the reason being, I definitely did not think I will really remember what all happened in this installment, but I am sure I am not going to like Alcide anymore. Just when you think there couldn’t be any new character introduced, Charlaine comes and gives you the wereTiger…OMG! I am sure I am going to see him again in the future installments.

Thinking of favorite, I am still not decided on which one of these books is my favorite really?

Which Sookie Stackhouse book is your favorite in the series and why?

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country (Zan-Gah, #2) by Allan Richard Shickman

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country (Zan-Gah, #2)
by Allan Richard Shickman
Paperback, 151 pages
Published September 26th 2009 by Earthshaker Books (first published 2009)

Synopsis:

The prehistoric saga continues in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, the sequel to the award winning Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. In this story, Zan s troubled twin brother, Dael, having suffered greatly during his earlier captivity, receives a ruinous new shock when his wife suddenly dies. Disturbed and traumatized, all of his manic energies explode into acts of hostility and bloodshed. His obsession is the destruction of the wasp men, his first captors, who dwell in the Beautiful Country. When he, Zan-Gah, and a band of adventurers trek to their bountiful home, they find that all of the wasp people have died in war or of disease. The Beautiful Country is empty for the taking, and Zan s people, the Ba-Coro, decide to migrate and resettle there. But the Noi, Dael s cruelest enemies and former tormentors, make the same migration from their desert home, and the possibility develops of contention and war over this rich and lovely new land.

I really liked the 1st installment of this series, A Pre-Historic Adventure (my review). In that book, we saw Zan’s coming-of age story. We saw him  slaying a lioness which would have killed his people, becoming a respectful and revered young leader who his people called Zan-Gah (Gah being a respectful suffix given to him ). In that book we also saw Zan go in search of his lost twin, Dael. He loves Dael, and somehow is weighed down by the guilt that maybe if they had had not had that fight, Dael would have never left and would never have gone missing for two years. In the end, we triumph because Zan is able to find and bring back his brother.

This installment is all about Dael. It starts with the clan moving to the Beautiful Country as it’s in habitant are all dead. It is rich and beautiful and it will feed them without really worrying about hunting. This book mostly is about the volcano that erupts in Dael. His transformation, how it affects others and himself. It is about Zan, who tries without any success to transform his twin.

Shickman has done a wonderful job of sketching Dael’s character. It is difficult to relate or like him, but his tribulations are something you have seen. I found that I liked and respected Zan even more. His love for his twin is remarkable. It is notable that you can really relate with all the characters and long after you are done reading this book they remain with you. And I felt a kind of peace at the end, it was the perfect ending.

I do not know if there is more novels in this series, but I am sure I would love to read about Zan and Rydl and Pax and Chul more.

Thanks to Bonnie of Earthshaker Books for my review copy. I really enjoyed it.

CymLowell

Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse #4) by Charlaine Harris


Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse #4)
by Charlaine Harris
Mass Market Paperback, 291 pages
Published May 4th 2004 by Ace Hardcover (first published 2004)

When cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse sees a naked man on the side of the road, she doesn’t just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn’t a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It’s Eric the vampire–but now he’s a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life.

Just when you think this series really cannot get anymore spicier….
There is drool-worthy ancient (now i think ancient is synonymous to sexy in this series) Eric has lost his memory and is in the guy-next-door avatar with whom you can definitely have your happily-ever-after. Poor Sookie, you can never fault her for giving in to his innocent charms. Eric, never my favorite is oh-so cute in this installment.

So the plot – Eric has lost his memory, thanks to a very powerful witch-high-command who covets Eric in ALL raunchy ways. This witch clan is also wants Eric’s assets and also is a danger to all the other super-natural beings! So the Vamps, the weres, shifters and the good witches join hands to defeat this awful clan. Of course, in between this, Sookie’s brother Jason is also gone missing and she fears that he has been taken hostage by this witch clan.

Oh well, this is definitely high on action, Bill is nowhere to be seen, except when he comes in the very end. I did not want to believe that Bill’s and Sookie’s relationship is over, but I think Sookie did the right thing by moving on… but moving on to where? We will have to find out!

Darn, I am addicted!

Manifest (Mystyx #1) by Artist Arthur

Manifest by Artist Arthur

Manifest (Mystyx #1)
by Artist Arthur
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

 

Synopsis:

When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom’s hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City.
But Lincoln is nothing like Krystal imagined. The weirdness begins when Ricky Watson starts confiding in her. He’s cute, funny, a good listener—and everything she’d ever want—except that he was killed nearly a year ago. Krystal’s ghost-whispering talents soon lead other “freaks” to her door—Sasha, a rich girl who can literally disappear, and Jake, who moves objects with his mind. All three share a distinctive birthmark in the shape of an M and, fittingly, call themselves the Mystyx. They set out to learn what really happened to Ricky, only to realize that they aren’t the only ones with mysterious powers. But if Krystal succeeds in finding out the truth about Ricky’s death, will she lose him for good?

I have been really thinking hard to get my thoughts organized on this one, but I am still so undecided as to whether I liked it or not. The problem being that from the time I started this book, I have been just comparing this to Dull Boy by Sarah Cross (my review) which I read last year. In Dull Boy by Sarah Cross (my review) also there is this guy who has some powers but ofcourse none of them can talk to the dead. But the basic plot is the same… Teens…powers..struggling with these powers…meeting others with these powers…trying to find out how they get these powers…trying to help someone… and so on… I hope you get the picture.

But whereas I really liked Dull Boy, I cannot say the same for Manifest. I think the problem has to be that I didnot like Krystal at all. I can totally understand her struggles, but I didnot like her attitude at all. Maybe this is how teens are but I could not feel for her at all. She made it difficult to like her. But I was engrossed in the story, I really wanted to know how these 3 were going to end up. Another issue I think is that I very much knew who the bad guy was, somewhere around the middle it became quite obvious!

But I loved Jake and Ricky. Both the guys were so good. I loved the way Krystal and her mom make-up and talk. And well it reiterates my belief that there is no problem  in this world that cannot be dealt with an open-minded talk.

I love the feel of her arms around me, of my head resting against her chest, of the rhythmic patter of her heart against my ear. I love her scent that reminds me of when I was a baby and rested my head in this very spot. But what I love most of all is what she says next and how it fills me up completely.
“It’ll always be you and me, Krys. No matter what.”
That’s better than I love you, better that I miss you or I’m sorry. Why? Because it says that no matter how dumb and spoiled I act or how misunderstood she is, that we’ll be together.
I like that, very much.
-pg. 221

All in all, I did enjoy it despite all the issues and comparing. It was good to see Krystal growing up and accepting who she was and accepting the people around her too.
Thanks to NetGalley for my eBook!

Brighid’s Quest (Parthalon #2) by P.C.Cast

Brighid’s Quest (Parthalon #3)
by P.C.Cast
Published by Harlequin Teen
Paperback, 512 Pages

Synopsis from the Author’s Website:

Fleeing her centaur clan’s increasingly militant beliefs, Brighid Dhianna has begun to find peace and acceptance among the humans of Clan MacCallan. Still, she agrees to leave her newly formed friendships to guide her clan chieftain’s grieving brother home. As she journeys, Brighid discovers that the long-dormant Shaman blood that runs so thickly in her veins will no longer be silenced. As seductive new powers begin to beckon, Brighid glimpses a future that is more impossible — and more magical — than any she could have dared to imagine.

But when tragedy summons her back to the Centaur Plains, Brighid must make a decision that will affect not only her friendship with the humans, but the centaur herd and indeed the world. For the Great Goddess Epona has set her on a new path that demands everything she has to give.

When the whole world is turning to her for help, healing the heart of a warrior doesn’t sound so daunting . . .

This is a coming of age book and has a lot of things woven together. After seeing Elphame’s concern for her brother who has gone to bring back the New Formaorians to Clan McCallan; Brighid decides to put her clan’s chief’s heart at peace and takes up the journey to find Cu and aid him in bringing the New Formorians back! But what Brighid does not expect is her struggle with her own powers, finding love and finding her destiny…this journey will change what Brighid Dianna stood for and will stand for, for time to come.

The land is still shrouded in darkness, but the sky had begun to blush in anticipation of the sun…

– Brighid’s Quest

Brighid’s Quest is the 3rd book in the Young Adult Parthalon Books by P.C. Cast! I had no clue when I selected this book from NetGalley that it was part of a series. I felt sorry I had not read the 1st 2 books because I have come to LOVE Cast’s writing. It is so beautiful and vivid! When this book started, I really was a bit confused as I had no clue what was happening. But 10 pages into it and I was reading non-stop. This book is addictive in a way, I cannot explain. I loved Brighid, Cu and Elphame! I love the world that Cast has so beautifully crafted.
I LOVE her lyrical writing… I know I am saying it again… but I think I cannot express my love for this book enough.


Dwelling on tragedy makes grief become like a dipping icicle that begins as a small, harmless silver of coldness. But slowly, as winter of mourning progresses, layer after dripping layer hardens into an unbreakable dagger of pain.
– pg. 67


The connection between dawn and sunset was like a coin with 2 faces. Alike, yet seperate. Similar, yet not the same. There was a simplicity and rightness to thinking of the two as reflections of one another… beginning and ending… and then beginning again…just another part of the great circle of life.
– pg. 271


Some things in life can’t be placed tidly on sides of good or evil. We are often in the midst of a balancing act, where the scales are hopefully tipped toward the good and away from the evil. But sometimes evil wears the face of friends and family. And good looks like the outlander.”
– pg. 288

You know that prejudice is not logical, which is why it is so hard to overcome.”

Just like a coming-of-age novel, this one is predictable. I mean you know what is going to happen, but how and what all really happens – you have to read the book to really find out! On a side-note, I do not like the cover at all 🙁
I am waiting to get a chance to read all the books in this series. And I recommend this book HIGHLY!
I hope you guys give this series and this author’s other books a try!
Check out the author site – P.C. Cast site

Thanks to Harlequin Teen and to NetGalley for my copy of this eBook!
Edited to Add: – I think there are only two books in this series! Sorry Guys, I was wrong… I thought I read this on GoodReads, where it puts 5 books in this series – http://www.goodreads.com/series/40394-partholon (check this link)