Archive for January, 2009

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Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

January 20, 2009

Title: Skeleton Creek

Author: Patrick Carman

Release Date: Feb. 10, 2009.

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 186.

Grade: B

Contains: Coming-of-age, Relationships, Drama, Suspense, Mystery.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Writing: 8

Plot: 9

Characters: 8

Wow Factor: 8

Summary (scholastic.com): Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek … and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out … and then emails the clips for Ryan to see. 

In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts — Ryan’s text in the book, and Sarah’s videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.

Review: This book is the first of its kind. Targeted to reluctant readers, it asks that you read twenty pages of Ryan’s thoughts and adventures and your “reward” is to watch a video made by Sarah that relates to it. It’s a ghost story. I bet you’re wondering if it’s good enough to make your knees shake? I truthfully was scared throughout the book. I think the videos had a great impact in my whole perception of the book because I could view what Ryan was talking about in his journal. The videos just make it that much more like you’re really there, witnessing whatever this ghost is.

While I was reading it I had the sense that it was kind of like National Treasure meets lonelygirl15. It was short, quick, and effective. 

But I did have some problems with it. What if you’re not by a computer when you’re reading? This happened to me more than once. So I tried watching the video through my iPhone, but it didn’t work. Another thing is that I wished the supporting characters had been more developed. I felt as though I didn’t truly know them as much as I knew Ryan and Sarah and hope that in the next book there will be more explanation about them.

The ending was a total cliffhanger. But I do think it’s one more step to getting reluctant readers to pick up the second book in the series. And perhaps the piece that makes it that much more interactive is that this book is being speculated to be real over at skeletoncreekisreal.com

I recommend this book to boys 9-13 who don’t really enjoy reading. But if you’re like me– a total ghost stories and suspense fan– you’ll really get a kick out of this.

Want to watch a book trailer? Here ya go:


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Wondrous Strange: LOTR’s BOTM

January 10, 2009

 Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston is Like OMG Teens Read‘s Book of the Month for January 2009. Wondrous Strange won by a landslide in our monthly voting by our members. Without further ado, I give you a summary of the book from the lovely Amazon.com

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . . 

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her. 

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie’s enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year. 

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley’s eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her. 

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance. 

Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.

What do you think? If you love fantasy I bet this is the one for you!

I hope you all relish Wondrous Strange and remember that the book is being discussed over at LOTR, click here for the link. Enjoy and discuss!

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Girl vs. Bear: Stories from the 80s by Lisa Kerr

January 8, 2009

 Title: Girl vs. Bear: Stories from the 80s

 Author: Lisa Kerr

 Edition: Paperback

 Number of Pages: 114

 Grade: B+

 

 Contains: Coming-of age, Short Stories, Romance, Relationships, Drama.

 

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Writing: 9

Plot: This book is made up of short stories, overall- 8.

Characters: 9

Wow: 9

 

Summary (from booksurge.com): These provocative short stories follow a series of teenage heroines coming of age in the 1980’s—a decade full of big hair, make-out parties, material girls, and radical surfers. The young women here grapple with the mysteries of young love, sex, death, and parents. With humor and generosity, Kerr investigates what it means to be an adolescent girl as her protagonists face down bad reputations, drunken perverts, fistfights and, of course, killer bears.

Review: This book was a great look at life in the 80s. Lisa Kerr truly knows what she’s writing about. My favorite story was Knife Fights which is about a girl who’s best friend is both her friend and her rival. All of the stories described important subjects which are relevant for the time era and even now like friends, rivals, boys, and music. They really got down to the detail of touch, smell, sight, which made me feel like I was right there watching it unfold in front of me. The stories had strong and very relatable characters. Girl vs. Bear is mostly written in second-person, using “you”. It is normally not used in books, and Lisa Kerr knew how to use it well. I cannot wait for her to publish again, short stories or chapter books. You really need to get your hands on this.    

Wait around for an interview with Lisa Kerr… she’s really down-to-earth and interesting, I promise!


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Remember! Today is the Blogger Chat!

January 7, 2009

Just a quick reminder that our Blogger Chat is today, Jan. 7 @ 8pm eastern, 7pm central, 6pm mountain, and 5pm pacific. 

The chat is at this link: http://www.chatzy.com/648623083422

I really hope to see you there!

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Blogger Chat: Date & Important Info

January 1, 2009

 

Hey, all!

Happy New Year, first of all. 

Thanks so much for the support you showed for this Blogger Chat.

Here’s all the info you need:

Who: Anyone! Book bloggers, book readers/lovers, authors, and their moms. 🙂

What: A Blogger Chat

Where: On Chatzy… at this link ->  click here to enter chatroom.

(You can bookmark it but I will remind you a day before and the day of the blogger chat also, so no worries.)

When: Wednesday, January 7, 2008 at 8pm eastern, 7 pm central, 6 pm mountain, 5 pm pacific.

Why: To get to know each other better as friends and to talk about whatever we’d like. 

How: Joining the chat, of course.


I really hope to see all of you there! If it is successful this might become a monthly thing. 

In other news, I just got into BookMooch so if you have an account then friend me! My profile: http://bookmooch.com/m/bio/whatvanessareads

Also, my 100+ Reading Challenge for 2009 starts today. I got kind of mad at myself for starting Shelter Me (I’m 40 pages in) before the year started, because I can’t use it for the challenge. But I started Living Dead Girl today and I’m almost done. All the books I read this year will be given at this page –> https://whatvanessareads.wordpress.com/the-2009-100-reading-challenge/