Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Between Shades of Gray by Ruth Sepetys

Many people don't think they like historical fiction - that is, until they find a book like Between Shades of Gray. The story follows fifteen-year-old Lina, a Jewish girl living in Lithuania in 1941. One night the Soviet secret police barge into her home, taking Lina, her mother, and her little brother. Lina's father has been separated from the family and is sent to a death camp. The rest of the family is deported to Siberia.

Between Shades of Gray chronicles Nina's journeys - the physical journey, where people are loaded into cattle cars and treated in an unimaginable, inhumane way - and the emotional journey, where she learns about hatred, love, sacrifice, strength, hope, and the amazing resilience of the human spirit. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to read about the Holocaust or about World War II. You will not be disappointed.

Click here to watch the book trailer.

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

If you like adventure / survival stories The Raft will be a great read for you. Robbie loves visiting her aunt in Hawaii. But when her aunt is unexpectedly called away, Robbie decides to fly home early. Home is the Midway Atoll, a group of remote islands in the Pacific. Due to her last minute plans, Robbie's only choice for a flight out is on a small cargo plane. She knows the pilot, but the co-pilot is a new man named Max. Together with a lot of cargo the three of them take off for Midway.

While in the middle of their flight the small plane first loses one engine, then crashes on the water. Max manages to pull Robbie onto a small raft, but there is no water and very little food. Max has been critically injured, they are in the middle of the ocean, and the chances for survival are small. The Raft reminded me very much of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. If you liked one, you are sure to like the other. The Raft has been nominated for the 2014-2015 Young Adult Golden Sower Award.

Click here to view a book trailer.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Written in the likeness of CinderellaCinder is set in the distant future where earth is inhabited by both humans and cyborgs. Cinder is a gifted mechanic and a cyborg, detested by her mother and step-sister. She also has a mysterious, unknown past that may hold answers to curing a deadly plague and stopping an intergalactic war.   

 While working for her keep, Cinder's life crosses paths with the handsome Prince Kai. As their feelings for each other grow, Cinder desperately tries to keep her identity as a cyborg secret. Eventually, choices have to be made - between truth and deception, duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Cinder will definitely have great appeal for science fiction lovers. This book has been nominated for the 2014-2015 Young Adult Golden Sower award and is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles.

Click here to view a book trailer.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson

Tandy Angel lived life as a privileged teen in a very wealthy family, in complete control of her emotions and her life - or so she thought. When Tandy's parents are found dead in their bedroom police immediately turn to members of the family as their prime suspects. Since there were no signs of forced entry, Tandy and her siblings seem to be the only ones who could possibly have committed these murders.

As Tandy attempts to solve the mystery of her parents' murders and clear the family name, she discovers dark, disturbing family secrets. Complicating matters, Tandy begins to have flashbacks of suppressed memories hidden deep beneath her cool, composed exterior. It quickly becomes obvious that nobody in the family can be ruled out, including herself. Confessions of a Murder Suspect is the first book in the Confessions mystery series. This is a quick read with short chapters and will appeal to many mystery fans.

Click here to view a video book trailer.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall

Sixteen-year-old Hope Long is the only one who understands her brother Jeremy, who has not spoken a word since he was seven. When Jeremy is accused of murdering the beloved baseball coach, Hope is the only one who believes that he is innocent. Everyone else in town is convinced of his guilt. With her brother unable to defend himself, Hope sets out to solve the mystery and prove her brother's innocence. Their lawyer wants Hope to convince the jury that Jeremy is insane, but even though Jeremy has his problems, Hope sees her brother as only different from others, maybe in some ways better. As Hope investigates the murder, she also uncovers secrets about the townspeople, her family, and herself.

The Silence of Murder has been nominated for the 2014-2015 Young Adult Golden Sower Award.

Variant by Robison Wells

Benson Fisher thought his scholarship to Maxwell Academy would be the way out of his dead-end life. He had moved from foster home to foster home with the same bad results. Maxwell Academy wasn't what it seemed though, and Benson soon realizes that he is a prisoner in this place. He is informed by the other students that there is no way to escape and breaking the rules can lead to death. But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret there is no turning back.

This is an edge-of-your seat, dystopian thriller is one of the best! Variant is the first book in the series (also called Variant) and has been nominated for the 2014-2015 Young Adult Golden Sower Award. Readers will be fast to grab book two, Feedback, as Wells absolutely leaves the reader hanging at the end of Variant. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and / or Divergent you will also love this one!

Click Here to see the book trailer.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Long, Long Sleep

I highly recommend this book for readers who liked The Adoration of Jenna Fox. Rosalinda Fitzroy is woken by a kiss after being asleep for sixty-two years. Locked away in a basement in a stasis tube, Rose slept through dark times in history that saw millions killed and the world she knew completely destroyed. Her parents and boyfriend are now gone and Rose, the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire, must find a way to adjust to her new existence. Danger is not far away, but possibly the greatest threat Rose has to face is the truth.

With the assistance of the boy who kissed and woke her, Rose must face the ghosts of her past if she is to have any future at all. Dystopian fans will enjoy this young adult Golden Sower nominated book.

Prisoner B-3087

Prisoner B-3087  is the story of Yanek, a Jewish boy living in Poland during World War II. Yanek's life changes dramatically when the Nazis occupy his city of Krakow, turning it into what becomes known as the Krakow ghetto. Eventually everything he has and everyone he loves is taken away from him. Follow Janek as he is moved from concentration camp to death camp and led on the famous death march. In all, he endures 10 different camps and unbelievable, inhumane treatment.

This is the ultimate survival story - one of terror, hope, and the remarkable resilience of the human spirit. Prisoner -3087 has been nominated for the 2014-2015 young adult Golden Sower award.

Click here to view the book trailer.

Found by Harlan Coben

If you are a mystery lover, this is a series you will want to pick up. Found is actually book 3 in the Mickey Bolitar series; Shelter is the first book, and Seconds Away the second. It has been 8 months since Mickey's dad died and as Mickey struggles to deal with this, he has a host of new problems. His love of basketball has drawn him into helping a troubled teammate who has despised Mickey and caused him nothing but trouble. Spoon is lying in a hospital bed and Ema has them off on a search for her new, missing boyfriend. At the same time, Mickey, Spoon, Ema and Rachel are pulled deeper into the mysteries surrounding the Abeona Shelter.

A great mystery story always includes twists and turns that you don't see coming. Found will not disappoint when Mickey finally comes face-to-face with the truth about his father. Don't miss this one!

Click here to view the book trailer

Sunday, January 5, 2014

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

After Ever After is actually the second book in a story about a middle school boy, Jeff, and his friend Tad who are cancer survivors.  The title of the first book is Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.  Both boys were diagnosed with cancer at a very young age, and as they start their 8th grade year both are in remission.  They meet a new friend, Lindsey, who encourages them to help each other overcome the aftereffects of their cancer treatments.  Jeff craves advice from his older brother Stephen - advice about school, girls, and all of the decisions that go along with being an 8th grader. But Stephen is studying in Africa so Jeff is forced to face some of the most difficult times of his life without him.  After Ever After is a good read for those liking realistic fiction.  It is nominated for the young adult Golden Sower award in 2013-2014 and is bound to garner some votes.

Click here to view a video book trailer