Monday, September 26, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

In order to help Payton Gritas deal with her father's MS diagnosis, Payton begins to visit the guidance counselor at her school. The counselor tells Payton to begin a focus journal, making her focus on other areas in her life. Who/What will be the object of her journal? For the past several years, Payton has looked at the back of Sean Griswold's head, since due to their last names, she sits behind him. So, Sean Griswold's head and Sean Griswold become the object of Payton's focus journal. Needless to say, Payton learns quite a bit about Sean, and in the process, their relationship blossoms. What will happen when Sean realizes that he is the focus of her journal?

Personal Thoughts: Lindsey Leavitt's book made me laugh out loud! Payton's honesty about Sean's head and her feelings were believable and realistic! If you enjoy a lighthearted read, pick up Sean Griswold's Head.

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Cheyenne Wilder, a blind teenager sick with pneumonia, rests in the backseat of her stepmother's car. Tragically, the car is stolen, making Cheyenne a victim of kidnapping. Even though she promises that she cannot see anything so she won't share information with the police, Griffin, the criminal, takes Cheyenne back to his house where his hostile father and friends must decide what to do with Cheyenne. Upon discovering that Cheyenne is the daughter of Nike's president, Griffin's father decide to ask for ransom. Will Cheyenne sit back and wait for the money to be delivered? Will she receive any help along the way?

Personal Thoughts: I loved April Henry's novel! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and sometimes I even found myself cheering for someone besides Cheyenne. If you like suspense and action, read Girl, Stolen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude

Have you ever wondered what would happen if women ran the government? In David Patneaude's Epitaph Road, Kellen, a fourteen-year-old boy, lives in a world of women. A disease killed off most of the men, causing some men, including Kellen's dad, to move to colonies far away. When Kellen's mom encourages him to get away from the city for a few days, he knows he must check to see that his dad is stiff safe from the disease. On his journey to find his father, Kellen's discoveries are surprising and thrilling.

Personal Thoughts: I wasn't certain what to expect when I first started reading Epitaph Road, but I was immediately engrossed in the story. Each chapter begins with an epitaph for one of the deceased men. I then followed Kellen on his journey to discover the truth, and to be honest, I was surprised! If you enjoy science fiction and dystopian thrillers, you will love this book!

Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

At the young age of thirteen, Lacey has certainly had her share of worries. Her mother's mental illness puts the two of them in financial and physical troubles, and no one is around to help. But when her mother gets a job at the local grocery store, Lacey hopes life will change. In fact, she even begins a friendship with Aaron, her neighbor. But, when her mother disappears, Lacey realizes that she cannot keep the family together alone, so she seeks help.

Personal Thoughts: This psychological thriller definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. What I enjoyed most was Lacey's growth. She is a believable character, whose honesty amazed me. I felt her frustration in dealing with her mother and her sadness in deciding that her mother needs to move to a safe place.

The Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor

After her high-school band, the Caverns, breaks up, Regina wants to remain playing music; in fact, she wants to be as well-known as the Beatles. Well, her wish comes true. As Regina wakes up the next day, she discovers that she is a pop-star. The Caverns now have the status and songs formerly associated with the Beatles. But is stardom all she expected? When given the choice, will she go back to being the unknown Regina?

Personal Thoughts: As a music enthusiast, I really enjoyed this book. Greg Taylor knows quite a lot about music! Watching Regina grow and mature was fun, especially when she had to realize the truth about happiness.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Enemy by Charles Higson

What happens when children are the only ones to survive? In this dystopian thriller, adults are the minority, and those who survived a deadly disease are covered in boils. Arran and Maxie organize and work to keep their group of kids safe. However, just when they believe they have found safety, things change.

Personal Thoughts: I can't share too much about Higson's novel without giving the storyline away, but I will tell you that I was hooked from the start! I cannot wait to begin reading the prequel, The Dead.