July 2012

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
Kate, Michael and Emma are ripped away from their parents under mysterious circumstances. Then through complicated twists they end up at a strange orphanage with Dr Pym. Loooong story short-kids find a time traveling book, battle the evil Countess (witch), save the village and the children, and start looking for the other two books. This was a good read. Lots of magic, dwarves with lots of character, and time traveling confusion. The journey is the pleasure. Very good. 4th+

3 Below: A Floors novel by Patrick Carman (netgalley pub Sept 2012)
The Whippet Hotel now is owned by young Leo whose father is marrying his best friend Remi's mother. Merganzer Whippet leaves Leo and Remi with a task that is mysterious and probably dangerous, but they are the right ones to accomplish it. The evil Ms Sparks has plans to regain control of the hotel using the aid of sad Mr. Carp. This adventure involves going three stories down through a jungle floor with monkeys, an inventor's floor where Flart's Fizz is a delightful distraction, and finally the final Realm of Gears. Impossibly silly--well, that's the whole point. This is fun and tricky and involves being brave. What's not to like? Very Willy Wonka style. You need to read book One first. Very good. 3rd+

Fallen by Lauren Kate (Blue Spruce nominee)
Save me from having to read more of this!! I listened to the audio book (using Overdrive from the APL) thinking I could accomplish some work while knocking off this book. SOOOOO slow. 3/4 of the way through I realized I could have read it in about three hours instead of listening for 10 hours. So much of this: "Luce looked down at Daniel's hand, holding fast to hers, and her whole body wanted more. More of the heat, more of the tingling, more of Daniel." p248. Lots of rippling muscles, dark looks, and breathlessness. The plot moved like a hibernating sloth. And the theology is stinky. Other than that it was passable. Nothing really objectionable--except the librarian. (I'm just sayin') YA for burning unrequited love. Ick.

Operation Trinity: the Cahill Files by Clifford Riley
I needed a quick read after Fallen to clear my head. This turned out to be a good read. Over history, it's the story of Van Eyck's "Altarpiece" from the cathedral of Ghent. This is sort of The DaVinci Code for elementary kids. I liked this one better than most of the ubiquitous 39 Clues. 3+ Very Good

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
please stop! I can hardly keep my fallen angels straight. Daniel (see Fallen), Patch. Luce loves Daniel, Nora loves Patch. Both look so hot in t-shirts and black jeans. So brooding. and Conflicted. This one seems a bit more complex and the plot moves more quickly. I was actually curious to see how it would end vs just wanting it to end period. But once again, the girl is so confused about making decisions, how to deal with her lust, and what love is. I guess I'm also pretty offended by the (again) stinky theology. I actually believe in fallen angels and Nephalim, but this book has them crossing back and forth from fallen to redeemed to human to eternal condemnation based on specific actions. And where is God in all of this? Archangels are like bad policemen waiting to throw you in the slammer. Patch wants to hide from them. But even he can read minds. Huh? At least there are no evil librarians. YA for blood splatter and obsessions with kissing. A little less Ick.

The Web of Titan by Dom Testa
Book Two of the Galahad story. The ship with 251 teens is approaching Saturn where it will be flung into space. Testa writes a great story. The "situation" in this case is a regular power burst emitted from the moon Titan. Dealing with total lack of knowledge raises lots of responses. Characters continue to interact in mature, natural ways. Very Very good. YA for ?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
truly heart-wrenching. Why do we read books that make us cry? This book speaks straight to your heart about truth and pain. Conor's mother is dying of cancer. He had a recurring nightmare and then suddenly instead of the nightmare he begins to speak with a true monster from the yew tree in the cemetary. YA for mature content, and frightening scenes. Te breakout of Conor's anger is so real. This was an excellent story.