Books IV - What I Breathe

Alisa M Libby's The Blood Confession - Grade: B. Book 7 for Kerry. This book was super duper bloody, but in a believable, uber creepy way that reminded me of one of my failed attempts at a story that sort of became its own. I want to become a slightly psychotic killer after putting this book down. Just a little bit, though. But I don't have a castle. Or do particularly well around blood. Dang.

Robert Rigby's Goal! The Dream Begins - Grade: B. Book 8, you know the drill. Wow! For being a mass-produced-with-cool-pictures-because-we-made-a-movie-and-now-want-to-make-a-buck book, this wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. There was even a plot. Amazing. And the characters weren't flat. It did bring back all my actual soccer memories, which involve my playing really hard and then always just being pissed because I suck at soccer but wish I didn't.

Terri Farley's Phantom Stallion #6: The Challenger - Grade: D. Book 9. Terri should be grateful I actually gave this book a D. It deserves an F. Remember Sea Shadow? Yeah, this was just as bad. Bad writing, bad characters, no plot, etc. Don't waste your time, seriously.

Terie Garrison's AutumnQuest - Grade: A. Book 10. Wonderful! Amazing! Stunning! I just love the prose in this book, it was so engaging! I read this book super fast, and then was sad when it ended, because it did before I was ready. But I think there's a sequel, so not all hope is lost. But Terie is definitely a great author. She has my respect and my vote.

Robert Rigby's Goal II - Living the Dream - Grade: C-. Book 11. This book had the same writer as the first (see above), but that's where the similarities end. Believability in this book wasn't there. I'm kind of sad that this book fell so short, especially because of how wonderful the first one was! The tension was fabricated, the characters not as lively/fleshed out, and the plot was just like it was hashed together out of sticks and ropes, and that's only good for 11-year old scouts trying to sign off a badge.

Judson Roberts' Dragons from the Sea (Strongbow Saga: Book 2) - Grade: B. Book 12... but it didn't make it on a blog. Maybe I forgot to review it? I dunno. Anyway, Kerry read the first one and absolutely loved it. The sequel wasn't really that great. I didn't get bored or fall asleep, but the protagonist's age didn't mesh real well with how he was portrayed, and that always bothers me to no end. If you're only a kid, don't get written doing man things, being seen like a man, or talking like a man. You're a kid.

Monica Hughes' Invitation to the Game - Grade: A++. Another of my Top 10 list, that was re-read for the purpose of sharing with Turtle. More of these will be coming. This book is just stellar. It's a young adult novel, but beautifully done and the plot is just incredible. The ending is a surprise too, so that's always an added bonus in my opinion. I won't say more, just go get your hands on this book and ENJOY!

Jill Paton Walsh's The Green Book - Grade: A++. Another Top 10 Turtle Re-read. :) This book is very similar to Invitation to the Game but it's for younger children, and a very, very quick read. Maybe an hour tops. But again: beautiful, engaging, and the ending is so great. Love, love, love.

Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street - Grade: A++. More Top 10 Turtle Re-read. Sandra's voice is what makes this book so wonderful in my opinion. Her latina voice is stunning, accurate, and heart-wrenching all in one. This book is a wonderful depiction of latino culture and why it is both valid and important to the American Experience.

Kevin Brockmeier's The Truth About Celia - Grade: A++. More Top 10 Turtle Re-read. But I'm okay with that because it means I get to talk about my favorite books on my blog :D This book is about how a father (who is a writer - so it's like a book inside a book, very interesting concept) deals with the disappearance and loss of his 7-year old daughter. Poignant, heart-rending, and breath-taking all in one, this book is definitely one I recommend to all who love fiction.

Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow - Grade: A. I wouldn't count it as Top 10 material, but it's definitely one of Card's better works. I blogged in-depth about it here. I struggled with some of the characterizations, especially Bean. I mean I know we learn (SPOILER!) that he's genetically engineered and all... but still he acted so far outside his age range sometimes that... well, I already said, I struggled. But I found my way past that, and thoroughly enjoyed the book. It also gave me the opportunity to revisit my experience and feelings with Ender's Game, which was much needed; I'm glad I did. If you liked Ender's Game, then Shadow is probably the next-best thing (but that's just because I hated the other 3 in the Ender series... we'll see how I feel about the next ones in the Bean arena).

Nina Wright's Sensitive - Grade: A. This is the sequel to Homefree. True to Nina's style, the sequel to Homefree was just as thrilling as the first. And in some ways, maybe moreso. I really like what she does with her characters - they are believable, and for treating such an "unreal" topic, she does an unprecedented job at keeping the action believable, and in check. The characters in this book don't get to explode all over the page with thrilling battles, and action-rescue sequences simply because they are now enrolled at the school for those with Gifts. They still stumble, they have to be restricted, and they make just as many mistakes as they did when they were first discovering their powers. I loved the plot (which now includes paranormals AND ghosts - so it's like X-Men/HEROES meets X-Files which is even cooler! (If that's possible)) I read it through in one sitting. Good stuff, Nina! I hope there's more (and soon?!)!!!


bonniebrandburg said…
I totally agree with this review of Nina Wright's teen novels, Homefree and Sensitive. Both are character driven, in addition to having an enjoyable storyline.

If you enjoyed the teen novels, you might be interested in reading Nina's Whiskey Mattimoe series. There are 5 novels in this series and they are just delightful.

Whiskey is a quirky character who is owned by an Afghan hound named Abra, who steals. The stories are full of murder, mayhem, and laughs.

The books are peopled with characters just as quirky as Whiskey, in fact, some of them make her look normal!

There is Chester the 8 year old genius residing in the mansion next door. Then you find Odette, the driving force in Whiskey's real estate business, Jinx the sheriff who is always bailing Whiskey out of trouble, of having her help solve a new mystery, and Whiskey's "adoring" step daughter, Avery, daughter of Whiskey's well loved but deceased husband.

I could go on, but if you are interested, check out the first in the series "Whiskey on the Rocks". Each of the 4 following books in this series is better than the one before!

So, if you are interested in a fun romp along the shores of Lake Michigan, go to "Magnet Springs", and visit Whiskey and company!

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