Title: The Near Witch  Author: Victoria Schwab  Publisher: Hyperion
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Summary:
The Near Witch is a part of every day life in the village of Near.  The children sing her song while they play games, they get told her story in many different versions, but yet, none of the children find her dangerous.  The night a stranger comes to Near, Lexi spots him outside her window.  He doesn't look real and seems like he could be a shadow.  Morning after morning, a child goes missing and the village starts to blame the stranger.  Lexi has a gut feeling it can't be him luring the children out of their beds in the middle of the night and becomes determined to protect the stranger and find the missing children.

Review:

I had read a lot of really good reviews for this book so I decided to check it out.  I'm glad I did.  I loved this book so much and can't wait to get a copy of it to keep so I can re-read it over and over! 

Lexi was a fantastic main character.  She was a strong, determined girl who kept her mind focused on the goal she had set: find the lost children and protect the stranger.  Cole was also a great character.  He seemed like a really sweet guy that just wanted to protect Lexi from all the danger she was in.

This story was extremely unique and a must read for book lovers.  It was an enchanting novel and a great debut for Victoria Schwab.  A sequel in the future, maybe?  Please?

Rating:
5 STARS

Recommendation:
Readers 12+

Photo Source:
http://photo.goodreads.com/

~Alexis~
 
 
Title: Glee Foreign Exchange  Author: Sophia Lowell  Publisher: Hachette Book Group
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Summary:
Based on the hit tv series, Glee, comes yet another novel filled with more Rachel, more Glee Club and more Sue!  Mr. Schu has decided to host the French Glee Club at McKinley High during Multicultural Week.  The students in Glee Club are really excited to get such an opportunity and are ready for the French students to come with a warm welcome performance planned by Ms. Rachel Berry, (with Mr. Schu's help of course.)  But when the French Glee Club comes to McKinley High not everything turns out like it's supposed to... or does it?

Review:

I have to say that I liked this book better then the first one.  It's kinda sad because usually the first in the series is the best and can't be topped.  (Although, the Inkheart and Harry Potter series breaks that rule.)  After reading the first book, I wasn't expecting much from the second but was honestly entertained while I was reading it.

I'm one of those people who despise Rachel Berry, (sorry Lea Michele, you are a great actress though!)  In this book, she was mean to the foreign exchange student Celeste, stuck- up which she usually is and full of jealousy.  I was really annoyed really quickly when I found out that this book was mainly about Rachel.  Which it is.

I was cheering Artie on in this book because his relationship with Rielle was sooo cute!  I'm so happy with the ending of this book because things turned out the way Artie wanted them to but wasn't expecting them to.  He's one of my favorite characters on the show.

I'm going to continue reading this series just because I'm a Gleek but wouldn't recommend it.  Unless, that is, you are a Gleek like me.

Rating:
4 STARS

Recommendation:
Readers 12+

Photo Source:
http://photo.goodreads.com/

~Alexis~
 
 
Title: Glee The Beginning  Author: Sophia Lowell  Publisher: Hachette Book Group
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Summary:
Based on the hit tv series, Glee, comes an all new book series about things that happened before the whole group ended up together.  That's right, so far there is no glee club.  Five students want that changed and to be noticed for once.  Tina, Kurt, Artie, Mercedes and Rachel start glee club with not as warm a welcome from McKinley High as they had hoped thanks to the Cheerios.  Meanwhile, Quinn and Finn just start their relationship mostly because Quinn wants to be homecoming queen except there's one thing that's stopping her... she's in love with Puck.

Review:

I'm just going to go ahead and say this to get it over with... I'm a Gleek.  Thanks to my friend I'm addicted to Glee.  I love the show and can't wait for season 3.  Who's with me?!?

When I saw this book I thought: "This is going to be a more child friendly version of Glee that I'll most likely get bored with."  I was wrong on the child friendly part.  This is absolutely a young adult book no matter how childish it may seem!  The boring part is another story.  There were parts that were really good and kept me on my feet and other ones that put me to sleep.

Throughout this book, I could see it as though I was watching an episode of the show itself.  A lot of the situations that happened in the book seemed as though it could happen on the show. 

I wouldn't recommend this book really but you can read it if you want and are a Gleek.  It didn't entertain me as much as other books I've read but was a quick one.

Rating:
3 STARS

Recommendation:
Readers 12+

Photo Source:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

~Alexis~
 
 
Title: Heist Society  Author: Ally Carter  Publisher: Disney Hyperion
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Summary:
Katarina Bishop was born into a family of thieves.  She's not an ordinary thief and she's definitely not dangerous, depending on what dangerous means in your dictionary.  When she finds out that her father is in grave danger, Kat discovers that she needs to get back to her sleuthing/thieving ways and ditch the boarding school to help save him in more ways then one.  The mission she and her group is assigned is difficult but she was born for this.

Review:

I absolutely loved this book!  In the beginning it was a little hard to get into but the action picked up pretty quick.  Kat was my favorite character.  She was a girl that wouldn't let anything get in her way of saving her father and returning the stolen paintings to their rightful owners. 

Hale was also a great character.  At first, I saw him as kind of a jerk because he framed Kat of a crime she didn't do so that she could get kicked out of boarding school.  As the story progressed, I realized that he only wanted the best thing for Kat's sake and wanted to protect her.  When she was in boarding school he couldn't do that.

Gabrielle was a character that I found was intelligent when she wanted to be but could easily play a ditzy blonde.  She was a great character that I grew to love near the end.

Hamish and Angus... where to begin?  All I can say is that they reminded me A LOT of the Ron and George Weasley, (Harry Potter,) character- wise.  I loved them!

This novel had humor, romance and adventure all tied together as one.  I cannot wait to read the sequel!

Rating:
5 STARS

Recommendation:
Readers 12+

Photo Source:
http://photo.goodreads.com/

~Alexis~
 
 
Title: She's So Dead to Us  Author: Kieran Scott  Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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Summary:
Ally Ryan is moving back to Orchard Hill.  She doesn't want to for several reasons, one major one involving her dad's money scam that lost her friends' parents a large amount of money.  Ally's sure that her old friends, a.k.a The Cresties, will never want to talk to her again even though she wasn't the one that lost all their money.  She was right.  Once school starts, the harrassment also begins.  The only peace Ally finds is from one of the new Cresties, Jake.  Little does Ally know that being involved with Jake is only going to cost her more harrassment then what the Cresties started with in the beginning.
 

Review:

Where do I start?!?  I loved this book so much I couldn't put it down!  The plot, characters, setting, everything was amazing!  I loved it!

Ally Ryan was a extraordinary main character.  She handled the Cresties, Chloe, Shannen, Faith, Hammond, Trevor and Todd, so well, (bullying-wise) I was cheering her on from the start!  I don't think that I could've handled what Ally did as well or as nicely as she did.

Chloe I felt for.  She wasn't exactly one of the mean Cresties but she still followed through with Faith and Shannen's orders.  I think that if Chloe could've stood up against the two, she and Ally would've been able to re-become friends closer to the beginning then to the end.  Hammond is kinda the same thing. 

Shannen and Faith, boy were they mean!  I wanted to strangle them so many times throughout the book because of how mean and controlling they were!  I know there are people in the world like them but still!  They were great characters in the story and really helped with the plot.  Actually, they pretty much were the plot.

Annie was a great friend to Ally.  She was one of those best friends you wished you had at some time in your life.  She was not a Crestie, thank goodness!  Annie always really supported Ally and helped her get over the fact of how mean the Cresties were being by showing Ally how they could have fun, Norm style.

Jake was one of those characters that had you thinking: "What side is he on exactly?"  One minute he was denying that he had any feelings for Ally and the next he's holding her hand!  He was such a sweet boy who really had no clue who to turn to or which side to be on.  His family wasn't affected by Ally's dad's scam, they didn't move to Orchard Hill until a year later.  I really hope that in the sequel, Jake will man up and apologize to Ally to what happened at the end of this novel.

I hated the ending of this book!  It just kinda stopped and I didn't want it to end!  Oh well, leaves room for another book. :-)

Rating:
5 STARS

Recommendation:
Readers 13+

Photo Source:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

~Alexis~
 
 
Title: Happiness Sold Seperately  Author: Libby Street  Publisher: Downtown Press
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Summary:
25 year old Ryan Hadley is in a crisis, both financially and mentally.  She hates her job that has her working eight hours a day entering data with a low salary and hates how her life is turning out to be.  While Ryan's three best friends move up career wise and she's still stuck in her cubicle, Ryan discovers that she needs to quit worrying about consequences and start living her life the way she wants to.  To do that, Ryan makes a list of things she wants to accomplish, one of them involving her leaving her cubicle for good.
 

Review:

I thought this novel had a great introduction to both the characters and the situation but at the same time it was a little challenging to get into.  At one point, I really didn't want to finish the book but I'm glad I did.  After Ryan made her list and her ex- boyfriend, Charlie, came to the city, it started to get really entertaining.

Throughout the book, I grew to love the characters.  I instantly fell in love with Will, Ryan's cubemate at work.  He was such a bubbly character with a bunch of energy that kept Ryan's spirits up during the long workday.  I loved how he was there and ready to defend Ryan during the dinner scene with Charlie.  I also loved Ryan.  In the beginning, she seemed as if she was one of those kind of people who give up on themselves at one point and don't care about life anymore; she definately wasn't.  It took her a while to step out of her comfort zone but once she did, no one could stop her.  It takes a lot of determination and hard work to achieve some of her goals that were on her list, including singing a song on Broadway.  When Charlie was first introduced, I didn't really like him.  In fact, I didn't like him at all.  He was being extremely rude to Ryan about their breakup that had happened years before and he still hadn't gotten over it.  As the story continued, he became one of my favorite characters as well.  Marisa, Charlie's "fiancee" was far from one of my favorites.  She added a great spin to the story but I really hated her.

The story was very well written and had a great plot.  Near the end, I was cheering for Ryan and hoping that Charlie would leave Marisa.  Like I said, she was not one of my faves.

This novel was a great page turner and one I will recommend.

Rating:
5 STARS

Recommendation:
Readers 13+

Photo Source:
http://photo.goodreads.com/

~Alexis~
 
 
Title: Th1rteen R3asons Why  Author: Jay Asher  Publisher: Penguin Group
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Summary:
Clay Jensen was in love with a girl named Hannah Baker.  After Hannah's planned death, Clay just wants to forget about what happened between them and move on.  The one thing that's stopping him is a box of tapes recorded by Hannah.  There's no return address on the box and once Clay starts listening, he can't stop.  On the tapes, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she commited suicide; the people who recieve the tapes are one of those thirteen reasons.  Clay knows he did nothing wrong but listens anyway to the voice of the girl he loved.


Review:

Once I started reading this book, I couldn't stop.  I wanted to see what Hannah's thirteen reasons were and how Clay would respond to them.  The introduction definitely helped to grab my attention.  Even after reading the first sentence, I was hooked. 

Many of Hannah's reasons/stories were extremely realistic which made the book that much more intriguing.  With all the detail Mr. Asher presented chapter after chapter, I had a hard time not crying when Clay listened to the reason/story about himself. 

I'm glad that in the end, Clay realized that he should've done something to help Hannah before she did what she did.  Because he didn't, he felt as if it was his fault that she had died and didn't know how to confront the other people that were involved in Hannah's reasons/stories.  I honestly don't know what I would've done either. 

This novel was one of those that even though I read it already, I will purchase it so I can read it again and again.

Rating:
5 STARS

Recommendation:
Readers 13+

Photo Source:
http://photo.goodreads.com/

~Alexis~
 
Reckless Review 08/11/2011
 
Title: Reckless  Author: Cornelia Funke  Publisher: Hachette Book Group
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Summary:
The Mirrorworld.  Not the happiest place on Earth, really.  Jacob Reckless finds that out very quickly when, after all these years he's been to the Mirrorworld, his younger brother follows him and gets himself caught in a Evil Fairy's curse.  There's only one person who can figure out how to reverse the curse.  Jacob's that person, but will he have enough time to save his brother and himself?

Review:

When I heard about this book, I got really excited.  I mean, who wouldn't?  If Cornelia Funke's the author, I'm reading it.  She's been one of my favorite authors for at least six years because I got hooked on the Inkheart series.  I've pretty much read all her books and was disappointed when I ran out of books written by her to choose from.  Then, whallah!  Reckless comes out!  I should've have read this sooner because it was just what I was expecting from Ms. Funke.

Jacob Reckless reminds me a lot of someone I know.  While I read books, the characters tend to relate to one of my friends or something which makes it that much more entertaining to read.  The way he risks his life to save his brother from a curse is really remarkable.  In the beginning, from the way the intro is stated, it seems as though Jacob and Will never really had that brotherly type of relationship because Jacob was always in the Mirrorworld.  I'm glad that Jacob was the one who decided to turn his ways around and realize that he should've been there for Will when no one else was.

Fox and Clara were both great characters in this novel.  Fox being the girl, or vixen, to do everything without really needing help from anyone, including Jacob, makes me wish that I could be more like her.  She was also very wise and knew what to do and not to do in the Mirrorworld.  Clara was strong for the situation she was put into.  She experienced many things at once and didn't really know what was going on or where she was but she stuck with it to save Will.

One of my favorite features in this novel was all the classic fairy tales that were thrown in there during Jacob's quest.  The Witch's house where Hansel and Gretel were kidnapped, Sleeping Beauty's castle and Rapunzel's hair were one of the few things I thought made a great addition to the story.

After reading this, I hope and pray that there will be a sequel to this novel.  I will definitely be rereading this story many, many times.

Recommendation:
Readers 12+

Rating:
5 STARS

Photo Source:
http://photo.goodreads.com/

~Alexis~


 
You Wish Review 08/08/2011
 
Title: You Wish  Author: Mandy Hubbard  Publisher: Penguin Group 
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Summary:
Sixteen year old Kayla McHenry isn't exactly a high school girly girl.  One obvious reason is that she doesn't want to have a Sweet 16 birthday party whereas every one else her age has been dreaming about having one since they were ten.  When her mom plans a party anyway despite Kayla's complaints, Kayla finds herself in a whole whirlwind of trouble after she blows out the candles on her cake and makes her 16th birthday wish: "I wish my birthday wishes actually came true, because they never freakin' do..." That trouble starts with a life sized My Little Pony.


Review:

I stumbled upon this book while I was quickly searching through the teen section of my local library.  I usually don't judge a book by it's cover but because this one had a cupcake on it and at the time I was a tad bit hungry, I decided to check it out and read it.  I'm really glad that I did.

It was hard for me to get into the book at first but once her birthday wishes started to come true, it got really entertaining.  If I was Kayla, I would have no idea what the next day's birthday wish would be because I barely remember my most recent birthday wish.

I could definitely relate to Kayla with the whole 'I have a crush on my best friend's boyfriend' sorta thing as I'm sure many girls do because that's the way we are. 

I got really excited at the ending because of the way she chose to fix everything.  She also learned more about herself and her actions when her birthday wishes started to come true.

My favorite part has to be when Kayla met Raggedy Ann.  Throughout that whole chapter I was laughing because I know a girl who is just like Ann; curious about everything.  By everything, I mean EVERYTHING.  Plus, I also have a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll but they aren't in my closet and now when I see them I will remember reading this book.

All in all, You Wish, was a very entertaining book that I will recommend to all teen readers.

Recommendation:
Readers 10+

Rating:
4 STARS

Photo Source:
http://photo.goodreads.com/

~Alexis~
 
You Wish 07/30/2011
 
Half way done with the novel, You Wish, (Mandy Hubbard.) Really good so far!

~Alexis~