Saturday, February 9, 2013

Heist Society Steal my Imagination

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)Heist Society by Ally Carter

I reread this book for YALSA'S The Hub 2013 Reading Challenge. I picked this book to be my first book because I had already read it in December and I knew it would be a fast fun read. I really enjoyed the premise for this book because it moved me from reading dystopias to something closer to a spy/adventure book. I am getting a little over paranormaled/dystopiaed lately in young adult literature.

Back to the book. Things I liked in Heist Society include: The change from dystopia/paranormal, the introspection of the character, and the unique way that Ally Carter portrays normal teenage issues (fitting in and finding yourself). I liked that Kat was introspective while trying to figure out how she would fit into the family business and society in general. Even better was that Kat of course wasn't a normal teenageer, which makes the book enjoyable to read, but it still dealt with your average teenage issues.

Thankfully this book did not get overly angsty due to the thievery action. Which is easily followed by teens but intricate to keep this young adult librarian interested. I liked all of the characters and enjoyed the country hopping they do (because lets face it...many of the teens I see in my West Texas library aren't getting the opportunity to go further away than Mexico, Oklahoma or Colorado).

Despite enjoying the enthusiasm, beauty, and nerdiness of the characters in Kat's crew...billionaire Hale is the least believable. Don't get me wrong...he's awesome. Too awesome. He's extremely rich and his only flaw is that he's often left behind by his family. He doesn't seem to be spoiled or have an entitled attitude that many rich kids might have. I suppose he isn't that way because he's abandoned by his parents for boarding school. Still Hale is too perfect in that lonely hurt but super loyal puppy dog way.

Overall this book is a great change from the dark dismal dystopias of today's teen lit to something a bit lighter. I'd recommend this book to teens who liked the Alex Rider books...especially girls who like adventures but didn't get into Alex Rider. Teens who like fast paced books will enjoy this book as well as those who enjoy a hint of mystery.

View all my reviews

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals  Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed Heist Society. I really liked the introspective nature of Kat in both books as she seeks to find her place in her family and in society. I think a lot of young adults are trying to figure out the same things...they just usually aren't theives of Kat's calibur.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

YALSA The Hub Reading Challenge!

Its been a while since I updated this post! Well thats about to change with my decision to participate in YALSA's 2013 The Hub Reading Challenge. I need to read more new books so that I am on top of teen trends. I'd like to be aware of new titles and be able to recommend new books to my students. The challenge is to read or listen to 25 out of 83 books on a list of award winning Young Adult (YA) books. There are so many good books on the list which you can find here. As far as I understand it, just about anyone teenagers on up can participate! At the end all who dare to meet the challenge (or conquer it reading all 83 books) is entered in a drawing for a tote bag of YA lit!!! The first up on my list is to reread Heist Society by Ally Carter. Yes, you have to read or reread all the books during the challenge time period!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Batting 1000!

Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball TeamBrothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team by Audrey Vernick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team is an excellent picture book. The pictures were colorful and fun but seemed to fit with the positive story of a family who loved each other and baseball very much. I really found it to be a heart warming story filled with neat trivia about the Acerras family, the only family with enough boys to field a baseball team by themselves! The message it portrays is an excellent message in friendship, family and being positive.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy

I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy in twenty-four hours. Yes, twenty-four hours. No, I didn't get much sleep. I have to say I enjoyed all three books but The Hunger Games was my favorite. I happen to absolutely devour dystopia (books set in a seriously flawed world with characters trying to fix society). Ratings wise I'd say the Hunger Games trilogy deserves a rating of teen and above. Throughout the trilogy there is fighting to the death, descriptions of injuries, and outright murder. It wasn't as graphic as it could have been in my opinion but its not a bedtime story for your fourth grader. The books seem to point out how twisted and outlandish a society can become when it impinges on the basic human rights of its citizens. It was almost as if society wanted to prove that it can influence and warp the very basic goodness out anyone.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

100 Cupboards

100 Cupboards 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and I can't say that for some fantasy books I've read lately. Henry York is a very different child. His parents are so overprotective (Henry remembers being sent to boarding school with a helmet to wear during P.E.) that he doesn't quite miss them when they are kidnapped. When he goes to live with his aunt and uncle, Henry discovers 99 cupboards that have been covered in plaster in his attic bedroom. From the cryptic comments Henry has with his uncle it is apparent that the uncle knows what is going on. I was surprised that since Uncle Frank surely understood the ramifications of the plaster Henry is carrying outside that Frank didn't intervene sooner. Henry and his cousin Henrietta are soon whisked away on an adventure that I found to be interesting but slightly disappointing. Sure they encounter an evil villainess, and get trapped, and see ghosts but the adventure was so very brief! It is overly apparent that this book is only the first in the series and really just a world building book. My absolute favorite part of this book happened to be the descriptive language used by the author. Some sentences were so completely descriptive that they were as long as sentences in a Tolkien book. Despite my utter enjoyment with the language, I seriously doubt the age range suggested by the publishers to be at all accurate. Older teens and adults would have few difficulties with the over abundance of descriptiveness but 9 to 12 year olds are going to be lost.

View all my reviews

Pretty Little Liars is Mostly Entertaining

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is not for fourth graders. Just want to make that clear as one of my fourth grade students was walking around with it the other day. She thought it was pretty good and I wasn't sure she even understood what is going on. There is a lot of drugs and sex in this book. A lot. I thought it was a realistic portrayal of some of the antics teens pull but at the same time the parents don't seem to influence the girls as much as I think happens in reality. Kinda like those tv shows where the kids can go and do anything they like and the whole time I think...where are the parents? Mine would never have let me do that.

Plot: Five girls are best friends until Alison disappears during the seventh grade. The years go by and the girls are now in high school. Spencer, Aria, Hannah and Emily are upset by Alison's disappearance but at the same time are almost glad she is gone. Alison knew everyone's secrets and the girls are never really sure that she won't spill the beans. As time goes by the girls grow apart and their secrets become larger. Soon all four girls are receiving strange envelopes, texts, and emails from the mysterious 'A'. Is it Alison? Who else could it be? Who else but Alison knew their secrets?

View all my reviews