# of Pages: 391
Nora is paired with Patch in science class and always feels a bit uncomfortable around him, especially since he seems to turn up wherever she is. The more time she spends with him, however, the more drawn she feels to him. Her best friend and the school counselor warn her he is dangerous and shouldn’t be trusted, but she cannot help but feel like she is in fact safe with him. Meanwhile, another new boy has come to her school, Elliot, and he is determined to befriend her. While Nora’s best friend thinks Elliot is wonderful Nora cannot help feel like something is a bit sinister with him. After a series of bizarre events in which Nora either hallucinated or someone is purposefully messing with her, she must decide which boy would be taunting her with dangerous situations. Is her life actually in danger and why?
This story is yet another fallen angel romance, but somehow still finds a way to be unique and interesting. Patch and Elliot both have reasons to hurt Nora, yet they both seem genuine at times when they want to befriend her. While Nora’s mother is absent for an enormous part of the book and her best friend seems to make the worst choices ever, Nora seems to take things in stride despite the fact that she finds herself in severe danger over and over. The ending provides some answers, but there is still a lot readers will want to know as this fantasy romance unfolds. Fans of Unearthly, Fallen, and Halo will enjoy this title as well.
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Romance
# of Pages: 349
RAC Book: Yes
Carmen, Tibby, Bridget, and Lena are back ten years after the last installment of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Now they are all approaching the age of 30 and they have struggled to keep their friendship alive. Tibby moved to Australia with Bryan, Bridget lives with Eric in San Francisco, Lena lives alone in New York and works as an art professor, and Carmen lives with her horrible fiance in New York where she works as an actress. Tibby has especially fallen out of touch with her friends, which is why they are all so surprised when she invites them to Greece for a reunion. When the three girls arrive, Tibby is not there to greet them. By nightfall they know something is wrong and by morning their worst fears are confirmed. The way each woman handles this tragedy is to run away from each other, which seems a bit surprising considering how long they have been friends. Can they ever recover from their loss? Can they ever find their way in this world without wandering aimlessly forever?
Most of this book centers on Bridget, Lena, and Carmen coping with Tibby’s apparent suicide. During this time the three women rarely speak to each other and choose to throw themselves into various other activities. It seems sad they have been a bit lost these last ten years and it took a tragedy to wake them up. It’s difficult to take characters who became famous in young adult novels and make them realistic adults. In many ways, these characters were still the same immature girls who traded pants. The ending was satisfying, but the journey was a bit frustrating as the characters repeatedly made decisions that seemed unrealistic for thirty-year-olds who have been friends since birth.
# of Pages: 229
RAC Book: Yes
In this sequel to The Mark, Cassie is now living in a new place with a roommate and trying to make it on her own. She has the ability to see marks that mean a person is going to die soon. She has found that if she intervenes it can save a person’s life, but she does not know if it has any negative affects and decides to find out more about her gift. One way she studies death is by working at a funeral home and studying the different ways people handle death. When her roommate informs her of a girl at a nearby mental ward, Cassie begins to wonder if they in fact share the same gift. When she goes to meet with the girl she sees a mysterious boy from her class and begins to wonder about his intentions and motivations. As the two get closer she learns that he may have more to teach her than she thought. Can she trust this mysterious boy, Zander? Are there others out there like her?
Cassie’s gift creates an interesting premise for a book and there are many worthwhile situations that help her better understand how her gift can affect people. One great example is when the father of a classmate dies. There are a few mentions of her past from the first book that may confuse some readers if they have not read it, but the new characters in this book prove to be engaging. The relationship dynamic between Cassie and Zander changes with every revelation they learn about each other, but it is still unclear what their ultimate relationship will be like. Fans of supernatural and fantasy will enjoy the story, but will probably want to start with the first in the series.
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mystery
# of Pages: 454
RAC Book: Yes
Elizabeth Valchar wakes up to find her own dead body, but she can’t remember anything before she died. As she watches her friends and family move on from the tragedy she realizes that her life was not as perfect as everyone thought it was. She had already suffered the loss of her mother at a very young age, and of her father’s hasty remarriage afterward. She did truly love her boyfriend, Richie, which is why it’s so hard to see him suffer after her death. She has a ghostly companion in Alex, a boy in her high school who died a year before Elizabeth. He was very unpopular and people did not react to his death the way they do hers, which makes for an uncomfortable situation. Can Elizabeth find out what happened to her so that she can be free?
This story grabs readers right from the beginning because there is so much that Elizabeth does not know. The more she remembers about the months before she died the more confusing it gets. She is surrounded by a bunch of questionable characters who could either be on her side or working against her. Her circle of friends is particularly mysterious as they appear vapid, but some of them know more than they are saying. Fans of The Everafter, Elsewhere, and Thirteen Reasons Why will enjoy this book, but there are some heavy issues discussed.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 424
RAC Book: Yes
A computer hacker in Pakistan finds some mysterious threats directed toward the U.S. and he alerts the proper authorities. The threats are examined, but there is no evidence found of any bio threats. Then, in the U.S. two women who live on the same street die of mysterious aneurysms on the same night. The daughter of one woman and the two sons of the other try to find out what happened to their mothers even as they start exhibiting similar symptoms. Meanwhile, the computer hacker is moved to the U.S. where authorities hope he will be able to pinpoint a location and identification of the culprits behind the attack on a neighborhood water supply.
This bio-thriller moves at a brisk pace for the beginning and end of the story, but the middle lags a bit as the characters try to put the pieces together for why they are all getting sick. The idea behind the attack is clever and well-executed which forces the reader to think about how easily any of us could be influenced by a terrorist attack. The steps authorities take to locate and extinguish the threat seem realistic and make the officials seem very knowledgeable and credible. The characters are interesting, but a few have some habits of using bad language on a regular basis. For students who enjoy spy and terrorist books this is a must.
# of Pages: 390
RAC Book: Yes
Chloe Saunders believes she can see ghosts. After a particularly traumatic experience, she is sent to live in a home for troubled teens. She is diagnosed with Schizophrenia and even though she does not believe this to be true, she goes along with the therapy in the hopes that she will be released soon. As she gets to know others who live in the house she realizes that they all seem to be hiding secrets as well. When her roommate is taken away to a hospital and then later visits her as a ghost, Chloe gets concerned that she may not be safe in this house and tries to find a way out.
Fantasy lovers will devour this story. It is fast paced and the characters are intriguing. Nothing is as it first appears and there are many unexpected twists, including a surprising ending that readers will love. Many questions are left unanswered, but there are two sequels as Chloe’s story continues. At first glance, this seems like a story that is very similar to many others in the YA market right now, but the ending provided some unexpected surprises. Recommended for fantasy readers.