Published October 24, 2012
Adventure , Fantasy , RAC , Romance , Science Fiction
Tags: cryogenically frozen, family, leadership, lies, politics, Romance, truth
Genre: Science Fiction
# of Pages 398
RAC Book: Yes
Amy must make the very difficult decision of whether or not to cryogenically freeze herself with her parents. They have been chosen for their elite skills to lead a new planet in 300 years. Amy can choose to wait 300 years to continue her life on a new planet with her parents or she can stay and live the rest of her life without them. She chooses to get frozen, but is unexpectedly awoken 50 years early by someone wishing to cause harm to frozen people. Amy feels it is her responsibility to protect her parents from the person trying to hurt the frozen people, but how? Meanwhile, Elder, the future leader of the ship, is trying to learn what it will take to lead one day from Eldest, the current leader of the ship. Eldest is tyrannical, oppressive, and difficult to work with. Worst of all, as Elder soon learns, he has no problem with lying to the passengers of the ship. Can Elder become the kind of leader the ship needs? Will he go along with the lies they currently believe just to make Eldest’s life easier?
Fans of Glow and Divergent will enjoy this title. The plot is interesting, even for those who have read similar titles. Although the plot can be predictable it is also clearly thought out and multi-layered. Some difficult issues are discussed or displayed such as suicide and sexual assault, so beware of younger readers. All in all, it was an interesting, enjoyable read.
Published June 26, 2012
Adventure , RAC , Realistic Fiction
Tags: civilization, cult, friendship, lies, survival, trust, tumor, zombie
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Apocalyptic Society
# of Pages: 465
RAC Book: Yes
Alex goes into the woods against the wishes of her aunt and doctors in order to distribute the ashes of her parents before her brain tumor kills her. While she is in the woods there is an electromagnetic wave that sweeps the country and maybe the world. The pulse kills most people instantly and leaves others either saved or in a zombie-like state. She meets a young girl, Ellie, who is unharmed, and a teenage boy, Tom. Tom is a former U.S. soldier from Afghanistan. Together the three of them try to survive, but keep finding more and more challenges to finding food and staying safe. Will they ever feel safe again? Will they all survive this disaster?
This story is engaging and students who like survival and futuristic type stories will enjoy the action. The characters all have secrets that they are reluctant to share, despite their close relationships they eventually form. There are many unanswered questions by the end of the story and the ending itself may frustrate some readers who are looking for more of a resolution. Hopefully, some of these questions will be answered in the inevitable sequel.
Published February 23, 2012
RAC , Realistic Fiction
Tags: doubt, gossip, lies, rape, rumors
Genre: Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 228
Samantha has had a crush on her best friend for as long as she can remember, but since he is unavailable she decides to try and strike up a conversation with Carter at his senior party. Carter is the unofficial king of the high school and everyone loves him. However, when Sam approaches him she is met with embarrassment and ridicule. As she stumbles out of Carter’s room a girl sees her disheveled and crying and comes to the conclusion that Carter raped her. Soon the rumors start flying and Sam is caught unawares until it is too late. At that point several girls come forward and reveal that he has done heinous things to them as well, but never to the point of physical or sexual assault. Sam is unsure how to stop the terrible rumors that everyone was quick to believe and she wonders if she owes it to his previous conquests to keep up the facade. Meanwhile, Sam starts getting threats toward her by the small inner circle that believes Carter’s story. Will Sam reveal that although he was cruel, Carter did not attack her physically? Will Sam be able to face her small town if she comes clean?
This is an almost haunting book because it is so believable. This misunderstanding could easily happen and once the rumors start it can be hard to stop. Carter’s character is deplorable in many ways and he has done terrible things to many girls in the school, but is that a reason to let him suffer for something he didn’t do? The reactions of everyone around Sam are believable and the ending is accurate, which many readers may struggle with. Fans of Thirteen Reasons Why will love the harsh truth and reality of this story and will find themselves thinking about it long after they have finished. However, readers looking for a fun romance should keep looking. Recommended.
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: 264
Age Level: 13 and up
RAC Book: Yes
San Lee has been the new student on many occasions since his family has moved so much. With each new school San would try to create a new image or persona in order to survive, since he is a geeky Asian kid who frequently gets picked on. This time things are a little different because San is now alone with his mother and he is angry with his father for their current situation.
On his first day of school he meets a young lady who calls herself Woody and plays the guitar at lunchtime for money. He decides he wants to get close to her because she seems like someone who could appreciate different and unique people. In his history class they begin talking about Zen Buddhism and before he knows it he has led the class to believe that he has practiced this religion for years. It definitely makes him unique and original, but can he keep it up without hurting his new friends and his mother?
This story uses Zen Buddhism to illustrate how life in most situations, but especially high school, could be improved if people really thought about their actions and words. By using Zen, San basically creates a new way to remind students of how to treat each other and live life to the fullest. Unfortunately, San’s failure to be honest with Woody about his past and true ambitions leads him into trouble. Once again, Sonnenblick has created a realistic high school character who can be selfish and self-serving, while also showing the ability for c0mpassion and friendship. The supporting characters are rich and developed to make the story engaging and even a little inspiring.