Archive for December, 2009

Rumors by Anna Godbersen

Genre:  Historical fiction/Romance

# of Pages:  423 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

In this sequel to the Luxe, the wealthy elite of New York in 1899 continue to socialize and gossip through life.  In the last book Elizabeth faked her own death in order to head west with her true love, Will, who is considered beneath her station.  Meanwhile Diana, her younger sister, has fallen for Elizabeth’s former fiancee, Henry.  He is reluctant to start a relationship because he does not know Elizabeth is really alive and believes that one day Diana will come to resent him for marrying his fiancee’s sister.  Penelope is still trying to decide how to get Henry to marry her and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.  Lina still plans on chasing Will, but is having a little fun with some newfound money first.  She wants everyone to forget she was once a maid and to accept her as one of their own, but simply having money does not get you accepted in this elite world.

For those that enjoyed the first installment of this series, this is  a must read.  The action in the plot moves along at a quick pace in a way to keep readers interested right up to the end.  Nothing is as it seems and twists and turns keep the characters from getting what they really want.  Plus, a surprise at the end will leave everyone wondering what is next for the Holland sisters (Elizabeth and Diana).  All in all, a fun and interesting story that will leave readers wanting more.  Fans of Gossip Girl and other books about the young and wealthy in today’s world will like this similar story set at the turn of the century.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  374 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

This book, set in the future, follows a society in which every child ages 12-18 must be placed in a yearly drawing to “win” a chance to play in the hunger games.  The hunger games is a fight to the death in a challenge filled arena for everyone to watch via television.  Each district (12 in all) must send one boy and one girl to compete in the games.  Of course, no one in the capitol has to fight in the games.  Katniss lives in district 12 and takes care of her family by illegally hunting and gathering so that they do not starve.  Her father was killed in a mine explosion and she feels it is up to her to take care of her mother and sister.  Therefore, when her little sister’s name is called she knows she cannot let it happen and volunteers to take her place.  Peeta, the boy chosen to go with her seems to have some strange ideas for winning the affections of the audience and Katniss is not sure whether or not he is being honest or a very good liar.

The hunger games has a similar feeling of government control as the Giver or Uglies, but these games are extremely violent and show no mercy to the children forced to play it.  As Katniss tries to maneuver her way through this difficult game in order to survive, she must come to terms with the fact that if she wants to live others have to die.  The conditions of the districts, Katniss’s in particular, show that this government has no problem withholding food or supplies if it means that there are no thoughts of rebellion among the citizens.  At one point Katniss ponders what it would be like not to have to worry about starving every minute of every day.  She wonders what those people must do with all that time.  Some serious issues are discussed, but in a way that is exciting, suspenseful, and shocking.  This one is definitely a page turner and one that could lead to some very good discussions.

The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  369 p.

RAC List:  Yes

In this fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series, Schuyler is on the run with her human familiar, Oliver.  She is afraid for her safety since the Conclave refused to believe her story about how her grandfather was murdered in the last book.  She is choosing not to choose between Oliver, her best friend, and Jack, whom she believes might be her soul mate.  Bliss is struggling with the loss of her mother and sister, while attempting to take control of her own mind from the “visitor” who sometimes chooses to take over her body and perform terrible deeds.  After the attack on the blue bloods in the last book, everything seems up in the air and no one knows exactly where they should turn for support.  Mimi and Jack are each avoiding the fact that they were somewhat relieved when their bonding ceremony was postponed.  Can the blue bloods fight the silver bloods if they do not know who they are really fighting?  Or what the plan of attack will be?  Will Schuyler be able to save the blue bloods through the Van Alen Legacy?

There are many things going on in this book, which made it move quickly.  At the same time, there was so much going on that sometimes important elements to the plot were revealed and they did not seem to get the shock they deserved because there was too much going on around it.  The characters are still strong and the readers will want to know what happens to each of them.   Of course, this book sets up another book to follow with many questions unanswered and people in limbo.   Students who have followed this series from the beginning will enjoy the book, but may be somewhat frustrated that more has not been resolved.  As the target audience grows up, they will fail to continue to follow this series.