Archive for August, 2011

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  373

RAC:  Yes

Calli is a seven-year-old girl who has been unable to speak since she witnessed a terrible incident years before.  Her best friend, Petra, understands her without words and they do everything together.  One morning both girls disappear from their beds and police wonder if they are together.  Meanwhile, Calli’s alcoholic and abusive father is also missing and her mother begins to fear the worst.   Can the well meaning deputy find the girls before it’s too late?

This story written by an Iowa author takes place in an Iowa town and accurately depicts the relationships people have in small town Iowa.  Each chapter follows a different character and helps the reader piece together what happened to these two girls.  The strong friendship these girls have ends up benefiting both of them in very different ways.  There are tough issues addressed such as kidnapping, alcoholism, and, abuse but the story is very engaging and will make readers want to find out what happened to these girls.  Recommended for Picoult fans.

Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn

Genre:  Historical Fiction

# of Pages:  330

RAC:  Yes

The five Taylor sisters live with their mother in Spirit Vale where she works as a medium who speaks to dead people.  The older sisters, Mimi and Jane, have long doubted their mother’s clairvoyance abilities, but their younger sisters all seem to believe.  The twins even seem to have a special gift of their own.  When their fates all collide together on the Titanic’s maiden voyage, Jane becomes worried when her twin sisters show fear that something bad will befall the ship.  Can all of the sisters survive one of the world’s most famous disasters?

This story weaves true and false facts about the Titanic’s famous fall.  The introduction of the Taylor sisters adds a bit of intrigue as they explore the very popular trend of clairvoyance for the time.  Famous faces make appearances throughout the story and are fun for reader’s to identify.  The motivations of the five sisters are all clear and justified as they each try to find their own way in this world, but the ending is unexpected and not everyone makes it to New York.  Recommended to fans of historical fiction and the Titanic.

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  440

RAC Book:  Yes

John came here when his planet was destroyed.  Eight others came with him and were separated to keep them safe.  There was a spell placed on them so that they must die in a particular order, but John knows that the three before him have been found and killed.  Therefore, he must move with his guardian to a new place, with a new identity, and extra precautions.  He is the next one to be targeted by those who wish to destroy his people.  At his new school he meets Sarah who seems different than other girls he has ever met.  Can he risk getting too close to her when his life is in jeopardy and his future on this planet is uncertain?  Can he act like a normal teenager when so much is at stake?

This fast paced novel keeps the reader interested from the first page.  There are some lighter parts as well as more action packed sections that balance the story and make it seem plausible in some way.  The characters are engaging and their actions are believable.  Fans of fantasy will enjoy the threat from other worlds, but realistic readers will enjoy the action and suspense.  Overall, a fun read.