Archive for December, 2012

Belles by Jen Calonita

Belles by Jen Calonita

Genre:  Romance

# of Pages:  352

RAC Book:  Yes

Isabelle has lived with her mother and her grandmother her entire life and when her mother died in a car accident her grandmother became her guardian.  Despite all of Isabelle’s efforts, her grandmother is placed in a nursing home by a social worker and she is whisked away to the house of long lost family she has never heard of.  The Monroe’s welcome Isabelle, but their teenage daughter, Mirabelle, struggles to befriend Isabelle at school as well as keep in the good graces of the queen bee, Savannah, who does not want Isabelle included in any school events.  Meanwhile, Isabelle is stunned to learn that the great guy she met surfing at the beach all summer is the boyfriend of Savannah, who seems to make it her life’s mission to torture Isabelle.  Will Isabelle and Mirabelle ever get along?  Will Isabelle ever feel like she fits in in this new school, home, and family?  What will happen when a huge family secret is revealed?

This story is full of teenage drama, but somehow manages to suck the reader in and want to know what will happen to these people.  Despite the stress of always trying to keep up appearances, the Monroes do come off as normal and well adjusted.  Savannah is a good villain that everyone wants to see go down, but can unfortunately also identify with as most people know a “Savannah.”  Recommended for girls who like romance and lighter stories.

Reached by Ally Condie

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  512

RAC:  Book

In the final installment of the series, Cassia is back with the Society working as a sorter when the Rising takes control and produces a cure for a mysterious plague that the Society was trying to keep quiet within city limits.  Xander is working in the clinic as a physhic and was well aware of the plague and is thrilled when the Rising takes over simply because he was always on their side and now they can cure these people.  Ky, meanwhile, is working as a pilot for the Rising and his job is to deliver the cure to different locations.  They all end up coming together, but the virus mutates and threatens to wipe out the entire civilization.  Will Cassia choose Xander or Ky?  Will they all even survive the plague?  How will the Rising govern better than the Society did?

This ending was satisfying, but slow and a bit underwhelming.  The first book in this series was so interesting and raised so many questions about society in general and what is considered “normal.”  It seems like the second two books in the series lost their way a bit and struggled to recapture that spark the first one had.  It’s not bad, but just not as good as Matched.  Die hard fans will enjoy seeing what happens, but many readers will find this book tedious and cumbersome.  There are still some unanswered questions as well and the ending, although satisfying, is definitely realistic which hopefully readers will appreciate.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Genre:  Suspense/Mystery

# of Pages:  294

RAC:  Yes

This take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, features 10 teenagers who were lured to a weekend house on an island for a party that they find out was never happening.  Instead, they start getting killed off one by one in extremely odd fashion.  Meg accompanied her friend, Minnie, to the party even thought she had some reservations to begin with.  She is also the only one who tries to think of constructive ways to get off of this island.  All of her ideas are thwarted, however.  There is no power, Internet, phone service, radios, or any way to contact the outside world.  They have ascertained they are indeed alone on the island which means the killer is among them.  How can they survive if they do not even know who or what the threat is?

This mystery is still a lot of fun even with the updated characters.  They all have past issues that all teen readers can relate to and in most cases those issues contribute to why they are on this island.  There are some plot revelations that are fairly predictable, but the suspense and overall pacing of the story will keep readers interested all the way until the very end.  A fun mystery story.