Archive for February, 2013

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

monument

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  296

RAC:  Yes

On a normal school day, Dean gets on the bus for school when all of a sudden giant hail beats down on the bus.  The bus crashes and catches on fire, but another school bus who was behind it drives into a giant superstore and returns to save those who are uninjured.  Dean is pulled from the wreckage moments before it explodes.  Inside the superstore, they learn that only 6 high school, 2 junior high, and 6 elementary school kids survived the hail and the bus crash.  They tend to the wounded and the bus driver leaves in the hopes of finding help.  Meanwhile, they are shaken up by an earthquake and toxic gas that is poured into the air due to a leak caused by these natural disasters.  They are safe in the superstore, but do not know how long they will need to survive there.  Is anyone coming to rescue them?

This survival story is incredibly realistic and forthcoming about what life would be like after several natural disasters.  The kids all have different strengths and annoyances as they strive to find the best way to live together.  Some of their solutions for how to make the store more efficient and inhabitable are very clever.  Other actions are not as clever, but reveal that they are in fact just kids trying to survive.  The story moves at a quick pace and packs a lot of interesting plot developments.  Readers may be disappointed by the abrupt ending, but most likely a sequel will be on the way.

One Moment by Kristina McBride

onemoment

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  261

RAC:  Yes

Maggie and her boyfriend climbed a gorge in order to jump hand in hand into the water below, but something went terribly wrong and Maggie woke up at the top with no memory of what happened.  Meanwhile, her boyfriend, Joey, floated in the water below dead.   Afterward, Maggie and her friends must face life without Joey, while also overcoming the guilt they feel for having gone to that place at all.  Adam, one of their best friends, seems to be holding something back and has been steadily withdrawing since the accident.  Is there something Maggie doesn’t know about Joey?  Will she ever remember what happened at the top of that gorge?

Fans of realistic fiction will enjoy this title.  This story is engaging right from the beginning and the individual characteristics of the group are detailed well so that the reader can truly distinguish between each member.  There are a few key elements that the reader will pick up on before Maggie, but the big reveal seems satisfying nonetheless.  The book deals with grief, the aftermath of death, and even the ability to see the flaws as well as the strengths in someone who is gone in a manner that anyone can relate to who has experience with losing a loved one.

Dark Souls by Paula Morris

dark souls

Genre:  Fantasy/Mystery

# of Pages:  292

RAC:  Yes

Miranda and her brother, Rob, are in a terrible car accident that kills Miranda’s best friend.  After the fact, Rob has some serious fears about riding in cars and claustrophobia, while Miranda is mourning her friend.  Her parents have professional reasons for visiting York, England and decide it is a perfect time for the family to get away.  Upon arrival, Miranda realizes she can now see ghosts, but is most intrigued by the one across the street that she can see in the attic of a boarded up house.    She meets a troubled young man, Nick, who can also see ghosts and invites her to some mysterious places in order to interact with them.    The more time she spends with Nick the more she suspects he is planning something big and mysterious.   Can she save him from making a terrible mistake that will change his entire future?

This story includes a lot of folklore about York which ties into the story well.  The characters are well developed, especially Miranda’s family, despite being in the story rather infrequently.  The mystery moves a tad slow at the beginning, but eventually takes off and it’s obvious that the groundwork for solving it has been laid from the beginning.  Fans of ghost and/or mystery stories will enjoy this title.