Posts Tagged 'danger'

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Genre: Historical Fiction

# of Pages: 372

Iowa Teen Award Winner 2018-19

In 1845 Sammy, a Chinese American teenager flees her town after her father unexpectedly dies and she realizes there is no one else she can trust.  She’s hoping to chase down her father’s business partner who recently departed for California on the Oregan Trail.  She convinces Annamae, an African American slave to join her on the run. They disguise themselves as boys since the Oregan trail can be so dangerous with gangs and other threats.  Annamae is hoping to find her brother who was sold separately from her and she has not seen for many years.  Even as they befriend three young men on the trip and manage to avoid thieves, disease, and even wild animal attacks they know eventually they will have to go their separate ways and at this time they are the closest thing to family each of them has.  Can they find a way to survive the Oregan Trail?  Will they find what they are looking for?

This historical fiction book tackles an area that students have probably never seen before and that is what it would have been like to be on the Oregan trail at all, but also for those people who were labeled as minorities at the time.  How would that make life harder for them than everyone else?  How would they know who they could trust?  Sammy and Annamae have a really difficult road ahead of them, but they stick together and never give up which helps them to survive.  Even though it is a historical fiction book I think fans of survival stories would also enjoy this title.  The characters are multi-dimensional and well developed which helps the readers truly understand their motivations.  Recommended.

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Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky

utopia

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  323

RAC:  Yes

Set in fictional Utopia, Iowa where the life expectancy is longer than usual and many people are believed to have “gifts,”  Jack Bell lives with his mother, father, and sister.  Jack, his mother, and his sister can all see ghosts, but they have taken extra precautions to make sure they cannot enter their home.  When Jack’s sister, Amanda, claims to see a ghost on Jack’s bed they are all naturally alarmed because more than likely it would take a much stronger spirit to enter their house than a usual ghost.  Then, a young college student is pushed from a dorm window to her death and she seeks Jack’s help in finding what happened to her.  She does not remember her death, which is unusual for ghosts, but she knows her boyfriend didn’t kill her despite his confession.  The police detective starts to become concerned that Jack is somehow connected to this case because he seems to know details he should not know, and he is not a believer in the town “gifts.”  Can Jack help this spirit find her way and clear his name?  Can he protect himself from the growing number of threats people keep prophesying about him?

This light fantasy story provides an usual spin on the ghost genre in that the reason behind the threats and mysterious deaths actually connect to an ancient story that is slowly explained throughout the book.  Jack comes in contact with several different types of gifted people who all try to help in their own ways as he deals with the ghosts that keep seeking his advice as well as the mounting danger he keeps getting warned about.  The ending is exciting and satisfying, but it’s not a story that the reader will think much about once it is over.  Recommended for fans looking for a fun fantasy.

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages: 391

RAC:  Yes

Nora is paired with Patch in science class and always feels a bit uncomfortable around him, especially since he seems to turn up wherever she is.  The more time she spends with him, however, the more drawn she feels to him.  Her best friend and the school counselor warn her he is dangerous and shouldn’t be trusted, but she cannot help but feel like she is in fact safe with him.  Meanwhile, another new boy has come to her school, Elliot, and he is determined to befriend her.  While Nora’s best friend thinks Elliot is wonderful Nora cannot help feel like something is a bit sinister with him.  After a series of bizarre events in which Nora either hallucinated or someone is purposefully messing with her, she must decide which boy would be taunting her with dangerous situations.  Is her life actually in danger and why?

This story is yet another fallen angel romance, but somehow still finds a way to be unique and interesting.  Patch and Elliot both have reasons to hurt Nora, yet they both seem genuine at times when they want to befriend her.  While Nora’s mother is absent for an enormous part of the book and her best friend seems to make the worst choices ever, Nora seems to take things in stride despite the fact that she finds herself in severe danger over and over.  The ending provides some answers, but there is still a lot readers will want to know as this fantasy romance unfolds.  Fans of Unearthly, Fallen,  and Halo will enjoy this title as well.

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.


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