Posts Tagged 'frienship'

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Genre: Realistic Fiction

# of Pages: 390 p.

Sawyer was raised by a single mother because her mother’s wealthy family disowned her when she announced her pregnancy at 17.  Due to the estrangement, Sawyer has not ever met her mother’s family and is shocked when her grandmother shows up unexpectedly one day to offer her college tuition in exchange for living with her for a year and participating in the debutante season.  Sawyer doesn’t have a lot of options at the moment to go to college so she agrees to go and secretly hopes she might be able to figure out who her father is.  Shortly after arriving, Sawyer learns that her cousin is being blackmailed by another debutante and she agrees to help, but little does she know that is just the beginning of the crazy debutante season!

This book balances a little mystery with Sawyer discovering who her mother’s family is and sorting out everything she thought she knew about them.  Fans of Barnes’s other titles will enjoy this one as well.  The story is engaging and the characters are fun.  There are several red herrings in the hunt for Sawyer’s father, but there’s so much going on it’s best to just enjoy the ride through the debutante year.  There is a sequel available for those who want to know more about these debutantes.  Recommended for those looking for a light, fun read.

Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  266

RAC Book:  Yes

In this sequel to the Ghost and the Goth, Alona is still a ghost trying to find out why she was sent back from the light.  Meanwhile, Will is approached by a strange organization that claims to free the world of spirits or ghosts.  While Will is thrilled that he is not the only one with the gift of seeing ghosts, he is not sure he completely trusts the motivations of the organization.  A girl named Mina has been trying to become a member of the group with little success and it is clear she is annoyed by how much they want Will to join.  Alona does not trust Mina and is irritated that Will wants to learn more about her and this organization that she thinks works against ghosts instead of with them.  In order to get Will’s attention Alona attempts a risky and dramatic plan that could land both of them in serious trouble.  Can these two find out the truth behind the organization? Can they save themselves from the unexpected forces that want to tear them apart?

This sequel was very well done.  For a book with a light, funny premise it was unclear if there would be adequate plot developments for a sequel, but the story kept me interested throughout.  Alona and Will’s characters and relationship have deepened and developed over the course of the story and teenagers will respond to them.  While some of the plot points seemed a bit predictable it was not boring or repetitive in any way.  Readers who follow the series will be curious to see what happens to these characters next.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  382 p.

RAC:  Yes

Marcus and his friends choose to skip school and go downtown in order to participate in a tech savvy scavenger hunt type game and are caught in the middle when terrorists blow up the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.  Marcus and his friends pull out of the crowd running for cover in order to get medical attention for their friend, Darryl, who was injured after the blast.  Instead of going to a hospital, however, they were transported by Homeland Security to a facility in which they were detained, questioned, and tortured for information on the terrorist attack.  Marcus had several items on him that they wanted access to and when he refused to give them passwords they would use terrible tactics to get him to talk.  His parents were not notified of his whereabouts and he was not allowed to consult with an attorney.  When they finally released him a few days later he was warned not to tell anyone what had happened or else they would come for him again.  Marcus vows to wage war on any government who thinks they can take away the rights of its citizens in the name of security.

This story asks the reader to think about what he or she would do in some difficult situations that are only slightly exaggerated.  The book portrays this world of suspicion and doubt in a way that anyone could see it actually happening.  The question is what would you do if you felt your rights were being stripped illegally?  Marcus’s story encourages communication and discussion about government control and inalienable rights.  Students who like espionage novels will like the technology and creative plans Marcus uses in order to try and reveal the truth.  Highly recommended.


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