Posts Tagged 'threat'

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  390

RAC:  Yes

When a plane crashes into a remote island carrying the fifty contestants of the Teen Dream Pageant complete chaos ensues.  Several contestants do not survive the crash, but those that do seem to be confused as to their priorities.  Some feel like they are still being judged for the pageant and choose to use their time practicing their talent routines and question answering skills.  Others choose to spend that time looking for food or possible means off the island.  What they do not know is that there is a sinister presence on the island that does not feel too happy about the sudden appearance of these perky girls.

This story is funny, unique, and unexpected in many ways.  The girls each have unique voices and motivations for entering the pageant and each reveal a variety of flaws and strengths that they can either help or hinder their situation.  The relationships between the girls as well as the outside threat from the island presence make the novel a quick and fun read that many teenage girls will enjoy.

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Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  424

RAC Book:  Yes

A computer hacker in Pakistan finds some mysterious threats directed toward the U.S. and he alerts the proper authorities.  The threats are examined, but there is no evidence found of any bio threats.  Then, in the U.S. two women who live on the same street die of mysterious aneurysms on the same night.  The daughter of one woman and the two sons of the other try to find out what happened to their mothers even as they start exhibiting similar symptoms.  Meanwhile, the computer hacker is moved to the U.S. where authorities hope he will be able to pinpoint a location and identification of the culprits behind the attack on a neighborhood water supply.

This bio-thriller moves at a brisk pace for the beginning and end of the story, but the middle lags a bit as the characters try to put the pieces together for why they are all getting sick. The idea behind the attack is clever and well-executed which forces the reader to think about how easily any of us could be influenced by a terrorist attack.  The steps authorities take to locate and extinguish the threat seem realistic and make the officials seem very knowledgeable and credible.  The characters are interesting, but a few have some habits of using bad language on a regular basis.  For students who enjoy spy and terrorist books this is a must.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  170

RAC Book:  No

2010 Iowa High School Award Winner

“Alice” recounts the story of how she was abducted by a pedophile named Ray and forced to live with him for several years and follow his rules.  For example, Ray starves her so that she will stay little and seem like a little girl.  She considers herself dead inside and wishes he would just kill her and get it over with.  The only reason she never tries to run or tell someone is that he threatens to kill her family if she does.  When Ray suggests they look for a new little girl to live with them Alice agrees because she desperately wants to leave this situation, even if it means he will kill her.  As she starts helping him on his quest she wonders if it is really in her to subject a new child to the horrors she has been through.

This book is very detailed and graphic.  Alice’s life is beyond unimaginable and her spirit has long been crushed.  Despite the fact that there have been stories like this that end happy with a family reunion, there is a sense of hopelessness in Alice’s case like she has given up.  The content of this book is very serious and will bother many students.


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