Posts Tagged 'truth'

The Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato

Genre:  Mystery

# of Pages: 328

Megan Brown recently lost her brother in a horrific car accident and she’s struggling to cope with it.  Tyler was always there to protect her and still be the life of the party and she doesn’t know how their family will cope without them.  Shortly after his death the police announce he died of a heroin overdose and that he was planning to defer college, both of which come as a huge shock to her family as it seems they didn’t know him at all.  Meanwhile, Megan has also started noticing that when she touches objects that belonged to him she gets visions of memories of Tyler’s.  Is it possible that if she keeps touching Tyler’s things she can actually find out what happened to him?  Unfortunately, just as Megan discovers this power she realizes that some of the objects Tyler had on him when he died have gone missing which means someone came into their home to go through his things.  Is she getting in over her head?  Can she handle the truth if she uncovers it?

The premise of this story is interesting and the conclusion doesn’t disappoint.  It takes awhile for the pieces to begin coming together but the resolution is exciting.  Fans of mystery such as The Naturals and When will enjoy a mystery title about a character who has an unusual ability.  The backdrop of Abraham Lincoln gives the story an unusual twist that makes it more memorable and unique.

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The Heir by Kiera Cass

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Genre:  Romance/Realistic Fiction

# of pages:  346

RAC:  yes

It has been twenty years since America Singer won the selection and married Prince Maxon.  Their first born, by seven minutes, is Eadlyn.  Due to the change in law, she is the next in line for the throne and not her younger twin brother.  Eadlyn has felt enormous pressure her entire life because she knows that someday she will rule, but she never realized how much her parents have been shielding her from.  King Maxon abolished the caste system almost immediately after he became king, but all these years later there is still discrimination and unrest going on.  Eadlyn’s parents decide a Selection might shift the focus away from the unrest and onto happier, more exciting things.  Eadlyn is not thrilled by the idea of a Selection and vows to fight it at every turn.  There are several interesting suitors who are chosen and she begins to enjoy herself a bit, but as with any Selection there is a fair share of drama.  Will she find true love?

This follow-up series to the original is fun in that it is from a female perspective and therefore she is unable to get away with stuff her father did simply because he was a man and viewed differently by the public.  Eadlyn takes her responsibilities seriously, but often comes out unlikable because of her brusque attitude.  It’s obvious that she and her siblings know very little about the selection that brought their parents together and that is surprising considering a lot of important events transpired that still effect relations within the castle today.  The ending brought many shocks and surprises which is what fans will be looking for…along with the next book!

Taken by Erin Bowman

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Genre:  Futuristic, Mystery

# of Pages:  360

RAC:  Yes

In the town of Claysoot all men are taken at midnight on the night they turn eighteen while the entire town watches.  This has been happening since the beginning of the town’s existence, but no one knows what happens to these teens or who is behind it.  After watching his brother Blaine get taken, Gray learns they are in fact twins.  Therefore, he knows whomever is taking these teens did not know this or else he would’ve been taken too.  He decided to take the deadly trip to climb over the wall that surrounds the town in order to find out exactly what is going on and who is controlling all of them.  Emma, his childhood friend, follows him and climbs the wall too.  What will they find on the other side of the wall?  Will they live long enough to find out?

Another offering in the rapidly growing dystopian genre, this book will easily find an audience.  The details of the rustic town they live in give the reader an idea of what life was like growing up in Claysoot.  For example, Emma and her mother work as the town’s only healers.  Many of their priorities and rituals seems a bit shocking, but this town is trying to survive without any adult men so simple ideas of getting married and having families suddenly become an impossibility.  The characters that are introduced are colorful, multi-dimensional, and full of a desire to learn the truth no matter what the cost.  My high schoolers are waiting in line for this title.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages 398

RAC Book:  Yes

Amy must make the very difficult decision of whether or not to cryogenically freeze herself with her parents.  They have been chosen for their elite skills to lead a new planet in 300 years.   Amy can choose to wait 300 years to continue her life on a new planet with her parents or she can stay and live the rest of her life without them.  She chooses to get frozen, but is unexpectedly awoken 50 years early by someone wishing to cause harm to frozen people.  Amy feels it is her responsibility to protect her parents from the person trying to hurt the frozen people, but how?  Meanwhile, Elder, the future leader of the ship, is trying to learn what it will take to lead one day from Eldest, the current leader of the ship.  Eldest is tyrannical, oppressive, and difficult to work with.  Worst of all, as Elder soon learns, he has no problem with lying to the passengers of the ship.  Can Elder become the kind of leader the ship needs?  Will he go along with the lies they currently believe just to make Eldest’s life easier?

Fans of Glow and Divergent will enjoy this title.  The plot is interesting, even for those who have read similar titles.  Although the plot can be predictable it is also clearly thought out and multi-layered.  Some difficult issues are discussed or displayed such as suicide and sexual assault, so beware of younger readers.  All in all, it was an interesting, enjoyable read.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Genre:  Futuristic Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  487

RAC Book:  Yes

Beatrice lives in Chicago in the future where the entire population lives in one of five factions.  Each faction focuses on a different virtue:  truth, bravery, selflessness, peacefulness, and intelligence.  She was born and raised in the Abnegation faction, which focuses on selflessness.  At the age of 16 each person is tested to see which faction they are best suited for, but each person is given the free choice to choose where he or she would like to spend adulthood.  If Beatrice should choose to leave her faction, however, she will rarely if ever see her family again.  When she is tested she finds that she does not fit easily into any faction and therefore has mixed results.  She can truly choose any faction she wants.  The choice she makes surprises everyone and she worries she has made a mistake.  Can she survive initiation in order to feel she is a true member of her faction?  Can she trust the society she lives in to create a city she feels is righteous and fair?

There are many futuristic society stories out right now, but this one is a bit different and will appeal to readers who like this style of writing.  Beatrice makes some difficult decisions that will affect her future, a topic many young adults can relate to.  Meanwhile, there are some unexpected realizations about growing up and seeing the flaws in adults, especially those with power.  As Beatrice struggles through initiation she makes new friends and enemies as she lives in a competitive environment.  In the end, the story is about society and how people treat each other, which is something young adults must ponder as they reach adulthood.  The story has excitement and action and will leave readers wanting more.

Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of Pages: 208 p.

RAC Book: Yes

2008 Iowa Teen Award Winner

Brady loves living so close to the Chesapeake Bay. His father is a crab and oyster fisherman and he has two best friends, Digger and J.T. One day Brady sees the neighbor’s red kayak out before the boys go to school. He debates whether to yell and tell them it’s too dangerous to be out, but his friends convince him they will be fine. Brady is pulled out of school by his father later that morning because the kayak never returned and it contained the neighbor and her son. Brady had babysat for Ben and wanted to help find him.

As the search and rescue teams start heading off down the river Brady learns that the woman was found but was in shock. By chance he finds Ben and tries to resuscitate him while driving the boat back to the ambulance. By the time he gets there they have a pulse and Brady is hailed as a hero for the rest of the day. Things begin to go terribly wrong, however, when he starts to suspect that the kayak sinking was no accident and wonders how he should proceed.

This book was captivating in the way the story was revealed and in how it was explained. Brady faces one difficult decision after another and must decide who he should protect and who he should hurt. His father helps him decide that finding the right decision is easy, it’s just hard to act on it. This book will be a hit with teen boys due to its short and to the point nature, as well as for its interesting content. It would be good for classroom discussions on responsibility and making choices that will affect the rest of your life and many other people’s lives as well.