Friday, December 15, 2006

Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes



Publication Date: Jan. 9, 2007

Here is another tale of four teenaged girls—-Bailey, Zo, Annabelle, and Delia—-who spend their time shopping at the mall, flirting with boys, and not much else. However, when the girls buy a set of temporary tattoos, something mysterious happens when they place them on their bodies. Bailey gets the gift of fire, Annabelle can suddenly read and control minds, Delia can change objects into anything she wants and Zo has premonition. The supernatural powers are temporary, and the girls have three days to battle Alecca, the evil fairy princess who wants to destroy humans for no reason, and completely kill everyone at the school dance on Monday. Because of her ancient bloodline of the Sidhe, Bailey discovers that she is descended from the Three Fates, and after Alecca is destroyed, Bailey retains her tattoo and absorbs Alecca’s mystical powers.

The cover will sell this book—-a lifted shirt showing the title of the book tattooed on a young lady’s lower back. But, I was unimpressed with the characterization, plot, and especially the stale dialogue of the young women. For example, "'Okay, fairy,' Zo said evenly. 'Now it’s on'" seems clich├ęd. The characters are difficult to know and like. There were several situations in the novel that didn’t integrate into the plot. However, if you have readers of girl-power fantasies, this will satisfy your patrons’ needs.

For VOYA, 2Q, 3P and intended for middle school, junior high, and secondary school students

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Collectors by David Baldacci



I listened to the CD version of this novel, unfortunately the abridged version. I absolutely loved The Camel Club by the same author. Washington DC, corrupt politicians, renegade former CIA agents that can kick butt, conspiracy theories that end up true--everything I love! This one didn't disappoint me. I think I would date Oliver Stone, even if he does work as a caretaker at a cemetary! I can't wait to go to the Library of Congress this summer during the ALA conference and check out the famous reading rooms.

I didn't like the clffhanger ending on this one, but, hey, I know I'll read the sequel!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray



The PHS Book Club just finished this one so I had to re-read it, too. Our last meeting was just today. I must admit that I didn't finish reading it (shame on me!) and that I'm not going to! There are so many other books out there I have to read! and I hate rereading books. Duh--I already know what's going to happen!

I had forgotten what a lively character Gemma Doyle is! She's quite the brazen female for the 1800's. Drinking whiskey stolen from the pastor, sneaking out of boarding school, friends kissing Gypsy lovers among the trees.....Whoooeeee! This novel is a good one!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick


Publication Date: March 2007.

Orphaned twelve-year-old Hugo Cabret lives in a train station in Paris in 1931, and manages to survive by stealing food and keeping his uncle’s disappearance a secret. Hugo manages the clocks in the city for his uncle and pilfers small toy parts in the hopes of fixing an automaton that he received from his father. Eventually his plan of surviving on his own fails, and he befriends a young girl and her grandfather, who owns a toy shop in the train station. The grandfather recognizes Hugo’s talent for repairing machinery and employs him at the toy store. The girl’s grandfather turns out to be the famous filmmaker Georges Melies, who adopts Hugo and fosters his love for magic.

The artwork in this “novel in words and pictures” is stunning. Beautiful full-page black and white illustrations are interspersed throughout the book and advance the story, often in critical areas of the plot. Readers will also love the still film images that are used when the characters discuss Melies’ films. The novel is loosely based on the actual French filmmaker, and the credits section at the end gives more information about the filmmaker, films from the early movie era, and automatons. Part-mystery, part-feel good drama, part-picture book for older readers, this novel will fly off the shelf, simply because of its visual appeal.

For VOYA:

4Q, 4P, and intended for junior high and middle school students.

Monday, December 4, 2006

All That Lives: a novel of the Bell Witch by Melissa Sanders-Self


Well, this one was different. One of our agriculture teachers, Mrs. Parr, gave me this one after Halloween and I finally finished it. I must say that it was a slow read and I'm not a big fan. The fact that it is supposedly "true" makes it a little interesting, and I guess there was a Bell Witch movie made a few years ago.

Betsy Bell, the main character, lives in Tennessee in the early 1800s and her family beings to be haunted by a spirit. The spirit is sometimes good, sometimes evil, and makes the family the local entertainment. People from miles around come to see the family tormented. Cherries rain down from the ceiling, sticks are thrown at the front door, faces are slapped, and hair gets pulled. The spirit murders the Betsy's father to get revenge for him molesting his own daughter.

I don't think the novel had a good ending. In fact, it almost seems like the author grew tired of writing and just stopped. Just like I'm going to do with this review.