Friday, November 30, 2012

Rootless by Chris Howard

Here is a dystopian view of the future, when the climate has changed so much the ocean is a surge, corn is the main food, and there are no more trees.  Can you imagine eating popcorn for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Scholastic and Net Galley let me download a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published tomorrow, so check with your local bookstore to get a copy.

This is a world where Gen-Tech rules.  They have manufactured corn that locusts can't hurt and they sell you what you can afford to buy.  There is no other food source.  Banyon is a tree builder.  With no real trees, folks ask for metal trees.  It's all built from scraps.

Banyon lost his father in the desert while close to Vega and he's regretted it ever since.  When he is building trees for a family and sees a picture of real trees and his father, he's ready to go find him.

This quest will pit Banyon against horrors he could never even imagine.  I've read horror stories before but this one will stick with me for a while.  It's just believable enough to make you shiver.

If you like a dark tale that keep stressing you out, this book is for you.  And it's Book 1 in the series.  There will be more...

Happy reading.    

Rocket Ride by Graham Salisbury

Calvin Coconut is a good kid.  He enjoys his family and friends and is happy at heart.  He gets really excited when he finds out his Dad is coming to the islands for a concert.  He hasn't seen him since the divorce...

Wendy Lamb Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  Look at the others in this series, too.  They are interesting, set in Hawaii, and middle graders will love reading about Calvin's antics.

Calvin's thrilled he'll be able to see his Dad.  He doesn't remember much about him and he's nervous about what his Dad will think of him.  Even more stressful, his Dad gave them 10 tickets to the concert.  Who shall they invite?

Calvin always learns something in these stories and this time is no different.  He develops a conflict over what to do about the last free ticket and has to find a unique solution.

Why not go play on the beach with Calvin and travel with him when he meets his Dad.  You'll enjoy his story, Calvin is a character!

Happy reading.   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh

Althea has known she's not like everyone else for some time.  Other people don't travel from place to place, season to season, and not remember anything in between.  Other people don't live with parents who really aren't their parents.  And other people don't have a necklace that contains a note saying, "Trust no one."

The author and Goddess Fish Blog allowed me to read a copy of this ebook for review and for this tour (thank you).  You can purchase a copy on Amazon right now.

Althea tries hard not to do anything different from the other students.  She has such an in-between life, it's like having no life at all.  She can love no one, nothing is ever constant, and she never knows when she will wake up in a new place with a new situation to face.  Despite being abnormal, she must mimic normal to survive.  Somehow she knows that instinctively.

Suddenly the wardens are visiting the school and interviewing students.  Any student found to be defective disappears.  They're "broken" and won't be returned.  This is not a kind world; humans are disposable. Althea is scared of being interviewed.   Then Althea meets Lucas.  Does she dare trust him?

This is a very interesting fantasy world that captures your attention and makes you wonder if any humans will survive.  You'll keep turning the pages to learn more and when you finish this story, you'll want to read the next book in series.  The author leaves you with a cliff hanger and you'll want to know what comes next.   

Trisha will be awarding two $5.00 Amazon Gift Cards and one $20.00 Gift Card GC to randomly drawn commenters during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Happy reading. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sky High by Patricia Reilly Giff

The ZigZag schoolkids are back again and this year they have a special class for inventors.  Boy, oh, boy, Charlie will do good here; he's the best inventor around!

Wendy Lamb Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  Look at the rest of the series, too.  It's fun reading material for middle graders.

Each child chooses something different to show off at the Afternoon Center Inventing Fair.  One has a bug collection, one is raising a garden, one is featuring hair colors and there are lots more.  Charlie starts with his Zinger-Winger, a plane, but it gets stuck in a tree.  While launching it in flight, he knocks the bugs over and they escape and he steps on a tomato in the garden.  This is not a good start for Charlie...

Charlie is one of those boys full of ideas and energy and a bit too caught up with himself to worry about others until it's too late.  He spends time making amends and planning his next big project. 

Reading about Charlie and his friends in not boring.  Charlie is always in trouble of some kind and you have to see how it all works out.  Somehow, he always comes out on top!

Happy reading.    

Monday, November 26, 2012

Melonhead and the Vegalicious Disaster by Katy Kelly

Melonhead and Sam have this way of getting in trouble; they don't mean to.  It sounds like a good idea at the time, but somehow it never works out...

Delacorte Press sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy at your local bookstore.

This year, Melonhead and his friends are in fifth grade.  They're a bit disturbed to find out their new teacher is Bad Ms. Mad, but they are hoping they can deal with her.  There is also a new classmate that uses a wheelchair.  She's friendly and the teacher hovers over her, which she hates.  The other big factor in this story is that Melonhead's mother is trying to get more fruits and vegetables in their diet.  It's good for Melonhead.  Ugh!

Melonhead pretty well holds together: eats beets, doesn't fight with the teacher and makes a new friend with Pip, the girl in the wheelchair.  It's when he invites her and Sam for dinner that things go really bad.  His mother makes them up special dishes in various shapes.  They are not eatable.  How they get rid of them is a hoot!

You'll want to read this story and see how much trouble he got in, how the matter was resolved and whether Melonhead survives.  For one little boy, he can get into a lot of trouble...

Happy reading.   

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell

This is unusual story with a touch of paranormal, magic, Gothic mystery and murder all twirled together in an intriguing tale.  The author does a good job of melding it together and making you care about Clara. 

Random House Kids sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check at your local bookstore for a copy.

Clara has spent her whole life in the old run-down Victorian house that belongs to a magician's widow.  She loves the old woman and enjoys living her with her mother and one other servant.  Life is good.  The birds in the aviary are noisy and bother her a bit, but she can ignore them.  At least she can until the Myna bird keeps calling the name Elliot as she walks by.  What might the Myna bird be trying to tell her?

It's true, the birds have a message.  But before they can disclose it, the old woman dies, someone tries to buy the house and it looks like Clara is all on her own if she wants to solve this mystery.  She does have a girlfriend to help and that's a very good thing.

This is a fantasy with a touch of paranormal and ghosts.  It's a good read for both young and old.  A bit scary but so interesting it carries you by it.  Why not travel back in time and see how a kidnapping turned deadly and why it took so many years to solve the crime

Happy reading.    

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

I like steampunk adventures.  They have a sci-fit touch with mechanical devices and the young adults in the story are fearless (for the most part), self-confident, and ready to right wrongs.  It's almost like a modern turn on pulp fiction.  This story immediately caught my attention because it not only has all those elements, it has three young women as the lead characters.  I had to read it...

Dial Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published on December 6th, so you don't have long to wait to nab a copy.

These three main characters come from different walks in life.  Cora was a street girl before she was taken in by Mr. White.  He has taught her scientific skills and how to build inventions.  She has excelled at it.

Nellie also was rescued from the streets by a magician and she has learned a variety of physical skills as well as the art of disappearing and the use of illusion.  

Michiko grew up in Japan and has trained to become a female samurai.  She does public displays of her skill with a master that knows less than she does.

The girls originally meet at a performance of modern skills and techniques.  Cora has gone with her mentor; Nellie and Michiko are performing.  Right after the performance, they discover a dead man.  Then flower girls begin dying.  Cora was a flower girl once, so that really hits home for her.  Michiko was attacked by the person who killed the man, so she wants to save her honor.  Nellie wants to help.

The plot is well thought out, presented in good form and made really good reading.  While this is written for young adult, I totally enjoyed reading the story as an adult.  I am so impressed by it, I have preordered a hardcover to add to my personal library.  It's that good.

Why not buy a copy for yourself and see what you think?  You won't forget these young women.  I hope to see more written in this series.  This is a great combination of skills and personalities that talked to me.

Happy reading.   

Friday, November 23, 2012

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

This is a graphic novel about a city that is wearing out and potentially failing.  No one is willing to do anything about it except two young children who are trying to solve an old mystery...

Random House sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can buy a copy now at your local bookstore.

I haven't read the original text version of this story, so it was all new to me.  The story was adapted by Dallas Middaugh and the artwork was done by Niklas Asker.

I enjoyed Mr. Askers illustrations.  They very graphically demonstrate just how dark it is both inside and outside the city.  When the lights start going out and food gets limited, the future of the city is bleak.  

Lina and Doon meet when they trade jobs.  Soon they are trading other information and planning on following the instructions left on an old piece of paper that Lina's grandmother had hidden.

The way out of the city is dark and unknown.  They know not what they will find at the end...

Happy reading.     

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Part to Play by Jennifer L Fry

Losing an older sister that you loved, admired and depended on for guidance is hard enough but when your family falls to pieces because of her death, it's even worse.

The author and Goddess Fish Blog allowed me to read an ebook of this story for review and the blog tour (thank you).  The book is available here.

Being a young teen was hard for me.  I was very emotional during puberty, changing from a parochial grade school to a public high school was tough, and I had no friends.  So it was very easy for me to relate to Lucy in this story.  She's a sophomore, just lost her sister, feels her parents don't love her or value her, and now they are transporting her to a drama school where she will live on campus.  She feels like she's been shut out.

She has a bully at the new school (anyone who can outact her is her enemy and Lucy can act), hears music no one else does, and is trying to find a reason to live.

The author shows insight in her descriptions of Lucy's emotional trauma.  She surrounds her with some girlfriends and introduces a love interest.  The story is about how Lucy recovers from her depression and find her life again.  Some of the other characters don't do as well, but the focus here is on Lucy.

Follow along on the tale of an anguished young woman who is finally finding her own path in life.  You won't be disappointed.

Jennifer will award one commenter at every stop an 8x10 autographed print of an original illustration of one of her characters, and one randomly drawn commenter on the tour will receive an 11x17 autographed set of all three main characters in the book. (US/Canada only)    The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Happy reading.    

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Alice in Wonderland by Rod Espinosa

Rod Espinosa does wonderful graphic work.  I had read and reviewed his rendition of A Christmas Carol and really enjoyed it, so I was looking foward to seeing how he handled Alice.  He did well at this story, too!

Dark Horse Comics and Diamond Book Distributors and Net Galley allowed me to read an ebook of this story (thank you).  It will be published February 19, 2013, so make a note on your TBR list.  You won't want to miss it.

I've never read the original Alice in Wonderland.  Of the bookdealers I know, half have and love it.  The other half did and hated it.  I have read several abridged versions and find those easy to read and relate to.  I think I'll just stick with that.

This is delightful tale.  Mr. Espinosa creates the most whimsical creatures to showcase this well known fantasy.  The Cheshire cat is always my favorite.  I really enjoyed how he portrayed Alice.  She's not all that brilliant, sometimes she's cross-eyed, and it's easy to see how she could get caught up in this adventure.  Her smart mouth is what gets her in trouble.  I probably wouldn't have fared any better there.

It's an amusing, fun read with super fine graphics.  Why not tempt your young reader with this tale and see if they are drawn into the classic fantasy?  If so, there are lots of other renditions of this story to learn more about Alice and the strange creatures of Wonderland.

Get a copy yourself and fall down the rabbit hole with Alice.  You'll enjoy it.  By the way, the Mad Hatter looks a bit like Jay Leno...

Happy reading.    

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Postcards from Cedar Key by Terri DuLong

This is an interesting story with an old mystery.  Her mother went away years ago, when Berkley was a child.  She left Berkley with her mother and she never said where she went or why.  It was something she didn't talk about.  When Mom dies, Berkley is determined to solve the mystery...

Kensington Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published now, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Berkley makes candy; her family's speciality is chocolates.  When she finds postcards sent to her grandmother by her mother during her disappearance, she also found the name of a town.  She decides to move from Salem down to Cedar Key and set up a business there and do some snooping.

What she finds is a small town full of caring people.  She's doing well with her business, especially with her chocolates.  She meets a man she's interested in enough to date and she develops some deep friendships.  But she's finding a closed door her mother's past.  No one remembers her.  Then she finds someone who does...

This has the flavor of a cozy and is a warm and charming tale.  There were secrets hidden and Berkley is learning as much about herself as she is about her mother.  I enjoyed this read.

Why not find a comfortable chair and visit this small town and it's interesting inhabitants and solve a mystery from the past?  You won't regret it.

If you'd like to win my ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name and address and why you'd like to read this book.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.   

The Golden Quest by David Delisle

The Golden Quest is a graphic novel about a young boy who embarks on a Hero’s Journey with his dog Shelby to discover the Golden Rules of Mo...