Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tesla's Attic

I love Neal Shusterman as I'm sure you know if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time.  It only takes a couple of pages in this new series starter co-written with Eric Elfman to figure out why.  As with all Shusterman's books, it's clear from the beginning that this is not your average story.  It is his skill with character and plot which transforms what could be a ho-hum story into a clever and surprising tale of friendship, honesty, and long ago scientific rivalries.  Who else could this?

Nick has just moved to Colorado Springs with his father and younger brother Danny following the tragedy that destroyed his home and killed his mother.  The family is still reeling from this loss, and they've moved from Florida in part to escape and in part because the ancient house left to them by a relative is the only housing option they have.

When Nick decides to use the attic as her bedroom, he knows he'll need to have a garage sale to get rid of all the junk that's been hidden there for ages.  But once he gets rid of them, he realizes they are not just ordinary objects.  That may look like an innocent toaster, but when Nick tries to use it, it blows out all the lights in the room.  Did I mention it doesn't even plug into the wall?  And that's the tamest of the objects.

Soon after the stuff is gone, guys in suits show up to demand the items and immediately put Nick on edge.  He knows that stuff is more than it seems.  He also seems to know instinctively that the the white suit guys should not get there hands on any of it.

With a little research, he learns that he and friends are in the middle of an ages old battle between Tesla and Edison.  Not only are they endangered from Edison's modern day followers, but Nick has unwittingly set off a chain events that could destroy the entire planet!  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Loud Awake and Lost

Ember survived the car accident eight months ago, but its effects are lingering.  She's been in the hospital and rehab since the accident, and she can't remember anything from the six weeks preceding the crash.  She's eager to get home, but once there, she finds little clues to a life she doesn't recognize.

She tries to jump back into her life by reconnecting with her best friend and her ex, but she keeps feeling disconnected.  It's like something major and life changing happened before the accident, but it's been wiped from her memory.  She doesn't feel like the ballerina who wears a bubble gum pink jacket anymore.

Plus there's Kai.  On a trip to nightclub she visits in an attempt to jog her memory, she meets this amazing hot guy who isn't like anyone else in her life.  He's unpredictable and creative, and Ember feels an instant attraction to him.

As she tries to piece her life back together, Ember must reconcile the ruffles and lace dancer girl who used to live in her room with the motorcycle jacket and boots girl who was driving the night of the accident.  As her memories start to come back, she will rediscover some truths about herself and eventually uncover the painful truth.

Read Adele Griffin's YA book that is a thrilling journey through trauma to recovery and realization.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


This is the third book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series.  It's not a surprise that I love this series!  Fairy tales plus science fiction equals awesome!  The only problem is the fourth book has been pushed to a November 2015 publication date.  That's over a year away!  Why?!  I hope it's worth the wait.  There is a bonus book coming out in January that appears to be the requisite before-she-was-evil story about our villain, Queen Levana, so I guess that will have to tide me over.

Cress was born a Lunar shell, but her early prowess with hacking and technology is anything but a plus.  She's spent the last seven years alone in a satellite doing the bidding of Queen Levana's Thaumaturge, Sybil Mira.  As far as Sybil knows, Cress obeys her every order, most recently tracking the fugitive Linh Cinder.  Instead, Cress has been protecting Cinder and team of fugitives from detection by hacking into satellite feeds.

When Cinder finally makes contact, the fugitives decide to rescue Cress, but everything goes wrong when Sybil shows up at the same time.  This disastrous rescue attempt divides the team into three parts and no one is sure of the survival of any of the other members.

Despite the loss of her friends, Cinder knows she has to stay focused on keeping Levana away from earth and preventing her marriage to Kai.  Will she have the courage and strength of will to take her place as a Lunar princess?

Cress picks up right where Scarlet left off, and the action moves forward swiftly.  This is another great entry into the series, and fairy tale fans will enjoy picking out the elements of the Rapunzel story in Cress's tale.  I highly recommend this series.  It is sci-fi action, romance, political intrigue, and plenty of fairy tale extras!

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Mark of the Dragonfly

Piper has been living alone in Scrap Town 16 since her father died.  She makes her living by scavenging from the debris that falls from the sky in regular storms.  Piper is a machinist with an ability to fix almost anything mechanical, and this talent has helped her scrape by, but she dreams of going to the city one day to make a new life for herself.

When she finds a girl unconscious in the debris after a storm, she brings the girl home to try and help her. When she finally wakes up, Anna is unlike anyone Piper has ever met, and she is terrified of the man who shows up saying he is her father.  She remembers nothing about her life except her name.  But there is one more strange this about Anna; she has a dragonfly tattoo on her arm, a tattoo that marks her as under the special protection of King Aron, ruler of one of the warring nations in their world.

Piper makes a split-second decision to run away with Anna to try and save her.  This begins the journey of a lifetime for the girls on the 401, a train that will lead them to the city.  Thanks to the dragonfly tattoo, the girls make it onto the train, and Piper begins to experience a whole new side of life.

As they travel closer to the city, danger is around every corner, and the more Anna remembers about her old life, the more Piper wants to protect her from going back.  In a world populated by shape-shifters and telepathic creatures, Piper will discover her own kind of magic as she commits to saving her friend.

Read Jaleigh Johnson's first book in this new fantasy series!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer of the Mariposas

Odilia and her sisters are left to run wild after their father abandons them.  Their Mama is stuck in a fog of depression and constant working to pay the bills, and the cinco hermanitas spend the summer days swimming in the river.

Everything changes the day they find the dead man floating in the river.  They are afraid to call the authorities because they know if he is an illegal his family may never find out what happened to him.  So they decide to steal the junky car their father left behind and take the man home to his family in Mexico.

Odilia is opposed to the plan at first, but when La Llorona appears to her to tell this is a quest she and her sisters must complete together, she reluctantly decides to go.  After all, their abuelita doesn't live far from the man's home, and it's been years since they've seen her.

On the way the sisters will have to face dangers both normal and paranormal.  They will have to evade border guards, a witch, the lechuzas (owl creatures with human heads), and even the chupacabras!  Will the cinco hermanitas be able to complete their quest?

Guadalupe Garcia McCall wrote this book because of a conversation she had with her students one day while teaching The Odyssey.  One of the girls in her class asked why all the stories where about old white guys, so she decided to write her own version of the story using sisters and Mexican folklore.