Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Kiss of Deception

Princess Lia has no intention of marrying some fusty old prince she's never met.  She refuses to tie herself to a man who won't even meet her before the wedding in a kingdom far from everyone she knows and loves.  That's why she and her maid Pauline run away just before her wedding.

The two young women flee to a picturesque seaside village where they get jobs as maids at an inn.  Lia adapts to her new life fairly quickly and enjoys the freedom of anonymity in her new simple life.

But not everyone is happy with Princess Lia's decision.  Two men are on her trail.  One is her fiance who's come to find out just who this girl is who would defy two kingdoms.  The other is an assassin.

When two handsome strangers arrive at the inn, Lia is interested, but she has no inkling of who they really are, and neither Kaden nor Rafe recognizes the other for who he is.

In a crazy love triangle complicated by political ramifications, will Lia discover the truth in time to save herself and her kingdom?

This is Mary E. Pearson's first book in the Remnant Chronicles, and if you're a fan of fantasy love triangles, you've just met your new match!


Why would anyone ever leave Serenity, New Mexico?  There's no unemployment or poverty, no crime, and no one lies.  Even better, everyone has a nice house with a pool in the backyard!  Sure, it's a small town in the middle of a desert, but Eli, and everyone else, lives a peaceful and prosperous life.

When Eli and his best friend Randy decide to go on a bike ride just outside the city limits, both their lives are upset.  Once they pass the city limits, Eli is overcome with terrible stomach cramps.  Randy isn't.  This convinces Eli to dig deeper, and he recruits his friends to help.

The more they look, the more secrets they uncover.  Just what exactly is going on in Serenity, and who can Eli and his friends trust?  Read Gordon Korman's new series opener to find the truth!  This was a fun read.  My only complaint is that there is no real ending.  This really is part one of the story.  I guess I'll just have to keep reading to find out what happen next!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Every time Charlie Laird goes to sleep, he has nightmares, but that's not even the worst of his problems.  Even though he is still struggling with his mother's death, his father has remarried Charlotte, and Charlie is sure she's a witch.  He's seen things he can't explain any other way.  Plus, she made the family move from the house they shared with Charlie's mother to the creepy old purple mansion her family has owned for generations.

Things get even worse when the witch who torments Charlie in his dreams comes into the waking world.  That's when he knows he has to do something.  Charlie goes into the nightmare world awake to face his worst nightmares and save all the children of his town.

Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller have created a nightmare world this both frightening and funny layered on to the real world where Charlie is still struggling with grief over his mother's death.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

Everyone wants to be famous, right?  Especially, if you are Prince Charming of fairy tale fame, but the princes who bear that name have a couple of complaints.  First, they did all the work rescuing princes, fighting dragons, etc, so why are the stories named after the girls?  Everyone knows Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, but have you ever heard of Liam, Gustav, Duncan, and Frederic?  Didn't think so.

Also, the princes didn't realize when they got caught up in those famous stories that they would end up married or engaged to those girls regardless of whether they liked each other.

The princes find themselves kicked out of their homes (and sometimes kingdoms), and they stumble across each other in the forest.  They also stumble across a plot from a wicked witch named Zaubera who has kidnapped the four most famous bards in the four kingdoms.  Now Cinderella has been kidnapped, too!

Who will save her if not a band of Princes Charming?

This first book in Christopher Healy is fun and exciting though it does get bogged down a bit in the middle.  Recommended for fairy tale and humor fans.

Challenger Deep

Caden Bosch is on a dangerous adventure aboard a pirate ship headed to the Marianas Trench, the deepest point on earth.  It is there he will discover the truth.  The ship is led by a ruthless captain and his mutinous parrot.

But as demanding as The Captain may be, another world tugs at Caden.  It's a world with parents, family, friends, and school.  Reality.  Caden has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the world inside his mind is quickly becoming more real to him than the world outside.

As he descends into his journey aboard the ship, his behavior becomes increasingly erratic, and his family is finally forced to realize they can't help him.

This is a powerful story inspired by the author's experiences with his own son who does the illustrations in the book.  This is no simple movie of the week where answers and solutions are easy.  This is a complex story that weaves reality into Caden's fantasy world as he searches for healing.

This book is different from Neal Shusterman's other stories and deals with mature themes, but it is still written with his signature style and skill.