Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Roar by Emma Clayton


In a bleak future, humans use terrible chemicals to fight The Animal Plague that causes all of the world’s animals to go rabid and renders most of the planet uninhabitable. The population now cowers in overcrowded walled cities. Mika, 12, and his parents live in London in terrible conditions. His twin, Ellie, supposedly drowned a year earlier, but Mika is convinced that she still lives. He’s right. The story begins with Ellie and a tiny monkey named Puck fleeing a spaceship in a stolen Pod Fighter. Sadly, their attempt to escape is foiled by the evil Mal Gorman, who has a plan to co-opt the entire first generation of children born after the Plague and make them into an army for his own nefarious purposes. And Gorman has special plans for kids like Mika and Ellie, whose mutations give them unique abilities. To save his sister, Mika will have to win a contest involving simulator battle games and many deadly challenges, using abilities he never knew he had. The story starts fast and never slows down. (from School Library Journal)

This book could quite possibly be the next Hunger Games.  There is no romance to it . . . the kids are only twelve years old, but it has all the excitement and suspense of Hunger Games.  Once again, the adults have pretty much destroyed the world and it is up to the kids to save it.  The ending is definitely a setup for a sequel (The Whisper, 2011), but it is not a cliff hanger and very satisfying.  I can’t wait to start recommending this book!



Filed under Post-apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Secret Life of a Vampire (Love at Stake, #6) by Kerrelyn Sparks


A typical bachelor party is all about beers and beautiful women. A vampire bachelor party is no different — except the men are drinking Blissky (whiskey-flavored synthetic blood). And no one can throw a party quite like Jack, the illegitimate son of the legendary Casanova. But when the party gets out of hand and the cops show up, Jack has some explaining to do . . . if only he wasn’t struck speechless by the beauty of Officer Lara Boucher.

Lara is sure there’s something more than a bachelor party going on. What is Jack hiding? And why is he so interested in the recent disappearance of young women all over town? Her investigation uncovers more than she wants to know, especially about this modern-day Casanova. But if she’s ever to make detective, she’ll need to expose all his secrets . . . if only her heart wasn’t on the line. (from Goodreads)

I loved this storyline.  Although it has the SAME problem of a woman going from not knowing vampires exist to immediately falling in love with one, I found this one more believable.  Maybe I’m just becoming more accepting of the whole idea.

I did like the fact that Jack admitted he had been in love before.  After all, he is over 200 years old.  He hasn’t pined for his entire existence waiting for Lara to appear.

Her friend, LaToya is wonderful too.  I see a book in her future as well.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal, Romance

All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire (Love at Stake, #5) by Kerrelyn Sparks


Toni Davis’s Christmas wish list

1. Springing my best friend from the psych ward.

2. Living somewhere that doesn’t have coffins in the basement. Occupied coffins.

3. Finding Mr. Right. Please make him tall, dark, handsome, and alive.

This Christmas isn’t so merry for Toni. Her best friend’s been locked up in a mental hospital ever since she told the police she was attacked by vampires, and the only way for Toni to get her out is to prove that bloodsuckers really do exist. So she’s taken a job as a bodyguard for the Undead, but she gets more than she bargained for, especially when she meets Ian MacPhie, a Scottish rascal looking for Ms. Right.

Although Ian’s nearly five centuries old, he looks and acts like a twenty-seven-year-old hunk.

How can a dead man be so damn sexy? Could Mr. Wrong be Mr. Right? One forbidden kiss could lead to an eternity of passion—and all it takes is one moment under the mistletoe . . . (from Goodreads)

I was glad to see that Ian finally got his own story.  I am still bothered by how quickly the woman (and in a previous book, man) go from wanting to kill all the vampires to falling in love with one.  For Pete’s sake, Emma was nearly raped and murdered by Malcontents just a few days earlier and now she is madly in love with Ian.  Oh well, it was a great book anyway.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal, Romance

Aftershock by Kelly Easton



Seventeen-year-old Adam is tormented. His parents have just been killed in a car crash in Idaho, and he has survived. In a speechless state of shock, Adam begins walking home, back to Rhode Island. But he can’t think in a straight line: The past and present blend and merge in his thoughts; the future’s a blank; he’s lost his voice and his money. Memories fling themselves at him like stones, some inflicting great pain.

In Adam’s harrowing journey he faces many challenges. He confronts situations that demand violence or compromise from him, forcing him to question what it means to be a man, even as he tries to find his voice in a world suddenly devoid of meaning. This gripping and haunting novel is the story of one young man’s struggle to survive — literally — on the road, and to propel himself emotionally from despair to hope and freedom. (from Goodreads)

Every now and then, I am forced to read a book due to my responsibilities as a school librarian that is totally out of my preferred areas.  This is one of those books.  And, every now and then, I am happily surprised.  This is one of those times.  I loved this book and could hardly put it down.

This is a book that will appeal to my students who loved Living Dead Girl and If I Stay.  The content is totally different, but the appeal is the same.  The last few lines are some of the best I have ever read.  I rarely write down quotes, but these lines are going into my journal.

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Filed under Contemporary, Realistic, Young Adult

The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake, #4) by Kerrelyn Sparks


Three signs that something is very different with your new man:

1. He sleeps all day . . . which would be annoying except he’s so attentive at night.

2. He’s attacked by sword-wielding assailants, yet insists he can handle it on his own.

3. He never seems to age.

Heather Westfield has always lived a quiet life, but that all changes when she helps a very handsome, very mysterious stranger. There’s something not quite right about Jean-Luc, but still, she’s never been with a man so charming, so attractive . . . so wonderful. Now if only a murderous villain wasn’t after them, they might get their happily-ever-after. (from Goodreads)

This is one of  my favorite books in this series.  There is something about Heather and her “yeah, right” personality that I love.  The idea of a French fashion designer vampire appeals to me too.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal, Romance

Be Still My Vampire Heart (Love at Stake, #3) by Kerrelyn Sparks


If it was still beating. Angus MacKay has been undead for almost five hundred years and it’s not often something, or someone, surprises him. Until Emma Wallace. The sight of this luscious agent from the CIA’s elite Stake-Out team was enough to stop Angus in his tracks. But then he discovers that she’s a vampire slayer, intent on killing the “monsters” who killed her parents. And it’s Angus’s job to stop her.

The only good vampire is a dead vampire. It’s been Emma’s motto since she committed her life to the destruction of these things. Now Angus MacKay wants to convince her differently.

Sure, he’s a sexy Highland warrior who seems to have stepped off the cover of a romance novel, complete with brogue, kilt, and sword, but he’s also one of them. And it’s her job to kill him.

The war is on, but will it end in the destruction of one or both of them . . . or in total surrender to a passion for the ages? (from Goodreads)

I am not sure which is less believable . . . women who have no idea that vampires are real and then promptly fall in love with one or those who are vampire slayers who “promptly fall in love with one.”  It’s a good thing these books are so much fun because they certainly ask for a suspension of disbelief.  Now what does it say about me that I am bothered more about the relationship development than the existence of vampires?

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal, Romance

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

LibraryIn this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel. (from Goodreads)

I should have been more tempted to read this one because, after all, it has Yoda in it.  Unfortunately, I was afraid it was going to be more of the Captain Underpants type humor which I cannot stand.  I was most happily surprised.

This is one of those books that the kids are going to love because of the humor, but in which adults see an entire different level of growth.  I think it is more like the Wimpy Kids books or Dork Diaries than Captain Underpants.

I have had the book less than two weeks and it has already been checked out three times not counting me.  The kids who have read it have all wanted to tell me about it and one of them even made me my own Origami Yoda.  Thank you Ryne S.

I imagine it will not last a period on the shelf tomorrow morning once I get it back on display.  Who knows, this might be one I need to buy multiple copies of to keep the kids happy.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Young Adult

A Very Vampy Christmas (Love at Stake, #2.5) by Kerrelyn Sparks


This is actually just one of the stories in the Sugarplums and Scandal anthology.  Maggie is one of Roman’s original harem and Don Orlando is the vampire’s favorite heart throb on the Digital Vampire Network.

This story has some really dumb twists, but for some reason that made it even better.  I wish the author had written this story as a full length novel rather than an entry in an anthology because there was room for a lot more plot development.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal, Romance

Vamps and the City (Love at Stake, #2) by Kerrelyn Sparks




Who says a vamp can’t have it all?

Darcy Newhart thought it was a stroke of genius – the first–ever reality TV show where mortals vie with vampires for the title of The Sexiest Man on Earth. As the show’s director, Darcy’s career would be on track again. And she can finally have a life apart from the vampire harem. Okay, so she’s still technically dead, but two out of three’s not bad. Now she just has to make sure that a mortal doesn’t win. If only she wasn’t so distracted by a super–sexy and live contestant named Austin…

But Darcy doesn’t know the worst of it. Austin Erickson is actually a vampire slayer! And he’s got his eye on the show’s leggy blond director. Only problem is, he’s never wanted any woman – living or dead – as badly. But if he wins her heart, will he lose his soul? And if it means an eternity of hot, passionate loving with Darcy, does that really matter anyway? (from Goodreads)

I love this series.  It is light and fun and has no socially redeeming value.  However, this book, and yes I know it is only book two, is not one of my favorites.

Darcy is a whiner.  She may not whine out loud, but she never lets herself be happy.  Dying didn’t change the other vampires personalities so drastically, so why did it hers?  Bpy that sounds weird no matter how you look at it.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal, Romance

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks




So what if he’s a bit older and usually regards a human female as dinner, not a dinner date? Yes, Roman Draganesti is a vampire, but a vampire who lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldn’t have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop–sided eater for all eternity.

Things aren’t going well for Shanna Whelan either…After witnessing a gruesome murder by the Russian mafia, she’s next on their hit list. And her career as a dentist appears to be on a downward spiral because she’s afraid of blood. When Roman rescues her from an assassination attempt, she wonders if she’s found the one man who can keep her alive. Though the attraction between them is immediate and hot, can Shanna conquer her fear of blood to fix Roman’s fang? And if she does, what will prevent Roman from using his fangs on her… (from Goodreads)

There are nine and a half books in this series and I have read all but the most recent before.  Some of them I have read  multiple times.  I love this series.  It is light, funny and has a good romance.  Each book flows well into the next and I get to meet old friends again.

There will be another new book in March 2011, so I expect I will be re-reading them all again in about six months.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal, Romance