Seventeen year old Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital and discovers that she has no recollection of the past few days… or what happened at the abandoned asylum. To escape from the tragedy, Mara and her family move to Miami, FL. Once there though, Mara starts hallucinating and strange things, terrible things, seem to happen wherever she goes.
This book is amazing. There’s no other way to say it. Michelle Hodkin is a genius (and you can follow her tumblr here). The entire time you have no idea what is and isn’t happening. Now, I know that sounds like a bad thing, but it’s not. Mara has no idea what’s happening to her and neither does the reader. It creates an insane amount of suspension and makes the book nearly impossible to put down.
Plus, there’s a very hot, super-rich, dirty minded British boy. So… that doesn’t hurt either.
Really though, you need to read this book. I want to say more about it in this review, but I honestly don’t know what to say without spoiling something.
“The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” by Michelle Hodkin is the first in the Mara Dyer trilogy. “The Evolution of Mara Dyer” comes out on October 23, 2012.
P.S. Michelle, if you see this, can I have a Noah? Pretty please?
After the Star-Spangled Banner is stolen from the Smithsonian, a record-setting blizzard hits D.C. and shuts down the airport entirely. This leaves many stranded including three 7th graders who come to realize that, if they don’t catch the real thieves, the parents of their new friend with the crazy dog are going to be blamed.
Of course, trying to catch thieves in a very crowded airport? Not so easy. Between a sandwich stealing poodle, trying to interview an evasive Presidential candidate, adventures in baggage claim, following the creepy man with all the tattoos, and the fact that all of their relatives have some sort of silver jaguar jewelry? Well, let’s just say these kids are about to get in a lot of trouble.
“Capture the Flag” by Kate Messner is an entertaining, fast-paced, and original MG novel that everyone will enjoy.
The eyes of London are supposed to see it all, but, to some things, even the eyes are blind.
When Louisiana teen Rory starts attending a boarding school in London, she is already expecting something completely different from what she’s used to back home. However, she doesn’t realize just how different it will be. One of the first things she hears upon landing in London is that some guy went and “pulled a Ripper.” At first, she thinks it’s some sort of slang that she just doesn’t understand, but, no, it turns out someone has decided to start recreating the Jack the Ripper murders. Oh, and Rory’s school is right in the middle of Ripper territory. Nothing says, “Welcome to London” quite like that.
Rory’s life just gets crazier from this point on. As if having to juggle school things and an overenthusiastic field hockey coach weren’t enough, she becomes the only person to have seen the supposed murderer; a man that is quickly becoming one of the most feared people in London. Even worse? Her roommate was right next to Rory when she claims to have seen him, but her roommate doesn’t remember him at all.
Then the secret police show up.
They tell Rory that, like them, she’s able to see ghosts, and they need her help. The man creating the panic across London isn’t a man at all, but a ghost. They’re the only ones who can stop him, and they need her help. After all, no one else has any idea as to what he looks like.
The suspense only goes up from there.
“The Name of the Star” has both an original and interesting take on ghosts. It has characters that you will fall in love with and is ridiculously difficult to put down even for a second. You never know what to expect next.
“The Name of the Star” is the first of four books in the “Shades of London” series by Maureen Johnson. Book two, “The Madness Underneath”, will hit shelves on February 26th, 2013.
Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publication Date: March 2006
Setting: Mulching, Germany-1939
Description: By her brother’s graveside, Liesel Meminger’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger’s handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So beings a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up and closed down.
Review: So this is the first review I’ve ever written so you’ll need to bear with me while I get the hang of it.
The book starts off with the narrator, who is not the main character, talking about death and colours. He (it is assumed that the narrator is male, though it is never specified) says that each death has a colour associated with it. Instantly, the reader is required to figure out who the mysterious narrator is and how he knows so much about death. My first guess was that he was a sort of Dementor or the like that feeds on death and despair, but then I quickly hit myself because it was speaking about the deaths of those in the concentration camps and I assumed the narrator was a Nazi soldier. I was wrong, which was proven quickly.
So right off the bat, there’s a death. We meet our main character, Liesel, on a crowded train. Her brother is dead, and they must stop to burry his body. The narrator is present for this, and I started to wonder if the narrator is Death itself. This was proven right as the book continued.
The way the book is written isn’t in chapters, it’s in small stories of about 10-20 pages. Some are longer, some are shorter. It’s separated into 10 different parts, each part with 5-9 stories in it. Some of the story plot lines continue through the entire book (such as the stealing of the books, Max the Jew, and Rudy’s desire to kiss Liesel), while others are just lines in the part. I personally have never read a book written in such a way and that intrigued me. It took me quite a while to get through, upwards of two weeks, but that could be contributed to my busy schedule of late (and tumblr).
While reading Liesel’s story through the words of Death was interesting. He would refer to a book Liesel wrote about her life, and that this entire story was just what she had written down. In the very last part, we are introduced to Liesel writing the book when the Mayor’s Wife stops by her house to give her a present of a small black book. She begins writing her story, starting with when the book started: the first book she stole at her brother’s funeral. She writes the story in their basement, where she had learned to write with Papa and where she spent time with the Jew they hid, Max.
And that’s where everything she knows ends. An air raid occurs, and it isn’t like the others where it’s just precautionary. The only thing is that the sirens didn’t happen in time. The bombs crashed down on the street in which Liesel lived (called Himmel, German for Heaven.). Everyone she knew died, from her best friend and secret love, Rudy, to her Mama and Papa, even Mrs. Diller (the owner of the local candy store, where you had to Heil Hitler otherwise you wouldn’t be served). She was writing, in the basement, while the bombs hit. This is what saved her life.
The narrator tells us this at the beginning of the 10th part, though it doesn’t happen until later that part. He does this to “soften the blow”, to prepare us for what’s coming up. Even knowing that all of this was going to happen, I still cried. I had become attached to Liesel, and felt the pain of a 13 year old girl who had lost the only brother she had, Max, the Jew who felt like a brother, and now she had lost all the people she knew. I cried for the last twenty pages as Death told the final bit of Liesel’s story.
Overall, it was an extremely good book. I am thankful I listened to all the recommendations for it and bought it.