Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Alexis lives in the oldest and more unique house in town. But she can't say that about her dyfunctional family. She has a workaholic mother, a father who won't treat her like a grown-up, and a 13-year-old sister who loves and collects dolls. The only thing working for her right now is her love of photography. And that's what starts it all.
One night, while taking photos of her house at night, Lexie thinks she sees an odd light that seems to follow her and her sister, Kasey. But was it a trick of the eye? Lexie shrugs it off and continues with her non-existent high school life, until things change from "normal" to weird.
For the first time in her life, Lexie thinks she may be falling for Carter, the student council vice-president and polar extreme of who and what she is. And the most popular girls in school? They are actually talking to her...but the most strange? Her sister Kasey. Why do her eyes change from blue to green? And when they do, her whole personality changes from little sister to evil incarnate. Pair that with cold rooms when the A/C is off, strange stories and memories Lexie doesn't understand but "remembers", and accidents that are far from accidental, and Lexie knows there must be more going on than meets the eye.
Slowly, she begins to realize what is happening to her sister. From an accident that happened long ago in her house, a restless spirit is intent on revenge. And Lexie has to prevent the possession of her little sister before she's gone for good. But can she?
Katie Alender captures the essence of a fast-paced ghostly read for YA by creating characters that counterbalance each other socially written within the genre of high-interest supernatural that seems to be prominent in YA fiction today. From enemies to romance, possession to a dysfunctional family, from revenge to love, Alender weaves a great tale that encompasses it all without bogging down the plot. This will be a book that will be read over and over - keep plenty on the shelves! Recommended.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser

I wanted to do something other than moviemaker...here I used Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9. It was a learning curve, but I liked it! There is a 30 day free trial before you buy...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

YA genre that gets overlooked and a random thought...

I've looked through lists and lists of YA suggestions and very seldom do I find short story collections for YA. I've read some really good ones recently, and I plan on booktalking them - two I've read and LOVED were Geektastic and Up all Night. There are some pretty heavy-hitting YA writers on them, and their individual voices stand up to their novels.

(photo I took of my fortune today!)

So, here's my random thought I had today. After church, we went out to eat at a local Chinese restaurant. And after we got our ticket, my family, of course, always read out our fortunes we got. And then it hit me - wouldn't it be SO COOL if some writes got together, broke open a fortune cookie, and wrote a story around their fortune? I think that would be awesome because you never know what you'll get and the stories you could come up with! When I read mine this afternoon, I was thinking about what it would be about. I should just write it down.... : )


Here's a compiled list of YA short story collections I've read and enjoyed:

Up All Night: Six Sunsets, Six Stories

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd

666: The Number of the Beast

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Stories about Falling Out of Love by Four Incredible Authors

Every Man for Himself: Ten Short Stories About Being a Guy

Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales

Twice Told: Original Stories

Trapped!: Cages of Mind and Body

Who Am I Without Him: Short Stories about Girls and the Boys in their Lives

Magic in the Mirrorstone: Tales of Fantasy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Black Box by Julie Schumacher

Elena can't remember a time in her life when she's cried. She's a driven student, rational, and in control of her emotions.

Elena loves her sister Dora, but also knows that Dora has some major problems. Depression will come and take Dora for a ride that no one expects. Sometimes the ride is to the hospital for an overdose...sometimes it's to the psych ward to help Dora get better. But the last bout of depression was the worst, and Elena doesn't want to talk about it.

She won't talk about it with her parents...but hey, they don't want to talk about the truth anyway. She won't talk about it with her therapist because Elena doesn't have the problem - Dora does. The only one Elena will talk to is Dora. And right now, Dora is telling her baby sister she needs help and Elena is the only one that Dora trusts to keep her secrets and get her home. But are trust and alibis the same thing?

Elena really want to help by trying to get her out of the psych ward. She's seen her sister's condition first-hand. Is it progress or torture? It's not until Elena meets Jimmy, a loner in her neighborhood, who has the inside scoop on the ward...having a mother who's a psychiatrist has its perks. But is that where he gets his information, or is he lying to Elena?

Another wall, another person she can't trust...Elena is breaking down....

Schumacher has written a powerful story of teenaged depression and how it not only affects the victim, but those around her, from family to friends. Readers get to glimpse inside the chaotic and dangerous world of what having and living with depression can be like. The characters, especially those of the two sisters, will draw the reader to the end of the book making them wonder if Dora will make it or if Elena will be able to hand the pressure. Recommended.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser

Madison lives in a well-to do town, drives a nice car, knows the right people…and her life is becoming a nightmare. What starts off as a blog of one student nickednamed Str-S-d, who writes about her hatred of the popular people and wishing they were dead turns into murder. Coincidence or not?

One by one, the most popular people start disappearing, and Madison isn’t sure how or why, but there are things that bothers her.First, who is PBleeker and why does he or she keep sending cryptic texts to her phone? Why is her best friend Courtney acting so strangely? And the new student in school Madison is attracted to – is it a fatal attraction? Maddison needs to find answers quickly before she becomes the next victim or someone close to her is killed…Strasser writes an excellent mystery book with a twist that YA readers will eat up. I’ve read almost all of

Strasser’s YA novels, and this one is a departure from his past ones. Not based on reali-life statistics, this book brings together the finesse that takes YA mystery to the top. Fast-paced, this book grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the very end when you finally found out what happens to the victims. In a genre that is hard to find, this book will be one checked out by those who love murder mysteries. Companion books to Strasser’s newest novel would include Gail Giles’s What Happened to Cass McBride or John Halliday’s Shooting Monarchs.