Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers

Not quite realistic fiction, not quite alternate reality, Myers bring Lil J to life not only by his deeds and actions, but how he reacts to Kelly, a man with an unusual gift and a television that can show Lil J certain moments in his life. Posing a question, Kelly asks Lil J if he could change one day, which would it be? And there is when the reader sees Lil J's life in full color: from the decisions he makes, to the way he feels, to where he is now. But what will ultimately happen to him?
This is a tale of the hood I've never really encountered before, and although short, it's a powerful read. It will most assuredly have appeal to YA readers, from the reluctant readers to those who read voraciously.

Here's the trailer...

Book trailer: Oh. My. Gods

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Phoebe Castro loves three things in her life - her two best friends, Nola and Cesca; running; and her chances of going to USC on a full ride scholarship. But things take a different course when her mother comes back from Greece in tow with a nuew husband and a decision that she and Phoebe are moving to Greece during Phoebe's senior year, and Phoebe is LIVID!!

But what Phoebe doesn't realize is that she's not just going to any old Greek island...she's going to Serfopoula and to a very unique school...one that caters to the elite around the world, which goes beyond money and power. The elite? Descendents of the gods - and Phoebe is the only nothos on campus.

She doesn't make friends easily either. Her step-sister Stella hates her, and worst of all, Phoebe's crushing on the god of gods, Griffin, who treats her life an insect. And then there's Adara, THE queen goddess of the campus. Add to this the accelerated classes, homesickness, and trying to keep up with her running with the demi-gods, and Phoebe is wearing down quickly. She doesn't fit in with any of the cliques at school (separated by which god they're related to) and looks forward to the day she can IM her two besties. Can she make the year and fly back to California, or will she be stuck on a Greek island filled with uptight teens with unique powers and a lack of hospitality?

What a great read for teens!! Light, funny, romantic, this book will appeal to those girls who can't get enough romance in their hands. Childs pulls from mythological past and blends it with the 21st century in a fun read that will please the chick-lit crowd. It was just what I needed in my reading repertoire - nothing heavy, but something that made me feel like wings on Achilles' heels. Recommended.

Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe

Kyle is obsessed with rewriting Scene Three. He's done it Tarantino style, Hitchcock style...but nothing seems to work. It's because he's blocked out what really happened, and all he wants to do is forget it ever did. What happened? It was the day he killed his best friend.

Jason and Kyle have been friends since they were little, but high school has changed their friendship. While Kyle seems to have stayed true to himself, he feels Jason has changed - he's moved into the jetset life of a football player and now there's little time shared between the two.

One weekend, after breakfast, Kyle and Jason find themselves in the old shed in the backyard. And in that shed, they find an old pistol...and that's where Kyle is stuck in his mind movie.

Life takes a decidedly different twist for Kyle, not only in his personal life, but at school and with his probation officer as well. After what happened, Kyle can't forgive himself and feels he deserves any punishment that comes to him. When he goes to court though, he can't believe the verdict. And once again, Kyle finds himself trapped at home, in his mind...all with the reality that he killed someone. But did he do it on purpose or was it truly an accident?

Heidi Ayarbe writes an incredibly compelling book about the actions, reactions and consequences of two guy's lives. Kyle becomes a real person the reader not only sees in flashbacks, but in real time, as well as what goes on inside Kyle's head. The other characters in the book not only act as a backdrop to understanding Kyle, but are strong characters as well, from his little sister to Jason's brother, to the parents involved. This is a page turner where the reader will want to know what Kyle's ending will be to the movie scene that continually runs in his mind. Recommended.