Monday, August 30, 2010

I have been reading!!!!

I don't know about you, but the first two weeks of school just DRAINS wouldn't believe the work me and my library assistant have to do to help get the school up and running. I have been reading, though I can't remember the titles. Ever have one of those days? I plan on posting the reviews this weekend. Finally, a loooooong weekend....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Secret of Priest's Grotto by Peter Lane Taylor

There is something about the Holocause that still draws an audience, young or old. And when you have a story that once again defies all odds, readers will be drawn to it. So it is with this book. A non-fiction pictorial of a story one man heard and then researched, it takes into account three Jewish families and the limits of humanity they endured in order to survive.

What's the record for the longest amount of time man has spent in a cave? Human isolation, sensory solitary but darker, deeper under the earth, claustrophobic...
The record was 205 days set my Michel Siffre in Texas's Midnight Cave. And he was given food, had modern clothing and lights. Toward the end of his stay, his mental and physical capacities had seriously deteriorated. It was excruciating.

This book is about the story of three families who fled into the longest horizontal cave in the world in the Ukraine, called Priest's Grotto. They survived in the not as modern world of 1943 far beyond what a modern explorer experienced but for much, much longer...and lived to tell their tale.

One word - intriguing... An amazing book for reluctant readers (short with many photos of the past and present) as well as for those whose interest lie in the Holocaust or tales of human struggle and survival against nature. An excellent addition to collections for junior high and up.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Immortal Beloved by Kate Tiernan

Nastasya has seen it all, done it all. She's lived a hundred lives and goes on to see another day. Tonight, she's with her friends Incy, Mal, Katy and Boz for a night of clubbing...anything to dull her reality. But then she witnesses the true degradation of an immortal, and she doesn't like what she sees, not only in what Incy did, but how she reacted to it...

Nastasya and her friends are immortals - people who have lived hundreds of years and are eye-witnesses to all the world events mere humans can only read about. Nastasya hides her true beginnings even from herself and makes sure she doesn't attach herself emotionally to anyone or anything, except the amulet and scar she carries with her constantly. She and Incy have been inseparable for a very long time, but now she knows she must cut her ties. She remembers a woman named River whom she met over a hundred years ago and the invitation given to her then. And that's where Nastasya goes for safety.

But her lifestyle and the way things are run by River, Asher and other immortal teachers at River's Edge are not mixing very well. Not only that, but she feels that the other students there don't like or even want her around, particularly Nell and Reyn. And what she thought would be a haven for her to turn away from the dark side may actually be more dangerous. Someone is after her, but what for? Why? The more Nastasya learns about her past and the power she has, the more she is being hunted. Or is that the real reason?

What a great book for YA readers who enjoy reading fantasies that are dark, mysterious, and romantic. The characters are not vampires, but true immortals who struggle with something far larger than a simple person can concieve. From London and around the world to a small town in Massachusetts, the lives of the immortals, especially Nastasya, are revealed slowly but carefully, leaving the reader wanting to know more about her past as well as her present. Tiernan does an excellent job of weaving Nastasyas two stories through a series of flashbacks and present day that makes the reader understand not only who she is, but what she's fighting against. This will be a series of books, and after reading the first one, I'm already ready for the sequel! Due out September 2010.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

It's the future of the United States. A place where black-market and side alley deals are made for video games...a place where computers and their peripherals are high commodities. There is no Las Vegas, and Sam knows he's the one responsible for the downfall of the United States....

It started out harmlessly. A little hack to get some free neuro headsets for him and his best friend Fargas. Sam knew the hack was easy, but he still couldn't shake the feeling someone was watching. And then the invitation arrived. Neoh@ck would invite him to the elite of the elite if he could find their con. What did he have to do? Crack the firewall of the White House and find the virtual con. Sam did, and now the feds are knocking on his door.

But there is more to it than meets the virtual eye. Sam runs into Dodge while incarcerated and makes a daring plan to escape. And his escape turns into the a proposition he can't refuse, working on what he does best. One that means life or death, protection of countries and their resources and governments, and a battle against Ursula, a virtual being that wants to take control of not only the what Sam and the crew are trying to protect, but of people as well, using the only means available to her...neuro headsets.

WOWOW!!! Okay, this isn't quite a word you'd use for a review, but from the beginning I was hooked. Brian Falkner writes a YA thriller that does exactly what he set out to do - thrill the reader. A dystopian novel in a very futuristic, realistic way, Falkner writes about the dangers of the future involving technology, and one that could quite conceivably happen. Sam is one of those teens we all extremely bright and talented person who walks, talks and lives for technology. He is vibrant, intuitive, and leaps off the pages as well as the other characters in this novel. The prologue will capture and the book will follow suit.
I requested a guy read on the floor of ALA...the next best novel that will capture this audience. The rep at Random House handed me this...Brian Falkner's book will too with the guys. Due out late September.