About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

Review: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon
Stephanie Meyer
Little, Brown & Company
Published September 6, 2006

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The sequel to Twilight, New Moon picks up a few months after its predecessor. It’s Bella’s birthday, and despite her wishes that there be no fuss, the Cullen family make quite an occasion of it. But the party spawns a sequence of events that shatters Bella’s world. She finds herself alone, feeling as if a gaping hole exists through the center of her very being. As she struggles to cope, and to carve out some semblance of life around the edges of her wound, she at last finds a friend. But when battle lines are drawn again, she finds herself torn between … Continue reading

Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight by Stephenie MeyerTwilight
Stephanie Meyer
Little, Brown & Company
Published October 5, 2005

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When Bella reluctantly moves to the dark and dreary city of Forks, Washington to live with her father, she is not expecting much out of life. A few precious days of sunshine at most. But fate brings something to her that’s far more dear and far more deadly. At first Edward Cullen seems repulsed by her presence– and for no reason at all. Gradually he softens toward her, but still remains aloof though alluring. But once Bella learns his secret, and the war it causes inside him, she begins to understand. He is a vampire, and she has already fallen in love with him.

I liked the … Continue reading

Vampires, Ghosts, Witches, and Teen Fiction

twilight_sagaby_reggie_bIf you are a parent of a teen and have escaped the Twilight craze and the Harry Potter boom, you are probably in the minority. This week, and for many weeks past, vampires dominate the young adult bestseller lists, as Harry Potter did before them. Also not long ago, the Newberry Award was given to Neil Gaiman for his middle grade novel The Graveyard Book, a story about a young boy on the run from a killer, raised by ghosts and other beings in a graveyard. Is this bad news for Believers?

Some say no. After all, we read the Narnia chronicles, which have many connections to Greek mythology. Tolkein’s Gandalf is a wizard. Is that so different from Rowling’s characters?

To others, Rowling and Lewis aren’t … Continue reading

Go Ask Alice (Anonymous)

Go Ask Alice
Anonymous
Simon Pulse
First published in 1971

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Go Ask Alice is a haunting story of a young girl’s descent into drug addiction and her desperate attempt to break free again. Her journal entries detail the highs and lows she experiences as she falls deeper under the spell her addiction to LSD. Through Alice’s eyes the reader sees her family’s desperate struggle to reach her, and the seductive power of the chemicals that pull her away from them.

First printed in 1971, Go Ask Alice still remains one of the most popular works about teen drug addiction.

It’s definitely a dated tale, but I think one of the reasons it survives is how haunting … Continue reading

Review: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Crank
Ellen Hopkins
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published October 1, 2004

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Crank is the story of Kristina Snow and the summer that changes her life, when she goes to visit her father and meets the “monster”, Crystal Meth. Based on the experiences of her own daughter, Ellen Hopkins captures the turmoil and grip of addiction in a raw, authentic manner.

The entire story is told in verse. The poems capture the scenes of the story in vivid detail. They flow from scene to scene very smoothly, capturing the raw emotion of the heroine– her desperation, heartache– and the downward spiral of her addiction to Meth. A powerful read.

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Review: You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn

You Know Where to Find Me
Rachel Cohn
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published March 4, 2008

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Two cousins share a world of made up stories, dreams and long summer days until one, the perfect, beautiful one, chooses the unthinkable: to end her life. In the wake of that loss, the one left behind, Miles, must find her own way through her first summer without Laura. Friends and family rally around her to try to draw her out of her deepening isolation and depression, but their efforts often fall short and they are unable to touch the gaping wound inside of her. Miles’s story is a powerful, emotive tale of a … Continue reading

The Owling by Robert Elmer

The Owling
Robert Elmer
Zondervan
Published October 12, 2008

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On her way home from the Shadowside, Oriannon’s shuttle is hijacked and forced to land on a small way station where a mysterious Owling risks his life to give her a strange stone for safekeeping. Soothed by his allegiance to Jesmet, but still puzzled over the whole thing, Oriannon agrees to keep the stone hidden. When she finally reaches home, things only continue getting more strange. Rumors of earthquakes and warped reports of what is happening to the Owling people, who live in the Shadowside, make Oriannon more and more nervous. But a bright star shines out of the dark. A new voice with an offer of … Continue reading

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