Review: Scorch by Gina Damico

Scorch by Gina Damico

Scorch
Gina Damico
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published September 25, 2012

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Going home after her sister’s death is the hardest thing Lex has ever had to do. But life in Croak isn’t getting any easier for the teenage Grim Reaper. Though her friends stick with her, the rest of the town blames Lex for Zara’s murderous rampage. After all, Zara wouldn’t be able to Damn souls if Lex hadn’t somehow transferred that ability to her. That Zara killed Lex’s sister doesn’t seem to matter either. Irrational fear and poor leadership whip the town into a frenzy of paranoia until Lex and her friends have no choice but to flee to the … Continue reading

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published March 14, 2006 (Orig. published 2005)

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A mysterious narrator gives an account of a young girl who has an unusual vice: she steals books. Death comes for the girl’s brother as she and her mother wait for a train to take them to a foster home where the children will be safe. It is he, the collector of souls, who is the only witness to the girl’s first thievery, and he begins to follow her story.

Life in Liesel’s new home is a difficult adjustment, plagued with nightmares, but through them, she and her … Continue reading

Review: Beyond Corista by Robert Elmer

Beyond Corista
Robert Elmer
Zondervan
Published May 1, 2009

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After a narrow escape from an intense battle on her home planet Corista, Oriannon and her friends head toward a way station, guided by the mysterious pilot stone. Oriannon’s mentor, Jesmet, appears to her and instructs her to take word to each way station, warning the people of an impending attack by the merciless Troikans. Oriannon wants to obey, but there are two problems:  she is saddled with the presence of their enemy, Sola Minnik, blinded in the attack on Corista, and no one seems to believe her visions of Jesmet and his message about the doom to come. Is Oriannon wrong? Are her experiences … Continue reading

Review: By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson

By Darkness Hid
Jill Williamson
Marcher Lord Press
Published April 1, 2009

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Achan has known nothing but the life of a stray, lower even than that of a slave. When a mysterious knight, rumored to have once been a stray himself, makes an offer to Achan to train him as his squire, despite laws that should prevent it, Achan finds himself trapped between two lives. In this midst of this, a strange gift seems to wake inside him. But isn’t bloodvoicing just a myth?

When an evil prince seeks her hand in marriage, Vrell hides behind the orange tunic of a stray and masquerades as a boy to conceal her identity. At the same … Continue reading

Review: Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

Brisingr
Christopher Paolini
Alfred A Knopf Books
Published September 20, 2008

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After a crushing defeat at the hand of an unexpected enemy, Eragon and Saphira’s confidence in their abilities remains deeply shaken. They desperately need more training, but first, Eragon must fulfill his promise to his cousin Roran. He must rescue Roran’s beloved from the evil and creepy Ra’Zac.

Immediately upon their return to the rebel camp, both Eragon and Saphira must help protect the troops from Galbatorix’s seemingly invincible armies and the unbelievable strength of the magic supporting them. Eragon and Saphira must uncover the mystery of Galbatorix’s might and come up with a plan to stop him before his power grows too … Continue reading

Review: Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Eldest
Christopher Paolini
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published March 13, 2007

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Eldest is the continuation of Paolini’s Inheritance Trilogy, in which Dragon Rider, Eragon journeys to the Elves’ home deep in the forest to train under a new mentor whom he at first knows as The Cripple Who Is Whole. Eragon struggles with his physical weakness resulting from a battle wound and his growing attraction to the elf-maiden, Arya. Meanwhile, in his hometown of Carvahall, Eragon’s cousin Roran fights another battle. The evil Ra’zac return, threatening to destroy the village in their search for Roran, who must take command of the panicked villagers and keep them safe, no matter what the cost.

The … Continue reading

Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon
Christopher Paolini
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published April 2005 (Orig. published 2002)

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Eragon is the first novel in the Inheritance Cycle and tells the story of a boy who finds a mysterious “stone” which later hatches a dragon, Saphira. Together they embark on a quest to avenge the death of a family member and through this become involved in the dangerous politics of his homeland, Alagaesia. They must choose to side with the evil King Galbatorix or escape his agents, risk their lives and fight for freedom.

If you saw the movie Eragon a couple years back but didn’t read the book, you missed out on a real adventure. While I loved … Continue reading

Review: Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Once Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published October 1, 2002

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Christian is a young inventor living in the forest with his foster father, a troll named Ed. Life is pretty sweet until the day Christian discovers the lonely Princess Marigold and decides to send her a message via carrier pigeon (p-mail). To Christian’s surprise, the princess replies to his message and the two become best friends.

When Christian uncovers a vicious plot to kill Marigold, he can’t sit by and do nothing. But how can a commoner do anything to save the princess?

Once Upon a Marigold is a spunky, cute fairy tale type story about having courage to … Continue reading

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

So Yesterday
Scott Westerfeld
Razorbill
Published January 1, 2004

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When Hunter meets a girl with a whole different way of doing her shoelaces, he has no idea the strange adventure that’s about to begin. Through her, he winds up invited to a secret meeting at which he stumbles onto a pair of amazing shoes, and the possibility that his cool-hunting boss has been kidnapped. Hunter and his new friend pursue the shoemakers, trying to discover what’s become of his boss, Mandy. Full of quirky characters and with Hunter’s off-the-wall sense of humor and irony, So Yesterday was a worthy read. Go Hunter, the Mighty Penguin!

This was such a fun story. I read and … Continue reading

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darnkess
Andrew Peterson
Waterbrook
Published March 18, 2008

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After escaping from one of the fiersome Fangs of Dang, Janner, Tink and Leeli Igiby and their loyal dog Nugget find their troubles are only beginning. As the Fangs’ search for the lost jewels of Anniera intensifies, the Igiby family only seems to fall deeper into the center of the conflict. Janner can’t let go of the mystery that surrounds his father. Why won’t anyone speak of him? And why does the strange recluse, Peet the Sock Man, seem to be protecting them?

Peterson’s style is both off-beat and uplifting, humorous and tender. There’s definitely something in it … Continue reading

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