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 vast to … 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 history and … 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 the characters– … Continue reading

Review: Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hanna Jansen

Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You
Hanna Jansen
Carolrhoda Books
Published April 1, 2006 (Orig. published 2003)

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Jeanne’s family and home are destroyed when the radical Hutu group, the Interahamwe, begin a nationwide massacre of the Rwandan Tutsi population. As Jeanne and others struggle to flee the Interahamwe soldiers and simply survive each day, a black hole yawns inside of her, a grief and rage that threaten to swallow her whole. But something else changes. She finds within herself an unyielding strength and will to survive.

It is a before-and-after story, told by Jeanne’s German adopted mother. Each chapter opens with a behind-the-scenes look at the events and the healing that unfolded even as … Continue reading

Review: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Ember
Published August 28, 2007 (Orig. published 2006)

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When the girl who just dumped him walks into the club where Nick’s band is playing a show, he resorts to the extreme and asks the random girl standing next to him if she’ll be his girlfriend for five minutes.

Though Nick’s request at first infuriates Norah (what kind of cheap trick does he take her for?), the approach of her not-quite-friend prompts her to take some desperate measures of her own. Like yanking almost-stranger-Nick into an electrifying kiss.

The agreed on five minutes stretches into a whole night of adventure, misunderstanding, reflection and … Continue reading

Review: In Between by Jenny B. Jones

In Between
Jenny B. Jones
Sweet Pea Productions
Published March 25, 2014 (Originally published 2007)

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Sixteen year old Katie Parker is not too excited when she discovers she’s moving to a new foster home in In Between, Texas, home of the Chihuahuas. And to top that off, her new “dad” is the pastor of one of the local churches. Not exactly consistent with Katie’s formerly religion-less life. At her new school, she finds herself at home with the other outsiders. At least, so she thinks. When one late night stunt turns to trouble, Katie finds herself sentenced to time with her new nonGrandmother– Mad Maxine. Could things get any worse? And does the God thing really … Continue reading

Review: Jerk California by Jonathan Friesen

Jerk California
Jonathan Friesen
Speak
September 4, 2008

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Sam Carrier can’t sit still. He jumps and blurts and twitches almost constantly. That’s the nature of the beast. Tourette’s Syndrome. The only solace he finds and the only time his limbs obey comes when he runs. But after his embarrassing graduation ceremony, everything changes. His angry step-father expects a large monthly sum for rent, and an unorthodox neighbor hires Sam, but only on the condition that he can use Sam’s real name, the name his real dad gave him. Jack.

Everything is complicated further by the recurring appearance of the beautiful Naomi, who always leaves Sam feeling like he’s not sure which way is up. When the … 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 do what’s … 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 loved the … 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 that reminds … Continue reading

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