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 foster father … 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 with Jesmet … Continue reading

Review: Me, Just Different by Stephanie Morrill

Me, Just Different
Stephanie Morrill
Revell
Published July 1, 2009

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Senior year should be everything beautiful Skylar Hoyt can hope for. She has popular friends, a hot boyfriend. But a terrible experience gives her a late summer wake-up call, and for Skylar, it’s time to make some changes. No to parties, and yes to youth group top her list.

Until her family begins crumbling beneath her. Her parents seem to be moving opposite directions, with Skylar and her sister caught in the middle. Then Skylar discovers her sister’s secret. Should she tell? Can her parents’ fragile marriage handle a blow like this one?

With Skylar’s best friend acting weird and her boyfriend’s jealousy skyrocketing, she doesn’t … 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 time, her … 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 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

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