Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Liar is a mix of realistic fiction and fantasy that teen readers will find unique. Micah is a liar. She admits it- and that is probably the one honest thing she has ever said. She attends a progressive school, and is an outcast. Partly because of her looks, on her first day of freshman year, she is mistaken for a boy, and she goes along with it. After she is found out, she becomes a major outcast, and she knows it. By herself, she runs after school at Central Park. Micah is the fastest runner in the world. That is how she meets Zach. Then, Zach is found dead, and she is one of the suspects.

Micah has lied so many times, that she has trouble even remembering what is true and what is not. She will say anything to convince herself she is done lying, but she is lying to herself. To her, lying is just as easy as breathing. But all her lies get tangled up, and she is forced to try and find the truth that leads to her biggest secret, the one all her lies cover up, the "family illness."

My biggest dislike about this book was the fact that it was so confusing. What was especially annoying was that every chapter or so, Micah would say something like, "oh, yeah, the last few pages didn't really happen. Here is how it really happened." It was really hard to keep track of what was true and what was not. Her big secret is where the fantasy comes in. I will not say what it is, but I am saying I do not believe a word Micah said in the book. I tried to like it. I had high expectations, and it fell short.

Unfortunately, I could not bring myself to like this book, but it was interesting. I might read a different book from this author, but I do not recommend this book.

Title: Liar
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 376 pages
Series: No
Rating: 2 stars

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Chaos (Numbers Book 2) by Rachel Ward

The Chaos is the second book in the intriguing science fiction fantasy trilogy, Numbers, about changing fate and saving the world. Adam has his his mother's gift. When he looks in someone's eyes, he sees the date they will die. But he has inherited more than that- he feels the pain of the person's death, and knows how they will die. In London, Adam realizes that everyone around him has the number of January 1, 2027. Apparently, Adam's mom Jem knew too, so she tells him to stay away from London, and that he cannot change what is going to happen, as she learned the hard way. As much as Adam wants to listen, his heart tells him to do something.

Then, Adam meets a girl named Sarah, who has the same nightmare every day about Adam and herself in the disaster on that day. Even though Adam's mother, Jem, warned him about telling people, and told him to never ever tell, he does. Adam and Sarah try to warn the world about what is coming, but nobody believes them, and nobody wants to listen to two 15-year-olds. Even worse, Sarah's baby has that date, and Adam promised to save her. He must figure out how to keep his promise to himself, and to the world.

Adam is a perfect mixture of both his parents. From Spider, he has a lot of anger and loses his temper. From Jem, he inherited his big heart. He refused to give up on the ones he loved, even when they wanted him to. I love how Adam is so much like his mother, always trying to be brave and optimistic. The Chaos takes place 16 years after the end of Numbers, and is told by both Adam and Sarah's perspective in every other chapter.

I cannot wait to read the third and final book in this incredible trilogy, Infinity.

Read my review of the first book in this trilogy, Numbers.

Title: The Chaos (Numbers #2)
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 339 pages
Series: Yes, Book 2
Rating: 4 stars

Friday, October 16, 2015

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Numbers is the first book in this intriguing science fiction fantasy trilogy about changing fate. Jem has a secret. Ever since she was very young, whenever she looks into someone's eyes, she sees a number. That number is the date they are going to die. Jem avoids other people, since she hates seeing the numbers, but she takes a chance with another outsider, Spider. While waiting in line to ride a Ferris wheel, she notices that everyone around her has the same number, and that was the date of that day! Terrorists attack London. Jem barely manages to get them away in time. She is forced to break her own rule and tell Spider about the numbers.

There is another problem- the police are looking for the terrorists, and they think that Jem and Spider play a key part in the explosions, so the entire country is chasing them. There is one last thing- Spiders death? A week away.

I love how Jem kept trying to change fate. She was brave and optimistic, and tried to keep Spider alive, and even though she was burdened by knowing when people died, Jem tried to make the best of it. I was very intrigued to see if she could.

I do wish there was more about the numbers, since most of the book is just them running away. I have never read a book like this, and I think it would be hard to write. It is a little sadder than I would normally read, but I do really recommend reading it. I am glad I saw it as a suggested book on Goodreads and that the public library has the entire trilogy. I am excited to read the next book, The Chaos. 

Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 325 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall is a young adult realistic fiction book about second chances and living your life. Tessa is asked in a collage application the question "Who are you?" She does not know who she is. When a dodge ball is thrown at her head in gym class, 16-year-old Tessa didn't think to duck, which confuses her greatly.

She finds herself in a place that looks exactly the same as the mall in her neighborhood, and thinks she is in heaven. This is Tessa's second chance. A guy that she nicknames "Nail Boy" gives her a bag filled with purchases that she has made in the mall in the past that have shaped who she is. In order to return to her body that is in a coma at the hospital, she must relive all of those memories and find the answer as to who she is.

One thing I liked a lot is the fact that this book is written in verse, which is special and unusual. The verse stopped at important places where it is good to think, and it helped to pay attention and pace. Tessa is a character who has done some bad things in the past, and doesn't forget them. She cheats and lies, and although she has stopped, she holds herself accountable to things she did wrong even many many years ago.

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall shows her life from preschool up until high school. It is kind of like an autobiography in some ways, and I love that she kept randomly jumping back into the reality of the hospital. Tessa teaches us that one thing does not define you, people learn from mistakes, and sometimes you have to let things go and move on. I highly recommend this book!

Title: Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall
Author: Wendy Mass
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 stars

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