Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dead Batteries Tell No Tales by Ian Thomas Malone

When Ian Thomas Malone contacted me to review the prequel to his YA realistic fiction book Five High School Dialogues, I was very excited! In Dead Batteries Tell No Tales, Amber's phone has died, and she has to take the bus, both of which are things she has never had to deal with until now. Lucky for her, her classmate Jason reaches out to her. Amber and Jason learn that how they view life and social rankings are very different and try to figure out how to view people, as well as social status.

I enjoyed reading this funny new release! It is a quick, refreshing read for middle grade and young adult readers. It is not necessary to read this one before Five High School Dialogues, however it helps with background knowledge of Jason and Amber. The book is written in the same format as Five High School Dialogues, however I do not feel that there is a need for separate scenes due to the fact that it is one story. This book can help people change their thinking and views of the people around them.

I liked how their personalities and lifestyles were so different. Amber is rich and helps with cheerleading, while Jason is middle class and is in a money club. Jason is so nice and wants to help out, while Amber is so shocked that he doesn't have a phone! It was very funny!

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: Dead Batteries Tell No Tales
Author: Ian Thomas Malone
Publisher: European Geeks Publishing, LLC
Pages: 120 Pages
Series: Prequel to Five High School Dialogues
Rating: 4 Stars

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Graduation Day (The Testing Book 3) by Joelle Charbonneau

Graduation Day is the third and final book in the YA dystopian trilogy series The Testing. As if the Seven Stages War wasn't enough, the world is once again going to war, this time, a civil war. The rebel resistance that wants The Testing to end is going to tear apart the government. Cia wants to fight, but the assignment the president gives her is too big to do alone, and she is not sure if she can do it. Cia must decide once and for all who to trust and who to not. The fate of the world depends on it.

Overall, I feel this book is not as great as the other two. Graduation Day had more violence than I thought was necessary. Overall, too many people's lives were taken in the series. It didn't help that the government just lets all the teenagers to the dirty work! (That was funny, though.)

However, I really liked that Cia's brother, Zeen, was back in the story, and he really helped in the end. I also really liked that she lost herself a little bit. She was always a super strong character and the assignment knocks her over. The book showed the element of friendship and how it helps to have someone to count on in situations like this one. The series ended well. It was all wrapped up in the last few pages and was satisfying.

I highly recommend that you read this series!

Read my review of the first book in this series, The Testing.

Read my review of the second book in this series, Independent Study.

Title: Graduation Day (The Testing Book 3)
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Series: Yes, Book 3
Rating: 4 Stars

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Independent Study (The Testing Book 2) by Joelle Charbonneau

Independent Study is the second book in in the YA dystopian trilogy series The Testing. The world was divided and disastrous after the Seven Stages War. The government of the Commonwealth created The Testing to find the best leaders for the next generations. Cia was very happy to be chosen for The Testing from her colony of Five Lakes, but that happiness did not last long. Cia had to watch her friends be literally eliminated from making a mistake.

She is one of the few that passed The Testing. The government erased all memories of The Testing experience so the horrors would be kept secret. However, the tests are not over, and she is still not safe. Thank goodness, Cia left herself a recording of her testing, and she has dreams of what happened. She remembers things. Her attempt to stop the ways of The Testing will put her in a lot of trouble, but the future of her world depends on her trying.

I really loved the amnesia of it. All these people have no idea what they went through and the people they lost except Cia and her boyfriend Tomas. When faced with the next tasks, Cia was so smart and ahead of everyone due to remembering and the fact that she is a great leader who cares about the lives of people, unlike her government. However, the fact that Cia is so amazing and special makes the other characters look kind of bad, but that makes the story more interesting!

I also really liked that the tests that the Commonwealth made them go through were less dangerous than the ones in the first book. I also liked the tension between Cia and Tomas due to what they remembered.

I highly recommend that you read this book, and I cannot wait to read the last book in the trilogy, Graduation Day.

Read my review of the first book in the series, The Testing.

Title: Independent Study (The Testing Book 2)
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 310
Series: Yes, Book 2
Rating: 5 Stars

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Fallout (The Compound Book 2) by S.A. Bodeen

The Fallout is the sequel to the sci-fi mystery The Compound, an excellent young adult book to read and review. After escaping the compound and their father, Eli's family reunites with his twin brother Eddy and their grandmother, and try to get back to a normal life. Of course that is nearly impossible after being underground for six years. Also, his father's company is being transferred over to Phil, one of Rex's co-workers, and Eli is less than thrilled about it.

Also, it seems like everywhere they go someone is following them. Eli tries to figure out what is happening, while at the same time getting used to having Eddy around again. It seems like his father is not dead like they thought, and wants his family back. The members of the family must once again stick together to end this once and for all even if they don't like it.

I felt like there didn't even need to be a sequel due to how the author wrapped up The Compound, but I'm glad that there was one! This book really showcases how hard it really is to blend in. They had a hard time adjusting to going outside with all these people looking at them in a different way. I also liked that the book became better and better as the story progressed, developing more action like the first book. The ending of The Fallout was great. I love books that have epilogues, or at least some of what happens after the huge solution.

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Read my review of the first book, The Compound.

Title: The Fallout (The Compound #2)
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 336
Series: Yes, Book 2 of 2
Rating: 5 Stars

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing is the first book in the YA dystopian trilogy series The Testing. After the Seven Stages War, parts of the world are destroyed. The problems now rest on the next generation. In order to make sure that the next leaders don't make the same mistakes, the government created The Testing to evaluate what leaders they can become. Cia is very excited when she finds out she is one of the four Testing candidates from her small colony of Five Lakes.

Then her dad tells her some news about it. He tells her that he has dreams of memories about what happened during the testing, as they erased them. He advises Cia to not trust anyone, and to be very careful. After arriving, Cia realizes that she is in more trouble than she thought. Cia must be very careful of how she acts. One mistake and she could be eliminated- literally.

Cia is so strong and brave. She has to see and go through things that nobody should have to, but she keeps her head up. I know I wouldn't be able to do so in those situations! I love that she is attentive to detail, which helps her greatly, and scores bonus points with some of the authoritative figures. I loved that she thought about what to do. Every action she did, Cia thought first. While she was worried and self-conscious, that was a very good thing.

The sense of imagery and detail was incredible in The Testing. It was the little things, the little joke here or there that really made the book great. The setting was also very insightful. It felt so real, and it was like I could see the world through Cia's eyes. In part of the written test they took, the book listed the questions and answers, so you got to see more of what happened and gain background knowledge without just rambling on about that stuff.

I highly recommend this book! I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, Independence Day!

Title: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 325 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

The Compound is the first of two sci-fi mystery books for teens. I couldn't wait to review this exciting book about lies and survival. Six years ago, Eli's billionaire father told his family that there was a nuclear war. In that event, he rushed his family down into an underground compound that he built to keep them safe for 15 years, and you could not get out until that time is up. However, after six years the food is starting to run out, and Eli is beginning to think that his father is not telling the truth. When Eli does find out the truth, it is up to him to rescue their family from a fate worse than a nuclear attack.

It was interesting to see what can happen when you are trapped in a space doing the exact same thing over and over. Eli was very upset that his twin Eddy did not make it down, and he blames himself. Rather than be upset for six years, he used his emotions to protect his family from the same fate as what he believed Eddy had. It was amazing to watch who Eli became, and what lengths he went to in order to keep his family safe. 

It was the idea of a compound that grabbed my attention. It had everything that they needed: food, water, clothes, medicine, and practically everything else. You would think that would be cool, but it would get boring eventually. It made me think about what I would do if I was trapped underground for 15 years! 

I couldn't put this book down! The mystery was incredible. There were two. One was figuring out how to get the code for the door. The other mystery was the father, Rex. He was a strange character, and he had a lot to hide. It actually amazes me that he planned ahead so much, and he could keep a secret for so many years. When something bad would happen, the pace would change, which helped with the tone and mood. 

I highly recommend you read this book. I cannot wait to read the second book, The Fallout.

Title: The Compound
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 248
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 5 Stars
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