Thursday, June 30, 2016

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

Man Made Boy is a YA science fiction fantasy book about the son of Frankenstein's monster and the Bride. His name is Boy. He is 17 years old, and has never left home because he is a monster. It is tough to go out, since he would draw a lot of attention due to his appearance. Most of the other monsters that live with him call him a robot. That is sort of true, since he does have wires and gears in him. He interacts with the world through the internet, writing code. 

When a conflict arises at home, Boy runs away to live with humans. He gets a job and a home. His girlfriend, Liel, soon runs away with him. However, they encounter a strange problem. Boy is too good with code. A code that Boy wrote came to life, and can take control of any electronic device, and can also take control of humans! The code is a girl and is mad at Boy for ditching her. She wants Boy to be her girlfriend and wants to get rid of Liel. 

I really liked the code coming to life. It was funny to see his reaction to this, and it was interesting to watch the code take over technology. I loved the ending, and how he risked his life to try to save people he cared about. It was cool to see how he reacted to the new things in the human world, and how he got around the scenarios in hilarious ways.

However, I wish the author would have included background information about Frankenstein and the Bride, including who they are and how they made Boy. I was wondering about that for most of the book.

I recommend that you read this book! I will read the sequel, This Broken Wondrous World.

Title: Man Made Boy
Author: Jon Skovron
Publisher: Viking Penguin
Pages: 361
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 4 Stars

Monday, June 27, 2016

Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry

Stronger Than You Know is an inspirational young adult book about overcoming your past. Joy, a fifteen-year-old girl, has finally escaped from the trailer she lived in with her mother and the abuse that came with it. She is now living with her cousins, aunt, and uncle, and feels like she will never belong.

She is safe and far from danger, but her constant nightmares, panic attacks and her social anxiety disorder are just some of the things on her list of what she thinks makes her crazy. Joy must find the strength inside her to pull free from her past and live free in her new life before it takes her over.

I love how the book started! It started in the therapist's office, and I instantly got a taste of her personality and attitude. I also liked how her past was a cliffhanger throughout. She never just came out and said what she went through; you just learned pieces throughout the book. (For example, her nightmares.)

I enjoyed that everything felt so real. The author did a fantastic job of making the details come to life. I could easily imagine the story and the setting. I loved that I could connect with Joy, and I felt like I knew her personally. I love having connections to characters in the books. It makes them seem real, and Joy definitely was.

The inspiration was about overcoming obstacles. She is an inspiration to all. She had to come out of a trailer and suddenly go into school and she was forced into a normal life. There is no question that Joy was sad, mad and afraid, but how she handled and controlled those feelings were impressive and inspiring. I loved how Joy came back, and I liked how she handled herself in certain situations.

I absolutely recommend this book to all YA readers!

Title: Stronger Than You Know
Author: Jolene Perry
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Pages: 248
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, June 24, 2016

We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, Sharon M. Draper

I found this inspirational non-fiction book on a high school summer reading list for a school assignment about what it means to be an American. Sampson, George, and Rameck grew up in poor neighborhoods (ghettos) where many people ended up committing crimes (drugs and theft) and landed in juvenile detention. Goals there were focused on survival, not on grades.

When Sampson, George, and Rameck met in a magnet high school in Newark, New Jersey, they became friends. They all had a goal of being a doctor or dentist. They made a pact to stick together and go to college and medical school. Today, Sampson and Rameck are successful doctors, and George is a successful dentist.

At the end of each chapter, there would be a note from the doctor that was talking in that chapter. It would explain the importance of what was said and more background knowledge. I think that was a wise choice, and it was very useful. 

This book was very inspirational. The boys went through at lot of tough times and learned some valuable lessons. Sampson was my favorite character. He had the most internal conflicts, and really great lessons. Another thing that was important in this book was the environment. I loved how these three boys beat the odds, and I enjoyed watching them find other paths and other ways to do things without drugs or physical violence. 

I highly recommend this book!

Title: We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success
Authors: Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, Sharon M. Draper
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Pages: 128
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

Monday, June 20, 2016

Kid Owner by Tim Green

Kid Owner is a realistic fiction sports book about football and leadership for middle grade readers. Ryan Zinna's parents are divorced, and his mom does not ever talk about his dad. In fact, "father" is viewed as another F-word in their family. However, when his father unexpectedly dies, Ryan learns that he was the owner of the Dallas Cowboys! Against his mother's wishes, in the will Ryan's father gave him ownership of the football team, despite the fact that he is 12! However, Ryan's horrible stepmother takes legal action to try to make her son, Dillon, the owner instead. He soon learns that the Cowboys are not the only thing he might lose.

Meanwhile, Ryan takes advantage of this new authority and connections to the players to convince his middle school football coach to change the plays to make them more suitable to him. He also gets to be quarterback!

I liked the irony of the situation. While Ryan is getting so much attention and could be one of the most famous people ever and owning the Cowboys, he is also almost completely ignored on his own team! Ryan is in two different situations, and I enjoyed how they came together in the end.

Furthermore, it was interesting how close their games were to the real game, and how much detail about football was put into Kid Owner. I learned a lot about how football works from reading the book. However, I would have preferred to know what the specific plays were. The book said what the play was called, not what it was. That left me a little bit clueless during the book when they played.

I recommend that you read this book!

Title: Kid Owner
Author: Tim Green
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 336
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Teardrop and Waterfall by Lauren Kate

Teardrop and Waterfall are young adult fantasy books about tears flooding the world and bringing back Atlantis. In Teardrop, ever since Eureka's mother drowned in an "accident," all she cares about is her friend Brooks, a locket, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book from her mom about a girl who cried an entire continent under the sea. What she doesn't know is that it is not a story. It's real. Ander, a seedbearer, tells her that she is a tearline girl. If she lets her tears touch the Earth, she would create the biggest flood in the world and bring back Atlantis, and its evil king.

In the sequel Waterfall, Eureka travels across the ocean with Cat, Ander and her family to stop Atlantis from rising and stop Atlas from making slaves out of the dead human's souls. On land, they head to find Solan, the only Seedbearer who knows how to stop Atlas. Eureka can save the world, but she will have to give up everything she has ever had to do so.

Eureka had very low self-esteem throughout both books. She was constantly depressed and doubts herself. She gained a little more confidence in Waterfall, but I feel that she was too negative. I also did not like that in both books, the important events were so simple and short and the unimportant ones were so long. I had to constantly go back and reread the text to make sure I understood fully what just happened.

I did enjoy Teardrop! It was very interesting and appealing to follow. Waterfall was different in the setting, introducing readers into a new world. Teardrop was better than Waterfall. I felt that there was an element of mystery in it and that Teardrop was more appealing. I think that Waterfall was busier and less interesting than the other one. I wish the ending to Waterfall was different, and I wish that the ending was longer and not so sudden.

I would recommend reading the two books.

Title: Teardrop and Waterfall
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Ember
Pages: 480
Series: Yes
Rating: 3 Stars

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Truthwitch (The Witchlands Book 1) by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch is the first book in the YA fantasy series, The Witchlands. Safiya and Iseult are two witches who have the fate of the world in their hands, as the three empires that rule the continent are about to go to war. Iseult is a Threadwitch, who can see the threads that connect people's hearts and emotions. She is from Nomatsi, and she gets a lot of backlash about it. Safiya is a Truthwitch, which means that she can tell if someone is telling the truth or lying. It is a very rare type of witchery that all the empires want on their side, so she must keep it a secret.

However, a bloodwitch named Aeduan smelled her blood and knows the truth about her power, and will do anything to capture her. The emperor of Cartorra is also chasing her, and all the girls want is freedom. The girls align with an unlikely ally, Prince Merik of Nobrevna, likely their only chance for survival.

Iseult and Safiya's friendship was the the best element of the book. They are threadsisters, a bond that is unbreakable. They are opposites, and their personalities play off each other perfectly. Safiya is a fighter, and she is very impulsive and reckless. She is not afraid to stand up for what is right, and I love that about her. Iseult is calm and thinks strategically. She is protective of Safiya and cares about her a lot. While Iseult has less of a role in the book, her impact is huge.

This book is written in third person limited, switching from Safiya, Iseult, Merik and Aeduan. I liked all the types of magic, and enjoyed the amount of detail in the fighting scenes. I did not like the ending very much. I also felt like there were important things left out of the story, but overall I really liked this book!

I recommend this book, and I cannot wait to read the second book in the series, Windwitch, which is expected to be published on January 3, 2017!

Title: Truthwitch (The Witchlands Book 1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 412 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4 Stars
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