Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) by Kelley Armstrong | Review

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) by Kelley Armstrong | ReviewThe Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkest Powers #1
Published by Harper Teen on July 1, 2008
Pages: 390
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost - and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House...before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

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I absolutely loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one day, almost in one sitting but sadly I had to go to school.

I think my favorite thing about this book is how Chloe is just like a normal teenager except that she can see and talk to dead people. Her mom died when she was young and her dad is always away on business so she is normally alone, except for a few friends and her aunt Lauren who tries to fill in for Chloe’s mom. She usually keeps to herself so when things start to get weird she can’t really tell anyone.

So, at the beginning Chloe is in a school for the arts and she is just like all the other people in her school, except a little bit of a late bloomer. On the same day that she gets her first period she also sees her first dead person or at least the first person that she knows is dead. After being chased through the school by a dead janitor, Chloe is sedated and sent to the hospital and told that she must spend at least two weeks in Lyle House, a group home for unstable teens.

Once in Lyle House, Chloe meets some interesting people such as Liz, Rae, Simon, and Derek. Derek is a little scary at first, always sneaking up on Chloe and accidentally throwing her across a room. Once she gets to know him, though, she realizes that he is just like her and can’t control his powers. At first, Simon seems like he is just in the group home to stay with his brother, Derek, but once she starts talking to him she realizes that he is a supernatural also but his powers aren’t as obvious as Chloe’s and Derek’s. Liz also seems to have some powers but she never realizes that she is controlling them. She is transferred shortly after Chloe arrives because instead of getting better she seemed to be getting worse. Rae also may have powers but it was really hard to tell. She was placed in the group home shortly after giving her mom first degree burns when she never had a lighter or anything else that could have caused them.

There are others in the group home, such as Tori and Peter, but Peter gets sent home after Chloe arrives and Tori is the group’s resident witch and not in the supernatural way. Tori believes that because her mom is on the board of Lyle House she can do and get whatever she wants but Chloe interferes with her plans as soon as she arrives. Tori manages to get Chloe in many terrible situations, some potentially deadly, but it’s only because she doesn’t want her mom to be disappointed in her. Tori doesn’t play a really big role in the story, all she really does is get everyone in trouble.

Chloe, Derek, Simon, and Rae discover Lyle Houses’ secrets and realize that, maybe they aren’t there because they are crazy but because of their powers. They realize that they need to escape and that they need to do it soon. Once out, though, things don’t go exactly as planned. They are hunted down by the nurses and owners of Lyle House and chased through warehouses by guys with tranquilizer guns. Once the girls escape and find a safe place they think things are going to get better but none of them realized that someone close to them betrayed their trust.

Of course, I’m not gonna say who. That would give everything away. I truly loved this book and if you really want to know how it ends you will just have to find a copy to read. This book is first in a new series by Kelley Armstrong. The next book, The Awakening, will be out on April 28.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Do-Over by Niki Burnham

Do-Over by Niki BurnhamDo-Over by Niki Burnham
Series: Royally Jacked #3
Published by Simon & Schuster on September 26, 2006
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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3 Stars

When it comes to love, how many chances do you get?

Girl meets prince. Girl looses prince. Girl gets prince back -- right? Well, that's what Valerie is hoping. She's back in Schwerinborg after spending some time with her mother in the good ol' US of A, and hopes that sparks are still flying between her and Georg. At first it looks like things are going great, until a ski trip to the Alps has Val and Georg's romance hitting some moguls. Could Val's love life be heading for a face-plant?

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In my opinion, this was one of the better books in the Simon Pulse romantic comedy collection. I think that Niki Burnham is one of the best authors in this series. I felt like maybe I could relate to these characters more than some of the others. I really liked Valerie and her friends. They seemed really funny and more like actual people than some other characters in books. The one thing that I didn’t really like, though, was how perfect Georg seemed. It was like Valerie was the only one in the relationship with flaws. It may make the book more like a fairytale but it isn’t realistic that he would be that fine with anything that Valerie may have done to mess up their relationship. There wasn’t a whole lot of plot to this book but it was still a really cute, easy read.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann

Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMannWake by Lisa McMann
Series: Dream Catcher #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 4, 2008
Pages: 210
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

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I read this book in about three hours. I started it and could not put it down until the absolute last page. Janie is definitely not your average girl but I have to say that I wouldn’t necessarily mind trading places with her if it meant that I got to meet Cabel. He is probably my favorite character in the book, even though there are parts where I want to slap him.

At first, I admit to being a little confused about what was going on in all the flashbacks but everything cleared up for me once we got to the present. It all begins when Janie is eight years old and falls into her first dream. After that she doesn’t seem to be able to stop herself from being sucked into dreams and is barely able to pull herself out once she is in. Normally the dreams that she is pulled into are just embarrassing or very revealing but everything starts to get really crazy when she is pulled into a violent dream that makes her very scared. What she doesn’t find out until later is that the dream that she is so afraid of is Cabel’s and she doesn’t find this out until she is already fully entangled with Cabel. There are so many parts of this book where Cabel seems like the nicest guy a girl could want and then there are the times that you want to rage at him. While Janie and Cabel are definitely the main characters there are other smaller characters that play important roles such as Carrie, Stu, Shay, the Captain, and a couple others. They all seem to have special roles in the book but they aren’t very developed yet and I am hoping that they will be enhanced a little bit in the next book, Fade. I’m not going to give away the whole plot here so if you want to know what happens then you will have to read the book and I would definitely recommend it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

When It Happens by Susane ColasantiWhen It Happens by Susane Colasanti
Published by Penguin Teen on May 4, 2006
Pages: 287
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

At the start of her senior year in high school, Sara wants two things: to get into a top college and to find true love.Tobey also wants two things for his senior year: to win Battle of the Bands and to make Sara fall in love with him. However, a popular jock named Dave moves in on Sara first. But Tobey’s quirky wit and big blue eyes are hard for Sara to ignore. Plus, he gets the little things that matter to her. Can a slacker rock-star wannabe win the heart of a pretty class brain like Sara?

Hilariously and movingly told through Tobey and Sara’s authentic voices, Susane Colasanti’s debut novel sizzles in its portrayal of two young people searching for The One.

picadillyblueWhen It Happens is such a great book. It tells such a true story of love in high school. I loved the two main characters Tobey and Sara. They are both seniors in high school and the total opposite of each other. Sara is an overachiever and Tobey a slacker musician. The cool thing about this book that really separates it from other teen romance books is that each chapter is told in either Tobey’s or Sara’s perspectives so you get inside both characters hearts and minds. This is Susane Colasanti’s debut novel and I cannot wait to read her next two books “Take Me There” and “Waiting For You.” I recommend these books for anybody who is a fan of Sarah Dessen and really just anybody.