Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fallout: By S. A. Bodeen

Hey readers, it's almost the new year and I have a great book for you guys to read over the break. This book is called Fallout.  Fallout is a historical fiction book. Now you guys have to hear me out.... This is nothing like the boring history books that are required to be read over the summer.

Fallout takes place in 1962 during the time of the cold war between America and Russia. There is a posing threat of a nuclear bomb that could be dropped at any time on America and America could drop one on Russia.   No one thinks that the inevitable will happen....

However, Scotts' dad is ready for the worst.  He is the only one on the block that prepares a bomb shelter. When sirens go off late at night, Scott's dad is prepared to get his family into the shelter. Some neighbors squeeze their way in but Scott's dad shuts the door leaving the rest of their neighbors to die.   The shelter is dirty, lacks food and isn't spacious.  On top of that, everyone is emotionally and  physically taxed. They have to spend 2 weeks together so as not to be exposed to radiation and are constantly thinking about survival. Wondering if living inside is better than what's outside is always on their minds.  Their humanity disappears slowly as they lose respect for each other.

The real question on their minds is what will happen when they open the shelter door and will anything or anyone be left to salvage?

I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to all that are interested in what might happen if there is a nuclear attack. This book really hooked me and I think you all should read it!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Thursday, November 27, 2014

13 Reasons Why: Jay Asher

Hey Readers, happy Thanksgiving! I'm sharing this interesting book called 13 Reasons Why. This is a realistic fiction book.  Those of you who liked Looking for Alaska by John Green or If I Stay by Gayle Forman should like this book as well.

The protagonist of this book is Clay, a high school student who one day receives a box of 13 tapes. Inside he finds out that these tapes are from his former crush, Hannah, who had committed suicide weeks earlier. As Clay listens to these tapes, Hannah explains that there are 13 reasons why she committed suicide. She describes how each person who will receive these tapes had taken a part in why she ended her life. Clay, who had really liked Hannah, needs to find out what he had done wrong. Listening to the tapes all night Clay longs for the answer as he hears the stories of all the people that hurt Hannah. His journey while listening to these tapes is portrayed with dual narration by both he and Hannah. The dual narration makes the book come to life as you feel empathy for both Clay and Hannah.

I would definitely recommend this book because I feel that it gives a close understanding to the need for empathy and kindness. You will never treat someone the same after you have read this book because you will understand that one little act is everything. Even though it may have been slow at times, I found this book very intriguing. It is a good read and I think you should all give it a try.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Testing Series: By Joelle Charbonneau

Hey readers, I know you all will love this trilogy called The Testing Series. I assure you that anyone who liked Hunger Games, Divergent or The Giver will rave over this book and the whole series!

The first book of The Testing Series is called The Testing. The protagonist of this book is Malencia Vale also known as Cia. Cia lives in one of the colonies in the United Common Wealth, Five Lakes. Every year Tosu city hosts the top graduating students from each colony for The Testing. No one knows what goes on in the Testing because those who finish it have their memories wiped of everything that has happened. Cia is accepted into The Testing and desperately wants to pass and get into a University like her dad, but she discovers that unexplainable things happen during The Testing.   She is told that you can't trust anybody and it isn't all fun and games.

Throughout this whole page turning trilogy you are intrigued by the action, well-developed characters, brewing love story and excitement. I definitely recommend this series for all kinds of readers!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Impossible Knife of Memory: By Laurie Halse Anderson

Hey readers,  how's your school year going? I am here to talk about a book called The Impossible Knife of Memory.

This book is about a girl named Hayley. Hayley is 17 and she and her dad, Andy, have been on the road running from her dad's past. After traveling for 5 years, they finally settle back into the town of her childhood. She is forced to go to school in her senior year as a new student. Hayley hates school and the people in it, except for Grace, her only friend.  Even after meeting a hot boy named Finn, who likes her, Hayley is struggling to maintain a normal life. It is difficult dealing with school as well as her father who is haunted by both his troubled past as a war soldier from Iraq and the death of his wife/Hayley's mother.  Hayley has to act as a parent to her dad because he keeps quitting his jobs and is busy getting drunk and not taking care of himself. As Hayley tries to block out her past and deal with her school life, she is struggling with her father's unpredictable behavior while trying to live a "normal" life.

I really liked this book because it was very realistic and Anderson still found many ways to put in exciting twists. I didn't like how the relationship with Finn and Hayley was so predictable but I did like the fact even though there was a love component to the book, it didn't take it over. Although this book didn't have a lot of action, which is what I usually like in a book, it did keep me interested which isn't always easy!  I would definitely recommend this book.

Thank you to my friend, Laurie Lichtenstein, for the recommendation!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Sunday, September 7, 2014

An Abundance of Katherine's: By John Green

Hey readers, An Abundance of Katherine's was by far the least interesting book that I've read so far by John Green. I had high hopes for this book because I loved Looking for Alaska and The Fault in our Stars. I had high hopes for this book but it didn't meet even my lowest expectations so I had to stop reading it about a quarter of the way through.

Colin, the protagonist, is a genius. He was a child prodigy and is extremely bright but he only dates girls named Katherine. He has had 19 girlfriends and every single last one of them has been named Katherine. In the beginning of the book his most recent Katherine has dumped him and his best friend Hassan takes him on a road trip to get his mind off of her. They end up going on a history tour where they meet a girl named Lindsey.

The reason I could not read too much more of this book is because it was so boring. Normally I don't stop a book midway, it just isn't like me. Although with this book I was being tortured by it's slowness and inability to hook me onto its' words.  I found myself having to reread pages because my mind drifted off. If you like this book I applaud you, but this wasn't the book for me and I do not recommend it.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Perks of Being a Wallflower: By Stephan Chbosky

Hey readers, I am here today to talk about one of my favorite books, Perks of Being a Wallflower. You will like this book if you like books like Looking for Alaska and Wonder. This book is more appropriate for teens than tweens because there are nuances in the language that force you to read between the lines and a tween might have trouble understanding.

This is a realistic book that takes place in high school from the point of view of a boy named Charlie. The story is told from a series of diary entries written by this boy in the first person. Charlie is a wallflower, or an outsider, until he meets two people, Sam and Patrick, at a school football game and they welcome him into their group. Sam and Patrick are two seniors who are down to earth and kind but also like to party and live life. Charlie, who is somewhat awkward, gets to know these free spirited people and their friends who change his life as a freshman. As the story goes on you learn about Charlie and his past and some reasons why he is a wallflower.

I really love this book because it grabs you into the world of Charlie and makes you feel like you are experiencing what he is experiencing. I also loved this book because I didn't expect most of the things that had happened. I would definitely recommend this book to both genders.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Unwholly: By Neal Shusterman

Hey readers, the summer is almost over and I hope you all had fun. Have you been reading? Well I hope so. Anyways, I told you all I would follow up on the sequel to Unwind so here it is....Unwholly!


This book continued the story of Connor, or Elvis Robert Millard, Risa, who is now paralyzed from the waist down and Lev, who is now in trouble and famous for being a clapper who didn't clap. In this book the author Neal Shusterman changes it up a bit. He doesn't only write from the point of view of these 3 characters but he adds new ones.  There is Starkey, an AWOL runaway who craves power and control and Maricola,  a girl who was supposed to be tithed. There is also, Nelson a parts pirate (takes unwinds or normal people and sells their parts illegally), who despises Connor for humiliating him by shooting him with his own dart gun and getting him fired as a Juvey cop and wants revenge on him . Lastly, there is Cam who is not a normal human. His entire body is made up of other children. His brain is made up of the smartest kids, his body is made up of the most athletic, his skin of all complexions and his hair of every color.

Each new character that this author has added has different goals and adventures that they go through and each of their stories is connected to the other like a puzzle.

I thought that this sequel was better than the first book. It added more depth to the story and it made me feel like I was apart of this crazy world that the author made up. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it was predictable and there weren't a lot of big twists. Otherwise, I loved this book and I hope you all read it. Expect more reviews from this series soon!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Lovely Bones: By Alice Seabold

Hey readers, I am here today to talk about a book called The Lovely Bones. This book is realistic fiction and is for teens and not very appropriate for tweens because it could be kind of scary.

The Lovely Bones is about a girl named Susie who is raped and dies in the beginning of the book. The rest of the book is told from her perspective from heaven or should I say, pre heaven or the in-between. Susie and her family are very tight and right before she dies she practically has a boyfriend. Susie can see her family but they can't see her and it shows how she deals with these emotions.

This book really interested me because I have always wondered what heaven would be like and this book describes it. This book isn't really a "happy" book but an intriguing one. One thing that I didn't like about it was the message of the book-Susie letting go. I really preferred the topic of what heaven was like with her viewing her family except the author revolved it around the theme of letting go.

This book is also a movie and although I did not like it a lot because it didn't live up to the book and was confusing, you should watch it once you read the book!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Face on the Milk Carton: By Caroline B. Cooney

Hey readers I hope your summer is going well. I just wanted to update you on a good book called The Face on the Milk Carton.  It is great for anyone who likes a little bit of a mystery.

This is a fantastic book about a girl named Janie. She is 15 and is an only child. Janie is a normal high school girl until one day she is at lunch with her friend and on the back of her milk carton she sees a picture of a little girl in a polka dotted dress that went missing about a decade ago. Janie instantly recognizes this girl and knows that it is her. She is the missing person. Janie starts noticing around her house how her parents have no baby pictures of her. Janie is confused and scared not knowing if her parents are actually related to her and maybe that they kidnapped her. This book is very engaging and will keep you on your toes.

If you like this book read the rest of the series: Whatever Happened to Janie? The Voice On The Radio What Janie FoundJanie Face to Face. I read them all and loved them, though I thought that the author dragged the series out a bit.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Unwind: By Neal Shusterman

Hey readers today i'm going to review the book Unwind. 

I really loved this book but it may creep some people out. You will love this book too if you love Sci-Fi, action and potentially being creeped out!

This book portrays its' story through the eyes of 3 people. Conor, Risa and Lev. All three of them are supposed to be unwound. I'm guessing you don't know what unwinding is so let me explain. This book takes place in the future after a civil war called "The Heartland War" which was a fight over abortion. After many years of fighting, a compromise was made between the 3 sides. The compromise was called unwinding. Parents could choose to send their kids between ages 13-18 to harvest camps where their body parts are stripped from their body (they are still 99% alive)  and are distributed to people who need them. In this book these 3 kids, each with their own story, are trying to escape this horrible fate. It is a riveting page turner that will keep you awake at night wondering.

Tune in later this summer for reviews on the sequels: Unwholly and Unsouled

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wonder: By R. J. Palacio

Hey readers, I hope all of your lives are going well...whether it is or it isn't, it's time to escape into a book!

This book is one of my new favorites. It is not sci-fi or fantasy but realistic fiction. It's about a boy named August who has a facial deformity. Up until fourth grade August was tutored due to his health and social problems. After a decision with his parents August decides to go to school. This book is all about his experience with friends, family and dealing with life and accepting himself and having others accept him. It is written in the voice of August, his sister, his sister's friends and also his classmates. This makes it interesting and helps you learn about August and others' experiences with him through different eyes.

This is a very sweet book and I hope you love it.

Your friend,
Rae Sparks

The Maze Runner: By James Dashner

Hey readers, I'm here to talk about this month's book, The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This is an amazing book to read for those of you who like books like the Hunger Games, Divergent and the Mortal Instruments series. This book is about a boy named Thomas who one day wakes up in a metal box, in a weird place, remembering nothing but his name. He finds out that he is in a place called The Glade. Surrounding The Glade is a giant maze filled with creatures that come out at night called Grievers.  Every day people called "runners" run through the maze looking for a way out, and every day they come back with no luck.  There is a little bit of a love factor that plays throughout this book and the rest of the trilogy.

This book is for people who like action and Sci-Fi and it is definitely a must read. I think it is going to be made into a movie so read the book first!

If you like this book, read the rest of the trilogy entitled Scorch Trials and lastly Death Cure. There is also a prequel called The Kill Order.

Post comments to let me know how you like them.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Enjoy my blog on books for teens and tweens!

Hey everyone. Have you ever not known what to read? I will be posting many young adult book recommendations and reviews for you so you will never be without a book! Books allow people to escape into a new world and I hope that on this blog you will find the right world for you to escape into. I will blog about all books and state my opinion on them; good or bad. If you have any questions or want me to review any particular book let me know! I will try to post review for a new book every month and possibly more often. Enjoy!