Blue Gold by Elizabeth Stewart is the compelling story of three very different girls living in three vastly different areas of the world but more importantly how much alike they are.
A young girl living in North America takes a compromising picture of herself for her boyfriend and then they break up. She loses her phone and asks her Dad, who works for the company that makes the phones for a new one. He says he won’t just buy her one, she has to learn to be more responsible but maybe for her birthday.
A young girl living in Africa and working at a clinic in a refuge camp befriends one of the doctors there. This young lady is dealing with the horrors of being raped, her father’s death and being displaced from her home. On top of that the leader of the local gang has taken an interest in her putting her life and those she cares about at risk. All because of a mineral that is highly sought after for producing electronic gadgets like tablets and smart phones.
A young girl living in rural china moves to the city with her cousin to work at a factory that makes cell phones. She is lured there by the promise of money (she can send some home to help her parents) and her cousins description of the fun they can have. Unfortunately all is not what it seems. The workers are forced to work long hours and have little freedom.
Blue Gold brings to the light the true cost of the modern conveniences that many Westerners take for granted. This is the kind of story I can see teachers using, no make that the kind of story teachers SHOULD be using in their classrooms.
The story unfolds following each girl through the hardships they face, the roles they play within their family and community, and the changes they male in their lives because of those difficulties. It shows how one person can make a difference and how strong an individual can be.
I give this 4 out of 5 reads.
Josie Byrne lives a relatively normal life. She has a boyfriend she’s crazy about and a best friend that’s like a sister to her. Her physics teacher has it in for her and her parents are divorcing, still a normal life because into every life a little stress must fall. The thing is that Josie’s normal life is about to fall apart.
Recently Josie’s Mom has started to act strangely, Josie is betrayed and then loses her job so when she starts having strange dreams at 3:59 everyday it’s just one more thing to deal with. She is not even sure if they are dreams as they seem almost like memories. One night she wakes up to an image in her mirror that reveals Jo to her. Jo is Josie’s doppelgänger, living her life in a universe parallel to Josie’s.
Josie realizes that what she has been experiencing is glimpses into Jo’s life. She desperately wants to experience what to her seems like the perfect life and she steps through the mirror to change places with Jo.
Josie quickly learns that all is not what it seems and that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s a dangerous world she has stepped into and now has to figure out not just how to get home but also how to save those she cares about in both world’s.
Ok so it’s not a great synopsis but it is an interesting story. The writing flows well and it’s not completely predictable which was nice. I am looking forward to reading the next one.
For fans of The Maze Runner.
I give it 3 and 1/2 reads out of 5.
Open Minds is an interesting story about a girl who is an outcast within her community because of her inability to share thoughts. She is dreading going back to school with out her big brother to run interference and her fears prove to be valid as she runs into some bullies on her first day.
Little does Kira know that everything is about to change in a really big way. She is about to learn things that she never believed were possible and she is about to change the world.
This book has several things going for it. Interesting and relatable characters. Adventure, mystery and romance. It asks intriguing questions like: how much do you really want people to know about you?
I would recommend Open Minds to fans of stories like Delirium, Starters, The Elementals Series and the usual big name books in this genre.
I give it 4 out of 5 because it kept me interested through the story and because I want to read the next one.
In the small town of Carp, a town of only 12,000 people, a game was born out of boredom. A dangerous game with a huge payoff if you make it to the end.
Only seniors can play and it’s kept top secret though everyone knows about it. Those who participate do so for their own reasons but mostly these reasons seem to be to get the prize money and get out of town.
Heather had no plans to enter the race and play the game but the night it begins circumstances propel her to join in and different circumstances compel her to make it to the end.
Throughout the game new friendships are made, old ones are betrayed, love is lost and found while our players are facing numerous and varied fears, not just within the game but also within their individual lives.
This is one of those stories you read late into the night, savouring each morsel, wanting to know how it ends while not actually wanting it to end.
Lauren Oliver has several titles to her name and her delirium Trilogy is a favourite of mine though Panic would now be my second favourite. If you ever have the chance to visit with Lauren at a signing I would suggest you go as she is a dynamic and vivacious story teller in person as well as on the page. Listen as she reads the first chapter of Panic and tell me you disagree,
Give Panic a try, if you dare.
I give Panic 4 and a 1/2 Reads out of 5.
I have been a Kelley Armstrong fan since I discovered Bitten(in 2003) and had to wait two anxious months for Stolen. While I am a huge and longtime fan I willing admit that I enjoy some of her books more then others.
For instance; Bitten, Stolen and No Humans Involved are my favourites from The Women of the Otherworld series. I read the first Nadia book (Exit Strategy) and have the next two but I did not enjoy it as much as the Otherworld series so I have not read two or three. I LOVE The Darkest Powers books and own Loki’s Wolves which I have not yet gotten around to reading.
I started reading an ARC of the first book in her Age of Legends trilogy entitled Sea of Shadows due to be released in April. One of the privileges of being a book seller.
I have to say that this story enthralled me. The Grammys were on and I was watching them but I couldn’t put this book down for any length of time. I finished it early the next day and am now feeling bereft. Kelley has a tendency to do this phenomenally horrible thing to us where she draws us deeply into the story and then leaves us dangling from the cliff. That’s right all you Kelley fans, Sea of Shadows will leave you wanting more!
Sea of Shadows tells the story of twin sisters Ashyn and Moria who are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Born to perform the rites of the spirits and protect their village they converse with the Spirits. But on the annual trip into the Forest of the Dead something goes terribly wrong and the girls lives are irrevocably changed forever.
Separated during a disaster in their village and tricked into going in different directions they are forced to leave their village for the first time in their lives. The girls each set out with only their bonded Immortal pets, one with a taciturn imperial guard and the other with a condemned thief that survived the Exile. Their journey takes them across a once deserted wasteland that is now filled with monsters from old legends. They must cross the Wastelands to warn the Emperor.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book are that the legendary creatures they must fight. The journey they must travel sort of reminds me of one of my all-time favourite movies…. The Princess Bride. I am not saying the two are exactly alike just that this story has the same epic romantic quest feel and the humour as the movie does. I dare you to tell me that the rodent they meet doesn’t make you think of R.O.U.S’s.
My one issue was the vast amount of characters you are introduced to almost immediately. I got so confused that I thought the guy with the eye tattoo (Orbec) was the guard (Gavril) who ends up travelling with Moria. I might suggest that this is one of those books that needs a Table of Characters.
I give this story 5 out of 5 Reads.
If you are looking for a great Fantasy read I highly recommend this one!
Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner
Lark has left the Iron Woods in search of her brother Basil. She and Tansy are untrusting of each other and yet grateful for each others company. She hasn’t seen Oren since she released him but she knows he is nearby.
They come across a seemingly deserted town and an unexpected run in with The Shadows which leads to the discovery of Lethe. Lethe is about to teach Lark and her friends more than they may have ever wanted to know.
Shadowlark is the sequel to Skylark, a story that I love, love, love even though it is not the easy flow reading style that I normally enjoy. Shadowlark falls into that same category. They are stories that I am compelled to read while at the same time I semi-struggle to get through them. It’s a phenomenon that baffles me. There is a lot of action and adventure in these stories. The descriptive phrasing really brings the characters and places to life. I want to know what will happen to Lark and Oren and all the rest. Will she find her brother? Discover what really happened to the City? Will Lark and Oren be able to stay together? And yet I have to make myself keep reading.
I am always glad I did! I am never disappointed by the story and yet it’s a struggle.
I do recommend these stories. I REALLY do enjoy them. Just be warned that it may take you awhile to get into.
4 out of 4 Reads.
Recently I read a great book called Monument 14. Quarantine by Lex Thomas is a deeper, darker version of the YA End of the World As We Know It genre!
It took me longer to read but it was so worth it. I am so excited for the sequel and to recommend this to customers looking for a great summer read.
Quarantine is the story of a group of kids that are locked in a school after a boy carrying a dangerous virus (deadly to adults) escapes and runs into their school. Part of the school is blown up in an attempt to get rid of the kid and we end up with a school on military lockdown.
Quickly the students break off into groups with the strongest, athletic and popular kids at the top of the chain and everyone else struggling to survive.
David Thorpe and his younger brother Will have no gang to belong to. They have only each other and that is a problem in and of itself. This modern version of Lord of the flies is rife with conflict of good and evil and the struggle we all face with it within ourselves. Eventually they and others like them join together to become The Loners. This is where the real fun begins.
The interaction of the various cliques, the relationship between the brothers and even the school itself provide many intriguing moments. I was thrilled, appalled and disgusted at times. I was chagrined, saddened and empathetic. Most importantly I am waiting on pins and needles for the sequel to come out! Quarantine Book 2: The Saints can’t come out soon enough for me!
For fans of Maze Runner, Monument 14 and Erebos. Highly Recommend you add it to your summer reading list.
5 out of 5 Reads