Skinny by Donna Cooner

Posted: January 24, 2014 by cplteen in books

 Skinny is the story of Ever Davies and the cruel voice in her head she calls Skinny. Ever is a fifteen-year-old girl whose weight is over 300 pounds. Skinny makes sure Ever never forgets her size; keeping up a cruel commentary of all of Ever’s faults. Skinny convinces Ever that she will never be anyone and no one will ever love her. But Ever has a secret – a strong and beautiful singing voice. Can that voice break through Skinny’s constant criticism?

Ever decides to find out by undergoing a risky weight loss surgery in an effort to both try out for the school musical and try to save her life. The weight might be falling off, but Skinny’s voice isn’t getting any softer. Will Ever find the strength to confront Skinny and get her life back? Or will she continue to let Skinny beat her down?

There seems to be a glut of weight related books hitting the teen shelves lately, and I’ve read a few of them. Skinny is one of the better ones. Ever is a very relatable character because pretty much everybody has their own version of Skinny running around in their heads, comparing them to someone else or telling them that they just aren’t good enough. The real point of this book isn’t so much that Ever loses weight. The real meaning of this book is found in the idea that we need to confront those voices in our heads and tell them to shut up.

Skinny is a 2013 Lone Star nominee and is on the TAYSHAS reading list.  I can easily see how it got on both lists.  I highly recommend this title and not just to people who are interested in weight related reading.  This book has something for everyone.

Have you read it?  What did you think?

Coming to a Theater Near You – Vampire Academy

Posted: January 7, 2014 by cplteen in books

We have six confirmed teen novels coming to theaters this year.  They range from the dramatic love story to the fantasy adventure that is sure to be a hit.  The first to arrive is Vampire Academy, based on Richelle Mead’s same titled hit series.

Here’s the book summary, taken from our lovely catalog: Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where one focuses on mastering magic, the other on physical training, while both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, gruesome pranks, and sinister plots.

And here is the movie summary from IMDB: Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story.

Gotta admit, the movie summary sounds a lot more dramatic.  Vampire Academy doesn’t have an official MPAA rating as of yet, but based on the book series and the following trailer, IMDB is estimating a PG-13.  Keep in mind that the creative forces of Mark Waters (director) and Daniel Waters (screenwriter) have individually brought us such classic teen movies as Mean Girls and Heathers. These two know how to put the bite into teen movies (sorry for the pun, couldn’t resist), so check out all the fun.

Will you being seeing Vampire Academy on February 7th?

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel has become one of my new favorite series. The Alchemyst was first published in 2007 and it’s been on my to-read list for a while. I had the chance to grab it in audio and have been hooked ever since. The last book, The Enchantress, came out last year. Because this post covers all six books and I have to avoid spoilers, I am going to be as vague as possible while I tell you that everyone should drop what they are doing and read the series now.

The books follow twins, Sophie and Josh, as they discover their magic and save the world (or perhaps destroy it). They are led by the immortal alchemyst Nicholas Flamel and are being chased by the immortal magician Doctor John Dee. The characters travel from place to place running, outwitting, trapping and gathering new allies, both good and bad. The twins face moral dilemmas as well as physical danger. New characters appear and some disappear in horrible ways. Each book ends with a cliff-hanger that keeps you wanting more.

Almost all characters are from legend or history so they give the story a bit more depth and made me look up the characters to see if they were really alive and what they did. The mythical characters aren’t from one myth either. Myths from the Romans, Greeks, Irish, Aztec and more combine to create a culture of Elders that are fighting to come back into the open and rule the humans like they once did.

My only complaint, and I know I’m being a bit picky, is that sometimes there are too many characters and trying to pronounce some of them was awful. If I didn’t have the audiobooks to fall back on for reference I usually just called the character by its first initial.

I recommend this series for anyone who enjoys a good adventure story with magical elements. For those who loved the Harry Potter series, you will find much to enjoy here.

Here is the series order:
The Alchemyst
The Magician
The Sorceress
The Necromancer
The Warlock
The Enchantress

If You Find Me by Emily Murdock

Posted: October 24, 2013 by cplteen in books

This is the story of Carey and her younger sister Jenessa. For years the two sisters have lived in a broken-down camper with their addicted mother. They haven’t seen their mother for months when two “strangers” appear and take them away. Now the girls are living with a mother, father and a stepsister in a house with indoor plumbing. While some things are really good (said indoor plumbing and reliable and tasty meals), other things are strange and new (high school, boys and said stepsister).

Although some parts were hard to read, I enjoyed this book. Carey is a strong character that, despite her fears and traumas, has a warm heart and a strong nurturing instinct when it comes to Jenessa. She has grown up far faster than she should and some of her experiences are truly horrific. But through it all, she has maintains a sense of self that is remarkable. Perhaps a bit too remarkable since it doesn’t seem like she is very scarred, and I would think that her experiences would lead her to need counseling.

I did feel that she was a bit too distant at times, but once readers understand the full extent of what she has endured, they can see why she would distance herself from some emotions and events. Carey is capable of making new friends and even navigating the interesting roads that come with boy-girl relationships.

I would recommend this book because it is a great story but also because it shows how some traumas and experience can affect not only the victim’s life, but those lives that surround them.

Dallas Area Paranormal Society

Posted: October 16, 2013 by cplteen in books

We are welcoming the Dallas Area Paranormal Society tomorrow at the Josey Ranch Lake location. The event starts at 6:30. Come join us and learn about the exciting field of ghost hunting. They will even show off some of the equipment they use. Can they find a spirit here with us?