Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel BelleHarper Price was having the best Homecoming ever.  She knew she had the crown in the bag, if only she hadn’t forgotten her lip gloss.  Now she has superpowers and has to protect the one person she doesn’t get along with: David Stark.  Her new powers are pretty awesome but why is he the one she has to protect?

Hawkins blends comic hijinks with Southern charm in her newest novel.  While I can’t say I was laughing the entire time, I will say I was smiling.  When I wasn’t smiling, I was caught up in the action.  Did you know stiletto heels make excellent defense weapons?  How about pools?

While some might think Harper is a bit shallow, I found Harper to be a strong young woman who knows who she is and what she likes.  I found her very well developed as a character.  David was a little less developed but still very well rounded for someone who discovers his world is not what it seems.  Ryan and Bee round out the most important supporting cast and I have a feeling they will be more important as time goes on.  Be ready for a cliffhanger ending.  There should be more Rebel Belle books coming our way.

If you read and enjoyed the Hex Hall series, then you will love this one and if you didn’t read them– head to the shelf and grab them.

Guest Review – My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to MeMy True Love Gave to Me collects twelve romantic Christmas short stories by a variety of YA authors. Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Kiersten White, David Levithan, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Foreman, Myra McEntire, and Ally Carter wrote the realistic fiction stories, while Laini Taylor, Kelly Link, Holly Black, and Jenny Han wrote the more fantastical stories. My personal favorites were “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins, the bittersweet “Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han, “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White, and “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña.

Here is a taste of what’s contained in the collection: In “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown,” Marigold has finally worked up the courage to ask Christmas tree salesman, North, if he will do some voice acting in one of her YouTube videos. North convinces Marigold to buy a Christmas tree and helps Marigold fix up the sad apartment where she and her mother moved following a personal tragedy.

In “The Lady and the Fox,” a young girl named Miranda meets a strange boy named Fenny when she visits her godmother’s house for Christmas. Since Miranda was recovering from the shock of her mother being sent to prison, Miranda thinks maybe Fenny was a figment of her imagination. Fenny, however, returns again for Christmas in the years that follow, but only if it snows.

In “Angels in the Snow,” Shy, a college student, bonds with a neighbor named Haley during a snowstorm. Shy is broke and starving, but can’t bring himself to admit it to Haley, who has a few secrets of her own.

I don’t usually enjoy reading short stories, but I really enjoyed this collection. I did think Laini Taylor’s “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” was an odd way to end the collection; however, this collection is worth reading if only for those stories by popular authors such as Rowell, Perkins, Foreman and Levithan. I’d never read anything by Link, McEntire, or Carter, but I enjoyed those stories too. Keep in mind that each author who contributed to this collection stuck to her or his usual genre, so don’t expect Holly Black to write a realistic story just because it’s New Year’s Day – her story features fairy folk.

I did enjoy the collection overall. If you love Christmas (or New Year’s Day, or Hanukkah, or the winter solstice), this collection is a great way to relax after all of your exams are over for the year. Have a great holiday!


Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Torn AwayIt took only a few moments for Jersey Cameron’s whole world to fall apart.  In a matter of seconds, her home and family fall prey to a massive tornado.  As she deals with the grief that comes with the natural disaster, she is sent away to relatives she doesn’t know.  Shifted from one family to another, will she ever find her home again?

This contemporary novel is different from the books I’ve been reading lately and it was a pleasant change.   Well, perhaps pleasant is not the right word.  There is much grief and pain in this novel and none of it is short changed.  The emotional experience of the book was very real and I can imagine everything Jersey goes through easily.

Jersey as a character is very realistic.  She gets annoyed with her pesky little sister, fights with her mom and doesn’t always get along with her step-father.  She gets scared and acts brave and goes through plenty of trauma.

There were some elements that didn’t feel natural though.  Jersey’s father’s family felt like caricatures and was not very believable as a group.  One or two acting as they did would be believable, but for every person living in that house to be as horrible as they were, did not ring true.

Despite that, Torn Away is an excellent read and one that brings the horror of a tornado to life.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants a look into life after a disaster.

P.S. I know this book is not full of holiday cheer, but I think the importance of family and friends shines through enough to bring some fuzzy feelings.



Mystery at the Library

Sherlock is in the building but blink and you’ll miss him! Join us and Dr. Watson as we figure out who has brought murder to the library. We will be looking for clues and solving the crime on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at the Josey Ranch Lake Library. Don’t forget your permission slip! Hope to see you there for our Sherlock who-done-it.

Where: JRL
When: 11/15/14 from 6:30-8:30
Who: anyone ages 13-19

Teen Read Week

Teen Read Week is here and we are celebrating at the Carrollton Public Library! We will be turning your dreams into reality with challenges designed to test your mettle. The Friends have generously provided us with food and drink so come hungry and with a great sense of humor.

Oh, and feel free to wear your Halloween costume if you have one!

When – Saturday, October 18th from 6:30-8:30

Where – Josey Ranch Lake Library

Grab your permission slip at either library.

Reboot by Amy Tintera

RebootAfter a devastating virus sweeps the nation, people don’t always stay dead. But unlike the zombies you know and love, a Reboot, as they are called, don’t hunger for brains or flesh. Instead, they try to live their life as normally as possible. Well, as normally as possible for someone who is now under the control of the Republic of Texas and is faster, stronger, and better able to heal than a normal human. Then there is the whole the longer you are dead, the less emotional you are thing.

When Wren died, she did so for 178 minutes, making her the deadliest of the Reboots. When it comes to capturing criminals, she’s the best and she only trains the best. Until Callum that is. Callum is a lowly 22 and can’t seem to do anything right. Wren decides to take him on as a trainee and begins to discover that things are not right at the Reboot center.

I really liked this book. It has action, romance, and a mystery all wrapped in one. One of my favorite things though is that there is no love triangle. The characters are right there for you to see and the choices are much more difficult than choosing one boy over another.

Wren 178 develops as a character throughout the book. We see her going from the perfect, non-emotional soldier that everyone says she is to the friend who will fight to protect, not just her love interest, but also other reboots. We have the beginnings of a true rebel on our hands here. Callum 22 is just the right amount of goofiness and questioning to get the story rolling as well.

Ever was also one of my favorite characters. As Wren’s best friend, we see her reach through Wren’s barriers and you discover that Wren isn’t as cold as she thinks she is. It is also in Ever’s character that you see the beginning of what’s to come.

Rebel, the next in the duology, will be coming to the library shelf soon.