Marin left home and didn't turn back, not even when her best friend Mabel reaches out. When Mabel decides to come visit her in college, Marin has to face what happened to her. Will she be able to move forward or will she refuse to allow Mabel back into her life?
This powerful story of betrayal and loss moves quietly and slowly, but will leave you profoundly moved. A beautifully written story that shows how love and loss affect each of us differently. Recommended for 8th grade and above.
Emika Chen is running out of options. Orphaned, poor and out of work, she is about to be evicted from her apartment when she accidentally hacks into the opening ceremonies of Warcross. Warcross is a multi-million dollar business and millions are watching when she glitches into the game. Instead of getting in trouble she embarks on a journey she could not have ever dreamed of. It isn't long before her heart and her life are on the line.
I loved this. Nonstop action, a fantastic hacker female protagonist with a conscience, loved the Warcross game concept, and life or death decisions. Twists and turns keep the plot interesting and great visual details make it easy to envision this world. Recommended for ages 11 and up.
This story centers around Nix, the daughter of a time-traveling ship captain. Nix and her father have a very complicated relationship. He is in search of a map that will get them back to Hawaii and her mother, while she is worried that if they get there she will disappear. On top of that he has an opium addiction that she despises. However, her desire to learn to navigate keeps her on the ship and with her father.
Using maps to time travel to anywhere real or mythical is an interesting premise. Add in the motley crew, a bit of magic and lots of adventure and you have a mashup that is worth reading. There is a little romance along with the adventure as well. The story moves pretty well, although there are a few parts that seem to drag a bit. Well-written, interesting characters and descriptive settings will immerse you in the story. This is the first book in a planned duology. Ages 12-up
Avicen and Drakharin have been warring for centuries for complete control of Earth. They are magical creatures that live among the humans hiding behind magic and sunglasses. Both species closely resemble humans unless you look closely and see the feathers or scales on their skin. In this world lives one human - Echo, a runaway and thief who lives at the New York Public Library. She was discovered and adopted by the Ala - one of the elders of the Avicen. Now the Ala sends her on a secret mission - to find the mythical Firebird and end the war. There is plenty of action, a whole lot of romance, a few too many coincidences and some twists you won't see coming. This is the first book in a planned trilogy. Overall, it is a great story (if you can get past the romance). Well plotted, interesting characters and enough twists to keep you guessing. Ages 12-up
I was so excited for this one - female gladiators right! I was sorely disappointed. We first meet Fallon in her home in Prydain (Britain as Caesar calls it). It starts off well, the setting is interesting, the characters interesting. Then she gets captured and the story goes downhill from there. There are far too many coincidences and there are one too many stretches of moral character. I mean this was Ancient Rome - home of brutal gladiator matches and Caesar laying havoc wherever he went. It was a dog eat dog world. The first thing we see is a kind slave catcher. I mean he's a slaver people - there is no kindness in people who kidnap those unfortunate enough to stray a little too far from their villages and then sold for profit. From there the coincidences and kindnesses just snowplowed and then there was the insta-love.
The premise was great. The story started off strong, and was interesting. The writing isn't bad - perhaps a bit too descriptive in places. But the overall problem are the plot holes, and the fact that the story wasn't quite developed enough. I knew before I finished that there would be another story, because the ending felt too rushed.
This would have been fantastic with better editing. But I think those who like romance in the guise of historical fiction will enjoy it.
Ages: 12 and up
Two interwoven stories about a mysterious scientific facility called Haven, and two girls whose paths cross because of it. You do need to read the stories in a specific order starting with Lyra's story.
Lyra's only memories are of Haven. She is one of many replicas(otherwise known as clones), and one of the oldest. She interacts with nurses, doctors and other replicas, but doesn't know anything about the world outside Haven. An attack on the facility causes her to join forces with a male replica to try to survive. This is where she bumps into Gemma.
Gemma's story is quite different. Gemma grew up in an affluent house, but has very few friends. Her parents are extremely overprotective. When she finally convinces them to let her go on a road trip with her best and only friend, they relent. Then the attack on Haven happens and they change their minds. Gemma starts listening in on her parent's conversations and for the first time in her life becomes suspicious of her life. When Haven's name keeps coming up she takes off in pursuit of answers.
The story moves very quickly. There are a few twists and turns that will surprise you, and some that probably won't. The characters are interesting and overall like-able. I did feel like Gemma's characters focused a little too much on the "I'm overweight so I'm not pretty" idea and I didn't like that at all. It's a mashup of sci-fi, adventure and romance. I think some of the ideas around cloning and the ethical issues surrounding it are interesting, but not heavy handed. Overall, a good book.
Appropriate for 11 and up