Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This Book Sucks

In a vampiric way.  Wait - don't leave!  All bad jokes aside, the comic Life Sucks is actually pretty cool.  Assuming you like vampires of the non-sparkly variety. 

Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece have put together a comic exploring some of the less romantic sides of vampirism.  Like how you explain it to your mom and dad.  (You don't.)  And what sort of jobs are available for people who are permanently nocturnal.  (The night shift at a convenience store, for example.)  Also, the person who turned you is now your master.  (Which makes you his permanent wage slave.)  Dave Miller is not having the time of his undead life.  To make matters worse, the human girl he loves is now being romantically pursued by the guy he hates: psychopath surfer vampire Wes. 

Time for Dave to figure out how to get the girl and save the day.  Too bad he can only come out at night.

~ Book Ninja

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Koi Out of Water

With MangaMania!! coming up this weekend, my mind is full of anime, Japan, and all the neat things that go along with it. So naturally, I thought of this book: Ink by Amanda Sun.

It's not manga, first of all, but it does take place in Japan. It follows Katie, who got moved there willy-nilly to live with her aunt after her mother's death. Not only is she grieving and lonely, she feels out of place, a tall blond American who barely speaks any Japanese and can't quite grasp all the different subtleties of life in a new country.

Then she meets Tomohiro Yuu. One day he's a jerk, dumping his girlfriend in the most callous way possible. The next he's a sensitive artist, creating drawings that almost seem to come to life. Wait . . . they are coming to life! What exactly is Yuu, and what does Katie herself have to do with his mysterious abilities?

If you are a die-hard Japanophile, pick up this book to become immersed in everyday life in Japan, with a little magic, mystery, and romance thrown in.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Warriors: The Forgotten Warrior

Warriors: The Forgotten Warrior
Book CoverThis book is written by Erin Hunter, who also happens to be one of my favorite authors.  She is the author of the amazing Warriors series that is very popular here in North America and it is almost entirely rare to not ever see someone reading it or for it to not be in a library. This is the the type of book that someone who is interested in fiction and fantasy would want to read - even someone like me was able to read it, even though I don't read that often.

This book is confusing, but that's because its the sixth book in the series, so if you're interested in fantasy fiction I would recommend to start from the beginning of the series which is "Warriors: The Sun Trail."  This author also has two other series of books; one is called "Seekers" and the other series, which is as popular and well known as "Seekers" and "Warriors," is called "Surviors."
So to sum up the book without spoiling it (or telling you the main story which would spoil it for you), the book picks up where the previous book left off.  The Star Clan has divided and turned into different groups and when the Dark Forest Sprites start to gain strength, there is no Star Clan anymore so the Thunder Cats (which is one of the many clans in the series) has to step in and try to stop the sprites in the Dark Forest before it's too late.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Personal List of Cities I Must Visit (in real life, not just in a book)

Marrakesh.  Budapest.  Venice.  Barcelona.  Dublin.  Mexico City (check).  But above all, Prague.  Prague in the Czech Republic you say, what is so interesting about a city stuck behind the Iron Curtain after WWII for forty plus years? Well, I must admit that my father's claim that he was 1/4 Czech, making me 1/8 Czech, seemed very romantic to me as a kid, and the more I learned about the former Czechslovokia--more than 2,000 castles are still standing, gorgeous mountains basically surround the country, and Franz Kafka was Czech (you remember, cockroaches, The Metamorphosis)--the more I fell in love.

Now, let's get back to the BOOK that brings this lovely place to life.  Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone is an amazing tale that includes a somewhat unbelievable but eventually totally believable romance, bizarre characters who pull their own teeth out for a wish, a restaurant with coffin chairs and tables that serves goulash, portals that open to awesome cities around the world until a handprint is burnt into them, a quirky artist with permanent blue hair, and an epic war between Seraphim and Chimaera.  If that's not enough to make you put a hold on it, the audio book is incredible as well--lots of words I have never known how to pronounce pronounced and beautiful, exotic accents all for your listening pleasure!  And the best part for an admitted series addict?  The sequel, Days of Blood & Starlight, is ready and waiting for you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Marked, by P.C. Cast, starts off as just a normal day for Zoey Redbird at her high school, until a tracker showed up and marked her. Now Zoey has to go to a new school, meet new friends, and, worst of all, tell her mom and step-loser about being marked and having to go to a special school for marked kids where she will either die or complete the change into a vampire. Sadly, her parents don't accept the fact that she was chosen, along with many others, to become a fledgling and attempt to go through the change.

Zoey escapes her parents grasps and heads for her new school just in time, because when she gets there the headmistress is waiting for her to arrive. Zoey is told to head to the courtyard and wait there, but on her way she witnesses a strange encounter between between a really cute guy and a way too desperate girl named Aphrodite. When Zoey is seen she flees from the scene and runs to the courtyard, where she meets up with the headmistress Nefrete and tries to forget about the strange encounter. After being introduced to all of her new teachers, Zoey is exausted and ready to rest her head on her new pillow and start her new life as a vampire fledgling or die. Will Zoey complete the change or will she die? Read the book and find out.

~ Morgan Le Fay

Thursday, July 11, 2013

War Changes Everything

Finding your identity when growing up is challenging in the best of times.  Living through wartime gives navigating all the usual issues of life a new dimension of difficulty, but somehow, crazy as life seems,  one adjusts to the new normal. My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve, explores those issues of growing up such as mother/daughter relations, friendships and identity within the historical setting of World War II.  Ziska, also known as Frances, guides us through seven years of her life beginning when she is ten in 1938 in Berlin and ending in 1945 in England when she is a young lady of 17.  She is forced to flee to England on the Kindertransport, an evacuation program begun by Jews to remove their children to safer countries as life in Germany becomes threatening.  On her departure at the Berlin train station, Ziska's mother gives her a delicate gold crucifix to put around her neck as a remembrance. Ironically her family has been Christian for generations, but they are still considered of the Jewish race by the Nazis and are being stripped of their rights and property.  Once in England, Ziska's name is changed to Frances and she becomes a foster child of an Orthodox Jewish family.  She is drawn to the unfamiliar religious rituals and quickly falls in love with her new family "for the war". She begins to love her new country, England, as well.  As the years progress, Frances is worried that she can no longer remember what her German mother looks like. After so many years, is she German or English, Jewish or Christian and which is her real family? This historical novel gives a new and intriguing twist on the World War II experience.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

V for Vendetta

If you've seen the movie, this graphic novel will expand your knowledge and understanding with a deeper and more detailed background. If you haven't, then you're in for a treat. V for Vendetta takes place in a alternate but similar future England where fascism takes over. With Alan Moore's intense creative mind and David Lloyd's striking graphics, V for Vendetta will keep you peeled to the page until the end. This is a must read graphic novel. It sheds light to all crevices and holes of the human behavior. Every dirty and beautiful aspect of the human capacity. Even after you set it down, it will stay with you and tease your brain. Which is a good thing. Our society needs wake up and start using that organ on their shoulders.

When a mysterious masked man with a dark past who calls himself as "V" is responsible for the destruction of significant structures and the death of important figures, England spirals down into chaos. V vows to seek revenge for his painful suffering and defend his love: anarchy. Totalitarian England has forgotten to love. It has been sick with greed and power. Leaving the rest of the population powerless, defenseless, and left at the mercy of a cruel system. V for Vendetta is not a stereotypical story with "happily ever after." V is not a hero, he's a cleaner. He merely removes the destroyers and sets a clean canvas for the creators.

Even though this comic includes fictional events and characters, it can be reflected onto any present situation. Is it possible for our society to head into the same direction as the one in the comic? What would you do prevent the wrong thing to happen?

~Paige Turner

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Lost in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, a lone teenage boy, Brian, discovers what type of person he really is. In route to his father who lives in a small Canadian town, the pilot of Brian's plane has a sudden heart attack, forcing Brian to crash land. Barely alive, Brian must nurse himself back to life and survive by himself with his only possession, his hatchet. But things start to look up for him; he builds a shelter, learns what to eat and most of all, he learns how to survive. But as we all know, life never seems to let everything be fine for very long. A couple of weeks later, everything Brian created is destroyed, leaving him to rebuild once again.Through his struggles we learn more about Brian and what it will take for him to come back to civilization, alive.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen has been a teen favorite for many years. It is a great read for those looking for adventure, survival and the strength of human will. Paulsen creates the scenes as you are surviving along with Brian; facing the same struggles he does. Other books following the story of Brian in Hatchet include The River, Brian's Winter, Brian's Hunt and Brian's Return.

~ Jerome the Fighting Caterpillar

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Don't think or judge. Just Listen.

Annabel Greene begins her Junior year of high school ostracized by her peers and hated by her friends. She is haunted by the unthinkable events of a party that took place at the beginning of the summer, which she has kept secret from friends and family. This is one secret among many that she keeps from the world. She also suffers silently from the pressure from her mother and her fear for her oldest sister's health. In a time when she needs a friend more than ever, she meets Owen Armstrong, a music-obsessed classmate with anger management issues who is as ignored by the rest of the school as she is. In a "right place, right time" situation, he instantly goes from someone she watches from a distance to her only friend, saving her from lunch hours spent in isolation and teaching her the value of speaking up and making herself heard.

Just Listen is a story which induces both laughter and tears, and is highly recommended for anyone who has ever feared voicing their own feelings. Sarah Dessen is also the author of other popular young adult books such as The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby, and Lock & Key.