Friday, January 30, 2015

Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian

For YA Friday I am taking a look at a new release from St. Martin's- Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian.

The Story-
Jake has an amazing talent, the ability to hold an object connected to a person and see through their eyes. A talent his father told him never to reveal. Of course, all his good intentions go out the window while at a party with the girl he's got a crush on and a drinking game. Suddenly, a strange man is following him and a DARPA agent is lurking in Jake's bedroom.

He is given no choice, work for the government or his family will suffer. Forced to lie to everyone, Jake begins his new "job", but the people in charge of him want more than he is willing to give and soon he will have to decided how far is too far.

My Thoughts-
A thrilling action packed YA novel that will take the reader on a roller coaster ride. Jake's ability is clever and freaky. I enjoyed the parts where the author tells us what he sees while tunneling. It could have been heavy description, but instead it is just right and moves the story along.  His character is fun and easy to relate too. I also liked that he was smart enough to put his powers to use, even when he was locked up and monitored. There is a small attempt at romance, but really not much. I found it odd that Rachel was willing to follow him when they hadn't even dated. 

My favorite character though is his grandfather. Loved the old Russian eccentric who believes in folk legends and holds deep secrets. Grandpa is really Jake's hero. Next favorite is Jake's little sister, who I think will develop her own ability.

Readers will enjoy the story and the predicaments that Jake gets into. They will root for him to escape and feel his pain when the truth about his father is revealed. The story is well written and the tension and action build well. I have to give one critique to the cover art though, it doesn't attract your attention or hint at the excitement within the book. That's not the author's fault though, so overall- 4 stars!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

And the winner is...

Congrats to Heidi Robbins, winner of my $10 Amazon Gift Code for the Dreaming of Books Hop!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Too Funny

Okay- found this on twitter yesterday and had to share. Too Funny!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner

Middle Grade time and I've got a good one for you guys- Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner.

The Story- 
Maddy is special nine-year-old who has the ability to speak every language in the world, both existing and from the past. When she is spotlighted on a news show, her wild ride begins. Maddy accompanies a professor to a 1,000 year old monastery in Bulgaria where a series of ancient scrolls are kept. Tagging along for the ride, but unknown for a bit, is Maddy's best friend Kazuki. 

While traveling Maddy meets the Bulgarian wrestler Dimitar and his strange monkey. Her new friendship comes in handy when she is taken prisoner by a witch and forced to translate the mysterious scrolls, which are actually magical spells. Maddy must escape from the witch before the evil enchantress uses the spells to steal the languages of all the people in England.

My Thoughts-

Maddy’s spunky attitude brings this story to life. The reader can’t help but be taken in by her honesty and friendliness, and smile will when she stands up to the bad guys. Even her motives are genuine, she wants to help people. Of course, the people that surround her aren’t as true. The way her mother treats Maddy as a cash cow pulls at your heart strings. Plus, the evil witch is truly evil and will send chills down the reader’s spine. 

 But, true friendship is also a major theme throughout the tale. Kazuki will not leave her side, and when the tide turns, Maddy is right there for him. Together the two characters inspire goodness and take on the wacky and weird that keeps coming straight at them. A truly adventurous tale of magic and humor that will keep middle graders engaged to the last page. Wow, 5 stars!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Soulprint by Megan Miranda

YA Friday- and off we go! Today I am looking at Soulprint by Megan Miranda, coming out from Bloombsury on Feb. 3rd.

The Story-
Alina Chase has lived in a comfortable prison since she was a child. Why? Because in this brave and bold new world the technology to soul print is now a common form of identification. By looking at your DNA scientists are able to match your soul with a previous incarnation.

In Alina's case, that is the criminal June Calahan. Before June died, she had hacked into the soul database and released private information about people's previous soul links, including mass murderers and rapists. Her revelation threw the world into turmoil. Now, everyone believes that June's soul will rise to the top of Alina's personality and commit the crime once again.

Aided by three others, Alina escapes her prison just before her 18th birthday. They all want to use Alina for the same purpose, to uncover June's hideout and find her database. However, Alina has always felt that she is just Alina, not June. Driven by the others needs, Alina begins to reconstruct June's last days and decipher clues left behind. At first all seems well, but then Alina starts feeling like the clues are leading her to an even bigger mystery, one that will shock the world.

My Thoughts-
A truly gripping tale from Miranda that spotlights injustice and preconceived notions. This story reminded me a lot of how I felt watching the Tom Cruise movie, The Minority Report. I couldn't help but baulk at the injustice of being held captive just because your soul might be linked to a criminal from the past. The entire book Alina is only Alina, her only clues into June's life come from deep research and study. This is never clearer than when Alina is confronted by June's old flame, and it turns out he's a turd, who also has no real connection to his previous incarnation.

There is a hint of romance as Alina finds a bit of love for herself, but mostly the plot is what kept me reading. The mystery that June left behind is intriguing and at first you think you know the whole story, but the deeper Alina goes, the more the reader realizes not everything was as it seemed.

The characters are well written and strong. Their motivations matching their intentions and with a little back story, they become full and real. I couldn't help but dislike Dominic, which I believe was Miranda's intention.

Overall all a thrilling read that takes you for a ride to a surprise ending that will leave you thinking. 4 stars!

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Martin Luther King Jr. Books for Children

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day and welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am spotlighting new books that just came out about Martin Luther King Jr. for children. Interestingly none of them had book blurbs, just seller info.

Hard Copies-
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Our Holidays) Paperback – January, 2015
by Amy Hayes (Author)
Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing (January 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1502602296
ISBN-13: 978-1502602299

Martin Luther King Jr. (True Books) Paperback – February, 2015
by Josh Gregory (Author)
Publisher: Childrens Pr (February 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0531212084
ISBN-13: 978-0531212080

Kindle Books-
Martin Luther King, Jr. for Children!: A Life of Dignity, a Bold Determination for Justice (African American History Series) [Kindle Edition]
M.J. Martin (Author)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Martin Luther King Jr. for Kids: The Amazing Story of the Man Who Brought Equality to Millions of People (Black History Month Books) [Kindle Edition]
Ian D. Fraser (Author)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dreaming of Books Hop 2015

Welcome to the 2015 Dreaming of Books Hop hosted by I am a Reader. I have up for grabs a $10 gift code from AMAZON. To enter fill out the rafflecopter below, if you don't see it click 'read more'. Don't forget to hop over to the other blogs. The list is at the bottom.