Monday, March 2, 2009

100 Cupboards

by N.D. Wilson; book 1

When Henry York's parents are kidnapped, he is sent to live with his Aunt Dotty and Uncle Frank in Kansas along with his three cousins, Anastasia, Penelope, and Henrietta. They make him comfortable in the upstairs attic where he discovers, hidden behind the crumbling plaster, 99 cupboards.

Along with his adventurous cousin Henreitta, they decide to uncover the secrets of the cupboards. Armed with their grandfather's diary, they discover that the cupboards lead to magical other worlds, though they stumble upon a wonderful adventure, not everything that comes out of the cupboards is good!

This book is wonderful, suspensful and a quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio version and can't wait for the second book to come out!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing

by M.T. Anderson

Set during the Revolution, the story revolves around a young African American boy named Octavian who is brought up in an organization titled the College of Lucidity (modeled after that day's Philosophical Society). Despite the fact that many African Americans at that time were still under the bondage of slavery, Octavian experienced an abnormal upbringing in the college, given a first-rate education, and being taught classic languages like Greek and Latin, the violin, history, and philosophy.

What Octavian comes to realize, however, is that though he is treated well and taught much, his existence is in the College of Lucidity is nothing more than an experiment. As he grows up and the college experiences hardship, Octavian is thrown into the stark reality of the world around and joins the cause of liberty.

This book is beautifully written and the audiobook is mesmerizing. I am looking forward to Volume 2, when Octavian finally escapes the college at the height of the conflict!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Terrier: Book 1 of the Beka Cooper Series

by Tamora Pierce

Beka Cooper trades in her life in the lower city to start training as a Dog (the slang for police officer in her time) for the local provost or magistrate. Being accepted as a new Puppy in the guard has its challenges, but Beka has special advantages. She has the ability to hear the souls of the dead who ride on the backs of pigeons and the voices of murdered victims in the midst of the dust spinners that swirl on street corners.

Along with her magical and intuitive cat, Pounce, and her two trainers, Tunstall and Goodwin, she is out to discover who is behind the disappearance of lower city children, someone who claims to be the Shadow Snake, and the mystery behind the magic stones.

A fast and entertaining book, Beka is a likable character and the story is action packed and addictive! I can't wait to read the second book.

Friday, January 9, 2009


by Stephanie Meyer

Although this is a young adult novel, it has become rather popular in many different age groups, so I thought I would give it a try. I am always on the lookout for a good vampire book.

Bella moves to Fork to stay with her Dad, Charlie, so that she can have a more stable life. Her mom is dating a baseball player named Phil and his touring schedule takes them all over the country, so it is more sensible for Bella to stay with her dad. She experiences the typical "new kid in town" syndrome where she feels out of place and like an outsider. Although she develops a few new friendships and couple male admirers, she becomes intrigued by the Cullens family, especially the youngest boy Edward who, at first, acts very strange toward her.

She comes to discover that Edward, and indeed all of the Cullen's, are vampires. Although Bella and Edward fall in love and desperately want to be together, it seems as though a relationship between a human and a vampire is too difficult to exist. Yet, the attraction and passion between them is too intense and they go through many terrifying experiences to be together.

It was a light read, fun and fantastic. I cannot wait to read the next book "New Moon"!

Black Duck


This YA novel, written by Janet Taylor Lisle, is based on the actual story of the Black Duck, a famous rum running speedboat in the 1920's that was gunned down by the Coast Guard, killing the men on board. Many lives were lost in that tumultuous time, when liquor was sold illegally and many wanted part of the action.

In this present day story, David, a soon-to-be freshman, is vying for a job at the local paper. He does some research and locates the story of the Black Duck. Intrigued and hoping a new spin on the story would help him get the job, he interviews Ruben Hart who was a boy himself in 1929. In a series of interviews, David discovers that Ruben had not only heard the story but had witnessed more than the papers ever revealed: dirty cops, a dead body washed up on shore, murderous thugs, crime bosses, the crew of the Black Duck, and a ticket worth millions.

Historical fiction at its best!

A Great and Terrible Beauty

by Libba Bray (YA Audiobook)

Set in the late 1800's, sixteen year old Gemma Doyle is sent to live at a boarding school in England after her mother is murdered. Her family is devastated by the loss, yet, they blind themselves to the dark and mysterious circumstances surrounding her mother's death.

As Gemma begins her new life at school, the mystery follows her in the form of a cloaked man, a ghost girl, and a diary that holds the key to the past and the future. Yet, she still has to try and make friends and fit in among the girls at Spence.

A Great and Terrible Beauty is a fast read full of adventure, magic, and the every day drama surrounding teenage girls. I found it thoroughly enjoyable.