What it’s About: Violet is a dancer who’s about to go to Julliard, but she has a big secret about the incident that led to her best friend Orianna being sent away for murder, before everyone at the Juvenile Centre died in an apparent mass suicide. Amber is another inmate at the Centre. Violet decides to take a trip to what’s left of the Centre.
What I Thought: Sigh, what can I say? Orianna is just absolutely, nauseatingly perfect. I couldn’t help but picture her with a golden halo and a light shining down on her from heaven. And Amber often feels rather disconnected from the actual story. This leaves Violet as the only character I really connected with, which is rather problematic. Personally, I reccoment checking out Suma’s Imaginary Girls and leaving this one alone.
What it’s About: Haley and Dodger spend their summer on sponsored trips to find evidence of alien life. Haley is a normal kid who has discovered an interesting clue about potential alien abductions, while Dodger’s interest stems from the fact that he hears voices in his head. Actually, he hears what appears to be a fictional radio station from a nonexistent town.
What I Thought: I became interested in this middle grade book after hearing that it was optioned for film adaptation. It’s an interesting read with some truly creepy moments, and definitely worth a read. I have some doubts about it becoming the next great science fiction film for youngsters, in part because there is quite a lot of voices in people’s heads, which might work better on page than on screen.
What it’s About: A coming of age story for Penelope, who deals with drama about the new guy she has a crush on and the male friend she has confused feelings about, as well as her best friend Audrey becoming closer to the girl who seems determined to make Penelope feel terrible about herself.
What I Thought: At first this starts out seeming like it might be a fairly light and fluffy read, though there are hints of some of the darker stuff coming up. Plus there’s the fact the book has heartbreak in the title. Ultimately this is a solid tale of that moment when you realize that the real world may not be quite as wonderful as the fairy tales you love.
What it’s About: An alternate history, with emphasis on the alternate. In reality, Jane Grey was queen for nine days before being deposed in favour of Mary I. That’s Mary from The Tudors, not Reign. Things turn out quite differently in this world, where some humans have the ability to turn into animals. And of course there is tremendous prejeduice between people who have this ability and those who don’t.
What I Thought: This is a fun, utterly absurd story that absolutely mangles the history of England. There are three point of view in this story, perhaps each told by one of the novel’s three authors, though it’s my first time reading any of them, so I can’t guess at which of them wrote what. Comparisons to The Princess Bride and Monty Python should give you a good idea of what you’re in for with this book.
What it’s About: Max is surprised to receive an invitation from the Chaos Club, the notorious pranksters of his high school. When he shows up, he and a handful of other students are caught by campus security, set up to take the fall for the club’s latest prank. Max and the others declare war on the Chaos Club.
What I Thought: The heist movie meets the high school dramedy, this is mostly a very fun read. There are two potential problems, however. First, fair warning that one of the pranks pulled in the book is rather disgusting, though it fits the character behind the prank. Also, while the story comes to an end, a lot of things are left open, and while the author says he hopes to do a sequel, nothing is official at this moment.