Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Title: Meridian
Author: Amber Kizer
Reading Level: Young Adult
Location: YA Kizer

Death has always been a normal part of Meridian's life. As a child hiding under the blankets, bugs and other small creatures would crawl under the covers and die beside her. Plagued by constant stomach pains and headaches, she became accustomed to them, just as she did the chore of cleaning up carcasses before making her bed every morning. On her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes into a group of her classmates and her body, though untouched, is wracked with pain. She doesn't know what's wrong with her, just that no one will explain or can explain.

She is sent to her aunt's house in a town called Revelation, aptly named for what she discovers there about herself and about the people that choose to live there. She begins to lead a life she never could have imagined, a dangerous destiny, but one that she learns she is more than ready for, especially with a new friend by her side, and the special helpers she finds cloaked as normal people along the way.

Bottomline: This is a fast-paced read and thoroughly well-written. Love, danger, independence, all of these topics are covered and covered well: "I tasted tomorrow on his lips." This is a great book for those teens that like to read about the perceived outcasts overcoming obstacles with a touch of goth and impossibility thrown in. I liked it and am hoping for a sequel!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Title: Skinned
Author: Robin Wasserman
Reading Level: Young Adult
Location: YA Wasserman

Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular — until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life.
Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime — for which they must pay the ultimate price.
This is a book about learning what's important on the inside, not on the outside. Lia has a reality-check when she becomes the epitome of what she and her friends despised- a "skinner" - a mechanical copy of her previous life. Her family, friends, and even her boyfriend have a hard time excepting Lia's new form and Lia herself is having a hard time moving on from being rejected from her previous life. She has to decide what she wants and how she feels - and if she even can feel.

Bottomline: I enjoyed this book. If you like the dystopian stories (Hunger Games, City of Ember, Uglies) then this the book for you. This is a start of the Gripping Trilogy and it should be exciting - I'm intrigued!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Reading Level: Young Adult
Location: YA Stiefvater

Sam has the unique ability to turn into a wolf during the winter and a human boy during the summer. He lives with others like him in a house as human and in the woods as a wolf. During the winter, Sam longingly watches a girl he saved from his pack years earlier. Grace is obsessed with the wolves that live behind her house. Even though they attacked her as a child, she will never forget the beautiful wolf with yellow eyes that allowed her to live. When the wolves are hunted by a group of men from her town, Grace encounters a wounded, suddenly human, Sam at her doorstep. Their mutual attraction is immediate and intense. Sam knows that if he turns back into a wolf, he will most likely never become human again. As Grace attempts to find a cure for him, Sam begins unearthing some dark secrets about his pack and their yearly activities. Can Sam come to terms with his upbringing and his adopted family? Will Grace and Sam beat the odds and find a way to be together?

Although the plotline of shiver is relatively familiar, the author’s writing made it special. She really immerses the reader in the story. I felt like I could actually smell the woods in the winter as the cold seeped into my bones. Normally, I would say that the relationship between the two characters was shallow, but she does a wonderful job of developing their relationship slowly along with the story. This book is by no means perfect, and in some instances, the parallels to Twilight are far too obvious. The enthusiastic gushing over Sam’s eyes really started to wear on me by the end. However, the storyline was well executed and the ending satisfying, making it an enjoyable read.

The Bottom Line: If you love Twilight, give this one a shot. I think it’s perfect for fans of that novel, particularly ones who enjoyed the romance factor. If you are tired of the basic Twilight-esque plot, pass this one up. There are more creative stories to enjoy in this genre.