Thursday, February 19, 2009

Need and Palace of Mirrors

An absolute must for Twilight fans is Carrie Jones' Need. The cover is very cool; I had to hide it while I made dinner because 9th grader kept trying to take it! I was reluctant to read it because it is about evil pixies and weres (as in werewolves), but it was utterly clever and enthralling.

Zara is devastated by the death of her stepfather, especially since she feels she should have saved him. Traveling to Maine to be with her grandmother, she starts to believe she is being stalked. And she is, by the king of the pixies who must either claim her with a kiss or start killing young boys as "tributes". The story starts out realistically, and Zara must fit into a new school, come to terms with her grief, and settle in with her grandmother, but then she gets involved in this great battle with the pixies, who can be defeated by weres. I won't tell you who they are, but I thought Zara's were was much more appealing than Bella's Jacob. And we only have to hear how hot he is one time! A must buy! I really want to get my hands on Love and Other Uses for Duct Tape!
Can't for the life of me remember anything about Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix even though it's a core novel in 7th grade, but Palace of Mirrors stands on its own, and Ella Brown has a small roll. Cecilia has been raised to believe that she is the true princess, her parents having been killed by evil forces. A pretender, Desmia, is on the throne to keep Cecilia safe. When soldiers hunt Cecilia down, she and her friend Hunter take off for the palace to seek safety. Instead, they are thrown in a tower room and find out that there are 13 girls, all of whom believe they are the true princess! This was a nice medieval princess romp which is also a must have if you have fans of Just Ella. (The two copies I have of this are nearly worn out!)

What life is like when your mother is a librarian-- my poor children spent most of the evening reading the first chapters of books to see if they concurred with my opinions of the following books, because I feared I was just being difficult:

Yee, Lisa. Absolutely Maybe. "When living with her mother, an alcoholic ex-beauty queen, becomes unbearable, almost seventeen-year-old Maybelline "Maybe" Chestnut runs away to California, where she finds work on a taco truck and tries to track down her birth father. " Too quirky, although I generally enjoy this author.

Wollman. Tell Me Who. "Two sixth-grade girls obsessed with fortune telling discover a machine that tells them who they--and anyone else--will marry." Didn't grab me, and 5th grader in particular took a dislike to this one.

Goodman. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn. "Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl." Handed this great cover to an 8th grader who has read every dragon book I have, and he handed it back with utter disgust. Now I know why. Don't start a book with a dragon on the cover with multiple mentions of menstrual cramps. Please.

Bloor. Taken. "In 2036 kidnapping rich children has become an industry, but when thirteen-year-old Charity Meyers is taken and held for ransom, she soon discovers that this particular kidnapping is not what it seems. " I find it hard to like Bloor's writing style, and 7th grader gave up halfway through, which is really rare.

Blackwood. Second Sight. "In Washington, D.C., during the last days of the Civil War, a teenage boy who performs in a mind reading act befriends a clairvoyant girl whose frightening visions foreshadow an assassination plot." Loved Year of the Hangman and wanted to like this, but it was too mystical for a historical novel. I'll try it on some children today, but don't think it's what I need. Generally like Blackwood, too.


  1. how handy to have those kiddos to help! Maybe I'll see what my cats think of a few I bring home :)

  2. I have Need check out of the library right now - I'm glad you hear you enjoyed it!

  3. I also liked NEED. You right, it's great for the Twilight fans.

  4. Need looks good. Love the glittery gold lipstick! And boo hoo about Tell Me Who, it looks cute. Absolutely Maybe is on my shelf so I should be starting/reviewing it soon.....