Sunday, June 21, 2009

A little of everything.

Choyce, Lesley. Skate Freak. Quinn's life is hard enough-- his mother is off learning a trade because his father has lost his job, school is unpleasant, and now that he and his father have moved away from their hometown, he doesn't even like where he has to skate. He does make a friend, and tries to better his circumstances, and things improve marginally. This is from Orca, which specializes in high interest, low level fiction. This is the kind of book I was looking for when I said I wanted books about skateboarders. I just wish it were longer.

There is probably another Niki Burnham book in this series, after Royally Jacked and Spin Control. Valerie's father works for the president of the US, in charge of protocol-- that is, until Valerie's mother comes out as gay and moves in with her girlfriend. Since the president is very conservative, the father takes a job with the king of Swerinborg, and he and Valerie move into the palace. Valerie goes to an American school, where the girls are somewhat snotty to her, especially since she has captured the attention of Prince Georg, who is her age. These are fun, princess fantasies-- who doesn't want to live in a castle and have a handsome prince attracted to her? Light, romantic romps like all of the Simon Pulse comedies.

Ann Dee Ellis' Everything is Fine is depressing. Mazzy's mother won't get out of bed even to wash herself, for reasons that are slowly revealed through the story. Mazzy's father is too busy with his sportscasting career to stay and take care of the two. Neighbors and social workers try to help, but Mazzy is very dysfunctional as well. At first I was intrigued, and even the sort-of-poetry-but-not-really format didn't bother me too much (much of the book is done in dialogue, giving the lines a poetry look, but there are no other poetic elements), but Mazzy just got annoying. I think I will pass on this one.

Catherine Jink's The Reformed Vampire Support Group is one that will not be immediately appealing the fans of Twilight, but was interesting all the same. Horrible, horrible cover however. Nina has been a vampire since 1973, and as a result can't go out during the day, feels nauseated all the time, and has to feed on guinea pigs. She has a support group, headed by a priest, that helps her survive. When one of the members is killed, the group rallies and goes on a rather misguided adventure to find the killer. They end up in the country (the book is set in Australia) where they find a man who has werewolf fights. They try to free the werewolf, and so get chased by this unsavory character. This is a complicated plot, but it all works together. If they can get past the fact that Nina's a girl, fans of Cirque du Freak might like this one. All of the other active members of the support group are male. Like many of the new vampire books, there are some interesting twists on all things vampire.

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