Book Shop Blog
Reviews are every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, from staff, local writers, and from our fantastic Teen Picks reviewers. Our Teen Pickers are doing their best to stay on top of the Advanced Reading Copies we get, so we can give you reviews the second the book comes out!
They're doing a super job staying on top of the freshest new books out there.
A retelling of the fairy tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses".
It is the time of Camelot, and a man named Sir Ethan falls in love with an enchanting women named Vivienne. Together they have 12 daughters. However, Vivienne disappears, and Ethan deals with the loss of his wife harshly. Fearing his daughters might leave him like his wife did, he builds walls around their palace and locks their doors at night. Yet still the girls are escaping, with the youngest, Rowena, as their leader. What can he do to ensure their safety?
Ethan devises a plan. Men of all ages can come to his palace and if they discover where his daughters are going at night, he will grant them the daughter of his choice’s hand in marriage.
One day, when Rowena is out, she meets a man and tells him how they are escaping. He falls in love with her, and has the chance to try and solve Sir Ethan’s challenge. But will Rowena still love him if he betrays her trust?
An enchanting tale with magic, mystery, and love, The Night Dance kept me under its spell until the very end.
Gert Garibaldi’s fabulous mother buys her a diary – pink with unicorns, of course – and expects her to write in it. Gert plans on throwing it away and never looking at it again, but instead, she soon will find herself writing down her feelings – about high school most specifically. Gert is finding out it’s not all that and a piece of pie.
Her best friend, Adam, is ditching her for someone else. She has a huge crush on the popular, gorgeous, wonderful Lucas, but who is she kidding? He barely looks at her. Not to mention the small problem with Stephen, a fellow nerd, who asks her out to the dance. And he’s certainly no Lucas. She has to wade through Driver’s Ed, learn to pluck her eyebrows like a pro, and just plain out try to survive. How long will she last in the holding pin that comes before hell? Also known as – high school.
I recommend this book, all about growing up and finding yourself - however hard it may be - to an older audience.
Written in the same vein as it's predecessor, Nobody's Prize is a sweet and thrilling sequel to Nobody's Princess.
It continues the journey of Helen of Sparta, this time she and her friend Milo have snuck aboard the ship carrying the epic hero Jason from Greek myth, carrying him and fifty other heroes to their dangerous and beguiling destination, The Golden Fleece.
As usual, Esther Freisner delights with her unique and creative spin offs of the well-worn tales of Greek Mythology, I'll think you'll find her version of events very entertaining, I know I did.
If anything, Nobody's Prize is even better then the first, it's plot moves faster, and little Helen has definitely done some growing up. But, her escapades are still very light-hearted and easy to love. After reading these books, Esther's Helen is not only a fantastic main character, but also someone I would love to have as a friend.
While this book got off to a slow start, I was genuinely impressed with it. My mom actually convinced me to buy Nobody's Princess. I myself, entrenched in romance and vampires, would have never noticed this unassuming lookng novel.
One night I was bored, so I just picked it up. I read the entire thing that very night. I'd forgotten how addicting a simple, sincere, honest adventure story can be. Helen of Sparta is a very interesting character in Greek mythology, and she was even more interesting in Nobody's Princess. Her thirst for adventure and fierce independence was both refreshing and invigorating.
And while it wasn't the best book I've read recently, it's perfect for a rainy day, a comfy chair, and a mischievous mood. And honestly, How can it get any better then that?
Pretty New Release!
How would you feel if you found your parents dead in the middle of the forest? Be forced to go to a different school all the way across the country and leave your friends?
Well that's exactly what Renee Winters was forced to do. Little does she know that theirs a much greater reason for having to go all the way across the country to go to Gottfried Academy.
When she gets to the school she soon realizes that there are many more secrets being kept from her. Then she meets Dante, the hottest guy at shcool, but he's keeping a major secret from her. Only to protect her from the truth. As the school year goes on she finds more and more strange things that happen at that school. Like the year before there was a murder and then one kid went missing and never came back.
If you like books like the Twilight series or the Harry Potter series this is definitely a book for you.
Pretty New Release! 5/5 stars!
Mina Wentworth is a Bugger, a person infected with nanoagents that allowed the Mongol Horde to control and take over England.
Rhys Trahearn is the Iron Duke, the former pirate who destroyed the radio-control tower that ended Horde control.
When a dead body drops onto the Iron Duke's estate, Mina, a police detective, comes to investigate.
There is instant attraction.
But Mina is also half-Horde, a result of a mind-control rape of her mother, and her life is difficult enough already, without becoming even more famous as the Iron Duke's whore.
And the body on the Iron Duke's doorstep is a casualty in a plot that might destroy thousands of lives.
This book rocks! You are thrown, floundering, into an alternate world where the Mongols used nanoagents and mechanical clockwork and prosthetics of metal flesh to take over countries, strip them of their natural resources, and then use the population for their amusement.
Sometimes the result of the nanoagents in a person's body is to become a zombie. So great swaths of land in Africa and Europe are infested with zombies and only nagigable by dirigible. Add some great bio-engineered monsters such as kraken and giant sharks to the oceans, and you've got a world where it is difficult to stay alive.
Not only is the world awesome, the plot fun to slowly uncover, but the characters are great. From Mina, who survived the Horde only to face daily prejudice by her own people, to the perpetually drunk Scarsdale with his devastatingly polite and cutting observations, to the emotionally scarred and bioengineered dirigible captain Lady Corsair, to the Iron-willed and boned Duke, you'll fall in love.
The romance between Rhys and Mina is about power. Both of them have been enslaved, and both of them have different ways to deal with feeling powerless, and blocks to overcome when allowing themselves to be vulnerable. The physical scenes between them reflect this power struggle in a way that makes the scenes integral to the development of their character and not just gratuitous sex.
Rhys is very dominant. And while Mina calls him on his domineering ways in the investigation, she doesn't do so in terms of how he treats her within their relationship.
I am in love with this world and its characters and will be definitely looking out for more.
This Book's Food Designation Rating: A luscious cheese fondue where you dip in bread, sausage, and apples and come back with a delicious combination of flavors for the mix of awesome character and a fascinating world.
Emily Meckler leads the perfect life. Or so it seems; she has three wonderful best friends, two loving parents, and a wonderful life at her Connecticut boarding school where her father is the headmaster. But Emily’s world is about to change as things she never knew before start appearing and her horrendous nightmares appear again – their subject being fire and water, and no one knows why.
When Del Sugar (a mysterious boy with a shady past) comes to the school, Emily is immediately swept off her feet. But this, like so many other things lately, is not approved of and becomes a secret. As Emily’s relationship with Del goes from harmless to devastating, Emily must fight to unravel the lies she has been told all of her life, which will eventually lead her to discover that everything she once thought about her is not what it seems.
I loved reading Where the Truth Lies. It kept me so interested I couldn’t wait for some spare time to get in some reading. Now it has left me waiting for a sequel and flattering its wonderful storyline.
Okay look, this is like a classic series for me. When I was younger, I read these books again and again with my older brother. They may be dry as dust at times, and just sort of odd at others, but its definitely something I think you should at least try.
The vocab is incredible, it really helped me alot, his weapons, his dialogue and just his descriptive language in general totally changed what I knew about words.
While it may not be the most interesting book you've ever read, I think you will be satisfied if you can trudge through everything. The characters are always excellently made, especially the villain. Brian Jacques is one of the only authors I know who spends almost as much time building and characterizing his villian as he does his hero. Byt he end of the book you're usually torn between thirsting for his blood because of the horrible things he (or she) has done, or rooting for them to win and overcome their nasty pasts.
I gave this one two stars because this is my least favorite in the twenty book series, but the others are much better. Scoff if you want to, but I myself will always consider Redwall a must read for anyone who likes adventure novels.
Ray Lilly is picked up from his blue collar job by Catherine, an investigator for the Twenty Palaces Society, a ruthless group of humans who will stop at nothing to keep other people from using magic.
Ray is a Wooden Man, a magically protected servant of a sorceror who, after the first book, Child of Fire, was sure he was going to end up in jail due to the crimes he had to commit in the name of "protection."
But the Twenty Palaces society is not done with him yet. Catherine takes him to the small town of Washaway, where Ray will have to decide how far he is willing to go, and who he is willing to kill, in order to both stay "in the know" about magic in our world, as well as protect others from a horrible, alien predator.
I'm not an action-oriented reader. I like relationships, and plots revealing themselves slowly.
However, the breathless pace with which Ray finds himself drawn into the action (you keep thinking things will get better, or that a sorceror will arrive and clean everything up, but it never quite reaches that point) and held spellbound as Ray makes decision after decision about death and pain and what he's willing to bear.
Excellent read. The only dissatisfaction I have is that I wanted more development between Ray and Catherine (and that is brought to a screeching halt partway through the book due to something I can't say without spoilerage) or Ray and Annalise (she comes in way too late for very much there) to set the backdrop for his moral quandaries.
This Book's Food Designation Rating: Chips and salsa, for the way that you start eating them, and then look up a moment later and realize you've eaten the whole bag and your mouth is smarting from the spicy salsa.
This was Collins' middle grade series before Hunger Games, and I enjoyed it.
Not as adult as Hunger Games; totally suitable for a kid who likes Percy Jackson and Fablehaven. Also, it's a standalone that points at further adventures, which was awesome.
The big similarity with Hunger Games, that I think Collins has mentioned, is that it has themes along the lines of 'the costs of war', and has a protagonist who doesn't want to be put at the forefront of a war.
Gregor falls down a laundry chute from NYC into the underworld, and finds he's featured in a prophecy as The Warrior, which is not at all something he wants to do. Except he has to, because the (enormous) rats have his dad. The allusions to Alice in Wonderland are good fun (except for the biggie of falling into your adventure, many of the allusions are pretty subtle), and I also loved that Gregor had to tote his 2 year-old kid sister around the whole time. Gregor takes that responsibility very seriously, and their interactions are believable and likable.