Bistro Book Club

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thousands of Reviews

I've been posting teen reviews to the web for a number of years at http://www.genrefluent.com/teentalk.htm and my own reviews since 1995 at Genrefluent.com. If you really want to know what teens are talking about in relation to teen books you may want to check some of those older listings. Be sure to click on the Teen Comments Index at left of the Teen Page. Please let me know if these reviews are valuable to you. Over the years some of my teen readers have been hired by publishers and some have had their reviews published in The Ultimate Teen Book Guide edited by Daniel Hahn & Leonie Flynn and published by Walker & Company.

I've switched to this blog since I couldn't figure out RSS for my legacy web site (est. 1995).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Love on Cue by Catherine Hapka

Reader Heather
Age 17
Author Catherine Hapka
Title Love on Cue
Publisher Simon Pulse
Publication date 2009
My review: Normally this isn't really my type of book, but it was pretty good. I'll admit that it was a bit cliche', but the humor totally made up for it. It got my laughing in class a couple times, which was really embarrassing when people started to look over at me. I think that Maggie's "most embarrassing moment" was the funniest for me (though it did get me blushing). I would recommend this to the ladies that want to read a good romance book and get good laughs. Maggie did annoy me a lot at some points, but her humor made up for it. Well done to the author, and I say keep up the good work
Would you nominate this book for an award no
How much do you read? I read all the time
Quality 4Q Better than most
Popularity 3P Some Teen appeal
I picked this book because: A librarian recommended it

The Stolen One by Suzanne Growley

Reader Kissondra
Age 15
Today's date 29/4/09
Author Suzanne Growley
Title The Stolen One
Publisher Greenwillow Books
Publication date June 2009
My review : The Stolen One is a great book for anyone who loves Elizabethan age or is open to read a book of the age. The author drags you in the book from the very beginning and you can only stop reading when you are mad at Katherine, and then, you only stop for a few moments. This story will drag anyone to an adventure of the Elizabethan court and show you two sides of Elizabeth. THIS BOOK ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Would you nominate this book for an award yes
How much do you read? I read all the time
Quality 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity 5P Everyone wants to read it
I would also like to say Do you have any more Elizabethan times book?
I picked this book because (check as many as you like) I liked the cover The cover was interesting Just grabbed it

Fade by Lisa McMann

Reader: Andrea F.
Age: 16
Library: Bistro Book Club
Title: Fade
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date 2009
Galley? Yes
Would you like to nominate this book for Teens’ Top Ten? No
If yes, what makes this book special enough to be nominated for Teens’ Top Ten?
What did you like or not like about the cover? Did the cover reflect the contents? The cover didn't make any sense to me personally.
Describe the most compelling aspect of the book. The physical repercussions of dreamcatching.
Were you disappointed with the book for any reason? If so, what was disappointing?
Did you finish the book Yes
How would you rate this book? 4 Better than most
Please write a short annotation for this book if you think it should be on the Teens Top Ten List. Ask Di or Mrs. Castro if you need assistance.
Additional Comments (Please type or paste your review here) The sequel to many people's favorite Wake, Fade continues the story of Janie and her struggles with her gift/curse of dreamcatching, where she is often involuntarily sucked into other people's dreams. Of course whenever one has a gift of supernatural abilities, one must use them to fight crime! This time Janie is trying to find out which of her school's teachers is a suspected sexual predator. She's also having to struggle with having a healthy relationship with her new boyfriend Cabel while keeping it secret. Personally I enjoyed it better than Wake, and I'm hoping Lisa McMann keeps up the tradition of writing better and better novels.
Date 2009-06-10 13:23:19

Brutal by Michael Harmon (2 reviews)

Reader: Brady
Age: 13
Library: Bistro Book Club
Title: Brutal
Author: Michael Harmon
Publisher: alfred knopf books
Pub. Date 2009

Would you like to nominate this book for Teens’ Top Ten? Yes
If yes, what makes this book special enough to be nominated for Teens’ Top Ten? It was very good
What did you like or not like about the cover? Did the cover reflect the contents? i liked the cover but didn't really get it
Describe the most compelling aspect of the book. the main character
Were you disappointed with the book for any reason? If so, what was disappointing? not really
Did you finish the book Yes
How would you rate this book? 4 Better than most
Please write a short annotation for this book if you think it should be on the Teens Top Ten List. Poe Holly goes to live with her father whom shes never met and gets involved in some brutal bullying at the new school.
Additional Comments (Please type or paste your review here) Brutal is about rebellious teen Poe Holly whose mom temporarily abandons her forcing her to move in with her father whom she's never met. Once she starts attending her new school she begins to try and prevent her next door neighbor from being the victim of some nearly fatal beatings from the school's big jock Colby Morris. Brutal is easily one of the best fiction books i have read all year. It had its funny parts and shocking parts. i found it very exciting and hilarious and i highly recommend it.
Date 2009-06-07 18:03:50
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Reader: B***n
Age: 17
Today's date: 7/6/2009
Author: Michael Harmon
Title: Brutal
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date: March 2009
My review: It was very gripping and it had a sense of connection that you could relate to it personally.
Would you nominate this book for an award: yes
How much do you read?: I read a couple books a week
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
I would also like to say: Michael Harman is a great author.
I picked this book because (check as many as you like): Other I like the author
I got the book from: DYC

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (6 reviews)

Shaun, 13
Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth

This book had me on the verge of tears. Had me turning pages from the start. This is definetly a top pick by me for all readers. I liked it because no matter what she always kept going. The story is about a girl who lives inside a fence to keep pit some nasties but when the fence is breached she forced from her village.

Rating: 5 Q. Hard to imagine a better book.
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Nathan,    15 
Carrie Ryan 
The Forest of Hands and Teeth   

               The Forest of Hands and Teeth  is a great book. its meant for the type of readers who like zombies. its a good book and if you like romance it is also a good book, so girls will like it for romance and guys will like it for blood thirsty zombies 

Rating: 4 Q. Better than most.
--------------------------
Kenny,    17  

The Forest of Hands and Teeth  
Carrie Ryan 

                makes your blood run cold novel 

Rating: 5 Q. Hard to imagine a better book.
 ------------------------
Tyler,    16
Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth           

      This book was a great story of hope courage love and sacrifice. A very great book

Rating: 5 Q. Hard to imagine a better book.
 ----------------------
Reader: Brady
Age: 13
Library: Bistro Book Club
Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: delacorte press
Pub. Date 2009

Would you like to nominate this book for Teens’ Top Ten? No
If yes, what makes this book special enough to be nominated for Teens’ Top Ten?
What did you like or not like about the cover? Did the cover reflect the contents? The cover was stupid but it was depressing and reflected the contents of the book
Describe the most compelling aspect of the book. That it was about zombies
Were you disappointed with the book for any reason? If so, what was disappointing? There were very few happy moments in it
Did you finish the book? Yes
How would you rate this book? 3 Readable
Please write a short annotation for this book if you think it should be on the Teens Top Ten List. 16 year old Mary lives in a village surronded by evil undead and tries to escape
Additional Comments: The book is about Mary who lives in a village. The village is surounded by a fence, outside the fence is the forest of hands and teeth. In the forest of hands and teeth live these zombie like beings called the Unconsecrated. Basically the book takes of from there and i cant say much more without giving it away. The book was okay but i found it depressing because i think there is one happy moment in the book. Besides that the main character was a brat. Whenever she got what she wanted she found it wasn't enough and it was just annoying. So to sumerise the book was okay but depressing and the main character was annoying.
--------------------
James,    15
Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth       

        This is a girl book in my opinion and I did not like it

Rating: 2 Q. Needs more work.

Alyzon Whitestarr by Isobelle Carmody

Vickie B., Middle school student
Today's date 6/10/09
Author Isobelle Carmody
Title Alyzon Whitestarr
2009
My review: Alyzon Whitestarr is a table turning adventure with a surprise on every page! this book is all about the problems of friendship, romance, dark secrets and Alyzon's problems with her new extended senses that turn from useful to take me out of this nightmare!
Would you nominate this book for an award yes
How much do you read? I read all the time
Quality 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity 4P Broad general teen appeal
I picked this book because (check as many as you like) Just grabbed it Other the name sounded interesting
I got the book from The Bistro

One the former Bistro Book Club members who is now in college posted her review to the Genrefluent Graduates Page.

The Guardian by Joyce Sweeney (3 reviews)


Brandon, 16 10/29/2009 7:05:38 PM
joyce sweeny
the guardian
2009
Describe the most compelling aspect of the book:
the reality of the book
Should this be nominated for Teens' Top Ten? Yes this is a very good compelling book with an unexpected twist
Rating? 4 Better than most
this is a very good book i give it two thumbs up
CHS
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K. W. 16 11/4/2009 8:02:25 AM
Joyce Sweeney
The Guardian
Henry Holt and Company
2009
Describe the most compelling aspect of the book: The most compellling aspect is that this kid is so nice despite what he has been through
Should this be nominated for Teens' Top Ten? Why? Yes Can't put it down!
Rating? 4 Better than most
Bistro-CHS
------------
Reader: Andrea F.
Age: 16
Library: Bistro Book Club
Title: The Guardian
Author: Joyce Sweeney
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Pub. Date 2009
Galley? Yes
Would you like to nominate this book for Teens’ Top Ten? No
If yes, what makes this book special enough to be nominated for Teens’ Top Ten?
What did you like or not like about the cover? Did the cover reflect the contents? The cover reflected the contents. The kid's hair totally looks like a bad wig though.
Describe the most compelling aspect of the book. The possibility of there being an angel who really listens and acts upon your prayers.
Were you disappointed with the book for any reason? If so, what was disappointing? I was looking for a supernatural book, and thought this might be one. It wasn't.
Did you finish the book Yes
How would you rate this book? 3 Readable
Please write a short annotation for this book if you think it should be on the Teens Top Ten List.
Additional Comments (Please type or paste your review here) Pretty much the only reason I picked this up is because I'm looking for more fiction where angels are characters. As a book by itself it was mediocre. It disappointed me greatly and I might have liked it if it had had a better author.

Meridian by Amber Kizer

Reader: Andrea F.
Age: 16
Library: Bistro Book Club
Title: Meridian
Author: Amber Kizer
Publisher: Random House
Pub. Date 2009
Galley? Yes
Would you like to nominate this book for Teens’ Top Ten? Yes
If yes, what makes this book special enough to be nominated for Teens’ Top Ten? The premise was very original, and the writing was decent. Both are hard things to come by in fiction.
What did you like or not like about the cover? Did the cover reflect the contents? I really liked the cover, but I thought it expressed a much darker book than Meridian actually is.
Describe the most compelling aspect of the book. Mostly the build up to the sequel. I like the idea of her hitting the road, looking for more Fenestra.
Were you disappointed with the book for any reason? If so, what was disappointing? I was disappointed with how everything was easy for Meridian in the end. It should've been more of a struggle to find shelter, to defeat the villain.
Did you finish the book Yes
How would you rate this book? 4 Better than most
Please write a short annotation for this book if you think it should be on the Teens Top Ten List. Ask Di or Mrs. Castro if you need assistance.
Additional Comments (Please type or paste your review here) All of Meridian's life, things have died around her. The morning after she was brought home from the hospital her parents cleaned the bassinet of dead ants. As she got older, hamsters, cats, all died in her hands. She feels constantly ill, with headaches and pain throughout her body. But on her 16 birthday her parents hurry her out of the house to see her 106 year old aunt and learn about the secret of her birth. Meridian is a Fenestra, a descendant of angels who helps people pass to the afterlife. But of course where there is light there is darkness. Meridian must battle against Aternocti, dark forces who have an entire town under their thumb and will have more if Meridian doesn't stop them. I would give this book a 4 and a half out of 5. The writing was very good, the plot was engaging and the characters were relatable. A nice mixture of cliches and originality.
___________________________
Reader: torri, 17, 10/6/2009
Meridian
kizer, amber
2009
Nominate? Yes
I would like to just say that it has a lot of death and love
5 Hard to imagine a better book good book
GJHS