Bistro Book Club

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Just added another glowing review from a teen for The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. It is appended to the original review in the interest of keeping reviews together.

Starlighter by Bryan Davis

Tyler,    18   
Starlighter   
Bryan Davis        2010
    Koren can defeat the dragons but the cost may be too high.    This book is about dual medieval realities. In the first reality a feudal system is in place and the planet of the dragons is nothing but a myth. In the second, dragons have enslaved humans and freedom is a daydream.    The characters are some of the best I have ever seen.   
Rating: 4 Better than most

Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale

Ursula,   18   
Calamity Jack   
Shannon and Dean Hale   
Bloomsbury Children's Books    2010
    Set during the 1800's in a steam-punk/fantasy setting, it retells the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, adding a few interesting twists, including Rapunzel with her lasso-braids, a pixie sidekick, and their attempt to foil the empire of the notorious giant Blunderboar.    It was interesting.      
Rating: 4 Better than most

Dark Life by Kat Falls

Chavilah, 12   
Dark Life   
Kat Falls       
2010
    This book is about a boy named Ty who meets a girl named Gemma in a bloody sub. They go on adventure looking for her brother.    I love this book.    Its got a great story line. I could not stop reading it.   
Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

Crave by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

Danielle,    14
Crave
Melinda Metz
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers    2010
    Shay is a sixteen year old girl with a rare blood disorder. Her mom marries a docter who gives her new blood transfusions. After two weeks they help like nothing else. During each blood transfusion she gets a vision of a boy named Gabriel. Later she meets him and finds out he is a vampire. ***spoilers deleted***
It has a lot of romance and action. It is thrilling and will keep you guessing until the end.   
Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

Immortal Beloved by CateTiernan

Kayla,   14  
Immortal Beloved 
Cate Tiernan  
Little Brown And Company    2010  
Nastasya is a girl thats lived over 400 years. She hides her feeling and is always going out to parties with friends. Then on a way to a party her friends criples a cab driver and she freaks out, thinking that her friend is different then she thought. She leaves and goes to a place called Rivers Edge to get away from her so called friend. But she finds out things about herself and things about her housemates that could help her or destroy her.        It can relate to a lot of people with hardships in life and coming over them.    Rating: 4 Better than most

Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson

Allana,    13   
Forbidden Sea  
Sheila A. Nielson   
Scholastic Press    2010
        Forbidden Sea was a good book, just not for me. It was a fantasy/romance novel portraying the feelings of a young girl struggling with a "fantasy" phantom mermaid and her family problems. Her father has died, taking her family down from high class to one of the poorest families on the island. The main character, Adrianne, starts to notice her appearance and the boys on the island taunt her about it she has had enough. To add to her problems Adrianne saw a legandary mermaid on a stormy night out at sea. She doesn't know if she is crazy or if the mermaid is real, after that encounter she hears the mermaid calling out to her from sea and everyone on the island thinks she is a demon for encountering the mermaid. This book was a good book but not for me because I like the more adventurous books while this one talked about the feelings of a young girl and her romance in the sea. This book would be great for any fantasy reader who also likes romance, and I think I would recommend this to a girl because it was a girl's point of view and just felt like a girl book. I would rate this book a 7.5 on a scale of 10 because of its abrupt ending and lack of twists. Other than a few minor details this book was a good read.       
Rating: 4 Better than most

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

Ursula,    18   
Ghostopolis   
Doug TenNapel   
Graphix: A Branch off of Scholastic    2010
    Garth is an ordinary kid, who lives with his mom, but has a bleak outlook on life due to an illness he has.  Frank Gallows is a laid-back detective for a secret government paranormal police who send back any ghosts that happened to wander into the world of the living.  In a strange incident, Frank ends up accidently sending Garth to the afterlife.  However, Garth quickly meets his grandfather, and together they travel to Ghostopolis, a place full of crime and hopelessess under the control of one man, named Vaugner who will do anything to gain control of Garth's newfound powers.    This book was funny, heartwarming,full of action, and really awesome!       
Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Trisha,    17   
The Red Umbrella   
Christina Diaz Gonzalez   
Knoff    2010
        I enjoy historical fiction, and this book was not a disappointment in the slightest.  The characters are tangible and Ms. Gonzalez has done a brilliant job of allowing you to relate with them despite the culture gap.  ‘The Red Umbrella brings you to a fuller understanding of the tactics and lies of the communist revolution, the plight of the people living in Castro’s Cuba, and what it is like to have to find roots in a new and unfamiliar country.  Superficial concerns of the teenage years are allowed to come through without obscuring the more serious themes being addressed.  This book is definitely a beautiful piece of literature.       
Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

The Candidates by Inara Scott

Mary,    12   
The Candidates  
Inara Scott   
Hyperion    2010 
      The best I have read that wasn't about vampires!   
Rating:   5 Hard to imagine a better book

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann (5 reviews)

Samanta,     15
Cryer's Cross 
Lisa McMann
Simon & Schuster     2010
   Kendall, a OCD infected 16 yr old has a regular life in the small town of Cryer's Cross. She lives her life comfortably until a sudden disappearance of a freshman leaves this small town shocked. But as time passes, everyone continues with their lives. Then a second student goes missing, and this time it's some one Kendall actually cares about. Kendall's OCD infested brain is rattled with shock and anxiety as she tries to find out what just happened to her loved one. and as she does, she digs deeper into the towns history, until finding out the most bizarre secret of them all.     A very good book, suspenseful, terrifying, and romantic all at once. The wonderful build to the climax drags the reader to continue untill the end: and the book ends with a satisfying ending.
Rating:  5 Hard to imagine a better book
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James,    15 
Lisa McMann 
Cryer's Cross 
   
           This is a good book it has a good story line and it is a compelling mystery that makes you keep reading  

Rating: 4 Q. Better than most.


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Morgan,    14
Cryer's Cross 
Lisa McMann   
2011
Its a GREAT thriller! Intense and keeps getting me in trouble for sneeking off and reading during my chores. My Favorite book so far in Bistro!!!  Quite intense and very well written from 3rd person piont of view
Rating" 5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Dakota,    15
Lisa McMann
Cryers Cross 
Simon & Schuster    2011   
    This book was really intense. The start of the book was kinda boring but towards the end it got alot better so I would definately recommend this book for patient readers

Rating 4. Better than most.
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Tyler ,   16  
 Lisa McMann  
Cryer's Cross         

        This book was an ok book. I didnt really enjoy the 3rd person overview. The plot had a good story.The setting was good for the story. Overall it was a good book.    Rating: 3 Q. Readable.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Linsey,    14   
Halo   
Alexandra Adornetto  
2010 
          Yes this book is good enough to be nominated to be in the teens top ten because the characters were believable and all of them were strong characters. Also that it was a good love story.   
Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book
Also, I would like to have this book because it was good and can't wait for her next two other books to come out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Girl Parts by John M. Cusick

Samanta,    15   
Girl Parts   
John M. Cusick   
Candlewick Press    2010   

David and Charlie are complete opposites, one popular, the other ignored. one rich and the other not rich. David was amazing with girls while charlie was completely awkward with them. but whern rose comes along to help David with his "dissociative" behavior, both Charlie's and David's lives intertwine and change forever     this story was a book that made the reader think and analyze to find deeper meaning in the story, and at the same time was very fun to read. the fact that it was a type of romance story made it sort of relatable to teens.   
The story had a very deep meaning and was very touching.
 
Rating: 4 Better than most

Torment by Lauren Kate

Anqi, 12   
Torment  
Lauren Kate   
Delacorte Press    2010 

      When reading the first book, Fallen, I was a bit disappointed to see that most of the action was missing from it, and that nothing really happened until a couple chapters before the last page. However, when finishing the book, I was glad to feel compelled to read the next one. When picking up Torment, I expected something along the lines of Fallen- it couldn’t have surprised me more. Torment continues the life of Lucinda Price, who has a fallen angel boyfriend named Daniel Grigori- and who also, as she learns in book one, is a present reincarnation of several past lives. This book was a thrilling concoction of human emotions and captivating lore, which was more than Fallen had. I thought that Luce developed more as a character, and that we saw more aspects of her than I thought possible. There was also a stronger plot line here: I could hardly tell what was going to happen next, and there were quite a few surprises that caught me off guard. This definitely has more colorful characters, and the plot doesn’t revolve around Luce and Daniel’s relationship as it did in Fallen, which I was glad of. There was also a lot more ‘magic’ than in the first book, and I thought that was great. I’m so happy to have read Torment, and now I’m very excited to continue on to the next book. I thought this was a huge leap forward from Lauren Kate’s last book, Fallen. Good job!       
Rating:4 Better than most

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Samanta,   15   
Five Flavors of Dumb   
Antony John   
Dial Books    2010   

Piper, an academically excelling high school senior, cannot wait to go to college. but , unfotunately, she discovers that her parents raided her college fund, and now Piper has no way of being able to go to college. except for a crazy suggestion of being the manager of the newest band, Dumb. what could go wrong, right? but there is one thing that might get in the way of being band's manager... Piper is deaf.        The story is okay and fun to read   
Rating: 3 Readable

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Leann, 16
Lisa Schroder
Chasing Brooklyn

Chasing Brooklyn is about a girl whose boyfriend died of a drunk driving accident and how her boyfriend haunts her. I would recommend this book. I liked how this book was written in poem form and it was an easy read. Rating;

5 Q. Hard to imagine a better book.
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Rebecca,    16  
Chasing Brooklyn  
Lisa Schroeder       
2010
       This book is realy good especially if you have loved and lost some one in a tragic way. (not just a break up). This is a very creativly told story.  
Rating: 4 Better than most

The Night of the Solstice by L.J. Smith

Kaylin, 12  
The Night of the Solstice  
L.J. Smith   
Macmillan Publishing Company    2010
   It was very exciting but was sometimes in the form of a list.  It is filled with excitment at every corner.  
Rating: 3 Readable

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

Tyler,   18           
Fuzzy Nation   
John Scalzi
Tor 2011      

Fuzzy Nation creates a compelling story of discrimination and sentience. The mystery kept me from putting it down.       
4 Better than most

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Blending Time by Michael Kinch

Ursula N. ,   18   
Michael Kinch   
The Blending Time    
Flux    2010   

    Many years from now, our world is a mess.  When you turn seventeen, you have to get a job, or else you'll end up working in places that might kill you.  Three teenagers, Jaym, D'Shay, and Rena, who all come from different backgrounds, find friendship in each other as they, along with others, are sent to Africa to become apart of the SUN Blending program, which is trying to repopulate Africa after a number of devastating wars, plagues, and even a solar flare have damaged it.  But with a number of renegades who would do anything to destroy the Blending program, the three must find the courage to make it through, and possibly find sanctuary.    It's really gripping, and it kind of reminded me of Restoring Harmony.

Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi

Lauren D., 14   
Mari Mancusi   
Bad Blood   
Berkley Jam Books    2010           

good for those that like vampires and relationships

Trackers by Patrick Carman (3 reviews)

Jack, 12
Patrick Carman
Trackers
scholastic press 2010

I LOVED these books because of the group of trackers.They were inviting and the story was AMAZING!I just did not think before picking this book up that it would be this good!

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Hope P., 15 
Patrick Carman
Trackers 
Scholastic    2010

           Adam Henderson is a technological genius; he has been inventing software, hardware, firewalls and computer programs since he was little. Together with his three friends Lewis, Emily and Finn, he has formed the Trackers, a group dedicated to discovering new technology and uses for it. Their experiments have always been for fun...until now. A random stranger seems to be targeting the trackers, using a code Adam himself invented. This stranger knows more about the team then they would like, and is not afraid to let them know that. He seems to want something from them; something illegal and dangerous. What started as a harmless puzzle quickly becomes a struggle, in which all four Trackers's lives are at stake. The first book in a series that promises to be a thrilling ride; Trackers will draw you in from the first page and stick with you after you finish reading. I loved this book and can not wait for the second.

________________
Colby,    12  
Trackers  
Patrick Carman  
Scholastic Press    2010
    A kid is a prodigy with technology and forms a team to uncover a huge mystery.        It's filled with supence and mystery.  
Rating: 4 Better than most

The Water Seeker by Kimberly Willis Holt


Hope P.     15  Kimberly Willis Holt 
The Water Seeker 
Henry Holt and Company    2010


          Amos Kincaid is the dowser’s son; his father can find water at anytime, armed with only his sticks. In the 1800‘s West, this is a valuable skill, especially for people trying to build farms. Amos has inherited this skill, but is it a blessing or a curse?  Through this true-to-life novel, Amos learns to deal with death and new life, loss and gain, love and heartbreak, and ultimately, who he truly is. This was a good historical fiction, with a hint of supernatural,  a hint of mystery, and a lot of heart. I liked this novel and would recommend it for any historical fiction fan.
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 Walter,    17  
Kimberly Holt  
The Dowser's Son aka The Water Seeker  

           For people that like love and emphathy. this is a good book for you.    This book is very depressing and slow. Has a great story lone but lots of sorrow and sadness. The ending makes it happy and makes the story better.

Rating:   3 Q. Readable.

Invincible Summer by Hanna Moskowitz

Rebecca R., 16   
Hanna Moskowitz
Invincible Summer             2011  
        You could say that the book Invincible Summer was a good book. That would be a lie however. The book was well written, as in the words we well put together. The story itself was not a good one.  This book was not written for a fourteen year old, which is the target audience.  There are some scenes of the book that just do not fit with the book and others that should not be in a book of young teens at all.  Two brothers having sex with the same girl is not something that most people want to read about. I have absolutely no clue who the target audience for this book is. It is not most teenagers, that is the one thing that I am shore of.    

Zombies vs. Unicorns by Justine Larbalestier vs. Holly Black (2 reviews)

Hope,     15  
Holly Black vs. Justine Larabalestier  
Zombies vs. Unicorns  
Margaret K. McElderry Books    2010
        I really liked the cover art for this book! It was fun and colorful, and really got the point across!   If a tree falls and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound? What is the sound of one hand clapping? Which make better fiction, zombies or unicorns?  Zombies vs. Unicorns is a collection of short stories meant to answer these questions...well, the last one anyway. Holly Black heads up team Unicorn, and Justine Larbalestier is leader for team Zombie. With contributions from numerous authors including Garth Nix, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, Cassandra Clare, Diana Peterfrued, Carrie Ryan, and Libba Bray, anyone is sure to find a story they like. Overall, this was an entertaining and fun collection; even though I personally did not like a few of the stories, I loved others. I would recommend this collection for older teens, whether they be Team Unicorn, Team Zombie, or completely neutral.   
Rating: 4 Better than most

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Andrea F., 17 
Justine Larbalestier vs. Holly Black 
Zombies vs. Unicorns     
2010
    It’s the latest question in the fantasy world after Pirates vs. Ninjas has become threadbare from much handling: Who’s better? Zombies or Unicorns? Some of the best fantasy and sci fi writers attempted to resolve this question by forming two teams, Zombies or Unicorns, each individual attempting to write the most kickass zombie or unicorn short story ever. Garth Nix, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, and Holly Black are just a few of the writers who participated in this contest. I have never been involved in the debate before as both zombies and unicorns creep me out for different reasons, so I came willing to be converted by this book. However what I forget is that everyone has vastly different ideas of what zombies or unicorns are actually like. Are zombies like George Romero’s vision, an unstoppable force that any hope against defeating them is false and foolish like Carrie Ryan’s story “Bougainvillea” supports? Or are they really just guys who happen to eat people but want desperately to fall in love like in Alaya Dawn Johnson ‘s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”? Is Meg Cabot correct in her story “Princess Prettypants” that unicorns are defenders of justice and virgins and fart rainbows that smell like lilacs when fed the wrong food? Or has Diana Peterfreund discovered the greatest cover up in history, that unicorns are really man-eating monsters that smell like the foulest pits of hell mixed with a sewage plant in her story “The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn”? It doesn’t matter if you hate zombies or unicorns, or even both, if you like any kind of fantasy you will find at least one story that you like in this book for each supernatural being.