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Rave Reviews from Booksellers and Teens

March 16, 2011

We are always thrilled to read rave reviews from our customers and consumers – it gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment!  Here are some wonderful blurbs and reviews of recently published or soon to be published books, from booksellers, buyers, and teen readers.  Enjoy!

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner, reviewed by Laura, age 18.

Brain Jack is an electrifying view of a future that’s just close enough to the realm of possibility to be terrifically interesting. The story centers around Sam, a computer hacker, and a technological development known as a Neurotech headset, which gives you the ability to access your computer without a keyboard and mouse, but with your brain itself. But with your mind linked into the system… what’s to stop someone from hacking into it? Brian Falkner presents the complex world of cyber-warfare in an accessible and exciting way, bringing the virtual battles to life. I recommend this reading to anyone who’s ever considered where our technologically obsessed society is heading.” Laura’s cover thoughts:”I like this cover… it’s simple, has colors that instantly bring up “computers” and remind me of the Matrix. It doesn’t tell you much about the book, but it does draw you in.


Banished by Sophie Littlefield, reviewed by Hunter, age 15.

When Hailey Tarbell finds a mysterious power to heal injured people with the touch of her hands and an unknown lullaby her life begins to change. It was never great for her living with a cruel and insulting Grandmother who deals drugs from the basement and a little foster brother named Chub who has a hard time speaking even at his age. When her long lost aunt comes and takes her and Chub away she learns alot more about everything she knew than Hailey ever imagined. With rich Irish culture and writing style I was caught from the begining. And with the end of this novel I am left hungry for more.
Hunter’s cover thoughts: The cover has a beautiful picture that I think has a great amount of mystery in relation to the story within.


The Rendering by Joel Naftali, reviewed by Alex, age 13.

Doug Solomon just wanted to play computer games. Then his aunt was digitized into a computer, he almost got blown up twice in one evening, and he created three Super-Skunks. Now Doug is trying to stop an evil genius and his robot army with the help of his friend Jamie, his computerized aunt, and of course, the skunks. In this high tech adventure, you never know when to duck. I highly recommend The Rendering to any science fiction fan.


Warped by Maurissa Guibord, reviewed by Liz, age 16.

At first I was a little dubious reading a book about unicorns. Much to my surprise, it was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. True love and action. One of the greatest combinations for a book. What would you do when faced with impossible challenges given to you by the Fates? Tessa has to figure it out. She doesn’t have to do it alone. Will helps her find her path. The suspense and romance in this book combine to make a great story.” Liz’s cover thoughts: This is a very interesting cover. I like how the face fades into the background. The large face, however, is starting to become a reoccurring theme. The colors scheme of the cover was really good.


Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, reviewed by Margaret Brennan Neville, King’s English.

Van Draanen is back to what she does best, realistic fiction with characters we love! Jessica may have lost her leg in a terrible accident, but she finds her heart, and much much more in the following weeks. Van Draanen shows all how to keep on dreaming.

And a fabulous teen review of The Running Dream from Hannah Resnick, age 15.

In The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, high-school track star Jessica loses one of her legs and must adjust to her situation. This story seems very real. This is partly because of the detailed, moving explanation of the physical recovery process after amputation. The story also seems genuine because Jessica’s feelings are understandable and all the characters are relatable and believable throughout the book. The writing is poetic, readable and engaging. The Running Dream is poignant and touching, and I really liked it.


The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier, reviewed by J’Hennhehbelle, age 12.

The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier is an enthralling book to read, filled with adventure and magic at every turn. The author does a magnificent job of illustrating the complex culture that she has created. Rachel’s ability to describe the streets, cities, buildings, and people that the characters encounter is interesting. I highly recommend The Floating Islands to kids who want to read an enriching, fascinating book.

Another terrific teen review of Floating Island from Kai, age 13.

I REALLY liked this book. It is well written and the plot is very good. The story never gets boring, and I had quite a bit of trouble putting it down. I think it definitely deserves a sequel. Trei is a half islander who is relatively normal. He lives with his mother, and is mostly happy until a devastating volcanic eruption that kills his beloved mother and sister. He goes to live with his uncle on the islands after being rejected by his other uncle who is on the mainland. As he sees the wondrous kajurahi, he becomes ‘sky mad’ or obsessed with becoming a kajurai himself. He becomes fast friends with his cousin, Araene, who wants to become a wizard, and they become conspirators in helping each other achieve their own goals. Little does he know, however, of the great danger that looms over the islands, and of the key parts he and Araene will play in the struggle to come.


Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton, reviewed by Krys Tourtois, Schuler Books and Music Lansing. (available at your local independent bookstore on May 24, 2011)

A few months ago both of Silla’s parents died by her Father’s hand. Now most of school treats her like a freak and Silla has withdrawn into herself. Nicholas has moved into town and his path crosses hers at an unopportune moment, while Silla is practicing her first spell and spilling her own blood. I was annoyed I had to do other things while reading this book. It’s awesome Southern Gothic done right. A radiant debut!


I’m Not by Pam Smallcomb, illus. by Robert Weinstock, reviewed by David Hsieh, Elliot Bay.

If you’re looking for a charming and amusing children’s book about friendship, I’m Not is sure to be a lovely selection. Here we discover two young friends who are as different as can be, yet they celebrate and love their differences. In spite of all the things that they are not, they know exactly what they are: true blue friends. This is a delightful tale filled with witty illustrations, and it deserves to become a classic.

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge, reviewed by Rich Harriman, Elliot Bay.

The city of Lovecraft is a rational place, where science and reason are the law of the land, and religion and spirituality are the damned works of heretics. During the day all is well, but at night ghouls stalk the sewers while shapeless monsters writhe inside the stolen skin of unfortunate travelers. And that’s nothing compared to what goes on outside the city’s walls.
It is into this dark countryside that sixteen-year-old Aoife Grayson must venture after she receives a mysterious plea for help from her brother, who may be homicidally insane. Burdened with a haunted past and a blood disease that could drive her mad, Aoife may find that those few people who are trying to help her are more dangerous than those trying to kill her.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2011 8:22 am

    Wow – those are terrific reviews! And I’ve got a few more books to add to my wishlist 🙂 Thanks!

  2. March 18, 2011 8:34 am

    Great reviews–I, like Jemi, have now added more books to my list!

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