When YA author Gina Damico set out on her Slapdash Road Trip Book Tour, she set aside time to visit our teen reviewers, Bookmarked, at Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy in Jefferson, LA. What a thrill it was for Fred (pictured at right with Damico) to meet a new favorite author, face to face. You can read his review of her latest title, Scorch, right here.
DAMICO, Gina. Scorch. Graphia. September 2012. pap. $8.99. ISBN 9780547624570.
Gr 7 Up—Scorch picks up right where Croak, the first book in this trilogy, ends. Lex is in deep trouble. She has found out that her former associate Zara has the ability to Cull her power to Damn souls. Zara even goes so far as to use this power to kill criminals. While the Juniors and Uncle Mort search for Zara, we find out that everything in the town of Croak isn’t what it seems. Then Zara demands that Lex find what is truly hers. The reader is taken on a wild ride of passion and desperation as everything gets turned upside down for Lex. Nothing in town is the same anymore. New people are introduced and old friends are lost as you read this exciting book.
Gina Damico is a fabulous author. I personally enjoyed this book because she put all of the things I love into it, including comedy, romance, action, drama, and a very interesting plot twist. If you haven’t read Croak, I highly recommend you do or you’ll be lost when you read this one. It’s a book that I’d read over and over again. I really can’t wait for the next title in the “Croak” series. I would love to see what she has in store for her fans.—Fred T., age 14
ZEVIN, Gabrielle. Because it is My Blood. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. September 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374380748.
Gr 9 Up—In Because It Is My Blood, the sequel to All These Things I’ve Done, readers once again follow Anya Balanchine through her life. Having just been released from Liberty Children’s Facility, Anya’s life has gotten a whole lot more difficult—and all she wants to do is get out of it. But when debts need to be paid, conspiracies are formed, and Anya has no choice but to be in it. It doesn’t help that Anya is on the wrong side of the law—again. It seems as if the world is against her. Fortunately, Mr. Kiplin, Anya’s trusted lawyer, is able to send her to a location where Anya can be safe—Mexico. Here, the chocolate is not illegal. In fact, Anya stays with some friends of the family and learns how chocolate is made—even helping out. But Anya cannot avoid her problems forever. When the time comes, Anya returns and faces things she had never imagined she’d be dealing with.
When I first received Because It Is My Blood, I was absolutely thrilled. Having read the first book, I believed that this book would not disappoint. I must admit that this book had sat on my desk for a few days before I even opened it. But after I read the first few chapters, I couldn’t put the book down! It seemed that with every turn, the most unexpected thing happened. The ending, to my dismay, seemed as if it just stopped—as was in the first book—but from this ending, I can expect that there would be another book. Overall, Because It Is My Blood is a story that I would most definitely recommend. It was touching and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.—Kaylynn T., age 16
COHN, Rachel. Beta. Hyperion. October 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781423157199.
Gr 9 Up—Beta takes place in a technologically advanced society, on an island that’s designed for the elite. The story follows Elysia, a soulless clone that’s been created strictly for the pleasure of the humans. The thing is, Elysia is only a beta, so there still may be some quirks in her functions and features. As Elysia discovers more and more glitches in her personality, she tries to hide them because she’s scared that she’ll be reprogrammed.
I liked how this book showed how the idea of perfection could get out of hand, going so far as to eliminate those who aren’t perfect. Also, I liked the way in which the main character was portrayed. It reminded me of something Ray Bradbury might have written with a theme about how technology affects humanity. Overall, this is a quick read, and I’d recommend it.—Alexandra M., age 14
BJORKMAN, Lauren. Miss Fortune Cookie. Holt. November 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780805089516.
Gr 8 Up—Erin, a high school senior, has a secret that only one of her two best friends knows—she’s the brains behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. Mei, one of Erin’s best friends, is torn between what her mom wants for her and what she wants for herself. Her traditional Chinese mother wants her to attend Harvard, while she wants to attend Stanford. Desperately in need of help, Mei turns to Miss Fortune Cookie for advice. What happens when Mei acts on Erin’s advice? Not knowing that it would happen, Erin attempts to undo the mess she accidentally creates. Erin was always the one who gave the advice. What happens when she’s the one that’s in need of it? In the process, Erin embarks on an adventure that leads to minor felonies and her very first romance.
Miss Fortune Cookie is an engaging novel that many teens will relate to—and the pinch of romance adds to the story’s effectiveness. This novel was an easy read, and its pacing is perfect—not too fast and not too slow. Plus, I loved that every chapter opens with a new fortune cookie. If you love proverbs or words of wisdom, then you’ll love Lauren Bjorkman’s Miss Fortune Cookie.—Lauren T., age 16
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