Tales of aliens and bounty hunters, rockers and assassins, and a true story about addiction that reads like fiction are all part of this issue’s contributions from Bookmarked’s readers.
MITCHELL, J. Barton. Midnight City. St. Martin’s Griffin. October 2012. Tr $17.99 ISBN 9781250009074.
Gr 7-12—Midnight City starts with a crash as Holt, the main character, is trapped under a bus by a gang from Midnight City. He then escapes to find his friend Max, who we find out is a dog, waiting in the forest. We later learn he is trying to capture an outlaw named Mira to raise some money, and he promptly does. He then finds himself in a huge battle between different factions of the Assembly, a group of alien robots trying to kill all humans with the Tone. Later in his travels, he finds Zoey, a little girl immune to the Tone. Once Holt, Mira and Zoey get to Midnight City, they find out that Mira is an outlaw because of a false charge against her. The three of them finally have a huge battle with the Blue and Whites which Zoey wins by using her special power over machines. Later they discover that the only way to overcome these obstacles is to destroy the main spire where all of these aliens originate from.
I enjoyed this book because of the constant action. I also like the reluctant love bounty hunter Holt feels for Mira: a textbook example of a good love story because of the tension. I also enjoyed the mystery within a mystery surrounding Zoey. This book is a real page turner because of the politics created by the founders of Midnight City and the strange currency of points within it. The author leaves a hanging ending when a new faction of aliens appears near the spire—expect a sequel. Recommended to all of those insane people out there who don’t want a happy ending and just want to see it all burn.—Kaleb B., age 14
ROECKER, Lisa and Laura Roecker. The Liar Society: The Lies that Bind. Sourcebooks. November 2012. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781402270246.
Gr 8 Up—Liar Society takes place in an elite prep school where things are not as they seem to be. After her best friend Grace’s death, Kate is determined to bring the murderer to justice. This is easier said than done since the killers are part of the Brotherhood, a secret society within the school that controls the entire community. Throughout the story Kate works with the Sisterhood in an attempt to merge the two societies but inadvertently destroys the Brotherhood’s power.
I liked the book because it kept you guessing about the loyalties of the characters until the very end. Also, it made me think about whether or not the influence of secret societies is happening in real life without our knowledge. For example, many of the U.S. presidents were members of secret societies like the Masons and the Skull and Bones Society at Yale. Were some of the presidents’ political decisions influenced by their involvement in these societies?—Alexandra M., age 14
SCHREIBER, Joe. Perry’s Killer Playlist. HMH. November 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780547601175.
Gr 7-12—Perry Stormaire’s life has finally returned to normal. In fact, it’s better than normal—he has been accepted to Columbia, has a very good looking girlfriend, and his band is going on a European tour with the possibility of a record deal. Then in Italy, Gobi shows up. She is the Lithuanian exchange student that Perry’s family took in last year, the one who forced them to drive around New York until she had crossed all of the names off of her hit list. Gobi has a new list of people to kill, and Perry soon finds himself sucked into her murderous adventures. As Perry soon discovers several shocking secrets that change everything, his world gets turned upside down.
Perry’s Killer Playlist is an action-packed novel that moves very quickly. It is full of interesting characters who lead secret lives. However, while the novel has lots of adventure and humor, it lacks the ability to create a strong connection between the reader and the characters. Also, at times, it can be difficult to follow the action. Still, it is fun and is recommended for readers who are looking for a quick read.— Kayla T., age 15
F., Christiane. Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F. Zest Books. January 2013. pap. $14,99. ISBN 9781936976225.
Gr 9 Up—Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F. is an autobiography of a teenage girl who is struggling with addiction. At a young age Christiane began acting out. She went where she shouldn’t have gone; she broke all the laws she could. Around the age of 11, Christiane associated herself with the wrong people, and she began to smoke pot. Christiane lied about her age and got into clubs where she met people even deeper into the drug world. Eventually, she got involved with heroin, something she swore to herself she would never do. The memoir tells the story of her struggle with the drug, and all she did to get the money to pay for drugs, whether she sold other people’s things, or herself.
Zoo Station tells an amazing story. It seemed a little boring when I first picked it up, but as soon as I started reading it, I couldn’t stop. Her story is so intriguing, and all the more so for being true. Pictures in the middle of the book helped place faces with the names, making it even better. Though definitely not for the younger crowd because of its constant emphasis on drug use, high school students who like reading about the topic will definitely enjoy this memoir.—Sarah A., age 15
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