Tuesday, November 20, 2012

One Moment--Kristina McBride

Title: One Moment
Author: Kristina McBride
Publisher: Egmont, 2012
Pages: 272 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None

(Once again, this review is from the June 2012 issue of VOYA.)

Maggie is enjoying Memorial Day weekend with her boyfriend Joey and her other four closest friends when the unthinkable happens—Joey dies jumping off a cliff. He had jumped that cliff diving into the local lake many times without incident causing his confused friends and family to wonder what was different about this time. Maggie was also at the top of the cliff and is the only person who could have any answers, but the accident leaves her traumatized and incapable of remembering anything that happened. The five remaining friends struggle to deal with Joey’s death, Maggie’s inability to remember, and their changing relationships.

Kristina McBride has written a poignant heartbreaking tale of how one moment in a person’s life can change everything. The story is told from Maggie’s point of view and McBride concentrates on developing her character. McBride tells the story at just the right pace, leading teens to guess what happened before Maggie realizes it. Teens will identify with Maggie’s pain as she recognizes that her perfect idolized boyfriend was not actually perfect and she did not know him as well as she thought. The story is sad, but not sappy, and ends hopeful, but not unrealistic, and is a worthy addition to teen collections.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Lost Code--Kevin Emerson

Title: The Lost Code: Book One of the Atlanteans
Author: Kevin Emerson
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2012
Pages: 448 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None

(This review was written AGES ago. I just realized it was published in the June 2012 VOYA. I was very pregnant.)

Owen is just a normal kid living underground in the mines to escape the deadly sun in a dystopian future with a limited ozone layer when he is picked to attend the exclusive Camp Eden. Camp Eden is protected from the sun by a huge dome set up to mimic the outside world—with it’s own sun, moon, stars, clouds and ecosystem. On the surface things seem pretty good at Camp Eden, but when weak swimmer Owen survives ten minutes underwater without breathing things start to get weird. Owen’s neck is mysteriously gashed and the only thing that soothes the gashes is being underwater. Owen soon learns that he is part of a special race of people, the Atlanteans, called upon to rescue the world and fix a mistake made thousands of years ago.

The first in a new series, The Lost Code will satisfy teens’ thirst for post-apocalyptic dystopian novels with just the right amount of suspense, adventure, science fiction, fantasy, and romance, but without the brutal violence found in other stories. Readers will eagerly devour Owen’s tale and look forward to its continuation.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Save the Pearls Part One: Revealing Eden--Victoria Foyt

Title: Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls Part One)
Author: Victoria Foyt
Publisher: Sand Dollar Press Inc
Pages: 307 p
Source: Author/Publisher
Compensation: None

Eden is a lowly Pearl--a fair skinned girl living in a post-apocalyptic time with a deadly sun. Sun poisoning has wiped out most white people and the ones that have survived have become an inferior race to the Coals--black people who can withstand the dangerous sun. What the sun has started, people have continued; trying to breed the inferior light skins out of existence. Pearls are not entirely slaves of Coals in this reverse-racism world, but they are not seen as equals. In order to survive not only the sun but also fellow man, many Pearls color their faces and bodies and attempt to blend in with society. Eden chooses this path and hopes that a powerful Coal with a high mating status will choose her as his mate and save her life (Pearls are banished to the outside if they do not mate by age 18). Everything works "fine" until she botches up her father's secret experiment and they are both flown to a tropical jungle for their own safety. There she learns what life is outside the caves and what true beauty really means.

While there's nothing wrong with this novel, it felt like the author was trying too hard to convey her message that racism is bad. The story didn't get interesting until Eden wound up in the jungle with the results of her father's experiment, a beast-man who had been her boss and now was more animal than man. Then the story became more of a take on Beauty and the Beast.

I enjoyed the author's first YA novel, The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond, but I had a hard time getting through this one. For another opinion read this more positive review.

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