Bethany's Readers' Advisory

The place to go for readers' advisory on books for children, teens, and adults

West of the Moon by Margi Preus March 11, 2016

Filed under: ages 10-14,drama,fantasy,Uncategorized — Bethany @ 5:24 pm
Tags: , , ,

West of the MoonAstri’s father left Norway for America, promising to send for her and her sister as soon as he could. Unfortunately, her aunt and uncle sell her to a nasty goat farmer before she receives even one letter. After months of punishing physical labor and mistreatment, Astri escapes her captor, pausing only long enough to retrieve the mysterious girl also being held captive by the goatman and her younger sister. The strange trio must stay ahead of the goatman and make their way toward America, armed only with a stolen troll treasure, a magical hairbrush, and the hopes of fairy tales and their own imaginations.

This was an interesting story and a refreshing departure from the typical young adult novel. The descriptions of the Norwegian countryside and the ambiguity of the time period added to its fairy tale-like quality. An added bonus came in the author’s note at the end, explaining the story was inspired by a line from her great great grandmother’s diary. Norwegian words and folklore make for an intriguing tale. I would recommend this to teens and adults who like fairy tales and stories with a bit of magic.

4 out of 5 stars

Advertisements
 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo July 18, 2015

Filed under: fantasy,Uncategorized — Bethany @ 11:17 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

shadow and boneAlina Starkov has been an orphan since she was a young girl. The only person she has ever trusted, ever really cared about is Mal, a fellow orphan. Now they have grown up and their regiment is preparing to cross the dangerous, often deadly Shadow Fold. During the crossing, Mal is attacked and almost killed, but Alina calls on an unknown power to save his life. Almost instantly, her life changes. She is taken from the army to live and train with the elite Grisha in preparation to use her power to help the mysterious Darkling save their nation. As she learns to use her gift, she drifts further away from her old life and from Mal. But with great power comes great responsibility and Alina begins to wonder where her allegiance should lie.

This was my book club’s choice for the month and probably not something I would have chosen myself. I was frustrated by the obligatory romance/love triangle aspect of the story. It also had a somewhat predictable ending; knowing it is the first of a trilogy, certain things were bound to happen and not to happen. Overall, I liked it more than I thought I would. I would recommend this to teens who are looking for the next Katniss or Tris.

3 out of 5 stars

 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan December 22, 2012

Lightning ThiefPercy Jackson is often in trouble, but not for normal things like having a messy room or talking back to his parents.  During the last class field trip, a teacher turned into a monster and he fought her with a pen that turned into a sword.  No one will believe him.  In fact, they deny the teacher even existed.  Percy soon finds out he is not crazy and he is not a regular kid.  After a series of events lead him to a camp of kids like him, he and his two friends are sent on a quest to resolve a conflict between the gods.  Percy soon learns that nothing is as it seems when you’re a demigod.

This was a decent story that boys would love.  The main character is a boy with ADHD who is always getting into trouble but later learns he’s actually someone very important and his struggles with school are due to his special powers.  I probably won’t read anymore of the series, but it really hits the mark with its target audience.  The reader for the audiobook does a great job making the story come to life.  I will recommend to boys who liked Harry Potter and other adventure/fantasy stories.  As an added bonus, this series has inspired readers to ask for books about Greek gods.

3 out of 5 stars

 

Matched by Ally Condie August 23, 2012

In the Society, Officials decide what you eat, where you work, when you die, even who you will marry.  Now that Cassia is seventeen, she goes to her Match ceremony to find that her Match is her best friend, Xander.  Things could not be more perfect.  But when Cassia opens her microcard next day, it is not Xander’s face that appears.  She is assured by an Official is that it is a mistake, that her Match really is Xander.  From that day on, however, she cannot stop thinking about the other boy’s face that showed up on the screen.  The result is a dangerous amount of thinking about Ky, the boy who could never be her Match.  Cassia must decide if the Society really knows what’s best… or if she’s better off deciding for herself.
Yes, it’s another utopian/dystopian teen novel.  But I liked it!  I’ll admit, I haven’t read The Giver, so I can’t compare the two books.  (It’s at home, and I promise I’ll read it soon.) Although there were many negative reviews for this book on Goodreads and Amazon, it’s a 2013-2014 Golden Sower nominee and appeared on NPR’s 100 Best Ever Teen Novels readers’ poll located here http://www.npr.org/2012/08/07/157795366/your-favorites-100-best-ever-teen-novels.  It is a quick read, it has lots of teen appeal, and I liked it enough to check out the sequel, Crossed as soon as I got to work today.

5 out of 5 stars

 

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce August 15, 2012

Shortly before her 16th birthday, Tara Martin fights with her boyfriend, Richie.  She wants to be alone, so she takes a walk in the woods.  She was never seen again.  Twenty years later, on Christmas Day, Tara’s parents hear a knock at the door.  It is Tara.  She is dirty and disheveled but appears not to have aged at all.  When she tries to explain to her brother, Peter, the truth about where she has been, he doesn’t believe her.  No one does.  Will things ever be the same between Tara and the people she left behind?

This book was fantasy mixed with realistic fiction, fairy tale .  You will find yourself imagining yourself in each character’s place.  Would you believe the unbelievable?

5 out of 5 stars

 

 
%d bloggers like this: