Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable

Dan Gutman

"Do stupid stuff, and even stupider stuff will happen to you." - Nobody said this. But somebody should.

This quote is on the dedication page on TGF. I knew right away I would love this book!

 Coke and Pepsi McDonald are boy and girl twins.  Their parents, Dr. Benjamin and Bridget McDonald, are what you'd call eccentric. Or maybe just plain weird.  I guess it depends on your point of view.  The McDonald's have a cross country trip to their aunt's wedding in DC planned this summer.  Mrs. McDonald runs a website called Amazing But True and plans to use the trip to see amazing but true sites all over the country.

Coke and Pepsi have planned to be miserable on this trip.  What they didn't plan on was their attempted murder by the art teacher on the last day of school. Or the adventure that follows.  Coke and Pepsi also find out they are a part of The Genius Files, a covert group of exception children.  And they have a mission - to save The Genius Files.

Their adventure weaves them across the United States solving codes to get their next clue before time runs out.

I love the codes. I love that the twins are so smart and don't even realize it. I love their teamwork while still acting like soon to be 13 year old siblings.  I really love Gutman's light conversational tone that really draws in the reader.  But, what I REALLY, REALLY love is that Gutman has included Google map information and directions so readers can follow the twins cross country.

I'm looking forward to more TGF adventures!

Recommendation: 4th grade and up
Rating: All time!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Lying Game

Sara Shepard
Suddenly, the image from the video flutter through her mind once more.  A long lost sister.  Her heart lifted.  She had to find her.  
If only I could have told her it was too late.

Emma is a young lady in foster care.  She's been a foster kid since her mom left her at a friend's house for a sleep over and never came back.  Emma has always dreamed of having a family.

Emma discovers a video on the internet 'starring' a girl who looks just like her.  She does a little investigation and finds a girl named Sutton who looks just like her and shares her same birthday.  Could Sutton be her long lost twin sister?  Then, Sutton invites Emma to meet.  Or does she?  Emma goes to meet Sutton and ends up stepping into her life.  Emma's life is in danger from the start.  What has happened to Sutton?  Who's to blame? What's The Lying Game?

This is the first book in a new series by Sara Shepard.  It is wonderfully written with Sutton as the narrator.  I don't want to give too much away about the plot.  It will keep you guessing.  It is suspenseful and Shepard includes many pop culture references girls will love. Many questions are left unanswered.  I can't wait for the next installment!

Recommendation: 8th grade and up
Rating: Loved it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Kiersten White

"I sighed. I hate the vamp jobs.  They think they're so suave. It's not enough for them to slatugher and eat you like a zombie would.  Now, they want to be all sexy, too.  And, trust me: vampires? Not. Sexy."

Evie is 16 years old and she has an interesting job with the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency).  She bags and tags errant paranormals so they can be returned to IPCA for processing.  Evie has a unique gift that makes her tops at her job.  It also makes her incredibly lonely.  She has no family and lives at IPCA.  Her best friend is a mermaid.  On the upside, Evie has a kickin' pink taser - Tasey.  Things change for Evie when Lend breaks into the IPCA.  Lend a shape shifter who immediately connects with Evie.

Paranormals are turning up dead all over the globe.  Evie doesn't think this has anything to do with her.  She's wrong.  As her relationship with Lend deepens, she'll discover the deaths have everything to do with her.  In the end, Evie realizes who she really is and that's she's not alone.  Plus, she gets to go to the prom.

PARANORMALCY is funny and light. Evie really comes to life.  The roller coaster of emotions is spot on.  PARANORMALCY is the first in a Evie trilogy.  You can check out Kiersten White's awesome blog by clicking here.  She's also funny and very real.  Wait, of course she's real.  She lives, she breaths.  That's not what I'm talking about.  Maybe I should say she seems very genuine. And don't miss the acknowldgements at the end of PARANORMACLY. They also cracked me up!

Recommendation: 6th grade and up
Rating: Loved it!

note: not all posts will have a page numbers listing. I'm reading more and more books electronically so I don't always know how many pages it has. ;)