Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beautiful Darkness

Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Two months later, and I still couldn't look at a bird without hearing the sound of the sky ripping open.

It's been two months since Lena Duchannes' 16th birthday, her sixteenth moon.  No one has been the same since that night.  Not Ethan, not Lena, not Ethan's dad, and certainly not Lena's beloved Uncle Macon.  Uncle Macon is dead and Lena is grieving deeply.  That Ethan can relate to, he lost his mother just over a year ago.

In a time when Ethan and Lena should be coming together, Lena is pulling away.  Ethan is determined to find out why.  He's aided by his best friend Link, the new young librarian in town Liv, his cook/caretaker/buttkicker Amma, his aunt Marian and his mother.  In the end, he discovers more about himself and the Order of Things, saves Lena and returns something very special to her.

BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS is the second in the Caster Chronicles.  And it is every bit as good at BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.  I will say that it took me a little longer to get pulled into BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS but once I was in, there was no getting out.  Garcia and Stohl are masterful story tellers.  There are dips and turns and twists you never see coming.  I can't wait for BEAUTIFUL CHAOS, to be released October 18, 2011.

Recommendation: 7th grade and up
Rating: All Time!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Mockingbirds

Daisy Whitney

'"It's up to me to piece this together and I know nothing."

Alex Patrick is a brilliant pianist who attends the prestigious Themis Academy.  She had dreams of going to Julliard.   Then everything changes on THAT NIGHT. 

Alex doesn't remember a lot about that night at first.  She knows she drank too much.  She knows where she woke up.  It's the in between that's a problem.  When Alex realizes she was date raped, she has no where to go, no one to turn to.  Themis Academy's faculty has an idealized view of their student body.  They would never do anything wrong, so there's no need for disciplinary action.

As Alex begins to work through the aftermath of her date rape, an underground society emerges.  The Mockingbirds are Themis' brand of student justice.  The Mockingbirds take on Alex's case and things seem to come together.  Alex finally remembers the entire night and he world is rocked again. 

THE MOCKINGBIRDS is griping from beginning to end.  Whitney's portrayal of a date rape victim is pitch perfect.  The reader is along for Alex's ups and downs from the first page. 

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