June 17, 2014
Party Games is another thriller from celebrated author R. L. Stine, about a sixteen-year-old girl named Rachel who is invited to a party by Brendan Fear, a mysterious boy at her school. Before long, things start to go awry and partyers end up dead. Rachel and the surviving teens frantically try to escape before a strange plot twist ruins the whole book.
The premise of the book is interesting and exciting. Its a fresh new horror story that leaves me on the edge of my seat sometimes. But the writing is a bit bland, and a surprise plot twist near the end of the book really ruins the story. And it all goes downhill from there. I would not reccommend this book. While R. L. Stine is a master of children’s thrillers, as exemplified in Goosebumps, his wildly popular horror series, he did not succeed with a teen book.
The only thing memorable about this book is the premise. The book is fairly good about Chapters 8-23, with the beginning painfully slow and predictable and the ending a nightmare, both literally and figuratively. If R. L. Stone had put as much care and thought into this novel as much as his Goosebumps series, I would enjoy it. But alas, he didn’t, and we are stuck with this, a mildly interesting novel that ruins itself in the end.
Reviewed by Madoc, 8th grade, Dumbarton Area Library
Party Games comes out September 30, 2014. This review is based on an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) that publishers make available to libraries and professional reviewers before a book hits the stores. Our local Teen Galley groups read and review ARCs to discover the next big thing in teen fiction.
October 15, 2013
Dan and Abby put their hands on the heavy door and pushed. The door felt like it was pushing back at first, but then it started to give.
After one final push, the the door shuddered open. A cloud of dust swirled up and blew out to meet them like a relieved sigh, as if some pent-up force had finally been released.
Asylum, by Madeleine Roux. Click the cover to find a copy in a library near you.
July 9, 2013
[O]ne time, Poppy had woken in the middle of the night and found her sister — with whom she shared a room — sitting upright in bed. “If [the doll] gets out of the case, she’ll come for us,” her sister had said, blank-faced . . .
Doll Bones, by Holly Black. Click cover to find a copy in the library catalog.
April 11, 2013
The third installment of the Rot & Ruin series is as action packed as the last two installments. The third book opens up with the main character, Benny Imura far out in the East with Nix, Chong, and Lilah looking for the jet that they found. But even after defeating the most dangerous enemy they’ve encountered, they’ve encountered more and more danger. But out here, in the Rot and the Ruin, the most dangerous things aren’t the zombies. No…The most dangerous thing are usually the people.
If I didn’t like the first two books, I would have never even picked this one. The characters are ever-changing, especially the main characters as they deal with survival day in and day out. The relationship between each character is differing and again, ever-changing. This book also leaves some food for thought, making you think about the different ideals presented through the story. But the story isn’t all serious. Most characters crack jokes at situations that seem the most bleak. Either all these books are all good. No…Amazing.
The most memorable thing about this book is by far close to the end. Lilah becomes injured and runs into a ranger. The ranger then tells Lilah about a place that is searching for a cure. At the same time, a reaper listens in on this and goes to report this to her superiors.
Review by Alsharief, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library
April 1, 2013
Nick, Angelo, and Carter were three monster obsessed boys. When Nick misses Halloween for his great-aunt’s funeral he comes back…different. Almost as if he’s dead, or undead in this case. They soon realize Nick turned into a zombie. Follow the boys’ adventure as they try to solve how Nick became a zombie and how to change him back! The bigger question is, will they be able to change him back or will Nick stay a zombie…forever!
I loved how this book was scary yet the humor from the character Carter makes the book even more exciting. I also loved how situations in this book weren’t predictable, each page was full of twists and turns making this book a real page-turner. Also, the writing the style of this book was great; it made me feel as if I was there through the whole adventure. Case File 13 Zombie Kid is definitely one of the best laugh-out-loud books there are!
The most memorable thing about this book was definitely the personality of the character Carter. In the book, Carter was the funniest out of the “three monsterteers”. His witty personality surely is one of the reasons that this book was so magnificent.
Review by Dorcas, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library
March 7, 2013
The book is about 3 young boys, Nick, Carter and Angelo, who have an obsession with monsters. They live in a small town called Pleasant Hill and are famous in the town for their realistically terrifying, home made Halloween costumes. Nick is very disappointed when he has to go to his great aunt’s funeral on Halloween, his favorite holiday. While he is there, some very strange things happen and set Nick and his friends on a long and funny adventure. Nick is a brave young boy with very good artistic ability, which he uses for creating scary Halloween costumes and small scale models of spooky creatures. Carter is a relatively short kid that has a great sense of humor and loves to eat. Angelo is a tall and very intelligent kid with very long legs. They call themselves the monsterteers.
I really liked the characters of the book; the author managed to take stereotypical ideas and twist them into very interesting people. The situations that they are put in are very funny and well thought out. If you are a fan of other zombie related books like The Walking Dead, then you might not like this book as much. This book is filled with humor and crazy moments that are not comparable to deep emotional storytelling. The book may use the typical third person perspective and writing style, but it does that well. I never got that boring feeling that I get in most books in the very middle. The humor is great but childish, so if you think you have outgrown 3-6 grade jokes, then you wont enjoy the book’s humor. Honestly, I can’t find a major dislike about the book.
The most memorable thing about the book is near the middle when Nick goes through a major change. It is something I would have never expected and is very interesting to read about. It’s one of the most creative situations that I have seen in a book. I can’t tell you what happens so I recommend you get the book and start reading. It was a great book overall. It might have been better as a comic book.
Review by Sampat, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Area Library
November 24, 2012
Hester Goodwin knows the key to survive her entire life-don’t fall in love, because all of the young mothers in her entire family had died less than a week after their children were born. But there’s Peter; so kind, so nice, such a great friend, and a mysterious man named Ezra, who Hester finds particularly interesting. But as time passes, and as the vast, mysterious ocean and the whispers of the graveyard grow ever so louder, Hester learns the truth about her family’s roots-about Syrenka, about mermaids, and about herself.
I loved how the author made this a horror novel with just a dash of humor and mystery to keep you hooked. The characters were also introduced nicely-and the scenes were vivid. I could almost smell the salty breeze, feel the cold, chilly water, and see the vast, open ocean. There were moments when I actually forgot to breathe due to the excitement building up!
I think that the one most memorable moment in this book was when Hester’s friend Peter told her that once, when they went to a beach together and Hester dived under but did not come back up, he peed his trunks. It made me laugh!
- reviewed by Rachel, grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
November 13, 2012
Somehow the rats must have climbed into his backpack while he was talking to Karina. Robert unzipped it all the way, planning to shake them loose and set them free. But as they stepped out, Robert realized he was mistaken – these were not twins.
This was a single rate with two heads.
Professor Gargoyle : Tales from Lovecraft Middle School, 1, by Charles Gilman, p. 51.
*In which we select a tidbit from a book you might like. This is another one that’s on the shelves in the children’s room, but people in about grade 5 and older who like suspenseful, scary stories must give it a try! Click the book cover to find a copy.
November 3, 2012
Alice in Zombieland is about a teen girl named Alice Bell. She grew up with a a loving mother, energetic 8 year old sister, and a father who thinks there are zombies that want to eat them. Who knew her family would be killed after her little sister’s recital from a…zombie attack. Alice went to live with her grandparents and met an eccentric boy named Cole who convinced her to fight zombies with him and his crew; will disaster strike, betrayal, or maybe rejection?
I thought the book was creepy in a sci-fi way. The chapters are based on events in Alice in Wonderland, which makes it all the more exciting! This book starts off like a normal day being a teen but throughout the book it only gets more and more extraordinary! I didn’t really like Cole’s character because he is a bit rough around the edges; he has tattoos and is described like a 20 year old man. My favorite character is Emma, Alice’s sister. Emma seems very pure and sweet, she brings the happiness in this book with her bubbly character. The writing style is suspenseful, and the author is very good at cliffhanging, making me want to read on.
The most memorable thing about this book is Alice’s personality. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice was kind, sweet, and curious. Alice Bell is quite different, she’s a little more tough and came from a interesting family. I think she was raised on the concept that zombies are real but she isn’t completely into that idea, she acts as though she can never make up her mind. I think this what makes Alice her own person.
- reviewed by Dorcas, grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library
October 30, 2012
“Amputation is not as bad as people think,” Candi said, smiling to herself. The figure in the bed didn’t seem to be able to see the smile. Candi dried her hands on a paper towel and tossed it into the trash. Her smile faded as she turned to the bed. “I mean, God gave us two of so many of our organs – two kidneys, two ears, two eyes. . . .”
* A semi-regular posting of a few tempting lines from a book.