If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.
* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.
Eye of the Storm, by Kate Messner kmessner ****+ This is right up my alley :) I love the scientific bent and the futuristic setting. I liked the complications not only between friends but also family members. I liked how there were reasons behind so many of the behaviors shown (I mean,there are always reasons, but sometimes, it seems like the author has no idea what those reasons could be -- compared to here, where it's clear that Kate understands human nature and shows compassion for it). And I liked how the light romance was just that -- very suitable for tweens and late middle grade. :) The story: Jaden is spending the summer with her dad at his science-based community. In this unusual place, no one has to fear the ever-growing and overwhelming storms which have taken over the planet. Jaden has qualified for a program dealing with science and using science to better change the future -- a program her dad's company sponsors. At first, Jaden finds it hard to believe that this community is safe (she's always been afraid of the powerful tornadic storms), but after a while, she begins to see for herself how the storms seem to turn away from the boundaries. Still, she and her science partner (Alex) start to realize that something strange is going on -- especially when Alex's farm (outside the community) is hit with destructive winds right when Jaden's dad's company wants them to sell...and Jaden has to decide what scientific and personal integrity mean to her. (Tween science fiction, released 3/12, publisher: Walker)
Destiny and Deception, by Shannon Delany **+ This didn't work as well for me as the previous books in this series. The last one was pretty triumphant, and although there was still some intrigue here (with the Russian mafia and how they've used those infected with lycanthropy), after Jessica helped find a 'cure' for the Rusakova's werewolf issues, much of the tension (both bad and good) between her and Pietr leaked away. Pietr isn't nearly as compelling in this book, and Jessica, although trying to remain loyal to him, wavers in her feelings -- which was distracting. I also had trouble with the multi-POV. Usually I'm a huge fan, but in this case, the constant head-jumping (happening numerous times per chapter) kept pulling me out of the story. I'll definitely pick up the next one, but I'm hoping things are resolved there. The story: Although it appears as though Pietr and his siblings have found freedom from their heritage (both with the mafia and with the lycanthropy), Alexi (their adopted brother) isn't convinced. Soon, a new threat seems to come forth, and Jessica is worried that they will no longer be able to handle things without their werewolf sides -- but at the same time, something is funky about the 'cure,' and the number of secrets multiplies... (YA urban fantasy, released 1/12, publisher: St. Martin's Griffin)
[Play It Again, Charlie, by R. Cooper ** I'm afraid this wasn't my cup of tea at all. Charlie was supposed to be a sympathetic character, and yes, I definitely felt sympathy for him here and there -- but mostly he was defeated. It was like he'd given up fighting for himself in any way, and that's tough to read. Plus, Will was annoying, and I couldn't see why Charlie wanted him, in the first place. The idea that Charlie gave his own life up for others also irritated me -- it didn't seem like he'd found any joy in that sacrifice, and it made me want to shake him! And did I mention how annoying Will was? So yeah, not really for me. The story: Charlie runs an apartment complex, and Will is the latest 'boy-toy' for one of the tenants (or so Charlie thinks). Soon, though, Will has made it clear he wants Charlie, but Charlie isn't sure how vulnerable to allow himself to be...and soon Charlie will have to let Will in if he wants it all. (Adult contemporary, GLBT, released 4/12, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)]
On Deck: Well, I haven't decided yet...but it'll be something good, no? :)