Sunday, April 29, 2012

Swipe

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - Ever since Logan's sister's death, he has felt watched. With his thirteenth birthday only a month away, anxiety over the Mark, the symbol of adulthood and dedication to the new government, and the feeling of being followed has grown. When Erin moves to town, Logan tries to start a friendship but she only wants to go home. Until she hears Logan's story. She believes he is next on the list of a kidnapper named Peck, who takes Markless kids shortly before their Pledge. As things begin to escalate, they set out to catch the kidnapper at his own game but Logan can't help but question why this is happening and why such interest in him. What really does happen to those who reject the Mark?
Author - Evan Angler
Publisher - Thomas Nelson
Age Group - 12 and up
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* The characters try to help one another but do disobey and mislead their parents. Logan tries to do the right thing and Erin cares for him. Dane is disrespectful and rebellious to his parents. The word 'su**' was used three times.

Personal Opinion - The world, mystery, and characters was interesting as well as creative (the houses where interesting and the contrast to those who have the Mark and who doesn't was displayed well), but the book was a bit slow in the beginning and a little heavy in only telling instead of trying to make the reader feel it. But, as the book got deeper into the situation, those issues mostly went away, filling me with intrigue, wanting to know what would happen next and wanting the same answers to the questions Logan was asking. Didn't really believe the part of how religion disappeared (it gets explained how that happened) but everything else and what happens to the Markless (can't share because it would spoil it) seems believable with today's morals. Also, thought there would be more about God in it but, perhaps, it is building up to that (in fact, I think I saw a few tell tale signs that it is coming up). The tid-bit about the author was fun with it being as if he was a part of the world/society the book is taking place in. I believe this series can have a promising future and young adults would enjoy it.
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Links - Learn more about the books and author here.

Special Notes - Book 2, Sneak, is out later this year.

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Booksneeze.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Diamond Estates: The Embittered Ruby

"Sixteen-Year-Old Carmen Castillo
Wonders What it Would be Like to
Have a Pair of Ruby Slippers."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Carmen just wants her old life back. The only way to do is to have her boyfriend marry her. But the only way she can think of that happening anytime soon is to get pregnant. But when things begin to crash around her, she has no choice but to go to Diamond Estates to change her ways and heal her soul. It is not easy though when she doesn't believe in God or have an interest in the program. Will she find healing or will her old ways keep her from changing?

Author - Nicole O'Dell

Publisher - Barbour

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - Carmen makes a lot of mistakes like tricking her boyfriend and lying without thinking of others but this does change in the end. She also uses birth control. Her she also blames a lot and hates some people. Nate seems like a good guy but his morals are not very Christian (but this is also in the beginning of the book and they are both needing to find God). The Christan growth and message was wonderful and well done.  

Personal Opinion - LOVE the cover art (really like stained glass). A realistic story with a fantastic ending. I believed (even though thinking "Girl, what are you doing?") what Carmen was thinking, feeling, and rationalizing in the beginning when she made plans to get out of her current situation. Even though they were bad decisions, which was clear, it all seemed like how teenagers think today, so what was happening was realistic. But, when Carmen got to Diamond Estates, she did some things that didn't seem like her character before and, the new situations that were started, I didn't feel had enough time to do justice with before the end of the book. Her transformation was a bit quick as well, but very beautiful with a wonderful message in it. All in all, it was a good second book in a series that is well worth the read.

Buy - Amazon

Links - Learn more about the books and author here.

Special Notes - Book 2 in the Diamond Estates series.
Book 1 Review, The Wishing Pearl
Book 3 Review, (Has not been released yet)

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher/author through Team Novel Teen.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

RMS Titanic Remembrance


On April 15, 192, the RMS Titanic, the grandest ship of it's time, known as unsinkable, came to rest on the on the Atlantic ocean floor after hitting an iceberg two hours earlier. Warnings had been delivered to the Titanic about ice but they did not listen. After hitting the iceberg, five of its water tight rooms filled when only four rooms could be filled without the ship loosing its equilibrium. Women and children passengers were placed in the lifeboats first but it was known right away their would be enough. There were twenty boats total which could have gotten off over 1,500 people out of the 2,200 passengers and crew aboard. But the boats were not filled to capacity for it was believed another ship was coming to help them. Help was tried to be raised on the telegraph but no one heard, the telegrapher on the closest ship had gone to bed. Only a little over 700 people survived and were rescued in the morning by the Carpathia (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2012).

Today is the 100th year anniversary of this disaster. Let us remember the brave men who gave up lives to in order to give women and children a place in the lifeboats and the women who stayed behind with the ones the loved as well as the souls who got off and told their stories. Let's also remember some of the good that followed this. In 1913 the first ever International Conference for Safety of Life at Sea was held and new rules, such as enough lifeboats for each person, a twenty-four hour radio watch be held, and lifeboat drills are done on each voyage. An international Ice Patrol was also launched to warn ships and brake the ice (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2012). Let us remember these things today and honor the memory of the men, women, and crew who lost their lives on board the RMS Titanic and those who survived.



Works Cited

Encyclopaedia Britannica. “The Story of the Titanic: The Titanic.” Titanic: The Unsinkable Ship. Last modified in 2012. http://www.britannica.com/titanic/article-9072642

Monday, April 9, 2012

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

"Destiny Brought Them Together.
Will Tragedy Draw Them Apart?"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - Amelia is on her way to America to meet a man who could be her future husband. Quentin is searching for a way out of the gutter, and escape the mistakes in his past, and wishes to return to his home country. An incident causes Amelia to offer an extra ticket to Quentin on the famous RMS Titanic. As they get to know one another, Amelia discovers that Quentin's family, who he has run from and not spoken to for several years, is on board as well. As Amelia tries to convince Quentin to seek his family and discover where her heart is going, the ship is headed for a disaster no one expected.

Author - Tricia Goyer

Publisher - Barbour Publishing

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Amelia is giving, even when she has little, and faithful to friends and family. Quentin has made many mistakes in the past but he regrets them and is determined to change his life. Quentin's brother, Damien, is devoted to his father but is also concerned about how he looks to others to the extent that he tries to hide what he knows about his brother. Someone tells Amelia about a woman who saw a palm reader (this isn't detailed, just mentions what the palmist predicted).

Personal Opinion - A book well on it way to becoming a favorite. I got into the story from the beginning and it was hard to put down. I enjoyed it every minute and the historical information about the Titanic was brought in nicely, causing the characters to behave and think in a believable way but the reader to shutter knowing what was to come. Each character was believable in their own way, coming to life in each scene. I even found myself crying as the Titanic sunk. The only thing I might comment on is that the sinking went a bit quick. Now, you are all calling me morbid but I just thought that part would have taken a bit longer than it did. But, since that isn't the main focus of the story, I can see where it being shorter was better. A talented writer that I will have to read more and a very good book.

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Links - Learn more about the book and author here.

Other books by this author reviewed here -
Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer.

Special Notes - The author has an interesting story about how she came to write this story on her blog. You can read it here.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Helium-3 Novel: Crater

"A Mining Colony on the Moon.
A Teen Sent on a Deadly Mission.
And a Secret Bigger that Two Worlds."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - Crater Trueblood is happy in life. He has a good job mining for Helium-3 for the world, good friends, and a loving guardian whose son, Petro, is like a brother to him. But when he attracts the attention of the Colonel who runs Moontown, he is sent on a deadly mission to retrieve a mysterious package. Along the way, his mission is put in jeopardy by obstacles along the trail consisting of accidents, mutated humans, and assassins to name a few. As Crater deals with danger to his friends and himself, he tries to understand what is going on, what he should do, and if this package is really worth all this danger of death.

Author - Homer Hickam

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 14 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Crater is sweet, kind, and caring. He gives of himself without any thought of being repayed, even to a mutant race that once tried to kidnap him. Not having any interest in killing, even when someone is trying to kill him, shows his innocence but gets others to tell him to toughen up. Petro is a tough guy but can be something of a jerk. He cares deeply for Crater and is something of a woman chaser and gambler. The villains are violent and some characters die but it isn't graphic (one death might have been a little creepy but I'm sure I have read worse).

Personal Opinion - This was a good story and an interesting idea of living on the moon. I was pretty sure the author's knowledge of mining went into this story when I was reading it (and if any of you know who Homer Hickam is, you are probably saying, "Duh"). As I read the note at the end, I found out that was correct (you repeat yourself), but, something interesting I learned was that Helium-3 does exist and there had once been plans to live on the moon. That was an interesting piece of information that broadened my interest in the book.

The characters were developed well and varied in personality which made it more realistic. Their struggles, thoughts, and action seemed appropriate and their reactions believable. Crater could have gotten a little tougher but one of his charms is how sweet and kind he is and I feel he is still growing. Even though I liked the story, I felt it was a little long in places and quick in others. There were times I also felt that I got too much info on this for the story and not enough on another so I was left scratching me head. A glossary would have been nice to look up some of the info if I forgot it because there were a bunch of new terms. Because this was published by a Christian company, I assumed there would be more about God but it did show that the Crater and others believed and put their faith in Him. It was more that it was a given that the characters believe in God and it was an everyday thing for them. Don't get me wrong, I found spots that were very exciting and myslef wanting to go back to the story when I put it down. The world was also very creative and well developed. If someone was thinking about getting, or reading, the book, I would tell them to read it because I thought the story was good and feel that the adventure is just getting started, promising to be even more exciting as the trilogy goes on.

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Special Notes - Book 1 in a trilogy. Book 2 out in 2013

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Booksneeze.

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