Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Promise Bound by Anne Greenwood Brown - ADVISABLE

Brown, Anne Greenwood  Promise Bound (Lies Beneath, #3), 353 pgs.  Delacorte Press, 2014.  $17.99  Content: Language: PG-13 (29 swears); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13.  

Lily is a Half (half mermaid and half human), but she has a pendant from her grandmother that gives her glimpses into the past, glimpses into Calder’s past.  Although Lily and Calder love each other and Calder is more human with Lily’s family in his life, Lily realizes the importance of Calder learning his past so he can move into the future.  But when Lily pushes Calder to find his past, there are misunderstandings and Lily is left to handle all of the family drama at home without him.  

This is a great ending to the Lies Beneath series.  The storyline never slows down and all three books build to this satisfying ending.  I liked the setting and the darker take on mermaids.  The characters in the book are high school aged, but there isn’t anything content wise that would keep it from middle school libraries.  Easy to recommend to young adult readers.  

MS, HS-ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown - ADVISABLE

Brown, Anne Greenwood  Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath, #2), 333 pgs.  Delacorte Press, 2013.  $17.99  Content: Language: PG-13 (24 swears); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13.  

Lily’s parents have moved her back to her hometown to keep her away from the lake where she almost died, but Lily misses Calder, her merman boyfriend.  Also, Lily’s father, Jason, is fighting his urge to get in the water and is confused about why he feels drawn to it.  Lily convinces Calder to help Jason understand what it means to be a merman without losing his humanity, but all the time Calder spends with Jason is time away from Lily and people are turning up dead all around the lake.  

In this second book in the Lies Beneath trilogy there is a mystery which moves the plot along quickly.  I was disappointed that Lily and Calder’s relationship wasn’t better developed and the ending seemed quickly wrapped up after all of the build-up.  That said, I like this series because the setting feels realistic and the story is interesting making it easy to recommend because it draws the reader in.  

MS, HS-ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.    

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown - ADVISABLE

Brown, Anne Greenwood  Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath, #1), 322 pgs.  Delacorte Press, 2012.  $8.99  Content: Language: PG (17 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG-13.  

Calder is a merman and he is tied to his three sisters through a mermaid bond.  Calder was once human and was made a merman, so maybe that is why he is opposed to killing humans, whereas, his sisters seem to enjoy it.  Calder is promised that his bond with his sisters can be broken if he exacts revenge on the man, Jason Hancock, who led their mother to her death.  Calder finds that he is falling for Jason’s daughter and he can’t bring himself to do the killing.  

This is a great story with interesting characters and a believable setting.  It’s hard to put down and I’m anxious to read the rest of the series.  It’s clean enough to put in middle school or high school libraries and is a new perspective on mermaids.  I listened to the audiobook, and the reader is great.  

MS, HS-ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.  

How the Beatles Changed the World by Sandler - ESSENTIAL

Sandler, Martin W. How the Beatles Changed the World, 169 p. Bloomsbury, 2014.  $21.  Content: G.  

The Beatles burst upon the American music scene in 1964 and before they broke up for good in 1970, they had changed music, movies, fashion, and more. 

I thought I would only skim this book before writing the review, but I read every single word instead.  My husband will tell you that I am not really a Beatles fan; they are not a group that I listen to choice, usually.  But as I was reading Sandler’s biography, I was engaged, entertained, and educated.  I also realized that I could hum or sing pretty much every song the Beatles produced - so they have influenced my life too.  This high-quality offering is an excellent addition to music appreciation, a collective biography collection, or a general non-fiction library.

MS, HS - ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Magic in the Mix by Annie Barrow - OPTIONAL

Barrows, Annie Magic in the Mix, 224 p. Bloomsbury, 2014.  $17.  Violence: PG (not graphic); Language: G; Mature Content: G.  

Molly and Miri have returned from the past and now the world and their family think that they are one of three sets of twins in the family  - not that the girls rescued Molly from an abusive situation in history.  The girls’ dad is tearing up the front porch and time has cracked open again.  Miri is worried that Molly might sacrifice themselves in order to save her mother.  But they have bigger problems when their older brothers are mistakenly drawn back to the Civil War and are captured by a cruel man in the South while they are dressed in Northern uniforms.  The girls will have to move quickly and brilliantly in order to save the boys.
I wanted to love this so much.  Even though I don’t know anything about the first book in the series, The Magic Half, I like the premise very much.  And Barrows has written not only the Ivy + Bean series, but also The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, which is brilliant historical fiction.  This one is kind of all over the place, though.  It has so much setup before the Civil War scenes, that it feels like the first in a series, not the second, which should have dropped us right into the action.  That’s a lot of pages for an elementary series that doesn’t really deliver.  

EL - OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Bats in the Band by Brian Lies - OPTIONAL

Lies, Brian Bats in the Band.  PICTURE BOOK.  Houghton Mifflin, 2014.  $18.  

The bats are coming out of winter hibernation and headed for a multi-genre music concert in a nearby barn.  

This one tries to bring in so many types of music, it is more scattered than the others in the series.  The bats are still cute and I love how they use fireflies in place of lighters.  

EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Become Shadow by Joe Shine - OPTIONAL

Shine, Joe I Become Shadow, 304 p. SOHO Teen, 2014.  $18.  Language: PG-13 (65 swears, 1 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13.  

When she was 14, Ren was kidnapped by vicious people who did what they had to in order to mold her into a killing machine - a protector of someone who would become important to the world in the future.  She survived her four years of training, though not all of her year mates did, and now she’s assigned to a geeky college freshman.  Besides going to classes she doesn’t want to attend, everything seems pretty easy - until the day someone tries to kill her charge.  Now many lives are in danger and Ren needs to call upon her best friend for help.  

This one is a little harder to buy - the government has a device that can help them see into the future and find important people?  Sure.  But kidnapping hundreds of fourteen year olds and no one noticing and caring?  I don’t think so.  Beyond that, there is not much substance to the plot and not enough really cool action to love it as a fast-moving, hard-hitting action novel.  Maybe if it had a little more room to percolate, but at 304 pages, it already had a lot of room.  

HS - OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher