Perdido Beach was a normal neighborhood until the day when it became the Fallout Alley Youth Zone (FAYZ). All the teenagers and adults have mysteriously disappeared into thin air, leaving the city to those 14 years old and under. Bullies are taking control. Strange anomalies are popping up in nature, even in the kids themselves. Food is running out. And there’s no way out, until your 15th birthday.

The madness of Perdido doesn’t sit well with Sam, the quiet hero type. But he finds allies in his friend Quinn and an age-long crush, Astrid. They’ll prove more important than ever before when a new leader shows up in town. Caine and his crew of prep school kids are smart, controlling, and with a very deep secret behind their goals of “unity”. Sam must begin to solve the mysteries behind the nuclear center, a nameless darkness, and even his own history before Perdido Beach is well and truly lost.

This book felt a little bit like young X-Men on radioactive crack. From the first few pages I was drawn into the story and completely interested in the characters. Michael Grant juggled two story lines that would eventually intersect and managed to make them both as interesting as the other. Usually, when that happens, I care about one character and their trials more than the other’s and skim the bothersome parts. And when the powers started surfacing, it got really exciting. I have always been especially fond of superpower stories. Plus, dystopia = made of awesome. Honestly.

Sadly, with a plot like that, Gone sometimes felt a little formula. I predicted a few of the plot twists that I wish had been more difficult to see coming and the bullies were completely stereotype. Which may have been to prove a point, so I was not exceptionally bothered by it. Another thing that kind of put me out was the Sam was fictional. *sigh* Just like Marquis Shevraeth, Jacob, George Cooper, Prosper, Bobby Pendragon, Draco Malfoy… *rambles for several hours*

All the same, it was a very fun and solid read, well worth the 558 pages. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel. 5.5 out of 7 leaking nuclear plants for Gone.

Mourning Professor Xavier,

Aella Siofra

PS: I thought that the UK cover for this was infinitely more awesome? Am I alone in this? Medeia, any thoughts?

PS2: If you don’t know who Shevraeth is than go read Crown Duel. Poseidon commands it. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.

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okay okay, I realize that the price of one is free… but I’ve read a bunch of books lately that I meant to review and I don’t want to drag it out and make three different posts for them, hence the three-in-one deal.

First is Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky.

This is a book about sex. And not the in the usual way where there’s a killer plotline and sex is woven into it either to add drama or as an integral part of the story. Well, there is a plotline but I would hardly call it a killer one.

It’s the story of Dominique, the barely-been-kissed high school senior and her first love. The two quickly progress from IM-ing all night to fooling around in the back of Wes’ car. Long story short: they go to prom, have sex afterwards, etc etc then go off to different colleges. Now here’s the part of the book where I thought there would be major drama and cheating boyfriends getting caught when the girlfriend pays a surprise visit or something. But there isn’t. There isn’t anything really, just Dom and Wes growing apart and another conveniently placed boy thrown in towards the end that you can tell is going to hook up with her right after she and Wes break up. So, yeah, the lack of anything but various descriptions of them screwing around made this book kind of unimpressive. I don’t know about you, but I like my characters to have some personality. Anatomy of a Boyfriend gets 3.5 undressed Ken dolls out of 7.

Next up: Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

Have you ever wanted to break into a haunted mental hospital and film a movie in it? I’m going to assume that your response is “Hell yeah!” because that’s what I would say. Well, not really. I tend to go for abandoned amusement parks, personally.

Derik and his ragtag band of “actors”(I use that term very loosely) break into Danvers State Mental Hospital the night before it is due to be torn down. I did mention the place is haunted, right? So they run around seeing loads of creepy stuff. Like a doll hanging from a noose, singing a creepy song. And that’s just the beginning. Soon they get sucked right up into the fate of one of the hospital’s ghosts.

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that this book was a cool one. All of the characters are really… real. They all have their own reasons for going along with Derik’s plan, and often misjudge each other’s motivations. Which is awesome because I hate flat characters. Okay, so 5 out of 7 on that one.

Almost done, guys. Wow, when I started, I didn’t think the post would be so long… ah well. I’ll keep the last one short, I promise. It’s for Marked by Kristin and P.C. Cast.

Pretty much your run-of-the-mill vamp story. Girl gets turned into a vampire, has to go to vampire academy, falls in love with super hot vamp boy, has to defeat leader of evil vampire chicks who summons ghosties on Halloween. Nothing really amazing here. It just felt like a bunch of books I’ve read before smooshed into one.

3 out of 7 glasses of wine spiked with vampire blood. Yummy…

So there you have it. Believe it or not, I still have more books to review, but I didn’t want to overload anyone. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, after all. Expect more reviews later this week. Of better books, too…

~Medeia~

Have you ever read one of those realistic fictions that are just so good and heart warming that you have to read them again? This one qualifies! One million times over! Plus, the author pretty much rocks our world. I waited far too long to do this review.

Sugar Magnolia Dempsey (yes. that is her real name) is sick of moving. She’s been all over the country, from communes to temples, and the latest shift was the hardest of all. How will she survive without her soul mate Trevor and the fabulous friends that she made in Portland? The pain of the separation only works to harden her resolve. It’s a new day. A new town. In Austin, Texas she will become the lowest of the low. The bottom of the social food chain. The untouchable of geekdom. And all on purpose.

  • Stage 1- find a fellow untouchable to hang with.
  • Stage 2- dress like one escaped from a sanitarium.
  • Stage 3- demolish the social classes altogether.
  • Stage 4- become cool. Wait! That wasn’t in the plan!

But once some things are set in motion than they can become bigger than the person who started them. And Maggie’s forced oddness is only the beginning of love, life, and aerobic swimming (EEK) that will challenge everything she based her decision on to begin with.

This is a really really wonderful book. I love the characters down to the very last one. Jennifer Ziegler creates a protagonist that is supremely easy to relate to, and writes teen hierarchy as it is. All through, it is funny and refreshing. This author has created something bookshelfshakingly real. The antics of Maggie on her quest for loserdom are brilliant and super fun to read (even for the second time
fantastic through). I am almost tempted to show up to school tomorrow in a jumpsuit or kimono. Oh, the stir that would cause.

6.7  out of 7 floral and feathered swimming caps! Highly highly recommended!

Plotting something properly ladder popping,

Aella Siofra

My brothers loved heavy metal. I used to sit up in my bed until 2:00 in the morning, listening to barely coherent words and an unholy abusive sound of guitars stream through the floor over my head. I used to count down from 100 and see if the neighbors called within that time span. And when I was older, they passed on those midnight albums to me. This book made me feel compelled to go through them again and I was astonished by how many I had that were mentioned in the pages of Heavy Metal and You. But at the same time, I really wasn’t surprised at all. Anyway. We should probably move on from unwanted anecdotes of Aella’s life. Sorry ’bout that.

Sam is so head over heels for Melissa that he can barely see straight. The only thing he loves more than her is the sheer power and release of his metal music. And Melissa wants to know more about metal so she can connect with Sam. How perfect is that? Not very. Not when Melissa begins to poke a little more into that side of his life than she is welcome to. Not when she objects to his friends. Not when she’s more interested in his reformation than him. What is the answer to all of this chaos? Why, music of course.

I thought this book was okay-ish.  It has the hardcore and music edge of Nick and Norah‘s with some of the profanity and less of the awesome. Sam was a good narrator, funny and honest, with clear insight into the subculture of metal. Not for the faint of heart- descriptions of a dark underworld were very frank and in your face. Which was really very cool.

Unfortunately, I found that this was one of those books that actually supports stereotypes while trying to destroy them. Metalheads= violent, lost, frustrated, goth. Goth= all black, emo, lost, metalheads. It was prevalent enough to really affect how much I enjoyed the story, which was a sweet story of sacrifice and love, if a little over-used (boy meets girl. falls in love. girl meets friends. hates friend. boy freaks. fightage occurs). But if the stereotypes in fiction don’t bother you, then go for it. Not a bad book. Just irritating if you let things like that get to you. And, Ireallyreallysuperdidn’tlikeMelissa. There. It’s out.

4 out of 7 demented howling Slayer albums!

OMC! Lyk, Black Sabbath!,

Aella

This is two depressing posts in a row now. But don’t worry. I’m reading a comedic book right now and the post will be up soon. On to business.

Dear Enna of Squeaky Books,

Today, September 5th, the posters of Charybdis would like to grovel at your blogging feet and beg for forgiveness. Although we agreed to participate in your amazing birthday contest, we messed up. Screwed up. Did horribly. Broke your trust. And to all the participants in this contest, we also want to extend an apology. It must have been a hassle to expect something to appear and not have it be so. If this was an inconvenience towards anyone we would like to bake you cookies. But we can’t. Because we can’t cook. But we send figmental cookies in your general direction. After WordPress was done being a dingbat, it was too late to save the situation. So once again. We ask. Will you forgive us?

Sincerely,

I know that this is a very to the side aside, but I think that this is a particularly nice cover photo. Anyone else?

I know that this is a very to the side aside, but I think that this is a particularly nice cover photo. Anyone else?

I’m sure everyone has already heard about this and that I was the last lonesome soul in Teengirl America to find out, but I was shocked enough to type up this quick post before going back to the land of Spanish homework *far-off screams* .

There I was, moseying through yahoo’s homepage when I stumbled on this article. It sort of makes me feel sad. Although I am not exactly a Twi-hard, it just seems so depressing that people would even consider leaking information like that. Is anyone else feeling bad for Stephenie Meyer right now?

Please go read the article (follow the link above) and then leave your thoughts on it in comments. Are my thoughts on this unjustified?

Ze cover, it is good, no?

Ze cover, it is good, no?

Hellohellohello!! I have returned to the Charybdis with much to tell and much to catch up on. I plan on covering our upcoming contest and experiences from Trinity Library in a post yet to come, but I was so eager to do a few reviews that I’ve put them on the back shelf for the moment. So I’ll be around quite a bit for the next few days.

Nothing is going right for Dylan Fontaine. His mother, a talented artist, just left his family for another man. His father, an obstetrician/gynecologist, is using the hospital as an excuse to ignore the problems at home. His brother, a musician, won’t stop smoking weed long enough to realize that Dylan is having some issues. And his best friend Angie, is on friends only basis. Not to mention, our hero has just been arrested for marijuana that isn’t his and stealing underwear (vedddy embarassing). It’s time for a change. Even from an unexpected direction.

Angie has just finished a summer program on film at a New York college and is participating in a short film festival. Who better to base it on than her best friend, the intriguing and drama besieged Dylan Fontaine? Reluctant at first, Dylan discovers that the film may mean more than 15 minutes in a crowded theatre hall. It may be his one way ticket to himself.

I want to say right off the bat that I loved this book. Dylan’s character is in your face and so honestly conflicted that you feel for him from the first few pages. I wanted to see him discover his latent powers more than anything in the world while reading through this. And the characters around him are just as awesome. They all have unique personalities and different senses of humor. Also, even if the story doesn’t come right out and say it, you know that Dylan’s discovery of himself is helping everyone he’s associated with to do the same.

April Lurie writes with A-level humor. I laughed a lot, not only at Dylan’s hilarious first person narrative, but also at the border-line impossible situations that come his way. His “raging hormones” also provided a great deal of comic relief, while not going over the edge with… icky. The only disappointment was that it every so often felt like Dylan was too passive about his brother’s drug use. I had this secret scenario going on in my head where he jumped in, stole the joints, ran away and dumped them in the harbor. But ah well. C’est la vie, I suppose.

6.5 out of 7 something-or-others. Have we still not decided? Anyway. That’s a nice rating to come back to, either way you look at it.

Rearranging my bookshelves (again),

Eoin Colfer is made of awesome. He is one of those authors whose work you never have to doubt. When I see one of his books with its shiny new cover begging me to pick it up and turn its lovely pages, I never think, “Oh, I hope this won’t be one of those books that looks fantastic and is just… not.” Which makes me happy because books with shiny covers disappoint me all too often. *sighs and rambles for a while about how books with awesome covers should, in themselves, be awesome*

But getting back to Airman. Our hero, Conor Broekhart, has been (literally) flying since birth. He was born on a hot air balloon, and has been obsessed with aircrafts of all sorts since. He is a resourceful and clever youngling (as shown when he rescues Princess Isabella from the king’s tower… which they may have set ablaze in the first place…) and is assigned a tutor, Victor, under whom he learns about aircraft, fencing, and other studies necessary to an illustrious youth. Okay, maybe not necessary but certainly helpful.

However, Conor’s world falls apart when he witnesses the assassination of King Nicholas, by the devious scoundrel, Bonvilain. Victor and Conor are blamed for the king’s death. Victor is shot by Bonvilain and Conor is sent to Little Saltee, the island prison. Now, Conor has to learn to survive the daily beatings, poor conditions, lack of air and sunlight, etc. Oh, and he needs to find a way to escape, too. What kind of story would it be if our protagonist rotted away in a cold, dank cell? How is he going to escape? Well, maybe, just maybe, looking at the title of the novel would give you a hint ;).

Eoin Colfer never disappoints. His characters were solid and the adventure was exciting. The two year time skip was a necessary evil (I mean, who wants to hear about two years in prison?) and very appropriately placed. I actually liked this book better than the newest Artemis Fowl, to tell you the truth. 6 out of 7 balloons full of fireworks for this one [insert explode-y noises and such here].

~Medeia~

Now, I have been told (by many people) that Maureen Johnson is a fabulous author and threatened (by one person in particular) with heavy exposure to Swedish techno if I did not read at least one of her books. Swedish techno is actually fun to listen to… in small doses. More than that might melt your brain. Seeing as I like my brain in its non-puddinglike state, I snagged the nearest one, which happened to be (as you can probably guess from the title of this post) Suite Scarlett.

Scarlett Martin’s family owns and lives in a hotel. The Hopewell has fallen on hard times and while it may not have a plethora of Egyptian cotton towels or toilets that function 100% of the time, it has what is called “the personal touch”. Meaning, that the Martins can no longer afford to hire staff and the only people around who will work for free are Scarlett and her siblings. Following family tradition, Scarlett is given the key to the Empire Suite and the responsibility of its upkeep. Due to the family’s financial troubles, Scarlett has to drop her plans of getting a summer job in favor of working at the hotel… but her plans are saved in an entirely unexpected way by Mrs. Amberson, a former actress turned writer/director/agent, who moves into the Empire Suite and offers Scarlett the chance to be her assistant. As this position pays $500 a week, she snaps up the opportunity and quickly gets to work.

This mainly consists of fetching exotic delicacies and helping Mrs. Amberson write her novel…. uuuntil Scarlett’s brother Spencer gets involved in a local “Broadway” production. The cast is evicted from the parking garage where they’ve been practicing and where do they choose to stage the rehearsals? The basement of the Hopewell, of course. Things quickly pick up and between Mrs. Amberson’s meddling in the production of the play, and Scarlett’s maybe-boyfriend-maybe-not (who also happens to be Spencer’s friend and in the cast of the play) events around the hotel quickly get tangled. And once everything starts to fall down around their ears, Scarlett has to take charge and show that she’s good for more than delivering organic Japanese plums.

I found Suite Scarlett to be a fun and funny book. It was cute and I loved the interaction between the family members. They seemed very real and atypical and interesting. Very different than what I had thought a book about a hotel would be like… much more entertaining. And if you happened to be looking for a book to take to the beach I’d recommend this one. Not that I read it at the beach, but it seems like that’d be a good place to do so. 6 out of 7 … wailing mermaids?… that sounds good, let’s go with that.

I’m rather enjoying this all new atmosphere. I feel perpetually refreshed (other than the multiple late nights spending quality time with the Olympics). And as you may have read in the post above, I’ve been rather occupied with preparations to go see… Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (That was a drum roll- I couldn’t tell either).

THIS!!!!

Trinity College Library

Trinity College Library

So this will be my last review for quite some time. And I know that with Medeia holding down the ship (another horrible play on words), you won’t miss me at all. *shniff* Anyway, on to the review.

Archie’s grandfather’s last words were both severe and perhaps, prophetic. “Young Man, you are a saint.” How is he supposed to live up to a charge like that? But it seems as if it will all be much easier when the intriguing and beautiful Clare comes to town. She is the most saintly person Archie has ever met, and seems very much interested in the salvation of his eternal soul. But is Archie being blinded by his adoration for “Saint” Clare? Because it is beginning to seem like the enigmatic girl may have a more tainted past than she first let on to. And very rapidly she has pulled Archie into a maelstrom of religious fervor that might spell the end of them both (eternal souls or no).

This book was really quite amazing in many respects. It targeted the spiritual questions of life head on without being preachy or irritating. The characters had great depth and (as is usually the case with Han Nolan) the writing was amazzzzing. I could feel the plight of both Clare and Archie as I read through. And was very moved by them both.

To tell the truth though, When We Were Saints moved kind of slowly in the beginning. And the tense (through no fault of the author) could become tedious and frustrating. But if you’re willing to dig through that to the real core of the novel, then it will be well worth your time.

Umm… at the suggestion of Nicole in the comments from the last post… BWARUMPAZWOOM. That would be the sound of 5 out of 7 elephants attacking erm…themselves?

Farewell for Now,