As posted on twitter, I was at the beach yesterday! (Yay!) And it was fun! I dug a hole with my friends with our hands like we always do, but this hole was huge! And now….I’m really sore….Here are my beach reads and the book Holes by Louis Sachar.
1) Homecoming by Cynthia Voight
Okay, so personally, I think this cover is really creepy.
But there’s no beach read quite like a beach read that’s a fairly good sized paperback, where you’ve read it so much the pages are soft and the book fits right into your hands. Love books like that. This copies of this series are some of my favorite beach reads.
Synopsis: “IT’S STILL TRUE.”
That’s the first thing James Tillerman says to his sister Dicey every morning. It’s still true that their mother has abandoned the four Tillerman children somewhere in the middle of Connecticut. It’s still true they have to find their way, somehow, to Great-aunt Cilla’s house in Bridgeport, which may be their only hope of staying together as a family.
But when they get to Bridgeport, they learn that Great-aunt Cilla has died, and the home they find with her daughter, Eunice, isn’t the permanent haven they’ve been searching for. So their journey continues to its unexpected conclusion — and some surprising discoveries about their history, and their future.
pg count for the paperback: 416
Series: Tillerman Cycle
Recommended for boys and girls 11-13
2) Above World by Jenn Reese
I just finished this book yesterday, and I had some quite mixed feelings about it. It was good enough to get it’s review from me of 3.8 stars, but there were some aspects to it I didn’t like. Jenn Reese made some moves in this book that I felt were unnecessary and closed up a lot of really cool situations, conflicts and opportunities that she might’ve used to make the book better and more exciting. Instead of getting the desired emotion of “the whole above world is against us”, she just managed to frustrate me with how it seemed like the only emotion in some parts of the book were depression and frustration. Still, she came out with a satisfactory ending and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series.
Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is in doubt. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people.
But can Aluna’s warrior spirit and Hoku’s tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt—growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains—here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.
pg count for the hardcover: 368
Series: Above World
Recommended for girls and boys 10-12
3) Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
This was an okay book that I thought was creative. When I first saw it, I was super excited to read it. I liked the way Gena Showalter added the references to Alice in Wonderland in the chapter titles and bits and pieces as the book went on, but I felt like the book gradually drifted away from the whole Alice in Wonderland theme. What has this got to do with the beach, you ask? I dunno, but it was an awesome book to read on the beach.
Synopsis: She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real….
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….
pg count for the hardcover: 404
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles
Recommended for girls and boys 12-16
4) Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
I had mixed feelings about this book. It was really slow at times, at times it felt rushed. Hmmm. 4 stars. I didn’t like the characters as much, and I’ve seen a prose like this in M.T. Anderson’s Feed. Still, it was a cool book, and I enjoyed reading it.
Synopsis: In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.
When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.
As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.
pg count for the paperback: 308
Recommended for girls 11-16
5) Holes by Louis Sachar
An amazing story. I did not realize Stanley’s pain until I dug that huge hole yesterday. Geez. 4.5 stars. Well-formed characters, remarkably well done back story and clever plot.
Synopsis: And so, Stanley Yelnats seems set to serve an easy sentence, which is only fair because he is as innocent as you or me. But Stanley is not going where he thinks he is. Camp Green Lake is like no other camp anywhere. It is a bizarre, almost otherworldly place that has no lake and nothing that is green. Nor is it a camp, at least not the kind of camp kids look forward to in the summertime. It is a place that once held “the largest lake in Texas,” but today it is only a scorching desert wasteland, dotted with countless holes dug by the boys who live at the camp.
The trouble started when Stanley was accused of stealing a pair of shoes donated by basketball great Clyde “Sweetfeet” Livingston to a celebrity auction. In court, the judge doesn’t believe Stanley’s claim that the shoes fell from the sky onto his head. And yet, that’s exactly what happened. Oddly, though, Stanley doesn’t blame the judge for falsely convicting him. Instead, he blames the whole misadventure on his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.” Thanks to this benighted distant relative, the Yelnats family had been cursed for generations. For Stanley, his current troubles are just a natural part of being a Yelnats.
At Camp Green Lake, the warden makes the boys “build character” by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the treacherous warden is searching for something, and before long Stanley begins his own search—for the truth.
Fate conspires to resolve it all—the family curse, the mystery of the holes, the drought that destroyed Green Lake, and also, the legend of Kissing Kate Barlow, an infamous outlaw of the Wild West. The great wheel of justice has ground slowly for generations, but now it is about to reveal its verdict.
pg count for the paperback: 233
Sequel: Small Steps
Movie: Pretty good for a movie based on a book. Liked it.
Companion: Stanley Yelnats’ Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake
Recommended for boys 11-13
6) Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey
3.7 stars. Liked the characters, not so much the writing style itself. Was pretty good, liked the story and the whole pirates thing. I love pirates, so that helped.
Synopsis: It’s tough to be thirteen, especially when somebody’s trying to kill you.
Not that Egg’s life was ever easy, growing up on sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts.
But when Egg’s father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect.
Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.
Suddenly, Egg’s running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he’s been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy.
Come along for the ride. You’ll be glad you did.
pg count for the hardcover: 288
Series: The Chronicles of Egg
Recommended for girls and boys 11-13
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