Showing posts with label teen books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teen books. Show all posts
October 25, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Tombstones: The Last Drop

Tombstones: The Last Drop
By John Peel
Publisher: Archway Publisher
ISBN: 978-0671535308
Pub. Date: December 1, 2005
Pages: 160


During the late 1980s to the middle 1990s, the horror genre was very popular in the middle grade and young adult market, many thanks to Point Horror, but there where other publishers that released horror books as well. Archway Paperbacks tried to release a new series titled "Tombstones", but only two books were brought out in 1995.

Jared Irving is determined to find out if the Full Moon Enterprises is dumping toxins into the local streams in Tombstones: The Last Drop. The Full Moon Enterprises is breaking federal laws by using deadly chemicals, but the town people seem to ignore it, or they just don't want to believe it as the company has brought in many new jobs for the area.

While getting samples at a nearby stream, Jared meets a creature of the night and it will be the last thing that he will ever see.
October 24, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Review - Shockers: Grave Doubts by John Peel

Shockers: Grave Doubts 
By John Peel
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
ISBN: 978-0448405285
Pub. Date: June 23, 1993
Pages: 160


Grave Doubts is simply one of my favorite books from my childhood as it has always stuck in my mind after almost twenty-years later. I recall ordering many books from the Scholastic flyers when I was an elementary student. I was in the sixth grade (aka - the year I got glasses) when I read Grave Doubts during study hall.

In book three of the Shockers series, Matt Howard had blocked out the murder of his older sister, Penny, for ten years, but now those unwanted memories have resurfaced. A family friend, Mr. Ciprelli or known as Uncle Joey, went to a mental hospital shortly after Penny's brutal murder, but he has now returned and is moving into the house next door. Matt finds the man to be very odd as he is always watching him.

Matt doesn't have many memories about his sister, except for what people have told him about her. It seems that Penny was the perfect daughter and student. Matt gets into trouble at home and at school. He is told constantly from his parents and teachers that he was nothing like Penny and that she shouldn't have been the one to die.
October 22, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Review - Dances with Werewolves

Tombstones: Dances With Werewolves
By John Peel
Publisher: Archway
ISBN: 0-671-53529-3
Pub. Date: October 1995
Pages: 154


A serial killer known as "The Hinsdale Slasher" has been terrorizing a small Midwestern town. Holly Brand learns that Graham is actually the killer and he has kidnapped her best-friend Zakiya. With the help of her aunt, Police Chief Debra Dorn, Holly finds out where Graham has taken Zakiya, but this killer is not what meets the eye. He is actually a werewolf!

Holly becomes a hero and a media sensation after she kills "The Hinsdale Slasher", but only her aunt and best-friend know that he was in fact a werewolf. Suddenly, the ordinary teenager's, Holly, life is completely changed. All the media reporters wants her to do an exclusive interview and the poplar boys want to date her, including the star high school football player, Jeff.

She gets nominated to be the Midwinter Dance Queen, which upsets a popular girl, Gina, who wants revenge!
October 1, 2012

Review - Troll Hunters

Troll Hunters
By Michael Dahl
Illustrated By Ben Kovar
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
ISBN: 978-1434245908
Pub. Date: August 1, 2012
Pages: 320
Buy Link: Troll Hunters


Set in the outskirts of a small community, a group of teens, Pablo, Zak, Thora, and Bryce, head out to the quarry to watch the Draconid meteor shower, but something strange occurs as if something came out from the depths of the quarry's water. Giant troll creatures are unleashed.

The kids take refuge at Dr. Hoo's mansion that was hidden in the woods. He is one of the few people that have known that the trolls, whom are afraid of light, were going to take over the world. The bad trolls call themselves the Gathool, whereas the good trolls go by the name Drakhool.

Review - The Twisted Window

The Twisted Window
by Lois Duncan
Publisher: Open Road Young Readers
Pub. Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 194
Buy Link:
The Twisted Window (Laurel-Leaf Suspense Fiction)


The Twisted Window is written by the teen thriller-master, Lois Duncan. The book was original published back in 1987, but has been released onto Kindle with a few minor changes, the mention of cell phones, DVDs, etc. I've been a Lois Duncan fan every since I read I Know What You Did Last Summer (the book, not the movie) when I was a teenager, so when I saw this book up on Netgalley, I had to review it.

Tracy Lloyd had recently lost her mother, her father practically abandoned her, and she now resides in a small town with her aunt and uncle. The plot begins with a strange boy named Brad started staring at her during lunch hour at school. Brad is from Albuquerque, but he doesn't exactly go to her school. He follows her around and eventually asks her out. She thinks it is a date, but it isn't what he had in mine.

September 22, 2012

Review - The Bucktail Brothers of the Fighting 149th

The Bucktail Brothers of the Fighting 149th
By: William P. Robertson & David Rimer
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
ISBN: 978-0741467300
Pub. Date: August 5, 2011
Pages: 212

Times were hard on families during the Civil War years. In The Bucktail Brothers of the Fighting 149th, the Cole family’s barn burns down to the ground. Money is tight and they don't know where they are going to get the money to rebuild the barn, until their sons Henry and Willie Cole decide to join the 149th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry lead by Lieutenant Colonel Walton Dwight. Their mother is distraught at the thought of her two teenage sons going off to war. Their father felt that way at first but the $100 cash for the boys joining would help raise a new barn and keep the farm going for awhile.

Henry and Willie say goodbye to their parents and head off with their infantry. They quickly learn the ways of being a solider, even though Henry is a little cocky at times and Willie is stubborn. The two brothers become part of the Pennsylvania Bucktails that fought on the fields of Gettysburg. Their fellow soldiers fell dead and others are wounded, but with great courage the boys fought forward.

September 14, 2012

Review - The Vampire Hunter's Daughter: The Complete Collection

The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter: The Complete Collection 
By Jennifer Malone Wright 
Genre:YA paranormal 
ISBN: 978-0615650081 
Number of pages: 222
Word Count: 78,734
Buy Links: 

Book Description:

This special edition of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter contains parts I-VI, the complete collection. Fourteen-year-old Chloe witnesses her mother’s murder at the hands of a vampire. Before the vampire can kidnap her, there is an unexpected rescue by a group of vampire hunters.

Overwhelmed by the feeling of safety, Chloe passes out and they whisk her away to their small community. When Chloe wakes, she comes face to face with the only other living relative, besides her mother, whom she has ever met: her grandfather. Chloe’s mother kept her hidden from the family; now, Chloe tries to unveil the family secrets.

Through her grandfather, she learns her mother was a vampire hunter. In fact, her entire family is descended from the powerful bloodlines of vampire hunters. Chloe agrees to join the family she has never known for one reason only: Chloe vows to kill the vampire responsible for her mother’s murder. With vengeance in her soul, Chloe is even more determined to follow through on her vow when she discovers the true identity of her enemy and how he is connected to her.

Experience the world of vampires hunter’s, vampires and mythology with Chloe in this exciting series.


I've been a vampire fan since I can remember, watching movies and reading books from the genre, so I eagerly read through The Vampire Hunter's Daughter in one night, courtesy of Bewitching Blog Tours.

The book opens up with a fourteen-year-old Chloe Kallistrate being awakened by her distraught mother in the early morning, telling her to hide in the closet as they are coming for her. Who is coming for her? Blood-sucking vampires of course!
September 13, 2012

Review - Children of Angels

Children of Angels
By Kathryn Dahlstrom
Publisher: WinePressPublishing
ISBN: 978-1606152164
Pub Date: February 22, 2012
Pages: 224
Buy Link:
Blog Tour: 

Jeremy Lapoint is a victim of bulling at Anoka Middle School by a fellow student, Sid Lundah, and a couple of his friends. The bulling consist of naming, calling, dumping everything out of Jeremy's book bag, and even destroying his iPod that his grandmother gave to him. To make matter, worse, Jeremy's father is in prison for theft.

Things start to change for young Jeremy on the day he learned to fly. Yes, I said he could fly! 

An angel named Asiel appears to him explaining that Jeremy is a Nephilim, a half human/half angel, and that he is not the only one as there are two hundred-thirty kids spread across America, Europe, and Canada. Being what he is, Jeremy is one of the few that can see the demons that walk the Earth, therefore he must be trained to use his new powers, such as increased strength, invisibility, and how to mute himself so others can't hear him.

Author Kathryn Dahlstrom has written a creative plot for kids that doesn't involve vampires or werewolves, but instead focus on a world where there are half human/half angels while at the same time throwing in a superhero story. Kids will easily connect with the main character Jeremy as he is a bullied student who discovers the difference between angels and demons. I enjoyed reading the book and I recommend it to readers of all ages.

Disclaimer - I received this book free of charge from WinePressPublishing and the Litfuse Publicity Group.

About the Author:

When Kathryn Dahlstrom’s husband was transferred to Los Angeles, she traded Minnesota’s black-bear country for the inner-city and taught children at a Child Evangelism Fellowship Good News Club in Watts. She also began her writing career. In addition to writing six titles in the Good News Club children’s fiction series published by Child Evangelism Fellowship Press, the author is also a screenwriter and film producer. Currently, she and her husband, Tim, live on wooded acreage north of Minneapolis/St. Paul where they care for her mother. They also have an adult daughter, Kristina. Find out more about Kathryn at
September 11, 2012

Review - Integration

By Imogen Rose
Publisher: Imogen Rose
Pub Date: July 7, 2012
Pages: 416

Second Haiku warning:

A boyfriend missing
A lover must pay in blood
A princess must die

Welcome back to Bonfire Academy.


Integration picks up the story where Initiation left off and at the same time it is a prequel to Faustine. The book is set at the private Bonfire Academy, where all the students have paranormal origins, such as vampires, fairies, shifters, witches, hybrids, and many other types.

The story centers on Cordelia, who has finished her enrichment years at the school. She is now starting an optional school year as a student mentor and is the apprentice to Professor Bern, who is the head of the Department of Paranormal Powers and Control.

Also retuning is Faustine, who is staring her second year and she faces many challenges as she is a human/demon hybrid. Surprisingly, Mason is also back at the school after being kicked out the year before, but his father pulled some strings getting him back in.

September 7, 2012

ARC Review - The Hallowed Ones

Laura Bickle
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia

Pub Date: September 25, 2012
ISBN-10: 0547859260
ISBN-13: 978-0547859262


If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in?

In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror…

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?


I've been an Amish fiction fan for several years every since I read my first Beverly Lewis book. I'm also a fan of vampire novels, like the Vampire Diaries and The Southern Vampire Mysteries. In The Hallowed Ones I get a combination of Amish fiction and vampires!
August 27, 2012

ARC Review - The Lost Prince

The Lost Prince
By: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 978-0373210572
Pub Date: October 30, 2012
Pages: 400

Ethan Chase lives a life full of fear. His sister, Meghan Chase, is now the Iron Queen, and he is about to start classes at a new school, in which he dreads. You see, just like his sister, he can see Faeries and if these creatures find out that he can see him, then his life would be over.

He keeps to himself as he doesn't want to attract attention, but a teenage girl, Kenzie St. James, takes an interest in him, despite his resistance. Then he meets another schoolmate, Todd Wyndham, who he recognizes is a half-faerie. Todd thinks someone or something is after him.

Mysterious ghost like faeries appear and soon Todd disappears without a trace. Todd's parents and the police have no clue where the boy could have gone, but Ethan knows what happened to him. Those ghostly faeries took him and the faeries now have eyes on Ethan.

August 10, 2012

Review - The Unsacred Gift

The Unsacred Gift
by C.S. Dorsey
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1460939703
Pub. Date: April 9, 2012
Pages: 218

In the tradition of the 80s and 90s Point Horror teen books, comes The Unsacred Gift by C.S. Dorsey, where a young woman, Sissy, carries a terrible secret - she has visions of someone's death just by touching them.

Her grandmother's birthday is approaching and Sissy returns home, after leaving her small town for several years, to attend the party. To her surprise, her mother has been engaged to a man for over a year. Sissy continues to have nightmares of her sister's death from when she was a child. She recalls trying to warn her mother of what was going to happened, but it was too late.
July 8, 2012

Review - Cynthia's Attic: The Magic Medallion

Published by:  Echelon Press Publishing
ISBN: 978-1590804605
Pages: 160
Pub Date: 2006

    Picking up shortly after first book in the series (set in 1964), Augusta Lee, or as everyone calls her - Gus, and her best-friend Cynthia (both twelve-year-old) are eager to return to Cynthia’s magical attic that took them back in time, where they resembled and was mistaken for their grandmothers. Once again they climb up to the cobweb invested attic and open the mysterious trunk that throws them back to the year 1914, where they hope to go to the circus with Gus’s great-grandfather, Charles, but their plans drastically change as their grandmothers, Clara and Bess, hide inside a crate that is in the back of the wagon. They might be able to fool Gus’s great-grandfather in believing they are their grandmothers, but their grandmothers will probably hear their voices from the crate causing an awkward situation that they would probably want to avoid.

    Gus and Cynthia return to the attic where they find two clown costumes left there. They slip the costumes on and are magical transported to the circus, where they are mistaken to be new clowns by Blackie, the evil hobo clown and circus leader. They befriend a girl about their age named Annie. She was left as a baby at the circus and was raised the by an acrobat named Lilly.

June 5, 2012

Review - The Earth Painter

The Earth Painter
AUTHOR: Melissa Lee
PUBLISHED BY: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
RELEASED DATE: April 29, 2012
PAGES: 190

    Holly Scrugg’s life is turned upside down when her father loses his job and they have move to Chesnee, South Carolina just prior to her 18th birthday. She is not looking forward to meeting new friends at school and would rather read her Kindle than socialize with other students. To her dismay, she is assigned to the Drama Club, where she notices a young man named Theo, but nobody else can see him.

    She runs into the Theo at local restaurant called The Fish Camp, where the boy had painted beautiful realistic scenery on the walls. The strange thing is that the owners do not remember ever hiring him nor do they recall ever meeting him.
May 26, 2012

Review - Crazy Dangerous

Crazy Dangerous
AUTHOR: Andrew Klavan
PUBLISHED BY: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-59554-793-4
PAGES: 330

    Sam Hopkins is not a popular kid and being the son of a preacher does not help him out any. He spends his afternoons trying to get home without being beat up by a group of juvenile delinquents - Jeff Winger, Ed Polanski, and Harry Mac. Then one afternoon Sam had had enough and fought back. To his surprise, they liked the violent side of him and welcomed Sam into their group, where they taught him how to hotwire a car, steal, and other non-church like things. Sam knew what he was doing was wrong, but he now had friends.

    There is an eccentric young girl named Jennifer, who is shy, talks to herself at times, and sometimes mentions about the bugs in her mind. Being outsider she is targeted by Jeff, Ed, and Harry Mac, which results in Sam defending the girl and dishonoring his friends at the same time. After recovering from a violent assault from them, Sam is visited Jennifer. She tells him of the devilish demons that she hears in her mind that they are going to bring death.
October 20, 2011

13 Days of Halloween: Halloween Party Review

Fear Street: Halloween Party
BY: R.L. Stine
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1811-0
Pages: 154
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Does anyone recall the bookshelves of the school book fair being filled with teen horror books? I got caught up in the horror madness in the early 90s, about the time I started watching the 1978’s Halloween at the age of nine, and I stumbled upon the bizarre world of R.L. Stine, a few years before the Goosebumps phenomenon hit the shelves. I read and collected dozens of R.L. Stine novels back in the day, but as I grew up I lost interest. Luckily I kept all of the books and I started collecting R.L. Stine, along with other Point Horror books, again.

Last Christmas, I received Halloween Party by R.L Stine, which is part of the Fear Street series, which I have always wondered why none of the books have every been made into a cheap horror movie or a low-rated CW series. I’ve never read the book before and was memorized by the snappy new cover design from the Simon Pulse release. There’s something about a jack-o-lantern that gives me the creeps. I tossed the book on the coffee table and had forgotten about it until last month when I was planning the 13 Days of Halloween posts. I thought it would be a perfect time to read it.

The Halloween Party is about a teen, Terry Ryan, who, along with his girlfriend, Niki Meyer (Michael Meyers? A Coincidence? Why is there always someone with the last name Meyer or Meyers in a horror novel?) has been invited, along with a selected number of guests, to the Halloween Party of Justine, a new student to Shadyside High with a mysterious past. The party is being held at the old Cameron Mansion on Fear Street, beyond the cemetery. The mansion is said to be haunted!

This is not your typical party as all Justine wants to do is play wicked, cruel games to embarrass her fellow students. Then, out of nowhere, several bikers crash the party, reminding me of the party scene from the movie Weird Science. While the new unwelcome guests causes a little chaos, Niki disappears and one of the partiers is found dead! Terry searches through the spooky mansion in search of his missing girlfriend, while Justine unleashes her revenge plot.

 I have to admit that I normally zoom right through Fear Street novels, but I had trouble getting into this one until I was about the middle of the book. I rolled my eyes as the bikers invaded the party, and my stomach quenched at every cruel joke Justine unleashed. Only when Terry learns of the mansion’s previous owners’ deaths does the plot actually get interesting, and you finally understand why Justine only invited specific guests. Despite that fact that Halloween Party is not the best of the Fear Street, I still enjoyed the few twists and turns that made it a decent read. I can easily see this being made into a TV movie, but I guess those are too rare these days thanks to the boring scripted reality shows. Let me give you some advice: If you get invited to a party at an old mansion next to a cemetery - Don’t Go!

June 27, 2011

Book Review - Darkwoods

BY: Marta Stahlfeld
PUBLISHED BY: Book Publishers Network
ISBN: 978-1-935359-77-7
Pages: 276
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this fantasy epic, mice, foxes, squirrels, and other land and sea creatures come alive in author Marta Stahlfeld’s debut. Darkwoods is forever changed when Scythe, the ruling oracle of the foxes, dies, causing feuds between the tribes. With the oracle gone, the animals wonder how the foxes will react, everyone agree that a bloody war will occur. The Wraith Mice, who can turn invisible, gather the squirrel, the Ranger Mice who guard the north border, the sea creatures, and the other tribes of Earth to help defend their land. A young wraith mouse, Princess Zuryzel, carries magical powers, and she is the next to become the a great leader, but can she overcome all odds and defeat the foxes.

The Darkwoods was an interesting, fun read in the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Within reading the first chapter, you will realize that the author has a creative and unique imagination. I was hooked into the book, I instantly forgot that the characters were animals. The main character Zuryzel is a strong-willed, and every reader, young and old, can relate to her. I recommend the book to everyone.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review.
June 4, 2011

Book Review - Merciful

BY: Casey Adolfsson
PUBLISHED BY: Writer’s Block Publishing
ISBN: 9781461004141
Pages: 504
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Acacia Moirgetes is a 17 year old, living on her own as a librarian. Her life is boring and she is often left feeling lonely. She knows something is missing from her miserable life, but she just can’t put her finger on what it is. All she knows is that she disappears briefly to a strange world and returns back to reality. Or is her reality real?

One day when she vanishes, she doesn’t bounce back. She meets an ex-goat named Amal and two Pyroskia - aka, bodyguards, Blasie and Ash. She learns that she is a Greek God, well a daughter of one, from Olympus. She had been visiting the ‘real’ world, but staying in the real world for such a time does a morphing of your memory, and over time Acacia started to live another life. Now as her memory slowly returns, she must stop the dark forces from destroying Olympus.

I’m not into Greek myths, but I was interested in reviewing this book, as I was getting tried of the overused vampire and werewolf genre that is used in today’s young adult literature. I was expecting a short read, but instead got an almost five-hundred page novel! The cover of the book is breathtaking and sets the mood for the journey into Olympus. Acacia is a fun, energetic characters that both male and female readers can connect to. Fantasy fans will enjoy reading about the Greek myth legends in their new incarnation. Overall, I enjoyed reading Merciful, as it was a bit of fresh air to read.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review.
April 6, 2011

ARC Review - Trickster's Girl

Trickster's Girl (The Raven Duet)Trickster’s Girl 
BY: Hilari Bell
PUBLISHED BY: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
ISBN: 978-0-547-19620-6
Pages: 288
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Set in the year 2098, where there are border guards at every state border. A teenager, Kelsa, is mourning the lost of her father, an environmentalist. She had a close relationship with him. Every Sunday, they would take a hike. To honor him, Kelsa wants to continue the tradition, and that is where she meets Raven, a shape-shifting trickster. Kelsa soon learns that magic is real and that Earth will be destroyed if she doesn’t assist Raven on his quest.

Trickster’s Girl is a combination of supernatural and environmental genre, and it doesn’t mix well. I respect the authors concept of the Native American mythology, but the global-warming theme has been to death in novels, television and movies; and at times I felt the author was pushing the subject too much. I liked the idea that a person can’t cross a state line without a passport in the future, and overall the book was well written, but I had to push myself through it because I couldn’t get pass the boring plot.

*I would like to thank Houghton Mifflin and NetGalley for sending me a copy to review.
April 1, 2011

Book Review - April Fools

April Fools
BY: Riche Tankersley Cusick
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
ISBN: 0-590-43115-3
Pages: 218
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Belinda, Frank and Hildy went joyriding on the night of April 1st. Frank flickered the headlights on and off for fun, or so they thought. They caused a terrible car accident that night. The other car blew up, so there was no hope of survival. Belinda and her friends left the scene of the crime. Two weeks go by, and Belinda no has a guilty conscience. Her friends tell her to just forget about it and get on with your life.

She is hired by Mrs. Thorne to tutor her stepson, eighteen-year-old Adam, who is recovering from a terrible illness or was it an accident. He doesn’t want anyone to see his face because of the burns. Adam is still grieving the fact that his father is in the hospital and is not suppose to survive much longer.

Belinda has trouble tutoring Adam, as he doesn’t want any help. Then, to make matters worse, strange things start happening. She receives a bloody doll’s head and a car nearly runs her over. Are these just pranks? Or did someone see Belinda and her friends on April Fools night?

Riche Tankersley Cusick wrote several of the books from the Point Horror era and a few Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-ins. I had my doubts about the book after I finished reading the Prologue. The plot of Belinda and her friends driving carelessly and leaving the scene of the accident is somewhat of a cliché in the YA thriller/horror books. As the story progresses, April Fools became a different story, concentrating on Belinda’s tutoring jog and the strange events that surround her. Most of the book takes place two weeks after April 1st, which is kind of misleading. The story would have been more convincing if there was a year difference between the prologue and the rest of the story, instead of two weeks. I still found the book enjoyable and fast to read. You’ll quickly turn the pages to find out who is behind the pranks. This is a great book to read around April Fools Day.


Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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