Riptide

Over the summer I found myself a new favorite hobby…. Surfing!

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The first time I surfed I was late in 2012 at Macao Surf Club in the Dominican Republic, that’s when I fell in love.  The folks at Macao got me hooked onto my first wave, and the rest is history.   Just the pure adrenaline of riding a wave is as addictive as any drug.

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All year, I saved up for my surf board.  Finally I bought my board, an 8ft Greco softboard  it is buoyant enough for a beginner, but is really easy to maneuver in the water and by the end of September I was catching bigger waves and wanting to stay in the water until my toes and fingers shriveled up.  And then, after a full summer of surfing I found this book in my BEA pile, and thought to myself, ” Self… this is a book you should blog about”.

So, as I sit here in wooly socks, dreaming of sun and surf, I bring you Riptide, by Lindsey Scheibe.

Grace Parker, is a surfer girl with a tumultuous home life.  Her dad is bipolar and has dreams of an Ivy League school for Grace.  The only problem is… Grace doesn’t want to go to an ivy league school.  Grace wants to go to UCSD on a surfing scholarship.  Her father vacillates between being the best dad ever and physically hitting Grace when she expresses desires that oppose his.

Grace pushes on, with only one summer to train for the competition that would get her scouted for scholarships, her best friend Ford works to make her the best she can be.

Ford has had a major crush on Grace since he moved into town in sophomore year.  Grace has a similar crush on him, but in order to keep their friendship stable she has “friend zoned” Ford so far that he’s in outer space.  Recently, though, she’s been feeling differently; contemplating a future without Ford terrifies her.

Will Grace make it into USCD unscathed, or will her budding romance with Ford, her abusive dad, and the pure stress of all of it get to her.  Find out in Riptide, by Lindsey Scheibe.

eyes-and-book-icon-resizeIzzy :Z

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Because they said so (what your parents would say:) A little bit of romance stuff, nothing major, some drug references and some mature and intense topics.  I recommend it for ages 13+.

The Game by Terry Schott

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Well hello there faithful followers! Long time no see!! Sorry about my disappearing act and man is there news!

Book Expo America is in 44 days!! (SQUEEE!)

AND… Kiera Kass’s third novel, The One, is coming out in 22 DAYS!!! (IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!! OMG!!! I CAN’T EVEN HOLD MYSELF STILL!!!!!)

And now, on to the review!!

During the first pages of The Game, by terry Schott, Zach, the hero of the story, is dying. He describes dying and then suddenly wakes up, and is in the body of a 17 year old.  The explanation, Zach lives in a world called Tygon, where at a young age children are put into  “the Game”.  The Game is a real life simulation that takes place on the actual Earth.  Whenever you go into the Game as you live your life you acquire credits, which once you turn 18 can be turned into cash.  The only thing you can buy with credits until you are 18 are more plays in the Game, power-ups, and other such things in which to help you in life.

Zach is one of the lucky players, he started as an orphan, a nobody, when all of the sudden he rockets to the fast track on a Game play that puts him in one of the top positions.  Due to this he is picked up by a patron, and not just any patron, he is picked up by Brandon Strayne, the maker of the Game.

Zach, however, is 17 and is turning 18 in a few weeks, and he has two choices, he could play it safe and retire in a really good position, or he could risk it all and retire in the number one spot, a feat that has only happened 11 other times in the 30 years of the Game.  Will Zach make the cut, what will the 30th anniversary of the game hold, and is it possible that the mainframe, the computer that controls it all, is becoming self aware?  You’ll have to read The Game by Terry Schott to find out!

I really LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! It’s like the movie Inception coupled with the Hunger Games series, add to that a sweet romance ala the Notebook… It’s like a SMORE!!! with all that warm marshmallow chocolate gooeyness surrounded by a crunchy graham cracker crust.  Can you tell I’m hungry…

SNACK TIME!

Izzy :Z

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

 

Because they said so (what your parents might say): Nothing much, just a little bit of blood, some not too graphic deaths, and a light and innocent romantic lean… an exciting adventure of a book overall.

The Future We Left Behind by David Lancaster

FIRST!!!!  There MAY BE some VERY EXCITING NEWS here at Because I Read SO…  Stay tuned until the end of the review…

NOW… the review.

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The Future We Left Behind happens to be another library book found in an interesting way.  You see, I am a library helper, which means that I work in the library and check books in and out and issue research passes.  I found this book as I was checking books into the library.  So there I am, checking books in, when all of a sudden one suddenly FALLS OFF THE STACK! I didn’t even touch it, and it fell with the summary on the inside showing.  I, of course, believing in a little thing called book fate, took a quick peek and checked the book out.  It was MEANT TO BE!

Set sometime in the far future, unknown beings have “upgraded” the human race.  Humans and machinery have been combined and all humans have computers in their mind that are connected to the LINK.  The LINK records all memory, provides immediate connection to the web, games, simulations, clothing, shopping malls, food, BOOKS and much more.

Peter Vincent, is the son of David Vincent, famous inventor of artificial bees, savior of the world etc…  David is very persistent that Peter follow in his footsteps of greatness.   Peter, however, is not having any of this and goes behind his dad’s back to take an advanced literature class with his friend Perry; Peter enjoys the class immensely, having never read any of the books in the class before.

While in one of his advanced science class lectures, the teacher brings up AGAIN, his fathers greatness and how amazing his father’s invention of the artificial bees was.  Then, a pretty girl with striking blue eyes asks a very important question.  She asks,  “Why didn’t he just target the parasites, because of him there are no more natural bees.”  You see, the mechanical bees devoured all of the NATURAL bees food, leaving the NATURAL bees to starve and die out.  The teacher is enraged and verbally pummels her into submission.  However, the smile never leaves the girls face.

After class the girl comes over and introduces herself as Amalfi Del Ray, or Alpha and then she apologizes for singling out Peter’s dad.  Peter, however, is delighted that she came over to talk and invites her for a fruit soy (futuristic drink) and offers to be her friend.  She says no, that he wouldn’t want to be friends with her because she has too many deep dark secrets.  He, intrigued, says that he would like to be friends anyway and they quickly befriend each other.

Once Peter gets home, his dad quickly corners him and asks him why he is late, and why Peter isn’t ready to leave yet.  After a brief conversation, David reminds Peter that David has a big lecture that he would like Peter to attend.  Peter quickly goes onto the LINK and buys a fancy suit clothes template for the convention.

At the convention, Peter quickly finds his friend Perry (who’s dad works with Peter’s dad) and turns on one of his favorite link games until all of the sudden the lights go out, his father starts his speech, then makes a point that with all the data being used in the Link, and all of the memories stored, they are quickly running out of space.  Then David says that he has made a gargantuan artificial brain that will absorb all of the memory.

Then, Peter’s memory and all of the attendee’s memories, run out.  For 30 minutes until the lecture is finished, no one remembers a thing.  It is as if someone has simply erased an entire half hour of everyone’s life.   If this memory, of the lecture, has been altered, what other memories do they have that are altered?  How can they know what is real and what is created?

This book is an amazing, suspenseful, sci-fi book.  I really love the format that this book is put into with all the electronic journal entries and computer code.  However it isn’t so over done that you can’t understand it.  Definitely a keeper shelf addition.

HOORAY FOR BOOK FATE!

eyes-and-book-icon-resizeIzzy :Z

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Because They Said So (what your parents would say:) Nothing at all really, just two kisses, a broken arm, some killer robot bees and one mention of suicide, really not that graphic or bloody.  I would recommend this for ages 12 and up due to advanced technology and theories.

INCREDIBLY EXCITING NEWS part 1… I received an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of Leah CYPESS’S book DEATH SWORN!!!! Death Sworn

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

My mom is an audiobook narrator (she may have one of the coolest jobs EVER… she reads out loud for a living!) I came across  Hex Hall, because my mom was hired to read the book, asked for my opinion on her read, based on the first chapter, and that was all it took!   I was hooked immediately,  took our shared iPad, and desperate to find out the end, read ahead of even my mom!

Sophie Mercer is a witch and I don’t mean that she has a bad temper.  She is an actual, spell casting, magic making, powers and everything, witch.  On the night of prom at Sophie’s school she goes into the girl’s bathroom and sees the school’s “geeky girl”, Felisha, crying.  Sophie learns that the reason Felisha is so sad is that she doesn’t have a date to the dance.

Sophie, dismayed that anyone would be so distressed at the prom, takes Felisha out into the parking lot and does a love spell on the guy of Felisha’s dreams. Sadly, Sophie overdoes it a little bit and instead of a gentle sweetheart, Felisha soon has a tuxedoed rampaging goony football player howling for her and trying to get to “his Fa-leeeeesha” at all costs. (He even drives a car through a wall and shoves teachers and tables aside to get to his “love”.)

Felisha then proceeds to tell the entire student/teacher body about how Sophie is responsible for poor, bewitched Kevin (feleeshas crush) and as this is not the FIRST time Sophie has dispayed her powers inappropriately (though always with good intention) in public, she is sent to a reform school, Hecate Hall, for young Prodigium (magic folk like shape shifters, fairies, and yes, witches).

On her first day,  Sophie manages to find a crush, a nemisis, a best friend (who happens to be the school’s only vampire), and a teacher who seems to hate Sophie without reason.

But everything isn’t as it seems at Hex Hall, and soon, students are attacked by an unknown creature.  The attacks are specific, all of the blood is drained from the victim from two neat holes in the neck, leaving them nearly or actually dead.  Jenna, Sophie’s roommate, and vampire best friend, is the obvious suspect, but Sophie knows it isn’t her.   Will she be able to steal her crush away from her nemesis, survive detention in the bowels of the school, and clear her best friend’s name by school end?

I loved this book!!!  The first of a trilogy, it was cleverly written with an amazingly snarky heroine and suspenseful plots woven throughout.  (The audiobook, though I MAY BE A LITTLE PARTIAL, is one of my favorites.).  I would put this, and the rest of the trilogy, on the keeper shelf, definitely!

Izzy :Z

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Because THEY said so… or what your parents might say:  There are some minor swear scenes and some teenage humor, nothing I haven’t heard in the halls and on the bus.  There is some suspenseful violence that younger readers might find disturbing, and one pretty spicy scene that may have some parents grimacing… but it absolutely has major purpose and placement in the plot.  It is NECESSARY spice.  Other than that, just fabulous sarcasm and a whole book full of quirky characters you can really get behind.

Furry Paw, Middle Claw by Barry Jackson

love the cover of this book!!!

love the cover of this book!!!

Book Expo America (BEA) is held every year in the massive glass roofed Javits Center in New York City.  Within its walls, publishers, authors, illustrators, librarians, bloggers, teachers, narrators and all forms of book loving folk gather in small and large booths that span numerous floors (I don’t even think I saw them all, and I was there for the whole day!).  Crowds are everywhere and lines the likes of those you would only find at an amusement park form too get advanced readers copies (ARCs) of books.  There are well known publishers and authors and then there are hidden gems…. (shiny jewels scattered about like treasures just waiting to be discovered).

One such treasure is new author, Barry Jackson and Turn The Page Publishing.

Barry Jackson is a wonderful person to meet anywhere, but at BEA, when I met him, he happened to be giving out ARCs of his semi-autobiographical novel, Furry Paw, Middle Claw, which just sweetened the deal that is Mr. Jackson.

In the beginning of Furry Paw, Middle Claw, you are placed right in the middle of Dean Parker’s dysfunctional childhood.  His dad didn’t really like him and instead of teaching him how to trust he taught him how not to trust by having him jump 10 feet down from a barn loft, promising that he would catch him, only to let him (purposefully) fall and explained that THIS was why you don’t trust.

Then during Dean’s college aged experiences you see this lesson his dad taught him start to take effect…  All of this leads up to him meeting Melissa, (who he has a GIANT crush on) and her nasty ol’ cats.  Dean must then learn to trust, and win over the hearts of her cats (or he can try to creatively dispose of them) in order to gain her undivided attention.

Somewhere along the ridiculously funny way, Dean might find that maybe he and the little furry beasts can reside in the same household, loving the same woman, without giving each other the middle claw at each interaction.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! I read it 3 times in about as many days because I loved it so much and didn’t want to miss anything in this detail rich novel.  The first time I read this book, in school, I COULD NOT put it down (I was scolded quite a lot while reading during class).  THHPPPTTT 😛

If there was such a thing as a shelf higher than the keeper shelf this book would go on it!   I really did find myself looking at the world differently for having read it.  I recommend it to anyone over the age of 12… and then only due to some advanced jokes and lessons that some children might not understand.

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!

Izzy :Z

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Because they said so (what your parents would say:)  Some cursing a single sexy scene (only one or two paragraphs long), I would suggest maybe reading with a parent for ages under 12 due to some adult humor that requires a specific sense of humor.

The Name Of This Book Is Secret

Well… this was one REALLY fun read!  I really love how the narrator interacts with the reader throughout the book.

Another aspect of this book, and in all the books in the series, is the fun-ky (a mix of funny and funky) humor, that I have come to love!

This book was amazing, and the plot is an absolute work of art.

Cassandra, the main character, has a phobia.  Really, she isn’t afraid of the actual catastrophes. She is just afraid of not being prepared for one…

To conquer that fear she is ever so prepared, and has loaded her backpack with numerous supplies to live through any disaster.

A little odd, maybe…  but when a mysterious box called the Symphony of Smells shows up at her Grandfather’s store, her backpack may come in handy and the crazy roller coaster of a book begins..

The name of this book is secret cover!

It seems that the Symphony of Smells came from a box found at a deceased magician’s house…. However nobody seems knows how he died. All they knew was that after his death there was a slight smell of rotten eggs (GROSS)…. and the box showed up at Cassandra’s grandfather’s antique shop.

This book had me CACKLING on the floor laughing!!!  Definitely one of my favorite books, and series of all time.  This earns a place on the keeper shelf!  There is a great deal of fun-ky humor and nail biting suspense in these books.  I hope that you guys enjoy this book as much as I did!

Izzy :Z

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Because they said so (what your parents would say)  :  Really aside from a mention of sucking somebodies brains out through their nose and a not at all graphic kidnapping, there is NOTHING to be worried about at all…  Well, of course there is a secret cult in this book about people who want to find the secret to living forever and they are kind of creepy, but not nightmare inducing in the least.