Monday, April 18, 2011

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo Sandoval has a form of high functioning autism. He attends a special school and works at the horse stable where kids with special needs receive therapy. Marcelo also hears music that only he can hear. But at the age of seventeen, Marcelo’s father thinks it is time for him to experience “the real world.” Instead of working at the stables for the summer, Marcelo will be working in the mailroom at his father’s law firm. If he can adapt and follow the rules, then Marcelo can choose where he will attend high school his senior year; Paterson or a real high school.

Jasmine, a few years older than Marcelo, is his supervisor is the mailroom. He soon realizes that Jasmine is not thrilled to have Marcelo working for her but before long; trust and friendship develop between them. After a few weeks, Wendell, the son of Marcelo’s father’s law partner, makes him an offer. If Marcelo helps Wendell make the moves on Jasmine, then Wendell will tell Marcelo’s father that he is capable of making it in the real world. Marcelo never agrees because he realizes that Wendell wishes to harm Jasmine. He soon finds himself as Wendell’s helper on a big lawsuit.

In working on the lawsuit files, Marcelo finds a photo of a girl his age whose face has been scarred. He becomes drawn to her and soon embarks on a journey to discover her story. Part self-discovery, part coming of age and part legal drama, the story of Marcelo Sandoval’s seventeenth summer will have readers cheering for the underdog.

Visit Francisco X. Stork's website.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Red Glove by Holly Black (Curse Workers book 2)

“The cons get twistier and the stakes get higher.”

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first book in the series, White Cat, Stop! I don't want to ruin the story for you.

“Curses and cons. Magic and the Mob.”

After spending the summer with his mother in Atlantic City looking for her next millionaire mark, Cassel Sharpe is almost looking forward to the start of school. In a short time, Cassel has discovered quite a few things about himself. He is the most powerful curse worker around. Cassel has the ability to transform with a touch of his hand. The girl he loves, Lila Zacharov, is no longer a white cat he unknowingly turned. But unfortunately, Cassel’s mother, an emotion worker, has cursed Lila to love Cassel and he can no longer trust what Lila says. And after spending the summer avoiding Lila, Cassel is stunned when she enrolls at Wallingford Prep. Looks like it might be an interesting school year.

Cassel is soon pulled out of class and called into the headmistress’s office. Upon his arrival, he notices two men waiting on him are federal officers. He is taken to their headquarters where he is eventually told that his brother Philip is dead and that he was working with the government at the time. Cassel is offered training and a job with the government if he finds out the information Philip was going to supply. The only clue the feds have to go on is a grainy image of a woman wearing a red glove. To make matters worse, at Philip’s funeral, Lila’s father offers Cassel a job. He also tells Cassel he wasn’t responsible for his brother’s death.

Which path will Cassel choose, the feds or the mob? Can he find out who is responsible for his brother’s death? And does Lila really love him or is it just the curse talking?

The trilogy concludes with Black Heart in 2012.

Visit Holly Black’s website.

Monday, April 11, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments book 4)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

It has been six weeks since the story ended with City of Glass. The Mortal War is over and most everyone is home from Idris. Clary is training to become a Shadowhunter and is finally free to pursue a relationship with Jace. Simon is adjusting to his new life as a vampire. Jocelyn and Luke are planning their wedding. But not all is right in New York. Jace seems to be pulling away from Clary and will not tell her why. Vampires are jockeying for Simon’s allegiance. And a newcomer is in town to help guide Simon.

But someone or thing is killing Shadowhunters and making it look like Downworlders are doing it. And the dead share a connection; all were members of Valentine’s Circle. Is Sebastian back from the dead? Why ha Camille come back to New York? Who is creating demon babies? And can Clary figure out what is going on with Jace?

The story continues in book five, City of Lost Souls.

Visit Cassandra Clare's website.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Cryer’s Cross, Wyoming, population 212, is the home to Kendall Fletcher. Kendall suffers from compulsive-obsessive disorder (OCD) and it controls her life. When Tiffany Queen disappears without a trace in the spring, Kendall’s life is disrupted. Order is a necessity in her life and only her childhood friend/boyfriend Nico Cruz knows her secret. When Kendall and Nico’s senior year begins, Kendall is relieved to have a sense of normalcy back in her life. As the only girl her age at school, Kendall is surprised to learn that two new students will be attending her school, Marlena and Jacian Obregon.

Jacian is also a senior and angry to be in a new school where he feels his life has been turned upside down. Even worse, he was questioned in Tiffany’s disappearance since he was new in town. When Nico becomes distant towards Kendall and then disappears, the town is once again in an uproar that quickly dies down. Kendall’s life is spirally out of control, especially when soccer is cancelled due to not enough players. The sheriff implements a curfew for the young people and no one is to be alone. With Nico missing, Kendall is paired with Jacian, much to her dismay. But they soon find out they have a lot in common.

Who or what is causing the young people of Cryer’s Cross to disappear? And can Kendall figure it out before she becomes the next victim?
Visit Lisa McMann’s website.