Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gypsy Knights

Hi Flamingnet, Just wanted to thank CDi for the kind and thoughtful review of Gypsy Knights. She really hit the mark with her comments, and we're glad that she liked the book! We're hard at work on the second installment in the Gypsy Knights Saga, and are looking forward to sharing it with the Flamingnet community:) All the best, Two Brothers Metz

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Columbus and the State of Ohio

When I was sent my book I requested, I also recieved a factual book about Columbus and the Sate of Ohio by Kate Boehm Jerome. The book is divided into two separate sections. The first section included many interesting things about Columbus, Ohios's state capital. This section is written more for kids to know basic things about the state capital, but still interesting for others to read. Talking about strange facts and things you can hear, see, smell, and explore; it was very fun to read. The second section was about the state of Ohio. Some things I knew, but others I didn't, and some of the facts were quite shocking to read. It almost felt like a traveler's guide; stating museums, attractions, and celebrations. It also talked about Ohio basics, such as the state bird, insect, tree, and others. While reading it, I became more and more interested to learn about the state I've lived in my whole life. I was surprised to realize that I didn't know such obvious things. Such as facts about plains, Lake Erie, canals, wildlife, and monuments. This book was a very fun, interesting, and factual book. Anyone who wants to learn about the state of Ohio should definitely read it.

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The Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Calling themselves The Dark Hunters, a small group of friends live life on the edge as they protect the world from evolved vampires known as Daimons. These "Dark Hunters" have given up their souls to the Goddess Artemis to protect the earth. Some of them enjoy the fighting and living on their toes, some of them don't. And if you don't, quitting the job means getting your soul back, which is easier said than done.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to others! The lighter humor was quite entertaining, and even some of the darker humor. I loved the characters a lot, and felt that they were made quite well. I found the plot interesting, and it kept me up until the early hours of morning until I finished it. As I read the fourth book first, I started out not knowing what was going on, but Sherrylin made it easy to get on track! I do hope that others will enjoy this book as much as I did!

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Chalfont, Pennsylvania United States

Color Struck

Thank you Flamingnet and VBat for taking your precious time to read my debut novel, Color Struck. I am really honored to receive your Top Choice award and thankful that you enjoyed it. My next title, As Fast As Words Could Fly, is a picture book scheduled for release in Fall 2012 by Lee & Low Books. I have also completed a middle-grade novel, Stepping Out of Place, that is awaiting publication. Thanks so much for everything. -- Pamela Tuck

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RE: Reading and Having to stop

Yeah, I know! My mom jokes around that she has to tell me to put down my book and turn on the TV! And I'll admit, I do get in trouble occasionally at school for reading when I'm supposed to be doing my work.

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RE: Fast Readers

me too! I agree with you but I actually seem to understand it better when I read it fast, because when I read things slow, I find it harder to remember things. My English teacher this last year was the one to introduce me to this sight, and she would let me read in the hall so I could read at my own speed and wouldn't have to listen to the other kids slowly reading out loud which KILLS me. I would think there are other kids out there like us, but I have never met one till now, so I really don't know.

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The Violet Flash by Mike Mason

The Violet Flash is the sequel to the book The Blue Umbrella(Which was unexpectedly sent to me along with The Violet Flash). These were written by Mike Mason as his first and second novels. Chesterton "Ches" Cholmondeley is studious boy with a love of weather. He and the other local kids were in 'weather lessons' taught by Sky Porter, the man who controls the weather, when Ches' sister Chelsea is sucked up into the Blue Umbrella! In turns out seconds are disappearing one by one and causing accidents. So who knows about time? Ches' father's old friend Myron Stinchcombe who runs a clock shop. Ches is getting different opinions from eveyone and doesn't know what to do and everyone is leaving it all up to him! Sky thinks that a violet flash at sunset would fix everything but Ches only has a few days before the time thief plans to take a full minuet and violet flashes a are very difficult weather. If Ches does manage to creat a violet flash it could completely stop Chelsea from coming back. So what can Ches do? Either he can save the world or his sister.

The bottom line is that you should read the first book before this sequel, just because it answers alot of questions. I found this summary very hard to write because a lot of things are going on had been introduced in the first book. I found this book to be a bit below my age level but still very interesting and compelling. Often times I found it hard to put down. In the beginning, Ches propels the story along because of the kind of person he is but later in the novel its own momentum carries it. I didn't find the ending very fulfilling but it did answer most questions. Honestly, I found that the first book was better than this sequel, but I think that is because he had more options. In this book, he was confined to the information he had put in the first.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Sterling Heights, Michigan United States

Gypsy Knights by Two Brothers Metz

After Durriken's parents die in an accident, he makes his home on the rails with Casey, an engineer, as his "mother". Dilia has been living with her parents in jail for a while but still maintains weekly telephone calls with her father. What do these two have in common? A talent for chess, a beautiful yet mysterious chess set, and a need for each others' help as they go on a journey all over America to find something they're not even sure exists.

This book was incredible! The first few chapters were a little difficult to understand however because a lot of the names are Gypsy names and I got confused as to who was who. After those first chapters, I was totally addicted to this book. They visit many cities in America and I learned a bit about each one, I learned a lot about chess, and some about trains too! This book would make a very exciting adventure movie. I have already recommended it to a lot of my friends.

Reviewer Age:17

Reviewer City, State and Country: Gearhart, Oregon United States

Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson

Is she crazy, or just a killer? From the moment Alison wakes up in a sterile hospital room she struggles to figure out the truth. The line between reality and Alison s memories seem to become more blurred the more she learns about the events that led her to be suspected of killing a classmate. Alison knows that it all somehow connects to her strange abilities, like tasting words and seeing sounds. Along with all this stress, she has to deal with living amongst other unstable teens in a mental health center. Things only get more complicated when a scientist involves Alison in research and helps her unlock some of the secrets of her abilities.

From the first word, Alison s story entices you with its mysterious twists and turns. I loved how this book seemed to combine science fiction and some coming-of-age drama with just a bit of romance. The author had a wonderful way of making you feel as though you were there with Alison in the mental health center, wondering what the truth is. You re right there with Alison as she tries to decipher her memories. This book could have easily been corny and portrayed Alison s abilities like a cheap sci-fi movie, but the words portray Alison s emotion perfectly. You can believe what Alison feels and experiences. Ultraviolet is very suspenseful, I stayed up way too late reading, wanting to know what the next twist would be. The author masterfully creates a great science fiction novel that reads like a murder mystery. The ending ties up all the loose ends, but is still very shocking. My only complaint is that the way the book ends is a bit disconnected from the beginning. However, the conclusion is still satisfying. I think readers of almost any genre will enjoy this book, because it has a little bit of everything. So pick this book up, unless you plan on needing a lot of sleep.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Crescent City, CA USA

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Flip by Martyn Bedford

Ever imagine waking up in somebody else's body? Well, for Alex Gray this came true. All he can remember is walking home from a friend's house during Christmas break. And then waking up in a strange bed in a bedroom he'd never seen before, in a totally different part of the country. To make things worse, when he goes to the bathroom to wash his face, a face he's never seen before stares back at him. At the breakfast table Alex is greeted by total strangers. When he looks at the paper the date is June 23. 6 months are missing. Alex is forced to take on the popular life of Philip Garamond, while at the same time struggling to return his psyche back to HIS body.

In my opinion, Flip by Marty Bedford is a real page turner. It hooks you in from the very first page. To me writing a book about waking up in somebody else's body is truly stunning. The author uses a very stong technique of keeping the reader interested. There really isn't a dull moment in the book. If I was to rate the book out of 10 it would definitely be a 10.

I give this book a 3 because at the beginning of the book it makes a reference to the size and hair on his penis. And there is a lot of drinking, smoking, and making out.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Jackson, Missouri USA

Jack Blank by Matt Myklusch

Twelve-year-old Jack Blank has been living in an unbearable orphanage, where he is persistently picked on by a bully named Rex. The only excitement he can find is in reading comic books. Jack Blank does not have any idea where he came from, where his family might be, and who he truly is. During the morning a killer robot from one of the comic books Jack reads becomes comes to life and tries to kill him. Jazen Knight, an agent from an ambiguous country named Imagine Nation, has arrived for Jack.

Imagine Nation is in perpetual motion and passes through countries of our world, even though the residences are from this nation they come from different places whether real, imaginary, or from outer space. There is a city named Cognito, a place where people go to disappear. The streets do not even have names. Imagine Nation is comprised of all sorts of living creatures, from regular people to androids, aliens, ninjas, sorcerers, kung-fu masters. It almost felt like another version of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. The main characters had almost identical identities.

The book is a brilliant mix-up of characters that I have heard of and those that I have only dreamt of. The androids were describe as never before. The ninjas were almost predictable and yet their movements were hard to follow, along with the kung-fu masters and aliens. I could not believe how hard his life was due to him not knowing where his parents were and the life he lived in the orphanage. I had wished it had a better ending for my taste but there was not anything wrong with it.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Dyess, Arkansas United States of America

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Color Struck by Pamela Tuck

Color Struck is the story of Bell, a young African-American woman who runs off to marry Buck Steele in secret because their fathers do not get along. Due to lack of money, the young couple has to live with Silas and Emma Steele, Buck's parents, who are less than thrilled to have Bell in the family. Living with Silas and Emma is hard enough for Bell, but soon she realizes that something about her stirs up a Steele family secret. The book is narrated by Bell herself as she uses her past to teach her granddaughters the lessons she learned because "A deathbed shouldn't be the peacemaker in this family."

I loved "Color Struck." Bell and her granddaughters are lovable and believable, showing realistic emotion and making hard decisions. The other characters, including Buck, Silas, and Emma, were well thought out and described. While their actions were sometimes horrible, they always fit with their personalities perfectly. The storyline itself was almost addicting, and I couldn't wait to find out what horrible thing Emma would do to Bell next. The very best thing about "Color Struck" was the lesson of love and acceptance, a theme that came out in a wonderful resolution that tied up all of my questions and left me feeling full. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes family secrets, strong young women, and realistic fiction.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Harleysville, Pennsylvania USA

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Freshman: Tales of 9th Grade Obsessions, Revelations by Corinne Mucha

Annie is a mess. She's just started high school! Her big brother, a junior in high school, told her that what happens in her freshman year will strongly affect the rest of her life--forever. If what he told Annie is true, then her future's not looking too bright. Annie's lousy at sports, jealous of everyone else, and she has the hots for her best friend's older brother. Finally, Annie gets cast as a crying, whining old lady in the school's play. Annie totally forgets about the rest of her life--she just wants to survive freshman year.

I think this book was all right. I chose it because I am going to be a freshman in the fall, so I thought this would give me some pointers. I was a little dissapointed when they brought up smoking, drinking and being drunk, swearing, and making out. If that were to happen in high school, I would think it would start in sophmore or junior year. Other than that, the book was good. Annie's new best friend helped to bring out the best in her and to be true to herself. And, besides grades, I think that's all that really matters in high school.

I gave this book a 2 because there were a few inapropriate references, such as smoking, drinking/being drunk, swearing, and making out.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Hopkins, Michigan USA

Flamingnet Recommended Readng

Check out this article by the LA Times. It's a fascinating look at the trend of adults reading young adult fantasy books.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up, edited by Steve Berman

This collection of short stories is a look at situations that homosexual youth face in America. Although there are some coming out stories, it focuses more on stories of the finding out for yourself moment, rather than the tell people moment. This is a welcome change from most stories of gay teens, which heavily stress what society thinks of the person rather than what the person thinks of themselves. There are about an equal number of stories about girls and boys, another change from other books about gay youths. Many of the authors are homosexual themselves, which I think makes the writing more realistic, if slightly emotionally stiff. There are so many different stories in this book that it sort of defies placement into a genre but it is almost a romantic adventure, if not in the classic sense.

This book was inspirational, a moderately quick read, and I think it would be for anyone of any sexuality, as long as the reader is open-minded. I doubt that any homophobic people would consider reading this book in the first place, but obviously that would be one audience that this book would not appeal to. Many of the stories had only so-so writing, although the situations were realistic and moving. I really enjoyed the book overall, regardless. It is very different from any other books out there about homosexuality. Some of the stories got a little bit boring because the authors put too much outside information that didn’t have to do with the plot, but for the most part, this wasn’t something that happened. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the struggles of gay teenagers or just more about homosexuality in general.

Some of the stories have sexual material and the content is something not all parents would want their children reading.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Exeter, NH USA

Rating: 9

Content Rating: 2

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Hannah Baker is dead. She killed herself. So, who sent Clay Jensen the tapes with Hannah’s voice on them? And who is following him to make sure he sends them on? When Clay begins listening to the tapes, he starts hearing the thirteen reasons why Hannah decided to end her own life. He loved Hannah and never got to tell her, he doesn’t want to know what part he played in her death.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a thought-provoking story about love, loss, friendship, high school and tragedy. Clay’s character is one anyone can relate to. He is that person who didn’t say what he wanted to, and then found out that it was too late. Hannah’s voice on the tapes is cryptic, sarcastic and brutally honest. The insight that Asher provides into their lives and brains makes them seem as if they could be your friend, or even you. This book was wonderful and sad with comic relief intermixed in all the right places. This is a book that I would definitely recommend.

Reviewer Age: 18

Reviewer City, State and Country: Leverett, Ma US

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Basic Anatomy for the Manga Artist by Christopher Hart

Unlike other Manga drawing books, this tells you about anatomy--the study of the structure of the human body. Most Manga books do not tell you about muscles to show in your drawings. It is divided into 6 chapters. The chapters are, for example: Body Symmetry & Asymmetry, The Foundations of the Body (bones), Topographic Anatomy (muscles), and Putting it All Into Practice.

I found this book very interesting. My personal favorite was Chapter 1 -- Basic Head Elements, like eyes, teeth, nose and ears. All of the pictures were very detailed but easy to take in. I really like how it told you what muscles to include in your drawings. It has cool little paragraphs and pictures to get the full Manga book experience. The author puts it in a way that is easy for children to understand. I recommend this book to anyone.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Uxbridge, MA USA

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley

"A Traveller in Time " by Allison Uttley, is the story of a little known tale lost to one of the most well known eras of history. The Elizabethan times , also known as the Shakespearean times was a great Golden Age of England with much credit to Queen Elizabeth the wonderful.Yeah, everyone knows that. What people do not know, however , is that she quietly got rid of her cousin , Mary, Queen of Scots , her main opponent.

Penelope Cameron is sent to London to her Aunts farm , Thackers ,which ,in a different era is the place of Queen Mary's escape route and ardently devout supporters.Penelope is caught in a tug of war of time between the 1930's and the Elizabethan age, where she comes to love the era that is not her own.

I think this is an awesome book....for a girl living in the early 1900s. Uttley is an incredibly gifted writer with a knack for comprehensive and eloquent use of lexicon. Honestly, it was the first time I had ever actually seen the word flibbertigibbet used to describe someone. But sadly, the average 2011 child can t handle the vocabulary and would be yawning real soon while reading the overly descriptive writing.

I would not recommend this book to anyone, but if they had spunk and wanted to try anyways ...I will just give this one warning:

THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN IN THE 1900S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: rockland county, new york usa

Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

Punkzilla is a short novel about a young man who travels across the country to see his older brother. It is told through a series of letters between the young Jamie "Punkzilla", his brother, parents, and old friends. There are also journal entries told from Jamie's perspective as he travels. He faces many challenges including being beaten in the bus station, having to lie to people, hitchhiking, and people constantly believing he is a girl. In this somewhat humorous but vibrantly honest novel, Jamie discovers much about himself and his place in this world.

I felt that Punkzilla was an interesting novel, and although it is not my favorite, it shows a dark side to teenage life that many people do not see. Most of the main characters had major flaws to their character, but it only made them more human and easier to believe in. A lot of the time I really liked the characters, but they also made me think about what I believe in when they fell out of my good graces. I had to recognize the motives behind their actions and consider my own moral standpoint, making this an interesting read. One problem I had with the novel was the format it was written in. It was often confusing and out of order and I found myself having to go back and reread. Keeping track of all these people who were flying through time with no organization was difficult and differed from the enjoyment of reading this book.I found this novel very interesting and it revealed a world that is vastly different from my own.

There is a lot of explicit language and some grafic descriptions of violence.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Minnetonka, Minnesota United States

In the Shadow of the Lamp by Susanne Dunlap

'In the Shadow of the Lamp' is a fufilling, deeply
story of willpower, truth, and the search for everlasting
love. In 1854, Molly Fraser, a lowly servant working for
elegant London household, is wrongly accused of thievery.
She is quite promptly banished from her claim and nearly
thrown out onto the streets. Now, her work and little
gone, she is forced to wander the city in search of a new
way of life. So when an opportunity arises for Molly to
possibly go to Crimea with a team of Florence
nurses, she determinedly sets out for the battlefield. The
work there is exasperating, the hospitals are filthy and
infested with vermin, and young men lay writhing in pain
the blood-splattered floor. But Molly, refusing to back
down, does everything within her power to care for the
wounded soldiers. Caring for the young men soon becomes
than just that, though, when Molly finds herself falling
deeply in love with one of the doctors working in her
hospital. But all transposes when an old love from home
comes to fight as a soldier in the war, and seeks out
to tell her that he came just to be near her. One man of
will fall prey to the war's deadly guns, and where will
leave Molly? Dunlap carefully winds this story through
friends, deep love, and the acceptance of death as the
of this story unfolds.

'In the Shadow of the Lamp' is a very lifelike, oldtime
almost-novel exceptionally written with very true
personalities and emotions. I think this book is very well-
done with astounding characters and will create incredible
pictures in readers' minds. Susanne Dunlap could have
in this time herself for the way she deeply wove this


Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and
Country: Akron, Ohio United States

The Best Teen Writing of 2010 by Foreword - Davy Rothbart

The Best Teen Writing of 2010 is a collection of essays, poetry, memoirs, and more. All of them are written by teenagers like you and me. The young authors put together a portfolio and then are judged by teachers, authors, and other literally professionals. Though, these writings aren 't your typical class assignment; they are real, and full of both sensitive and rough emotion. These pieces are the best of the best.

I 'll admit I was a little skeptical at first. I thought this book would be some little thin paperback with some essays about family vacations and favorite gifts. Boy was I wrong. Every time I started on new author or a new piece I became more and more engaged. The stories and the stories behind the stories were so real. So different from everything else that I expected. It was very refreshing a real eye-opener. I am most likely going to recommend this book to my friends.

Explicit language and themes

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hopkins, Michigan United States

Kennedy: Through the Lens by Martin W. Sandler

Born into a highly successful family, John Kennedy endured a competitive childhood, constantly being shadowed by his older brother, Joe Jr. He suffered many childhood illnesses, but managed to overcome them and eventually graduated from Harvard University with a degree in government. As a fighter pilot during World War II, he became a war hero after leading his vessel crewmen to safety. He later rose up the ranks in politics before being elected as the President of the United States. This book not only describes his journey to the presidency, but also offers an inside view of one of the most photogenic presidents in history. His charisma and energy as seen on TV and newspapers inspired millions of Americans. Kennedy launched a new generation in American presidency, one where his public image relates to the everyday citizen: playing with his children, golfing, reading, etc. This biography offers a moderately detailed account of Kennedy's rise to the presidency and the major challenges he faced as president while also attempting to capture the essence of his life that made him so appealing to the American people.

"Kennedy Through the Lens" paints a picture of not only John F. Kennedy as our 35th president, but John F. Kennedy as a person. While the book's purpose is not to offer a detailed account of his life, it does do a fairly decent job of capturing all the important details in his life and presidency. But what makes this book unique is its emphasis on the specific traits and qualities that made John Kennedy one of the most popular presidents of all time: his openness to the camera and to the media. He was the first president to fully take advantage of the new technologies taking presence during this time. Through the carefully-selected images and the accompanying text, readers will have no difficulty learning about the professional and personal life of John F. Kennedy. While I did not live during that time period, reading this book helped me understand why many people considered the Kennedy era the "Camelot years". This book possesses a special component that truly made it interesting to read and different than those traditional, boring biographies. It would be even better if it had more quotes from Kennedy himself, particularly his own reflections.

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Palo Alto, CA USA

The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton by Connie Nordhielm

The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton by Connie Nordhielm is a fascinating biography that details the famous author s difficult and somewhat scandalous life. A very early reader, Edith Jones was born into a prominent New York family. As a child, she enjoyed voyages overseas to her favorite country, France, and quickly became fluent in English, French, German, and Italian. The next year, she began writing a novel but was criticized by her discouraging mother. She never finished the novel and instead switched to writing poetry. At the age of fifteen, she completed a first novel entitled Fast and Loose, a racy romance; a collection of her poems was published anonymously in 1880 when she was eighteen. After that, her published work increased, and she wrote many famous novels, including Ethan Frome.

The book also details Edith s unfortunate love life, including her unhappy marriage to Edward Wharton in 1885. Furthermore, it touches upon her volunteer work during the first World War, and, as an American, her allegiance to France. However, the title of the book is somewhat misleading. The escape mentioned is not actually an escape at all in the traditional sense. It is a metaphor for Edith s escape from the conventions of from her dysfunctional marriage and New York high society into her becoming a writer and an independent woman.

While this biography detailed some of Edith s creative process, it focused more on her personal life. However, her controversial life story was intriguing and well-written, so it held my attention. Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I learned a lot about someone of whom I knew nothing. However, the emphasis on her personal life and relationships - marital and extramarital - was a bit much, and it took away from a full exploration of Edith's work. In all, though, the book was a entertaining overview about a famous author, and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history or literature.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Chicago, IL United States


Thank you Flamingnet and JK_Panama for spending some of your precious reading time with my debut novel and writing such a thoughtful review. I'm currently working on my second draft of the sequel, ASHEN WINTER, which is scheduled for Fall 2012 release by Tanglewood Press. Thanks again! --Mike

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Ashfall by Mike Mullin

We open on a teenage boy, relaxing in his room; nothing
out of the ordinary. He is home alone, his family is on
vacation. As he takes a minute to think, his world is
changed forever. He is thrown violently around his room,
as he hears screams and terror outside. He manages to
survive the impact, and crawls under the remains of his
furniture to the door. Outside he meets his neighbor, who
is equally unsure of the current events. He soon discovers
that the Yellowstone volcano has erupted. Destruction is
widespread. This book follows Alex as he becomes a hero,
stopping at nothing to save his family. Alex experiences
feelings he's never felt before on his journey. He finds
love...and experiences the death of someone close. Will
Alex overcome his worst nightmare and eventually save his

One word: wow. I was blown away by this book.
It's hard to say which was my favorite part. The eruption
was so detailed, I felt like I was experiencing it. When
Alex cried because of a death, I felt the way he
did. "Ashfall" sucked me in and wouldn't let go until it
was three a.m. and I fell asleep. I literally could not
stop reading, from the moment I started from Chapter One.
Alex and Darla form an impeccable duo, working together to
save their families. I laughed, I cried, I fell in love
with this fine literary work. And what a cliffhanger! I
cannot wait for the sequel. This book is on its way to

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Panama City, Florida USA

Thursday, July 21, 2011

RE: The Hunger Games

ohmygosh yes! I was so mad with who she ended up with!

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Fast Readers

So....Im a VERY fast reader, and my teachers, parents, everyone says I skip words, but I dont! Then When I try to slow down I end up speeding up without knowing about it! Who Else does this????

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

Lacey's mother is not well. She is plagued by the demons of years past and wrong decisions she made; because of her illness, she can't support herself or her fourteen-year-old daughter. Needing money to survive, Lacey gets a job at the local library- the same library where her aunt, who abandoned Lacey, worked years ago. She hopes that she can find any trace of the woman who left, the woman who can piece together the broken parts of her mother's mind. Miles From Ordinary chronicles one day in Lacey's life, the one day that changes her life forever.

I thought the book was extremely well-written. The author was able to portray what actually goes on in a normal fourteen-year-old's head- the narrator was not immature nor too mature. However, I was confused about her mother's illness; the words and phrases that the author uses seem to show a woman plagued by actual ghosts instead of a woman who is mentally ill. I thought there would be a supernatural aspect to the novel when I first read the description; however, this book has nothing of the sort. I liked that the novel encompassed only one day of Lacey's life. If the novel had minimized the depth of the descriptions of what happens, the reader would be left confused and wondering what had occured. All in all, Miles From Ordinary was a good read and I would suggest this novel to those who are interested in the life of a fourteen year old with hardships to face that are beyond her years.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Pottstown, PA United States

Master and Apprentice by Sonya Bateman

Master and Apprentice is a story about Donatti a distant relative of a djinn, or genie, Ian. But unfortunately Ian is the last djinn of the wolf clan, who were murdered viciously by the snake clan many years ago. Ian has been filled with rage ever since and is determined to hunt down every last member of the snake clan. If he doesn’t kill every last one of them, the curse goes down to the next generations. Ian and Donatti soon get caught up in a life or death adventure when Ian’s wife and then Ian get kidnapped by a group of the snake clan that is led by an evil djinn named Vaelyn who wants to take over the world. Now it’s up to Donatti to save everyone but the only way he can do that is if one of the enemy teaches him how to wield his untapped powers or everyone will pay the ultimate price.

In my opinion this book was written very well. The characters were so well developed that it made this book hard to put down. Master and Apprentice was full of originality with hilarious bits of sarcastic conversation. There were a few things that could have been explained better that were inconsistent. Donatti and Ian also enjoy swearing like sailors on every page or two so if you don’t want to read that sort of language through the whole book don’t read it. Otherwise I would fully recommend this book because the plot and characters were fully described and developed.

The swearing is excessive.
Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Loves Park, Illinois United States

Monday, July 18, 2011

Star of Stone by P.D. Baccalario

The sequel to 'Ring of Fire' by P.D. Baccalario, 'Star of Stone', involves four kids trying to save the world: Harvey from New York, Elettra from Rome, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai. As they find people who knew the late Alfred Van Der Berger, the professor who started them on their mission to Rome, they realize that their quest isn't over yet. When they find four coded postcards, written by the professor years before, they see their destiny even clearer than before. The kids go all over New York City searching for the Star of Stone, an artifact. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones looking for the Stone. A new bunch of villains will do anything to stop them from reaching their goal.

I was annoyed when I picked up the book and saw it was the second installment in the Century Quartet series. Having not read the first book in the series, it was very confusing to me. Some parts were very exciting and intense, others were somewhat boring and dull. I enjoyed the way P.D. Baccalario wrote the book from different peoples' points of view, but sometimes that confused the story a bit. The ending was a very good cliff-hanger,and I liked that. All in all, it would have made more sense if I had read the first book before reading this one, but in itself, it was a pretty good book.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Tatamy, PA USA

The Summer Of My Fourteenth Year

Check out my two books at: My second book just came out: Hitchhikers in Each Other's Mind. Both available on in print and as ebooks. Also available for Nook and Kobo ereaders. Thanks, Jim Meaders

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset

I really liked the review. I think Im going to read this book next. Was this your first review? Ive only written 2 so far. :D

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Color Struck

Color Struck, YA Novel What happens when a young girl doesnt measure up to superficial beauty standards, has eyes that stir up trouble from the grave, and holds the key to unleash a forbidden family secret? Authors Pamela & Joel Tuck answer these questions and more in their heartrending novel, Color Struck, told with a southern flair. To read a 1st chapter excerpt, visit

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Dark Territory

We are thrilled with the Flaming Net review of DARK TERRITORY, the first book in our new YA supernatural romance adventure series. Thank you so much. Theres no feeling like the one a writer gets on learning that his or her words have grabbed the readers attention, entertained them and touched their hearts. Weve just completed the second novel in the series, GHOST CROWN, which our editor thinks is even better than the first (but youll have to wait until January, 2012, to find out).

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dark Territory

Hey there, Flamingnet! Thanks for the great review of my upcoming book, Dark Territory, book 1 of The Tracks series! Please also look for my teen horror novel The Sleepwalkers coming out in October, check out my website and "like" me on FB! Thanks again, and happy reading! ~J

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RE: need more reads!

Try the Septimus Heap series. Here are the books in order: Magyk, Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, and Darke. Yes, they are spelled correctly!! The author is Angie Sage.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Flamingnet Facebook Page

Please visit our Facebook Page and tell us which of the Harry Potter books was your least favorite?

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Belladonna by Mary Finn

When Thomas Rose stops at the edge of the road because he sees a mysterious red handkerchief, he has no idea that his life is about to change. Formerly known as the slow and stupid one who lacks the brains for schoolwork and the patience to help his father at home, Thomas finds his whole world shaken apart when he meets the beautiful Helene, known as Ling. Ling tells Thomas magical tales of her life as a performer in France, and especially of her fantastic white horse, Belladonna, who was taken from her. She convinces Thomas to help her find her horse and return it to her. In their efforts to locate Belladonna, the pair meets Mr. Stubbs, an anatomist and painter. He takes Thomas under his wing and offers to teach him the tricks of his trade. Thomas finds his whole world changing as he learns not only to read and write but to understand the way animal and human bodies function. Through Thomas and Ling's journey to find Belladonna, the two learn more about themselves and each other in this touching coming-of-age narrative.
Belladonna, by Mary Finn, is an eloquently written book with imaginative characters and a heart-warming storyline. The characters are very relatable and life-like, and I felt empathy for their struggles and triumphs throughout this book. However, the plot was at times less than exciting and left me struggling to keep reading. Despite this, I enjoyed the encouraging tone this book sets for those struggling to find their place in life, like Thomas. I would recommend this book to historical fiction lovers, but I would caution future readers that it takes some determination to finish the book. Belladonna is by no means exhilarating, but offers a fresh storyline and interesting characters.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Bayside, WI USA

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Everlasting by Alyson Noel

Ever and Damen have finally defeated all their current enemies, and they are going to embark on their final quest, to break the curse that Roman put on them so they can finally be together. Their quest will take them into past lives and mythical places. The strange old lady may actually be the key to survival and not their demise. But will Ever and Damen s relationship survive the challenges?

Everlasting was mediocre. The idea for the story was wonderful but it did not reach its goals. I felt that the challenges were too long. On the other hand Ever and Damen were portrayed perfectly. The description of the setting was perfectly described as well. I recommend this book to people who liked the Mortal Instruments series, House of Night series, Hush, hush books, Fallen series and Beautiful Creatures series.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Northglenn, CO United States

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Marked, Soul Guardians Book 1 by Kim Richardson

Kara Nightingale is on her way to an art exhibition when she dies in a bus accident. She wakes up in a new world called Horizon and has a new job as a rookie for the army of Guardian Angels. Kara now has to save the lives and souls of mortals with the help of her cute partner David. When the Legion's power is threatened by demons, it's up to Kara to save them.

I really liked the idea for this story. It was a unique story and I've never read anything like this book. Kara and David were believable characters and their emotions and feelings were very realistic. One of the few things I disliked was how the story was written in third person omniscient. I would rather have the book be focused on one character's personality instead of hearing the thoughts of both Kara and David. Other than that, I really did like the book.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Brownsburg, Indiana United States of America

Truth from the Shadows (eBook) by Courtney Harvey

Truth from the Shadows is one girl's story of learning to believe in herself and her abilities despite what others think. Alex is a young medium who desperately needs to make sense of her abilities in order to help and rid herself of the young ghost who won't quit till his family knows everything about his suicide. The only problem, Alex's parents ignore her screaming for help. Her mother, a psychiatrist, thinks she is only hallucinating, and decides she's crazy. Her father only tries to keep the peace by siding with her mom. And don't forget the ghost: He is determined to get her to talk with the mysterious new guy, fresh from California who deems her Crazy.

I really enjoyed Courtney Harvey's writing. She managed to take you on the same emotional roller coaster ride as her characters. Between the love, loss, betrayal, and hurt, it kept me wanting to know more. She had a good ending that could make you cry. The beginning was a little slow but picked up about a third of the way in. Overall it made a good summer read.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Glendale, AZ United States

Monday, July 11, 2011

Diary of a Part-Time Ghost by Vered Ehsani

All that 15-year-old Ash wants is to be normal. Then he starts having nightmares. Nightmares of his own death. Ash knows something is up and the arrival of his slightly sane great-aunt Bibi does nothing to ease his worrying. She leaves him a very mysterious birthday present - The Book of History. Ash hates history! He soon discovers that the book is more than just an old, moldy, boring history lesson. It allows him to travel back in time to the American Revolution. Tension is high in the colonies and Ash must stop the evil Kali before it s too late.

Diary of a Part-Time Ghost by Vered Ehsani was a fun, easy, and enjoyable read! Written from the viewpoint 15-year-old Ash, it had the right mix of adventure and humor. As teen myself it was easy to relate to some of the problems that Ash had to deal with like wanting to be accepted by other kids. Diary of a Part-Time Ghost combined the history of the Revolutionary War with a twist of magic. Parts of the plot were dull but for the most part, this book was an entertaining read. I would recommend this book to kids who enjoy reading, history, and magic.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Harleysville, PA USA

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Gwen Frost is being forced to attend Mythos Academy, an elite school set apart to train kids who just so happen to be descendants of various mythical warriors. Of course, Gwen doesn't believe in any of the supernatural skills her classmates supposedly possess. The only type of magic she actually accepts is her own and that of her own family. When the school's most popular girl, the icy Valkyrie princess Jasmine, is murdered right in the library next to a stolen mythical artifact called the Bowl of Tears, Gwen is determined to get to the bottom of the entire situation. It's never a good idea to poke your head into other people's business, though. So the results? Who else is to blame but yourself?

Touch of Frost belongs to the new batch of paranormal stories that all seem exactly the same, only with different character names and fantastical elements. This novel's back story is a mishmash of tons of various warriors -- from Norse gods to ninjas. While that is certainly a nice idea, it's never really delved into. Except for a few key warrior gods, all the others felt extraneous and were barely mentioned at all.

The characters aren't especially mind-blowing, either. You have the blonde mean girl clique, the quirky and unpopular heroine, and the
hot bad boy who falls in love with the heroine anyways; just the same formula used over and over and over again. The character with an actual personality was Vic, the ancient magical sword, who has a grand total of about five lines in the entire novel. That is just sad. A sword beats out all those other full-fledged human characters? Sad, sad, sad.

Touch of Frost is a quite a cliche, but lovers of stereotypical teen paranormal stories (I know there are a lot of you out there) will devour it with glee.

Sex is mentioned although not graphically described.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and
Country: Palo Alto, CA USA

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties by Lenore Look

This book is about a boy named Alvin who's afraid of everything. He thinks there are monsters under the bed, aliens at the mall, and other crazy things. In addition, Alvin, no matter how hard he tries, has a string of bad luck. One night, he wishes to go to Howard's party, his friend. Instead, he gets an invitation to a girl's party. Now he has to figure out how to impress Howard in order to get an invitation to his party. Will Alvin get to the right party? Then at school, poor Alvin forgot to wear his collar shirt for the class picture. After a crazy shirt switch disaster, Alvin ends up wearing a dress for his class picture. These and other adventures all take place in the town of Concord, Massachusetts. This book is full of humor that will make you laugh.

I really enjoyed this book. It kept me laughing because Alvin gets in trouble in a humorous way. The book is written well. It was satisfying because the author put a lot of care into it. I would recommend this book to a friend in second grade or up.

Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Purcellville, VA USA

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Alice-Miranda at School by Jacqueline Harvey

Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones is a very peppy girl who turns Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Acadamy upside down! When Alice-Miranda first arrives at Winchester-Downsfordvale she finds a sad cook, and a sad gardener. Can she make them happy with the help of her parents? And when Ms.Grimm makes her take an awful test can she pass it? Maybe with the help of the people she helped she can!

I chose this book thinking it was written for kids my age, but after reading the book I realized it was written for kids 7-10. It was based on a 7 year old, but even if you are over that age range you will still like the book. I did. It's just written for kids younger than me.

I liked the plot of the book. It was written very well, but what I didn t like about it were all the long confusing names such as- Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones, and Winchester-Downsfordvale. I found it hard to keep everything together since everyone had long name like that.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Skokie, Illinois U.S. of A.

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Charmed Return by Frewin Jones

Charmed Return is the next book in Frewin Jones' Faerie Path books. The book picks up where the last left off. It starts out with Anita/Tania back at her human home and she had no memory of Faerie or her other half: Edric and her sister. The first part of the book revolves around uniting with her past selves and defeating her evil uncle. The second part talks about her adventures relearning herself again.

Frewin Jones shot high and missed. This book left more questions than answers. The ending left quite a bit to be desired. It lacked the flair that Frewin Jones normally had for her endings. She leaves the ending open and shut. She could have ended and moved on from this mess, or she could try and save this series. The book was rushed and Anita/Tania did a 180 from the previous books. It wasn't one of Ms. Jone's nicer pieces.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carbondale, Illinois USA

Sunday, July 03, 2011

C I N by Christina Leigh Pritchard

Lisa Brown's life has just taken a turn for the worst. Her mother has decided to commit herself to a psychiatric ward, and leave Lisa with her aunt in Lynn, Massachusetts. As if that isn't enough, this city is bizarre. The locals have a saying "Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin. You never come out the way you went in." Lisa must live in the local boarding school for geniuses, which her Aunt owns. There, she meets a dog named Pig, and a cat named Rat. "Mind the cat" everyone says. She also meets Ally and Alex Moody, who are both anti-social and very rude, and she learns that she has to share the house with them. Things just keep getting worse, and then she's hit by lightning...Things begin to get very strange, very quickly as Lisa unravels the mystery of Lynn.

C I N was an amazing read. From the first page to the very last, the tone and writing style captured me as the plot thickened with each turn of the page. The characters were rich and strange, the setting was perfect, and the plot was original. Christina Leigh Pritchard has obvious talent and deserves to go far. There is one problem that permeates this book, however. Since C I N appears self-published, I assumed that the author had no editor. I may be wrong, but if so, I feel that Ms.Pritchard needs a new editor. Her book, while wonderfully written, is full of punctuation errors. I found myself going through with a red pen and correcting every one. It also had several typos, and there were a few paragraphs that needed to be re-written entirely in order to make better sense. Some sentences were very oddly written, and I had to edit in my head to get around them. This book has great potential, but these mistakes really got in the way when I was reading. I give this book an 8/10, but it definitely has the potential to be a 9 if the errors are fixed.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sykesville, MD United States

Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

This is a fantasy novel about a boy named Nick Gautier. He lives a normal life in New Orleans with his mom and they both struggle just to get by. That all changes when he learns of a whole new side of the world he lives in. He learns that his world is just a mask for all the creatures he once believed to be a myth. Nick has to try to survive in a realm of vampire hunters, werewolves, demons, and zombies and hopefully not get eaten on the way.

Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires, Oh my. Infinity is a fantasy/supernatural novel that will keep you wanting more. I personally am not a fan of zombie books, but this book kept my interest the whole time. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes supernatural books with a few different creatures thrown in. Kenyon did an amazing job with this book and I can't wait to read more.

Reviewer Age:19
Reviewer City, State and Country: mantua, NJ USA

The Jewel and the Key by Louise Spiegler

It was definitely the mirror and the earthquake that started it all. One moment, Addie is strolling through the crumbling streets and frantic crowds of Seattle; and the next, she is amongst weirdly dressed people who apparently make a habit of injuring each other with bricks. It is in this parallel world that Addie meets Reg and discovers the Jewel, a professional theater and any budding actress s dream. When she is offered a job as assistant director, Addie makes every effort to return to this old version of Seattle as frequently as possible. When events in each world seem to almost mirror each other, Addie realizes that there is a lot more at stake than her own desires.

I am often weary of time travel books, as it is very easy to butcher them. However, I enjoyed The Jewel and the Key immensely. The fact that I had never heard of the Industrial Workers of the World, an organization central to the novel s plot, was very surprising considering the long hours I ve spent in various high school U.S. history classes. The author s incorporation of history and theatrical arts sets up a great background for the novel.

Also like every other YA story, there is lurrrve. What seems like a love triangle at first quickly becomes more of a line segment or a diatomic covalent molecule (if you are in a particularly chemistry-oriented mood like yours truly). The object of Addie s affections is young Reg, a flamboyant actor with quite a dramatic personality. Their relationship was adorable, and the conclusion succeeded in stealing a few tears from me. I actually went back and reread the ending a few times after finishing the novel. I guess it can be described as bittersweet without going overboard with cheesiness. Mostly, it was just heartbreaking.

The Jewel and the Key is a quaint historical novel that packs quite a punch. It also contributed to my lack of sleep, as I couldn 't stop myself from reading late into the night instead of sleeping like the rest of the normal human beings in my time zone.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Palo Alto, CA USA

The Fallen: Demon by Kristina Douglas

Kristina Douglas's book The Fallen: Demon tells an exciting story of hatred, love and prophecy. Former ruler of the Fallen, Azazel, regrets not vanquishing the noxious Lilith when he had the chance to do so. With fear of a prophecy that threatens to wed him to the evil seductress fresh in his mind, he ventures out once again in an attempt to destroy her. There is a problem though, Lilith no longer has any memory of her time spent as a seductress. Now Azazel must construct a plan to end Uriel's murderous wrath that involves keeping both he and his mate alive.

The Fallen: Demon is the perfect combination of mystery, romance and suspense. It captured my attention right away and kept it throughout the entire book. The writing was phenomenal. Very well thought out. The point of view involving the Bible was strange for me but otherwise I loved it. My only criticism is that there are a few spelling errors here and there. I would definitely recommend this book.

This book should only be read by mature readers because it has swearing and sexual content.

Content Rating: 3
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Chico, CA USA

Friday, July 01, 2011

Etched in Bone by Adrian Phoenix

This is the fourth book in "The Maker's Song" series. The
main character is a human female named Heather who has
bonded to a half vampire, half fallen angel named Dante.
The plot is centered around Dante's struggle with his
things from his past coming back to haunt him as well as
the different groups in the magical community pulling him
in multiple directions. He also has to deal with his own
mind betraying him as he was, perhaps irrevocably,
tortured while growing up as part of a covert
assassination group.

Overall, the book had a good plot
the keep the reader attentive wanting  to know what was
going to happen next. The author's use of multiple points
of view allows the reader to really get into the different
character's skin and to experience what they are
experiencing. The book combines both the idea of vampires
and fallen angels together to create a hidden world that
coexists with the world as we know it. This gives the book
depth and frees both the author and reader to use
their imaginations. The frequent sex scenes however, were
a definite turnoff and readers should exercise caution
according to their own standards and moral values.

book contains frequent graphic scenes involving detailed
descriptions of sexual intercourse. These justify
a "mature readers only" rating.

Reviewer City, State and Country: Berwyn Heights,
Maryland United States