TeenLit Book Reviews

January 2007

Girl, 15, Charming but Insane

Sue Limb

The title of this book is GIRL, 15, CHARMING BUT INSANE. The author of this book is Sue Limb. I would give this book a 3 out of 4. This book could be read by a 12 or 13 year old. A girl would probably like this book better than boy due to the subject matter. The main character of the book is Jessica Jordan but everyone calls her Jess. The story takes place in England and is all about the life and sturggles of Jess. On of the conflicts in this book is that Jess was video taped while she was in the bathroom. Jess tried to get the tape but she couldn't because someone had already taken it. Than Fred calls Jess and tells her to meet him at the bus stop. When Jess goes to the bus stop, Fred gives her the video tape, and their relationship begins. I won't reveal the ending but I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, relaxing read!
Reviewed by Ana. Grade: ----- in California, - Link directly to entry

The Sword of Straw

Amanda Hemingway

Amanda Hemingway's The Sword of Straw is an excellent book for readers 13 and up, and I would rate it a 4. THe main character is Nathan Ward, a boy who dreams like all men do, but his dreams are real! He travels to other worlds and times in these dreams. He cannot make these dreams happen, and if he does force them to happen, he never ends up where and when he wanted to be. The dreams are explined by particle physics and quantum physics. Hemingway's descriptions are detailed, from Woody the woodrose, to Nathan's friend Hazels malevolent spirit Lilliat. The book is centered around findign the Sword of Straw (The Traitor's Sword). to add to the Grail, which is in Nathan's Uncle Barty's possession. But who 'Uncle Barty' really is, is open for disscussion. A spirit keeps possessing teenage boys to steal the Grail from Barty. Nathan visits the land of Winderslee. The princess's, Nell, father has been ill for years, after he was stabbed by the Traiter's Sword, and the wound will not heal. (This is reminiscent of the story of the king who was stabbed by the lance that pierced Our Lord's side in a King Arthur story) Nathan finds himself falling for Nell, while his best friend, Hazel, is dealing with love problems of her own. Hazel turns to Lillait, who is really someone who Hazel knows is evil in disguise, for help. This help, however is not what Hazel wanted. Nathan does everything to help Nell and her ill father. But when Nell tells him that she thinks he's the 'mysterious stranger' from prophecy, Nathan is confident that he is not the one. He isn't pure of heart, or especially brave or strong, he's an English school boy who dreams. The story is given a down to earth feeling amid the fantasy by Nathan's problems; with a bully at school, parental problems, games with his friends; Hazel's anger at him because he isn't spending time with her, and the school hierarchery at Hazel's school. An enthralling read that I would definitely recommend!
Reviewed by Kirsten. Grade: ----- in Ohio, - Link directly to entry

Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller's contemporary novel with an interesting (and possibly paranormal) twist, Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn, is certainly worth reading. A mystery girl (could it be the gorgeous Pilar? the plain but charming Molly? or someone else entirely?) has somehow found her way into Gideon's mind, and she is the narrator of the story of Gideon's first few months at Midvale Academy, a prep school where he feels he simply does not belong. Teenage girls will definitely enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at what goes on inside a guy's mind! If this were just a story about a guy going to prep school, it would be missing the charm that the novel posesses. Giving the narrator access to Gideon's every thought adds another level to this story! I'm not certain that the mystery element (only the last page reveals who this girl with an all-access pass to the mind of Gideon Rayburn actually is) adds to the book, but it doesn't make it any worse, either. This mystery girl watches Gideon's every move (through his perspective) as he finds his way through Midvale Academy, dealing with his new roommates and other students around him. This mystery girl even watches as he tries to win a bet with Nicholas and Cullen, his two roommates, who make a bet on when (if ever) he'll lose his virginity--to Molly McGarry. This is an awesome novel--I'd rate it four out offour-- and I for one cannot wait to read more from Sarah Miller!
Reviewed by Jocelyn. Grade: ----- in North Carolina, - Link directly to entry
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