The Library Ninja Blog
As a Searcher, Addie Coleman has always had the ability to look into her future and live out two different lives. Addie has always used this ability to avoid everyday disasters such as getting the wrong haircut or going on a date.
Everything changes the day Addie’s parents tell her that they are getting a divorce and her father is moving out. Even worse than that, Addie must now choose between living with her mom and the other Paranormals or moving out of the Compound with her dad to live with the Norms. Addie must Search two different futures and decide which path is right for her and what sacrifices are worth making.
Honestly, I was a little hesitant in my decision to read West’s debut young adult novel but she did not disappoint. Pivot Point is filled with many characters with paranormal abilities without being the usual cliché of vampires, werewolves, ghosts or witches. I, personally, find this very refreshing considering the huge trend of late. I enjoyed how the story was told in alternating chapters of each alternate reality.
Addie is a strong, female character with a fun, faithful best friend, Laila. Duke and Trevor play Addie’s love interests and I found the parallels of each of their relationships with Addie very interesting. Despite being two very different characters, their relationships (and the situations they find themselves in) with Addie are very similar. Also, as a born and raised Texan, I also enjoyed how most of the novel takes place in Dallas, Texas and how West’s various Texas references do not portray us all as cowboys as many novels tend to do.
I look forward to Pivot Point’s sequel which will be released next year. New fans of Kasie West can also look out for her summer young adult release, The Distance Between Us.
Other books you might enjoy
The Watsons go to Birmingham is a fantastic book. I love this book because it is based off of a true story, but at the same time, made up life. The relationship between the two brothers, Kenny and Byron, is histarical, especially with their little sister, Joetta, who is really protective of her brothers, no matter what. Their parents are protective, too, and they are also really helpful with the children's problems.
Speaking of problems, one of theirs is how Flint, Michigan is really cold. So the Watsons always have to have some sort of coat, jacket, or blanket on, to stay warm. Another problem is how Byron's behaviour is bad. He picks on his brother Kenny, acts like he is allowed to do anything, without permission.
That is something that involves going to Birmingham, Alabama.
Will Byron's behaviour change after Birmingham? Do the Watsons get better heating and or warmth around their house? If you want to find out more, you'll have to check it out and read it!
Other books you might enjoy
Solveig is one of three children of a king who is at war. To protect his them, the king sends Solveig, her older sister Asa, and her younger brother Harald, the crown prince, to hide in a small steading (or farm) sheltered between icy mountains near the sea. With a small group of caretakers and just a few soliders for protection, Solveig and her siblings must survive the coming winter until the king sends word that he has won the war. As winter falls upon them, an ever-hardening wall of glacial ice slowly blocks off the entrance to the steading. Before the entrance freezes over completely, a group of beserkers, fierce and frightening warriors feared even amongst their own people, arrives as protection sent by the king.
Just as the steading settles into a precarious rhythm of relative peace, an act of treason endangers everyone in the steading. Solveig, the second child and plainest daughter of the king, quickly realizes that not only are she and her siblings in danger from the traitor, but the claustraphobic conditions in the steading also threaten to turn friends into enemies, family into strangers. Will Solveig and her friends and family make it through the winter alive? Can she discover the traitor among them before the traitor causes greater damage?
This is one of the best books I have read in a very long time! If you have followed my book reviews for a while, you will know that I typically read a lot of fantasy and science fiction. Well, this book is not fantasy or science fiction, but I really, really enjoyed it.
This book is more than a story about a group of people surviving a winter. Solveig is a wonderful character who learns a lot about herself, her friends, and her family throughout the book. At first, Solveig is quiet and does not think very highly of herself. She is described as plain to look at, not nearly as beautiful as her older sister, Asa. Solveig does not think she has any real talents, and neither, apparently, does her father. Her younger brother Harrald is meant to be king, and Asa will marry someone of noble birth and bring more wealth and pride to the family. But Solveig? What does she have to give?
One very interesting character in the book is Alric, the skald. A skald is a storyteller, someone who knows all the Norse legends and is able to weave tales meant to inspire, to entertain, and to help. Solveig learns that she has the gift of storytelling, but she is convinced that as the daughter of the king, and a seemingly useless one at that, she may not be allowed to become a skald. Solveig turns out to be one of the strongest and bravest characters in the book. She is someone I can admire for her honesty, her kindness, and her desire to help others. She learns to face her fears and stand up for what she believes in. I also loved the character of Hake, the fearsome leader of the berserkers, and even Muunin, Solveig’s raven. Readers will wonder until near the end of the book who the traitor really is.
I love the Norse mythology that Matthew J. Kirby weaves into the story and the memories that Solveig shares at the beginning of chapters. While most of the book reads at a steady pace, the last few chapters were very exciting. I couldn’t read them fast enough! And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the cover of the book does have meaning. This is the first book I have read by this author, and it definitely won’t be my last!
Other books you might enjoy
Everybody loves legends and myths, and teen fiction is full of these tales starring mythical creatures or gods or powerful magic. These books are reimaginings or modernizations of classic stories, creatures, and people that you've learned about all your life! If you want to read about life in a goddess boot camp or what it would be like to be a modern day siren living in New York, then check out these excellent books:
Greetings Ninjas! Last week Fort Worth was the proud host of the Texas Library Association Convention. Now, I know that a library convention probably sounds boring but I can promise you it is anything but! There are tons of books, authors, great classes, and new faces. It's always a blast. This year was my first year to volunteer in the author area and it was a ton of fun (my boss did a great job helping run the area too!). I got to help Jennifer Brown, Jane Yolen, and P.J. Hoover....what awesome ladies! I also got to meet Robin LaFevers (squee!) and get her autograph. Behold!
If you haven't read any of Robin LaFevers books, do it! They are absolutely fantastic.
His Fair Assassin:
Every year, 16 school and public libraries are selected to serve as a Teens' Top Ten nominating group. All nominations are made by teens ages 12-18 and they select their favorite young adult books from the previous year. Nominations are announced on Support Teen Literature Day, the Thursday of National Library Week.
Voting begins in August and the winners will be announced during Teen Read Week in October.
So, start reading!
Here is a video, courtesy of YALSA, highlighting this year's nominations:
So maybe you've seen your kid brother or sister reading these books. The covers look cool. You might have been intrigued, but you probably thought they were reading some children's book and then you started playing Halo and forgot all about it. Well I'm here to remind you of these awesome books! Check them out, even if they're in the children's section. We'll never tell!
The Summer 2013 SYNC List has now been posted!
SYNC is a program provided by Audiofile, the magazine for audiobook lovers, that provides free audiobook downloads every summer. Each week SYNC provides two free downloads: one modern young adult title and one classic title.
SYNC runs from May 30-August 21.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him. But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Ninja Review: I feel that this is a world-building fantasty book that will appeal to a wide audience. Even those who don't really like fantasy will find war, monsters, romance, intrigue and mystery to keep them reading. Author Leaigh Bardugo has woven together a beautiful if harsh landscape, pulling many Russian elements into her story. As the story unfolds we learn that Alina Starkov, her childhood friend Malyen Orestev, and their First Army regiment must cross the Shadow Fold, which is filled with flesh-eating volcra. While they prepare for crossing we learn of The Grisha, elite citizens and soldiers in Ravka. Each kind of Grisha wear different color keftas to distinguish them and their talents, and Alina may be one of them if she too can harness her power.
As Alina learns of her power, she encounters the Darkling, described as a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power. He is a leading figure of The Grisha, revered by many, and hungry for power. We see Alina fall for his charms while Mal fights his past failures and his feelings for his best friend. Though it sounds like a love triangle (typical in YA literature) it really is not, as Alina seems to be more in awe of and seduced by the Darkling then in love with him.
Bardugo creates a fantastically flawed cast of characters, believable and unforgettable, in the perilous Ravka. I recommend listening to the book if you have a hard time with books that borrow from foriegn dialects.
This book is a 2013 Lone Star book.
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