Incarceron-- Catherine Fisher

Release Date: January 26, 2010
Pages: 464
Genre: Sci-fi dystopia

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Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here.

In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists.

But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born ...
Review: I LOVE convoluted sci-fi books, and dystopias. I dunno why, I just do. However, one of my biggest pet peeves is when an author doesn't explain something! Explanation is crucial in a sci-fi book, otherwise you run the risk of the reader getting so confused that they just check out.

This book had a lot of sci-fi in it, but it didn't explain hardly any of it!

Every time they would mention a sci-fi aspect of the book and then not explain what that meant I felt a little... itchy. They used words that clearly meant something to the characters, but I had no idea what they meant! And they only briefly touched on aspects that I was dying to know more about! I'm always wary when a sci-fi author does this, because it makes me think not even they know how their world works.

So why did I give it a 4?

Well, even though the explanations were minimal, the story could go on without it. And it was a good story. I wanted to know what would happen to Finn, and I really wanted to know what was up with Incarceron. You found out both those things, so the book was still good. If confusing.

I'm thinking I might buy the sequel from England, just because I hate waiting! And it doesn't come out here until 2011!

The Long Walk-- Slavomir Rawicz

Release Date (this edition): 1997
Pages: 256
Genre: Non-fiction

In 1941, the author and a small group of fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp. Their march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man's desire to be free. With a new Afterword by the author, and the author's Foreword to the Polish edition, this new edition of The Long Walk is destined to outrank its classic status.
Review: This is one of the VERY rare times I read a non-fiction book. I had to do it for my honors geography class, but I surprised myself by really enjoying it. This book is an inspiring tale that reads more like a novel than most non-fiction books (and it's because of this that many critics question it's validity, but I like to think it's a true account). It's very heart-warming and tragic at the same time. What these men went through is ASTOUNDING.

Your library probably has this. Look it up. It's great. Plus, it's coming out later this year as a movie directed by Peter Weir. The movie is titled The Way Back.

**Birthmarked-- Caragh O'Brien

Release Date: March 30, 2010
Pages: 320
Genre: Dystopian

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After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents disappear.

As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she faces the brutal injustice of the Enclave and discovers she alone holds the key to a secret.

Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, BIRTHMARKED explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where a criminal is defined by her genes, and one girl can make all the difference.
Review: This is DEFINITELY a Squeaky Book. I was up until FAR later than I should have been reading this. Sure, I was in stupor during class that day, but it was worth it!

I loved both the characters, story, and how this book makes you think. It’s a great book if you just want to enjoy a good story, but it’s an even better book if you want to really think about the ideals posed in the story. It argues both for the protagonist and for the antagonist. It's up to you to decide who is right and who is wrong.

I felt pulled along throughout the entire story. Never a dull moment for me. Captivated from the beginning, begging for more at the end.

Hush, Hush-- Becca Fitzpatrick

Release Date: October 13, 2009
Pages: 391
Genre: Dark Fiction

Official Website:
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For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
Review: This book was.... okay. I wasn't as much in love with it as everyone else, and it wasn't until I was done that I realized why.

This book follows the Twilight plot structure almost to the T.

Was I the only one who noticed that? Now, I don't know if the author did that on purpose. If she did, good for her! Her writing is very eloquent and gripping. It was a fun parallel to the Twilight books. However... part of me wonders if she didn't do that on purpose. If that's the case, then I cringe a little.

I know bringing up Steph Meyer's books leads to contention so I'll wrap this up with this:

If you like Twilight you'll LOVE Hush, Hush. If you DIDN'T like Twilight you'll probably still like Hush, Hush because it is very well written. But, like me, you may not love it.

Appreciation Time

I just want to take a minute to express my appreciation for my hometown library.

I LOVE my hometown library. I started volunteering there when I was 15, twice a week. Nine months later they hired me. I worked there until I moved away. There's honestly not a better place to work. Everyone is friendly, you're right up to date with the latest books, and you get to see people from all around the community.

Now, even though I haven't worked there for quite a while, I still feel this wonderful feeling every time I walk in. Those ladies are all waiting with a smile. If I have a book request, they get it right away and are sure to hold it for me.

Today, I went out of my way to pick up one of those requested books, 'cause I really wanted to read it. But, WOE OF WOES their computer system was down! But the lovely children's librarian just let me take the book! She just wrote my name down and said go ahead.

If you haven't had the chance lately, be sure to thank your local library and librarian.

Rapunzel's Revenge Book Trailer Contest

Howdy Y'all!

As some of you may (or may not) know, Shannon Hale sparked up a contest a good while ago challenging her readers to make the best Rapunzel's Revenge book trailer they could. Well now, the trailers are up for voting! Some faithful Squeakers as well as Squeetusers are in the running, so please take the time to stop by and vote!

Readergirlz in February

Time for Readergirlz in February! This month we'll be focusing on Copper Sun by Sharon Draper. I haven't read it, but I've heard fabulous things about it. Run out, grab a copy, and join us for a live chat on February 17 on the Readergirlz blog. As always, check out the readergirlz website or the latest issue for more information.


My Soul to Save-- Rachel Vincent

Release Date: December 29, 2009
Pages: 288
Genre: Fantasy, modern-day

Official Website:
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Book 1 of The Soul Screamers series -- My Soul to Take -- was released this past summer, and readers found out why Kaylee Cavanaugh screams bloody murder when someone’s about to die.

In Book 2 – My Soul to Save – when teen pop star Eden croaks on stage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.

Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk.

Soul Screamers: The last thing you hear before you die.
Review: I'd like to start by apologizing to Chelsy who sent me this book. I said I'd have a review up by the 1st, but I failed. *sigh* but here it is now. This book was pretty good, when it wasn't focusing on the sexual tension between the two main characters. When ever it got to those parts I just found myself skimming. Luckily, it wasn't a HUGE part of the book, though it was prevalent.

Another thing that bothered me was what they called the banshee's bean sidhes. But I don't really want to talk much about that, since I understand why the author wanted to do it.

But, all in all, those were the only things that bothered me. I liked the story, but didn't love it. It's nothing that will WOW you, but it's not bad either. Note that it is about demons and death, and I know that bothers some people.

It worked really well as a stand-alone book. This is the second in a series, but I didn't feel like I was missing anything (I haven't read the first). That's one of the biggest compliments I can give to a book.

I may not be the best blogger...

Now, I may not be the best blogger, but I am a rocking awesome student! I got 92% on my honors calculus test, 90% on my biology test, wrote two papers in the last two days, and (now this is the big one) my college is going to produce my play!!!!!!!! That's right! I'm actually going to be a produced playwright! How cool is that!?

Anyway. I am going to get back to blogging now that I've finished those two papers (they both had required books, so no time for fun-reading). I was supposed to have a review up a week ago... whoops. But it'll be up sometime tomorrow, I promise!

Thanks to y'all who are still sticking around. This'll be fun!

~Enna Isilee
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