Don’t Scream

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Don’t Scream by Joan Lowery Nixon

When two new guys start at Jess’s high school, she thinks the year is really looking up. What she can’t know is that there is a connection between them. One has been given a new identity by the government. The other is seeking revenge. Jess doesn’t know whom she can trust. Will she be the next victim?


As a teenager, I read pretty much everything Joan Lowery Nixon ever wrote. She was one of my favorite young adult authors. She wrote fun mysteries that were short, light reads but that had enough twists and turns that I couldn’t always figure out who the bad guy was.


Don’t Scream was published in 1996, so it will probably seem a little dated to today’s teens, but I think they would still find it an enjoyable read. The character development is thin, but it typically is in this genre. At less than two hundred pages, there really isn’t time to do much character development.


This genre of book always reminds me of the awesomely cheesy 80’s movies that I love; The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, for example. Like those movies, the book is a little fluffy but a good, quickly told story. Overall, a pretty nice way to pass the time.


Paperback
176 pages
Published September 8th 1997 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1996)
ISBN 0440227100


3 stars

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Murder of a Bookstore Babe (Scumble River Mystery #13)

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Murder of a Bookstore Babe (Scumble River Mystery #13) by Denise Swanson

“When school psychologist Skye Denison discovers a body crushed by a toppled bookcase in Scumble River’s new bookstore, she has to read the clues before she becomes the killer’s next work-in-progress…”

The Scumble River Mystery series is a fun series to read. The books are pretty short and they are fast and funny reads. School psychologist Skye Denison gets into all kinds of trouble when she plays around as an amateur investigator in each book. The mysteries are full of twists, turns and surprises and there are always plenty of suspects to choose from. I almost never know for sure whodunit until fairly close to the end. The whole series makes for excellent pool or beach reads for the summer.

Mass Market Paperback
272 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Signet Book
ISBN13: 9780451232809

3 stars

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (The Mysterious Benedict Society #3)

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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (The Mysterious Benedict Society #3) by Trenton Lee Stewart

“Join the Mysterious Benedict Society as Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance embark on a daring new adventure that threatens to force them apart from their families, friends, and even each other. When an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown, the foursome must unravel clues relating to a nefarious new plot, while their search for answers brings them closer to danger than ever before.”

This is probably my favorite book of the entire series. Stewart’s writing is funny and a bit sarcastic, which is right up my alley. The kids are in for more adventures and facing plenty of danger. But as long as the trust each other and use each other’s strengths, they’ll get along alright.

Hardcover
448 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Little, Brown Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
ISBN13: 9780316045520

3 stars

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society #2)

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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart

“The fabulous foursome readers embraced as The Mysterious Benedict Society is back with a new mission, significantly closer to home. After reuniting for a celebratory scavenger hunt, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance are forced to go on an unexpected search–a search to find Mr. Benedict. It seems that while he was preparing the kids’ adventure, he stepped right into a trap orchestrated by his evil twin Mr. Curtain.

With only one week to find a captured Mr. Benedict, the gifted foursome faces their greatest challenge of all–a challenge that will reinforce the reasons they were brought together in the first place and will require them to fight for the very namesake that united them.”

More exciting adventures for Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance. This book was just as good as the first in the series, maybe even better as I read it in only one day. Again, the author writes with a great sense of humor and I love the pace of the story. It makes me want to read it without putting it down.

Hardcover
440 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Little, Brown Young Readers
ISBN13: 9780316057806

3 stars

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society #1)

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The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

“Young readers who have worked their way through Lemony Snicket may well find their next obsession in The Mysterious Benedict Society, a dandy YA debut by novelist Trenton Lee Stewart. This engaging tale has all the elements tweens find intriguing: gifted kids, a dangerous mission, and a secret society where nothing is as it seems. Stewart throws plenty of challenges — physical, mental, and moral — in the path of his young protagonists, and readers will have fun solving the riddles and unraveling the clues in this smart, unconventional mystery. Complex, unpredictable, and deeply respectful of children’s innate intelligence, The Mysterious Benedict Society is highly recommended for thoughtful preteens. P.S. We loved it, too!”

Once again, this is another book that I picked up at the bookstore on whim because first, I liked the cover art, and second, the premise sounded good. I found out later that the illustrator is Carson Ellis, who illustrates the album cover art for The Decemberists, a band that I love.

Anyway, I loved the book. I knew I was going to be hooked on the entire series less than halfway into the first chapter. One of the reasons that I bought the book was that it was so long (I love to buy thick books that will *hopefully* take longer to read) but it was still a pretty fast read simply because it was such a fun read. The characters are great too and the author writes with a wonderful sense of humor. I read the whole series within days. Definitely a YA recommendation.

Paperback
485 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Little Brown and Company (first published March 7th 2007)
ISBN13: 9780316003957
E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers (2008), Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (2009), Iowa Children’s Choice Award Nominee (2011)

3 stars

Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #3) – Audiobook

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Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #3) by Laurell K Hamilton

“In Circus of the Damned, a rogue master vampire hits town, and Anita gets caught in the middle of an undead turf war.”

The third book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K Hamilton, read by Kimberly Alexis. This book introduces one of my least favorite characters. *sigh But it’s still an excellent story!

Audio CD
Published October 6th 2009 by Penguin Audio USA (first published 1995)
ISBN13: 9780143145141

4 stars

The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #2) – Audiobook

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The Laughing Corpse (Anita Black, Vampire Hunter #2) by Laurell K Hamilton


“Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter for Animators, Inc., is offered a cool mil to raise a 283-year-old corpse. But she knows that “the older the zombie, the bigger the death needed to raise it”. Only a human sacrifice is “big” enough to raise this old soul–and Anita’s no murderer.”


The second installment in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by LKH. Just as good as the first. The series is so long now that I’ve taken to downloading them from audible.com and listening to them on my iPod when I travel for work.


Audio CD
Published October 1st 2009 by Penguin Audio (first published 1994)
ISBN13: 9780143144021


4 stars