Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stirring up Trouble.

By Juli Alexander

Three Lemons- Lemonada

Rating: Only kissing

Synopsis: Zoe, a confused teenage witch, falls for her best friend's ex, putting their friendship in dangerous territory. But Zoe is intent on saving their friendship, all while trying to find a replacment for toad slime, though nothing is working. Then her friend's ex, Jake, and her go to the movies, where they end up kissing. Until her friend and ex-girlfriend of Jake, Anya, sees them, that is. Anya tells her she can't have him, though they have broken up. Then it gets even worse, Jake's mom is dating her dad!

Jake and Zoe fall for each other, but plan to keep it a secret. However, Zoe's dad finds out and gets super mad. Halloween swings around and Jake decides to throw a halloween party, but Jake doesn't know she's a witch and that on halloween her powers are out of control. What's a witch to do? Then her hot, magical guy friend shows up to spend the week with her, just in time for the party. Crazy things happen at the party and the consequences are almost unbearable.

Review: I liked the book, though some of the characters seemed a little one-note, such as Anya, who sometimes appeared to have no other personality other than boy-crazy and rude (but hey, I know girls like that). Jake as well seemed little like just a pretty face. Though I did think the book was cute, as well as simple enough that you can use it as a quick read, without having to wrap your mind around five different plot-lines. I would recommend it for both younger and older kids. One of my favorite parts of the book was where Anya sees Jake and Zoe kissing and flips out. I also liked Jake's reaction to how good-looking Milo was. There were a few parts that could have used a little work, but it was still a great book. I will hope to read the second.

Lemon On: Realistic fiction

(Note: This is the beginning of a series of blogs where Nerd and I talk about random book trends feel free to skip)

escapism |iˈskāpˌizəm|


the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, esp. by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

There are many teen books. More then half of these are fantasies and it's pretty obvious why. While teen-hood itself is only a mildly unpleasant reality, from the inside it's the emotionally manipulative torture you must face before college. The reason for this post is actually pretty stupid, but it made me start thinking about trends in books and other stuff that will come up later. The is that while I was reading Dream Chaser, I realized it was the first realistic book I had read in like two months. I realized that while wondering why no one was flying or rising from the dead by the second chapter. The question is, why the loss of realistic-fiction for teens? At this point it seems to be coming back, riding with using topics that are “taboo” such as eating disorders, suicide and depression (another trend I like). Hopefully it's here to stay, joining fantasy-romance-comedy and post-apocalyptic series as genres I'll read any day. More on the post-apocalyptic stuff later.

Dream Chaser

Rating: Underage drinking, making out, swearing
Four lemons: Lemon ice.
Summary: After a cheerleading accident (a fall from about twenty feet. Yikes!) Willow is terrified, no, petrified of heights. Unable to do the simplest of tricks, she quits the team. This motion is met with a ‘heck no!’ by pretty much all the school. Willow was the daredevil who did the biggest tricks that won them all the competitions that brought money to the school. The only people who seem at all pleased with her quitting is her old dance teacher, Miss Ginny, and her music teacher. Both want her to try out for a musical, Dream Chaser. Eager for a way to get an official excuse for quitting cheer (and maybe, just maybe, some new friends) Willow tries out. It turns out to be a steeper price then expected. Especially since instead of getting the chorus role she was looking for, she gets the female lead. Which means on top of dancing practice (of which there is much) she faces singing lessons and, worse yet, has to act in love with her former best friend. Former should be exaggerated, as often once you accidentally kiss them, the friendship thing often goes down the toilet….
Review: When I say you’re getting your money’s worth on this book, I’m right on two counts (other then generally always-rightness). Not only is it just a plainly good book, it’s long enough to keep your interest. One of the good things is how at the beginning of the book, never having read a description, I thought it was a book about cheerleading and didn’t care. I’m not exactly the biggest sports fan, which goes over into cheerleading (mainly due to jealousy that I can’t do the cool tricks). Then the musical part hit and I ended up reading the book under the dinner table. So yeah.A nice bonus is if you live/have lived in Madison WI it’s sorta awesome seeing high school names and places you’ve gone. Also, Tyson is awesome.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ashlyn's Radio

5 Lemons- Best Meringue Pie You Ever Had.
Rating- Making out, talk of sex, some swearing and scariness! (Ahhh!)
Summary: In the stupid small town of Prescott Junction, Ashlyn Caverhill is to spend her last year of high school with her grandmother. She has to abandon Toronto, where she’s lived all her life and her friends. All because her mom’s a wacko. Prescott Junction is starting out to be really boring. The train doesn’t run through anymore. But if that’s true, why do you hear it at night? No one knows because in Prescott Junction, people stay in bed. There’s also that song. The song that will stick in your head for like three hours after reading the book.Also, a cute guy who provides instant love interest (just add heroine). Also there is Rachel, who is goth without having a secret wisdom.
Review: I don’t like scary books that much. It stems from me being a wimp. I liked this book though. And not because it skimmed out on the scary stuff. Trust me, I was sorta terrified when I stopped reading half-way through (...because it was 9:30, pitch black in my room and a thunder storm started the moment I turned my iPod touch off). I’m not sure if there’s anything that count as out-right “sexual content”, mainly just talk of wanting to have sex. Ashlyn didn’t come off as whiny, which sometimes happens when there’s a girl whose moved away from home (As someone who has moved several times in their life-span I can easily state that it’s not the end of the world). The characters were good and I wanted to know the answers to mysteries that draw themselves to Prescott Junction like moths to a light. A nice book for when you’re at home sick with a cold.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Freaks of Greenfield High

The Freaks Of Greenfield High

By: Maree Anderson

Five Lemons-Best meringue pie you’ve ever had

Rating: Kissing, swearing, drugs, fighting, and talk about sex

Synopsis: Jay, a teenage cyborg on the run from the ‘bad people’, ends up hiding in Snapperton, and meets Tyler, an artistic music loving boy. Tyler and Jay quickly become friends, though without the unintentional help from Shawn, a cheating football brain, they wouldn’t have become so close. Tyler’s sister, Caro, also befriends Jay. After a little while Jay and Tyler fall in love, eventually though Jay has to tell Tyler and Caro about her being cyborg, Caro gets very excited, and Tyler gets really offended for some reason. (God, and I thought I was sensitive.) After a little while the ‘bad people’ track down Jay, will she make it out alive? Or as alive a cyborg can be.

Review: I loved this book! Definitely one of my favorites, I thought all of the characters were awesome, though Jay, of course, was my favorite. My favorite part was when Jay kicked Shawn’s a**, and threw him in a dumpster(Note from Lemon: This is true, she mentioned it at least 5 times during lunch period.), I also thought it was funny the way Jay studied people like textbooks. But one of the things that did bother me was Tyler’s reaction to Jay being a cyborg, all he did was whine about how she should be human, he even slapped her! I personally, would have been thrilled, I mean a cyborg for a friend, that would be awesome. I also found it interesting that Caro’s best friend, Vanessa, was a drug dealer, and her ex-boyfriend, Shawn, was on steroids when they were dating and didn’t tell her. I did like Caro very much, she had a strong personality and is all about fashion. Shawn, Caro’s ex, however I did not like very much, though he did add to the story by hitting on Jay and getting hit by Jay. The only left to say is that even if you’re a cyborg, in a place as complicated as high school, knowing everything just isn’t enough.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Summoning

4 Lemons- Lemon Ice
Rating: Swearing and mild violence
Summary: Chthonic City is being tormented by demons. It almost makes sense, Chthonic meaning underworld. To fight back against the demons a man (just call him the Guardian) assembles a unit of teens called Gatekeepers. There are groups like this all over the world, but this is the youngest yet. Here’s the team:
Janna: Janna sees disguised demons on the street, at the mall and in math class. When she started telling people what she saw she was put in a mental hospital and put on medication that made it worse. Once released at school she’s avoided and called Crazy Janna Pelky. Because of this she prefers to hide from people in her big black coat. However, killing demons is a drug to her and she’s addicted.
Claire: Claire is a college student who sees the demons in her dreams. Believing they stand for things like pollution and war, she protests often, not having time for much of a social life. In some ways she’s the opposite of Janna. Up top she’s confident and self-assured and below she’s well, terrified.
Galen: Galen (whose name I had to check more times to spell then Chthonic) is mysterious and knows about the demons from thing he draws and writes while he sleeps. His eyes are distractingly blue and the demons have taken a fascination with him for some reason...
Darren: Darren sees visions of demons that come randomly and leave him temporarily catatonic. He draws them and gets them as tattoos, until eventually they come and go of their own accord. He has the least natural talent, but can kick butt second only to Janna.
Review: This book was good. Good, and scared the kids in my class when I told them I was I was reading a book called The Summoning and that it was about demons. If you’ve ever had half the class think you’re goth you’ll understand how awesome that is. Not that is an actual goth-type book, of course. Also, Janna Pelky is awesome and a character type (shy and bad-a**) that I hope to see more of. None of the fighting scenes were Hunger Games level description, which my weak stomach is thankful for. The book might have not made my favorites list, but I’ll be looking for the rest of the series.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First review by Nerd! Hot Lunch.

Three Lemons - Lemonada

By: Alex Bradley
Rating: No swearing, no violence, no sexual stuff
Synopsis: Molly, a rude, selfish, sophomore, gets into a food fight with Cassie, an annoyingly perky blonde, which causes the lunch lady, Mrs. Zetz, to retire. And instead of getting detention they have to do lunch duty, the horror! But even worse the principal, Dr. John, insists on having the the students that order hot lunch fill out a ballot asking, whose food was better, Mrs. Zetz’s or Molly and Cassie’s? Their food ends up getting destroyed each time, causing them to have to work in the kitchen even longer. Then a total geek, Clyde volunteers to help cook. That would be great, except for the fact he can’t cook. Clyde likes Molly but sadly, she turns him down in a way I’d call burning. Meanwhile, Molly is drooling over Devon, an eye-candy actor with a hot butt. There’s also another guy she actually ends up with, so it’s kind of like a midsummers night dream, except all the girl parts were given to one chick. Just as Molly and Cassie start to enjoy working in the kitchen, Mrs. Zetz returns!

My Review: I enjoyed this book, though I think that some of the characters needed a little work. Molly started out sorta b*tchy . Ex: she hates Cassie at first site because she’s “normal” (what does that even mean?). Later on she grew on me as her narrating became less biased and she wasn’t as rude. Another thing that puzzled me was the punishment, though the payoff was awesome. Why didn’t they do the grunt work like lifting boxes and instead had to be head cooks whose food was compared to someone who had experience cooking? The book had some plot twists, which I’m not saying because, well, spoilers (yes, I’m a Doctor Who nerd). The book was also well written and all in all, a good read.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Entanglements By P.R. Mason

Yeah, this book's by the same author as the last.


By P.R Mason

Five Lemons –The best meringue pie you ever had!

Rating: Has making out and swearing, but no graphic violence.

Synopsis: Kizzy Taylor returns to school after leaving for about a month due to reasons of her dad attempting to kill her and succeeding in killing her brother, Adam. She has holes in her memory and the memories she sort of remembers don't make sense. She ends up meeting a hot guy named Rom who talks like he's from an old movie and has a weird accent (sorta Italian, sorta not) who both weirds her out and makes her want to jump his bones. That might just be the fact that he's hot though. Going spelunking with her friends in an old hospital she accidentally opens a portal to another dimension, losing her friend and her stepsister. She's going to have to deal with ghouls, vampires (not the cute sparkly kind), and a boyfriend who doesn't say everything he knows to get them back.

My review: Okay, you probably guessed that I liked this book already and you're right. Like the other book, this one was funny (The Baronet of Douche? Hilarious!), obviously knew what it was talking about, and had scenes that would make you blush as you read. Kizzy wasn't flawless, far from it, and didn't come off as annoyingly stupid. When reading it I didn't go 'If I was her I would blankety blank, why'd ya do that?' Though not my new favorite book (I've still got my copy of Good Omens) it definitely made the list. I also blame this author for writing stoic and bad-boy characters well enough that I don't hate the tropes anymore. They are actual characters first, things girls like in a guy second. I used to like to pretend to have conversations with character types (don't ask, I was a weird lemon who had to much free time and didn't yet have a computer of my own). Mostly it would be like, 'oh, hello granola child, do you want soy milk or green tea?’ Somehow the stoic guys and bad-boys would end up slapped. In Entanglements and The Banshee and The Linebacker, the love interests crack jokes, smile, express weaknesses that make sense. And I think that might be why these books are as good as chocolate. When you're reading a book that revolves around a romance, you want a writer who can write for both genders.

The Banshee and the Linebacker by P.R. Mason

There were many things I liked about the book, probably starting with the source material (who doesn't love death premonitions?). And the book definitely respects its source by not turning it into what the author needed it to be. The characters were well-rounded and I found myself laughing out loud while reading it (sure I was in study hall and everyone stared at me, but still).