Perfectly Invisible by Kristen Billerbeck



MY REVIEW:

 Perfectly Invisible continues where Perfectly Dateless left off with  more of the sometimes funny and often heartrending misadventures of Daisy Crispin. Daisy is a scholarship student (call her a nerd – she does) at an exclusive private school and no matter how hard she tries, she is still mistreated by the “in” girls. Could it be the obviously home sewn clothes or the weird costumes her extremely conservative father wears for his unconventional job?

As her senior year winds to a close, Daisy has met her previous goal of finding a date to the prom (that’s an entire other story – see Perfectly Dateless). With graduation and a partial scholarship in sight, she suddenly finds herself surrounded by problems and can’t seem to do anything right. It doesn’t help that her former crush suddenly becomes interested and the guy she likes doesn’t seem to know she’s alive. A surprising exhibit at school perpetrated by someone who just wants to help brings Daisy more unwanted attention. With help like that, who needs enemies?

Although I am not in the target audience for Billerbeck’s Universally Misunderstood Novels, I have found them delightful. Daisy and her friends seem to be perfectly normal teens. Although they find themselves in some pretty unusual situations, everything fits into the realm of believability. I liked the way some of Daisy’s friends spoke into her life by pointing out that sometimes life is just not fair and that maybe Daisy was actually the person with an attitude. A few surprising twists and misunderstandings work out for the best at the end.

Perfectly Invisible is another great book by Kristen Billerbeck for teen girls. It is a lot of fun and teens should be able to identify with some of the characters. They might also learn something valuable while reading it. I heartily recommend this book.

Available July 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

St. James Academy Seeks Culprit In Rooftop Incident…

TEXT MESSAGE FROM: DAISY CRISPIN

TO: MOLLY CRISPIN

MOM, help me! I’m in big trouble, come back to school now! Daisy

 

Award-winning author Kristen Billerbeck returns with another story about Daisy Crispin in Perfectly Invisible (ISBN: 978-0-8007-7913-9. $9.99, 272 pages, July 2011). A lot is happening in Daisy’s senior year of high school. Daisy faces many ups and downs as she tries to finish her final year in high school being a normal teen in a not so normal environment.  She wants to stand up for her faith when others don’t care about theirs. Readers will relate to the situations Daisy encounters at school, at home, and in the work place and how she deals with them.

It’s Daisy’s final three months of high school, and she plans to make it count. Her grades should secure a scholarship to the college of her dreams and she loves her job. Daisy is in control of everything, or is she? Her handsome boyfriend, Max is treating her like she’s invisible, and her best friend, Claire is selling bad costume jewelry in the school quad–and hanging out with Daisy’s boyfriend. To top it off, Daisy’s major humiliation for the year will be remembered in the yearbook for all eternity. Then comes the crushing news…it’s enough to make Daisy wonder if maybe being invisible isn’t so bad after all.

With more of the funny-but-true-to-life writing readers have come to expect from Kristin Billerbeck, Perfectly Invisible shows teen girls that everyone is special–no matter what they’re going through.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants and Perfectly Dateless. A Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year, Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. She lives with her family in northern California. For more information about Kristin visit her website at www.kristinbillerbeck.com

Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley



MY REVIEW:

Breath of Angel, book one of The Angelaeon Circle series by Karyn Henley is a fantastical tale about angels, immortals, nephilim, shapeshifters, sylvans, dwarves, and the mere mortals who interact with them. Featuring Melaia, a chantress who witnesses a violent murder and soon finds herself pulled into the ancient blood feud between the evil immortal Rejius and his brother Benasin. Melaia soon learns that the legendary songs she has sung her entire life have more truth in them than she ever imagined and that everything she knew about herself was about to change.

While not an epic fantasy in the tradition of such greats as Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia, Breath of Angel is nevertheless an interesting and entertaining tale. I might have wished for a bit more description of the settings but I was nevertheless able to imagine them fairly well. More character development would also have been nice to help the reader become more invested in the story. Hopefully we will learn more about Trevin in Eye of the Sword.

A tale of loyalty, bravery, and sacrifice, Breath of Angel teaches some valuable lessons about life as it entertains. I would recommend it for most teens. It would probably be a great summer diversion.

 

This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books a service of the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

The stranger’s cloak had fallen back, and with it, a long, white, blood-stained wing.

When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man.

Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.

Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without settling an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.

Click here to download chapter one of Breath of Angel.

Praise for Breath of Angel

“Karyn Henley spins a lyrical young-adult tale of mythical and legendary beings, of reimagined angels and terrifying malevolents, in a small kingdom where the world’s fate rests on a young priestess’s shoulders.”
—Kathy Tyers, author of Shivering World and the Firebird series

“Karyn Henley’s novel starts with a jolt, grabs the reader by the collar, and doesn’t slow down one minute. This author infuses her text with imagery, suspense, and a cast that will appeal to all ages. In addition, it has a feeling that I can only describe as “folklorish,” with all the best elements that come with that—music, magic, and mystery. I think it’s destined to become a classic.”
—Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath, National Book Award finalist, Newbery Honor Book, PEN USA Award

“This lusciously written fantasy has it all: epic battles, earthbound angels, immortal humans, and a bright, engaging heroine. Henley’s young priestessturned-warrior is forced to put her past together like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces so sharp they cut. Her story is nearly impossible to forget, so readers will be eager for more!”
—Louise Hawes, author of Black Pearls: a Faerie Strand, AAUW Juvenile Literature Award nominee; Gold Award, Hall of Fame, teensreadtoo.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning author Karyn Henley has written over 100 titles, which include a mix of children’s books and articles, parent-teacher books, articles, and curricula, and preschool musicals and CD’s/DVD’s of original music for children. An accomplished songwriter, Karyn has been a Dove Award nominee, and received a regional Emmy Award as Music Composer for a Christmas television special. She has traveled worldwide speaking to parents and teachers and entertaining children and their families in storytelling/active movement sessions and concerts.

A graduate of Abilene Christian University (BSEd), Karyn received a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Shattered by Melody Carlson



MY REVIEW:

The promotional material, book cover, and book trailer indicate that Shattered deals with very serious issues but I was pretty much blindsided by what happened. I definitely didn’t see that coming. Because I feel that the surprise is probably an effective component of the story, I will not even attempt to give an overview of it.

As always, Melody Carlson has used a fictional story to illustrate very important lessons for teen readers. In Shattered, the reader will walk beside Cleo as she experiences the devastating consequences of one seemingly insignificant choice and the high cost of keeping terrible secrets. Shattered is a story that takes Cleo from the depths of guilt, grief, and pain to the hope and redemption offered through Christ.

I would highly recommend this book for all teens. If it could influence them to think about the consequences of their choices beforehand, many could  be saved from severe repercussions and possibly even tragedy. In my opinion, all of Melody Carlson’s young adult books should be included in the libraries of families with teens.


This book was provided for review by
LeAnn Hamby with Glass Road Public Relations.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Cleo Neilson’s best friend is moving away and she wants to make Lola’s last night in town special. For Cleo, that means going to the big Christian concert in the city, but her mom won’t allow her to go. She says that area of the city is too dangerous for two unchaperoned teenage girls.

Convinced her mom is just being an overprotective “helicopter” mom, she sneaks out of the house. After all, her mom has to let her grow up sometime, right?

Cleo now faces the chilling consequences of her actions and a secret that it is eating her up inside. As Cleo fights through her grief and guilt, she learns about faith in God and forgiveness through him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melody Carlson has written more than a hundred books for all age groups, but she particularly enjoys writing for teens. Perhaps this is because her own teen years remain so vivid in her memory. After claiming to be an atheist at the ripe old age of twelve, she later surrendered her heart to Jesus and has been following him ever since. Her hope and prayer for all her readers is that each one would be touched by God in a special way through her stories.

For more information, please visit Melody’s website at www.melodycarlson.com.

How Huge the Night by Heather and Lydia Munn – CFBA

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
How Huge the Night

Kregel Publications (March 9, 2011)
by
Heather Munn and Lydia Munn

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland of American parents and grew up in the south of France. She decided to be a writer at the age of five when her mother read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books aloud, but worried that she couldn’t write about her childhood since she didn’t remember it. When she was young, her favorite time of day was after supper when the family would gather and her father would read a chapter from a novel. Heather went to French school until her teens, and grew up hearing the story of Le Chambonsur-Lignon, only an hour’s drive away. She now lives in rural Illinois with her husband, Paul, where they offer free spiritual retreats to people coming out of homelessness and addiction. She enjoys wandering in the woods, gardening, writing, and splitting wood.

Lydia Munn was homeschooled for five years because there was no school where her family served as missionaries in the savannahs of northern Brazil. There was no public library either, but Lydia read every book she could get her hands on. This led naturally to her choice of an English major at Wheaton College. Her original plan to teach high school English gradually transitioned into a lifelong love of teaching the Bible to both adults and young people as a missionary in France. She and her husband, Jim, have two children: their son, Robin, and their daughter, Heather.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens.

Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father’s dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.

Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.

Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.

Endorsements

“The Munns have written an engrossing historical novel that is faithful to the actual events of World War II in western Europe during the tumultuous year 1940. But How Huge the Night is more than good history; it is particularly refreshing because the reader sees the conflict through the lives of teenagers who are forced to grapple with their honest questions about the existence and goodness of God in the midst of community, family, and ethnic tensions in war-ravaged France.”—Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“Seldom have the horrors of war upon adolescents—or the heroism of which they are capable—been so clearly portrayed. I loved this coming-of-age story.”—Patricia Sprinkle, author of Hold Up the Sky

“The book expertly weaves together the lives of its characters at a frightening moment in conflicted times. As we read of their moral dilemmas and of their choices, we too wonder, Would I do has these in the story have done?”—Karen Mains, Director, Hungry Souls

If you would like to read an excerpt from How Huge the Night, go HERE

Watch the book video:



MY REVIEW:

Please see my May 21 review HERE.

How Huge the Night by Heather and Lydia Munn



MY REVIEW:

Unlike most historical fiction that is written from an adult point of view, How Huge the Night views life in Nazi occupied France through the eyes of young teens whose lives have changed forever. Featured characters include:

  • Julien who has had to leave friends and his beloved Paris to move to the small country village of Tanieux where his father grew up. Despite his family history, Julien has struggled to be accepted by the other boys his age.
  • Samuel whose parents have sent him to live with Julien’s family to protect him from the Nazis. Having seen firsthand the cruelty of the Nazis, Samuel fears for his parents and for the Losier family. The fact that he is Jewish and was born in Germany makes his life at school miserable.
  • Nina and Gustav, two young Jews who have fled Austria at their father’s death to escape the Nazis. Their journey to safety was hampered by the loss of their money, lack of food and shelter, and violent encounters with others along the way. Their dramatic arrival in Tanieux challenged Julien, Samuel, and the other villagers to decide whether to do what was right.

Told with poignant realism, How Huge the Night spotlights the thoughts, emotions, and reactions of these young people as they struggle to understand why God would allow such horrific things to happen to innocent people. And in the midst of their struggles, they are given a chance to respond. This story takes the characters through a gamut of emotions from despair to hope, from anger to compassion, and finally to an effective faith.

How Huge the Night is a story that will stay with the reader for a long time and is a must read for those who love history.

Learn about an exciting promotional contest and see what other bloggers have to say about How Huge the Night HERE.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens. Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father’s dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.

Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.

Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.

Purchase a copy of How Huge the Night HERE

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in a Christian intentional community in rural Illinois, where she and her husband, Paul, host free spiritual retreats for the poor, especially those transitioning out of homelessness or addiction. When not writing or hosting, she works on the communal farm.
Lydia Munn, daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Brazil. She received a BA in literature from Wheaton College, and an MA in Bible from Columbia Graduate School of Bible and   Missions. With her husband, Jim, she has worked in church planting and Bible teaching since 1983, notably in St. Etienne, near the small town in the central mountains of France which forms the background of How Huge the Night. The Munns now live in Grenoble, France.

Never Been Kissed by Melody Carlson



MY REVIEW:

Melody Carlson has once again proven her skill when it comes to confronting difficult teen issues with honesty and discretion. Never Been Kissed is an up close and personal account of Elise’s experiences in a new school. As the daughter of a struggling single mom, Elise lacks many of the advantages enjoyed by some of her classmates and is also somewhat naive compared to several of them. Her desire to belong seems to be realized when she is apparently accepted by a group of Asher’s friends, but she quickly finds that they have turned on her. Clandestine romantic emails from Asher lead her to believe he cares for her even though he urges her to ignore him at school. Clues abound that something is amiss but in her naivete Elise fails to catch on. Subsequent serious accusations open her eyes nearly too late to salvage her reputation.

To many parents, Never Been Kissed may seem to have inappropriate subject matter for their daughters. However, at a time when my local news is reporting one high school with over ninety pregnancies and one doctor in that area reports treating pregnant girls as young as ten, my opinion is that our children are already being exposed to much more than parents realize. Never Been Kissed is one attempt to warn these teens about the dangers of inappropriate behavior and helps to point them in the direction of a Savior who can help guide them through the pitfalls around them. My daughter is now grown but I plan to pass on my copy of Never Been Kissed to a friend with a teenage daughter. I believe this is one book that both mothers and daughters should read and discuss.

This book was provided for review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Bestselling Author Explores Teen Trend of “Sexting”

Melody Carlson helps teens understand the harsh realities of “sexting” in her latest touching and thought-provoking YA-fiction novel.
Readers will be encouraged to value purity regarding their bodies.

All Elise wants is to have her first kiss before she turns sixteen. Is that so bad? But when a friend’s poor advice and the powers of electronic technology combine, Elise heads down a dangerous road. She is accused of “sexting” and gets kicked out of school. But is she really the one to blame?

This powerful and realistic story from beloved author Melody Carlson shows teen girls the impact of their choices when it comes to respecting themselves and their integrity. Honest and relevant, Never Been Kissed will make girls laugh, cry . . . and think.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. She also writes many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon. Visit Melody’s website at www.melodycarlson.com.