Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Can a wolf man find happiness in Los Angeles, at least Isabelle?

Cole St. Clair, sexy bad boy and sometimes wolf, returns to L.A. after learning to control his metamorphoses. He was hired to star in a reality television series that preys on the statistical probability of the stars crashing and burning into whatever vices that feed the blogosphere of the entertainment world. But he is also in pursuit of Isabelle, the ice princess who knows his secret, whom he loves. Cole faces ghosts of bad behavior past seemingly everywhere he goes in L.A. The good news, is that he learns to manipulate the reality crew quite expertly and successfully produces some great moments. Unfortunately, those did not contribute to the crash and burn goals of the executives. Not that Cole did not have horrible experiences, but he turned to wolfdom rather than drugs to deal with stress. His pursuit of Isabelle was mutual, with quite sensuous scenes in bathtubs and elsewhere. Maggie successfully illustrates the agonies of someone attempting to eradicate the addictions of their past,, and the possible triumph that anyone can have if they plow through the nastiness of people who doubt they can change. By far this is the best of the Shiver-related novels: great philosophical questions, wonderful characterization and believable plot and outcome.maggie_cute  This is a stand-alone novel and Maggie says that it is the last time that she will visit the world of wolves.


 Maggie’s Website

Lorraine knows that Jerome and Gloria are desperate to perform and eat, so traps them with an audition ad tailored to entice. Clara faces having to choose between flirting with flapper life again and wonderful, patient, redeeming Marcus. Her foray into writing for the “Manhattanite” social rag unveiled her wonderful writing, but also lured her like a siren to her wild flapper days. Jillian joyously peppered the dialog with idioms of the time, entertained us with Clara’s antics, and had us holding our breath with the building tensions of the entrapment of Jerome and Gloria. Will they make it out of their first performance alive?

ENDERS’ Rating: ***
Jillian’s Website

Adam had pulled Mia back from death in If I Stay. Now he faces the results of a promise he made her in the hospital. Though Mia lives, Adam has lost her. As his rock career rockets, he finds himself anxious, popping medicines a little too often, avoiding the band, and dreading the European tour. His manager gives him an extra day in New York to settle his mind. As he walks through the city he runs smack into a billboard with Mia and her cello plastered on it; and he finds himself in the audience of her concert. Word spreads that he is there, even to the star. In a night a bit reminiscent of a darker Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Mia leads Adam to her favorite NY locations all night long. In a dramatic confrontation, Mia shares a shocking revelation. Fans will love the ending. I know that I did. The main quandary now is when will Forman’s next book be released?

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Gayle Forman’s website includes a good book trailer

Drea has just moved to gray Bellingham with her hard-luck mother to live with eccentric grandmom. She holes up in the bland basement, soon to turn bright green, with her sophisticated music editing equipment. Drea is not much of a people person, in fact, they make her uncomfortable. She doesn’t understand why they cannot take the truth when they ask questions. She feels nervous when people get too close. She doesn’t trust the feelings she has around the new guy, Justin, who plays an amazing guitar. Then there is Naomi, her new drug-crazed friend with an amazing voice. So they form an amazing trip-hop band. This is a funny, heart-warming look into the perspective of a teen girl with Asperger’s Syndrome, her musical brilliance, and her trial and error with social situations. You will wish Drea were your friend by the time you finish.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****
Tara’s Website

“We do stupid things when we’re hurt. But let me save you some grief. When you feel bad, it’s often best to do nothing at all.” Couldn’t we all have used that a time or two? Along with Molly’s widower, advice-giving dad, live her three bachelor uncles. The chorus of advice and platitudes from the uncle-crowded back seat of her dad’s truck zipping to Aunt Tip’s Bangee’s Wake Irish pub is hysterical. Molly wants to do what is right for herself..if only others would let her! Molly O’Keefe has a slimy boyfriend that everyone knows that he only wants to “ravish and toss” her. Molly is prone to giving in to her self-centered, carpe diem buddy Vanessa. She ends up in The Girl Corps, red cape and all, to discover some strength to deal with the Trevor situation and even more.

ENDERS’ Rating: Fun read that keeps you turning the pages!

Stacey Goldblatt’s Website and Blog

I used to have a book display of titles with the ratings of 1-5 Kleenix. This is worth, oh, six.

It was love at first sight when Mia saw her first cello. Her passion for her music leads her to a climatic choice between her art, her family and her soul mate. I dare not say more, but Mia has to leave someone or something behind, no matter what she chooses. Sniff!

ENDERS Rating: 6 Kleenix

Gayle Formans Website

We know that the most gifted teens in China outnumber all of United States teens. The story of Lang’s slavery to his art, thirst for perfection, and his father’s maniacal tyranny about practice sessions give an entirely new meaning to living for your art. Lang’s love of music began with a Tom and Jerry cartoon involving a caper with a piano. He and his superhero, the Monkey King, started his meteoric rise to stardom. But imagine a father giving up a respectable job to travel with Lang to Bejing for training, a mother being the lonely sole provider, jealousies from competitors and teachers, and you will have an inkling of the stress on Lang and his father. Add to that a father so stressed about his son’s lessons that he tells Lang to commit suicide if he cannot give his art more attention. Wow!

He’s going to be in Seattle on November 1, 2009!

ENDERS’ Rating: I love true stories about fighters!!!

Lang’s Website

Take an uptight Young Republican (I know, a pat generalization), a shocking discovery of a birth father, and a crazy summer band tour. You have the formula for a hysterical romp of a story. Leo becomes a roadie for his newly discovered father, an aging rocker. The inside life of a tour is frustrating, exhilarating, and humiliating for our poor Leo. But as a reader his wild experiences are nothing but hilarious!

ENDERS Rating: Great short novel, great fun!

Gordon Korman’s Website

When Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friend-the popular and exciting Sophie-she suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. but then she meets Owen-a loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. with Owen’s help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt? (B&N synopsis)

ENDERS Rating: Another winner!

Sarah Dessen’s Website

Another new and upcoming author at Razorbill is Robin Benway who has written a clever first novel about lost love going public. Audrey breaks up with her band boyfriend only to discover that the breakup has inspired a song based on the last thing he says to her, “Audrey, wait!” The song skyrockets. To her chagrin, Audrey draws her own fan base who case her out at school, work, home, concerts, wherever she goes. Audrey and her best friend Victoria provide pretty hysterical, witty dialog for the reader. Too many f-bombs for my reading enjoyment, but true to some teenagers’ language. Benway made a conscience effort to throw all current technology into the story, which will date it pretty quickly.

But if you want a quirky, individualistic protagonist who has a real dilemma to face in a most entertaining way, this is your book.

I hope Benway produces another soon.

ENDERS RATING: Clever, language caution

Robin Benway’s Blog