Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ruby Red

Ruby Red
Kerstin Gier
336 pages
Middle School+

Gwyneth lives in her cousin's shadow.  Her cousin Charlotte is the one destined for greatness, for time travel and the family legacy. When Charlotte starts having pre-time travel symptoms, the entire family is excited.

But then Gwyneth gets a headache and is dizzy.  And then it happens- she travels back in time.  Confused and unprepared, she eventually makes it back to her time.  When she tells her mother about it, the entire extended family is in an uproar.  This wasn't supposed to happen

Thrown into intrigue, family politics and secrets, Gwyneth feels lost.  Not only does she have this strange talent, but Charlotte now hates her, Gwyneth's time travelling companion is a snob, and there is far more to traveling back in time than just dressing right.  And when her carriage is waylaid, everything starts going topsy turvy.

This book and story line has tons of potential!  I like the idea, I like the little pieces of back story that we get, and love all the potential that it has for more books.  Great way to start a series!

I did feel that this lacked a little.  I don't know if this is from the translation from German, or something else, but I didn't feel like it quite filled all the potential that it has.  This book is obviously setting up more books, and I feel like there was almost too much "set-up" and not enough action in this one.   Even the action was limited, short and not all that interesting.  To me, not enough happened in this book.

Overall, interesting book.  I'm kind of torn on if I will recommend it or not. While it does have lots of potential, and I probably will read the next one, I think I will wait until after reading it to see if I like the series and will recommend it or not.  Fun book, lots of possibility, but needs more to be a fulfilling read to me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
By Barry Deutsch
144 pages

Mirka is spunky, often fantasizing about dragons and swords.  She lives with her family, does her chores (not always with a smile), and tries to learn how to knit.  Life seems pretty boring and sometimes useless.

But then Mirka eats a grape.  But not just any grape, a giant grape from a pig's garden.  The pig is extremely upset that she has taken one of his grapes, and chases her down until he gets an apology.  This starts a string of strange events, involving the pig who talks, a witch and even a troll.  But how is she going to defeat a troll?  And why should her mother know how?

So, I thought this book as alright, but not spectacular.  The story is interesting, but not absorbing.  The characters seemed a little flat and don't change or grow throughout the story much.  The illustrations were alright, but I dislike the monochromatic nature.  I did like the change between the orange and purple for various parts of the story, but the orange strained my eyes and is not my favorite color to read.

I did like that this explained various phrases and and customs unique to the Orthodox Jews.  Gave a little insight to the culture in an unexpected format.  While not entirely a "study" of their culture, added a little depth to the setting of the story.

Overall, good, but not great.  I did like how Mirka overcame obstacles she faced, from bullies and witches to ogres!  Definitely not your typical heroine, but still fun.  Not sure who to recommend this too, as it is just different enough from many standard genres- not what I would really call fantasy, but more magic than realistic fiction.  Okay book, not terrible, just not my favorite.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
by Tom Angleberger
141 pages

Sixth-grader Tommy has a mystery to solve: is Origami Yoda real?  Sitting on Dwight's finger, Yoda seems much more intelligent and aware of everything than Dwight ever was.  In his screechy little voice, Yoda answers questions, gives advice and helps the other kids make it through the day.

But how can a dweeb like Dwight answer these questions?  Or does Origami Yoda really have the Force with him?  And above all, does Sara really like Tommy?  And why does Tommy need to learn how to dance the Twist?

This was such a fun book to read!  While told mostly from Tommy's view, there are several chapters "written" by the other kids at school with them, giving variety to the novel.  Plus, each chapter is fairly short, so it is really fast to read. Very fun narrative style!  If they liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they will like this!

Definitely a lot of themes that kids will relate too.  School cliches are very present, as well as jocks, pretty girls, and the everyone else.  I like the fact that Tommy has the same insecurities as a lot of kids that age- not really sure if he should ask a girl to dance, not wanting to look like a dork in front of everyone, and so one.  Very realistic portrayal of kids that age and what they worry about.

Anyways, very fun book!  Quick read, yet has great message and lots of humor to entertain the kids.  I recommend this book all the time!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss
661 pages
High School+

Kote appears to be inn keeper, new to town but starting to blend in with everyone else.  He and his servant Bast serve the small community and live in relative peace, away from the rest of the war torn world.  Out there are rumors of war coming closer, plus demons or worse roaming the land.  Here, the biggest gossip is if the crops will grow or not.

Then one night, one of the regulars shows up with something very irregular- a strange, large spider-like creature.  Convinced it is a demon, the town people burn and bury it as fast as they can.  Instead of being scared of it, Kote seems resigned at it's appearance.  Bast finds him, a few mornings later, coming through the door bloodied and carrying a wounded stranger.  Realizing that the monster was only one of a pack, Kote took care of the rest and rescued a traveler in the process.

This traveler isn't just any random person, but the Chronicler, someone who records the lives of remarkable people.  He has searched for Kote, or as he was better known Kvothe.  Rumors abound about him, his powers, his background and more. The Chronicler wants to record Kote's story, let the world know what truth lies behind the rumors.  Kote tells him to leave, that this is all put behind him, but the Chronicler insists.  Gradually, Kote relents and starts to tell his story.

This begins the tale of Kvothe- wanderer, son of a preforming troupe, homeless boy, and youngest student at the university.  Incredibly intelligent, he stuns the magistrates into letting him into university and makes both friends and enemies there.  Adventure, mystery and magic intertwine to weave Kvothe's story.  Woven with events at his inn, thus begins an epic tale of love, growing up, and revenge.

Can I just say wow...  I loved it!  It's been awhile since I've read a pure fantasy (not werewolves, vampires, or modernly set fantasy) and I really enjoyed this.  More complex than most teen fantasies, but not so overly complicated like the high fantasy you often find in adult areas.  This is a great mid-point between the two levels (teen and adult).  I had a hard time putting it down, going to work and not being able to read it.  The characters and the plot just really captured my attention and got me involved in the story.  So good!

I really liked the story structure- we see this inn keeper, and slowly that there is more to him than meets the eye.  Then he starts telling his own story and it was amazing.  Fun to see the character he is now, know the rumors about what he was, and also see how he began.  Kind of an inside-out story telling model, but it helps increase the tension and expectation of the reader.  Obviously the first in a series since there's several story lines that are not completely ended.  I need to find the next and start reading it!

For my library friends- very fun little scene near the end about libraries.  Kvothe is in a library, and can't seem to find anything.  He and a friend have a discussion about organization that too me back to library school!  Just a little bonus in an already fun book!

Overall- Go read it!  If you like fantasy, but don't want to read about werewolves and vampires, then pick this up.  This is definitely high school to adult, for language and for complexity.  I can see both girls and boys enjoying this..  Loved it! Hope you do too!

Monday, May 20, 2013


by Doug TenNapel
288 pages
Late Elementary+

Cam and his dad Mike have it tough.  Cam's mom is dead, Mike can't find work even though he tries, and the best thing he can afford for Cam's birthday is a cardboard box.  Despite the weird guy that sells it to him, Mike takes the box home, and together they create a cardboard boxer they name Bill.

But everything changes when Bill comes to life.  Quirky and not quite sure to make of his new life, Bill pushes forward with enthusiasm.  Instant friends with Cam, they make the kid across the street, Marcus, jealous of the awesome (no batteries needed!) toy that Cam has.  When Marcus steels the remaining cardboard pieces to make his own creations, things start getting a little out of hand.

I liked this book a lot!  The illustrations are colorful and expressive, without being too busy or dark.  Despite the prevalence of cardboard, I'm not overwhelmed by tan- the artist finds ways to incorporate lots of colors even when cardboard takes over the world.  There is texture and motion in the pictures that drawers the reader in.

I also really like the story line.  It subtly deals with several issues such as Cam's dead mother, Mike's lack of a job, stretching money when things are thin, friendship and betrayal.  All these things are woven into the story- the reader sees them, and sees the characters dealing with them.  I think that is important- not just that the issues are present, but the the characters are interacting with these issues: Mike is trying to get work but not having success, they eat mac n cheese for dinner (frequently from implications), and they even discuss the mom a little.  It's not distant issues, but very real and involving in their lives.

One of the things I like the most about the story is the relationship between Cam and Marcus.  They start out not friendly at all, have trials to their very weak friendship, and they talk about those weaknesses.  As things that happen in the book kind of throw them together, they start seeing each other clearer, and find they need each other.  Not your typical beginning to a friendship, but kind of more realistic than some portrayals.

Overall, good book!  It's a little bigger than some graphic novels aimed at kids plus has some issues more suited to slightly older kids, so I would say late elementary and middle school.  Boys will get a kick of this book, as well as girls.  Expect them to make things with cardboard if you read it to them!  Have fun!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Animals! Another Book List

Animal Books

Love animals?  These various stories are everything from their caretakers to what happens when animals talk!  Both touching stories and adventure can be found here!  This list covers a wide range of ages, so you are sure to find something that you like!

The One and Only Ivan
Katherine Applegate

The Tale of Despereaux
Kate DiCamillo

King of the Wind
Marguetire Henry

Carl Hiaasen

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery
Deborah Howe

Into the Wild (Book 1 of Warriors series)
Erin Hunter

Mossflower (Redwall series)
Brian Jacques

The Capture (Book 1 of the Guardians of Ga’hoole)
Kathryn Lasky

Urchin of the Riding Stars (Book 1 of the Mistmantle Chronicles)
M. I. McAllister

An Elephant in the Garden
Michael Morpurgo

First Test
Tamora Pierce

The White Giraffe
Lauren St. John

Scorpio Races
Maggie Stiefvater

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dealing with Dragons

Dealing with Dragons: Book One of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles
by Patricia C. Wrede
240 pages

Cimorene is a princess, but doesn't act like one.  Instead of blond, beautiful hair, she has dark, curly, unruly hair.  She learns fencing, not needlepoint.  She prefers cooking to courtly manners, and even badgers the court magician into teaching her a few spells.  Finally having enough of her rash behavior, her father starts arranging a marriage for her.  Rather than face a marriage to some snobby prince, she runs off.

After getting some mysterious advise from frog, Cimorene decides to follow it.  After all, not following advice gets you in trouble.  After knocking and snapping her fingers, Cimorene enters a small cottage only to hear some voices deciding her fate.  One wants to eat her, one doesn't really care, and one wants to keep her.  After arguing, the voice that wants to keep her wins, and Cimorene is surprised to see the voice belongs to a dragon.  While belonging to a dragon seems far better than being eaten by one, she is still not quite sure what being a dragon's princess entails.

After a few weeks, Cimorene has never been happier.  She organizes treasure, cooks cherries jubilee, and even visits giants!  But princes have been showing up to try and rescue her.  Quite put out by their efforts (she enjoys serving a dragon!), she plots and plans ways to get the princes to leave her alone.  But she is not the only one with plots and plans.  Wizards, dragons and witches all play parts in a plot to overthrow the dragon king!

I love this book, plus the series that follows!  Lots of humor, wit and drama (but not on Cimorene's part).  Definitely the rebel princess, Cimorene is practical, honest, and straightforward.  She is clever, funny and lots of fun to read about!

This is a great book for kids, late elementary and up.  The action is fast, the dialogue funny, and the plot line is great.  I have loved this book for a long time, and like to reread it every now and then.  Great book!  One I love to recommend to people!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Foiled and Curses! Foiled Again!

Foiled and Curses! Foiled Again
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Mike Cavallaro
160, 176 pages
Middle School+

Aliera is a high school student, fencer and fairly normal kid.  While she doesn't really belong to any of the groups at school (not the jocks, the nerds, or the goths), she has fencing and her cousin who she hangs out with on every Saturday.  Other than being color blind, Aliera feels that she is nothing special, even with the new practice foil her mom found for her.

One day at school, there is the new boy- Avery.  Blindingly cute and athletic to boot, every girl in the school wants a moment with him.  Assigned as her lab partner in biology, he seems to enjoy cutting up the frog a little too much.  Aliera isn't sure what to think when he asks her out on a date.  A little dazzled by his smile, she agrees to meet him at Grand Central Station.

Hurrying to get there after fencing class, Aliera is disappoint when he's not on time.  While waiting, for him to show, some strange bird starts attacking her.  Just looking for something to protect herself, Aliera grabs her mask, slips it on, and her world changes.  Instead of muted greys, suddenly there is color around her.  But the things that are colors shouldn't exist in the normal world.  Dragons, trolls and fairies are a little much for her.  Even Avery seems to be more than she bargain for.

Thus starts Aliera's adventure.  Her new practice foil with the strange gem is much more than it seems.  Her fencing skills are more useful than she thought they would ever be, and even the role-playing with her cousin helps her figure what to do next.  All she has to do is survive trolls, capture and a boy that wants to be more than just lab partners...

This was a really fun start to a series.  I read these mostly because I love the other things Jane Yolen has written, and was interested to seem what she did with a graphic novel.  Foiled seemed a little anti-climatic, and not much seemed to happen, but putting it in a series and realizing that it was setting everything up made it better.  I liked the second book better than the first, but they were both fun.

I did really like the illustrations and the significance of color.  Since Aliera is color-blind, she only sees the magical as colored.  I love the significance of that, and how the illustrated used that to make the magical pop out.

Good books!  Looks like there will be a series, so I'll look for more!  Very exciting, middle school mostly just because looks like about that age and interest.   I'll be adding them to my recommend list!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Vortex, A Tempest Novel
by Julie Cross
368 pages
High School+

Jackson has sacrificed everything for Holly's benefit, and now she doesn't even know he exists.  Or at least she isn't supposed to.  Jackson has began his training as a Tempest agent, learning multiple languages and skills in merely a few months.  Everything is different, but the same for him.

And in walks Holly.  The girl he changed time for, the girl he would give anything for, is dating a football jock.  Their chance meeting releases all the memories and feelings that Jackson has been trying to oppress.  He wonders if he really can avoid her and Adam, and if he can live without seeing her again.

All through this, Jackson has more questions than he is getting answers for.  Is Tempest really the good guys?  And what are the Enemies of Time really trying to accomplish?  And how is that little girl really connected to him?

Just like Tempest, Vortex is a super faced paced, action packed story of intrigue and twists.  Jackson is struggling, just like the reader, to make sense of what is going on, to answer questions about what is happening in his life and how he can make a difference.  Jackson helps the readers understand what is going on and how everything is connected because he is working it out for himself as well. 

I really like the journal entries, plus the narrative, in his voice.  Sometimes the first person narrative is annoying and limiting, but Jackson's voice is genuine- when he's confused, he lets you know!  His reactions are believable, and help the reader connect with the story.

Great book for teen boys (or girls!), but make sure they read the first one, Tempest, before this one.  Otherwise they would be super lost.  I read it a few months ago, but still trying to remember everything that happened.  New revelations, new surprises, but stays true to the feeling and mood of the first.  I will definitely recommend this series for boys.  Stayed with the high school age target, mostly because of the complexity and language.  Great sequel, glad I read it!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

If you like Harry Potter...

Hi everyone!

I thought I would try something different for today's post- a book list!  I always have people ask for recomendations based on what they've read in this past, so here's one of the most asked for!

Remember that the Harry Potter books spans many years and many different reading levels.  All these books might not be appropriate for all readers.  I've got several different levels in here, so there should be something for everyone!  Several have reviews on my site, so look for them if you want more info.

If you liked reading Harry Potter, they you should try following:

The Book of Three
Lloyd Alexander

The Warrior Heir
Cinda Williams Chima

The Dark is Rising
Susan Cooper

Pawn of Prophecy
David Eddings

Rachel Hartman

The Hero’s Guide to Saving your Kingdom
Christopher Healy

Amulet, Vol. #1: The Stonekeeper
Kibuishi, Kazu

The Unwanteds
Lisa McMann

Brandon Mull

Garth Nix

Dealing with Dragons
Patricia C. Wrede

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
416 pages
Middle School+

Celaena Sardothien is one of the best assassins in the world, and she knows it.  But after getting sent to a slave camp for the past year, she hardly looks like it anymore.  Worn and scarred, she is shocked when the crown prince comes and takes her away.   The only thing she has to do to earn her freedom is beat out the other contestants to become the king's champion.  She can't decide if it is another turn of bad luck, or the chance to escape that she has been hoping for.

Thus begins the contest for her freedom.  She must regain her strength to outwit and outfit the other contestants.  Most she has no worries about, but a couple give her pause for contemplation, especially the big brute Cain.  As Celaena slowly recovers, scary still start happening: random killings of the contestants in gruesome ways.  Not only does she have to worry about the other players killing her, she must watch out for these as well.

Throughout all of this, Celaena find those that might be allies in unexpected places.  The crown prince is showing strange interest in her, and the captain of the guard watches her every movement.  She also finds a possible friend in a visiting princess of a neighboring nation.  Celaena must figure out who the real threats to her are, and who are her allies.

So, I'm conflicted about this book.  This looks like something I would normally love, but I found myself noticing all the flaws or other things I don't like.  For example, there was a theme that just appeared out of nowhere near the middle of the book:  no hints, not foreshadowing or anything like that.  Almost as if the author was like "oh, let me add this element!" all of a sudden.  And other things that had seemed so important to Celaena, and occupying her thoughts suddenly disappearing and not being mentioned.  Kind of weird.

I do like the potential that the book has.  It does set up some interesting possibilities for future books, and I do like kind of Celaena's character.  I had a hard time getting into the first half of the book, but I ending it fairly quickly, once I got past that.  Hopefully now that the world is set up, the action and everything can continue in the sequel.

I find myself wanting to write more things that bugged me about this book than positives.  It was an alright book, but I hope I don't have to read it again to understand the sequel.  I will probably still recommend it a little, but it won't be the first on my list to recommend.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Meanwhile: Pick Any Path

Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3856 Story Possibilities
by Jason Shiga
80 pages

Jimmy has a simple choice: chocolate or vanilla ice cream?  But this one small choice leads to another, which leads to another.  Before you know it, the entire world is at stake! 

You, the reader, get to decide which path Jimmy takes, which machine he tries to use, how far back in time to go.  With over 3000 possibilities, can you find a happy ending?

So, if you remember the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books for a while ago, this is exactly like that!  Jimmy has different decisions to make, and the reader gets to decide which plot line to follow!  Instead of telling you to go to whatever page, there are tabs with pathways to follow.  Lots of fun!

This is an interesting way to teach kids the consequence of their actions in a fun way.  While the pages occasionally got messy and your eye wants to dart around the page, it was really engaging to read.  It is only 80 pages, so not too overwhelming, but it can be read in so many different ways, it takes more time than you would think.

Over all, lots of fun!  Simple yet engaging art, you create whatever plot line you want, plus there is a page you can't get to by following the paths!  Have fun exploring possibilities with Meanwhile!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Destiny, Rewritten

Destiny, Rewritten
by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
335 pages

Emily is destined to become a great poet, at least according to her mother.  Before Emily was born, her mother was looking for inspiration for a baby name in a book store, found a book of poems by Emily Dickinson, and had an epiphany: her daughter would be an amazing poet!  She bought the book of poems, and has used it record events in Emily's life.

Even thought her mother continues to insist that it is her destiny, Emily doesn't really get poetry, let alone want to write it.  In school, poetry is NOT her strong point, except when it comes to conversing with a boy in haiku.  Emily just lives everyday the same as the last, longing to learn who her father is, while trying not to disappoint her mother or her friends.  While destiny is out there, Emily isn't sure which one she wants.

Then one day, Emily's mother reveals an important clue about her father: his name is written in her book of poems by Emily Dickinson.  How could Emily have missed it!  She has read that book over and over.   She runs to find it, only to discover that it was given away to a Goodwill store accidentally.  This send Emily on the hunt of her life- to find not only who her father was, but also to discover if destiny can be rewritten.

This was a very fun book to read!  I really liked the character of Emily and how she deals with trying to fit her mother's ideas of how she should live her life.  A lot of the book is dedicated to Emily's struggle as she tries to stay true to herself, but also to discover who she really wants to be.  From switching out old habits to trying new things, Emily searches for what she wants in life.

Another big theme here is friendship.  Emily has a couple friends that are helping her look for the book, and the lengths that they are willing to go to are amazing!  Plus, Emily finds what they mean to her, how ow much she values them. Their friendships deepen, and they all definitely change from who they were at the beginning of the book

Overall, I really liked this book.  This would be great for a late elementary kid struggling with friendships or parental expectations.  Girls especially will identify with Emily and the struggles that she goes through.  Highly recommended.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel
by Madeleine L'Engle
Adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson
392 pages

Meg hasn't been happy since her father disappeared.  She is struggling in school even though she is smart, has issues with other kids, and tries to get along with her family.  Everyone wants to pick on her quirky little brother who is brilliant, but has issues interacting with people other than Meg.  All in all, Meg is miserable, and doesn't have much hope that it will get better any time soon.

One night, when Meg can't sleep, her little brother Charles introduces her and her mother to Mrs. Whatsit, a strange, wandering old woman who speaks as strangely as she looks.  They snack on some food, and as Mrs. Whatsit is leaving, she mentions something about a tesseract.  Meg's mother pales, and tells Meg and Charles that their father was studying tesseracts before he disappeared.  Confused by this random comment, Meg tries to continue on with life.

The next day at school, Meg meets Calvin, a local boy almost as quirky as Charles.  They talk on the way, and meet Charles in the woods near their house.  Charles leads them into the woods to see Mrs Whatsit again, and meet Mrs. Who, another strange woman.  Together, they start on an adventure to find Meg's father, and join the battle of light versus dark.

So, the synopsis is taken from my post about the regular novel because it follows it very closely!  From what I saw, I wasn't able to discern any differences in plot line from the original novel.  I like it when adaptations or reinterpretations stay true to the original!

As for the artwork, I really liked the cover, but was slightly disappointed with monochromatic inside.  If the entire book had have color, I think I would have loved it.  It was okay, but not fantastic.Clear pictures, without being messy or cluttered, which I did like.  I just like a little more color in my graphic novels!

Overall, I really like what they did with the adaptation, I like the story, but wish the illustrations had a little more color.  Great story, and oldie but goodie!  This would be a great way to introduce the book to a slightly less confident reader.  If they like the graphic novel, you could have the read the regular novel, or even other books in the series!  Good book!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys
by Maggie Stiefvater
416 pages
High School+

Blue lives with her mother, plus several other women, all psychics except her.  She has another gift, she amplifies the energy that they read. While she tries to get on with her normal life, she lives under the prophecy she has heard all her life: if she kisses her true love, he will die. Never really interested in guys, it's not that difficult not to kiss her true love.

One year as she is helping with a typical activity- helping one of the psychics on the corpse road.  Each year they go to see who is going to die that year, except Blue never sees anything.  She is just there to share her power.  But this year is different.  This year she sees someone- a boy, a teenager like her, in a raven crested sweater.  When she asks him his name, he tells her Gansey.  Spooked by seeing someone for the first time, she asks the psychic.  She says their are only too possible explanations: either he is your true love, or you kill him.  Unsettled by these choices, Blue is even more unsettle when Gansey makes an appointment with her mother for a psychic reading.

Richard Gansey III is a student at the local private school, but far more interested in studying ley lines and where Glendower, the lost king, is buried.  Along with his friends Adam, Ronan, and Noah, they look for clues, dowse for energy lines, and investigate where this burial site may be.  When the psychics tell him and his friends things too close for comfort, Gansey begins to think he is getting close.  With Blue coming along on adventures, her power starts amplifying his results, getting him further in a month than he had in years.  But one of his companions is more, or less, than he seems.  What will happen as they get closer to finding Glendower?

So, wow...  Such a beautifully written story!  I found myself re-reading sentences for the beauty of the language.  I enjoyed reading this as much for the style as for the story.  Great style, great story!  Loved it!

Many themes and mysteries in this book. Friendship and families are key in this book.  Especially important is the definition of family- who really counts as family?  Along with that

Self exploration and self definition is also huge.  The boys really create their own family, but also are trying to find their own self at the same time.  They each have to discover not only which family they belong to, but how they fit into it, what roles they play, and how dependent they are on each other.  And then Blue comes in and messes it all up!  Once again, Stiefvater has written a book all about relationships and trust.

So, over all, amazing book!  It took me a while to get to it, but I loved it!  Great story, very mysterious and lots to be discovered throughout the story.  The ending seemed a little abrupt (had to make sure I hadn't missed a page) but I just learned there is a sequel!  Woo hoo! That makes me very excited.  Read this, because I bet the sequel will just build off of this.  Stiefvater is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!