Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











Wednesday's ChildFrom Goodreads: Dylan Brice is living his days out of order, but it hasn’t always been that way. One Tuesday evening in July, he went to sleep expecting tomorrow to be Wednesday, but when he woke up the next morning it was Thursday instead. A frightening and confusing day ensued with Dylan trying to figure out whether he was losing his mind or the victim of some cosmic prank.

If struggling to come to terms with his new reality on his surreal Thursday wasn’t enough of an ordeal, late in the afternoon, just as his anxiety was finally beginning to subside, a voice from the past he’d hoped never to hear again added a terrifying new dimension to his situation. Dylan had once been a warrior in the battle against nuclear terrorism. A sleeper since the months following nine-eleven, he has suddenly been activated to help combat a new, deadly threat. His nerves in a shambles, he finally drops off to sleep hoping he’ll wake up to find Thursday was a dream.

When, after his harrowing Thursday, he awakens on the Wednesday morning he thought he’d missed, he doesn’t know what to believe. He cannot believe Thursday’s events were coincidental. He must be living his days out of order for a reason — some powerful, unknown entity has cast him in a role he never asked for, and everything he holds dear may be at stake. He “knows” he will continue to live Thursdays before Wednesdays until he figures out how to use the unique perspective that gives him to avert a disaster that may be global in scope.

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Imagine if Thursday came before Wednesday, followed by Friday. But only for you… giving you the ability to learn the future and change events. I would have so much fun with that. Of course, I’m certainly not as hardcore as Dylan Brice, so I would probably only use it for selfish gain. Luckily, Dylan is trained to deal with terrorism, able to call in the big dogs and assess violent and potentially deadly situations, which is a huge plus, especially since nuclear terror is on his doorstep.

This is a really cool time-travelish novel set in present day America. Though I admit that I wasn’t really sure what was happening in the beginning, and it took me a little while to warm up to the characters and the situations, I eventually found myself completely wrapped up in the story. It’s a thriller with a bit of mystery thrown in, taking readers on an awesome ride as it all unfolds. If you’re looking for something a bit different with a strong male lead, then this is definitely a novel for you. Four stars.

4 starsI received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Clara Barton Angel of the BattlefieldFrom Goodreads: While exploring The Treasure Chest, Felix and Maisie are transported to a Massachusetts farm in 1836. Disappointed that they have not landed in their beloved New York City, they wonder why they were brought to Massachusetts to meet a young girl named Clara Barton. Perhaps Clara has a message for the twins? Or maybe they have one for her?

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While I don’t usually seek out and read MG books, I’m really glad that the publisher gave me this novel to read at my leisure. Originally, I wasn’t sure if I would read it for review or not, but since it’s such a quick read, I decided to give it a shot, and I’m happy I did. Though definitely a novel for young readers, the story itself is interesting—with a little bit of drama, lots of snooping around, and time travel, I was hooked almost from the beginning, genuinely interested in the lives of twins Felix and Maisie, especially because they’ve had it so rough as of late. Due to their parents’ divorce, Felix and Maisie find themselves uprooted from their home and moving into the servants quarters of a 70 room mansion—a mansion their great grandfather built, but that his daughter turned over to the preservation society in order to help with its upkeep. Of course, everything is new for the twins, and the loss of their stable home has them rather upset, so it’s easy to connect with them from the start. Hood does a great job fleshing out the twins, and in no time they are exploring their new home, sneaking around the mansion when they know they aren’t supposed to, and a sense of mystery and magic permeates the story as it begins to take flight.

I can see how much a 3rd-5th grader would really love this story, but I also think students as old as 9th and 10th grade would enjoy it as well. Hood really has a way with words, and this novel delivers in all the right places. While these wasn’t much in terms of Clara Barton’s story—more so frivolous information in the beginning—Hood ties it all together for Maisie and Felix, and I can see this historical fiction series becoming a favorite within the classroom. Four stars.

4 stars

I was given this novel for free by the published during NCTE 2013.

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The Here and NowFrom Goodreads: An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.
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This was unlike any other time travel novel I’ve ever read, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Traveling back in time, Prenna, her mother, and a few survivors have come to the present, though they have no intention of trying to stop the plague that runs rampant in their own time.

With technology beyond the current times dreams, the elders run a strict regiment, one that Prenna is intent on defying for the good of society.
It’s scary how efficient the elders are, and one must question why they choose to do nothing to alter the future or save the time they come from. As I read this novel, I was never 100% certain who was truly right—Prenna and Ethan in their suspicions, the homeless man, the elders… Brashares has done a superb job keeping the reader guessing as the novel unfolds, and as events come to a head, the truth, a stunning truth, is revealed to all.

I really enjoyed the characterization of this novel, though truth be told, Prenna was a little weak in my eyes. She must go against the grain, and that is hard for anyone, but there were times that I really wanted her to take control, only to have her rely on Ethan when I wanted her to care for herself. And yet, it works for this novel. Having been brainwashed for much of her life, it makes sense that she is not as strong as some female leads we see in novels, and in retrospect, her reactions help drive the novel onwards. Overall, this is a great read that I highly suggest. Four stars.

4 stars

In exchange for an honest review, Random House Children’s and Delacorte Press have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on April 8, 2014.

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