Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. 2016. Abrams.343 pp.
Olivia hates that her mother walked away from her family three years ago. Kat holes up in her room with Internet games. Matt fills his days getting high. Juniper is the perfect queen of Paloma High. Valentine is a loner. Lucas is everyone’s go to guy for beer and weed. Claire wonders why she can’t be like Olivia and Juniper.
When the news breaks that someone is involved in a secret affair with a teacher, everyone is shocked. Each of these students has the power to reveal the truth, yet they all have their own secrets. Are someone else’s secrets more important than your own? As truth and lies blend, this unlikely group of students become bound together in ways they never imagined.
“Seven Ways to Lie” was very thought provoking, with each character having their own chapter to articulate their issues and thought patterns. She challenges her readers to think about the “why” of situations, reminding them that things are not always as they seem.
Recommended for ages 14 and older.
Rated 5 stars ***** River of Time, book #1. 2011. David C. Cook. ebook. Includes Discussion Questions, an Interview with the Author, Acknowledgements, Historical Notes and a Bibliography.
Fifteen-year-old Lia and seventeen-year-old Gabriella’s mother is an archaeologist of Etruscan tombs in Italy. They’ve been warned to never go into any of her tombs or touch anything but, bored with the lack of interesting things for teenagers to do in the small village, they disobey and sneak into a tomb. While exploring they find a set of mysterious hand prints that, when touched, managed to suddenly transport them back to medieval times.
Rescued from a battle as she emerged from the tomb by the very handsome Lord Marcello, Gabriella seeks refuge in his castle. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him, as he’s betrothed to another, but fate has a way of stepping in where we least expect it to be.
As Gabriella seeks to find Lia, who had become separated from her on their time travel journey, readers are soon awash in humorous and historical accounts of the lives of lords and ladies along with their knights (and everything associated with the 1300’s) as seen through Gabriella’s modern eyes.
Gabriella discovers many differences between her former life and her current one, managing to overcome difficulty after difficulty in her quest to continue with her charade as the Lady Gabriella Betarrini of Normandy, while seeking Lia and a way back to her own time. Adventures and battles line her path, along with jealousy, fear and love. “Waterfall” is very well researched, quite exciting, and a very interesting read for ages 12-17. I look forward to reading book #2 “Cascade.”
2013. Doubleday. 463 pp.
Dan Brown begins his latest epic adventure with our favorite symbologist Robert Langdon awakening in a Venice hospital. Disoriented and bleeding from a gunshot wound, he soon finds himself on the run from a gun toting woman intent on finishing the job. Aided by Sienna Brooks, a doctor he met in the hospital, Robert strains to recover his memory while unraveling a mysterious clue found hidden in his famous Harris tweed jacket.
The object eventually leads him to Bertrand Zobrist, a crazed scientist upset with the overpopulation of the world. Using Dante Alighieri’s ancient poem the “Divine Comedy” as inspiration, Zobrist created something that would result in a mass extinction of humanity, similar to what occurred during The Black Death in the middle ages. Langdon and others are soon battling time as they desperately seek Zobrist’s time bomb.
Brown leads adult readers on a chase throughout Venice and its history as they learn more about Dante and the artists he inspired. Along the way, readers are confronted with questions of humanity that will leave them pondering Zobrist’s methods in a new light.