Novel: Blue is for Nightmares

blueisfornightmares

Bibliographical Information:

Title- Blue is for Nightmares

Author- Laurie Faria Stolarz

ISBN- 0738703915

Publisher- Llewellyn Publications

Copyright-2003

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Mystery

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Stacey begins to have her nightmares again, and last time she ignored them a little girl died. Now her nightmares are about her best friend.

Plot Summary:

Stacey Brown is in boarding school and begins to have nightmares about her best friend Drea being killed. Everything that occurs in Stacey’s dreams begin to start happening in real life. This has happened to Stacey before, but she ignored them, and it resulted in the death of a little girl. Drea begins to get weird phone calls and emails from someone. Stacey is determined to get to the bottom of it and stop Drea from getting hurt. When another girl at their school is found murdered, Stacey decides to do some more research. Drea comes up missing and Stacey finds herself in the wood and runs into another student named Donovan. She becomes suspicious of him and follows him. She has to use the restroom and finds Drea, but they also run into Donovan who threatens them. Donovan ends up getting arrested, and Stacey goes back to school.

Critical Evaluation:

I’ve read this book a few times, and it was one of the first series I completed as a young adult. I recently re-read this book. I think the author does a great job of capturing teens and their feelings. I really connected with Stacey, and I thought the story line was believable with some paranormal aspects added to it. I think that

Author Bio/Information:

“Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been named on various awards list” (“Laurie Faria Stolarz”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units:N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

How does Stacey connect her nightmares to the future, and what does that mean for her future?

Challenging Issues:

There are some instances of stalking and talking of murders. I would explain to anyone who challenged this novel that it is critical to the story line. Overall, I think this book is enjoyable for teens.

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Novel: Between Shades of Gray

betweenshadesofgray

Bibliographical Information:

Title- Between Shades of Gray

Author- Ruta Sepetys

Genre (s): YA, Historical Fiction

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Lina and her family are ripped from their Lithuanian home and taken to a  work camp in Siberia. She must learn to survive throughout WW II, and pray her family does as well.

Plot Summary:

We meet Lina, a 15 year old girl living in Lithuania. June 1941 her family is taken by the Soviets to live in a prison labor camp in Siberia. From the start Lina has hostility towards the soviets and even some of the people in her camp. She meets some people along the way who show her strength and courage like she has never seen. And she has also seen the worst of people. Lina shows hope and passion when the world seems to lose both. Lina works towards her freedom and seeing her Papa again, but unfortunately the harsh realities of the time period show that not everything ends up all right.

Critical Evaluation:

It’s a horrible reality of what happened during Stalin’s reign of terror, but it’s so beautifully written that it will reach hundreds of thousands of people and let it be known exactly what happened during this time. I connected with every character, including the “villain” characters and that is really rare for me. I think Ruta does an amazing job of researching the time period, and bringing to light a part of history not many know about.

Author Bio/Information:

“Ruta Sepetys (Rūta Šepetys) is an internationally acclaimed author of historical fiction published in over fifty countries and thirty-six languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Her novels, Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy are both New York Times bestsellers, international bestsellers, and Carnegie Medal nominees. Salt to the Sea, her latest novel, was an instant bestseller and debuted at #2 on the New York Times list. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over forty book prizes, are included on over twenty state reading lists, and have been selected for several all-city read programs.

Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. Born in Michigan, she was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Ruta attended college to study opera but instead graduated with a degree in International Finance. Prior to publishing her first novel, she spent twenty years in the music industry helping artists and songwriters distill story through song” (“About”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: World War II, History

Booktalking Ideas:

How does Lina have the courage to go through what she did?

What do you feel about learning a new part of history?

Challenging Issues:

I don’t see any challenging issues occurring except for maybe some weariness about some violence that occurs and the conditions Lina and her family have to endure. But I will explain that it is a novel about WW II and it is historically accurate to what was happening to families like Lina’s at the time.

References

About. (n.d.) Ruta Sepetys. Retrieved from http://rutasepetys.com/about/

Novel: Breathe My Name

breathemyname

Bibliographical Information:

Title- Breathe My Name

Author- R.A. Nelson

ISBN- 1595140948

Publisher- Razorbill

Copyright- 2007

Genre(s): Young Adult

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Frances Robinson was the only surviving child of a woman who murdered the 3 oldest daughters. Now Frances, who was adopted after surviving, is getting letters from her mother after she has been released from prison.

Plot Summary:

Frances Robinson has the perfect life, she has a great family and she just met this cute new boy. But Frances can never forget her past. The truth is, Frances was adopted by the Robinsons but before that she had a biological mother and 3 sisters. When living with her mother, Frances believed to live in the made-up country of Fireless. One day, Frances’ mother, Afton, suffocated her children but Frances managed to escape. Now after years of being in prison, Afton is out and contacting Frances. Frances must take a journey to find out the truth behind her sister’s murder, and take along the new boy she has just met Nix.

Critical Evaluation:

I love R.A. Nelson, one of the nicest people to speak with. I picked up this book and knew it was going to be a good one. The story is like none I have ever read before. I love Frances and her parents, the Robinsons. I found myself not wanting to put this book down. I really like the relationship between Frances and Nix. This book is one of my favorites and it will stay on that list for a very long time

Author Bio/Information:

“R.A. Nelson’s work was selected as a finalist for National Public Radio’s list of the “Best Young Adult Fiction Ever Written.” He was chosen a Horn Book Newcomer and his books have been nominated to the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults list and recognized by the Parents’ Choice Awards, the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list, Booksense Kid Picks, the Miami Herald Best Books of the Year, teenreads.com Best Books of the year, and others. Nelson is a recipient of NASA’s prestigious Silver Snoopy Award for “outstanding support provided to the Space Shuttle program” (Goodreads: About R.A. Nelson, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

Should Frances revisit her past?

Challenging Issues:

There will be some questions about the content on this book since it deals with the murder of children, but I will reassure parents that it is essential to the plot of the novel and is dealt with in a way that is agreeable for teens to read. I choose this book because of it’s subject and it was written beautifully and will impact teens.

References

Goodreads: About R.A. Nelson. (n.d.) Goodreads. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/474489.R_A_Nelson

Novel: Throne of Glass

throne-of-glass

Bibliographical Information: 

Title- Throne of Glass

Author- Sarah J. Maas

ISBN- 1299906953

Publisher- Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Copyright- 2012

Genre(s): Fantasy, Adventure, YA

Interest Age: 14 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Celaena Sardothien can gain her freedom from a notorious labor camp by agreeing to be the Crown Prince’s champion in a battle to become the royal assassin.

Plot Summary:

Celaena Sardothien is known as the Assassin of Adarlan and has the reputation to boot. She was sentenced to hard labor to salt mines for her crimes. She is taken from the mines to meet with the Crown Prince. He chooses her as his champion in the King’s competition to find a royal assassin. If Celaena wins, she gains her freedom but has to work for the man who put her away. If she loses, she heads back to the salt mines. She goes up against other criminals, while trying to keep her identity of Assassin of Adarlan a secret to help her win the competition. Celaena begins to form friendships with the Crown Prince and his best friend the captain of the guard, Chaol. She continues to train at the castle, and learns of ancient magic. When the champions start to get killed off in mysterious circumstances, Celaena must figure out the mystery and continue to train to become the royal assassin.

Critical Evaluation:

I like the plot behind this book! I think this story was written very well! Sarah includes a lot of backstory and information in this book, but it does not feel rushed at all. The characters are relatable but I do believe that some added backstory would be nice concerning Celaena’s original training as an assassin. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I think teens will too!

Author Bio/Information:

“Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series, as well as a USA Today and international bestselling author. Sarah wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in thirty-five languages. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. Empire of Storms, the fifth Throne of Glass novel, is available now.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies” (“About Sarah”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas: 

What moral implications does Celaena have to face in her line of work?

Challenging Issues: 

There may be some challenging in regards to magic use, but I will explain the plot of the story line and how the plot promotes good vs. evil. Overall, I choose this book because it has an interesting story line and is a new popular release.

Novel: Daughter of Deep Silence

daughter-of-deep-silence

Bibliographical Information:

Title- Daughter of Deep Silence

Author- Carrie Ryan

ISBN- 0525426507

Publisher- Dutton Books for Young Readers

Copyright- 2015

Genre(s): YA, Mystery, Thriller

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Frances Mace loses everything aboard the luxury yacht Persephone, but she must face it all again years later when her plot for revenge can finally come to light.

Plot Summary:

Frances Mace is aboard the Persephone with her family when it is attacked by men in masks welding guns. Everyone aboard the ship is killed except for Frances, her best friend Libby, her love interest Grey Wells and his U.S. Senator father. Libby and Frances escape on a life raft. The two girls are found by Libby’s father’s ship, but Libby does not survive. Grey and his father tell the media and country that the ship was  by an enormous wave, not ever mentioning the men and the guns. Frances is taken in by Libby’s father and takes on Libby’s identity at a foreign boarding school. When Libby’s father dies, Frances as Libby must go back to the town in which all of his possessions reside, and Grey lives with his father. Frances begins to put her plan for revenge in motion, but can’t seem to stop old feelings from popping up.

Critical Evaluation:

I really enjoyed this book. I would say that this reminds me of popular teen TV shows that are out right now. Frances was a true character, who of course flipped flopped with emotions throughout the novel. I think Carrie Ryan did a great job with building character relationships, and allows the plot to twist and turn in a natural way. Overall, I believe this is a good book and that teens will enjoy it.

Author Bio/ Information:

“Husband and wife Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis have been in love with each other’s writing (and with each other) since meeting in law school a decade ago. Carrie is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning Forest of Hands and Teeth series, which is based on a world she and JP created together. She is also the author of DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE and INFINITY RING: Divide and Conquer, as well as the editor of FORETOLD: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction. Although they’ve been important parts of each other’s writing for years, THE MAP TO EVERYWHERE is their first full collaboration. JP and Carrie currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina” (Biography Carrie Ryan, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Unit: Natural Disasters

 Booktalking Ideas:

How does Frances deal with her emotions throughout the novel?

How would you handle yourself in Frances’ situation?

Challenging Issues: 

I can see that some adults may have an issue with the revenge aspect of the story line, but I will explain why that aspect is relevant to the story line. I decided to include this book to the collection to show a contrast between the two Carrie Ryan book I’ve included and this is a recent popular release.

References

Biography Carrie Ryan. (n.d.). TeenReads. Retrieved from http://www.teenreads.com/authors/carrie-ryan

Novel: Some Girls Are

somegirlsare

Bibliographical Information:

Title- Some Girls Are

Author- Jennifer Niven

ISBN- 0312573804

Publisher- St. Martin’s Griffin

Copyright- 2010

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Regina Afton has always done what her best friend Anna has told her to do, but when rumors go around about Regina and Anna’s boyfriend, Regina learns what it’s like to be on the other side of Anna’s favor.

Plot Summary:

Regina Afton goes to a huge party with her friends, including her best friend Anna and Anna’s boyfriend Donnie. While at the party, Anna passes out and Donnie tries to rape Regina. Regina confides in Kara, another girl in her group the Fearsome Fivesome. Kara tells Anna that Regina and Donnie got together. Anna decides to make Regina’s life hell. They begin by bullying, and gradually escalate to basically torturing Regina. Meanwhile Regina begins to become with friends with Michael, someone who she used to bully herself. Regina begins to see how things used to be, and see the benefit of cutting her old friends out of her life.

Critical Evaluation:

Courtney Summers does a beautiful job of bringing to light issues that occur in many high schools. The bullying was realistic that any teen that reads this novel will be able to relate to seeing this happen, making this happen or having it happen to them. Regina is a realistic character, and Summers does a great job of not making her the stereotypical YA main character. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book because it made me think at a deeper level and it will make teens do so as well.

Author Bio/Information:

“Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. When she was around 10 years old, her local theatre’s production of Man of La Mancha (directed by her father) sparked a dream of telling stories that would move people the same way that musical had moved her. At age 14, and with her parents’ blessing, Courtney dropped out of high school to pursue her education independently. During this time, she explored various creative mediums in search of the one that would best suit her desire to be a storyteller. At age 18, she wrote her first novel and never looked back. Her first book, Cracked Up to Be, was published in 2008, when she was 22. To date, she has authored five novels and is best known for her unapologetic, difficult female protagonists” (“Courtney Summers”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: Relationships, Friendships

Booktalking Ideas:

Have you ever experienced bullying of any kind?

Since Regina realized the potential of not having those friends in her life, did she show that she was better than Anna and the rest of the group?

Challenging Issues:

This book has already faced various challenging issues from parents at high schools which have included it on their summer reading lists. Many of the issues include language, the scene in which Donnie attempts to rape Regina, and various scenes of teen drinking. I would explain to those questioning the book that these scenes are relevant to the story line. I would also explain the importance of these scenes to real teens, and how they can benefit those who have been bullied themselves.

References

Courtney Summers. (n.d.) Courtney Summers. Retrieved from http://courtneysummers.ca/about/

Novel: Warm Bodies

warmbodies

Bibliographical Information:

Title- Warm Bodies

Author- Isaac Marion

ISBN- 147671746X

Publisher- Atria/ Emily Bestler Books

Copyright- 2012

Genre(s): Post-apocalyptic fiction, paranormal romance, zombie

Interest Age: 14 and up

Reader’s Annotation: R is a zombie but yearns for more in life, when he meets Julie and learns to live again.

Plot Summary:

R is the main character in this novel, and starts the novel already wanting more out of life than to shamble around eating brains. One day, R eats the brains of a boy and sees his thoughts and feelings. This boy is in love with a girl named Julie, who just so happens to be there and shooting other zombies around. He decides to cover her in blood and take her back to the airport that he lives at. They hang out and begin to like one another. The skeleton zombies are called Boneys are not happy about R hanging out with a living person. R’s zombie friend M helps them escape to take Julie back to the stadium where she and others have been living. They travel together, but she leaves him in an abandoned house. He travels to the stadium to get back with Julie and finds out that the Boneys have chased all the changing zombies away. He reunites with Julie, and they go to a bar. He gets in a fight and walks off. He comes across a guard who see’s he is a zombie. R decides to eat him, but he does not eat him fully. The guard comes back as a zombie, and alerts the community. The Boneys have taken over, and Julie must get R out of the stadium. R and Julie kiss, and her dad sees this. He believes she is now a zombies and goes to kill her. But he is stabbed by another person, and falls off the stadium. He is turned into a skeleton zombie. The guards and changing undead defeat the Boneys. R is turned back into a living human.

Critical Evaluation:

This book has hilarious dialog, and I really enjoyed this lighthearted read. This is a great read for teens, and it allows them to venture into the zombie genre with a sense of humor. The author did a great job of keep the characters realistic, with an unrealistic fantasy story line.  R is funny, and the reader is able to connect with him and feel his pain at wanting to live again. The author also does a great job at connecting all the dots and finishing the story line thoroughly. I decided on this novel to include in my collection because it is an apocalyptic novel with humorous dialog and it keeps the reader engaged.

Author Bio/Information:

“Isaac Marion grew up in the mossy depths of the Pacific Northwest, where he worked as a heating installer, a security guard, and a visitation supervisor for foster children before publishing his debut novel in 2010.Warm Bodies became a New York Times bestseller and inspired a major film adaptation. It has been translated into twenty-five languages. Isaac lives in Seattle with his cat, Watson, writing fiction and music and taking pictures of everything” (About the Author, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

Are changing zombies a symbol for something we see in our society today?

Challenging Issues:

Violence is apparent in this novel, but I do believe that parents and others will see that it is needed for a zombie novel. I will explain that these scenes of violence are typically seen in zombie or horror fiction, and that it is just an element of the story line. I believe that the story is lighthearted enough that parents will be ok with 14 and up reading this novel. The violence is not excessive.

References

About the Author. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://isaacmarion.com/about/

 

 

Novel: The Murder Complex

themurdercomplex

Bibliographical Information:

Title- The Murder Complex

Author- Lindsay Cummings

ISBN- 0062220004

Publisher- Green Willow Books

Copyright- 2014

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Dystopian

Interest Age: 13 and up

Reader’s Annotation: In a society controlled by The Murder Complex, Meadow must fight against the system and save her family.

Plot Summary:

Meadow has been trained to fight and survive by her father who rarely shows emotions. She lives on a houseboat with her father, brother, and younger sister. Her mother has been murdered. In this society, all diseases have been cured so the only way people can die is from murder. And boy, there is a lot of it! There is a need for murder as the population got out of control because of the cure. That’s where The Murder Complex comes in. These are trained assassins sent to kill people that are picked from a lottery as a form of population control. Meadow begins a new job and meets Zephyr James, who is not what he seems. He in fact is one of those trained assassins, although he does not know this fact either. Zephyr falls in love with Meadow and Zephyr is given the order to kill Meadow. Meadow and Zephyr race to find out how and why The Murder Complex is happening, and find out that Meadow’s mom created both the cure and The Murder Complex. Reader’s are left with a cliffhanger!

Critical Evaluation:

I enjoyed this book! It really keeps readers on the edge of their seats, and has a ton of twists and turns. Lindsay kept the story line consistent throughout the novel. Meadow was a typical YA protagonist, in the fact that she was fit enough to kill without hassle, and she seemed to have a full proof plan. What I really enjoyed about this book is the plot twists. I think it really brings out the best in the characters and allows the readers to be invested in the ending. The story did feel rushed at times, but it came together at the end. It does end with a cliffhanger so I look forward to reading the 2nd book in the series!

Author Bio/ Information:

“Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling co-author of ZENITH. She writes Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for HarperCollins. She lives in the woods in North Texas, where she writes full time. She is represented by Peter Knapp at New Leaf Literary.

As someone who came to writing through years dealing with Chronic Fatigue, Lindsay is a big advocate for those who deal with health issues, both physical and mental. If you are struggling with either of these things, Lindsay encourages you to keep your chin up, and remember how important you are to this world—even when it may not seem so. If you or someone you know or love is struggling, please reach out” (Who is Lindsay?, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Issues:

Could this happen in our society?

Do you think the benefits of a cure outweigh the negative side effects in The Murder Complex?

Challenging Issues:

This book features a lot of violence and blood. It is critical to the story line because it explains the idea behind the dystopian society the author creates. It is heavily discouraged by the main characters, and teens will be able to see the literary necessity of the murders that happen within the book. I picked this book for the collection because it fits within the popular dystopian genre and is action packed!

References

Who is Lindsay? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.lindsaycummingsbooks.com/

 

Novel: The Luxe

the_luxe_bookcover2

Bibliographical Information:

Title- The Luxe

Author- Anna Godbersen

ISBN- 0061345660

Publisher- HarperCollins

Copyright-2007

Genre(s): Historical Fiction

Interest Age: 14-17

Reader’s Annotation: Full of glamour and glitz, we meet 4 young women in 1899 and their drama filled lives.

Plot Summary:

The book opens up to a funeral for Elizabeth Holland. After that we are taken to a time before her death. The Holland family falls on tough financial times and Elizabeth Holland is engaged to be married to Henry, a wealthy eligible bachelor. But she is in love with her family valet Will. Elizabeth’s best friend, Penelope, is furious because she wants to marry Henry, and have the life the Elizabeth will receive with him. Diana, Elizabeth’s younger sister, falls in love with Henry and he falls in love with her. The family maid, Lina, is also in love with Will, and hates Elizabeth for falling in love with him. Prompting her to reveal Elizabeth’s love affair to Penelope. Elizabeth, fearing that she has no other choice, plots to fake her death and run away with Will. She gets Penelope’s help with the planning, and the novel ends with the same funeral from the beginning and Diana receiving a note informing her that Elizabeth is alive and well, and has run away to California with Will.

Critical Evaluation:

I really enjoyed this book. I think the aspect of it being set in 1899 is the best part. Anna Godbersen does an amazing job of transporting the reader to this time period. This book is filled with gossip from New York socialites, and I think it was done in a way that won’t tire the reader out from having to hear about it all. I think teens will enjoy this novel, and will appreciate the look back on the time period.

Author Bio/ Information:

“Anna grew up in Berkeley, California, in a house full of batik-covered second-hand furniture and dusty books acquired at yard sales. As a shy and dreamy child she learned to love books, especially ones that could transport her to another time and place, particularly the D’Aulaires’ collections of myths and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon.

At eighteen she moved east to attend Barnard College in Morning Side Heights, where she first encountered The House of Mirth and The Great Gatsby and so many other storied accounts of her new city. Although she completed a collection of short stories for her college thesis, she hadn’t yet found her voice as a writer and worked as a magazine assistant, a bartender, a book reviewer, and a ghostwriter for a few years before publishing her first novel in 2006. She currently lives in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, where she is working on her next novel out of an old warehouse on the East River waterfront, where the cacophony of tugboats and backhoes is strong, but the wireless signal is blessedly weak” (Anna Godbersen Bio, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum: Historical Era

Booktalking Ideas:

Did the financial pressure on both Elizabeth and Diana influence their choices?

How do the relationships in this book create the story itself?

Challenging Issues:

There is very little that could be challenged. It talks about sex before marriage, but it is very briefly touched on and is discouraged by the characters. I decided to include this book because of the time period it is based and the intrigue of the story line.

References

Anna Godbersen Bio. (n.d.). Alloy Entertainment. Retrieved from http://alloyentertainment.com/authors/anna-godbersen/anna-godbersen-bio/

 

Novel: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

forest_hands_teeth_hb_cover

Bibliographical Information:

Title- The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Author- Carrie Ryan

ISBN- 0575090855

Publisher- Gollancz

Copyright-2009

Genre(s): Zombie, Horror, YA

Interest Age: 14 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Mary has lived her life in the village surrounded by a fence and the Unconsecrated (zombies). It’s all she’s ever known and lived, but her world comes crashing down when there is a breach in the fence.

Plot Summary:

Mary lives in a village in the forest governed by the Sisterhood and the Guardians. The village is surrounded by a fence keeping the Unconsecrated out. Mary is by the stream and is asked Harry to marry him. The town sirens go off which means the fence has been breached. Mary goes only to find out that her mom got too close to the fence, looking for Mary’s dad as an Unconsecrated, and was bitten. Mary is then kicked out of her home by her older brother Jed and his wife Beth. She must join the Sisterhood run by Sister Tabitha. Sister Tabitha is not a good person, and threatens Mary. Harry comes to see Mary and again asks her to marry him. She accepts, with the idea of getting away from the Sisterhood in her mind. The only thing is, Mary is in love with Travis (Harry’s brother, who’s engaged to her best friend!) Mary sees a girl in a vest and she is hidden in the Sisterhood Cathedral. Mary eventually sees the girl, Gabrielle, again but she has been infected. On the day of her wedding, the sirens alert the town of a breach, and Gabrielle has come back as a faster and more improved version of an Unconsecrated. Mary, her brother, Harry, Travis, Cass (Mary’s best friend), and a little boy named Jacob are able to escape the village to the fenced part of the forest which is a path. They find another village, and settle in tree houses. Mary and Travis find themselves in their own home. A group of Unconsecrated find them, and break into the house. Mary and Travis are able to escape. The find shelter with the others, but that is destroyed in a fire. Travis volunteers to get a rope to the gates in order for the group to escape, and is bitten. Before he turns, he explains that he was bitten when they broke into the house earlier. Mary kills him. They continue on their path, and meet the end of the fenced area. Mary ends up wandering into the forest with the intent to find the ocean, but ends up slipped off a cliff and is saved by a man. The book ends with them walking towards the man’s lighthouse by the ocean.

Critical Evaluation:

Have you ever had an experience with a book, where you just wish you could forget about it and re-read it just so you can get the first time reading feeling/experience again? Yeah that happened for me with this book.I enjoyed this book and could barely put it down. I connected with the characters and I loved the fresh feel Carrie gave to zombies (Unconsecrated). It felt like it was written in a different (past) time period, but it had reverted to some of the ways of the past because the “zombie apocalypse” had occurred. I felt like Mary was an accurate portrayal of a young girl in this situation. The characters were well written, and a lot of thought went into the Sisterhood and the evil tendencies of Sister Tabitha. I think teens will love this new look on the zombie genre.

Author Bio/ Information: 

“Husband and wife Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis have been in love with each other’s writing (and with each other) since meeting in law school a decade ago. Carrie is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning Forest of Hands and Teeth series, which is based on a world she and JP created together. She is also the author of DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE and INFINITY RING: Divide and Conquer, as well as the editor of FORETOLD: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction. Although they’ve been important parts of each other’s writing for years, THE MAP TO EVERYWHERE is their first full collaboration. JP and Carrie currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina” (Biography Carrie Ryan, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

Do you feel it was Mary’s responsibility to watch her mother?

Did the people that she lost make her stronger in the end?

Challenging Issues:

The only issues I could see potentially is that there is violence. But this is to be expected in a horror/zombie book, and it is kept very minimal to keep the focus on Mary and the relationships she has with other characters. I chose this book for this collection because it is within a popular genre (zombies) and, in my opinion, is one of the best for YA’s in this genre.

References

Biography Carrie Ryan. (n.d.). TeenReads. Retrieved from http://www.teenreads.com/authors/carrie-ryan