Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

Buzz Kill

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey

Millie works for her school newspaper and has a fierce rivalry with the student editor, Viv, who is also the head cheerleader. Viv orders Millie to write a piece about how the school may be making students and teachers sick since it was built upon an old refuse heap. Millie knows that what Viv really wants is for Millie to have to portray the city mayor, who is also Millie’s father, in a negative light since he was the one who pushed for a new school building at it’s current location.

Millie tries to undermine Viv by dragging her feet on the story. Once she finally gets around to actually investigating she discovers something horrific; the dead body of her school’s football team.

Now she is faced with the ultimate investigation: a murder. But it won’t be easy. Viv and Millie cannot get over their competitiveness to work together, and Millie is sure that Viv will try to somehow destroy her Dad’s reputation. Just because he is the assistant coach to the football team and argued with the deceased regularly doesn’t make him a killer, right?

Millie also has an unlikely ally in her investigation, the football team’s star quarterback, Chase. He is incredibly handsome but also distant and quiet. Can Millie break through his icy exterior while not falling for him? Can she exonerate her dad? Will she one up her nemesis Viv once again?

Buzz Kill is a witty new mystery that is perfect for a quick summer read. While the plot can feel drawn out at times the character of Millie is engaging and unique enough to get you through the slow parts. So if you like mystery, or enjoy zany characters be sure to pick up Buzz Kill. And although the characters all in high school the author goes out of her way to make a very clean book, so it is appropriate for ages 14 and up.

Another

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Another by Yukito Ayatsuji; art by Hiro Kiyohara

Koichi Sakakibara has moved in with his grandparents while he recuperates from a chronic lung problem. this means he has left the big city to settle in the countryside hometown of his mother, who died while he was young. He is placed in the third year class 3 at the local middle school. immediately he is struck about how odd the other students behave. Everyone seems to go out of their way to ignore one particular girl, Mei Misaki.

What Koichi doesn’t know is that class 3-3 is cursed. Each year there is one person in class who is actually a ghost. The curse twists people’s memories around so no one knows who is really alive and who might be dead. Not even the ghost knows. So a ritual has been created and passed down from class to class. In order not to bring down the curse’s wrath one of the students must be ignored, so each student must pretend the chosen student doesn’t exist. In this way the class balances out the addition of the ghost by ignoring one of its own. But if this ritual is not respected then class members, or their immediate family members, begin dying in horrible and strange ways.

So Koichi sees a troubled girl and begins talking with her. The other classmates know the ritual hs been broken so they start to ignore Koichi as well. But It is too late. People have begun to die. Now Koichi, Mei, and the rest of their class have to figure out how to stop the curse before another student dies.

Another is a great horror manga. It is spooky and has just enough grisly death scenes to keep you unnerved. If you want something fun and fast paced to read definitely give Another a shot. It is appropriate for ages 14 and up.

Deathmatch

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Deathmatch Vol. 1Deathmatch Vol. 1

Imagine a whole world of superheroes and villains abducted by a mysterious power and forced to fight one another to the death until only one person survives. This is the essence of Deathmatch. While it is an extremely fun to see these characters fight it out one on one I found the that the mystery of the abductions and the strong characterization of this cast to really make this a must read for me.

On one hand comic of this type need to present characters we are familiar with (like Superman) but have them different enough so as not to infringe copyrights. That way we as readers can pretend we are reading a story where Batman fights Spider-Man to the death.

On the other hand these comics need something more than just this fan service; they need a depth to give these fights an emotional depth. Jenkins and Magno do amazing work filling us in on the continuity of this superhero universe: about the great fights, crossovers, and who is an archenemy of who while also showing the characters depth and despair through their faces and actions.

If this sounds like something you would like than I highly recommend this book. It is appropriate for ages 14 and up only because it obviously has its fair share of violence.

Period 8: A Review by Daniel

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Period 8 by Chris Crutcher

Period 8 follows a group of students who attend Mr. Logsdon’s (Logs) class known as Period 8. In Period 8 students can eat lunch, talk with one another, discuss issues and do whatever else they want as they are keeping it real and honest. The main character of the story is Paul Baum, and is known as “Paulie Bomb” by his peers for his strong physique, charming personality and his relationship with the equally charming Hannah. Paulie and Hannah’s powerhouse relationship ends after he cheats on her with another girl. Hannah thinks that Paulie is just like his father (constant adulterer in a struggling marriage) and ends their relationship. This is only the beginning of strange and upsetting events in Paulie’s life; Mary, the top student in the class has disappeared from school and home, Paulie’s best friend “Stack” has been acting very strange, and Mary’s family seems to be having strange secrets within their household. Paulie is on the verge of going crazy with the mass hysteria going on in his town. The only things that are keeping him sane are his nightly swims with his teacher/mentor Mr. Logsdon and their Period 8 class. Paulie thought nothing worse could happen to him than his break up with Hannah, but soon he finds out he could not be more wrong; after Mary returns from her strange disappearance there appears to be something wrong with her, very wrong, which raises suspicion of her, other classmates and other members of the community. Before too long Paulie, Mary, Hannah and the rest of period 8 will find themselves in more trouble than they could have ever imagined.

Period 8 is a well written story with very realistic feeling characters and a story line that sucks the reader into the book immediately. The main character Paulie is easy to like and almost seems too good to be true at certain points in the novel. The story goes along at a solid pace keeping the reader interested and builds suspense as it goes along. The main action in the story comes almost out of nowhere; the action feels rushed and ends before the reader even knows what happened. There is some adult language, sexual activity and drug use, but very little. The book jumps around from characters point of views from time to time but outside of this the story is very easy to follow and is a quick read. I would recommend this book to a high school, maybe even a later (16+ year old) audience. Not because of the little amount of language or sexual activity but because older high school students will be able to have a much better understanding of the main characters and their relationships, thus making it a much more interesting story to the reader.

Etiquette & Espionage

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Sophronia is more a tomboy than a young lady and young girls simply do not climb and explore in Victorian Age England. That’s why her mom wants to ship her off to finishing school. However the school that is interested in Sophronia wants her exactly for the talents she already has: getting into and out of trouble. This school is actually a training ground for lady spies. Sure they will learn to curtsy, but they will also learn to throw a knife. :)

Gail Carriger is an excellent author and she brings a sharp wit to this alternative history/steampunk adventure story. It is set in the same universe as her Parasol Protectorate series (marketed for adults but appropriate for ages 14 and up). So expect vampires, werewolves, fashion, and all sorts of clockwork creatures.

I can’t recommend this book enough. Its funny, suspenseful, and such an enjoyable romp in a highly creative narrative world. If you need something different definitely give this new series a try! Its appropriate for all ages.