Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island by Steve Westover
Blurb: Wailing and thrashing for escape, Allie’s dad disappeared first, the dirt covering the crown of his head. Ethan and Jordan’s parents followed, gasping for breath before the dirt covered their faces and muffled their screams. Mercifully, they descended faster than Allie’s mom. She had been the appetizer, and the other three adults were the main course.
While visiting his crazy Uncle Bart at Crater Lake National Park, thirteen-year-old Ethan’s world collapses when all the adults disappear, including his parents. Now Ethan must rally his new friends and decipher the legends of the lake to find the key to rescuing his parents from their earthen prison before he’s captured too and their imprisonment becomes permanent.
Battle for Wizard Island is the first book of the Crater Lake series - and it was EXCELLENT! I was pulled right in from chapter one and only put the book down when my munchkins insisted they needed Mom. =) Steve Westover crafts a great mystery filled with suspense that will keep youth and adults on the edge of their seat. I loved the characters, their attitudes, and interactions as they try to unravel ancient stories and clues. I'm definitely purchasing a print copy of this book. I know my 11 year old daughter will love it!
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island will be released in March 2012. You can order a book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
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Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
Blub: When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.
Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?
The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end?
I really enjoyed Midnight in Austenland. The first few chapters were really heavy on the Jane Austen-esque type languange. While that was an interesting beginning, it was so wordy I almost put the book down. But once Charlotte gets to Pembrook Park, the wording relaxes and the story becomes truly interesting. There's a murder mystery in this Austenland book. The last third of the book kept me guessing, as well as on the edge of my seat. Really great ending, too!
I hope there will be another Austenland book. I'd love to find out what happens to Miss Charming and Mrs. Wattlesbrook.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Blurb: Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
LOVED IT! Loved it! Loved it! Lola and the Boy Next Door is just as awesome as Anna and the French Kiss. I can't wait for more books by Stephanie Perkins to come out!