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Waiting on Wednesday: The Naturals

Happy Hump Day!

We’re only a few days away from the weekend…WHOOT! WHOOT!

Each week I participate in Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) where I get to put the spotlight on a book I’m trying to wait patiently for.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThis week I am waiting on The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which seems like a paranormal thriller and sounds like it could be similar to Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London series (which I LOOOOVED!)

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

Yeah, I think this one sounds like it has a ton of potential to be awesome. The Naturals is scheduled for release on November 5 by Disney-Hyperion.

What do you think? Are you interested in The Naturals or is there another book you’re waiting on today?

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Almost Truth

Hi there!

It’s the middle of the week which currently mean two things for me:

1. Author Sharon Draper is visiting my school tomorrow! Holy junk! I’m so nervous, but excited too! I’ll try to post about her visit later this week.

2. It’s time for a Waiting on Wednesday post!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine, which gives book bloggers the opportunity to  highlight some upcoming new releases we just can’t wait for!

This week I’m excited about The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook.

The Almost Truth by Eileen CookSadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn’t prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose.

Doesn’t it sound like it could be a cute, romantic contemporary read?  I haven’t read anything by Eileen Cook before, but I do like the sound of The Almost Truth. This one will be released by Simon Pulse on December 4, so we don’t have too much longer to wait.

What upcoming release are you waiting on this week?

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Tangible Hope: The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

Hola!

The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman was the fifth Florida Sunshine book I’ve read this summer, which means that I still have ten more to go before I’ve read all fifteen!

The Juvie Three by Gordon KormanGecko Fosse drove the getaway car. Terence Florian ran with the worst gang in Chicago. Arjay Moran killed someone.

All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance at life in the form of Douglas Healy.  A former juvenile delinquent himself, Healy is running an experimental halfway house in New York City where he wants to make a difference in the lives of kids like Gecko, Terence, and Arjay.

Things are going well, until one night Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious while trying to break up a scuffle among the boys.  Terrified of the consequences, they drop him off at a hospital and run away.  But when Healy awakes, he has no memory of them or the halfway house.  Afraid of being sent back to Juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if the group leader never left.  They will go to school, do their community service, attend therapy, and act like model citizens until Healy’s memory returns and he can resume his place with them. But life keeps getting in the way…like when Gecko finds romance.  Or Arjay gets famous. Or Terence starts reverting to his old ways.  If the boys are discovered, their second chance will be their last.

I need to start this by saying that I love Gordon Korman.  I’ve read some of his other books and got to meet him at the FAME Conference this past November.  It was there that I realized I have a pretty decent sized crush on him! Le sigh…

Anyway before I delve deeper into that lets focus back on The Juvie Three.  I didn’t get into this book right away.  It was almost three-fourths of the way through the book that I was finally excited to figure out what happened next.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like the story, but I just kept getting distracted by other books because this one isn’t as glamorous as some of the Young Adult titles out there and it’s difficult for me to read about teens with troubled pasts. However, now that I’ve read it I’m really glad I did.

It isn’t Korman’s usual humorous novel, but although The Juvie Three deals with a more serious subject than his other books he still manages to slide some humor in there as well. Even after all the baggage and trouble these boys have gone through they’re still just kids who enjoy having fun despite not being used to it at all. The boys, are all pretty realistic and easily relateable and I really think my students will feel a connection between these regular teenage guys.

Although some of the plot is a little improbable at times, the book left me with an overall feeling of hope.  The boys still have a long road ahead and unfortunately will have to deal with their pasts for many years to come, but hope is there. It is tangible.  As an educator this story is one that reminded me why I do what I do.  It’s so that I can help my students see just how tangible that hope is in their lives and futures.

All in all I think my students, especially my boys, will enjoy reading about Gecko, Arjay and Terence and their adventures (I guess that’s what you call it!) with Doug Healy.  I recommend The Juvie Three, and pretty much anything else by Gordon Korman, to middle school readers (especially guys) and up!

Author: Gordon Korman

Publisher: Hyperion Books (September 2, 2008)

Format: Hardcover, library bound

Length: 256 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: The Juvie Three