I hope nobody terribly minds the influx of Gordan Korman that will inevitably happen here; when an author has written dozens of excellent titles it’s hard to pick just one…and hard to read anything but that when you’re on a roll. So – Son of the Mob!
Author: Gordon Korman
Summary: Vince Luca is the son of a powerful New York mob boss, but he has a dilemma – he wants no part in the “family business.” Unfortunately for Vince, he keeps getting involved without even knowing it, and finding himself in situations where he can’t avoid stepping in. Even when doing what he believes to be right, he ends up entangled by the mob.
Cue love interest…in the form of an FBI agent’s daughter. In fact, it’s the same agent that has been hunting Vince’s father for years. How can Vince be expected to choose sides without betraying someone he cares about?
Two Cents: This book (and it has a sequel, which isn’t QUITE as good in my opinion) has got all the elements – action, adventure, humour, romance, slice of life. It’s a nice, well-rounded title with a fast-paced plot and realistic emotions. I actually picked it up on recommendation from a customer, a teenage boy who’d read the first one and was coming back to get the sequel, Son of the Mob 2 – he said he never liked reading until he picked this out for a book report.
Recommended For: Teenage boys, probably 13-16s, and definitely any fans of Korman’s work in the 9-12 category will not be disappointed. It has some similar elements to Artemis Fowl as well, so fans of that may want to give this one a look. That said, it appeals across the genre board, so if you’re looking for something that doesn’t fit neatly into one category, Son of the Mob is your book.
Personal Rating: 7/10
Links to Buy: Amazon US / CA / UK
If the books you read say something about a person, then I guess there are a lot of really weird things to be said about me, because when it comes to teen fiction I can’t even look at the Clique or It Girl books; I read Meg Cabot…and stuff like this.
Author: Laura Weiss
Summary: Meredith has just turned fifteen, and is facing the most terrible decision of her life. Her father has just been released early from prison, where he has been for the past three years, ever since he was charged with sexually assaulting his own daughter. She was promised nine years of safety, but now her father is back and her mother has clearly chosen his side. Meredith doesn’t have any doubt about whether or not her father will come after her again – the question is, what can she do to stop him?
Two Cents: Dark and gripping. This book’s cover summary was just vague enough to keep me guessing, but by the time I had finished the first chapter I knew I wasn’t going to be putting it down anytime soon. Meredith’s emotional turmoil is very realistic and laced with just enough issues to keep it from being repetitive. Since it’s a first-person perspective, the reader is doing plenty of guessing as to whether she’s overreacting or not – well, I won’t spoil the ending, obviously.
Recommended For: Teenage girls. Obviously, since the story deals with abuse and incest issues, plus there’s some mention of Meredith’s sexual relations with her not-quite-boyfriend, younger readers should be warned. There aren’t any graphic scenes, however, so I’d say 14+, but it’s up to your own discretion. I also can’t quite place this in a genre; I suppose it would appeal to fans of psychological novels and thrillers, plus there’s a small amount of romance. Really I would recommend it to just about anyone of age, because Weiss has superbly dealt with a serious issue that many people are closing their eyes to.
Personal Rating: 8/10
Links to Buy: Amazon US / CA / UK