Midnight Hour: A Shadow Falls Novel
C. C. Hunter
St. Martin's Griffin
Splendor is the sequel to Elana K. Arnold’s book, Sacred. This book takes often delicate subjects and gently wraps a passionate story around them. Religion, friendship, love, and finding oneself are just the tip of the iceberg and might leave you questioning some parts of your own life. Scarlett really is a normal teenager who is easy to relate too. Her parents have split, her boyfriend has gone off to college, and her friend doesn’t really seem to be her friend anymore. Turning to religion, she finds new hope in Kabbalah. She is trying to calm her mind, find answers, and just make it through her senior year.
Did I mention it is set on Catalina Island? Living on a small island south of Catalina, I could easily relate. It is often as if you feel you are cut off from the rest of the world and when you are an outsider and come in you are often viewed much as Scarlett viewed her friend after her trip to Amsterdam. I would highly recommend this heartfelt book.
Jet Black and the Ninja WInd
Jet’s mother’s dying wish was to have Jet travel to Japan and protect some mysterious secret. When Jet arrives, her grandfather and her ten-year-old cousin are there to welcome her, but her grandfather dies soon after Jet’s arrival. After the initial shock has worn off, Jet and her cousin travel to Tokyo to visit their monk uncle. On the way, Jet realizes she is being followed by a cute and mysterious man who was sent to assassinate her but Jet has strong feelings for him and he seems to have the same feelings for her. Jet must take up the legacy of female ninjas that her mother has left to her if she is to save the people she loves and protect the mysterious treasure she knows nothing about.
Jet was an interesting character but their seemed to be random points of teenage angst that didn’t seem to fit with her character, and there were several other minor points that detracted from the overall story. My favorite parts were definitely when Jet was using Ninja skills, but these were too few.
The Secret Side of Empty
What does it feel like to hold a secret so deep that it separates you from the world you live in? Knowing that, at any moment, your world could come crumbling down around you and you’ll be sent to a place you have never known and don’t really fit in? This is life for more than 1 million kids living in America as illegal immigrants. The Secret Side of Empty tells of M.T.’s life dealing with this very same struggle. As a high school student, when all of her peers are planning for college, getting their driver’s licenses, and looking for work, M.T. is at a loss as she can’t do any of them without official papers; papers she doesn’t have.
As a teenager, I know how difficult keeping secrets are, dealing with high school, and life in general. But to know that in a few short years the same goals and dreams most teenagers have will probably continue to be just that, a dream, is something I think most of us take for granted.
This book will grab at your emotions, show the struggle is real, and remind us we are all human and to stand up for another. This is definitely an eye-opening novel I highly suggest everybody read!
Sasha, a teenage human lie-detector, works for the FBI with her handler and guardian Chelsea. For five seconds after she speaks, people “Goose,” saying whatever is on their mind, but only if they choose to speak. When it seems like Chelsea has betrayed her (like all the others), Sasha takes an assignment in Brussels, Belgium to work with Porter Jenning, CIA, on a graffiti artist case. Her job is to befriend local graffiti artists and get them to work on the CIA’s targets. Little does Porter know that his angry, vegan daughter, Viviane, is already involved with a group of graffiti artists. Pretty soon Sasha’s helping Vivi, Sebastien, and Smasher cover Brussels in pigs.
I liked the combination of the graphics and words telling the story: seeing Sasha’s past in comic strips and the words telling the present. I think that the most interesting thing was the changes in relationships Sasha had with people. Because of her talent of being a human lie-detector, people had always avoided her. Now she has to decide what is most important: the next case, or friendship and loyalty?
The Nazi Hunters
This is a true story about a group of people who captured Adolf Eichmann, the person who ordered the death of six million Jews during WWII. The book starts with the story of a Jew whose family was killed by Eichmann’s men. It continues by explaining what happened to Eichmann after the war. He fled to Argentina and lived under an assumed name with his family. The book covers a fifteen-year period, and jumps around a lot; it tells about several people who were essential to his capture. One man’s teenage daughter dated one of Eichmann’s sons for a while, but when they realized it was Adolf Eichmann, they contacted the Israeli police, because they realized the Argentine government was sympathetic to Nazis. After the agent they contacted disregarded their story, another man picked up the trail and asked the MOSSAD (the Israeli secret police) to help track him down. Eichmann was eventually apprehended, and executed in 1962.
It was interesting to read about the components that went into capturing him, like the struggles that the countries were going through (Argentina, Germany, Israel). The book was written in a gripping, fascinating way, with great dramatic tension.