Day: January 23, 2013

Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

prodigy

Prodigy by Marie Lu

As June and Day flee directly after the first book concludes, they reach Vegas.  Traveling in disguise with Day weak and wounded, they are taken in by the Patriot rebels on the day that the death of the Elector Primo.   The Patriots agree to help them but there’s one condition: they have to assassinate the new Elector Primo.  Very quickly a plan is hatched.  June is taken prisoner by the state and put directly into contact with the new Elector Primo who seems taken with her.  Day joins a group of Patriots as a runner, taking out trains with explosives and creating chaos while making sure that he is noticed as one of the Patriots now.  But things are not as they first appeared and both Day and June separately begin to question what they are doing and why.

So many teen series hit a wall on the second book, but that is not the case here.  Reading as if it is a straight extension of the story in the first novel, Legend, this book is a read that is thrilling and gripping.  The characters stay true to those you know in the first book, building their relationships and continuing to question.  Lu’s writing is clear and strong, she takes time to create believable characters, giving even secondary characters motivation and backstory.

Lu does the same with the world building.  It is a treat to have a chance to further explore the world of Legend and Lu gives us so much more to explore.  Readers will get a glimpse of the famed Colonies here and so much is answered when Day gets a glimpse of a world map for the first time.  Readers learn the truth alongside the characters, a very powerful device.

Filled with twists, turns and daring escapes, this book is a fitting continuation of Legend.  Fans will have to read this but best of all, they will not be disappointed.  Appropriate for ages 14-17.

Reviewed from ARC received from Putnam.

Review: Bunnies on Ice by Johanna Wright

bunnies on ice

Bunnies on Ice by Johanna Wright

This icy read is just right for a very cold winter day, like we have been having here in Wisconsin.  One little bunny thinks that she is a champion ice-skater.  As a champion, she has to wait for conditions to be just right, even if it means waiting through spring, summer and fall!  When the waiting is finally over, she has to eat a big breakfast to prepare.  Clothing selection is also important, enough layers to be warm, but not too many.  Finally, it is time to skate her adoring fans.  She demonstrates her high level of skill, well, almost.  The day ends with hot chocolate, a warm bath and a cozy bed.  The perfect ending for a champion day.

Wright has created a cheery book about not only ice skating but the wonder of big dreams.  It is a delight to find a picture book with a young girl exhibiting such strong self-esteem with no hesitation.  Wright nicely weaves in the truth behind the little girl’s dreams.  This happens particularly when the actual skating begins and readers discover that she’s not really a champion ice skater. 

In her illustrations, Wright creates a cozy world.  There is the rabbit’s home inside a large tree that is filled with deep colors that evoke a warmth.  This contrasts nicely with the blues of the outdoors and the white of the snow.  The entire book exudes a cluttered friendliness and family-centered cheer.

Sparkling with ice and plenty of bravado, this picture book will inspire children to dream big themselves.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Roaring Brook Press.