Yes, there is life on Mars!

The caste system is alive and well on Mars.  Seven hundred years hence and Red Rising tells the story of humanity’s diaspora to the stars.

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste and a slave for the highest caste, the Golds.  He is a Helldiver one of the bravest and most daring of the miners and soon to be the savior of the Reds.

Red Rising is the story of revenge and the quest for power.  Darrow realizes that those in power are lying to keep the Reds at near starvation and underground while the rest of the people are enjoying a life of abundance on the surface of Mars.  Darrow is chosen to change things.

It is an excellent book for young adults and adults who like action and a great story.  Pierce Brown has written a winner and hopefully there is a sequel waiting in the wings.

Dystopian series after Allegiant

Feeling lost after finishing Allegiant?  Here is a list of some great dystopian series to help you move on.

Ashes Trilogy  by Ilsa Bick.  All three books in this the post- apocalyptic zombie saga are available.

The Atlantians Series by Kevin Emerson.  Set in the year 2086 Camp Eden is in a bio- dome and promises an oasis of pine trees and rustic charm.  Third book due out in 2014.

Awaken Trilogy by Katie Kacvinsky.  Technology dependent life is not all it is cracked up to be.  Third book is due out in 2014.

Dust Lands Trilogy by Moira Young. Some say it is better than Hunger Games.  Third book comes out in April 2014.

Matched by Allie Condie.  All three books are out.  Movie rights have been sold for the first book.

The best way to read a series is to wait until all of the books are released…no waitng  a year to find out what happens next.


Carl has reached the end of the line for juvie placements.  He is 16 and an orphan.  His foster parents can’t control him.  The judge gives him one last chance and sentences Carl to Phoenix Island a military type boot camp for teens who have reached the end of the line in the court system.  Carl can have his record expunged if he gets in no trouble until his 18th birthday. 

Phoenix Island is somewhere off the Pacific coast of Mexico, an island covered with jungles.  Hammerhead sharks infest the shores, giant spiders and wild boars inhabit the land.  The orphans are allowed no electronics.  No one knows where the orphans are or how they are being treated.  And they aren’t being treated very well.  Picture Lord of the Flies with sadistic adults in charge.

John Dixon has written a great thriller, plenty of action and some great villains and heroes.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys rooting for the underdog.

Theodore Boone Kid Lawyer

John Grisham, a master of legal thrillers for adults, has created  the young adult series Theodore Boone, kid lawyer.   Theodore is the only child of two attorneys. Theo Boone is an eighth-grader who knows every lawyer, bailiff, and judge in town. Theos’s contact with his peers is usually limited to him playing lawyer for his friends.  In the first book of the series Theo gets involved in a murder trial and persists until justice is served. There is a subplot about a best friend whose parents are divorcing.

I recommend this series for anyone who loves a good legal thriller.

Valentine’s Day Reading List

Looking for romance today but the right person isn’t available?  Try the bookshelf.  Here are some popular young adult romance novels you might want to curl up with.  A great romance novel and a box of chocolates… Happy reading, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater

The Truth About Forever
by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen
by Sarah Dessen

Pride & Popularity (The Jane Austen Diaries, #1)
by Jenni James

North of Beautiful
by Justina Chen

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)
by Sara Shepard

Historical Fiction by a Local Author

J. Arthur Moore a local educator now retired and living in Lancaster County is the author of the series Journey into Darkness.  Knowing that readers can find a thick novel daunting he wrote his novel in four parts. 

The first book in the series, On the Eve of Conflict, introduces Duane Kincade a young farm boy from the Ozarks.  His dog and his father are his two best friends.  The time is spring of 1861 and the United States has been splintered in two by the War.  It is the story of a son who decides to go in search of his father  who has been caught up in the conflict.

Once you read part one you will be curious to learn the outcome of Duane’s decision.  Part two is Up from Corinth, part three Across the Valley to Darkness and the conclusion is Toward the End of the Search.  Each book  is a  manageable 100 pages.  You can read 400 pages in four easy books.