Saturday, December 6, 2014

Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner

Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner is our high school book club selection. Torrey Grey is a teenage fashion vlogger when her younger sister is killed by a drunk driver. Torrey and her parents move and try to bring some normalcy back to their lives. Torrey's vlog followers are very critical of her - and it gets even tougher when her former best friend releases a video of Torrey yelling at her sister just minutes before the accident.

The whole issue of social networking and digital etiquette is a huge part of the storyline. Torrey has lived her life in front of the camera, but when her followers learn of the tragic accident rather than support her, many of them attack her. There are many lessons for young adults as they consider their own online behavior.

Torrey also struggles with wanting to be popular. However, as the book progresses she begins to recognize what a true friend is, and how important it is to be honest and respectful.

Can't Look Away is an enjoyable book to read, but also one that has some great lessons for young people. I look forward to our book club conversations!

Hereafter (Shadowlands Book #2) by Kate Brian

Hereafter is the second book in the Shadowlands trilogy by Kate Brian. I had to stop in to the library on a Saturday afternoon to return book 1 and pick up Hereafter - because the last line of the first book was such a cliffhanger!  

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well, and am anxious to purchase the final book. The story continues to intrigue me, and I enjoy reading Kate Brian's works.

I find the concept of the island and the people visiting it to be very thought-provoking. It certainly is a different take on death, and provides some great discussion about what happens after a person dies.

I cruised through the book and can't wait to get my hands on the 3rd and final book in the trilogy!                                                                                                                                                          
In Hereafter we begin to learn more about the mysterious island and the strange behavior of the teens who live in Juniper Landing.  Rory is learning more about the fog that rolls in. She's also becoming closer to Tristan, but questioning her feelings for him. And now that I've finished Hereafter, it's time to wait in line for the final book in Kate Brian's series: Endless. 

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

With Shadowlands I did what I try so hard not to do: I began a trilogy before all of the books had been released. Shadowlands is a fast-paced book that has plenty of action, emotion, and mystery.

Rory Miller, her older sister Darcy and their father, are moved to Juniper Landing to build a new life in a witness protection program while teacher Steven Nell, the man who had attacked and stalked Rory (and many other young girls), was caught. Juniper Landing seems like the most idyllic island, filled with sunny days, warm ocean breezes, and friendly inhabitants, but the strange thick fog that moves in every once in a while can be quite unsettling.

It takes most of the novel for us to realize that some things just aren't right around Juniper Landing...and Rory would like to get to the bottom of it. There are many hints throughout the book, but the real truth comes out in the very last sentence! And who could help but run right to the library to check out Hereafter!