Book Review: Unbound by Neal Shusterman

In the New York Times bestselling Unwind Dystology—Unwind, UnWholly, UnSouled, and UnDivided—Neal Shusterman thrilled readers with the story of a society that deals with its out-of-control teens by “unwinding” them—transplanting more than 99% of their bodies into other people.

In the latest installment of this sequence, Shusterman—along with collaborators Terry Black, Michelle Knowlden, Brendan Shusterman, and Jarrod Shusterman—explores even more aspects of a world that has accepted the unacceptable. These short stories examine the world of unwinding in a way we haven’t seen before, providing a fresh framework, new characters, and a different take on some events.

Release Date: December 2015
Age Group: Source: Purchased
Reviewed By: Nat

What can I say, Shusterman is brilliantly twisted and now he has found collaborators who are just as clever! If you are a fan of the Unwind series then this read is really a no brainer. If you are new to the Unwind world, lets pump the breaks and redirect you to the first 4 books and then you can come back to this one and really appreciate it. Anything related to this series is an "auto-buy" for Ms. Leger, Evan and myself... it's that good.

Simply put, we just can't get enough! I still think about this story often, especially after watching the nightly news or reading my news feed because it could totally happen! It's a unique dystopian in that it is plausible and based on human fear and judgment.

Unbound updates us on some of the characters that we grew attached too and also introduces new characters and events. The world Shusterman created is so vast that it is really limitless. There could easily be an entire series in this world that is completely separate from the dystology (UnwindUnWholly, {Unstrung}, UnSouled, and UnDivided). 

Mr. Shusterman we want more and more and more... you get the idea.

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Book Review: The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht (The Nocturnals #1)

A flabbergastifying adventure under the stars!

"The characters are delightful and the nighttime landscape is captivating. It was just as I expected—because the best stories always take place in the dark!—R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps

The Nocturnals features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure.

In The Mysterious Abductions, the animals form a brigade of the night after a random encounter with a blood-thirsty snake, and just in time because something is threatening their night realm. Animals are disappearing without a trace. Together with the help of a wombat, a band of coyotes and many others, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark journey to the depths of the earth in a wacky, high stakes game that will determine all of their survival.

Release Date: April 2016
Age Group: Middle Grade
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Ms. Leger


I love mysteries and this truly was one. If you like a good mystery where adorable animals are your main characters, like many middle grade readers do, then this is a must read. The Brigade: Tobin, Bismark and Dawn, form an unforgettable trio of sleuths trying to solve the mysterious disappearances of animals. You will easily fall in love with their wonderful personalities and funny antics. I must admit my favorite is the shy pangolin, (I had to look up this animal) Tobin. I was hooked in the first chapter when he passes gas. Oh how middle schoolers will love this. I must admit this well read old lady didn't figure out the plot until the end. Ms. Hecht writes beautifully with just the right amount of humor to keep you chuckling. You will find her group of odd ball characters very charming. And who doesn't like a good mystery with a little humor added in.

The Nocturnals has made a "tour" through my classroom and every single reader has said the same thing, "Do you have book 2 yet?" That question alone implies huge success!

Interactive Website
I highly recommend visiting The Nocturnals website to meet the characters, watch short video clips and find educational resources. {I highly recommend the educational resource page for teachers and parents.}

What is a Pangolin?
I must admit that I stopped reading fairly early on to look up a pangolin. And I'm glad I did for two reasons: 1.) it's a really neat animal and now I can talk about it with my students and 2). you have to visually know what a pangolin is once you are introduced to Tobin.

Join the Brigade! 
Join the Nocturnal Brigade and receive a Free Cape. I've joined the Brigade and I know middle grade readers will want to too!
Ms. Leger
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Book Review: Denton Little's Death Date by Lance Rubin

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.

Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

Release Date: March 2015
Age Group: YA, Comedy, Mystery
Source: Review Copy from Author
Reviewed By: Evan & Ms. Leger & Nat

This book made a tour through I'd So Rather Be Reading, which is VERY rare. Why? Because Evan read it and thought it was #boss but was worried about reviewing it because there was pot smoking. Evan typically reviews fantasy and normally faeries and dragons refrain from pot (although they do occasionally pull out a hookah and have a little fairy fun but hey tomatO or tOmato right?). I am not #propot but lets face it, most {all} teens are pretty desensitized to it. So, Ms. Leger gave it a go since she reads the "hard stuff". After many phone calls, texts and hallway conversations, it was a no brainer. The consensus--> MUST READ YA.

For parents who have children at an age where you are still able to monitor their reading choices (under 13), be warned that this comedic book entails youth smoking pot and having #thefeels for the opposite sex. With that said here are Evan's thoughts.

Comedic relief and death conspiracy don't usually mix, but this is not your usual book. Denton Little's Death Date is honestly one of the best and most original works I have ever read. It is a dystopian of sorts in that it is a world exactly like our own BUT everyone knows the exact day they die. Some might think that is depressing but the way that Rubin plays off the emotions surrounded with death is oddly comedic. 

There is a little sex but nothing graphic and recreational pot smoking (for this reason I wouldn't let my young teen read it). But I would highly recommend this book to YA lovers> 90's kids will have a real appreciation for this story. I read Bone Thugs & Harmony and lost it! It took me right back in time. 

The mystery is what makes this book a binge'er. The humor will literally make you LOL and cause people in the Wal-Mart line to give you odd stares (true story).

Lance Rubin may be a genius, amazing job! This book will not end up in the donation bag, it is a "borrow AND return". Denton is a permanent fixture on my bookshelf. 

And the best part... THERE IS MORE DENTON COMING! But the wait is killer---> 2017 with Denton Little's Still NOT Dead. An automatic TBR for I'd So Rather Be Reading Reviewers!

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