[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

We asked this week’s panelists…

Q: In spite of having a huge library (including lots of YA) at her fingertips, my 13 year old daughter is a very reluctant reader. What SF/F books would you recommend for reluctant readers (or voracious readers!) ages 13-16 (or so), boys and girls alike?

Here’s what they said…

Kristen Simmons
Kristen Simmons writes young adult fiction – the kind that’s dark and scary but generally involves some kissing. The second book in the ARTICLE 5 series, BREAKING POINT, will be published by Tor Teen in February, 2013. Words cannot describe how happy this makes her.

I highly recommend The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. These books are awesome, from the titles to the cliffhangers. I read them mostly standing, as it was sometimes too difficult to relax in a comfy chair.

The main character, Todd Hewitt, had me from the first page. Todd has learned to be tough despite the fact that he has zero privacy (due to a disease on his planet which makes one’s every thought visible). I love him because he possesses a vulnerability that is so raw and genuine, you can’t help but be affected. When his insecurities are revealed, you’re embarrassed. Not for Todd, but with Todd. Like you just realized you forgot to wear pants today.

Todd’s the bridge between our world, and one with aliens, genocide, and hands down the best talking dog EVER. Todd makes you realize that his world of chaos and violence isn’t so different from our own, and that all the technology that makes our lives so convenient – cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – often makes it impossible to hide. These are concepts that teens now more than ever are facing every day.

Read the rest of this entry

BOOK REVIEW: The Hollow City by Dan Wells

SYNOPSIS: How do you convince everyone that Faceless Men are trying to get you when you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia? Who can you trust? Can you even trust yourself?

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW

PROS: A real mind bending thriller that may or may not be the mental construction of an unstable man.
CONS:
The ending is weak in comparison to the rest of the story.
BOTTOM LINE:
This thriller will keep you guessing until the very end. Wells will tap into a fear you probably didn’t even realize that you harbored.

Michael Shipman is a paranoid schizophrenic. Or is he? The doctors say that Michael’s paranoia is the result of hallucinations and delusions brought on by mental illness. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not out to get you…right? After all, the doctors could all be part of the Plan of the Faceless Men. If Michael could regain two weeks of his memory he might be able to stop the Faceless Men and whatever sinister scheme they have cooked up. But there are a few obstacles, including two FBI agents who consider Michael a suspect in a string of serial murders.

Read the rest of this entry