Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


by Emily Lloyd-Jones
From the publisher:
"The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "super" criminals.

When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She's what's known as an illusionist...She's also a thief.

After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn't?

The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives."

I'm really conflicted about this book. There were some things I disliked intensely, but other things were enjoyable.

Things I disliked:
~ The main characters name - Ciere Giba. Personally, I like to be able to pronounce the names of the characters I'm reading about, so I found that name incredibly annoying. We find out later the name has some sort of meaning that totally confused me and it is pronounced like Sierra without the a on the end.
~ The book starts out with an incredibly hung-over teenager naked in a hotel bed with a boy passed out on the floor next to her clutching a bottle of tequila.
~ Bad language with the *f* word jarringly thrown in 5 or more times. I say "jarringly" because there really wasn't any bad language at all until suddenly the *f* word pops out of a character's mouth. Later in the book there was a handful of uses of the *s* and the *a* words.
~ The main character did incredibly stupid things over and over again that affected all the people around her. I like my heroines to have a little bit of commonsense.
~ One of the main crew members is a male prostitute. That fact is referenced several times and not explained.
~ The author mixed tenses in the same paragraph several times. Now, I tend to do that all the time, but I expect better in published authors.

Things I liked:
~ I thought it was a really unique premise.
~ It was exciting
~ There was a twist at the end that completely surprised me

Bad things outweigh good things for me on this one and I very much doubt I will read a sequel.  

Areas of concern:
I addressed a lot of concerns above.  One other major concern is massive law-breaking, including murder.   Quite a bit of violence, as well.

Suggested Ages:
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 7-10
*Mrs. Duke disagrees and thinks this should be for older readers.

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