Tuesday, June 18, 2013

15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

First off, this isn't a horror book. There is no zombie like creature walking around without a head. It is also not a light happy-go-lucky summer read either. It is the story of a 15 year old trying to keep himself and his younger brother alive when their mother disappears.

Laurence is often the adult in his family. He gets his brother ready for school. He wakes up his mother to make sure she is ready for work. His mother is an alcoholic always on the edge of losing her job. One night she goes to work and doesn't come back.

Laurence must keep life as normal as possible without telling his brother that their mother is missing. He can't go to the police because he and his brother could get taken away. He must dodge the nosy lady downstairs who is way too interested in other people's lives. Jay has no idea where his mother went and if she will ever come back.

Laurence's one hope is to win the grand prize on the nightly radio program he keeps calling. Several nights in a row he answers the trivia questions correctly and gets closer to winning an all expense paid trip. OK, so he has to play under his deceased dad's name because he is too young to play as himself but if he could just get his mother away from their dreary lives for just awhile...when she comes back he will surprise her.

Laurence's life is one of uncertainty and daily survival. He has some distractions like his brother's obsession with Scooby-doo, his friend Han and an interesting girl named Mina, but he is still a boy who has to grow up too quickly and deal with the difficulties of life.

For more info, check out the Evergreen Library catalog and the author's site.




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mojo by Tim Tharp

Why would Dylan head off to the wealthy part of town to search for a missing girl that he has never met? Good question. Dylan is tired of being a nobody that people call 'Bodybag.' He wants mojo - what better way to get it than finding a rich missing high school girl.

So let me clear a few things up. Dylan got his nickname after finding a body in a dumpster behind his school. He ended up in the dumpster after being chased by some bullies (after his friend Randy said something stupid to them). His good friend Audrey convinces him to put his investigative journalist skills to find the girl (Ashton). It won't hurt Audrey either because she is a budding photojournalist.

And the mojo thing - mojo is a magic, a little bit of something that gives a person an edge. It's kind of hard to put into words, but Dylan knows he wants it.

So off Dylan and Audrey go to the rich side of town to help search for clues in the park where Ashton was last seen. Dylan finds himself in the company of Ashton's friends, students and at a fancy private school. From that point on, every person is a suspect and no one can truly be trusted. Even though Dylan wants to be liked by these kids, he finds their behavior excessive. They have so much money that they do things just for the thrill.

I do not read a lot of mysteries, so I did not see the end coming. We follow Dylan through his analysis of evidence and questioning of suspects, and I was interested in where the clues would lead.

For more info, check out the Evergreen library catalog and the author's site.