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Suspense. Mystery. Romance. This two-day read has it all. Last year I chose The Babysitter out of my homeroom teacher's bookshelf because it looked "scary." It most certainly was. In the beginning, a teenager called Jenny is hired to babysit Donny, a young, alarmingly handsome boy on specific nights. However, Donny's parents seem overprotective, and the house is out in the open. Meanwhile, there have been rumors of a criminal who is murdering babysitters, and Jenny's new boyfriend, Chuck, is acting strangely. There's a lot on Jenny's mind. Then she gets the calls. Calls the police are afraid of. And notes. Saying they will kill her. The circle of fire closes in. Jenny has nowhere to go. Everyone is a suspect now.
Review by: none, age 12
It's about a girl who was found by a magical priestess. She then learns the ways of the priestess while fighting demons.
Review by: dames, age 13
I think it was very interesting because it was about these monsters, who called themselves creeps, and there was a boy who knew about them.
Review by: Anonymous, age 15
Kit is sent to Blackwood, a boarding school when her mother and new step-dad go on their honeymoon. At first look at Blackwood, Kit notices that there is something strange about Blackwood, something evil. Kit is very surprised when she finds out that there are only three other students enrolled. They must have something very special. When Kit wakes up in the morning, her finger ache as if she has been playing the piano all night. But she hasn't. All of the other girls are experincing the same things, but in different ways. Kit is scared. She wants to get out. But she can't, she's trapped. Will Kit ever escape the horrors of Blackwood? Or is this all just a dream?
Review by: Abby, age 12
Awesome book! Had lots of action and blood! There was some surviving the impossible and sometimes it seemed a little too easy.
Review by: Annie, age 12
A lot of authors have put a modern twist to vampire legends: Sephanie Meyer, Anne Rice, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, just to name a few. Now Cruz, author of the "Au Pair" books, tries her hand. Her story: the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth weren't all human; some of them were ancient vampires. Today, New York City's high society is made up of Blue Bloods: they're the models, CEOs, and senators that everyone wants to be. Except that something is killing them, and fifteen-year-old Schuyler is the only one who cares to figure out what. Even if "To Be Continued" had not been written in bold on the last page, there's no question that Cruz was aiming for a sequel. Half the questions raised in the book are brought up and never even hinted at again. It's infuriating (and not in a good Harry Potter-ish way) to be subjected to such blatant bargaining with a publisher. Another JKR comparison: when something important is hinted at in Harry Potter, it's truly hinted, and it can take a few readings to pick up all the clues. However, none of the "twists" were actually twists in "Blue Bloods;" Cruz knocks them over the head with a crowbar several times and lays them at your feet, to be sure that you don't miss them. The characters were stereotypes, with a few fun ones thrown in. Mimi Force, the cruel popular girl, is so spoiled that she's a parody of herself. Her twin, Jack, is mildly interesting, if only for his interest in Schuyler. Schuyler, our heroine, never develops much of a personality. Maybe that's another unanswered question waiting for the sequel. Then there's Dylan, the troubled nonconformist; Oliver, Schuyler's best friend; Cordelia, Schuyler's grandmother, who knows more than she's willing to say; and Charles Force, the middle-aged media mogul who is also head of the Blue Bloods. They round out of the cast of cardboard characters. It's very clear that Cruz is a writer of popular teen fiction-- she spends roughly five pages a chapter describing in brand-laden detail each of the character's outfits and their effortless good looks. Maybe the real twist is that these descriptions were actually more than a way to satisfy fans of Cruz's other books who generally don't read about vampires-- they're integral to the plot. Now, for what Cruz does right: First of all, Bliss, the new girl from Texas. She's Mimi's best friend, but she doesn't like Mimi; she likes Schuyler, but doesn't want to be friends with her; she's clueless as to the New York social scene, but she's willing to risk her rickety status for her attraction to Dylan. She's easily one of the best characters in the book, and I hope she gets an even bigger role in the sequel. Second, some of the story ideas are interesting, especially how Cruz uses the lost colony of Roanoke in her plot. Overall, though, the book is a cheap knockoff, like a Kate Spade bag bought in Chinatown. Casual readers might enjoy its beach-read quality, but to searching looking for slightly heavier fare, I would recommend looking elsewhere.
Review by: Beth M., age 17