Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Sentence Served

Percy Carey lived a life that felt like the average life of a gang-banger, and then also seemed utterly spectacular. In Sentences: The Life of MF Grimm, he tells his story, including his rise from the streets and his fall from grace. 

Percy got his first taste of attention from his time on Sesame Street, but it wasn't until he decided to be the baddest emcee that he had a true dream. Yes, he grew up on the streets, but they weren't the kind of streets you hear about. He had an amazing, strong, butt-kicking mother who would do anything to protect her children. He had a good stepfather, and lived in a neighborhood where the mantra "It takes a Village" is more like a lifestyle. But there was another element to his life and world that couldn't be ignored: the gangs. 

Percy was a smart guy, and even though it set him apart, he loved to read and write. When he declared his intention to emcee, he knew it would lead him places, included the ultimate battle. Whether living on the east or the west coast, his life was tumultuous, dangerous, and exciting. And for a smart man like Percy, that excitement was what he was ultimately looking for. Unfortunately, it had consequences he could never escape; far deeper than prison or parole, he suffered a fate he could never have imagined. 

Here is the important thing about this story. It isn't just a glorification of life on the streets. Money, fame, girls, objects, drugs, lifestyle. All those are there, but there is more. That life can't live forever. It burns out quick, and Percy learned that lesson the hard way. After the shooting left him paralyzed, he even found he had no place int he legitimate world. He tried, he really did, but he had no skills. The legit world didn't want him. So he went back to the world he knew: drugs, the streets, and a crew to watch your back.

I liked this story so much because I was constantly surprised. I went into it expecting a story of a kid on the streets who wanted to be Dre or Snoop, but instead ended up in a wheel chair. And yes, this story is that, but it is also so much more. This story is full of paradoxes and confusion as to how Percy got here, but more importantly, it is a story of how our surroundings shape us. If this kid had been born someplace else, he could have become a lawyer or a politician as opposed to learning about law in jail in order to get his sentence reduced. It takes a village, but that village can also define us, and I hope this story is a lesson to its readers of how to break out of that definition. This isn't a pretty story all tied up in bows, but it is a gritty, dark, fabulous story of a man who had to fall before he could pick himself up. 

An Egyptian-Greek Mash-Up

When Carter and Percy came together to fight a monster, we thought it was a fluke. A fabulous fluke, mind you, but a fluke nonetheless. Now that Sadie and Annabeth have had to come together to fight a monster, the writing on the wall is clear. Something is going on to bring the Greek and the Egyptian worlds together, and it is scary. IN The Staff of Serapis by Rick Riordan, two beloved series connect once again in magic-wielding, monster fighting goodness. 

Annabeth can't catch a break. Just when she thinks things will be normal for a moment, a monster shows up. But something is wrong with this monster. Not that it has two very different heads and seems to be struggling to work together despite being connected. Nope. It is running away from her! Monsters don't run away from demigods! When she decides to follow it, she is surprised by something even stranger- a girl who can see the monster too! 

OK. I am really hoping all these short stories are leading up to a final Egyptian, Greek Cross-over series by Riordan. Seriously, dude. Don't hold out on us. We need the Kane's and the demigods together in one magnificent series, and we need it now! I don't even need to review this fabulous little short, because we all knew it was going to be awesome. But still, Rick, bro. Please? Give us what we want! Kanes meet demigods! And we want it NOW!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Will She Be the One?

Oh, the Land of the Beautiful and Frilly Dresses! It is funny, because these dresses are what drew me to this series, but I also fear they might be what keeps people from reading this interesting story. In The One by Kiera Cass, The Selection series comes a final conclusion as Prince Maxon must choose his final bride.

For America, the Selection started just as a means to better life for her family. All girls in the Selection move up in caste and their families get compensation that could mean the difference between abject poverty and food on the table. So, despite the fact that she cared deeply about Aspen, a boy who was a caste below her, she did her duty and joined the Selection. What she didn't expect was to care deeply about Maxon. And Aspen's appearance on the guard in the castle made things confusing for America... at first. It became clear fairly quickly that America wanted to be with Maxon. For the other girls, the crown was the goal, and Maxon was the means to get it; for America, the crown was just a hassle that came with the man she truly cared about.

Unfortunately, the path to the crown was not so easy. it was clear the king did not feel the same about America as Maxon and his mother did. She did not bow to societal pressures. She would not allow people to be punished beyond their crimes of necessity, like feeding their children. Despite the needs of a princess, America had been brought up to stand up for what she thought was right, and she would let no one, not even the king, intimidate her. She had everything to lose and everything to gain, but America wouldn't be scared away from doing the right thing.

OK. This started out a puffy, goofy story for me, but quickly, in the first book, I new I loved America. This girl had a metaphorical right hook that would knock you on your butt. She was a lot of fun and still a very strong young woman despite her years. I loved her. I also really liked Maxon. He grew up under a tyrant, and he would not let that control the person he was destined to become. I know the premise of this book was a love triangle, but I think if you read the first two books, you would agree with me that Maxon was always going to be the clear winner in our hearts, and I am quite simply OK with that! Don't get me wrong, I liked Aspen and respected that he cared about America, but she and Maxon were wonderful together. In fact, she had the ability to make Maxon rise to the true king he was destined to be.

I still think the story lacked real world-building, but my love for the characters overshadowed that need for me. It was more important for me to hear about the amazing people they had all become, even Celeste, the stereotypical mean girl in the competition! There were so many back stories to the girls and transformations, that it really became a character driven story and even if there was a rich world around it, that world would have quickly faded into the background. I loved the final conclusion, and I will miss this series. It might have started with the frilly dress, but it ended with the revolutionaries who won't settle for a broken world that harms its people.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A March Upon Me

We all learned about the Civil Rights movement, but our generation didn't live through it. We never had segregated bathrooms or restaurants that would take the money of one race and still not let them sit at the counter. However, just because we have never lived through THE Civil Rights Movement of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others, it doesn't mean we haven't experienced the battles for Civil Rights first-hand. We watch the rights of one group or another trampled upon regularly, but what kind of person are each of us? Would you stand up against injustice? Or would you be a quiet bystander? Or would you fight to maintain the status quo?

Congressman John Lewis is no standard politician. He was part of the Civil Rights movement that led to the end of segregation in our country. In this simply amazing graphic novel, he tells his story of how life on a sharecropper's farm led to a life of freedom, movement, and justice in a world that didn't like the color of his skin. 

The story starts with a mother and her young boys entering Lewis' office to show the boys where their history started. Lewis, still in the office, begins to answer the boys questions and tells them how he came to be a part of the march on Washington, and how he left that farm in Alabama to serve a higher purpose. It is the first part of a truly inspiring story that I am waiting with bated breath to continue. I have known about John Lewis, but I don't think I could have asked for a better rendition of his life than we get with this story- it is full of history, anecdotes, real sentiments and emotions, and so much more.

The beauty of this graphic history is how it draws out the true nature of nonviolence. We have all known about nonviolent protest and how successful it has been in our history, but have you ever thought of how those people remained so passive and polite when they were being beaten for simply believing they had a right to sit at the local restaurants counter? Seeing this training they all went through was so hard to experience through these words and illustrations, it kept me talking about it for a long time after I was finished. Luckily, my husband had read the story before me and was a captive audience, because this book left a need to talk in me once I had finished. 

Do the people who did and said these awful things every regret their actions? The police who beat passive protestors, are they ashamed of their actions? How do they tell the story to their grandchildren? Do they tell them of how they brought their billy sticks down upon a legend like John Lewis? My husband and I talked about this story for hours, pondering the movement, the purpose of nonviolence, the people behind the fight for Civil Rights, and so much more. If we could be so captivated, I think anyone can. Whether you are a lover of graphic stories, history, strong leaders, or just a good story, this is one for you. Simply amazing, and I really hope the sequel is available soon, if for no other reason than to continue those amazing conversations I enjoyed so much!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It All Happens in the End

Everyone knows the zombie craze has hit big time, and with the success of The Walking Dead, it isn't going anywhere. So how do you make a story with maniacal, people eating creatures new and fresh? If you are Demitria Lunetta, you make them greenish-yellow with creepy fangs... but their origins aren't so different. In the End is the conclusion of Amy's tale in a world where arrogance and experimentation led to a completely new species of people, who are contagious and who want to eat you. 

Amy and Baby survived together in silence, avoiding the Florae wherever possible. They thought New Hope, and the realization that Amy's mother was still alive, would allow them to live in peace finally, but it was clear the crazy scientists in the compound had different ideas. Amy escaped, but she left Baby behind in what she thought was relative safety. Unfortunately, when Kay, a guardian who helped save Amy, contacts her, Kay tells Amy that Baby is now being bled dry for Dr. Reynolds' experiments. Amy can't save her alone, so Kay sends Amy to Fort Black where her brother Ken is working on a cure. She thinks Ken can request to work directly with Baby and get her out of New Hope, but from the moment Amy enters Fort Black, it is clear nothing is going to go as planned. 

Fort Black is basically a lawless prison that is only preferable over becoming Florae food. The guards who are protected by the Warden are fed well and everyone else must use whatever methods possible to feed themselves. Luckily, Amy stumbles across Jacks, the Warden's nephew who, while protected and living a life of leisure thanks to the Warden's influence, is still a pretty good guy. Amy explains why she is looking for Ken, and Jacks agrees to help her, but to protect her, he must also "claim" her. Unclaimed ladies are unprotected ladies, so, despite Amy's protests at being thought of as property, she allows the rumor to spread that she is now Jacks' girl. The problem, though, is no one has ever heard of or seen Ken. Just when Amy starts to think she will never find him or save Baby, she realizes the truth depths of the darkness in Fort Black. And it's ugly. 

The only think I can complain about with this book is that I am pretty sure this is it for the series. I thought there was going to be a trilogy, but the sequel ended with quite a bit of finality. I am sad to see it go, because this was a really great series! The story is fast-paced and exciting, every character is dynamic and interesting, and there really were no complaints I had about anything! Even the new and supporting characters like Brenna and Jacks were fabulous! I hope someone can convince Lunetta to do a book that comes later, because I don't want to be done with Amy and the group!

The story behind the Florae is just downright disturbing. Almost all of it came out in the end of the first book, but you get a really full back story with this sequel. In addition, the series of experiments to find a cure is downright unethical, but in a post-apocalyptic world, where people will eat you, is there room for ethics? I found myself asking that a lot throughout this book. I am currently reading Watchmen with my juniors, and we talk a lot about the ethicality of sacrificing a few to save the money. Still, it is hard to imagine how anyone could dehumanize their subjects enough to inject a child with the Florae virus! I found the moral questions in this story were just as strong as the entertainment factor of this crazy story. And somehow, Lunetta figured out a way to make new, scarier versions of zombies! Holy Florae, Batman!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

There's No Story Like Back Story

Once you are a part of the Morning Glory Academy, you really have no choice but to stay. Not only do they cut you off from your family, but in isn't difficult to make the students realize they have no choice but to stay put. In Volume 2 of Nick Spencer's Morning Glories, the six new students all have a story to tell. 

Everyone has a story, but how important are those stories in relation to the person you have become? For the newest Morning Glories, those back stories directly tie to how they got there, and who they are going to become. If you are a little rich kid who committed an unspeakable act, is there a chance you can find your way out of it, or are you going to have to face your actions in the harshest way possible. When twin brothers are separated, can they ever come together and be the same? When a little girl is taken from her people, will her extraordinary talent lead who she is to become? 

The second volume of The Morning Glories wasn't much different from the first. The story was filled with mystery and intrigue, but I'll be darned if I am not still totally in the dark about what they heck is happening! I expected a few more answers than I got, so the story was a little frustrating when all it did was give me more questions. Still, the mystery continues to be interesting, so I will continue to keep reading, but I want answers people! I have NO idea what is happening! The back story was very interesting, and I was glad to have it, but now I need more about this Academy and what on earth is happening inside it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nothing Stops the Pandemic

Are any of us prepared for a true pandemic? If a plague hit us, how would we survive it? Those are the questions you are going to ask yourself and are going to keep you up at night as you read Yvonne Vontresca's Pandemic

No one knows what happened to Lil except her parents and her two friends. Well, the one who believed her is still her friend. The other? Let's just say she didn't believe Lil's big secret. Since everything happened, Liz has broken up with her boyfriend, doesn't go out, and certainly doesn't want her parents to see her grades. She has also started slipping into "Prepper" habits. With her father working for Disease Control, it isn't hard to imagine what could happen to everyone if there was any kind of pandemic. She hides her supplies in a closet, and doesn't tell anyone about her disaster monitoring, but her mom finds out anyway. While her father is less disturbed by the behavior than her mother, it is clear they are both worried about what has happened to Lil. 

When Lil sees a strange flu that is hitting south of their NJ home, she decides to keep an eye on it. Her mother is heading out of town, which means she doesn't have to keep such a careful check on her concerns, but when her father is called to a conference that is focusing on the disease, she becomes concerned. He tries to soothe her worries, but at the same time, they both know the flu seems to be spreading, and its deadly. When her father gets quarantined at his hotel, it is clear the pandemic isn't a figment of Lil's imagination. Now she is alone, she is terrified of the flu that has hit her home state, and out there is the man who changed her life not too long ago. 

There are two stories in this book: the pandemic, and Lil's big secret. They are both interesting, both are handled well, but it still seemed weird to me to have both in the same book. Not sure why, it just didn't seem like they belonged together in the same story. Still, both were very interesting, so I got over my weirdness and just enjoyed the story. I like disaster/pandemic stories, so this was right up my alley. As disaster stories go, this is a fairly tame one, so feel free to use this story for your middle school through high school students. As for the big secret? It isn't graphic, and it is rarely dealt with once the pandemic starts, so it shouldn't be too distracting. 

As for Lil? I actually really, really liked her. She was quirky, and I loved the little prepper in her, but when push came to shove and she should have been locking her windows and doors and pretending she wasn't around, instead, her worry for her friends and neighbors overcame her need to stay safe and control her surroundings. It was a good display of how we can overcome our own demons in the wake of a tragedy, and I really enjoyed watching her transformation. Like all disaster books, there are obvious losses, and it was sad watching Lil deal with them, but she is a tough girl. This was a great first novel, and I am interested to see what Vontresca does next!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When Everything is Torn Away

If you live in tornado alley, you not only respect these hulking beasts, you also get used to them. When the siren blows, you might not run right to the shelter, but you keep an eye out. While you can't live in fear for half a year during the season, being lulled into a false sense of security can be very, very dangerous. In Jennifer Brown's Torn Away, the lives of so many were changed forever with the presence of more than just a funnel cloud... it was like the finger of God himself.

Jersey Cameron grew up knowing what to do in the event of a tornado; its just that she never really had to do it. Occasionally, the family would go to the basement, but most of the time the sirens were a false alarm. So it got easier and easier to ignore them. She gets home and starts a meal like any other normal day while her mother takes her sister to dance class, but there is nothing normal about this day. This is the day that they never saw coming and will never be able to forget. 

When Jersey realizes the tornado warning is real this time, she turns dinner off and heads to the basement. Hiding down there, she quickly realizes the tornado is bigger than anyone thought. By the time it is over, she leaves the basement to see that her entire house is almost gone. Her neighborhood is almost gone. Her neighbors, and everyone around her, are either injured, or even dead. If her neighborhood is this bad, how could her mother and sister have survived? All alone, Jersey realizes just how destructive the tornado really was. 

This book starts with the destruction of a tornado, but it continues down the road of a young girl's dysfunctional family. Her mother never spoke to her own parents, and so Jersey is sent to live with her father whom she has never met. When she gets there, it is clear these people just don't give a crap about Jersey or anything she has gone through. While the premise of the book is the tornado, the continuation of the story really gets to the heart of the aftermath of such a tragedy.  It was a really amazing and heartbreaking journey for both Jersey and the reader. Here was a normal girl in a normal midwest life who had everything she ever knew or loved sucked up into a funnel cloud. What is left is damaged beyond all repair... or is it. 

This is a book about family, about healing, and also about grieving. I think pegging this book as a "storm book" doesn't really get to the heart of Brown's purpose for the story. If it was a storm book, it would have ended when Jersey was shipped to her dad's house. Instead it kept going, proving Brown had more to say. I have always like Brown's stories, because they aren't afraid to get to the dark and ugly side of things, and Torn Away is no different. I think this story, while dark and sad, would be appropriate for a variety of students. The real-life implications are deep, and a reader will have a hard time not connecting to the story. Jersey is a young woman who was dealt the worst hand possible, yet there is still hope for her with each page you flip. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Half Bad and Totally Awesome

In a new England where witches live silently amongst humans, there are two kinds of witches. Even amongst the small minority, there is prejudice. White and Black, the witches do not mix. Until, they do. In Sally Green's Half Bad, a young boy is the victim of his parentage, for White or for Black. 

Nathan's father was the evilest Black witch in the world. His mother was a White witch who committed suicide. Every year, Nathan goes for an assessment to see if he has officially coded to one side or the other, but on his seventeenth birthday, the results will no longer be inconclusive. All witches must receive three gifts from an immediate family member and drink the blood of a family witch in order to come into their gifts. For a White witch, not receiving their gifts merely means they lose their opportunity for their gift. For a Black witch, it is said they will die if they do not receive their gifts. Nathan's grandmother has tried to raise him in a White witch household, but his heritage cannot be denied. 

As a Half Code (Black and White), Nathan's final allegiance is still unsettled, but the council isn't about to let him roam about like a powder keg waiting to be lit. Decree after decree is handed down that specifically limit Nathan's comings and goings. Finally, just limiting his journeys from the house aren't enough, and he is captured and caged until his seventeenth birthday, which is years away. His captor doesn't necessarily agree with the decision, but Marcus, Nathan's father, killed her sister, so she isn't shy about her dislike of Black witches either. But nothing changes the fact that Nathan's birthday is fast approaching, and he has nobody to give him his gifts. Is he Black? Or is he White?

I know we have all lived through the Harry Potter era where witches are adorable like the Weasley clan. Sure you have a Malfoy or a LeStrange or a Voldemort in the mix, but for the most part, they are normal folks with some awesome abilities. These witches? A whole different world. I half expected a Potter-esque witch story going in, but I came out like I was ripped through the spin cycle. This is one seriously dark book! I mean, this kid is tortured. He is held in a cage and affixed with a collar full of poison. This is some pretty heavy, dark business here. 

And Nathan? I am choosing to think he wouldn't be as dark as he turns out. I feel he was made Black by the very same people who feared his Half Code. By imprisoning him and torturing him, they have created a dark individual. In fact, the brutality, the violence, the dark in this story reminded me of a somewhat tamed version of The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski. It is the single darkest book I have ever read (makes The Road look like Goodnight Moon), and Nathan just made me think of that little boy the entire time I read it. That doesn't mean this is THAT dark, but it certainly isn't any Harry Potter. Instead, this is a truly unique story that will catch the attention of your students. Especially those who have a dark side!

The implications towards prejudice and racism in this story are very thinly veiled. The decrees about Half Codes and Black witches reek of Jim Crow. You can see the allegory here, and it is incredibly interesting when juxtaposed with historical racism. I think any student will be able to make those connections without any guidance, which will give them an added layer to the story. I was really bowled over by this story, even though it was so disturbing, and I will certainly be finishing the series. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Final Champion

June and Day were born on opposite ends of the social spectrum, but they were drawn to each other. They have made sacrifices to save their country, and now that it is officially on the brink of complete destruction, they must sacrifice even more in Champion, Marie Lu's conclusion to the Legend series. 

They haven't seen each other. June has been elected the Princeps Elect. She is loyal to Anden, who carries the weight of his father's abuse of power, but is himself a smart and capable leader. But she thinks of Day. Often. Day is a military official. He has accomplished his one goal: Eden is safe. But now Day is the one suffering. With a fast approaching expiration date, Day knows the upcoming peace treaty between the Colonies and the Republic is more important than ever. Each time Day pushes himself too far, he goes to the brink of finally succumbing to what is killing him. But the one person he wants to spend his final moments with doesn't even know he is dying: June. 

Meanwhile, a plague worse than ever before breaks out in the Colonies. While they had a precarious peace with the Republic before, the new illness is violent and deadly, and it has led to a new development. Peace will never be achieved when the Republic sits back and watches the Colonies die. Invasion of the Republic is imminent, but Anden still believes he can find a way to stop everything. If he develops a cure, he can halt the invasion and return to the peace treaty. There is one very big problem. Day's brother Eden is the cure, and Day won't allow anyone to hurt Eden ever again. 

The most interesting part of this series has always been Day and June. In an easier, more cookie-cutter novel, we would see them battling back to back, taking on the world in any way possible. But that is a paint-by-numbers kind of a story, and Lu wants to give you more. Instead, the path Day and June have traveled is bumpy and fraught with secrets and lies. Yet their connection is undeniable. Both have a deep connection to each other, but their duty to their families and their countries are put before their own desires. It was poetic and heartbreaking all at once, and it made this story as un-cookie-cutter as you could get. 

When you have been reading a series since its inception, you have an investment. You want to see an ending the characters deserve and have earned, but you also want the author to surprise you. How can they give you both? Well, Marie Lu found a way. This isn't the conclusion I ever expected, but it was respectful to the losses both Day and June had suffered, and it was a story that did them both, and their relationship, justice. As it began to unfold, I am not going to lie, I was angry. How could you do this to Day and June after everything they have been through?! But it was almost as if Lu was whispering through the pages, "Shhhh. Calm down and have patience." And I did. And it  was fabulous. This is a series young adults and adults alike would love, because Lu has a plan. And it's one heck of a plan!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Gone for Forever and Ever

When the monsters are trying to save the world from other monsters, you know the world has gone to hell in a handbag. In the stunning conclusion to Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series, The Forever Song, the very monsters who were responsible for the end of the world are trying to save the world. 

Allie and her sire, Kanin, and her brother, Jackal, are going to kill a Master Vampire. Sarren has created a plague that will completely destroy the world, even more so than Rabidism did. In his sick mind, Sarren thinks he is doing the world a favor by ridding it of all humans and vampires alike. While the illness must be stopped, the trail of carnage Sarren is leaving in his wake just to torment Allie, Jackal, and Kanin is all the more reason to destroy him. He doesn't just kill people for food, he likes to play with his food. 

When they get to Jackal's old city, they are in for a surprise none of them could have predicted. Allie is still grieving the loss of Zeke, and she will only start to heal when she sees Sarren beheaded. When they enter old Chicago, Allie was more surprised than anyone to see what Sarren left her: Zeke, fully vamped and with a mind as warped as Sarren's. Meanwhile, Sarren is headed to the sanctuary, Eden, to fulfill his deepest desires in the most twisted way possible. They know what they have to do, but doing it before Sarren leaves more bloody corpses in his wake is unlikely.

Allie has always been an amazing character, and her grief over the loss of Zeke was palpable. It made her hunt for Sarren so much deeper and darker, that this story certainly had a different feel to it. When she found him and Sarren had made him into a monster, I have to say it was predictable, but I was still stunned by it. I knew it was coming (and I am usually easily duped by plot twists), but somehow that just didn't matter. I think that has a lot to do with Kagawa writes. Allie was so upset and devastated that you couldn't help but understand how she was feeling. And it really solidified how deeply psychotic Sarren was, making the hunt for him all that more important. 

This was such a different kind of vampire story, that I think the preteen Twilight fans would have a tough time liking it at first, because they would be expecting Edward and Bella and instead get a little more Sid and Nancy. This is darker and creepier, but the characters and the story are so well-crafted, I hope they would eventually get over their preconceived notions and get sucked into this story. It is certainly more gruesome and bloody, so choose your audience accordingly. Kagawa is quite the master of her craft, so I can't wait to read the new series, Talon!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mystery at the Morning Glory

An invitation to join an elite private school is one you can't pass up. It brings six teenagers from very different walks of life together in one place. Morning Glories by Nick Spencer is a story with more than one secret to reveal... but you won't get all the answers you want!

With a population that rivals "The Breakfast Club," six teens with checkered pasts are brought to the mysterious and prestigious Morning Glory Academy. While its clear they won't all immediately become life long friends, they are expected to work together. The school is unconventional, but when one of the girls tries to call home and her father has no idea who she is, they start to get suspicious. The school passes it off as a strategy to keep kids from getting homesick, but it was too real. He didn't even know she existed!

More and more, the kids think there is something deeply wrong with Morning Glory. The school's tactics for sussing out their special "talents" is disturbing at best. At worst, it is downright deadly. When you put six kids together who are known to be the best and the brightest, you can't also expect them to be the most obedient. But Morning Glory is ready for some disobedience. In ways the kids never expected. 

This was another one of those stories where you can enjoy the whole thing, be ready for the next in the series, but you have absolutely no idea what is going on. I know there is something fishy about the school and its administration, and let's just say the teachers make the Trunchbull look like a little kitten, but I never actually got any real answers. Instead, I found myself flying through in order to find any speck of an answer because, by the time I finished Volume 1, I have absolutely NO clue what is going on. 

The mystery is fun, though, and the wildly different personalities of the 6 kids makes it exciting. From the preppy rich kid to the chick with two dads, they are quite a diverse group, and their varied ways of dealing with the circumstances are interesting. I wasn't overly fond of the art in this graphic series, though, and I felt the illustrations were a little flat or generic. I would have liked to see something more unique. All in all, it is an interesting story, and I am intrigued to see where it goes!