Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Confessions in the Moonlight by Joe Hisaishi [Castle in the Sky soundtrack].
The idea of Monday's Muse is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.
What I do is go to one of several places, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.
Spies. Part 2.
Sleeper Code (Sleeper Conspiracy series) by Tom Sniegoski.
In this action thriller, a teenager loses days of his life to a debilitating form of narcolepsy. Tom believes he is asleep during his blackouts until it is revealed to him in a dream that he is actually being groomed as an assassin by a secret branch of the government. The Janis Project, as it is called, takes orphans with severe narcolepsy and gives them new, split identities: one being that of a narcoleptic child in a loving family, the other, an unfeeling, efficient killing machine. Once Tom learns of his alternate, murderous identity, the sinister leader of the project becomes bent on erasing this knowledge from his mind. If he is to escape with his life and learn just how far his deception has reached, Tom must find a way to unite both his identities. Tom is portrayed as an otherwise typical teenager, as is his neighbor and romantic interest. Other characters are equally well introduced and secrets are revealed in a way that creates suspense. Readers looking for fast-paced action and espionage will enjoy this first book in the two-part “Sleeper Conspiracy.”–Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, School Library Journal (vol 52, issue 8, p130.
The Specialists: Model Spy (Specialists series) by Shannon Greenland.
Sixteen-year-old Kelly's life has never really been typical. After her parents died in a plane crash when she was six, Kelly bounced around foster homes and orphanages. A computer genius, Kelly is now about to graduate from college. Since she is tall, blonde, and gorgeous, Kelly's technological skills surprise people, who tell her she doesn't look like the stereotypical computer geek. While at college, Kelly hacks into the government system, trying to find information about the father of the boy she likes, David. Her crime is quickly uncovered and she is taken into custody. It is here that she discovers that David had been sent to recruit Kelly for The Specialists, a team of young adults who excel in different areas. The government will train them, give them new identities, and then send them to do undercover work. Now going by the nickname "Gigi," she is sent with David to Ushbania, a country in Eastern Europe, to free David's father. It just so happens that his father's kidnapper also runs a modeling school. Gigi goes undercover as a model and David pretends to be her photographer. Together, they must pull off an elaborate plot to find and free David's father before it's too late. The majority of the story is spent explaining who the Specialists are, how they got to the school, and the rigorous training schedules. The concept is fun and it's nice to see a girl as a spy, a role usually reserved for boys in action books. The large cast of secondary characters muddles up the plot, though they are likely being introduced for larger roles in forthcoming books. Hopefully future books will also include more action. --KLIATT.
Parade of Shadows by Gloria Whelan.
The sheltered daughter of a British diplomat, 16-year-old Julia Hamilton leaps at the opportunity to travel to the Near East with her father on a mysterious mission. But her journey through a Syria simmering under Turkish rule in 1907 brings her much more than she had expected: a nearly disastrous flirtation and a brush with real danger that opens her eyes to politics, the motives of her traveling companions, and her own need for freedom. This satisfying read is a romantic adventure in the best tradition by a master of such stories. Julia is a believable product of her time. The tangle of supporting characters includes attentive, idealistic Graham, down from Oxford to encourage Druze support in the Young Turk's revolution; Edith, a middle-aged botanist gone native; and Monsieur Louvois, a Frenchman with an extraordinary interest in antiquities. Julia is even suspicious of her father's motives. All is, of course, resolved in a way that is both expected and surprising, and readers, who have come to appreciate the perils of attempting to shape events in another culture, are left to hope that Julia's further travels will be equally instructive. Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD, School Library Journal (vol 53, issue 10, p166.
Love Undercover by Johanna Edwards.