Books Young Adult

#FridayReads: Pendragon by DJ MacHale

It’s no secret that I love DJ MacHale, right?



You’ve heard me ramble on and on (and on) about the SYLO trilogy!

But of course, before Sylo was Pendragon!!

I finally got around to reading the very first Pendragon: Merchant of Death.

I wasn’t thrilled with the reader but thats because my last reader was Lynne Redgrave,

and how are you going to compete with her?

Anyway, Pendragon had the same action that I enjoyed with SYLO.

Great read for boys and girls!


Hear books performed by some of Hollywood’s finest

Children Young Adult

Strike by DJ MacHale is like, WOW!

SYLO Collage

It’s no secret that I love DJ MacHale. While I’ve never read Pendragon, I’m certainly a fan of MacHale’s work with the SYLO trilogy!

Here’s my review of SYLO.

Then of STORM.

I was traveling this weekend so I grabbed a copy of STRIKE (perks of being a bookseller) and threw myself into it on the plane. And OMG I could hardly put it down!

DJ is coming to the bookstore this week (WOOT!) and I can’t wait to see him again! Last year I introduced my tweenies to SYLO and it was so much fun seeing them read the book and then meet the author.  Isn’t that what this is about? Putting a smile on a kids’ face?

So, stay tuned for my review of the last installment of SYLO and of course, for pics of DJ!

Have you read anything by DJ MacHale?



Children Young Adult

Storm by DJ MacHale, Book 2 of the SYLO Series is HEAD RUSHING!

Ya’ll might know that DJ MacHale is my new author boyfriend. We met last year when he appeared at Towne Book Center & Cafe, where I work. Ain’t he a keeper? I read SYLO with my tween book club and we fell in love with the action!

DJ MacHale


The first book in the series, SYLO, introduces us to the main characters and the problems erupting on Pemberwick Island in Maine. It’s fast paced from jump and appeals to boys and girls.  Its perfect for young teens who aren’t quite ready for Divergent type books but might be a tad too old for standard middle grade novels.


Then comes Storm, book two.



More non stop action! Plus you get a tour of the US and I learned some things about Nevada and not just that Las Vegas is there.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the last book. Trust no one, you hear so often in the book it makes you wonder.

I love that this series is head rushing from start to finish. I listened in my car through my Audible app on the phone so I couldn’t wait to get in my car and drive!

Have you read Sylo and Storm?




Books Children

Towne Book Center & Cafe Tween Book Club: Sylo by DJ MacHale

I’m so excited to share this new book with you today, Sylo by DJ MacHale! If the author’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s written the popular Pendragon and the Morpheus Road series.

Books Children

Tween Book Club: Beyonders Brandon Mull

Another busy week for me; there’s so much going on I can’t wait to share it!

Recently I met with my tweenies to discuss Brandon Mull’s Beyonders:  a World Without Heroes.  I have to admit, I was excited to read it as his Fablehaven books are popular at the bookstore. Once inside the book, however, I was disappointed.  The story was slow to start and took me probably 200 pages to really get into it.  I was reminded of Justin Cronin’s The Passage; I felt the same way.  Nonetheless, I persevered because I didn’t want to look like a quitter to my mini book clubbers.


I’m glad I finished the book though! I wasn’t the only reader who didn’t care for it but most importantly, I got to hear from other readers why they enjoyed it, which gave me a new appreciation for the book.  One reader told me that all my unanswered questions would be answered in the following books.  Again, this reminds me so much of The Passage, when everyone kept saying “wait until The Twelve to find out about Amy”!

Meanwhile, here’s a blurb about Beyonders: A World Without Heroes

Jason Walker has often wished his life could be less predictable—until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank into a strange, imperiled world. Lyrian holds dangers and challenges unlike anyplace Jason has ever known. The people all live in fear of their malicious wizard emperor, Maldor. The brave resistors who once opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.

In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.

The main enjoyment I got from the book was the language.  The mixture of old fashioned 18th century speak mingled with 21st century colloquialisms was a fun mix.  Here are some examples:

“I have been too long without new companionship.  Pray, regale me with tales of your journey.”

“Do not dishonor your involvement,” Jasher chided.  “For each of us destiny is a blend of potential, circumstances, and choices.  You could flee and hide.  You could bargain with Maldor.  You have chosen a heroic path.  Walk it without apology.”

See? Nice huh?  Also, the book could appeal to boys and girls because the supporting character is a girl, Rachel.  She is frequently frustrated by her lack of position in the other world, because she’s used to modern times.  She has to learn to be in the background, which is a struggle for her.  I many young female readers may have similar opinions.

So.  I’d love to know what you think of Beyonders.  Or of any of Brandon Mull’s books.  Spirit Animals has just come out and I’m dying to read it.  Check it out at

spirit animals

Next month’s pick: Sylo by DJ MacHale!