Books, Gardens, Dogs
Shimmer (Riley Bloom #2) - Alyson Noel Wow, I am totally blown away by how much Alyson Noel packed into one slim novel! There is a moral and history lesson in an easy to read story. Empathy is probably something most kids around 12 are lacking and Riley is short on this trait, like most 12 year olds. As Riley freely admits she is willful, stubborn and acts rashly. After earning her glow in Radiance, she is granted a vacation with Bodhi and chooses to go to an island her parents had described often. There she comes upon Rebecca, a soul who hasn't moved on from 1733 when she was killed during a slave revolt. She goes through reasons behind Rebecca's pain and helps her move on.The story is well balanced and most teens and pre teens should enjoy this story. The younger ones may be a bit disturbed by the description of "beach bowling" where people are buried up to their head in sand and then, bowling balls are flung at them. There are some bits of violence described and again, some of the mentions might upset younger kids, but in this day of video games, it might not. I loved how Riley truly grows through each encounter and that Bodhi actually guides her instead of using discipline to get her to go in the right direction. This is a perfect follow up to Radiance and now I can't wait to read Dreamscape in Fall, 2011.

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