Thursday, March 24, 2011

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

This phenomenal thriller takes the reader to the world of coding, cryptology, and crime. Susan Fletcher, a cryptographer for the National Security Agency (NSA) must crack and unbreakable, thought-to-be perpetually changing code that threatens not only national security, but her boyfriend's life. While she's fighting off impending doom in the states, her boyfriend David Becker is scouring Spain for the passkey to the code that only the code-writer, Ensei Tankado, and his elusive accomplice have. The only problem is, Tankado was murdered hours earlier. With an assassin on his trail, and a murderer on the loose back at NSA headquarters, Susan and David are in a fight to save their lives and their country. Filled with a plethora of wild twists and turns, Dan Brown's first novel is one the reader will never forget.

Once you start Digital Fortress (published 1998 by St. Martin's Press), it's virtually impossible to stop reading it. The first time I read this book, I stayed up until 3 o'clock in the morning finishing it, much to my parents' chagrin. I physically could not put this book down. When I finally finished, my fingers were stained black from the ink because of where I held the book. I don't think my hand has ever been as stiff from being in the same position for so long since.

Digital Fortress is appropriate for most teen readers, though I would recommend it to mainly teens ages sixteen and older. There is some suggestive content as well as moderate cursing. Digital Fortress also contains some thematic elements (assassinations, violence, suggested sex, suggested drug use) that may not be suitable for all teen readers.

Overall, Digital Fortress is a truly noteworthy book. It is fast-paced, thrilling, and has a wonderful style that is rare even among the best of authors.

Happy readings!

On the Shelf: Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer (copyright 2000, published by Penguin Group) is one of my all time favorite books. Hope and her aunt, Addie, have recently been swindled out of their money, and move down to the small town of Mulhoney, Wisconsin, where they start working at the diner that will change their lives forever. The Welcome Stairways diner is owned by GT Stoop, a man with a plan to run against and dethrone the corrupt mayor of Mulhoney. Hope soon starts making new friends, campaign plans, and finally settling in to a place she just might be able to call home.

Hope Was Here is a proud Newberry Honor Book, the winner of the Christopher Award, and ALA Notable Book, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Bauer weaves a stellar web of plot intertwined with character development that will leave the reader laughing, crying, and dying for more.

This book is appropriate for any teen reader. It does deal with some thematic elements (cancer, maternal issues), but is well worth the read. There are very few, if any, profanities. The romance factor is low, with only a few kisses scattered throughout the book.

Happy readings!

On the Shelf: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Welcome to Bookend: A Book Review Blog for Teens! What I plan to do is review books that I feel are suitable and enjoyable for male and female teen readers alike. I'll try to blog about both mainstream and non-mainstream books. The "On the Shelf" note at the end of each post will inform you of the next book I intend on blogging.

Feel free to email me at if you have appropriate book recommendations.

Enjoy, and happy readings!