Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Two for Teen Tuesday - Paula Morris:Ruined and Dark Souls and NICU Update

Ruined is the first book I read by Paula Morris. In this ghost story, Rebecca is spending a year in New Orleans with her aunt while her dad travels. Morris uses the setting and history of New Orleans to bring her story (and ghost) to life. Rebecca remains a strong female character and doesn't let herself get stupid over an attractive boy.

This story isn't perfect and leaves a few unanswered questions that hopefully get answered in the second book of this two book series. My more mature teen students are attracted to Morris's style. She has a little bit of romance and a lot of supernatural weirdness in her stories. The Lexile on Ruined is 860. Unbroken has a Lexile measure of 760, so with their amazingly cool covers, they appeal to older teens who are reading below level.

Dark Souls also by Paula Morris is sent in York, England. Again, Morris gives the reader a great sense of the setting. Her characters experience growth in a way that seems natural. I found Dark Souls a stronger book than Ruined. 

She uses a John Milton quote as a theme for this novel. "He that has light within his own clear breast may sit i'th' center and enjoy bright day. But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts benighted walks under the midday sun; himself his own dungeon."

This story is about Miranda Tennant, a girl who arrives in York with a tragic secret. She hopes she won't run into the ghosts who roam the city, but soon she discovers that something dark and deadly is being planned. The romance in Morris's novels seems natural and not cheesy and never overshadows the story. The Lexile measure is 770, so it is easily accessible to any teen. 

When my students read either of these  Morris novels, they always read the second one and would have read others if I'd had them. 

Cayli and her mom, Alysen, brought over twelve more books (nine board books and 3 hardbacks) for the NICU babies. We've received 53 new books in the last month, which means we can touch ten more new lives with literacy. Thanks to all who have donated to our cause. 

If you'd like to donate to our cause, here is the post that shows you how: NICU Update

Cayli is the owner of Night Chayde, a style and fashion blog, and she really knows what to wear. I on the other hand feel like if I have a book or two with me, I'm fully accessorized, so get your fashion advice from Cayli and get your reading recommendations from me. 

Have you read any of Paula Morris's work? Are you reading anything fright inducing for Halloween month?


  1. lol at your 'accessorize with a book' comment;; it's so true! Right now I have two paperback books in my bag, and three or four loaded onto my Nextbook-- that's so much easier of a decision than what to wear to work in the morning! The books you reviewed sound interesting; I'll have to keep my eye out for them!

    1. You sound like you have your priorities straight. I always take one book unless I am close to halfway through, and then I take two - just in case.