A Few Good Reads...

Tuesday September 20, 2011

After a what seemed like a very short summer and a crazy back-to-school last few weeks I am finally caught up here in the library enough to at least start posting some reviews! I read a lot this summer and found quite a few enjoyable books that I am more than happy to talk to you about!

Texas Gothic 
by Rosemary Clement-Moore 
Hardcover, 416 pages 
Published July 12th 2011 by Random House Children's Books 

Summary: Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face. 

Pontifications...I really enjoyed this paranormal mystery and the cover is a real attention grabber! Amy is a strong female lead and her practical no-nonsense sister Phin is another great character.

As Amy tries her best to hide the "gifts" of her paranormally inclined family, the ghost around her aunt's farm seem to feel differently. At every turn it seems someone or something is trying to reach out and tell her something. Including the infamous "Mad Monk" who Amy is starting to think just might have it in for her.

As weird and sometimes dangerous events start happening around her aunts and neighbors farms, Amy is desperate to figure out whats going on. It doesn't help that Ben McCulloch, who lives on a nearby farm and thinks her whole family is nuts, keeps showing up when she least expects...and why does cowboy McCrankypants have to look so good in that saddle?

Super fun paranormal mystery mixed with a little romance :) This is a great addition to any middle school or high school library!

In My Mailbox (66)

Sunday July 17, 2011
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

by Carrie Harris
by Cyn Balog
by Jennifer Ziegler
  by Dana Reinhardt
by Rosemary Clement-Moore
by Eve Edwards
by Tera Lynn Childs
by Gemma Halliday
by Anna Carey
by Liz Gallagher
by Tessa Gratton
by Various authors...
by Brian Meehi
by Robison Wells
by Hilari Bell
by Holly Cupala


Wildcat Fireflies by Amber Kizer

Thursday July 14, 2011

Wildcat Fireflies 
by Amber Kizer
July 11, 2011
Delacorte Press
Goodreads summary: Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra—the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. If people die without the help of a Fenestra, their souls are left vulnerable to be stolen by the Aternocti, a dark band of forces who disrupt the balance of good and evil in the world and cause chaos.

Having recently lost her beloved Auntie—the woman who showed her what it meant to be a Fenestra—Meridian has hit the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another Fenestra. Their search leads them to Indiana, where Juliet, a responsible and loving teenager, works tirelessly in the nursing home where she and several other foster kids are housed. Surrounded by death, Juliet struggles to make a loving home for the younger kids, and to protect them from the violent whims of their foster mother. But she is struggling against forces she can't understand . . . and even as she feels a pull toward the dying, their sickness seems to infect her, weighing her down. . . .

Will Meri and Tens find Juliet in time to save her from a life of misery and illness? And will Meri and Tens' own romance weather the storms of new discoveries?

Pontifications...I remember reading Meridian way back in 2009 (review HERE) and just totally loving the originality of the story. I've been looking forward to this sequel for a long, LONG time and I was way excited when I received it for review...I couldn't wait to see what happened next for Meridian and Tens!

The story picks up pretty much right at the end of the first book with Tens and Meridian leaving Revelation, Colorado after the death of Meridians Aunt and their confrontation with the evil Aternocti. The head out on the road as they search for other Fenestra.

When Tens and Meridian stop for a rest and a meal in the town of Carmel, Indiana, something leads them to hunkering down for a bit in the small and friendly town. While staying in a small cottage in exchange for doing odd jobs Tens and Meridian meet a handful of friends who become vital in their quest. They are also still finding out clues about her Fenestra heritage using Aunties diary and other signs they find along the way. 

The narration of the chapters bounce back and forth between Meridian and Juliet, the young girl that Meridian and Tens are searching for. As Meridian narrates the quest to find her, Juliet tells us about her life at the horrid orphanage/nursing home she lives in.  Things are bad for Juliet....REALLY bad. The question is, will Meridian and Tens find her in time, before it's too late?

This is a MUST read series for anyone who likes fantasy, adventure and romance. I would really recommend reading the first book because the story would be incomplete without it.  The blossoming romance between Meridian and Tens gets a little "heated" in a few scenes so I think this one is best suited for ages 14 and up!

I'm hoping for a book three!!!

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey...Read It NOW People...

Saturday July 2, 2011

Jasper Jones
by Craig Silvey
Alfred A. Knopf
Available now
I'm not going to spend a lot of time reviewing this one. There is so much praise out there why reinvent the wheel? Just Google it :) I will say I LOVED it, every single piece of it. I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down. Here's a great description I found on the web....If you still aren't satisfied, like I said Google the book and author and you'll find all the awards and starred reviews to your hearts content!

...Brilliant, funny, heartbreaking and whimsical – this novel from Craig Silvey is a stunning coming-of-age story that will strike a chord with readers of all ages. 

Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a
distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie.

So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu. And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

Set during the summer of 1965-66, when Doug Walters scored his first Test century, a year after the Nedlands Monster was the last man hanged in WA, in the midst of the Vietnam War, and the same summer the Beaumont children disappeared from a beach near Adelaide, the characters in Jasper Jones will make you laugh, shock you to attention and stay in your heart forever.

Nightspell by Leah Cypress

Tuesday June 28, 2011

by Leah Cypress
May 2011
Greenwillow Books
Goodreads: Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.

Darri's sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister . . . if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?

Pontifications...I really enjoyed the awesome writing and originality of Mistwood so I was really excited when I received Nightspell in the mail for review. Although the stories are completely different I enjoyed this read every bit as much as the first!

The concept of a kingdom ruled and inhabited by mostly the dead risen from the grave to avenge their murders is so AWESOME! Just like Mistwood there is tons of mystery and intrigue....you're never quite sure who is on who's side and who really are the good guys???

If you're hoping for bits of Mistwood crossover, sorry....maybe in the next book? I hope so! I would love to see those characters mingle, lots of interesting possibilities there :)

The three main characters are siblings Darri, Callie and Varis, who are each used in various ways by their father and sent to eerie kingdom of Ghostland in hopes of a marriage proposal to unite their two lands. What they find when they arrive is that nothing is as it seems and that they are on their own against a plot that may or may not involve death to them all.

Both of these books are a must read for fantasy lovers! Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

***A Kirkus Starred review book.

The first book:

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

In My Mailbox (65)

Sunday June 25, 2011
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

Woow, it has been awhile since I've participated in IMM....between preparing for BEA this year, my son's high school graduation and end of year stuff at the library, I've been a little, well, distracted :) Soooooooooooooooooooo it may seem like I have an abnormal amount of books but this is about a months worth! Here goes............

Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick....funny story about this one, every day I went to the Scholastic booth at BEA they had already ran out of review copies. I was super excited to find a nicely boxed one delivered right on my doorstep when I got home!


Thursday June 16, 2010

Okay, I know this is a little late but for some reason the end of year stuff here at school is getting the best of me this year! Ummm could it be that I'm trying to inventory over 10,000 books by myself while middle school kids who have ants in their pants to start summer are in here driving me crazy??!! Yes! That's it :) anyway....

The winner of the signed copy of Passion by Lauren Kate is..............

Spellbound by Books!

Congrats Melissa and thanks to everyone who entered!