Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Wednesday December 30, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday...books I can't wait to read hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

by Karen Kincy
Available July 2010
Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.

When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate-into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and-most importantly-stay alive.

This sounds so interesting!

Author Derek Landy Blog Tour!

Monday December 28, 2009

The Skulduggery Pleasant series has been popular in our library since the debut of book one! Today we have a few questions for author Derek Landy and info on his super hot series!

Book 1:
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he'll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That's right, they're the heroes.

Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle's most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the scepter is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real.

So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.

Book 2:

Valkyrie Cain-once known to the world as twelve-year-old Stephanie Edgely-has learned a great deal since beginning her apprenticeship to Skulduggery Pleasant, the well-dressed living-dead wizard-detective. But she hasn't learned nearly enough to defeat the horrors massing against her and her friends:

An old foe of Skulduggery's, Baron Vengeous, is bent on bringing back to life the horrible Grotesquery-an unkillable monster assembled from the most fearsome beasts of legend.

It's up to the ingenious, fearless, and hilarious Valkyrie and Skulduggery to stop the Grotesquery from coming fully to life. Because once it is alive, it will call to its masters, the evil Faceless Ones whose return will mean the end of the world.

Book 3:
Valkyrie screamed, sprinting toward Skulduggery.

He looked up and reached out to her, but it was too late.

f you've read the other Skulduggery books by Derek Landy (and you really should have read them by now), you've seen it all before: Some bad guy wants to bring about the end of the world, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie fight valiantly to stop it from happening. A few people get hurt, sure, but everything's all right in the end.

Well, not this time.

Now Mr. Landy we have a few questions for you!

I read on your website that you used to use to write screenplays for zombie movies..considering zombies (among other paranormal things) are all the rage right now, what is your favorite zombie movie and/or book and why?

My favourite zombie movie is probably… eeep, I don’t know… “Dawn of the Dead,” maybe. I used to love that when I was a teenager! The remake isn’t bad at all- I was quite impressed. I’m pretty sure, actually, that I cannot answer this question! “28 Days Later” is terrifying! “Shaun of the Dead” is hilarious! “Zombieland” is brilliant! See??

The first Skullduggery Pleasant book is a Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers Choice Nominee for 2010 (http://www.pnla.org/). As a writer, does this kind of recognition of your work help fuel your writing goals or would you still be writing if only your relatives were reading your work?

Writer’s WRITE, regardless of whether or not anyone is reading. It’s what we do. If I had never come up with Skulduggery, if I had never made it this far in my career, I’d still be writing in my spare time, TRYING to make it. Really, I wouldn’t have any other choice. Writing is like a sickness that you just never recover from.

As a published writer, awards and nominations and this kind of recognition is astonishingly important. Books are written in a vacuum, away from normal people, where the writer lives in his head for months on end. To be nominated for the Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers Choice Award lets me know that there are actually people out there who are reading these things…! You have to understand, before Skulduggery, I had never won anything in my life! Being nominated for these things still kinds of freaks me out…!


Derek Landy is visiting more library blogs all this week. Read more about him and about Skulduggery Pleasant at these great blog sites: Essex Library Teen Space, Green Bean Teen Queen, Read Kiddo Read, and Wondrous Reads.

You can also read Derek Landy’s hilarious new personal blog, “Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday December 23, 2009

I'll be busy doing holiday stuff for the next few days ( I put everything off 'til the last minute) but just wanted to thank everyone who follows and reads my blog. I've had so much fun and have chatted with so many awesome people since I started the blog way back in May of this year.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Book Review - Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin

Monday December 21, 2009

Freaks and Revelations
by Davida Wills Hurwin
Released September 1, 2009
Little, Brown and Company

This raw, moving novel follows two teenagers-one, a Mohawk-wearing 17-year-old violent misfit; the other, a gay 13-year-old cast out by his family, hustling on the streets and trying to survive.

Acclaimed author Davida Wills Hurwin creates a riveting narrative told in alternating perspectives of their lives before and after the violent hate crime that changed both their futures. This tragic but ultimately inspirational journey of two polarized teens, their violent first meeting, and their peaceful reunion years later is an unforgettable story of survival and forgiveness.

This story is inspired by the real lives of Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal, who have shared their story on The Oprah Winfrey Show and NPR.

Wow, this is one of those books that you want to tell all your friends about. You want everyone to read it because it is so moving and truthful and truly enlightening. I am going to MAKE my own kids read this book.

Hurwin does one of the best jobs I've ever seen in character development. Characters you should hate, who seem to have no redeeming qualities at all are still sympathetic because you can see the whole picture, you can see why this person is the way they are.

This is a well written, excellent and important story. I also appreciate that the author balances the good with the bad. It's not a book that is so heavy and down trodden that it will be emotionally exhausting to get through. Hurwin portrays the horror of bigotry and hate but leaves you with the knowledge that people are capable of change.

As a librarian I have to say this book is best suited for high school and above but I'm going to let my fourteen-year-old daughter read it because I think she should.

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Update

Monday December 21, 2009

Just a quick update:

Finished reading Fallen by Lauren Kate

Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin

So far so good!

In My Mailbox (25)

Sunday December 20, 2009

In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren is a way to share what you new books get each week. So, the following books are all ARCs I received in the mail this week for review or bought :o)

For Review:

by Chloe Neill
Available January 5, 2010

As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…

When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.

The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.

Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of a firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…

Some Girls Are
by Courtney Summers
January 5th, 2010
St. Martin's Griffin

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.

The Carbon Diaries 2017
by Saci Lloyd
September 3rd, 2009
Hodder Children's Books

It's over a year since her last diary and Laura Brown is now in her first year of university in London, a city still struggling to pull itself together in the new rationing era. Laura's right in the heart of it; her band, the dirty angels, are gigging all over town until a police crackdown on rioting students forces them out of the city. After a brief exile on her parents' farm, the angels set off in a battered VW bus on a tour of Europe with the fabulous Tiny Chainsaws in the Distance. The tour soon unravels, however, in an increasingly dramatic sequence of events that include drought in Europe and Africa, a tidal-wave of desperate immigrants, a water war in the Middle East and a city-wide face off with the army in London. Not to mention infidelity, betrayal, friendship, love and massive courage. How long can Laura distance herself from the struggle? And more importantly, how can she keep her style and hope alive in a world on the edge of madness?


Fallen by Lauren Kate

The Seven Rays by Jessica Bendinger

That was my week...how was yours??!!

Book Review - Buck Fever by Cynthia Chapman Willis

Saturday December 19, 2009

Buck Fever
By Cynthia Chapman Willis
Released October 27, 2009
Published by Feiwel & Friends

Twelve-year-old Joey MacTagert’s dad wants his son to carry on the family tradition of hunting. But Joey has “buck fever”—he can’t pull the trigger on a deer, and hates the idea of killing animals. He’s more interested in art and hockey, two activities that his dad barely acknowledges.

Joey’s dad wants him to use his special skill in tracking to hunt down the big antlered buck that roams the woods near their home. Joey knows how to track Old Buck, but has kept secret from his father the reason he’s gained the deer’s trust. When trouble between his parents seems to escalate, Joey and his older sister, Philly, find themselves in the middle of tensions they don’t fully understand. Joey wants to keep the peace, and if conquering his buck fever will do it, he has to try.

As much as I detest it when kids in the library say "Ew Mrs. Wishard, that's a girl book" or vice-versa...I have to admit this book is a killer book for boys and well, girls who are into hunting.

I especially think it is great for boys because in addition to the hunting theme there is also a great storyline about boys and their fathers and the dynamics of father-son relationships.

This is a well written book that would be great for a middle schooler. There is even a little bit of mystery and suspense surrounding a reclusive neighbor who is rumored to kill trespassers in the woods surrounding his home...an after effect caused by his time serving in the Vietnam war.

Best suited for 5th grade and up.

A Peek at a Prize!

Thursday December 17, 2009

Here is a peek at one of the prizes that will be given away in the 12 Blogs of Christmas Contest....I'll be adding some earrings too!

Leather cord necklace with sterling findings made for you by me!

More to come :o)

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Wednesday December 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday...books I can't wait to read hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

by Leah Cypess
Available April 27, 2010
Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins

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 Mistwod.

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.

I'm really excited about this one, it sounds really good!

Go to the author's website for more info www.leahcypess.com

Twelve Blogs of Christmas - Day 3

Monday December 14, 2009

12 Blogs of Christmas Contest

The 12 Blogs of Christmas
From the second blog of Christmas, Literary Escapism gave to you...

Library Lounge Lizard!

Today's contest includes :

I'll pick 3 winners who will have a variety of books to choose from-each picking 4 books and a few other little prizes!

- A Hardback copy of Wicked by Nancy Holder
- A Hardback copy of The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
-An ARC of The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz
-An ARC of Buck Fever by Cynthia Chapman Willis
-An ARC of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
-An ARC of My Invented Live by Lauren Bjorkman
-An ARC of Duplikate by Cherry Cheva
-An ARC of Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
-An ARC of Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
-An ARC of Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
-A paperback copy of How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation by Simone Elkeles
-An ARC of Candor by Pam Bachorz

To enter:
  • leave a comment (with your contact info!) on this post (must be a follower to qualify)
  • +3 entries for posting about this contest on your blog
  • +5 entries for posting about this contest in your sidebar
  • +1 for each time you Twitter about it

Day 4 of the Twelve Blogs of Christmas: Lit Bites

In My Mailbox (24)

Sunday December 13, 2009

In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren is a way to share what you new books get each week. So, the following books are all ARCs I received in the mail this week for review or bought :o)

For Review:

The Owl Keeper
by Christine Brodien-Jones
Available April 2010

Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.

According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appear to unite owls and sages against the powers of the dark. Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. Max is no longer brave. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, and the silver owls are extinct. At least that’s what the High Echelon says. But Max knows better.

Shadow Mirror
by Richie Tankersley Cusick
Available February 2010

Unsettling. There’s no better word to describe Miranda Barnes’s ability to hear the cries of the dead, feel the wind move her hair when they run by, and—dare she look into a mirror—see the reflection of a ghostly woman behind her. There’s only one person to turn to for support: Etienne. As sexy as he is mysterious, Miranda can’t help but be drawn to him. He believes her; he wants to help her. But there’s a secret in Etienne’s past, something Miranda’s on the verge of discovering. As paranormal activity escalates, passion grows, and soon Miranda is caught up in both love . . . and tragedy.

The Dead End
by Mimi McCoy
Available May 2010

Casey Slater can’t believe her bad luck. It’s the summer before seventh grade, and instead of the perfect vacation she’d planned with her best friend, Casey is in a remote country town, where her parents are restoring an old, creaky, creepy house. Worst of all, everyone else in town thinks the old house is haunted. And soon Casey thinks so, too -- a vase explodes, a heavy china cabinet falls over on its own -- and it seems like the ghost doesn’t want them there. Casey thought she’d be dying of boredom, but now she’s scared to death!

Roses See Red
by Cecil Castellucci
Available August 2010

by Eireann Corrigan
Availble August 2010

The Healing Spell
by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Available July 2010

Twelve-year-old Livie is living with a secret and it's crushing her. She knows she is responsible for her mother's coma, but she can't tell anyone. It's up to her to find a way to wake her momma up.

Stuck in the middle of three sisters, hiding a forbidden pet alligator, and afraid to disappoint her daddy, whom she loves more than anyone else, Livie struggles to find her place within her own family as she learns about the powers of faith and redemption. Livie's powerful, emotional, and sometimes humorous story will stay with readers long after the last line is read.

Set in the lush bayou of Louisiana, Kimberley Griffiths Little brings Livie's story to life with power and grace.

And Then I found Out the Truth
by Jennifer Sturman
Available July 2010

Delia Truesdale is still searching for the truth about her mother, who is in hiding somewhere in South America. But for now, Delia has to make do with her mystery-solving in New York City, alongside her Aunt Charley (a downtown hipster), her Aunt Patience(an uptown ice queen), a detective with a questionable taste in neckties, an eccentric psychic, her brainiac friend, and Quinn, the wealthy, gorgeous boy who--gasp!-- seems to return Delia's affections. Too bad Quinn's shady CEO dad may be involved in the scheme Delia is trying to crack. And a trip to South America may be in order after all...

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else
by Erin McCahan
Available June 2010

Here Comes the Bride -- If She Can Pass Chemistry.

Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She's really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That's the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother with a small personality complex. Bronwen knows she must have been switched at birth, and she can't wait to get away from her "family" for good.

Then she meets Jared Sondervan. He's sweet, funny, everything she wants -- and he has the family Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he

proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he's not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do?

Movie for Dogs
by Lois Duncan
Available June 2010

When Andi's brother Bruce wants to enter a dog-themed film-making contest, Andi jumps at the opportunity to become a screenwriter. But neither of them expects what happens next -- a producer wants their movie! Can Andi and Bruce's show (and dogs) go Hollywood?

I Survived: The Sinking of the Titanic 1912
by Lauren Tarshis
Available June 2010

Ten-year-old George Calder can't believe his luck -- he and his little sister, Phoebe, are on the famous Titanic, crossing the ocean with their Aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into the first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George's life changes forever.

Lauren Tarshis brings history's most exciting and terrifying events to life in this new fictional series. Readers will be transported by stories of amazing kids and how they survived!

How To Make a Bird
by Martine Murray
Available June 2010

It's dawn, on an empty road in the countryside. Empty, except for the girl in the long, red evening gown, standing next to a bicycle, and looking back at the home she's about to leave. Mannie's ready to start a new life and forget the terrible things that have happened here, but there are questions that need to be answered before she can let go. Questions about her elegant but unstable mother, her brother who's always overshadowed her, and his friend Harry Jacob, who just might be Mannie's boyfriend . . .

And her only clue is an unfamiliar address in Melbourne, written on a scrap of paper found in her brother's room. As she makes her journey to the city, the mystery of this vulnerable, quirky girl is revealed piece by piece in her search for a way to become whole again.

With rare sensitivity and a poetic voice that is unmistakably her own, Martine Murray tells a story about growing up and listening to your heart.

Girls in Love (A Summer Girls Novel)
by Hailey Abbot
Available May 2010

Hot days. Hotter nights. The girls are back.

JESSICA: Connor and I are in love, and we're both ready to take the next step. So then why is he spending all his time with another girl?

LARA: I thought Andrew and I were through, and I met an awesome new guy. But now Andrew's back, and I don't want to choose. Can I pull off dating two boys at once?

GREER: The guys here are gorgeous, but they're all players -- including Hunter. He says he’s done playing games, but can I trust him?

Laying out, hooking up, falling in love. It's going to be one sizzling summer.

Finnikin of the Rock
by Melina Marchetta
Available February 2010
Candlewick Press

At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh in order to save the royal house of his homeland, Lumatere.

And so he stands on the rock of three wonders with his childhood friend Prince Balthazar and the prince's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood. And Lumatere is safe.

Until the 'five days of the unspeakable', when the King and Queen and their children are slaughtered in the palace. And an imposter king takes the throne.
And a curse is put on Lumatere, which traps those caught inside and forces thousands of others to roam the land as exiles, dying of fever and persecution in foreign camps.

But ten years later Finnikin is led to another rock to meet the young novice, Evanjalin. A girl plagued by dark dreams, who holds the key to their return to the Land of light...

Freezer Burned
by Jake Bell
Available May 2010

For a town in the middle of the desert, Kanigher Falls has been awfully cold lately. Sixth grader Nate Banks knows something odd is going on, especially when it starts to snow, and the snow smells like rotten cabbage! It's clear that the supervillian Coldsnap is on the loose. Nate thinks he knows how to defeat him, but superhero Ultraviolet thinks the case is too dangerous. When Coldsnap goes after an American treasure and Ultraviolet can't go it alone, it's up to Nate and his friends to save the day!

This Totally Bites
by Ruth Ames
Available May 2010

Twelve-year-old Emma-Rose Paley has always felt different from her bubbly, outgoing parents. Unlike them, Emma-Rose has pale skin and jet-black hair, is quiet and moody, and prefers gray weather to sunshine. She also hates the taste of garlic, has very sharp incisors, and loves rare burgers. When Emma-Rose uncovers a dark family secret, she has a sudden revelation. Could Emma-Rose be a real, live vampire?

realization. Could Emma-Rose be a vampire?

by Doug TenNapel
Available July 2010

Imagine Garth Hale's surprise when he's accidentally zapped to the spirit world by Frank Gallows, a washed-out ghost wrangler. Suddenly Garth finds he has powers the ghosts don't have, and he's stuck in a world run by the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who would use Garth's newfound abilities to rule the ghostly kingdom. When Garth meets Cecil, his grandfather's ghost, the two search for a way to get Garth back home, and nearly lose hope until Frank Gallows shows up to fix his mistake.

Yes, a CRAZY amount of books! Thanks to Scholastic for the awesome preview box!!!

Holiday Break Reading Challenge

Friday December 11, 2009

I'm especially excited for Christmas break this year so that I can catch up on all my reading. I'll admit I've been super busy and have fallen a bit behind!

Another blogger librarian...Karin (from Karin the Librarian) had the same idea and started the Holiday Break Reading Challenge. If you're planning on reading at all this break, you should join up! Here's the rules:

1) Anyone can participate. I'm focusing on teachers and students, but if you want to cram a little extra reading in during the holiday season, please join us.

2) The Reading Challenge is designed to be self-paced. I will ask for you to set a goal for the number of books you want to read, but if you don't reach the goal - no big deal. This is for fun.

3) You don't have to provide a list of books you plan to read in advance. You can, but it isn't required. My mood determines what I read so I usually don't stick to a list. If I can't do it, I don't want to force others to do it.

4) The Holiday Break Reading Challenge corresponds with my time off from school. So, it starts on Friday, December 18, 2009 and ends on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010 at Midnight.

5) I'll have a section set up on the blog for reviews. Please link your reviews of the books you complete during the challenge.

6) Everyday there a new "Challenge" will be posted. These "Challenges" are designed to help you get to know other bloggers, talk about what you are reading, and share information about books. A new Mr. Linky (if I can figure it out) will be used in each post to record everyone's responses.

7) HERE IS THE BIG ONE! At least one prize will be given out everyday during the Reading Challenge. This might be a book, a bookmark, or other swag. No specifics lined up yet.

8) Be sure to follow the Reading Challenge on Twitter. New challenges and prize information will be announced there, too.

9. Grab the button to put on your blog.

I'll keep you posted and update what books I've read during break :o)

Spread the news and happy reading!

Book Review - The Summer I Got a Life by Mark Fink

Thursday December 10, 2009

The Summer I Got a Life
by Mark Fink
Release Date November 10, 2009
Published by WestSide Books
Andy Crenshaw, 15, is about to have a summer he didn't expect. He lives in the shadow of his good-looking, athletic older brother, Brad, and they don't get along. Lately they only agree on their excitement over their upcoming trip to Hawaii.

But the family's plans change at the last minute, packing the boys off to rural Wisconsin. They'll be stuck with their wacky, free-spirited aunt and uncle--on a farm with no cable TV and Internet.

Things start looking up when Andy scores a date with Laura, a cute teenage local celebrity pianist, and even Brad's impressed. Laura's amazing: besides her late night jam sessions at a local jazz club, she's the funniest, little-bit-crazy girl Andy's ever met.
He's shocked at first to see her in a wheelchair, but nothing stops Laura--her killer bowling skills leave Andy in the dust.

Meanwhile, Andy and Brad share a series of misadventures and narrow escapes that move their brotherhood to a whole different level. It all adds up to a summer no one will soon forget.

Although the paranormal and fantasy stuff is my usual favorite, it is always refreshing to read a straight forward romance or coming-of-age story once in awhile....especially if it is unique and well written!

Andy is a likable character with the normal amount of angst for any healthy teenage boy. He has a self-described love-hate relationship with his brother (with emphasis on the "hate" most of the time) but underneath it all you can definitely see the love they have for each other.

There are also some genuinely funny situations in the book starting with the plane trip to Wisconsin, anyone who has flown on a plane will feel for Andy when he sees his seatmate coming down the isle!

I absolutely love the characters Aunt Karen and Uncle Jim...everybody should have an aunt and uncle just like them....unique, caring and a little bit wacky! They play a huge part in Andy and Brad finding out there is more to life than Myspace and that having a brother you can count on is a true gift.

Andy's relationship with Laura is sweet and hopeful. The author does a great job of showing a person with a disability can be as successful as anyone else who chooses a goal and works hard to achieve it! A lesson that a lot of teens learn the hard way...

A simple, well written story that I definitely recommend!

Andy and Brad talk like a lot of teen boys, swear words and all so I think this book is best suited for 8th grade and up!

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Wednesday December 09, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday...books I can't wait to read hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

The Wager
by Donna Jo Napoli
Available April 2010
Henry Holt

Don Giovanni is no beggar. A few months ago he was the wealthiest and handsomest young man in Messina, until a tidal wave washed away everything he owned. Though he’s now homeless and poor, he still has his pride—and his good looks. Yet winter is coming, and Don Giovanni has nowhere to go, nothing to eat.

When a well-dressed stranger offers him a magical purse in exchange for a simple-sounding wager, Don Giovanni knows he shouldn’t take it. Only the devil would offer a deal like this, and only a fool would accept. But Don Giovanni is desperate. Against his better judgment he enters into a deal with the devil: he will not change his clothes or bathe for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days.

Beauty is a small price to pay for worldly wealth, isn’t it? Unless Don Giovanni loses the wager—and with it his soul.

Set against the stunning backdrop of ancient Sicily, this is a tale of beauty, pride, and above all else hope, a tale that only the masterful Donna Jo Napoli could tell.

Sounds good huh! Plus Donna Jo Napoli is an awesome writer! I have quite a few of her books here in the library....check out all her books at... www.donnajonapoli.com

Book Review - Metalworking 101 for Beaders

Tuesday December 8, 2009

Metalworking 101 for Beaders
Create Custom Findings, Pendants & Projects

by Candie Cooper
Available Now
Published by Lark Books September 2009

Product Description:

Trying to find the perfect clasp or unique bead cap to showcase a favorite bead? Stop searching—and make your own! Metalworking 101 for Beaders provides detailed advice about tools and materials, step-by-step photos of the latest techniques, and a dedicated and delightful teacher to guide you through it all.

Candie explains how to enhance your beading pieces with techniques that include soldering, sawing and annealing, riveting, weaving, doming, piercing, texturing, applying finishes, and more! The book also includes over 30 striking jewelry projects to try!

This is one of those awesome books that I bought even before the publisher sent it to me for review! I found it at Barnes & Noble and bought it immediately!

The book starts off with an excellent chapter on tools explaining what you'll need and why you'll need them! It even includes a section on texturing metal that gives some fun and useful ideas.

The next chapter includes some basic metalworking techniques with excellent pictures and graphics to give examples on the discussed techniques.

One of the great things about this book is that the author includes little sidebars that give you tips and ideas from her own experiences that are extremely helpful! In my experience the best advice comes from artists who have come up with techniques devised from years of experience!

The Projects in this book are fantastic. I've said this before, but occasionally projects or items in some craft books are overly simple or super cheesy....you won't find this here! There are some gorgeous earrings, bracelets and necklaces to make!

Great instructions, awesome pictures and over 30 gorgeous projects make this book worth every cent!

I recommend this book for any beader and would-be metalworker....you can do it!

Book Review Timescape: Dreamhouse Kings Book 4

Monday December 7, 2009

Timescape: Dreamhouse Kings Book 4
by Robert Liparulo
Available Now

Which door would you go through to save the world?

David, Xander, and Toria King never know what new adventures--and dangers--await them beyond the mysterious portals hidden on the top floor of their new house. They have battled gladiators and the German army, dodged soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, and barely escaped a fierce attack in their own home.

Still they are no closer to finding their mother, who was pulled by powerful forces through a portal and lost in time.

Their only hope is to turn the tables on Taksidian, the menacing stranger who wants them out of the house so he can use it for his own twisted purposes.

But everything changes when a trip into the near future reveals the devastating outcome of Taksidian's schemes--a destroyed city filled with mutant creatures. It is only then that the Kings realize what they're really fighting for--the fate of humanity itself.

Book 4 picks right up where Book 3 leaves us....in a futuristic post-apocalyptic world where mankind has been reduced to mutant, human-like creatures. We also learn the fate of newly found Nana and Jesse who's lives hung in the balance when we last saw them.

In their continued search for mom the King family has a few new allies and have come to rely heavily on new friend Keal...Jesse's caretaker and friend. Evil Taksidian is still after them but the family has decided to be proactive and go after HIM. Dad and the boys set out to get the scoop on Taksidian and his evil plans. Unfortunately, once again Taksidian is one step ahead of the Kings and things get ugly.

Timescape has a little less action than the first 3 books but gives us some important clues and sets up to what looks like will be an exciting Book 5: Whirlwind due out this month!

This is a great series that I encourage anyone and everyone to read!

Interested? You HAVE to start with Book 1 House of Dark Shadows!

Visit the author's website to find out more about the books! www.RobertLiparulo.com

Book Review - Beautiful Creatures

Friday December 4, 2009

Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Available Now!
There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere. At least, that's what I thought. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong. There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave. Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations.

But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met.

When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

I think that this was one of the very first review books that I received when I first started my blog and I remember putting it in my January review pile and thinking "Wow, that seems so far away!" Sometimes it's really hard to put off reading a book until its closer to the release date!

Anyway, I was really happy when they moved up the book's debut date and I was able to read it a little early :o)

An imposing book at close to 600 pages, Beautiful Creatures is worth every turn of the page. The setting itself is the heart of the book...a seemingly laid back southern town where history and family lineage is everything. The very epitome of Gone With the Wind and Scarlett O'Hara's Southern pride. Sittin' on the front porch, sippin' a mint julep, all shiny and perspiren' from the heavy Southern heat....yah, yah you get the idea!

Ethan and Lena seem like star-crossed lovers from the very start...he is a hometown boy with ancestors who go all the way back to the Civil War. So does Lena but her family has always been clouded by dark secrets and mystery...something the people of Gatlin County surely don't appreciate.

One of my favorite things about this story are all the great characters. Including Amma, Ethan's would-be grandma and housekeeper, who is definitely a force to be reckoned with. She watches over Ethan like a hawk and uses her age-old wisdom and backwoods magical charms to keep him safe.

There is almost too much to talk about because this story has so many wonderful elements! If you love mystery, fantasy and romance then you will enjoy this book.

A great gift for the holidays...something to snuggle up with on snow day!

Best for middle school and up!

2010 Debut Author Challenge

Monday November 30, 2009

I can't believe that 2009 is almost over...wow, this year went by so fast! With the end of the year comes the anticipation of all the new books to be published next year in the Young Adult genre. This year's 2010 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by The Story Siren!

I am going to commit to read 25 of the many, many books debuting in 2010. You can find the list of the books that have been listed as debuting so far (more will be added as the year goes on) HERE. So...here is what I have so far towards the 25 books that I plan on reading!

Dia Reeves (Bleeding Violet)
Anastasia Hopcus (Shadow Hills)
Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade)
Julie Kagawa (Iron King)
Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall)
Jen Nadol (The Mark)
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore)
Amy Brecount White (Forget-Her-Nots)
Angie Frazier (Everlasting)
Alexandra Diaz (Of All the Stupid Things)
Judith Graves (Under My Skin)
Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich (Eighth-Grade Superzero)
Leah Cypess (Mistwood)
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder)
Jennifer Murgia (Angel Star)

Bree Despain (The Dark Divine)
Ryan Potter (Exit Strategy)
Kat Falls (Dark Life)

Rachel Ward (Numbers)
Jandy Nelson (The Sky is Everywhere)
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade)

Okay, this is what I'll commit to so far...I will add to the list as more author's are announced! The one's marked in bold are books that I already have ARC's for! Nothing like a fun challenge to start off the year!

If you'd like to participate in the challenge go here: 2010 Debut Author Challenge

In My Mailbox (23)

Sunday November 29, 2009

In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren is a way to share what you new books get each week. So, the following books are all ARCs I received in the mail this week for review or bought :o)

Click on the book if you want to read more about it on GoodReads!

For Review:

Books I bought to torture myself (I have a few review books to read before I can read them!)