Almost Ready to Picka Winner!!! I'm So Excited!

May 31, 2009
I only need 5 new followers who comment and then my contest will be over! I think I'll use to pick the winner. As soon as I get 25 comments I'll pick the winner ASAP and find out what book you want! Hee Hee can't wait! If you are a new follower who hasn't commented yet go here.

It's HOT...and I had to go buy groceries (blah)

May 30, 2009
If you know anything about western Washington you know that 80+ degrees in May are rare. Well it's supposed to be like this for the next whole week! I'm trying to do some housework (icky icky icky) Anyway, I have a few reviews which I will finish up and put up later, Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow (which I gobbled up in a matter of hours) and Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman which I totally and completely adored! Okay, well I'm off to start another load of laundry....

My Book Personality

May 28, 2009

Involved Reader: You don't just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase - discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others.

Yup, that just about sums it up!

What book personality are you? Take the quiz here.

Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana

May 27, 2009
Chloe Rodriquez values three things above all else - her family; her best friend Rock, and Lolita, her Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster. With a black body, blue airbrushed flames and perfect sloping ape hangers, Lolita is Chloe's last connection to her beloved uncle, Seth, who left her the bike when he died last summer. So when a failing grade threatens to seperate Chloe from her motorcylce, she vows not to let that happen... no matter.

Once confronted with the option of losing her bike Chloe signs up for after school tutoring. Embarrassing yes, but worth it. Gordon, her new tutor is cute, brainy and pretty uptight. After a few sessions with Chloe he seems to be loosening up and Chloe is developing a hardcore crush. When the pressures mount, Chloe even gets Gordon to skip school and they find themselves in some serious make-out sessions.

Chloe is falling hard for Gordon, but is it worth risking her heart? She vowed to never get hurt again after Seth died but maybe Gordon is worth it. On top of everything else Rock has been coming on strong telling Chloe he would change his womanizing ways if only she would be his girl. Is he serious? Probably not and Chloe won't risk their friendship for a roll in the hay. Speaking of either boy worth losing the big "V" to anyway?

Compound all of this with grades, a pair of three month old twin brothers, questions about her adoptive parents and it's no wonder Chloe has been spending so much time at her private sanctuary down on the Murphy's dock.

I really enjoyed this book. I zipped through it in a matter of hours. I just couldn't put it down! As I was reading I kept thinking how cool it would have been to have a friend like Chloe when I was in high school...actually she probably would have scared me, a 5'10" biker chick! In reality she is a sweet girl devoted to her family and friends. The love triangle between Chloe, Rock and Gordan plays out until the very end as Chloe finds out who will be there for her no matter what.

An enjoyable read about life, love and loss that will make your heart all a'flutter with memories of first love. There are a few expletives and limited sexual scenes but I think this book would be great for 7th graders and beyond. Read it!

Score: 4 points

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti..........May 25, 2009

Derek's clearly the love Marisa's been waiting for, but there's just one problem: he has a girlfriend. Nash is clearly wrong for Marisa, but he's crushing on her. And, as if life wasn't complicated enough, Marisa's also contending with a best friend who won't stop falling for older guys, a family that's acting totally bizarre, and a secret crush on a guy whose identity is a mystery - even to her.

It's the beginning of Sophomore year and Marisa has just got back from two months of summer camp. She and her best friend Sterling have decided they are going to reinvent themselves, especially after Marisa's breakdown the previous year due to her anxiety disorder. Her first goal is to find a boyfriend and she is totally head over heals for Derek who unfortunately is head over heals for Sierra...or is he? Marisa first notices Derek smiling at her whenever she steals a glance at him in school. Then one day in art class he sits by her and starts up a conversion. Maybe, just maybe he does like her!

Meanwhile, Marisa has rekindled her childhood friendship with Nash her geeky, brainy neighbor who she feels she can talk to about anything. Things get complicated when Nash admits he likes Marisa but he is still there for her when she needs him. BFF Sterling is also causing complications for Marisa with her aspirations of finding an online boyfriend in addition to getting mad whenever she feels Marisa isn't spending enough time with her.

Colasantis' easy flowing prose made this book an enjoyable easy read. At first I felt like Marisa was saddled with what seemed like an overload of stresses until I really thought about all the issues that kids are dealing with today. Although Marisa is also dealing with her anxiety disorder everything else was pretty much what EVERY kid deals with. Dating, friends, school, family and self-image issues just to name a few.

I totally recommend this book for middle schoolers, high schoolers and beyond. I left a few of the subplots out of the review but they are just bonuses to this sweet, sensitive coming-of-age story.

Score: 4 points

Willow by Julia Hoban

by Julia Hoban

Seven months ago on a rainy March night, Willow's parents drank too much wine at dinner and asked her to drive them home. But they never made it-Willow lost control of the car, and both her parents were killed.

After the accident Willow leaves behind what she refers to as her "old life" and moves in with her older brother who is a newly married, young college professor with a new baby. From the beginning Willow feels like a burden and a constant reminder of her brothers loss due to the accident she believes was her fault.

Willow has not been able to cry since waking up from the accident and her only release from her pent up emotional pain is to slice into her arms and legs. "You couldn't really say that something that hurts so badly feels good exactly. It's more that it just feels right. And something that feels so right just couldn't be bad. It has to be good."

Willow is also working at the college library while attending the local high school in order to help her brother out with finances. This is where she meets Guy, the first person to discover her clandestine activities. He is devastated by what she is doing to herself and vows to be there if she ever needs him. What follows is a blossoming romance that Willow is not prepared to deal with. This relationship along with the guilt she feels about her brother is the heart of this story.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I connected with Willow in more of a motherly sense, my heart was breaking for her! She is definitely a character you will care about. Hoban's descriptive writing in regards to Willow's cutting moments is so vivid I literally started to feel queasy and had to skip ahead! I'll admit that I have a pretty weak stomach and at times it felt like I was sitting right there with her.
I encourage parents and schools to purchase this book because there are so many fallacies out there regarding why kids self-mutilate. Hoban does a great job of showing the pain and horror behind the actual circumstances.

Score: 4 points

The Uninvited by Tom Wynne Jones

An interesting plot and with varied and likable characters, this book was enjoyable from the start. A definite departure from the books that I normally read but I have to say it was a pleasure read!

Mimi has just left college in NYC on break from both academics as well as the married professor she has been having an affair with. Needless to say things did not end well and she needs to get out of Dodge! She's heading to her fathers lazy summer house in Canada to get away from it all and spend some time with herself to sort things out. Supposedly the house has been empty for the last twenty years but Mimi finds out quite the contrary. Upon her arrival she finds someone else living there, someone pretty cute! Jay and Mimi are fairly close to the same age and they soon find out that is not all they have in common.

A mystery unfolds as someone keeps breaking in and leaving weird things around the house including a dead bird. When the trespasser goes too far and starts stealing things, expensive things, Jay and Mimi know they need to figure out what is going on. As their plan unfolds they have no idea what is in store for them and the secrets revealed will change both their lives forever.

If you like a good mystery with a dose of creepiness this book is for you! I would recommend this book for high schoolers and above. There is nothing more than a few expletives but middle schoolers may get lost in the plot and various narratives.

Overall score: 3.75

Bookmark and Share

I Fixed My Comment Box Error!

Wow I feel like a total dufus....but if you'd like to comment now you can. Maybe tell me this happens to everyone (even if it doesn't) and make me feel better! Thanks to Lexie for letting me know about this too!

The Awakening by Kelly Armstrong

The Awakening
by Kelly Armstrong

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

Okay I'm just going to do a real quick review on this book because it's been out for a while and I know there are a ton of reviews on it. I just had to put my two cents in though because it was sooo good! This book is even better than the 1st in the series (The Summoning). You know that feeling when you finish a book and you are panicing because it just came out and now you have wait like probably a year before the next one comes out? YES! That was me last night...Anyway, without spoiling anything for you guys who haven't read it yet. I'm rooting for the underDOG to get the girl! My only real complaint about the book (if you can call it that) is that I really wan't to strangle Tori...she is so annoying! Is it bad to want a character to be "offed" so you don't have to listen to her whine anymore? Just kidding, but seriously!

Okay there you have it, not really a review more or less just me saying, "Read this series!" Oh and if you don't know yet this series is a trilogy and the thrid book The Reckoning is due out May 2010

Score: 4.5 points

Bookmark and Share

How much does a book cover affect what you read?

When I'm purchasing books for my library (middle school) I am always aware of the book cover. If its corny or to "blah" I almost hesitate in buying it because kids are so visual today (as we all know...hello video games!) If it is a really, really good book then I know I'll just have to work extra hard in pushing it (book talks, showcasing etc.) Thankfully publishers are, for the most part, aware of this and covers are getting better and better.
So my question is...

How much does a book cover affect whether or not you read a book even though you know better (and I mean a book you know nothing about. Lets say you find it at a book warehouse sale)?

After 25 comments(you must also be a follower to win) I will randomly pick someone and send them a copy of one of the following:

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater
(after its release)
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

Good luck and spread the word!
This contest is for anyone who posts including international (Thank you Princess Neve for the reminder!

Bookmark and Share

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

It’s Dade’s last summer at home. He has a crappy job at Food World, a “boyfriend” who won’t publicly acknowledge his existence (maybe because Pablo also has a girlfriend), and parents on the verge of a divorce. College is Dade’s shining beacon of possibility, a horizon to keep him from floating away. Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet—and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer, and Dade will use every ounce of strength he’s gained to break from his past and start fresh with the future.

This is definitely one of the best books I've read in long time. I couldn't put it down! Through the author's mesmerizing writing I could feel the sheer loneliness that Dade felt growing up in a midwestern town feeling isolated and out of place as he laid in his bed night confessing to his ceiling fan he is gay. Don't get me wrong, Dade never comes across as helpless or pitiful instead you can see he is biding his time believing that there has to be more out there for him. His first attempt at reaching out is Pablo a boy he loves but who is using him to express physical feelings he can't even admit to himself. Although Pablo treats Dade horribly and is pretty much a jerk, I couldn't help feeling sorry for him as he desperately tried to deny who he really is.
A bright for spot for Dade is when he meets the neighbors niece who is staying for the summer. She is the first person who really pushes Dade to be himself and shows him he is actually a pretty great guy. I would hate to see this book get tagged as only a gay "coming out" book. It's a great read and comes a cross as one point of view of the thousands of teens out there who are just trying to figure out who they are and what life has in store for them.
Moderately sexual explicit scenes a long with drinking and drug use make this book appropriate for high school and above.
Score: 5 points

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

The undead can really screw up your senior year . . . Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

Yes, another vampire novel! But luckily we have some creative authors out there like Fantaskey who keep coming up with unique story lines like this one. There is no beating around the bush here Jessica finds out right away exactly why Lucius (I just love that name if only I were having more kids) has come to find her...she's a vampire princess. Yikes! That would freak any teenage girl out! I like that Jess is just your average American girl with yes, I dare say curves and she's definately her own person and not afraid to clean up some horse poo. Of course we have the classic love triangle but again the author plays this out differently than most and there are even a few twists in the end. Fans of vampire books and romance fiction will absolutely enjoy!

Score: 4 points

New Review books today!

These are the books I got today...yes I have my work cut out for me...but in a good way! These need to be done by June 13...think I can do it??? Of course I can...I'm a librarian and that's what we do :o)

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

This is the third installment in the Mortal Instruments Series (City of Bones, City of Ashes). If you haven't read them it now! I love this fantasy series and highly recommend it for anyone who likes romance or fantasy especially if you like the "forbidden love" theme a la books like Stephanie Meyers Twilight series. There are a lot of interesting diverse characters and every otherworld creature you could think of from demons and vampires to werewolves and angels. I had a few questions at the end and it seemed to me that there was some plot lines left open but I know there is a prequel in the works and maybe we'll find out more. But like I said, read these books you won't be disappointed!

Score: 4.5 points

Anyone out there?

Well here it is, my first official blog post. In the next few days I'll be adding book reviews and books I'm excited about reading and the fact that it's almost summer!

For any HMS kids reading this I'm hoping you'll use this blog to find some great books you'll love to read and I'll also be posting contest winners (man I really need to show the bookmark contest winners!) See ya soon!