In My Mailbox (21)

Sunday November 1, 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...*yippeee* :o)

For Review:

How to Ruin Your Boyfriends Reputation
by Simone Elkeles
Available November 1, 2009

Guess who's jetting to the Holy Land this summer!

Remember me, Amy Barak-Nelson—a.k.a the queen of disaster? In case you forgot, my boyfriend Avi is in the Israeli army. A visit is definitely in order.

Somehow my grandmother convinced me to sign up for two weeks of pure hell in a military training base. Getting up before dawn, peeing in a hole, and playing war games in the desert isn't my idea of fun.

But what's worse?

Our team leader turns out to be Avi!


Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Book 4)
By Anna Godberson
Available Now
It’s a new year, and Manhattan’s favorite socialites are stirring up brand-new drama: Elizabeth uncovers a dangerous secret from her past; Diana has an opportunity to follow her heart—and claim her future, Lina discovers money can buy happiness…for a time, and Penelope finds that life without Henry brings unexpected pleasures.

In this dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, old ties are broken, fresh bonds are formed, and every decision comes at a cost.

Hope you had a great week too!

Contest Winner for Nancy Holder Prize Pack!

Thursday October 29, 2009

This took me awhile because I had to count out all the took me FOREVER!
I've even include a couple of pics to show I was super fair! So many people were excited about this contest that I wanted to make sure I was as fair as possible! So here goes, the winner is....


Thank you soooooo sooooo much to everyone who entered!

Here is a pic of all the entries I printed out and numbered:

And a pic of the Random.Org

Nancy has been kind enough to offer this prize pack on other blogs so go and enter again!

In Bed With Books

Sharon Loves Books and Cats
YA Book Queen
Book Obsession

Let me know if you find anymore and I'll add it here. Thanks again everyone I so appreciate all my blog followers and I'm going to try extra hard to offer more great contests like this!

Book Review - GateKeepers by Robert Liparulo

Wednesday October 28, 2009

Dreamhouse Kings Book 3
by Robert Liparulo
Available Now!
In the third novel of this young adult series, the mystery deepens in a house that is more than meets the eye...

It's hard to believe that things could have gotten worse for the King family-but they have. Dad's in handcuffs, the school bully has just found the secret portal that leads from the high school to the house, and Xander is sure he's found Mom, but they can't get back to her. Then Jesse arrives, and he seems to be a virtual Obi Wan of knowledge about the place. But is he the key they need to unlock the secrets, or just a crazy old man?

Dangers are increasing from within and without when Xander makes a startling discovery that explains why they haven't found any rooms that lead to the future. Alongside the threats, though, they're also starting to find some surprising allies.

All they have to do is get organized, get psyched, and get Mom. But that isn't nearly as easy as it sounds.

This is definitely the most intense book in the series yet! I was on the edge of my seat with almost every page! With Dad in a certain predicament, the kids are pretty much on their own for the most part and they go with the motto "Be Strong and Courageous".

It seems that around almost every corner someone, or something is waiting to get in the way of their mission to find mom. Some real bad guys show up in this book but luckily some good guys show up too!

We find out more about the sinister Taksidian and just how far he'll go to possess the house for himself...and what he's done to get where he's at...that dude is NOT nice, in fact he's ruthless. I don't want to give away to much because these books are so great due to surprises and twists in the plot!

Basically, you NEED to read these books if you love a good thriller--you won't be disappointed!


Look for the review of Book 4: Timescape coming next! And then in December Book 5: Whirlwind!

Appropriate for 7th grade and up due to some scary situations!

Visit the Author's website to find out more about the books, enter contests and more!

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Wednesday October 28, 2009

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

The Owl Keeper
by Christine Brodien-Jones
Available April 13, 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.

Maxwell Unger has a secret. And when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again.

The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.

Doesn't this sound great? Kind of a post-apocalyptic vibe like Forest of Hands and Teeth...It's sill a ways off but I'm setting my sights on this one!

Tween Tuesdays (3)

Tuesday October 27, 2009

Tween Tuesday is a meme I first saw at Green Bean Teen Queen and really liked because she is also a librarian who deals with teens and tweens. So, since most of my blog is devoted to YA and teen books I figured that on Tuesdays I can do posts for all the tweeners out there!

The series I'm featuring today is good for tweens but older teens might like them too...Probably because author Chris Grabenstein typically writes books for adults

The Crossroads (Book 1)
Winner of the Anthony Award (Best Children's/Young Adult Novel)
by Chris Grabenstein
Available Now
Zack, his dad, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father’s hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since.

During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn’t over . . . and Zack is directly in his sights.
Award-winning thriller author Chris Grabenstein fills his first book for younger readers with the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made him a fast favorite with adults.

The Hanging Hill (Book 2)
by Chris Grabenstein
Available Now
How serious is stage fright? At the Hanging Hill Playhouse, it can kill you.

After narrowly escaping a malevolent spirit in The Crossroads, Zack and Judy are hoping to relax during the rehearsals for a show based on Judy’s bestselling children’s books. Little do they know that the director is planning to raise a horde of evil specters from the dead, and to accomplish this, he needs a human sacrifice . . . and Zack fits the bill perfectly.

This second book featuring the intrepid Zack and his stepmother, Judy, is full of the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made Chris Grabenstein a fast favorite with young and old alike.

These are great books that combine mystery and the paranormal. The first books concept is just totally creepy and there is a twist to the story that is awesome! The second book is even better with plenty of ghostly apparitions, an evil villain and a plot to take over the world. Could you ask for more?

Other than the obvious, one of the things I really like about the books is the relationship between Zach, his dad and step-mom. A lot of books give the step-parent a bad rap but Judy really cares about Zach and is willing to go the extra mile to help him out. There is an interesting story involving Zach's real mom but you'll have to read the books to find out more!

Another great aspect of these books is that both boys and girls will like them!

Appropriate for 5th grade and up...but I encourage teen, tweens and young adults to read them too, you'll like'em!

Visit Chris Grabenstein's website!

Book Review - The Dying Breath by Alane Ferguson

Monday October 26, 2009

The Dying Breath:
A Forensic Mystery Book 4
by Alane Ferguson
Available Now
Cameryn’s ex-boyfriend is back . . . and ready to kill!

Cameryn had thought she was in love with him. He was smart, strong, and would do anything for her—even kill. Kyle O’Neil disappeared after his first attempt on Cameryn’s life at the end of The Angel of Death. Now he is back for his second.

He’s leaving macabre love notes for her everywhere—on her computer, on her cell phone, and on the body of a dead man. And while everyone is determined to keep Cameryn safe, only she knows that it’s up to her to keep Kyle from killing again—and again. Alane Ferguson delivers her most gripping Forensic Mystery yet!

These books have been so popular here in the library that I was anxious to review this book to see what all the hub-bub is about. Well I was really impressed. Which doesn't surprise me because believe it or not you guys....teens and tweens are fairly discerning readers!

My only disappointment is that I wish I would have read the first three books (which I will now) because although the author does an excellent job of giving you most of the back story, I have a feeling I would have been a lot more emotionally invested in the characters if I'd read the previous books in the series.

These are ultimate books for teens and reluctant readers! They are fast paced and easy reads. Cameryn is an original and trailblazing lead character. I love that she is a total science geek and forensics protege! If you know a teen who is a CSI fan then you have found a series for them!

In addition to the forensics and CSI factor there is also the boyfriend and crush factor. Cameryn may be a brilliant forensics student but she is still in high school and all the normal teen angst factors still apply.

This is an excellent series that would do well in any middle school and high school library. Heck, adults will enjoy them too!

Forensic gore factor make this series best suited for 7th grade and up.

The first 3 books in A Forensic Mystery Series:

Book 1: The Christopher Killer

Book 2: The Angel of Death

Book 3: The Circle of Blood

Visit the authors website!

Book Review - Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen

Monday October 26, 2009

Little Black Lies
by Tish Cohen
Available Now
Sara Black is tiptoeing across a fraying tightrope. As the new eleventh grader at Anton High – the most elite public school in the country – she sticks out like an old VW bus in a parking lot full of shiny BMWs. But being the new kid also brings a certain advantageous anonymity. In Anton High’s world of privilege, intelligence, and wealth, Sara can escape her family’s tarnished past and become whomever she wants. And what’s the harm in telling a few little black lies when it can lead to popularity? That is, until another it girl at Anton becomes jealous of Sara’s social climbing.
With her balance evaporating, one small push could bring Sara crashing down.

Most teens are busy enough worrying about how they look and act...let alone worrying about their parents. Now I know that most teens worry a little about their parents, for the most part it's just about them being too dorky or uptight. But could you imagine being at the most elite high school in the US and having your dad be the custodian AND have OCD? Wow, that would be overwhelming for even the most well-balanced teen!

And for the most part she is well-balanced and nice and really does love her dad. When you first read the summary for the book you might initially think that you won't like Sara because of what she is doing but in reality my heart went out to her.

This book does a great job of describing what it must be like to love someone with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) especially when your trying to put that person first but have your own issues to deal with.

A well written book that takes teen angst to a whole new level.

Sexual references and situations of alcohol use make this book best suited for 8th grade and up.

In My Mailbox (20)

Sunday October 25, 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...*yippeee* :o)

For Review:

Sing Me to Sleep
by Angela Morrison
Available March 4, 2010
BETH HAS ALWAYS BEEN “THE BEAST”--That’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Who could love a beast? Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist and receives the makeover of a lifetime. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Beth.

Things only get better when her choir travels to Switzerland and Beth meets the mysterious Derek. They have an incredible whirlwind romance that makes Beth realize, for the first time, she too can find love. She’s no longer The Beast. In Derek’s eyes, she’s a beauty. But then Scott makes a heartbreaking confession to Beth that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous passionate feelings she has for Derek?

And there’s an even bigger problem: Derek’s got a secret . . . one that could shatter everything.

Front and Center

by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Available Now
After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I'm always in the background... But it turns out other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who's keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is done with, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway...

The Sky is Everywhere

by Jandy Nelson
Available March 9, 2010
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey
dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

Stupid Cupid

by Rhonda Stapleton
Available December 22, 2009
Felicity's no ordinary teen matchmaker...she's a cupid!

Felicity Walker believes in true love. That's why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid's Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn't just a matchmaker...she's a cupid! (There's more than one of them, you know.)

Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: Dog Days
by Jeff Kinney
Available Now
It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.

Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.”

Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything?

Book Review - The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Friday October 23, 2009

The Demon King
by Cinda Williams Chima
Available now!
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can't sell. For as long as Han can remember, he's worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They're clearly magicked-as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history-it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago.

With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father's family at Demonai camp - riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea-the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima.

Although I have Cinda's Heir Series here in my library I have never had the pleasure of reading one of her books until now. The Demon King is right up there with Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore. In depth stories that draw you in and keep you wanting more.

I'm also really happy with the fact that the author chose to have both female and male lead characters. This makes my job easier when trying to get boys to read books because God forbid they read a book with only a strong female lead character! There is just enough of a love story and just enough action and gore (descriptions of fighting and a few characters who meet their demise) to keep everyone happy!

The Demon King is a magnificent beginning to what I expect to be an awesome new trilogy! Exceptional writing, original and in depth storytelling make this a sure hit with fantasy fans of all ages.

Appropriate for 7th grade and up.

Visit the publisher site for The Demon King HERE

Visit Cinda Williams Chima's website for info on all her books (including The Demon King book trailer) HERE

The Heir Series

Book Review - We Were Here by Matt de la Pena

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We Were Here
by Matt de le Pena
Available Now
The story of one boy and his journey to find himself. When it happened, Miguel was sent to Juvi. The judge gave him a year in a group home - said he had to write in a journal so some counselor could try to figure out how he thinks. The judge had no idea that he actually did Miguel a favor. Ever since it happened, his mom can't even look at him in the face. Any home besides his would be a better place to live.

But Miguel didn't bet on meeting Rondell or Mong or on any of what happened after they broke out. He only thought about Mexico and getting to the border to where he could start over. Forget his mom. Forget his brother. Forget himself.
Life usually doesn't work out how you think it will, though. And most of the time, running away is the quickest path right back to what you're running from.

Reading outside my favorite genres is something that is sometimes difficult for me to do... but I try to when I can so that I can recommend books to lots of different readers. This effort on my part is sweetly rewarded when I find books like We Were Here.

This is a story of a boy who must face his past and deal with the fact that he is not the only person on the planet who wasn't given an easy life. In fact Miguel finds out that his is just one story among many.

After being sent to a boys home Miguel meets Rondell and Mong. Despite barely knowing each other they decide to runaway and go to Mexico where Mong supposedly has some connections that will lead them all to a better life.

What they really find is friendship, hard times and the knowledge that in order to move on to the future you have to face your past.

This is a really great book...the story is honest and straight forward but not overwhelming. The author does a great job of giving us all the details without being overly emotional or going for the shock factor. This book made me want to read all of Matt de la Pena's books, he is a great writer!

His other books:

Mexican WhiteBoy

Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being biracial while spending the summer with his Mexican family. MEXICAN WHITEBOY is set in the back alleys and rundown baseball fields of National City, CA.

Ball Don't Lie
BALL DON'T LIE is Matt de la Pena's breakout urban masterpiece, which takes place where the street and the court meet and where a boy can be anything if he puts his mind to it.

In fact Ball Don't Lie is now a movie that has a lot of well known actors including: Ludacris and Nick Cannon....Click HERE to visit the movie website (FYI it takes a while to load but is pretty cool, check it out!)

Visit Matt de la Pena's website HERE

Waiting on Wednesday and Strange Angels Contest!

Wednesday October 21, 2009

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

Betrayals: A Strange Angels Novel
by Lilith St. Crow
Available November 17, 2009
Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she's just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn't entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there's a big problem - she's the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn't be so bad, but Dru's killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust - and maybe even her heart?

Yay! It's almost here! I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Strange Angels, so I am really looking forward to this book. And I LOVE this cover! It shows two other characters in the book Graves and Christophe...very cool!

Read my review of Strange Angels HERE

Haven't read Strange Angels yet??? YOU are in luck! I have an extra copy and I am willing to send it to you!
How to enter:

+1 comment that you are a follower (must be to enter)
+2 every day you twitter
+3 for posting on your blog
+5 for recommending someone to follow my blog

Contest ends Nov. 1 so you can read in time for the 2nd book!

Good luck and thanks for entering!

Tween Tuesdays (2)

Tuesday October 20, 2009
Tween Tuesdays

Tween Tuesday is a meme I first saw at Green Bean Teen Queen and really liked because she is also a librarian who deals with teens and tweens. So, since most of my blog is devoted to YA and teen books I figured that on Tuesdays I can do posts for all the tweeners out there!

Today I have two rather new releases that are perfect for teens and tweens!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
by Jeff Kinney
Available Now!
It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn. Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.” Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything?

I can't imagine that anyone hasn't heard about this super popular series. I can not keep them on my shelves in the library. They don't even usually get checked in! One student will usually give them directly to another student for checkout! They are fun reads and a sure hit!

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I want to be Your Class President
by Josh Lieb
Available Now
Family Guy meets Election in this hilarious young adult debut!

Twelve-year-old Oliver Watson’s got the IQ of a grilled cheese sandwich. Or so everyone in Omaha thinks. In reality, Oliver’s a mad evil genius on his way to world domination, and he’s used his great brain to make himself the third-richest person on earth! Then Oliver’s father—and arch-nemesis—makes a crack about the upcoming middle school election, and Oliver takes it as a personal challenge. He’ll run, and he’ll win! Turns out, though, that overthrowing foreign dictators is actually way easier than getting kids to like you. . . Can this evil genius win the class presidency and keep his true identity a secret, all in time to impress his dad?

Definitely a quirky read! Oliver plays dumb at school (he does a great job) but is really an evil genius who thinks his parents are idiots...although he does appreciate his mothers toasted cheese making abilities. In order to prove to his dad being class president is no huge feat Oliver must run for the office despite his rather geeky and insipid reputation.

This is Josh Lieb's debut novel. Josh Lieb is the Emmy-winning producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He worked on The Simpsons and Newsradio.

This is a pretty funny book and I did find myself snickering out loud more than once. I think it may take a little bit higher of reading level to get all the jokes but none-the-less a great book for middle schoolers!

Book Review - Beautiful by Amy Reed

Monday October 19, 2009

by Amy Reed
Available Now
When thirteen-year-old Cassie moves to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. She chooses some dangerous new friends and is quickly caught up in their fast-paced world of drugs, sex, secrets, and cruelty.

Cassie's new existence both thrills and terrifies her. She embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, starts sleeping with an older boy, and gets pulled into a twisted friendship triangle that is tinged with violence and abuse. Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral, and there's no turning back.

This is one of those books that you remember for a long time after you read it. It sticks with you like that weird dream you had where you're stilling trying to remember all the fuzzy details.

After I finished the book I kept thinking about how girls around Cassie's age (13-14) are so vulnerable to the people around them. It kind of makes you want to lock up your daughters and home school them!

Amy Reed does an excellent job of detailing the lengths that some kids will go to, to feel accepted. Cassie obviously has issues in her home-life that are manifesting themselves in her "social life" but the seriousness and the possible repercussions of what she is doing should be obvious to any reader.

Vibrant, raw and heartbreaking, Beautiful is a well written story that should be read by parents and teens alike!

Issues of drug abuse and sexual situations make this book appropriate for ages 14 and up.

Visit Amy's website!

To read my interview/5 Things Friday with Amy Reed go HERE

In My Mailbox (19)

Sunday October 18, 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...*yippeee* :o)

For Review:

Love Under Cover
by Jessica Brody
St. Matin's Griffin
Available November 10, 2009
The anticipated new follow-up to The Fidelity Files, the national bestselling novel by Jessica Brody!

Jennifer Hunter never saw herself as the relationship type. After all, she’d spent the last two years of her life as an undercover fidelity inspector, hired to test men’s faithfulness—not exactly the kind of job that lends itself to intimacy. But when Jamie Richards walked into her life, everything changed, and Jennifer vowed to trade in her undercover lifestyle for something more normal.

That’s why she formed the Hawthorne Agency: Five full-time fidelity inspectors, hired to carry out Jennifer’s mission while she manages the process from a safe (relationship-saving) distance. But a surprise proposal from Jamie leaves her wondering if the “normal” life is really meant for her. Can a former fidelity inspector who’s seen nothing but failed marriages ever come to terms with tying the knot herself? And when she receives a frantic phone call from one of her employees in trouble, she’s faced with a choice: fulfill her obligation to the client who needs her or honor her promise to the man she loves.

The Unfinished Angel
by Sharon Creech
Available Now!

Peoples are strange!

The things they are doing and saying—sometimes they make no sense. Did their brains fall out of their heads? And why so much saying, so much talking all the time day and night, all those words spilling out of those mouths? Why so much? Why don't they be quiet?

In the ancient stone tower of the Casa Rosa, in a tiny village high in the Swiss Alps, life for one angel has been the same, well, for as long as she (or he?) can remember. Until Zola arrives, a determined American girl who wears three skirts all at once. For neighbors who have been longtime enemies, children who have been lost, and villagers who have been sleepily living their lives: hold on. Zola and the angel are about to collide. Figs start flying, dogs start arfing, and the whole village begins to wake up. Zola is a girl with a mission. And our angel has been without one—till now.

This hilarious and endearing novel by Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech reminds us that magic is found in the most ordinary acts of kindness.

Never Slow Dance With a Zombie
by E. Van Lo
A Tor Teen Book
Available Now!
Romy and Michelle's Hight School Reunion meets Night of the Living Dead in this laugh-out-loud debut YA novel by Emmy Award-nominated TV writer E. Van Lowe

Principal Taft's 3 Simple Rules for Surviving a Zombie Uprising:

Rule #1: While in the halls, walk slowly and wear a vacant expression on your face. Zombies won't attack other zombies.

Rule #2: Never travel alone. Move in packs. Follow the crowd. Zombies detest blatant displays of individuality.

Rule #3: If a zombie should attack, do not run. Instead, throw raw steak at to him. Zombies love raw meat. This display of kindness will go a long way.

On the night of her middle school graduation, Margot Jean Johnson wrote a high school manifesto detailing her goals for what she was sure would be a most excellent high school career. She and her best friend, Sybil, would be popular and, most important, have boyfriends. Three years later, they haven't accomplished a thing!

Then Margot and Sybil arrive at school one day to find that most of the student body has been turned into flesh-eating zombies. When kooky Principal Taft asks the girls to coexist with the zombies until the end of the semester, they realize that this is the perfect opportunity to live out their high school dreams. All they have to do is stay alive...

Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance
by Glenn Dakin
Egmont USA
Available Now!
Murder, mystery, and adventure aren’t your typical birthday presents . . .
But for Theo, anything that breaks up his ordinary routine is the perfect gift.
A mysterious “illness” and Theo’s guardians force him into a life indoors, where gloves must be worn and daily medical treatments are the norm. When Theo discovers a suspicious package on his birthday, one person from the past will unlock the secret behind Theo’s “illness” and change his life forever.
Molded into an exhilarating steampunk adventure that gives birth to the next great fantasy hero, Theo Wickland, Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is the first book in a trilogy by debut author Glenn Dakin.

The bought:

by Nancy Holder
Bought me-self the nice hardcover just to support one of my fav authors!

Okay, you all know that I'm a librarian and that I'm a total book freak but in addition to my love of YA books and Middle Grade books...I LOVE how-to craft books. For years I have been making jewelry and even selling it! I even MAKE my own glass beads. I used to sell them on Ebay but I've been focused on other things lately. Just FYI I totally am ADD I have like 10 projects going on at once including this blog :o)

Here is the most recent purchase of how-to jewelry books:

Contempory Copper Jewelry
by Sharilyn Miller
Available now....bought at Barnes and Noble

Here are some pics of jewelry I make. I make every bead...polymer clay, glass, and felted...
Not a super great pic but these are some really cute bracelets, enjoy!

Book Review - Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Saturday October 17, 2009

Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick
Available Now!
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Finally! I was able to read Hush, Hush this has been sitting in my to-be-reviewed pile for about two months but I don't like to read books until I post the review which I try to do around the time of the books release. I've been avoiding other reviews but got a vibe on Twitter that some people weren't loving it, and that some people were really loving it...

Well I'm REALLY loving it! I finished it in one day because I couldn't put it down. In fact Sunday was a total loss as far as housework was concerned but OH WELL!

First of all the premise itself is very cool. The whole issue of fallen angels and forbidden love is the best ever. I mean Patch is like the goodest bad boy ever (yes, I know goodest is not really a word) he has the goodness of an angel combined with the bad boy of being fallen. Trust me, his reason for being a fallen angel will make you swoon even more.

Nora did frustrate me a little bit only because she has a LOT of willpower when it comes to Patch and I kept thinking that most teen girls could not resist that temptation! To be fair, she is dealing with issues that probably put a damper on things but man that girl has spectacular self-control!

There are a lot of twists and turns in the plot and characters that you meet along the way will suddenly pop out of no where in places you least expect them to! I know that the final released copy has a different ending than the ARC that I am reviewing but I can only imagine it will be even better :o)

Definitely a book to swoon over...Look out Edward Cullen you have found a worthy rival in Patch Cipriano! Becca Fitzpatrick is a fantastic writer, I'll be patiently waiting for the sequel to Hush, Hush: Crescendo which I think is due out sometime in 2010.

Appropriate for 8th grade and up!

Visit Becca Fitzpatrick's website

Enter my contest to win a SIGNED copy of Hush, Hush here!

Win a Signed Copy of Hush, Hush!!!

Friday October 16, 2009

Contest Time!
Win a Signed Copy of
Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

This is such a good too will get Patch fever! Don't know who Patch is? Oh, you just wait *swoon*swoon*

Enter to win a SIGNED copy!

  • leave a comment 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
I'm posting my review tomorrow, but yes...I REALLY liked this book!

Contest will run until October 30th, 2009

5 Things Friday - This Week Lauren Bjorkman

Friday October 16, 2009

Welcome to
5 Things Friday! Most Fridays I will feature an author who has a new book debuting soon or who just released a new book.

This will be the place to be to find out things you never knew about your favorite authors!

Who knows what secrets lie in the hearts of authors? The Library Lounge Lizard knows...

This week...

Lauren Bjorkman
author of

My Invented Life

Lauren Bjorkman grew up on a sailboat, sharing the
forecastle with her sister and the sail bags. She enjoys
making things up, chocolate in large quantities, and
anything that makes her laugh. She lives in Taos, NM
with her husband, two sons, and a couple of strange but
loveable cats.

Five things your readers will find interesting about you:

  1. When I was in elementary school, we lived on a sailboat. We crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice.
  1. I’m afraid of the water.
  1. I hate wearing shoes.
  1. Sometimes I even walk short distances through the snow barefoot rather than put something on my feet.
  1. I’m a good swimmer.

Fives things you like to do besides writing:

  1. Aikido. I have two left feet. Fortunately my sensei is patient in the extreme. It’s very satisfying to throw someone twice my weight.
  1. Eating. I’m crazy about both Japanese and Indian food. Devouring certain types of sushi can be a near-religious experience.
  1. Backpacking (where there are no bears). Bears are almost as scary as the ocean.
  1. Reading—it’s my greatest escape.
  1. Hanging out with family and friends. Laughing at everyone’s bad jokes.

Five things you plan to do in the future.

  1. Travel to a far-flung place. The current top candidates are Botswana, Ecuador, Iceland, and France.
  1. Make boiled leather helmets for my boys. They are way into LARP (live action role play).
  1. Learn how to play the guitar.
  1. Finish revising my next novel. Then start writing the next. Write a play.
  1. Bathe in mud.
Thanks Lauren!

Visit Lauren's website here:

Roz and Eva are sisters, close friends, and fierce rivals. Roz fantasizes about snagging the lead in the school play and landing sexy skate god Bryan as her boyfriend. Sadly, a few obstacles stand between her and her dreams. For one, Eva is the more talented actress. And Bryan happens to be Eva’s boyfriend. But is Eva having a secret love affair with a girl? Inquiring minds need to know.

Roz prides herself on random acts of insanity. In one such act, she invents a girlfriend of her own to encourage Eva to open up. The plan backfires, and Roz finds herself neck deep in her invented life. When Roz meets a mercurial boy with a big problem, she begins to understand the complex feelings beneath the labels. And she gets a second chance to earn Eva’s trust.

My Invented Life is a comedy of errors with mistaken identities,
ambiguous sexuality, skate gods, stage geeks, and true love.

Check out my review HERE

Book Review - Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

Thursday October 15, 2009

Almost Perfect
by Brian Katcher
Available October 16, 2009

Logan Whitherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. Since then–much to his friends’ dismay–he has been despressed, pessimistic, and obessed with this ex, Brenda. But things start to look up for Logan when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Tall, unconventionally pretty, and a bit awkward, Sage Hendricks somehow appeals to Logan even at a time when he trusts no one. As Logan learns more about Sage, he realizes that she needs a friend as much as he does, if not more. She has been homeschooled for several years, and her parents have forbidden her to date, but she won’t tell Logan why. The mystery of Sage’s past and the oddities of her personality intrigue Logan, and one day, he acts on his growing attraction and kisses her. Moments later, however, he wishes he hadn’t. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy.

I requested to review this book wayyyyy back in June when I found out about it's existence on Brian Katcher's website. His first book, Playing With Matches is one of my all time favorite books and I was super excited to read anything he had to offer!

Obviously, after reading the plot summary there's no getting around the fact that the topic of this book is very controversial/sensitive/emotional (insert your own adjective here). Luckily Brian has an obvious talent for writing about these emotional issues...his first book Playing With Matches is about a boy who befriends and ultimately falls for a girl whose face was horribly disfigured in a childhood I expected nothing less and am more than a little impressed with his writing in Almost Perfect.

I'm sure that a lot of you are questioning the possibility of any teenage boy especially one from a small town in the middle of the United States being open to befriending a transgender teen, let alone the friendship blossoming to anything else. It seems unlikely but the author does an excellent job of laying a foundation, giving a history and background to Logan that shows how it is completely possible. The lack of basically any male role model, being raised by two strong, emotionally available women and the fact that he is on the rebound from having his heart completely broken.

Despite his later intentions, Logan is only human and his first reactions to Sage's disclosure is verbally brutal. As far as the plot goes I will tell you this and I'm telling you this because I do NOT like books (or movies for that matter) that have THE know, The Boys Don't Cry scene that is so violent you avoid it like the plague. I know, I know sometimes it needs to done but that doesn't mean I have to like it! I was really afraid that I was going to have to deal with it here but don't worry it doesn't go that far. Does Sage deal with hateful, potentially violent people? Yes. Do you have to worry about a teen reading this book and being scarred for life? No. Katcher does an excellent job of making the point without making you want to poke out your mind's eye.

Yes, what I'm trying to tell you is that this is a tremendous, awesome, spectacular book. If you want something outside-the-box, something cutting-edge that will make you actually think about the topic then read this book now! An eye opening powerful read that you won't soon forget.

Appropriate for age 14 and up.

Visit Brian Katcher's website

Book Review - Fire by Kristin Cashore

Wednesday October 14, 2009

By Kristin Cashore
Available October 1, 2009
Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells. Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans. Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story. Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing...

If you haven't read Graceling yet, no biggie...I say read Fire first and have a greater knowledge of a character in Graceling. Either way, you WON'T be disappointed. I completely and totally fell in love with Kristin's writing while reading Graceling and well now I'm just obsessed and won't truly be happy until I know when her next book will be out.

I can only imagine that authors just love having fans beg them for a new book when they have just recently poured all their heart and soul into their recent release but like any addict I don't care, I just want more!

Fire is almost too complex and wonderful to put into words. The characters are multi-dimensional with flaws and greatness that make them both loved and hated. Their relationships and stories so well crafted and intertwined that you will lose yourself in the depth of it all.

A true masterpiece. If you haven't read Graceling or Fire yet buy them, borrow them, go to the library, just read them won't be disappointed!

Best suited for 9th grade and up.

Book Review - Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Tuesday October 13, 2009

by Maggie Stiefvater
Available October 1, 2009
James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening.

But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala's life and his soul.

I'm not really sure how I came across the first book in this series, Lament, but I think it was while reading some blogs last year that recommended it as a good read. I ordered for the library and decided to read it before putting it out on the shelf because I hadn't heard much about the content just that it was a pretty good book.

Lament actually ended up being one of my most favorite books...ever. Maggie is a wonderful storyteller and her writing is just magical. I have been anticipating Ballad for months now and was completely happy with the results. I was worried that I would be too focused on missing the main characters from Lament, Dee and Luke but James and Nuala's story is just as compelling and we do get glints of Dee and Luke here and there.

The setting for Ballad is a private high school for super talented musicians where James and Dee both attend. Dee is overwhelmed with thoughts of Luke and James must deal with the fact that his love is unrequited. When he meets Nuala he senses how dangerous she is but is immediately drawn to her.

Despite her intentions there is something different about James and Nuala takes risks to find out more about him. When the battle lines are drawn between humans and faeries she must make choices and decide where she belongs.

Exquisite writing and an enchanting tale make this a must read. It may be my own wishful thinking but the ending definitely leaves the possibility for more to the story...but that, ladies and gentlemen, is still a tale to be told...

Appropriate for 8th grade and up.

Vampire's Assistant Online Movie Giveaway!

Monday October 12, 2009

A super popular series that is red hot in my library is the Cirque de Freak books by Darren Shan...well its finally happened...There is going to be a movie!!! In celebration of the upcoming movie release I'm hosting a contest with some really great prizes!

The Vampire's Assistant
Online Movie Giveaway!

In Theaters October 23rd

How to enter:
  • leave a comment 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
  • +5 entries for voting for your favorite Cirque du Freak t-shirt (see voting options below)


Two (2) winners will receive:

  • Cirque du Freak book Set (3 titles in one book)
  • Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant Locker Mirror

Book’s are valued at $16.98 each.

Shipping Guidelines:

The Vampire’s Assistant giveaway is open to legal US residents who are at least 13 years of age as of October 1st. Prizing is only available to United States mailing address only. (International readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.)


New movie edition features the first three books--Cirque Du Freak, The Vampire's Assistant, and Tunnels of Blood-- bound up in one volume!

THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT and Other Tales from the Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan

Do you love to be scared? Then don't miss the terrifying adventure that begins when Darren and his best friend, Steve, get tickets to the CIRQUE DU FREAK, a wonderfully bizarre and creepy freak show. Brace yourself for thrills and chills as the boys witness a parade of grotesque creatures and face their deepest fears by entering the darkest world of the vampire. In the blood-curdling tradition of Anne Rice and Stephen King, CIRQUE DU FREAK will have you shrieking for the next horror show!

Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers