In My Mailbox (31)

Sunday February 28, 2010
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

So, without further adieu, the following are books I received this past week...enjoy!
 

For review:


Brightly Woven
by Alexandra Bracken
March 23, 2010
Egmont
Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

Exit Strategy
by Ryan Potter
March 1, 2010
Flux
Who are you supposed to look up to when it seems like every adult you know is more screwed up than yourself?

Looming above Zach Ramsey's hometown are the smokestacks of the truck assembly plant, the greasy lifeblood of this Detroit suburb. Surrounded by drunks, broken marriages, and factory rats living in fear of the pink slip, Zach is getting out of Blaine after graduation. But first, he's going to enjoy the summer before his senior year.

And Zach's having a blast until he uncovers dark secrets that shake his faith in everyone, including his best friend Tank (a state wrestling champion), whose 'roid rages betray a shocking habit. Falling in love with Tank's twin sister Sarah, an Ivy League-bound scholar, doesn't exactly make Zach's life any easier.

Eventually, with enough evidence to nail the town's steroid kingpin, Zach is faced with the toughest decision of his life—one that will prove just what kind of adult he's destined to be.

Bought:
 Lanky lizards! The slinkster-cool novels in Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat series have finally been compiled into one delicious volume. All of the ethereal, mesmerizing titles are here -- Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, and Baby Be-Bop -- together like the big, beautiful family described on their pages.

Block's unique, poetic style immediately draws readers into an intoxicating magical-realist world populated by empathetic, original characters (as well as a few ghosts, fairies, and genies): "He kissed her. A kiss about apple pie à la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven't eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the Strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs." 







Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.

It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever rub the genie's lamp.

If you love Sookie Stackhouse, then you'll want to dive into Nicole Peeler's enchanting debut novel.

Craft Book Review - The Beader's Handbook

Friday February 26, 2010

The Beader's Handbook
by Juju Vail
January 2008
Martingale & Company
Description:
Find all the beading know-how you'll ever need in this comprehensive, step-by-step handbook! Over 350 photos and illustrations spotlight scores of techniques--they'll take you from beginner to expert with the flip of a page. 

* Find inspiring ideas for featuring beads in jewelry, needlecrafts, home-decor accents, and more 

* Try wrapping and threading, stringing and weaving, creating fringes and edgings--even knitting and crocheting with beads 

* Find the perfect bead for any project with a "Know Your Beads" section, spotlighting over 100 bead types

Review:
I've been making jewelry and glass beads for about 10 years now and I've seen tons of "how-to" and informational books about beads and jewelry. The Beader's Handbook is great because it gives a little bit of information on a lot of different topics. If you want a good intro book to see all the different types of ways to make jewelry and to find about various types of beads then this is a great place to start!

I think it is great that the book only gives the basic supplies needed to start beading. I remember some of the books that I bought in the beginning completely overwhelmed me with the amount of stuff that I would need to buy to get started. The books were great overall but all the supplies listed seemed wayyyy expensive...in reality you can get started beading for less than $50  (even less if you go to garage sales and such :)

The basics are listed for: beading * wire working * jewelry making * bead stitching/weaving and stringing materials. The book also explains what various parts of jewelry are and what they are used for ie: earring wires and split rings.

You will also find the basics on how to do wire working, including a wire size chart, the different types of wire and their uses (including the hardness of the wire which is very important!)

When it comes to the jewelry making part (earrings, necklaces and bracelets) all the basic skills are shown and I also like the fact that they list the "standard" length of various types of necklaces and bracelets.

The book also shows the basics on how to make the following types of beads: wooden beads * polymer beads * fabric beads * felt beads and making beads out of smaller seed beads. Although it shows the basics, if you are interested in focusing on making any one of them in particular I definitely recommend buying a book devoted to making that certain type of bead.  

There is some info on stitching and weaving including a loom, peyote and off-loom stitching. A guide to Knitting and crocheting with beads is provided also. You can also find a lot of pages devoted to explaining all the different types of beads out there (there are a LOT) and semi-precious stones called "Know your Beads".

Overall a great book for beginners! Again, if you find a particular style of beading in this book that you really like, I definitely recommend buying another book that focuses on that style because it will provide you with more in-depth instructions. 

Happy beading!

Review copy sent by publisher and donated to school library.

Book Review - Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped

Thursday February 25, 2010

The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped
by Yxta Maya Murray
January 7, 2010
Penguin Group
Kiki and Mish are best friends, but what Kiki doesn’t know is that Michelle Pena was born a gang princess. “Princess P” grew up destined to inherit leadership of the Snakes: a future filled with crime and fear.
Michelle, on the other hand, is a nationally ranked athlete and academic superstar. This is her new life, and she’s finally put her past—and her childhood love for Silver—to rest.

Then Silver helps kidnap both girls, and Michelle has to figure out how to free them both—and reconnect with a future that might now be beyond her reach.

Review:
Your average fifteen-year-old has enough to deal with, especially when it comes to making good decisions. Can you imagine trying to be one type of person: star athlete, brilliant student, loving daughter and gracious friend...all the while begrudging her roots: family and friends she left far behind on the rough streets of Montebello, California. 

When Michelle comes face to face with her past she has to make a decision...fix the mistakes made by her brother and mother or rebuff any insinuated obligations and do whats best for her future as a star athlete at an Ivy league prep school with her best friend Kiki.

But as Michelle (AKA Princess P) finds out, like most things in life, her decision won't be that easy and whatever she chooses will ultimately affect not only her but the people she loves. Should she follow the path of the mother (the gangs queen, Reina, who is in prison) who claims to love her, but always keeps her at arms length or stay with her foster pop Frank who Michelle knows loves her despite his claims foster-father insanity.

Her ultimate deciding factor may be Silver, a gang member and the love of her life that she left behind when she went into foster care. He's one of the boys who kidnap her and Kiki...will he ever get over his anger and feelings of abandonment?

I enjoyed this well written urban street lit but was a little unnerved by the ending...I won't give anything away but I'm wondering if there will be a sequel?

Kids who like to read about urban teens, gang life and all that it entails will enjoy this face paced story. There is a lot of street slang and some mature language so the book is best suited for 8th grade and up.


Review copy sent by author and donated to school library. 

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

Wednesday February 24, 2010 


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


This weeks pick:


The Turning: Book 1
What Curiosity Kills
by Helen Ellis
May 1, 2010
Sourcebooks Fire

Mary Richards is a normal sixteen-year-old girl living in Manhattan. Well, almost normal. She goes to private school on the Upper East Side, having been saved from a life of squalor by an adoptive family. But she’s also slowly transforming into a cat.

Struggling to hide her physical metamorphosis, Mary discovers that she isn’t alone. A whole race of cat people prowls the streets of Manhattan at night, including Mary’s long-time crush, Nick.

Aside from heightened feline senses, hanging out with Nick is the best thing about discovering her inner kitty. But Mary’s transformation is special and could decide the outcome of a citywide turf war. She must decide whether to embrace her powerful feline side and become a pack leader or go back to being a normal teenage girl. Can she land on her feet or will curiosity be her downfall?

Hmmm....I thought this one sounded interesting, plus cat people have always been a purrrrrfect topic (yes, my attempt at humor :) Plus the cover is very pretty!
Me-yow!

Wherever Nina Lies Online Giveaway

Tuesday February 23, 2010

Wherever Nina Lies
PAPERBACK BOOK RELEASE
ONLINE GIVEAWAY


BOOK OVERVIEW
Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she’s got a chance—her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn’t planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth.

My thoughts on the book:
I really loved this book...it is a great modern day adventure and mystery. Ellie is headstrong and determined to find out the fate of her sister even when everyone else has lost hope. Twists and turns and a truly WOW ending!

Visit the book website HERE 

AUTHOR BIO
Lynn Weingarten spends a lot of time writing in coffee shops while occasionally reading strangers’ laptops over their shoulders. In the past she has been a book editor, a barista, a counter girl at a bakery in Ireland, a waitress at a bar, and a seller of tiny homemade clay animals. She lives in New York City. Wherever Nina Lies was her first novel. Please visit her online at www.lynnweingarten.com.
 Photo by: Jena Cumbo



Prizes!!!
Three (3) winners will receive:
  • Wherever Nina Lies paperback book

Books are valued at $8.99 each.
Shipping Guidelines: This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.)

This contest will end Tuesday, March 9, 2010

+1 for commenting (MUST be a follower!)
+2 for each tweet on Twitter
+3 for a sidebar post
+5 for devoting a post about the contest on your blog

Good luck and thanks for entering!

Craft Book Review - Good Mail Day

Monday February 22, 2010,

Good Mail Day
A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art
by Jennie Henchcliff & Carolee Gilligan Wheeler
2009 Quarry Books
 “What is a good mail day?” A good mail day is a day when, instead of just bills, catalogs, and advertisements, your postal carrier delivers artful, beautiful, personal mail from friends and acquaintances all over the world. Mail art is a collaborative art form with a long and fascinating history populated by famous artists as well as everyday practitioners. The term “mail art” refers to pieces of art sent through the mail rather than displayed or sold in traditional venues. Mail artists often use inexpensive and recycled materials including postcards, collage, rubber stamps, and photocopied images. 

Mail art is a truly international activity and a fun way to connect with people in every corner of the globe. Readers will learn to create decorated and illustrated envelopes, faux postage and artistamps, find penpals, make a mail art kit, and much more! 


To be honest I had never even heard of this type of "craftiness" until I received this book for review. As I read and reviewed the book it really prompted me to think about the fact that due to how prolific email has become, the postal letter is all but dead.

I mean I'm not completely daft...I realize how much everybody emails each other day to day and that most people pays bills electronically. I just mean that the days of the pen pal, the old fashioned love letter and the "how are you doing" postal letters have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur. It's one of those things that you know, but don't really think about that much...

It made me kind of depressed. Even to this very day if I see a envelope or package that is handwritten and addressed to me, I get excited! Seriously, does that ever get old? It's like Christmas, a present just for you that makes you feel good, all warm and fuzzy inside!

I had so much fun reading this book and looking at all the beautiful letters that you can create to send to someone you love or care for. Letters that are works of art! Its like sending a letter AND something they can frame all in one little letter!

Like the book states, Mail Art is something everyone can do...you don't have to be an "artist" to have fun with the ideas in this book you just have to want to have fun and be open minded about what art really is and can be.

There are great instructions and ideas and pictures and practically every page. There is also the history of Mail Art and some basic Mail Art rules you should follow...for example:

"Every piece of mail art that comes into your mailbox should receive some sort of acknowledgment in return."

The book also includes a list of basics for the mail art beginner and where to find inspirations for your mail art projects. Do's and don'ts, the "what's up" on postage and Artistamps and a whole lot more!

This book has definitely inspired me to get a pen pal, or start sending mail art letters to people on their birthdays and special occasions in addition to that Hallmark card. Great for all levels of wanna-be artists (I say that because really, you are an artist if you think you are, right?) 

There are no actual projects in the book just plenty of inspirational pictures and some cool techniques to try. In addition there are also some blank postcards and stickers in the back of the book!

Review copy sent by publisher and donated to school library. 

In a Heartbeat Signed Copy Winner!

Monday February 22, 2010



In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth
Winner of the signed copy is....

LostForWords


Congratulations!
Stay tuned for my next contest which starts tomorrow!

In My Mailbox (30)

Sunday February 21, 2010
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

So, without further adieu, the following are books I received this past week...enjoy!
 

For review:

Exit Strategy
by Ryan Potter
March 1, 2010
Flux
Who are you supposed to look up to when it seems like every adult you know is more screwed up than yourself?

Looming above Zach Ramsey's hometown are the smokestacks of the truck assembly plant, the greasy lifeblood of this Detroit suburb. Surrounded by drunks, broken marriages, and factory rats living in fear of the pink slip, Zach is getting out of Blaine after graduation. But first, he's going to enjoy the summer before his senior year.

And Zach's having a blast until he uncovers dark secrets that shake his faith in everyone, including his best friend Tank (a state wrestling champion), whose 'roid rages betray a shocking habit. Falling in love with Tank's twin sister Sarah, an Ivy League-bound scholar, doesn't exactly make Zach's life any easier.

Eventually, with enough evidence to nail the town's steroid kingpin, Zach is faced with the toughest decision of his life—one that will prove just what kind of adult he's destined to be.

The following are all from the lovely people at Bloomsbury School and Library Marketing: 

Deception 
by Lee Nichols
May 25, 2010
When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett. But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.

A rich New England setting filled with mystery, tradition, and prep-school intrigue make Deception the perfect choice for fans of series like Kate Brian’s Private, as well as all those paranormal fans. The shocking ending will leave readers desperate for book two.

Rules of Attraction
by Simone Elkeles
April 27, 2010
New sparks will fly in the sequel to Simone Elkeles’s breakout book Perfect Chemistry

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

With new characters to fall in love with and the same hot romance found in Perfect Chemistry, Simone Elkeles has crafted another sure-fire hit for teens.

The Fool's Girl
by Celia Rees
July 20, 2010
A lush, epic historical novel by bestseller Celia Rees, with an added Shakespearean twist. Young and beautiful Violetta may be of royal blood, but her kingdom is in shambles when she arrives in London on a mysterious mission. Her journey has been long and her adventures many, but it is not until she meets the playwright William Shakespeare that she gets to tell the entire story from beginning to end. Violetta and her comic companion, Feste, have come in search of an ancient holy relic that the evil Malvolio has stolen from their kingdom. But where will their remarkable quest—and their most unusual story—lead? In classic Celia Rees style, it is an engrossing journey, full of political intrigue, danger, and romance.   
This wholly original story is spun from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and includes both folly and suspense that would make the Bard proud. 

Princess of Glass
by Jessica Day George
May 25, 2010
The engrossing companion novel to Princess of the Midnight Ball, with a wicked twist on Cinderella.

Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other’s countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It’s got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.
Little Blog on the Prairie
by Cathleen Davitt Bell
May 11, 2010
Little House on the Prairie? Great book. Horrible idea for a family vacation.

Gen’s family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen’s mom signs them up for Camp Frontier—a vacation that promises the “thrill” of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at “Little Hell on the Prairie,” as she’s renamed the camp. It turns out frontier life isn’t without its good points—like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. And when her friends turn her emails into a blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer, disaster strikes as a TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation—and perhaps ruining the best vacation Gen has ever had.

Good Behavior: A Memoir
by Nathan L. Henry
June 22, 2010
 A must-read for fans of gritty teen memoirs like Tweak and The Burn Journals

Jailed at age sixteen for armed robbery, Nathan Henry was the kind of teenager most parents and teachers have nightmares about. His crime was the culmination of a life lived on the edge: guns and drugs, sex and violence, all set against the ordinary backdrop of a one-stop light town in rural Illinois. Nate’s personal history is both disturbing and fascinating. A rough childhood becomes an adolescence full of half-realized violent fantasies that slowly build to the breaking point. But these scenes alternate with chapters about Nate’s time in jail, where through reading and reflection he comes to see that his life can be different from all he’s known up to this point.

Nathan’s story of his year in jail and the life that led him there combine to create a powerful portrait of an American youth gone bad—and a moving story of redemption.
No and Me
by Delphine de Vigan
August 2010
Parisian teenager Lou has an IQ of 160, OCD tendencies, and a mother who has suffered from depression for years. But Lou is about to change her life—and that of her parents—all because of a school project about homeless teens. While doing research, Lou meets No, a teenage girl living on the streets. As their friendship grows, Lou bravely asks her parents if No can live with them, and is astonished when they agree. No’s presence forces Lou’s family to come to terms with a secret tragedy. But can this shaky, newfound family continue to live together when No’s own past comes back to haunt her?

Winner of the prestigious Booksellers’ Prize in France, No and Me is a timely and thought-provoking novel about homelessness that has far-reaching appeal.



What Momma Left Me
by Renee Watson
July 6, 2010
A heart-tugging debut celebrates one girl’s gift for finding joy

How is it that unsavory raw ingredients come together to form a delicious cake? What is it about life that when you take all the hard stuff and rough stuff and add in a lot of love, you still just might have a wonderful life? For Serenity, these questions rise up early when her father kills her mother, and leaves her and her brother Danny to live with their kind but strict grandparents. Despite the difficulties of a new school, a new church, and a new neighborhood, Serenity gains strength from the family around her, the new friends she finds, and her own careful optimism. 

Debut author Renée Watson’s talent shines in this powerful and ultimately uplifting novel.

Poop Happened! A History of the World From the Bottom Up
by Sarah Albee
May 11, 2010
The number one book on “number two” will give kids a whole new perspective on the past

Did lead pipes cause the fall of the Roman Empire?
How many toilets were in the average Egyptian pyramid?
How did a knight wearing fifty pounds of armor go to the bathroom?
Was poor hygiene the last straw before the French Revolution?
Did Thomas Crapper really invent the modern toilet?
How do astronauts go in space?

History finally comes out of the water-closet in this exploration of how people’s need to relieve themselves shaped human development from ancient times to the present. Throughout time, the most successful civilizations were the ones who realized that everyone poops, and they had better figure out how to get rid of it! From the world’s first flushing toilet invented by ancient Minoan plumbers to castle moats in the middle ages that used more than just water to repel enemies, Sarah Albee traces human civilization using one revolting yet fascinating theme.

A blend of historical photos and humorous illustrations bring the answers to these questions and more to life, plus extra-gross sidebar information adds to the potty humor. This is bathroom reading kids, teachers, librarians, and parents won’t be able to put down

Book Review - Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Thursday February 18, 2010

Finnikin of the Rock
by Melina Marchetta
February 9, 2010
Candlewick Press
Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the cusp of manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child and a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin’s unpredictable behavior suggests that she is not what she seems — and the startling truth will test Finnikin’s faith not only in her, but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny. 

Okay let me just lay it out on the table...I straight up loved, loved, loved this book! From the opening prologue I was hooked and I didn't just read it, I devoured it.

In the style of Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore, Melina Marchetta spins an epic tale of adventure, intrigue and destinies intertwined. Every page holds something different and I often found myself reading faster and faster to get to the next scene where I would find out something new about a character that would bring me to another "wow" moment.

Finnikin is absolutely swoon worthy and not in a mushy teen-crush kind of way. Think of Mel Gibson in Braveheart...a flawed young man with truth in his heart, someone a girl could depend on. Something that Evanjalin knows as they journey back to their homeland. Let me just say that Evanjalin is a way complex character and leave it at that...

I know I used this word before but this is an epic story...something classics are made of. Marchetta's writing style is a force to be reckoned with and will leave you constantly amazed at the next twist and turn. This story has so much depth and inter-connectedness between characters that I don't want to diminish any of your reading experience by writing too much about it!

Fantasy writing at its best, a story that will keep you enchanted and characters that you won't soon forget. Loved it!

Recommended for 14 years and up due to violence and sexual references.

Review copy sent by publisher and donated to school library.

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

Wednesday February 17, 2010 


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


This weeks pick:

Pegasus
by Robin McKinley
November 2010
A gorgeously-written fantasy about the friendship between a princess and her pegasus 

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them.  Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication. 

But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon.  They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

Sounds great huh! I love Robin McKinley's books and I can't wait to read this one!

Tween Tuesdays (5)

Tuesday February 15, 2010

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!

Calamity Jack
by Shannon & Dean Hale
Illustrated by Nathan Hale
Bloomsbury
January 2010
Jack thinks of himself as a criminal mastermind with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, a trickster ...maybe even a thief? But, of course, he's not out for himself he's trying to take the burden off his hardworking mum's shoulders. She'd understand, right? He hopes she might even be proud. 

Then, one day, Jack chooses a target a little more ...'giant' than the usual, and as one little bean turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk, his troubles really begin. But with help from Rapunzel and other eccentric friends, Jack just might out-swindle the evil giants and put his beloved city back in the hands of the people who live there ...whilst catapulting them and the reader into another fantastical adventure.

A follow up to the graphic novel Rapunzel by the same team of authors/illustrators, Calamity Jack is everything a middle grade graphic novel should be...fun, adventurous and full of crazy characters! 

Jack is a bad boy gone good who has come home to rescue his mother and to show her he has changed his nefarious ways (always a good guy at heart, Jack remains flawed but lovable). Evil giants have taken over his home town and its up to Jack and Rapunzel to save the day! 

Enough action and the story of Jack and Rapunzel's evolving love story to keep both middle grade boys and girls turning the pages!

Copper
by Kazu Kibuishi
Scholastic
January 2010

Copper is curious, Fred is fearful. And together boy and dog are off on a series of adventures through marvelous worlds, powered by Copper's limitless enthusiasm and imagination. 
 Each Copper and Fred story in this graphic novel collection is a complete vignette, filled with richly detailed settings and told with a wry sense of humor. These two enormously likable characters build ships and planes to travel to surprising destinations and have a knack for getting into all sorts of odd situations. 

Copper's good cheer always smoothes the way---and Fred can usually be won over if there's food involved.

A beautifully drawn collection of previously published web-comics that follow Copper and his dog Fred through a series of adventures in a somewhat quirky-mystical world. For the most part each page is a comic that is its own little narrative, although its easy to see the complete story/theme throughout the book.

I really enjoyed Kibuishi's artistry and the mini-parables of each story. The overall meaning of some of the comics may go over the head of your average middle grade reader but the simplistic dialogue will keep them reading and enjoying this wonderful collection.

Another fun note to this book is that the last few pages are dedicated to author/illustrator Kazu Kibuishi's method of creating his comics which is fun for anyone to discover especially the budding artist!

Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher (#1)
by Jake Parker
Scholastic 
January 2010
Missile Mouse, secret agent for the Galactic Security Agency, is a risk taker and a rule breaker, which is why he's in hot water at GSA headquarters. Then RIP, the Rogue Imperium of Planets, kidnaps a scientist who knows about the Star Crusher, a doomsday machine capable of destroying the entire universe.

Time to let loose the mouse!

Missile Mouse battles giant space slugs, corrupt agents, killer bugs, and a pair of shark-headed thugs to save the day (and the scientist!). And when he's sucked into the exploding Star Crusher, he becomes pure energy . . . energy that will consume him unless Missile Mouse can release it and destroy RIP's spaceship fleet in time.

KABOOM!
Secret Agent Missile Mouse doesn't do things by the book and his crazy adventures are what will make this graphic novel a sure-fire hit! Colorful illustrations of wacky Sci-fi creatures and an action filled storyline will keep the attention of the video-playing crowd and even the most reluctant readers!
 

Soul Screamers Contest Winners!

Monday February 15, 2010


Here are the winners for The Soul Screamers contest...they will each receive a brand new beautiful copy of My Soul to Save! Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered!

AlterLisa (Lisa R)

SincerelyEmma (Emma M.)

Krae991 (Kelsey)

Email me ASAP with your addresses!

Happy Valentines Day!

Not many books this week so I'm skipping "In my mailbox" and eating lots of Valentines candy instead :o)

Lets Shake it Up a Bit!

Friday February 12, 2010


I've seen some other blogs do this lately so I thought I would check too because it is VERY easy for me to get in a rut and do the same boring things over and over because its easy hence the "shake it up" intro...

Anyway, I would really appreciate some input about what you like to see on book blogs. I know that "In My Mailbox" is popular, same with contests and so is "Waiting on Wednesday" and of course it wouldn't be a book blog without reviews but what about the following:

  • author interviews
  • author guest blogs
  • personal "fun" stuff about the blog writer (yours truly)
  • my deep insights and random stuff (ha ha)
  • a daily diary of my super exciting life (again ha ha)

See the problem? Help me out people! What would you like to see on a blog that you haven't seen or rarely see? Is there stuff related to the book/library world that you desperately need to know about?

Let me know what you think....please!

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Wednesday February 10, 2010



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





Banished
by Sophie Littlefield
October 2010
Delacorte Press
Sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell can’t wait for the day she’ll leave Gypsum, Missouri, far behind, taking only four-year-old Chub, the developmentally-delayed little boy her cruel drug-dealing grandmother fosters for the state money. But when a freak accident in gym class leaves a girl in critical condition, Hailey feels drawn to lay her hands on the injured girl and an astonishing healing takes place.

Before Hailey can understand her new powers, a beautiful stranger shows up…just in time to save her and Chub from hired killers. A desperate race begins, with Hailey as the ultimate prize: there are those who will stop at nothing to harness her gifts to create an undefeatable army of the undead. Now it is up to Hailey and a small but determined family of healers to stand up to the unbelievable and face the unthinkable.

Hmmm...special powers, a beautiful stranger and facing the unthinkable?? Sounds like my kind of book!


Find out more here: www.SophieLittlefield.com

Book Review - All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

Tuesday February 9, 2010

All Unquiet Things
by Anna Jarzab
January 12, 2010
Delacorte
Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

The intensity of first love, betrayal, envy, kids with gobs of money and a good 'ole who-done-it all wrapped up in one great book...that's what you have with Anna Jarzabs debut novel All Unquiet Things.

From the opening pages I was hooked! A year after the murder, Neily re-visits Empire Creek Bridge, the site of Carly's death. Something just isn't right and he knows it, but are his emotions for Carly clouding his judgment? Everyone keeps telling him to move on but something is stopping him...despite the fact she stomped on his heart the year before she died.

Considering Neily and Audry (who's connection to the murder is that of tabloid television) are on the outs with the "in-crowd" at Brighton Prep, laying low and getting the real-deal on what really happened should be easy right? No such luck...they seem to have obstacles at every turn but this doesn't stop them from finding clues and deeply guarded secrets on their path to finding out who really murdered Carly.

A smarter version of Gossip Girl with a murder mystery twist! A thriller for teens and young adults that will keep you guessing down to the last chapter! You can't beat that right? There's more...a few heart-breaking scenes of love lost and how money and power can twist what we "think" is love.

Best suited for 8th grade and up!

Visit the Website for trailers and more www.AnnaJarzob.com

Contest - Signed Copy of The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz

Monday February 8, 2010

Win a Beautiful Signed Hardback copy of The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz!

About the book: 

With a summer job at Bob & Bob Records in Berkeley, California, teen music junkie Allie is ready for anything. She’s poised to fall in love, catch a thief, and make a mix that’ll break your heart. And when she blogs as The Vinyl Princess, Allie is the sort of mystery girl you can’t resist tuning into. Get ready for the vinyl revolution!

Author Yvonne Prinz, cofounder of Amoeba Music, the world’s biggest independent music store chain, brings readers into the inspired, obsessive, irrepressible heart of a teen who is head-over-heels in love with music. Like a great record, this read will rock your soul and rattle your bones.

I loved this book! Check out my review HERE

Check out The Vinyl Princess blog...Seriously, I check her blog all the time! If you want a source of great music and fun top 10's (my favorite one recently: 10 Songs to Soothe a Broken Heart ) then make sure to check it regularly!
 
The Vinyl Princess Blog 

 Okay, now for the contest :o)

+1 for commenting (MUST be a follower!)
+2 for each tweet on Twitter
+3 for a sidebar post
+5 for devoting a post about the contest on your blog

Ends February 22, 2010

Good luck and thanks for entering!

In My Mailbox (29)

Sunday February 7, 2010

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:


Riding Invisible
by Sandra Alonzo
March 2, 2010
Disney Hyperion
 Everyone has to know the truth in case I get killed on the trail.  It'll be My Escape all written and drawn WHILE IT HAPPENS.  Could be a little raw.  I'm a little raw. 

I'm going to lay low, still and quiet, blend in, harmonize with the world out there.  It's not an easy thing to be, a boy on a horse...riding invisible.

So begins 15-year-old Yancy Aparicio's adventure journal. Tormented and abused by his older brother Will, Yancy runs away from home on the night that his brother viciously attacks his horse, Shy. With just a backpack, a flashlight, his horse, and a journal, Yancy takes to the California desert on a journey of self-discovery. There, he will learn the hardships of being homeless, experience his first kiss, and meet a Mexican laborer, Tavo, who has a thing or two to teach him about life and love.

Debut novelist Sandra Alonzo creates an honest portrait of a family dealing with mental disease: parents who struggle to raise two very different boys, one son who cannot control his anger, and the other who must live in his shadow. Illustrator Nathan Huang captures the humor and angst of a teenager who sometimes needs more than words to make his point. In Riding Invisible, words and art come together to create a touching, funny, and wholly original story.

Arson
by Estevan Vega
Available now
Tate Publishing
Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can't shut it off.

Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl—who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin—moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose.

Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.




WEREling
by Steve Feasey
April 27, 2010
Feiwel & Friends
Fourteen-year-old Trey Laporte is not a kid anymore. Not after the day he wakes up in agony—retina-splitting, vomit-inducing agony. His clothes are torn. His room is trashed.

Enter Lucien Charron, the mysterious, long-lost “uncle” with freakish fire-flecked eyes and skin that blisters in the sun. Suddenly, Trey finds himself living in a luxury penthouse at the heart of a strange and sinister empire built on the powers of the Netherworld—vampires, demons, sorcerers, and djinn.

And there is a girl—Alexa Charron—who is half vampire, half human, and insanely pretty, with powers all of her own. Trey is falling for her.
Trey is training night and day to control the newly discovered power lurking inside him. Now, demons are closing in on every side, and the most psychopathic bloodsucker to rock the Netherworld wants to destroy him. Above all,  he  must face one terrifying question: Is he a boy . . . or is he a beast?

Wherever Nina Lies
by Lynn Weingarten
Blog Tour
Nina was beautiful, artistic, wild . . . and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But one day, without any warning, Nina disappeared.

Two years later, Ellie can't stop thinking about her sister. Although everyone else has given up hope that Nina will return, Elile just knows her sister is out there, somewhere. If only Ellie had a clue where to look.

And then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing tucked into the pages of a book. Determined to find her sister, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance -- her hot, adventurous new crush.

Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Mysteries. Lies. And something far ore shocking -- the truth.