Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WoW: The Gathering (Darkness Rising, Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, Book 1)
by Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: April 12, 20111

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.
It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.

Yay! A new YA Kelley Armstrong! I have loved her all series in the Women of the Otherworld! She writes such interesting characters and they embody such powerful women. Cannot wait for this new YA series, especially since that last one kinda ended without a real conclusion. Hopefully this will continue like her adult series and weave older characters into it's story line. Anyways, I already have it on pre-order on my Nook Color!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red Wagon by Renata Liwska

Red Wagon 
by Renata Liwska

Book Jacket Summary
All Lucy wants to do is play with her brand-new, bright red wagon. But her mother has other plans for her-and the wagon. Lucy must go to the market and buy vegetables for dinner. Lucy doesn't want to do chores! But she sets off for the market nonetheless, hauling her red wagon with her. Before long, her ordinary trip becomes a high-seas adventure, a ride through outer space, and a day at the circus. As long as she has her red wagon, not even chores can get in the way of Lucy's fun.

New York Times bestseller Renata Liwska's most vibrant art ever takes center stage in this imaginative book for the youngest of readers.

My Thoughts
This picture book caught my eye on the new book display at the public library. How could it not with a little fox with a pink bow and a hedgehog in a little red wagon? Lucy is an adorable fox that has a new red wagon that she wants to play with but Mother wants her to go down to market and pick up some vegetables. Lucy reluctantly goes but with the help of friends turns it into a wonderful adventure filled with pirates, cowboys, and circuses. The words are simple sentences that many younger children will easily understand. It is the pictures that give this book the life and wonder that you feel when leafing through the pages. There are many little details that Liwska puts into her illustrations that draw the eye but do not over complicate the page. Very imaginative and beautifully drawn. Children will enjoy snuggling up next to you and seeing the rich details as you read them to sleep.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Crazy Beautiful
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Book Jacket Summary
In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.
Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.
But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.
Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

My Thoughts
Told form both perspectives, Crazy Beautiful, shows how one mistake can change your life. Lucius and Aurora are both new students starting  a new year in high but each is starting out with disadvantages. Aurora has lost her mother to cancer and Lucius blew off his hands in a chemical experiment gone wrong. Aurora is quickly engulfed into the popular crowd while Lucius' only friend is the security guard that frisked him for setting of the alarms at school. Their lives are very different but they cannot help but notice each other and the shared pain they feel.
This was an interesting character study of people who have been emotionally damaged and how they come to terms with what has happened to them. Plus a large dose of romance to go along with it! I am not crazy about the book but I did enjoy it. The characters were the stars of the piece and I did feel like I knew them by the end. Baratz-Logstead knew when to withhold information and slowly let it hit you. As a fairy tale retelling, it wasn't what I expected but that's okay. This book could sell itself and not rely on the fairy tale point.
I could not help but recall a movie from 1946 called The Best Years of Our Lives. It is a look at the lives of three service men who are coming home from WWII. One of these men had his hands blown off in his time in the Navy and he was played by Harold John Russell who lost both his hands in the war. He comes home to find that everything is different but that his true love and girl next door still loves him. It is a very emotionally packed movie and I would recommend picking it up at your local library. It was a very different type of film for its time and it won best picture for 1946.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
As Crazy For Books says:

Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This week's question is:

"If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

I would have to say The Enchanted Forrest Chronicles. They have every element of fantasy that I love: dragons, magic, princesses, witches, and most of all humor! I also love the characters and could see myself  hanging out with Kazul and Cimorene, especially helpng catalog the library. Who knows what you would find!!!! I would love to open up this series and fall into it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dragonfly by Julia Golding

by Julia Golding

Book Jacket Summary

Princess Taoshira is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil ac Burinholt in order to unite their lands. And Ramil's not too pleased either. They hate each other on sight.
So when she and Ramil are kidnapped, they fear there's no escape - either from their kidnappers or from each other.

Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their extraordinary adventure - including a circus strongman, a daring rebel leader, a sinister master of spies and the best female fighter they have ever seen - help them or betray them to the enemy..?

My Thoughts
I have a confession to make... I love Julia Goldings books! I think this might have been addressed here already. So far, each and every one has made me squeal with delight and turn back into the thirteen-year-old girl I am at heart. Dragonfly takes me back to the days when I devoured fantasy books over and over again because they gave me so much to look forward too. This book took me back to my Tamora Pierce days and how I just read the same books over and over. Sorry, got a bit nostalgic there...
Tashi and Ramil loath each other before they even meet! They both do not want to go through with the political marriage that their country's have arranged. Ramil is "barbaric" and Tashi is a "prissy priestess"! How will this ever work out? Well, through in some kidnapping, brain washing, and sword-play for dramatic effect and you might have a blossoming romance. I really like how Tashi and Ramil fall in love. Slowly and with mutual respect for the other. They see each other through the hard parts for their story and even when separated they use the changes inspired by the other to overcome great obstacles.
There is character development, romance, and evil villains. Needless to say, I really liked this book and it is one that will sit on my bookshelf next to my other favorites. 

Here is the pretty British cover!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WoW: Where She Went By Gayle Forman

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
 Where She Went
by Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 5, 2011

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I want this book but at the same time my fingers hesitate on the Buy Now button. The first book broke my heart and I'm worried that the small stitches that I've placed over it will not be able to stand against a sequel. However I know myself and I know that I will be reading this book. It just will not be on audio book. No more crying on my way to work... Oh who am I kidding!
You can read my review of If I Stay here.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper

Out of My Mind 
by Sharon M Draper
Book Jacket Summary

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school—but NO ONE knows it.

Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows. But she can’t. She can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write.

Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.

From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you’ll never, ever forget.

My Thoughts

Why do I always read books that I know will break my heart? I think it's so I will be a better person for it but I really don't know. Out of My Mind is a book about Melody, an eleven-year-old girl who wants to fit in like everyone else. Typical tween issues, right? Well, Melody has a few more difficulties than your average 5th grader because Melody has Cerebral Palsy and cannot communicate with anyone on the level she wishes. Her mind is filled with words that she cannot use but Melody is the epitome of spirit and wit. Her internal monologue is full of knowledge of how people perceive her but also filled with the love that people extend to her.
I can honestly say that this book made me think, cry, and cheer because Melody seems so real. 
Sharon M. Draper describes on her website that she wrote this book "fiercely adamant that nobody feel sorry for Melody". You do not feel sorry for her, instead you see her humanity and how she deals with life on her terms. The first person writing gives you an up close and personal look at how we, as a society, treat the disabled people around us. We see a peek into the inner workings of a family that has it's struggles and the love that builds between them. Melody can recall every moment "like the feel of a lump of oatmeal stuck on the roof of my mouth or the taste of toothpaste not rinsed off my teeth". She wishes she could just delete every cruel thing the doctors, children, and strangers say. However, she has a wonderful support system in her parents, sister, Mrs. V, and Catherine. All in all, I encourage you to check this book out. This book may sit in the Middle Zone of our library but it should be included for all ages above and beyond. Melody's story is unforgettable and her strength shines.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Trailer: The Girl Who Became a Beatle

Now here is a rockin' new book! Yes, the pun is intended.
With all the renewed Beatle mania that has swept over the country, this will be a great book to read! I know I have seen all three Beatles' movies and listened to all the CD's that my Dad owns. I have to see if my library is getting this one!

The Girl Who Became a Beatle
by Greg Taylor

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah!

When Regina Bloomsbury’s band, the Caverns, breaks up, she thinks it’s all over. And then she makes a wish—
“I wish I could be as famous as the Beatles.”
The Beatles are her music idols. The next day, she gets up to find that the Caverns are not just as famous as the Beatles, they have replaced them in history! Regina is living like a rock star, and loving it. There are talk shows, music videos, and live concerts with thousands of screaming fans. And Regina is the star of it all.
But fame is getting the better of Regina, and she has a decision to make. Does she want to replace the Beatles forever?
Here is a rocking novel about the good and the bad of Hollywood, fame, and rock ’n roll.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Book Blogger Hop 3/18-3/21

Book Blogger Hop
As Crazy For Books says:

Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY  is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This week's question comes from Somer who blogs at A Bird's Eye Review:
"Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?"

I usually am reading up to three books at a time. I have a work book for lunch time reading (right now that is Keeper by Kathi Applet). A book on my Nook (Warped by by Maurissa Guibord) and a book from the public library (Flirt Club by Cathleen Daly). Audiobooks are also great for long car trips or an anthology in the car in case I'm early for an appointment (I always am). I guess I'm really good at sectioning off books. I do not usually confuse plots or characters, especially if the author has done their job right!
However, if I do start a great book I will not be able to put it down until I'm done. I find that I am going through the Nook books faster because I can carry it it my purse without weighing it down.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky

Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky
by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer

Book Jacket Summary
It's 4:30 in the morning, and the "book woman" and her horse are already on their way. Hers is an important job, for the folks along her treacherous route are eager for the tattered books and magazines she carries in her saddlebags.

During the Great Depression, thousands lived on the brink of starvation. Many perished. In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progess Administration under his 1933 New Deal initiative. The WPA was designed to get people back on their feet. One of its most innovative programs was the Pack Horse Library Project of Eastern Kentucky.

Thoroughly researched and illustrated with period photographs, this is the story of one of the WPA's greatest successes. People all over the country supported the project's goals. But it was the librarians themselves -- young, determined, and earning just $28 a month -- who brought the hope of a wider world to people in the crooks and hollows of Kentucky's Cumberland Mountains.

My Thoughts
This is an excellent book that is full of information about the Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky. The mobile library has not always included a wagon or a bus. The book women of Kentucky rode horses from house to house during the Great Depression. This service lasted from 1936 to 1943. At the time sixty-three percent of the residents of Kentucky did not have access to public libraries. The normal bookmobiles were impossible due to a lack of paved roads for automobiles to drive on.

The librarians that traveled were able to recommend books, magazines and information to the rural dwelling people. The rural populations of the Appalachians were not receiving such information and materials because of the rough terrain. During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) established the Pack Horse Library Project to promote jobs and education in the poorer rural areas of Kentucky. The women traveled from house to house and delivered books, magazines, and scrapbooks to the isolated farmers.

This book is an informative source for anyone interested in the history of the great depression or what was done to spread knowledge to those who did not have it. It is a must read for every librarian or wanna-be librarian. You will soon realize how nice we have it in our comfy chairs and reference desks. Love this book!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WOW: Carrots 'N' Cake by Tina Haupert

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Carrots 'N' Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time

Let them eat cake! From one of the most popular blogs on the internet comes an innovative, even fun way to diet. Carrots 'N' Cake is all about eating your carrots…and savoring your cupcake, too.
  For some people, losing weight means restrictive dieting, obsessive calorie counting, and constant hunger. Not Tina Haupert! She learned that it didn't have to be that way. Tina shows how to drop the pounds and keep them off by adopting eating habits that are healthy, balanced, and above all, livable. She serves up easy-to-follow fitness routines, food tips, and her most popular feature: cookie Friday.
Hang with your friends on a Friday night without packing on the alcohol pounds
Navigate buffet tables at parties
Handle the holidays painlessly.
And more!
Not my usual teen pick but I love Tina from Carrots 'n Cake! She has inspired me to eat better, believe that you can have a cookie and not feel bad about it! She is an amazing blogger and I cannot wait to get her book. I have it on pre-order and May 3rd cannot come soon enough. Plus it goes so well with my other cookbooks and healthy eatting books!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Characters I'd Want As Family Members

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a state that you don't have to worry about being deprived of more books as long as you're near a library. ;) This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten Characters I'd Want As Family Members

1) Jane Bennet from Pride and Prejudice- I would love to have an older sister like her. She is sweet, understanding, and always willing to listen. I'm an only child and would like to start off with someone who would always be there for me, despite my tantrums.

2) Jessica Mastriani from Meg Cabot's 1-800-Where-R-You Series- She would be the older cousin I always wanted. Not only can she kick butt when needed, she has a wicked fashion sense! I would totally turn to her in times of trouble. Plus in case of kidnapping, she would be able to find me!

3) Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird- What a father figure! I think this is the quintessential father daughter story because Scout looks up to her father so much. He does the right thing when pushed and he surprises the children with his ability to shoot but not flaunt it.

4) The Weasley Family from Harry Potter- As extended families go this is the one to have! Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would be perfect aunt and uncle to welcome you into their home. It would be so nice to have all those guy cousins that you can trust and play with and Ginny would be your confidant!

5) Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables- If I were to have an adopted sister to bring into my home it would be Anne Shirley. We would be bosom friends and take the world by storm. Our imaginary worlds would drive everyone crazy but I would know that our friendship would stand!

6) Cat Royal from The Cat Royal Series- I would have Cat as the little sister I always wanted. I would be constantly worried about her but I would also admire her spunk and spirit! Plus I always would want to give her a hug and tell her she is loved. She would squirm out of my reach but I think she would still like the thought behind it.

7) Ari and Janco from Poison Study- This bantering fools would be the brothers I always wanted as a child. Someone to spare with verbally and physically! They would protect and love me no matter what because we would be partners in crime.

8) Muthr from The Search for WondLa- She may be a robot but this mother character loves her charges as much as her circuits allow! I would be great to have a robot muthr to tell me to drink more water or eat more food because I need to perform at my maximum level.

9) Sophie Mercer from Hex Hall- This smartalec would be another cousin that I could talk to and complain about boys. Hopefull she wouldn't put love charms on them but maybe curse them if they break my heart.

10) Daine from the Immortals Quartet- Having a sister who could talk to animals and has a pet dragon? Sign me up! Daine is one of my favorite characters and I would love to have her as my sister!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Putting the Book Down

Sometimes you just have to put the book down and enjoy nature!

Besides, it's Spring Break and one day off of work is just what the doctor ordered! Just be sure to wear sunscreen! I didn't and now I have a shiny red nose!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Blogger Hop 3/12/2011

Book Blogger Hop
As Crazy For Books says:

Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!
This week's question comes from Ellie who blogs at Musings of a Bookshop Girl:
"If I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?"

My picks would be:

Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
The Outside of a Horse by Ginny Rorby
The Winds of Heaven by Judith Clarke
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
Choker by Elizabeth Woods

My Nook Color

I have to admit that I am not one to usually say that an e-reader is awesome but that was before I got my new Nook Color! Don't worry because I will still be buying paper copies of books (case-in-point- What Happened to Goodbye and Abandon) but I have no room for books that I do not want to keep for the long-haul. What really made me want one is a trip to Italy I am taking in the Summer. I know I will want to read on the plane and on the several trains I will be taking but lugging around lots of books does not sound appealing. Impulse buying has never been so satisfying!

What I like about the nook:

1) It is touch screen!

2) It is in color! I have all my pretty covers lined up and in color! Plus, I can upload pictures to put as a background. Right now mine is a pretty field with daisies!

3) Pandora! Not only do I have Pandora but it is commercial free! It comes with a headphone jack so I don't bother people when I am out and about. The speakers are really clear too!

4) Lots of free or discounted books!
Sure you have to dig for them but I like sifting through books and seeing the best options. That's why I'm studying to be a librarian!

5) Lend Me! Got a great book that you know a friend would love? Lend it to them right from your NOOK Color. Just choose the book you want to lend and with a few simple touches, it will appear right on your friend's NOOK Color - or any other device using our free NOOK Free Reading Apps™. And you won't even have to bug them to get it back - after 14 days, the book is automatically returned to your library.-from

6) Read any book free on your NOOK or NOOK Color for up to an hour per day when connected to the free in-store Wi-Fi. How awesome is that? Especially when I have a Barnes and Noble about a block away from my apartment!

7) You can preview almost any book! The nook lets you preview about 21-28 pages of a book. Just enough (at least for me) to know if a book is worth buying. I think I have about 40 books on preview. Wow!

What I've bought so far!
Warped by Maurissa Guibord
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
The Fiddler's Gun by Arthur Peterson
Drought by Pam Bachorz
Vesper by Jeff Sampson
Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy by Jean Webster
Radiance (Riley Bloom Series #1) by Alyson Noel
and quite a few more...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

That Book Woman by Heather Henson

That Book Woman 
by Heather Henson
illustrated by David Small

Book Jacket Summary
Cal is not the readin' type. Living way high up in the Appalachian Mountains, he'd rather help Pap plow or go out after wandering sheep than try some book learning. Nope. Cal does not want to sit stoney-still reading some chicken scratch. But that Book Woman keeps coming just the same. She comes in the rain. She comes in the snow. She comes right up the side of the mountain, and Cal knows that's not easy riding. And all just to lend his sister some books. Why, that woman must be plain foolish -- or is she braver than he ever thought?
That Book Woman is a rare and moving tale that honors a special part of American history -- the Pack Horse Librarians, who helped untold numbers of children see the stories amid the chicken scratch, and thus made them into lifetime readers.
My Thoughts
What award did this book not win? However, it is a good book and tells about a very interesting slice of history. I just did a very long paper on the history of the mobile library and this book popped up a lot. I had seen it before at the library (in the Texas Bluebonnet Award section) and I briefly leafed through it but never had time to really go through it. Now I had to read it! I have learned to make papers an excuses for me to read books I really want to read.
Back to the review...
 This book tells the story of Cal and his loathing of "that book woman" who comes to trade out the books she lent them. He feels the resentment because his father is unwilling to borrow the books for free and offers the pail of berries Cal spent the day picking for pie. Nothing breeds resentment like taking away dessert! Cal slowly starts to warm up to "that book woman" when she delivers the books during a blizzard and he realizes how brave she must be to come out in that storm. He also sees his sister enjoying the books that come in and wonders what all the fuss is about. Cal is shocked to learn that he enjoys reading despite himself.
Do I have to say it? Okay... I love this book! It is everything that I want to be to the kids out there who say they dislike reading! Plus it is told in free verse... good free verse. It also has a page describing the actual events that surrounded the creation of the Library Pack Horse Project in the Authors Notes.
Very good book for those who love books. Not necessarily for everyone but if you pick it up at the library you are the intended audience. It packs a lot of history in it's pages. 
Next week I will delve more into the lives of the "book women" of Kentucky because I want to share some of the paper I slaved over! Gotta get some millage out of it!

Useful Dog Tricks performed by Jesse

Here is something to make your day brighter! I'll have a picture book review up tonight, in the mean time...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WOW: What Happened to Goodbye

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

What Happened to Goodbye
by Sarah Dessen
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Who is the real McLean?
Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.
Combing Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.
I love Sarah Dessen's work and I can not wait for this next to come out! Dessen's characters always have made a connection with me and McLean looks like she has an interesting journey to take.
May cannot come fast enough!
First chapter is posted here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tween Tuesday: The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens.

The Crowfield Curse
by Pat Walsh

Book Jacket Summary

Will knows a secret.

Somewhere in the forest, behind the abbey where he lives, is a grave.
And buried deep in the snow is an angel.
But how can an angel die? What has it to do with the monks of Crowfield Abbey, who have taken care of Will since he was orphaned? And why does Will get the feeling that when he looks out, something hidden in the dusk is staring back at him?
On a bitter winter’s day in the year 1347, 14-year-old Will Paynel is sent to the forest to gather wood. He stumbles across and rescues a creature caught a trap – a hob, who comes to share with him a terrible secret. Somewhere in the forest near Crowfield Abbey, an angel lies buried. With the arrival of two strangers to the abbey, the mystery deepens. Will and the hob are drawn into a dangerous world of Old Magic, a bitter feud and ancient secrets. Will needs to unravel the truth and put right an age-old wrong if he is to survive, and time is running out.

My Thoughts
Will Paynel works for the Crowfield Abbey in return for food and lodging, it is hard and tedious work but Will knows it would be harder out in the world. Will's family died in a fire and he has no where to go, well he has a brother that went off to London but in the 1300's communication is hard to come by. One day, while gathering firewood for the grumpy cook will comes across a hob caught in a hunter's trap. After freeing the injured hob, Will takes it to Brother Snail. Brother Snail is the Abbey's healer and knows more about the secret world of the fae than he is telling. They name the hob Brother Walter, with his permission, and let the hob stay in the healers shed and then things get really weird.
Mr. Bone comes to stay at the Abbey and starts asking about the secrets held there. His mysterious servant also thinks that Will knows more than he is telling.

This book looks like a typical fantasy but it reads like a mystery that has fantastical elements. The mystery of Crowfield Abbey and the people who hold it's secrets are very interesting. I especially liked how there were no "evil" monks living in the Abbey. I'm used to shows and books like the Cadfael where you feel that certain characters are deliberately working against the protaganist. Here the people in the book are real people, with flaws and insights but not "evil". That is left for the main villain but I will let you read about him.

This was a fun book and I would recommend checking it out of library, unless you love historical fiction. If you love good historical fiction check this book out right away! It really felt like Will was living in the 1300's and many of the discriptions were so vivid that I could almost see the Abbey.
Good characters, development, and historical accuracy.
There will be more books in this series and I will be checking them out when library gets them. There are no big cliff hangers for those of you who dislike them.

Author Videos- Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen

Yay! Two of my favorite authors have books coming out this Spring!

Meg Cabot's Abandon (April 26, 2011) and Sarah Dessen's What Happened to Goodbye (May 10, 2011). Here are two author interviews that explain the book and how the authors were inspired to write their books. Enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Operation Beautiful - Born this way - (Cover) - Peter Hollens

The goal of the Operation Beautiful website is to end
negative self-talk or “Fat Talk.” 

The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough... just the way you are!

Operation Beautiful is simple: all you need is a pen and a piece of paper. If you want to join the mission, send the founder, Caitlin, an e-mail at with a photograph of your Operation Beautiful note or a description of your experience, and she will post it on the Operation Beautiful site for thousands of others to read and enjoy!

I go to the web page everyday to inspire myself and see how others are making the world a more beautiful place- one smile at a time! 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Blogger Hop- Villains

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This weeks Book Blogger Hop Question is:
"Who's your all-time favorite book villain?"

Yikes! This is a hard one. I have read so many books that have lukewarm villains that it almost makes all the other villains seem.... 
 Oh, oh, I love Professor James Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes books. I think this carries over from the movies I've seen but there has never been such a perfect foil for our intrepid Sherlock Holmes. He is crafty, dastardly, and almost always one step above Holmes.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Winter's Day by M. Christina Butler

One Winter's Day
by M. Christina Butler
illustrated by Tina Macnaughton

Book Jacket Summary
When a fierce windstorm blows away Little Hedgehog s nest, he puts on his winter clothes and sets off for Badger s warm house. On his way, Hedgehog meets his friends, all shivering in the wind and snow. One by one, Hedgehog gives away his cozy mittens, hat, and scarf.
But will Little Hedgehog make it through the storm to safety without his warm clothes?
A delightful story about sharing with others, with soft flocking wherever Little Hedgehog s mittens, hat and scarf appear.

My Quick Thoughts
With winter slowly coming to an end, I thought I would showcase one or two picture books that has a picture perfect view of winter.
I'm starting off with  One Winter's Day because it caught my eye for a winter inspired story time I wanted to tell but it was at another library. Thank goodness for ILL (Inter Library Loan)! This book came in and I knew it was perfect because it includes a touch-and-feel! Every picture had Little Hedgehog's scarf, ,mittens, and hat as raised and fuzzy. The pictures are beautiful and include lots of woodland animals but Little Hedhehog is the cutest. Little details like the roots peeking out of Badgers roof are nicely done and add charm.
Little Hedgehog goes to visit Badger on a cold blustery day and runs into several different animals. Each are cold and Little Hedgehog gives them either his hat, mittens, or hat to keep them warm. Don't worry about Little Hedgehog he rolls into Badger's house to warm up but worries his home might not be there when he gets back because of the large storm. There is a happy ending and all the animals he helped along the way help Little Hedgehog with his home. The story is very sweet and Little Hedgehog's generosity will inspire little kids and melt the hearts of adults.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WOW: Steel by Carrie Vaughn

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Carrie Vaughn
release date: March 15, 2011
Summary frrom Amazon
It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.
This was the tip of a rapier.
Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.
Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

It had me at fencing and reeled me in at time traveling! Then they mentioned pirates! Okay Carrie Vaughn bring it and I will read it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins

Book Jacket Summary

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

My Thoughts

This started out as a lunch read, aka a book to pick up at lunch and only read for about twenty minutes at a time. That lasted all of one day. I picked up this book after work and went straight home to finish. Sophie is a witch but she doesn't know much about her heritage because she is raised by her human mother. When she uses her gift to craft a love charm for a girl at school, things get out of hand quickly and she is shipped off to paranormal juvie school, Hecate Hall. Faries, weres, and witches all converge in this boarding school but Sophie is rooming with the only vampire. Jenna is definitely not your average vampire and tends to decorate every surface she can find in pink, pink, and more pink. I think we would get along great! But not everything is coming up roses for Sophie when she learns that Jenna might be behind a gruesome murder that happened right before she arrived.
But then again there is also Archer Cross to think about, resident hottie and all around sarcastic guy. I really like how Sophie does moon over him but in more of a self-deprecating way. She bemoans the fact to Jenna that she has now become the newest member of the Archer fan club. She doesn't make him an obsession like many other paranormal books but instead makes Sophie a person with other problems. The maybe unrequited crush seem less important, especially when girls are turning up dead.
This is a funny book and Sophie is a wonderful narrator with a great sense of humor. She knows when she is pouting and makes fun of herself for it. Sophie is a refreshing heroine that breaths life into a more angsty genre. I would highly recommend this book and I am awaiting the sequel... right now it is in cataloging backlog! I need it now!
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