Friday, April 29, 2011

Winner: Outside In

And the winner is comment number 6!
Congrats to The Bookish Brunette!!! I know you will love it!
Thank you to everyone who participated. I hope to have another contest soon! I still have some duplicates from TLA that are taking up valuable bookshelf space.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Abandon by Meg Cabot plus Book Signing

Also don't forget to sign up for a chance to win a signed copy of Maria V. Snyder's Ouside In!!

by Meg Cabot
ARC and Personal Copy

Book Jacket Summary
The Myth of Persephone, Darkly Reimagined

— Book One: Abandon —She didn't fall into his world. She was taken.
Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die.
That's how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who's made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible.
Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her.
What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows... just like she knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven. But she can't stay away from him, either, especially since he's always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most.
And when Pierce discovers the shocking truth, that’s exactly where John sweeps her:
The Underworld.

My Thoughts
I delayed my review of Abandon until today because Meg Cabot was coming to a town about an hour and a half away from me for a book signing! I knew I had to go, listen to her speak, take photos, and get a signed copy of Abandon. Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while might have noticed that I adore Meg Cabot's books and they are some of my favorites. Well... I will get into that this weekend, along with some videos from the signing.
Back to the review...

I have to say that this book was not a disappointment in the "Oh it's written by Meg Cabot so I know I'll at least like it a lot" category. If anything it excelled into the "this is awesome" and "when is the next one coming out because I need it ASAP" categories. This book reminded me more of the Mediator books but in all the right ways. Pierce is the beautiful rich girl that arrives at a new school when her Mom needs a fresh start after a divorce. Now Pierce is a bit distracted from all the new girl shenanigans that usually go on in these sorts of books because her past is coming to haunt her. Literally.

Pierce died and came back from the Underworld once but that is not stopping John  from wanting her to come back and join him. I really liked Pierce because she is dealing with a lot at the moment: her parents divorce, moving cross country, starting a new school, and trying to save the people she loves from death. Meg Cabot really knew how to hold back information and slowly clue you into details of Pierce's past. I was on the edge of my seat and dying to flip forward and figure out what is going on but I resisted. The payoff is worth it! The romance angle is also nicely done and I actually believe in the chemistry between John and Pierce. They have a genuine attraction to one another but Pierce does not quite trust him and John has some "anger issues" to work out. But, to quote a famous movie, nobody's perfect.

I also believed in Peirce's relationship with her Mom. It was easy to see how her Mom was trying to be protective but also allow Pierce space to become "normal" after her recent experiences. Pierce knows what is important to her now, especially after living in a fog for a while after she returned from death but she is ready to do what she must to keep those she loves safe. Including her uncle and cousin, who I hope show up more in the next books. Her Uncle Chris seems like he has an interesting past and Alex seems to call out for more back story. There is a lot more I want to say but I do not want to give to much away!
However, I have to say that I will never look at a red scarf the same way again. Powerful imagery!

Cannot wait to read my new real copy and retire the ARC I got at TLA.

For Karen, Believe! Oh, I will. I will. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WoW: Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Also don't forget to sign up for a chance to win a signed copy of Maria V. Snyder's Ouside In!!

"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:

Title: Supernaturally
by Kiersten White

Release Date: August 30th 2011


Summary: Goodreads
 A lot has changed in the six months since Evie escaped from the International Paranormal Containment Agency with her shape-shifter boyfriend, Lend. She finally has the blissfully normal life she’s always dreamed of, including:
1) A real live high school
2) A perfectly ordinary after-school job
3) Her very own locker (and by the way, rusted metal is every bit as awesome as she imagined)

But Evie’s not-so-normal past keeps creeping up on her...and things get pretty complicated when you factor in:
1) A centuries-old, seriously decaying vampire stalker
2) A crazy faerie ex-boyfriend who is the perpetual bearer of really bad news
3) A major battle brewing between the faerie courts where the prize in question happens to be...Evie herself.

So much for normal.

Yay! I loved Paranormalcy by Kiersten White and cannot wait for the next book! Especially to hear her gush about having a locker. Evie cracks me up! I am excited to follow her next adventure!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tween Tuesday: The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!

Also don't forget to sign up for a chance to win a signed copy of Maria V. Snyder's Ouside In!!
Tween Tuesday:
The Romeo and Juliet Code
by Phoebe Stone
Checked out from Public Library

Book Jacket Summary
Felicity's glamorous parents have a secret. When they leave her with distant relatives in Maine, Felicity hopes they won't leave her long. Her new Uncle Gideon hides things. Her Aunt Miami is star-crossed. And Derek, a kid her age, refuses to leave his room.
But Felicity needs Derek's help. Gideon is getting coded letters from Felicity's parents, and she's sure they're in trouble. Can Felicity crack the code, heal the family and save her parents, all while surviving her first crush? It's a tall order, but - like THE SECRET GARDEN'S Mary Lennox before her - Felicity's up for the challenge.

My Thoughts
Felicity, or "Flissy" (as her relatives dub her early in the book because everyone in the family has a nickname) is arriving in Maine to stay with relatives because of the bombings in London. She feels alone and isolated because she does not want to be there. She meets Captain Derek (another nickname), a boy who is recovering from polio and will not have the use of one of his arms due to the disease. He is one of the only things about the place that she really loves, err likes. They find that her Uncle Gideon is receiving coded messages from her father and Flissy is determined to find out what is going on.

This book really reminded me of a 1940's movie starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. It even has a variety show! The book has it's own charm that really grows on you. However, the first person POV of Flissy really threw me off for the first part of the book. At the beginning of the book she seemed younger than most eleven-year-olds that I know. Flissy does mature as the book continues, I am fairly sure that she is depicted this way because she is a very lonely little girl who is living in war-torn London during the WWII bombings. Her attachment to her teddy bear is a bit easier to comprehend when you look at it that way. I really liked all the side characters characters and how Flissy sees them throughout the book. Uncle Gideon is trying to hard and Captain Derek is a shining hero.

I would recommend this to a tween who is interested in historical fiction because there is a lot of historical accuracy without hitting you over the head with it. The mystery aspect of the novel will also draw tweens in and they will want to know how Flissy interconnects in the family feud. While not a perfect book, it is great for that lazy Saturday when you have a lot of time to immurse yourself into the 1940's!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Contest for signed "Outside In" Giveaway!

My very first contest! Hazzah!

As you know, I went to TLA (Texas Library Association) and I met a few authors! One of which was Maria V. Snyder. I went to a book signing with DJL in Round Rock, Texas and then the next day they had another book signing at a SciFi panel. They gave away books and the authors were sweet enough to stay after to sign them. However, I now have two signed copies of Outside In and I have decided to give one away to you lucky readers! I get to keep the personalized one! ;)

Now for the rules:
1) Comment on this page leaving a name and e-mail I can contact for mailing information.
2) Leave a second comment if you are a follower. (This includes new followers.)
3) I will pick the winner using a random number generator on Friday, April 29.
Pretty easy, yeah?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stanza Saturday (3)

Stanza Saturday is a new weekly post, created by DJL, to share poetry from either a home collection or from the library. Find a book of poems, any poet will do, and open up to a random page and post the first poem you see. ^_^

This week's poem is:

In A Whispering Gallery
By Thomas Hardy

That whisper takes the voice
Of a Spirit's compassionings
Close, but invisible,
And throws me under a spell
At the kindling vision it brings;
And for a moment I rejoice,
And believe in transcendent things
That would mould from this muddy earth
A spot for the splendid birth
Of everlasting lives,
Whereto no night arrives;
And this gaunt gray gallery
A tabernacle of worth
On this drab-aired afternoon,
When you can barely see
Across its hazed lacune
If opposite aught there be
Of fleshed humanity
Wherewith I may commune;
Or if the voice so near
Be a soul's voice floating here.

Friday, April 22, 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 PARTis 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:

This week's question comes from Christina who blogs atThe Paperback Princesses.  She asks:

 "If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"

Yes! I usually hunt down all of their books at the library. You never know if they will turn out to be the new Sarah Dessen or Meg Cabot in my life! I have always done this and will probably always do it. If I like a writers style I will hunt them down. ILL loves me ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe
by Beth Revis
Checked out from the Public Library

Book Jacket Summary
Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed. Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.
Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

My Thoughts
I love Science Fiction and growing up watching shows like Star Trek: NG, Farscape, and Sliders (does anyone remember that one?) made me wish I could go flying through space or exploring wormholes. This book made me remember how much I enjoyed SciFi and the space exploration aspect of the genre.
The story is told through the POV of Amy and Elder in alternating chapters. Each has a very distinctive voice and even though I do not usually enjoy alternating narrators this book gets it right.

I really liked Amy who decides to go with her parents to another world for a better opportunity. Her parents are essential to the mission, her father is a military leader and her mother a specialized biologist. Amy leaves her home, her friends and her life behind to go with her beloved parents. Unfortunately she awoken early from her cryogenic sleep with decades to go before they reach the planet they are hoping to get to and the strange culture that has grown in the spacecraft over the past 300 years may not be accepting of a different looking face. Elder is also an interesting character that is to be the next leader of his people but lonely for someone his own age. The world he lives in in very different form ours and Amy's world with cultural mores that have shifted in another direction. They are trying to live within a very confined space and with no way to get out. This adds an element of claustraphobia that Amy (a runner) has to deal with at all times.

This book is really intense and I would not read it if you have anxiety issues. The first chapter alone had me scared for Amy and how she has unending dreams that she cannot control. It is very much a torturous experience to read about how she thinks and dreams for 300 years without stopping for a moments peace. The rest of the book is a puzzle that you are trying to solve along with Amy and Elder.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WoW: Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

"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:
 Texas Gothic
by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Release Date: July 12, 2011

Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face. 

Turns out Rosemary Clement-Moore is a TCU alumni! Go horned frogs! 
Besides that little fact, this book looks like fun and I am all about teen books set in Texas! Especially when they are not exaggerated characteristics. Plus Rosemary was super nice to me at TLA! Nothing makes you want to run out and buy a book as much as when an author is nice to you! Guess I'll have to check this one out when it comes around!  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!
Cloaked in Red
by Vivian Vande Velde
Checked out of my work library

Summary from author's website
Presents eight twists on the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood, exploring such issues as why most characters seem dim-witted and what, exactly, is the theme.

My Thoughts
I love anthologies that have a theme, like the editorial team of Datlow and Windling. Vivian Vande Velde is no stranger to this type of anthology in her work, such as The Rumpelstiltskin Problem. I was highly anticipating her latest project because I always enjoy her books (even if the endings are a bit vague sometimes) and I love the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Vande Velde asks many interesting questions about the original stories that tweens might think up themselves, especially if they had just seen the newest movie.

Here is an excerpt from her author's note:


Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species.
The question is: Why do we all know it?
If you look at "Little Red Riding Hood," it's a perfect example of the exact opposite of a good story.
There are different versions, but they all start with a mother who sends her daughter into the woods, where there is not only a wolf, but a talking, cross-dressing wolf. We are never told Little Red Riding Hood's age, but her actions clearly show that she is much too young, or too dimwitted, to be allowed out of the house alone.
But apparently Little Red's mom hasn't noticed this.
When I was a little girl, my mother was nervous about my crossing the street without adult supervision. But fairy-tale characters do not make good role models. Goldilocks' parents not only let let her play in the bear-infested woods, they neglect to give her that most basic advice: "Don't break into strangers' homes."

Her stories follow this vein and I giggled quite a few times at the silliness of some of the characters we seem to know. I was also amazing at how different each story felt in tone and character development. It is a short but fun read. I was able to read this over two lunch breaks! Many tweens will enjoy the deconstruction of a well-known fairy tale!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cat vs Human Comic

This happened to me this weekend, only with puppies!
I love Yasmine's Cat vs Human webcomic! Soon to be a book! Look for it on an upcoming WoW!
I am still recovering from the TLA Conference but I should have some reviews up this week! Maybe Abandon by Meg Cabot and What Happened to Goodby by Sarah Dessen!
Update: Actually I will be doing a review of Abandon next week because Meg Cabot is coming to a Barnes and Noble only an hour away from my city! :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stanza Saturday (2)

Stanza Saturday is a new weekly post, created by DJL, to share poetry from either a home collection or from the library.  Find a book of poems, any poet will do, and open up to a random page and post the first poem you see.  ^_^

This week's poem is:

Whispers of a Heavenly Death
by Walt Whitman 

Whispers of heavenly death, murmur'd I hear;
Labial gossip of night, sibilant chorals;
Footsteps gently ascending, mystical breezes, wafted soft and low;
Ripples of unseen rivers, tides of a current, flowing, forever flowing;
(Or is it the plashing of tears? the measureless waters of human tears?)

I see, just see, skyward, great cloud-masses;
Mournfully, slowly they roll, silently swelling and mixing;
With, at times, a half-dimm'd, sadden'd, far-off star,
Appearing and disappearing.

(Some parturition, rather, some solemn, immortal birth:
On the frontiers, to eyes impenetrable,
Some Soul is passing over.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

TLA : The Allure of YA Dystopias

The Allure of YA Dystopias
Ally Condie Matched
Lauren Oliver Delirium
Paolo Bacigalupi Ship Breaker
Jonathan Maberry Rot and Ruin
David Patneaude Epitaph Road

The appeal of the dystopian novel is that we can all live through intense and often violent experiences without the danger. Examine the social and economic factors necessary for creating a dystopian world. YA authors share how they create these alternate worlds that fascinate teen readers.
These are the notes I took form the panel. They are the notes I scribbled down and should not be taken as quotes from the author unless I have quotes around it. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed listening to some great authors talk about their world building techniques and why they love to wrote dystopian novels.

Why are dystopian so popular?

JM: In fiction we can explore the dystopian and have fun with payback. We can watch the boxing match happen in this cautionary tale.

LO: You can explore darker situations and the world around you but close the book afterward.

AC: The reader can face crushing odds but rebel against the existing world and survive!

PB: I think that dystopia is now a generalized term, classic dystopia is Orwell’s 1984. The dystopia now is more SciFi now. We look at these books and think how can we stop this from happening but it also is a rollercoaster ride for the reader. It should be a balance between the two. These stories allow you to write about people! A shared threat that everyone experiences and this way you do not have to keep banging it on the head of the reader. These are character driven stories!

DP: There is a conflict with in the conflict in a strange world that is different from what we know. There are scary world and an attraction about someone not having a “nice day.” What is better than dystopia?

PB: The core concept of dystopia falls into hope but not knowing where the world is going. What kind of technologies are in this world? Are there sustainable energies? The first building blocks of my writing are: what is the core? What is important to me? Who are the true villains? Politics, war?

LO: I look for an evolution of character. How does the person change and grow throughout the book? I read about 9:1 nonfiction to fiction. There are inspiration in these books and a lot of topical discussion. I wrote Before I fall, after reading about bullying. Ideas flow back into your books.
AC: Mine came out because my kids have to many legos and I thought that control must be exerted! (hehe) When you become a parent you are the one exerting control instead of fighting that control. It is scary what you will do to extend that safety. I sometimes see myself in that controlling society I created.

JM: Baby Boomers thought the world would was going to change and it did. Kids today are being handed a broken world. They want to believe in a world that will be there for them. Reading headlines today, you need hope. Cynics are out to get us “like a zombie herd.” Dystopias build a new world even if it is not a world we could think about.  Hope and the advance of the human spirit is a result.

DP: I did not set out to write a message story. Epitaph Road was just something running inside of my head.
World Building

LO: The best part of writing is starting and finishing, everything else is hard! Most of my world building does not always make it into the book. It is a practice of imaginative exploration.

AC: It felt so nice to make stuff up. Most of what I know of the economic factor I learned from my husband, he’s an economist and tells me that’s not how it works. I say but it sounds cooler that way!

JM: How would we rebuild? In Rot and Ruin it is 14 years after an apocalypse and the people have to start making money. There are carpet coats in my book. I always laugh at people in zombie movies!  They board up the windows but never use the carpet. It would take a dog at least thirty minutes to chew through a rug! Just wrap yourself up in carpet and run out into the zombie hoard!

PB: Reasons not to get hard wood floors. That’s all I have. Damn it! (Big laugh).

JM: How would I survive a zombie apocalypse? I cannot cook or grow food but I can protect people who can! How would we protect and maintain a world in chaos with new industries?

DP: I always think what if? You have to find one that a reader won’t laugh at!

PB: I have to think about what stays in the book and what stays out. I do not have a lot of space to say too much. It all has to fit in with the premise, in this case global warming and scarcity. That is what goes into the book- a hurricane that indicates a change in weather patterns. There are societies all around us that show the extremes of the world- rich and poor. I draw inspiration on that! Sorry, I geek out in this a lot! I love world building because what I add in inarguable because it fits in that world.

JM: I like the character accounts. When the kids are getting information from adults it is an oral history. A version of the truth that they can live with and the kids get a patchwork of history. In this world history is perceptive because there are no real records. I flesh out the story through flash back!

LO: I like to leave room for people to enter the story. I hate it when a book tries to cram too much into a story and you have no way to immerse yourself! Stories are really is a series of solving problems. I always know more about what ends up in a book than what ends up in the book! But I have not found a perfect balance of what goes were.

PB: The space before and after for the story is for the reader. Ideally, just touched upon enough to be real and true. I fall into the category “less is more” camp of thinking.

DP: I try and avoid the “expository lump or info dump” of all the things I learned in my research. You try to bring your into a world but not stop the reader to explain something you learned during researching.

LO: I actually don’t think about the reader when writing. I think about myself and what I need to say. I know that sounds egotistical but it is a moment that I need to put down on paper. You have to have integrity in your work and you cannot do that if you are worried about censorship.
AC: You have to tell the story! You have to keep true to yourself!

JM: If you are writing from a fear based state you are not writing true to you. You also not respecting the age group you are writing for! Someone who is not in the demographic should not matter! You cannot write in the shadows!

PB : I know that teens curse all the time and I had originally had that in my book but my publisher asked me if that is why I want to have my book banned and I thought “I want my book banned for the right reasons!” You have to pick your battles!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WoW: Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

"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:
Always a Witch
by Carolyn MacCullough
Release Date: August 1st 2011
Summary from Good Reads
Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.
Yay! The sequel to Once a Witch is coming out in August. I just read it and now I am awaiting to sequel. The review should be up next week some time!! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TLA Sessions: If You Give a Kid a Book

Texas Library Association Conference is in full swing and the first session I am at is- 
If You Give a Kid a Book. 
Basically a Book Talk for librarians! This is what I have heard today!

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
"Be careful what you wish for, it might come true!"

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill
The Puritan Mean Girls of 1692.

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro
It's gross and disgusting book! It draws in kids like flies to... well, you know.
How do you catch an invisible killer?

Liar, Liar by Gary Paulsen
An 8th grade boy who can tell amazing lies.

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
"I am a librarian, I always know what I am talking about."
Companion to Wednesday Wars.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
What is the secret of Manifest? Will the secrets ever be revealed?

The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito
A tense book full of flash backs from a teenage murderer.

Flip Flip by Martyn Bedford
Do you ever wake up and not know where you are? What if you woke up in someone else's body?
A psychological thriller with humor and romance.

Take Me to the River by Will Hobbs
Sure, we can take a 10 day rafting trip without adult supervision! Who cares about the hurricane, drug lords, kidnapping and scorpions.

Trapped by Michael Northrop
Who will make it out of the blizzard? It is the Breakfast Club meets Lord of the Flies.

Die For Me by Amy Plum
Move over Bella and Edward. Kate and Vincent meet in Paris but can their love survive Vincent being a zombie/angel/ghost?

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
The smaller the town, the bigger the secrets. Two teens are missing and OCD sufferer Kindle is the only one who hears the whispers of "Please save me."

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chose One
by Carol Lynch Williams
Narrated by Jenna Lamia
Checked out of Public Library

Book Jacket Summary
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters. That is, without questioning it much—if you don’t count her visits to the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her secret meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—she must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

My Thoughts
"If I was going to kill the Prophet," I say, not even keeping my voice low, "I’d do it in Africa."

This is the opening line of The Chosen One and it drew me in so fast I knew this would be an emotional roller coaster! Kyra is growing up on a polygamist commune and is now of the marrying age at 13. The prophet soon reveals that she is to marry her 60 year old uncle and this sends Kyra reeling into despair. Kyra is such a strong character but it takes her a while to become proactive in her struggle. There were several times I shouted "Then do something" in the middle of my car but she is also only thirteen and placed in an impossible situation. For her age and background she held her own against the religious zealots of her commune.

The narration of the book is spot on and Jenna Lamia sounds like a scared girl who loves her family to much to leave them for a better future. There are many suspenseful moments in this book and there were many times I had to pause the audiobook because I was seething. This is a very powerful book and probably not for everyone. I know that I was desperate to know what happened to Kyra and wished I could flip to the end of the book to make sure Kyra was going to be okay.  Overall I would recommend this audiobook because it does portray a very good character study of a girl who has to choose between what she knows and the unknown. Family and freedom are two things that are dear to Kyra but it tears her apart to have to choose and you will be cheering her on with your own cry of joy and tears.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stanza Saturday

Stanza Saturday is a new weekly post, created by DJL, to share poetry from either a home collection or from the library.  Find a book of poems, any poet will do, and open up to a random page and post the first poem you see.  If the poem is rather lengthy, feel free to post just the first stanza and be sure to include the poem's title, the book's title, and the poet. ^_^

This week's poem is:
by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)
      HE cat went here and there
      And the moon spun round like a top,
      And the nearest kin of the moon,
      The creeping cat, looked up.
      Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
      For, wander and wail as he would,
      The pure cold light in the sky
      Troubled his animal blood.
      Minnaloushe runs in the grass
      Lifting his delicate feet.
      Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
      When two close kindred meet,
      What better than call a dance?
      Maybe the moon may learn,
      Tired of that courtly fashion,
      A new dance turn.
      Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
      From moonlit place to place,
      The sacred moon overhead
      Has taken a new phase.
      Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
      Will pass from change to change,
      And that from round to crescent,
      From crescent to round they range?
      Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
      Alone, important and wise,
      And lifts to the changing moon
      His changing eyes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Only Boy in Ballet Class by Denise Gruska

Only Boy in Ballet Class
by Denise Gruska
illustrated by Amy Wummer

Book Jacket Summary
Tucker loves ballet-even though some people don't understand his passion for dancing. Taunted by the boys on the football field, tortured by dorky twin sisters, and teased by his Uncle Frank, Tucker doesn't know how to help people see how ballet makes him feel . . . until one day, when an unexpected invitation to join the football game comes, and Tucker Dohr gets the chance to prove just what ballet dancing can do!

My Quick Thoughts
Tucker is a boy who likes to dance! He dances through life even though many people think he is strange.
I really liked Tucker's mom and how supportive she is of her son's passion. However, Tucker's uncle disapproves and is constantly saying that Tucker should be playing football. Now I know many people who think like that and I always wonder how they compartmentalize life so much! Kids should be able to explore life and all the things they might be passionate about. Who are we to say that a boy cannot take ballet. I mean, he could be the next Baryshnikov!
*Steps off soapbox*
Overall this is a cute picture book but it does have a bit of a rushed ending and everything is easily resolved. I would give it to a child who knows what they love and should not be ashamed at liking something that is not necessarily in their "gender specific" range.
Plus there is an interactive website!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WoW: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

"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:

Summary from Good Reads

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count

I love Libba Bray and her books because they seem to be something different each time! The Rebel Angels Series did not prepare me for Going Bovine and I am sure that Going Bovine will not have prepared me for Beauty Queens. I only hope it is as crazy and wonderful as her stories before!
Plus she is super funny and nice in person (gotta love library conventions)! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Keeper by Kathi Appelt

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!

Keeper by Kathi Appelt
illustrated by August Hall

Book Jacket Summary
To ten-year-old Keeper, this moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong...and so much has gone wrong. But she knows who can make things right again: Meggie Marie, her mermaid mother who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that's exactly where she is headed -- in a small boat, in the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and a seagull named Captain. When the riptide pulls at the boat, tugging her away from the shore and deep into the rough waters of the Gulf of Mexico, panic sets in, and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves. Maybe the blue moon isn't magic and maybe the sandbar won't sparkle with mermaids and maybe -- Oh, no..."Maybe" is just too difficult to bear.
Kathi Appelt follows up to her New York Times bestseller, The Underneath, with a tale that will pull right at your very core -- stronger than moon currents -- capturing the crash and echo of the waves and the dark magic of the ocean.

My Thoughts
  What can I say about Keeper that has not already been said? It is a beautiful story about family, love, and over coming our deepest fears. Appelt's use of words reminds me of sitting around the campfire and hearing stories being told. You fall into those stories and feel what each character is feeling. The point-of-view shifts from chapter to chapter and each character has a unique voice. I especially love the birds-eye-view from Captain, a sea-gull, with his short attention span and love of watermelon. Tweens that like animal books will really like the POV of BD and Too, the dogs of the books. They sense danger and love their people unconditionally. Really makes me wish I knew what Sully thinks about me.
Keeper is a ten-year-old girl who is having the worst day of her life and blames it all on the "Stupid Crabs!" So she sets off to find her mermaid mother, Meggie Marie. She does this by doing the one thing she promised her guardian, Signe, that she would never do- go out to sea. Keeper is feisty, stubborn, a hoarder of money, and everything a ten-year-old could be! As I said earlier, the characters in this story are expertly portrayed and I am so glad I read this book. In fact, I will probably reread it soon. Towards the end I was so focused on finding out what was going to happen and how everything interconnects that I want to kick back and enjoy the way the words flow. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Warped by Maurissa Guibord

by Maurissa Guibord

Book Jacket Summary

Tessa Brody doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there is definitely something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry that she discovers in a box of old books. The wild, handsome creature woven within it draws Tessa, and frightens her too.
Soon after the tapestry comes into her possession strange things begin to happen. Tessa experiences vivid dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible secret-one that has been contained for centuries. She also meets William de Chaucy, a young sixteenth-century nobleman with gorgeous eyes, an odd accent and haughty attitude to spare. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. "His Lordship" is pretty hard to get along with but equally hard to resist.
Together with Will, Tessa must correct the wrongs of the past to defeat a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.
But what is she willing to sacrifice in order to do it?

My Thoughts
 My first full book read on the Nook! Loved the experience and digital formatting for this particular book. Plus the cover looks gorgeous on my homepage!
A frothy romance that is best read in a coffee house atmosphere and I mean that in the best kind of way!
This is a great escapism book that deals with time travel, the Fates, unicorn tapestries, and old bookstores. What more can a girl on Spring Break ask for... maybe a hot British guy?
Well Warped has one of those too!
We first meet Tessa at an auction, where her father is interested in buying a box of books that have come on the market. Inside this box is a tapestry of a unicorn that draws Tessa's eye and she knows that she must have it. Every time she touches the tapestry she feels a sense of almost falling into the scene and then she sees the string of thread fraying from the tapestry. Pulling the string releases a curse and out pops William. Trapped in the tapestry for centuries Will is distrustful of the girl who looks so much like another who helped put him in the tapestry. Can Tessa and Will overcome the curse and Will's distrust in time to save their future? Read the book to find out!  
Overall, Warped is a fun book that will go by quickly and make you giggle. Nothing wrong with that! Just enough character development of the side characters to make them interesting and fast paced to make you feel anxious for Will and Tessa. Perfect to take on a picnic during this lovely Spring weather.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Blogger Hop- April Fool's Day!

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:
"Since today is April Fool's Day in the USA, what is the best prank you have ever played on someone OR that someone has played on you?"

One April Fools day the guys at work switched every one's chairs around and turning the book carts upside down. All the ladies were in a tizzy and I was just trying to find my chair! We retaliated by stuffing their offices full of wadded up newspapers and balloons! Then we put Chia Pet seeds in an old keyboard and placed it on the ringleaders desk. Boy were they surprised!

During high school I worked at teacher supply store and one of my co-worker would always place fake spiders in my cash register or stop up my check slot with tape. He was a prankster!
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