Thursday, December 15, 2011

Books Jonni Should Read

Jonni is one of the three people who expressed an interest for me to blog. When he asked me last night for some reading recommendations I decided to make a special posting.



Books Jonni should read:


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

With his first foray into teen literature, acclaimed author Sherman Alexie packs a punch in this absorbing novel about a Native American boy searching for a brighter future. At once humorous and stirring, Alexie's novel follows Junior, a resident of the Spokane reservation who transfers out of the reservation's school -- and into a nearby rich, all-white farm school -- in order to nurture his desire to become a cartoonist. Junior encounters resistance there, a backlash at home, and numerous family problems -- all the while relaying his thoughts and feelings via amusing descriptions and drawings. Having already garnered a National Book Award for Young Adult Literature, this moving look at race and growing up is definitely one to pick up. – Goodreads.com



This book made me laugh, it made me cry and it really made me think. I cannot really explain WHY I loved this book, I guess it just touched me. It portrays the bleakness of life with hope. Many parents do not like this book, mainly because it contains alcoholism, discrimination, and poverty etc... This book discusses many painful issues without glorifying them and often with humor.



Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline's often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures. – Goodreads.com



I truly loved the movie Coraline, but the book is always better! This short gem is so creepy it actually scared me! I will never think of button eyes as “cute” again.



Feed by M.T. Anderson

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now. – Goodreads.com



When I first read this book it drove me CRAZY! What the heck are these kids saying! You think Shakespeare is hard, try reading futuristic text-ese! This sci-fi tale is set in a future society run by advertising and social networking. No need to read or write, just think it. School is only to learn how to use the feed more effectively. The more I reflect on this book the more I like it. 



The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . . – Goodreads.com



It is no secret I love Neil Gaiman, and you should too! The Graveyard Book is macabre, witty and clever! I love how the various ghosts are introduced with their epitaphs.



Hatchet by Gary Paulson

Since it was first published in 1987, the story of thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson's survival following a plane crash has become a modern classic. Stranded in the desolate wilderness, Brian uses his instincts and his hatchet to stay alive for fifty-four harrowing days. – Goodreads.com



Classic story of survival! A must read, just do not read this prior to flying anywhere!




The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein

Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves. Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo-alone and unaided-who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside . . . – Goodreads.com



Read it first! The movie (part 1) is set to release December 2012, you have a year, so get reading.



A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

Join Joey and his sister Mary Alice as they spend nine unforgettable summers with the worst influence imaginable--their grandmother! – Goodreads.com



An awesome collection of nine short stories featuring my favorite literary character Grandma Dowdle. Absolutely funny, a great book to just enjoy.

After this you should read the two novels featuring Grandma Dowdle: A Year Down Yonder and A Season of Gifts.



The Maze Runner by James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind. – Goodreads.com



Wow, I devoured this book and the best part of reading this now is next two books in the series have already been published!



Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. – Goodreads.com



Hello! Rippermania, need I say more?



Paper Towns by John Green

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night - dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q. Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers. – Goodreads.com



This is one of my all time favorite books! This is a wonderful coming of age story that explores friendships and had me pondering how well do I see others in my life.  Warning… there is some “language” used in the books. You do know swearing is bad and you should not! DFTBA



Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.  At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. – Goodreads.com



This is a totally different story! I read his with out putting it down and loved it. You should note the pronunciation of capaill uisce (CAP-ul ISH-kuh) I stumbled on that word for a while. 



Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive. – Goodreads.com



Thank goodness this world is not real! I probably would have been unwound. A fast paced thriller.



The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Gary D. Schmidt offers an unforgettable antihero in THE WEDNESDAY WARS—a wonderfully witty and compelling novel about a teenage boy’s mishaps and adventures over the course of the 1967–68 school year. Meet Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader at Camillo Junior High, who must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while the rest of the class has religious instruction. Mrs. Baker doesn’t like Holling—he’s sure of it. Why else would she make him read the plays of William Shakespeare outside class? But everyone has bigger things to worry about, like Vietnam. His father wants Holling and his sister to be on their best behavior: the success of his business depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has so much to contend with? A bully demanding cream puffs; angry rats; and a baseball hero signing autographs the very same night Holling has to appear in a play in yellow tights! As fate sneaks up on him again and again, Holling finds Motivation—the Big M—in the most unexpected places and musters up the courage to embrace his destiny, in spite of himself. – Goodreads.com



This is a funny read AND has Shakespeare! You may want to crack open the Bard after this to perfect Shakespearian insults!



Woman In Black by Susan Hill

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black. Psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie, The Woman in Black is a remarkable thriller of the first rate. – Goodreads.com



Read it first! This movie will be released in February starring Daniel Radcliffe! The book is a quick read and scared me half out of my wits! I will not be vacationing on the marshes any time soon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black
by Susan Hill
Paperback, 176 pages
Published: 1983
Synopsis: The classic ghost story by Susan Hill: a chilling tale about a menacing spectre haunting a small English town.

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black. Psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie, The Woman in Black is a remarkable thriller of the first rate.
- goodreads.com


Keeping my pledge to read it 1st, I promptly got my grubby fingers on this book after seeing the movie trailer.  On, February 3, 2012 the movie adaptation of this book is being released starring Daniel Radcliffe. The book is 176 pages long so I think you guys can read this in two months.


The Woman in Black totally solidifies that I am most certainly a city girl! Seriously! When I started reading this I could not help but think, what a cool place, it sounds so beautiful and serene, I wonder if there is a real place like this, maybe a bed and breakfast, It would be a wonderful weekend getaway.

Towards the end of this book I am totally thinking I would much rather find a getaway deal in the heart of NYC.

Like I said, I am a city girl. I need to be somewhere someone would hear me scream. I am horrified of rural places. Mostly from my own paranoia and overactive imagination. For instance, I have worked myself into a fearful frenzy of the thought of this crazy dude from around where my brother in law lives (I call him the Sasquatch of the Hollow) Whenever I am driving up my Brother-in-laws long wooded driveway, secluded in the Virginia mountains I am convinced I will see the Sasquatch of the Hollow winding through the trees at twilight mingling with the shadows amid the horrendous sounds of screech owls. AHHHH! Silence also horrifies me. I need honking horns and sirens to lull me to sleep. So this story set around a house that is situated on the marsh only accessible at low tide with creepy “frets” (thick fogs) rolling in at a moments notice scares me out of my wits. Now add some creepy wasted face ghost with a malevolent essence around her. Heck No! This is a ghost story! A classic ghost story! Of course this ghost story is only as scary as your imagination. This one clicked with mine it fed on my fear of being trapped on the marshes with a wasted face malevolent ghost and no way to leave AHHHHHH it gives me goosebumps thinking about it. If you are looking for something to read during a dark night, grab a blanket and cup of tea. You won’t be disappointed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson





The Name of the Star

By: Maureen Johnson

Intended Age: YA

Hardcover: 372 pages
Published September 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
ISBN 0399256601 (ISBN13: 9780399256608)

Synopsis: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.


Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. –goodreads.com

OK, this book just looks nice. I love the cover, with its opalescent tone, giving it an ethereal feel. So eerie. I love how the first page each chapter is bordered by these beautiful scrolls and the font is super cool especially when the Chapter begins with the letter I (it looks like a candle)

I have heard about this book on the blogosphere for some time now and I finally got my hands on this book (just released Sept 29th) Thank you Maggie for getting this for your birthday and letting me read it!

I started this book at night and stayed up as long as I could finishing it before lunch the next day. It is truly creepy! This book could keep you up at night scouring the shadows of your room. Jack the ripper is frightening enough! Now there is a copycat killer and main character Rory has just moved to the locality of the original and now copycat murders. Maureen Johnson ups the stakes by adding a ghoulish twist I really didn’t see coming. All and all it was an awesome hair-raising tale that I highly recommend.

My only complaint is that I read this SO soon after it was published! DARN! Now I have to wait till book two of the Shades of London Series is released. AHHHHHHH! So I will now troll/cyber-stalk Maureen Johnson’s twitters for any news and updates.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I am Thankful for Along For The Ride




 Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen


This post is to qualify (again) for the 19-YA-Book Giveaway by author Beth Revis. I think this is the greatest idea and cannot wait to see what books people are most thankful for. 

So this summer some random chick recommended Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride to me after I finished (and LOVED) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I was told that if I loved Anna I would most definitely love Along for the Ride. She described it to me as a good “beach read.” OK so those of you that know me know I do not hang at the beach nor did I go to the beach this summer. I mean really? Beach Read? ME? Is there a murder on the Beach? Are there zombies on the beach? Are there werewolves or sparkly vampires on the beach?

So you ask what is a beach read? I define (in my mind from the Chris - tionary) a beach read as a book that is a quick read. The story completed at the end, no strings attached. A book you can slip into without over thinking. A book you can set down in the sand to fly a kite without being consumed with what will happen next.  An entertaining light read (sometimes sappy or gushy or gooey) that you would leave for the next vacationers to enjoy.  Also known as book I normally would not read.

Not long after this recommendation I was strolling through BJ’s and saw Along for the Ride. I hesitantly decided to scoop it up. Auden, the main character in Along for the Ride is a braniac insomniac who is given the chance to spend the summer with her father and his new family. She meets mysterious hunky loner and fellow insomniac Eli and together they embark on midnight “quests” both learning to let go and possibly find love. AWWWWW! 

Along For The Ride is indeed a quick read, very entertaining and the story is wrapped up in a bow at the end. BUT that bow is so beautiful on a wonderful glittery present I debated on opening it again. Immediately I wanted to jump back in those pages of fluffy sweetness! Instead I went back to BJ’s like the crazy book lady I am, I dug through the piles of books pushing little kids outta the way and found Just Listen, Lock & Key, and The Truth About Forever. I also have been known to troll the D section of the library, blocking sassy tweens in their skinny jeans to get that copy before they do. I love Dessen’s characters, they are so multifaceted and complex! She immerses you in their fears, insecurities, grief, resentments, and anxieties at the same time she takes you by hand and shows you hope, kindness, understanding, acceptance, empowerment, and true love. Seriously! How comforting.  

The situations her characters face sometimes are very intense and powerful, In This Lullaby, Annabel deals with isolation, and the shame and guilt of concealing her attempted rape, while her sister self destructs with a near fatal eating disorder. In Dreamland Caitlyn’s perfect romance become a nightmare of addiction and physical and mental abuse. I have to admit I was very worried being led down some of these dark avenues but Sarah Dessen guided me through the pain and despair into a happy world with sunshiny rainbows and closure in a very real and very believable way.

So Beach Read? Hmmmm.
Would I read this at the beach? Absolutely!  In a box with a fox! I would read this book here or there; I would read this book anywhere.
Is it a quick read? I could not put it down! So yeah I zipped right through it.
Is it a light read? Not really, I was totally absorbed in the story and characters. I mean What the heck is up with Eli?? When I did set it down for a nano-second it was to make chicken salad for dinner :) 
Would I leave the book for the next vacationer? Heck no! Try to pry it from my hands! I would however leave a nice note recommending it strongly.


I am thankful for Along for the Ride. I especially love that in each of her books there is a cameo by former characters. The settings of her books overlap, making a map of her world in my mind. Because of Along For the Ride I have been introduced to a new genre I would not have explored. I am so grateful I picked up this book. Right now have three of Dessen’s books on my TBR pile and then I will have read everything she has written to date. So Sad! * tear*  That’s OK I will read these again and patiently wait for the next one.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The book I am most thankful for.


The book I am most thankful for. 

 
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

 
This post is to qualify for the 19-YA-Book Giveaway by author Beth Revis. I think this is the greatest idea and cannot wait to see what books people are most thankful for.

OK! Let me explain!

I have always been a reader! I love to read! After my daughter was born, I slowed down and really didn’t read much new, except for picture books! (Which are awesome!) As she began reading I started finding all of my favorites to share with her and began re-reading these. When at the bookstore I was always looking for a specific book knowing if she liked this, she certainly would like that. Classics. 

I never paid attention other books on the shelves or to the Young Adult section at all until Twilight.

Seriously! I reluctantly picked up Twilight to see what the fuss was about. The movie had just come out and as a mother to a tween girl whose friends were reading it; I felt I needed to read it too. I devoured this book and immediately went out and bought the rest in the series. When finished, I didn’t know what to do! So I read them again, and again, and again. My daughter started worrying about me and suggested that I find something else to read. The bookstore was overwhelming; browsing through the young adult section the covers shout at you, you cannot help but pick up the book to see what is about. I wanted to read them all! I decided as a parent I would try to read at least the first of all these new young adult series to be informed. So I read Shiver, preordered Linger and read Lament and Ballad. I read City of Bones and immediately got the rest of the series and pre-ordered Clockwork Prince. I read Paper Towns and bought everything that John Green wrote. I read Hunger Games, Catching Fire and thought I would die waiting for Mockingjay. I have found so many new authors that I love! Last year I read 66 books. This year I have read 85 so far (almost all young adult books) I “say” I read them to know what my daughter is reading, to enrich our discussions. But really I am just a book junkie that is hooked on young adult. I read book blogs, (I have a book blog-ish) I listen to podcasts about books. I have made most of my family stand in lines to get books autographed. I follow my favorite authors on Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr. (I actually joined Twitter & Tumblr to follow authors & bloggers) Twilight introduced me to the incredible world of young adult fiction. I just needed something else to read to fill that hole after Twilight. Today, I am willing to read out of my genre comfort zone and because of that have found some amazing books and authors. Thank you Twilight!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

All Hallow's Read

One of my favorite authors started a new tradition last year. On Halloween in addition to all the normal festivities we can celebrate All Hallow's Read. As most of you know I love Halloween, I love scary stories and I love to read. All Hallow's Read is my new favorite holiday! I decided to include a list of some of my favorites that should be shared this holiday season. I cannot tell you how hard it was to limit to ten books. I know I cannot give everyone a book so I am posting a link to one of my favorite short stories the The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs. Enjoy and have a terrifying All Hallow's Read.



1. Gashleycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
This is the quintessential primer for macabre. It follows the demise of little children alphabetically. Pair this with Gorey’s dreary drawings and you have a masterpiece!

2. Last Apprentice - Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
I downloaded this audiobook this summer from the Audiobook Community. I really enjoyed this creepy tale. Tom is the seventh son of a seventh son and is sent to apprentice with the Spook. His job is to contain the witches, ghouls beasties and boggarts. I actually held my breath a couple times. A great introduction to scary stories.


3. Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I absolutely loved this book. It is a story about a young boy named Nobody Owens, they call him Bod for short. Bod’s family is murdered and he alone escapes to the safety of a nearby graveyard where the resident ghosts decide to raise and protect the infant themselves. This book was not as scary as I assumed it would be given the story line. You can listen to the complete audiobook here, read by Neil Gaiman.

4. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This book truly freaked me out! It scared me much more than it scared my daughter. As a child I loved the Narnia series, I was always searching for a “portal” to some fantastic magical world. Gaiman totally twists this! The world Coraline finds is far more sinister. My imagination was on overload. The Beldam totally made my hair stand on end.

5. Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Seriously, what can be creepier than a traveling carnival! When I first read this I slept with the lights on for a while. The Dust Witch still scares me, and Mr, Dark is just plain eerie. 

6. Dracula by Bram Stoker
You cannot have a Halloween list with out Dracula. I think that everyone should read Dracula. Bram Stoker introduced us to the modern Vampire. Dracula does not sparkle and you most certainly will not find friendly vampires on these pages. I read this first when I was in 7th grade and have re-read it many times it gets better each time.

  

7. Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
This book is downright spooky. People are disappearing in the small town of Cryer's Cross. I was not sure where this was going and was totally surprised when I got there. Freaky!

8. Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Hello! Zombies! Unconsecrated moaning at the fence reaching for you! This book had me hooked immediately I literally did not put this down until I finished! Read it!
9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
This is a classic tale of Gothic Horror. A book you must read! This is a cautionary tale of the dangers of science. In today’s world with genetic research and the wonders that can be accomplished in a lab this book scares me more each time I read it and I think that also makes it timeless!. This is the granddaddy of monster stories and definitely a must at Halloween.

10. Short Stories… The Call of Cthulhu, The Monkey's Paw, Masque of the Red Death, Legend of Sleepy Hollow to name a few. If you cannot find time to read a novel for Halloween you can easily read a short story. Many great short stories are available to read online as their copyright has expired. So if you do not feel like going to the bookstore or library, go online and read a terrifying gem for free.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Anna and the French Kiss
By: Stephanie Perkins
Intended Age: YA
Hardcover: 372 pages
Published December 2nd 2010 by Dutton
more details...ISBN-10: 0525423273 (ISBN13: 9780525423270)

Synopsis: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
-goodreads.com

I borrowed this book from the library.

I am actually still giddy from reading this. I have to qualify that I have never really been a romance reader. I prefer horror, mystery & gore. So today when I was in the library with an impatient child waiting for me I grabbed this off the must read display. I read it straight through. Actually, I want to read it again! What a great, feel good, squishy, happy ending, sweet book. St. Claire is totally swoon worthy. Grab this if looking for a nice summer read. I definitely will read her upcoming release Lola and the Boy Next Door (due in September 2011)

I give this 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Epic by Conor Kostick


Epic
By: Conor Kostick
Intended Age: YA
Hardcover: 320 pages
Published April 5th 2007 by Viking Juvenile
ISBN-10: 0670061794 (ISBN-13: 978-0670061792)
Series: Epic #1 

Synopsis: Generations ago, violence was banned on New Earth. Society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. Everyone plays. If you win, you have the chance to go to university, get more supplies for your community, and fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing.

When Erik, seeking revenge for the unjust treatment of his parents, dares to subvert the rules of Epic, he and his friends find themselves up against with the ultimate masters of the game: the Committee. If Erik and his friends win, they may have the key to destroying Epic’s tyranny over New Earth. But if they lose . . .
-goodreads.com


I borrowed this book from the library.

So a friend told me last week I should to read this. Immediately it was on my radar. While perusing my local library last Sunday, there it was sitting out on the end of a table where someone conveniently left it for me to find. I now NEEDED to read this book! My interest was peaked.

So here I am. I am absolutely unaware of the world of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) but I easily slipped into the concept without a hitch. (and yes for those of you who know me I had to read a wiki article on MMORPG’s before writing this to know there was such a thing as MMORPG’s)

I expected this to be a book about the dangers of online gaming. While it is set in an online game, this book is about much more. This book raises a host of questions. How do we see ourselves from the outside? and privately to ourselves? Are they the same? What are our priorities and goals in life? Do we live our lives to achieve them? And most importantly, how much of who we are is in the things we think most people do not see? If Science Fiction/Dystopia is your thing this is a book for you, if it is not you should try it. You may be surprised.

Of course I want to know more of what happens in Erik’s world so I hope the second book in the series Saga(2008) is as easy to find as this one. The final book in the series Edda (2011) will be released August 4th.

Thanks Christina & Elizabeth for the recommendation.
I give this 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 22, 2011

High School Library Needs Books

 
 
 
From Danielle Bunner (Frenzy of Noise)

While I was in classes a few weeks ago, I had this huge (kinda funny to me) realization. All week everyone kept talking about community. Saying "this is the place you'll build a lifeline." All week I was that smug girl who's said to myself: I have that. Because I do have that. I have it in bloggers, in readers, in writers, in authors, in twitter. I know I have people. I know I'm part of a community that bans together to stand up for literary injustice, backlash, plagarism and everything in between. We build hashtags on twitter and give small ideas a way to be big. We're awesome.

That's why when the director of my MFA program sent us an email about a book drive, I knew I had to bring the need to my community. This community. Why? Well...

"The literature section of Ballou Senior High School's library in Washington, DC has 63 books, not enough to fill five small shelves. In the area marked "Pure Science," there are 77 volumes. The generally accepted standard for school libraries is 11 books for each of Ballou's 1,104 students."

THAT'S WHY.
It's completely unacceptable that a high school is lacking a basic need of life, a need that opens the doors to education, creativity and imagination---books. And this is the time for all of us to step up, to ban together, to help out. No matter what genre you read, because they need everything.

This selection I take out of the email from my program director because he says it better than I ever could.

"It's a challenge for kids to take their literacy seriously when they don't even have books to read. Ballou is located in the most dangerous ward in our nation's capitol. Right now, the library serves as a physical safe space and a refuge for students in off school hours, but wouldn't it be great if they had something to read while they were there--even choices across genre?....This is not the only school in the country with needs, but when the flare went up we saw it and chose to respond."

What they need:
Everything. From Shakespeare to Octavia Butler to Richard Wright. Fantasy, sci-fi, YA, adult fiction, history books, poetry, classic literature, science.

She said they would take anything as long as it is in GOOD condition and has no writing in it.

I've asked if they would accept ARCs, and the director of the book drive, Lisa, said YES.

How to donate:

If you have books you want to give, please mail them directly to:

Perry School
c/o Margaret Pegram
128 M St. NW suite 318
Washington, DC 20001

Inside the box put a note that says "c/o Lisa P. Ballou Book Drive".

The school will be accepting books until August 22nd.

Also, if you'd like to include some kind of quick note for the kids, words of encouragement, that would be awesome!!

Spread the word!

Reblog this post on your blog. Tweet this post. (we're on twitter at #HSBookDrive) Tell everyone. Send books.

This is a chance for our community to step up, to reach out and to provide teens with books. This is why we are here so I challenge you to be part of this.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Top Ten Books I Believe Teens Should be Required to Read


Top Ten Books I Believe Teens Should be Required to Read
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
  
Here is my top ten list of books I think every teen should read. This list is obviously going to reflect my favorites. The beauty of this is we all have different essentials. This list was very hard to compile! Obviously, it is now Wednesday afternoon and I am posting my Top Ten Tuesday list.

When I say teens should be required to read these I mean they should read them before they are adults. I had several teachers who clearly did not like the books they were required to teach us in school. I truly believe this taints the reading experience tremendously! I was lucky to have a few teachers passionate about the books we had to read. I hope I can carry that passion for some of my favorites and pass it along to my child and reading friends! Here Goes!
(In No Particular Order)




1. The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993)– This is a great dystopian novel often dismissed as a children’s book. I think everyone should read this book.






2. Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins (2009 – 2010) – I wish more emphasis would be put on reading what you love! I loved this series and am happy that many teens were able to read my copies of this series because they wanted to! Yea for reading!




3. Night by Elie Wiesel (1982) - Some one gave me this book in high school and I mistook this thin book as an easy read. This book is about Elie Wiesel’s life in a Nazi Concentration camp. This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read! It personalized the holocaust, one period in history we never want to repeat!



4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) – I had to read this in school. I loved this book! The characters are amazing. Atticus Finch is one incredible man, I wish there were more Atticus’s in the real world than just on the pages of a book.



5. Paper Towns by John Green (2008) – I have enjoyed every book I have read by John Green and I have more on my TBR pile. There is language/situations in this book so I would suggest this for older teens. It was easy to root for Q on his quest to find Margo and ultimately himself.



6. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (1845) – Frankly anything by Poe and more poetry. Lots and lots of poetry!






7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813) – Because before Edward there was Mr. Darcy



8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (1939) – Any one who knows me knows I could not make this list without Dame Agatha!






9. Short Stories – I love short stories! They are gems of words! You can read a short story… well very shortly! But often times the story sticks with you for a long time after.
Some of my favorites… The Monkeys Paw by WW Jacobs, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, The Gift of the Magi by O Henry, Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling, and anything by Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Saki, Mark Twain, HG Wells, HP Lovecraft.

10. Something funny! Everyone needs to laugh out loud.
Some of my favorites… A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup, Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, Here Lies the Librarian and the Teachers Funeral by Richard Peck. The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis and A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban