Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
by Leanna Renee Hieber

Six young men and women are called to protect the living world from the dead in Hieber's Gothic romance debut. Mysterious powers give Alexi and his peers the mission of keeping the restless dead in line and seeking a prophesied seventh guardian. Miss Percy Parker, an albino orphan with a talent for languages, fills none of their expectations, but Alexi is drawn to her all the same. Hieber draws Victorian London as beautiful and grim, with depictions of Jack the Ripper as a nightmarish many-headed hound alongside charming descriptions of the Athens Academy, Percy's boarding school, and Greek mythology that smartly draws together various elements of the story. (description taken from Publisher's Weekly)

I picked this book up after reading a blog review about it and becoming intrigued. It sounded like a fantastic, almost steampunkish paranormal romance.

It was well written. I like Hieber's style; It's fluid and lyrical. Percy Parker is a great character, as is her love interest Alexi. My favorite characters, though, actually turned out to be two of the secondary characters who were exceedingly well drawn. Though this book didn't really turn out to be what I'd expected, it has a very novel mythology.

*Spoiler Alert* Percy is the reincarnation of the Roman goddess Persephone, parted from her love when Hades takes her, attempting again to find him...and save the world. The Ripper was an awesome hell-hound type demon that terrorized London.

It was an awesome blend of history and mythology. The fantasy is light, but thoroughly entertaining. This was not my favorite book, but it was good.

Teaser Tuesday - A Spy in the House

This meme is hosted by MizB at Should be Reading.

The rules are simple:
-Grab your current read.
-Let the book fall open to a random page.

-Share 2 "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
-Give the title of the book that you're getting your "teaser" from - that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
-And remember - please avoid spoilers!

A Spy in the House
by Y.S. Lee
The Agency, book one


When at last he spoke again, his voice was crisp and startling. "I don't believe you." Instinctively, Mary drew breath to protest, but he shook his head gently and she closed her mouth again. "You are not looking for work," he continued, more mildly. "Your hands are too soft; they are not a servant's hands. You are looking for something else."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Enna Burning

Enna Burning
by Shannon Hale
The Books of Bayern, book two

*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven't read The Goose Girl yet and you plan to, skip this review!!

Enna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna's simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good--to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders--and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. In her recklessness she is captured by the Tiran army and held captive by a handsome, manipulative young captain who drugs her to keep her under his influence. Can Isi and her old friends Finn and Razo rescue her without sacrificing themselves? And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?
(description taken from

I was really impressed with this book. It never ceases to amaze me when an author can take a fairy tale or legend, something where the story is already known, and create a whole new, believable world or twist on it...but then to actually compound on that and continue in the world with a fresh NEW story. That's just reading magic! Shannon Hale is a master.

Enna is a great character. I loved her in The Goose Girl as Isi's forthright and passionately loyal friend, but here you get to see her in much greater depth. Finn also reappears, much to my delight! The two of them must face new challenges and Enna is tested to the depths of her very soul.

The concept of fire, as an element, burning you alive...with impatience, with anger, with passion...very, very cool idea. I loved that this is central to the book, yet Enna never fades to the background in the face of the magic she holds. Enna's struggles, her morality, her essence never disappear.

An excellent book. I cannot wait to get my hands on River Secrets soon!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In My Mailbox - August 29, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!
In the Mail:

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
From the Library:

White Cat by Holly Black

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

It's Book Blogger Hop time again! The BBH is hosted by Jen over at Crazy For Books. This is a great opportunity to check out some other book blogs and to just have fun finding out what everyone else is doing! It's a great networking tool. I hope you hop today!

This week Jen wants to know:
Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it, and why?

I chose not to use an actual rating system on my blog reviews. Although I like to see what others think of books (it helps me to decide what to read personally AND what to order for the Teen Collection at my Library) the rating system is not as important to me as the actual comments that other bloggers make. Since I feel that way, I did not want to go out of my way to make a system that other bloggers may just skim over as well, so I decided just to be fairly thorough and adament in whatever comments I make for each review.

Kiss of Life

Kiss of Life
by Daniel Waters
Generation Dead, book two

The phenomenon that’s been sweeping the country seems to be here to stay. Not only are the teenagers who have come back from their graves still here, but newlydeads are being unearthed all the time. While scientists look for answers and politicians take their stands, the undead population of Oakville have banded together in a group they’re calling the Sons of Romero, hoping to find solidarity in segregation.

Phoebe Kendall may be alive, but she feels just as lost and alone as her dead friends. Just when she reconciled herself to having feelings for a zombie -- her Homecoming date Tommy Williams -- her friend Adam is murdered taking a bullet that was meant for her. Things get even more confusing when Adam comes back from the grave. Now she has romantic interest in two dead boys; one who saved her life, and one she can't seem to live without.
(description taken from

This series really blows me away. With both Generation Dead and its sequel Kiss of Life I have picked up the book just expecting an exciting zombie story. You get so much more out of Waters' books, though. There are astonishing depths that I smile to think the teen readers will pick up on and contemplate once they are done reading.

After the zombie phenomenon is set up in Generation Dead, you truly get to see the repercussions in this book. There are huge metaphors here for discrimination and segregation. Waters story made me think of Japanese interment camps in California, segregation in the historical south, and much more. These things are all layered into a story that somehow does not manage at all to lecture, even while it teaches!

Through all of this there is also the story of Phoebe and her two potential love interests. One, Tommy, she met and loved as a zombie. The other, Adam, gave his life trying to save hers and she comes to love him as a zombie. Either way, Waters deals with the way that society views "mixed" relationships, and I love how Phoebe explores her feelings, never once feeling as if she shouldn't love either boy because of their "biotic" status.

I cannot wait to see what other themes Waters explores in Passing well as seeing what happens next! (They do have really great plots beyond the themes, I swear!! :) )

Mockingjay *As spoiler-free as I can make it!

by Suzanne Collins
Hunger Games, book three

*This is as spoiler-free as I can make it, but if you haven't read The Hunger Games or Catching Fire turn back now!! :)

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

I to finish this last night. (I had a family death this week, so though I bought it on Tuesday, I had very little time to actually read it and still sleep!) All I can say is I LOVED the way that Collins weaved the ending to Katniss' story.

I was a big fan of her earlier series, The Underland Chronicles, though the ending to that series disappointed me just a little, so I think I was more prepared than some other readers for the sheer...brutality and realism...of Collins' war scenes. What made this book spectacular was that the action did not overtake the character development. Each and every character felt heartbreakingly REAL.

As I was reading I knew...just knew...that not everyone could survive (don't worry, I won't name names!) but I had that same series of moments that I did when I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when first Dobby died, then one of the twins and my heart just felt like a gaping hole in my chest! It is hard to lose characters that you've come to know and love so well.

I was pleased with the focus of the book being solely on Katniss...her relationship to the rebellion...not having each battle of the war overtake the book's plotline. I loved seeing her explore how she related to her friends, her family, her allies, her enemies, and then to the larger whole of Panem. As she made choices along the way, I felt each was fully justified by her character and fit the story perfectly.

I will not spoil the whole Peeta/Gale love triangle debate...but, I was happy with how things worked out in the end...largely because of the way each character developed in this last book. There was really no other way it could have ended...

That's all I will say for now, but I am going to reread the whole series again soon, because they truly are fantastic books!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


by Laura E. Williams

Thirteen-year-old Lauren, a Korean American adoptee, is best friends with the prettiest — and tallest — girl in the school, Julie, who has an endless amount of confidence. Lauren, on the other hand, has been saving for years to pay for a special eye surgery that will deepen the crease of her eyelids. It's not that she wants to look like everyone else in her suburban Connecticut school; she'd just be happy if kids stopped calling her "slant" and "gook." Up until now she's been able to ignore the insults, but when the cutest boy in her class calls her "slant," she realizes she needs to do something about her "nickname." When she convinces her reluctant father to consent to the eye operation, Lauren suddenly finds herself faced with a challenge: should she get the operation that might make her more confident and popular, or can she find that confidence within herself?
(description from

I am deeply conflicted about this book. I need some opinions from other people who have read this...STAT!

First off, it is a well-written, highly accessibly toned, middle grade book. The character is relatable, her family members are great, her best friend, pretty awesome, and there is just enough going on beyond the issues to balance out the message of the book. (I hate when the message becomes too...heavy)

My problem as a reader (personally) is the language used in the book...and yes, I do know that's the whole point of the book!...I was actually uncomfortable reading several passages in this book. I grew up in a house where I didn't even learn terms like "slant," "gook," or "kike," until I was entering college. SO, for me, all I could think when I was reading this was are we in fact teaching some kids these new words, instead of teaching them not to use them as is intended?

Now, as a Librarian, I don't want to censor the book. There are tweens out there who are probably facing this exact problem that will relate and be helped by this book! It is totally in our Library collection, though we aren't 100% sure what grade level to label it in the Children's Dept. (they go up to 8th grade) My gut, though, my own personal gut, wants this book to be geared to an older audience...sigh. Does anyone else have this type of issue?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tween Tuesday - The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
by Tom Angleberger

In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.
(description taken from

This was a cute book. I loved how it was set up as a "case file" by Tommy and the other boys. Their individual stories about the Origami Yoda and its advice were all fun, and together they did compile a very interesting story about Dwight himself!

I loved that Dwight and the Origami Yoda were able to help his classmates, though they didn't always understand what the help was right away. It made for an entertaining moment in each story when the reading got an idea of what would happen before the kids did.

The differing fonts, cartoons in the side margins, and the instructions for making your own Origami Yoda in the back make this a great book to give to someone that loves the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series or "Dear Dumb Diary." It's a fast and fun read for both boy and girl tweens!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In My Mailbox - August 22, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!
In the Mail:
It's a Book by Lane Smith
From the Library:
Scumble by Ingrid Law
Keys to the Repository by Melissa De La Cruz
Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl
Fang by James Patterson
Changeless by Gail Carriger
How did you do this week?

Dead is Just a Rumor

Dead is Just a Rumor
by Marlene Perez
Dead is series, book four

As the creepy little town of Nightshade prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary - on Halloween, of course - many of its paranormal residents are receiving mysterious blackmail letters. Psychic teen Daisy Giordano and her sisters set out to find out who is behind the threats. But launching an investigation isn't easy for Daisy with her overprotective father watching her every move. Though she's happy to have him back after the years he spent being held captive by an anti-paranormal group called the Scourge, Dad is having a difficult time adjusting to home life - and the fact that his little girl is now a senior in high school. He even disapproves of Daisy's boyfriend, Ryan. Can their relationship take the strain? And Daisy's got even more on her plate: A talented amateur chef, she has won cooking lessons with celebrity chef Circe Silvertongue. After nosing around (with a little help from Circe's pet pig), Daisy begins to suspect the temperamental chef's secrets aren't only in her ingredients...
(description taken from

I love this series. They are fun, quick to read paranormal mysteries. This newest one involves blackmail, ghostly writings, a pet pig, and an awesome semi-alive jukebox. Not only is each mystery fun in itself, but in every book a little more of the history of Nightshade is revealed. It was really cool to see more come out about the town while they were preparing for the anniversary party.

Daisy is a fun character. She is funny, nice, smart, and yet believable...because she's also somewhat short-tempered and hasn't quite learned to control her temper (and thus her telekenesis) yet. Her best friend, Samantha, her boyfriend, Ryan, and each of her family members are also great characters.

All in all, these are books that I can't wait to get my hands on. When does book five come out??

Full disclosure: egalley received from publisher via netgalley.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Zombies Vs. Unicorns

Zombies Vs. Unicorns
ed. by Holly Black and Justine Larbaleister

It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
(description from

I am not generally a short story person. I like more meat...I want more action...I want deeper character studies...I just want...more. This book, however, is a compilation that becomes one giant book. No, I did not read it all in one sitting, but with the running commentary between Holly Black and Justine Larbaleister interspersed between tales, it became one long story battling out the ultimate question.

I was torn! I have been Team Unicorn for as long as I can remember, yet lately I have been strongly drawn to Team Zombie. (see my reviews for The Dead-Tossed Waves and I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It as examples) I was so drawn into all of these stories that I couldn't really decide which team to ultimately join!

Some of my favorite stories in the book were "Princess Prettypants" by Meg Cabot, "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn" by Diana Peterfreund, "Prom Night" by Libba Bray...oh god, they were all good! This one book encompassed stories by so many of my favorite authors. There was tongue in cheek humor, there was chill-inducing realism, there was hope, and there was romance.

This is a book that I would highly recommend to all fantasy readers. Even if you only read one or two of the stories, you would still be guaranteed a great time!

Full disclosure: ARC received to review for SLJ

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hunger Games Party

In honor of next week's stupendously exciting release of Mockingjay, I held a "Hunger Games Party" this afternoon. We had a slightly smaller crowd than I'd hoped for, but the teens that came had a blast!

When the teens entered, we had them put on name tags with their names and the district that they wanted to represent. Most of the kids had not actually read The Hunger Games, so I, as President Snow, explained the history of the Games with much disdain.

Since they would be this year's tributes, "Effie Trinket" and I were going to put them through there paces in the Training Arena. First, we had them do some archery practice. We set up three targets and had them use the Nerf Big Bad Bow for safety reasons. They had a blast shooting things and cheering each other on...until we reminded them that they'd soon be hunting one another.

Secondly, we had the tributes practice defensive tactics, mainly camouflage. We gave them black, white, brown, green and red face paints and let them go at it. There were some interesting faces!

After camouflage techniques, we discussed how the tributes would be dropped into the arena. We set up a mini Cornucopia so that they would get an idea of what they'd be up against the next day and had each teen take turns running in to get survival items.

Teens were able to run in to grab items like a sword, a shield, a hammer, a knife, medicine, anti-venom, a waterbottle, rope, wire, a tarp, a blanket, and more. Each was cautioned to not only think about what they'd need right away, but things they'd need to attack, things they'd need to defend themselves, and things to help them survive if they are in the arena for a long time.

Once they had all their items, we ran them through a Games scenario and gave them points for items that would help them along the way. They had a hoot trying to figure out how to justify getting points for items that weren't really that relevant in the scenarios!

Finally, we drew winners for our two door prizes. We gave away a paperback copy of The Hunger Games and our grand prize winner won a certificate to be redeemed for a hardcover copy of Mockingjay when it comes out next Tuesday!!

Overall a huge success! Before the teens left I also snuck in a dystopia book talk and managed to convince the teens to check out five other titles before they left the party. Even better success!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's a Book

It's a Book
by Lane Smith

It's a Book is 32 pages of tongue-in-cheek style humor. Monkey is reading, yes, reading an actual book, when his friend Jackass wants to know what it is. Jackass is using his laptop and wants to know what else the book can do...does it have a mouse, can it blog, can it Tweet?? No. Monkey keeps extolling that it's just a book, until finally Jackass takes the book, begins reading and won't give it up afterwards. Eh. Monkey will just go to the Library to get more books! Problem solved.

This simple story, loudly proclaiming love for the printed book, kept me giggling all the way through. It's similar to the Pigeon series by Mo Willems in feel, with clean illustrations and a nod to adult humor along the way. It's very much like Shrek where kids will find it funny, but even more so adults. This book is a hoot that I plan to share with everyone I know!

Enjoy this book trailer, straight from MacMillan Children's!

For more info, you can also check these websites:

Full Disclosure: Review copy received from publisher

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Zombies Vs. Unicorns ed. by Holly Black and Justine Larbaleister

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!"

Zombies Vs. Unicorns
ed. by Holly Black and Justine Larbaleister

p. 53

"...Probably he's trying to make himself immortal, which never works, except wizards never listen when you tell them that, and we would really prefer if he got stopped before he cuts off the babies' horns trying."
"Let me guess," Alison said. "Is his name Voldemort?"
"No, what freakish kind of name is Voldemort?"the unicorn said. "His name is Otto, Otto Penzler. He lives downtown."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Anxiously Awaiting...

The Scorch Trials
by James Dashner

This is a companion book to The Maze Runner, which I LOVED. It was one of my favorite books of 2009. This second book comes out on October 12th, 2010!

May the mystery and adventure continue!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In My Mailbox - August 15, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

In the mail:

Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

On My Nook:
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

From friends:
Pegasus by Robin McKinley
*Thank you, Heather!!!!*

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
*Thanks, Jen (yabooknerd)!!!!!*
How'd everyone else do? Hope you all have a happy book week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

So, this is my second time participating in the Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Jen over at Crazy For Books. This is a great opportunity to check out some other book blogs and to just have fun finding out what everyone else is doing! It's a great networking tool. I hope you hop today!

This week everyone's reporting how many books they have on their to-be-read shelf. Ugh. This is a tough question for any book blogger, I'm sure. I have not just one pile of to-be-read books...I have about six! Let's see, I have the ARCs waiting to be reviewed (6, currently), my pile of ARCs from BEA (15, I think), ARCs from last year's BEA that I still haven't read...a shame I know! (4), books I purchased that I haven't read yet (around 10), books from the library (around 15), and new books on my Nook (12). That's just what's sitting in my bedroom/living room waiting to-be-read at the moment. Grand total...around 62. Not too shabby, but everytime I read one, I seem to bring home at least 2 more!!

Ahhh, well, I'm not really complaining. I love it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sisters Red

Sisters Red
by Jackson Pearce
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris - the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax - but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.
If you are a fan of dark urban fantasy, Sisters Red is a book for you. The Fenris are not your average werewolves; they are darker, fiercer, more sexually predatorial. The way that Scarlett and Rosie lure, nay tempt, the Fenris into pursuing them before they slay them was darkly fascinating. This is a seductive and gritty take on "Little Red Riding Hood."
The relationship that Scarlett and her sister, Rosie, share is also fascinating. Joking that they shared a womb, though were born years apart, and thus are really two halves of one heart, the love triangle in this book is not so much about the guy. In a non-sexual way, Scarlett loves her sister to the point of obsession. Rosie is all she has left. Rosie is the only one she can count on to love her.
When Silas returns and he and Rosie start to fall in love, they both feel guilty. They both love Scarlett. Yet, they can't deny their feelings for each other. Yet, Rosie also feels tied to devastates her when she believes the bond is broken. Silas also loves Scarlett, but not as he loves Rosie.
Balancing this enthralling set of relationships with the hunting and slaying of slathering creatures, Pearce has written an impressively modern fairy tale. It is realistic, yet still brims with the elements that drew me to fairy tales as a child. Absolutely, more Grimm than Disney. Just the way I like my fairy tales...cautionary!
Full disclosure: ARC received at BEA 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Before I Fall

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High - from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

It turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death - and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
(description from

Okay, I don't usually give an extra rating on my reviews here, but this is a MUST READ book. Now saying that, I know that I'm actually behind and most of you have already read this, but if not...OMG. Go read it now...right now!

This is earning a gold star from me. It is an amazing debut and I cannot wait to read Oliver's next book, Delirium when it comes out.

Oliver has a true way with words. Her descriptions were lush and evocative. I caught myself getting caught up just in the scenery, the "feeling" of each moment, let alone dealing with the action and emotions of the story. As Sam relived her day over and over and over, it was like watching someone go through the stages of grief. Each day had a different feeling to it, anger, frustration, hopelessness, joy, acceptance. It was beautiful and thought-provoking to experience with Sam.

I actually listened to this as an audiobook and it was expertly done. The narrator was fantastic. All the emotions came across clearly and truthfully. I cried at times. I laughed. I cringed. My only complaint...the only one...was that the epilogue had music layered over it that swelled just a little too much and I had some trouble hearing the end of the narration. Other than that I consider both this book and its audio counterpart to be MUST HAVES for libraries.

Full disclosure: Audiobook received to review for School Library Journal

Sunday, August 8, 2010


by Artist Arthur
Mystyx, book one

Krystal just met the perfect boy. Trouble is, he's dead.

When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City.

But Lincoln is nothing like Krystal imagined. The weirdness begins when Ricky Watson starts confiding in her. He's cute, he's funny, a good listener - and everything she'd ever want - except that he was killed nearly a year ago. Krystal's ghost-whispering talents soon lead other "freaks" to her door - Sasha, a rich girl who can literally disappear, and Jake, who moves objects with his mind. All three share a distinctive birthmark in the shape of an M and fittingly, call themselves the Mystyx. They set out to learn what really happened to Ricky, only to realize that they aren't the only ones with mysterious powers. But if Krystal succeeds in finding out the truth about Ricky's death, will she lose him for good?
(description from back jacket copy)

This book did not really grab me. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really compelling for me either. There were things I really liked and things that really bothered me, but overall, I felt this was just an average addition to the paranormal genre.

Things I liked:
*The way that Krystal finds out what really happened to her parents relationship and how it helps to repair her relationship with her mother.
*The way that Krystal, Sasha, and Jake discovered their powers and came to learn that they shared some kind of larger "power."
*The way that Krystal, Sasha, and Jake hang out together even though they come from different economic classes.
*The cliffhanger that the book ended on - now I really want to know more about the "power" and its origins...

Things I disliked:
*The way this town seemed so hung up on economic differences, to the point of seemed unrealistic to me.
*Krystal's unacceptance to face her issues and admit that she was upset in the beginning of the book.
*The wrap-up of the Ricky/Trina storyline I felt was too fast. There was no explanation about how the bad guy was doing the stalking he was doing.
*I needed more information about the Mystyx...this book felt like mostly just a setup for the rest of the series.

Overall, not my favorite new series, but not a terrible book.

In My Mailbox - August 8, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

In the mail:

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Now I finally own the whole Study trilogy!
From the Library:
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald
The Strange Case of Origami Yoga by Tom Angleberger
Dark Life by Kat Falls
The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker
For Review:
Zombies Versus Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbaleister
Hope you all have a great book week!!