Friday, March 30, 2012

Mini Reviews: The "I'm Just Trying to Find My Place in the World" Edition

Where I Belong
by Gillian Cross

In the hot desert of Somalia, Mahmoud is kidnapped and held for a ten thousand-dollar ransom. His older sister, Khadija, is in London, thousands of miles away; and yet Mahmoud s life is in her hands. Someone has discovered her identity, that she is Qarsoon the Hidden One the face of famous fashion designer Sandy Dexter s newest collection. Who can Khadija trust to help her? She now must appear as planned on the Fashion Week runway. Only then can she possibly earn the money to save Mahmoud s life. Also involved is Abdi, a fourteen-year-old boy coming to terms with the mysterious disappearance of his father, and Freya, the totally unfashionable daughter of Sandy Dexter, trying to find her place in her mother s world of haute couture. (description from

I thought that this was an interesting way to introduce a lot of information about Somalian culture. The kids each brought a totally different viewpoint to the story and it was intriguing to read how they interacted with each other and the adults around them.  I had trouble sometimes keeping track of who was the narrator of the different chapters, though, and while this was a sometimes exciting story that was easy to read, it didn't totally enthrall me. 

Tall Story
by Candy Gourlay

Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long-lost half-brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London where he belongs.

Then Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as crazy as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. Eight feet tall, in fact—plagued by condition called Gigantism and troubled by secrets that he believes led to his phenomenal growth. (description from

I hadn't been sure I would like this story, but it was actually a very touching, almost folk-story feeling tale. I loved both Bernardo and Andi in different ways.  He was a wonderful boy, who just happened to grow 8 feet tall, and had to deal with how that affected how all the people around him viewed him.  Andi was fiesty, loyal, and incredibly impatient to be independent...and yet, she loved her brother without reservation.  With a slight touch of "magic" and a great, loving family, this turned out to be a great read!

PS - The audio version is phenomenally done. A fun one to listen to!

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for SLJ
*2012 Debut Author Challenge title*

The Mostly True Story of Jack
by Kelly Barnhill

Enter a world where magic bubbles just below the surface. . . .
When Jack is sent to Hazelwood, Iowa, to live with his strange aunt and uncle, he expects a summer of boredom. Little does he know that the people of Hazelwood have been waiting for him for quite a long time.

When he arrives, three astonishing things happen: First, he makes friends -- not imaginary friends but actual friends. Second, he is beaten up by the town bully; the bullies at home always ignored him. Third, the richest man in town begins to plot Jack's imminent, and hopefully painful, demise. It's up to Jack to figure out why suddenly everyone cares so much about him. Back home he was practically, well, invisible. (description from

This was a magical tale. It was that side of magic that turns out to be creepy.  I felt bad for Jack as he was trying to figure out who and possibly what he was...and yet, he was good and he made new, loyal friends. I liked the style of this book a lot, and will be checking out Barnhill's next book.



by Alethea Kontis

Publication date: May 8, 2012

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers? (description from

This is definitely one of the best fairy tale mash-ups I have read in a long time. It outright sparkles. 

The characters are well drawn, fully fledged...with flaws and all.  They have hidden agendas, complicated interactions, and yet also a seemingly infinite hope for a bright and loving future.

Here, fanciful bits of almost every classic fairy tale combine and dance through Sunday's story, creating a vibrant, effervescent new world for readers to play in. The twists and turns of the story include nods to genre classics, and end up highlighting an emotional depth that I had not expected in the story. 

This is truly a book that no fairy tale reader should miss.
Worthy of a sparkly gold star.

Full disclosure: ARC received to review for SLJ

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Anxiously Awaiting...Because It Is My Blood!!

Because It Is My Blood
by Gabrielle Zevin
sequel to All These Things I've Done
Birthright series, book two  

Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.
Publication date: Sept. 18, 2012

I am sooooo excited that they just released the info for this book! I LOVED All These Things I've Done, so I *cannot* wait to read this follow-up...especially since it sounds like Anya travels to Russia...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mini Reviews: The Dystopian Edition

Article 5
by Kristen Simmons

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.
 The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.
 There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.
Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.
Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.
That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved. (description from
I really liked this one a lot. I thought the whole moral code thing was a fascinating study on human culture and how we like to take things to extremes. I also thought the love story was a lot more believable because they'd known each other for YEARS before the events in the book.  I look forward to a sequel.
Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile
*2012 Debut Author Challenge title*


by Lauren DeStefano
The Chemical Garden Trilogy, book two

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but they’re still in danger. Outside, they find a world even more disquieting than the one they left behind.

Determined to get to Manhattan and find Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan, the two press forward, amid threats of being captured again…or worse.

The road they are on is long and perilous—and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and men die at age twenty-five, time is precious. In this sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price—now that she has more to lose than ever. (description from

I actually enjoyed this sequel better than the original Wither, mostly because it got Rhine out of the mansion and into the real world, where she had a chance to take charge.  DeStefano's world is beautiful and crumbling... a devestating and destructive place. I loved the setting more than the story I think, but I will definitely be reading book three. I have to find out how it ends!

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile

Epitaph Road
by David Patneaude

2097 is a transformed world. Thirty years earlier, a mysterious plague wiped out 97 percent of the male population, devastating every world system from governments to sports teams, and causing both universal and unimaginable grief. In the face of such massive despair, women were forced to take over control of the planet--and in doing so they eliminated all of Earth's most pressing issues. Poverty, crime, warfare, hunger . . . all gone.

But there's a price to pay for this new "utopia," which fourteen-year-old Kellen is all too familiar with. Every day, he deals with life as part of a tiny minority that is purposefully kept subservient and small in numbers. His career choices and relationship options are severely limited and controlled. He also lives under the threat of scattered recurrences of the plague, which seem to pop up wherever small pockets of men begin to regroup and grow in numbers.

And then one day, his mother's boss, an iconic political figure, shows up at his home. Kellen overhears something he shouldn't--another outbreak seems to be headed for Afterlight, the rural community where his father and a small group of men live separately from the female-dominated society. Along with a few other suspicious events, like the mysterious disappearances of Kellen's progressive teacher and his Aunt Paige, Kellen is starting to wonder whether the plague recurrences are even accidental. No matter what the truth is, Kellen cares only about one thing--he has to save his father. (description from

I thought this was interesting. There were some obvious questions that weren't really answered, but overall the story was really entertaining and thought-provoking. I can't imagine a world where there are so few men that they could be so rigorously controlled...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
*Based on the book, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

After years of waiting for this book to be adapted into a movie, I finally got a chance to SEE the world of Panem in all it's dichotomic glory. There were so many things that I loved about this movie...and I only had one very minor complaint. 

I am going to try to make this review as spoiler-free as possible for people who haven't yet seen the movie, but if you haven't read the book yet, you may just want to skip the entire review as I'm sure I'll end up ruining something for you...LOL.

Anyway, these are the things that I liked:
1. The casting - I thought that the entire cast was phenominally chosen.  At first I had been skeptical about a few characters (Lenny Kravitz??), but the choices all turned out to be brilliant on screen.  Jennifer Lawrence was wonderful as Katniss, managing to evoke all the right emotions, especially as with the movie, you don't really get to see inside her head like you do in the book.  Both Peeta and Gale were well chosen and worked really well off of Katniss.  The adults surrounding her?  Epic.  The way that Effie and Haymitch dealt with the kids and played off of each other was great.  The use of Cesar as both comic relief and as an expository character (giving depth to the world and treating the viewer as a "viewer" of the games) was exceedingly well done. (He might even have been my favorite movie character, perchance...) ...And for all my earlier hesitance...I really loved Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.  It turned out to be a great choice.

2. The world building - I actually thought that the movie enabled Collins to expand the viewer's perspective of the world A LOT.  In the book, you are trapped inside Katniss' head, and it is fantastic and compelling and emotional as hell, but in the movie, you are able to FEEL what has been building in Panem for a long time.  You are able to see what the President is doing to control his power over the people. You are able to get the mood of the country, its priviledged, its downtrodden.  You see how the other Hunger Games tributes feel... There is just so much more explored here.

3. The use of camera work to deflect the violence - Okay. There was no way that I was NOT going to see this movie.  It is one of my favorite books of all time and it has looked epic from the moment they started promoting it.  That does not mean that I wasn't mentally steeling myself to make it through the violence of the Games.  I was so pleasantly surprised with how they filmed this.  Yes, there are kids fighting to the death. Yes, you know exactly what happens.  Yes, you see a lot of it...BUT you don't SEE it.  They filmed this with two different techniques that contribute to a lot of the violence being down played...actually three methods.  One, a shaky cam, so that you see what happens, but it's so quick moving or blurry that you don't really know what you've seen until after it's off screen again.  Two, almost like an old Alfred Hitchcock movie, they clip in and out of the violence. You see a sword flash during a wind up, then you cut to a falling body...without seeing the gory slash in between.  Lastly, they utilized the cannon firing and visual display of fallen tributes to alert Katniss that someone had died without the viewer having to see the death at all. I was really pleased over all with how well this turned out.  I knew what happened, I got the emotional devestation of it, but I didn't have to look away from the screen at all... KUDOS.

My only complaint with this film, and it is a minor one, is that I thought it lacked some of the character building that the book had... because we are seeing the whole picture and we weren't inside of Katniss' head, you missed out on feeling her confliction as she deals with her emotions inside the arena and her knowledge that they will have an impact if she makes it out.  You miss seeing some of the cold calculation she must go through to figure out how to survive... Though I loved the movie and felt it was almost perfect, I thought that possibly, they could have added one or two lines somehow here or there that would have explained Katniss' thoughts without bringing in voice-over narration...

Overall, I thought this movie was AMAZING. I plan to go see it again this weekend...and if you know me, you'll know that means it was epic. I hate paying to go to the movies in general...I wait a lot until things come out on DVD, and I cannot remember the last time that I saw a movie in the theater twice. It may have been Harry Potter 4? I'm not sure.  LOL.

What did you all think?? 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Terrific Three's and Super Storytime: Cows!

Some of you may know that aside from just being a blogger, I'm also a Librarian. Just before the new year, I started a new job as a Youth Services Librarian, which means that aside from just doing teen services, I'm also doing two weekly storytimes (for ages 3-5) and a monthly pajama storytime.

Since I've started doing these storytimes, I've found it immensely helpful to read the "set-up" from other storytimes on other blogs to get I want to "pay it forward." I'm going to try to put up as many storytimes as I can so that maybe someone else will get ideas for their storytimes!

Let me know if you have any format suggestions, etc!!

This was one of the Terrific Threes and Super Storytimes I did in February.
Theme: Cows!

Opening Song: 3's - BINGO/4's - Heggity Peggity
*rhythmically clap hands or slap hands on legs*
Heggity Peggity bumble-bee,
won't you share your name with me,
(Child says name)
(Group repeat's child's name twice)
*repeat for entire group*
Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeler
Adventures of Cow Too by Cow
Action Song:   Cows (Wheels on the Bus)
                          The mouth of a cow goes moo, moo, moo...
                          all around the farm
                                     The tail of a cow goes swish, swish, swish...
                                     The Ears of a cow go flip, flip, flop...
                                     The Hooves of a cow go clip, clip, clop...
Action Rhyme: Two Mother Cows
                           Two mother cows lived on a farm
                           (show thumbs)
                           Each had a baby to keep from harm
                           (show pinkies)
                           This little baby was black and white
                           (wiggle one pinkie)
                           This little baby was black as night
                           (wiggle the other pinkie)
                           Both little babies loved to play
                           (wiggle both pinkies)
                           As they ran and they frolicked in the fields all day
                          (swing pinkies from side to side)
Flannelboard: "Black Cow, Black Cow, What Do You See?"
*Based on the Eric Carle rhyming book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Too Many Pears by Jackie French

Action Rhyme: This Little Cow
                            This little cow eats grass
                            (chomp with fingers)
                            This little cow stomps hay
                            (stomp feet)
                            This little cow dances round
                            (turn in a circle)
                            This little cow runs away
                            (run in place)
                            This little cow does nothing but lay
                            (hands by face as if sleeping)
                            and sleep all day...MOO!!
                            (jump to scare them)

Action Song: Five Cows in the Bed
                       Five cows in the bed and the little one said MOOve over, MOOve over...
                       So they all MOOved over and one fell out... Ahhh!
                       (repeat until only one cow is left)
                       One cow in the bed and the little one said...Hee, Hee, Hee...All mine, Goodnight!

The Cow Who Clucked by Denise Fleming 3's/Sake's Alive! A Cattle Drive by Karma Wilson 4's

Dance: "I'm A Cow" from CD, Big Red Car by The Wiggles

Craft: Paper Plate Cow
Supplies needed:
large size paper plates
large pink construction paper circles (precut)
black construction paper ears (precut)
yellow construction paper horns (precut)

It was so much fun to see the kids glue these together and then add their own details with the crayons. We had some smiling cows, some frowny ones, some with spots, and some with crazy colors!!

Finally! A Trailer for "The Host"...

I am beyond excited to finally be able to share the teaser trailer for the movie adaptation of one of my favorite books, Stephanie Meyer's The Host. It's a fantastic reimagining of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney.  I *cannot* wait until this movie comes out... in March 2012 (such a long time to wait!!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Identifying a Potential Steampunk Reader...or, "Hey, I have no idea if I would even like steampunk?!"

So, today over on the Hub's blog, I created a post to help figure out if you would possibly like Steampunk...and if so, where on Earth to start! Check it out and let me know what you think. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

DNF: Chime

by Franny Billingsley

Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know. (description from

This book got such great reviews that it literally pained me that I could not get all the way through it.  I read more than half, hated every minute of it, skipped a chunk and finished the end...just to know what happened.  This was one of those books that just bothered me, deep in my core. It was by no means bad...but I just grit my teeth everytime I picked it up.  I hated how Briony referred to herself in whiny third person all the time! Hated.  Even the plot, which had sounded right up my alley, couldn't get me past that...ugh.

Now, there have been plenty of people out there who loved this book, so not let me sway you from reading it.  Check out the reviews on the web and decide for yourself! 

If You Like: Stories about Sexting Scandals

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.

This week's recommendations are all to do with sexting and online scandals. I haven't yet read any books that actually featured sexting, just online chat rooms and that kind of stuff, so I'll have to check out some of these great recommendations, myself! You can see it here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cassandra Clare is coming out with a new series!

The newest issue of Book Page's Children's Corner has some brand-new and exciting news for Cassandra Clare fans!!

Cassandra Clare, whose previous best-selling series of YA urban fantasy novels have been set in contemporary New York (The Mortal Instruments) and Victorian-era London (The Infernal Devices), has signed a new deal with Margaret K. McElderry Books for an upcoming series set in present-day L.A. The first book in the Dark Artifices series will be published in 2015.

Margaret K. McElderry Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, also announced a few more specifics of the plot in the Huffington Post:
The series follows Emma Carstairs, the fiercest warrior and most skilled young Shadowhunter since Jace Wayland, and Emma’s sworn partner in arms, Julian Blackthorn. Despite Emma’s complicated feelings for Julian, the two must band together to investigate a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.
Sounds interesting!! I know you Cassandra Clare fans are squealing to yourselves right now, aren't you, lol?!   I'll be keeping my eye out for book one, for sure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Anxiously Awaiting...Yesterday!

by C.K. Kelly Martin

Publication date: Sept. 2012

THEN: The formation of the UNA, the high threat of eco-terrorism, the mammoth rates of unemployment and subsequent escape into a world of virtual reality are things any student can read about in their 21st century textbooks and part of the normal background noise to Freya Kallas's life. Until that world starts to crumble.

NOW: It's 1985. Freya Kallas has just moved across the world and into a new life. On the outside, she fits in at her new high school, but Freya feels nothing but removed. Her mother blames it on the grief over her father's death, but how does that explain the headaches and why do her memories feel so foggy? When Freya lays eyes on Garren Lowe, she can't get him out of her head. She's sure that she knows him, despite his insistence that they've never met. As Freya follows her instincts and pushes towards hidden truths, the two of them unveil a strange and dangerous world where their days may be numbered. Unsure who to trust, Freya and Garren go on the run from powerful forces determined to tear them apart and keep them from discovering the truth about their shared pasts (and futures), her visions, and the time and place they really came from.

Doesn't this dystopian time travel sound creepy?!  Love the concept! I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for this one in the fall... :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Beautiful Evil

A Beautiful Evil
by Kelly Keaton
Gods and Monsters, book two

After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari.

Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine.... (description from

Keaton has blown me away again with the second book in this series.  Thank goodness I remembered to start this on a weekend afternoon so that I had plenty of time to read, because I read it straight through! I know I would have been up all night again if I'd started this on a regular night... *facepalm*

I love the decaying side of New Orleans and its futuristic society found here. Everything is the most elegant mix of lushness and disrepair. Ari even travels to Mount Olympus and finds the same strange mix of revelry and ruin. Gorgeous in both imagery and the written word.

The stakes get even higher in this sequel. Ari must face what she will become...and her place in society. Her friends get pushed to the limits and some even have to pay the ultimate price.

Gripping. Phenomenal.  A definite GOLD STAR.

I'm really not sure how I'm going to be able to wait for the third book!!

Happy Release Day! Book Trailer - Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Check out the trailer for the third book in the Chronicles of Nick series, Infamous, out today!!

This series is really growing on me...and I LOVE the Dark Hunters series that it's originally derived from... :D

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mini Reviews: The My Life Has Gone Horribly, Horribly Wrong Edition

by Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen. (description from

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the mythology of the Everneath and the idea of immortals living amongst us, but cursed to steal life from others to survive.  I thought that Nikki was really believable as someone who'd been so hurt that she'd tried to escape her emotions and then paid a terrible price. Well worth a read!

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for Audiofile Magazine
*2012 Debut Author Challenge title*

The Fox Inheritance
by Mary Pearson
The Jenna Fox Chronicles, book two

Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.

Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.

Everyone except Jenna Fox. (description from

I LOVED The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I was beyond excited when I knew that this sequel was coming out. At first, I was a little hesitant because Jenna wasn't the narrator and it skipped so far into the future, but it turns out that this was a great follow-up. Not *quite* as good, but interesting and really thought provoking, nonetheless!
*2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge Title*
by Janet Lee Carey

Wilde Island is not at peace. The kingdom mourns the dead Pendragon king and awaits the return of his heir; the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is strained; and the regent is funding a bloodthirsty witch hunt, hoping to rid the island of half-fey maidens.

Tess, daughter of a blacksmith, has visions of the future, but she still doesn't expect to be accused of witchcraft, forced to flee with her two best friends, or offered shelter by the handsome and enigmatic Garth Huntsman, a warden for Dragonswood. But Garth is the younger prince in disguise and Tess soon learns that her true father was fey, making them the center of an exciting, romantic adventure, and an ancient prophecy that will bring about peace between all three races - dragon, human, and fairy. (description from

This book could be read alone, or as a follow up to Carey's Dragon's Keep. It is a marvelous fantasy about a world where so much magic exists and the poor main character is abused and persecuted for even the thought of her practicing... Love, adventure, heartbreak...the book encompasses it all. A new favorite fantasy!

If You Like: The Giver

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.
This week's recommendations are all things that you might like if you enjoyed Lois Lowry's The Giver. Check it out here!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book Trailer - Out of Sight, Out of TIme

I *lurve* the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. 

Here is a super fabulous, makes my hands itch for the newest book, what do you mean I can't have it now book trailer for Out of Sight, Out of Time which is book five in the series  and out on Tues., March 13th!! Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What's on My Hold List?

Welcome to the March 2012 edition
"What's on My Hold List?"

One of the most beautiful things about working in a Library is that I have the ability to put lots of things on hold and read them *before* I buy!! These are some of the books that I'm currently waiting for, though I may buy one or two of them after reading, as well. 

by Lee Nichols
Haunting Emma, book three

*This one is still on my hold list...apparently it's taking forever to come in. I may break down and get this one on my nook soon!*

Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi

*Another one that's still on my list, but I believe it is on its way!*

by Kim Harrington
Clarity, book two

by Lissa Price

So, these are the books I'm waiting anxiously to get my hands on...what are you waiting for??
Edit - So, I was lazy yesterday when I posted this and didn't even link the books to their Amazon pages and my friend Miss Kim called me out on it.  She suggested that I include the Amazon book description for each title right on the post so that those unfamiliar with the titles would learn what the books are about... SO question for you all... Should I just link to the Amazon pages so you can scope out the ones you want, or should I just include the book description right on the blog post for each one???

Cover Craving...Reached by Ally Condie

Even if you are not a fan of the actual storyline, you cannot help but love the covers that Penguin has created for Ally Condie's Matched series. Each one has gotten better and better!!

I love that the final book in the trilogy has continued the really visually cool theme of the first two covers.  First Cassia is trapped within her societal bubble, then she is breaking free, and now she stands in the shattered remains of what her life used to be...awesome symbolism!  The covers are simple, evocative, and even more stunning in person.  I love the red this time, too!

*sigh* I just want to pet the cover... 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Anxiously Awaiting...The Essence

I gave Kimberly Derting's The Pledge my first GOLD STAR review of 2012 and so I am beyond excited to see the title and cover of its sequel...

Coming January 2013:

The Essence
by Kimberly Derting
sequel to The Pledge

Feyland: The Dark Realm

Feyland: The Dark Realm
by Anthea Sharp


Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn't suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch -- or that she'll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.


Tam Linn is the perfect hero -- in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he's the only one who can help her.


Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen... before it's too late. (description from
This book has a really great concept. I love that it's a science fiction book that feels like a fantasy novel.  The futuristic setting allows for wrist access chips and sim gaming and grav cars. The cross into the game, Feyland, allowed the author to bring in lots of great fairy creatures...and it's all based on an old English ballad. :)
I thought that Jennet and Tam were both good characters, and the secondary characters were well done, too. I loved both Tam's brother, Peter (the bug), and his best friend, Marny. They both added quite a bit to the story, allowing Tam's character to grow beyond a stereotype and into a more well-fleshed out hero. While the Dark Queen and her Black Knight never really become more than the typical "bad guys," her bard helps to add some degrees of morality to the Dark Court.
A fun foray into a fantasy video game.
Full disclosure: electronic copy received by author for review

Friday, March 2, 2012

Touch of Power

Touch of Power
by Maria Snyder
Healer series, book one

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life…. (description from

Maria Snyder wowed me again. I have not ripped through one of her books like this since I originally read Poison Study.  This one is now officially my second favorite of all her books. :)

I loved not only Avry, who was a strong-willed, determined, and compassionate character, but also the fascinating world that she lives in.  The plague that has beseiged their world and what she comes to think may be the cause...

Of course, there is also romance, danger, intrigue, and poison... all elements that combine into a whirlwind of a fantastic read.  The descriptions were wonderful, the world building was great, and the characters touched my heart. Definitely worthy of a GOLD STAR.

I cannot wait to dive into Avry's story again in book two of the Healer series, which sadly does not come out until 2013.  I don't know how I'm going to be able to wait!!

Full disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Release Day to Perception!!

Perception by Kim Harrington is finally out today!
I can't tell you how excited I am to read more about Clare, FINALLY.  :P