Pages

Friday, April 27, 2012

Starters



















Starters
by Lissa Price

In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan. . . . (description from Amazon.com)

First, I want to share the cool book trailer for Starters. I first saw it online, and then they actually showed it on the big screen before my viewing of The Hunger Games movie!! I couldn't believe it!!



Super cool, right?  Love it.


Anyway...I really enjoyed this book. I think the concept of body sharing is both eerily cool and REALLY, really creepy! ...and what they planned to do with the bodies.  :/ 


This book is the first and there is only one follow-up from what I can tell. I am really anxious to see what ends up happening in book two.  I very much want to see more from not only Callie, but also both the "starters" and "enders" that she ends up teaming up with to bring down the Body Bank...


Though their original goal is met, the situation is by no means resolved...and poor Callie has a bigger issue still than most...

Anxiously Awaiting... The Lost Prince!



















The Lost Prince
by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Fey, book five

Publication date: Oct. 23, 2012

No full summary, yet...but...I do know that this book begins a trilogy that features Meghan's brother, Ethan, and is set after the events of the first five books.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ooh! Ooh! Fans of The Iron Fey series... Check it Out!

Coming this September:




















The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa

A new anthology including Summer's Crossing, Winter's Passage, and a new novella, Iron's Prophecy. There will also be an expanded guide to the NeverNever and an excerpt from THE LOST PRINCE!!

Mini Reviews: The "My Life Has Gone to *Shizz" edition

Body of Water
by Sarah Dooley

Twelve-year-old Ember’s trailer home has been burned in a fire set most likely by her best friend, a boy whose father believes Ember’s family are witches. Yes, Ember’s mom reads Tarot cards as a business. Ember’s friend set the fire to warn the family before his dad did something worse to them. The friend never intended to do so much damage.

Now the family is homeless, and living in a campground. They have no money. Ember’s beloved dog is missing. School is going to start, and Ember and her sister have no clean clothes, no notebooks. The only place Ember feels at peace is floating in the middle of the lake at the campground. She has to make a fresh start. Can she? (description from Amazon.com)

Ember - no house, no money, no clothes, no friends... life has definitely gone to *shizz!

I liked this book, though I thought that some parts wrapped up a little too conveniently at the end.  Ember was not a "likeable" character, per se, but I thought I understood where she was coming from all the way through.  Way more interesting than the poor cover that the book got saddled with...



A Million Shades of Gray
by Cynthia Kadohata

Y'Tin is brave. No one in his village denies that—his mother knows that it takes a great deal of courage and calm to deal with elephants the way that Y'Tin does. He is almost the best trainer in the village—and, at twelve-years old, he’s certainly the youngest. Maybe he’ll even open up his own school some day to teach other Montagnards how to train wild elephants? That was the plan anyway—back before American troops pulled out of the Vietnam War, back before his village became occupied by Viet Cong forces seeking revenge, back before Y'Tin watched his life change in a million terrible ways. Now, his bravery is truly put to the test: he can stay in his village, held captive by the Viet Cong or he can risk his life (and save his elephant’s) by fleeing into the jungle. (description from Amazon.com)

Y'Tin - his village is taken over, half flee, half are killed...his friends turn on him, his elephant may be finding a new home with wild elephants... life has definitely gone to *shizz!

Although I got a little frustrated with the simplified sentences that the author wrote in, they did seem to fit the story.  I liked Y'Tin and was fascinated with his relationship with Lady, his elephant. I found this to be a period in Vietnam that I thought I knew about, but this was definitely a new perspective to view things from. 



Spell Bound
by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall, book three

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.
Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late? (description from Amazon.com)

Sophie - boyfriend assumed dead, father missing, school taken over by crazies wanting to raise an army of Demons... life has definitely gone to *shizz!

A very good wrap-up to the trilogy.  I thought it packed just the right punch. There were funny bits, there were cool action scenes, there were hot romantic moments, and the resolution was well done. I am sad to see this trilogy end, but I thought this were left at a good point!


DNF - Shattered Souls



















Shattered Souls
by Mary Lindsey

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon. (description from Amazon.com)

I had such high hopes that I would love this book. I first heard about it at BEA last year. The premise sounded cool and the cover was really phenomenal. 

Sadly, this book just didn't grab me at all.  It was not at all bad, but I got 1/3 of the way through and still felt "eh" about it.  With the book award selection committee that I'm on, I just didn't have time to try and finish the book if I wasn't super into it already. 

I may try to pick this one up again at some point in the future, but for now...it's a DNF.

If you want to check out some other reviews of the book, you can go to:

Parajunkee's review

Reading Vacation's review 

Fiktshun's review



Blog Tour - The Summer My Life Began



















The Summer My Life Began
by  Shannon Greenland

Elizabeth Margaret--better known as Em--has always known what her life would contain: an internship at her father's firm, a degree from Harvard, and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is, it's not what she wants. So when she gets the opportunity to get away and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em learns that her family has some pretty significant secrets. And then there's Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn't. Naturally, she can't resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels that for the first time ever, she is really living life on her own terms. (description from Amazon.com)

Are you looking for your next beach read, but you don't quite want pure fluff? This...this is the book for you! Though it started off just a little slow as Em was dealing with her uptight, overacheiving parents, it became an easy to read, engrossing story about a girl finding herself at a beautiful beach bed and breakfast.

I have to mention the setting. This book takes place on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I've been there once for a wedding and it is beautiful. Shannon Greenland totally captured the quiet, wild beauty there and I quite literally just wanted to hop on a plane to go back!  There is one specific cave scene that just...  *sigh*...you'll see.

Oh, and the food.  As Em spends time on the island with her aunt, she explores her cooking hobby. The descriptions of all the meals that Em creates...my mouth was watering as I was reading.   I could almost taste each meal. I may even try to recreate a few of the best sounding dishes!

The very best aspect of this book, though, is truly the idea of family redemption and forgiveness. I can't tell you everything without giving away the best surprises of the book, but I will say that the author did a fabulous job showing two families that had to come back together after some painful partings...and in a believable, touching way.  Em became the linchpin that drew everyone back together.

This could have been  one of those books where "girl discovers self, girl rebels, everyone fights, girl runs off, family follows, family reunites...the  end" but it was much, much more.  Em discovers some rather large family secrets and decides to follow a new path, but also devotes herself to keeping her family together. Her stubbornness and  the results that she is able to acheive made me tear up as I finished the book.

As I said, a great summer read, though perhaps not the fluff you might have been looking for in your next beach read. The Summer My Life Began is more...and it's well worth reading. Plus, I hadn't even mentioned the hot, hot boy that you will love! LOL :)

Full disclosure: ARC received from Publisher for blog tour through NetGalley

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Free Four!


In an online campaign, Veronica Roth's publishers attempted to get 35, 000 pre-orders of Insurgent.  I am proud to say that I am one of the 35, 000 and that thanks to our pre-orders, you all get to profit!!

As thanks, Veronica Roth has posted an exclusive short chapter from Divergent, but from FOUR's point of view!! Check it out! Free Four Chapter

Monday, April 23, 2012

Circus Galacticus



















Circus Galacticus
by Deva Fagan

Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect.
 
But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it.

Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own past if she can survive long enough. (description from Amazon.com)
 
I loved this book. It is the perfect blend of the fantastic elements of a circus and the sci-fi adventure of space travel!
 
Trix was a character desperate to fit in.  To find where she truly belonged.  To find lifelong friends....and she finds it all in the Circus Galacticus. 
 
Never mind that she has to help them win an inter-galactic war...with cool powers!
 
Never mind that she has cotton candy pink hair!
 
Never mind that there is an awesome and mysterious Ringmaster... and a big top that turns into the coolest space ship...EVAH!
 
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
 
Bam - GOLD STAR!!
 
 
 


Terrific Threes and Super Storytime: Bears!

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 ideas...so 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 March.
 
Theme: Bears!
 
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*
 
Read:
The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner 3's/
Bedtime for Bear by Brett Helquist 4's
Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand
 
 
Action Rhyme: Here is a Cave
Here is a cave
(bend fingers to form cave)
Inside is a bear
(put thumb inside fingers)
Now he comes out
(stick thumb out)
to get some fresh air
(move thumb in circles)
When snow starts to fall
He hurries inside
(pull thumb back in)
His warm little cave
and there he will hide!
 
Action Rhyme:   Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, turn around
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, touch the ground
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, nod your head
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, go to bed
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, reach up high
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, touch the sky
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, touch your shoe
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, I love you
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, wink your eye
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, jump up high
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, touch your knee
Teddy Bear, teddy bear, sit quietly
 
Flannelboard: "Clap Your Hands"
A flannel game made up of pictures of a bear doing various activities like clapping his paws, doing a somersault, or jumping up high.  Each child picks a picture and then the group does the corresponding action!
 
Read: Bears! Bears! Bears! by Bob Barner 3's/
The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner 4's
 
 
Action Rhyme: Bear Loves Honey
The bear loves honey
(hug self)
He thinks it's yummy
(rub tummy)
But, oh please
(shake finger)
Watch out for the bees! BUZZ!
(waggle fingers)
 
Read: Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
 
 
Dance: "That Bear Makes Me Crazy" from CD, Travel Song Sing Alongs

Craft: Bear Hiding in a Winter Cave
 
Supplies needed:
large size paper plates
(cut in half and with "center" cut out)
blue construction paper
brown construction paper square (precut)
googly eyes
cotton balls
gluesticks
chalk
 
It was so much fun to see the kids create their bears hiding in the caves and then to see how they decorated their scenes.  Some were nighttime. Some were sunny winter days.  Some had angry bears peeking out of the caves!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mini Reviews: The Graphic Novel edition

Page by Paige
by Laura Lee Gulledge

Paige Turner has just moved to New York with her family, and she's having some trouble adjusting to the big city. In the pages of her sketchbook, she tries to make sense of her new life, including trying out her secret identity: artist. As she makes friends and starts to explore the city, she slowly brings her secret identity out into the open, a process that is equal parts terrifying and rewarding. (description from Amazon.com)


I really enjoyed this book.  I related well to the character, I thought the drawings were beautifully done, and it had a great plotline.  The conceptual artwork here really is stellar...check out this example:


So far, I think this is one of the best graphic novels I've ever read!


Freshman: Tales of 9th Grade Obsessions, Revelations, and Other Nonsense
by Corinne Mucha


Annie has just started high school and she’s a mess. Her older brother has told her that her freshman year will strongly affect the rest of her life, and if that’s true her future is looking grim: She’s a loser at sports, is jealous of everyone, and has totally fallen in love with her best friend’s older brother. When she gets cast as a moaning, hunched-over old lady in the school play, she starts to forget about the rest of her life. Now she just wants to make it through freshman year. (description from Amazon.com)

As much as I liked the story concept for this book, it felt disjointed to me.  I also really disliked the artwork.  It felt really juvenile and well, messy... Check it out:












Overall, this was not the graphic novel for me.













Soulless: The Manga
by Gail Carriger and Rem

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible.
 
Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Or will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? (description from Amazon.com)

Okay, aside from the fact that I love this novel series, this was just a fun, fun read.  The illustrations were well done and matched the characters: 












The characters, of course, were just as I remembered from the books that I love.  Full of humor, snarkiness, and of course vampires, werewolves, and stuffy society matrons.  All in all I cannot wait until the next one comes out!!

New Hub Blog Post: Finding a Strong Family Connection in YA...Yes, It Can Be Done!


Hop on over to The Hub blog to check out my post today on finding strong family connections in YA literature!! I'd love to hear your comments. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rock the Drop!! - With Pictures!!


Today, I plan to ROCK THE DROP!

As part of Support Teen Literature Day, I'll be "dropping" four teen books out and about in West Springfield, MA, where I work.  I plan to take pictures later on my lunch break as I distribute them around so that I can post them here. I'm also encouraging the teens that come into the library to do the same! We'll see if they get involved.

Update!!
I, did, in fact get two teens to help me out with ROCK THE DROP! I dropped two titles and they dropped two, so there were four teen titles that could be found in the local West Springfield, MA area.

Deanna even emailed me a pic of her drop: Firelight by Sophie Jordan found a temporary home outside the local cemetary! LOL


And, here's one of my drops: Luminous by Dawn Metcalf is temporarily hanging out by the big bell outside our local fire house.  I have to stop by later to see if it's been picked up!


I had so much fun rocking the drop this year! I hope you all did, too. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Winner - Edenbrooke ARC giveaway!!














I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Edenbrooke ARC giveaway (via random drawing at random.org) is...

Lexie @ BookBug!!


Lexie, check your email...and get me your mailing address before the end of the day on Friday, April 13th, so that I can get the ARC out to you ASAP! Congratulations again!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mini Reviews: The "Who-Dun-It?" edition

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin
by Josh Berk

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .) (description from Amazon.com)

I was really surprised how funny this book was...even though it's a great mystery and there's some great suspense, I ended up laughing out loud through most of my reading.  Will and his new friend, Devon, build a great rapport and they deal with Will's deafness is a really cool way.  I would love to read a follow up mystery starring these two self-proclaimed "Hardy Boys." 



Dead is a Battlefield
by Marlene Perez
Dead Is series, book six

Jessica Walsh is starting her freshman year at Nightshade High and trying to forget about the tragic events surrounding her brother’s graduation. She wants to have a normal high school experience. But that’s easier said than done in Nightshade. There’s a new guy at school who seems to be turning the girls into lovesick zombies. And Jessica has other worries—like her crush on a cute but moody lead singer, and the mysterious tattoo that appeared on her arm one day that lets her know whenever there is trouble brewing. Jessica learns she’s a Virago, a woman warrior chosen to fight evil whenever it threatens her hometown. But does a lowly freshman really have what it takes to keep Nightshade safe? (description from Amazon.com)

I LOVE this series.  They are fun to read, quick enough to sneak in between other books I have to review and each turns out to be a pure guilty pleasure. Technically this is book six in the Dead Is  series, but it feels totally fresh because there is a new main character. Jessica is just as sassy and smart as Daisy was...I couldn't be happier with where these books are going. :)




The Aviary
by Kathleen O'Dell

Twelve-year-old Clara Dooley has spent her whole life in the Glendoveer mansion, where her mother is a servant to the kind and elderly matron of the house. Clara has never known another home. In fact, she's confined to the grand estate due to a mysterious heart condition. But it's a comfortable life, and if it weren't for the creepy squawking birds in the aviary out back, a completely peaceful one too.

But once old Mrs. Glendoveer passes away, Clara comes to learn many dark secrets about the family. The Glendoveers suffered a horrific tragedy: their children were kidnapped, then drowned. And their father George Glendoveer, a famous magician and illusionist, stood accused until his death. As Clara digs deeper and deeper into the terrifying events, the five birds in the aviary seem to be trying to tell her something. And Clara comes to wonder: what is their true identity? Clara sets out to solve a decades-old murder mystery—and in doing so, unlocks a secret in her own life, too. (description from Amazon.com)

I really loved this book. I thought the characters were charming, and just a tad creepy.  I was sucked right into poor Clara's story and could not wait to find out why she had to live the sheltered life that she did.  I thought the mystery of the birds was fascinating. This read like a "classic," and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Winner - Belles ARC giveaway!

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Belles ARC giveaway (via random drawing at random.org) is...

Martha Lawson!!

Martha, check your email...and get me your mailing address before the end of the day on Thursday, April 12th, so that I can get the ARC out to you ASAP! Congratulations again!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pajama Storytime: Puppies, Puppies, Puppies!

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 ideas...so 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 the Pajama Storytime I did in February.

Theme: Puppies, Puppies, Puppies!

Opening Song: BINGO (clapping hands rhythmically)
                           There was a man who had a dog and
                           BINGO was his name-o,
                           B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O,
                           and BINGO was his name-o.

Read:
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
The Patterson Puppies and the Midnight Monster Party by Leslie Patricelli


Action Rhyme: Little Puppies and Little Kittens
                           One, two, three little kittens,
                           were napping in the sun,
                           (hold up 3 fingers of left hand)
                           One, two, three little puppies said,
                           "let's have some fun,"
                           (hold up 3 fingers of right hand)
                           Up to the kittens the puppies crept
                           as quiet as could be
                           (creep right hand up to the left)
                           One, two, three little kittens went
                           scampering up a tree.
                           (climb left fingers up arm)

Action Song:  Puppy Care ("Skip to my Lou")
                        Walk, walk, walk your puppy,
                        (repeat twice)
                        Take him for a walk.
                                     Brush, brush, brush your puppy
                                     ....til' he's neat and clean.
                                     Feed, feed, feed your puppy
                                    ...he sure likes to eat!


Flannelboard: "The Little Dog Who Forgot How to Bark"

Read:
Traffic Pups by Michelle Meadows

Action Rhyme: 10 Little Puppy Dogs
                  One little, two little, three little puppy dogs,
                   four little, five little, six little puppy dogs,
                   seven little, eight little, nine little puppy dogs,
                   ten little puppy dogs barking.
                                                 ...licking. ...jumping. ...running.

Read:
Nobody's Diggier Than a Dog by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Craft: Accordian Dog

Supplies Needed:
brown construction paper (cut in half the long way)
dog head/rear end/ear (pre-cut)
gluesticks 
crayons

The kids had so much fun trying to fold the middle piece to make their accordian bellies and then coloring and gluing their dogs.  :)

Snack Craft: Puppy Paws

Supplies Needed:
White bread
Chocolate Chips
Fluff
Choc. Cookies
paper plates/plastic knives

Place bread on plate, spread with fluff
place one choc. cookie in center of bread
put five choc. chips above choc. cookie to make "claws"


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mini Reviews: The I Live in a Totally Different Culture Than You edition

Island's End
by Padma Venkatraman

Uido is ecstatic about becoming her tribe's spiritual leader, but her new position brings her older brother's jealousy and her best friend's mistrust. And looming above these troubles are the recent visits of strangers from the mainland who have little regard for nature or the spirits, and tempt the tribe members with gifts, making them curious about modern life. When Uido's little brother falls deathly ill, she must cross the ocean and seek their help. Having now seen so many new things, will Uido have the strength to believe in herself and the old ways? And will her people trust her to lead them to safety when a catastrophic tsunami threatens? Uido must overcome everyone's doubts, including her own, if she is to keep her people safe and preserve the spirituality that has defined them. (description from Amazon.com)

I thought that this was a really interesting, slightly magical easy read.  I liked how it is based on real natives from real islands off the coast of India. I had no idea they were even there! I thought the culture clash was well depicted and that the spiritual journey Uido faced was intriguing.




My Name is Not Easy
by Debby Dahl Edwardson

My name is not easy. My name is hard like ocean ice grinding the shore . . . Luke knows his Iñupiaq name is full of sounds white people can’t say. So he leaves it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles away from their Arctic village. At Sacred Heart School, students—Eskimo, Indian, White—line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there’s some kind of war going on. Here, speaking Iñupiaq—or any native language—is forbidden. And Father Mullen, whose fury is like a force of nature, is ready to slap down those who disobey. Luke struggles to survive at Sacred Heart. But he’s not the only one. There’s smart-aleck Amiq, a daring leader— if he doesn’t self-destruct; Chickie, blond and freckled, a different kind of outsider; and small, quiet Junior, noticing everything and writing it all down. They each have their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School—and the wider world—will never be the same. (description from Amazon.com)

There were parts of this book I really enjoyed. I thought the characters were well drawn and I learned a lot about Alaskan culture during the Cold War.  I had no idea that Eskimos and other native tribes were all thrown together in schools far from their own homes.  I did feel, though, like this book was disjointed - I had trouble tracking the time passing, etc.



Promise the Night
by Michaela MacColl

Beryl moved with her family to the highlands of Kenya as a toddler. Not long after, her mother and brother returned to England, abandoning her with her rough though loving father. MacColl's account begins when a leopard steals into Beryl's hut and attacks her dog—the child leaping from her bed to give chase. Though she loses the leopard in the night, the next morning, she and her new friend, a Nandi boy, Kibii, find the dog still alive and save it. Later she insists on being part of the hunt for the leopard. Young Beryl wants nothing more than to be a warrior, a murani, and to be able to leap higher than her own head. Her jumping skills progress apace, but young white girls, no matter how determined, cannot become part of the Nandi tribe. Her relationship with Kibii's father, the wise Arap Maina, along with a growing awareness of the consequences of her actions, help lead her into a more mature—though still wildly impulsive and daring—life. (description from author's website)

I *really* liked this one.  It is the story of Beryl Markham's wild childhood in Africa, with the chapters interspersed with actual journal entries and interviews that Beryl did as a grown woman when she became a famous pilot.  Beryl's interaction with the local Nandi tribe were also interesting and funny.  Well written and very engaging!



ARC Giveaway - Belles by Jen Calonita



















Belles
by Jen Calonita

Publication date: April 10, 2012

Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever. (description from Amazon.com)
Want to win an ARC? Leave me a quick comment with your name and email address before the end of the day on Mon., April 9th. I will randomly draw a winner on Tues., April 10th and contact them for their mailing address (US only, sorry!). Good luck!!




We have a winner! Thanks everyone for entering. :)

Cover Craving...The Lies That Bind

The Liar Society: Lies That Bind
by Lisa and Lauara Roecker
The Liar Society, book two

Publication date: Dec. 1, 2012

Everyone's favorite neon haired detective is at it again when one of the most popular girls at Pemberly Brown goes missing. Kate Lowry realizes soon enough that this disappearance is tied to the secret societies that rule her private school--only not in the way everyone thinks. As if it’s not hard enough to find a missing girl, Kate is forced to team up with the one person she has worked so hard to avoid--not to mention the one person with the potential to come between her and Liam. As usual, Kate has her hands full searching for the truth amidst many layers of lies. After all, things are never what they seem at Pemberly Brown. (from the authors' blog) 

I can't wait for this book...and I LOVE the new cover.  What a fabulous color combination and style.  I may even have to rock some (fake) blue hair when this is coming out!!! LOL

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

If You Like: Stories about Pranks and Hazing


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 books and movies featuring pranks or the more dangerous version...hazing.  Check it out!

What's on My Hold List?


Welcome to the April 2012 edition

of

"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 Gail Carriger and Rem


by Laura Lee Gulledge


by Corinne Mucha


by Lee Nichols
Haunting Emma, book three

*This one is still on my hold list...apparently it's taking forever to come in. I'm getting REALLY close to breaking down and buying it...I really need to know how it ends!!*


So, these are the books I'm waiting anxiously to get my hands on...what are you waiting for??