Friday, March 28, 2014

What's On My Hold List?

Picture from YaBookNerd's blog,
because, though, I started this meme
she created a much cuter pic for it!
Welcome to the March 2014 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.

I cannot believe how long it feels like it's been since I shared my hold list with you all! So, here you go... 

These are the books I'm waiting for right now:

The Prince and the Guard
by Kiera Cass
The Selection Stories
Rebel Spring 
by Morgan Rhodes
Falling Kingdoms, book two 
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
Wild Things 
by Chloe Neill
Chicagoland Vampires, book nine
The Winner's Curse
by Marie Rutkowski
The Winner's Trilogy, book one

You can click on each title to go to their Goodreads page for a description...

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Mark of the Dragonfly

The Mark of the Dragonfly 
by Jaleigh Johnson

Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.

The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.

The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.

Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.
(description from

I found this middle grade adventure fantasy with steampunk elements captivating.  It hit just the right notes on so many levels.  Piper's struggle to provide a life for herself and find a permanent place made her a multi-faceted intriguing heroine.  Her relationships with the people around her wrung true, especially the friendships that she develops.  The author carefully treads a relationship that might evolve into a romance someday, but thankfully is only the deepest of friendships for now. 

The adventure is fast paced and the elements of magic and machinery meld together to build a wonderful world that I hope we'll be able to explore in future books.  Though Piper's story is satisfactorily wrapped up, I'd love to see her narrate future adventures or to experience the world through several other characters' eyes!  

Full disclosure: Audio book received from AudioFile for review 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Movie Review: Divergent

Rated: PG-13
139 minutes

Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another - for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn't fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, this secret might help her save the people she loves... or it might destroy her. (description from

**Warning! There will be spoilers ahead...**

Friday, I was lucky enough to have the day off and so two friends and I (both also YA junkies, LOL) went to see Divergent during the afternoon. I was stoked to miss the craziness of a weekend night movie. I'm such an "old lady" now and I get really cranky in large crowds at a theater - I paid to hear that whole movie, D@mmit, so stop talking through the whole thing!

ANYWAY, I was thoroughly impressed with the way that this movie turned out.  I was not a huge fan of Shailene Woodley's character on The Secret Life of the American Teenager so it took me some time to
change my opinion of her acting skills, but man, did that girl NAIL it as Tris.  She hit all the high and low notes of the character, delivering a tough, yet physically vulnerable, self-sacrificing and sometimes stupidly brave girl.  I loved her as Tris.

Watching her transform from the Abnegation girl that struggled to meet society's expectations of her to the brave Dauntless that defied everyone's idea of who she should be was inspiring.  I also know that Shailene trained like crazy for a lot of the stunts (she insisted on doing many of her own!) and her strength and ability to be fearless as an actress really impressed me.  I took one look at some of the things she did (like climbing that ferris wheel) and found myself having heart palpitations right in the theater!

Reliving those moments that I only had a vague memory of reading and finding so exciting years ago when  first came to my Library was awesome on the big screen.  I loved the way that they tackled the
Divergent testing scenarios and I thought that the way both Tori and Four acted when seeing Tris' ability to manipulate her visions was really well done.  The fears, both real and imagined, of everyone involved were vivid and apparent on screen, and as Tris came to realize what the testing serums were being developed for...well, let's just say that connecting the dots was easy to do through her.

Speaking of the Erudites and their plan, I thought that Kate Winslet's portrayal of Jeanine Matthews was spot on.  In fact, most of the casting choices were AMAZING.  The actor who played Eric gave me the utter heebie-jeebies, as he should! I loved Ashley Judd as Tris' mom and found myself near to tears in many of their interactions.  When it comes to casting, though, I think the gold star goes to the choice to have Theo
James play Four. *sigh*  Again, I hadn't been sure...he wasn't quite what I'd pictured and yet... man, again, he just NAILS it as Four.  Stubborn, stoic, and well, muscle-y.  *grins*

The only thing that could have improved the movie a little in my opinion would have been more kissing!! LOL. Those two had great chemistry.

All in all, a fabulous film that I can't wait to own on DVD!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Anxiously Awaiting... Winterspell

by Claire Legrand

Publication date: Sept. 30, 2014 

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Oooh! This one sounds dark and delicious.  I can't wait.  
Check out more info here

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


by Shannon Hale

How far would you go to save the world?

When Maisie Danger Brown nabbed a spot at a NASA-like summer boot camp, she never expected to uncover a conspiracy that would change her life forever.

And she definitely didn't plan to fall in love.

But now there's no going back—Maisie's the only thing standing between the Earth and annihilation. She must become the hero the world needs. The only problem is: how does a regular girl from Salt Lake City do that, exactly? It's not as though there's a handbook for this sort of thing. It's up to Maisie to come up with a plan—and find the courage to carry it out—before she loses her heart . . . and her life.

I really enjoyed this title. It's a new type of book from Shannon Hale, but she's such a talented writer that she was able to make the transition to science fiction/suspense with ease. This book has a strong, interesting, different main character - Maisie is handicapped, but never, ever lets it stop her from doing anything.  

This book combines the awesomeness of comic book heroes, with the terror of alien invasion possibilities and the responsibility of being beyond human.  Characters are fully realized and realistically flawed.  The action draws you right in and never quite let's go... I have no idea if there will ever be the need for a sequel, but if one came out, I would definitely read it! 

Full disclosure: Review copy received from VOYA; eARC received from Netgalley 

The Maze Runner - Movie Trailer

Guess what trailer officially debuted yesterday?

That's right! The Maze Runner...and it looks good... what do you think?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Blog Tour - The Forest's Heir

Today, I'm happy to be part of Ley Hayley's blog tour for her debut book, THE FOREST'S HEIR. It's the first book in the new Elemental Royals trilogy.

Seventeen year old Rosalind Rowan was born a princess, the apple of her father's eye. She loves the thick forests and lush meadows of the Forested Land. She is sometimes selfish and reckless, but she is also kind and loves fearlessly. Rosalind--who is known to everyone but the Queen as Rose--is desperately in love with Gavin Ashford, the dashing and intriguing son of an important lord. 

She wants nothing more than to marry Gavin and live in a country manor, far away from court. Because once her older sister marries, Rosalind must take up the position of Regent of the Forested Land. But things aren't always simple. When Rosalind uncovers abilities she should never have and sickness tears through the kingdom, the ordered world Rosalind thought she knew threatens to crash around her.

Rosalind must choose between love and duty. But what happens when the two become intertwined?

Are you a historical fiction fan? A romance fan?  Do you love TV shows like Reign or The Borgias, set in a feudal kingdom?  Then this is a brand-new series for you to check out.  The Elemental Royals series is set in a world where there are several kingdoms that neighbor each other, sort of reminiscent of the United Kingdom.  Each is tied to a different Elemental power, like water, earth, or fire... 

Rosalind is a strong character who takes her training to become Regent of her Kingdom very seriously.  She knows what is expected of her and she is beloved for putting the needs of others in her Kingdom above her own.  Sadly, when circumstances abruptly change, she must truly put her duty ahead of her desire and perhaps love the man she loves forever.  

Full of description about daily court life, fabulous costumes, court intrigue and heady romance, tinged with just a bit of magic, this is the start to a promising new series.  

Full disclosure: Review copy received from author for blog tour

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What a Library Move Looks Like...

So,  for the last two weeks or so,  our library has been physically moving to a temporary location so that they'll be able to build is a brand-new library in our original location.  Needless to say,  this process had involved a little madness amidst the excitement.  Now,  we're almost set to open in our new temporary home and I finally have some time to share (At least through some pics) what some of the process was like!


We spent weeks packing as much as we could ahead of time, then had to take a week to pack while we were closed so that the movers could take the books, etc. over to our temporary library.  Then they had to start assembling our shelving and putting everything back in order!

Then we did our best to help out with the things we, shelf-reading to make sure the books are in order, etc...

...and of course, we tried to have a little fun in there, too!

So now we're in our final week before we reopen in our temporary location and we'll be making sure absolutely everything is where it belongs, organizing our desks, and basically recovering from a few crazy weeks! Phew. Amazing now that there's light at the end of that moving tunnel, LOL.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Lies That Bind and Third Lie's the Charm: A Liar Society Two-Fer!

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

Kate has heard of messages from beyond the grave, but she never expected to find one in a fortune cookie. Especially from her best friend, Grace—who's supposed to be dead.

At the elite Pemberly Brown Academy, nothing is as it seems. A popular girl has gone missing, and Kate owes it to Grace's memory to find out what happened. But in a school ruled by secret societies, who can she trust? Definitely not Bradley (despite his hotness) — he's one of them. Still, she may just have to get closer to him if she wants to get some answers.
(Description from

This series just keeps getting better.  Kate is one smart cookie and I love her sarcasm, loyalty, and determination.  I love her relationship with Seth, her next door neighbor, and I love seeing how she and Liam keep dancing around each other.  What I love best about these books, though, is the mysteries.  Every time I think I have it figured out, the Roeckers put another twist in Kate's path, throwing both her and me for a loop.  The stakes keep getting higher and let's just say that this book ends on a real doozy of a plot twist!

Third Lie's the Charm
by Lisa and Laura Roecker
The Liar Society, book three

Katie Lowry knows she could've stopped Alistair from doing something stupid if only she'd picked up the phone. Now she has to live with the guilt. She's sick of the lies, sick of the secret societies that rule life at Pemberly Brown Academy. But there's only one way to take them down: from the inside...

Following the HUGE twist of an ending in book two, Kate is out to get her final avenge Grace's death and bring peace to Pemberly Brown once and for all. The only way to do that is from within the system she's struggling to bring down. To give up the boyfriend she loves, to fake her way to the top, and to...well go red (for rage, revenge, really who is bad@ss!).  Kate's emotions hit the wall in the third book and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her finally get the closure she needed and deserved.  It was a journey well worth taking!

Full disclosure: Purchased for my Nook, eARC from Netgalley

I really can't recommend this series enough...they are fun, easy to read mysteries with a great main character and plots that will keep you on your toes.  Start with book one, The Liar Society, and you won't be sorry.