Saturday, July 31, 2010
Just as she's getting familiar with the group and letting herself open up to them, the man who convinced her to join the group ends up dead. Above his murdered body rests a haiku. As Olivia and the group stumble across the body, they have two reasons for wanting the murdered found and they're willing to help the police accomplish their goal.
Could his murder have something to do with his writing of a celebrity family? When the same family is behind the proposed building project for the town, Olivia suspects there might be a connection. Now, she's looking for someone with a motive connected with the building project and with poetic talents. Could she discover the murderer before s/he comes after her for nosing around?
My Thoughts: I quite enjoyed this new series and getting to know the town. I loved hearing about the new bookstore. It's such a quaint town, I feel as if I've been there walking the streets. I did guess at the murderer's identity - but not the reasons behind the murder. Still, this is an enjoyable read and I look forward to more in the series.
The Cover: Cute!
Title: I love it!
Source: Inter-Library Loaned
Friday, July 30, 2010
Zira , trained in martial arts, hopes to become a warrior for her people. That day will never come, at least not as she expects. Zira has a hidden past.
Her real name is actually Zahira Elfenesh . She's the youngest of the royal family and the only member of the family to survive the fire. Her adoptive mother tells her about her past right before she dies, leaving Zira all alone in the world on the night their enemies attach their holy home.
Now, with her new found knowledge, Zahira knows she must be the person to save her people. There's a man who owes her a favor. She leads her people across the land to his fortress. Her people are not happy to be accepting his help as he's an outside and a cultural enemy. However, Zahira puts her trust in him.
Before Zahira comes up with a plan for her people, she learns her Uncle is responsible for both of her mother's deaths. He's also responsible for her people's oppression. More than anything, she wants to take him down.
The only way to beat her Uncle is to come together- the radicals, her people, and her new friend Sedorne Lord. Can she convince her people join forces with the enemy for a higher purpose - when joining forces means her marriage to Sedorne Lord?
My Thoughts: A great fantasy read with a strong heroine, small romance, and a family mystery to unravel. I loved watching the events unfold: the details of her birth, the memories coming back of her family, leading her people, and the danger from her Uncle.
Cover: Awesome! I love the flames surrounding her.
Source: My Library
Thursday, July 29, 2010
She lives in a room with three other girls and she's completely miserable. Viola doesn't want to become involved in school life and yet she feels left out when her roommates band together for breakfast.
The only thing that makes her happy is to film her misery and her world at school for documentation - and to explain her life to her best friends in New York. When other students see her filming, they ask for her help on a school project. Soon she's immersed in film technology and having a good time.
Her roommates pointed out her Debbie-downer attitude and she promises to attempt to change. Viola spends more time being social and hanging out with her roommates, going to classes, and attempting to be part of the school. When her roommates force her to go to the ninth grade dance with the neighboring all boys school, she meets a boy would might be her first boyfriend.
With all these changes, will she start finally to feel at home at Prefect Academy?
My Thoughts: A cute story about finding yourself far from home and discovering new pieces of yourself. I love how Viola wallows in her misery, but also how she's determined to change and make the best of things. I can't wait to read the next book.
The Cover: Great! I can see Viola on the first day with her yellow shoes and camera - recording the world.
Source: My Library
Fun Fact: I've seen several adults come into the YA room of my library looking for this book which always makes me smile.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
There's a dessert table
There's a readalike table where people could check out books from our collection
There's a book buying table
And finally there was Jennifer
A little blurry and then before the room filled up.
She talked about her writing process
How long it takes her to write a book: her first couple of books took a few short weeks while her last book look almost a year to write. She also revises each day before she writes.
Her rejections and how to get over rejections: best tip: as soon as you start query letters for one project, immediately start another project so when the rejections letters come - and they will - it won't hurt as bad because it's not the project you're working on right now.
How Raised by Wolves found the official cover - after many drafts with tons of photos, fonts, and colors
She recently LOVED
adult urban fantasy
The first supernatural book she read: Matilda
Old favorites from Childhood:
Anne of Green Gables series
Here's a READ poster I made of her with her favorite Spy novels
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I'm super excited for the final installment of the glass trilogy which comes out September 1st. Isn't the cover gorgeous?
You can read the first chapter here!
Also, here's the cover for Outside in, the 2nd book from her YA series. This one comes out in March of next year. The first book was amazing - so very different from her adult books and set in a very creative science fiction world.
I'm loving both of these covers!
Monday, July 26, 2010
I've been awarded a top 50 Children's book blog award
The 2010 Top Childrens Book Blog Awards are brought to you by Online PhD Programs & Awarding the Web.
The award winners for this category were announced on July 22, 2010.
Thanks SO much!
Go here to see a list of the other winners
Saturday, July 24, 2010
After falling and hitting her head on a grave stone, she began seeing one man who looked like he belonged in the past.
Gus Scarpetti, a wise guy from 30 years ago won't leave her alone. He wants her to solve his unsolved murder so he can move on. At first, Pepper thinks she's hallucinating. Then she decides to ignore him. Finally, after he wrecks havoc in her life, she agrees to strike a deal with him.
She'll work on his cold case for a fee. Pepper isn't sure where to turn as she knows next to nothing about the case. She has dinner at the restaurant where he was gunned down outside. She talks to the old cook who's retiring. She visits the museum to discover more information. Finally, she goes to the sources, the survivors of that night and Gus's family. Pepper's sticking her nose into a "family" that do not take kindly to meddlesome people.
Will she be able to help Gus before someone decides she's learning too much about the family?
My Thoughts: First in a series that's clever, witty, and amusing. Pepper leaps off the page with her large personality. Gus remains old fashioned in his deadly ways - clever, cunning, and smart. I look forward to reading more in the series.
Cover: Dark and spooky - fits the book perfectly.
Source: Inter-library loan
Friday, July 23, 2010
After Sasha and Paige's massive fight, Sasha decides to spend break with Heather in New York. Sasha relates her fight with Paige to Heater - including the worst comment from Paige. Sasha still can't believe that Paige could be so cruel. She knows they both need some cooling off time.
The first night they have dinner with Heather's parents. It's a disaster. Sasha can't believe how parents could act so cold and uninterested. After dinner, the two relax with a movie.
Over the next few days, they shop, eat at amazing places, explore the city, and continue with their riding. Sasha loves seeing New York City through Heather's eyes. They aren't best friends, Heather still orders Sasha around and makes snarky comments, but the comments have changed from hurtful to snarky.
Before Sasha knows it, it's almost time to go back to Canterwood. Will she be able to work out her issues with Paige?
My Thoughts: I love this series, but I hate (love) how each book ends leaving me drooling for the rest of the story. I love seeing this new side of Heather and her home life. It makes me understand her a little better.
The Cover: It's very cute - but I didn't see this scene in the book
Source: Inter-Library Loaned
Thursday, July 22, 2010
She's at camp when she realizes she might be pregnant. After she takes the test, she still can't believe the truth. Rand turns the her boyfriend, whom she hasn't talk to most of the summer, but he's not there. He's starting to avoid her.
Rand tells her secret to her two friends, still believing that everything will turn out just fine. She'll get married earlier than planned and they will survive. That's not the case.
Soon she's without a boyfriend and her two friends. She's a social outcast. She's a stranger within her own house. Rand knows that she's keeping the baby. She doesn't know how everything will work out or even if it will anymore. All she knows is that she's not giving up or giving in.
My Thoughts: WOW! An amazing debut novel. This book is very powerful. I spent half the morning crying over it. It's sad and uplifting at the same time. An amazing tale our a girl trying to life in her sister's shadow but also trying desperately to find herself and her own path in life. I can't wait to see what Holly comes up with next!
I've had the good fortune to meet Holly, a readergirlz and she's super sweet.
The Cover: It's interesting and sexy, but not exactly a match for the book
Source: from Holly Cupala
Read Also: Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Evie's two best friends aren't happy with the idea of Evie and Francesca walking to school together instead of doing the traditional first day of school routine. They are even unhappier when Evie and Francesca pair up for a school project. Soon after, Evie, Nisha, and Lily stop talking.
They fight over Evie's time spent with Francesca and secrets shared. Evie's tired of them giving advice about her life. She doesn't know what to do about her crush on Zane. She can't help the partnership with Francesca, which includes spending time together. She can't help she and Francesca are caught up in the this ultra-secret plan involving two of their teachers. Evie certainly can't help straighten out this fight if her two friends only want to talk at a certain time, when she can't talk.
Evie's not sure what to do, but she knows that something must change and get her out of her rut.
My Thoughts: A cute tween novel about friendships, jealousy, life rules and balance. I liked loved the spirit of Francesca - her crazy outfits and the way she turned her nose up at rules. I liked how she wasn't driven by school work or friendships, but by her own ideas. Parts of this book were sad and touching, while other parts were laugh out loud funny and sweet.
The Cover: Doesn't tell you much of the book from the photo, but it's a cute.
Source: Barbara Dee (author)
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
This book is very funny!
~ Kara age 11
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
It is hilarious!
~ Luis age 12
The Clearing by Heather Davis
I learned a lot from this book. The author wrote with precise interpretation of what it means to be a teenager in love - confused, able to make mistakes and regret them, and trying to run away from your own troubles. The hint of supernatural helps make this book one of the best so far.
~ Nicole age 15
Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
I think the Lightning Thief is a great book for adults and kids. I recommended this book to a couple of my friends and they agreed with me that this is one of those books you can't put down.
~Riddhi age 14
Monday, July 19, 2010
Devi spent so much time with him and neglected her friends and her school work. When they break up, she has nothing left. That's all about to change.
She doesn't have to go on that first date. She can spend more time with her friends. She can study for her classes and join in extracurricular activities to impress colleges.
Freshman Devi tries to improve their life - but she's stuck with all the work while senior Devi enjoys the benefits. For senior Devi, life's changing quickly. She can't keep up with the changes and, worst of all, she has no memories of the new photos in her room or the changes in her life and those she loves.
The more they change, the more they both ask the question: Is it better to know the future?
My thoughts: Changing the future is an intriguing concept that works beautifully in Sarah Mlynowski's new novel. It begs the reader to ask the question of their life - what would you change? I love the hope and the determination of both Devis, and how they want to make the future brighter for themselves. At the same time, they both work to find that balance that makes life livable.
The Cover: I really like it, although I wish the phone was a bit bigger. You can read about how the cover changed at Melissa Walker's awesome cover story here.
Source: reviewed for www.teensreadtoo.com
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Ed wasn't a well liked man. He flirted with women. He was in the process of raising rents, evicting tenants, and selling off some buildings.
Charlotte's grandmother was found over the body covered with blood. Add in the argument she and Ed had shortly before his demise makes her the prime suspect. The murder weapon came from her store, sometime during the party. Charlotte knows her gentle, but free spirited grandmother could never have committed the murder.
She sets out to free her grandmother amid town gossip, a nasty mayor election, a potential romance, and a flair for cheese. Can she find out the truth?
My Thoughts: The murder threw Charlotte off base, forcing her to leap to conclusions, snoop in private places, and commits more than one scene in public. She's one to root for as she's sweet, funny, and has a good heart.
Confession: Whenever I read books about food: cupcakes, donuts, or in this case cheese I suddenly crave that food. The cheese sounds scrumptious. I'd love to visit a quaint shop of Charlotte and Mathew.
The Cover: Adorable! Simply magical
Friday, July 16, 2010
Middleworld just became an Al Roker book club pick. You can watch a video with the authors and some readers who as great questions here.
I'm excited to host these two awesome authors on the blog today! If you missed my review of Middleworld, you can go here.
(Mostly answered by Pamela Voelkel, because Jon’s frantically busy finishing the illustrations for The Jaguar Stones, Book 2: The End of The World Club.)
What made you choose to write?
PV: I’ve been a writer in advertising my whole working life. I always imagined writing a book, but I could never come up with a plot that interested me enough. I didn’t want to write about the world I knew, even though that’s the advice they always give new authors. Middleworld came out of a bedtime story that Jon used to tell our son. When he had the idea of turning it into a book, I knew that I had found my inspiration.
Where do you write best?
PV: I’m always writing in my head, wherever I am. But for the physical typing, I work at my Mac in the office of our house in Vermont.
How does the writing process work between the two of you?
PV: In the beginning, we used to pass the manuscript back and forth, and take it in turns to write a complete draft. These days we plot the chapters out together, then I do most of the writing and Jon does most of the illustrating.
Sounds like a great partnership. I really enjoyed the book illustrations
How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?
PV: The essence of Middleworld is based on Jon’s childhood in Latin America. He had to cross an ant covered log just like Max Murphy does in the book, and he too fell in the river when the ants bit him. Where Max is served spicy soup at a village banquet, Jon was forced to eat a very personal bit of a male goat, freshly cut off and boiled, in the same situation. We’ve also traveled a lot in Central America together and the underground river scene is based on one of our trips. We had to lie flat in the boat in places where the cave roof came down very low, in other places it soared above us like a cathedral. We had a car battery in the boat to power a headlight and the bats were going crazy. There was a human skull embedded in the rock and blind catfish in the water. (But we didn’t shoot any rapids or allow ourselves to be sucked through a drainhole.)
Wow, that must have been some boat ride. What amazing adventures you both have had!
What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?
JV: 2,000 Years of Maya Literature by Dennis Tedlock
PV: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. It was sent to me by a bookseller I met at BEA and I can’t put it down!
How do you come up with your titles?
PV: We make endless lists and agonize and email back and forth with our editor.
PV: On one level, it’s a thrilling adventure story set in the jungles of the Maya. On another level, it’s a tale of teenage angst and self-discovery. The hero is a fourteen-year old boy from Boston called Max Murphy. When he gets lost in the rain forest, he has to reassess everything he knows about the world. Helping him to survive is a modern Maya girl called Lola - who has her own identity issues. Against a backdrop of haunted temples, raging underground rivers and the ever-present frisson of human sacrifice, Max and Lola unlock ancient secrets – and try to save the world from the Lords of Death.
How many books will there be in the series?
Great, I'm excited to find out what happens next.
Have you spent a lot of time in the jungle or at archeological sites?
PV: Jon’s childhood aside, we’ve been down to Central America several times. We’ve tracked howler monkeys in Belize, crossed swinging rope bridges above the forest canopy in Guatemala, and explored ancient cave systems in Mexico. We’ve visited around 30 Maya sites so far, but I still have a long list of places on my wishlist. We take our three children with us, and they help us make friends everywhere we go.
Have you eaten anything disgusting like Max does?
PV: See the answer to question 4 for the worst thing Jon ever ate. He also recoils at the memory of stewed monkey (thrown into a fire and cooked with its fur on), and chicken claw soup. I once had to eat fish eyes and sea slug at a banquet in China. I also ate a lot of snake, but that’s delicious. We regularly eat fried mealworms when we visit schools.
Ugh. That's very brave of you. I'm the pickiest eater in the world.
How much research went into to writing the book?
PV: We read a ton of books about the Maya, both ancient and modern, and related subjects like the Spanish conquest, and biographies of archaeologists. Jon took a course on reading and writing glyphs at Harvard. We try to keep up with archaeological research by attending lectures and conferences. Most important of all, our books are checked by Dr Marc Zender, a Harvard professor and leading Maya expert.
If you're interested in more Mayan history, check out this link on the authors' website. There's tons of info.
What’s your favorite aspect/tradition of the Mayan culture?
JV: I love the Maya glyphs and the way they were able to convey so much emotion, poetry and even humor.
PV: It fascinates me the way kings would try to ally themselves with the gods, and would even rewrite history to present themselves more favorably.
(glyph on the right = Tz’ib - “writing, painting”)
Are there any authors you’d love to meet?
JV/PV: We both agree on the American explorer, diplomat and writer John Lloyd Stephens and his English illustrator, Frederick Catherwood. Together Stephens and Catherwood visited a total of 44 Maya sites in the early nineteenth century and were responsible for firing the reading public’s imagination with their tales of mysterious lost cities in the jungle. Their books, still thrilling today, were called “Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan” and “Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan.”.
Do you have a favorite quote?
PV: We’re very fond of the quote from School Library Journal on the back cover of Middleworld.
Listing of your favorites:
JV: Red Twizzlers
PV: Glee Gum
JV: Crawfish tails and mozzarella at Soulshine Pizza in Jackson, Miss.
PV: With a side of crawfish soup and sweet tea.
Genre of books:
JV/PV: Is Maya a genre? We read everything we can about them.
Singer and/or Song
JV: Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
PV: Somewhere Down the Lazy River by Robbie Robertson
JV/PV: La Bodeguilla San Roque in romantic, rain-soaked Santiago de Compostela, Northern Spain – an atmospheric bar with the best jamon serrano and pan con tomate in the world: Puertas de Calakmul in Mexico - fantastic cooking in a glorified shed on the edge of the Calakmul biosphere: The Belvedere in Holland Park, London – it’s where our children learned their table manners; The Norwich Inn, Vermont – our new local.
TV show /Movie
JV: Top Chef
PV: Aguirre, Wrath of God
JV: Blue/White Stripes
PV: The neon blue of a Blue Morpho butterfly or sludgy Shaker blue
JV/PV: Our jungle boots, of course!
JV: Tomb Raider
PV: Guitar Hero
Anything I didn’t ask?
Question: Did the Maya predict that the world will end in 2012.
Good to know!
Thanks for chatting with me!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Now after a horrific journey, he's in Central America with his uncle whom he's never met. He learns that his parents have vanished into thin air. His uncle maybe smuggling genuine Mayan artifacts to other dealers. There's a dangerous man who wants one of the most precious Mayan artifacts - a Jaguar stone.
There are five stones and they are very powerful and very dangerous in the wrong hands. Max doesn't want them to fall in the wrong hands. He spies two monkeys carrying out the case with the stone inside. He tries to warn his uncle, but discovers he's locked inside his room. Furious, Max decides to follow the monkeys and attempt to recover the stones.
It doesn't take him long to become lost, hungry, and realizing the jungle is a dangerous place. When he meets a girl in the jungle, will he trust her enough to let her lead him out of the jungle? Will Max disappear like his parents, before he can return the stones without anyone using their power?
My Thoughts: I loved the blend of history with fantasy with action. It's a great story - perfect for book clubs. I have no doubt tweens/teens will gobble up this cross over tale.
The Cover: I LOVE this cover - it speaks volumes about the action and it's very eye-catching
Source: sent for review by Goodman Media
Fun Fact: There are amazing illustrations in the book by Jon Voelkel
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston's North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down — and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn't always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.
Out Sept 14th!!!
I can't WAIT. I LOVE her. She's so funny. I can't wait to see who she cooks up for the paranormal world.
She knows he's attractive. He especially knows he's attractive. Still, she can't help notice him. When he asks her out, she accepts knowing that she'll have to break an outing with her cousin,
Each week, Aliera and her cousin play a fantasy role playing game. It's the biggest outing of the week for Aliera, who spends most of her free time fencing. She feels bad for canceling but promises to make it up to her cousin by spilling all the details.
When she does meet him, the date goes horribly wrong. Aliera feels like she's seeing the world for the first time and it's nothing like she ever expected. Could he be her knight in shinning armor or her worst nightmare?
My Thoughts: I don't usually read graphic novels, but there are some that I read amazing reviews and decide to pick it up. This was one of those books. I really enjoyed reading it. I'm hoping this is the start of a series as it ended just as the story was beginning. I really like Aliera. I like how she's different. I love the fencing parts to the story and how she dominates in her sport.
The Cover and graphics: I love the cover. The graphics were amazing as well - mostly black and white until the climax of the story.
Source: My library
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
A romantic comedy that made you believe in love and that anything could happen. It also brought up subjects that make you think.
~ Nicole age 17
Case Closed by Gosho Aoyama volumes 1-5
9, 10, 9.5, 10, and 10 stars
I love the concept of these books where Conan has been turned into a child and no one take him seriously. When he's trying to gather information for a case, someone else must ask the questions for him. I like how he uses logic and evidence to solve the cases.
~ Stasia age 17
Prince of Tennis by Takeshi Konomi
This is a fun, exciting and powerful series. It turns tennis from boring to one of the funniest sports ever.
~ Luis age 12
Perfect Cover by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
It was really good and I can't wail to read the next one.
~ Julia age 13
On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex-God by Louise Rennison
This book was very funny
~ Natalie age 15
Cupcake Queen by Heather Helper
I really like this book. I like the fact that it has romance and also I like the fact that it is about a girl moving.
~ Riddhi age 14
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The book was so exciting. I couldn't stop reading it because I had no idea what was going to happen. Usually I can figure out the ending, but this book was impossible to guess.
~ Rene age 14
Monday, July 12, 2010
Until a new wolf, Chase, appears.
Chase wasn’t born a wolf. Bryn instinctively knows that she must meet him. As he’s locked away for his own protection by Callum, she goes to Callum for permission to see him. Bryn asks Callum, not as a daughter would ask a father, but as a member asking the Alpha. Therefore, she must abide by his decisions
and his rules.
He declares that she will be allowed to see Chase if she meets the following conditions: first, she will train until he’s satisfied that she can defend herself should the need arise. Second, there will be pack members with her at all times, and these pack members have his authority during the meetings. Third, she must open herself up to the pack bond and become an insider. Finally, she must agree not to attend the next Senate
meeting of Alphas.
Bryn, annoyed and confused by some of the conditions, agrees to all of his demands. Once she’s allowed
to meet Chase, she feels a very strong connection to him. She wants to know what happened to allow the
change from human to wolf. As far as she knows, nothing like this has ever happened. She won’t rest until
she uncovers the truth.
The truth is twisted in a way that combines her past with her present, and once she gains that knowledge,
nothing will stop her from taking charge - not even the Alpha’s commands. With a powerful connection
between her and Chase, her life will never be the same.
My Thoughts: Jennifer Lynn Barnes pens an amazing werewolf tale that leaves you breathless for more. Besides the paranormal aspect, RAISED BY WOLVES touches on friendship, loyalty, betrayal, strength, family, and a little romance. It’s absolutely perfect, and I can’t wait for the sequel.
The Cover: Amazing! I like the dark feel of the book.
Source: review for www.teensreadtoo.com where I gave it the Gold Award because it's just THAT GOOD!