Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Banned Books: Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is no stranger to banned books, but lately, it's been crazy. If you haven't heard about her canceled school visit and the rest - take a look here.
Yes, Ellen writes about hard topics, but they're topics that

A. Matter to teens
B. Help teens in their struggles
C. Rock

Here's a little something she wrote in honor of the FREEDOM TO READ


To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.
You say you’re afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.
You say you’re afraid for America,
the red, white and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.
You say you’re afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.
A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.

— Ellen Hopkins,
bestselling author of Crank and newly published Tricks

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Out of Order

I have a massive problem reading books (or watching TV series) out of order. I'm not sure why this is as I know that plenty of series contain stand alone books/shows. But I know that I'll miss the little life details that come into the story and they will spoil the beginnings of the tale.

Is this a normal hangup or just a personal preference?

Let me know by voting in the poll in the sidebar

Happy Banned Book Week

Test your knowledge with a quiz and see what you know...and what you don't

I got 9/10 right (missed the last question)
How did you do?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dark of the Moon

Brittany's the only girl to face her transformation alone in centuries since she failed to attract her soul mate. Never mind that she has someone in mind, he's taken. The elders tried to play matchmaker, but that didn't work. She sets off alone preparing for a night of horrible pain...that never quite happens. She doesn't transform. She doesn't know what to do or who to tell. It rocks her world and will change her future. While she's still reeling from the shock, she's captured by the group wanting to prove to the world werewolves exist. They can tell by her blood she's human and Connor isn't. She'll do almost anything to keep Connor alive - but will he hate her for it?

I thought this was the end of the trilogy - that starts with Moonlight and Full Moon and should be read in order - but on the author's website, it says there will a be a fourth book in the series coming March 23, 2010. That's awesome news. They're romantic with a dash of danger and strong bonds of friendship and family. The covers are appealing too. Plus I really love the teen romances of Rachel Hawthorne. They always make me happy.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Once a Witch

Tamsin's family all have Talent - it manifests at the age of eight. However, Tamsin never fully developed - she's the only one with no talent. She's spent her whole life on the outside wishing she fit in with her family. She's clumsy and awkward but has the perfect older sister who will one day take over the family business of finding lost items through their bookstore. One day, a man comes into the bookstore looking for Tamsin's sister. She's the only one there and allows him to believe she can help him. She's determined to find the clock he's looking for - an old family heirloom. Without understanding the consequences, she enlists an old friend to help her recover the item. Together they've unleashed a danger far greater than they ever imagines - a danger that could lead to their clan's ruin. Can they do damage control or is it too late?

As soon as I saw this cover, I knew I had to read it. It drew me in. Plus I'm a sucker for witch books. I really enjoyed the book and I'm hoping there's a sequel. Danger - Romance - Mystery -Family Drama = great tale.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spotted: Runaway Cover

OMG, So excited for this book out next Spring...
It was such a cliff hanger ending in the last book

Twenties Girl

Lara's life is crap. She just left her job to start up a company with her best friend who ran off while on vacation to hang out with a man on the beach. Lara's left to pick up the pieces of becoming a head hunter - which she knows absolutely nothing about. Her life is about to get...strange. At a family funeral for a aunt nobody visited, the body becomes a ghost that only Lara can see. Soon she's stopping the funeral with outrageous lies about murder. Sadie can't rest until she finds a very special necklace. She haunts Lara and guilts her into helping search and recover the necklace. Sadie, a lover of the 20s era, breaks through to Lara. She pops through on her dates, makes her ask out a perfect stranger, and forces her to wear flapper outfits. Lara just wants things to get back to normal but while uncovering details about the necklace, she uncovers some family secrets all while learning to cope with having a ghost for a BFF.

I LOVE Sophie Kinsella books and this one was no different. She's so funny and puts her characters in impossible situations. SO FUN! I wish she wrote a few YA novels because I think they would also be excellent.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Created: Sure Fire Book Trailer

I love this series too - lots of action. I didn't realize that Jack Higgins is a pseudonym. I really liked The Eagle has Landed - which I read going through my spy novel phase in high school. I was convinced I wanted to be a spy - even when looking at grad schools, I found a program for a sort of librarian spy school. I was close to going, I just read about spies and watch Jack Bauer.

Created: Alchemyst Book Trailer

I love this series. Plus, the author is coming to RJ Julia's a fabulous independent bookstore near me. I'm so excited to me him!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

2 wickedly awesome events:

Simon and Schuster holds 2nd annual Blogfest with 40 authors for 2 weeks. Ask questions and read their answers!

ReaderGirlz are holding an amazing event for TEEN READ WEEK (October 19th-24th) They're hosting chats with authors each night, lots of prizes, and great fun.

Check them both out!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dead Girl Series

Dead Girl Walking:
Directly after eavesdropping, learning how the populars view her, and finding out that she's received a collegiate scholarship, an out-of-control mail truck hits Amber. Despite her severe injuries, she doesn't die. Exactly. Instead, her soul ends up in the body of a fellow classmate: Queen B Leah. Leah just attempted suicide and Amber's desperately trying to adapt to this new life. She's dying to know why the most popular girl in school hates life. Slowly, Amber uncovers layers of Leah's life and realizes that things aren't always wonderful for the school's golden girl. When Amber realizes that she might never escape Leah's body, she attempts to make some major adjustments.

Dead Girl Dancing:
When Amber mentioned that she might be body swapping again, she had no idea that her grandmother meant straight away. Now, instead of returning to her own life and her own family, she wakes up in the body of her boyfriend's sister. She's just received a stalker like text and now she's being hustled out of her room by her roommate and her friend to get to Mexico for Spring Break. On the way they meet up with some boys. Amber finds herself out of her league. Sharayah's older and more wild than Amber. She's just hoping she can keep herself out of danger with a potential stalker and a Dark Lifer after her.

Dead Girl in Love
While Amber's been body surfing, she's missed out on her own life - including the life of her best friend. Amber just wants to get back to her own life, but when she hears that Alyce needs to break -she doesn't hesitate in rescuing her best friend. Amber comes to realize that she's not a very good friend. There's so much about Alyce that she doesn't know. While trying to help her best friend uncover a deep dark secret, she realizes that a familiar Dark Lifer is following her. He offers to teach her ways to harness her powers. She's so tempted to take him up on these offers, but should she trust him?

Linda Joy Singleton starts up a new series with DEAD GIRL WALKING, where she perfectly combines the hardship of teen life with a paranormal aspect, immediately hooking readers. Each book grows a little darker and a little more suspenseful. I love her novels!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Calling All Poets

A VOYA contest: Teen Poetry Contest Rules

To find the most deserving poetry written by teens aged twelve to eighteen, VOYA asks librarians, teachers, or other professionals working with youth to act as sponsors in collecting and judging teen submissions. Sponsors should select no more than three of the worthiest poems by teens in their local area. (With several classes from one school, please send only one poem from each class.) Selected entries must reach VOYA by December 31, 2009.

Please Note: Entries submitted directly from teens will not be considered or returned.

VOYA Judges will select the cream from your crop. When notified, sponsors must return our forms with parents' permission to print the work of each winning poet. Each winner will receive a $20 cash prize and a copy of the April 2010 issue.

Contest submissions may be poems of up to thirty lines on any topic. They must be typed, double-spaced, accompanied by the poet's name, age, town, and state. On the same page with each poem entered, contact information: name, title, organization/school/library, street address, city, state, zip code, phone, and e-mail if applicable. Please attach document to an email with the poets last name and "VOYA Teen Poetry Contest" in the subject line and send to

Note: the procedure is new. We will no longer accept entries by mail.

Contest Deadline: December 31, 2009.

A Book Meme

saw this on the Story Siren...

"As part of Book Blogger Apprecation Week, I decided to participate in the reading meme with my fellow book bloggers. We were asked to answer one or two of the following questions or answer all the questions in less than five words. Since I'm a person of few words, I thought I'd choose the latter option."

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I don't snack and read (usually)

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of
writing in books horrify you?
Only when in college

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?Laying the book flat open?

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Fiction mostly, sometimes nonfiction

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Hard copy always

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you
able to put a book down at any point?
try for end of the chapter

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

What are you currently reading?
Once a Witch: Carolyn MacCullough

What is the last book you bought?
Sea Glass: Maria V. Snyder

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can
you read more than one at a time?
Usually more than one

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
Anytime -anywhere

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
Genre and sometimes color

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Challenge: Teen Best Seller List

I talked about this last night on both twitter and facebook, but I've come to the conclusion that if Harry Potter can single handily create a series best selling list - than teens, librarians, and teen authors could come together to try and create a teens bestselling list. The majority of the Children's Bestselling Lists are teen books - so not much would have to change. In some cases it's as simple as putting up a completely different heading.

How can we get the rest of the world to stop seriously about teen literature if the industry doesn't?
Spread the word and let's see if we can get a conversation going.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Forgive My Fins

Here's Tera Lynn Childs' (Happy Birthday Tera!) new book coming out next year.
Check out that gorgeous cover! It Rocks.

Here's the blurb from her Website:

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Check out the collages she make for each of the characters for the book

I had the lucky fortune to read the book already. It's AMAZING!

Even Cabot, my puppy liked it. Here he is nosing the cover:
And here is he flipping it open to read with his nose!

PLUS: there's a sequel in the work for summer 2011! So exciting. Congrats Tera!

Maureen Johnson book news!

YA author Maureen Johnson has a new series! The series features an American high school student attending a London boarding school for her junior year. A series of murders begins to take place across the city—on the exact dates and in the exact style of Jack the Ripper—and her ties to the killer bring her in contact with a secret paranormal branch of the British police. The first book in the series will be published in summer 2011, with a new book following each subsequent summer.

(from PW)

So looking forward to this series, it sounds fab!

Love at First Click

Hayley can't compete with her gorgeous sister who catches the eyes of almost every boy in school and she's dated a few of them. When her current boyfriend needs to devote himself to football - she gets angry and breaks up with him. Now he's talking to Hayley. Hayley can't help talk back even though as friends but she doesn't know what to do when he starts wanting more. Especially when she discovers that she's falling for her sister's current boyfriend Flynn. At first she thought it was just a camera crush, but as they spend more time together she begins to suspect something different. Her sister's boyfriend is totally off limits, but she can't help wishing that wasn't the case.

A cute romance perfect for tweens or first romances. This book is actually part of a series called First Kisses - the other books had a more similar looking covers but this cover is completely different (and better).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Never Cry Werewolf

Shelby follows her heart...and it gets her into trouble. This time she can't talk her way out of getting caught after curfew kissing a hottie. Her step mother is insisting on sending her to summer camp. But it's not the leisurely camp with sports or canoe rides down the river - this is brat camp. It's where the rich send their children for hard work, therapy, and to learn discipline. It's basically the worst possible way to spend your summer. Shelby at least isn't going to the worst of these camps. While talking to the rest of the campers, she realizes that she's going to have to work hard at not shooting off her mouth this summer. Just when she think she might be able to take care of herself, a boy appears. He's just any boy, he's a Brit who wears a leather coat in the summer heat. In an instant, Shelby's summer goes from bad to worse. Not only does Austin make her swoon, but he's got a secret - a deep dark secret that would ruin his family is anyone found out the truth. Once she recovers from the shock, Shelby does her best to help him. But will helping him land into scalding hot water?

Never Cry Werewolf is the debut novel from Buzz Girl Heather Davis and it's a treat. Paranormal - scandal - rich kids- and romance, it's a wickedly fun read. Plus the cover is awesome.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Full Moon

Lindsey's had her whole life mapped out for her - including her soul mate. Her parent's have chosen him and they've grown up together. Connor's in all her important moments - but lately she's beginning to question if she loves him because she loves him or because they've been pushed together so often that she can't imagine herself with out him. It's not surprise that she's having these thoughts when she can't get Rafe out of her head. His glances leave her breathless - something Connor's never does. She dreams about kissing him. In her society - mates are chosen after one's 17th birthday to help with the change. The transformation into a werewolf for the first time is a painful process and having your mate their lessens the pain and intensifies the experience. Lindsey doesn't know what to trust. Her friends aren't really a big help either because Brittany believes the system is archaic because males go through the transformation without their mates and Kayla's so disgustingly happy with her mate. How will Lindsey decide something so important and in such a short time - with her heart or her head?

This is the 2nd book in the trilogy that left me eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Each book is written from the perspective of the three girls - and each take a different look at love and werewolves. There's danger lingering over from the first book with scientists looking to capture and run tests on a werewolf and expose their secrets. Danger, paranormal, and romance - the perfect combination!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Get Carded!

September is Library Card sign up Month:

If you don't have a library card or don't use your library often - be sure to check out the local library.

It's not only a place for books, but also movies, CDs, audio books, newspapers, computers for use, and even video games. They also have really great programs for all ages.

Plus, it's a great time to save money by using your library. And it helps out the library too. We're in danger of losing even more money this year due to budget constraints and it's nice to show how many people use our library.

Not to mention libraries are just cool in general.

Here's something you can't do with your library card though!

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets

I devoured this book last night. It reminded me a little of the Post Secret books - but more interesting because of the word limits.

Some of my favorites included:
Met Online, love before first sight - Chris S.
Hung Myself. Sister found me. Alive. - Anna-Lise M
Ripped open, sewn back up, healing. - Traci V
Defined by numbers: age, weight, SATs. - Jocelyn P.
A boy wizard saved my life. - Rebecca G
Waiting indefinitely for life to begin. - Jocelyn P.
My mom had my boyfriend deported. - Candra T
I don't rock, guitat hero lies. - Lacy F

I have no idea what I would write...maybe something like these
booknerd dreaming of authorship - rarely writes.
Crafty ideas - afraid to ruin by doing.
feel alone in a full room

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drive Me Crazy

Kate and her friends their families have been vacationing in Love, WI by a lake. They've been planning their own road trip for weeks and can't wait for school to end so they can start their adventure. Kate especially can't wait because Lucas will be waiting for her in Love -they shared a steamy kiss last year by the camp fire and have been cyber-flirting all year. Their trip is ruined when Kate's friend's cousin hijacks a ride. Kate's been holding a grudge against him since the sixth grade - even though they used to be great friends. Now he's sarcastic and annoying making Kate miserable when she's supposed to be having the time of her life. She's so relieved to get to Love, but is Lucas everything she's been dreaming of this part year?

A cute and sweet summer romance - but perfect for any time of year!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cinderella Society: Book Trailer

I know it doesn't come out until April, but it's such a cute book I want people to know about it.


Spotted: Book Trailed for Hush Hush

There's just not enough time for all the books I want to read, but this moved up in the list!


Catching Fire


I was lucky enough to know someone who received an ARC and she shared it with me. And it's SO good. I'm watching the videos over at Borders with Suzanne Collins.

I thought this book was excellent. In the beginning, Katniss deals with the fame of winning the games and the fallout from her fake relationship with Peeta. But it's not easy to let go of that relationship for personal reason (the nightmares at night) and the political reasons (their story is the reason they won the game). Nor it is easy for her friends at home - particularly Gale. She can't be seen in public with him too often and never emotionally involved. Instead, she's Peeta's girl...only she's not. And she's so confused about the two boys. Secretly she wants to start a rebellion and end the games. As she travels to each district for parades, she's aware of discontent in the districts and it's only a matter of time before a spark sets everything off and there's a full blown rebellion. However, President Snow's not happy with the ending of the games and he's made his position quite clear to Katniss. If he thinks going to make her marry Peeta and sit quietly while her friends suffer, he doesn't know Katniss. Before she can put any plan into action, the Hunger Game rules are announced. This year for the 75th anniversary, they will draw the contestants from the winners in each district.
Now Katniss and Peeta need a new plan - because they're going back again. This time they're each a bit smarter and craftier and they each have a hidden agenda. Can they outsmart the games a second time?

I loved this book and it did surpass most of my expectations. There were things I wish Katniss had seen earlier and that frustrated me. Plus the first part of the book, there wasn't much action, except her comparing her feelings towards Gale and Peeta. However, once the games were announced, I was glued to the edge of my seat. I can't even begin to guess what will happen next and I'm desperately waiting for the next installment.