Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tween Tuesday Review: The Dead End

Casey and her best friend Jillian have an awesome summer planned together. They're going to hang out, meet cute boys, and go on double dates.

Then Casey's mom shares the family news that wipes away all of Casey's plans. Her parents bought a house in New Hampshire and they're going to spend the whole summer fixing it up.

Casey can't believe her bad luck. The house is an old creepy house situated outside of a small country town. There's almost nothing to do there. Plus Casey swears it's haunted.

When she discovers an old journal from a girl who used to live there, she can't help but see the parallels of both their lives. Soon she starts dreaming about the past and the future. With all the creepy things that keep happening to Casey, she can't wait until the end of summer.

My Thoughts: A cute spooky read perfect for Halloween. I love hauntings of the house, but I hated how Casey's parents never believed in her. I loved the dreams from the book and they gave Casey confidence. It's also the start of the Poison Apple series. I'm already looking forward to the next book.

Cover Thoughts: Spooky and cute! I love the blend of black and purple.

Source: Inter-Library Loan


For the third year in a row, I've finished the challenge. Woo Hoo!
Did I finish my novel? No
Is it close to being done? Yes
Of course I changed how I'm writing the book about halfway through, but I re-read bits of it and it's not horrible.

I still need to go back and edit last year's Princess on a quest novel. I'll be tackling that in January. I'm giving myself December off. I have three manuscripts that need polishing up. I'm excited to go back through them and edit them.

How did you do?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spotted: The Royal Treatment

I really love this cover - the second book in the series A Princess for Hire. I especially love the Princess in the blush mirror. It still connects to the first cover, but I think it looks more regal.

You can read my review of the first book. Sadly, book 2 doesn't come out until May 2012. But I'll be waiting for it.
What about you?

Review: Allegra Biscotti Collection

Emma wants to be a fashion designer more than anything. She has a small room at her father's warehouse where she designs and sews clothes. Every day on the way to school, she create the ultimate fashion outfit from taking different pieces she sees and changes them to fit her style.

When a famous fashionista comes down to her father's warehouse and stumbles upon her designs, it's almost miraculous. Except for one small detail, it's hard to be a fashion designer when you're only in eighth grade.

On the spot, Emma makes up the secret identity of Allegra Biscotti for her designs. Now, she's exchanging texts with a fashion editor from Madison magazine for a feature interview. After the interview airs, the editor asks for three unique items from her Spring Collection.

Her friend Charlie helps her keep her lies straight and helps create business persona. He's the only one who knows the truth. Emma can't risk telling her BFF Holly because Holly's infiltrating the popular crowd. As much as she tries to bring Emma into the group, Emma resists. She can't stand how superficial the girls can be and she can't stand how they're supposed to be best friends, but they're mean to each other.

As the deadline looms, Emma's not sure she can finish creating these pieces.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - the first in a new series dealing with friendship drama, fashion, decisions about the future, and lies. I liked hearing about fashion and seeing the sketches in the pages. I liked the friendship aspect of the book where Emma deals with her BFF moving slightly beyond her reach.

Cover Thoughts: Cute. It fits right with all the illustrations on the pages

Source: My Library

Read Alike: A Girl Like Moi

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adult review: I Heart New York

At her best friend's wedding, Angela catches her boyfriend on ten years cheating with her. Plus her best friend's known about it. She goes back into the wedding, breaks the groom's hand and makes a huge scene.

She has no idea what to do next, so she flees. She jumps on a plane to New York and doesn't look back.

She instructs the cab driver to take her to a hotel where she meets the concierge Jenny. Jenny takes one took at Angela and immediately takes her under her wing. She takes her shopping for a new wardrobe and new makeup, attempting to create a more put together Angela.

She invites Angela out with her friends who also welcome her with open arms. In a struck of luck, she meets two guys both who ask her out on a date and she has an interview for an online blog for a magazine.

The magazine loves her Bridget Jones meets New York blog idea. Angela begins dating the two men, each very different. While she juggles both of them, she writes about their dates. Her viewers eat up her drama.

She has no thought towards her future, she's simply living in the moment and loving it.

Before long she moves in with Jenny and thinks seriously about staying in New York forever. She loves the city. How can she ever leave it?

My Thoughts: Lindsey Kelk knocks it out of the park with her debut novel. I love how Angela falls in love with the city and explores it with eyes wide open. I love the commentary running through her head especially while she's out on date (the Cheetos bit especially). Angela's adventures make you cringe, laugh, and fall in love.

Cover Thoughts: I Loved it until the first day in the city, Angela chops off her hair.

Source: reviewed for www.teensreadtoo.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mysterious Saturday Cover Reveal

Here's book 2 in the Manor House Mystery series which comes out in June of next year

I loved the first book, read my review. So I can't wait to dive into this one, it involves Civil War re-enactors who set up camp on the grounds of Marshfield Manor.

What do you think of the cover?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ten Things I'm thankful for....

This the season to be thankful....

1. My family - for all their love and support
2. My friends - those who I get to see almost every day and those I only see a few times a year
3. My social networking friends - bloggers and authors I've never met (yet) but hold close to my heart nonetheless
4. Being a teen librarian - it really IS the best job in the world
5. Being able to read all the amazing teen books out right now - love that teen fiction is rocking the world!
6. I have a Romance book list coming out in the December Issue of VOYA entitled Warm Up with Romance!
7. I'm now reading winter/Christmas books which I LOVE
8. Christmas is coming - it's my favorite time of year. It might have to do with the magic of the season and the combination of my birthday - either way, I love it!
9. This is the on year my sister and her husband spend Christmas with our family
10. the readers of my blog - who make awesome comments on my post and who encourage me to post often!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Books I'm Waiting to Read

Here's some books I can't wait to read next year that I haven't mentioned yet...

The A Circuit - I love horse books and I love Catherine Hapka's works

Arrow: The 3rd part in the amazing series starting with Spell Hunter and Wayfarer

The Day Before: a new verse novel from Lisa Schroeder. I love her previous books.

Die For Me: a supernatural mythology set in Paris with an amazing cover

Exile: Also loved the first one -Aurelia. Plus isn't the cover amazing? I love the dress and the key.

Here Lies Bridget: Sounds a little bit like Before I Fall with a very clever cover

Lipstick Laws
: Queen Bee reaches out to an unpopular girl, who becomes popular...for a price. I love the cover.

Rhymes with Cupid: Girl heartbroken after last Valentine's Day swears off both the holiday and boys...until one comes along who just might change her mind.

Ten Things We Did: I love this author, she's hilarious.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review: At First Sight

Lauren doesn't believe in love at first sight, even though her best friend finds her boyfriends instantly. She's forced to change her opinion when she meets Riley on a school field trip to the planetarium.

Sparks fly. They have a moment together before they're whisked away. They didn't even tell each other their names.

Lauren can't get him out of her head. Her best friend does some digging on a social media site and discovers his identity. Plus, he can't get Lauren out his head, either. But the path to true love isn't simple.

When he writes about meeting an amazing girl, his wall on the website explodes with girls claiming to be "the one." Lauren doesn't let that faze her; she writes him a message. He responds and soon they're hanging out online.

He doesn't believe she's one of the posers, but he doesn't believe that she's the one he's searching for, either. How can she get him to figure out the truth?

My Thoughts: Catherine Hapka writes about love at first glance as part of the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy series. Lauren tackles overcoming her shyness and going after what she wants. Ms. Hapka touches on the different aspects of relationships, including lust and friendship-turned-love, in this engaging installment to the line.

Cover: I really like it

Source: From my library, but reviewed for www.teensreadtoo.com

Challenge: Where I'm going ALL IN!
(you can still joint the challenge, click on the picture)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: Misguided Angel

*READ ONLY if you're caught up in the series - contains spoilers from previous books*

Jack and Schuyler fled to Europe to fulfill Schulyer's mission. At the moment, they're on the run as Jack chose Schuyler in an unprecedented affair. While they have their romance, they also have death threats looming over their heads. Mimi is angry - really angry.

Mimi's the interim leader of the Blue Bloods for the time being. She's downplaying her role during school, but she's responsible for their survival. When a homemade vampire movie leaks signaling the kidnapping of one vampire, Mimi's in trouble. The video, taken at a party, threatens to burn the vampire alive - in front of the human world. Mimi knows she needs to find this girl quickly and hush up the vampire rumors in the human world. Not only does she need to save this girl's life but she needs to save her own spot as leader among the Blue Bloods.

It's not easy saving the world while heartbroken. Most people assume she's heartbroken over Jack's betrayal. She's not. She's heartbroken over losing Kingsley.

She calls in the big guns to help solve the mystery of the abduction: Deming Chen. Deming infiltrates the popular group of vampires at the party to start nosing around and asking questions.

Between herself, Oliver, and Deming, Mimi hopes to uncover the mystery before they run out of time.

My Thoughts: The 5th book in the addicting series featuring love and heartbreak, friendship and betrayal, new friendships formed, new secrets discovered and old secrets shared. While I'm routing for Jack and Schuyler, I have to admit that I love Mimi in this book. I love her new role in the Blue Bloods society and her new relationship with Oliver. Plus I'm routing hard for Kingsley. I'm hoping that he's still alive and there's a chance for him and Mimi. As usual, the ending leaves you breathless and eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Cover Thoughts: Love it! It's pretty yet mysterious at the same time, fits the book perfectly.

Source: from the publisher

Up Next: out at the end of December! It's an in between novel - "Witness the bonding of Schuyler and Jack." I can't wait to read it.
The next book - number 6- comes out in October of next year called Lost in Time

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: I was Jane Austen's Best Friend

Away at boarding school together, cousins Jenny Cooper and Jane Austen get into mischief. When Jane falls ill, Jenny knows she must send a letter to her aunt. The school mistress refuses her request, so in the dead of night she escapes to alert her aunt to the severity of Jane's illness. It's improper for a lady to be wandering the streets alone. During her escape, Jenny meets Captain Thomas Williams. He's the perfect gentlemen, escorting her to the post and back to the school. He promises to keep her dreadful secret. Soon, Jane's mother arrives and whisks both girls back to Stevenson. Jenny and Jane continue their education at the Austen home. While there, the girls often speak of love. Jane's sister, Cassandra, loves one of her father's students. Jane herself isn't in love, but she flirts with several boys at the local ball. Jenny believes herself in love Jane's brother, Henry, as he often flirts with her. When she spies Captain Thomas Williams again, she's both nervous for her reputation and very happy to see him. Will she find true love?

My Thoughts: I've been wanting to read this book for ages. I'm a bit of a Jane Austen freak. Jenny's adventures are chronicled in her diary. At the back of the book, the author adds in an Author's Note detailing the changes made for this story. I adore Jane Austen and couldn't wait to read I WAS JANE AUSTEN'S BEST FRIEND. Jenny chronicles their daily routine, where we get an in-depth look into the Austen's way of life. She also peppers her diary with charming illustrations. I loved reading about Jane's writing, familiar characters that would make their way into said writing, and about Jenny's romance.

Cover: LOVE it! I'm a huge fan of the period covers

Source: reviewed for www.teensreadtoo.com

Sunday, November 21, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challege

I've heard about this challenge for a two years and this year, I'm joining the in on the fun. It's hosted by the amazing Kristi from the Story Siren. You must read at least 12 books from debut authors. She's also put together a list of titles.

Here's some that I'm going to be reading:
False Princess
Across the Universe
Liar Society
Kat, the Incorrigible
Lipstick Laws
Die for Me
Agent Toby

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mysterious Saturday Review: Deeply Desperately

Lucy Valentine works in the family business of matchmaking. Although she doesn't have the family touch of reading auras. Instead she can find lost/missing people. At the moment, the police need her help with a case.

They're looking for a mother of two who has gone mysteriously missing. No body has surfaced. The police and public opinion believe her husband is the culprit. Lucy works to unravel the mystery through a bracelet.

In her matchmaking business, she's working in uncover a long lost love. A man's searching for a woman he met before deployment.

A reporter's shadowing Lucy through her transactions. While she's asking questions about the process of finding things, she's also asking some very personal questions. Lucy has a feeling she might be trying to uncover something about her family, but she's not sure what that might be.

With all her different cases, she still have time for her budding relationship with Sean. However, just as things start to heat up, something inevitably happens. Lucy blames this on the Valentine curse - where her family can never be happy in love. Neither of them want to give up, but when Sean's ex-girlfriend comes into the picture, trouble rears it's ugly head.

My Thoughts: I adore this new series. This is the 2nd book of Lucy Valentine and her adventures. I find her refreshing. She speaks the truth. She's loyal, hard-working, sassy, and fun. I loved her times with Preston. I'm eager for the next installment.

Cover Thoughts: It's cute but the story takes place right before the holidays and there's nothing to indicate this time of year. It looks more like a summer read than a winter cozy.

Source: ILL

Next Up: Coming in February

Friday, November 19, 2010

10 Things: Favorite Series Now Over

Last week, I mentioned my favorite series book still going. This week I'm chatting about those favorite series that have ended. Again in my mind, series books MUST be four books or more.

Harry Potter: One of the best series I've ever read.

Princess Diaries: The series that inspired me to become a YA librarian. Pure fun filled with personal drama, family drama, friendship drama, and romance. I love Mia and how she's thrust into a very different life with some family news.

Sweep: The best series of witches I've ever read filled with power, betrayal, friendship issues, drama, romance, and learning spells. New books coming out in bundles and cool new covers.

Summer Boys: Fun beach read series about a family who always vacations in Maine. Summer blossoms and dies, hearts are broken, and girls become the best of friends.

Enola Holmes: A fascinating read of women in England in the 19th century. Enola is the sister of the famed Sherlock Holmes. She lives in secret in London, donning disguises and communicating with her mother through codes and ciphers. She also spends her time solving missing person cases, often through clues her brother misses.

Georgia Nicholson*: I love Georgian and her quirky ways. I do have the last two books in the series to read. I always laugh out loud when reading these.

Song of the Lioness: I've heard just awesome buzz about Tamora Pierce. I started Alanna and became hooked. I tore through this series and need to start reading more of her work because she IS amazing.

Percy Jackson*: I have yet to finish this series because just as the 4th book was coming out, we started our book club with The Lightening Thief and I had it in my head that I would go back and reread the others before reading the 4th to remember the story. It never happened and I really need to go back and read books 4 and 5 because I LOVE this blend of mythology and modern day.

Mediator: I'm a HUGE Meg Cabot fan but I love the blend of ghosts, danger, and romance in this series. It's amazingly fun.

Pendragon*:(again I have to read the last two books) A unique series of a blend of science fiction and fantasy with danger, end of the world possibilities, and a little bit of romance.

* In doing this blog post, I'm noticing a pattern of not reading the last two books in the series. If the series is long, it's hard for me to remember what happened in the previous books. Also I hate letting go of a series, especially when I love them dearly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Created: Sammy Keyes book trailer

Here's a new trailer made after attending a technology workshop. It's next month's book pick for our 4th and 5th grade book club.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

Review: Daughters Break the Rules

After leaking a story damaging to her father and his business, Carina is in serious trouble. Not only is her father icing her out, but he's just cut her off. She no longer has unlimited credit cards.

Instead, she will receive an allowance of $20/week. Carina isn't sure she care survive, but she's determined to show her father she's not a spoiled brat.

Unfortunately, her crush asks her to go skiing over winter vacation in Switzerland. Carina jumps at the chance. Once she agrees, reality sets in when she realizes she'll need a way to pay for the trip.

She worms her way into planning a charity event on the expectation she draw big names. Carina meets with the people on Ava's list. However, once the vendors realize that it's a charity event and not for her father, they give her the cold shoulder. Carina's about to give up when she meets Alex.

He's a DJ who encourages her to look at the event in a whole new light. Soon, she's making huge changes to the event. Changes that won't cost her money. Best of all, she's spending more and more time with Alex. She finds herself confiding in him, everything except for the reasons she's really working for this event.

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the trilogy of three daughters who formed a bond due to their uber famous parents. They deal with real issues regardless of their family wealth and privilege. They're learning how to break out of their shells and live by their own rules. I love the transformation of Carina.

Cover Thoughts: I really like the mix of black and white and the colors. I think it makes the girls pop.

Source: My library

Next up: The Daughters Take the Stage out in May

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review: Brave Escape of Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton lived a privileged life. She was born into the Jones family - a wealthy family who were prominent members of New York society. From an early age, her mother knew Edith was different.

Edith was shy, she admired the truth, she liked to make up stories, and she loved reading. She spent her formative years touring Europe, which left a deep impression.

Upon her return, she made her debut. In one summer she met two men. She developed a deep relationship with one, but he left at the end of the summer. The other man she befriended and then married. She fell out of favor with society, but that didn't stop her.

Edith wrote in the mornings. In the beginning, she had three poems printed in respected publications. One of the publishers was interested in more of her writing. After her short story appeared, she began work on several others that would be published into one volume. However, the idea of her stories in print threw her into a panic, and she began to work on non-fiction projects.

She traveled throughout Europe and met many bachelors who would become her dearest friends. Several of these men were writers. She would share her ideas and her writings with them. After publishing her first novel, one of these men, Henry James, wrote with advice for her next book.

Edith took his advice to heart and wrote a serialized tale published in a magazine that would later become THE HOUSE OF MIRTH. Her success was huge. She kept writing, which paid for her house to be built, her trips to Europe, and her lifestyle. Until she died, Edith wrote and behaved in the fashion she desired.

My Thoughts: I read Edith Wharton in college and loved The House of Mirth. I devoured some of her other novels. I jumped at the chance to review this book as I wanted to know more about this author. Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge writes a fascinating and engaging non-fiction book describing an amazing woman who dared to step outside the bounds of society and live life on her own terms.

Cover: I like it - I love the detail of the stairs.

Source: reviewed for www.teensreadtoo.com where I gave it a
Fun Facts: A few years ago, I dragged my husband to visit The Mount (the house she built)

She also co-wrote a book The Decoration of Houses which she used the ideas in her own home. However, the Whartons sold the house and because of that, no one quite knows how the house might have looked inside apart of the ideas in this book.

One of her tricks was to place a mirror on the walls opposite the windows for two purposes. One, the light bounces off the mirror and creates more light in the room. Two, the mirror creates an effect of making the room larger than it appears.

These stairs, as other rooms in the house, were decorated by local interior designers of what might have been in the house.

Here's her library. She wrote mostly in bed, but maybe she did some writing at this desk. They did purchase most of the original books from her personal collection.
The outside grounds are also gorgeous

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: Wildfire Run

Luke's dad is the President of the United States. They awake one morning at Camp David to an earthquake ripple. Immediately, the President heads to Washington to uncover more details about the destruction and to figure out how to best help the people. Luke remains at Camp David with his friend, Theodore. They plan to build a robot with the help of his dog. They're in the middle of working on the project when Luke's used-to-be friend, Callie, appears. She's carrying a kitten. When the canine frightens the feline, both animals take off into the woods. Luke and Callie run to catch them, but they're not allowed into the woods. Meanwhile, the Secret Service agents get word of a fast-moving forest fire. They must evacuate the camp immediately. They wait for a few minutes to see if Luke can call back his dog. When he doesn't appear, they jump into SUVs and head for the main gate. As they try to exit, catastrophe ensues. Following a car crash that leaves the extraction team separated and hurt, the three tweens need to figure out how to get away from Camp David. Unfortunately, the security measures used in keeping out terrorists are also keeping them from escaping.

My Thoughts: WILDFIRE RUN is a fast-paced read bursting with action and danger. Luke, Callie, and Theo must learn to put their differences aside and work together as a team. They come up with crazy ideas to outsmart the system, which creates a great novel for tweens and reluctant readers.

Cover: I really like it, but I find it misleading because there are three tweens in the story. However, it's eye-catching.

Source: My library, although I reviewed it for www.teensreadtoo.com

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reivew: Pies and Prejudice

The girls from the book club enter high school this year. Everything changes when Emma's family announces they're moving to England for the year. Using this news as a jumping-off point, the book club decides to read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and keep in touch with Emma and her mother via video chats.

Emma and her family switch houses with someone for the year. At first, she doesn't want to leave, but when she arrives in England, she learns to love it. However, she doesn't love the people. One boy follows her around all the time. He's a mini Mr. Collins and Emma can't stand him. She's also not fond of Annabelle, who makes her life miserable both in England and also back home. Unbeknownst to her, her friends start up a pie business to purchase a plane ticket so she can visit during school vacation.

Jess can't believe her best friend and her crush are both deserting her this year. She's adjusted to life at boarding school since last year. Now, everyone's figuring out their future career, but Jess can't narrow down a choice. Not knowing what she wants to do with her life deeply disturbs her.

Cassidy makes a girl's league hockey team, which means lots of practices and spending lots of time with her new stepfather. She also decides to create a hockey team for girls in the local area. Calling it Chicks with Sticks, her former teacher, Mrs. Bergson, helps her get the program started. But Mrs. Bergson calls in a favor of her own. Snooty Tristan, the boy living in Emma's house, is an ice dancer. He needs a training partner to continue his work towards an exclusive competition. Soon, Cassidy's trying out figure skating and doing her best to live up to his high expectations.

Meghan starts up a fashion blog - complete with fashion don'ts. She writes the snarky insults in a Jane Austen-type tone. At first, the blog remains anonymous, but after a queen bee spills the beans, everyone is up in arms, including friends, teachers, and parents.

My Thoughts: As the group reads PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and learns all about Jane Austen, changes start occurring as the girls form crushes, hopes, and dreams - all while dealing with drama and friendship dilemmas. I'm such a Jane Austen freak, that I was so excited the club read this book. I love this charming series and hope the book club continues throughout high school.

The Cover: I really like it - love how it connects to the other covers

Source: Reviewed for www.teensreadtoo.com where it won the