Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mysterious Saturday Review: Midnight Tunnel

** I usually do an adult mystery review on Saturday - but the last mystery failed me and this tween read was super cute! **

Suzanna’s parents run the inn Loch Harbor, New Brunswick, where many wealthy families spend the summer. Zanna’s learning the ins and outs of running the place in anticipation for her future. Zanna doesn’t want to run the inn, she’d rather become a famous detective like her Uncle. She keeps a notebook filled with observations.

When the daughter of an important guest goes missing one night during a storm, Zanna thinks she saw the girl in the servant’s tunnel. When she attempts to tell her parents, no one believes her. They don’t want to hear her nonsense.

Instead, they ask her Uncle to come. Zanna can’t wait to see her Uncle again. She’s dumbfounded when he exits the train with his apprentice, a boy her age. She’s furious when he calls her by the wrong name and dismisses her ideas.

Zanna’s determined to continue her own investigation.

My Thoughts: An adorable start to a new series provides tween readers with a great main character. Zanna has feistiness and she’s unwilling to back down from her knowledge. I loved the lush setting of the Inn and the tourists spending their summer. I wanted to be there with them. I loved the character of Isaac. He puzzled me with his secrets and his changing attitude. I loved this twists and turns of the mystery - it made a page turning read.

I did figure out the culprits - but it was still enjoyable. I'm looking forward to Zanna's next mystery!

Cover Thoughts: Adorable - I Love the wall paper.

Source: reviewed for

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ten Things: YA Princess Books

With the Royal Wedding date now upon us, here are 1o awesome books about royals. I must say the wedding was beautiful. Catherine's dress was amazing. She looked GORGEOUS and so happy. I loved all the looks and smiles between Prince William and Catherine. I also adored the moments I saw of Prince Harry and also Pippa. I loved the kisses on the balcony, but I do think they could have been a bit longer.

As I'm addicted to Princess stories, two years ago for Nanowrimo, I started a Princess story of my own. It contains a royal quest, a very important book, and dragons.

Here's the prologue: (Sorry about the formatting, I've struggled with it all morning, and this seems to be the default setting)

My parents were sure I was going to be a boy. They were completely dumbfounded when the midwife uttered those fateful words, “It’s a girl!” My father paled, “Are you sure?” “Yes, Sir, I’m sure.” She handed me to the Queen and stepped back, unsure of what to do in this situation. She didn’t want anyone blaming the messenger for bad news. The Queen cuddled me to her, whispering in my ear lovingly. “A girl….what will we call her?” my father sputtered. “Raphaela,” whispered my mother. She reached out and grabbed my father’s arm. “We’ll just add an A to the name. Look at our daughter, isn’t she beautiful?” He looked at me for the first time. “She’s so tiny, but beautiful, just like her mother.” “Then she’ll have you wrapped around her finger in no time.” He leaned forward to kiss her head musing, “I wonder what the people will think.” He sighed, the tender moment gone, the King in charge. “Let the councilor in.” The midwife dropped a curtsy and opened the door. Councilman Emrick rushed in, “Well?” “Councilman Emrick meet the new heir, my daughter Raphaela.” Councilman Emrick looked shaken. “A girl! Are you crazy? Sir, there hasn’t been a female heir in our history since…well you know.” “Councilman Emrick, I know, but look at her. She’ll make an excellent queen one day.” Councilman Emrick couldn’t help thinking that the King was wrong, the people would revolt. He bowed out of the room murmuring that he’d make sure everything was ready for the celebration of the new heir. The queen frowned, “Was that wise dear?” "What?” “Telling Councilman Emrick that your daughter will rule?” “Why ever not?” “You know as well as I do, darling, that she’s forbidden to rule.” “Clearly that law will have to be changed.”

Now for the books:
Princess Diaries: One of the reasons I became a teen librarian - what a fun entertaining series. I love Mia and Michael.

Graceling: I loved this book for the strength of Katsa, her courage, her determination, and her honor. Plus it's an amazing love story.

Forgive My Fins: I LOVED this tale (and the sequel, which is also amazing is due out in June!) Lily's a mermaid princess in the water, but on land, she's just another girl in high school. Read my review and book trailer

Princess for Hire
: A super fun read! I Love how Desi goes against policy and accidentally changes the lives of the real Princesses. Can't wait to read the next book - Royal Treatment. Read my review

Nobody's Princess
: A great historical fiction about Helen of Troy. I love how Helen would rather learn how to fight than sew - my kind of heroine.

Seer and the Sword: I loved the magical turn of this book and the deadly plots and double crossings.

Princess of the Midnight Ball: A fairy tale retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. A beautiful story and a Fantastic cover!!
Read my review:

Aurelia: I loved this book about a Princess with a deadly enemy. Her life is in danger and a young spy comes to flush out the person responsible for the attacks. The sequel Exile is just out now.
Read my review

Dragonfly: I LOVED this book - it was simply beautiful. Princess Taoshira and Prince Ramil become betrothed for the purposes of an alliance. Neither are interested in the marriage. However, before the ceremony takes place, they are both kidnapped.

Dealing with Dragons: I loved how different Cimorene is and how she refuses to be proper and runs away out of sheer boredom to live with a dragon.
View my Book Trailer

What books do you love involving royals?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trailer Thursday: Harry Potter the finale

This gave me chills, I simply CAN NOT WAIT!!!

Trailer Thursdays: Mr. Popper's Penguins

I LOVED this book when I was young! So looking forward to this movie and I love Jim Carrey as the main character. This looks like it will be very funny.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: Eona

*Spoilers ahead if you haven't read EON*

Eona has finally shed her false identity - now she must look to setting the kingdom to rights after High Lord Sethon took control. Now all the Dragoneyes are dead with the exception of the traitorous Lord Ido.

Eona, Ryko, and Lady Dela attempt to find their Emperor - the young son with ties to the throne. Indeed, Kygo is the true Pearl Emperor. When they find him, they must attempt to take the throne back from his uncle.

Regaining control of the land won't be easy. Death and destruction will come. Without their Dragoneyes, dragons are disappearing from the world. Now more than ever Eona needs Lord Ido alive - so he can share his knowledge. In the past, Lord Ido only wanted power. Could he have changed? Eona isn't putting all her hopes in his knowledge, she's also working on translating a folio left by her ancestors.

The knowledge and power she gains from the folio scare her beyond belief. Could her destiny already be chosen for her?

My Thoughts: The stunning conclusion to Eon: Dragoneye Reborn was an intense emotional read. I've been waiting to read this book for what seems like years. It was one of my favorite reads in 2009. I loved reading about the union between the Mirror Dragon and Eona. I loved the twists and turns of this read. I loved the relationship between Eona and Kygo. Honesty, I loved the book. It was heartbreaking, frustrating, horror-filled, sweet, satisfying, romantic, and vastly entertaining. My one complaint was that waiting length between the two books :)

Cover Thoughts: I Love it (then again, I'm one of the few people who loved the original hardback cover.) I Love how it ties in with the new paperback edition cover. I love the light from the swords. I love the dragon. I love the fierceness of Eona.

Source: My library.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tween Tuesday Review: Mysterious Matters of I.M. Fine

Franny's starting to notice strange behavior after everyone devours the latest Chillers book from I.M. Fine. At first there's the whole need for gummy worms. Next, everyone has headaches. Finally, everyone starts acting like a snake. Franny believes there's a connection between the books and the behaviors.

She tries to convince her best friend Beamer about the truth. It takes him a long time to listen to her, but even he can't deny there's something strange happening all over the country.

The two of them set out to uncover the identity of this famous author who keeps all private information out of print. Can they solve the mystery behind the strange happenings to their classmates?

My Thoughts: I've always been interested in reading this book because of the title and the cover. It's our current read for this month's 4th and 5th grade book club. I quite enjoyed the story - although I didn't entirely believe the conclusion. I loved the relationship between Beamer and Franny. I loved their sleuthing. Most of all, I loved how was a book about books and authors. A fun great mystery.

Cover Thoughts: Interesting - very fun.

Source: My Library

Monday, April 25, 2011

If You Like...Environment stories

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.

In honor of Earth Day (last Friday), here are some books you might like

Movie Review: King's Speech

Over the weekend, I finally watched The King's Speech. I've been waiting to see this for ages, not just because of all the buzz, but because I simply adore Colin Firth.


I loved the humor, especially the bits between Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.

I Loved Lionel - he was funny, clever, witty, and not afraid of the King.

I loved the Princesses.

I loved the costumes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie - laughing a number of times.

Book Pairing: Her Royal Spyness: a novel featuring Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, 34th in line for the throne - during the same time period. I love this series. GoodReads

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mysterious Saturday Review: Polished Off

It's just a normal afternoon for Grace until Audrey comes into the beauty parlor. She's looking for someone to do hair and nails for her pageants contestants. Grace and Stella both agree to the position - and meet at the theater later in the day.

Before they get set up, Grace watches the girls practice their talents. An accident takes place with one of the girls. When Graces asks a few questions, it appears it's not the first mishap made to look like an accident.

Stella and Grace help the girls style themselves; surprised to find Rachel, a teen co-worker among the contestants. Then they sit down and watch the program. Stella leaves part way through. At the end of the night, Grace attempts to locate her. The door to Stella's work space is locked. She jimmies open the door to discover Audrey dead.

Now with Stella under suspicion, Grace starts asking questions.

My Thoughts: The second book in the series brought up the issue of beauty pageants vs body image/feminism. During the pageant, there were protesters with signs about women's beauty, using brains not beauty to get ahead in the world, and pageants setting back feminism. Contestants countered the argument with using the scholarship money for further education. I enjoyed the debate.

I also enjoyed the reappearance of
Agent John Dillon. I'm voting for his as the romantic interest. I like the atmosphere of the beauty parlor. I really enjoyed the twist of Rachel being in the pageant - and her moments in the pageant. An entertaining read where I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Cover Thoughts: Cute - but the setting for the murder scene is off.

Source: My Library

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ten Things (Actaully 13): Adult books I'm Dying to Read

I don't usually read many adult books that aren't mysteries, but I have several authors that I do follow. Here's a list of books I think look great.
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart: I have LOVED Sarah MacLean's other books, her YA book and the two others in this series. I Love Juliana and can't wait to read her tale. GoodReads - out on Tuesday (PS: I heard a rumor that a character from The Season makes an appearance in this book)

It Happened One Season: I'm not usually into short stories because I always want them to become books, but it just looks SO good. I love the cover. I wonder if any of the characters will cross-over into stories. GoodReads - out now
To Marry A Prince: I saw this on a book blog and with the Royal Wedding fast approaching, it looks like the perfect read. It's a modern day fairy tale story where an ordinary girl meets and falls for a Prince. Now she has deal with the politics and paparazzi of the world. GoodReads - I can't seem to find any information about the release. It's from the UK, so it might not have been published in the US yet - here's hoping.

From Notting Hill with Love...Actually I saw this book on the same blog, and the titles, not to mention the cover, hooked me. Scarlett has her head in the clouds, dreaming of movies. Can her life replicate some of her favorite movies? GoodReads

Dashwood Sisters Tell All: As a Jane Austen freak, I'm already hooked on this one. Two sisters take a walking tour of Jane Austen's England for their mother's dying wish. Their mother also left them a diary, that could be Cassandra Austen's diary. GoodReads - out now.

Already Home:Jenna needs a break from her life and a break to recover her dreams. When she spies a building for sale, she immediately envisions a cooking store. GoodReads - out now
I LOVE this series and can't wait to read the next two. I love the O'Brien family.
Driftwood Cottage: GoodReads - out now
Moonlight Cove: GoodReads - out April 26th
and Beach Lane comes out May 31st

Hard Bitten: I love this series for the unique world, the snarky characters, and the tension between Merit and Ethan. GoodReads - out May 3rd

Witches of East End: I love the Blue Bloods series and looking forward to seeing characters from that series merge with the new adult series about witches. Plus the trailer will be out soon! GoodReads - out June 21st
Smokin' Seventeen: Hilarious series with Stephanie Plum - simply fantastic. When I start any book of this series, I can barely put it down. It's THAT good. GoodReads - out June 21st

Thursday, April 21, 2011

IceyPick (1.3) -- Blurb it -- Darkness Becomes Her

This book has been in my TBR pile for a while now.
I love the Gothic feel of the gate and how it looks foreboding. I'm a big fan of the font and how the blue pops out at the reader. I really love how the K and the H come together. I really like the tree event though it doesn't look real, but somehow combined with the gate it works. All in all, it's a great cover, reminiscent of Beautiful Creatures covers, but still attractive to catch a reader's eye.

If you haven't been to IceyBooks blog, check it out.

Trailer Thursdays

I'm an X-Men movie junkie. I LOVED the previous three movies. Quite enjoyed the Wolverine movie. And am DYING to see First Class. Even though it doesn't feature Wolverine, it still looks AMAZING!
I have a date night all planned out.
If only June 3rd would hurry up...

What movie are you waiting for?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: Scorpia Rising

The final book for the Alex Rider series is divided into two parts. The first part comes from the perspective of Scorpia - an terrorist organization twice defeated by Alex Rider. They are devising a plan to bring Alex Rider's involvement in MI6 to the attention of the world thus bringing down two enemies with one strike. They need to get Alex Rider back into the field and they have developed an idea to lead him just where they want him.

Alex Rider's life has gone back to normal. He's happy just hanging out with his friends, doing school work, and rehearsing for the school play. Unfortunately, his normal life ends when a sniper appears on the roof across the street from his school, sending a bullet through the window into Alex's classroom.

Jack - his guardian is determined that Alex won't be caught up in MI6 again. However, even she can not stop him from agreeing to protect his friends at school from further harm. Jack insists on accompanying him to Egypt where they will keep an eye on a school for anything out of the ordinary. Someone might be targeting the students of wealthy families from around the globe.

Alex realizes the school isn't under threat. He knows something's not right, but he's unable to put his finger on anything specific. Instead he and Jack make plans to head to America. That's when things start going wrong - deadly wrong.

My Thoughts: I'm sad to see the last of Alex Rider. I LOVED this series for the: action, danger, adrenaline scenes, the crazy double crossings, the spy gadgets, and the determination of one teenage boy. I think the series ended the only way it could, but I don't love the ending.

As for the book: It took me a bit to get used to the two difference segments of the book. However, I liked learning more about Scorpia. I loved how they dropped certain clues to make their plan come together. After reading their section, I found myself annoyed at MI6. MI6 seemed naive, very naive. They also seemed horrific at research. I've always loved Mr. Smithers and was pleased he had a bigger role in the final book. I loved reading about his gadgets and tricks, especially his last trick. I loved the deviousness of the Scorpia group ad trying to uncover their plot from Alex's perspective. I love watching Alex in action.

Cover Thoughts: I'm not crazy about the covers - but they are interesting and eye catching.

Source: My Library
Good Reads
Similar Read: Sure Fire (1st in a series)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: Enclave

Deuce lives underground - in an enclave. The ruler rule with absolutism. Friends become family, if you're lucky to have friends.

As Deuce graduates from brat to Huntress, she can't believe her good fortune. She's partnered with Fade, a mysterious Hunter. As she goes out on her first assignments, she doesn't trust him. He's an outsider to her clan.

Together they discover the Freaks (tunnel monsters) are more active than usual. The Freaks might have wiped out an entire enclave. Deuce and Fade trek through the tunnels to uncover the damage.

What they find shocks them both, but what the enclave does with the information shocks Deuce even more. She loses all trust in the enclave and the enclave's beginning to lose trust in her...

My Thoughts: It took me a few pages, but then I was hooked. I loved the coming of age story, the fighting sequences, the horror at the government, and the determination of Deuce. She's a strong kick-butt character. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

Cover Thoughts: Great cover!

Source: from Publisher

Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

Monday, April 18, 2011

If You Like...Veronica Mars

Here's this week's edition of If You Like...featuring Veronica Mars

I LOVED this series and wish there was some movie news to share.

And I LOVE that Kirsten Bell is so into the Hunger Games!

Review: Sean Griswold's Head

Payton just discovered that her father has MS. The whole family's kept her in the dark for six months because they're trying to protect her. She's furious.

She stops talking to her family. Her parents make her see the school guidance counselor who suggests she start a focus object. Ms. Callahan hands her a notebook.

At first, Payton doesn't know what to write in her journal. Then she realizes that she's been sitting behind a boy for years. He has a nice head and thus begins her project.

She discusses her idea with her outgoing BFF Jac, who thinks the project should encompass the whole boy. Before long, Payton starts talking with Sean.

They become close friends. Payton starts bike riding with him. She starts confiding in him. Will her project really help her focus her life and comes to terms with life's curves?

My Thoughts: I LOVED Lindsey Leavitt's debut novel Princess for Hire. While this book is very different, it's also very good. Leavitt writes about the sickness in heart-wrenching and honest manner. I loved Jac creating drama and forcing Payton into embarrassing situations with Sean. I loved the conversations between Jac and Sean. This novel deals with friendship, family drama, discovering inner strength, finding focus, and a dash of romance.

Cover Thoughts:This cover grew on me. I like the chalkboard doodles and how they relate to the book. I love the tagline.
Check out Melissa Walker's cover story to learn how the cover changed

Source: My Library

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mysterious Saturday Review: Cookie Dough or Die

Olivia (Livie) owns the quaint cookie cutter shop The Gingerbread House. She and her BFF Maddie work at the store, while occasionally offering delicious cookies.

When Livie's mentor is found dead, she's not sure she can continue the store. All the joy's sucked out of cookie cutters. She's determined not to let the death ruin her happiness.

The death is believed to be accidental. Some details don't add up to Livie, she's sure her friend wouldn't mix wine and sleeping pills. Livie must uncover the truth behind her mysterious death to set her world back in order.

My Thoughts: The start of a new fun series. I love the cookie cutter angle. I love the friendship between Maddie and Livie and how they complement each other. Livie's mother is quite charming and very busy. Looking forward to more by this author.

Cover Thoughts: Very cozy and cute. I love the details, especially the cookie cutters and Spunky.

Source: Purchased

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ten Things: Game of Thrones

This is my favorite book series, so imagine my delight when I heard HBO producing this as a series. I simply can't WAIT to watch it. As it's a very adult book (violence, gore, and sex), I think HBO is the right place for it. George R.R. Martin writes an amazing tale about a land in chaos and the right for the crown. His characters are complex, unique, layered, and amazing.

The characters: Jon Snow and Arya Stark are my favorites

The writing = I'm hoping that the sarcasm and wit transfers to the show. GRRM is my favorite author of ALL time (and between you and me, that's saying something)

The detail in production - check out a video of the set design

The sword fighting - check out a video of weapons

The costumes - I LOVE period costumes. I 'm quite looking forward to the clothes. Check out a video here

The landscapes - the books depict so many different locations and climates. Here's a photo of the wall - an interesting fixture in the series

Each preview looks better than the last

I LOVE Sean Bean and I think he's perfect for this role
Not tied to the TV adaptation, but Dance with Dragons claims to be coming out July 12th. I can't wait for the series to continue and I'm LOVING the new cover!
Plus the author recently married and his bride wore Tyrell colors.

WINTER IS COMING: The Games begin Sunday at 9 pm.

After all this - I don't have HBO, the wait is already killing me. Sigh, I hate having to wait for the DVD...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: Demonglass

*** Spoilers from Hex Hall - don't read unless you're read Hex Hall! *****
After last year's crazy semester year Sophie's father is coming to Hex Hall. Sophie's nervous. She's never met her father, plus he's the head of the magical council. He arrives just in time to see her survive yet another catastrophe - one that put her life in danger, again.

After witnessing what demon's can do, Sophie's determined to have her powers removed. However as head of the Council, her father must agree to the procedure. He's not giving her permission - instead he's taking her to England for the summer.

This time together will be a chance for father/daughter bonding time as well as a chance for Sophie to learn more about herself. Sophie prepares for an easy summer with her BFF Jenna (a vampire) by her side. She's blindsided by the knowledge that someone's raising demons for weapons and that her ex-crush Archer can't stay away from her, even if it means putting his life in danger.

My Thoughts: An entertaining and engrossing read that kept me on the edge of me seat for most of the book. I loved the plot twists, the romance triangle, the layers of magic and knowledge, and Sophie's snark and wit. I loved watching the relationship develop between Sophie and her father. Warning: Holy Cliffhanger ending - this book ends at a very interesting point. I'm dying for book 3 already!

Cover Thoughts: I love these cover - but they really don't match the book AT ALL - still beautiful

Source: My Library

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why Teens LOVE Otis Library

In honor of National Library week, here are some teens chatting about why they LOVE Otis Library

Books I'm Dying to Read: June edition

Here is the latest edition of books I simply can't wait to read - all of these are out in June

Ten Things We Did: LOVE the author her books are always funny and charming. GoodReads
out June 7th

Uncommon Criminals: I LOVED Heist Society. So looking forward to Kat's latest heist. Not to mention Hale. GoodReads out June 21st

Withering Tights: I loved the Georgia Nicoleson series - so funny! Looking forward to a new book. GoodReads (Goodreads has this a July 8th, but BN has June 28th)

Mission (un)popular: Really enjoyed Rhymes with Cupid, eager read the second book by this authorabout a girl looking to change herself, her image, and stand up to the mean girls. GoodReads - out June 14th
Jane Austen: A Life Revealed: I'm a bit of Jane Austen freak. Also love reading about her. Hopefully I'll learn something new. Love the idea of a biography for teens (Wish I thought of writing it). GoodReads (again Goodreads and BN differ with release dates)

Secret Ingredient: Sequel to Teashop Girls where Annie competes in a scone baking contest where the prize is a trip to London. She also starts a food blog. GoodReads out June 28th
Countess Nobody: I think I had some insider info on this book that made me very excited to read it, but I no longer have that email. GoodReads out June 14th

The Day Before: LOVE the author and novels in verse: GoodReads out June 28th
Sirenz: Two girls fight over the perfect pair of shoes and end up serving Hades becoming Sirens. GoodReads Out June 8th

Flying Blind: Love dragon books and it's the first of a new series. Zoe's powers are hideous, but she's going to need them and fast if she wants to save herself and all shifters from extinction. GoodReads out June 7th

My Life Undecided: I Loved Karma Club and I adore the book trailer for this new book by Jessica Brody. Brooklyn's made terrible decisions in her past so she's setting up a blog to let others make her decisions for her with hopes of better outcomes. GoodReads out June 7th - view the booktrailer

Who What Wear: The second book in the fun fashionista Allegra Biscotti Collection series where Emma, must go undercover to protect her identity as Allegra plus design a few new pieces. GoodReads - Out June 1st

The Lost Crown: I Love the cover plus it's a novel about the Romanov family and the daughters of Tsars . GoodReads out June 14th (And just perfect for the YA historical fiction challenge)

Cleopatra Confesses: A great historical fiction author with a new book with an awesome cover! GoodReads out June 7th

Slice: Sequel to Killer Pizza which I gobbled up (along with several teen boys in my library) GoodReads out June 21st

Fins Are Forever: I've read this one and it's a FABULOUS sequel to Forgive My Fins GoodReads (again Goodreads/BN differ for the date)

Never Sit Down in A Hoopskirt.... I've read this one too and it's funny, snarky, and highly entertaining- read my review here. GoodReads Out June 14th

Trial by Fire: The sequel to Raised by Wolves - it's an awesome intense read. Read my review here. GoodReads out June 14th

Spoiled: I have the ARC and need to read it, because it looks super cute! Molly's mom passes away and she's shocked to dsicover the identity of her father - a famous movie star. Before she knows it, she's trust into a new lifestyle complete with an evil stepsister. From the authors of the blog: GoodReads out June 1st

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

24 out in 2012?

PLEASE make this happen - I miss Jack Bauer desperately and please make sure Chloe has a great role too! Check out the info from EW