Friday, September 30, 2011

Trick or Treat Duct Tape Bag

A little something fun for my niece, Emily!

Banned Book Quiz:

Celebrate the freedom to read, to choose your own reading material based on your interests, and to find those interests at any library!

Readers should be choosers

My co-worker and I created this banned book bingo, which we used in our 4th and 5th grade book club last year. They had to match book covers with these clues.

How many of these can you name?

Which book is filled with wacky and very funny poems?
Which book series, features a girl growing up without her mother?
What book features a unique family of penguins in a zoo?
What book has a new girl changing the life of one boy when they become friends?
What book features a haunted house in the dead of the night when the clock strikes twelve? Which book forces a boy to choose sides and go against either his brother or his father in the American Revolutionary War?
What book features George and Harold who love playing practical jokes and creating their own comic books?
Which book features a young boy discussing his divorced father's new living situation
Which book features a young artist who draws about the possibilities of life?
Which popular series just wants to scare the pants off you with each new boo – and there are a lot of books?
What popular series features a boy learning about a magical new world?
Which book features a little boy cooking?
Which book talks about growing older?
What first book in a series features a girl who’s scared of a school bus?
Which book features a piece of land so important to one family?
What book features short stories about ghosts?
What book features a mischievous boy who gets other people to do his work?
Which book features a young boy in a futuristic world receiving special training.
Which book series features a family who isn’t very bright?
Which book features a boy who was turned into a mouse?
What popular series features a girl who falls in love with two different boys – who aren’t quite human.
What book features a hunt for one particular boy?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trailer Thursday: One for the Money

I'm SUPER EXCITED for this movie. I ADORE this series.

Take a look:

My Reactions:
That's not how I pictures either Ranger or Grandma Mazur.
I Like Joe
I laughed several times
I Like Lulu

I still can't wait to watch it!


Adult Review: Devil in Winter

Evangeline's tired of her family abusing her. She's tired of them telling her what to do. She certainly isn't going to marry her cousin. When she finds out his intentions, she takes matters into her own hands.

She shows up quite alone and unannounced at St. Vincent's door. She has a plan and begs him to hear her out. She offers him the chance for the fortunes he so desperately needs and he offers her freedom and the chance to escape her family.

They set off for Gretna Green with no delay. When they come back, Evangeline finds the father she rarely sees dying. She rushes to his side to nurse him.

He owns a gambling house which St. Vincent takes over. Together they two of them must decide their relationship, their lives, and if they will change.

My Thoughts: I have mixed thoughts, I liked this book, but it took me a while to come around to St. Vincent (the horrible man from It Happened One Autumn). Thus, I didn't like this one was much as the previous two, but I did still enjoy it. I loved Evangeline standing up for herself and changing her life and living by her rules. I loved how the relationships with the Wallflowers struggled a bit. I wish we could have seen more interactions between the four girls. All in all, I'm curious to see what comes next for the friends in Scandal in Spring and then Wallflower Christmas!

Cover Thoughts: Peaceful and wonderful.

Source: my library

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to Write a Kissing Scene: Audition

How to create a kissing scene - in words.

This book looks so.....CUTE!

Check out Stasia Ward Kehoe's website

Review: Circle of Fire

*conclusion of the Trilogy starting with Prophecy of the Sisters and Guardian of the Gate.*

Lia is starting to worry.

She can feel time running out and she has yet to find the 4th key or the lost page of the prophecy. She's also no closer to convince Alice to help her shut the gate for good.

The stone of protection from her aunt is fading. Her relationships with the other keys are breaking apart. She doesn't know who she can trust apart from Dimitri.

Can she manage everything in time or will she die trying?

My Thoughts: I LOVED this trilogy. I love the Gothic nature of it. Circle of Fire has a particularly creepy feel to it - danger lurking in every corner and no one is trustworthy. I love the time period. I love the differences between the sisters and the similarities. I love them trying to figure each other out and their perspectives on events. The perfect ending to an amazing story.

Cover Thoughts: I ADORE it!

Source: My Library

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tween Tuesday Review: Wolf Storm

Stefan's excited to be filming his fist blockbuster movie - on location. The cast and crew are holed up on a hill in a decrepit old lodge above a small village.

It's the first day and things aren't going Stefan's way. First he can't seem to relax. The director is starting to become annoyed with him. His on-screen sister starts demanding that he be fired after an incident causes him to injure one of the wolves.

With a storm brewing both on the set and in the weather report, filming stops for the day. The crew heads back to town where they're staying. Stefan and his on-screen brother and sister are staying at the lodge to bond.

After a quick nap, Stefan awakes to discover that the snow's coming down rapidly. His aunt and everyone who went into town for dinner can't return to the lodge. He's stuck inside with Raine and Jeremy.

When the snow storm turns into a blizzard, the danger escalates. As Stefan tries to figure out how to keep everyone calm, he soon has much bigger problems - mainly survival from untamed hungry wolves, an avalanche, and injury. Will Stefan survive?

My Thoughts: This is the second novel I've read by Dee Garretson (The first being Wildfire Run) - both deal with survival, danger, and lots of action. I really enjoyed this read. I liked the movie set - learning about the props, the lessons, and the interaction between the cast and crew. I loved the survival scenes. I felt the biting cold, the desperation, the helplessness, and danger. The danger and action makes this one a quick read.

Cover Thoughts: Cool

Source: My Library

Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Bunheads

Hannah's life isn't normal. She's a dancer. She's never had a life outside of ballet. At the age of 14, she moved to New York City alone to dance.

From that moment, dancing has been her life. Lately, she's wondering if it's all worth it. She's never been to prom, never had a real boyfriend, and never had friends who are pedestrians (non ballet girls).

When she meets Jacob, she realizes that in 5 years, she knows nothing about the city she calls home.

Hannah works out hard hoping to move from a senior corps dance to a soloist. Her next change could be just around the corner. But with the rigorous training, her constant diet, and the jealous friendships, she wonders if her sacrifice is worth it.

Hannah feels free while she's dancing, but has dancing stopped being fun?

My Thoughts: I was sold on this book from the moment I heard about it at a Little Brown event. I've always wanted to learn how to dance. I ADORED this novel. I loved the peek into the ballet world. I loved seeing the differences in friendship, food, freedom, and happiness. The work ethic seems crazy, the diet crazy, and all the injuries crazy. It's not a world I understand, but its fascinating. I loved Hannah's inner struggle. I love the passion for the dance and the questions it raises about one's future. I read this book weeks ago, and I'm still thinking about it...

Cover Thoughts: LOVE IT! It's unique and refreshing.

Source: Little Brown

Fun Fact: In the book, Hannah visits a museum with Jacob and is drawn to this painting, which was quite shocking at the time it's debut in 1884. Being fascinated with art (Art History minor), I looked up the piece.

I like it, but I think this is more my style:

I LOVE it when a book makes me look up something - it rarely happens.

Watch It: Center Stage shows off a love for dancing.

Banned Books: Teen Books

Happy Banned Books week - where we all chat about books OTHER people don't want us to read. You can view my previous posts on the subject here

There are a number of teen books that someone doesn't want you to read. Here are my favorites

Harry Potter
Twilight novels
Gossip Girl series
Twenty Boy Summer

The only people who have the power to stop you from reading a certain book are your parents.

Otherwise read freely and often.

Challenge your mind - think for yourself - stand up for your reading rights.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mysterious Cover Reveal: Killer Crullers

I just barely finished Tragic Toppings this morning (review coming soonish). I went to add the new book to my Goodreads Shelf and noticed the cover.

I simply ADORE it. I love the take-line: Murder with a twist.
I love the donut and coffee on a table - it's simplistic and yet not. I adore the bite taken from the donut and the smoke skull rising from the mug.

This 6th book in the series will be out in January and I simply can't wait to devour it!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mysterious Saturday Review: Murder By Mocha

*10th in the Coffeehouse Mystery series*

Madame has orchestrated this new venture with her friend Alicia - where Clare's beloved coffeehouse will partner up with Aphrodite's Village to spread the love of a new drink Mocha Magic Coffee.

At the launch party, things go disastrously wrong. Patrice Stone, one of the up and coming women from Aphrodite's Village ends up murdered. Now several women step forward, interested to become responsible for the drink. Aphrodite's success comes from strong women stepping forward and owning a product.

It's a cut throat world. Clare's worried about The Village Blend's reputation because there's something strange about the drink...

My Thoughts: I adore this series. I love Clare and her coffee shop. I love her relationship with Mike. I love the relationship with her daughter, her workers, and even her ex-husband. The support cast is well rounded and fleshed out. I feels like a wonderful place to spend time in - either as a customer or as an employee. I love the banter between co-workers. The characters feel like a tight-knit family, adding further enjoyment to the series. I enjoyed unraveling the mystery between the many suspects. A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read.

Cover Thoughts: Cute

Source: My Library

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ten Things: Fall Shows

I'm excited for tons of fall shows that I can't wait to try. Here's some of the top ones. Most of these I haven't seen yet, they're currently awaiting my free time. But they all have promise.

New Girl - I really like Zooey Deschanel and her quirkiness. It sounds a little like My Boys - minus the sports.

Ringer: LOVE this idea and love Sarah Michelle Geller

2 Broke Girls: I really like Kat Dennings - curious about this one.

Hart of Dixie: Adore Rachel Bilson!

Secret Circle: Saw the Pilot of this one - very intriguing

Person of Interest: a Thriller from JJ Abrams - I'll watch just about anything he does.

Grimm: Dark fairy tales mixed with mystery

Once Upon a Time: The modern world and the fairy tale world cross over and are about to collide

Pam Am: set in the 60s - sounds like Mad Men in the air and without the smoking.

Of course, I'm super excited for some old shows:

Big Bang Theory (I'm almost caught up)
Covert Affairs

What are you watching this fall?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trailer Thursday: Margin Call

Out October 21st

This looks VERY interesting. I doubt anyone will ever know the true story of the market crash except for the people who "took" care of it. I do think it looks like a thrilling movie. Plus it has a GREAT cast.


Review: Lard of the Jungle

Each time a new Garfield book comes in, I bring it home to read with my husband. We laugh and giggle over the comics.

I adore the date ones, the ones of Garfield making fun of Jon for being a dork, most of the food ones (though there aren't any of lasagna in this book), and the Monday ones.

I'm not crazy about the spider ones and sometimes the mice get a little tedious.

There are so many I want to share with people I know, because I know they would chuckle too. Reading Garfield just brightens my day. I love reading these and then passing them on to other teens. They're very popular at my library.

Up Next: Garfield Brings Home the Bacon: out January 31st

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Contest and Review: Bloodlines

*occurs After the Vampire Academy series*

Sydney's given an important assignment - even though she's in the doghouse with the other alchemists after helping Rose. She volunteers to go to save her sister from being inducted into the alchemists. Instead of being grateful, her sister takes her interference the wrong way.

Sick at heart, Sydney leaves for a mission with her worse enemy. She's to assumer a new identity in order to protect Jill, the newly found Moroi princess. Sydney and Jill are to become roommates at a boarding school. Eddie lives at the school as their brother. Adrian lives nearby - still nursing his broken heart.

Jill just wants to be normal, but as Sydney digs deeper, she learns the real reason for her protection. Her instincts tell her that something isn't right. There's a rogue alchemist on the loose...

Can Sydney keep Jill safe?

My Thoughts: It took me a few chapters to get into the story - but then I was hooked. While I'm not a huge Adrian fan (and prefer Dimitri), he still interests me. When I first heard about the spin-off series, I really thought Jill was going to be the main character. Instead, the books center around Sydney protecting her, similar to Rose protecting Lissa. There were a few parts of the book that didn't fit in for me - mainly the scenes where Sydney throws a fit about her weight/clothing size change. I liked her relationship with Jill and Adrian. I loved her sleuthing skills. I feel that she's different - yet similar to Rose, which is great. She's really strong, determined, protective, and sweet. So looking forward to Golden Lily out next June.

Cover Thoughts: Like many, I'm not a fan of the covers -but I do like seeing the tattoo

Source: Signed by the author at BEA


A BEA, I snagged a signed copy of Bloodlines and a Bloodlines bag.

1. Be a blog follower
2. Leave a comment about this book or the Vampire Academy series
3. with your EMAIL
4. The contest deadline expires September 28th at Noon EST
5. Sorry, shipping is only available in the US.
6. Winner will be selected with

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Meme: 100 YA books

I found this at YA Bliss, who found it at The Book Cellar. I was curious to see how many I've read, which turned out to be a little more than half. Not too bad!

How many have YOU read?

Bold = I've read it
Italic = I own it but haven't read it

1. Alex Finn – Beastly
2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4. Ally Condie – Matched
5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3)
18. Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
38. John Green – Paper Towns 39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
44. Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
60. Meg Rosoff – How I live Now
61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4) 63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
85. Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan (1, 2)
86. Scott Westerfeld - Uglies (1, 2, 3)
87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host (started)
93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (started)
98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Tween Tuesday: Aphrodite the Diva

When Aphrodite learns of her failing grade in HERO-OLOGY, she tries talking with the teacher. He points out that mortals aren't happy with her because she accidentally started the Trojan War. She also failed to stop by Mr. Cyclops's office when so they could talk about her grade.

Fortunately, he's giving her another chance. He'll allow her to perform extra credit to boost her grade. Unfortunately, it's vacation week.

Now Aphrodite must cancel her plans of traveling with her friends and work on improving her name with the mortals. She decides to offer her match-making skills.

She spreads the word and sets up a mailbox in her room. Two mortal girls from the school sign up to find their perfect match. But it's the letter that arrives torn in two that makes Aphrodite suspicious. She claims half, but the wind must carry the rest of the letter to a goddess girl in Egypt.

Stunned, Aphrodite flies off with her friends to Egypt. There she meets Isis. The two of them agree to a competition: whoever finds the perfect match for Pygmalion she will reign as supreme goddess of Love!

My Thoughts: This is the 6th book in this adorable series. Aphrodite fights against the stereotype of pretty girls - that they can't be both Pretty AND Smart. While she hides the truth about her grades from her friends, she's determined to prove she's more than just a pretty face. I love this distinction. I liked the eventual peace between Isis and Aphrodite. I liked how they were able to look beyond their differences and become friends. A wonderful addition to a charming series of friendship, smarts, beauty, loyalty, and becoming the best version of yourself.

Cover Thoughts: Adorable!

Source: Inter-Library Loan

Up Next: Artemis the Loyal out December 6th

Monday, September 19, 2011

Emmy Fashion: Favorite Dresses

I confess I adore watching the Red Carpet and seeing all the dresses. Mostly it's about the dresses as it's hard for the men to appear different. Last night there was a lot of red, mullet dresses, lots of slits up the thigh, and lots of odd cutouts in dresses. I confess, there wasn't many dresses that I did like, here are a few. Also you don't see half the dresses or people on the Red Carpet.

I like the green here - she really stands out in this dress.

This might be my favorite dressed couple. I adore the yellow dress! It's simply stunning and makes her stand out!

Very Old Hollywood - this is one of my favorite dresses of the night.

I like the simplicity of this dress - it seems very comfortable.

I love this dress and she looks amazing! This is another of my favorite dresses of the night.

Classic, simple, elegant.

I love this color and Goddess look of this dress. She looks amazing!

Sweet and adorable! Fun and Flirty!

Jane Lynch looked so comfortable. And she ROCKED as the host. Lots of great one line zingers....

Absolutely stunning! And another favorite dress of the night, despite the red.


I love Booth - and he was so playful and entertaining.

As always, he looks adorable all dressed up.

George RR Martin - author of the Game of Thrones. I love it when authors get to attend these events. Although he wasn't thanked by Peter Dinklage, who won for Best Supporting Actor in a drama.

Your thoughts on the fashion of the evening?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Matinee: Thor

My Thoughts:

The car scenes were funny

I Loved Natalie Portman
And Kat Dennings
I really liked the gatekeeper

I liked the chemistry between Thor and Jane

My Mistake: I though this guy was Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. I was CONVINCED until my husband looked it up. I was wrong. Still, I thought he was wrong for the part - or at least had the wrong hair, costume, and manner.

Dislikes: The scenery of Thor's Home - it just looked too strange and too overdone (if that even makes sense).

Also, it was very predictable - which isn't always a bad thing.

Final Verdict: Entertaining and I'm Curious to see where it goes next

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mysterious Saturday Review: Bitter Harvest

Fall is over and Meg is still standing. She's taking a breathier from apples, but she's anxious to find out how the orchard did her first year. As the cold comes quickly, it brings a blizzard.

Her furnace breaks just as the snow hits - making for a cold house. Meg's determined to stay and rough it. Seth bunks with her - helping her with the wood and staying warm. Together, they have a cozy time.

During the day, Meg finds a sampler - a small embroidered family piece. It's wedged in a closet and appears to be quite old. As soon as the power comes back home, Meg uses her downtime to start researching the names on the piece. She wonders what happened to the woman who created the beautiful design and why her entire family is dead.

My Thoughts: It's different from the other mysteries in the series as it's a historical death. There's no dead bodies and no danger. The pacing of the book, therefore is slower. It's a fascinating read - with the historical aspects. It's not what I expected, but I did enjoy it. I enjoyed learning more about Meg and Seth's relationship. Looking forward to the next book in the series!

Cover Thoughts: Cute - I Love the snow!

Source: My Library

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cover Reveal: Insurgent

I ADORED Divergent!!! Check out this cover! I love it - especially the swirling leaves on the tree and the city in the distance.

And check out the interview in EW with the author!!!! May 2012 seems like SUCH a long wait!