Monday, April 30, 2012

Why YA

You might have read Joel's Stein article on why adults should not be reading YA books.

I read this Why YA? post on the Teen Librarian's Toolbox blog. At the end, there's a call for other readers to write up their thoughts. You can view the other guest posts here.

Here's my guest post over at Teen Librarian's Toolbox

PS. I have no idea about Randy Newman

A poem

A memory caused me to write this poem. I found it fitting to share during the last day of April 
in celebration of National Poetry month.


I saw a pair of red shoes
just like the ones she used to wear.
I wanted to buy them even though
I knew I'd never wear them.
I miss her.

I wanted to show her the photo
of the huge tree decorated
with hundreds of Easter eggs
just like the tree we used to decorate
but I can't.

I want to tell her so many things
and share so many stories.
I want to laugh with her.
I'll never be able to again,
because she's gone.

If You Like...Trafficked

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. This week’s post includes recommendations based on Kim Purcell’s Trafficked.

If you like Trafficked, you might like

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mysterious Saturday Review: A Girl Named Digit

Farrah's spent the past four years trying desperately to fit in. She blends into the crowd, loving what they love and denying her true self. She's aced the math portion of the SATs and will be heading to MIT in the fall. None of her classmates know that she's a genius.

Farrah's brilliance with numbers left her the nickname Digit - which she's been trying to hide during high school.

One night, while watching a popular TV show with her best friends, she sees a series of numbers. She keeps track of these numbers for three weeks. Almost unconsciously, her mind starts putting them together.

She discovers a reverse code for 9/11 ---11/9. The next day, there's a bombing at JFK airport. The guilt and sadness Digit feels makes her sick.  She wants to come forward with her information. Against her parents' best judgement, she goes to the FBI. They're not convinced she knows anything.

So she starts digging into the situation herself and finds she's asked the wrong person a question. Now that person wants to track her down. Digit's forced to fake her own kidnapping and go into hiding until the group of terrorists can be taken down. The FBI sends one of the agents to protect her, but it's not too long before Digit realizes that she also might need to protect her heart.

My Thoughts: 
I liked that Digit was a genius (there needs to be more books about smart girls), but also at times she wasn't street smart or people smart. i liked watching her emerge from her shell, from her sheep high school days to a smart girl who's relaxed enough to show the world her intelligence.

I loved the action and the danger. I liked watching the layers of the terrorist plot unfold. I liked Digit and John working on the intelligence to uncover and foil the plot.  They make a great team. I loved the slow romance that burned brightly. 

I really liked this debut novel; it was a fast and enjoyable read. I'm drawn to books with codes and terrorist plots. Many of these book are for adult audiences and it's nice to see some written for teens. I love that the protagonist is an older high school student, nearing graduation and college. It would be great seeing this book developed into a series with Digit in college and helping out the FBI on occasion.

Cover Thoughts: I like the numbers in the background but I'm not crazy about the girl with her hair and a finger to her lips

Source: The publisher

Similar Read: Going too Far (for the romance element)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Nancy Clancy Super Sleuth

Nancy and her best friend Bree want to be detectives. Nancy's worried that nothing will ever happen in their sleepy little town and no one will need Partners in Crime.

However, before she knows it, Nancy has two cases.  Bree overheard the twins talking about a secret from Nancy. Now Nancy can't help but imagine the worse. What are her friends keeping from her?

There's also a thief in her classroom! Nancy and Bree are determined to solve the mystery of the missing marble. Someone stole the marble during their Family Day. Luckily Bree took photos during the day. They might help create a timeline and provide clues.

My Thoughts: I'm a big Fancy Nancy fan! I adore the pictures books and have read them all. I was so happy to hear about this new chapter book. I liked it. It was cute, funny (I loved that the class hamster's name is Eric Clapton), and enjoyable. It expands upon our favorite characters without loosing the charm from the picture books. I don't think I've ever read where the character goes from picture book to easy reader to chapter book. I think Fancy Nancy will capture even more readers.  Nancy and Bree have a great friendship, great imaginations, and great ideas. I'm looking forward to more of these books. I hope one day Bree will have her own book, and maybe Jojo too.

Cover Thoughts: Cute! And I like how illustrations are throughout the book. I think it bridges all the Fancy Nancy books together.

Source: Inter-Library Loan

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Renegade Magic

*Sequel to Kat, Incorrigible*

Kat and her family are getting ready for Elissa's big day. Kat doesn't want her sister getting married, not because she doesn't want her to be happy, but because everything will change. She's going to miss her sister and her scolding.

Kat and Angeline set up the decorations early in the morning, using magic to make everything perfect. However, the day's ruined when an uninvited guest interrupts the day with slander of magic against the family.

Elissa and her new husband hurry off on their honeymoon, leaving the rest of the family worried. The next day, according to Stepmama's plan they family heads off to Bath for Angeline's debut.

There, she will forced to find a suitable suitor. However, in light of the circumstances, Angeline has a plan of her own. Only Kat sees her devious smile. Kat knows it's up to her to make sure everything turns out right, but after her disgrace in front of the other guardians, she's not sure she's up to the task. When she stumbles upon a dangerous magical situation, her mentor refuses to believe her. Can Kat save her sister from making a foolish mistake and contain the magic situation without any major mishaps?

My Thoughts: I spent a semester in college in Bath and loved it. I loved walking down the streets again, looking at the familiar buildings along with Kat. Her wonder of the city made me smile and long to walk down the streets again myself.

I hated that Elissa's happy day was ruined, but what a scandal! Mrs Carylye reminds me of Lady Catherine. She's horrible, but entertaining too. I loved Angeline's horrific, but genius idea. She's very determined and willful.  I really liked Lucy. I felt bad for her stuck with her family as they were horrible. I liked how Kat's father came out of his books and into the story. He's a wonderful character.  I loved the moments in the baths, especially with the magic flowing. I cheered for Kat as she helped her sister, her cousin, and tried to stop the magic. Kat grew up when she reached for help from an unlikely source. However, she's still lying and still creating mini scandals with her wild schemes, which are so endearing.  

I can't wait to the next book to wrap up the trilogy!

Cover Thoughts: Amazingly cute! I love the magical lights
Source: my Library
Challenge: YA Historical Fiction Challenge 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Books I'm Dying to Read: June Edition

I goofed last week - as I meant to blog this post. Oops. Better late than never...

Here are the books I can't wait to read coming out in June:


Golden Lily I'm such a fan of the Vampire Academy series and now the spin-off series.- Goodreads - out June 12th 
Dark Frost The third book in this dark mythology series- Goodreads - out May 29th

Wild Queen: A historical fiction book on Mary Queen of Scots- Goodreads - out June 19th
Keeping the Castle  A regency historical fiction (one of my favorite periods in history) where a young girl must marry well- Goodreads - out June 14

Seize the Storm - Danger on the high seas!  Goodreads - out June 5th
Vindico:  Supervillains kidnap teens in an effort to recruit a new generation of super villians- Goodreads - out June 14th

Timepiece: I can't wait to read this sequel to Hourglass!!! - Goodreads - out June 12th

My Life in Black or White: A girl looses her beauty and must figure out who she is without her looks. - Goodreads - out June 28th

Tokyo Heist: A client of her father's has art stolen and Violet attempts to recover the missing art.  - Goodreads - out June 14th

A Girl Named Digit: I just finished this one (review coming soon). A math genius  - Goodreads - out June

Farwell to Charms: The final book in the Princess for Hire trilogy.  Goodreads - out June 26th

Flirting in Italian : One summer in Italy! - Goodreads - out June 12th

Reunited: 3 former friends come together for a road trip to see their favorite band.- Goodreads - out June 12th
Keep Holding On: A novel about bullying - Goodreads - out May 31st

Sleepover Stakeout: The 2nd book in the tween mysteries Partners in Crime detective agency. The first book comes out in May- Goodreads - out June 1st

Smart Girls Get What They Want: Sarah's debut teen novel about smart girls in high school going after their dreams- I really like her adult novels - Goodreads - out June 26th

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tween Tuesday Review: Dead of Night

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun 

*The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Series #3 *

Amy and Dan are still following the orders from the Vespers. At the moment, they've lost control of the situation. They didn't share all their information. Vesper One isn't happy.

And there are consequences. Atticus, Dan's only friend who is 11 years old, is kidnapped. The Vespers think he'll have additional information. They interrogate him. 

Atticus does remember something, but it didn't come from Amy or Dan. It came from his mother, right before she died. Now he's beginning to understand her mysterious words. It's not a coincidence that he and Dan are friends.

My Thoughts:  I really liked this addition to the series. I love the snippets between Amy and Dan - whether they are fighting or kind to each other. They have a great relationship.  I liked reading the different perspectives with the other family members trying to help locate the clues and perform research tasks. I like reading about Ian's adventure and his decisions. His actions make me curious and I'm eager to learn more about what he's trying to accomplish. I enjoyed reading the perspectives from the family members in captivity. Their drama makes Amy and Dan's situation more traumatic.  I love this series for the plots twists, the siblings' relationship, the puzzles, the danger and the action. I love the historical trivia written into these books. I find them fascinating. The action and danger keeps me turning the page even when I need to stop reading. These books are very hard to put down and I'm happy there's such a short wait time between them.

Cover Thoughts: Cool, I love the stars in the telescope.

Source: my library

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Other Countess

Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime hasn't had an easy life living with her father the alchemist. He's much more interested in his profession and his experiences than he is in buying the proper clothes for her, sending her to school, or even putting a roof over her head.

Now, after a stroke of good luck, Ellie finds herself at Queen Elizabeth's court. There she meets Lady Jane Perceval, who wealth is reflected in her clothing and her manners. After an entertaining introduction where they talk about the uselessness of their clothing, they become fast friends.

One man could threaten their newly formed relationship.  William Lacey, the Earl of Dorset needs a wealthy wife to help his estate survive. He's quite taken with Ellie. Ellie doesn't have a penny to her name. Plus the two have a history that Ellie's not sure she can overlook. While he wants to marry Ellie, he'll have to propose to Jane.

Can the two women keep their friendship? Will they be able to find love on their terms?

My Thoughts: I've been wanting to read this book for a while. It took me a little bit to get into it, but then I was hooked. I really loved the friendship between Jane and Ellie. I loved they spoke about their world, the frivolities, and how little power women hold. For me, the book wasn't about the romance (although I did like that part), it was about their friendship.

I found the men at court ungentlemently (Henry in particular), sweet (Robert Cecil), or a mixture of both (Will). I actually wasn't fond of Will. I didn't sympathize with his character and I didn't like his behavior.  I adored James and Tobias (Will's younger brothers). I found them entertaining and charming.

I liked the different perspectives from various ranks. I liked reading about the servants' life. I liked Deigo. I wasn't fond of Nell. I hated Turville. Still, I appreciated the class differences.

While I understand the pressures of society, it was sometimes hard to read the cruel words spoken by some characters. However, it was interesting to see the various social, religious, and political motives for actions. 

I found this book showcased social class very well along with the power of women and money. I loved reading about court. I liked the romantic entanglements. I liked the descriptions: court and the Lacey estate. I'm very interested in the next book: The Queen's Lady which features Jane as the main character.

Cover Thoughts: I like it

Source: My Library

Challenge: Historical Fictional Challenge 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Contest: Morganville Vampire

May 1st is coming!!!!

What that means for you...

You have awesome blog posts to read and here's the blog tour stops:

April 20th: GLASS HOUSES (Book 1)
April 21: THE DEAD GIRLS DANCE (Book 2)
April 22: MIDNIGHT ALLEY (Book 3)
April 23: FEAST OF FOOLS (Book 4) 
April 24: LORD OF MISRULE (Book 5)
April 25: CARPE CORPUS (Book 6)
April 26: FADE OUT (Book 7) 
April 27: KISS OF DEATH (Book 8)
April 28: GHOST TOWN (Book 9)
April 29: BITE CLUB (Book 10)
April 30: LAST BREATH (Book 11)
MAY 1: BLACK DAWN (Book 12, NEW!)

You have BLACK DAWN to look forward to...(and personally I can't WAIT to read it!)

And you have the opportunity to win the first book in this amazing series: 

So, leave a comment telling me 
1. why you like this series
2. a way to contact you if you win

Contest ends Wednesday at midnight EST

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mysterious Saturday: Upcoming Mysteries

Here are several mysteries that I'm dying to read (sorry, couldn't help it)

Drop Dead Chocolate: This one comes out Tuesday - I have a hold on it at my library! Goodreads

Powdered Peril: Out in August. I love these books for the small town feel and of course, the donuts! Goodreads

Diva Digs Up the Dirt: Book 6 in this fun series! Goodreads - out in June. Isn't the cover simply gorgeous?
 Grace Among Thieves: Book 3 in the series! Goodreads - out in June. I love the cozy cover.

Hot Button: Book 2 in the series! I just gave the 1st one to my sister to read. We have a thing for buttons! Goodreads - Out in June

Died with A Bow: Book 2 in the series starting with Shoe Done it (no cover yet) comes out in September. Goodreads

Corpse in the Crystal Ball: Book 2 in the series! Goodreads - out in June

Azalea Assault: First book in a new series. Goodreads - out in June. The cover is super pretty. Maybe this book will make me want to garden...

Pies and Prejudice: first book in a new series! I love the puppy on the cover! Goodreads - out in July

Red Velvet Revenge: The 4th book in the series! Goodreads - out July

Sour Apples: The 6th book in this series! Goodreads - out in August

When the Cookie Crumbles: The 3rd book in the series! Goodreads - out in August

Witch Before Dying: This is the 2nd in the series! Goodreads - out in August

Rest in Pizza: This is the 4th book in the series. Goodreads - out in August

Written in Stone: Books by the Bay #4 - out in November (no cover yet) Goodreads

Recipe for Treason: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery # 3 out in December (no cover yet) Goodreads

Book, Line, Sinker:A Library Lovers' mystery book #3 - out in December (no cover yet) Goodreads

Killer Maize: Book #4 in the series - out in December (although it seems like a fall book!) - Goodreads

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Sweet Shadows

*2nd in a trilogy - read my review of the first book - Sweet Venom *

** This book comes out in September, so keep your eyes open for it**

Sweet Shadows picks up a few moments before the last book ends, which was on a major cliff hanger. The triplets dive into the ocean. From that moment on, they know that they not only need each other to survive, but their lives will never be the same again.

Someone wants to kill them. As they get deeper into the mystery of the key generation and the prophecy, they realize how many layers exist in their decision.

The sisters understand they must learn to trust each other more than ever as things grow darker and more dangerous.

My Thoughts: I love this trilogy. I love the monster fights. I really liked the description of the Abyss and the monsters locked in the darkness. 

I found the secondary characters of Nick and Thane very interesting. They both have secrets, especially Thane. I'm looking forward to discovering more about his past and how he fits in with the triplets. While he was absent for most of the book, I can feel his story will be significant. 

I liked the romance (and the heat) between Nick and Gretchen. I thought their interaction provided both comic relief and plot twists.

I loved the sisters' relationship and their learning to lean on each other. I liked their struggle. Greer attempts to remain perfect, but the facade's crumbling. She isn't sure what to do, but her sisters might have the answer. Grace doesn't like keeping secrets from her family. She hates the thought that they can't trust her. Gretchen can't stand not knowing what to do next to save her mentor. She must trust her sisters to watch her back. They became friends, despite their differences.

Again, this ends on a cliff hanger - which only leaves me more excited to read the final installment. 

Cover Thoughts: I love how it connects with the first book with the hair split int tendrils (almost snake-like) and the dark shirt fading into the background.

Source: Tera! Thanks Tera - you rock!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Garfield Brings Home the Bacon

Garfield is a book I have on standing order at the library. I'm always happy to see a new one come in because I know people are going to like it, but also because bring them home to read.

My husband is a huge Garfield fan. He loves the books. We read them together and laugh.

This book, he laughed more than I did. I mostly chuckled, but he laughed. Garfield always makes me smile. 

I love reading these books together.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's On My Holds List (9)

My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books on hold at the library. I usually have 20-40 items checked out at the library and another 20 items on hold.

The Selection: Check out that cover! It's awesome. Sounds like a young version of the bachelor - but way better!

The Abduction: More adventures of Meg and Aiden (from the On the Run series)

Jane Austen Marriage Manual: Kate works for a magazine and must test out the Austen theory that wealthy single men must be in want of a wife.

Black Dawn: I love this series! It's super addicting with romance, action, and danger.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tween Tuesday Reivew: Now You See Them, Now You Don't

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun 

* This is the 3rd book in the series - there will be some spoilers from the first two books in this review.*

The Falconer's pleaded for meg and Aiden to turn themselves in to the police. The siblings rejected their plea. They know if they don't uncover the truth about Frank Lindenauer, their parents' names will never be cleared.

They hop a flight to California, where their next clue leads them. Unfortunately, they discover their photos are on the front page of the paper.

Even with their disguises, they're noticed. After a run through the airport and using their wits, they arrive in sunny California. Their address turns up to be 5 years too late, but they do get an old box of Frank's belongings. Could something in the box lead them closer to uncovering the truth?

My Thoughts: Love the action and the danger which forces me to turn the page. This book was a quick read because I didn't want to put the book down. I can't wait for more of this series with these smart siblings.

Cover Thoughts: I like it.

Source: My Library

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Matinee: Adventures of Tintin

I showed this movie at the library this week. It was one of the biggest crowds I've had for movie night. I wasn't sure I was going to like it. I'd heard it compared to Indiana Jones and that made me show it.That might have something to do with this scene, which is very similar to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

I confess I loved it.

I loved the adventure.
I loved the filming and how the scenes moved together (for example - the merging of the desert and the ship on the water)
I loved the humor. These two were hilarious. I love the library of wallets!!!

I loved the mystery and the research.

My favorite was Snowy. He was funny, charming, and adorable.

There wasn't anything I didn't like about the film.

Plus, there's room for sequels, which I do hope they make.