Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: The Selection

America's world isn't great, but it isn't bad either. There's always food on the tables. She loves her musical job. She has a secret boyfriend, whom she's planning a life with. But one moment changes all that.

Prince Maxon's looking for a wife and one girl from each province (35 total) will compete for his hand in marriage. America has no interest in throwing her name into the ring, but separately, Aspen and her mother convince her to participate.

America's stunned when her name is announced on the news. She's elevated into society and taken to the Palace with the other girls. There she will meet the Royal family, including the Prince.

In leaving her home, America's heart broke. She needs to stay at the palace to recover from her heartache, but also to help her family financially. The longer she's there, the more money her family receives. They could certainly use the help.

The first night, America befriends the Prince. Her low ranking among society and her beauty make her a favorite with the people. The more time she spends with the Prince, the more her heart starts to unthaw. Could she ever love him?

My Thoughts: I didn't realize this was the start of a new series  and was surprised when it ended, but I'm happy there's more coming. I devoured this book - I could not put it down. 

I really liked this world with the castes and society. I loved how America befriended the Prince and their first moments together. I loved their relationship - their easy manner, their banter, and their honesty. I love how America might be opening his eyes to all the castes of society and the hardship for the lower people. 

I liked America's family, especially her two younger siblings. I found them entertaining. I hope there's more of them in the upcoming books. 

I loved the Palace and the descriptions of the dresses. I liked the other girls, especially Anne, Mary and Lucy (her maids) and Marlee.  

I liked the ending and admired America.

Cover Thoughts: I adore the cover - although I wish it tied into the book. There were so many dresses described...

Source: my Library.

Fun Fact: There's talk of this becoming a show on the CW - which would be cool. They shot the Pilot, but are going back to change things. It's not slated for Fall release, but it might be a mid-season show. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's On My Holds List (13)

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 Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy: Love these movies - looking forward to learning more about behind the scenes.

Keeping the Castle: Sounds a little like Downton Abbey - minus the scandals - a historical fiction romance! 

Diva Digs up Dirt: I Love this series - can't wait to see what happens to Wolf!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tween Tuesday Review: The Phantom of the Post Office

 * 4th book in the series*

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

Seymour and his family mail their work to fans all over the world. In return, they get fan letters. They love getting letters. However, one letter worries Seymour . He finds it creepy. While he doesn't mind writing letters, he would really like a phone.

Olive is never getting a phone. She hates technology.
Unfortunately, their local post office will be closing and testing a brand new product. Not everyone's on board with this new product.  

Seymour learns that the person sending them the creepy fan mail lives in Ghastly. As he tries to uncover the identity of this person, strange things start happening to him. Could he be in danger from the letter writer?

My Thoughts: I really like this series! It's so funny, charming, smart, and unique. I love the letters, the newspaper articles, and the drawings.

I started reading this series because we used Dying to Meet You for our 4th and 5th grade book club. I've been hooked on the book series ever since. We've used it with other groups and all three times, everyone raves about it! I'm so happy to learn there's at least one more in the works where they go to Hollywood.

I like how they talk about letters and if writing letters is too old fashioned for the times of texting. Seymour meets a girl who bets her uncle she won't text for a whole month. Instead, she and Seymour exchange letters in order to communicate. 

A really fun fast read with lots of danger and with a fun side story about The Phantom of the Opera. 

Cover Thoughts: Great!  I love M. Sarah Klise's work!
Source: My Library

Monday, May 28, 2012

If You Like...Mermaids

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 for stories featuring mermaids (and their friends from the sea).

On Memorial Day

I don't personally know anyone who has died fighting,
although I know plenty of fighters
I admire those who go to war
and the families that stay behind
They have courage, bravery, and a sense of code
I thank them with all my heart.

Today always makes me think of this poem and of the poppies my grandmother used to make and help sell. Even though she's gone, I buy one every year...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mysterious Saturday Review: Partners in Crime

* First in a new series *

Darcy and Norah must create a business for a school project. They don't want to do anything lame like a lemonade stand, dog walker, or babysitter. After brainstorming ideas, Darcy comes up with idea of creating a detective agency.

Darcy loves the mysteries and all the forensic science TV shows. She creates a fake website and Norah presents their topic to the class. Their presentation goes well, but the trouble starts when someone uses the site for a real case.

Norah and Darcy want to solve the case of a missing girl, as asked, but they also want to figure out the name of their first client. Can the two best friends solve either of these cases?

My Thoughts: A cute start to a new tween series.

 I really liked both Darcy and Norah. They have a great friendship, but they're both unique in their own ways. Norah really loves astronomy - her dog's name in Hubble. Still, she's not into mysteries. She hesitates at joining Darcy in looking for clues, but then her scientific brain starts getting curious.  Darcy loves mysteries, including forensic sciences shows. She doesn't mind the gruesome scenes and she's a technology whiz.  She doesn't always have the ability to stay out of trouble. Together, they're unstoppable.  I loved that both girls were smart and not afraid to showcase their intelligence.

The secondary characters were interesting and entertaining. I'm hoping to see more of them in the future books. While the bully/prank war was sometimes cruel, there were funny aspects of it. I also liked the moments between Norah and Zane. I'm already looking forward to book 2!

Cover Thoughts: Awesome!

Source: My Library

Fun Fact: Kim Harrington will be the special guest star to our Kick Off the Summer party for the Teen Summer Reading Program on June 27th! So looking forward to having her come visit Otis Library!

Up Next: Sleepover Stakeout  comes out on June 1st

Friday, May 25, 2012

Do You Use Pinterest?

Sure you might use it personally, but are you using it for work?  I wrote an article for VOYA Magazine about how Pinterest works great for libraries. (If you don't work in a library, you can adapt most of the ideas to fit your own work.) Now because of the article, you can take a look at the brand new VOYA Pinterest boards! I have my own board and so does Otis Library. Check us out!

You won't  find the article in their awesome magazine - you'll find it here. I hope it you find it interesting!

BEA: Making A Plan

Usually, I make plans and the moment I arrive at BEA, it's thrown out that window.

Things change when the lines are too long or there's a super great author I'm dying to meet that I didn't realize was going to be signing. There are times when stumble upon an author and track one down on the floor.

So, this year, I made a smart plan. (actually, I'm still making it and will probably tweak it all next week).

I made a list of publishers I want to visit and contacts I have at each of them. I'm hoping to be better this year about talking to those contacts. It's something that's hard for me because I'm super shy.

I made a list of authors and times they will be available.

Next week I'll finish off my excel file with Tuesday and Wednesday all scheduled out. I know my day won't go according to plan, but that way when I miss and author, I can still talk to the publisher about how I'm excited to read their book.

There are several ARCs that I can't wait to pick up and read along with several authors that I can't wait to meet. I love these days where I meet other book people and we get to talking in line. I learn about books I must read, am introduced to new authors, and new ideas to bring back to the library.

Several people are going from my library. We're working together to come up with a plan for the library in terms of most popular publishers we need to talk to, titles we want more information about, and titles to pick up.

Several items we use as summer reading program prizes and it's awesome that the kids/teens get excited about an upcoming book.  They love looking at the new posters on the wall and grabbing new bookmarks. I simply love it when I hear them talking about books!

Do you have a plan or are you a fly by the seat of your pants person?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Taken By Storm

 * 3rd book in the series *

Bryn has power to survive almost anything. She's not sure she's going to survive this latest trouble. Shay calls a Senate meeting.

There'a rabid werewolf on the loose, leaving bodies in remote locations. This rogue werewolf must be taken care of. However Shay has reason to believe this werewolf just might be female.

He has a plan ready to set in motion, but his plan involves crossing territories that aren't his. Together with Callum's help, Bryn gains one week to confirm her fears, that the werewolf is Maddy and try to bring her back into the pack.

Bryn knows that deep down Shay's wants her land, but especially her pack which contains the majority of female werewolves. Bryn will die fighting for her pack; she'll do anything to survive his attack. Unless she's not strong enough - this time.

My Thoughts: This is my favorite werewolf series - hands down! I adore Jennifer Lynn Barnes and her books.

I love Bryn for her strength, loyalty, determination, and her love. She's such a strong powerful character. I adore her snark and her wit. I love the depth of her friendships with Lake and Devon. I liked learning more about Lake's emotions. As always, I found Devon charming and funny. They have great banter. 

Plot twists came at me out of nowhere and dumbfounded me. I needed to moment to breath and to wrap my head around it again. Just as I suspected one thing, everything changed again. The twists were shocking and sometimes heartbreaking. There were sad moments in this book, but moments that I understood needed to happen. 

I love the way it ended, a fabulous book that I devoured.

More Coming? Here's the Jen says on her blog:I can’t say for sure that this is the last book I’ll ever write about Bryn, but I can say that I would be happy with it as a finale if it were—. Personally, I hope there's more coming because I adore this series.
Cover Thoughts: I really like it! Source: My Library

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Insurgent

 * sequel to Divergent *

Tris's world collapsed when she realized  the lengths fractions would go to change the world. Now she's stuck under a mountain of grief, but struggles to uncover a way to help the people.

War is coming, but not everyone wants to choose sides. Tris and Four are running from the Erudite fraction. That fraction has secrets. Tris is curious to learn their secrets and why they're turning people against people. One thing is certain, they need to be stopped.

As the world's deteriorates, it's hard to know who to trust. Secrets spill out changing beliefs and sometimes loyalties.  Can Tris save the people she loves without spilling more bloodshed or will she die risking her life?

My Thoughts: I LOVE this series.

I love the romance between Tris and Four - the strength, the tenderness, their loyalty, and the heat.  They get a little off track in this book with their secrets.  

Tris goes through Hell in this book - first with guilt, then with compensation, and finally with torture. She's so strong yet her past propels her forward without thinking about her own future.  
I found this book to be highly emotional with lots of action and and danger. Tris's emotions of guilt made this book a heavy read. Tris risks her life multiple times to eavesdrop, save people, or recover an item. She's under a bridge, outnumbered with no weapon, and escaping from people who want to stop her. Her shock and guilt resemble PTSD. She shakes when a gun's put into her hand. She's rather be without weapons, but with all the danger, it's not the wisest choice she makes, With her judgement clouded with her emotions, Tris pushes herself and her body to the limit without caring about herself. She's self destructive but covers her behavior with a need to help and to save people. 

Insurgent isn't an easy book to read. I didn't devour it, but I did read it fairly quickly. There were moments when I had to put it down and step away from the weight of this book, which makes me think about the book more.  I couldn't stay away from the book for too long because it's simply an amazing read. The cliff hanger at the end sets up book 3 perfectly. I can't wait to uncover the truth.

Cover Thoughts: Fantastic

Source: my Library

What's on My Holds List (12)

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.

Cloaked in Malice: I really like this cozy series (this book is #5) and the cover is amazing. I really love the premise of this series and all the vintage fashion.

Gilt: So looking forward to this historical fiction debut filled with secrets at court, ball gowns, and romance.

Lost Code: I really like stories about Atlantis.  Plus it's a conspiracy thriller = awesome!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tween Tuesday Review: At First Bite

* Sequel to This Totally Bites *
** Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun!  **

Ashlee's queen bee life style has changed. First she's moving from New York to LA. Immediately she sees the girls she wants to befriend. Unfortunate due to massive sunburn, she's become a target of ridicule.

The sunburn happened when she went to the beach her first day in L.A. Since becoming a vampire, Ashlee hasn't had tome to read the manual. She had no idea how much trouble the time in the sun would cause her.

While she struggles to climb the social ladder and learn rules about being a vampire, she learns there is a vampire attacking people at her school. Can she help identify the attacker without spiller her own secrets?

My Thoughts: A cute paranormal tween read focusing on mysterious attacks, forming new friendships, and adjusting to a new school. I liked how Ashlee had to start over in a new school and how she found her footing. I liked the mystery of the attacks. I loved how the school play tied into both the attacks and Ashlee's new house. A great fun read for tweens who want to read about vampires

Cover Thoughts: Cute

Source: Inter-library Loan

Fun Fact: Ruth Ames is really YA Author Aimee Friedman!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Timepiece

* Timespiece comes out June 12th.  
It's the sequel to Hourglass *

Kaleb meets Lily in a club one night - the night he learns the truth about the time continuum.  It's the night Emerson almost dies when the three friends are given an ultimatum. 

They must capture the elusive Jack in hopes of setting the time continuum back to normal. Otherwise, the past just might be re-written and might not include each other.

However, more and more rips are occurring and time is blending. Answers are hard to come by. Kaleb's father doesn't want him involved. He tries to keep Kaleb out of the group, but it's impossible. Kaleb feels everything and he's not about to sit around while there's work to do.

Lily (Em's best friend), Em, Michael, and Kaleb hunt down information that could help them. They're not sure what they're looking for and time is running out. Will they uncover enough information before the deadline or will their lives rewind? 

My Thoughts: I really really liked it! Timepiece is from Kaleb's perspective, which surprised me. I really liked Kaleb in Hourglass, but I did want to read more from Emerson and Michael. 

In the beginning, Kaleb's drowning his empathy ability in alcohol to numb the pain. He doesn't think his decisions through, making him a wild card. However, he's fiercely loyal. He changes through the book as he comes to understand the grave consequences of the broken timelines.  

The relationships within this series are amazing. I love the banter between him and Lily, it made me chuckle. Kaleb has family issues - with his mother in a coma and a father who almost died. His relationship with Michael is strained because Kaleb's father turns to Michael and not his own son. Plus Michael doesn't like Kaleb's relationship with Em. Em and Kaleb share a love, a love that's strong and determined. 

The time travel and time continuum is confusing to follow. I like uncovering pieces of the puzzle along with the main characters. I'm so looking forward to understanding it all when it comes together.  

Holy Cliff Hanger Ending! I really need book 3!

Cover Thoughts: I like it and it's beautiful, but I still don't understand it

Source: Netgalley

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mysterious Saturday Review: Private

Jack, a former military man, has nightmares about his past. There are things he can't remember, decisions he hoped he made correctly. Horrific phone calls each morning from someone force him to constantly relive the pieces of those moments - except when he's on the job.

Jack owns an investigation company, left to him by his father. His team investigates thoroughly, with the best equipment, and sometimes outside the law. Three cases are now the number one priority: an NFL scandal, a serial killer murdering young girls, and the murder of one of Jack's friends.

While Jack and his team investigate these cases, his personal life is a mess. Can he close these three major cases without causing himself any more pain?

My Thoughts: A good fast paced mystery with the classic short chapters, lots of action, and multiple perspectives that kept me turning the pages. Even though I didn't love him as a characters, I wanted to know Jack's secrets. He's intriguing enough to make me want to read more in this series.

Cover Thoughts: I like the bullet hole, makes me want to undercover more details.

Source: My Library 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: Underworld

* sequel to Abandon*

Pierce and John fled to the Underworld to escape the dangers. However, danger still exists. Pierce isn't sure what to do in the Underworld. She's interested in how things work in this alternate universe, but she also misses her home.

She's not sure she wants to live here forever. Pierce doesn't want her mom to grow old with out her. She's worried about the rest of her family and her friends. She hated that she didn't get to say goodbye.

When she receives a disturbing message about the fate of her cousin, she's desperate to get back to her normal life. She needs to warn Alex and help save him. She has no way of knowing if what she saw has happened, is happening, or will happen. All she knows is that she'll do everything in her power from prevent that scenario from coming true.

My Thoughts: First off, I adore Meg Cabot and all her books. I devour them. It's impossible for me not to love them. However, it's been a long time since I read Abandon and I forgot most of the story. As a result, it took me a little bit longer than normal to get into the story. (I really do wish I had time to re-read books when sequels appear, but I don't.)

I loved the heat between John and Pierce. I enjoyed their banter as they tried to make each other understand their viewpoints. While at times, I found John controlling, after learning more about his life, I find myself able to understand his character better. 

I loved the descriptions of the Underworld - the gardens, the house, and how things needed appeared. I liked Hope - even her ironic name. I found her antics amusing as she judged everything and everyone around her.

I'm looking forward to the next book - the last book in this fantastic trilogy. 

Cover Thoughts: Great!

Source: my Library

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Books I'm Dying to Read: July Edition

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

Just for Fins: I adore these books, plus the last one ended with me wanting more! Goodreads- comes out July 3rd

Endlessly: Awesome series, can't wait to read the last book! Goodreads- comes out July 24th

52 Reasons to Hate My Father: Loved Jessica Brody's first two books! This one looks funny! Goodreads- comes out July 3rd

Such a Rush: Adore this author - read everything she writes. Goodreads- comes out July 10th

Seraphina: Heard lots of great things about this one! Dragons, court, murder - this one sounds like a fantastic debut! Goodreads- comes out July 10th

Babymouse for President: Love this series - clever, funny, and with great illustrations. Goodreads- comes out July 10th

Catching Fireflies: LOVE this author -and this series. Can't wait to devour it! Goodreads- comes out July 31st

Pride and Pyramids: I'm a Jane Austen freak - plus I really like this author. Goodreads- comes out July 3rd

Red Velvet Revenge: Love this series and cupcakes, obviously. Goodreads  comes out July 3rd

Pies and Prejudice: 1st in a new series, which looks super cute! This new series is from the author of the Books by the Bay mysteries. Goodreads- comes out July 3rd

Size 12 and Ready to Rock: Always read Meg Cabot - it's like a RULE! Goodreads- comes out July 10th

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Great Video about Libraries!

I saw this over at Bookshelves of Doom:

Isn't is awesome????

Tween Tuesday Review: Popular

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

* book 14 in the Canterwood Crest series *

Lauren Towers needs to come clean about her past. She's not the same girl. She's grown both as a person and as a rider. However, now that her secret's out, she must deal with the consequences.

Mostly everyone's ok with her news. After all, she's only been at Canterwood Crest for a week. Most people wait longer than that to spill their deepest darkest secrets.

The one person who's still acting strange is Khloe. Khloe says she's fine, but something feels off. Could she secretly be mad at Lauren? Could their relationship be in jeopardy? Lauren doesn't know what she's do if she didn't have Khloe's friendship!

My Thoughts: Oh - those pesky cliff hangers! 

I'm so addicted to this series for the friendship drama, the small touches of romance, the fashion, and most of all, the horses. I love reading about riding classes, training with the horses, and even grooming the horses.

I like how Lauren handled the situation. I admire how she explained to her friends and also to the rest of her teammates. She made it clear that she puts riding for fun and her horse first and foremost. Competition comes second.

I loved Drew and Lauren's first date. It was simply perfect! I can't wait to see how their relationship progresses. 

I enjoyed delving deeper into Lauren and Khloe's relationship. They bonded really quickly, but it seems as though there's some cracks in the foundation of their friendship. 

Can't wait to read more about Lauren and Khloe as well as Lauren's first showing since her accident.

Cover Thoughts: Fabulous

Source: my Library

Fun Fact: Jessica once again mentioned me in the acknowledgments! How sweet is that?

Up Next: Comeback - out August 7th

Pinterest: I created this Lauren Towers pin:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Book Trailer:Throne of Glass

Doesn't this book look AMAZING? I can't wait to read it!!

Review: Bitterblue

*3rd book in the Graceling series*

Eight years after Katsa and Po rescued Bitterblue, she's now ruling her kingdom. However, she begins to think her advisers aren't always telling her the truth. She's so lost, she begins wandering her city at night in an attempt to escape her troubled mind.

Bitterblue meets two boys who challenge her knowledge of her own city. Teddy and Saf share their knowledge with her, without knowing her true identity. In time the three become fast friends. Bitterblue uses their information to try to combat her advisers into making the city a better place.

She's fighting a losing battle most days, still trying to recover from her father's reign. Still, Bitterblue isn't giving up the fight. She wants her kingdom to heal and with the help of her friends, she's going to make sure it happens. To heal the kingdom, she'll have to fight the horrors from the past. Not everyone wants those secrets to resurface, especially the people trying to silence those who ask questions, even Bitterblue.

My Thoughts: I've been waiting for this book ever since I finished Graceling. It took me a little while to get into the book and I think that's because I didn't re-read Graceling and Fire. I wish I had because there were pieces that I know I didn't fully appreciated without that extra knowledge.  

There were several illustrations in the back of the book, which were great. However, it would have been nice to see those either at the front of the book or interspersed within the chapters themselves. Most of the illustrations were maps of complicated rooms/areas, which were hard to picture while reading.

I loved Bitterblue's midnight walks. I liked how she saw the real city and not the city everyone tried to make her see. I loved her relationships with Teddy and Saf. I liked the game of truths she shared with Saf. They had a great way of bantering back and forth. I enjoyed seeing Katsa and Po again. 

While this book dealt with a lot of pain, most of the pain came from the past. It's still hard to relive it, but it made it easier as a reader to not read about the horrific things as they were happening. 

Bitterblue is a massive book filled with adventure, friendship, political issues, and a touch of romance. Cashore write amazingly detailed descriptions with intertwining characters from the previous books.  I really hope this isn't the end of this series.

Cover Thoughts: Interesting, but not my favorite cover.

Source: My Library

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mysterious Saturday Review: The Night She Disappeared

Gabie switched shifts at the pizza joint, where she works, with Kayla. Kayla had a date on Friday. When a mysterious call requests a pizza delivery, Drew doesn't think twice about it. Kayla goes to deliver the pizza and never returns.

Now Drew feels terrible as the police attempt to figure out what really happened that night. He shares information about the call to Gabie, telling her that the man asked if the girl in the mini cooper was delivering tonight. Once she hears that, Gabie understands it's significance. She was supposed to be kidnapped.

Now she'll do anything to piece together the events that night to find Kayla before it's too late.

My Thoughts: A fast paced mystery set in a small town.

I can't imagine what must have gone through Gabie's mind when she heard the truth from Drew. I think she handled it with composure. I admired her determination to find Kayla and her insistence that her friend wasn't dead. Together she and Drew made a great team.

I liked the relationships in the book, mostly how you can be work with people and be friendly but never really know them. Of course, I liked watching the relationship develop between Drew and Gabie. I really enjoyed reading the story from multiple perspectives, it made me want to turn the pages faster.

I loved the setting of the pizza joint. I worked for one when I was in college and loved it. This brought back memories and you could smell the pizzas they were baking.

A gripping read full of friendship, determination, and creepy moments.

Cover Thoughts: Creepy and perfect to match the story

Source: my Library

Friday, May 11, 2012

Countdown to Book Expo America 2012

I can't believe BEA is less than a month away.

I couldn't be more excited to be with my people (all those who love books) again!

This year I'll be attending Book Blogger Con for the first time. I really wanted to go the last two years, but couldn't make it. What should I expect???

 I know that it's different this year.

I'm really excited to learning more about blogging and to meet some of the people behind my favorite blogs!

For BEA, I'll be there Tuesday and Wednesday.

In preparation, I'm doing the following:
* checking out the author signings in booth and marking down the ones I want to see. There's so many that I know I'm going to have to narrow them down, but it's going to be hard.
* checking out the author signings in the autographing stations. This is also going to be hard to narrow down.
*Making a list of all the publishers I want to visit and any contacts I have there
*Double checking to make sure I have enough business cards to hand out
* Prepping my two to three sentence plug on why my blog rocks to give to publishers/authors/bloggers/librarians that I meet.
*planning on comfy walking shoes and layers because I'm always hot there, but sometimes cold.
*A suitcase to check
*planning snacks because of the food prices/variety and because I don't want to take time out of the day.  There's so many people to meet!

Anything I'm forgetting?

So looking forward to meeting you there! Who else is going?

Librarian Giveaway: The Summer My Life Began

Do you work in a high school or public library?* If yes, this contest is for YOU

It's about a girl whose life changes the summer she graduates from high school before heading to college. Check out my review for more details.

One lucky librarian will win an ARC (perfect for a Summer Reading prize) 
of The Summer My Life Began.

To Enter:
Leave a comment with your email address by Friday May 18th at midnight EST

* must be in the US

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blog Tour: Interview with Shannon Greenland

I really loved the Specialist series. I was so excited to hear about Shannon's latest book The Summer My Life Began. I'm pleased to be part of the blog tour. 

Shannon, Welcome to YA Book Nerd.

What made you choose to write YA?  Actually, my critique partner was the one who said I had a young voice and should try writing YA. Turns out she was right because I love it!

You mention on your website that you dreaded both reading and writing as a kid. When did that change? After college graduation a friend gave me a pile of books to read. One day out of sheer boredom I picked one up and found that I suddenly had a joy of reading. That joy sparked my interest to write.
I love this! What a great way to fall into writing.

Where do you write best? I write best with a legal pad and .9 pencil while lounging across my bed.

How do you get your ideas?  Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one? I draw from my travels, adventures, and people I meet when I plot books. For example in The Summer My Life Began, the surfing scene is very close to my own first time surfing. In my spy series, The Specialists, I got my fight scenes and training scenes from my own MMA experiences.
That sounds intense!

How did you come up with your title(s)? I must be horrible at creating titles because my editor always changes them. Personally, I love her titles much more than mine.

Can you tell us a little bit about The Summer My Life Began? Summer, tan skin, ocean, cute surfer boy, strolling a Farmer’s Market, riding tandem on a moped, lazy afternoons in a hammock, uncovering some unbelievable secrets, and did I mention cute surfer boy? 
I loved it! If you missed my review, check it out here

You list many adventurous activities on your website. Did any of them scare you? Do you have a favorite? Did you do any of them for research purposes? Sailing has got to be the scariest adventure—you’re out in the ocean with land miles and miles away—a big storm stirs and the sea sickness kicks in—I think it’s one of the only times I thought I might die. Would I do it again? Yes!

What will you do on your release day? The Barnes & Noble local to me is hosting a launch party. I can’t wait!

What was the last book you've read and been recommending to everyone? Hunger Games—both the book and movie were great.

Do you have a book crush? I just finished writing another romantic YA and I’m head over hills in crush with the main guy.
Oh my! I must get my hands on this one too! It sounds fabulous.

Do you have a favorite library experience? Several years ago a middle cchool library in Palm Coast, FL hosted a fabulous author talk surrounding my Specialists series. The kids were great, the hostess was wonderful, and the snacks she’d homemade were out of this world.

Are there any authors you’d love to meet? I’d say Suzanne Brockmann but I’ve already met her. Probably Collins since I just read the Hunger Games.

Do you have a favorite quote you’ve read? “Slow and steady wins the race”. I do a lot of running and coach a girls team and that is our/my mantra. Who cares if you win? Just finish and enjoy the experience.
Great advice!

Listing of your favorites:
            Candy Reese’s Cup
            Cake/Cupcake Flavor Carrot
            Ice Cream Anything Ben & Jerry’s
            Pizza topping Good ole pepperoni
            Genre of books YA: suspense/adventure/romance
            Singer and/or Song Train
            Restaurant Napoli’s pizza in St. Augustine, FL
            TV show /Movie New Girl
            Color Green
            Shoe Brooks running
            Video Game Old school Frogger

Thanks for chatting with me!
Thank you ever so much!
Be sure to check out Shannon's website as well as her Specialists series starting with Model Spy 

If your a librarian, check back here tomorrow with s special giveaway just for you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: The Summer My Life Began

Elizabeth Margaret has her life planned out - a summer internship at her father's law office, then she'll be attending Harvard for the next several years until she returns to her father's office with a law degree. But then life throws her a curve ball.

A letter arrives in the mail inviting her to North Carolina for the summer, from her Aunt Matilda. Em didn't know she had an aunt. After a compromise with her family, she's headed to the Outer Banks for a month.

From the moment she arrives when the airline looses her luggage and she's forced to wait two hours for her ride, life begins to change. Em begins to loosen up. Tilly, her aunt, smothers her with love and the opportunity to relax. She's not pressuring her like Em's parents and grandmother.

Em lets herself be. She  loves cooking, but she always had to cook in secret due to her parents' disapproval. Now, she's free to help out in the kitchen of Tilly's B&B. She tours the island with her new friends from the B&B including her cousin. She goes on a date with a college boy, but realizes she can't stop thinking about a more unsuitable boy. Since she has only a month of freedom, she decides to take a chance on a boy and most importantly herself.

My Thoughts: I loved Shannon Greenland's Specialist series and was so happy to hear about her new book.  I loved the setting for this book. It made me want to desperately go to the beach. I could feel myself there with the wind whipping through my hair and the sun beating down on me. A fabulous read to jump start summer!

I loved Em. She was brave stepping out of her comfort zone, dealing with family issues, and looking at her future. I adored the moments between her and her sister. I loved how Gwenny's influence helped her to relax.  They had a perfect sisterly relationship.

The family as a whole has a dark secret that Em tries to uncover. Why hasn't she heard of Tilly and her cousin Frederick before? I really liked how Em felt instantly at home in North Carolina. She had a connection with both her aunt and with Frederick - not to mention the chef.  I admire Tilly for her sense of self, for her past, and for her easy going ways. I enjoyed the moments between Em and the chef, Domino. 

I adored the moments between Cade and Em. He was so mysterious. I enjoyed watching Em figure him out, layer after layer. I loved their date; it was magical. Plus the heat between them was intense! 

Cover Thoughts: Love the carefree look in front of the ocean.

Source: Net Galley for a blog tour through JKSCommunications

Check back tomorrow for an interview with Shannon Greenland.

What's On My Holds List (11)

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.

A Night Like This: I adored the first book - Just Like Heaven and can't wait for more!

Summer House: I really loved her book A Week in Winter.

Wicked Business:  I really liked the first book - Wicked Appetite

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tween Tuesday Reivew: Princess Diana

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

* We're looking at this biography series to be part of the 6th grade Summer Reading lists.*

My Thoughts:   Princess Diana fascinated me. I was happy to read this and learn more about her life.  Most of this biography takes place in her adult life. There's not too much on her childhood. However, I think it's a great book for anyone interested in the Princess. I adore the photos. They were great and there's at least one photo for each spread. In keeping with the DK tradition there are sidebars with additional information, vocabulary words, and quotes.
A wonderful series!

Cover: Great!

Source: My Library

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Matinee: The Avengers

After watching Iron Man and the rest of the super-hero movies, I was excited to see The Avengers. I watched in on Saturday afternoon and couldn't have been happier.

The action was great - lots of fighting, blowing things up, and or course the best part the Hulk.

The super effects were cool

The villain was creepy.  He was oily, smug, and irritating.

They came together as a team...eventually and after they almost killed each other

The humor was perfection - there was great tension between Tony Stark and well, everyone, but especially with Captain America.

The one criticism I have: I didn't know anything about Hawkeye (including his name). I would have liked some more information about him and his character.

Ironman is still my favorite of the Avengers, he's hard to beat.

Plus all the super heroes had an equal amount of screen time, which seems like it would be really hard to do.

I swear I saw Blake Griffin in the Kneel scene. Anyone else see that?

I liked that the actress from Growing Pains had a small role, I recognized her almost immediately.

There are 2 moments to see after the movie. I only saw the first as I was unaware of the second.