Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Hauntings! 

If you're in need a few witchy ghosty books check out these:


Monster Mash:  Awesome illustrations join this fun song.

Witch Way to Witch School: Magic combined with school. This one resembles Madeline.

Monster's Monster: A cute story about three monsters who hope to create the biggest baddest monster, but...things don't work out just right.


Witches: A childhood favorite

Wait til Helen Comes: Another childhood favorite - creepy!

Dying to Meet You:  Humorous fun ghostly tale 

Dial-a-Ghost: More fun than scary, but there are some gruesome bits!

Ghost Huntress: Spooky series about one girl coming to terms with her abilities. She starts ghost hunting with her friends.

Salem Witch Tryouts: Not spooky - but tons of fun. Cheerleading with Magic and trying to fit into a world where magic rules  and you don't!

Mediator series: One girl can see ghosts - most of the time she helps them or kicks their butts to make them cross over - except for that one dreamy boy. 

Bras and Broomsticks: Imagine your sister getting witch powers while it passes you by!

Sweep series: This is ONE of my favorite witch series - lots of danger, action, and romance.


It Takes A Witch: Darcy learns of her family heritage - wish crafters. She moves to a witchy town....and gets involved in solving a murder.

Don of the Dead: Pepper faints, cracks her head, and suddenly she can communicate with the dead - or at least a dead mobster who wants revenge.

Veiled Deception: Maddie comes home to stay - while opening a shop and helping her sister get married. Her vintage clothing knowledge helps her get her store in order - but she can also feel the past from the clothes.

Trouble with Magic: Maggie's new boss is amazing, but when Maggie finds out about her Wiccan beliefs, she's not so sure anymore. Then Felicity is questioned for murder.

What's on My Hold List (29)

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.

Merry Ex-Mas: Part of the holiday romances I hope to read this wintery season. Christmas doesn't look merry for these three women, but Christmas magic might have a way of changing things.

Underwater Dogs: Saw this in a bookstore. My husband and I looked at the first 20 pages - great photographs: cute, heartwarming, and hilarious. I can't wait to look at the rest of the book.

When Snow Falls: I just finished When Lightning Strikes and I'm so looking forward to the second book in this trilogy. It looks like a holiday romance, but the summary says nothing about snow or winter. Still the cover is wonderfully snowy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tween Tuesday Review: Spy Princess

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

Lady Lilah lives the life of a princess, but it's not the life she wants. Lilah craves adventure. She rustles up some boy clothing and leaves her normal quiet life for a night.

There in the village, she finds a moment of freedom. The freedom calls to her. However, in order to assume her new identity, she must make choices. The townspeople are unhappy with the King. They want to rebel against him.

Lilah notices her own brother is in league with the leader of the rebellion. Soon Lilah will be forced to make choices of her own. Will she join the rebels against her own family? Would she be able to share her true identity among her new friends? Would she resort to violence?
The rebellion comes sooner than expected and nothing goes as planned. Will Lady Lilah be able to help or will she be stuck on the sidelines?

My Thoughts: The title and the cover caught my eye. I love stories about Princesses and spies. Even better if the spy is a princess. Lilah intrigued me, Her life wasn't perfect. She didn't like her uncle, the King. However, it wasn't until she needed an adventure that she begin to understand the plight of the common good. At first, it was about escape and freedom. Soon it became more about what's best for the common good. In a world of upheaval, it's hard for kids to make a difference. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the book and the third part. I had mixed feelings about the second part of the book - where magic came into play. While I liked the spy games, I disliked the magical elements, even though they were necessary. I didn't mind the mages, but the flying seemed strange and out of place. I wonder from the second Princess in hiding if there's a sequel in the works. Still I think tweens looking for an adventure story with a little magic, plenty of action, and lots of fun will enjoy this read.

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: my Library

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines - from Broke and Bookish

Just 10? Oh man, this might be a hard meme! I could go on and on, but I'll stop with just one cheat - two heroines from the same author, both whom are amazing. There are so many great heroines and it was hard to pick these, but here they are in no particular order.

Hermoine form Harry Potter
Katsa from Graceling
Katniss from Hunger Games
Rose from Vampire Academy
Bryn from Raised by Wolves
Claire from Morganville Vampires
Cammie from Gallagher Girls and Kat from Heist Society
Tris from Divergent
June from Legend
Alanna from Song of the Lioness 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Hidden

 * End of the trilogy - read my reviews for books one and two*

Jacinda has the perfect escape plan to leave behind her life with the draki and to find out what happened to her family.  Unfortunately, the guilt she feels for Miram's capture weighs upon her.

Jacinda can't leave Cassian's sister to the humans. She helps formulate a plan that will get her captured. From there, Will, Cassian, and Tamra will break them both out. The prison isn't what Jacinda imagines - it's brutal. The humans want to break her and then uncover her secrets.

Jacinda isn't sure she can last the day or two it will take for her rescue. Miram isn't interested in leaving. They've broken her. Jacinda uses Cassian's name to spur her into motion. Jacinda hopes that she can last without breaking to ensure the success of her mission and her escape into the happily ever after with Will.

My Thoughts: A great ending to a steamy, heart-pounding, action packed trilogy. I love how each book layers upon the danger of the world knowing the draki secret. I love the romance between Will and Jacinda - and also the pull Jacinda feels for Cassian. I loved the relationship between Jacinda and her sister. They were friends, then almost enemies, and then friends again. It's the normal sisterly relationship. I was both fascinated and horrified to learn the secrets behind Jacinda's family. A perfect trilogy for those readers who are looking for a steamy fantastical story.

Cover Thoughts: I love the flowing red hair and how this book cover ties into the others
Source: My Library

Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Fangirl

Josie loves writing songs, but she doesn't have the courage to sing them. She thinks her voice is terrible. She and her BFFF Ashley attend a Peter Maxx concert one night. Josie believes that she and Peter make a connection. She knows nothing would ever happen, but it still makes her night. She's not prepared the next day when she's ambushed at school. Ashley submitted her song to a contest to meet Peter. Suddenly Peter is there before her, hugging her for the whole world to see.

Peter finds himself intrigued by this fan. Peter's tired of all the publicity, the tours, and the attention. He just wants some time to himself. He wants to feel normal again. He breaks up with his girlfriend, a member of the opening act for his tour to help put things in perspective. Peter can't get Josie out of his head. Could there be a way to for them to be together?

My Thoughts: An interesting debut novel from Ken Baker, set in the world he knows best. I liked the Cinderella aspect of this novel. I really enjoyed reading Josie's songs. I love how she could express herself in a song as she couldn't express herself in life. I felt bad for her at times and wanted to shake her at other times.  I sympathized with Peter for not knowing who he could trust and not being happy with his life of fame.  I didn't like the language used in parts of the book - it kept distracting me from the story. I didn't like the random tweets nor the "shortcut words" like totes. I though that ending was rushed, which makes me wonder if there's another book in the works. These little details kept me from loving the book, but I enjoyed it and I know several teen girls in my library who will devour it!

Cover Thoughts: Interesting
Source: Sent for review
Fun Fact: Ken Baker works for E! and has worked for People and US Weekly.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: Stealing Parker

Parker Shelton is lost after her family was torn apart. Her mom moved in with another woman. Her brother's losing himself in drugs and alcohol. Parker's friends have abandoned her, spreading nasty rumors about her being just like her mother.

Parker retaliates the rumors by making out with several guys, whom she cares nothing about. Everyone things that she sleeps with them all, but she's just happy that she's changed the rumors.

Parker decides to help out and manage the baseball team as a way of hanging out with her BFF Drew. She quit softball because of the hurt she felt when her mom left. She has no idea why God let her family be torn apart.

On the baseball team, she meets a new boy - the new assistant coach. He's fresh out of college and majorly cute. He seems to like her -could she find a lasting relationship with him, even if he's 6 years older?

My Thoughts: It took me a few chapters to get into, but then I was hooked. Parker kept talking to me. I didn't like her at first, but she grew on me. Usually I don't read books with religion or religious undertones, but I really liked how Miranda Kenneally worked religion into the story; how Parker questioned the goodness of religious people. Parker had so much thrown at her. She messes up more than once, but she's just struggling to keep her head above water. While I didn't enjoy watching her struggle (sometimes I want to shake her and say snap out of it), Parker kept me rooting for her. She had good intentions, but sometimes made really bad choices. I loved the combination of sports and romance - it's like a Sarah Dessen book crossed with Mike Lupica. I loved that Jordan and Sam showed up from Catching Jordan. It's an honest book about religion and kindness, a family dynamic that changes, a relationship with an older man, and finding and being happy with your true self. Miranda Kenneally is an author to watch!

Cover Thoughts: perfect
Source: my Library

Teen Romances

I'm talking about some upcoming one that look AMAZING at the Yalsa Hub blog this morning. Check them out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's On My Hold List (28)

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.

I've been on an adult book reading kick lately. Here's a few more I'm adding to my pile!

Splendid: I'm such a Julia Quinn fan and LOVED her Bridgerton series. So looking forward to this one.

Searching for Pemberley: Love Mr. Darcy - will read just about anything involved in Pride and Prejudice (except zombies)

Thursdays at Eight: Love Debbie Macomber, specially her Cedar Cove and Blossom St. series. Starting to read her other books.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tween Tuesday: Winning Team

 * Go-for-Gold Gymnasts Series #1*

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

Britt was an amazing gymnast in Ohio. Her parents moved to Texas so she could train at an elite team and continue her dream of becoming a gymnastic super star.

Britt walks into a gym where three girls already have a tight friendship. They're not sure they want another gymnast. Britt attempts a prank, which backfires. She attempts to be funny, which backfires. The last straw for Britt might be breaking someone's confidence. 

Britt's walking a fine line, trying to be the best gymnast while trying to fit in. In the Elite group, can you have both?

My Thoughts: I like the start of this new series, especially since one of the authors is an Olympic medalist.  I remember watching her as a young girl and being in amazed by her! To me, this read like a tween version of the ABC Family show Make It or Break It. I liked learning more about gymnastics. Some of Britt's actions were cringe-worthy  but I also felt bad for her. It's hard to break into an existing friendship. Although I did admire her courage for breaking the confidence of the only girl who  liked her. I'm curious to see where this series will go.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: my Library

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit - a meme from The Broke and Bookish

I don't usually read books to get into the Halloween spirit as I hate being scared. I don't watch creepy movies. I don't visit haunted houses. I don't like the feeling of jumping at every sound the house makes when I'm reading something that makes my heart beat faster. I fully admit to putting some books down to read in the daylight. That said, I do like mysteries and thrillers. Here's some of my favorites in no particular order.

Wait til Helen Comes: This was one of my favorite books when I was younger. It was super creepy, but I LOVED it. I think I read other ghost stories at that age, but nothing stood out like this one!

The Witches: Another book from my childhood. I read my copy until it fell apart.

Mediator series: One girl can see ghosts - most of the time she helps them or kicks their butts to make them cross over - except for that one dreamy boy. 

Killer Pizza: Monsters and pizza - the perfect combination

Prophecy of Sisters: Twins but on the opposite side of good and evil.

The Hollow: A girl meets boy - boy seems very mysterious.

Ghost Huntress series: These books definitely have their scary moments, but there's also sweet moments.

Dark Dreams: A biography of Stephen King

Clarity: One girl can see the past from objects she touches. Can she help solve the murder in town with her gifts?

Kingdom Keepers: Disney villains come to life and want to take over the park and then world.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blog Tour: Dear Teen Me

I'm so happy to be a part of the blog tour for this book.

I loved reading it. It was both hilarious and heartbreaking.  I loved getting inside information about some of my favorite YA authors. It felt like going through an old yearbook. The pictures were fun to look through - the many decades of fashion and hairstyles. I tore through this book, not wanting it to end. I hope that teens are as impressed and enlightened as I was; it's a perfect book to share about that awkward stage in life. High school doesn't last forever!

I liked the different formats - most of the entries were letters, but some of them were cartoons/graphic novel formats or lists. I wished there was more of the Q&A sections, I loved those! I had such fun reading about authors and their teen years that I was inspired to write my own letter.

Dear Teen Me,
I'm going to let you in on a little secret you won't discover for a few years. It's OK to be both girly AND a feminist. It's not bad. It's not wrong. Plus you'll have way more fun. Also lighten up a little, you're way too serious. You don't have to speak your mind about everything. Everyone isn't always interesting in what you have to say. It's fine if you have your own moral compass, but you don't have to share it with the world or even your three best friends at the moment. Also you might consider sharing your secrets with them. If you don't change your ways, you're going to be friendless senior year and it's going to be miserable.  Date some of those boys who ask you out, it might be fun. Even if you don't fall for them, it would be nice to say yes once in a while. Also, all the fights you have your parents - most of the time they're right.  It will take you YEARS to realize this. I'm not going to tell you anymore secrets from the future because your mistakes/regrets will shape who you are and you're pretty happy now. I don't want to mess with that. But I will say, keep your head in the books. Books will define your life in ways you never thought possible.
Your Future Self

PS. This is still one of your favorite pictures of your teen years - the one of you and your sister in front of the tree the day you turned sixteen. God, you loved that black dress. It made you feel older.

For more authors and letters, check out DEAR TEEN ME and be sure to check out the other blog tour stops.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Interview with Sarah Dessen

Is up at the YALSA Hub today! Sarah's part of the Teens' Top Ten winners this year with her book What Happened to Goodbye! You can read my interview with her here.

Here's the READ poster I made of Sarah Dessen after meeting her a few years ago!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Cold Fury

Sara Jane comes from an Italian family full of secrets.It isn't until her parents and her brother goes missing after her grandparents die that she figures out the truth. Her family's part of the mob.

Her uncle and his wife wanted more of the family business. Sara Jane suspects her uncle of taking her family. Men are coming after her, wanting the family notebook. A notebook she never knew existed, but a notebook she must find if she wants to survive.

Now Sara Jane's gone into hiding to try to figure everything out. A handful of clues lead her to discover a world hidden right under everyone's nose. Determination and the Cold Fury that runs through her veins are the only things keeping her alive.

My Thoughts: It took me a couple chapters but then I was hooked! One of my favorite books is The Godfather. Sara Jane's story reeled me in and I'm so happy it's the first of a new series. I loved watching Sara Jane figure out the mysteries within her family. I loved watching her fight the bad guys and tame the guys in the mob. I liked her interactions with her two friends and their love for movies. Lots of action, lots of danger, and lots of fights make this debut heart pounding and almost impossible to put down. 

Cover Thoughts: Interesting
Source: Sent for review by the author

Other Teen Books about the Mob:
Son of the Mob
Mob Princess

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Little Brown Preview: Spring 2013

On Monday I was lucky enough to attend the Little Brown Spring Book Preview. We learned about several upcoming teen and children's book that will be out next year. Of  course I had my favorites. Some I'm dying to read and some pictures books I want to read again and really absorb the text and the pictures. (I feel you're never too old for picture books and love reading them).

Here's a few that specifically caught my attention:

Picture Books:
The Dark -by Lemony Snicket and Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Simple and classic in both the illustrations and the text.

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger Illustrated by Dan Santat.
About a cranky kid who learns not to be so cranky (that time). Funny, cute, and grumpy. A really fun read.

Middle Grade:
Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass.
Her books go out like hotcakes at Otis Library. Plus, I love how it's science based and how many scientists/mathematicians reviewed the book. Plus, a character is named Joss (for Joss Whedon!)

Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors and Illustrated by Dan Santat
Two tweens find a baby dragon. They end up taking it to a worm Vet in hopes that he can help it. However, they discover the Vet doesn't help normal animals and what looks like a run down building is actually a secret hospital for "imaginary" creatures. On the way out, they accidentally let the Sasquatch escape. Now, they have to track it down and capture the animal.

What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark
This is a debut novel, that I probably would have passed up because I'm not crazy about the title and the cover doesn't jump out at me, HOWEVER, I met the author and he was highly amusing and entertaining. He convinced me to give it a try.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith.
I really like the cover, I think it works well, plus it ties really nicely into her first book, The Statistical Probability of Love at First sight, which I adored. You can read my review here. I started it on the train home and devoured it.

Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green.
This looks great for fans of Pretty Little Liars and is the first in a trilogy. (Also aged older for content)

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Mathew Quick.
This is a dark book than those I normally read, but it sounds so intriguing. It takes place in one day - on the narrator's birthday. He decides that he's going to kill his former BFF and then himself but first he has to say goodbye to the four people who matter to him.

Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr.
Love the cover! It's about a girl who wonders about doing something you love even if you're not perfect, is it worth it?

Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff
Teen Assassin who can't feel anymore, until one job changes everything. He starts feelings and questioning his latest assignment. Could his awakening endanger his life? Word is Will Smith's movie production company bought the rights to this thriller for a potential movie for his son! Plus, the cover rocks!

You can check out the tweets of preview here