Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blog Challenge from Katie's Book Blog

Katie from Katie's Book Blog is putting together a summer reading challenge, which sounds perfect for me, so I'm joining in the fun. Here are the details: 
You know when you were growing up and you always had summer reading to look forward to?  I’ve missed that lately so I decided to start a summer reading program specifically for book bloggers!
What is it?
The book blogger summer reading program is a way to challenge yourself to make a dent in your TBR pile over the summer.
When is it?
I know that summer starts in May for some people and June for others so I figured I’d go ahead and the make the program from the beginning of May to the beginning of September.  That should give everybody a good amount of time to get some reading done.
  • Your goal can be as low as 5 books (at least 5 though) and as high as 50+.  Just make it realistic for you!
  • You can read whatever you want. Doesn’t matter when it’s published, what genre, etc. Just read what you enjoy!
  • Create a post or shelf on Goodreads to track your progress. Link to that post or shelf in the linky.

So from May to September, I want to read 25 YA books and 15 adults books. This will be great after (hopefully) coming back from BEA with so many awesome books to read! 

On My Holds List (80)

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. 

Some YA Books I'm Waiting to Read:

Biggest Flirts: Love Jennifer Echols and this new series looks super cute!

Now and Forever: Love Susane Colasanti . What would happen if your boyfriend became a Rock God.

Secrets of Lily Graves: Love Sarah Strohmeyer. Secrets - murder- and lies.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: If You Like Hart of Dixie

This week's topic is If You Like a TV show. I just finished reading Rebel Belle and loved it. Harper Price reminds me a little bit of Lemon. I'm a huge fan of the show. I love the drama, but also the small town charm and the country acts. Plus the cast of characters is amazing and quirky. 

For Matchmaking:
Miss MatchThe Espressologist

For Boarding School:
It Girl (It Girl Series #1)Pulling PrincesThe Principles of Love

Country Music:
Lovestruck SummerWildflower

Rebel BelleNever Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle HellPants on Fire

Tween Tuesday Review: Weird But True 6

300 weird facts:

Did you know that Palm Trees aren't trees? They're a type of grass.

Did you know that Batman's Cape was inspired by Leonardo DaVinci?

Did you know that at some State Fairs you can order deep fried jelly beans?

Did you know that it would take 5 people to actually Tip over a cow?

Can you name three popular names for dogs in the Medieval times? Hardy, Nosewise, or Sturdy.

Just a few facts you can learn from this quick, entertaining, and engaging read. It's one you'll want to share with others.

Infographic Presentation Today

Today, Amanda Brouwer (Director at Douglas Library in Hebron) are presenting at the CT State Librarian conference on Infographics. Here's one that I created for the presentation:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Rebel Belle

Harper Price's life changed the night she forgot to wear lip gloss. Just before she's sure of her Homecoming Queen status, she borrows her friend's gloss and heads for the bathroom. The janitor follows her into the bathroom and locks the door. He's been badly injured and someone is after him. The moment before he dies, he gives Harper a gift.

A gift that she doesn't want.  Her math teacher enters the bathroom wielding a sword. After an intense fight, where Harper showcases moves she never knew she had in her, she uses her show to kill him.

Harper Price, Southern Belle can now add protector to her resume. After this night, things start getting really strange as she tries to help her nemesis, keeps secrets from her BFF, and attempts to find time to get everything done. There's something brewing out there, something that Harper needs to stop. Can Harper Price remain perfect - or will she have to give something up.
My Thoughts: Heart of Dixie crossed with Buffy (minus the vampires). I LOVED this book from the first sentence to the final twist at the end. I love Harper and her perfectionist attitude. She's strong, funny, and wants to succeed. I love the action and the danger. I love how Harper trains and tries to uncover the evil plots. I love the banter between her and David. But I also love the normal teen angst stuff: trying to figure out your relationship, trying to create a resume that looks great on college applications, and trying to be normal. A fantastic book that I didn't want to put down.

Cover Thoughts: Love
Source: My Library

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Adult Review: Cottage on Juniper Ridge

 * Book 4 in the Life in Icicle Falls series *

Jen works two jobs to pay for her new condo. She loves it, but she doesn't have any time to enjoy it. Nor does she have time to hang out with her friends and family. When her sister gives her a good about simplifying her life, Jen takes the advice to heart.

She quits her jobs, finds someone to rent her condo, and moves to the quaint town of Icicle Falls.  Can she slow down and enjoy life again or will she miss the hustle of her old ways?
My Thoughts: I love this small town and seeing characters from the previous books. I love the idea of slowing down and enjoying life - sometimes everything seems to passing me by in a blur. This book made me want to start baking all the recipes on my Pinterest board and start creating more.  I loved the ladies of the bookclub and how they started to look at their lives and see pieces that need fixing. I really liked Garrett, especially the banter between him and Jen. Plus the moments between him and his son were precious. A wonderful book that made my reading day, but also got me thinking.

Cover Thoughts: Love it!
Source: My Library

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Clammed Up

Julia put her life on hold in Manhattan and came back to Maine in an attempt the family business. She whipped up a business plan for the summer in an attempt to save her mother's house, the business, and her mother's family island.  The first even of the clam baked summer is a wedding on the island.

It's a disaster. The best man's murdered in the mansion on the island. Just as the police let Julia's business back running, a fire breaks out. Now the business is closed indefinitely until the culprit can be caught. The bank's not happy. If Julia doesn't help figure out the murderer, her family could lose everything.
My Thoughts: The first in a new series made me crave seafood and the Maine coast in this delightful start to a new series. I loved hearing about the clambake and the food served  - seemed like a perfect outing (minus the murder and the fire). I loved the small town charm - especially Gus's. The island seems like a perfect place to play as a kid. So looking forward to seeing what happens next to Julia and her family. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library

Friday, April 25, 2014

BEA Advice: (1)

Last year I ran a series of advice on things I learned from attending Book Expo America and this year I'll add to it. I"m still waiting to hear if I can go from my boss. But I'm hoping to go. 

Planning never works out exactly, but it's good to have a general idea. There are people who will wait in line for 2 hours to see that one person they want to see. So when you walk over there 20 minutes before the signing, the line might be out of control. Be prepared for that, because it's GOING to happen. So have a couple back-up ideas instead of just wondering around aimlessly (although that can be good too)

Luckily, Nicole Brinkley created something fabulous for the YA people...and she shared it on Twitter. 

ICYMI, I compiled a mass list of all the events announced so far at BEA. Good morning.

Review: Perfect Lies

 * Companion novel to Mind Games *

2 sisters in trouble and each trying to save each other. They've been put into impossible situations by the Keane Foundation. Now they've desperately trying to get out - but they have to go about it separelty and without each other's knowledge. Both of them think they're going about it the right way, but is there only one right answer?
My Thoughts: Told in alternate timing and perspectives, this book's filled with action, danger, friendship, and sisterly love. I love the idea of the future changing with different actions and how it's so hard to pinpoint the future (and the truth). While love plays a huge part in this novel, I loved how sisterhood seemed to be in the forefront of each sister's mind. A thrilling book that was hard to put down.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Girl with the Iron Touch

 * Book 3 in the Steampunk Chronicles Series *  

After coming back from New York, Finely and Emily are annoyed with the boys. Something's bothering Griffin, but he refuses to share his troubles. Sam's having a hard time sharing his feelings with Emily. None of that matters when Emily is kidnapped.

Without jumping to conclusions, the gang fears their old enemy has somehow returned. While they don't understand how that's possible, all of them will do anything in their power to bring Emily back.

Can they defeat their greatest enemy - again?
My Thoughts: I really enjoy this series for the friendship, the action, and the romance. I love the four main characters - how they're different form everyone else, their sense of loyalty, and their desire to do the right thing. While I like the mechanics on the series, the automatons raise numerous ethical questions. I can't wait until the next book to see how it all ends.

Cover Thoughts: Fabulous
Source: My Library 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On My Hold List (79)

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. 

Some fun looking picture books:

This is a Moose: Sounds really funny and looks super cute

Princesses Are Not Just Pretty: I love Princess books

Tuesday Tucks Me In: Looks really good

Pilot and the Little Prince: Loved the Little Prince when I read it in French class in High School

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: BFFs

This week's topic is:  Top Ten Characters Who I'd love to be my BFF. This is super hard, because I want to be friends with everyone. I'm looking at the books I read this year first.

Bird from Wildflower
Maggie from Also Known As
Harper Price from Rebel Belle
Celaena  from Throne of Glass series
Seraphina from Deep Blue
Macallan from Better Off Friends
Harper Mcallister in Summer State of Mind
Gwen Frost from Mythos Academy series
Lucy from Geography of You and Me

Tween Tuesday Review: Cleopatra Queen of the Nile

* Book 3 in the Time Traveling Fashionista *

Louise loves vintage clothes, especially going back into the past and living the history. She's had two close calls on board the Titanic and at Versailles. Now, she travels back to the best time - Old Hollywood.

When Louise wakes up this time, she finds herself on the movie Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor. She has a job in the costume department and it's the perfect place for her. While searching for a belt, Louise finds a necklace.  As she slips it over her head, she realizes that it's an ancient necklace. She ends up going from the movie set to ancient Egypt.

While there, Louise is stunned to learn about Cleopatra: her intelligence, her confidence, and her crazy competitive family. Once again, Louise find herself in major trouble.
My Thoughts: Another fun book in this great series about fashion, history, and discovering yourself. I feel bad for Louise who is struggling to keep this secret from her BFF and still be close.  She hates keeping secrets, and sooner or later it's bound to blow up in her face.  I love how Louise went from Old Hollywood to the ancient world. I loved Cleopatra - how she had the strength to survive her cutthroat family. I love how her beauty was described - it's simply perfect. I can't wait to see where Louise travels next.

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Hung Up

Lucy called James twice- leaving a voicemail each time. He called back to let her know that his number wasn't the company she's been trying to reach.

When they realize they're both in high school, they start talking about school, midterms, and where they live. Afterwards, James calls Lucy to let her know how to track down the company she was trying to reach. James tries to text Lucy, but she refuses to text. Instead, they end up talking about camping, skirts, James's ex girlfriend, and essays.

James pushes Lucy to share details with him, but she has a hard time trusting people. Still, she keeps answering his calls. Could a wrong number lead to something much more?
My Thoughts: I heard about this book from Anna Reads - and thought it sounded cute - a little like This is What Happy Looks Like. I love that the book's all in conversation - voicemails, phone calls, a couple texts. A fast book to read, but very entertaining. I like the banter between the two of them. I also like how things get deeper - how they start talking about things more meaningful. An enjoyable read that's great for reluctant readers or any reader looking for a quick fun book to pick up.

Cover Thoughts: Not a fan. This isn't how I pictured Lucy or James.
Source: My Library

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Blackberry Pie Murder

* Book 17 in the Hannah Swensen series* 

On a rainy day, Hannah and Lisa are having trouble seeing the road. Due to lightning, Hannah wants to make it around the bend where there is some cover before pulling off the road until visibility improves. A branch in the road makes her lose control. She swerves and accidentally hits a man.

Devastated, Hannah knows that while it was an accidents, she's still responsible. With no ID on the man, she's curious to his identity and why he was in town. Can Hannah uncover more about this past to understand his injuries that don't match up with those made by her cookie truck?
My Thoughts: I love this series - but in no way did I expect this turn of events. I love how everyone rallies around Hannah. What an awful thing that could happen to anyone. I felt horrible for Hannah - for her heartache and all that guilt. I love the baking scenes, the Moishe scenes (especially with him and the treadmill), and the conversations about the wedding. I can't wait to read the next book to see how it all turns out.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Twitter Chat:

Please join us and help spread the word:

Mini Review: Ring and Crown

Book 1 in a new series

Last week I had a giveaway of this great book and compared it to Taylor Swift's song Love Story.

I really really enjoyed this book and here are a few reasons:
* Multiple perspectives
* A kingdom in trouble
* Magic
* The aftermath of War and trying to figure out peace
* Romances and Alliances (Love vs Duty)
* The Friendships
I devoured this book and can't wait to see what happens next!

Cover Thoughts: It's ok.
Source: Book sent for review

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Assassin's Blade

* Prequel to Throne of Glass * 

I'm so in love with this series. I found it fascinating to see Celaena's life before Throne of Glass - her dealings with Sam and Arobynn.

Here's what I loved:
1. Seeing Celaene rise to power
2. Her Consciousness - and how it didn't matter, she was going to do the right thing
3. The feelings - especially at the end. 
4. Her banter with Sam
5. Her love for girly material things - made her a bit more human
6. Her time in the desert.

If you haven't read this series yet - what are you waiting for? Run to your library/bookstore and grab it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Books I'm Dying to Read: June Edition

Here's a list of books I can't wait to get my hands on come June- and there's a lot of them! 

Since Last Summer: Love Joanna Philbin and can't wait to see what happens next
#Scandal: In the social media age - one moment can ruin everything

Suddenly Last Summer: Loved the first book in the series - dying to read more about this family
Tea Shop of Lavender Lane: Life in Icicle Falls is always a great read - book 5 in this series with small town charm.

Beekeeper's Ball: Sequel to the Apple Orchard - can't wait to see what happens next.
Cinderella's Dress: Kate's family protects the real Cinderella's dresses - but trouble appears in the family and in the world.

Engaged in Murder: First in a new series about a woman starting a new business - creating the perfect proposal. 
Diva Wraps it Up: Love this series - looks like a Christmas cozy mystery

Top Secret 21: Still loving this series
Body in the Woods: 3 teens find a dead body in the woods - first in a new mystery series

Thicker than Water: Can't wait to see what happens to Max in the second book.
Manhunt: 3rd book in the Silver Jaguar Society - this time it's about an art heist!

Lost Mission: Loved the first book and can't wait to see what happens next to Boy Nobody.
Murder Complex: Described as action packed, blood soaked thriller = I'm so there!

My Faire Lady: Finding love while working at a Renaissance Fair