Monday, June 30, 2014

Upcoming Book Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Annie's boyfriend died while in the middle of training for a marathon. They had broken up, but the night he died they hung out. Annie's consumed with guilt. She decides to train for the marathon - running in his honor.

Annie realizes she needs help and hires a trainer. Matt has all sorts of helpful hints besides a running plan. But he can't get rid of the guilt or her stomach problems.

Matt's brother Jeremiah sometimes runs with them. He's easy to talk to and funny. Right away, he's off limits because Matt's forbidden him to have a relationship with any client, but that doesn't mean they can't be friends. He makes Annie feel - something she hasn't been able to do since Kyle's death.
My Thoughts: I loved this book even though I hate running with every fiber of my being. I used to attempt Cross Country in high school and it was horrible. I liked learning more about training for a marathon - that takes guts. Even the rest day workouts were crazy. I admired Annie for training, for pushing herself, for finishing Kyle's wish. I felt horrible for her because she had to deal with the death of a loved one at such a young age. I liked the slow unwind of her and Kyle's story. I really really liked Jeremiah. I might like to try out one or two of his adventures.  I liked her other running friends and the support they gave each other. Support was a big theme in this book - support from friends, from family, from up close, or from a distance. A fantastic book set in Hundred Oaks (the 5th one) with a powerful look at grief and healing, friendship and romance, family support and moving on. 

Cover Thoughts: Love it
Source: BEA Arc (signed)
Fun Fact: I have a quote on the back of the book from my VOYA review!
Release Date: July 15th

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review: Blossom Street Brides

Blossom Street Series #11 *
Springtime makes everyone happier - usually. Lauren's realized her boyfriend might not be the one. After she ends things, she finds herself in a whirlwind relationship with a man who's the complete opposite of her. Could it be more than just a rebound relationship?

Bethanne's newly married much to her daughter's dismay. She and Max don't live together because of their job situation and it's starting to take a toll on their marriage. Her ex-husband making comments about wanting her back isn't helping.

Lydia loves her yarn store and so does the angle leaving baskets of yarn all over town for people to keep their hands busy while they're waiting. It's easy to pick up a projects and then leave it soon afterwards. So only wished she knew who was helping her out so much.
My Thoughts: I love this series - it's like catching up with old friends. I love going into the yarn shop and other places in town. I felt terrible for Bethanne and her situation - not just her marriage having troubles, but her daughter acting like a brat. I loved Rooster and Lauren starting a relationship - even though they're both so different. I loved seeing more of Lydia and her family, even if they were going through a hard time. I love the romances, the friendships, the family, and the town of this series.

Cover Thoughts: Meh. Not a huge fan
Source: My Library

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: The Director

Graham Weber might just be what the CIA needs. As a new director, not from within the agency, he could shake things up or he could help sink the agency even further.

The former director's under investigation and Weber's happy to provide the company with fresh blood. Less than a week into the job, a young man enters an overseas office claiming there's a mole in the agency and no communication's safe.

Before they can send some one to extradite him, he turns up dead. Now Weber's not sure who to trust. Can he trust the hacker who's been turning heads and introduced him to the CIA? Weber doesn't have much of a choice. He has to do something - and Fast.
My Thoughts: A fun adult spy thriller that reminded me of 24 (the computer jargon made me think of Chloe O'Brien - I didn't understand it all, but I got the gist of it). Double crosses, betrayals, secrets, and deceptions made this book fascinating. I liked learning more about the CIA and how it works. I like Weber - who flounders a bit, but tries to help the agency in the best possible way. I like how he goes about his business - not quite in the shadows, but not in the light. I liked learning about the hacker culture and how they operate. 

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: Sent for review

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cover Splash: Unleashed

Are you ready? Here we go....

UNLEASHED mini-teaser:

I thought being labeled a killer and losing everything—my future, family, boyfriend, friends—was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. It’s not. Finding out they were right. Finding out that’s exactly what I am?

That’s worse.

UNLEASHED Book Summary:

What if the worst thing you ever did was unforgivable?

Davy’s world fell apart after she tested positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. She was expelled from her school, dumped by her boyfriend, abandoned by friends, and shipped off to a camp that turns HTS carriers into soldiers. Davy may have escaped, but the damage has already been done. The unthinkable has happened. Now, even worse than having everyone else see her as a monster is the knowledge that they may have been right about her all along. Because Davy has killed.

On the run from government agents, Davy is rescued by Caden, the charismatic leader of an underground group of rebels. Despite Caden’s assurances that the Resistance is made up of carriers like her, Davy isn’t sure she can trust them. Then again, she doesn’t even know if she can trust herself . . . or her growing feelings for Caden. But if she doesn’t belong with Caden and his followers, is there anywhere she can call home?


Doesn't it look great?

Summer Time Book Review: Since Last Summer

Books perfect for the beach or to read by the pool

Rory's now the guest for the summer at the Rule house, instead of being the errand girl. She and Isabel are hoping to have the best summer ever.

Rory has an art internship, which leave Isabel alone. The days stretch endlessly before Isabel. She's annoyed with Rory for spending her free time with Connor instead of with her.  She when she meets a boy, who works at a cafe in need of another waitress, she takes the job. She still thinks about Mike from last summer, but Evan could change that.

Rory's having trouble with Connor. They give off the appearance of a happy couple, but the relationship's full of hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

Can Rory and Isabel save their summer?
My Thoughts: I really liked this sequel - set one year later. I loved the feel of summer from the book - the moments on the beach with the waves crashing, the hot sun, and then freedom. I liked seeing both Rory and Isabel working and how their jobs differed.  I liked the summer romances, but more importantly, I loved the friendship between the two girls.

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nonfiction Review: Brunette Ambition

A memoir that includes Lea Michele's rise to fame from her break on Broadway to her time out for high school to landing her role on the hit show Glee.
My Thoughts: I was really impressed by this book. It wasn't about Hollywood or gossip or how great fame can be. Instead it was about work ethic and striving to be your best, no matter what the task. It was about meeting your role models and become a role model. It was about the balance of work and play - of keeping yourself grounded and comfortable. It was about taking responsibility for your actions. It was about taking care of your body - both mentally and physically. 

The book includes plenty of tips from clothing and make-up to eating right and exercises. Photographs and recipes accompany the book - breaking up the text and making it a quick, fun, and informative read.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Sent for Review

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Reading: Program Testing

In summer, I try to host two or three programs a week during July. I host a few in June and a few in August, but July is the main month. For the most part, I do all of my own programming. The budget isn't great for outside presenters and I got burned by one really early in my career.

Often I find program ideas on Pinterest (yes, I'm addicted). I'm a crafty person, I can make or figure out how to make crafts. I'm not the best crafty person, but I'm pretty good. I do a lot of programs that support my talents, but I'm not opposed to trying something new.

Crafts don't always work out - which is why this book is coming soon about Pinterest Fails:

Still, I don't mind terribly. Most of the time, the craft is something I know how to do pretty well. But there are times when the craft is new. Sometimes (but not often), I try out the craft before the program. Most of the time I don't because either there aren't enough materials or there isn't enough time or I'm pretty sure everything will turn out just fine. And most of the time it does.


There is that one time when it doesn't.
I just tried out a craft this week for later in the summer - because it looked really fun. And I'm glad I did because it kind of worked. 

The tattoo didn't really last and you couldn't create the nerdy Harry Potter Tattoo that I really wanted.  

The heart worked much better.

The good news is there's still time to play around with the formula and figure it out. This is supposed to be henna like tattoo, but I'm going to try and make a more blue ink tattoo that hopefully will be darker and last a big longer.

Now I'm a little nervous about this one:

Which will be later in the summer, but I think I'm going to wing it. I kind of like it when teens realize that not everything's perfect and not everything comes out the way you want it to. Even when the crafts aren't what they should be, everyone has fun and we try to figure out what could make it better. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't. I don't think it's a bad experience. It's just life.

If you're a librarian, do you always test out a program beforehand?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Trends

This week's topic is Cover Trends. Here's what I left BEA thinking about covers. This isn't a new trend, but it's coming back again (kinda like fashion that way I guess)

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3)AfterworldsThe Vault of Dreamers
Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)No Dawn Without Darkness (No Safety in Numbers, #3)Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1)I Am the Mission (The Unknown Assassin, #2)
The Glass Sentence (The Mapmakers Trilogy, #1)The Faerie Queen (The Faerie Ring, #4)

The circle that draws your eye into the cover isn't new, but here are 10 upcoming books with the same idea.
Do you like it? Hate it? 

Tween Tuesday Review: Hero's Guide to Saving the Kingdom

Prince Charming isn't just one person - actually there are five Princes, all given the nickname of Charming and none of them is happy about it or with their part in the fairy tale stories.  Each of them leave their kingdom and set out to seek an adventure and improve their name. They stumble upon each other and begin to become friendly when they uncover an evil plot.

Determined to change their fate, they team up and used their strengths to save the kingdom.
My Thoughts: I was recommended this series by a girl who doesn't love reading, but adores these books. And she was right. They're funny and fresh with quirky characters who steal your heart. I love the mixed up fairy tales and uncover the "truth" behind what really happened. I love the action, the danger, the quick wits, and the humor. I really loved the feisty heroines. The illustrations are great, helping to add detail to this charmingly entertaining read and a fun start to a series.

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Now and Forever

Sterling and Ethan are in love. When they talk about their future, it's mostly about Ethan's future. He writes the songs his band performs and he has a small record deal.

One day, they hear his song on the radio. After that everything gets crazy. His YouTube videos views jump into the millions. Fans want to meet him. Ethan has a new manager who immediately puts together a tour.

His fame only grows. Suddenly Ethan and Sterling barely have any time together - and time alone it almost impossible. There's always something Ethan should be doing. What would you do if your boyfriend became a mega rock star?
My Thoughts: I really love Susane Colasanti's books and I loved the premise of this book; it reminded me a little of Audrey, Wait. I liked seeing how Ethan rose to fame. I liked seeing how fame changed both Ethan and Sterling - the perks, the freebies, the drama, the new people, and their stolen moments together. I really liked the ending. A fantastic summer book for anyone who has wanted to date someone famous or dreamed about being famous themselves.

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: My Library

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday Spin-off: Adult Summer Reads

This week's topic was books we hope to read over the summer. There's no way I could limit it to just 10 books, but here are some adult ones that I want to read and soon! Aren't the covers great?
Reluctantly Royal (Suddenly, #3)It's in His Kiss (Lucky Harbor, #10)Well Read, Then DeadLove and Let Spy (Lord and Lady Spy, #3)
The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, #11)Murder in the Mystery Suite (Book Resort Mysteries #1)Jane Austen's First LoveQueen of Hearts (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #8)
The Sweet Spot: A NovelLove Letters: A Rose Harbor NovelSwan PointGrace Against the Clock
Find My Way Home (Harmony Homecomings, #1)Suddenly Last Summer (O'Neil Brothers, #2)The House on Mermaid PointFor the Longest Time (Harvest Cove, #1)
The Secret Diary of Lizzie BennetMuffin But MurderIn the Mood for Love (Cupcake Lovers, #4)The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane (Life in Icicle Falls, #5)
The Beekeeper's Ball (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2)Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum, #21)Tempest in a TeapotThat Summer
The Diva Wraps It Up (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #8)Engaged in Murder (Perfect Proposals #1)Scared Scriptless: A NovelThe Art of Arranging Flowers
On a Clear Day: Starlight\Promise Me ForeverTake My Breath Away (Cabin Fever, #1)The HeiressesHouse on Blackberry Hill (Jewell Cove, #1)

Which ones do you want to read?