Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking for Alaska (John Green)

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Length: Audio book: 7hrs
Rating: 3.5/5

Miles Halter is mostly friendless and obsessed with famous last words. He’s more than ready to leave his safe life at home for boarding school at Culver Creek and experience what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” At Culver Creek he meets his roommate Chip “The Colonel” Martin, and sexy, unstable Alaska Young. These two, their friends, and the adventures they seek will change Miles’s life forever.

Maybe if I had gone to boarding school, my high school years wouldn’t have been so comparatively tame. This book includes drinking, alcohol, and sexually explicit situations. Naturally, it’s both a banned book and a cult favorite. It also contains a deep and reflective look at world religions and values. Not to mention an intense look at the value of life.

It’s safe to say that John Green is a king/giant/awesome dude in YA literature. This is his debut novel from 2005, and while I didn’t love it, I can completely understand why it was so well received. Maybe it’s just that I didn’t particularly like Alaska, while our main character Miles adored her. I did however enjoy its frank portrayal of the transition from youth to young adulthood, and importance of finding yourself within that transition. Plus, it’s quite hilarious at many moments and deeply thoughtful at others (which I suppose captures my teen years quite nicely). 

Oh Google, not that Alaska!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

100th Post GIVEAWAY!!!

Can you believe it? Not quite a year and half in, and (YA)Y! has reached its 100th post!! This of course doesn't include those sister posts over at J! books where I review lots of wonderful middle grade books. What's that? Haven't checked it out? Now sounds like a pretty great time.

Ohhh, you're here for the GIVEAWAY! Well, you've come to the right spot. To celebrate 100 posts of YA awesomeness, I'm giving away 3 books*! Here are the options:

In eighteenth century Vienna, Austria, fifteen-year-old Theresa seeks a way to help her mother and brother financially while investigating the murder of her father, a renowned violinist of Haydn's orchestra at the court of Prince Esterhazy, whose body was found near a gypsy camp.

Born into a family of witches, seventeen-year-old Tamsin was raised believing that she alone lacked a magical "Talent," but when her beautiful and powerful sister is taken by an age-old rival of the family in an attempt to change the balance of power, Tamsin discovers her true identity. 

Three girls, known as the Stones of Prophecy, are drawn to a land called Fairytale, where they and a man called the Chosen One seek Oonagh, a magical creature who explains their role in a battle between Good and Evil.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest runs until the end of the year, so follow the blog, tell your friends, and three lucky people will WIN A FREE BOOK!

*Normally, I would review these books for you, But sadly, I have not read these wonderfully-looking books yet. They were chosen by me and donated from the Linwood Community Library's collection, for a contest such as this!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Every Day (David Levithan)

Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Length: 322 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

Imagine waking up each day in a new body, getting to experience new things, but never having a chance at a future with the people you meet. This is A’s life, and to survive such a strange existence A has made certain guidelines: don’t get too attached, don’t interfere, and don’t get noticed. When A wakes up in Justin’s body and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon, everything changes. As A falls in love with Rhiannon and begins changing all the rules to spend more time with her, A comes dangerously close to exposing A’s secret existence.

This book’s premise is brilliant and completely unique. It will make you question what it means to be human, mind and body separate but all in one. What is the importance of the vessel that carries your personality? What if you could experience living in every type of body, if boy or girl, fat or skinny, that person for the day was you? I know I took a good look at my own automatic judgment of people based on their looks. This book challenged me to think about gender differently too. It was extremely difficult to write the book summary without using gendered pronoun (and I admit it’s still awkward!). But all of this led to the expanded importance of the first person narrator being and knowing exactly who they are, despite changing all the time..

This book also brings up the question of what it means to truly love someone every day. I felt for Rhiannon as much as I did for A, because they both have such tough decisions to make.

Every Day is YA fiction on the next level; and I love the way it challenges and stretches the norm. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books (Penguin)
Length: 313 pages
Rating: 5/5

Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year old terminal cancer patient. She spends a lot of time reading her favorite novel, An Imperial Affliction, and thinking about death. Her mom, worried that she’s depressed, sends her to a cancer support group. There, Hazel meets Augustus Waters who is in remission from the cancer that took his leg. And while Hazel and Augustus know better than anyone that their lives will end in oblivion, they decide to live while they can.

This novel began with an authorial insistence that a story in and of itself can make an impact. And then it proceeds to prove that statement to be completely true. I laughed, I cried (several times), I loved, I felt closer to life, and I just kept reading. As you know, I’m obsessed with books that make me feel something beyond myself. And this book performed wonderfully.

I’ll admit I was hesitant to read this book at first because it practically screams depressing. And sure, Hazel and Augustus could be terribly depressing and boring. While they do tend to wax a bit existential, when faced with death, instead of being a drag, they’re quirky, deep, and wonderful. They’ll make you reconsider your own perspective on life and death and want to go hug everyone you love.

The love story between Hazel and Augustus can’t be described as anything but epic. Life is a little more precious when death is your third wheel on every date.

While John Green is quintessential YA, I loved that this book didn’t fit the YA mold in one major way: Parents tend to be non-existent or ineffective in most YA. In The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel’s two best friends are her parents, and she worries more about what will happen to them after she dies, than she fears actually dying. Augustus’s parents are also very present in the novel.

This is a book you won’t want to miss. If you’re still on the fence, listen to John Green read the first chapter here: 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Hat Full of Sky (Terry Pratchett)

This review is dedicated to the Linwood Community Library where I've been the YA Intern the past four months. Thanks to my boss Dave for recommending this book!

Title: A Hat Full of Sky
Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Harper Tempest (HarperCollins)
Length: 407 pages
Rating: 4/5

Tiffany Aching is a witch-in-training, away from home for the first time to learn about magic and witchly responsibility. But a sinister disembodied monster is after Tiffany, and it will take all her training, her bravery, and a little help from her friends the Wee Free Men (six-inch high troublemakers) and Mistress Weatherwax (the greatest witch in the world) to defeat it.

This book is the sequel to The Wee Free Men, in which Tiffany first befriends the small fairies and discovers she is a witch. Here, poor Tiffany is just learning to be a witch when she is attacked by one of the greatest threats in the world. Luckily, she has some amazing friends to help her out. The Wee Free Men were delightfully hilarious to read about, and all the other witches are quite peculiar and interesting (and often absurd).

I loved that this book made impossibilities happen and challenged my mind as I read. It takes place in a fantasy world where real rules don't apply and everything is turned on its head. Anything is possible, and the more absurd, the more likely it is to happen! But at the same time, everything is quite serious, because Tiffany's life is at stake, and in the end, only she can save it.

A very funny read that will make you wish the sky was your hat too!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Princess Academy (Shannon Hale)

Title: Princess Academy
Author: Shannon Hale
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Length: 314 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

 Miri and all the other eligible girls in her village must attend a Princess Academy to become worthy of being chosen by the prince because the priests have declared that the next princess will come from their small mountain village. While at the academy, 14 year old Miri discovers much about herself and the world, all while competing with the other girls to be chosen. At the same time, Miri must decide if becoming a princess is worth giving up her beloved village and the people there.

This book was wonderful and a very quick read because I didn't want to put it down. Miri and the other girls have all sorts of adventures while at the Academy, learning about themselves, each other, their world, and how to stand up for themselves. All the characters had such depth and growth throughout the novel that by the end, the reader doesn't know who to root for the prince to pick!

This Newbery Honor book is more than just your average princess story and is definitely worth a read. I haven't read the new sequel, Palace of Stone, yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Embrace (Jessica Shirvington)

Title: Embrace
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Length: 369 pages
Rating: 4/5

Weird things start to happen on Violet Eden’s 17th birthday. Not only does she find out she’s half-human, but the guy she’s been crushing on knew about it and didn’t tell her. He’s half-human too, and together, they’re destined to fight angel exiles on earth. But Violet doesn’t trust him anymore, and turns to the support of Phoenix, who just happens to be an angel exile. Choice and destiny don’t seem to be getting along for Violet who is learning that life and the higher powers definitely don’t exist in black and white.

Violet Eden not only has the coolest name, but she’s pretty awesomely hardcore herself. Yeah, she’s got the attention of two hot guys, but she doesn’t become passive or whiney because of it. Instead, she’s all about choosing her own destiny, even though she doesn’t actually have a whole lot of choice in the matter. But she tries as hard as she can to control her own fate and has a lot of respectable inner strength to match her outer strength.

Speaking of those two hot guys though- talk about some great romantic tension. I couldn’t put this book down. Lincoln and Violet are made for one another, but angel rules dictate they can’t be together. And he’s broken Violet’s trust and she has a hard time getting past that. Phoenix has a major thing for Violet, because she’s a new, special kind of fighter, and he’s intrigued. All in all, the makings of a great love triangle.

Some of the angel hierarchy explanations still left me a little muddled, but hopefully it’ll clear itself up in the next book. Which I’m very much looking forward to reading. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau)

Title: City of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Publisher: Random House
Length: Audiobook, 6hrs 52min
Rating: 3/5

At age twelve, children in the City of Ember are given a job to contribute to the welfare of the city. Lina wants to be a messenger so she can travel to every part of the city. Doon wants a job underground, because that’s where the generator is, and he’s determined to find a way to fix it. In Ember, the darkness is only kept at bay by the generator, and lately, there have been many blackouts. Coupled with the dwindling lack of supplies, and Doon is sure the city is close to shutting down forever. When Lina finds a document that suggests there might be a way out of Ember, she teams up with Doon to find out if there is a way to escape the darkness and if so, if anything exists beyond the city of Ember.

Why is Ember the way it is? Lina and Doon know nothing but their city, where the only power is from a water-powered generator that produces electricity, but only to power lights plugged into the wall. There are no portable lights, and when the power goes out, all one can see is absolute darkness.

Doon and Lina are only twelve, but they take on the responsibility of saving the city when the adults can’t. While they grow a lot in this process, they also learn that they can’t do everything themselves, and that pride can be not only their downfall, but the downfall of the city as well. Will they figure out the puzzle and save their city?

I should include the disclaimer that I tend to like books I listen to on audiobook a little less than those I read because I’m impatient to find out what happens. That being said, I did enjoy the voices of the narrator, even though the slow pace and incredibly detailed descriptions frustrated me. This book centers around a word puzzle that Lina finds, and it’s hard as a reader to help Lina figure out the puzzle without being able to see it. But afterall, I suppose it is Lina and Doon’s puzzle to figure out, not mine, and the mystery was the best part of the book.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bitterblue (Kristin Cashore)

Title: Bitterblue
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)
Length: 563 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

In this sequel to Gracelingand companion to Fire, Bitterblue now sits on the throne of Monsea. Only 18 years old, Bitterblue must awake her kingdom from the 35 year spell of her father Leck, a violent psychopath who had the power of mind control. Tired of the futility of it all, one night Bitterblue sneaks out into the city alone, discovering the real problems her city faces, as well as the lies her advisers have been telling her. Can Bitterblue wade through the lies and find a way to save her kingdom, still under the spell of a madman 10 years after his death?

This book was intense. In my review of Fire, I suggested that my hate for Leck couldn’t grow any bigger. Well guys, it got bigger. Way bigger. I also began to pity Leck a bit, because we finally see some of the motives for his madness. But mostly I hated him.

 Bitterblue was definitely more violent and less romantic than its counterparts, but it also presented a bigger mystery. I connected with Bitterblue as she tried to wade through all the lies and not just discover who she was outside of being queen, but also discover what her father did, and despite his huge, awful destruction, how she can possibly make it any better.

One of the best parts of this book was the resurfacing of Katsa, Po, Fire and more. It was very interesting to see them from Bitterblue’s point of view, and to see that there is no “happily ever after” but more a “constantly working for peace and still loving each other” kind of ending. I can only hope there will be more books located in these worlds!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fire (Kristin Cashore)

Title: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)
Length: 461 pages
Rating: 5/5

Fire is the last human monster in the Dells, a land mired in a violence, largely caused by the destructive power of Fire’s father, another, more vicious, human monster. Thought hated, adored and hunted, Fire is recruited by King Nash to use her powers of mind control to help save the kingdom.

This companion to the wonderful Graceling was everything I had hoped for and more. I’ve definitely found a new favorite author in Kristin Cashore. I did not want to put this book down! It was quite refreshing to read a book that wasn’t a sequel, instead, this book only had one recurring character from Graceling, a boy who becomes twice the villain he is in Graceling. I’m not sure I’ve ever hated a villain this much (maybe Voldemort…). Even though the Dells are next door to the seven kingdoms, it was a whole new world and culture, and I loved it just as much. Definitely read this book after you read Graceling, it will mean so much more.

There were some similarities between the two books. What should a person do with their power and influence? What if that power comes from violating others by reading their thoughts? Both heroines must embrace their power, and in Fire’s case, her beauty. Fire must come to accept her power and her beauty, and embrace it if she is to save the kingdom.

There was a lot more war strategy in this book than its companion, which I sometimes found a little hard to wrap my head around, but all together this book was haunting, beautiful, and surprising. Go read it!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Graceling (Kristin Cashore)

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Harcourt
Length: 471 pages
Rating: 5/5

Katsa lives in a world where some people are born with a skill called a Grace. While Graces are often feared, Katsa’s Grace of killing is especially feared and loathed. Katsa struggles with her horrifying Grace and what she must do with it under the command of her uncle, King Randa. Then Katsa meets Prince Po, Graced with the skill of fighting, and unexpectedly teams up with him to save all seven kingdoms in their land from a corrupt king and a dark secret.

This book is an easy contender for Best YA Book of 2012 for me (even though it came out in 2008). It has everything I loved about fantasy books as a kid and everything I love about YA now (think Tamora Pierce for older readers). Katsa is an amazing heroine with intense fighting skills and a good heart that rebels against her own power given through her Grace of killing. Po is an equally brilliant hero because he is the perfect seemingly-incompatible compliment to Katsa’s headstrong ways. While a romance does develop, Katsa doesn’t let it soften her, instead it improves her and she never gives up her own convictions against marriage.

An absolutely brilliant debut by author Kristin Cashore, I can’t wait for more from her! Luckily, because I’m late to this boat, there is a prequel, Fire, and a companion, Bitterblue, for me to read.

You can see the book trailer here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Keeping the Castle (Patrice Kindl)

Title: Keeping the Castle
Author: Patrice Kindl
Publisher: Viking (Penguin)
Length: 261 pages
Rating: 3/5

Althea is only seventeen, but she needs to marry well to keep up the decrepit castle built by her great-grandfather, and to support her widowed mother, young brother, and two step-sisters. Luckily, Lord Boring and his annoying cousin and business manager Mr. Fredericks come to Althea’s town of Lesser Hoo and make things interesting.

The flap copy promised this book would be “I Capture the Castle meets Pride and Prejudice” (both wonderful books). While I saw traces of these books in Keeping the Castle, mostly it was Emma, Cinderella, and more Emma (that’s Clueless for my readers who grew up in the 90s). While Althea is scheming to find herself a rich husband, there’s a lot going on around her that she doesn’t notice, and the schemer gets schemed, but with a happy ending of course!

My biggest complaint is that Althea is so concerned with keeping the castle for the sake of her younger brother, who rarely appears in the novel. He’s constantly overshadowed by a cute puppy, leaving Althea’s motives a bit in question.

Ms. Kindl is no Jane Austen, but her writing is fun and light, and she mixes in modern ideas for her old-time characters to consider for the benefit of her contemporary readers. As Mr. Darcy would say, it’s tolerable. No, that’s too harsh. I did enjoy reading this book, it was easy to pick up and put down and read while I had time. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Changeling (Philippa Gregory)

Title: Changeling
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Length: 256 pages
Rating: 2/5

Seventeen year old Luca is recruited by the Order of Darkness to record the end of times in fifteenth century Europe. His mission brings him to the monastery of seventeen year old Isolde, who is trapped there so she can’t inherit her fortune and accused of witchcraft as her fellow nuns seem driven to madness. Luca must determine the truth behind these rumors, and in doing so, embarks on quite the journey against evil.

The worst part is that I really expected to like this book. It’s historical fiction from Philippa Gregory who my “adult reading” friends swear by. And while I kept reading to see Luca triumph over misguided medieval nuns and villagers, there was very little else to keep my interest.

The narrative was all over the place as it switched viewpoints, and I never really discovered who the main character was, or what the title had to do with anything. The book wanted to cover too many things at once: Christian superstition, forbidden romance, the place of foreigners and underlings to name a few. And Philippa kept dumbing things down for me that didn’t need to be dumbed down and not explaining things that needed to be explains. Perhaps my problem, in the end, is that I’m a History and English major with pretty high expectations when it comes to my historical fiction. And sadly, this didn’t live up to them. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Host (Stephanie Meyer)

Title: The Host
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Length: 864 pages
Rating: 4/5

Aliens have taken over earth. A parasitic race called “Souls” now inhabit almost all human bodies. The rebel Mel is captured, and Wanderer, an experienced soul, is inserted into her body. But instead of erasing Mel’s consciousness to find out where the remaining rebels are hiding, Wanderer finds herself sharing a body with its original inhabitant. Mel refuses to fade away, and bombards Wanderer with memories until she becomes emotionally attached to the people Mel once knew. Instead of leading the Seekers to the rebel hideout, Wanderer and Mel become allies to find Mel’s brother and boyfriend.

It’s a really weird premise. Two girls in one body? That’s a lot of emotion. Throw in a couple guys and it gets messy (weirdest love triangle yet, Stephanie!). Plus it’s a really long book, but maybe that’s because it takes so long to get past the confusing concept at first.

But there are some great themes running throughout: motherhood, altruism, hope for humanity, and the strength of a change of heart. Deep stuff.

And because it’s the author of Twilight, of course there’s going to be a movie (March 2013). There’s also the rumor of sequels, but that seems unnecessary.

Is this even YA? Who knows. Let’s just say, if you liked Twlight, you’ll probably like this one too, and leave it at that. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dairy Queen (Catherine Gilbert Murdock)

Title: Dairy Queen
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Publisher: Houghtong Mifflin Harcourt
Length: 274 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

Fifteen-year-old D.J. spends most of her time running the family milk farm. When Brian Nelson, quarterback for her school's rival football is sent by his coach to improve his work ethic at her farm, she ends up spending a good part of her summer training him. When school starts, D.J. decides to try out for the football team, which makes her life, already complicated by a family that doesn’t communicate and a best friend who has been acting strange, even more complicated.

Cows and football are two of my favorite things, so of course I loved this book.

D.J.’s voice is honest, fresh, and hilarious, and you can’t do anything but root for her when she decides to do what makes her happy instead of being just another cow in the pasture. Plus she’s going through a lot of issues that most people can relate with: falling for a guy who is not only out of your league, but also your arch-rival; brothers who are bad a communicating; high family expectations; and changing friendships to name a few.

And in true YA-style, D.J. doesn’t just learn to be a great runningback/line(wo)man, but through the course of the novel, finds her own voice, and learns to stand up for herself. 

Written to be a stand-alone book, Dairy Queen is now the first in a trilogy. The series is completed by Off Season and Front and Center.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Such a Rush (Jennifer Echols)

Title: Such a Rush
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Length: 325 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

Leah has lived in trailer parks near airports all her life, taking care of her irresponsible mother. When they move to yet another trailer park in Heaven Beach, South Carolina, Leah gets a job at the local airstrip and finally finds a way to escape. She saves up enough money to buy a flight lesson from Hall Aviation, and the rush of her first trip up changes her life. By her senior year, she’s been offered a job flying advertising banner planes for Mr. Hall. But when he dies suddenly, Leah’s future as a pilot is put into the hands of his teenage twin sons who have inherited the company. Adrenaline junkie Grayson not only blackmails Leah into continuing to work for a seemly-doomed company, but he also has her pretend to date his brother. Leah may resent people calling her trash, but she can’t deny that her life has gotten rather messy.

You guys all know my love for Jennifer Echols by this point. And honestly, my biggest critique about this book is that I’ve read it and now have to wait a while for the next Echols book to come out. I’m not sure I can handle that kind of wait again! Alright, enough with the melodramatics; let me tell you why I loved this book.

Leah is a disaster. The story starts when she’s 14, already adult enough to take care of all the finances and decide that she doesn’t want to turn out like her mother. Leah needs to figure herself out, and this story is in a lot of ways about how she saves herself. The novel starts a little slow, explaining all this, but it’s necessary to get a good feel for Leah before the boys show up in their delicious story-dominating ways.

Oh the boys, swoony as always. And twins, my favorite kind! Both Grayson and Alec have hidden motives in their return to run Hall Aviation. While Leah has seen them from afar the last three years, they’ve never really interacted. But now that their dad is gone, the boys are forced to be the adults, just like Leah. So they’re figuring out their lives as well. Of course it gets complicated, and of course Echols knows how to write wonderful romance.

The book itself is quite a rush. Leah wants to be a pilot; it’s her escape and her chance to get that adrenaline rush. I learned a lot about flying and planes, and loved the way they worked metaphorically throughout the story.

The only thing I would change about this book? The girl on the cover’s hair is straight, whereas Leah’s is decidedly curly. But I’ll excuse this slight change because I love that on the back of the book, book bloggers, just like me, are quoted for reviews. It’s clear I should use words like “captivating” and “mesmerizing” more often in my review. This I will work on!

Check out this fun interview with Jennifer Echols!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chobosky)

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: MTV Book
Length: 213 pages
Rating: 5/5

“Dear friend” the book begins, as Charlie writes down his fears and feelings about starting freshman year of high school. These letters take us all the way through Charlie’s year as he embraces his wallflower status but also learns how to participate in life, with new friends, first dates, and family drama.

This is one of those “how has this book not been in my life before this moment??” kind of books that so perfectly sums up the feelings of growing up. It’s epic and thoughtful and nostalgic and touching and oh so wonderful. Originally published in 1999 (with its events taking place in 1991 and 1992), its references to mixed tapes and home phones don’t seem outdated, but instead add to the nostalgic feeling from your childhood that you’re (as Charlie puts it) INFINITE as a teen. It’s just you, your friends, and endless possibilities.

This book is perfect for anyone who has felt alone, only to find friends that make them feel alive. Unlike most the YA of our day that focuses on personal self-discovery, Charlie’s self-discovery is communal. Yes, he finds himself, but only though the encouragement of his friends, family, and a very special English teacher. It’s easy to connect to Charlie as a character because he is so open and honest about his emotions through his letters.

I really can’t gush about this book enough, but I must stop and warn you that there are definite PG-13 moments, including drugs, sex, and alcohol. But accepting those things with maturity is part of growing up.

Now I’m terribly excited for the movie (directed by the author himself). It comes out in selected cities TODAY!! Here is the trailer:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meeting the Merry Sisters of Fate

The Merry Sisters of Fate: Maggie Stiefvayer, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff. YA authors, critique partners, and now co-authors of the new book, The Curiosities.

I was lucky enough to meet these three lovely ladies at an event hosted by the Lawrence Public Library on August 25th. Here's what I learned:

Maggie, searching for critique partners (authors who will read your work and provide helpful suggestions before your editor does), turned to the internet, and after a little critique partner dating, found Tessa and Brenna. After a short time, she introduced them to each other, saying, "you will be friends!" Soon, Maggie had an idea that they should each write a short story a week to improve their writing and have a chance to take new risks. And the Merry Sisters of Fate website was born. Tessa calls them "speculative fiction writers" and their website describes itself as "the dark, the weird, and the strangely beautiful." In The Curiosities, they hope to show their variety and growth from their experiments on the Merry Sisters website. It's an especially fun book because it doesn't just contain stories, it also includes comments on their own work, hand-written in through magical computer software.

Through the event, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna contrasted their very different writing styles, but agreed on some helpful writing tips. Maggie described books as mixed tapes; they have individually important aspects, but must be cohesive. Tessa suggested that to write a character, you must know one true thing about them. Once you've found the one core value that makes them real, you work from there. All agreed that knowing too much about a character is unhelpful. Brenna helpfully reminded us that something you get your ideas from the most bizarre things. Their advice for writing a good query letter to a publisher? "Just be sexy."

Here they are signing books:
(Maggie on the left, Brenna in the middle, and Tessa on the right)

Look for a review of the book, coming soon.

Friday, August 31, 2012

City of Lost Souls (Cassandra Clare)

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 534 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Book five of the Mortal Instruments series: Sebastian kidnaps Jace and threatens world destruction. Clary goes undercover, and Simon/Magnus/Isabelle/Alec provide back-up.

Jace is smoking on this cover.

In short: started like, eh? Ended with AHHH! And there were a few WTFs in the middle. Not the best yet, but definitely worth the read, because as readers, we ultimately need to know what happens!

I think my main problem was the time lapse between when this book came out, and when I had read the other books. I was confused for a large portion of the first half, trying to remember all of the characters and their convoluted relationships with each other. Not to mention piecing together where the Clockwork characters come in (I do NOT like what you’re implying Cassandra!). So fair warning, reread the other books in the series first.

And while it was also a little confusing how the narrative jumped time/space/place/narrator throughout the book without warning, I did like that this kept things interesting. Things certainly are heating up romance-wise with all these characters! One final thought: Cassandra, I love that in your novels, adults just seem to get in the way. Way to give your young characters some freedom- I love this about YA. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fallen (Lauren Kate)

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte
Length: 464 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Luce has been sent to Sword & Cross boarding school, a place for screw-ups, after an incident she can’t quite remember that left her last boyfriend dead. The one bright spot at her new school is the mysteriously handsome Daniel Grigori. But he’s avoiding Luce like it’s his job, while Cam, another mysterious boy, won’t leave her alone. Literally overshadowing Luce's attraction to these boys is the dark shadows that have always followed Luce around, and which seem to becoming more prominent.

Let's review this Pro/Con style:
Pro: Star-crossed lovers, and a dark, handsome boy who is both hot and cold.
Con: The dark, handsome Daniel seems to be hot and cold for no reason. What’s with the mood swings, buddy?

Pro: I liked Luce’s female friends at Sword & Cross. They were all pretty hardcore.
Con: Luce herself was waaaay too passive. (“These boys like me so I’m just gonna do whatever they say.” Terrible idea, Luce, terrible idea.)

Pro: Quick read with more books in the series to follow. Definitely worth a read to find out more about Daniel and Luce’s shared past.
Con: This book raised a lot of questions (presumably to be answered in the following books).

I can only hope Luce grows a backbone and Daniel is explained in the upcoming books, which yes, I will probably read. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

FFFT: Sexy Birthday Burn

Today is (YA)Y! books' first birthday!!

Here's a Hunger Games cake to celebrate my very first post:

(borrowed from the amazing Cake Wrecks website, sadly not eaten by me)

And because it's Friday, and Fridays are for sharing, I present Sexy Young Adult Books That Need to be Made into Movies ASAP. I've reviewed some of these on the blog- check out my reviews of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and City of Bones (apparently I like my sexy books to be filled with bones?)

And now for a Lauren Conrad MURDER and a Lemony Snicket BURN. Buzzfeed managed to salvage the evidence of the crime in this video and don't miss the best literary burn since Shakespeare (I'm not biased because I love Lemony Snicket like a below the video. 

And finally, my birthday present to you: a Ryan Gosling coloring book. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Midsummer’s Nightmare (Kody Keplinger)

Title: A Midsummer’s Nightmare
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Length: 304 pages
Rating: 4/5

Whitley is really excited for the summer spent with her divorced father before she starts college. But turns out her father had moved towns and gotten engaged to a woman with a perfect country club family. And the best part is that her future step-brother is the guy Whitley slept with on graduation night.

Kody Keplinger has yet to let me down. She’s created another great novel with a troubled girl narrator that you can’t help but love even though she’s a mess. This page-turner’s got family drama, partying, and romance. It’s like my life, minus all of the above…except maybe family drama- we’ve all got that.

But really, how could you not love a novel with that hilarious hook? It should be noted (in case it’s not obvious from the hook) that this book is PG-13 and geared toward an older audience. I don’t think younger me would have liked it quite as much. But both versions of me would have appreciated that Whitley has to learn to trust other people and herself before she goes off to college.

And finally, while the step-brother/step-sister relationship thing gave me slight reservations, I got over it in this movie, so we’re all good:

Friday, August 10, 2012

FFFT: World's Best Treehouse

I know what you're thinking, "Finally! Food For Thought Friday is back!"


This, according to the Daily Mail, is the treehouse J.K.Rowling is planning to build for her children in their backyard. Note the Hogwarts-like towers. Basically, heaven.

And some great lists for you:

NPR this week came out with a list of the Top 100 Teen Books. While I think the list might be slightly biased as to what happens to be popular right now, I also have to happily concede that it's a golden age for Young Adult literature, so no wonder those books are so popular. And then Flavorwire took the series on the list, and created What Your Favorite YA Series Says About You. Pretty funny stuff.

While the NPR list reminded me of some of the best books I've read and need to read recently, this list of the 19 All-American Coming of Age Books That Made Us Who We Are reminded me of my childhood (or teenhood perhaps). I remember some of these books are being rather depressing...yet all of them definitely taught me a lot.

And finally, here is Publisher's Weekly's rather lengthy list of all the Children's/YA books coming out in 2013. (What?! I still think it's 2011 half the time!) But actually, I'm really excited for a lot of these books.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The False Prince (Jennifer A. Nielsen)

Title: The False Prince
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic
Length: 342 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Four orphans are taken off the streets, but only one can be made into the long-lost prince to fool a country and stop a civil war. One of the orphans, Sage, knows the plan is treason, and wants no part of it. But the only other option is death.

I kept my book summery short this time around, because sometimes, you only want a teaser, not the whole plot! Plus, the actual flap copy (inside cover description) from the book made me angry because it gave everything away! If you want to enjoy this book, just start reading.

Fortunately, there was still some mystery within the book, but I thought the reader might have benefited from a different viewpoint. With Sage as our narrator, we’re a little biased toward which orphan should be chosen to be the prince. But Sage doesn’t want to be the prince, and the reader is left with a bit of a dilemma, especially since Sage’s motives are unclear. Why doesn’t he want to be the prince? Why is he always sneaking around but doesn’t run away? I suppose this is part of the mystery though.

While this book could easily stand alone, of course it’s part of a trilogy (what isn’t in YA these days?). I would be willing to give the next book a shot, but I probably won’t be reading any more flap copy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Masque of the Red Death (Bethany Griffin)

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
Length: 319 pages
Rating: 3/5

A plague has destroyed most of the world, including Araby’s twin brother. Resolved to never experience anything her brother can’t, Araby attends glittery parties with other wealthy survivors in the hopes of finding oblivion. She finds her vow hard to keep after friending Will, the handsome proprietor of the Debauchery Club, and Elliot, a wealthy aristocrat determined to start a revolution.

I really wanted to like this book and there were several moments that I loved it. But mostly, I loved the idea but didn’t love the follow-through. This book had so much potential because it contained most the things I look for in a good book: a strong female character who is willing to take risks, handsome men vying for the lead’s attention, beautiful costumes, mystery, revolution, and it’s based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Mask of the Red Death.”

But it was just so messy. Character’s personalities weren’t clear or changed through the book, the dialogue was unbelievable, and the amount of times the author conveniently brought characters together but didn’t make the most of it was terribly frustrating. There was not enough continuity and I couldn’t get into the story like I wanted to. And then the book ended without a conclusion, only more problems- a bit like the story as a whole.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pandemonium (Lauren Oliver)

Title: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 375 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

WARNING! Spoilers of the first book ahead.

In the sequel to Delirium, Lena’s world has changed completely. Now outside society, she is forced to figure out who she really is and what she must do to survive. What must she do to change society, and is it worth it?

I loved how this book was set up-alternating between the “now” and “then” timeframes. Since these books are all about self-discovery, this is a perfect way to show how a person can change, and how you must push away your past self to become a better future you. With the two parallel stories, one of which directly led to the next, it also provides twice the story and twice the depth. Plus it was twice as hard to put down, because I wanted to know what would happen in both timeframes, and how the first resulted in the second.

This wasn’t just part two of Delirium either. This book provided its own complete story, including romance and growth on Lena’s part. I might even like this one more than the first. Yes, the plot lines were still a bit predictable (foreshadowing was quite obvious) but overall, I loved it.

Curse the cliff-hanger ending, because I don’t want to wait for book three! Just read some great Goodreads comments, and it appears I’m not alone- GAH!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Abandon (Meg Cabot)

Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)
Length: 304 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Pierce’s life changes drastically after a near-death experience. She’s kicked out of her elite boarding school in Connecticut and moves to Florida. Even though her therapists say she’s crazy, Pierce can’t forget her trip to the Underworld, and John Hayden, the boy who didn’t want her to leave his realm of death, keeps popping up and causing trouble. Is John real, and does getting close to him mean having to return to the Underworld?

“The myth of Persephone…darkly reimagined.”

I adore Meg Cabot and the idea behind this book of retelling the myth. But the follow-through? Sort of left me like “YEAH…eh…what?” I’m feeling a little snarky today, so let me try to explain:

Things I liked:
The mystery aspect of this book. We’re plopped down in the now, but Pierce is struggling with all the “before” which is slowly revealed to the reader. This is what drove the plot- what in the world happened to this girl to make her so skittish? This, and Pierce figuring out John, our bad boy on a whole new level. I mean, he rules the Underworld and is punished my Furies. This equals hot (double entendre- get it?), and tugging on heart-strings. Meg always gets my vote on her relationship writing (hence the YEAH). These two things kept me reading,

Even though:
What happened in this book? The main part of the Persephone myth has already happened before the book begins. Pierce is just trying to figure it all out, and we’re along for the ride. This meant things were kind of all over the place. Also, Pierce is so confused (and thinks she might be crazy) so I didn’t know if I liked her or not. (Hence the eh…what?).

This is the first in a trilogy, but I’m not dying to read the rest. Maybe someday though- I won’t rule it out entirely. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Scorpio Races (Maggie Stiefvater)

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Length: 404 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

Every November, tourists pour into the small island of Thisby to watch the violent Scorpio Races, where it’s far more likely for a racing water horses to kill his rider than it is for him to win. Puck Connely has lived on Thisby her whole life, and it’s desperation that finally drives her to become the first girl to compete in the Scorpio races. Sean Kendrick is the four-time reigning champion of the Races, but this year, he’s also fueled by desperation. As they prepare for a race that could very well take their lives, Puck and Sean’s paths cross and change both their lives forever.

I enjoyed Maggie Stiefvater’s writing in Shiver, and had heard great things about this book. And while the book started off slowly, it definitely lived up to the hype. The writing was gorgeous and descriptive, giving life to the courageous Puck and the unmoving Sean, as well as to the island itself. almost as a third main character in the book. The water horses were a little harder to picture- half regular horse, half part of the ocean, but I liked that the murky way they were portrayed mirrored the way their spirits refused to be tampered down by humans on the island.

I’m beginning to wax a little too poetic in this review, but only because Stiefvater somehow manages to make a story about dangerous killing beasts so beautiful. I grew to love both Puck and Sean as characters and was incredibly sad to let them go at the end of the novel. I can’t give much higher praise than that! A definite must-read. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (MacMillan)
Length: 387 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

A plague threatens to destroy Earth while the Lunars threaten to destroy it through invasion. Cinder is only a cyborg mechanic, but when Prince Kai calls on her to fix his android, she gets sucked into the political mayhem. In this futuristic Cinderella story, Cinder becomes a reluctantly key player in saving the world.

Gorgeous cover.

I love modern fairy tales, and this one is done particularly well. Marissa Meyer creates a completely modern future society and brilliantly ties it into the classic Cinderella story for the perfect mix of reality and fantasy. And Prince Kai is one worthy of the storybooks.

Cinder is also a wonderful character. She’s an awesome mechanic, and not just because parts of her body have been replaced by metal due to a hover accident when she was a kid. Unfortunately, because of her cyborg status and uncaring step-mother, Cinder doesn’t have a lot of self-esteem. If only Prince Kai could sing this One Direction song to her! Or if someone could just tell her that in Young Adult fiction (and in life), what makes you different makes you special, and maybe Cinder will be able to save the world!

This book is definitely worth a read. And I’m thoroughly excited that the next book in the Lunar Chronicles will not only feature Cinder, but will introduce a new character, Little Red Riding Hood. I love this idea! 2013 is so far away though…

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Luxe (Anna Godbersen)

Title: The Luxe
Author: Anna Godbersen
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 433 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

There’s the perfect society girl, Elizabeth Holland, and her less compliant sister, Diana, who longs for adventure. Then there’s Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth’s best friend and best rival, and Lina Broud, Elizabeth’s maid who wishes to rise above her social class. Throw in the dashing Henry Schoonmaker who becomes entangled with nearly all the girls, and 1899 Manhattan just got even more scandalous. Everyone’s harboring secrets, secrets that will send Elizabeth into the East River by the end of the novel.

It’s Gossip Girl of the 19th century. You’ll enjoy this book if you love the scheming, sex, and society dealings that occur on Gossip Girl. If you don’t know what Gossip Girl is, but enjoy a good historical romance, chances are you will also find this book enjoyable.

However, while I enjoyed the book, I never felt connected enough to the characters or their relationships to care very much what happened to them. The book starts with the funeral of Elizabeth Holland and then backs up several months so that we discover how it came to be. However, this book is no tricky mystery novel, and while you may second-guess yourself a few times, the ending is no real shocker.

Despite my qualms, I did enjoy the history of the book. I particularly liked that each chapter started with a letter or note (a historical text message if you will). As someone who once wrote a 14 page paper about how letters function within Jane Austen novels, I thought this was both historically timely and a great way to move the plot.

In conclusion, an enjoyable, but light, read. There are more in the series (from the other girl's viewpoints), but I'm in no hurry to read them. Maybe for lounging by the pool later this summer?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grave Mercy (Robin LaFevers)

Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Length: 549 pages
Rating: 4/5

Narrowly saved from an awful arranged marriage and shuffled off to a mysterious convent in the night, seventeen year old Ismae finds her destiny lies with the god of death. At the convent, she is taught to be an assassin for Death and is trained in all matters of weaponry, poisons, and even the wily womanly arts. She will need all of her training and more to survive her most important mission: posing as the mistress to the handsome Gavrial Duval, she infiltrates the high court of Brittany to ferret out a traitor and save the duchess and the country from harm.

This book has everything that I love. It’s historical fiction, but written like the fantasy books I inhaled as a kid. It’s also got romance, intrigue, and great well-rounded characters. Plus a strong  main female character who kills…literally. I became quite fond of Ismae, who is just the right amount of confidence (when it comes to killing) and bumbling (when it comes to womanly charm).

Because it’s historically based on fifteen century Brittany, there are a lot of characters with remarkably similar names to keep track of, but the mystery and romance will keep you reading through the longest historical lessons. Plus, you can always count on Ismae to shoot someone with a crossbow to liven things up.

Overall, enjoyable read, and I’m very much looking forward to the other books in the series, which I’m excited to report, look like they’ll be about Ismae’s equally awesome killing friends. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ashes (Ilsa J. Bick)

Title: Ashes
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Length: 465 pages
Rating: 4/5

A fatal electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky and instantly, the world goes insane. Electric appliances no longer work, billions are killed instantly, and the majority of teenagers become feral. Alex only knows she was painfully knocked to the ground, and her sense of smell, long-lost because of the giant brain tumor in her head, has suddenly returned, stronger than ever. To survive, she teams up with eight-year old Ellie and ex-soldier Tom. But their improvised family is constantly in danger of running out of food and supplies and of being attacked not only by zombie-like teens, but by others like themselves who were spared.

I couldn’t put this book down. I read it when I was supposed to be doing anything but reading; I read it through TV shows; I read it through a blooming migraine. A gripping tale indeed!

It’s a super violent (yes, Hunger Games violent) post-apocalyptic world, and nothing ever goes right. I think Ilsa J. Bick must be a glass half-empty kind of girl, because the disaster brought out the worst in a lot of people. But I exaggerate here- really Ms. Bick shows us that humans are complicated, and will do desperate things when pushed.

Alex, Ellie and Tom are no exception. While they’re good people, they’re pushed to do some pretty awful things to survive. It’s impossible not to like our main characters though (eventual like in Ellie’s case). Our narrator Alex had pretty much gave up the will to live before the pulse, but now that fighting for life is the only thing left, she suddenly finds it in herself to fight. Makes you wonder if you would have it in you to fight…

Overall, a must-read if you’re into dystopia, apocalypses, camping, survival, families, and maybe a little melodrama. The world is ending after all. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Random Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Length: 348 pages
Rating: 4/5

A mysterious island off the coast of Wales.
An abandoned orphanage destroyed by a bomb in WWII.
A collection of curious photographs that can’t possibly be real.
Jacob journeys to the island, finds the orphanage, and discovers that the peculiar children in the old photographs may still exist, and may be in desperate need of Jacob’s help.

By now, my faithful blog readers, you know that I love it when an author does something unique. Wrapping a wonderful story around a collection of crazy photographs definitely counts as unique! I was hesitant at first (don’t we all make up stories based on pictures?), but the further I got into the book, the more the pictures became real characters and a real part of the story. This isn’t just a Fiction Writing 101 gimmick, it’s an intricate and mysterious story about the impossible happening.

And in true YA fashion, it begs the question: aren’t we all peculiar children in some ways?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wonderstruck (Brian Selznick)

Title: Wonderstruck
Author: Brian Selznick
Publisher: Scholastic
Length: 629 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

Two stories, fifty years apart. The story of Ben is told in words; the interwoven story of Rose is told in pictures. Both stories lead to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and their stories collide in the warmest of ways.

Don’t be intimidated by the size of this book. It’s recommended for children age nine and up, and I agree that it’s the perfect read for kids and adults. Because of the driving story and easy-on-the-eyes pictures, it’s a quick read that will leave you, well, wonderstruck.

Things I loved:
1.      The way the two stories were perfectly interwoven, so that they can stand on their own, but also add meaning to one another.
2.      The pictures are incredibly beautiful and detailed. (My favorite detail was a Star Wars movie poster in the New York subway.)
3.      This book is partially about Deaf culture. Brian Selznick does a wonderful job of celebrating the culture, while touching on its hardships and teaching readers how to accept it.
4.      After watching Hugo, I was sure Brian Selznick hated all adults. Turns out, adults are redeemable in his books if they were awesome children and can rediscover what they loved as kids. I love this idea- everyone should tap their inner child. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Across the Universe (Beth Revis)

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Length: 398 pages
Rating: 4/5

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed, bound for an earth-like planet 300 years in the future. But 50 years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, Amy is violently and mysteriously unplugged and finds herself trapped on a giant steel ship, ruled by a tyrannical dictator named Eldest. Her only ally is Elder, Eldest’s rebellious successor who is fascinated by Amy, but also struggling with his own destiny to rule the ship. (And finally, the awesome tagline on the cover of the book:) What does it take to survive aboard a spaceship fueled by lies?

First, many thanks to all the Johnson County youth librarians who recommended and loaned this book to me. Second, this book is not related to that movie about the Beatles. Third, the cover is gorgeous:

Told from both Elder’s and Amy’s perspectives, this book is dystopian, romance, science fiction and more. There’s an entirely contained world aboard the Godspeed, and Elder, with the unexpected influence of Amy, must decide how he wants to rule it one day. Amy must come to terms with living in a giant metal box without the comfort of her parents who are still frozen. It’s claustrophobic, frightening, yet wonderfully told. Godspeed itself is like a giant Pandora’s box that Amy and Elder dare try and open. But is truth worth the loss of comfort and control?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The DUFF (Kody Keplinger)

Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Length: 280 pages
Rating: 4/5

When hot, obnoxious Wesley calls Bianca the DUFF (the designated ugly fat friend), she knows he’s right. Bianca loathes Wesley and his man-slut ways, but things aren’t going so great for Bianca at home, and one night, she kisses Wesley, and likes it. Hooking up with Wesley becomes the only way Bianca can escape her problems, until her secret hook-ups become a problem. 

Warning: this book is rated PG-13. It’s also funny, honest, and doesn’t romanticize teen life or teen relationships. Most people think they’re the DUFF, and can relate to Bianca- she’s cynical, loyal, and hilarious when she relates to hooking up to Wesley as getting her drug fix. And in a refreshing twist, Wesley is not the perfect guy (although he may be perfect for Bianca- you’ll have to read and find out). I liked that about this book.

The book gets a little preachy/teen-special at the end, but it’s a good message about not letting other people label you. And the term DUFF will definitely stick with you after this fun read. (completely unrelated) Especially if there’s a pitcher on your baseball team named Duffy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Son of the Mob (Gordon Korman)

Title: Son of the Mob
Author: Gordon Korman
Publisher: Hyperion
Length: 262 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

It’s Romeo and Juliet, with Romeo (Vince) as the son of a mob boss and Juliet (Kendra) as the daughter of the FBI agent trying to put the mob boss away. Vince wants no part in the family business, but the more he tries to hide it from Kendra, the deeper in he gets.

This book is a little older (when did 2002 become old? Weird!) which is perhaps why it felt like a breath of fresh air amongst the paranormals and dystopias permeating this blog. Not that I have anything against the current theme of YA lit, it’s just that sometimes you need to shake it up a little. Add to this the male narrator, and you’ve got yourself a fun book about star-crossed lovers, Godfather-style.

Also included: moral dilemmas, first love, and a slimy character named Jimmy Rat found in a car trunk. Overall, a fun read that would interest male and female readers and is appropriate for a younger crowd as well. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Happy Children's Book Week!
To celebrate, I've joined another giveaway hop!

The book you can win:
Title: Scribbler of Dreams
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Harcourt
Length: 223
Summary: In this modern-day Romeo and Juliet, the Malones and the Crutchfields have hated each other for generations. But when the Malone girls are sent into the enemy's high school, poet Kaitlin finds it hard to hold onto her hate after she falls for the artistic Bram Crutchfield. The lies pile up as Kaitlin tries to keep her identity a secret, until she finally must choose between loyalty to her family, or her love for Bram.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for entering! More giveaways can be found at these blogs: