Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Roundup

Banished by Sophie Littlefield
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Eternal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney 
Super Human by Michael Carroll
A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth
Jane by April Lindner
Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
The Countdown by Deborah Wiles
The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets by Danette Haworth
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
Summer Blowout by Claire Cook
The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Matched by Ally Condie
Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott

Thursday, July 29, 2010

review: Super Human by Michael Carroll BONUS booklist: clean books for boys

I'm putting together a clean reads book list for my library. Mild language, no blatant drugs, violence, or sex. I have a lot of books that are more geared towards girls, but realized that books boys would find appealing were absent. Mostly because I read the books geared towards girls. I want to stay away from mega popular books like Lightning Thief and I also want them published within the past few years.

So when Super Human by Michael Carroll came in for me at the library I was excited. Yay, another book idea! It would be great to add to my list. I had a hard time finding out about content in searching other blogs so I bumped it to the top of my to-read-list. It was great.
Michael Carroll--Philomel Publishers--May 13, 2010--336 pages

The Helotry, a group of super villians, have sent a virus throughout the world that has effected most adults, including adult superheroes. But no fear, four superhero teens come together to battle the Helotry and stop them from  bringing Krodin, the world's strongest and first super human, into the present from the past.

Exciting and fast moving story. Great action scenes. Great Characters. It's a great book which I am so excited to add to my booklist. Though I was a little disapointed in what happened on the last two pages.

Super Human is the prequel to Carroll's Quantum Prophecy series

other clean books on my list that are boy-ish:
The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen
The Loser's Guide to Life and Love by A. E. Cannon
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
 Airman by Eoin Colfer
 Dark Life by Kat Falls
 Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Project Sweet Life by Brent Hartinger
The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klaven
 House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
 Pillage by Obert Skye
 After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
 The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
(not new, but one of my favorites EVER--I couldn't resist)
 Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Do you have any ideas? I could sure use them!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

pub date: September 7, 2010
pgs: 416 pages
publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
source: ALA conference
I've been sick since Sunday. It rather sucked, the one bright spot being I read a few books while I literally became Couch Potato. The outline of my body is still imprinted on the cushions.

My favorite of the few books I read was Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan. I haven't read any of her other book but after reading this one, I will be picking them up. It was wonderful. The writing was funny and witty and the characters were great. I love seeing how characters grow throughout a book, and Nasty's a good one to watch. And I got my kissing scenes. I [heart] romantic kissing scenes.

Nastasy has spent the last century living as a spoiled party girl, numbing herself to forget the violent and fatal tragedy that robbed her of her birthright--and her entire family. she feels nothing and truly cares for no one, until one night, when she witnesses her best friend, a dark immortal, torture a human. And her world is ripped apart.

She flees her "friends" and seeks refuge at River's Edge, where wayward immortals are rehabilitated. There she meets a gorgeous, undeniably sexy immortal (aka Viking god), who seems imexplicably linked to her past. Nastasya finally begins to deal, to actually care about life, and to feel safe. But when she discovers the dark immortals are after her, she suspects that danger may be closer than she ever imagined.

Though Nastasya's body looks 17, she's really over 400 year old which makes her story have a depth and interest I wasn't really expecting. Her flashbacks to the past are really rather terrifying and extremely intriguing. I got to the end and the last two words were, "the end." I kind of freaked out. There was so much more story to tell. But then I saw that it's a trilogy and am super excited about more of Reyn and Nastasya and Incy and River. Just sad to have to wait a year to get it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Book contest: The DUFF

THE BOOK: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

THE REQUIREMENT: Follow me. Then leave a comment answering the following question: What book are you most looking forward to this fall? And live in the US or Canada. I'll choose a winner randomly at

THE TIME: This will end August 7 at midnight. I'll announce the winner Sunday Aug 8, afternoon sometime.

From Amazon: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

 But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Theres more swearing and sleeping around than I'm comfortable with. So whereas this wasn't my cup of cocoa, it could be yours! Please follow and win!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

review: Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

pub date: may 13, 2010
publisher: Putnam
pgs: 320 pgs
source: for review at
content: Nothing of note
Its 2041, ten years after the Great Collapse. Molly lives and works on her family's farm on a Canadian island. When the island doctor dies while Molly's mother is in the middle of a difficult pregnancy, Molly is sent to retrieve her doctor grandpa in America and bring him back to help. But travel is difficult and expensive and things aren't what Molly is expecting at her grandfathers. She has to use her wits to get back home.

I LOVE dystopic YA. I was trying to figure out what I liked so much about it the other day and I decided its because dystopic is realistic fiction with extraordinary circumstances. No magic or paranormal creatures or special powers outside the norm. Just regular people caught in trying times. Left to their own regular, human abilities. And that's appealing to me.

This book was no exception. No environmental disaster, but financial disaster. The dystopic aspect is more subtle. Though there isn't any great action going on, I was enthralled. Molly is strong. She's heroic. She succeeds. And she gets a few kisses in the deal which I like.

Though I am confused about the title. Did I miss something? I'm not sure what it means.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

review: The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

pub date: August 26, 2010
publisher: Putnam Juvenile
pgs: 208 pgs
source: ALA conference

Going to the ALA exhibits hall is so exciting. Getting all those books. It's exciting to pack them away in my suitcases and take them home. Put them on my book shelf. But then it's just overwhelming--having all those books crying out to be read but not knowing where to start. Especially when I have 20 books checked out on my library card that I want to read, too.

I picked this book up out of my stacks because of the author's excitement. I met her; got her autograph. While I was standing in line and when I was talking to her, the enthusiasm for this book made me want to read it. So I did.

And I liked it. I love books that surprise me. And this one did.

Here is the beginning of the blurb from Amazon: All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. Its a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadnt counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage.

There is one heavy makeout scene which seemed out of place to me. I like romantic makeouts, and this one wasn't romantic. Which might have been the point.

Monday, July 12, 2010

review: Paradise books by Simone Elkeles

Leaving Paradise--Luxe--April 2007--312 pgs
Return to Paradise--Luxe--September 1, 2010--312 pgs

I have stacks of books at home from ALA and finally this past weekend I was able to indulge. I picked up Simone Elkeles' book Leaving Paradise.
It's told in the alternating pov of Caleb--who has just been released after a year in prison for a hit-and-run, and Maggie--the girl he hit. Caleb is intent on staying in Paradise and putting to right everything that went wrong when he went to jail. Maggie is intent on avoiding people in general, but especially Caleb, and escaping home as soon as possible. Neither of them get what they bargained for when they both start working for an older lady.

Fun book. And then suddenly ITS OVER. And its a CLIFF HANGER kind of ending. And I'm like, "what?" Luckily I could just go to my bookshelf and pick up the next in the series, Return to Paradise. I promised myself that I was just going to read the beginning since it was already past midnight. I lied. I finished the whole thing. And so can you! On September 1.

I enjoyed both books. I want to read her others now, especially Rules of Attraction and Perfect Chemistry but they're battling for space on my To Read List with all my other ALA finds. But hopefully soon!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

booklist: what's HOT (or at least what I think should be)

At a recent meeting for youth services librarians I spoke for 15 minutes on the best new ya fiction. Sometimes books that get really good reviews and a lot of hype I am less than impressed with. I went to a few classes at PLA that talked about hot new young adult fiction and I'd read a good portion of them. But I wouldn't say that I would've classified them as the best out there. So I picked my own "best." And it was a lot of fun.

Split by Swati Avasthi *contemporary boy* What I liked so much about this book was the main character, Jace. One night when he fights, his physically abusive father kicks him out of the house. With nothing but an address, he travels 19 hours to his brother's small apartment where he is reluctantly allowed to stay. Jace has to try to build a new life while dealing with his own anger issues and guilt about leaving his mother behind. He is a heroic, imperfect, realist teen boy. And I loved him.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting *contemporary, sorta paranormal, super romantic* Violent can sense were murdered bodies are. Usually that applies to dead animals. But then girls start disappearing and when found, their dead. And Violet wants to help the police, led by her uncle, to stop the murders from continuing. And then at the same time there is her best friend since forever, Jay. Her once platonic feelings for him are changing and she's worried he wont feel the same way. The romantic tension is great. The mystery is intriguing, especially since the reader gets short snippets of thought from the murderer's point of view. The action never stops and you wont want to either. I didn't.

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst *awesome contemporary fairytale* Another retelling of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon." This one is by far my favorite. Cassie's lives on a research station with her scientist father studying polar bears. On her eighteenth birthday the largest polar bear Cassie has ever seen speaks to her. Apparently the mother she thought was dead is actually alive and the bear offers to go to the end of the world to get her if Cassie will marry him. So she does. But she is totally not happy about it. I love that Durst took the fairytale and created a world that explained the motivations behind the characters in a realistic way. The romance was perfect! I thought that once the bear left the story would go down hill, but it didn't! My only complaint is that it ended too soon.

Dragonfly by Julia Golding *adventurous love story through five kingdoms and many months* Princess Tashi and Prince Ramil are ordered to marry each other to unite their kingdoms against a neighboring warlord. Neither are happy about it. But then they are kidnapped and slowly they learn to trust each other and then they learn to love each other. I loved how Ramil and Tashi grew up. I loved the world that Golding created. I loved this book!

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey *FUN vampire adventure* Solange is a vampire, the first female vampire born in the past 800 years. As she approaches her sixteenth birthday when she will officially "turn," humans and vampires alike are out to get her. But she has seven over-protective (and totally awesome!) brothers to protect her, as well as her best friend, Lucy. Lucy is human and snarky and spunky and completely kick-butt brave. The book does not take itself seriously. I was laughing throughout and rooting for Solange and Lucy to get their guys. LOVED it! The second in the series, Blood Feud, comes out next month. yay!

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien *original, scientific, futuristic dystopia* 300 years after a great global disaster, Gaia lives in Warfton with her mother and father, just outside of the walled city called the Enclave. Each midwife must advance the first three babies born in a month to the Enclave, where they are told they will have a better life than what is offered in Warfton. Gaia has just performed her first solo birth and advanced the baby when she returns home to find that her mother and father have been taken prisoner of the Enclave. When weeks pass and they haven't been returned, Gaia begins to question her loyalties. She is spunky. She did a lot of things that I thought were stupid, but weren't. I want to read the second in the series. Good stuff. (The science isn't apparent to begin with, but it is integral to the plot).

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick *contemporary cancer survivor* Jeff is in eighth grade and has been in remission for five years. But after intense chemo and radiation, he's left with nerve damage and has a hard time focusing in school. His best friend Tad is also a cancer survivor, his treatment leaving him in a wheelchair. They navigate normal eight grade things: math, girls, parents, siblings; as well as other, more serious matters: surviving after happilyever after. Jeff's voice is humorous and honest. His story is wonderful. I loved this book. And the cover, too. He looks so triumphant. Only after I'd read it did I find out that Jeff's older brother's story is told in Sonnenblick's novel, Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie and tells of his struggles as his little brother develops cancer. It's now in my too read pile.

Though this isn't even half of the books on my list, I'll have to save the rest. A future post maybe?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

pub date: March 2010
publisher: Hyperion
pgs: 336 pgs
source: library

Sophie is a witch. After a love spell gone horribly wrong at prom, Sophie is exiled to Hex Hall, a reform school for prodigium (witches, fairies, shapeshifters, etc.).

This is an hilarious book that one reviewer I read described as a "supernatural spoof." I rather agree. Yet though this book seems fluffy at first glance, I thought it went deeper then just a spoof. There is a lot of prejudice between the different prodigium, especially towards Sophie's vampire roommate who also happens to be lesbian. Sophie's relationship with the school mean girl changes, as does the relationship with her cute boyfriend (the mean girl's boy, not Sophies). And Sophie's father and heritage is surprising and also opens up a can of worms different then I expected. Funny and surprising, a great supernatural read.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

review: All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
pub date: January 12, 2010
pgs: 352
source: review copy for kiss the book
content: sex, swearing including f-bomb, violence, drugs, underage drinking

One of the books I read this weekend was All Unquiet Things. I LOVED IT! I was blown away.

Carly was murdered at the beginning of her junior year of high school. Her ex-boyfriend, Neily, is the one who found her body, shot three times in the chest. Carly's uncle was convicted of the murder, but Carly's cousin Audrey doesn't believe her father to be the murderer. At the beginning of their senior year, Neily and Audrey unite to find the real murderer.

Told in five chunks, Neily and Audrey take turns telling their side of the unfolding mystery. Their stories flip back and forth between their senior year and past experiences with Carly. I found the whole story very realistic. The information they find and how they find it that leads to the murderer worked for me. What I mean is that it wasn't out of the realm of possibility.

Jarzab's style of writing is addicting. It flowed. There was never a boring or slow part in the plot. I stayed up until 2:30am Sunday morning to find out the end of the story and then all day Sunday I just kept thinking about the story and the characters. It actually reminded me of the first season of Veronica Mars. Which was cool.

Having said all that I do have an issue with the morality of the characters. Neily, Audrey, and Carly all had sex mulitiple times, Carly with multiple people, when they were only fifteen. Really?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

review: My Double Life by Janette Rallison

pub date: May 13, 2010
publisher: Putnam
pgs: 272 pgs
source: library
content: NO swearing,or drugs or sex

I have read all of Rallison's books and am a huge fan. I stayed up late last night to finish her newest YA novel, My Double Life. In this one Lexi has been told many times that she looks just like rock star Kari Kingsley. When she's asked to be Kari's double, she decides to accept against her mother's wishes. Though the money is a temptation, it isn't why Lexi decides to go to LA. She goes because she wants to meet the father she's never known. (Which I liked). And so her adventure begins.

The only thing I didn't like about this is that everytime Lexi talks about her boyfriend, Grant, she only mentions his good looks as incentive to dating him. Which was really superficial and kind of got on my nerves.

What I like so much about Rallison's heroines are their strong personalities, their sense of family, their morals. I can pick up any of her books and know that they're clean and fun and hilarious.

My favorite Rallison is Just One Wish, which also has a famous love interest and a regular girl, but the situations are so funny. I was laughing out loud and I love books that make me laugh out loud.

I LOVE Janette Rallison's books.