Tuesday, August 31, 2010

book review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers 
pages: 336
pub date: April 13, 2010
source: library

from goodreads:
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

my experience:
After reading Perfect Chemistry last Friday, I went to the library the next morning and picked up this one. I couldn't help it! I needed to read about Carlos and his own love story. Just as addicting Perfect Chemistry, I once again stayed up later than I should've to finish it. It is very similar, plot wise, to PC. But I don't really care. I liked it anyway.

It was rather abrupt. Carlos and Kiara find that they are attracted to each other but neither is admitting it. Then, suddenly, Kiara is seducing Carlos on her parent's couch. Whoa! What? Where did that come from?

I love the cover. It's an actual scene from the book when Carlos admits his love for Kiara.

Also just like Perfect Chemistry, a lot of swearing, a lot of it the f-bomb. Drugs and underage drinking. And sex. I thought the sex was a lot more than in PC. Though I still got uncomfortable at times, I can't say I wasn't expecting it.

august reading roundup

Books I've read this month:
Low Red Mood by Ivy Devlin
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (review)
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (review)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma (review)
The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin (review)
Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis
Benny and Babe by Eoin Colfer
The Goats by Brock Cole (review)
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman (review)
And Then I Found Out the Truth by Jennifer Sturman
Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Dark Life by Kat Falls (review)
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (review)

I read Forgive my Fins and Dark Life right after each other and though I enjoyed both, I am not a big fan of living in water. Spending a few hours in water is about my limit. Days and months and years is more than I could handle. Reading them kind of made me physically uncomfortable, kind of clammy. I don't think I was imagining my fingers wrinkling like raisins.

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme from Should Be Reading. To join in just:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser is from Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer. I decided it was about time I read about Vladmir Tod. I'm enjoying it.

"Vlad approached Mr. Otis's desk, ready for the lecture that was coming. Through the door, he could see Meredith talking with Henry in the hall."
-pg 100

ps-Enna Isilee at  squeakybooks.com is having an awesome Birthday Bash with lots of book giveaways and author interviews and such. You can enter here on my blog to win Pegasus by Robin McKinley.

Monday, August 30, 2010

review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
pages: 368
pub date: December 23, 2008
source: library

from goodreads:
A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.
my experience:
Simone Elkeles writes books that are addicting! The first books I read by her were Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise. I got both of them at ALA and Ms Elkeles signed my copy of Return. When I was standing in line the girls in front of me were probably about 15 and they were so excited. They had all of Elkeles' books and were talking to her about how much they loved them. It was fun to watch.
Anyway, Perfect Chemistry was just as addicting at the Return books. I stayed up beyond really late to finish it. After reading Mockingjay, I needed a book that had was upbeat and had a happy ending and some good kissing and that wasn't depressing. This book was perfect. I got sucked into the romance.

Like Elkeles' other books, it's told in alternating chapters between the two main characters pov. It was fun to get into both of their heads, to read how one of them was feeling and what they were thinking, and then see how they were perceived by the other. Especially at the beginning when they both shared a great hatred. Elkeles did a great job making Alex and Brittney more than just stock characters. They had depth and character and secret desires. Great read.

There is a lot of swearing, a lot of the f-bomb, and sex/talking about having sex, to the point that I was a rather uncomfortable at times. I was sucked in to the plot so I kept reading and skipped where I could. There's also drugs, smoking, and alcohol.

There's a book trailer for Perfect Chemistry on Amazon. If you haven't seen it, you have to. It's funny. In a good way. I keep watching it over again and laughing (with it, not at it)because it's so...great. Really.

Enna Isilee's Birthday Bash Givaway

I'm hosting a contest as part of

Enna Isilee's Birthday Bash 2010

Presented by Squeaky Books

From August 23rd until September 22nd Enna Isilee at Squeaky Books is having a HUGE bash to celebrate her birthday! There are twelve contests, tons of author interviews, and guest posts from over a dozen different YA book bloggers. And I get to host a contest!

I get to give away a copy of Pegasus by Robin McKinley! Entering is simple, just fill out the form (with optional bonus entries). You have until September 21st at 11:59 MST to enter. All winners will be announced on Enna Isilee's birthday (September 22nd) on Enna Isilee's blog (Squeaky Books). And today, Ennalee featured me at Squeaky Books. It's a short story about the best birthday, ever. You should totally go check it out. I'd love to hear what you think!

Want to know more about Pegasus? Click here!

Without further ado, enter to win! Click below.

Click here

Saturday, August 28, 2010

my new bookshelves!

Since graduating high school some years ago, I've moved a lot. So I just had one bookshelf and as it would fill up I'd box up the books. So for years my books lived in boxes. A few months ago when my lease was up I moved into my sisters basement. I have never had so much room to myself. And the best part is that I bought some bookshelves and unpacked my books! Yay!
Though soon I'm either going to have to buy another bookshelf or give away some books. Mmmm....another bookshelf. Though I'm not so sure how that will fit down here.

Some book have to have their own shelves. Like Pooh Bear.
That boxed set was given to me from Santa when I was five. It's pretty hashed. The picture is my nephew in an eeyore frame. In high school I had a thing for Eeyore. Our attitudes towards life were very similar.

And then there is Twilight
Though my obsession has died down to a normal level of love for the series, I have a lot of fond memories of midnight release parties, parties I've thrown, and a trip to Forks with my sister a few years ago. That stick? From first beach.

And no bookshelf would be complete without HARRY POTTER! yay! I have two copies of a lot of Rowling's books, and three of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. A lot of memories based around these books, too. My sister and I threw a Harry Potter party when the seventh book came out and I was Luna. I have a bottle cap necklace laying on the shelf, though it's rather hard to see.

I like to organize my shelves by size. It just looks better. Believe me, I know. I've spent more time reorganizing these shelves over and over again than I want to admit. But it makes for some really odd book neighbors. I have Baby Mouse next to Georgette Heyer next to Jellico Road next to Robert Frost's Poems next to Dracula next to The Only Alien on the Planet next to The Joy Luck Club next to Daddy-Long-Legs. Kind of eclectic. I never realized how many sizes of paperbacks there are. And hardcover.

Okay, so I'm a little proud. Not that I really have a reason to be. I didn't write those books. Just collected them. But I love it anyway! I love having my books out of boxes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

booking through thursday (1)

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme. This week's questions is:

If you’re not enjoying a book, will you stop mid-way? Or do you push through to the end? What makes you decide to stop?

I didn't use to stop reading a book if I didn't like it. I'd plow through, or possibly skim, to the end because there was always the chance that it might end up being my favorite book ever. I've learned since than. If I don't like in within the first fifty pages, I'm not going to like the rest. So now I stop. I don't have a hard fast rule, like I-have-to-read-to-this-page-before-I-stop, I just stop when I want. And I'm now okay knowing that I might be missing out on something. But there are so many books out there, why spend time reading one I'm not enjoying?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mockingjay, with Spoilers

Well, Mockingjay over rode sleep and I was up until 3 this morning finishing the book. This was a bad idea for a few reasons:
1) My sleep minimum is 8 hours. I got 4. My emotions are really close to the surface. And the emotion I'm feeling right now is depression.
2) Did I miss something? A few somethings? There were a lot of plot points in this book that didn't make sense to me. But I was half asleep. Was that why? Or did they not make sense to anyone else? Just two main things that I'm confused about:
  • Boggs' last advice to Katniss, as he's laying there with his legs blown off. 1) Don't trust them. Okay, so his legs are blown off, he's about to die. But this is KATNISS. Couldn't he be a little more obvious? The reader knows who he's talking about, but this is KATNISS. She needs things spelled out. Yet even if it had been spelled out, what could Katniss have done about it? Nothing more than what she ended up doing to Coin at the end. But it couldn't have stopped the bombs. It wouldn't have saved Prim. 2) Don't go back. Why not? Because they would've been captured and caught or killed? Guess what, most of them are anyway and it would've been a quicker way to go. But she follows this advice and goes forward. And adds 5 more people to her growing list of deaths she feels responsible for. 3) Kill Peeta. Well, she doesn't follow this one and it ends up okay. Better than okay since Katniss kind of needs him to survive. 3) Do what you came to do. Katniss doesn't do this one either. They get chased by mutts, peacekeepers, most of their numbers die and the rest are all wounded. What was the point of going forward? What was the point of this pointless advice? Besides making her way through her 3rd Hunger Games with Peeta, I felt like this was a waste of words. Especially at 2 am.
  • Why does Katniss agree to the Capitol Hunger Games? Doesn't she say somewhere during the book that it's stupid to take war out on children? So why is she agreeing to this? I DON'T GET IT. And I would actually like to know, so comment if you have any suggestions.
I found this book extremely depressing, without hope. The torture, the death and destruction, the abuse and manipulation of the hunger games champions through the years. Peeta. Prim. Finnick--he finally gets some happiness and then isn't around long enough to enjoy it. I get it, this is all out war. But what were they fighting for? I'm not sure. Both sides are evil in their own way. They might not have the hunger games, but is the government any better? Well, without Coin I'm sure it is. I hated that lady, and that was way before she killed Prim.

Not even the end was hopeful. The crux of it being Peeta. Collins broke Peeta. And though he does recover, he's not the same. Katniss is broken, she has been this whole epic adventure, but not Peeta. Peeta was perfect. And the Capitol damaged him. I was a little disappointed in Katniss at the end, too. She recognizes Gale's truth in saying she would pick the one that she needed to survive. I'm sure Katniss loved Peeta in her own way. But she needed him to be able to live and the way Collins wrote those last two paragraphs before the epilogue made it sound like Katniss' own survival was upper most in Katniss' mind.

So I came into work this morning and started talking to my coworkers, Jaye and Elly. Jaye tried the first book but couldn't read it because of the violence. Elly has read the first and had plans to read the next two, but now isn't because of what I said. I just started talking about Mockingjay and telling them all the horrible things that happened to everyone. I felt better afterward. I needed a therapy session after this book. When I mentioned depression before, I wasn't joking. I started to cry when talking about Peeta. CRYING. Tears running down my cheeks. I was really embarrassed about it, too. Still kind of am. Can I just say again that I'm REALLY TIRED. And DEPRESSED about this book.

Strangely enough, I had the same response to this one as I did the first two: I will never read this book again. Or maybe not so strangely. But at the same time, I feel confused about what happened in this book--probably because of the early hours I read it in. And rereading might bring me closure. But it's hard to get through. Do I really want to go through it all again? Prolong the pain? I'm not sure.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (3)

Product description: Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex - but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?

In this powerfully gripping novel, Sharon Dogar explores what this might have been like from Peter's point of view. What was it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, first to hate her and then to find yourself falling in love with her? Especially with your parents and her parents all watching almost everything you do together. To know you're being written about in Anne's diary, day after day? What's it like to start questioning your religion, wondering why simply being Jewish inspires such hatred and persecution? Or to just sit and wait and watch while others die, and wish you were fighting.

As Peter and Anne become closer and closer in their confined quarters, how can they make sense of what they see happening around them?

Anne's diary ends on August 4, 1944, but Peter's story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps. He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz - and ultimately the horrific fates of the Annex's occupants.

I am really intrigued by this book. When I was in middle school I was kind of obsessed about Anne Frank and the Holocaust. Which sounds a little morbid. But I was.

waiting on wednesday is a meme from Breaking the Spine

Monday, August 23, 2010

hunger games and other thoughts

When I first read The Hunger Games two years ago, I liked the book, I was sucked in and I could not put it down. When I had to put the book down, my thoughts were obsessed with what was going to happen next. But I knew I would never read the book again. Once was enough.

Last year when I read Catching Fire, I liked it better than The Hunger Games. But I felt the same way; I would never read it again. Too disturbing.

Well, Mockingjay is being released tomorrow. And last Friday I decided I needed to prepare for such a momentous occasion by rereading the first two books. I know! I realized that I only get to read a book for the first time, once. And I didn't want to marr my first reading of Mockingjay be being confused because I'd forgotten something important that had happened previously. The waiting list for both books was too long. So, after saying I would never reread either of them again, I went and bought The Hunger Games. I would've bought Catching Fire, too, but they didn't have it. I did luck out because my coworker gave me her copy of Catching Fire because she said she'd never read it again. Which I kind of giggled at.

Sadly this weekend has been busy and I just barely finished The Hunger Games like five minutes ago. I still have Catching Fire to read before I can get to Mockingjay.

The first time I read The Hunger Games I really did not like the ending. I won't say how, no spoilers. But it really bugged me. This time reading it, the ending worked. I think two years ago I must've been up at 3am finishing it or something, because it's different than I remember it being. And I like Katniss so much better this time around than the first. And did you know Peeta sparkles? You probably did, but it made me laugh.

I read a lot of dystopic YA. It's what I like. The main thing for me in whether I like the book or not is the world the author creates. The world of Panem works.  Everything works within the parameters the author has set. And it's awesome. I love it.

I think something else that I like is that with Peeta and Gale, the reader really doesn't know who Katniss will pick. In Twilight, it was always Edward. There was no question at anytime that she would end up with Jacob--at least for me I thought it was obvious. But in 90 minutes, in Mockingjay it could go either way. What a mystery! I hope to find out soon, but this week is CRAZY so I don't know how much time I'll get to read. Or how much sleep I want to sacrifice.

Anyway, I like The Hunger Games this time even more than I did the first time. I'm glad I decided to reread them. And I'm glad I own the books because I will be rereading them in the future. I am giggling at myself.

As a little side note, my mom read The Hunger Games for a bookclub a few months ago and one of the members absolutely HATED the book because she was sucked into the plot. She felt like she'd become one with the Capitol and the Gamemakers and all those who derived enjoyment from watching the hunger games. She said it was voyeuristic. Voyeur: persistent observer of misery or scandal; a fascinated observer of distressing, sordid, or scandalous events.

What do you think?

Contest Winners!

Thanks everyone for participating!

The winners are:

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney: Typical Girl
The Replacements by Brenna Yovanoff : pokadots1121
Plain Kate by Erin Bow: Cass
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder: Ashley

I've already emailed everyone except for pokadots1121. I need your address! email me at resugoo{at}gmail{dot}com.

Thanks again everyone! I'm excited to send out your books!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

hair vs. book

Today during lunch there was a wonderful storm, including thunder and I'm assuming lightning, though I couldn't see it. It was magnificent. The clouds were dark and thick, blocking out a lot of the sun. It looked like 8:30 pm. The rain kept coming, literally a down pour.

My good friend and coworker, Jaye, and I opened the staff room door and took it all in for a few minutes. Mostly we watched people running to and from the library. We whisper-yelled, "protect your book!" because the patrons weren't protecting their library books! Ack!

One particular girl ran past with her library book OVER HER HEAD(!!), protecting her hair!

"Protect the book!" Jaye said.

"You're hair will live another day, that library book wont!" I continued.

Near the end of our observation a mother ran past towards the library entrance with two little children. She had a towel over her head. Her children didn't.

"Protect the children!"

****later--I'm rereading this and it sounds like we were heckling the patrons. I LOVE our patrons. I would never heckle them. Jaye and I were just sad to see our books getting wet and were sharing a joke. Really, they couldn't hear us.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Contemps Challenge

Take The Contemps Challenge!
I'm totally in! I'm committing to read 18 of the following 21 contemporary books from now until August 15, 2010.  If you accept the challenge you could win a copy of all the books as they are published throughout the year. (and you could win Mockingbirds from me by entering here). I actually had an early start since I picked up a few of the books at ALA. I LOVED Girl, Stolen. So good!

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (September 7, 2010)
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger (September 7, 2010)
Girl, Stolen by April Henry (September 28, 2010)
Freefall by Mindi Scott (October 5, 2010)
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (November 2, 2010)
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler (December 15, 2010)
Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers (December 21, 2010)
Trapped by Michael Northrop (January, 2011)
Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (February 15, 2011)
Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt (March 1, 2011)
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard (March 8, 2011)
Family by Micol Ostow (April 26, 2011)
Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith (April 28, 2011)
Pearl by Jo Knowles (Spring, 2011)
Saving June by Hannah Harrington (May, 2011)
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder (June, 2011)
Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott (June, 2011)
Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker (July 19, 2011)
The third book in the Carter series by Brent Crawford (Summer, 2011)
Sharks and Boys by Kristen Tracy (Summer, 2011)
Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman (August, 2011)

review: Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

publisher: Thomas Nelson
pub date:  May 4, 2010
pgs: 276 (paperback)
source: library
content: no questionable content
product description from amazon.com:
As the popular darling of the junior class and heiress to the five-star Monrovi Inn empire, Kate has both everything and nothing. She's bored with school and life...until she locks eyes with Caleb at a school dance.
Caleb is new to Kate's exclusive prep school, and it's clear he doesn't fit in. In fact, he and his dad work in maintenance for Kate's father. And while Caleb knows better than to spend time with the boss's daughter, it seems that every time he tries to back away, something pulls him right back in.

When their parents demand that they are to stay away from each other, they learn of a fight between their families that occurred more than fifty years ago. It's a mystery Kate doesn't understand...but a legacy Caleb has endured his entire life.

With the world stacked against them, Caleb and Kate will have to walk by faith to find the path that God has planned for them.

my review:
all very much love at first sight, which kind of bugs. But I guess that is the story of Romeo and Juliet, so I shouldn't hold that against them. But it just seems very superficial. They "fall in love" without really knowing each other.

It took me half the book to really get into the story, so I've been reading it off and on since last week. Then last last night, when I started to really care, I read through till the end. 

It's an enjoyable read. Fun and fast. Likable characters. Sweet story. Some rather hokey parts, like Kate proclaiming her love at school in front of everyone. But fun. And a happy ending looking towards the future.

review: The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

publisher: Hyperion
pub date: Jun 15, 2010
pgs: 247 (hardcover)
source: bought at ALA

product description from amazon:
Lianna is an aspiring planetary scientist…and also a kissing expert. She's got a lot of experience. Maybe too much. So this summer she decides to conduct an experiment: She's going to give up the kissing part. It shouldn’t be too hard for her--after all, none of her kissing partners so far have been worth the lip time. That is, until Hank comes along.

Hank has never been kissed. He’s smart and funny—sometimes without intending to be—and a little socially challenged. Hank’s got Asperger’s syndrome. This means he knows nearly every track that Kirsty Maccoll has ever appeared on, but not when to shut up about it. Despite his loquatiousness, he also doesn’t know when to say the things he should. Things like, I don’t have a father. I want to hold your hand, I want to kiss you.

It would appear that Hank and Liana are in for an interesting summer—if the planets align correctly.

reading experience:
Liana and Hank's friendship begins unexpectedly. But it begins as a friendship. I liked that. I enjoyed reading about how they go from two strangers meeting in a girls bathroom at the hospital, to sharing coffee at Espresso Love, to sharing secrets in the bedroom (Hank is feeding his turtle, theres just talk). They both want more, but through insecurities and misunderstandings and the "no-kissing-summer", it takes a while to get there. Which is okay.

Hank, with all his ramblings and oversharing and musical know, is wonderful. Liana's love of space and struggles with boys is endearing. They had a lot of growing up to do. By the end, they have grown. They've become better people. I liked them. I liked their story.

I got deeper into the male mind then I really wanted, and there is swearing.

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Will I be totally lame if I say Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins? Lame because it comes out next week and everyone is waiting for it? I guess I'm totally lame then. Less than a week! Woo-Hoo!!!

The library system I work for has ordered over 900 copies of Mockingjay and there are almost 3000 holds on the book. Which, if I remember correctly, is more than for Breaking Dawn. Wow.

Can't wait! I know I'll get sucked into this one like I did the first two so I'm trying to block out time where I can get it all read in one sitting. I might have to wait until the weekend :(

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme from Breaking the Spine

ps--I have a CONTEST going on here. You could win The Replacements, Spy Glass, The Mockingbirds, or Plain Kate. Good luck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Read Your Name Challenge

I saw this challenge on Good Golly Miss Holly and thought it sounded fun. So I have 4.5 months to read the following six books, all of which I got at ALA in June:

raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
extraodinary by Nancy Werlin
shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
oracle of Dating by Allison van Diepen

The hard part for me about doing a challenge where I pick out the books I plan to read is that I read by mood. Lists don't work because if I'm not in the mood and I force myself to read it, I don't like it as much as I could. But I have the rest of the year to get in the mood. I wish future self good luck.

Monday, August 16, 2010

teaser tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

"One table over, an old man suddenly starts sobbing. He's just sitting there crying, in front of the nurses with their frozen yogurts and the doctors in their water-blue scrubs and the various visitors like us. My stomach churns. He's so sad." pg 40

Okay, so I shared four teaser sentences. oops


I have books I got at ALA in June that I've read and want to pass along to someone else to enjoy.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (Sept 21)
Plain Kate by Erin Bow (Sept 1)
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Nov 2)
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder (Sept 1)

The rules are simple and I'm sure very familiar:
1) follow me!
2) comment. In your comments rate the books from what you want the most to least. This will help when I pick the winners
3) Tweeting and posting about this contest earns you an extra entry. Just comment with links so I know

One each for a total of 3.

This will end Sunday August 22 at midnight. Open to US/Canada. I'll pick the winners randomly and first picked gets first choice and so forth. Good luck!

review: The Goats by Brock Cole

pub date: June 22, 2010
publisher: Square Fish
pgs: 192
source: library
content: nothing to worry about

summary: Stripped and marooned on a small island by their fellow campers, a boy and a girl form an uneasy bond when they decide to run away and disappear without a trace.

experience: My coworker is the one who buys all the YA books for our library. Every few weeks she emails me a list of new YA I might like. In return I give her my reviews. The Goats is one of the books she suggested. I actually picked it off of my library book pile because a) it was so much shorter than all the other books, and b) it had an intriguing cover. I went in not knowing anything about it except there was an island and a few stranded kids. I expected it to be like Lord of the Flies

The first thing I noticed as I began to read was that the typeface looked old. The second was that it wasn't written like contemporary YA are written. It felt different. When I got to the part where they buy a hot dog and chips at the beach for under a $1.40, I knew something was up. I flipped to the front and found that it was originally published in 1987. It's 23 years old. With a spiffy new cover. Which explained a lot. The boy and girl did seem a little naive for 2010, even for thirteen-year-olds.

The oldness of it not withstanding*, I found myself sucked in. I wanted to know what would happen to this boy and girl as they tried to stay hidden and alive off the island. I cared about them. I liked them. I wanted them to succeed.

It wasn't like Lord of the Flies.

I found it interesting the author called them "boy" and "girl" through most of the book. They don't even know each other's names until half way through. There is no sexual anything, though they do see each other naked--they were stripped by bullies at the beginning. They don't even think about each other in a sexual way, though some of the adults they meet can't see anything but a boy and girl alone together, what else could they be up to?

I liked it. I was surprised I liked it. It's not the type of book I normally read.

*I have nothing against books written 23 years ago. I just wasn't expecting it. The newness of the cover led me to believe I was reading a new story. Because I liked the book, I'm okay with being deceived.

Check out these old covers:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

book blogger hop (1)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a meme from Crazy for Books. This is my first week participating! The question is:

How many books do you have on your 'to be read shelf’?

I'm actually afraid to find out.

I attended ALA this past June in Washington DC and got a lot of books. I am excited about all of them. They taunt me. 

I usually have 20-30 books checked out on my library card. I work at a library and I just can't help myself! But out of all the books I checkout, I probably only get about 10% of them read before they need to be returned. I have a constant fine on my card which is ridiculous since I'm at the library practically every day.

Lastly, I review books for a middle school librarian who runs a blog geared towards school media centers. There are about 10 of us who review for her. She gets books from publishers and every few weeks I stop by and pick up a few. I have six in that pile right now. Begging to be read. 

I wish (more often than I'd like to admit) that Hogwarts was real and that I wasn't a muggle and that Hermione would loan me her time turner. Just so I could sleep/read/work all at the same time.  Sadly, fantasy is just that--fantasy.

In my Mailbox (3)

I got a lot of books at the library this week, and they're ALL long. That hard question: what will I start with? Because I wont have time for them all.


I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson
Wolves, Boys, and Other Things that might Kill You by Kristen Chandler
The Hate List by Jennifer Brown
The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty
Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan
Echoes-Haunted-Trust by Melinda Metz
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

meme from The Story Siren

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

teaser tuesday (1)

The Keepers' Tattoo
by Gill Arbuthnott
May 1, 2010

"She moved toward him, stretched out a hand, and took hold of his shoulder. He twisted and slid out of her grasp and ran off up the slipway, easily eluding Aria as she tried to block his way at the top."
--pg 154

blurb: Months before her fifteenth birthday, Nyssa learns that she is a special member of a legendary clan, the Keepers of Knowledge, as she and her uncle try to escape from Alaric, the White Wolf, who wants to use lines tattooed on her to destroy the rest of her people.

I've barely started it, but good so far!

Teaser Tuesdays is a meme at Should be Reading. Grab a current book you're reading, randomly open to a page, and share a two sentence teaser.

Monday, August 9, 2010

review: Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

pub date: June 29, 2010
publisher: HarperTeen
pgs: 336
content: 1 swear
source: library
I just finished Bruiser by Neal Shusterman. I loved it. I've decided that the biggest factor in my deciding if I like a book or not is the character. If I love a character, I can over look a lot of other stuff I might not like about the story. And I loved the characters in this book. And I loved everything else, too. I'm not implying that there were things I had to overlook, because there weren't. I was just saying in general I can overlook a lot when I love the character(s).

It's told from the point of view of four characters: Tennyson (brother) and Bronte (sister) are twins, Brewster is an outcast at school that Bronte begins to date, and Cody is Brewster's little brother. I loved their voices. Tennyson can be funny. He had these one liners that had me laughing out loud. Though he is rather selfish and a bully. Cody's eight-years-old and his observations of the world were pretty humorous. My favorite was Brewster, also known as the Bruiser. His chapters were beautiful! I was moved to almost tears twice while reading his poetry. The first time was at the very end of his very first chapter. SO BEAUTIFUL. Though I loved all four characters, he is the one that I loved the most. I adore him! I can completely understand how Bronte fell in love. And look at those beautiful green eyes! (from the cover)

I am one who doesn't like to know too much about a book before I read it. I totally judge books by their cover and skip the blurb inside. So I won't give too much away about Bruiser. I read some reviews that gave everything away and it made it so that surprises in the book weren't surprises. So here is the blurb from the library website: "Inexplicable events start to occur when sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and Brontë befriend a troubled and misunderstood outcast, aptly nicknamed Bruiser, and his little brother, Cody."

Shusterman is a master storyteller. I love his books. This is one that I will have to buy. It is so great! Totally five apples!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In my mailbox (2)

This was a dry week for books. I didn't get any in the mail. I didn't buy any. I got a few at the library.

Siren by Tricia Rayburn
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller
Invisible City by M. G. Harris
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman (I am so excited about this one! I love NS!!)
Sleepless by Cyn Balog

What's in your mailbox?

meme from The Story Siren

The DUFF winner

As promised, my DUFF contest ended last night at midnight and now it is afternoon on Sunday and the winner of The DUFF, as chosen by random.org, is Lauren. She was my very first follower, so yay! I'm so happy that you won! I've emailed, so respond with your address and I will send it on its way.

Don't forget my other contest here. It's for three books: The Replacements, The Mockingbirds, and Plain Kate. Ends Wednesday August 18.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

review: Dark Life by Kat Falls

Pub Date: May 1, 2010
pgs: 304
publisher: Scholastic
content: No questionable content
source: library

In the future, the ice caps have melted causing the water to rise, making space a very precious commodity. So pioneers have set up a colony in the deep sea. 15-year-old Ty was the first baby born in the colony and can't wait until he turns 18 and can stake his own claim. One day he meets Gemma, an Topsider, looking for her brother. Lots of adventure, a little romance (yay!), pirates, an unfair Commonwealth, dark gifts, and great characters.

I LOVED THIS BOOK. I really loved the underwater world Falls created. Ty is truly a hero. And Gemma wasn't as annoying as my sister led me to believe.

Lame review, I know. That's all I got time for. I still need to pack. Leaving tomorrow morn for a weekend of dutch oven, river rafting, and sleeping on hard ground. yippy!

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
release date (according to Amazon): April 19, 2011

I really, really loved If I Stay by Gayle Forman. When I read on her blog a few months ago that her next book would be a continuation of Mia's story through Adams pov, I was excited but not impatient.

UNTIL I was surfing blogs last week (maybe the week before?) and read a few sentence synopsis of Where She Went and apparently Adam and Mia broke up after the accident in If I Stay! ACK!!!! Eeek!!! NO!!!!! I cannot find the synopsis now--does anyone know where it is?!?!?--but I am now heartbroken that they haven't spent the last three years together and want to read the book so much! I cant wait until April!!!

(I am really liking exclamations today. please excuse my exuberant feelings on the matter)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

review: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: March 23, 2010
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 368 pgs
source: library

book blurb:
When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.

The pair rushes towards the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.

my opinion:
I didn't read the inside cover blurb before I read this book. A coworker said she really liked it so I made a point of picking it up. With no preconceived notions, everything was unexpected. Which I love. I love being surprised and having the story unfold without knowing that Sydelle has a mysterious power until she herself finds out she has a mysterious power.

The characters are great. North is an intriguing character who really grew on me. I wasn't so sure at the beginning. I love his friend, though I can't remember his name at this moment. Sydelle is a strong heroine who makes some tough decisions. The romantic tension between Sydelle and North made me smile. I wouldn't have minded a few more kisses, but then I always like a good kissing scene. Though the story really didn't need it. But still...

It's wonderfully written great stand-alone story. Really like it!

And there isn't any blatant sex, drugs, violence or swearing. Though North does get drunk a few times. And there are some magic duels. And North punches a jerk in the face.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

IMM is a meme from The Story Siren. This is for the past two weeks since two weeks ago I got books in the mail and I never get books in the mail.

The Replacements by Brenna Yovanoff
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Jane by April Linder

Boom by Mark Haddon (audio)
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Everlasting by Angie Frazier
And Then I Found Out the Truth by Jennifer Sturman
Super Human by Michael Carroll
13 to Life by Shannon Delany