Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Teen Picks for 2008

1. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Paper Towns by John Green
3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
4. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
5. Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner
6. Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier
7. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
8. Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
9. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
10. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Here's my 10 ten picks that I read for 2008! Note that a couple of my picks actually came out in 2007, but I didn't get around to reading them until this year. I'm not saying these are the best & only books from 2008--just my personal faves. Please comment & tell me what your favorite books you read this year are!!

Twilight: the Complete Illustrated Movie Companion

It has finally arrived....Twilight: the Complete Illustrated Movie Companion! It has a lot of screen shots and behind the scenes info on the actors & making of the movie. If you're a Twilighter & loved the movie, this is the book for you. I just beg you please, please do not tear out pages, cut out pages, or take the book home never to return it again. Sadly, I have no money to replace our copies once they're used and abused. But for now, enjoy them while they are brand, spanking new! And best of all, there's no holds list as of right now. There's even one available. OMG!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Love is Hell Anthology

Sure, love is hell. But it’s totally worth it.

In these supernatural stories by five of today's hottest writers—Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Scott Westerfeld (Specials), Justine Larbalestier (Magic or Madness), Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere), and Laurie Faria Stolarz (Blue is for Nightmares)—love may be twisted and turned around, but it's more potent than ever on its quest to conquer all.

From two students who let the power of attraction guide them to break the hard-and-fast rules of their world to the girl who falls hard for a good-looking ghost with a score to settle, the clever, quirky characters in this exciting collection will break your heart, then leave you believing in love more than ever.

Sleeping with the Spirit
by Laurie Faria Stolarz
This was first story in the collection. Not knowing what to expect from this anthology, I felt Stolarz's ghost story was a weak beginning. It took too long to get going and rushed towards the end. Brenda is the new girl in town, but she's not the only one living in her new bedroom. The room's previous occupant has yet to move out--or rather move on. I think Stolarz had the makings of what could have been a good ghost romance, but just didn't have enough pages to flesh out her story.

Stupid Perfect World
by Scott Westerfeld
After the first disappointing story, I was afraid that I couldn't be coaxed to finish the book. But I loved Westerfeld's story! As the only male author included in the collection, he not only used his short story to create a utopian society but a solid romance. For their Scarcity class projects, Maria and Kieran learn that some things from their society's past are worth remembering. I would love to see this world turned into a book.

Thinner Than Water
by Justine Larbalestier
Larbalestier's contribution was a little hard to place. It takes place in a village steeped in traditions and supernatural beliefs. I think this one was the most gruesome and fitting of the anthology's title. She captures a world caught between modern reality and the fairy world. Her tale was the most disturbing and heartbreaking.

Fan Fictions
by Gabrielle Zevin
This story will throw you for a loop! As do Zevin's other works...However, she demonstrates what happens when fiction and love collide. This one is for all those who dream about finding "their" Edward.

Love Struck
by Melissa Marr
I expected a darker story after reading Marr's Wicked Lovely series. But she tells the story of a mythical creature that is often overlooked in fantasy--selkies. Hers is a well-spun romance that leaves the reader sighing with a happy ending.

Reading Rating:
I read this one in a couple of hours. I think having it broken down into stories made it much easier to read. You don't have to read all the stories or even read them in order. I would suggest saving "Love Struck" for last to leave you on a sweet note.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

For the author of the Gregor the Overlander series, Collins creates a dystopian society that demonstrates the lengths that Katniss will go to protect her family and to stay alive. Growing up in one of the poorest districts, Katniss is a trained hunter and a survivor. But in the Hunger Games there are no rules, except one--only one winner can leave the arena alive. In a society where reality television has become a brutal death match, the citizens of the 12 districts are forced to watch as their sons and daughters fight to their deaths, unless Katniss finds a way to changes the rules of the game. Highly recommended for readers who enjoyed Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series.

Reading Rating:
I stayed up long past my bedtime reading this one! And even tried to sneak a few peeks while working on the desk. It kept calling my name. Loved, loved, loved it :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

There hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind. Until they found her.

These are not your kinder, gentler brand of vampires. McKinley has woven a dark and twisted novel. There are no barriers between the real world and the Others. Sunshine lives in a world where suckers, demons, and werewolves are commonplace. Spending her days as a baker, her life is uneventful and she appears unremarkable in every way, except for her obsession with the Others. Then one night, she seeks out a quiet place to get away.

It has been years since the Wars, but no one goes to the lake anymore. There are too many bad spots and too many unknowns, but that does not stop Sunshine. She drives to her dad’s old lake house. She never even hears them coming. When they are vampires, you never do. Now Sunshine is in a battle for her life.

McKinley’s story does not romanticize vampires. They are cruel, heartless, and ugly. Nevertheless, she has created a powerful character to carry the story. Sunshine realizes her full potential and it could very well see her to her death. Only through an alliance with a vampire named Con do they both stand a fighting chance against a common enemy.

Sunshine commands the presence of every page. Her untapped abilities and her own conflicts with allying with a vampire create a unique novel that is unlike any others.

Reading Rating:
This was an intense read, and it did take me several days to tackle. Be prepared for a dark, gritty view of vampires. Also, due to mature content, I would recommend this title for older readers. And don't expect a sequel any time soon ;-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier

For Paula, accompanying her merchant father on a trading voyage to Istanbul is a dream come true. They have come to this city of trade on a special mission to purchase a most rare artifact—a gift from the ancient goddess, Cybele, to her followers. It’s the only remnant of a lost, pagan cult.

But no sooner have they arrived when it becomes clear they may be playing at a dangerous game. A colleague and friend of Paula’s father is found murdered. There are rumors of Cybele’s cult reviving within the very walls of Istanbul. And most telling of all, signs have begun to appear to Paula, urging her to unlock Cybele’s secret. As time begins to run out, she must solve the puzzle before unknown but deadly enemies catch up to her.

In this companion novel to Wildwood Dancing, Marillier skips ahead in time six years. Told from Paula’s viewpoint this time around, readers once again find themselves bending the lines between reality and the Other Kingdom. Sent on a quest, the scholarly seventeen-year-old must follow the clues that her oldest sister, Tati, is leaving for her in the form of signs, dreams, and apparitions.

Marillier has created another remarkable story with an unusual setting. The challenges that Paula faces as a young woman in Istanbul can only rival her strong-will—a trait that sees her through to the end. This story combines every element to spin a tale that will appeal to readers of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance. Though it is not necessary to read Wildwood Dancing prior to this one, I highly recommend it simply because it is another fantastic book and it gives you the chance to get to know the family as a whole.

Reading Rating:
I read this in one day! I couldn't put it down and was sad to see it end. Maybe a third book is in the future for these characters?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Heavy Reading, Lemurs, & Devious Plotting

Okay, so I've been a bit MIA lately. But I've been reading! Well, and working too. So I have lots of reviews I need to post. But first, something I just had to share. My dad has an obsession with the website, I Can Has Cheezburger. He's always sending me amusing "library cats" that I can post on my wallpaper at work. Here's my favorite one so far.

My goal for the day is to change the background on every computer at our reference desks to my cat background. Ridiculous, I know...but it amuses me. Kinda like Maureen Johnson and her lemurs! Though I have yet to take it to her level of lemur insanity...

Anyways, I recently was introduced to another site that's not as great as Cheezburger, but it had this awesome picture that I know you will enjoy! The caption was "Heavy Reading." All I can say is--thank goodness they didn't add Breaking Dawn to the stack. The poor cat would have been crushed :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

John Green Speaks Out

If you haven't read it, please check out John Green's speech that he gave for the ALAN Conference. It is really inspiring and eye-opening. He once again proves his awesomeness and gives English teachers the credit they truly deserve. Also, he emphasizes the importance of giving teenagers the benefit of the doubt. They are smart, intelligent, and can "get it." But John says it much better than I ever could, so stop listening to me ramble and get on over to his site!

"...we know that young people can rise to intellectual challenges. I know because the course of my life was altered by teachers who challenged me, who assumed I was smart and refused to acknowledge otherwise despite considerable evidence. We know the importance of never selling kids short and never selling them out, because I’d imagine we’ve all seen our lives changed by teachers who believed in us." --John Green

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight Movie *Spoilers*

I really should just take my favorite Twilight books (Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse) and retreat to a corner.  I shouldn't have read Breaking Dawn.  And I really shouldn't have seen the movie.  Sigh.  

Don't get me wrong--I love, love, love Bella & Edward.  But I love my versions of them.  In my head.  And the movie just didn't match that for me.  There were too many awkward silences and drawn out scenes.  The acting wasn't great.  Can you honestly tell me you didn't giggle hysterically when Edward first got a whiff of Bella?  It was ludicrous.  And MY Edward is not a spider monkey leaping thru trees.  

But much like the HP movies, the big screen can never quite match up with what I have going on in my imagination.  My husband said he didn't think it was that bad, but then he hasn't been in love with these characters for years like I have.  But he did point out a lot of things they didn't include in the movie that made it confusing for non-Twilight readers.  I had a lot of explaining to do...

All in all, I could have done without, but now I know what someone else's vision of Twilight is like.  And it's made me realize that we each have our own version wandering around inside our heads.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Twilight is coming...

It's almost here!! Despite my best efforts to not get my hopes up, I really really hope that the Twilight movie lives up to all the hype and more importantly my high standards for what a Twilight movie is supposed to be like. I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive when they announced Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson as Bella & Edward. But they're starting to grow on me.

Kristen definitely has that awkwardness to her that embodies Bella. And Rob...well, I still want to fetch him a comb or something, but the chemistry between the two of them seems undeniable in all the clips I've seen. So come Friday night (yes I have to wait until after work!), me and my willing (yes, he's willing!) husband will be watching my most beloved vampire tale unfold...

BTW, if you see it before me, don't spoil it! Wait until Saturday to let me know what you think ;-) For now, this will have to do.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

If the cover and the title are not enough to draw you in, the premise of this book will win you over in a heartbeat. Set in New Avalon, the world's most self-obsessed city, Larbalestier (author of the Magic or Madness trilogy) has created a world where everyone gets their own personal fairy. No one can see or hear their fairy, but it is usually does not take long to figure out what kind everyone has. The lucky few have a really doos (cool) fairy like a clothes shopping fairy. But then there is Charlie, who got stuck with the most undoos fairy of all--a parking spot fairy.

Sure it is dead useful if you are old enough to drive. But to Charlie she would rather have no fairy at all instead of enduring the smell of gasoline and vinyl seats one more time. She is tired of her friends and family "borrowing" her in order to find the perfect parking spot. In an attempt to get rid of her fairy, she starts walking everywhere and this is where the trouble begins.

With a language and culture all its own, this story is not your typical fairy book. It will make you laugh out loud and cheer Charlie on in her attempts (and failed attempts) to get rid of her pesky parking fairy. With its fast-paced narrative, loads of drama, and a touch of romance, Larbalestier will leave you wanting more including a fairy of your own.

Caution: Despite the suggestions in the book, I was not able to get rid of my fairy, Pixie. And unlike Justine's fairies, mine is very visible and very loud. Check out the photo below to see what a "makes you trip and wakes you up too early" fairy looks like.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Your Favorite Teen Authors!

I figured why should I keep my favorite teen authors' blogs all to here's a list of the best and the greatest (but by no means comprehensive--go here for one that is closer to complete). Please feel free to comment if you have another one to add to the list, but these are my favorites (and ones that I found in the process of making this list, so we'll hope those are good too). Sadly, they do not all have RSS feeds, so usually the ones that don't...well, I forget about.

Mad Woman in the Forest
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Libba Bray
author of A Great and Terrible Beauty series

Meg's Diary
by Meg Cabot

Cassandra Clare's Blog
author of the Mortal Instruments series

by Sarah Dessen

The YA Novel and Me
by Gail Giles

by John Green

Justine Larbalestier
author of the Magic or Madness trilogy

E.Lockhart's Blog
by E. Lockhart

Robin McKinley
author of Beauty

by Lisa McMann

Sarah Mlynowski
author of How to Be Bad

Lauren Myracle
author of TTYL series

Confessions of Georgia Nicholson
by Louise Rennison

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

by Scott Westerfeld

The Stories of a Girl
by Sara Zarr

Teen Fiction Cafe
Includes authors various teen authors

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Okay, so I'm a teen author blog junkie. I have all my favorite authors in my blog reader. And I've been denied access to this for the last week or so (due to some filtering issues). Anyways in case you don't scour all the blogs out there that I do....Meg Cabot is currently in the process of revising the sequel to Airhead, which I reviewed many months ago and loved. Here's a sneak peek at the cover and plot.

Things aren’t pretty for Emerson Watts.

Em was sure there couldn’t be anything worse than being a brainiac trapped in the body of a teenaged supermodel.

But it turned out she was wrong. Because that supermodel could turn out to have a mother who’s gone mysteriously missing, a brother who’s shown up on her doorstep demanding answers, a former best friend who’s intent on destroying Stark Enterprises to avenge the death of his lost love, and a British heartthrob who’s written a song about her that’s topping the charts.

How can Em balance all that with school, runway shows, and weekend jaunts to St. John - especially when she’s got ex-boyfriends crawling out of the woodwork who want more than just a photo op; a sister who is headed to the high school cheerleading championships; a company she represents that seems to be turning to the dark side…not to mention trying to convince the love of her life that models aren’t really airheads after all…especially one model in particular.

But then, nobody said it was going to be easy being Nikki.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

a slew of reviews...

Alright, here's the reviews that I promised you! I'm sure that I'm forgetting some books at the moment. But I can't keep too much straight at the moment. These will just have to make do :) Enjoy!

City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare
The first in the Mortal Instruments series, fifteen year old Clary is a normal teenage girl. She fights with her overprotective mother, hangs out with her best friend Simon, and oh yeah...she's starting to see things that no one else can see. Underneath the human world is a world shrouded by a glamour full of Shadowhunters and Downworlders such as vampires, werewolves, and demons. So where does Clary fit into this new world? When her mother is attacked and kidnapped, Clary learns who her mother really is and what she has been running from Clary's whole life.

This unique fantasy is fast-paced and impossible to put down. Follow Clary as she learns what it means to be a Shadowhunter, scrambles to save her mother, and tries to figure out if normal even applies to her world anymore. The story is action-packed and thrilling with a romantic twist you will not see coming. It will leave you waiting for more.... (Alert! Spoilers below in review for next volume.)

City of Ashes
by Cassandra Clare
In this sequel to City of Bones, readers find Clary struggling to keep her family from crumbling apart. This volume picks up right where the first book left off. With her mother in a coma, her father off plotting to take down the Clave, and her realtionship with her brother on shaky ground, Clary has a lot to deal with. Luckily, she has her boyfriend, Simon by her side to help her stay grounded. But when Jace and Clary learn that their father have given them each special gifts--it is up to them to figure out to use them to their advantage and stop Valentine from raising his demon army. As engaging as the first in the series, City of Ashes continues the momentum and again leaves you eager for what is next.

Living Dead Girl
by Elizabeth Scott
Shocking and chilling, Scott tells the story of a broken and sexually-abused girl named Alice. Like the Alice before her, she once had a family, a childhood, and her own thoughts. Now each day is a struggle to survive. To say the right words. To stay young. But all she longs for is an end. When she turns 15, Alice knows that she is too old for Ray now. Soon it will be her turn to die...after she helps him find the next Alice. Told in quick, short chapters, the narrative reflects the few independent thoughts Alice has left. Though Scott never describes the abuse in detail, the horror and pain is palpable. You desperately want to help save Alice. This is not a story you will soon forget.

Size 12 is Not Fat
by Meg Cabot
Okay, so this is not a teen book. SHOCKING, I know. But I'm trying to balance out what I read, a little teen book here, a grown-up book there (apparently I am a grown-up or supposed to be--yeah right), and a non-fiction title every now and then. But I'm getting off-topic as usual....since our Big Read is coming up in October (The Maltese Falcon), I decided to give a mystery title a whirl.

I picked up this book because of the title and the author (The Princess Diaries are my guilty pleasure). I've been skinny my whole life, but recently well...I've put on a lot of weight because of a heart condition I developed. Oh the joys of getting older! So the thought of a heroine who is the average size of a woman appealed to me. I love strong, confident women who are comfortable in their own skin.

I will admit that was a very predictable plot, but it was still enjoyable. Heather Wells is a former pop star who's lost it all--her career, her money, and even her cheating fiancee. When she gets a job as assistant director at a university's residence hall, she thinks now she can start living a normal life. But when girls start dying in the building, Heather gets suspicious and starts her own investigation. Peppered with pop culture references (grown-up ones at that), I couldn't help but giggle here and there. It was a nice, easy read...especially after the intensity of some of the teen books I've been reading.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns
by John Green

From the author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, this book is one of the best books that I have read all year. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy (which I passed onto another lucky librarian), so look for this title to come out on October 16th. John Green has always written intelligent, funny, and heart-wrenching tales. He knows how to tell a story and create truly believable characters. Even though his books are all vastly different, they always have two things in common--it's a coming of age book (i.e. Catcher in the Rye) and it's always, always about a girl.

Quentin is a senior in high school--just weeks away from graduation. He has always played it safe and followed the rules. He gets good grades, is going to a great college, and like most people is living with the future in mind. But there's one thing in his life that isn't safe, his next door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman. She's wild and unpredictable and lives in the present. She's everything Q's not and he's been content to love her from afar since childhood.

But one night changes all that, when she sneaks into Q's room and begs him to join her on her campaign of revenge. Suddenly, Q finds himself in crazy, unpredictable situations and even has the chance to love the girl of his dreams. He assumes after all they went thru that things couldn't possibly be the same. But by the next morning, Margo is gone and left nothing but a trail of clues behind. Clues that are meant especially for Q.

Green follows Q and his friends as he tries to follow the bread crumbs and find the girl he loves. But in the process, he realizes that he didn't ever know the real Margo Roth Spiegelman. The closer he gets to finding her, the more he learns about who she really is. This poignant story is heart-breaking and endearing. Green creates teens who are intelligent, diverse, and self-reflecting. There is no fluff here.

Though his language can be crude and vulgar (think teenage guys), he doesn't wimp out in this book or take the easy way out. He incorporates poetry, music, and books to reveal more about Q and Margo's true identities. This is a smart read (which is bound to appeal to both girls and guys) that will draw you in and stay with you long after you put it down.

Falling behind....

Okay, so I have a stack of books I've read that I need to post reviews for. Then I have a stack of books that I need to read. And that's during my "free time." With the Big Read: One Book, One Irving (October 1 - 30, The Maltese Falcon--shameless plug) coming up, I have NO time to do much of anything. But anyways, just letting you that I am still here. And I will try and post new reviews soon. I've got some great books that I've finished lately! So look for Paper Towns by John Green, City of Bones & City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot (omg, it's an adult book!), and yeah...I've forgotten the others for the moment.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer :(

I have been putting this off long enough. First it took me forever to read the book, then we didn't get our library copies in for almost a month after the release date (GRRR!), and well...I didn't want what I had to say to affect your view of Breaking Dawn (especially since I was part of the hype!). So hopefully everyone's read it by now. If not -- stop reading now...this review will contain spoilers.

The first part of Breaking Dawn was going great. Edward and Bella got married. Jacob danced with her (awww). They went on their honeymoon. Everything's happy with a fairy tale ending. Then Bella gets pregnant. And things just flat out got weird. I don't know if it's because she had just written the sci fi book, The Host, or what it was. Either way...she went off on this bizarre tangent and I wasn't buying it.

I don't know if it was the bad writing (sorry but it was), the bad editing (sorry again but it was), or the bad plotline (really sorry but it so was). I just could not wrap my head around it or make it make sense. I kept asking myself logical questions about how such a thing could happen or why Meyer wrote it into the storyline. I kept thinking she was trying to get some sort of message across about political and religious things that I'm not about to go into.

In short, I couldn't just read and forget that I was reading a story. During the first three novels, I found myself completely enraptured by the story and the characters. I loved Bella, Edward, and Jacob. I cried with them and forgot that they weren't real. But with Breaking Dawn, I couldn't fall into the story in the same way.

Then we came to part two of the book: Jacob's voice. While I loved hearing Jacob's voice for the first time, it was out of character for the series and let's be honest -- it got boring. I kept having to force myself to continue. In fact, at one point I was ready to take it back to the store (but that would have messed up my nice collection on my bookshelf) and I was determined to see it thru to the end.

I almost wish I hadn't finished or even started....I thought the story started to wind down around 500 pages, only to be picked up again with the threat of the Volturi. Then it was like reading a whole new book. Suddenly it was the Stephenie Meyer from the first three books writing! It was intense and exciting. And the fact that Jacob imprinted on Bella's daughter made everything make so much more sense. But when it came down to the final scene in the clearing, it ended abruptly and with no real climax. It was a huge let down.

I was extremely disappointed. It was like Stephenie Meyer threw this book together in a hurried fashion with little thought to the flow or action or character development. It left on a sweet note and showed us a stronger Bella, but still it wasn't enough for me. I expected more. Sorry if you loved it. That's wonderful and that's what I wanted for myself! I wanted to love it. I wanted it to be everything I expected, but it just wasn't.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Breaking Dawn is finally I will post my review as soon as I have time. We'll see how long that is.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Passing the time...

Nope, still no Breaking Dawn copies from Baker & Taylor. GRRRR!! Just the ones the publisher so kindly sent me. I've been assured they will be in this week. So I'm still holding off on my ranting and raving about Stephenie's final Twilight book.

In the meantime, I've been passing the time by reading a few other books....

Princess Ben
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
I actually read this one a while back, but for some reason I forgot to write up a review. It's by the same author who wrote Dairy Queen and its sequel, The Off Season. What I love about Murdock's books are that main character is always a strong, independent female. And she's not perfect! After her mother & uncle (the king) are murdered and her father is missing, it's up to ordinary Ben to transform into Princess Benevolence in order to save her kingdom. Stuck under the controlling grasp of her aunt, Ben discovers that there is more in her blood than royalty. With the help of a little magic, Princess Ben becomes the leader her people need. Though she will never be thin or graceful, she is strong and saves herself. This book provides a great new twist on several fairy tales, while providing a strong female figure to carry the story.

Stop in the Name of Pants!
by Louise Rennison
In this continuation of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Georgia may be the girlfriend of an Italian Luuurve God, but her red-bottomosity is back in full force. With Wet Lindsay hanging all over Robbie and watching Georgia's every move, she feels compelled to save him. And then there's Dave the Laugh and an accidental 5 on the snogging scale. What is he up to? I could not stop laughing throughout the entire book. And once again, I found myself saying ridiculous things like "erlack a po-gos" and whatnot. It's infectious. But Rennison has once again left us hanging...will Georgia ever decide on just one cake from the rack of love or is she doomed to continue her red-bottomosity?

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
by Eoin Colfer
Okay, so this isn't a teen book. But if you love Harry Potter (again not a teen series) or fantasy, you will love this latest installment in the Artemis Fowl series. Everything all comes together. With time turned upside down and inside out, Artemis must face his worst enemy yet--himself at age 10. This book is exciting and fast-paced with lots of adventure. It helps to have read the other books in the series (there's lots of things that fall into place after all these years!), but it can stand on its own as well. It's a nice escape, especially for those starting back to school ;-)

New READ Posters

I've finally bought some new READ posters for the TeenScene area. I can't wait to put them up! ALA finally came out with some really good ones. Let me give you a sneak peek of what will be appearing on our walls soon....

READ with Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart
@ your library

*From James Patterson, here's a manga adaptation of his hit series MAXIMUM RIDE!*

Sink Your Teeth into a Good Book
*From the popular YA graphic novel series Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber*

Friday, August 15, 2008

Make Your Own READ Poster

Now you can make your own mini READ poster online. There's only a few background to choose from, but it's amusing. Make your own here. Mine came out okay...I didn't have a great picture to use.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Poof! Next Harry Potter Flick Moves to Summer

ARGH! They just started showing the trailer for the next Harry Potter movie, and now they're delaying its release by 8 MONTHS. Who's bloody idea was this? What a tease! I am NOT a happy camper. Read more here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Maximum Ride Goes Manga

Okay, I'm a little slow to pick up on things. I was perusing the lastest ALA Graphics catalog looking for new teen posters to order. And whoa! There's one for Maximum Ride, but doesn't look like Max. It looks like a manga version of Max. Turns out it is. Maximum Ride is going manga in January 2009. And I'm the last to know. Check it out here for a sneak peek:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rumors by Anna Godbersen

I've finished reading Breaking Dawn. Actually I did several days ago, but I've been trying to hold off on posting a review until OUR copies come in. And they haven't yet. It's been out for a week and a half, and we still do not have our copies for the library. *hrumph* I am not a happy camper. Thanks to the hype of the book and our successful release party, there's about 40 people waiting for those books. So I'll refrain from spoiling any secrets until our copies show up. To be continued...

On the other hand, I never did post a review for Rumors by Anna Godbersen. It's the 2nd book in the Luxe series (first book being The Luxe--clever, huh?). If you haven't read the first one, you should. I picked it up because I loved the cover. I'm such a sucker for a pretty cover. It's a historical romance with gossip and intrigue and secrets. Think Gossip Girl but with more depth (these are thick books!) and they're also set in the 1800's. Give or take a 100 years.

Rumors again has the draw of an alluring cover, and it picks right up where The Luxe left off. It's suspenseful--flashing between the rich society of Manhattan and the rural beginnings of the California oil rush. It was heart wrenching though. I got nearly to the end and the author did something that angered me so much that I wanted to throw the book away. But I didn't. It's just that I usually get very attached to the characters, and when things go awry I tend to forget that it's just fiction. Signs of a good book. It's a light and yet very juicy read. Even for someone who doesn't like historical fiction (yes, that'd be me), I'd still give it a try.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I'm still reading Breaking Dawn *sigh* So many other things to do....I will maintain my blog silence until I finish. I'll post my review of Rumors by Anna Godbersen, the second book in The Luxe series. So far...they've both had one thing in common and that is at some point I wanted to throw the book across the room (for very different reasons though!).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Breaking Dawn Photos

Okay, so I can't really point, but on the lefthand side under my Twitter updates are the photos from the party yesterday. They're on Flickr, so just click on the photos to make them bigger. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Boo, the party's over....

The party is over, and I'm exhausted! But it was completely worth all the hard work, the stressing out (I even broke out in hives for this one--yikes), and begging I had to do. The girls from The Bella Cullen Project were super sweet and played great. They even did an encore! Definitely not something you see everyday at the library :)

Ally, Chandler, and Tori all signed autographs, sold cd's, and chatted with all the VERY excited teens that came. I felt bad that I had to finally kick everyone out, but I was ready to come home and crash! Don't hold it against me please--I was weak with hunger.

So thanks to everyone who came (75 at last count!), thanks to the band, thanks to the band's moms for helping out, thanks to my volunteers who helped out, and thanks to all my co-workers that helped me bake a ton of cookies. Oh, and thanks to a very kind librarian for lending me a check so that I could buy a couple of CDs for the library and me (Apparently stopping at the ATM was not on my party "to do" list--oops. I will pay her back though!).

Also, I'll make sure and post a link to the pictures once I figure out how to get them off the camera. I was not the official picture taker, so I'm not sure how many are even on there. We'll all just have to wait and see! Now off to read....and then sleep.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Next up is....

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters was good to the end...very abrupt though, so this one better have a sequel in the works!!! I need more :) Now I'm moving onto Maximum Ride. We'll see how I like this one. I better like it, Alice, since you talked me into it!

Also, I have a huge confession. I'm addicted to blogging. Seriously addicted. I like to blog, I like to read blogs, I like to add things to my blogs. Yes, notice I saids BLOGS plural meaning that I have more out there. You're just not able to find them. Or maybe you're not looking. Don't look, they're old and rambling....I have had at least four other blogs before this one. And I currently write two.

I am sad. Meaning, I am that sad person who sits in front of the computer who can't stop Twittering and tending to her garden on Facebook. Seriously, is there help for this kind of thing? I often wonder how my husband can play Xbox 360 for 14 hours straight (even I burn out after a few hours).

But maybe I should be worrying more about the fact that I spend so much time on MySpace, Facebook (2 accounts), Twitter, Blogger (2 blogs), email (1 work, at least 4 personal ones), IM, etc. All of which is made worse by my new iPhone. The evil thing gives me access to everything!! ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE. Es muy peligroso!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Busy, busy, busy....

Okay, I'm not neglecting my blog (yes, I am)...I'm just in panic-mode right now. My Breaking Dawn Party is next week. July 29 @ 4:30pm, Irving's Central Library, featuring The Bella Cullen Project. They'll be selling Cd's and signing autographs too.

Moving on....I just finished reading The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde. And okay, I knew from the title it would be depressing, but boy was it. Yuck. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book. I just didn't need the doom and gloom it provided. It's got a very good message about suicide and the power of our actions & thoughts. Very deep. Too bad I was looking for fun and shallow.

So, I started reading Generation Dead by Daniel Waters. I was like okay, zombies. Is this going to be any good? And I can't put it down! The idea is fascinating. A phenomena is occurring across the US. Teens are dying, and then waking up again. However, since they've officially died, they have no rights and it's not illegal to kill a zombie. It's got a little bit of everything in it so far...romance, political issues, racism (actually, bioism), and high school tension.

I haven't finished it yet, but so far it's very moving and powerful. Can a live girl fall in love with a zombie? Or will someone kill them both before it's too late? Even I haven't found out yet...I'll let you know how it ends.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vampire Cupcakes

These are soooo cute! I can't make them for my Breaking Dawn Party (me, with my messed up oven, and 100 cupcakes--yeah right), but I thought I'd share them. Vampire Cupcakes Recipe

Monday, July 14, 2008

Twilight Movie Posters

I may hyperventilate....Summit Entertainment just called ME. They're putting out a little movie called Twilight in December. A few of you may have heard about it. Anyways, they're sending me mini Twilight movie posters for my Breaking Dawn Party (July 29 @ 4:30pm, featuring a special performance by The Bella Cullen Project--shameless plug). I sounded so calm on the phone, but I'll be honest--inside I was freaking out and jumping up & down. Apparently, Summit Entertainment saw the article on the band, so she contacted the band and they told them all the libraries they are playing at. I'm not sure how many they're sending, but you might just be lucky enough to get one. I know exactly where mine is going.

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

YAY!! I just received an ARC (advance reading copy for the non-librarian geeks in here) of Lauren Myracle's new book Bliss. I just was trying to get my hands on this one. Is she psychic? I'm beginning to wonder... Here is a review written on it already until I can finish. It sounds good!! :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I may diss MTV a lot because they play more crappy reality tv than music videos the last time I checked, but they're giving my girls from The Bella Cullen Project a major nod. So I'll lay off them for the moment. Check out the article on MTV's site here with some great videos. Even better it was filmed at my hometown's library! The very one I went to when I was beyond little. YAY!!! Sadly, I had to miss it....I was working at my library instead :( But I'm definitely thinking it would be very cool to see one of their songs playing over the Twilight movie.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - The Movie

Okay, this must be my favorite year! The City of Ember is being made into a movie, Twilight's coming out in December, and now Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is too!! The only thing that makes this even better is that Michael Cera is playing one of the leads. Oh yes, that's might recognize him from a little movie called Juno, but I watched him long before in the tv series "Arrested Development." Seriously, if you've never watched this show, rent it now. I died laughing time and time again. And Cera's character, George Michael is too, too funny. Love him. Anyways, here's a sneak peek at the movie poster thanks to MTV (eck, but we'll try to ignore that part).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

airhead by meg cabot

Okay, so I finished Airhead by Meg Cabot the other day....within hours of starting it. If only work hadn't gotten in the way, I would have been done sooner!

Anyways, Emerson Watts is the girl no one sees. She's a tomboy all the way and she's in love with her best friend who doesn't seem to realize she's a girl. But all that changes when her mom forces her to take her younger sister to the grand opening of the Stark Megastore to see Gabriel Luna (insert Em gagging here).

Through a weird twist of fate and some other things I'm not going to ruin for you, Em ends up trapped in the body of the world's most popular teenage supermodel, Nikki Howard. The exact opposite of everything Em believes in and stands for. And though most girls would kill to be in Em's place, all she wants is to be in her own body again and to get her best friend to fall in love with her.

This book is a weird twist for Meg Cabot. Don't get me wrong--it's still got the romance and everything--but man, you won't see this one coming! It's one you'll really have to try and wrap your head around (heehee--that would be much funnier if you've read the book). Also, it's a fast read that will leave you wanting more, which is exactly what you'll the sequel ;-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

I just finished reading the final book in the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. Unbelievable was just more of the same really. I really think that the series could have been condensed and not so dragged out. When the climax of the story finally hit, it was over instantaneously and then ended rather abruptly. It's one of those books I wasn't sure why I was reading because it aggravated me so much, but at the same time I HAD to know who A was. I even cheated and flipped to the back to look because I was getting so impatient. It also had lots of my number one pet peeves--pop culture references. I know they make teen books seem edgy and trendy, but they also date them really quickly if not done right. There was once reference to supermodel, Petra Nemcova's tsunami tragedy that I found flat out offensive. Am I being too sensitive? Or am I just getting too old to read teen books? (I hope not!)

But now I've moved onto Meg Cabot's Airhead, which so far has me perplexed and intrigued. I can't wait to read more....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Front Page!

The Bella Cullen Project is featured on today's front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram! Check out the article here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Bella Cullen Project & MTV

I have exciting news!! The Bella Cullen Project (who will be performing at our Breaking Dawn Release party) is playing at the Arlington Public Library's Central location next week on Wednesday, July 2 at 7pm.....and wait for it, wait for it...MTV is FILMING them!! For more details, visit their website. And come on out to support the girls if you can :) I'll definitely try to be there.

The Bella Cullen Project

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Drowning in Books & Programs

Okay, I survived my first big teen program of the summer. Too bad I spilt red food coloring all over my hands and pants after repeatedly warning the teens to not spill it on the carpet or themselves. Guess I forgot that I am the clumsy one!! Oh came out of my pants, but if you see a librarian walking around with a reddish-pink hand--feel free to snicker. I haven't been able to get all the dye off yet. Go me!

Now to start planning the next major program (my favorite one!), my Breaking Dawn Pre-Release Party. Quite the mouthful, I know. I couldn't come up with a better name. But I'm obsessed with the Twilight saga and Stephenie Meyer and Buffy (ignore that one), so this one will be so much fun for me!! Plus, the Twilight fan-band, The Bella Cullen Project is coming to play! YAYYYYY! I truly am a book nerd.

But I'm getting off-topic and I did have a point to this blog. I've got 6 teen books sitting on my desk waiting to be read (and about 6 more on hold). The problem with being the teen librarian is that I order the books, so I know what's coming in and I get really excited....and put them all on hold. Then when they come in all at once, I have a stack of books to read. You may think librarians and booksellers just sit around reading all day (or maybe I just think people think that). Unfortunately, I usually only have time to read on my lunch break. One hour to cram in all my reading for the day. It's not enough time!!!

At the moment, I'm halfway thru Ink Exchange. Suprisingly, I'm loving it so much more than the first one. It's just getting really if only I had the time to finish it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Okay, so I'm a little ways into it. And I must say I like it better than the first one so far. It is still really dark and gothic--bordering on the grotesque when it comes to describing the Dark Court fey. It's summer out....I need some light beach reading!! Not that I'm going to a beach anytime soon. Anyone got any suggestions?

BTW, I did get around to reading these from my "What I Can't Wait For List..." that I haven't mentioned yet. They're all worth a read.

Lock and Key
by Sarah Dessen

This one was looks like Dessen has gotten back on track after Just Listen. This one reads like her best works. A classic romance and tragedy all rolled into one!

The Adoration of Jenna Fox
by Mary E. Pearson
This one was a breeze to read. I couldn't put it down, and the book was over before I knew it. After waking up from a coma after 18 months, Jenna finds that she doesn't remember her life before the accident at all. However, she can recite Walden word for word. What are her parents hiding? Even though the ending is tied up a little too neatly, this is a fast read that's worth the time.

Footfree and Fancyloose
by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain

In the sequel to Bass Ackwards and Belly Up, the story picks up right where the first one left off. Despite being scattered across the world, these four friends manage to help each other through their first difficult year after high school. This one is just as good as the first and leaves an opening for another installment. You can't miss this one if you loved The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Twilight Read-Alikes

Okay, I'm starting the sequel to Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. I have to admit I only read the first one because it was suggested to me as a Twilight read-alike. It's not. At least not for me. It's dark and gloomy with an unsatisfying ending, IMHO. I have to admit that the only reason I'm reading this one is that I read the first one, so I have to know what happens whether I like it or not (silly reason--I know). We'll see if I make it through. Sorry for those of you who liked Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange. Maybe this one will change my mind about the series.....

If you really want a Twilight read-alike, I suggest you try The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones. It's the first in a trilogy, which I've all read all three. And they're a good mix of fantasy and romance. Much more to my liking. Currently my library only has the first installment, but I'll be trying to buy the other two as they come out in paperback. In case you want to try and find the other two, the second one is The Lost Queen and the last one is The Sorcerer King.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wake by Lisa McMann

I just finished reading this yesterday. It is a ridiculously fast read! And you will not want to put it down. I was a little disappointed that it was already over, but don't worry there's more to come. It ends with the beginning of the next book in the series Fade. I cannot wait to find out more about Janie and Cabe. This book begins with Janie falling into other people's dreams, and worse their nightmares. She has no control over when or where she will be sucked in. During study hall, in class, even while driving....But she's always been a spectator before. Now something's changed--she's in the worst nightmare she's seen yet and she's a participant. Can she learn to control her powers before it's too late? Read to find out....

And now I'll get back to Alanis Morissette's new CD, Flavors of Entanglement. Track 1 is currently on repeat.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Okay, so I'm a little behind because teen summer reading just kicked off on June 1. I went and MET Stephenie Meyer. Beyond words! I got my copy of the Host and Twilight signed for me....and I got a copy of Twilight signed to give away at my lib's Breaking Dawn Party. Who shall be so lucky to get it? We'll have to wait and see.

Anyways, I just finished reading an amazing book called Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Think George Orwell's 1984, but with terrorists and Xboxs. The book is set in the not too distant future just after another terrorist attack. The main character, Marcus gets picked up for being a suspected terrorist. He's held by the Department of Homeland Security and tortured for information that he doesn't have. When he's finally released, he finds that San Francisco has turned into a military state with Big Brother watching even more than before. Tracking everyone's every move.

The paranoia and the fear are so realistic. Not to mention the technology, which apparently isn't too far-fetched. This book makes you really think....How much of this could happen? How much already is? The torture is realistic, I must warn you. It will make you squirm and cringe to the very last minute. This is a thrilling book with tons of gadgets and technology and romance, but it's an important book. It makes you really think. You can't miss this one, especially if you're a fan of Scott Westerfeld or the Uglies series.

And now onto the next one....Wake by Lisa McMann.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Stephenie Meyer

I must gush. I got up at the ungodly hour of 4am and headed off to Frisco this morning. I sat in the cold and wet for 2 & a half hours. was worth it. I was rewarded with not only with Stephenie Meyer's new book, The Host (which I have to admit I've had an advance reading copy sitting on my desk for over a month...just too busy), but I got a ticket to go see her speak on Saturday and for a book signing. Since I got there so early I got a ticket in the auditorium for row D. As in the 4th row!!!

I have to admit I'm feeling a big dorky by this point. I mean, I've stood in line for countless concerts. Prided myself on getting front row seats to see over a hundred bands, but to do all this for an author? All I can say is....I wish I could write like that.

The only other author I can imagine with this kind of draw is J.K. Rowling (you knew that already). But I don't think I'd want to meet her now. The series is done. My questions are answered. Anything else she could add to HP would only ruin what is in my mind a complete story. But Mrs. Meyer, we're all still on the edge of our seats. There's still so much more to find out. Added bonus: It's got vampires.

Hope you were one of the lucky few. In which case, see ya Saturday.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's here!

I have Sarah Dessen's copy of Lock and Key in my hands. Yay! I can't wait to start reading it. It's supposed to be more old-school Sarah Dessen, as opposed to Just Listen (blah). It's tempting me right now, trying to lure me away from my work. But it will have to wait! I'll let you know how it is once I get started.....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What I Can't Wait For...

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
Footfree and Fancyloose by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain
How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle
GemX by Nicky Singer
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Lucky by Rachel Vail
Little Brother Cory Doctorow
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Wake by Lisa McMann

And I definitely can't wait for Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer! In the meantime, this new find will have to satisfy my Twilight cravings. Check out the first Twilight fan-band, The Bella Cullen Project.

The Bella Cullen Project

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What I've Been Reading Lately...

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen