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Showing posts from July, 2011

Holy Smokes, What a great read!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenBy Ransom Riggs Published by Quirk Out: Now Goodreads Link Review copy: from my library Stars: 5 out of 5

I waited for this one for forever, and it far exceeded my expectations. I had thought it was a book of quirky photos, with a small story line.
Ho, Nelly. Not even! Add this to your TBR lists pronto.
Miss Peregrine's is a novel with the photos interspersed in the text to liven up the descriptions of the characters. But the reality is the story is fantastic! It reads like a brand new fairy tale (like nothing you have seen before). There are good guys, bad guys, hidden worlds, special powers, orphans, boarding schools, and WWII. The only thing this novel was missing was gypsy wagons -I love gypsy wagons ;)
This came in for me on Friday while I was at work, and I could not put the darn thing down. Page turning is not the right word for it, it is almost as if the reader is absorbed into the story. Riggs leaves the ending open for a sequel (ple…

Mini Review: Teeth

Teeth: Vampire Tales
Edited by Datlow and Windling
Out: Now
Review copy: library
Stars: 3 out of 5

This will be a mini-review because I am just so glad it's done and I am not going to comment on every story.

It took me months to read this (no, really, I started in May!). First, I hate short stories. Really, why should I invest twelve pages to enjoy a character just to never see them again? Urg. That said this collection has some gems in it. It also had some duds, and that was why I had to keep putting the book down. I finally finished the last "dud" today.
I know when I start noting how many pages a story is...the collection is over for me.

The best story in this collection, IMHO, is Flying by Delia Sherman. I also enjoyed Vampire Weather by Garth Nix.

Overall: if you are in the mood for vampire lit, then go for it. If you are over the fangers, as I suspect I am, let it go.

Review: The Way

The Way We Fall
By Megan Crewe
Published Jan 24, 2012
Review copy: Netgalley
Stars: 3 out of 5

A friend once told me that dystopian lit breaks into two categories: During and After. Here, The Way We Fall is a during. We watch as a virus overtakes a small island off the coast of Canada. The problem, for me, is that I prefer After books (Blood Red Road, Divergent, Hunger Games, etc). This one felt on par with others I have read, but more generic. Crewe does not spend a great deal of time on description and because of that, I found myself not really caring about any of the characters. Even though we are reading the MC's diary (written as letters to an old friend) I don't think I understood her motivation for half of her actions. Her relationship with her father was really unclear. Ditto mom. And what is up with the brother? There just is not anything in this novel that will help it stand out in the pack.

Anyway, what was really great was the idea that the MC was a natural observer. Tha…

One more...

I just wanted to add this shot of the shuffleboard. Again, the TBC (Teen Book Club) made it for me.

More Summer Crafts!

Cruise Into Crafts! For my 6-12 year olds I hosted Cruise Into Crafts in which we boarded a "cruise ship" called the SS Librartania and went to sea. On deck, we had a phantom boat story (not too scary) and stations of fun.
The ship went down the East Coast to South America, so Station One was a craft of molas. We made ours from construction paper. I think they look all 3-D and cool. Station Two, the kids made "Find Its" from empty creamer bottles (the clear ones) and colored rice. I searched for doodads all around the library for days beforehand, and we had more than enough shells, buttons, tiny toys, and wooden pieces to hide in there. Really cute!

Station Three was Limbo. We had trophies for the winner of each group.

Station Four was shuffleboard. The TBC painted a shuffleboard on paper for me, I glued two of those smaller cheap Frisbees together (with some glass marbles inside for weight) and made "pushers" from gift wrap tubes and paper plates.


Teen Book Club

So, I know it is late in the summer, but I want to share some of the stuff my crew has been up to (busy, busy bees).
First, they picked The Maze Runner by Dashner as our August book. I think it is great that 15 kids all share the same reading preferences.
With our One World, Many Stories theme in the kids room, we created a "communication corner". See our lovely English phone box? It was once a refrigerator box, but I cut the many windows and created a "dome" by gluing on poster board. The TBC painted and decorated the booth. We placed toy phones all around the box and on the tables and the little guys have just loved "calling" the world fr om the library this summer.

Here is a close up of the inside.
Also, written inside is "hello" in many different languages.

Review: Near Witch by Schwab

Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Goodreads link
Publish date: August 2, 2011
Stars: 3.5/5

One sentence synopsis: In the village of Near a stranger has arrived in town, and the children of Near are disappearing.

This one was high on my TBR in 2011 list. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
I love a good ghost story. I love a good witch story. I love stories that are set outside of time and here we are isolated in the village of Near, which is bordered by spooky moors.
The writing is beautiful:

"In my dreams, someone is screaming. The voice cries out and gets caught in the wind. It's tangled, faltering. And then it changes, stretches long and thin, pulled taut before it breaks, and all is quiet." (e-galley pg 247)

Gorgeous, gorgeous prose! A fiery heroine! A tortured innocent! And somebody is stealing the village's children.
The problem with this story is that it is 50 pages too long. And repetitive! Three times, Lexi's mother bales her out of trouble with her lawman unc…

Review: Flyaway

Flyaway by Helen LandalfGoodreads link Published December 2011 Source: Netgalley Challenge: netgalley July
I really enjoyed this book, I thought Landalf did a great job examining the life of a child who has an addict for a parent. One one hand, they have unconditional love and loyalty for the parent, on the other, they have enough of a survival instinct to know when they need to protect themselves from further harm. I know, I grew up with two parents with addictions (not meth in either case). As a teen, I searched for books like this (and rarely found them): stories of teens who live through this terrible situation. As a YA librarian, I hope that books like this wind up in the hands of the kids who need to read them (they need to know IT GETS BETTER). That said, the three star rating is for the love interest, it was not developed well, and it was not needed. The scenes with The Professor and friends-okay. The scenes with Alan-immature and they actually wrenched me out of the story and m…

Reading, reading, reading

Just an update, I am still here, but I am on a crazy readathon (self-induced). As I had never read anything by Ellen Hopkins, and as she is coming to NJ in September AND as I have an ARC of Triangles (her first adult novel) I felt I better get on the Hopkins train. So far, I have devoured Burned and Crank. Whoa. I think Burned was one of the BEST things I have read in ages, although I still don't get the ending. Well, not the ending, but the final, final bit. So I made one up on my own. Also, I am cleaning up, reloading, and plowing through some Netgalley reads for the challenge over at Red House Books. So work, read, eat while reading, sleep, and then read some more. In short, summer Heaven.

In which I declare my Participation in Netgalley July!

I love this challenge. Read and review some Netgalley titles and "hang" out with some other readers doing the same thing. You can join the challenge here. This is a great challenge because I sometimes put my NG titles on the backburner to my library books and physical arcs. Also, NG offers titles way in advance, so I tell myself I will get to them in time. And, confession, sometimes I do not. Sob! So how many will I read for this challenge? I think: 5 Let's get going!!!

Circle Nine- A very confused review

Circle 9 by Anne HeltzelPublished by Candlewick September 13, 2011 Source: NG Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars Challenge: Netgalley July
Have you ever found yourself reading a book and you wish you could find someone else, right now, who is reading the same book? This was like that for me. Stuff happened in this book and I looked up and went "What?!?" This is a book that requires a reading buddy.
I was kind of mesmorized by this novel. I just could not put it down. But, I am left kind of empty. Is this the story of Abby and Sam (an unhealthy relationship)? Or is this the story of Addison, and the effects of trauma on us? I am a bit confused. Heltzel has this talent for making the pages turn fast, fast, fast. I was glued to the story, especially when Abby sees her world one way, then blinks and catches a glimpse of "reality". I finished the story more than a little confused, was this a re-telling of a fairy tale? Which one? And how did Abby's mind trick her for so long? I n…