Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2011

Review: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

WitchlandersBy Lena Coakley Out: now Review copy: NG Stars: 4 out of 5
It actually took me a month to read this. I started out all gangbusters: probably did the first 200 pages in a night, them whammo. It just slammed to a halt in the middle. There is wonderful world building in this novel, and I enjoyed it, but when it came time for both sides to meet it sort of felt like a buddy comedy gone wrong. Then, during the hurricane, I picked it back up, and from part 3 on it was all action.
Two cultures, divided by a great war, have remained apart for a generation. Now, a threat to restart the war has drawn together enemies who must work together-or everyone will die.
That is the main premise. However, under all of that is what was, for me, the real story: a family that is being torn apart by drug addiction and mistakes of the past. Skyler, the daughter, is a strong character and I almost wish this had been her story. I found Ryder to be a little mean at times. On the flipside I found Falpian ha…

Review: Shifting by Bethany Wiggins

Shifting By Bethany Wiggins Out: September 27, 2011 Review copy from publisher Stars: 4 out of 5
This was a pleasant surprise. The writing is way above par! Maggie Mae is a shifter stuck in the foster care system and because of problems related to her affliction, she has been passed around for years. Because of this she is fiercely independent and strong. At her final stop before she graduates high school and is cut free, she may just have stumbled on a place she can call home.
I think the best parts of the novel have nothing to do with the actual transformations into animals (well, the horse part was hilarious), but in the great descriptions of life in New Mexico. I also loved the weaving of Navajo legend into the story. The male lead, Bridger (first time I have seen that name!) is strong, successful as a real friend, and really caring. I think I just loved Mrs. Carpenter the best!
I hope for more from Wiggins, but especially this town and these characters. Surely, this could go farther..…

Go Me Go

Okay, this week I am busting-a-move. I need to read a whole bunch of books by the authors who will be attending this year's PAYA Festival on August 27, 2011.
Check out the list of authors here.
About PAYA here.

Edit: Due to lovely Irene, I will be ducking out of this event. I will however continue to read all of the books I gathered by the PAYA authors. So a stay at home read-along, if you will. Irene=suck.

Contest News

Brenna Yovanoff is having a contest. Not just a contest, but an ARC contest.Because I LOVED The Replacement, and I am dying to get my hands on a copy of The Space Between, I will now define the song that best describes me:
This is way harder than I thought it would be.
Okay, well there are songs that are important to me: because I love them or because they were playing when something great happened in my life. So, I am calling on the song that is the anthem for bookworms all over. Dig Moxy's groove as they sing about a girl who would rather read than , well, do anything else. And that IS just like me ;)
If you would like to enter the contest/sum up "you" in a song go to Brenna's blog.

All These Things I've Doneby Gabrielle Zevin Published: September 2, 2011 Add it to your Goodreads TBR list Review copy: from BEA

I cannot even think of this book without The Killer's song playing in my head....good thing I love that song.
I knew about this book before I went to BEA and it was on the must get list, even though I really did not dig the premise. It is the future, chocolate is banned. Anya is a mafia daughter (the mafia controls the chocolate). Meh.
Add to the fact that I am one for one with Zevin. I loved Margarette Town. I thought Elsewhere was a little piece of perfect. I couldn't get through Amnesiac or Hole... So, it was a crapshoot.
Results: this story rocks. It really does. I loved the grandmother, the love interest, the story line, and the world building is great: the future is enough like now that it feels recognizable-but weird enough to be the future. And Anya? She is kickass. Her duty to her family is really enviable. There are some political connect…

Review: The Night Circus

The Night CircusBy Erin Morgenstern Out: September 13, 2011 Review Copy: Edelweiss (thank you) Stars: 5 out of 5
This is quite possibly the hardest review I have ever had to write, because nothing I can say will do this title justice. It is perfect. I was sucked in on the first page, and I cannot remember the last time I was this obsessed with a book (Harry Potter comes to mind, as does Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell-another masterpiece). I did not just want to read this book, I wanted to crawl into it and not leave-ever.
This book just made my top ten list, and as someone who has read hundreds of books over my lifetime, that is saying something.
It has orphans, magicians, clock makers, circus performers, tents filled with dreams, and a love affair to rival Romeo and Juliet. In fact, Morgenstern's love of Shakespeare is alive throughout the entire story. I cannot wait to see what Morgenstern does next. This will appeal to more mature YA audiences. Highly recommended for Ray Bradbury fans…

Comical- Me reading comics

It's funny, I love graphic novels but I have never taken to comics. They are just so different.
Maybe it is because I grew up reading Archie, and let's face it....Archie is lame. Maybe it is because I am not a superhero lover.I want to go to Comic Con next year, so I figured I better get myself an 'edu-ca-tion.
I started at BEA, and hit all of the Comic-related tables. Here was my opener: "I know nothing about comic books, I hate superheroes, I love manga, whatcha got?" I left BEA with piles of comics.
I have been slowly working my way through them, and they are a nice break from novels. Here are the standouts (with new, improved one sentence recaps of awesomeness)!!!!
Locke and Key: It's by Joe Hill and concerns a house that hides keys that do things to the person turning them.
Seriously, the story line here is strong, well developed, layered and very frightening. Personally, I would not set foot in Key House if you begged me, and three kids have to live there! G…

Up Up Down Down.....

Video Games Live - Classic game Mujahbarrukah

In honor of one of the best books I have read this year so far, which comes out today, I offer you this video of an orchestra performing the themes of many classic video games.

Get thyself to the bookstore and grab Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Even if you are not a gamer, or a nerd girl (like myself), this is an incredible adventure. I am aware that it is an adult novel, but the YA crossover here is obvious. I have no problem wearing my "Are You Ready?" button today! I am going to put this book into everyone's hands!!!!

To my geeky friends, I have only to say this: Ready Player One is "NEVERWHERE" good. It is.

I love Cat Patrick!

Forgotten by Cat PatrickGoodreads Out: now 4.5/5 Stars Review copy: from the library
I was not going to read this book, in fact I had "forgotten" to even add it to my TBR list. But, one of the perks of my library job is to see the new titles when they come in. When I pulled it from the pile, one of my Teen Book Club members was standing there, and we looked it over. She decided to check it out.
Flash forward to the next day, when Cayla came screaming into the office: You have to read this NOW! O-kay. Well, I couldn't put the darn thing down and read it in one night. It's a winner!
Why? Well, a big thumbs up for London who is a great character with a voice that just grabs you right away. There is very little angst here, and this girl has a lot to be depressed about-however, London never seems to mire in it.
And Cayla and I agree, Luke is one of the BEST male characters, ever. He well developed, realistic, and has multiple levels-not the typical YA pretty boy who just shows up …

Netgalley July- Another Fail

I love Netgalley with my whole heart (as I am sure you do too), and in July I went for my second attempt at the great challenge over at Red House Books Blog.
Led by the charming Emily (Willow Raven), participants read as many NG titles as they can. This is my second attempt to clear off my ereader of some titles I have been carting around for some time now.
Alas, July was not my month. The goal was to read 5 NG titles.
I read: 3
My review of Flyaway is here. My review of The Near Witch is here. My review of The Way We Fall is here.
Ironically, I read more NG titles in June. I do not expect to be able to compete in October, as I will be back in school (for my last quarter of library school).

Review: The Revenant by Gensler

The Revenant
Sarah Ginsler
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released June 14, 2011
Review Copy: From Library
Goodreads link

What a pleasure! This is not only a spooky ghost story, but a highly researched historical novel as well. I could not put it down, and do not remember reading anything like it before.
I was super pleased to see the main character grow up during this novel, the change was subtle,and realistic. Very well done!
The ghost here is a real chiller, but scarier than the dead is the behavior of the living. This novel, at its core, is really about class and social standing. It is about how we treat each other and how money and standing effect that.
There are really three stories in one here and each is handled very well. I recommend this for fans of Lois Duncan, Laurie Halse Anderson (for the history buffs), and anyone looking for something different to read.

The Source of All Things: A Memoir

The Source of All Things: A MemoirBy Tracy Ross Goodreads link Source: library copy

I found about this one from Whole Living Magazine. It was really wonderful. Tracy Ross writes like she is sitting at the kitchen table with you and is just telling you her story. I could not put it down. She is so brave and I loved reading how she rescued herself from a really bad situation. It made me wish I was more connected to nature. Does drinking half the world's supply of coffee count?
Highly recommended for fans of The Glass Castle, Fierce: A Memoir, and The Girl's Guide to Homelessness. Book clubs should be reading this right now.

I can see it having a cross over audience into YA, because most of this story takes place when Tracy was a teen.
Sometimes in books about abuse, an adult steps in to "save" the main character. Tracy's story is unique in that she saves herself and the authorities really fail her. Imagine the lives this book could improve if it got into the right hands…