Sunday, May 31, 2009

In My Mailbox (15)

First things first, In My Mailbox is brought to you by Kristi AKA The Story Siren.

Only got three books in the mail this week, but they are reallllly good ones.

Here goes:

Liar by Justine Larbalestier coming September 29, 2009 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books


Synopsis:

Micah freely admits that she’s a compulsive liar. And that may be the one honest thing he’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. Was Micah dating Zach? Or was Sarah his real girlfriend? And are the stories Micah tells about inheriting a “family gene” real or are they something that only exists in her mind?
Breathtaking in its plotting, and narrated by one of the most psychologically complex young
women to emerge since Sybil, Liar is a roller-coaster that will have listeners grasping for the truth. Honestly.


I wasn't sure whether or not I was getting this one, so I did a little happy dance when it showed up. I love Justine's books, all of them, and I am pumped for this one.

Intertwined by Gena Showalter coming September 1, 2009 from Harlequin Teen


Synopsis:

There’s something about the new guy at Crossroads High . . .

Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:

One can time-travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can tell the future.
And one can possess another human.

With no other family and a life spent in and out of institutions, Aden and the souls have become friends. But now, they’re causing him all kinds of trouble.

Like, he’ll blink and suddenly he’s a younger Aden, reliving the past. One wrong move, and he’ll change the future. Or, he’ll walk past a total stranger and know how and when she’s going to die.

He’s so over it. All he wants is peace.

And then he meets a girl who quiets the voices. Well, for as long as he’s with her. Why? Mary Ann Gray is his total opposite. He’s a loner; she has friends. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks; she tries to make everyone happy. And while he attracts the paranormal, she repels it. For her sake, he should stay away. But it’s too late. . .

Somehow, they share an inexplicable bond of friendship. A bond about to be tested by a werewolf shape-shifter who wants Mary Ann for his own and a vampire princess Aden can’t resist. Two romances, both forbidden. . . doomed. Still, the four will enter a dark underworld of intrigue and danger. . . but not everyone will come out alive. . .


My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent coming August 1, 2009 from Harlequin Teen


Synopsis:

SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH KAYLEE CAVANAUGH

She doesn't see dead people, but...

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

SOUL SCREAMERS

The last thing you hear before you die...



Both of these came from Harlequin and I am super-excited to read them. They look fantastic and if these are any indicator of Harlequin's new teen line, then I really look forward to the imprint's future. Some good stuff.

I only bought one book this week, because I'm saving up for some extra discount days at the bookstore. Trust me, I have a huge list of things to buy and I'll have some B-Day money coming in, so watch out bookstore here I come.

What I bought:

Jennifer's Body by Audrey Nixon, Based on a screenplay by Diablo Cody, which I reviewed here.


Okay, so that's it for me this week. I have a big week coming up. Tuesday my sister and I will be heading to the Naperville, IL stop on the Supernatural Summer Tour to see Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, and Melissa Marr. I cannot wait. I think it'll be well worth the almost 8 hour drive we are making.

Then Wednesday is my birthday. Since we will still be in the area, my sister and I will head into Chicago to go to The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium. Then we may go back to the bookstore, because Julianne Moore is doing a signing for her two picture books, which are both really cute.

Now to the really important part...what did you all get? I can't wait to see!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Contest Ending Tonight!!

Hey everybody sorry I didn't post any reviews today, but I've had the migraine from hell and it just won't let go.

Just a quick note to let everyone know that my contest ends tonight, so enter here while you still can to win a copy of Academy 7 and Switch.

I will return tomorrow with my In My Mailbox post and then Monday, I'll have my Willow review up.

Hope you are having a great weekend!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jennifer's Body by Audrey Nixon, Based on a screenplay by Diablo Cody


Synopsis:

Someone needed to put a stop payment on Jennifer Check.

The sign says Welcome to Devil's Kettle, Pop. 7,036. Come See What's Cookin'! No, seriously . . . that's what it says.

Some people find it hard to believe that a babe like Jennifer Check would associate with a dork like me, Needy Lesnicki. But we had history. We'd been the Wonder Twins since we were preverbal, and sandbox love never dies. Or at least that's what I thought.

But after that night in the woods, Jennifer was different. She looked different. And then the killings began. . . .

A lot of people ask me if I'm sorry I did it. I'm only sorry I didn't do it sooner.


I picked this up at work because it looked like a lot of fun and I saw Diablo Cody's name on the cover. I loved Juno and her book Candy Girl and I also love those articles she does for Entertainment Weekly, so I figured what the heck. I know I had heard about the movie ages ago, but I didn't make the connection until I started reading the book.



This book is based off of the screenplay for the movie Jennifer's Body, which comes out September 18, 2009. It stars Megan Fox (Transformers) as Jennifer and Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia) as her best friend Needy. Amy Sedaris is also in it, and basically she's reason enough to see it.

I will definitely be seeing it though, because this book was fun, fun, fun. It has all of the snappy dialogue that you expect from Diablo Cody along with a really great "horror" premise. It was just a fun, quick read and I mean quick....at just shy of 200 pages, I read it in no time. It's a great story of friendship gone horribly wrong.

I don't normally read movie tie-in books, but I couldn't resist. The feel of the story reminded me of Ginger Snaps. I don't know if anyone's seen this, but it's a really fun, unique, horror movie that's worth checking out.

So buy the book, see the movie. I've added both the book cover, first, and the movie cover, which is pretty cool, but looks a little too much like the True Blood series cover for my liking.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink


Release Date: August 1, 2009 from Little, Brown Young Readers
Synopsis:

An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-


One good...


One evil...


Who will prevail?


Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.


Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.


They just know they can't trust each other.


Here's the thing, I was really looking forward to reading this and I was trying and trying to put it off until closer to the release date, but I couldn't stand it anymore. There it sat in my room pulling me in, screaming to be read. So, in I delved....and guess what?! I la-la-la-loved it!!

I'm a fan of gothic horror and/or romance tales. The novels of Shirley Jackson and Victoria Holt come to mind. But in recent years, it seems like that genre has fallen by the wayside. I am so happy to see a resurgence with titles like Prophecy of the Sisters and even Bad Girls Don't Die, which has a real gothic feel.

From page one of Prophecy of the Sisters, I was transported to another time and was immediately sucked into the story of Lia Milthorpe and the Prophecy. Zink's writing is lyrical and so visual that you can see events unfold in your mind while reading. Her writing is atmospheric and creates this incredible feeling that carries through the whole book. I felt like I was a part of the landscape, especially during Lia's "journeys."

The characters are fantastic and in some cases super-creepy. I mean, Alice is just.....bah....argh (that's all I'm going to say about Alice). James is wonderful, of course, but I think my favorite character is Lia's friend Sonia. She's just such a wonderful and sympathetic character.

The novel is perfectly paced and the tension builds throughout, keeping you reading long into the night. I got to a certain part and I just couldn't put it down even though my clock was telling me it was bedtime. Sleep?! Who needs it! You discover each piece of the Prophecy puzzle right along with Lia and I found myself racing to find that next piece.

I cannot, I repeat cannot, wait until the next book in this series. It's such a rich story and there is so much more to learn about these characters and about the Prophecy. Yay, another great series!! Keep 'em coming Michelle.

Can I just say that there are like a million awesome debut authors this year. I think we may be seeing YA's strongest year yet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (17)--The Hate List by Jennifer Brown


Release Date: September 1, 2009 from Little, Brown Young Readers

Synopsis:

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.


Okay, this book sounds AWESOME!! And look at that cover?! It's lovely to say the least. I'm really looking forward to this one, especially since I found out the author lives like 20 minutes from where I live and work. Very cool!! It's time KC stepped up in the YA scene. Can't wait, but apparently I have to. I think it'll really be worth it though.

What are you waiting for?

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Confessions and Questions!!


Alright readers and fellow bloggers, I have a little confession to make. I've never read any books by the following authors:

Deb Caletti
Susane Colasanti

Elizabeth Scott (Iknow, it's blasphemous)
Jen Calonita

So, now that it's out in the open, I have a question for you. Which books should I read by these ladies? Where should I start? I shouldn't be asking for more to read, but I can't help it. I see these authors discussed all the time and I feel like I am missing out. So, lead me in the right direction if you will.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Also if there's someone that is missing from the list, just let me know about them too. Always in the market for new and exciting stuff.

Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger and Buzz Parker


Release Date: June 2nd from HarperTeen

Synopsis:

13 Elements you will find in the first Emily the Strange novel:

1. Mystery

2. A beautiful golem

3. Souped-up slingshots

4. Four black cats

5. Amnesia

6. Calamity Poker

7. Angry ponies

8. A shady truant officer

9. Top-13 lists

10. A sandstorm generator

11. Doppelgängers

12. A secret mission

13. Earwigs

Emily the Strange: 13 years old. Able to leap tall buildings, probably, if she felt like it. More likely to be napping with her four black cats; or cobbling together a particle accelerator out of lint, lentils, and safety pins; or rocking out on drums/ guitar/saxophone/zither; or painting a swirling feral sewer mural; or forcing someone to say "swirling feral sewer mural" 13 times fast . . . and pointing and laughing.


Last winter, a lot of information started to come out about the similarities between Emily and a character named Rosamond from the Nate the Great series. There's a blog post about it here. I never read Nate the Great, but I have to admit that the two pictures on the blog are pretty similar. There was a lot of talk throughout the blogosphere, but I don't know what ever came of it all.

Anyway, I just think it's interesting that Emily's first full length novel is coming out amidst all of the fallout. I've always been an Emily fan. I love the art and her snarky little self. So, when I saw this ARC at work, I immediately picked it up for future reading.

It reads pretty quickly. The story is interspersed with Emily's familiar black, white, and red illustrations. Basically, the idea is that Emily wakes up in an unfamiliar place and she has amnesia. She has no recollection of who she is or why she is in the strange town of Blackrock. The book is Emily's journal entries as she tries to solve the mystery of the town and of her self.

It's definitely interesting. It's full of crazy characters and even crazier occurrences. I got into it right away, but in the middle it started to lose me a little. It picks back up though and is worth sticking with. Emily is as angry and rebellious as ever and if you are a fan of the Emily the Strange phenom, then you won't be disappointed.

I believe that the authors plan on writing a series of these books and I will be checking out the rest of them. Is it the best book I've ever read? No, but it was fun and unique which goes a long way for me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What's Your Book Personality?


So, I saw this over at Addicted to Books and I thought I would give it a try.

My result:

Involved Reader

You don't just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase - discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others. If you don't already belong to a book club you probably should consider joining one, or even starting your own!

Sounds about right!! My love of reading about books is why I spend all day looking at blogs and thinking about my own blog. There's nothing better than finding new titles and new friends to discuss books with.

There's a link to the quiz on Amy's post.

Tormod: A Templar's Apprentice by Kat Black


First of all, sorry if this showed up like a million times on your Dashboard, but apparently I keep hitting the Enter button. So forgive me. This time is for real. This is what happens when I workout with my Wii EA Active for too long. My body no longer works.

So here is the review.

Synopsis:

Scotland. 1307. Thirteen-year-old Tormod MacLeod is different. He knows things before they happen. Even his own brother treats him differently, and all Tormod can do is bide his time until he's old enough to leave the village and make something of himself. His chance comes sooner than expected when a Templar knight asks him to deliver a secret message. But Tormod's efforts end up endangering both their lives. What follows is a desperate journey to escape the army of King Philippe le Bel of France. If he is to survive, Tormod must learn to harness the powers within.

When I was asked to review this book, the first thing that caught my attention was Scotland. I love books about Scotland and Ireland, seeing as how my family came from both (along with about a million other places). Tormod, the main character, captured my attention from the first page. He's such an earnest character with a clear and honest voice. You can feel how conflicted he is about his gift and about sharing it with others.

The action takes off at the end of the first chapter, when the Templar knight appears, and doesn't let up throughout the entire book. What follows the knight's appearance is a race against time to far distant shores. Their journey is full of strange powers, visions, near death experiences, and a few....well what can only be called, Jedi mind tricks. All the while, Tormod, and the weary crew of Templar knights are chased by evil forces who are out to destroy the one thing they need to protect.

It was a fun and fascinating read. I got to learn about the Templars right along with Tormod. It's incredibly action-packed and ends with a complete cliffhanger which, of course, has me anxiously awaiting the sequel. Do these authors know what they're doing to us with all these cliffhangers?!

This book made me want to check out some of those other adventure-type series that I've been passing up in the bookstore. Has anyone read the Ranger's Apprentice series? Or can you recommend some others?

Back on point, I recommend Tormod to anyone who likes fantasy, adventure stories, or classic tales of good vs. evil. This series is very promising as is the author, Kat Black.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is brought to you by Kristi AKA The Story Siren.

I had a great a pretty darned good week, so here goes.

For review:

Tormod: A Templar's Apprentice by Kat Black
Publisher: Scholastic


Synopsis:

Scotland. 1307. Thirteen-year-old Tormod MacLeod is different. He knows things before they happen. Even his own brother treats him differently, and all Tormod can do is bide his time until he's old enough to leave the village and make something of himself. His chance comes sooner than expected when a Templar knight asks him to deliver a secret message. But Tormod's efforts end up endangering both their lives. What follows is a desperate journey to escape the army of King Philippe le Bel of France. If he is to survive, Tormod must learn to harness the powers within.

I've already read this one. I'll post a review Monday.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside by Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books


Synopsis:

The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.


This is my second copy of this. I've already read and reviewed it here. I may include this in an upcoming contest.

Thanks to Kat for both of these!!

Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires Book 6) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Signet


Synopsis:

In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace—until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He’s kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants—the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?

The Blonde of the Joke by Bennett Madison
Publisher: HarperTeen


Synopsis:

A blonde and a brunette meet at the mall: It's the setup for the perfect blonder joke. While Val sees in the outrageously blonde Franie the gutsiness she's always envied, somehow--unexpectedly--Francie sees something in Val too. Something sneaky. So they become partners in crime.

But soon, the polar opposites find themselves tangled in a web of love, lies, and shoplifting that's impossible to escape. And as the stakes get higher, it soon becomes clear that the darkest secrets have yet to be discovered.


Thanks to Bennett for hooking me up. Can't wait to read this one.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little Brown


Synopsis:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


This is my second copy of Beautiful Creatures, so I will most likely be giving it away at some point.

I bought:

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

I really want to read Shiver, but since I have yet to get a copy, I thought I would start with Lament first and go from there. I'm so jealous of all of you Shiver-havers.

Anyway, That's it for me this week. Can't wait to see what everyone else picked up.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Donut Days by Lara Zielin


Release Date: August 6, 2009 from Penguin Juvenile

Synopsis:

Emma has a lot going on. Her best friend’s not speaking to her, a boy she’s known all her life is suddenly smokin’ hot and in love with her, and oh yes, her evangelical minister parents may lose their church, especially if her mother keeps giving sermons saying Adam was a hermaphrodite.

But this weekend Emma’s only focused on Crispy Dream, a hot new donut franchise opening in town, where Harley bikers and Frodo wannabes camp out waiting to be the first ones served. Writing the best feature story on the camp for the local paper might just win Emma a scholarship to attend a non- Christian college. But soon enough Emma finds the donut camp isn’t quite the perfect escape from all her troubles at Living Word Redeemer.


Before I started this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. I'm not a religious person, so my admittedly judgemental self saw "evangelical minister parents," and thought maybe this wasn't the book for me. I decided to give it a try anyway and as soon as I read that first line I knew I was in for a treat.

First line: "I'm no Biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure Adam--as in the guy who named all the animals in the Garden of Eden--wasn't a hermaphrodite." (taken from ARC)

What's not to love there. I was hooked from page one. Donut Days is just a really lovely read. Zielin's writing is witty and fresh; I could have read it all day...and I did.

Emma is a fantastic character. Her friends have turned on her. She doesn't feel like she belongs in her parents church, and it's causing her to question her faith. Deep down she really wants to be accepted by her parents for who she is. Meanwhile, her mom and dad are going through a lot of drama at the church and yet Emma feels further away from them than ever. Instead of pulling together, they are falling apart.

So, Emma turns to the Crispy Dream Donut Camp to hopefully earn a way to choose her own future. The characters that she meets at the camp, help Emma realize that not everyone is perfect, born-agains included, and that it's okay to be different and to worship in your own way.

I love the folks Emma meets at the camp, especially Bear and the Angelfire Gang. I've known people like this in my life who look completely scary, but have a heart of gold. They were a joy to read about as was Emma.

I liked this book from start to finish. It has a little romance, a lot of laughs and a huge amount of heart. I highly recommend it to anyone who has every felt like they don't fit in, or to anyone who just wants a wonderfully written feel-good read. I can't wait to read Zielin's next book. Thanks Lara for letting me check this one out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Books News!! Music News!!


First, the music news.

I just found out the Tori Amos is coming to Kansas City in July. Hells yeah!! I can't wait. I'll see Tori in July, Kathy Griffin in August and U2 in October. Woo hoo!! Plus, Girl in a Coma (pictured left)has a new CD coming out in June, which I'm very excited about.

Now in Book News!!

As some of you know, I work in a bookstore and today, we received Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison, which I reviewed here. We also received Hunger by Michael Grant, which I haven't read yet, but plan to. They are both in cardboard displays, so if you go to your local bookstore, take a look around. They aren't officially released until next week, so some stores may not have them out.

We also got Strange Angels this week, too, which I reviewed here.

Head on out to your bookstore and find these awesome reads!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ghost Huntress: The Awakening by Marley Gibson


Synopsis:

The first in a trilogy. Get out your tape recorders, crystals, and extra batteries— you’re about to go where our world meets the spirit world.

Psychic Kids, Paranormal State, Haunting Evidence—these and countless other television shows are making believers out of millions of people: Ghosts exist, and they’re living right beside us. For centuries, individuals have been trying to prove the existence of ghosts. But without hard evidence, it’s been difficult to make the case. But now as science and technology have progressed, ghost hunters have been able to use scientific means, along with more traditional psychic tools, to make their case. Photographs, video recordings, and sound recordings are all producing some amazing results.

In this new series, Ghost Huntress, meet Kendall Moorehead, a seemingly typical teen. When her family moves from Chicago to the small historical town of Radisson, Georgia, her psychic abilities awaken. She’s hearing, feeling, and seeing things that seem unbelievable at first, but with the help of the town psychic, Kendall is able to come to terms with her newly emerging gift. So, together with her new BFF, Celia, Kendall forms a ghost hunting team. They’ve got all the latest technology. They’ve got Kendall for their psychic. Now they’re going to clean up Radisson of its less savory spirits.

The story is fiction. The science is real. Welcome to a new reality.


I've always loved a good ghost story and I watch Ghost Hunters all the time, so I was really looking forward to reading this one. I really enjoyed it. Kendall is a great character. It's hard enough to fit into a new town and a new school, at the same time, Kendall has to deal with her growing psychic abilities. She's hearing voices for one thing, which leads her super-religious mother to suspect that she is either schizophrenic or communing with the devil.

Her new friend Celia is a genius with an unlimited Amex, with which she can purchase endless ghost hunting gadgets. And then there's Taylor, the popular girl whose popular has recently taken a hit, and Taylor's overprotective brother, Jason. When Jason stops being a jerk, Kendall starts to notice that he's actually quite dreamy.

When a ghost starts to threaten Kendall's Dad while he's working in his office, the Ghost Huntresses go to work to solve the mystery and help rid Radisson of one hateful spirit.

This book has all of the elements I was looking for. It's got a good ghost story, with fun, witty dialogue, and it incorporates all of the science of ghost hunting that I've become familiar with through watching shows like Ghost Hunters. Plus there's a little romance thrown in.

It was just a lot of fun to read and I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy, Ghost Huntress: The Guidance.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (16)---Sequels I Am Dying to Read

This week I'm showcasing three upcoming titles all of which are sequels to books I've already read. After finishing an amazing book, it's excruciating to wait for the next installment. So, here goes:

Betrayals: A Strange Angels Novel (No Cover)
Release Date: November 17, 2009 from Razorbill
Synopsis:

She’s no angel . . .
Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there’s a big problem— she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?


Can't wait for this one!!!!

Ghost Huntress: The Guidance by Marley Gibson


Release Date: September 7, 2009 from Graphia
Synopsis:

Kendall and her ghost hunting team is the talk of Radisson, Georgia, but one person isn’t so pleased. Courtney Langdon doesn’t appreciate Kendall’s new popularity or her relationship with Jason, Courtney’s ex.

So Courtney begins dabbling in the paranormal world. At first it’s all a game to draw attention away from Kendall. But Courtney doesn’t know what she’s getting into—or what wants in her. This is one game that’s about to turn deadly serious.

And for more about Kendall and the ghost huntresses, check out www.ghosthuntress.com!


I'm almost finished with the first one and I know I will be anxiously awaiting this second title.

Blue Moon: The Immortals by Alyson Noel


Release Date: July 7, 2009 from St. Martin's Griffin
Synopsis:

Eager to learn everything she can about her new abilities as an Immortal, Ever turns to her beloved Damen to show her the way. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen’s are waning.

In an attempt to save him, Ever travels to the magical dimension of Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen’s tortured past; a past which he has always kept hidden from her. But in her quest to cure Damen, Ever discovers an ancient text that details the workings of time. Now Ever must choose between turning back the past and saving her family from the accident that claimed their lives—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows sicker every day...


I loved, loved, loved Evermore, so I realllly want to read this one. Can't wait.
I'm sure there are more series that I'm waiting for, but these are the three main ones that came to mind. I love series, but I swear it is torture to wait.

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Glee!!


This is totally not book related, but I just watched the first episode of Glee and it was fantastic. It's chock full of awesome characters, hilarious moments, and incredible music.

Unfortunately, I don't think the rest of the series will be on until Fall. I highly recommend it though. If you missed it, maybe they'll put the episode up on ITunes soon. They already have two of the songs available to purchase, which I did.

It was just really fun. Check it out if you can.

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev


Release Date: July 7, 2009 from Feiwel & Friends

Synopsis:

All her world’s a stage.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.

She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.

She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.

That is, until now.

Enter Stage Right

NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.

COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.

ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.

BERTIE. Our heroine.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.


This was a really wonderful book. It was touching, witty and beautifully written. Plus, it was completely original; I've never read anything like it. It's truly magical.

It is full of incredible characters many of which are already familiar to us all. And in the middle of all of these classic characters is Bertie, our leading lady, who has this amazing world at her fingertips, but still feels like an outsider. I loved watching Bertie discover her own story in the midst of all of these classic tales. We get to solve Bertie's mystery right along with her and her friends the fairies, who kept me laughing through the whole book.

Eyes Like Stars just completely swept me away to another world. It was easy to fall into this story and just get lost. Mantchev has a fantastic fresh voice and I can't wait to enter the Theatre Illuminata all over again. If you like Shakespeare, theater, humor, romance, adventure, fantasy, fairies, great storytelling, or all of the above, then this is the book for you.

I have an extra copy of this, which I will most likely be giving away in next month's contest, so be sure to keep a look out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr


Synopsis:

Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .


This is Marr's second book, following the brilliant Wicked Lovely. The main characters from that book are present in this novel, but in a secondary way. This time, Aislinn's friend Leslie takes the lead and falls into her own frightening love triangle.

This book is much darker than the first, and rightfully so since we are entering the world of the Dark Court. It's still a fantastic read and once again, Marr's writing leaps right off the page and yanks you into the story.

Leslie is such a tragic character and I really just wanted to cheer for her through the whole book, or at least give her a hug. In fact, this book is filled with heartbreaking characters, like Niall. Oh Niall, how I love you so. This is the kind of guy I want in my life. And then there's Irial. Bah!

I find this world that Marr has created so magical and I find myself not wanting to leave when the story is over. One thing in particular that I liked about this book was all of the tattoo knowledge that was included. My best friend used to date a tattoo artist and she's pretty heavily tattooed. It just really fascinates me and it blended so well into the story of these characters.

Overall, I liked it just as much as Wicked Lovely and I can't wait to read Fragile Eternity. I really can't wait to meet Melissa Marr in Naperville on June 2nd. She just seems like such an awesome person. And anyone who creates magic on the page like she does, must be incredible.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In My Mailbox (13)

A slow week for me, but I did get a few great books. Oh and, In My Mailbox is brought to you by Kristi, AKA The Story Siren.

For Review:

Donut Days by Lara Zielin

Emma has a lot going on. Her best friend’s not speaking to her, a boy she’s known all her life is suddenly smokin’ hot and in love with her, and oh yes, her evangelical minister parents may lose their church, especially if her mother keeps giving sermons saying Adam was a hermaphrodite.
But this weekend Emma’s only focused on Crispy Dream, a hot new donut franchise opening in town, where Harley bikers and Frodo wannabes camp out waiting to be the first ones served. Writing the best feature story on the camp for the local paper might just win Emma a scholarship to attend a non- Christian college. But soon enough Emma finds the donut camp isn’t quite the perfect escape from all her troubles at Living Word Redeemer.

In a fresh, funny voice, newcomer Lara Zielin offers up a mesmerizing, fast-paced narrative full of wit and insight.


I'm reading this one right now. And Lara sent me a Dunkin' Donuts coupon with the books, which is awesome. We don't have a Dunkin' Donuts here, but I will be using it on my trip to Naperville for the Supernatural Summer Tour. Three great authors and donuts?! What's not to love. Thanks Lara!!

And from The Book Girl Reviews I won:

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
This is my second copy, so I may give away my first at a later date.
Need by Carrie Jones
I liked this book and reviewed it here.
Ghost Huntress: The Awakening by Marley Gibson
Can't wait to read this one. I've been anxiously awaiting it.

Thanks go out the the awesome Book Girl!!

So, slow mail week overall. I've been expecting some stuff that hasn't arrived. I think the mail is moving slower these days, but oh well, I still have a ton of cool things to read.

By the way, Angels & Demons was actually really good. I liked it much better than the DaVinci Code. And Ewan MacGregor? Woo-wee, that is one total Hottie McHotterson. I would watch him in just about anything and I have watched him in some real stinkers, but he's worth it.

Can't wait to see what you all picked up this week.

P.S. I love watchin' my spell check try to wrap it's head around Hottie McHotterson. I swear spell check just doesn't know what to do with me.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Okay, nothing book related today....well, it's vaguely book related. My sister and I are going to see Angels & Demons tonight. We have this new theater in downtown Kansas City that is in an old theater. It used to be the Empire, but has been closed since the '70s. Then they built this whole club/restaurant/Sprint Center area in downtown KC which is called the Power & Light District. May 1st, this old theater was opened anew and I hear it's awesome. We are going to the Cinema Suites where they have reclining chairs and seat side service. Very nice.

So, even if the movie's no good, at least we get to spend the evening in the lap of movie going luxury. And Ewan MacGregor's in the movie, so that's worth the price of admission. I'll let you know how it is at the end of my In My Mailbox post tomorrow.

Hope you all have a great Saturday night!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender


Synopsis:

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude.
When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?


This book was creepy, super-creepy. I loved it!! It's hard to find a good old-fashioned thriller these day and this book definitely delivers. Alexis is a great character from her love of photography to her hatred of cheerleaders. I liked this girl from page one.

Her sister Kasey on the other hand has some serious issues. An uber-creepy doll collection for one and a tendency to spontaneously change eye color. Not to mention, strange accidents keep happening around her. This girl totally freaked me out.

There are some truly scary moments in this book, which is great. I don't think there's nearly enough ghost stories in YA. There are some, but these days it's mostly the supernatural creatures that star in YA novels. We need a little Shirley Jackson (Haunting of Hill House) up in here and Katie Alender might just be it.

She's got a very cinematic writing style, which by the way, I'd love to see a movie version of this book. It's screaming to be made into a movie. It's a fast-paced read which makes you race right through to the exciting conclusion. I just really enjoyed reading this one. It kept me up into the wee small hours and not just because I was a wee bit scared either. Check this one out, I think you'll be glad you did. And watch out for that Kasey, she tends to show up in the unlikeliest of places. Creeeepy!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Blog Award!!


Thank you, thank you GreenBeanTeenQueen, for giving me this awesome award. I love your blog and you completely rock!!

Kreativ Blogger Award! The rules for this one include:
*Post 7 things you love
*Give award to 7 other bloggers who are creative.
Seven things I love:

1. Books--I guess that sort of goes without saying, but I really love books. In fact, there is a huge tower sitting next to my desk at this very moment of books I need and want to read.
2. Road Trips--I love hitting the open road with my friends and family. Lately my destination is Disney theme parks, but I really love to go anywhere and have traveled to a lot of different places with friends over the years.
3. Supernatural--Although this season hasn't been my favorite, I still love those Winchester boys.
4. How I Met Your Mother--This is probably my favorite show right now. It never disappoints me in the laughs department. Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris are gods and I would watch them read a phone book.
5. My IPod--I really love my IPod. It makes me very happy. Yesterday, I thought it was broken and I almost cried. Its name is BabyOtis. Yay IPod!!
6. My Family--They are pretty darned awesome. I love them all. They make me laugh and laughter is one of my favorite things.
7. Blogs and Bloggers--I still feel like a newbie to this world, but I was welcomed with open arms. I love reading about books from someone elses' perspective and sharing my view on books and life with the world at large. The YA Blogosphere rocks hardcore!!

Who I nominate:

1. Sara's Classroom Reads--This is my sister's blog. She doesn't update it very often, but she promises to be better this summer once school is out. It's all about creative ways to use picture books in the classroom (she teaches 3rd grade).
2. The Epic Rat--This girls always got something awesome happening on her blog. I love it and she reads like a million books a day. It's magical.
3. Wondrous Reads--I love ordering books from Amazon UK and prophecy girl always gives me new ideas for what to order. I love getting the UK view on hot new titles.
4. Steph Su Reads--Awesome reviews and she's super sweet. Love her blog!
5. Rebecca's Book Blog--She loves historical fiction which I love as well. Great blog!!
6. Katie's Book Blog--More great reviews. And I really love the design of her blog. That background is awesome.
7. Brooke Reviews--Lots of great paranormal titles, which I love, love, love in case you couldn't tell.

So there you have it. It's hard to choose, because I read about a million blogs, but here are just a few great ones. And thanks again to GreenBeanTeenQueen for the award.

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert


Synopsis:

A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones.

Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?


When I read about Kuehnert's new book Ballads of Suburbia, which is coming out July 21 from MTV Books, I couldn't wait to read it. It also made me wonder why I hadn't read her first book. So, I went right out and bought it and I was most definitely not disappointed.

Emily Black's story is mesmerizing. As a girl who grew up in the grunge-filled nineties, I could totally relate to this story. I graduated from high school in 1993 and Emily's soundtrack is my own. Reading this book made me want to dig out all of my old CDs and immediately start jamming to them all over again. She brought this era to life like no one else I've ever read.

Punk and grunge is alive and well in Kuehnert's writing. She makes you feel the music the way that I imagine Emily would. Her writing is the voice of punk and I love it. This book is wonderfully written and incredibly moving. The stories of Emily and Louisa blend together so seamlessly to tell the story of two lost souls trying to find their way through life with music as their only guide.

I can't recommend this book highly enough, in fact, I already badgered my friend at work to read it. I think it speaks to not only us nineties kids, but to everyone who has ever dreamed of being a rock star, escaping their small town, or truly finding a place to call home.

It's an amazing book and now I'm even more pumped for Ballads of Suburbia. Can't wait to see what story this punk rock muse has to tell us next.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (15)--Never Slow Dance With A Zombie by E. Van Lowe


Here's my pick for this week. Another zombie book, which looks like a lot of fun.

Here's the synopsis:


Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion meets Night of the Living Dead in this laugh-out-loud debut YA novel by Emmy Award-nominated TV writer E. Van Lowe

Principal Taft's 3 Simple Rules for Surviving a Zombie Uprising:

Rule #1: While in the halls, walk slowly and wear a vacant expression on your face. Zombies won't attack other zombies.

Rule #2: Never travel alone. Move in packs. Follow the crowd. Zombies detest blatant displays of individuality.

Rule #3: If a zombie should attack, do not run. Instead, throw raw steak at to him. Zombies love raw meat. This display of kindness will go a long way.

On the night of her middle school graduation, Margot Jean Johnson wrote a high school manifesto detailing her goals for what she was sure would be a most excellent high school career. She and her best friend, Sybil, would be popular and, most important, have boyfriends. Three years later, they haven't accomplished a thing!

Then Margot and Sybil arrive at school one day to find that most of the student body has been turned into flesh-eating zombies. When kooky Principal Taft asks the girls to coexist with the zombies until the end of the semester, they realize that this is the perfect opportunity to live out their high school dreams. All they have to do is stay alive....


Okay, this book sounds awesome. Romy and Michelle meets Night of the Living Dead?! What could be better? I can't wait for this one. And I love, love the cover!!

Unfortunately, it doesn't come out until September 1, 2009 from Tor Teen, but I will most definitely be ready for it.

As always, Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. What are you waiting for this week?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer


Synopsis:

Vlad has to keep his vampire urges under control while dealing with the pressures of middle school.

Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates junior high. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer.


I was inspired to read these by two different people. First of all, my little cousin Wade who read and enjoyed the book and then Heather Brewer herself who stopped by the bookstore where I work last week. I'm so glad I followed the advice of these two awesome people.

Eighth Grade Bites was so much fun. It put a new spin of the classic vampire tales that we have all become so used to. Vladimir is just a normal middle schooler, he has to deal with bullies, he's crushing on the popular girl, and he drinks blood. Okay, so that last part isn't so normal, but that's the beauty of the series. In Brewer's world, vampirism is just one more part of growing up that Vlad has to put up with.

He's a great character and you can't help but be drawn into his world of vampire intrigue and teenaged hi jinks. I love Vlad's best friend Henry who knows and keeps Vlad's secret. He's a great character and always keeps the mood light. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. There is much more to be learned about Vlad's heritage and the secrets of the vampire world known as Elysia.

The second book is entitled Ninth Grade Slays and is already available in paperback. The third book will be available June 25th from Dutton and is entitled Tenth Grade Bleeds. I recommend these titles as a light fun and easy read.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong


Synopsis:

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.


Kelley Armstrong has delivered another solid book in her Darkest Powers series. The Awakening is fantastic! I think it's even better than the first book, The Summoning. I've been a fan of Armstrong's writing since the beginning. Her Women of the Otherworld books, which starts with Bitten, are one my favorite adult paranormal series. I highly recommend those books, if you like these.

This series takes place in the same world as her other titles, but deals with a group of teenagers who are thrown together in a group home for troubled teens. Only problem, these teens aren't troubled, at least not in the classic sense. They are paranormal. Each teen is discovering their own paranormal talent/curse. All the while, they are running from those who put them in this group home. A group who is not out to help these kids, but rather to harm them.

I love the characters in these books. They are all struggling to understand their own powers, while at the same time trying to find answers and a safe place to stop running. I think Chloe is incredible and my other favorite character is Derek. What can I say, I love a lycan. Werewolves are my paranormal creature of choice, so I can't wait to see how his character develops in the future.

When I read the last page of this book, I literally squealed and whined, because now I have to wait who knows how long for book three. It's absolute torture. I want it now!! If you haven't picked up this series yet, run right out and get it. You won't be sorry.

I plan on traveling about 8 hours to the Naperville, IL stop on the Supernatural Summer Tour. Kelley Armstrong will be there, along with Kim Harrison and Melissa Marr. Three amazing authors at one signing. I will probably pass out. I can't wait to meet these fantastic ladies. Is anyone else planning on hitting any stops on the tour?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

In My Mailbox (12)

As always, In My Mailbox is brought to you by Kristi, AKA The Story Siren. Drop by and see what she got this week. It's always exciting to see her weekly haul.

This week, just one book for review:

How It Ends by Laura Weiss (No Cover)

All Hanna's wanted since sophomore year is Seth. She's gone out with other guys, even gained a rep for being a flirt, all the while hoping cool, guitar-playing Seth will choose her. Then she gets him--but their relationship is hurtful, stormy and critical, not at all what Hanna thinks a perfect love should be.

Bewildered by Seth's treatment of her and in need of understanding, Hanna decides to fulfill her school's community service requirement by spending time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she's turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was. Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into and audiobook the older woman is listening to, a fierce, unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice, and devotion. Hanna's fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without her even realizing it, the story begins to change her.

Until the day when the story becomes all too real...and Hanna's world is spun off its axis by its shattering, irrevocable conclusion.


This one was a complete surprise, it was on my wish list, but I didn't expect to get it. It looks really good. I'm looking forward to reading it.

It comes out in August from Simon & Schuster: MTV Books.

Then from Amazon UK, I ordered:

Fever Crum by Philip Reeve

I had to have this one. It's a prequel to the Hungry City Chronicles, which I adore. I've been waiting forever for this one. YAY!!

Possessing Rayne by Kate Cann
Rayne couldn't wait to get away from everything: her mum, her boyfriend, the estate. But the solitude of Morton's Keep isn't all she thought it would be. It's eerie and more than a little creepy. When she meets St John, Rayne forgets her worries; he's like no one she's ever met. So why is everyone warning her away from him? She knows there's something people aren't telling her. But how can she find out the secrets everyone wants to keep hidden ... and more importantly, know who to trust?

I really like Kate Cann's books and I've been meaning to get this one for awhile. Can't wait to read it.

Then, I bought:

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephenie Kuehnert
Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer

So, that's it for me this week. I can't wait to see what everyone else picked up.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dead is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez


Synopsis:

Welcome to Nightshade, California—a small town full of secrets. It’s home to the psychic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom- shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case! There’s a gorgeous new guy at Nightshade High: Duke Sherrad, a fortune-teller claiming to have descended from Gypsies. Even though she’s psychic herself, Daisy is skeptical of Duke’s powers. But when a teacher who was the subject of one of his predictions ends up dead, she begins to wonder if Duke is the real deal after all. Maybe if Daisy can track down the teacher’s killer, she can find out the truth. The only trouble is, all signs point to the murderer being of the furry persuasion. Is Daisy any match for a werewolf? Maybe she is . . . in more ways than she bargained for!

This is the second book in this series. It follows Dead is the New Black, which I reviewed here. I really liked the first book and I liked this one as well, although maybe not quite as much. It was still a quick, fun read, but the mystery in this one wasn't nearly as interesting to me.

I still love all of the characters though, especially Daisy and her sisters Poppy and Rose. They are so great together. The dialogue is quick and snappy and the town of Nightshade is filled with the most incredibly interesting people. I just want to go hang out at Slim's Diner for awhile and see what the jukebox has to tell me.

Even though this one didn't capture me quite as much as the first book, I'm still looking forward to book three, Dead is So Last Year , and to everything else Marlene Perez writes. She has a fresh, interesting voice that I truly enjoy reading.

By the way, I saw Star Trek last night and loved it. I highly recommend it even if you aren't a die hard Trekkie. It was just a lot of fun seeing this young cast re imagine a classic. And....Simon Pegg.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Heather Brewer


So, there I was, passing time at work and shelving some YA, when suddenly this couple walked up and started looking at the books. I glanced over and the woman said, "Hi, I'm Heather Brewer, I wrote these Vladimir Tod books. Would you mind if I signed them?"

Would I mind? Hell no. So, I ran and got her some autographed copy stickers and she signed all of the copies of her books that we had on hand.

I chatted a little with her while she was signing. She was in town to speak at local middle schools, because her first book is one of Missouri's Truman Award Nominees. This is an award given out by MASL(Missouri Association of School Librarians) and since I aim to be one of those Missouri school librarians, it was pretty cool to meet someone who made the list. Apparently she lives in St. Louis, which is just on the other side of the state (about 4 hours) from where I am.

I told her that I had her first book, but haven't read it yet and she encouraged me to do so. I also mentioned that I have a YA book review site and she said that our sites are very important to authors and to readers, which was cool.

All in all, she was super cool and nice and it made me want to rush home and read her books. Of course, I have to finish The Awakening first, but then Vladimir Tod it is.

I knew you guys would appreciate how meeting a cool author can improve any old boring day at work.

Tomorrow night....Star Trek with my fellow dorky co-workers. J.J. Abrams had me at Simon Pegg.

Waiting on Wednesday (14)--Immortal by Gillian Shields


First things first, Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Jill, and I thank her for it. I always find new and interesting things to add to my TBR pile.

So my pick for this week is Immortal by Gillian Shields. Here's the synopsis:

Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, housed in a Gothic mansion on the bleak northern moors, is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn away from her home by the sea to become the newest scholarship student, she is more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness.

Evie's only lifeline is Sebastian, a rebellious, mocking, dangerously attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie's feelings for Sebastian grow with each secret meeting, she starts to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl—a girl who is so eerily like Evie, she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. And as the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate.

Gillian Shields's electrifying tale will dazzle readers with suspense, mysticism, and romance.



Ooooo...sounds good right?! It's coming out August 4th from HarperTeen. I can't wait to read this one. Plus, I totally love the cover. YAY!!!

So, what are you guys looking forward too?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Aaargh!!! I can't wait!!

So this isn't my official Waiting on Wednesday post, but I was trolling around my favorite authors' blogs today when what should I see but:



I cannot wait for this book. Isn't this cover beautiful?! Westerfeld does Steampunk which thanks to Philip Reeve's Hungry City Chronicles has become one of my favorite genres. And then I scroll down on Mr. Westerfeld's blog and what do I see???? A picture of stacks of ARCs. Aaaah!!

I need this book. I want this book, but apparently I will have to wait a million years...or until October, to read this book. Woe is me!! Oh well, it will be well worth the wait I am sure.

Beige by Cecil Castellucci


Synopsis:

Exiled from Canada to Los Angeles, Katy can't believe she is spending the summer with her father—punk name: the Rat—a recovered addict and drummer for the band Suck. Even though Katy feels abandoned by her mom, even though the Rat's place is a mess and he's not like anything she'd call a father, Kathy won't make a fuss. After all, she is a girl who is quiet and polite, a girl who smiles, a girl who is, well, beige. Or is she? From the author of BOY PROOF and THE QUEEN OF COOL comes an edgy L.A. novel full of humor, heart, and music.

I thought this book was a great, fast read. At first, though, I was a little annoyed with Katy. All she did was bitch and complain about her lot in life. She grew on me though, and I started to feel just as put out and angry with her parents as she was.

Her father, The Rat, has never been around. Sending postcards and gifts from afar throughout her life, and now she's supposed to adjust to his life? I did feel for Katy and I found myself cheering for her to come out of her shell.

The supporting cast is amazing, especially her new found friends Lake and Garth, and her Dad's girlfriend Trixie. Lake's tough and abrasive exterior is just a show to hide the fact that she's as lost as Katy on the inside. And Trixie is just the coolest. None of my stepmothers were ever as cool as Trixie. She's completely free, outgoing, and accepts Katy for who she is.

I've always been a music fan, so I loved reading about the LA punk scene. It's the kind of life you dream of until you live in it. It's not all glamour and riches, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun. I also loved the chapter headings which are all classic punk songs, some of which (Cherry Bomb by The Runaways and Sheena is a Punk Rocker by The Ramones) are my favorites. I always love a Runaways shout-out.

I've never read any of Castellucci's other books, but I plan to. Have any of you read them? What do you think? Overall, I really enjoyed this read. I can't wait to read more of Castellucci's work. And I'd love to read more about the LA punk scene.

Monday, May 4, 2009

May Contest!!

So, for my May contest, I'm giving away two pretty awesome books.

First up is an ARC of Switch by Carol Snow.



Synopsis:

Claire Martin has some serious body issues.

Not much happens in Claire's sleepy beach town, but that's okay. All she wants is to hang out with her best friend, make the high school swim team, and convince Nate, the guy of her dreams, to stop calling her "Dude." And, oh—she'd really, really like to stay in her own skin.

Ever since Claire hit her teens, electrical storms have been making her switch bodies. Usually she's back to her old self in no time. But when something goes terribly wrong, she finds herself stuck as another girl. And not just any girl, but the icy beauty who has caught Nate's eye.

Suddenly Claire goes from being Miss Average to Miss Gorgeous—the model-thin blonde that every girl wants to look like and every guy wants to date. Will she ever figure out how to get back to her old life? More importantly, will she want to?


I read this book awhile ago and loved it, plus Carol Snow has a new book, Snap coming out in August.

The second book I'm giving away, is that extra copy of Academy 7 that I have. And guess what?! It's autographed!! Yay!



If you want to read all about this book which is completely awesome, then you can read my review here.

So two great books this month that I'm sure you will love.

How to Enter:

+1 Comment below with your e-mail address please.
+1 Become a follower.
+2 Already are a follower.
+1 Blog about this contest or add it to your sidebar...include link please.

So that's it! The contest will end May 30, in honor of my awesome Grandpa's 87th birthday...YAY Papa!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Contest Winner!!

I almost forgot to post this. With school ending this week, it's been a little crazy.

The winner of my "first in a series contest" is

purplg8r

Congrats!! And thanks everyone for entering. I'll be announcing a new contest sometime next week.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

In My Mailbox (11)

I love IMM! I love seeing what everyone else got and adding new books to my ever-growing TBR pile. I also love sharing what I found and received with all of you. For all of that, I thank Kristi AKA The Story Siren for bringing IMM to all of us. You rock!!!

Okay, here's what I got in the mail...good week!!

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro


Here's the description:

The Strain

They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come.

In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country.

In two months—the world.

A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.

In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing . . .

So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city—a city that includes his wife and son—before it is too late.


Not YA, but vampires + Del Toro(director of Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth)=awesome!! Woo Hoo!!

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev


All her world’s a stage.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.

She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.

She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.

That is, until now.

Enter Stage Right

NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.

COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.

ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.

BERTIE. Our heroine.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.


I was very excited to receive this one. Thanks Lisa!! Can't wait to read it.

Ash by Malinda Lo


Pushed into indentured servitude in her stepmother's household, Ash is consumed with grief after the death of her father and mother. Her only joy comes from the brief, stolen walks she takes in the nearby woods with the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean. Ash's single, unspoken hope is that someday he might steal her away, as fairies are said to do.

But when she meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Kaisa teaches Ash to ride and track, and as their friendship grows, Ash's desire for life and for love is reawakened.

Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella, in which life and love triumph over death and grief.


This one was a complete surprise when it showed up on my front porch, but it was on my wish list, so I did a little dance of joy. Can't wait to read it!!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl



There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


I did a major happy dance for this one. I was soooo excited to get it. Thanks to Kami for sending me in the right direction. By the way, the cover is beautiful and shiny...woo hoo!

So that's it for the received. Remember last week when I said I wasn't going to buy as many books this week. Well....that didn't work out so well for me, so here's a list of what I bought. This is also a perfect example of my lack of willpower.

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
(I had a pb copy, but I wanted a HC, because I love it so much)
Faeries of Dreamdark: BlackBringer by Laini Taylor
Willow by Julia Hoban
Jars of Glass by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler
Dead is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez
Dead is So Last Year by Marlene Perez
Atherton: The Dark Planet by Patrick Carman
Beige by Cecil Castellucci


See...no willpower. Oh well, I'll do better next week. Maybe.

So what did you guys get?

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan


Synopsis:

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?


I finished this book last night and I have to admit it kept me awake for awhile after finishing it. I am a zombie fan. I love zombie movies like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and 28 Days Later. There's something different about reading a zombie story as opposed to watching a zombie movie. I think with books I'm more drawn into the world. And what a world Ryan has created.

This book is bleak, unrelenting, heartbreaking, and frightening. In the midst of all the terror, there are these scenes of such beauty and tranquility, that it makes the horror seem that much more stark. It's beautifully written. The characters jump off the page right along with those Unconsecrated.

Most of the recent zombie books I've read have had a more humorous angle and I love that too. There's room for all kinds of writing in the zombieverse. This book is what I expect from a classic zombie novel...utter terror, with a little hope mixed in for good measure. The thing about zombie movies is that while scaring the bejeezus out of you, they really make you think. This book made me think a lot, maybe a little too much since I couldn't fall asleep last night. I kept hearing Unconsecrated moaning outside my window...or it could have been the wind.

I loved this book!! Carrie Ryan has written an incredible debut novel and the classic zombie tale (with a new spin) that I've been waiting for. I can't wait to read the other books in her series. I look forward to having the crap scared out of me over and over again.

To check out another blogger's view point head over to In Search of Giants and read Aerin's review.

Award Season!!!

I've been lucky enough to receive some more awesome awards lately.

From Alba at Letras y Escenas I received the "Let's Be Friends" award. Thank you so much Alba, I love your blog, plus it makes me remember my espanol which is always good. Muchas Gracias!! Here's the info on the award:



Blogs that received the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers.

Then from BNBookBlog, I received what they have dubbed the "Lemonade Stand/Positive Attitude Award." Thank you so much...you guys rock!!

Here's the info on this cool award:



Sweet, cool, occasionally tart, but always refreshing book blogging. If you receive it please pass it on to 10 people. Ahh...books.

Sorry I'm not passing it on, but it's 12:30 and I need to go to bed so I can actually get up for work tomorrow.

I think I might be forgetting something else, so if you have gifted me and I haven't mentioned you, I'm sorry. Leave a comment below and I thank you all anyway.

Tomorrow I should be putting up a review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, or I might go see Wolverine and post the review Saturday...we shall see.