Monday, June 27, 2011

Guest Blog with Gary Ghislain, Author of How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend


I am pleased to welcome the author Gary Ghislain today. Take it away Gary:


Ah, Paris… I had quite a few good reasons to set my story there:

1. I was born in Paris, in the 16th district, the 30th of June, just in time for the summer. I go there very often, nearly once per month. France is so small. You take a train in the French Riviera in the morning, you watch the beautiful French landscape whoosh by for 5 hours while eating croissants, and pouf, you land in Paris just in time for aperitif and lunch.

2. It’s the capital of love. It’s just like this. London is for business. New York is for Art. Paris is for the kiss. It’s nearly impossible to go to Paris and not fall in love. It’s like a local curse. It must be something in the water (or the red wine). It’s our easy-going lifestyle. Our five hours lunch breaks. The music everywhere. Our romantic little caf├ęs. The surrounding beauty of the cityscape. The French lovers kissing in the parks. Or is it just that the Parisian favorite sport is flirting? I don’t know. If I was an E.T. willing to zap Earthlings and destroy the world, I would certainly start with L.A. or New York. But if I was an Alien looking for the perfect partner to French kiss and zoom back to my home planet, I’d start with Paris.

3. This one is probably the most important factor in choosing Paris for my story: Johnny Depp lives there since 1998. Can you imagine? A spacegirl lands in Paris AND she’s looking for Johnny. How lucky is that!?

4. Paris is full of mysterious locations and scary little places. You could easily hide an alien sub-civilization there without anyone noticing. Take the little chapel in Le Marais where I located the Zookian door, the stargate Zelda uses to go back and forth from Vahalal, her home planet. There are plenty of places like that in Paris. There were so many secret societies that no longer exist. So many strange buildings devoted to their cults. They left behind all those surreal sites that fit perfectly in my zany science fiction stories.

5. I love Paris. I adore it. I even like Parisians, even thought everyone else in France sort of hate them. It’s a pity with the pollution, the stress and the largely over priced cup of coffee. But… nothing is perfect! And love is blind and probably makes you immune to toxic fumes.


Thank you so much for stopping by! How I Stole Johnny Depp's Aliend Girlfriend is now available in bookstores everywhere.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ruby Red Trailer and Giveaway!!

So here's the awesome trailer for Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier:




And here's even more about the book:

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.


I can't wait to read this one, I've heard nothing but good things about it. If you'd like to win your own copy, just leave a comment below with your e-mail address. I will choose winner on the 12th, so hurry and enter now.

In other news, I'm leaving for Disneyworld in the morning. It's an annual trip, but my sister and I are going with some friends this year and their 7-year-old boy. I'm very excited to see Disney through his eyes. I'll also be spending a day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!! I cannot wait!! I will still try to post from Orlando, but it'll depend on Internet access.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday--Legend by Marie Lu


Release Date: November 29, 2011 from Putnam Juvenile

Synopsis:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.


This sounds fantastic and we all know I love a good dystopia. I never seem to get tired of the genre, so bring it on!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Implosion of Aggie Winchester by Lara Zielin


Release Date: August 4, 2011 from Putnam Juvenile

Source:
From Author

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Aggie Winchester couldn't care less about who's elected prom queen-even if it's her pregnant Goth-girl best friend, Sylvia Ness. Aggie's got bigger things to worry about, like whether or not her ex-boyfriend wants to get back together and whether her mom will survive cancer.

But like it or not, Aggie soon finds herself in the middle of an unfolding prom scandal, largely because her mom, who is the school's principal, is rumored to have burned prom ballots so Sylvia won't be elected queen. Aggie's own investigation makes her wonder if the election could be dirty on both sides.


I was lucky enough to read Lara Zielin's first book, Donut Days, before it hit shelves. It was a wonderful, sweet read that left me feeling light and happy. So, I was thrilled to get a chance to read this book early, too.

Aggie's story couldn't be more different from that of Emma (star of Donut Days). This was a completely different book in every way, but I loved it just as much and maybe even a little bit more. Aggie is lost, surly, and an outsider of the highest order. Her and her friend move through the school striking fear in the hearts of their fellow classmates. Aggie's best friend, Sylvia, is her life. When Sylvia gets pregnant, though, things start to change between them and Aggie's world is rocked. At the same time, she's dealing with her mother's diagnosis of cancer and the fact that her mother and her are constantly at odds.

This is a much edgier book than Donut Days, and probably a little more realistic. At it's heart, though, it is still the story of a girl trying to find herself and her own way in the world. It's wonderfully written and full of great characterization and dialogue. I really loved it and I grew to love Aggie as I read. I saw a lot of myself in Aggie and I couldn't help but root for her to find her way.

Check it out and check out Donut Days while you're at it. Two different books, with the same amount of heart.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tornado Alley!



No new review tonight. Today was a bit of a trying day. We had tornado warnings all over the state basically. I live in a suburb of Kansas City and our tornado sirens were running for at least and hour and a half today. Very scary stuff!

I work in an elementary school, so we were all ducking and covering the whole time. I felt bad for the kids who were scared once they knew it wasn't a drill. We were getting reports of possible tornadoes all around our district, but we lucked out. Some areas were not so lucky. Another small town, Sedalia, which isn't too terribly far from here was hit, but luckily no one was injured.

Honestly, I don't know how much more Missouri can take. I feel so badly for the folks down in Joplin. I don't know how you even begin to pick up the pieces. We here in KC got our own taste of the tornado terror today, and it wasn't even a fraction of what they experienced in Joplin.

For now, I'm happy to be home and to know that all of mine and theirs are good. That's all we can hope for this spring.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Graveminder by Melissa Marr


Release Date: Available Now from William Morrow

Source: Personal Kindle Copy

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.


I love Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, so it was a no-brainer when it came to buying her first adult release. This was a good way for Marr to enter into the adult market, but I have to say, I didn't like it quite as much as her YA books. It was a good book and I enjoyed it, but what I enjoyed was how the voice was so reminiscent of her YA series. I could totally tell I was reading a Melissa Marr book from page one and I liked that about the book.

It's a completely different look at the zombie novel. It has a lot more humanity than your average zombie novel. It's a really original idea and a realm of paranormal that hasn't been done yet. These are all things I did love about Graveminder.

Now, what didn't I love? It started off really strong. I read at least half of it in one sitting, but them it seemed to flatten out a little in the middle. It did pick up in the end, but by then, the ending felt a little rushed.

Overall, though, I did enjoy it. I mean, it's Melissa Marr. I'm always going to show up for anything Marr has to offer. I just wanted a little more, but I know she'll totally bring it next time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool


Release Date: Available Now from Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Source: Checked out from school library.

Synopsis:

The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.
Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool’s debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption.


I'm trying to be better about reading the award books, so I can share them with my students, so when this book was announced as the Newbery winner, I immediately checked it out. First of all, I have to admit, I love stories that take place during the Great Depression. My grandparents are in their late 80's, so I grew up hearing about their lives during the depression. They had two vastly different experiences during that time, so I feel like I've grown up with both sides of the story. Every time I read a book that takes place in the '30's, I feel like I'm sitting with my grandparents and listening to them reminisce.

This was an amazing book. I really can't praise it highly enough. I can see why it was chosen this year, and the Newbery title is well-deserved. It's hard to believe this is Vanderpool's first book, because the storytelling is incredible, the characters are so real, and the history is flawless. I'm a big fan of the writer Fannie Flagg, who wrote Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe,and this book really had the same feel to me. It's just an honest story about life in a small town where everyone knows everyone's secrets, and yet they really don't know one another at all.

If you want a great story with a huge helping of heart, then check this one out. I can't wait to see what Vanderpool comes up with next, but I'd be perfectly content if she just returned to Manifest again and again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ch..Ch..Changes!


So, those of you still out there reading may have noticed I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. My research paper is very nearly finished. It's currently with my second reader, so within the month, I should have my Master's in Library Science. Awesome!! That's the main reason I didn't blog for oh-so-very long. It was just too much. I also stopped, because it ceased being fun. I still love to read and kept right on reading, but I needed a little break. So, no promises, but I'll do my best to keep on keepin' on with the blog.

One big change coming my way is that I'm switching school districts. I love the school I've been at for the past two years, but there were threats of cutting Media Specialists, and I need a job to keep myself in books. I sought employment elsewhere, and got the first job I interviewed for. Thanks goodness!! It's a great school, another elementary, in a neighboring district. It's more money, more chance for growth, and just a new exciting move.

My hope is to share some ideas on the blog when I start in the fall. Sometimes sharing ideas makes them happen.

Okay, so I'll blog as much as possible, except for about 10 glorious days in June when I will be in sunny Florida, basking in the awesomeness that is Disneyworld!!! Can't wait!!

See you all soon, I promise this time. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce


Release Date: Ummmm, yeah....this has been out since '83, but I'm just now hopping on board. Currently available from Atheneum.

Source: Personal Kindle Copy.

Synopsis:

"From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight."

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins -- one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.


I'm a little late hopping on the Tamora Pierce bandwagon and I'm not sure what finally made me decide to read her books, but I started at the beginning. My first foray into the world of Tortall was Alanna, book one in the Song of the Lioness quartet.

I've never considered myself a fantasy fan, although I don't know why, because I've read my fair share. This book, though, captured me from the very beginning and made me wonder why I waited so long. The character of Alanna really made this book for me. She's so strong and self-assured and yet has some of the same fears and faults that we all do. She's incredibly likable, because I saw in her some of the courage that I wish I'd had at that age, and really, that I wish I had now.

Pierce's world is flawless. Everything just moves so smoothly from page to page, chapter to chapter, and before I knew it, the book was done and I was hungry for more. I finished all four books and each one instantly became my favorite.

If you haven't read the Song of the Lioness books, I urge you to do so. Even if you don't consider yourself a fantasy fan, this book would appeal simply because of the beautiful writing and the masterful characterization. And Alanna totally kicks ass!

Check it out!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (79)--Beauty Queens by Libba Bray


Release Date: May 24, 2011 from Scholastic Press

Synopsis:

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray comes the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A Lost-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.


What's not to love?! I can't wait for this one!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong


Release Date: Available Now from HarperTeen

Source: Personal Copy

Synopsis:
My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.

But normal is one thing I'm not.

For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf.

Not normal.

My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently.

Definitely not normal.

And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.

As far away from normal as it gets.


When Armstrong's new book The Gathering came out recently, I was reminded that I'd never finished the Darkest Powers trilogy. I had to search my bookshelf to find it again, but it was worth the hunt.

I'm a big Kelley Armstrong fan. I love her adult Otherworld books, but I think her YA works are my favorites. It's everything I love about the Otherworld, but even more fast-paced and fun. Chloe is awesome and while I love her character, what I love even more is that this isn't just Chloe's story. I found myself just as interested in the other characters as I was with what would happen to her. Derek and Simon are fabulous, too. Their story is so intertwined with Chloe's that you can't have one without the other. That's what I love so much about Armstrong. She's a master of characterization. She paints such realistic portraits of characters that don't exist in our world, but it feels like they could and should.

This is a great end to the series, although I feel like there's still a lot of story left to tell. I haven't read The Gathering yet, but after finishing this one it's moving up in my list. I'm interested to see where this new series takes us and I'd love to see a return to the storyline of Chloe, Simon, Derek, and Tori. Here's hoping we'll see more of them in the future.

If you haven't read any Kelley Armstrong books....well, what are you waiting for?!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Release Date: Available Now from Katherine Tegen Books

Source: From Publisher

Synopsis:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


I was completely blown away by this book. I had heard all of the hype from various sources comparing it the The Hunger Games, so when I got the book in the mail, I was almost weary of reading it. I didn't want to be disappointed, nor did I want to read a carbon copy of Hunger Games. I'm so happy that I gave Divergent a chance.

It's a beautifully written book, first of all. Roth has created such a vivid dystopian landscape that while reading it, I almost expected to wake up and have to choose my faction. From page one I was drawn into the world she'd created and into the life of Tris. Tris is such a fantastic character and it was amazing to see her grow as she works her way through this whole new experience. As the reader, I just wanted so much to see her succeed and I almost wanted to jump in there and start working alongside her.

I love dystopias and with so many coming out on the market, it is hard to find an original idea and to create an original world, but Roth has done that and more. Will there be comparisons to The Hunger Games? Of course, and there were moments when I was reminded of Katniss, but this book is so much more than that. I can't wait for the next book in the series. Tris' world is dark, violent, and more than a little scary, but I would gladly return there again and again.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Visit From Alexander Gordon Smith, Author of Lockdown and Solitary


A Ghost in the Cell

Hi Carrie, thanks so much for letting me write a guest post for your blog! As this is my first guest post on my blog tour, I wanted to talk a little about the main character, Alex, and the experience of being locked away inside Furnace Penitentiary with him. It was an incredible, life-changing time for both of us.

Alex existed inside my head long before the idea of Furnace came about. He’s me, in so many ways – the me that might have been if I’d taken a few more wrong turns as a teenager. I still think, sometimes, that Alex is a version of me that might actually exist in a different universe. This is why I’m so close to him – we’re twins, inter-dimensional brothers! I wasn’t exactly a bad kid, but I did steal stuff and hang out in biker bars and get into fights. Luckily I had a great family, and they pulled me free before it got out of hand. But the character of Alex stuck around inside my head, the teenage me who didn’t get rescued.

The idea of Furnace grew out of this character, this version of me. I wanted to write a horror story, something genuinely terrifying, and I was struggling to think of an idea that really worked. But Alex was still in my head. Whereas I’d grown up – I was twenty-eight when I started Lockdown – he was still a teenager. He hadn’t had the opportunity to play out his story, to see where his life would lead. I kept thinking about him, this teenager that was locked inside the purgatory of my mind, and eventually I realized that Alex wanted to tell his story. He needed to tell it. As soon as I understood this, the entire book – the prison and the terrible things that happen there – just appeared, almost fully formed. I had my horror story. I’d had it all along.

I started writing. It was incredible, really, as it genuinely felt as though Alex was telling the story and I was merely transcribing it. He was so real to me – a living, breathing person – that all I could do was capture what he was saying. Sometimes it felt like I couldn’t write fast enough to even do that, his voice a torrent, like he’d been waiting to tell this story for so long. It didn’t seem to matter that it was such a brutal sequence of events, that every page brought new horrors. I think the character was just grateful to finally be allowed to live his life, to see where it would lead him.

Like I said, though, it was a life-changing experience for both of us. Not long after I’d started writing, I suffered a personal tragedy. Anyone who’s read the dedication in Lockdown will have an idea of what it was. It was a really, really dark time, the worst in my life. I threw myself into the book as a way of coping with it, a way of forgetting.

I genuinely felt like I was imprisoned inside Furnace Penitentiary, locked away a mile beneath the ground in this hellhole. Like Alex, I had no way out, no way to escape this nightmare. We were both sentenced to rot at the very bottom of the world. I knew that if Alex didn’t find a way out of Furnace, then I’d never get out of this dark place in my own life. We needed each other. We couldn’t survive this alone. I think – I hope – that’s why the book feels so real: because Alex’s terror and confusion and pain and hopelessness were my terror and confusion and pain and hopelessness. It was completely and utterly real to me when I was writing. This is also why the friendships in the book are so important, so powerful. Because I was there, a ghost in the cell, relying on Donovan and Zee and Toby to keep me sane just as much as Alex was. If those guys hadn’t been in Furnace, I don’t know what would have happened to Alex and I don’t know what would have happened to me.

Writing Lockdown helped me get through this tragedy. It helped me to escape. And Alex? Well, I can’t say what happens to him at the end of the book, or the end of the series – I don’t want to give anything away! But I’m so glad he stayed in my head all those years, so glad he wanted to tell his story. Without him, I’d still be inside Furnace, I’d still be a ghost in that cell.




Wow!! Thanks for the awesome guest post! I'm honored to have you visit my blog. Now what are you waiting for reader?! Go pick up Lockdown and Solitary and get reading!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (78) --The Monday Edition: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann


Release Date: February 8, 2011 from Simon Pulse

Synopsis:

The small town of Cryer’s Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn’t that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain.
When a second student goes missing—someone close to Kendall’s heart—the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall’s not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing, calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she’s losing her grip on reality. But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school—messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there—Kendall decides that crazy or not, she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions.

Something’s not right in Cryer’s Cross—and Kendall’s about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.


I loved Lisa McMann's previous books, so I absolutely cannot wait for this one. It's already a Kindle pre-order.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard


Release Date: Available Now from HarperTeen

Source: Personal Kindle Copy

Synopsis:

I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.


I love the Pretty Little Liars books, they are additively awesome. So, after finishing (what I thought would be) the last book in the series, I had some major withdrawal. I was oh so eager to leap back into the world that Sara Shepard had created. Needless to say, I was waiting for The Lying Game and bought it the day it came out.

I really enjoyed the book. I thought it had some great mystery elements and the characters were interesting, especially Emma. I liked watching this girl who's life has been so tough try to take in a life so different from her own. I though Shepard portrayed these differences really well.

I have to say though, I didn't like it as much as the PLL series. Those books kept me reading well into the night looking for the next twist or surprise, but this one read a little slower for me. Still liked it, but just not as much.

Now, of course, I know that there will be fr more books in the PLL series, which thrills me to no end. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble the girls get into this time around.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody


Release Date: Available Now from Random House Book for Young Readers

Source: Personal Kindle Copy

Synopsis:

In a world struggling back from the brink of apocalypse, life is harsh. And for Elspeth Gordie, it is also dangerous. That's because Elspeth has a secret: she is a Misfit, born with mysterious mental abilities that she must keep hidden under threat of death. And her worries only multiply when she is exiled to the mountain compound known as Obernewtyn, where—for all her talents—Elspeth may finally and truly be out of her depth. Then she learns she’s not the only one concealing secrets at Obernewtyn.

So this is the book, the book that made me want to blog again. It's been a long while and here's the reason: I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. I felt overwhelmed by review books and I felt like I was missing out on older titles that I wanted to read, but couldn't find the time. Plus, I have to blame my Kindle. I was one of those who said I would never enjoy and eReader, that I would miss the smell, the feel, of books. Yeah, I was wrong. I love my Kindle. I still read paper books every once in awhile, but I do love that Kindle. So, in order to spend some quality time with my Kindle, I stopped blogging for awhile to alleviate the review book stress. Plus I was writing a research paper, working, yada, yada, yada.

Then a couple weeks ago, I decided on a whim to try out Obernewtyn. I'd heard some good things here and there and I'm always up for some post-apocalyptic action, so I figured, why not? I'm so glad I made the leap.

I loved this book. I have since read two more in the series and I have 3 more to go. This book completely swept me away to another world. I love the characters, the premise, and just the overall feel of the book. I love that Carmody has created a whole new world and yet, since it's merely a what if of our own world, there are all these recognizable little pieces of our everyday lives. She really seamlessly places us in this new world and gives us just enough clues so that we never forget that this is could be our future.

Elspeth is one of the most amazing characters I've read about in a long time. She's one of those heroines who I would strive to me, strong and yet flawed. It's just an awesome read. And thanks to Isobelle Carmody, Elspeth, and Obernewtyn, Carrie's YA Bookshelf is back with a new outlook. I will keep on blogging, read what I want to read and share my love of books with whoever chooses to read.

I've missed you all and hope you're still out there!