Thursday, December 31, 2009

Other 2009 Faves!!

So, since I posted my earlier faves of 2009, all these other awesome books keep popping into my brain. Here's the follow up for others that I love and that rocked my world.

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey

There...I think that'll do it, although I still feel like I'm leaving some out. See what I mean about loving most things I read?! It's a problem.

Carrie's 2009 Top Books

These are in no particular order and it's actually really hard to choose just a few, because I tend to love most things that I read. I'll give it a try though.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephenie Kuehnert

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

A couple of these I just read this last week and Rampant would totally be on this list, but I haven't finised it yet. There were so many more books I loved, but these are the stand outs. I think 2010 is going to be an even more excellent year in YA and I for one can't wait!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Incarceron Trailer!!

Check out this cool little trailer for one of my most highly anticipated upcoming reads. I'm oh so tempted to buy it from Amazon UK, but I'm trying to hold out until it's available stateside.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (47)--Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman

Release Date: April 12, 2010 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


You are indestructible. These are the words that transfer an astonishing power to Jacob Fielding that changes everything. After all, there's something addictive about testing the limits of fear, experiencing the thrill of walking through fire, or saving your friend from a beating in front of the whole school.

Then Ophelia James, the beautiful and daring new girl in town, suggests that they use the power to do good, to save others at risk of death. But with every heroic act, the power grows into the specter of a curse. How to decide who lives and who dies? And why does darkness seem to be chasing them? Jacob only has thirteen days to figure out how to harness a power that even the world's greatest escape artist could not outrun... and the answer is chilling: What if he has to kill the one he loves to save her?

In the context of a unconventional gothic super hero story, Pat Carman has envisioned a high concept tale of intrigue, friendship and adventure that probes deep into what teens face as they enter young adult years: navigating increasingly complex choices with greater consequences, as well as the gray areas blurring the definitions of right and wrong.

It's no secret that I love Patrick Carman's books. I've reviewed at least three of his books here and mentioned him quite a few times, too. So, needless to say, I am totally psyched for this one. It's his first foray into YA fiction and it sounds fantastic!! I know that it will be full of adventure and action. I also know that it will be wonderfully written. What's not to love here?! Oh just that I have to wait until April to read it. Well, I'll definitely be waiting.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Release Date: Available Now from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

Source: From Publisher


Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.

What a truly lovely book. I've read a few not so glowing reviews, but this book just really captured my heart and my attention from page one. I was instantly swept away into Nimira's world of "Trouser Girls," magic, and gentlemen. All of Dolamore's characters were very well-written and made for an intriguing tale of love, power, and revenge.

I loved Nimira and Erris' story and found myself cheering for them from the get-go. Hollin Parry's story was also fascinating in that whole Jane Eyre kind of way. He was one of those tragic characters that I couldn't help but feel for.

The way this book ended, I really feel like a sequel is imminent and that excites me very much. Dolamore has written such a lovely and lyrical book, that was at the same time a quick and fun read. There was some truly beautiful imagery in this book and I really felt like I was immersed in Nimira's world while reading these pages.

These early tenners are really setting this up to be a great year. I can't wait to see what's in story as 2010 rolls on.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Release Date: Available Now from Henry Holt & Company

Source: From Publisher


Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over “breathers.” Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody…and Cass loves dirt. She’s on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.

But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass’s whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.

As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim’s life, she’s surprised to realize he’s not so bad—and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it’s time to give the living another chance….

I really enjoyed this one. It wasn't what I was expecting, which made me like it even more. I loved that Cass was a flawed character who didn't always make the right decisions. Who wouldn't want to have some secret way to get back at all the creeps at school? Count me in.

What interested me the most was her relationship with Tim. It was cool to see to people who you think you have all figured out, totally get turned on their heads. I like when authors take a story and their characters in a different direction than you might expect.

I'm hoping that this is the first in a series, because there's so much more I'd like to learn about Cass. She's a rich character with a lot more story to tell. And Megan Crewe is a talented new author who I hope to see a lot more from.

Check it out, you won't be disappointed!

And you can find out more about Megan here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

In My Mailbox (42)

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

Three books in the mail this week, and one of them a repeat.

For Review:

My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman (1 ARC Tour)

Release Date: Available Now from Henry Holt


With Roz and Eva everything becomes a contest—who can snag the best role in the school play, have the cutest boyfriend, pull off the craziest prank. Still, they’re as close as sisters can be. Until Eva deletes Roz from her life like so much junk e-mail for no reason that Roz understands. Now Eva hangs out with the annoyingly petite cheerleaders, and Roz fantasizes about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade.

Roz has a suspicion about Eva. In turn, Eva taunts Roz with a dare, which leads to an act of total insanity. Drama geeks clamor for attention, Shakespearean insults fly, and Roz steals the show in Lauren Bjorkman’s hilarious debut novel.

Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi

Release Date: January 5, 2010 from Berkley Trade


The newest Blood Coven novel-accompanied by edgy repackages of the rest of the series

Sunny McDonald is in the ultimate forbidden relationship. Her boyfriend Magnus is a vampire, and the leader of the Blood Coven. And when the Coven decides that Magnus needs a mate to be his co-ruler, Sunny's humanity puts her out of the running. The Coven's chosen candidate is Jane Johnson, a magna cum laude graduate of Oxford University who just happens to look like a vampiric supermodel.

Sunny is suspicious of a Rhodes Scholar who can't answer the most basic poli-sci questions, but Magnus brushes it off as petty jealousy. Still, when the Blood Coven goes to Las Vegas for a vampire convention, Sunny and her twin sister Rayne secretly tag along. And Sunny's not going home before she learns the truth about Jane. Because not everything stays in Vegas-especially bad blood.

Captivate by Carrie Jones (Repeat, so I'm giving it away here).


The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Scones & Sensibility by Lindsay Eland
The 13th Reality Book 1: The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas From Me And Hello Kitty!!

Hello all,

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Here in Kansas City we are experiencing one heck of a storm, tons of sleet and lots of expected snow. It may delay our Christmas with my grandparents until Saturday, but that's okay, too.

I'm still reading Shiver which is the perfect book for the weather happening outside right now. So far I've read 3 books for the Holiday Break Reading Challenge and I plan to keep on truckin'.

So be careful out there and have a wonderful holiday!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Contest!!

Okay, here's a 2-book contest for you, featuring one upcoming title. Here's what's up for grabs:

Need by Carrie Jones (ARC)


Now fans of Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr have a new author to devour . . .

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.
With suspense, romance, and paranormal themes, this exciting breakout novel has all the elements to keep teens rapidly turning the pages.

Captivate by Carrie Jones (ARC)

Release Date: January 5, 2010 from Bloomsbury USA


Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Here's how to enter:
+1--Leaving your E-Mail
+5--For Following or Becoming a Follower
+5--For Following Me on Twitter @carriesyabook
+5--For Posting about my contest on your Blog ( leave a link)
+5--For Adding Me to Your Blogroll

Contest ends January 22nd, 2010.

Waiting on Wednesday (46)--My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

Release Date: December 29, 2009 from HarlequinTEEN


When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld--a consequence they can't possibly understand.Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk....
I loved the first book in this series, so I've been looking forward to this sequel. Best of all, it comes out next week. I also love the covers for these books. They are so ethereal and just gorgeous.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Soulstice by Simon Holt (The Devouring Book 2)

Release Date: Available Now from Little Brown, Book for Young Readers

Source: From Publisher


The terrifying, nail-biting, and grossly intriguing sequel toThe Devouring.It's been six months since Reggie first discovered and fought against the Vours, malicious and demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on the eve of the Winter Solstice.

The Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams-until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality.

The battle against evil continues in Soulstice, the second book in the thrilling The Devouring series, which School Library Journal called, "Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King....A must-have for horror fans."

I thought it was only fitting to review this book today, seeing as December 22nd is in fact Sorry Night. Sorry Night is that most horrible and fearful night when the Vours can take over human hosts and spread their fear throughout the land. These Vours are pretty badass and I have to tell you, I'll think twice before wandering around tonight.

I really liked The Devouring. I think it's one of the best horror novels, definitely the best YA horror novel, that I've read in a long time. Soulstice is just as good, if not better. Reggie is back, along with her little brother Henry, and her best friend Aaron. She also has some new and quite disturbing friends, too.

It's hard not to be a spoilerish here considering this is book two, so I'll just tell you what I like about this series. It's scary, and not just a little scary, but stay with you for a few days scary. I have to tell you, some of the imagery stayed with me after I turned off my lights at night. I think the Vours are some of the best villains out there. There's nothing scarier than the thought of something taking over your body and controlling your every move. It's Exorcist freaky.

I also like Reggie who is I think a completely ass-kicking heroine. She will literally go to any heights or sink to any depths to save the people she loves. And she does a damn fine job of it.

So, if you are looking for a good way to spend Sorry Night, or you just want a good scare, go read The Devouring and then immediately pick up Soulstice. The way book 2 ended, I'm really hoping that Holt has a third book on the way. If so, I will be eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Have a very scary Christmas!!

Holiday Break Reading Activity #5

Page 22, Line 33

"We stood alone in the midst of thronelike chairs of dark wood..."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Contest Winner!!

The winner of my latest contest is


Congrats to Brooke and thanks to all who entered. I'll be announcing a new contest in the next day or so. Any suggestions for what you'd like me to give away? Preferably something I've already reviewed. I'm open to suggestions, as long as I have or can get a copy to give away.

Holiday Break Reading Activity #3

The devouring ruined the garden of eve.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In My Mailbox (41)--Book Week '09

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

This was the best book week I've ever had and many of them were completely unexpected. So, get comfortable, because this may be a long one.

For Review:

Mia the Magnificent by Eileen Boggess

Release Date: ? (couldn't access Eileen's website, so as you might have noticed the cover is not for the book I have, but another in the series).


After one summer at the Little Tykes Theatre, Mia Fullerton is meek no more, but that doesn't make her life any easier--not in her sophomore year at St. Hilary's, when her best friend Lisa forces her into a dangerously big part in The Music Man. Not when her ex-boyfriend, Tim, is teaching her little brother Chris to treat women like objects. And not when she learns to drive--with serious repercussions.

Who is Mia? Is she an independent girl like Zoe, her acerbic goth friend from Little Tykes? She'd like to be--that's why she's volunteering to be onstage for the first time, in a show populated by her first ex and childhood crush Jake, her arch-nemesis Cassie, and new girl in town Alyssa. That's why it's so important she overcome the bizarre driving instructions of St. Hilary's janitor Mr. Corrigan to earn her driver's license, and therefore her freedom.

Or is she the girl who misses Tim, even after the way he betrayed her? Tim is smart, funny, and likeable in a distinctly obnoxious way, and he's determined to win Mia back--even if he has a funny way of doing so, dating both Cassie and Alyssa at the same time, behind bother their backs. Can Mia forgive Time? Should she instead choose Eric, Zoe's cousin, a nicer and more respectful choice in every way? Or would either choice defeat her goals of independence?

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig

Release Date: January 5, 2010 (paperback) from New American Library


A New York Times extended list bestseller and the exciting fifth book in the national bestselling Pink Carnation series.

After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer's identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady.

Charlotte Lansdowne wistfully remembers the Robert of her childhood as a valiant hero among men. Too aware of his own flaws, Robert tries to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, even as he finds himself drawn to her. When Charlotte takes up a bit of espionage-investigating a plot to kidnap the King-Robert soon realizes that she is more than the perfect partner in crime.

Caught in a dangerous game full of deadly spies and secret rites, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain...and confront their true love

Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale

Release Date: January 5, 2010 from Bloombury USA Children's Books


Jack likes to think of himself as a criminal mastermind…with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, plotter, planner, trickster, swindler...maybe even thief? One fine day Jack picks a target a little more giant than the usual, and one little bean turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk.

With help from Rapunzel (and her trusty braids), a pixie from Jack’s past, and a man with inventions from the future, they just might out-swindle the evil giants and put his beloved city back in the hands of good people ....while catapulting themselves and readers into another fantastical adventure.

A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup

Release Date: December 22, 2009 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books


The three Cheeseman children, their father, and their psychic dog are all on the run. From whom? Well the CIA, naturally. But also corporate agents #5, #29, and # 207, plus two international superspies -- one of whom happens to be a chimpanzee. They all want Dr. Cheeseman and his late wife's greatest invention–a machine with unspeakable powers–OK, I'll say it. It's a time machine. But it's not working right yet, so put all ideas of time travel out of your head.

Instead, please enjoy this high stakes, high action, hijinx-filled chase, and the bizarre characters our Cheeseman friends will meet as they protect not just their parents' invention, but their mother's sacred memory. It's an adventure novel like no other.

Oh yeah, and did we mention the entertaining, plot-exposition filled, unsolicited advice you'll receive along the way? So you didn't ask for it? Yeah, that's why it's unsolicited.

Unsolicited Advice #1: Read this book.

Captivate by Carrie Jones

Release Date: January 5, 2010 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books


Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

Release Date: December 22, 2009 from Walker Books for Young Readers


On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.
Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart.

Even fans of the genre who’ve seen it all will find a fresh read with kick-butt characters and family dynamics that ring true for all brothers and sisters—vampire or otherwise.

The Returners by Gemma Malley

Release Date: March 2, 2010 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books


London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father’s political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he’s having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reincarnated people who carry with them the memory of atrocities they have witnessed in the past. Will realizes that he, too, is a Returner. But something about his memories is different, and with dawning horror, Will suspects that he wasn’t just a witness to the events, he was instrumental in making them happen. Set in the near future, with the world on the verge of a new wave of ethnic cleansing, Will must choose to confront the cruelty he's known in his past lives, or be doomed to repeat it . . . again.

Firespell by Chloe Neill

Release Date: January 5, 2010 from Signet


New Girl.
New School.
Old Evil.

From the author of the Chicagoland Vampires novels.

A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework.

Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.

They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Release Date: December 22, 2009 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books


Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.

The Trouble With Mark Hopper by Elissa Brent Weissman

Release Date: Available Now from Dutton Juvenile


Mark Hopper is the smartest student in the sixth grade, and he knows it. When another Mark Hopper moves to town (the same age, with similar looks), Mark Hopper makes trouble for Mark Hopper. The Mark everyone knows isn’t very nice, so the other Mark finds no one will talk to him. The new Mark isn’t very brainy, so the other Mark worries that people will think he’s a dummy. When a teacher forces them to be study partners, they realize that they can benefit from one another’s strengths—and maybe win the Mastermind Challenge together. Trouble is, one of the Marks wants to win so badly that he’s willing to steal from Mark.


Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale
Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fade To Blue by Sean Beaudoin

Release Date: Available Now from Little, Brown Book for Young Readers

Source: From Publisher


Sophie Blue started wearing a black skirt and Midnight Noir lipstick on her last birthday. It was also the day her father disappeared. Or spontaneously combusted. Which is sort of bad timing, since a Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house.

Kenny Fade is a basketball god. His sneakers cost more than his Jeep. He's the guy all the ladies (and their mommas) want. Bad.

Sophie Blue and Kenny Fade don't have a thing in common. Aside from being reasonably sure they're losing their minds.

Acclaimed author Sean Beaudoin's wildly innovative novel combines uproarious humor with enough plot twists to fill a tube sock. Part thriller, part darkly comic philosophical discussion, and accompanied by a comic book interstitial, Fade to Blue is a whip-smart romp that keeps readers guessing until the last paragraph.

This was one of the most bizarre books I've ever read, but I truly enjoyed every minute of it. At times, I had no idea what was happening, but that need to know kept me turning the pages late into the night.

Sophie is a wonderful character who is just trying to decide if she's going crazy or not. All of us at one time or another have wondered if we might be going slightly mad, but Sophie really has cause to worry. While worrying about all of this, Sophie still has her mother, her brother, her best friend, and her disappearing father to deal with.

Fade to Blue is a very imaginative read. Because of the way it reads, the reader feels just as lost and confused as Sophie does. I also adored the comic book element of the book. Right in the middle Beaudoin breaks out a mini-comic that makes the story even more surreal.

Is this book for everyone? No, but I for one loved it and will look forward to Beaudoin's next mind-trippy read. He's definitely an author to watch.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My TBR Pile For the Holiday Reading Challenge

Holiday Break Reading Challenge

Here's my list of the books I would like to get to during the challenge, of course, my tastes change from day to day, so we shall see what I actually end up reading.

1. Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling (currently reading, but need to finish)
2. Dream Life by Lauren Mechling
3. Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford
4. Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith
5. Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale
6. Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale
7. The Trouble With Mark Hopper by Elissa Brent Weissman

Okay, that's my list so far. Some of them should be really quick reads. It will be interesting to see where the challenge takes me. I'm just looking forward to some much needed time of from work.

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #1

He lived on glimpses.

Those brief moments that he had with her every morning at the trainstop.

She never noticed him, until that one morning.

Carlos and Jane are complete strangers. Although Carlos has noticed Jane, Jane is oblivious to his attention. Then one morning a random act of violence pushes the two together, and together they must find a way to live through the fear and carry on.

If you'd like to join the Holiday Break Reading Challenge, you can find the blog here. And if you'd like to create your own book, here are the direction:


1 – Go to “Fake Name Generator” or click

The name that appears is your author name.

2 – Go to “Random Word Generator” or click

The word listed under “Random Verb” is your title.

3 – Go to “FlickrCC” or click

Type your title into the search box. The first photo that contains a person is your cover.

4 – Use Picnik or similar to put it all together. Be sure to crop and/or zoom in.

5 – Post it to your site.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (45)--X-Isle by Steve Augarde

Release Date: July 13, 2010 from David Fickling Books


Ever since the floods came and washed the world away, survivors have been desperate to win a place on X Isle, the island where life is rumoured to be easier than on what's left of the mainland. Only young boys are in with a chance, the smaller and lighter the better. Baz and Ray are two of the lucky few to be chosen, but they soon discover that X-Isle is a far cry from paradise. Ruled by Preacher John, a dangerous religious fanatic, it's a violent, unpredictable place where terrible things can happen at any moment. The boys hatch an extraordinary plan in order to protect themselves - the construction of a mighty weapon of defence. But can they complete this weapon in time, and are they really prepared to use it in order to secure their freedom? Powerful and compelling, "X Isle" is a fast-moving thriller that will keep you guessing right to the very end.

This sounds AMAZING!! It's already out in the UK, so I might have to break down and order it, because I don't know if I can wait until July.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just Grace and the Snack Attack Tour Stop!!

Release Date: December 14, 2009 from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Source: From Publisher


After reading this new book about Just Grace you will know how to . . .
1. turn your favorite potato chips into a tasty chipwich.
2. draw and fold up your very own zine, which is a cool little book made from only one piece of paper.
3. look for and use the special powers of the wish chip.
This book will not help you know how to . . .
1. do fancy hairstyles for your cat.
2. make a flower garden in your room.
3. bake a four- or even five-layer cake.
But this book might make you feel a little bit hungry, and if it does, then you will know you are having a “snack attack” just like Grace!

Move over Judy Moody, Amber Brown and Clementine, there's a new spunky third grader on the block! Learn more about Just Grace at

Grace is fabulous!! I've been reading a lot more books for younger readers lately, so I was delighted when this one was offered to me. It's a quick read interspered with adorable eye-catching illustrations.

Grace is an everykid who is struggling with friendship issues, parent issues, and all those other everyday dramas that kids face daily. What Grace has though is a wonderful imagination and a whole lot of moxie. She's that charming kid that you can't help but smile at.

I don't know why I never picked up this series before. This is the 5th book in the series and I bought the first as soon as I finished this one. I think the kids in my school would love this series and I can't wait to introduce it to them. Grace is the kind of character who I would enjoy seeing my students look up to. She's creative, kind, and really quite hilarious.

This would be a perfect gift for those kids in your life who love to read, love to laugh, and love to be creative!!

You can find more information about Charise and her books here.

Here's the list of all the stops on the Just Grace Tour:

The Hungry Readers

Our Big Earth

All About Children’s Books

Looking Glass Reviews

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Contest Reminder!!

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to post a quick reminder about my contest. It will be ending Friday, my last day of school before Winter Break. So hurry and enter to win three books, including an autographed copy of The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. I also received some Renegade X bookmarks from Chelsea Campbell, so my winner will be getting a couple of those as well.

Enter away!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In My Mailbox (40)--Wow!! The Big 4-0!! Woo Hoo!!! (Exclamation Point City!!!)

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

Got a couple books, bought a couple books...all in all a good week.

For review:

Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling

Release Date: Available Now from Delacorte Books for Young Readers


Claire Voyante has been having strange visions ever since she can remember. But the similarity between her name and her talents is purely coincidental. The name is French and unlike the psychics on TV, she can’t solve crimes or talk to the dead.

But that all changes on Claire’s 15th birthday, when her grandmother gives her something a little more extraordinary than one of her old cocktail dresses: a strange black-and-white onyx cameo on a gold chain. It’s not long before Claire’s world becomes a whole lot clearer. And a whole lot more dangerous.

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling

Release Date: January 12, 2010 from Delacorte Books for Young Readers


Claire Voyante's first semester at Henry Hudson High School was eventful, to say the least. As she heads into her second semester, things are calming down a bit. But Claire has a few secrets that are getting harder to keep. Her biggest secret of all? The onyx and ivory cameo necklace her grandmother gave her for her 15th birthday. Ever since she started wearing it, her dreams have been coming to her in black and white and turning out to be oddly prophetic.

Becca’s been hanging out with her old prep school friends and never seems to have time for Claire anymore. And soon, Claire discovers why—there’s a secret group of society girls with a mysterious identity. And, turns out, a mysterious enemy who’s out to get them. The second she sniffs out trouble, Claire jumps on the case. But is it someone close to Claire who’s in danger again—or could it be Claire herself whose life is at stake?

Thank you, thank you Lauren and Random House for sharing these two titles with me. I can't wait to read the, in fact, they are now next in the pile.



Fallen by Lauren Kate
The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail by Michael P. Spradlin
Monster Squad, Book 3: The Beast With 1000 Eyes


Brokeback Mountain (Blu-Ray)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Blu-Ray)
The Tudors--Season 2

Trailer for Dream Life by Lauren Mechling

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling -- Trailer from Richie Williams on Vimeo.

I spotted this trailer over on The Story Siren, and decided I just needed to share it with the world at large. I just received copies of both of Lauren's books and I can't wait to dive into them. This awesome trailer makes my even more anxious to get reading.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fade Out (Morganville Vampires, Book 7) by Rachel Caine

Release Date: Available Now from Signet

Source: From Publisher


Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again...

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger-and way more dangerous-than anyone suspected.

This is the first Morganville book for me. I was sent the first two in one volume and I believe I also have book six. I was going to go back and start from the beginning, because I hate starting a series in the middle, but with my current TBR pile that just wasn't feasible. So, there I went jumping in feet first with book

With most series, I would have felt completely lost, but Fade Out was really easy to get into and although I was missing some key plot points, I caught up quickly and really liked it. I think the fact that it was so addictively readable made up for my lack of background knowledge.

I basically want to pick up and move to Morganville now. I love Claire and her pals and I love all the trouble that they find themselves in. I really enjoyed the character of Amelie although she really creeps me out at the same time. I've found that many of my favorite literary characters are also rather creepy, so she's in good company.

Do I recommend this book? Oh hellz yeah, if I can start 7 books in and love a book this much, then it is definitely a series worth reading. When I'm able to, I'll be going back to the beginning to read about all that I've missed so far. I'm really excited that I'm now all ready for book 8, Kiss of Death, which comes out in May. Keep them coming Rachel Caine!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets by Teens Famous & Obscure

Release Date: Available Now from HarperTEEN

Source: From Publisher


One life. Six words. What's yours?

True tales of love, loss, good friends, and bad hair days filled Not Quite What I Was Planning, the New York Times bestselling first book in the Six-Word Memoir series—and an international phenomenon. Some of the most compelling were by teens, so now SMITH Magazine has compiled a book written entirely by these bold, brash truth-tellers. From cancer to creativity, prom dates to promiscuity, and breaking hearts to breaking laws, the memoirs in this collection reveal that often the youngest writers have the most fascinating stories to tell.

Met online; love before first sight.

Hair's pink to piss you off.

I fulfilled my awkwardness quota today.

I'm seventeen, engaged, and not pregnant.

My mom had my boyfriend deported.

Late for school every single day.

According to Facebook, we broke up.

This book has such an awesome idea behind it, how could I not love it. Each and every entry is interesting and unique in its own way. I found myself instantly mesmerized by these sic-word glimpses into the lives of teens from all walks of life.

Then of course, I was inspired to come up with my own memoirs.

I'd much rather be at Disneyworld.
Blogging has taken over my life.
I finally found my perfect job.
I totally don't feel this old.

That's just a few. I could go on and on, and it's more challenging than you think to hit that sic-word mark. If you're looking for a quick, interesting, and at times, really moving read, then look no further. Check it out, and start righting your own memoir.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (44)--The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Release Date: February 1, 2010 from HarlequinTEEN



Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

I've heard only good things about this so far and I loved the first two books from Harlequin's teen line. Basically, I'm totally psyched to read this one!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Karin the Librarian's Holiday Break Reading Challenge

Holiday Break Reading Challenge

I've never partaken of a challenge before and I think it's high time I did. What better challenge than one I can complete during my winter break from school. Two glorious weeks of movie watching and book reading. Yay!! This is my first year in a school and I plan to take full advantage of every break I get. Plus, this is a great way to catch up on all those review books that glare at me from my bookshelves and make me all guilty-feeling.

Here's the info straight from Karin herself:

1) Anyone can participate. I'm focusing on teachers and students, but if you want to cram a little extra reading in during the holiday season, please join us.

2) The Reading Challenge is designed to be self-paced. I will ask for you to set a goal for the number of books you want to read, but if you don't reach the goal - no big deal. This is for fun.

3) You don't have to provide a list of books you plan to read in advance. You can, but it isn't required. My mood determines what I read so I usually don't stick to a list. If I can't do it, I don't want to force others to do it.

4) The Holiday Break Reading Challenge corresponds with my time off from school. So, it starts on Friday, December 18, 2009 and ends on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010 at Midnight.

5) I'll have a section set up on the blog for reviews. Please link your reviews of the books you complete during the challenge.

6) Everyday there a new "Challenge" will be posted. These "Challenges" are designed to help you get to know other bloggers, talk about what you are reading, and share information about books. A new Mr. Linky (if I can figure it out) will be used in each post to record everyone's responses.

7) HERE IS THE BIG ONE! At least one prize will be given out everyday during the Reading Challenge. This might be a book, a bookmark, or other swag. No specifics lined up yet.

8) Be sure to follow the Reading Challenge on Twitter. New challenges and prize information will be announced there, too.

9. Grab the button to put on your blog.

So, it's time to decide if you want to participate. A Mr. Linky widget will be added to this post soon. I'll send out a Twitter message to notify people they can sign up. Also, spread the word. Tell your friends. Let's get a large group together to share holiday reading with this season.

This comes straight from the new blog that Karin set up specifically for this challenge. You can find said blog, here. You can also get updates from Twitter as well, here.

I'm still trying to decide what I want to read, but once I do, I'll post a list. So, come on, let's spend the holidays reading!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Devouring by Simon Holt

Release Date: Available Now from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.

Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour own her fears before they devour her?

Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?

Why did I wait so long to read this book? I think it might be one of the best YA horror novels ever. It's truly creepy and disturbing, not to mention it is still staying with me over a week after I've read it, which is unusual for me.

Reggie is a fantastic character and the reader is immediately brought into her world. We feel everything she feels, which at times is a wee bit scary. I also loved Aaron, I mean, who doesn't need a friend like that. As someone who is a big fan of horror movies, the idea that some of those fictitious ideas might just come to life is pretty crazy.

This was a truly terrifying read, and I loved every minute of it. It moved at a fast and furious pace that kept me reading into the wee small hours of the morning. I have to warn you that there are some really disturbing scenes and the book is at times quite graphic, but for horror fans, this is certainly a must read.