Friday, January 30, 2009

Freebie Friday

Okay, it's Friday and I'm in the midst of Dooley, hence no new review, so I decided that I would share some other things that I'm interested in today. First of all, my sister Sara and I just got home from seeing The Uninvited.

It was her choice. I've been choosing all the movies lately, so I let her take the reins for this one. I actually enjoyed it. It was fairly scary and I didn't guess the ending even though I should have, because it's an idea that has become pretty popular in movies and books lately. The audience on the other hand, I did not enjoy. The theater was full of teenagers screaming at the top of their lungs for absolutely no reason. I'm used to annoying moviegoers...I go to a lot of movies, but these folks were above and beyond. They also spent the entire movie playing with their cell phones, so we had that whole distracting glow thing going on. Urgh!! I just don't understand why someone would pay $10 to see a movie that they aren't going to watch. Okay, off of my soapbox. All in all, a good thriller. I love horror movies and this one was pretty good with almost no gore.

One of my other favorite things is Supernatural, which had a new episode last night. I love this show. It's funny and current and always entertaining. I try to encourage everyone to watch it, even my naysayer friends. Just give it a chance....I know you'll like it. The fact that it stars two beautiful men doesn't hurt either. This show has filled a void in my life that was left by the exit of two of the best shows ever....Buffy and Angel. Oh how I miss you guys. Thank goodness I have the Winchesters to keep me occupied.

So, anyway, that's a little more about me. Maybe next Friday I'll share a something about my obsession with visiting Disney theme parks....riveting reading I'm sure.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Good Neighbors Book One: The Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh

Here's the description of the book:

Rue Silver's mother has disappeared . . . and her father has been arrested, suspected of killing her. But it's not as straightforward as that. Because Rue is a faerie, like her mother was. And her father didn't kill her mother -- instead, he broke a promise to Rue's faerie king grandfather, which caused Rue's mother to be flung back to the faerie world. Now Rue must go to save her -- and must also defeat a dark faerie that threatens our very mortal world.

I've read some Holly Black before and I love her work, especially the Spiderwick Chronicles which she wrote with Tony DiTerlizzi. I also love the art of Ted Naifeh. I highly recommend the Courtney Crumrin series, they are good old-fashioned goth-tacular fun.

Needless to say, when I saw that these two powerhouses had joined forces, I knew this was one I would have to pick up. It took me awhile to get to it, but I'm definitely glad I did. The story is intriguing. I love the idea of fairies existing alongside humans. It makes me think of Charles De Lint's Newford series. The art is fantastic and truly captures the magic of the series. I like my fairies a little grittier with a darker edge to their magic and this story gives me just that.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Black never disappoints and she continues to create interesting worlds that I love to get lost in, at least for a little while.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

3 Willows by Ann Brashares

I have to admit I didn't read all of the Traveling Pants books. I read the first one and enjoyed it, but never felt the need to pick up the next one or three books in the series. I do like the movies made from the books, but once again they didn't encourage me to read on.

So, when I saw that she was taking the story in a new direction, I decided now was as a good a time as any to jump on board again. To tell the truth, the cover art really pulled me in, at least until I read the first page. After that, I didn't need the cover to pull me in.

From page one I was hooked. This was a great book. I really enjoyed the intertwined stories of Ama, Jo, and Polly. They were believable characters who were facing believable issues and challenges. I think it would be easy for any girl to relate to the idea of how friendships change from year to year. It reminded me of all of those girls I thought would be my friend forever, and yet stood by while we slowly drifted apart.

I like the fact that the girls of Traveling Pants were a part of this story as well. They were subtly and naturally weaved into the lives of these three new girls. I appreciate that Brashares was done with their original story and yet felt the need to explore their world further. 3 Willows is a very readable, fast moving story with a lot of heart. I highly recommend it to one and all. I can't wait to see where she takes this story in the future. I look forward to visiting these characters again.

And hey, maybe now I'll finally go back and finish the first series.

Waiting on Wednesday

For my first Waiting on Wednesday post, I decided to go outside the realm of YA and look at a sci/fi series that I love. The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs is fantastic. I read a few paranormal authors like Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris, and Briggs is at the top of my list of favorites. This is the description for the new book, which is 4th in the series.

New in the #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.

In a world where “witches, vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters live beside ordinary people” (Booklist), it takes a very unusual woman to call it home. By day, Mercy Thompson is a car mechanic in Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shape-shifter with some unusual talents, Mercy’s found herself maintaining a tenuous harmony between the human and the not-so- human on more than one occasion. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

In Mercy, Briggs has created an interesting and compelling character that I just can't get enough of. I highly recommend checking this one out. It will be on shelves Tuesday, Feb. 3. It's the first hardcover in the series. I love it when authors I love start to catch on with other readers. I've also posted the cover art. The covers are always great for these books.

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood

I'm currently taking a children's lit class as part of my Master's program. One of the books I was assigned was The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood by Barb Bentler Ullman. Here in Missouri, our association of school librarians, has an award named the Mark Twain award. This is one of the nominees for 2008-2009. Here's a little bit about the book.

After a divorce, Willa and her mother move to the town of Plunkit, looking for a new home and a fresh start. They buy a little trailer there and work to fix it up all the while becoming acquainted with the townspeople and especially with their elderly neighbor Hazel.

While Willa’s mother works, Willa spends her summer days with Hazel helping her perform chores around the house and listening to her fascinating stories about a village of tiny people who live in the forest surrounding Plunkit. When Willa starts to witness some strange happenings with her own two eyes, she begins to wonder if Hazel’s stories are just that, stories, or if there is some truth to the tales of magic in the woods.

I really enjoyed this book. It had a very magical feel to it, while still being set in the “real” world. So often, fantasies are set in faraway lands of castles and dragons, so I found it refreshing to find one set in small town America. It's very well written and grabbed me from the get go. I look forward to reading Ullman's future works.

Jellicoe Road

I think it's only fitting that my first post is for the book Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. After all, I just found out that it won the Printz award today from the ALA. I picked this book up a few days ago, because I'd read some reviews of it on other YA blogs that I follow. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.

I've never really read anything quite like it before. I was instantly drawn in by the story of Taylor Markham and her quest to discover her history and to find a future. She's a truly compelling character as are all of the other characters that inhabit this world.

I've always been a fan of Australian authors and Marchetta is another one to add to my list. I've already picked up her other two books and look forward to reading them. Of course, I have to make it through a pile of other books first. Congrats to Melina Marchetta on her win. Okay, this is an abbreviated post, because I have to go eat some shells and cheese now, but my next will be longer I promise.