Saturday, January 30, 2010

In My Mailbox (46)

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

I didn't do an IMM post last week, because there was way too much going on, but here I am back and ready to post all of my recent book purchases.

For Review:

Molly Fyde and the Land of Light by Hugh Howey

Release Date: Available Now from Broad Reach Publishing


Molly Fyde has forever dreamed of reconnecting with her mysterious past. Now she's about to meet it in a way she never expected ... head-on.
Her father is alive. Her mother's memories are trapped in the very ship that bears her name. On the run from their own Navy, Molly and her crew have been tasked with the impossible:

Rescue her parents. Save the galaxy. End a war.

But first, Molly must help a crew member in need, which means running to the very race she was trained to meet in battle.

Planet Drenard. Homeworld of humanity's sworn enemy. The next stop for the starship Parsona.

The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 1: Don't Know Where, Don't Know When by Annette Laing

Release Date: Available Now from Confusion Press


What a nightmare.
Hannah Dias, California Girl with Attitude, and Alex, her laid-back brother, have moved from exciting San Francisco to boring Snipesville, Georgia. Life doesn't improve when they meet Brandon, a dorky kid who is plotting his escape from the Deep South, and the weird Professor, who has a strange secret.
Suddenly, the kids are catapulted thousands of miles and almost seventy years to England during World War Two.
They fall into a world of stinging nettles, dragon ladies, bomb blasts, ugly underwear, stinky sandwiches, painful punishments, and non-absorbing toilet paper. They learn so much more than they could ever learn in a history class. Not that they want to learn it.
But they can't go home unless they find George Braithwaite, whoever he is, and whatever it is that he has to do with Snipesville.

For One ARC Tours

The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 2: A Different Day, A Different Destiny by Annette Laing

Release Date: Available Now from Confusion Press


When you wake up in the year 1851 on a Scottish hillside...Or in an English coal mine...Or on a plantation in the Deep South, you know you re in for a bad day. Nothing for Hannah and Alex Dias has been normal since they moved from San Francisco to the little town of Snipesville, Georgia. Bad enough that they and their dorky new friend Brandon became reluctant time-travellers to World War Two England. Oh, sure, they made it home safely (just) but now things are about to get worse. Much worse. From the cotton fields of the Slave South to London's glittering Crystal Palace, the kids chase a lost piece of twenty-first century technology in the mid-nineteenth century. But finding it is only the beginning of what they must do to heal Time.

For One ARC Tours


Amazon UK

The Enemy by Charlie Higson
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
We by John Dickinson

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Darkside by Tom Becker
Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath
The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth


Whip It

I also got this awesome new Betseyville Sweetheart Satchel, which I adore!!

New Winners!!

Two of my contest winners from last night have either won the book elsewhere, or already purchased it. Thanks for letting me know guys!! So, I get to pick two new winners:

The Lonely Hearts Club Winner


Need and Captivate Winner


Congrats guys!! E-mails have been sent.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Many Contest Winners (AKA Better Late Than Never)

Okay, so lets get down to it:

Winners of The Lonely Hearts Club are:




Winner of Darklight:


Winner of Need and Captivate:


Don't forget, I still have a contest running to win 1 of 3 copies of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent. You can enter here. Thanks to everyone who entered and I'll be having more contests in the near future.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mia the Magnificent by Eileen Boggess

Release Date: Available Now from Bancroft Press

Source: From Publisher


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 Zoë, 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 instruction 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 both their backs. Can Mia forgive Tim? 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? And when the worst-case scenarios rear their heads when Mia is forced into the lead in The Music Man, when her first night out on the road goes horribly, when Chris appears headed entirely to the dark side does Mia on her own have what it takes to set things right? Between dog costumes and stage costumes, big embarrassments and bigger chickens, bad singing and worse crashes, and everything else that could possibly go wrong, Mia the Magnificent is a hilarious, clever, and endlessly fun novel, and the best installment yet of the Mia Fullerton series.

This book was really adorable. I wasn't sure what to expect when it was offered to me for review, but I really enjoyed it. I read it when my grandmother was in the hospital and it was the perfect dose of cute and funny to keep me going when I wasn't too great. Sometimes you just need a laugh to keep you going and Mia provided that much needed humor.

She's a great character. The dialogue is quick and witty and yet believable. Mia felt like a real person, which made her so incredibly likeable. I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times.

This is a great series and I'd recommend it to just about anyone. I think I was assuming it would be just for MG readers, but I think any age would enjoy Mia and her adventures or misadventures in most cases. I'm going to go back and read the first couple books in the series, but you could totally jump into this one and know exactly what's happening.

Mia is indeed magnificent!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (50)--Two Lovely Books from Philip Reeve

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Release Date: April 1, 2010 from Scholastic


Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order. Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb-nearly the only person she's ever known-to assist archaeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

Haunting, arresting, and astonishingly original, Fever Crumb will delight and surprise readers at every fast-paced, breathless turn.

Philip Reeve is the bestselling author of the Mortal Engines quartet and the highly acclaimed Here Lies Arthur. He lives in Dartmoor, England with his wife and son.

Okay, so I've actually already read this one. I love the Mortal Engines series, so I ordered this one from Amazon UK, but luckily for all of you, dear readers, it is coming out here in April. I highly recommend this book. It's a fantastic read (review is coming soon). So what I'm really waiting for this week is the sequel which is coming our in April in the UK.

A Web of Air by Philip Reeve

Release Date: April 5, 2010 UK from Scholastic


Two years ago, Fever Crumb escaped the war-torn city of London in a travelling theatre. Now she arrives in the extraordinary crater city of Mayda, where buildings ascend the cliffs on funicular rails, and a mysterious recluse is building a machine that can fly. Fever is the engineer he needs - but ruthless enemies will kill to possess their secrets. This is the fabulous sixth book in the "Mortal Engines" series, from the brilliant and award-winning Philip Reeve.

Yay, a new Mortal Engines book!! I will be ordering this one from the UK as well, because I can't wait. These books are probably in my top 5 of all time. They are steampunky, dystopic (is that a word?), and post-apocalyptic all rolled into one. They are made of awesome. Can you tell I like them?!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Win 1 of 3 copies of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent!!!

I've been offered 3 copies of My Soul to Save to give away to some lucky readers. I loved the first book in the series. I haven't read this one yet, but it is definitely in my TBR pile.

Here's a little more about the book.


When teen pop star Eden croaks on stage andKaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry forsomeone who has no soul. The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking herdad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyaltyto the test.

But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickeringlifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld-aconsequence they can't possibly understand. Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls meansputting her own at risk.

Find out more about the Soul Screamers series here.

You can also download a free copy of the Soul Screamers sequel, My Soul to Lose right here.

Check out the trailer here.

To enter, simply leave a comment below with your e-mail address.

Contest open to U.S. addresses only.

Ends February 8, 2010.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling

Release Date: Available Now from Delacorte Press

Source: From Publisher


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?
I think this book might be even better than the first. I really love all of that secret society intrigue and there is lots to be had in Dream Life. Claire's world has gotten even more surreal and before she knows it, she's hobnobbing with New York's elite and solving mysteries at the same time. All in a day's work for Claire, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA heroines.
Mechling has once again given us an addictively readable book with that same mix of supernatural and just plain old mystery. I could totally see Claire hitting the town with Nancy Drew, although Nancy never dressed this fabulously.
All of the characters I grew to love in the first book are back and grandmother Kiki is even more amazingly chic and zany. I just love this character so much. Another wonderful character in the book is New York itself. Mechling has given us an almost alternative New York where anything is possible. I am sold and want to move there immediately.
I can't wait for more from this series. I'm hoping there's more to come, because I don't want to leave Claire, Kiki, and the gang behind.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling

Release Date: Available Now from Delacorte Press

Source: From Publisher


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.

This was a wonderful read. Claire Voyante is a fantastic character, and the supporting cast is superb as well. I just loved delving into Claire's world and getting to know all of the crazy, quirky characters who inhabit said world.

The person more fantastic than Claire is perhaps her grandmother, Kiki. Kiki is amazing, in that Auntie Mame sort of way. She makes everything and every moment completely magical and her entourage is fantabulous, too. I loved the relationship between Claire and Kiki, and it's made even more poignant by the fact that my own grandmother has been ill lately. She's on the mend, but those grandma stories really tug on the heart strings.

This book has it all: romance, great clothes, and mysteries, which I adore. As you might know, I'm always on the lookout for YA mysteries, so I love it when I find a good new series. Another thing I really like about this book is that there is that supernatural element, but it's not over the top. It's just another thing that adds to an already wonderful story.

Check out Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling. It is made of win.

Tomorrow, I'll be reviewing Dream Life, the sequel.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (49)--Molly Fyde and the Land of Light by Hugh Howey

Release Date: Available Now from Broad Reach Publishing


Molly Fyde has forever dreamed of reconnecting with her mysterious past. Now she's about to meet it in a way she never expected ... head-on.

Her father is alive. Her mother's memories are trapped in the very ship that bears her name. On the run from their own Navy, Molly and her crew have been tasked with the impossible:
Rescue her parents. Save the galaxy. End a war.

But first, Molly must help a crew member in need, which means running to the very race she was trained to meet in battle.

Planet Drenard. Homeworld of humanity's sworn enemy. The next stop for the starship Parsona.

I'm very excited for this one. I really loved the first book Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue, which I reviewed here. It was a wonderful debut novel that reminded me of the Oz books, Philip Reeve's Hungry Cities series, and little bit of something that is completely Molly Fyde. I have a copy on the way and I am chomping at the bit to get into it.

The Lonely Hearts Club Twitter Party!!

Join Lonely Hearts Club author Elizabeth Eulberg and Amy of MyFriendAmy for a Twitter party Wednesday, January 20, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. EST!

Be sure to follow Elizabeth @ElizEulberg and Amy @MyFriendAmy before the party!

Join the fun! No one expects you or your tweets to be perfect; we’re just happy you made it to the party!

Anyone who tweets during this hour using #LonelyHeartsClub is entered to win a limited edition Lonely Hearts Club t-shirt!

Watch for questions from @MyFriendAmy and win awesome prizes including an iPod shuffle, $50 iTunes gift card or $25 VISA gift card!

To join the party, you can use our official party tweetgrid or just search #LonelyHeartsClub on Twitter.

Ask Elizabeth questions or chat with other partygoers about how excited you are to read LHC—just use the tag #LonelyHeartsClub in all of your party tweets! (This is added automatically in TweetGrid.)

Please don’t post any spoilers and don’t forget to pay attention to the time zones, the party starts at 8:30pm EST.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (45)--Better Late Than Never

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

I only got one book in my mailbox this week and it wasn't for review, but I did buy quite a few books as well. I'm just doing my part for the publishing industry.

In The Mailbox:

Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick


Deadtown by Nancy Holzner
Xombies: Apocalypse Blues by Walter Greatshell
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Very Le Freak by Rachel Cohn
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
Epic by Conor Kostick
Undead Much? by Stacey Jay--YAY!!!
The Mark by Jen Nadol
The Roar by Emma Clayton

So, that's it for me. I am expecting at least one book next week, so I should have something actually in my mailbox. Oh, and I'm expecting my Amazon UK order, which is very exciting. Basically, I just have too many damn books, but I love them so and I can't seem to stop buying them. Guess there are worse things I could be addicted to.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Win A Copy Of Darklight by Lesley Livingston!!

I have 1 copy of Darklight to give away to 1 lucky reader!! Here's a little bit more about the book:

Faerie can't lie . . . or can they?

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt. Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.

When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power. Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.

With breathtakingly high stakes, the talented Lesley Livingston delivers soaring romance and vividly magical characters in darklight, the second novel in the trilogy that began with wondrous strange.

Darklight is, of course, the sequel to Wondrous Strange. And it has one of the most gorgeous covers ever.

Check out the book trailer.

If you'd like to enter, simply leave a comment with your e-mail address below.

This contest will end on January 22nd, so hurry up and enter now!!

Contest open to U.S. and Canada only.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis

Release Date: Available Now from Bloomsbury USA

Source: School Library


Super-smart Julian Calendar thinks starting junior high at a new school will mean he can shed his nerdy image–but then he meets Ben and Greta, two secret scientists like himself! The three form a secret club, complete with a high-tech lair. There, they can work to their hearts content on projects like the Stink-O-Meter, the Kablovsky Copter, and the Nightsneak Goggles.

All that tinkering comes in handy when the trio discovers an evil scientist's dastardly plan to rob a museum. Can three inventors, armed with their wacky creations, hope to defeat this criminal mastermind?

This has basically become and unofficial Graphic Novel Week here on Carrie's YA Bookshelf. Since I enjoyed Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack so much, I'm on the lookout for other awesome graphic novels to read. When one of my Junior Library Guild orders came in, I saw this book which was the graphic novel choice of the month. It immediately caught my eye, because the cover illustration is completely badass and the name is beyond awesome.

Needless to say, I took it home before it even hit the shelves to give it a read. Let me just say, my students are going to love this one. It is fantastic!! It's definitely one of the best children's graphic novels I've read in a long time. Eleanor Davis is a genius. And if you want to know why I am so fangirl gushy over this book, just take a look at the pages from the book shown below.

Davis' illustrations are all this detailed. It's like part graphic novel, part Where's Waldo. She has created a fully-realized world populated by these kids who secretly love science. They make all of these wonderful inventions and then must use them to defeat a dastardly evil scientist. I know, right? Awesome!!

She perfectly captures the feelings not only of being the "smart kid" at school, but also those painful feelings of trying to fit in. You know, those moments that are so embarrassing you have to look away. I love that this group of kids becomes their own clique and that they have a secret world away from all that schoolhouse pressure.

I'm hoping that there are sequel plans for The Secret Science Alliance. I want to get back into their hideout soon and see what they'll come up with next. To learn more about Eleanor and the Alliance visit the website here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Joey Fly Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds, Illustrated by Neil Numberman

Release Date: Available Now from Henry Holt & Co.

Source: School Library


Have you ever had one of those moments? You know—you’re trying to find a stolen diamond pencil box for your beautiful butterfly customer, your mosquito witness won’t give you any information, and your clumsy scorpion assistant has just tampered with your only bit of evidence?

Joey Fly has those moments a lot. In fact, he’s probably having one right now. But that won’t stop him from solving the mystery in Creepy Crawly Crime, his fantastic first graphic novel!

I'm in a very graphic novelly kind of mood right now thanks to Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack, so when I saw this on my library shelves, I just had to take it home and read it. First of all, the whole premise is just adorable. I love the idea of the bug city. It's great to get a bug's-eye view of life in a big city.

Secondly, I love the whole noir aspect of it. It was like watching a great old film....well, if that film were populated by bugs. The story is so much fun and makes you think of all those great detective novels. The mystery is good, too. I'm always on the lookout for kids and ya mysteries, and this is a wonderful addition to any collection.

The illustrations, by Neil Numberman, are outstanding. The color scheme is all very noiry blue, interspersed with scenes in other colors to indicate a new character or a flashback sequence. It's very well done and the color changes are great to indicate to kids that we are hearing things from a different point of view.

All in all, this is another fantastic graphic novel that would fit in perfectly with anyone's collection. Or it's a great way to start a graphic novel collection. I think this one is nominated for a Cybils award and I can totally see why. Can't wait for more from Joey Fly and the Bug City.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale, Illustrated by Nathan Hale--Blog Tour Stop

Release Date: Available Now from Bloomsbury USA

Source: From Publisher


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.

The characters I grew to love in Rapunzel's Revenge are back in Calamity Jack. This is a great addition to an already fantastic story. This time we get a sneak peek into the history of Jack, while at the same time getting another great dose of Jack and Rapunzel together.

This one had a little more of a steampunk feel to me, which is awesome. I love me some steampunk. I think Jack's completely cool, so I loved seeing how he became the person we saw in Rapunzel's Revenge. The back story is wonderful with that same idea of taking classic fairy tales and turning them on their heads. I don't want to give too much away...just know that there's a beanstalk involved. I will say no more.

The illustrations are once again amazing. I need to pick up a finished copy, because my ARC is in black and white. I think color only adds to these illustrations. Nathan Hale puts so much energy and emotion into his drawings. I think they're wonderful.

I'm hoping that there are more tales coming from this dynamic team. I think this is one of the best graphic novel series for kids that's out there and I can't wait to see and read more.

If you'd like to purchase Calamity Jack you can do so here.

For more about Shannon, you can visit her website here.

For more about Dean, you can visit his website here.

And for more about Nathan, check out his site right here.

Here are the other stops on the Calamity Jack tour. Be sure to stop by and say hello.

Whispers of Dawn, Reading is my Superpower,, Through the Looking Glass Book Review , Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Becky’s Book Reviews, The Hungry Readers, The Friendly Book Book, My Own Little Corner of the World, Book Blather, GreenBeanTeenQueen, Book Crumbs , Abby (the) Librarian, Dolce Bellezza,, The Book Cellar, Carrie’s YA Bookshelf, Bookshelf Monstrosity, Everyday Reading, Frenetic Reader,, Maw Books

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Win a copy of The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg!!!

I have been offered 3, yes 3 copies of The Lonely Hearts Club to give away to my awesome readers.

Here's a little bit about the book:

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating, so she vows: No more. She’s had one too many bad dates, and has been hurt by one too many bad boys. It’s a personal choice…and soon everybody wants to know about it. It seems that Penny’s not the only girl who’s tired of the way girls change themselves (most of the time for the worse) in order to get their guys…or the way their guys don’t really care about them. Girls are soon thronging to The Lonely Hearts Club (named after Sgt. Pepper’s band), and Penny finds herself near legendary for her non-dating ways – which is too bad, since the leader of The Lonely Hearts Club has found a certain boy she can’t help but like…

Sounds good right? If you'd like to know more about the book and about Elizabeth you can find that on her website here.

To enter:

Simply leave a comment below with your e-mail address.

Easy peasy people, so hurry up and get entering. This contest will end on January 22nd.

Forgot to mention this earlier, but this contest is open to the U.S. only. Sorry international readers, but I'll have try to have a contest of my own soon, that will include all of you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, Illustrated by Nathan Hale

Release Date: Available Now from Bloomsbury USA

Source: Personal Collection


Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.

Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.

And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.

Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.

I love graphic novels and I love children's books. Needless to say when these two great loves come together it is always exciting. Enter Rapunzel's Revenge by the multi-talented Shannon Hale, this time writing with her husband Dean.

This book has it all. It's full of adventure, humor, and those fairytale elements that we all love so much. This is not your mother's Rapunzel though. This Rapunzel means business and she's not afraid to use those well-known locks to get the job down.

Rapunael is joined by Jack who has his own secrets to hide. These two are an unstoppable, if somewhat dysfunctional, team. They get into all manner of mishaps and trouble that kept me turning the pages.

The illustrations by Nathan Hale, no relation, are incredible. They capture the action perfectly and the characters expressions are wonderful. He truly shows us the emotions of each frame through his beautiful artwork.

I can't recommend this one highly enough. Tomorrow I'll be posting my review of the sequel, Calamity Jack, as part of the blog tour.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (44)

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

It was a week of surprises. I was only expecting one of the books that I got this week, but surprises are always nice.

For review:

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Release Date: Available Now from Point


Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . . .

This is the book I was expecting. I'm very excited to read it and on Monday, I'll be posting a contest to give all of you a chance to win the book, too.

The Rose of Sebastopol by Katherine McMahon

Release Date: Available in Paperback, February 2, 2010 from Berkley Trade


The #1 international bestseller about love, war and betrayal from the author of The Alchemist's Daughter

In 1854, adventurous Rosa Barr travels to the Crimean battlefield with Florence Nightingale's nursing corps. For Mariella Lingwood, Rosa's cousin, the war is contained within the letters she receives from her fiancé, Henry, a celebrated surgeon who also has volunteered to work in the shadow of the guns. When Henry falls ill, Mariella impulsively takes an epic journey to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea and the tragic city of Sebastopol. What she finds there, as her world beings to crumble, is that she has much to learn about secrecy, faithfulness, and love...

Leaving Gee's Bend by Irene Latham

Release Date: Available Now from Putnam Juvenile


Ludelphia Bennett may be blind in one eye, but she can still put in a good stitch. Ludelphia sews all the time, especially when things go wrong.
But when Mama goes into labor early and gets deathly ill, it seems like even quilting won’t help. That’s when Ludelphia decides to do something drastic—leave Gee’s Bend for the very first time. Mama needs medicine that can only be found miles away in Camden. But that doesn’t stop Ludelphia. She just puts one foot in front of the other.

What ensues is a wonderful, riveting and sometimes dangerous adventure. Ludelphia weathers each challenge in a way that would make her mother proud, and ends up saving the day for her entire town.

Set in 1932 and inspired by the rich quilting history of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, Leaving Gee’s Bend is a delightful, satisfying story of a young girl facing a brave new world.

Princess Party by Joy Allen

Release Date: Available Now from Putnam Juvenile


Celebrate the playful princess inside every little girl!
Princesses are incredible girls—they love to dress up, use their imaginations and play with gusto! These little princesses have fun all day as they put on tiaras and cowboy boots, dance together at the ball, defend the backyard castle, and plan a magnificent tea party.

Joy Allen’s bouncing rhymes and adorable illustrations are full of charming details that are sure to delight. Princess Party celebrates inventive fun and feeling special—the best parts of every little girl’s princess phase.

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Release Date: May 3, 2010 from Harcourt Children's Books


Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules – especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To better her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything – even Tristen’s love – just for the thrill of being… bad.

I am oh so excited for this one. I literally squealed when I opened the package. I loved Fantaskey's first book and this one is moving up in my TBR pile.

O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell

Release Date: February 2, 2010 from NAL Trade


"One of the queens of historical fiction" offers a new take on the mesmerizing young woman and poetess who inspired Shakespeare's most famous female character.

Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father's business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that knows not the bounds of her great family's stalwart keep.

The latter path is hers for the taking when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars. The breathless intrigue that ensues is the stuff of beloved legend. But those familiar with Shakespeare's muse know only half the story...


Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
Jack: Secret Histories by F. Paul Wilson
Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians and Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians

Release Date: Available Now from Knopf

Source: Personal Collection


Serving justice . . . and lunch!

Lunch Lady can sniff out something rotten like no one else—and there’s definitely something rotten going on in the library. The usually friendly librarians have become cold and secretive. Even Dee can’t seem to crack a smile out of them. What darkness may lurk in the hearts of librarians? Lunch Lady is on the case! And Hector, Terrence, and Dee are along for a wild ride!

Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta

Relase Date: Available Now from Knopf

Source: Personal Collection


Dee, Terrence, and Hector are very excited about Author Visit Day. Lewis Scribson is the author of the famous Flippy Bunny books, and Hector is a huge fan! And it gets Dee and Terrence out of math class.

But something is a little off about this special guest. And Coach Birkby, the gym teacher, mysteriously disappears the day of his visit.

What evil designs does this world-famous writer have on his agenda? Lunch Lady’s going to get to the bottom of it, even if she has to kick some bunny butt!

I adore this series. Graphic novels are a huge hit in my elementary school, so I'm always on the lookout for something new. These books are set up in much the same format as the Babymouse books. They are filled with amazing action-packed illustrations that are rendered completely in black, gray, and yellow, which makes for an eye-popping combination.

They are also written with a lot of humor and tons of heart. I found myself laughing out loud repeatedly while reading. I've already ordered the first two books for my library and I think I'll add my personal copy of the third to the shelves as well. This series is a hoot and a half and I can't wait to share them with the kids. Maybe it'll also get them looking at their lunch lady and their teachers a little differently. The kids do think we live at school, so it's nice to turn those images on their heads and give them a glimpse (no matter how unlikely) of what the staff does in their down time.

The Lunch Lady is totally my new hero and I look forward to her adventures, of which I hope there are many more to come. If you want a quick, fun read, then these are the books for you. Krosoczka has a true hit on his hands!

The Runaways Trailer!!

It's hard to express how excited I am for this movie. I've been a Runaways fan for a long, long time. And I love Joan Jett more than words can say. So, I think it's awesome that this incredible band is finally getting the attention it has deserved for so long. I just hope the movie is as good as it should and could be. Yay for people discovering The Runaways all over again!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure!! You Can Add Your Own Story!!

The Exquisite Prompt Writing Challenge, a year-long activity from Reading Rockets and, gives students in K–12 a chance to flex their writing muscles — and win fabulous prizes! The Exquisite Prompts are offered in connection with each of the authors and illustrators participating in The Exquisite Corpse Adventure. This month, Gregory Maguire (Wicked) and Patricia & Fred McKissack (Goin' Someplace Special) are the inspirations for prompts of tooth fairies and re-imagined fairy tales, Dark-Thirty stories, Presidential Proclamations and more. The prompt schedule through June 2010 is also available.

About the Exquisite Corpse Adventure
Ever heard of an Exquisite Corpse? It's not what you might think. An Exquisite Corpse is an old game in which people write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold it over to conceal part of it and pass it on to the next player to do the same. The game ends when someone finishes the story, which is then read aloud.

Our "Exquisite Corpse Adventure" works this way: Jon Scieszka, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, has written the first episode, which is "pieced together out of so many parts that it is not possible to describe them all here, so go ahead and just start reading!" He has passed it on to a cast of celebrated writers and illustrators, who must eventually bring the story to an end.

Every two weeks, there will be a new episode and a new illustration. The story will conclude a year from now. To get bi-weekly updates with new Exquisite Corpse Adventure chapters, click on the subscribe link at the top of the page. "This story starts with a train rushing through the night...." No one knows where or how it will end!

I've been familiar with The Exquisite Corpse for awhile and when I was sent an e-mail about this project, I felt the need to pass it along. Who wouldn't love something that involves so many awesome authors? And then to give students a chance to get into the mix as well....what could be better?! If I have any K-12 readers, then I think this is something you should most definitely check out. Also, for teachers this is a great teaching exercise.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman (1 ARC Tours)

Release Date: Available Now from Henry Holt

Source: 1 ARC Tours


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.
Bjorkman's debut novel is a quick, fun read that I found it impossible to put down. Roz and Eva are two fascinating ladies who's sisterly relationship I totally buy. There's just enough balance between friendship and hatred to make it believable. No sisters get along constantly. There are always periods of togetherness followed by periods of I-really-wanna-strangle-her..uh ness. At least that's how it's always been with me and mine.
I like that things aren't all hearts and flowers and I really love all of the other characters in the book who are just twisted enough to keep things hopping. This has to be one of the funnest and most engaging casts of characters I've stumbled across in quite some time. Now this is a high school I would've enjoyed attending and I most certainly would've been hanging with these awesome theater geeks.
There's tons of witty dialogue and lots of backstage backstabbing as well. The book also offers an amazing collection of Shakespearean insults, with a helpful little glossary in the back. This novel was just a real joy to read and at its heart was this wonderful message about how important it is to just follow your heart and be yourself. It's an important message and one that can't be shared enough with the world at large.
I doubt that Bjorkman is planning a sequel, but if she happens to, I would love to see it. I'm more than ready to hang out with Roz, Eva, and gang for as many books as Bjorkman wants to write.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (48)--Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: July 20, 2010 from Scholastic


In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

I reviewed Shiver last night, so I thought that Linger was the obvious choice for today's Waiting on Wednesday. I can't wait for this book. It looks awesome and I know it'll be a fantastic read. I also love, love, love the cover. The color scheme is brilliant. Unfortunately, July is a long, long way away. Luckily I have Stiefvater's other two books Lament and Ballad to keep me occupied for awhile.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: Available Now from Scholastic

Source: Personal Copy


For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Brilliant!! I wasn't sure that this book would live up to the hype for me. I heard lots of things both glowing reviews and sorta meh reviews, so I didn't quite know where I would fall within that spectrum. I needn't have worried; Maggie Stiefvater has delivered a beautiful and moving love story that could capture anyone's heart.

I know, I know, the werewolf thing has been done, but Stiefvater truly did put a unique spin on it and the characters are so amazing, that creature of choice really was besides the point. I enjoyed hanging out with Grace and Sam. I loved watching them discover each other and become integral parts of one anothers' worlds.

Stiefvater's writing is just amazing. She created this amazing winter-filled world that was so comfortable, that I just wanted to hang out in its pages indefinitely. She created magic out of the ordinary, so much so, that it seemed completely normal that werewolves would be wandering the woods of Minnesota. In fact, I'd be amazed at this point to travel up there and not see some werewolves.

I cannot, I repeat cannot wait for Linger. I am oh so excited to find out what happens next. I wasn't ready to leave Grace and Sam, not to mention the rest of the interesting cast of characters. The sooner I can get back to the woods, the better.

Forgive my fangirly gushing, but Shiver really was as good as everyone said. I can't help but gush.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Wrap Up

Holiday Break Reading Challenge

So, I didn't post many reviews for the books I read over Holiday Break, but I did read a crapload of books. It was nice to catch up on some titles I've been wanting to read. Not that I don't love reading books for review, but sometimes it means I have to set those other must reads aside for a later time. It was nice to do some no pressure reading.

Here's what I read:

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Firespell by Chloe Neill
Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Numbers by Rachel Ward
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

I'm also halfway through Dream Life by Lauren Mechling now.

11 books in 16 days. Not bad. My eyes are most definitely burning though. I actually loved all of these books, too. I couldn't have asked for a better line up.

So thank you Karin the Librarian for hosting the challenge and for making my Holiday Break reading and fun filled.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

In My Mailbox (43)--Or Nothing Actually In My Mailbox

So nothing in the mail this week...well, except for Glee: The Road to Sectionals, which is awesome!! I did however buy a bunch of books the list of which is forthcoming.


By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
My Soul To Save by Rachel Vincent
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
The King's Rose by Alisa M. Libby
A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

So that's it. A lot of books purchased, but none in the mail.

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

Friday, January 1, 2010

Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamand

Release Date: Available Now from Chicken House

Source: Personal Collection


It's the 22nd century and, because of climate change, much of England is underwater. Poor Lilly is out fishing with her trusty sea-cat when greedy raiders pillage the town--and kidnap the prime minister's daughter. Her village blamed, Lilly decides to find the girl. Off she sails, in secret. And with a ransom: a mysterious talking jewel. "If I save his daughter," Lilly reasons, "the prime minister's sure to reward me." Little does Lilly know that it will take more than grit to outwit the tricky, treacherous piratical tribes!

This is such a fantastic book. It has it all, action, adventure, a post-apocalyptic society. Yay!! I love the setting which is an England almost completely underwater. The Scottish are the only ones who still embrace and treasure technology, while everyone else has warded it off as evil. There are pirates and raids and spies. good!

Lilly is from a small fishing village and has only her sea-cat to rely on to survive not only the seas, but also those rocky paths that life is sending her on. Lilly is an incredibly heroic little girl who's trying to save her village and her friends in any way she knows how.

Although the book takes place well into the future, the storyline and characterizations give it the feel of an old swashbuckling adventure story. At times it's easy to forget that the characters ships are sailing over the ruins of England. Luckily, Diamand finds a way to keep that timeless feel, while still reminding us of the lost civilization beneath the sea. She seamlessly incorporates the culture that has sworn of tech, with the hidden wonders of technology left in Lilly's world. It's a great juxtaposition that kept me craving more.

This is an incredible first book. It's categorized for younger or at least MG readers, but I think anyone would enjoy it. With the popularity of dystopias and post-apocalyptic fiction, this is one not to be missed. Zeph, Lexy, and Lilly are great fun to follow through their trials and tribulations and I can't wait to see what happens to them next.

Diamand's second book, Flood and Fire, comes out in the UK on March 1st. I don't know when the US release date is, but I will most likely be ordering it from AmazonUK as I just can't wait. Another winning title from Scholastic's Chicken House.