Sunday, February 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (48)

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

Only one book in the mail this week, but it's one I am very, very excited about.

For Review:

Ghostgirl: Lovesick by Tonya Hurley

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


Before she can rest in peace, Charlotte Usher must return to the tragic site of her death: high school. Once there, her assignment is to help a designated teen solve a personal problem in time for the all-important prom. It sounds fairly simple, but no one explained what happens if you fall in love with your class project...

Charlotte would die (again) for love. But when her ticket to the afterlife means having to face the dreaded, all-too-familiar pains of being invisible, it may be too much for her to withstand.

Yay!! I love this series. It's just really quirky and sweet. They're just a joy to read. I'm so very excited to have this one in my hot little hands. Woo hoo!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Trouble With Mark Hopper by Elissa Brent Weissman(1 ARC Tour)

Release Date: Available Now from Dutton Juvenile

Source: 1 ARC Tour


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.

This was a delightful read. I loved getting to know both Mark Hoppers, through their good times and their bad. There was a lot of humor in this book mixed with quite a bit of heart.

Weissman's realistic writing style made me think of Andrew Clements. I love Clements work, so that is high praise indeed. I'm always in awe of writers who can get into the mind of the middle grade audience and turn out a believable story with believable characters. Weissman is one of these talented breed.

She truly captured that sense of being the odd one out, and the delight at finding that you aren't alone. I highly recommend this read and I'm looking forward to more from Weissman.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Awesome Adventure!!

I received some information yesterday about a promotion Harpercollins has running to support some amazing new titles, which are mostly for MG readers. It's called the Awesome Adventure. Here's a little more about it:

Get in on the action with Awesome Adventure!

Discover new adventures from middle grade authors like Frank Cottrell Boyce (Cosmic), Megan Whelan Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings), Herbie Brennan (The Shadow Project), Maryrose Wood (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place), Paul Adam (Max Cassidy: Escape from Shadow Island) and Jon Berkeley (The Hidden Boy) and see the stories come to life with free online games, book trailers, podcasts, and more.

The website is fantastic and there's lots of great stuff you can look at and do. For instance, there's information about the books themselves, arcade games, videos & podcasts, and an amazing sweepstakes with winners picked weekly.

Stop by and check it out. These look like some great titles and if there's a MG boy in your life who can't find anything to read, this is a great place to start.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I'm currently obsessed with Chibi-Robo Park Patrol for DS. It's sort of cheesy and really somewhat lame, but completely addictive, hence, no review tonight. I shall try to drag myself away tomorrow and get back to work. Until then.....Chibi-Robo!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (54)--Mistwood by Leah Cypess

Release Date: April 27, 2010 from Greenwillow


The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

Sounds fantastic and I love the cover! Yes...I completely judge books by their covers.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gone by Lisa McMann

Release Date: Available Now from Simon Pulse

Source: Personal Collection


Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . .

What a great way to end a fantastic series!! I've really enjoyed reading these books. McMann has created such believable characters in Janie and Cabel. Sure crazy things happen to them, but their reactions to these events just make them all that much more real.

McMann was able to bring this story full circle in Gone. We all knew that Janie had difficult decisions ahead and McMann has taken us on this journey with Janie. We, the reader, get to experience every excruciating decision as Janie makes them. It's not an easy series, by any means, but it's a really rewarding read all the same.

We get closer to Janie in this book than we ever have before. We get to see glimpses of what might have been and what might still be in store for her. I just can't stress enough what a truly satisfying read these books are.

We have lots of great McMann books to look forward to in the future including, The Unwanted in Fall 2011, and Dead To You in Spring 2012. From what I've read, both of these titles look very exciting. It's good to know that there's more on the way from this talented author.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Line by Teri Hall (1 ARC Tour)

Release Date: March 4, 2010 from Dial

Source: 1 ARC Tour


An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the Unified States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It’s said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line.

Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel’s dad died in the last war. It’s a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.

Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?

This is another amazing addition to my dystopia collection. Teri Hall has captured my attention and I am hooked. This was a great story. It's fast-paced and there's just enough mystery to keep you turning the pages well into the night.

Rachel's world is incredibly believable and at the same time very scary. I think that's what I love so much about dystopias. It's not completely out of the realm of possibility that we could live like this someday. It makes me think and it encourages me to change things.

The Property is a pretty dismal place, but not as dismal as the society that surrounds it. Rachel has been sheltered from a lot of what is really happening within The Line, but that's about to change. Seeing her wake up to reality was one of the most compelling parts of this story.

I can't wait for the sequel, Away. I don't know if there's a date for it yet, but I will be eagerly awaiting its arrival. This is a fantastic debut from a promising new voice in YA.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (47)

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

I haven't posted an IMM in a couple of weeks. This cold/sinus infection/flu thing I'm rockin' just won't let me go. I do feel better, but this week as soon as I got home from work, all I felt like doing was some Olympic watchin'. Time to get back to business as usual though, so here goes.

For review:

The New Brighton Archeological Society by Mark Andrew Smith & Matthew Weldon

Release Date: Available Now from Image Comics


Out of the ashes of misfortune will rise the next generation of great adventurers! After their parents are lost on an archeological expedition, four children begin to unlock the secrets of their parents' mysterious lives, discovering a hidden world of mystical artifacts, mythical creatures, and arcane knowledge. Soon they find themselves drawn into a conflict over a great library that has kept two kingdoms at war for centuries, the children must save an enchanted forest, the birthplace of magic itself. Join us as these children become the latest members of the fabled New Brighton Archeological Society, and take their first steps towards their true destiny!

Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Release Date: March 9, 2010 from HarperTeen


Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas.

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend—the vampire Balthazar—hiding is no longer an option.

Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can't escape her destiny.

Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything . . . but can it survive what's to come?

Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz

Release Date: Available Now from EgmontUSA


When a rumor starts circulating that Tara's boyfriend Brent has been sleeping with one of the guy cheerleaders, the innuendo doesn't just hurt Tara. It marks the beginning of the end for an inseparable trio of friends. Tara's training for a marathon, but also running from her fear of abandonment after being deserted by her father. Whitney Blaire seems to have everything, but an empty mansion and absentee parents leave this beauty to look for meaning in all the wrong places. And Pinkie has a compulsive need to mother everyone to make up for the mom she's never stopped missing. This friendship that promised to last forever is starting to break under the pressure of the girls' differences.

And then new-girl Riley arrives in school with her long black hair, athletic body, and her blasé attitude, and suddenly Tara starts to feel things she's never felt before for a girl--and to reassess her feelings about Brent and what he may/may not have done. Is Tara gay--or does she just love Riley? And can her deepest friendships survive when all of the rules have changed?

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: March 23, 2010 from EgmontUSA


When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.

The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.


The Baby-sitter's Club (Graphic Novels) Books 1-4 by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
Finn Reeder Flu Fighter by Eric Stevens
The Puzzle Ring by Kate Forsyth
Ashes by Kathryn Lasky
Gone by Lisa McMann
The 39 Clues, Book 7: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis
Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Heist Society by Ally Carter
The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy

A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It by Adam Selzer

I also received this awesome chocolate celebrating the upcoming third book in the Ghostgirl series by Tonya Hurley. I love the books and I can't wait for Lovesick(coming July 12, 2010). The chocolate is so, so pretty I almost didn't want to eat it....almost. It lasted about a day before I started in. I still have some left. There's a whole lot of chocolate there. It also came with some adorable heart earbuds, which will be attached to my Ipod shortly.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Molly Fyde and the Land of Light by Hugh Howey

Release Date: Available Now from Broad Reach Publishing

Source: From Author


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.

Yet another fantastic read from Hugh Howey. This was a book that I was really waiting for, and looking forward to diving into, and I wasn't disappointed in the least. It picks up right where the first book, Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue left off. And I mean right where it left off. It was great, because rather than feeling like a whole new book, it just felt like I had turned the page and started a new chapter.

All of my favorite characters were back and I was so glad to see them. I care about these characters and what happens to them, so delving back into Molly's world was like visiting with old friends. I also love that Howey has added footnotes to explain some things in the story, but also to make his storybook world seem that much more real.

I can't recommend these books highly enough. Howey is a true talent and I only expect great things from him in the future. This is the series that makes me want to read more good ol'fashioned Sci Fi. I've always been a dystopia fan, but this is more in the vein of a space opera. It's part Star Wars, part Wizard of Oz, and then something else that is completely it's own genre.

Full of adventure and heart....Molly Fyde is a winner no matter how you look at it. Can't wait for book number 3!!

My Soul To Save Winners!!

Alrightly then, I am super-late in posting this, but better late than never.

The winners of My Soul To Save by Rachel Vincent are:



Kim AKA The Book Butterfly

Congrats to the winners and I'll be posting a new contest this weekend, so stay tuned!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (53)--The Kane Chronicles, Book One: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Release Date: May 4, 2010 from Hyperion Book CH


Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Since I just recently read The Lightning Thief, I am now a card-carrying member of the Rick Riordan fanclub. This new series looks like it's going to be just as exciting and cool as his last series. Maybe I can finish all of the Percy Jackson books before this new one rolls into town. Yay for Eqypt!! Can't wait!! Another great cover, too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Release Date: Available Now from Hyperion

Source: Personal Collection


Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I'm one of those people, you know the type. I have to read the book before I see the movie. The books are always better; I know this. So, if I'm really looking forward to a movie, I first have to seek out the book. I didn't have to look too far for this one. It's been on my shelf for awhile. In fact, I have the whole series. It's just one of those things that has sat on my shelf, daring me to read it for years.

Finally, with the movie fast-approaching, I grabbed it and decided to give it a try. Fabulous!! Why didn't I read it sooner? This is a great story and an amazing start to a series. I think I was worried it would somehow be just another Harry Potter ripoff, but it was anything but. Riordan has created a world that is totally his own. A world where Greek gods exist and rule over our everyday world.

Percy is a fantastic character. I love my characters flawed and Percy has a lot working against him, but of course, he overcomes it all with the help of some truly awesome friends and a few hidden powers thrown in for good measure. One thing I really loved about the book was the whole road trip element. I love that Percy's journey took him all over the states, and that these hidden worlds exist right under our noses. I can't wait to read the rest of this series, but I have a stack of books to get through first.

I did see the movie this weekend with my sister, my cousin, and my cousin's son. We all really liked it and I was the only one who has read it so far. It was pretty different from the book, but still had a lot of the charm and adventure that I would've been disappointed not to see on the big screen. I'm hoping that they plan to make the rest of the books into movies. There was a huge crowd at our show, so I know there's interest out there in the franchise.

Now I'm looking forward to Riordan's new series even more than ever.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Release Date: Available Now from Scholastic

Source: Personal Collection


Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.

This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.

I've really been loving graphic novels lately. Of the ones of picked up and read recently, not a one of them has been disappointing. Smile is a wonderful addition to the genre.

Telgemeier is the wonderful talent who has adapted and illustrated The Babysitter's Club graphic novels, which a wonderful. It's so exciting to me that a new generation gets to discover this awesome series in a whole new way. Of course, now we all know that they are re-releasing the original series, which has been a long time coming. That re-release will in no way diminish Telgemeier's delightful addition to the BSC world.

Smile is completely Telgemeier's own story from start to finish. It's beautifully illustrated and is one of the best coming-of-age stories I've read in a long time. It's full of all those awkward mishaps and life-ending drama of the years from middle school to high school.

I think the author and I are pretty close in age, so this was a total trip back in time for me. It's really brought those years back into focus and helped me to laugh at my own awkwardness.

I can't get enough of Telgemeier's work. She's just such a huge talent that I believe has only started to show us all that she has to offer. Smile would be a welcome addition to any collection and it's also a great choice for school and public libraries everywhere. Check it'll definitely make you Smile! (Sorry, I couldn't resist).

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Numbers by Rachel Ward (yes, I am back from the dead, AKA fluworld)

Release Date: Available Now from Scholastic

Source: From Publisher


By the numbers....

"Listen, Jem." The words came spitting out of her face. "I don't need this today, so just...shut...up." Syllables stinging like angry wasps, her venom fizzing around me. And all the time, as we sat eye-to-eye, her number was there, stamped on the inside of my skull: 10102001.

Four years later, I watched a man in a scruffy suit write it down on a piece of paper:

Date of Death: 10/10/2001.

Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today's number. Today's date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is about to explode!

This is an absolutely fantastic read!! I know I say that a lot and I always mean it when I say it, but this is a book that truly deserves all of the exclamation points and praise I can throw at it.

When I started it, I don't think I really knew what I was getting into. I knew the basic idea behind the book, but I had no idea where Rachel Ward would take that idea, or what an amazing journey I would take through these pages.

It's not an easy read, I mean emotionally. Readability-wise, I just sailed right through it. The story and the superb writing kept me turning the pages well into the night. Emotionally though, these characters will just break your heart. These are the types of kids that I see at school everyday: the forgotten ones, forgotten by their families and society. Jem, although hard as nails, is one of the most compelling and heartbreaking characters I think I've ever met. She's wonderfully portrayed here with just enough anti-social mixed with wants to be loved.

Action-packed doesn't even begin to describe this book. These kids are running wore me out just reading it. And the ending was a complete surprise to me, too. I can't wait for the sequel. I don't know what the US date is for book 2, but it comes out in the UK in June, I think. Can't wait!!

Superb book!! Unfortunately, on my recent trips to both B&N and Borders, I haven't seen it on the shelves once. I hate that awesome books aren't reaching the shelves where we can all get our hands on them. So, please head to your local booksellers and ask about the title. If they don't know we want these books, then they'll never make the effort to get them in stock. Trust me....from my days in the book world, I know, if the customer keeps asking, they will finally listen.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (52)--Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Release Date: April 1, 2010 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


This is an intriguing YA urban fantasy in the tradition of Holly Black and Wicked Lovely. Set in New Zealand, Ellie's main concerns at her boarding school are hanging out with her best friend Kevin, her crush on the mysterious Mark, and her paper deadline. That is, until a mysterious older woman seems to set her sights on Kevin, who is Maori, and has more than just romantic plans for him. In an effort to save him, Ellie is thrown into the world of Maori lore, and eventually finds herself in an all-out war with mist dwelling Maori fairy people called the patupaiarehe who need human lives to gain immortality. The strong, fresh voice of the narrator will pull readers in, along with all the deliciously scary details: the serial killer who removes victim's eyes; the mysterious crazy bum who forces a Bible on Ellie telling her she needs it; handsome, mysterious Mark who steals the Bible from her and then casts a forgetting charm on her. All of this culminates in a unique, incredible adventure steeped with mythology, Maori fairies, monsters, betrayal, and an epic battle.

Sounds fantastic!! It also has a completely wicked cover.

Still sick, by the way, buy definitely on the mend. I just wish I could breath through my nose. It's the little things in life that are so breathing through my nose.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

In Case You're Wondering Where I've Been....

Sorry I've been MIA for a couple of days, but seasonal sickness has finally caught up with me. I have a miserable little cold that is making me feel quite craptacular. I also have a big homework project due, so needless to say no Carrie for a couple of days. Hopefully, I'll feel like posting something tomorrow, but I'm cutting myself off until said homework is done.

See you all soon!!

Oh, by the way, I'm also gloomy because we are supposed to get yet another big crappy snowstorm here in Kansas City. Bah!! Come on sping and damn you groundhog.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern

Release Date: Available Now from Square Fish

Source: Personal Collection


Hello Mental Patients!

I got a better look at some of my fellow patients in this freak hole, and they all look pretty close to my age. They come up to the check-in desk to get pills. After they take them, the desk people look in their mouths to make sure they’ve swallowed. It’s like something out of The Twilight Zone. Are they going to do that to me?

Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here, she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her. But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?

What a fantastic read! When I first picked it up, I think I was worried that it would be really depressing, but it was in no way depressing. It was actually a real moving and hopeful read that I couldn't put down once I started it.

I'm a big fan of Girl, Interrupted, both the book and the movie and this had elements of that story. Anna is an amazing character. I think most teens at some time in their lives feel like Anna does. She's depressed, self-conscious, and hates the world. But when she's faced with other kids who are feeling just the same way, she finds some kindred spirits who one way or another give each other hope for the future. Anna goes from hating the hospital to being afraid to leave and the reader gets to experience all of these emotions as if we are feeling them ourselves.

This book was just a joy to read. It's got a wonderful message and it made me feel like I wasn't a total freak when I was in high school. It's always nice to know that other people went through the same emotional roller coaster as you did. There is hope and Get Well Soon offers a big piece of it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (51)--Living Hell by Catherine Jinks

Release Date: April 12, 2010 from Harcourt Children's Books


What happens when a single moment changes everything? For seventeen-year-old Cheney, life on earth exists only in history books. The life he and over one thousand other people know is aboard the Plexus spacecraft: self-contained, systematic, and serene. But that was before the radiation wave.

Now Plexus has suddenly turned on them, becoming a terrifying and unrecognizable force. As the crew dwindles under attack, Cheney and his friends need to fight back before the ship that’s nurtured them for so long becomes responsible for their destruction.

i think this sounds fantastic!! I'm becoming more and more of a fan of science fiction and this seems like it'll be a good one. I also love that cover. It's completely badass!

Monday, February 1, 2010

This World We Live In (The Last Survivors, Book 3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Release Date: April 1, 2010 from Harcourt Childrens' Books

Source: Won in contest


It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.

The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

I have to start by saying that this is one of my favorite series of all time. There's just something about these books that immediately captured not just my attention, but my heart as well. I think that something was Miranda. She's one of the most honest and raw characters in literature (YA or otherwise) today. She's completely average, flawed and human, and at times a little selfish, just like all the rest of us. However, unlike us, Miranda is faced with unspeakable horrors and loss. How she deals with the cards she's been dealt is the story that is truly at the heart of this series.

I know, I know, it's not all about Miranda, after all, book 2 is Alex' story, but Miranda's the character that sticks with me the most, even when reading someone else's tale. To see these two people come together and create an entirely new story was really wonderful. I think there was always that chance that bringing these two together from their vastly different worlds would've felt forced, but that in no way happens here. Pfeffer seamlessly blended the two stories together into what may be the most powerful book of the series.

My sister didn't even make it halfway through book 1. She felt like it was too sad, too depressing, but I feel just the opposite. I think these books are full of heart and hope. I like the idea that even in the darkest of times, people will find a way to carry on and create their own future.

The only thing I don't like about this book is that I believe it's the last time we'll enter this world. I'm hoping that Pfeffer wants to continue the story, because I definitely want to continue reading.

By the way, I just found out that Pfeffer will be accepting an award at the Spring Conference for MASL (Missouri Association of School Librarians), which I will be attending in April. I can't wait. It's so exciting to think that I'm going to get to me her. Woo hoo!!