Thursday, May 27, 2010

Be On The Lookout For....

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

I was shopping at Borders tonight, because that's what I do, and I squealed when I saw this on the shelves. It's not officially due out until the 7th of June, so I wasn't even looking for it. It's available on Amazon, too.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Countdown by Deborah Wiles Review and Giveaway!!

Release Date:


Countdown is the first in a new trilogy of “documentary novels” set in the 1960s- a fascinating historical documentary in a unique style and format. Filled with photos, news clippings, and songs of the era, this novel tells the story of Franny Chapman, an eleven-year-old girl living in Washington , DC , set against the backdrop of one of the most politically and culturally defining periods in history.

It’s 1962, in the days surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the world seems to be on the terrifying brink of nuclear war. But for Franny Chapman, everyday life goes on. While doing “Duck and Cover” drills at school, Franny must face tensions with her younger brother, and worry about her older sister— is she a secret spy?— while learning to look beyond outward appearances.

I actually bought this book shortly after it came out. As soon as I saw it, I knew it had to be mine, so imagine how very happy I was when I was contacted to giveaway a copy of this most awesome book. As mentioned above, it's a "documentary novel," which means it's basically like reading a living history book. It's filled with wonderful photos, quotes, and interesting facts about real people. While at the same time, it's this beautiful coming of age story about one little girl living during the Cuban missile crisis.

Franny is an incredibly character with a family that is going through some changes. When I was reading the book, I couldn't help but be reminded of one of my other favorite characters from children's literature, Sally J. Freedman. Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself by Judy Blume was my favorite book when I was younger. I read it over and over and like this story, it was about a girl growing up during a very trying time in history. If you haven't read definitely should. Franny has all those characteristics that I loved and admired so much in Sally. They would be the best of friends I'm sure.

I can't being to tell you how awesome this book is. It's unlike anything I've read before. It's an inventive and intriguing piece of storytelling and best of all, it includes a little history about my fave President, President Harry S. Truman who just so happens to have been born and lived in my little hometown. Give 'em hell Harry!! In fact, it includes lots of history about lots of people. This is a great book to teach kids about history, a subject that seems to get ignored more and more in schools today.

Read this book! I don't think you'll be disappointed, I know I wasn't. It had me from hello (or page one).

If you'd like to try it for yourself, I've been offered a copy to give away here on my blog. In addition, you'll win a cool Countdown branded canvas tote, which sounds completely kickass. I'm totally jealous of the tote.

You can enter to win simply by leaving a comment below. If you want to tell me who your fave president is, or what your fave era in history is, that would be totally cool, too.

The contest is open to the US only and ends on June 9, so enter soon!!

If you'd like to read more about Countdown, you can find the website here. And if you'd like to know more about author Deborah Wiles, you can find her here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (65)--Rot and Ruin by Jonathon Maberry

Release Date: October 5, 2010 from Simon & Schuster's Children Publishing


A teenager grows up in a post-apocalypic, zombie-infested America in Jonathan Maberry's Rot & Ruin.

Yep, that's all I could find and then I saw this little review blurb:

"George Romero meets The Catcher in the Rye in this poignant and moving coming of age novel set during zombie times. I welled up at the end, then smiled through my tears when I realized there was going to be a sequel. Bravo, Jonathan Maberry. Can't wait to read more."
-- Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked and Possessio

Hellz yeah! Romero and Salinger?! What could be better. Can't wait!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Infinity Release Information and Trailer!!


Tomorrow is the launch date for Infinity, book one in the Chronicles of Nick series by Sherilyn Kenyon. My sister is a huge fan of Kenyon's Dark Hunter series and this is an introduction into one of these characters.

Here's a little teaser:

"At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him."

Sounds good, eh? If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can find it here.

Or check out the trailer below.

Like the trailer music? Download the song here.

I'm looking forward to this least now I'll know what the heck my sister's been talking about all these years.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Magickeepers, Book Two: The Pyramid of Souls by Erica Kirov

Release Date: Available Now from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Source: From Publicist


It was stolen from Alexander the Great. To keep it safe, Edgar Allen Poe bargained away his sanity. And somebody suckered P. T. Barnum to get their hands on it. It's the most closely guarded secret in the magician community. And it's missing.

What would you do to protect your family from an ancient pyramid capable of stealing your very soul?

Nick Rostov finally has the life he's always dreamed-and he'll do anything to protect it.

Nick has only now discovered he is part of an extended Russian family of magicians: the Magickeepers. He lives with his eccentric new relatives at the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where they perform daring feats of magic to a packed house. Real magic.

But Nick and his family face a new danger in the form of a stolen relic, the Pyramid of Souls. The tiny pyramid has traded hands many times throughout history. Its power can steal a magician's very soul.

Nick knows who took it: Rasputin, leader of the Shadowkeepers. Using his unique ability as a Gazer-one who can see into the past-Nick enlists his cousin Isabella to help him find it. Soon, the two are hot on the evil sorcerer's trail...until Isabella's soul is trapped by the very relic they're trying to find.

Nick will do anything to rescue Isabella and recover the Pyramid of Souls. But will it be enough to save his family?

Usually I'm really anal about reading series in order, because I hate to feel like I'm playing catch up when I start a book. It's hard as a review blogger, though to find the time to go back and start a series from book one. There just aren't enough hours in the day. So, I really love it when a book can stand on its own two feet and is a complete story in and of itself. Enter The Pyramid of Souls by Erica Kirov. At no time while reading this little gem of a novel did I feel lost or out of touch with what was happening. It was oh so easy to just dive in and get to know the characters as they experienced their own adventures. Thank you Erica Kirov!!

This is a great book. It's written for a more middle grade audience, but I think it would appeal to anyone. It's got a wonderful blend of magic, history, and adventure that kept me turning the pages. It's also set in Las Vegas, a city that I love, so that added to my enjoyment. I could totally see the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino blending in perfectly with the over-the-top Vegas skyline. I think this magical family would feel right at home in the world of Caesar's Palace, Sigfried & Roy, and Circus Circus.

Kirov has created a wonderfully believable magical world with a likable hero, Nick Rostov. Nick's really wants to fit in with his newfound extended magical family, but that's hard to do when you are dodging some evil magicians and trying to perfect your magic for the casino's big show at the same time.

This was a quick read that I truly enjoyed. I'm looking forward to finding the time for the first book in the series. I'll be adding these titles to my school library shelves in the fall. I think the kids will totally dig them.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

In My Mailbox (54)

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

I am keyboarded up again and back to blogging. So here's what I picked up this week:

For Review:

Deception by Lee Nichols

Release Date: June 8, 2010 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books


When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.
After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain, as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Release Date: July 13, 2010 from EgmontUSA


After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.

Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.

Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Release Date: July 13, 2010 from EgmontUSA


Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident. After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.

But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their childhood friendship blossoms into something more.
Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear.

As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Release Date: May 25, 2010 from EgmontUSA


When Tessa's best friend Noelle disappears right before the start of eighth grade, Tessa's life changes completely--she shies away from her other friends and stops eating in the cafeteria. Now, two years later, Noelle has escaped her captivity and is coming home, in one piece but not exactly intact, and definitely different. Tessa's life is about to change again as she tries to revive the best-friendship the two girls had shared before Noelle--now Elle--was kidnapped; puts up a futile resistance to the charming new guy at school; pursues her passion for photography while trying to build the bravado to show her photos to the public; and tries to balance her desire to protect and shelter Elle with the necessity to live her own life and put herself first.

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release Date: June 8, 2010 from EgmontUSA


Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two.

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian's basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents' murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she's shaped?

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

Release Date: Available Now from EgmontUSA


Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she's been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father's too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he's not a hero in any way, or else he's stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.

To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad's "flying lessons" that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city--despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights--thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she's his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.

The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Release Date: July 1, 2010 from Scholastic


Twelve-year-old Livie is living with a secret and it's crushing her. She knows she is responsible for her mother's coma, but she can't tell anyone. It's up to her to find a way to wake her momma up.

Stuck in the middle of three sisters, hiding a forbidden pet alligator, and afraid to disappoint her daddy, whom she loves more than anyone else, Livie struggles to find her place within her own family as she learns about the powers of faith and redemption. Livie's powerful, emotional, and sometimes humorous story will stay with readers long after the last line is read.

Set in the lush bayou of Louisiana, Kimberley Griffiths Little brings Livie's story to life with power and grace.

And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman

Release Date: Available Now from Point


Delia Truesdale has no idea her life's about to change forever. She's too busy enjoying the California summer. Her internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing. That is, until everything unravels.

Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she's dead - excpet Delia, who knows T.K.'s way too organized to simply disappear. But Delia's still sent to New York to live with her two aunts - a downtown bohemian and an uptown ice queen.

And in case that's not bad enough, she also has to deal with a snooty new school and trying not to fall for the wrong guy. Oh, and finding her mother.

As she delves deeper into the tangle of conspiracies and lies surrounding T.K.'s disappearance, Delia begins to suspect that the wrong guy may be the right guy...and that some secrets - especially the dangerous ones - were never meant to be unraveled.

And Then I Found Out the Truth by Jennifer Sturman

Release Date: July 1, 2010 from Point


Delia Truesdale is still searching for the truth about her mother, who is in hiding somewhere in South America. But for now, Delia has to make do with her mystery-solving in New York City, alongside her Aunt Charley (a downtown hipster), her Aunt Patience(an uptown ice queen), a detective with a questionable taste in neckties, an eccentric psychic, her brainiac friend, and Quinn, the wealthy, gorgeous boy who--gasp!-- seems to return Delia's affections. Too bad Quinn's shady CEO dad may be involved in the scheme Delia is trying to crack. And a trip to South America may be in order after all...


Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
The Clearing by Heather Davis

So that's what I got this week!! Can't wait to see what everyone else picked up....

Friday, May 21, 2010

Computer Fail!

I can't post anything significant tonight, because for some reason my keyboard has decided to die on me. I have no idea why it isn't working, but that's just the way my day has gone. I will be back to posting as soon as I am up and running on my own computer again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

Release Date: May 25, 2010 from Feiwel and Friends


Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.

Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?

A real page-turner, this book kept me reading way into the night. Too late actually, I was quite tired for work on Monday, because I just couldn't put this one down. It's a quick read that's full of a lot of action and I loved racing with the characters to the ending.

As for the characters, I absolutely adored Mason. He has his own demons, but he's always willing to help a damsel, or anyone else, in distress. He's that guy that you would've secretly had a crush on in high school, or at least, I would've anyway. I love how he immediately takes to this mysterious girl with an even more mysterious past. He just decides to help her and doesn't stop until he makes sure she's okay.

S. A. Bodeen has written a very thoughtful novel about what can happen when we try too hard to solve the world's problems. Sometimes we go a little too far and end up causing more harm than good. I totally enjoyed this book. My only complaint was that it was too short. It was so readable I just wanted to keep right on turning those pages even after I turned the last one. I would love for her to return to this world someday and catch up with where these characters are now. I think there's definitely more story to tell.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (64)--Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Release Date: September 7, 2010 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.

I loved Tiernan's Sweep series, so I was very excited to see this one on the horizon. Can't wait!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci

Release Date: Available Now from Graphia

Source: Personal Collection


Bioterrorism has come to a small town in New Jersey. Two residents die of brain aneurysms within twenty-four hours and several teens become ill with a mysterious flu, leading the government to suspect that a terrorist cell has unleashed a deadly biochemical agent. With each glass of water they drink, the people of Trinity Falls are poisoning themselves.

A world away in Pakistan, a sixteen year old computer genius working as a spy for the U.S. sees an influx of chatter from extremists about a substance they call Red Vinegar that will lead to many deaths. Can he warn the victims before it’s too late

I picked this one up because I saw the synopsis for the sequel Fire Will Fall, which was recently released. I figured I needed some major back story before delving into that one, so I hunted down a copy of Streams of Babel. I'm so glad I took the time to read this book first. It's a real page-turner that made me want to keep reading and reading to find out what happened next.

It's a pretty terrifying concept really and one that is not completely outside the realm of possibility in the world today. This is something that could totally happen and we'd be pretty powerless to stop it. I think that's what made this story so intriguing. It was a scary read, but an important one at the same time. A few times I told myself "you probably shouldn't be reading this," but I kept turning the pages anyway, ready for whatever new horror awaited me.

The points of view change with each chapter as they rotate through the characters, which helped to make this a quick read and it kept the story new and interesting. I've always like books with varying points of view, so I'm hoping the sequel uses the same style. I really recommend this one. It's a wonderful thriller and gives the reader a new look at the post 9/11 world and the dangers we face. It's not all about the fear though, we also get to see characters overcoming obstacles to help one another and finding inner strength to fight unseen enemies. There's a lot of hope in Streams of Babel, which made this a ride worth taking.

Now I am definitely looking forward to finding time for Fire Will Fall.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In My Mailbox (53)

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

I haven't done an IMM post in weeks, so this will be my catch up post. No pictures, just titles and authors. It's a lengthy list, so hang in there. Sorry if I repeat anything, but that's just how long it's been.

For Review:

Tha Magickeepers Book Two: The Pyramid of Souls by Erica Kirov
The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
The Society of S by Susan Hubbard
The Year of Disappearances by Susan Hubbard
The Season of Risks by Susan Hubbard
Delcroix Academy: The Candidates by Inara Scott
Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink


Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Faithful by Janet Fox
Solving Zoe by Barbara Dee
Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke
The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler
White Cat by Holly Black
Lies by Michael Grant
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Spells by Aprilynne Pike
Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
The Academy Year One: Flight of the Outcast by Brad Strickland
Also Known As Harper by Ann Haywood Leal
Fearless by Tim Lott
Time of the Witches by Anna Myers
The Year of the Bomb by Ronald Kidd
Worldshaker by Richard Harland
The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles
Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Okay, so that's it. That's what happens when I go to a Scholastic warehouse sale, go to Borders and B&N too many times, and also make a visit to Half-Price books. My list continues to grow, but I just can't help myself.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Barrie Summy Giveaway!!

Check out this awesome giveaway that Barrie Summy is doing.

Author Barrie Summy is hosting a giveaway of her fun mystery series! One Grand Prize winner will receive autographed copies of the three books in the series, I SO DON'T DO MAKEUP, I SO DON'T DO SPOOKY, and I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES, plus a tote bag and t-shirt! Three lucky runners up will win an autographed copy of I SO DON'T DO MAKEUP and a t-shirt!

To enter, send an email to (note: no apostrophe!) with the subject line "Pick Me!" In the body of the email, include your name and email address (if you're under 13, submit a parent's name and email address). One entry per person and prizes will only be shipped to US or Canadian addresses. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on June 30. Winners will be selected in a random drawing on July 1 and notified via email. Check Barrie's website after July 6 for the list of winners!

I recently reviewed I So Don't Do Makeup and I thorougly enjoyed hurry up and enter!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (63)--Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill

Release Date: June 29, 2010 from Balzer & Bray


Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692—Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr.

When Ann’s father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann sees an opportunity and starts manifesting the symptoms of affliction. Ann looks up to Mercy, the beautiful servant in her parents' house. She shows Mercy the power that a young girl is capable of in a time when women were completely powerless. Mercy, who suffered abuse at the hands of past masters, seizes her only chance at safety. And Ann’s cousin Margaret, anxious to win the attention of a boy in her sights, follows suit. As the accusations mount against men and women in the community, the girls start to see the deadly ramifications of their actions. Should they finally tell the truth? Or is it too late to save this small New England town?

I've always been fascinated by the Salem Witch trials, so I am anxiously awaiting this one. It looks fantastic and I love the cover.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dark LIfe by Kat Falls

Release Date: Available Now from Scholastic

Source: Personal Collection


Set in an apocalyptic future where rising oceans have swallowed up entire regions and people live packed like sardines on the dry land left, DARK LIFE is the harrowing tale of underwater pioneers who have carved out a life for themselves in the harsh deep-sea environment, farming the seafloor in exchange for the land deed.

The story follows Ty, who has lived his whole life on his family's homestead and has dreams of claiming his own stake when he turns eighteen. But when outlaws' attacks on government supply ships and settlements...

... threaten to destroy the underwater territory, Ty finds himself in a fight to stop the outlaws and save the only home he has ever known.

Joined by a girl from the Topside who has come subsea to look for her prospector brother, Ty ventures into the frontier's rough underworld and begins to discover some dark secrets to Dark Life.

As Ty gets closer to the truth, he discovers that the outlaws may not be the bloodthirsty criminals the government has portrayed them as. And that the government abandoning the territory might be the best thing for everyone, especially for someone like Ty, someone with a Dark Gift.

I've always been fascinated, or maybe terrified by the ocean. I blame it on my lack of swimming knowledge and also a viewing of Jaws when I was probably too young to be watching Jaws. Now, I'm drawn to underwater imagery and movies like The Abyss. I don't know why I like these things. I think underwater movies and images have an almost claustrophobic feel. The ocean is almost too vast that it feels very confining. So, when I heard about this book, I was instantly interested. A post-apocalyptic book set in the very depths of the ocean?! What could be better?!

This was a great read. I read a couple of mixed reviews of it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think Kat Falls captured the feeling of the deep perfectly. I still got that claustrophobic feel that The Abyss gives me, but I was mesmerized by the imagery and intrigued by the story.

Ty is a great character. My only complaint is that I wanted to know more about his life under the sea. We get glimpses and descriptions of how they live, but I wanted more. This is one of those reads that made me think, "where do they come up with this stuff"? Ty's world is incredible and actually makes me want to dive into the ocean and hang out for awhile. In fact, I didn't want to leave Ty's world. This is one of those instances when I would have been fine with 100 more pages.

I'm hoping that there's a sequel or companion book on the way. I'd love to read more about the world above the sea where Gemma's from. It sounds pretty interesting and almost as scary as the ocean. I recommend this one. It's a great adventure story that takes place in the unlikeliest of worlds.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee With A Special Guest Post From My Fave Character Francesca

Release Date: Available Now from Aladdin

Source: From Author


"Sometimes your life just needs a little jolt.

That's what Francesca told me once, and she was right. I mean, she was wrong about practically everything, but she was right about that."

At first Evie doesn't know what to think about her amazing new neighbor. Francesca's wild and funny, with a crazy sense of style, but the only rules she follows are the ones she invents herself. Evie's two best friends don't trust Francesca, but Evie is desperate for a change. And when you're with Francesca, anything--totally anything--can happen.

This could mean matchmaking the two coolest teachers in school, or getting Evie together with her crush, or digging up secrets about Francesca's weird family. Hanging out with Francesca is so different and exciting that Evie can barely think about her best friends or her big history project. But as things get out of control, Evie can't help wondering--what if she and Francesca have gone too far?

This book is brilliant!! I am a brand new Barbara Dee devotee. I will be searching out her other two titles this weekend and squeezing them into my busy reading schedule. Evie and Francesca are so much fun to hang out with. And their friendship rings so true. I think we've all had those friends in life that at first meeting, you think "this person is nuts...we'll never hit it off" and then by the third time you hang out, your best friends. Francesca is one of those characters that gets inside your head and makes herself comfortable. She's fantabulous and makes Evie's life much more interesting.

This book reminded me of some of Judy Blume's works, specifically, Just As Long As We're Together, which was one of my favorite books growing up. It had that same friendship, family, self-realization thing going on that makes Blume's books so current and important even years after they were written. It felt like I was reading one of those books from my childhood that I still carry with me today. That's a feeling that I love.

I think Barbara Dee will be one of those writers that girls will carry with them through their lives. I plan to introduce my students to her when they come back in the Fall. I think she'll find some true fans in my students. I know she's found one in me. This may all seem a little too gushy, but I really did love this book. I think it's one of my faves of the year so far. Sometimes you need a little sweetness and just good ol-fashioned storytelling. Check this one out!!

And now a word from Francesca herself:

Dearest greatest blog readers,

HELLO! I’m extremely well. And so deeply ecstatic to be writing to you instead of wasting my life on this STAGGERINGLY BORING history assignment, because of course you’re as passionate about books as I am, which means we’re practically soulmates!!! I’m not talking about Wuthering Heights-type soulmates, although of course I can talk about those ALL DAY—just that we both lovelovelove to read georgeous (oops—is the spelling right?) books about people who think about cosmos questions. (Unlike most of the people in this bloody awful suburb!!!) And who else am I going to hang out with besides my new bff Evie, who is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT despite her mad passionate crush on that dolt Zane?

Exactly. You understand me. So I’m going to hang out with YOU.

After I do some epic matchmaking between you-know-who and you-know-who.

And squirt my aunt’s rabbits.

And sneak-eat some ice cream.


Ps You know that thing I did? The other thing. Don’t tell Evie. Thanx!

Thanks so much Francesca and thanks to Barbara Dee for getting this special message to me and my readers!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kane Chronicles trailer - from the creator of Percy Jackson

Bought this one, too. It was a good week for books. I've spent way too much money. 6 titles that I just had to have came out, so I am a little bit poorer today.

Shade Jeri Smith Ready Book Trailer

I bought this last night!! I'm looking forward to reading it as I've heard only good things.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (62)--Matched by Allyson Condie

Release Date: November 30, 2010 from Dutton Juvenile


Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

This sounds amazing and I love, love the cover!! I can't wait, but I shall at lest until November 30th anyway.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I So Don't Do Makeup by Barrie Summy

Release Date: May 11, 2010 from Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Source: From Publicist


What's better than a sleepover? A sleepover with makeovers! Sherry and her friends have an awesome time with eye shadow, glitter, and more hair products than a salon. But when the girls wake up the next morning with serious skin issues, Sherry is freaked. Someone must have tampered with her makeup!

It turns out that the mall's cosmetics kiosk has had lots of products returned by upset customers. Sherry is determined to get to the bottom of things. After all, she's a bit of a crime-solving celebrity (well, at least in the spirit world). Ghost academies around the world are impressed by Sherry's and her ghost mom's skills.

And if anyone can solve a mystery involving mascara, it's Sherry Holmes Baldwin.

This third mystery about fast-thinking sleuth Sherry Holmes Baldwin is perfect for tweens and teens who love investigating with heroines they can relate to.

This was my first Summy read and it was delightful. I loved every minute of this book. It's a wonderful mystery and yet it's a fun, fast read at the same time. Sherry is fantabulous and her friends only add to the fun. Th relationship between Sherry and her friends rings so true. I can picture myself at that age having some of the same conversations. It took me back, for sure.

Then there's the supernatural element. It's presented really well and Summy creates an incredible world where it's not so unusual to fight crime with your mom, who just so happens to be a ghost. As if the politics of school aren't bad enough, Sherry must also deal with the politics of the ghost world. Crazy indeed!

I have the other two books in this series and I will most definitely be adding them to my ever-growing summer reading pile. This book was just such a treat. I read it in one day and it made me very happy. It's just a really good feel-good read. I can't recommend this one highly enough. I'll be adding them to my school's shelves come Fall and I know my girls will just eat them up.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Release Date: Available Now from HarperCollins

Source: Personal Collection


Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

I read many, many postive reviews of this one before I picked it up, so I was a little concerned that it wouldn't live up to all the hype. Turns out, I was wrong. I really enjoyed this one. It's a fast-paced read with some truly surprising thrills.

Violet's a wonderful character who just wants to live a normal life, but has some completely abnormal things to deal with. What I like about Violet though, is that she doesn't see her ability as a curse. It was great to read about a character who is really embracing her differences and yet still fitting into her world. I also appreciate that her family is aware of her abilities and she doesn't have to hide it from them. She's a wonderful character who's completely down-to-earth and likable. You can't help but cheer for her.

I'm a fan of Charlaine Harris' Harper Connelly series and this had some of the same elements to it, along with a similar feel. I'm always happy to find new YA mysteries and I'm even happier because there's a sequel coming. It's going to be called Desires of the Dead and is due in 2011. YAY!!

Derting has given us an amazing debut novel and has put herself into the position of being "one to watch" in the world of YA. I know I'll be watching for what's coming next.