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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Market by J.M. Steele

Title: The Market
Author: J.M. Steele
ISBN: 9781423100164
Publisher: Hyperion Books/Disney

"High School Senior Kate Winthrop is about to find out just how much she's worth.

After stumbling across the Millbank Social Stock Market (MSSM), Kate's horrified to discover that out of the 140 girls in her class, she's ranked a bleak 71. Sure, she's not drop-dead gorgeous, and her fashion choices leave a bit to be desired... but 71?! Determined not to accept her fate as a "junk bond," she and her best friends quickly set out to make her the fastest rising stock on the Market.

Armed with a sexy new haircut and killer wardrobe, Kate puts their plan into effect - and the analysts take note. In a matter of weeks, her stock value soars, and "Blue Chip" status is within reach. But what begins as a fun social experiment quickly turns into an obsession, one that threatens to ruin her reputation, friendships, and a chance at first love. Will Kate survive the highs and lows of the Market, or will her security crash and burn?"
First Lines:

"Somewhere in the distance I heard a cell phone ringing, and I slipped in unnoticed through the side door. Gretchen's kitchen was crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with kids from Millbank, and the smell of sweat hung in the air."
Page 3

Well, that little teaser of the first lines really didn't do the book much justice. It was the start of a party scene - one where Kate realizes the whole market system in place at her school. You know, I'm a little torn between thinking the idea of ranking people in high school is a horrible, terrible, unforgivable thing to do and it being a little bit fun. Of course, thinking that it's fun is only in the context of a high school - where drama reigns anyway :).

The beginning of this book had me worried about what I was getting myself into. There was something about the way it was written that didn't seem to flow very easily - I had to concentrate to make sure I understood what things meant. It took me the first couple of chapters to realize we weren't in the summertime yet... just really close to it. I honestly thought they had all just graduated, not getting ready to. I dunno, I was just really thrown off.

But once I fully got into this book, I enjoyed it. The story became a lot clearer and more interesting. There was quite a bit of "Market Speak" that I had to work through a little, but that's a small thing. It's also one of those books that you can kinda see where things were headed - but there were a few things that surprised me. I was expecting one thing, but got another. Not that they were ever fully shocking, just not what I was expecting.

I think this book is going to be good for anyone looking for high school chick lit. It's probably even good for those middle grade readers who love to read about high schoolers :). And once I got past the beginning, it really was an easy read.

Oh, and "J.M. Steele" is a pseudonym, so I can't very well link ya in, can I?
Other Blog Reviews:

Laurel's YA Book Reviews
Karin's Book Nook
Em's Bookshelf
Osceola Library Teens
Young Adult Bookworm

Friday, January 29, 2010

A little piece of happy!

What a great Friday so far! I've gotten my first award today - from The Serpentine Library. Can I just have a w000t for Librarians, please?! Thanks so much.

So, for the Bliss (Happy 101) award I'm supposed to list Ten things that make me happy. Let's see what I can come up with.

1. My wonderful Family
2. My amazing Fiance
3. My fantastic Friends
4. Candy Stores
5. Scrapbooking/Pictures
6. New books
7. Surprisingly, my job
8. Beautiful Sunsets
9. Fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookies
10. Figuring out something complicated

And now I'm supposed to pass this award on to some wonderful bloggers. Hopefully none of these people have gotten the award already!

Wrighty at Wrighty's Reads
Maria at Fantasys Ink
Catherine at Words World and Wings
Sharon Loves Books and Cats

Friday Fill-In (2)

Friday Fill-In is a kinda fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. Just fill in your answers!

1. Wouldn't it be easy to go home and go back to sleep!?

2. The weather is better than ever! (ohh, sorry... that was dripping with sarcasm. My bad.)

3. I love the taste of most anything candy-related. I have a candy problem.

4. My bedroom is in the living room. (I live in a studio apt. It's a little bigger than what you're imagining, but not much... and I have one room that's considered my "living space". Thanks NYC.)

5. The first thing we're going to do is figure out the best way to get out of doing any work today. I seem to have a great start .

6. squeek, squeek; drip, drip, drip; SPLASH!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to being off work, tomorrow my plans include working, unfortunately and Sunday, I want to watch the Pro Bowl and be as lazy as possible!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

Title: Witch and Wizard
Author: James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
ISBN: 9780316036245
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

"Your books, music, and art - BANNED

You are holding an urgent and vital narrative that reveals the forbidden truth about these perilous times...

This is the astonishing testimonial of Wisty and Whit Allgood, a sister and brother who were torn from their family in the middle of the night, slammed into prison, and accused of being a witch and wizard.

They are not alone in their terrifying predicament. Thousandds of young people have been kidnapped. Some have been accused; many others remain missing. Their fate is unknown, and the worst is feared - for the ruling regime will stop at nothing to suppress life and liberty, music and books, art and magic... and the pursuit of being a normal teenager.

Most copies of this story have already been seized, shredded, or burned. Read this rare, surviving edition and pass it along with care - before it's too late."
First Lines:

It's overwhelming. A city's worth of angry faces staring at me like I'm a wicked criminal - which, I promise you, I'm not."
Page 3

There's something kinda safe and happy about any of James Patterson's YA novels. I've never read any of his adult stuff, so I can't speak for that. But when you pick up one of his books, you know pretty much how the format is going to go... how the story is going to progress... and how long it will take you (not very, I promise).

This book was no different. The writing style is the same as all his other stuff, but I really still like it. It's easy, it's to the point, it flows well... and so on. Now, just because it's written well and all that doesn't necessarily mean I loved the story.

Don't get me wrong. I did like the story... I just didn't love it. I guess the premise was interesting (seeing as I picked it up and all), but there was something that seemed to be missing. Almost like there wasn't enough explanation about things to help me know what to think about things. The extra info probably wouldn't have jived with the flow of the book, so I'm sure that would have been cut.

I was also a little overwhelmed with all of the "W" stuff. Witch, Wizard, Whit, Wisty.... It was just a bit much. All of this isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the book. I did. I think it will be great for middle grade readers - ones who just want to stick their toes into fantasy stories. But I don't think this is for the more advanced, teen reader.

If I were recommending James Patterson to anyone, I would give them the Maximum Ride series over the others he has written. That one is just well fleshed out and you really end up adoring the characters. PS - Witch and Wizard totally had a shoutout to the bird kids of Maximum Ride! It stopped me in my tracks. So funny!
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Bug
The Book Smugglers
A Book Dork
Young Adult Books Central
YA Book Nerd

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Title: The Hollow
Author: Jessica Verday
ISBN: 9781416978930
Publisher: Simon Pulse

"When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead... and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again... but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her - one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian as well as her own sanity."
First Lines:

"They said she killed herself. Everyone was saying it."
Page 1

There are several things I loved about this book:
1. I really adored the fact that Abbey had such a clear hobby - the making of perfume. It's easily translated in the story to something the reader can imagine, feel, and experience throughout the book. It's also wonderful to see that both of the main characters had some seriously creative outlets to turn to. Drawing, making jewelry, creating perfumes, etc... it's just wonderful.
2. I also really loved that the whole story of The Sleepy Hollow ran throughout the book. I do realize that is necessary as the story takes place in Sleepy Hollow, but it gives the book a certain edge of mystery and intrigue.
3. The cover is absolutely beautiful - it's eye catching and uses the things from the story pretty well.

All that being said, this book was HUMONGOUS! I mean, seriously... 500 pages?! It was double spaced, too... which made it seem like the book could be half that size. I do get that those Twihards out there probably get prickles in their fangs about the size of the book.... but seriously. Ahem... anyway.

I really did enjoy the story here. It may have dragged out a bit longer than I had really anticipated, but it was good. There were times that I really wanted Abbey to snap out of her love-haze (but this might be a symptom of my having read too many teen romances lately).
One thing that bothered me a little was how long it took for the story to get to the whole "ghost story" portion of the book. I mean, it's one of the main subjects for this book... but you barely get used to the idea before the book ends. Though, I do understand that the author is working on a second book with the same characters. So maybe this will be fleshed out a lot more in the next book.

You should really check out the author's website. I was just clicking around over there and realized I could purchase the scents from the book! How cool is that?!? I'm seriously thinking about it. I also had a little heart-flutter when I saw that Verday is living in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.... that's so close to where I'm from! Soooo cool!
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Smugglers
J. Kaye's Book Blog
Karin's Book Nook
Harmony Book Reviews
The Book Bug

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week I'm excited about:

Scarlett Fever
by Maureen Johnson
Released: February 1, 2010

"Ever since Mrs. Amberson, the former-aspiring-actress-turned-agent, entered Scarlett Martin's life, nothing has been the same.
She's still in charge of the Empire Suite in her family's hotel, but she's now also Mrs. Amberson's assistant, running around town for her star client, Chelsea - a Broadway star Scarlett's age with a knack for making her feel insignificant.

Scarlett's also trying to juggle sophomore year classes, her lab partner who is being just a little TOO nice, and getting over the boy who broke her heart.

In the midst of all this, her parents drop a bombshell that threatens to change her New York life forever... "

I was a huge fan of Suite Scarlett back when it came out - That was pre-blogging... so I don't have proof. But I love Maureen Johnson as an author (Her blog is hilarious), and I know this sequel won't let me down! I look forward to getting back in that hotel atmosphere :).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Join in! I'm 300+ pages into this one and I'm chomping at the bit to get it finished:

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

"Mausoleums and crypts, with faded names that I knew by heart, rose majestically from the earth. Their outsides, although ravaged by the effects of time, still provided a safe place for the bodies that rested inside, and I nodded my head as a sign of respect to those once graceful homes of the departed.
And then I passed a chair."
Page 71

I know this teaser seems a little weird, but Abbey (the main character) spends a lot of her time in the graveyard - it's a very peaceful and loving thing... not so much creepy. Promise. But I've really enjoyed this book, but I still have like 200 pages left (at least, that's how it seems). Hopefully it won't take me too much longer!

Friday, January 22, 2010

This just in...

I just saw the news that Bloomsbury has decided to change the cover art for Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore.

Sounds like a win, no? I look forward to seeing the new cover. Lots of people are happy about this, and you can add me to that number :).

Friday Fill-In (1)

Friday Fill-In is a kinda fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. They're just some lead-in questions to answer... And without a reason to blog otherwise, I thought this might be interesting. So, that being said - here are my answers!

1. You have a chance to __be who you wanna be!_ (so lame, I know)

2. _I'm FREEZING_ right now!

3. There is a _lady dancing around at her computer to music only she can hear. We're talkin hands raised, body shakin, etc_.

4. _Drink now_ and pay later. (I don't actually drink, so I dunno why this one came to me.

5. It's time to _read! Oh, no, wait. That was just wishful thinking. It's time to WORK! yay?_

6. _My Wedding date is__ up in the air but _I'm working on getting that figured out. Talk about stress_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to traveling to Rhode Island (which = lots of reading on the train)_, tomorrow my plans include _getting my ring resized and fixing my fiance's license situation_ and Sunday, I want to _watch football! But instead will be celebrating an 86th birthday (not mine, obvs).

Well, that was kinda fun! My answers are a bit on the lame side, but perhaps I'll get better in the future. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Otherworldlies by Jennifer Anne Kogler

Title: The Otherworldlies
Author: Jennifer Anne Kogler
ISBN: 9780060739614
Publisher: HarperTeen

"Fern has always been a little different...

She blisters after just moments in the sun, communicates with her dog, and has correctly predicted the weather every day for more than two years. But that's not so weird, right?

Then one day, Fern closes her eyes and opens them seconds later to find herself on a sandy beach, miles away from school. And when she disappears again - this time to someplace far more dangerous - Fern begins to realize just how different she is.

With the help of her twin brother, Sam, Fern struggles to gain control over what's happening to her. Yet the arrival of a sinister stranger - a vampire - soon leads her to question her very identity. Before she knows it, Fern finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old battle - one that puts more than just her own life in danger."
First Lines:

"The bird swung lifelessly by a silken string from the corner of the wooden eave of the house. The McAllister twins craned their necks upward to get a closer look. 'I think it hung itself,' Sam said..."
Page 1

I am going to be honest and say that I picked up this book because of it's cover. I just think it's so ... riveting. Someone commented on my "Tuesday Teaser" that they were thankful to see a full face on the cover - I agree! We really do have a lot of half-faces and parts of a face or no face at all on YA Covers. It's nice to get a full on face. :). Enough about the cover. Just know I picked the book up because of it.

If someone had told me it would be a vampire story, I would have been really surprised. I mean, it felt like it would be simply a paranormal story (which is kinda what it feels like instead of vampire). It was so different from any other vampy story out there - it almost gives the entire history of "otherworldlies" and how exactly they've survived so long. I thought it was a great backstory that has been recreated so many times.

There was one thing that I had a hard time wrapping my head around. The author wrote this book in 3rd person - which is no big thing. The thing that got to me was the switching in perspective... or maybe it's the switching in whose story they were telling. For instance, one bit of the story had Fern get scared and close her eyes and the story automatically switched over to what Sam was seeing. It was just something that threw me off a few times.

I did really enjoy this book. It was a fun story, an interesting take on the vamp stuff, the characters are very original... and more. So I'll definitely be recommending this to plenty of people. The main characters are in 7th grade, so perhaps the middle grade kids are the ones who will get the most milage out of this one.

Here's the author's website. I had wondered if this was the start of a series (because there is plenty of story there to have more), but I don't see anything about it on her website. We'll see, I guess!
Other Blog Reviews:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week I'm itching to get my hands on:

by Rachel Ward
Released: February 1, 2010

Summary from Barnesandnoble.com:
"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!"

I was first drawn to this book because of it's cover - so pretty, yet kinda eerie. And then after reading the summary, I knew I would love to get my hands on this one. It sounds like it's going to be a great sci fi/mystery/thriller! I've seen a few reviews and I'm pretty pumped.

Anyone else waiting on this one?! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cover Issues

I was just going through some of my blog subscriptions and ran into this article that I find very interesting. Over at Reading in Color, "Miss Attitude" wrote an article about Bloomsbury Books' epic fail in creating book covers that represent the story inside. While I cannot boycott Bloomsbury (though, wouldn't that be a huge stand for a library to take!), I do very much agree with what she has to say.

I'm one of those readers who tends to judge books by their covers (I mean, don't we all a little?!). It's always bothered me when something on the cover doesn't jive with the story inside. And I'm talking about the little things - the wrong color hair, doensn't have a big nose when that's one of the defining characteristics, etc. Those kinds of things have always irritated me.

But when it comes to something as basic as the race of the cover model, that just kinda pisses me off. It's almost like the publisher is saying it's not important and it will sell better this way (or that way, or whatever).

When the Liar controversy was happening several months ago, I was enthralled. More appalled than enthralled, but it was the first time I'd really heard of a books cover being completely changed because of such a loud complaints. Reading Justine Larbalestier's Blog just put the whole thing into perspective for me. And I was outraged for her - but by the time I'd read about it, the new cover had already been put into place. Alas :).

But now the same thing is happening AGAIN! Once is somewhat understandable - a bit of whoopsy daisy, if you will. And they fixed it, so it's almost like.... "well, that's okay. You admitted your mistake and made it better. but I've got my eye on you!" This second time makes me wonder a little more. I don't know if I want to question the company's practices... or accuse them of anything... but they have to know that this looks really bad, right?!

The book that's now got a problem is called Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore. Apparently the book is about a dark skinned girl, but the model on the cover... isn't. I believe this is the author's blog and it looks like she's been hearing about the controversy but I haven't seen her reply to it. I know that some people commenting on her blog think that the issue isn't that big of a deal. I don't think it should keep anyone from purchasing and enoying the book, but I think people need to be aware of.

I haven't read this book yet, so I really can't say much about that - but i've heard plenty of wonderful reviews, so I may be picking it up soon. Honestly, I don't love the cover as it is right now.... which is why I haven't read it yet.
I just think these kinds of issues are so interesting - how everyone has a take on it, but no one knows the reason. My whole reason for writing about it is to just make people aware. I know it's a little bit of a touchy subject (apparently... considering other comments/blogs/etc), but it's always good to be informed.
I do plan on keeping an eye out for information about this book... to see if anything happens with it. Thank you to Reading in Color for enlightening me today! :)

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading! Here's what I've been reading the past few days:
The Otherworldlies by Jennifer Anne Kogler

"Her mother said simply, 'I don't believe you,' and nothing more for the remainder of the ride home. Of course, if Mary Lou McAllister had realized that Fern was just as traumatized by the day's events as she herself was, she might have been a little easier on her only dauughter."
Page 34
This book is starting to get really good. The lines I chose were from near the beginning - before you really get a handle on what's going on in the story. But it's pretty telling about the mother character in the story (also known as "The Commander").
I'll let ya know how it turns out! :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Invisible I by Melissa Kantor & Stella Lennon

Title: Invisible I: The Amanda Project
Author: Melissa Kantor & Stella Lennon
ISBN: 9780061742125
Publisher: HarperTeen

"Amanda Valentino changed everything.

Callie Leary has exactly one thing, and one thing only, in common with Nia Rivera and Hal Bennett: They were each chosen by Amanda to be her guide. When Amanda arrived at Endeavor High, she told Callie she moves around a lot and always picks one person to help her navigate the choppy waters of a new school. Why did Amanda lie?

Following a course that they suspect Amanda deliberately plotted, Callie, Nia, and Hal piece together some cryptic clues. But they find more questions than answers and quickly realize that before they canfigure out what happened to Amanda - the girl who changed their lives - they'll need to solve the most important mystery of all: WHO IS AMANDA VALENTINO?
First Lines:

"Why is it that when you don't want to think about something, you can't stop thinking about it? From the second I woke up, the scene Amanda had witnessed at my house yesterday kept playing over and over in my head like some kind of sick YouTube video on repeat."
Page 1

There was something intriguing about the concept of this book. I knew that there was a whole online community related to this story - and that idea sounded really interesting. Plenty of books (usually series) that have websites and have interactive forums and stuff... but this one is the first one I've heard of that the post-reading website is still really inside the story. You're still trying to figure out the mystery! Which, in some respects, is kinda annoying.

As a whole, I enjoyed this book. And I think younger girls are really going to get into it. It's set in the social-craziness of ninth grade, so there's a lot going on. And through all of the social class worries and such, you have this insane mystery of a girl gone missing and leaving a trail of intrigue in her path.

I don't know if it's the old lady in me, but there's something about the character of Amanda that drives me insane. She comes across as super-selfish and uncaring. That was voiced a little in a couple of the characters as well (thankfully), but it's almost as if you're not sure why they care so much about finding her. But again... this is all probably because I'm ancient and have forgotten what friendships were like in high school - always a bit fevered.

All that being said, it was a good book. A fun book. One that I can see girls having a lot of fun with - especially with the whole online experience. The end of the book says there will be another eight books in this series. We're only at the beginning, it seems. I look forward to seeing how the story develops.

Here's the link to the Amanda Project Website.
And check out the author's website as well - I've read a few of her books before and loved them.
Other Blog Reviews:

Trisha's Book Blog
Mrs. Magoo Reads
Frenetic Reader
Tower of Books
Coffee for the Brain
Cyberteen Reviews

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"Waiting on Wednesday" hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This is where you blog about books that are coming soon that you are waiting on pins and needles for.

by Catherine Fisher
Released: January 26, 2010

Synopsis from Barnesandnoble.com

"Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible.

And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know."

I'm cheating on this one a little bit - because my coworker has had an ARC of this one for a few weeks. So I've sat around looking at it, but having WAY too much other stuff to read. I do think it's going to be amazing though. Doesn't it sound intense?!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
ISBN: 9780545123266
Publisher: Scholastic Press

"the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf - her wolf - watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace... until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human - and Grace must fight to keep him - even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future."
First Lines:

"I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in."
Page 1

I've been hearing amazing things about this book since before it was even published. I was able to give the book to a librarian I work with before I could settle down with it. She told me it was amazing and I had to get it immediately - without further ado! So, I did. Really, really, really good idea.

This book was more paranormal romance than a werewolf story. When I think of werewolves, my brain automatically clicks to changing in the moonlight, silver bullets, crazy half wolf, half human bodies... and so on. Hollywood has done crazy stuff, right? But this story was more about a love and the impossibility of them being together.

I really enjoyed the idea of werewolves being a seasonal thing and actual wolves. It just makes the whole idea a little more believable and something I can wrap my brain around. But all of this is just the bones of the story - the basis for which the story is built.

The whole star-crossed lovers shtick is really common right now, but I enjoyed the way it was done in this book. I really liked the way the chapters flipped back and forth between them - it's nice to get both sides of the story. It gives the whole thing a different perspective and that's something that I haven't seen in a while.

I had a customer (teen) tell me today that I was going to cry toward the end. She even said she would come back and ask me if I did... because she was that sure. And I have to admit, I definitely teared up - it was so touching and emotional! I'm not going to say anymore... just that you need to read it!

On to the basics... I recommend this book very highly. I'd probably say anyone in 9th grade and up - it's got a little of the sexual themes to it, so it would be better for the older teen. But the book is amazing and Stiefvater is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. From Lament that I read a few weeks ago, this, and Ballad in my "to be read" pile... she's just amazing! I've linked to her website before, but I'll do it again :). Check it out.

I cannot WAIT for Linger to come out this summer! It'll probably show up on my "Waiting on Wednesday" sometime soon!
Other Blog Reviews:

Shooting Stars Mag
The Reading Zone
The Eclectic Book Lover
Presenting Lenore
Library Lounge Lizard
Chick Lit Teens
The Compulsive Reader

You don't have to look hard for more reviews. I'd suggest checking those out. :)

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesdays are hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Check it out :).

My book this week is one that I haven't started yet. I just finished my last book (seconds ago), so I'm moving on to my next book!

Invisible I: The Amanda Project by Stella Lennon

"Three chairs faced Mr. Thornhill's desk. The middle one was empty, while the other two were filled by Nia Rivera, the biggest freak in the ninth grade, and Hal Bennett, who I guess is what you could call a recovering loser."
Page 7

I didn't want to turn into the page too far before I found something to quote - cause I haven't gotten there yet! But this book is looking like it's going to be light and fun - which is what I can use after my last two books. Looking forward to getting further into it!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I've never done very well with the whole Twitter thing. I can update my Facebook status like a mad woman, but for some reason I haven't ever really gotten into the Twitter-verse.

But I'm trying again! I know there are book bloggers that are twittering too... so I thought I would give it a shot. What easier updates than talking about books?! So yeah, I'm giving it a shot!

Here's my link:
By TwitterButtons.com
I've added one of these buttons to my sidebar too, just in case :).

Now remember, I'm only just getting started. I don't even have a picture yet. It's a work in progress... but I'd love to add as many book bloggers as I can - if for no other reason than to get an idea of how this is all supposed to go.

If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know. I wanna make sure I do this all right :). Thanks and happy blogging!

Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories

Title: Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories
Author(s): Hailey Abbott, Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, and Nina Malkin
ISBN: 0439863686
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

"Curl up in front of a crackling fire with this collection of holiday treats from four of today's best-selling authors.

HAILEY ABBOTT (Summer Boys) spins a scandalous tale of one hot New Year's Eve party that will leave you breathless.

MELISSA DE LA CRUZ (The Au Pairs) puts a fresh, sexy spin on a holiday classic about love, lies, and the perfect present.

AIMEE FRIEDMAN (South Beach) tells the sassy tale of a New York City fashionista who finds true love in a department store on Christmas Eve.

NINA MALKIN (6X: The Uncensored Confessions) takes you to Hollywood for a magical holiday encounter that's right out of the movies.

As yummy as a mug of hot cocoa, as tantalizing as a kiss under the mistletoe, these stories are sure to warm you up on a chilly winters night."

I had intended to read this book over my holiday vacation a few weeks ago, but just didn't get around to it until today. Go figure. That's how things go sometimes, I suppose. I picked up this book because it sounded like the perfect holiday read while I was at home at the parents house - and I'm sure it would have been.

All of these stories are written by authors who have done successful chick lit books... so the theme through the whole thing is a lot of romance. Or lack there of. They were all pretty predictable, but that's one of the wonderful, safe things about chick lit. You can kinda see where things are headed.

My favorite story was probably the one by Nina Malkin - probably because it had a touch of the mysterious (but I've heard it's much like her new book. Hmm). I'm always a fan of Melissa de la Cruz, but I've only read her fantasy stuff up until this point. I really liked her story though - makes me think I might like her chick lit series too.

I've read a little by Aimee Friedman before (her graphic novel), but I liked this story better than that one. It was well done and had all the elements I was looking for in a holiday story. And I've never read anything by Hailey Abbott before, but her story was the easiest read. Hers was one that was pretty identifiable in real life - I feel like the coming-home-from-college-to-your-old-friends is a pretty well realized story. I did enjoy that one too.

I think this is a great read for the holiday season. It probably won't get much play for the rest of the year, but that's what it's intended for, right? It's also a fun collection of authors, so perhaps their fans will love this one.
Other Blog Reviews:

Juiciliciousss Reviews
Shalonda's Blog
Mrs. V's Reviews

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
ISBN: 9780385738934
Publisher: Delacorte Press

"There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move.

Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce - he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret... even if it kills her."
First lines:

"Around midnight, he eyes at last took shappe. The look in them was feline, half determined and half tentative - all trouble. Yes, they were just right, those eyes."
Page 1

I know that I'm pretty much the last person to read this book. I've been looking at the cover so long, it's almost like I had read it before I opened to the first page. There was a lot of hype around this book, so I felt like I needed to get my hands on it. I'm very glad I did!

This is another one of those paranormal romances that have the whole star crossed lovers thing going on. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying it's not a new topic. What is a little different is that the paranormal aspect is angel-focused ... not anything evil like vampires or something.

I really like all of the characters - even though my view of most of them had to change at the end of the story. I definitely wasn't expecting what happened toward the end, but don't worry... I'm not going to spoil it for you.

The one thing I wasn't a fan of was how long it took to get into the meat of the story. I do understand that with these books that are already slated to be a series, the first book tends to do a lot of the set up and explaining for the rest of the series. The problem with that is there are plenty of spots where it droops a little.

I'm not saying any part of this book was boring or anything... I'm just saying it felt a little slow at some spots. And the big, exciting, interesting stuff didn't come until almost the end of the book. Again, I know this is going to be a series, so that's why. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series - called Torment and coming out in September (2010). My guess is that it's going to be packed with action and battles and other wonderful things.

Even with all that said about it being the first book, I will definitely be handing this book to a lot of people (as though they haven't read it already). It's a great book that fits into that paranormal romance genre that everyone is so hyped about right now. So it's a great book for that and I know they will love it.

Check out the author's website for more info on the upcoming books.
Other Blog Reviews

Another Book Blog-Whore
Bailey's and Books
Book Chick City
Fantasy Book Reviews
Pure Imagination
Steph Su Reads
YA Reads

And lots more out there. I'd suggest checking them out :).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

I'm starting another meme! This one is "Waiting on Wednesday" hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This is where you blog about books that are coming soon that you are waiting on pins and needles for. I have plenty of those... so we'll see how this goes :).

Since I'm only just beginning, I'm going to include books that are coming out in the next few weeks. They're all things I've been waiting on a while, but I want to catch up a little... one by one :). Without further ado, here is today's:

Very Lefreak
by Rachel Cohn
Released: January 12, 2010

The summary from Random House, Inc.:
"Very LeFreak has a problem: she’s a crazed technology addict. Very can’t get enough of her iPhone, laptop, IMs, text messages, whatever. If there’s any chance the incoming message, call, text, or photo might be from her supersecret online crush, she’s going to answer, no matter what. Nothing is too important: sleep, friends in mid-conversation, class, a meeting with the dean about academic probation. Soon enough, though, this obsession costs Very everything and everyone. Can she learn to block out the noise so she can finally hear her heart?"

Doesn't that sound wonderful?! I'm pretty amped and it comes out next week! Go team!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (1)

This is my first Teaser Tuesday! I'm pretty pumped to be joining the herd :). Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Join in!
Currently I'm reading the book that seems like everyone has already read:
Fallen by Lauren Kate.

"The pounding of her heart grew so loud that it filler her ears, blocking
out the dark rustle of the shadow, blocking out the sound of her footsteps.
Daniel glanced up from his work and seemed to raise his eyes to exactly where
the shadow hovered, but he didn't start the way she had."
Page 78

So far so good! I'm loving this book and hoping it continues to be awesome :).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Entr@pment by M. Spooner

Title: Entr@pment: A High School Comedy in Chat
Author: M. Spooner
ISBN: 9781416958895
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

"Love is...
gothling: hopeless, pointless, merciless, lame

bliss4u: no, love is... i dunno... loverly

Ms. T: it's obvious. love is all about trust.

BoBoy: well, i'm loving this pizza. yum

chessman: i'm thinking that was the wrong answer, bro...

Big.J: some people need some schooling around here

For two happy couples, love is true. For two cynical friends, love is a game... that is not always fair. When a wager puts love to the test, will there really be a winner?"

Is it a bad thing that I picked this book up purely because it was written in chat/text format? I just think it's so much fun - not to mention extremely fast to read. For some reason, it reminds me a lot of when i used to play on chat rooms and such when I was uber-bored back in the day. I feel like I should do that more often... it's always enlightening.

Anyway! This story is a lot of fun. I do question the reality of the entire situation... I mean, what girls would decide "hey, you're right! I'll never know if my man is faithful unless I test him!!" But that's probably something one would think of when one is a bored high school student looking at a long stretch of summer in front of them. So I can't fault the idea.

It's also a bit tidy in the ending, so again making the story hard to put into terms of reality. But if you were willing to suspend reality for a bit, this is a really fun novel! This may be reading a bit into it, but there's a lot of talk about people wearing different masks when they're online, or even in real life. That was something that I really find interesting - just because it's so true. You can totally reinvent yourself on the internet, but is that reinvented self really someone you aren't? Does that even make sense?!

It doesn't hurt that the idea made my little mask-collecting heart go pitter patter. It's one of those random little hobbies. Anywho!

I will be recommending this book to anyone in probably 6th grade and up. The older teens or adults may try to read way too much into the story, so I'm not sure how much they'd get out of it. But I think if they're looking for something easy, fun, and has "lol" parts, then this might be a good book for them.

Visit the author's website here.

You might also like:
ttyl, ttfn, l8r g8r, and bff by Lauren Myracle
serafina*urgently requires life* by Susie Day
Other Blog Reviews:

Shooting Stars Mag

I am distressed to only find the one other review! I'm sure there are more out there, I'm not just looking in the right place or something. If you've written a review of it, please let me know and I'll link ya in. :)

Comment Whoopsie!

Big thank you to Kristi at The Story Siren for letting me know my comments section wasn't working for my blog!

I think I have it fixed up now. Not that I expect to be getting tons of comments :)... it's just nice to know things are working properly. Sorry about that if you've tried and had issues.

If you do have any other issues, please email me and let me know!
Thanks, again!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
ISBN: 9780738713700
Publisher: Flux

"Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand - one who can see faeries.

Unexpectedly, Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy named Luke who enters her ordinary life, seemingly out of thin air. But his interest in her might be something darker than summer romance. When a sinister faerie named Aodhan shows up with deadly orders from the Faerie Queen, it forces Dee right into the midst of Faerie. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking by loyal best friend.

Deirdre had been wishing her summer weren't so dull, but taking on a centuries-old Faerie Queen isn't exactly what she had in mind."

I've heard amazing things about this author - mostly about the book Shiver (which I have yet to get my hands on). Even though I haven't read her most popular book, I'm so glad I found this one! Faerie stories are always so interesting. I didn't really grow up hearing about faeries (like some people apparently did), so the stories are always so new for me.

The characters in this story were so wonderfully fleshed out as well. I was honestly rooting for James through the entire thing. I thought he sounded a lot like some friends I had back in the day :). But I think all of the characters were wonderfully written - except for maybe her family. I had a hard time pinning them down on what they were all about.

From what I can tell, I'm going to love everything this author writes. I've got Ballad (the companion novel to this one) sitting in my to-be-read stack, so I'll let ya know if that holds true. Pretty sure it will.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great fantasy - that includes some romance as well. It's fantasy first and foremost, but the author does a great job throwing that romance everyone loves into it. But as I said, recommended highly. Probably for 9th grade and up. But that's just a thought.

Take a look at the author's website to see all that's coming soon!

You might also like:
Tithe, Valient, or Ironside by Holly Black
Other Book Reviews:

Reverie Book Reviews
YA Reads (.com)
Ultimate Book Hound
Read Now Sleep Later
The Story Siren
Katie's Book Blog
Karin Librarian

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hi there wonderful readers!


2009 was wonderful, but I hope that 2010 is even better! This blog is officially a year old. I really only started it to keep up with the things I read throughout the year. Nothin too crazy.

But then I noticed all the cool things other people were doing with their book blogs and I'd like to try some new stuff.

If you're reading at all, you've noticed that there are a lot of posts in the past couple of days. I'm doing a lot more challenges than I did last year. I only did the one that was hosted by LibraryThing that was all genre related... Anyway, you can see all the ones that I'm doing this year on the sidebar and probably at the top somewhere.

Sorry about all the new stuff everywhere - I'm still filling things in to make this blog feel a little more lived in. So you can probably keep checking back for more new stuff. At least, that's the plan at the moment. I'm not officially making this a resolution (cause I never finish those), but I'm definitely trying!

Wish me luck!

Review Policy

I've been at this book blogging thing since 2009. This is totally for the purposes of people looking at my reviews wondering who I am, what I read, all that wonderful stuff.

First and foremost, I am a Young Adult Collection Development Librarian. Because of that, I really only read books that are written for teens - it helps me in my job... but it's also my not-so-secret guilty pleasure. I read literally every genre in that area. I haven't gotten into nonfiction much, but I'm not against it. I just can't promise that a review would be all that informed if I did. But I'm willing!

I do only read things that are bound - I'm really not a fan of ebooks. I do use NetGalley and Edelweiss in a pinch. Sometimes they just have titles I can't get anywhere else. But I'd rather that not be the format I get if you have a request.

Speaking of requests, I do not review self-published material. I know some of it can be awesome, but I just don't have the time to devote to that as well. Not to mention, I can't even use that for work because of the way we do purchasing. So I'm just nixing that altogether.

All of the books I've read and reviewed up until now are things that I have checked out from the library where I work (I like to keep it current and awesome for my teens!). I have reviewed some from ARCs - we get those sometimes at work. Usually it's pretty close to (or after) publication, but I still love getting them.

All that being said, I would adore getting some things to give away to my teens. Any sort of swag will do... and I'd love to give them books as well (I'm happy to review them first, of course).

Speaking of my reviews... here are a few things you might want to keep in mind:
* Reviews at The Ninja Librarian are all my creation. I mean, really, who writes as badly as I do anyway?! Whatever. They're all from my head, they're all from my fingers, they're all from me.
* Not all reviews are happy! I always try to find someone who would like a book, but sometimes there are some duds. I'm sorry to say. So, that's just fyi.
* I can't guarantee that I'll be able to review every book I receive. This is true in general of everything I am able to read. I really try! I do! But again, no promises.
* These reviews are in no way representative of where I work. My views are my views and I have no idea if my library supports them - so I don't speak for them.

Well, that's all for now. I'm sure I will update this again before long, but I wanted to make sure something was here.


2010 Debut Author Challenge

What a wonderful idea! This challenge is hosted by The Story Siren.

I really look forward to joining this challenge! I know there are tons of authors that are becoming a part of the YA circle every year, I just never know who they all are! I'm guilty of reading many of the same authors, so hopefully this challenge will help me read outside that. The challenge is to read 12, but I'm hoping I read a lot more than that.

Here's the actual list:
1. Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
2. Wish by Alexandra Bullen
3. Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
4. Firespell by Chloe Neill
5. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
6. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
7. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
8. Tagged by Mara Purnhagen
9. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
10. The Daykeeper's Grimoire by Christy Raedeke
11. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
12. Girl Parts by John Cusick
13. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
14. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
15. Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
16. Sellout by Ebony Joy Wilkins

And many more, I hope......

A to Z Challenge

This one is a first for me - the A to Z Challenge!

The A to Z Challenge is being hosted here, so go sign up. Apparently I have the choice of either doing just titles or book titles... or both. I think I will officially say I will read A-Z of book titles. I will probably try to do both, but officially I'll just say titles. Ahem. Let's see how this goes!

A. Ash by Malinda Lo
Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
B. Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Burned by P.C and Kristin Cast
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Blank Confession by Pete Hautman
Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings
Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Various Authors
Belle of the Brawl by Lisi Harrison
C. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Cirque Du Freak (Manga, v.1&2) by Darren Shan
Caitlin (Making a Splash #2) by Jade Parker
The Clique: The Manga by Lisi Harrison and Yishan Li
Clover by CLAMP
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
D. Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
The Daykeeper's Grimoire by Christy Raedeke
Desert Tales: Sanctuary by Melissa Marr
Dust City by Robert Paul Weston
E. Entrapment by M. Spooner
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway
The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite ed. by P.C. Cast
F. Fallen by Lauren Kate
Fang by James Patterson
Firespell by Chloe Neill
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Finding My Place by Traci L. Jones
G. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Girl Stays in the Picture by Melissa de la Cruz
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Girl Parts by John M. Cusick
Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Glee: The Beginning by Sophia Lowell
Gunnerkrigg Court by Thomas Siddell
H. The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Hourglass by Claudia Gray
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Hayate the Combat Butler (Vol 1&2) by Kenjiro Hata
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
The Haunted by Jessica Verday
I. Invisible I: The Amanda Project by Melissa Kantor and Stella Lennon
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq
Immortal: Love Stories with a Bite by P.C. Cast
iDrakula by Bekka Black
J. The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
K. Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine
kimmie66 by Aaron Alexovich
Kisses from Hell by Kristin Cast, et al
L. Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater
Little Secrets: Playing with Fire by Emily Blake
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
M. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories by Hailey Abbot, et al
The Market by J.M. Steele
Mixed Bags by Melody Carlson
Movers and Fakers by Lisi Harrison
Monster High by Lisi Harrison
Maximum Ride (Manga, V.1) by James Patterson
My Ultimate Sister Disaster by Jane Mendle
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz
N. Need by Carrie Jones
Numbers by Rachel Ward
O. The Otherworldlies by Jennifer Anne Kogler
Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
P. The Poison Eaters by Holly Black
Possessed by Kate Cann
Prom Nights from Hell by Various
The Pack by LM Preston
Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Pretty Tough by Liz Tigelaar
R. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Refresh, Refresh by Danica Novgorodoff
Robyn (Making a Splash #1) by Jade Parker
Runaway by Meg Cabot
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci
S. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Secrets of Truth & Beauty by Megan Frazer
Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Still Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Save the Date by Tamara Summers
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Sellout by Ebony Joy Wilkins
The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
Suspect by Kristin Wolden Nitz
T. Tagged by Mara Purnhagen
The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones
Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann
The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
V. Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
W. Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood
Witch and Wizard by James Patterson
Wish by Alexandra Bullen
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader by Adrianne Ambrose
Whitney (Making a Splash #3) by Jade Parker
Wired (Skinned #3) by Robin Wasserman
Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
X. X-Isle by Steve Augarde
Z. Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Z by Michael Thomas Ford

Chick Lit Challenge!

Another Reading Challenge! Gooooo Chick Lit!!

I've always been a fan of Chick Lit books - and this is just a great way to be challenged to read more of them! I look forward to seeing what I read. This one is hosted by Chick Lit Teens. The list will be here, and hopefully I can keep it up!

1. http://theninjalibrarian.blogspot.com/2010/01/entrpment-by-m-spooner.html by M. Spooner
2. Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories by Hailey Abbott, et al
3. Invisible I: The Amanda Project by Melissa Kantor and Stella Lennon
4. The Market by J.M. Steele
5. Mixed Bags by Melody Carlson
6. Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
7. Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood
8. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
9. Girl Stays in the Picture by Melissa de la Cruz
10. Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson
11. Movers and Fakers by Lisi Harrison
12. Robyn (Making a Splash) by Jade Parker
13. Runaway by Meg Cabot
14. Caitlin (Making a Splash #2) by Jade Parker
15. My Ultimate Sister Disaster by Jane Mendle
16. Save the Date by Tamara Summers
17. Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
18. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway
19. Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann
20. Pretty Tough by Liz Tigelaar
21. Whitney (Making a Splash #3) by Jade Parker
22. The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
23. Belle of the Brawl by Lisi Harrison

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