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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Desert Tales: Sanctuary by Melissa Marr

Title: Desert Tales: Sanctuary (Wicked Lovely)
Author: Melissa Marr and Xian Nu Studio

ISBN: 9780061493546
Publisher: TOKYOPOP

Page #: No idea. No page numbers.

Source: From My Library


"Discover Melissa Marr's mesmerizing world of Faerie...

The desert is far away from the schemes of the Faerie courts - and that's how Rika likes it. Once a mortal and now a faerie, Rika seeks isolation and revels in her ability to appear invisible to humans. Then, she meets him. Artistic and kind, Jayce is the last person Rika wants to hide from.

But change is coming, challenging Rika's freedom and her new romance, as her past pursues her, even into the heart of the desert..."
First Lines:

(Always difficult in a graphic, but here goes...)
"It's beautiful out here. Warm. The paint nearly dries on my brush before I can capture him. He sees it, too. The beauty in the wilderness. That's one of the traits that makes him interesting to watch."
Page 1-2 (or maybe 2-3?)

I had to read this book twice. The reason being that I really didn't understand what was going on when I first opened the book. I almost wished for a little blurb before I got started that gave me a little insight into what I was seeing/reading. Of course, after a little while it got a whole lot clearer... but I wished for it to start out making sense :).

This is another companion book in this whole Wicked Lovely universe. It's the story of Rika, a former winter girl, who used to be a mortal. Honestly, I had to go back and figure out who she was because it's been a while since I've read one of the Wicked Lovely books. But I think I've got a good handle on it now.

So once I figured out who I was looking at and what was going on, I had a good time with this story. It's very action packed in a very small amount of space. You find out that Rika has been watching this mortal boy for a while and has finally shown herself to him. It's about their blooming relationship and what it is going to become. I do have questions about that Shy dude and his intentions, but I'm hoping that will be answered in the next book.

I've read mangas based on novels in the past. But there's something different about a comic that is drawn straight from the novel - text and all. And this one that was written as a companion to the story. It seems to work better this way and I look forward to reading more that are like this. I think people should sign on to the idea.

I do recommend this book for anyone who is looking to read some manga. I'm not sure if you need the back story of Wicked Lovely to get into it, but it probably helps. I do recommend that you read it twice :), but it's easy to do. I'm definitely going to find the second book so I can see what happens next!

Check out Melissa Marr's website to get more info about her series'.
Other Blog Reviews:

Book Smugglers
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Teen Book Fanatics
Scribing Shadows

Friday, July 30, 2010

Save the Date by Tamara Summers

Title: Save the Date
Author: Tamara Summers
ISBN: 9780061366321
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page #: 314
Source: From My Library

"Victoria Finnegan to marry Kevin Ork in the Rose Bower of Cynthia Flair Botanical Gardens Sunday, June 17, 3 p.m.
Dress: very flowery.

Paris Finnegan is marrying Jiro Kuan on the beach at Huntsville National Park Saturday, August 11, 1 p.m.
Dress: Um . . . she's not really making me wear overalls, right???

Hideous bridesmaid dress fitting #6
Calm Victoria down
Try not to kill Paris
Try not to think about wedding planner's hot son
Do not date wedding planner's hot son
Stop kissing wedding planner's hot son!!!"
First Lines:

"I'm never having a wedding.
When I meet my dream boy - who will not be (a) boring, (b) obnoxiously fit, (c) an enormous roll-playing dork, or (d) a Taiwanese model I barely know, like certain other people's husbands I could mention - my plan is to skip the whole inevitable wedding catastrophe."
Page 1

It probably wasn't very smart for me to read this book right now. It's all about a girl who is suffering through being a bridesmaid for the billionth time because she has lots of older sisters. It's a really cute story and the main characters are a lot of fun. And I loved the book, but I'm trying to set aside my own bridal stuff to review it.

Ahem. I thought it was kinda funny that her older sisters were serious bridezillas, but that word was never used. I was just waiting for it. But alas! It's quite the trip through receptions, showers, ceremonies and all the drama that ensues. I love that she is believes she is cursed because of the dates she brings to the weddings. It's just really clever and gave the story a bit more meat that just a cutesy little book. Well, kinda.

This book was a 24 hour read for me. It was very fast, but a great getaway from all the serious stuff I've been reading lately. It was even fast when I was stopping every once in a while contemplating wedding specifics. I honestly couldn't help it - I've had my own wedding details running in my head lately, so it only makes sense.

I would definitely recommend this to someone looking for a good, light teen romance. It absolutely fits the bill and is a lot of fun along the way. I've read other things by this author and have always enjoyed the books. And after "running around" online, I'm reminded that this is a pseudonym. Well here's the website for the author :). ______________________________________________
Other Blog Reviews:

HPL Teen Space
Okay, so I only found these two reviews. But it could be because when I typed in "Save the Date" and such, I got a lot of wedding stuff. Now I'm staring at Save the Date Magnets. Darn reviewing. :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Title: Halo
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
ISBN: 9780312656263
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (MacMillan)
Page #: 484
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; ans Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone - especially herself - from the Dark Forces.

Is love a great-enough power against evil?

Here is the start of a stunning trilogy; the story continues in Hades (Fall 2011) and Heaven (Fall 2012)."
First Lines:

"Our arrival didn't exactly go as planned. I remember it was almost dawn when we landed because the streetlights were still on. We had hoped our descent would go unnoticed, which mainly it did, save for a thirteen-year-old boy doing a paper round."
Page 1

I'm going to be spending a big portion of this review trying not to gush. Because I absolutely loved this book. Absolutely. Loved. It.

First of all, I know it's a big book. I mean 484 pages, right? Well, here's the thing... This book took me a little while to read (almost a week!!), but it was mostly because I didn't want to rush it. There was something so meaty and wonderful about this story that I didn't want to let it go too quickly. It's one of those stories you want to live in... feel what they feel... all of that. It's just a beautifully written story.

A main portion of the book is definitely the "paranormal romance" bits. There's something very different about this romance. Pardon the term, but it's just very virgin. I don't mean that in a gross way... I mean it in a "the love is so pure and trusting and hopeful that you never feel put off by it." Does that make sense? I do think there are times that I just wanted to strangle the girl for being soooo enthralled, but considering the background it really works.

You can feel the moment that the story takes a turn for the adventure of the darkness... mostly because the author almost spells it out for you. "Don't look now, evil's 'a' comin!" Not what she wrote, but it's close :). But that didn't bother me at all, because it was a perfect point in the book to get more stirring up of the action.

Now, I don't know if I loved this story because of my religious background or not, but I really wanted a lot of the angel stuff to be true. To be how it is outside of this book. Who knows though - it may be. I want to say that I think everyone will fall in love with this book like I have, but I'm thinking it might be a little thinner on the audience. I do hope everyone gives it a try though. Not to mention the beautiful cover.

I do have to say that it was refreshing to have a totally different type of protagonist. There have been a few books lately that are the "fallen angel" stories (which is good and well and I love some of them), but it's really nice to have a character that only knows good and light and expects the best from people. I think the naivete would drive me crazy on any other type of character, but being an angel really allows the character to have that sort of personality. I was rooting for her the whole way through.

Again, I plan on recommending this to tons of people - hopefully even if they're not into the angel thing, they can get into the romance thing. I loved this book and I really hope others love it as well. I'm excited to read the next two books when they come out - and I have to say that this first book doesn't leave you on a huge cliffhanger. It does a great job wrapping things up for you, but keeping you wanting more and wondering what the next step is going to be. So don't worry about not having the next books yet.

Can I just say though, I think it's absolutely amazing that the author is 17 years old. I mean, that really just blows my mind. At 17, I didn't even think about anything outside of getting through the next week! Much less writing a freakin book (and another one, I think, in Australia). Just effin amazing. Kudos, Alexandra Adornetto. I couldn't find a website for her, but I did find a facebook profile. Hopefully it's for real :).
Other Blog Reviews:

YA Addict
Chick Loves Lit
The Tales Compendium
The Fiction Enthusiast
I hope to see lots more reviews of this one when it hits shelves!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:
by Sophie Jordan
Released: September 7, 2010

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"When sixteen-year-old Jacinda, who can change into a dragon, is forced to move away from her community of shapeshifters and start a more normal life, she falls in love with a boy who proves to be her most dangerous enemy."

I think this book sounds fabulous! I should probably read it as soon as possible. Ashamed, I admit that I already own a copy of this ARC. I've looked at it tons of times, but my tbr pile is gigantic. So... yeah. But I'm thinking it might be next! What an awesome cover, by the way :).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What I Learned from Being a Cheerleader by Adrianne Ambrose

Title: What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader
Author: Adrianne Ambrose
ISBN: 9781453620977
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Page #: 116
Source: Bound Galley from the Author

"Eleven-year-old Elaine Rewitzer is funny, smart, and happy being a geek, but when she wins a spot on the Cross Creek Middle School Buccaneers cheerleading squad, she gets totally into her new life. Her best mega-brain friend Bethany warns that Elaine will just become 'part of the heard,' and her best geek-guy-pal, Tim, (who's struggling with nose polyps) feels forgotten.

Will Elaine survive the roller coaster of pre-teen cheerleader fame? Will she win the heart of the cutest boy on the basketball team? Will she confess her 'uncool' love for comic books? Will she lose Bethany and Tim's friendship for-evah?

And when will she get her pom poms???"
First Lines:

"Dear Diary...
Saturday September 26

Today is my eleventh birthday, and I've received the following presents:
From my sister Amy:
A pack of gum - Juicy Fruit.
A blue ball - Bouncy.

She's only five, so that's pretty generous for five."
Page 1

It's not often that I read Middle Grade fiction - because I work with the older teens. But I'm very glad I was given an opportunity to review this one.

This book brought me back to my sixth grade self in a big way. I used to write in a journal (not a diary because that was too girly) when I was in middle school. Didn't we all?? But the language and the topics were totally spot on. Actually, I kinda wish my brain was as analytical as the girl in the story. It was all drama, drama, drama for me :).

I love that it's mostly girls and comics in this book. A lot of times it seems that comics are connected with boy characters more than girls - but this book does a great job of melding that together and making a new look for comics. I thought it was refreshing. Especially when it's a story of learning to accept who you are - and to be proud of it. Just a nice, happy book.

I think adults would enjoy this along with middle grade readers. Teens should probably just skip it as they are beyond the mindset :). But I think it will ring true with a lot of kids and maybe will even help them develop their own ideas of who they are and who they want to be.

The author has a cool blog that you should probably check out.
Other Blog Reviews:

Teens Actually Read
Booking Mama
Is this it?? I think more middle grade reading blogs should pick this one up. It's definitely a lot of fun. :)

Great News!

As many of you probably know, Libraries are going through kind of a hard time right now budget-wise. There have been more cuts than we'd like to admit.

Back in April, the Library I work for received their proposed budget cuts for the new fiscal year. It was a pretty massive chop in our funding. Enough so that my Library started handing out layoff notices. More specifically, over 400 layoff notices. People, of course, were outraged. This meant closing a lot of branches and a lot less books and programs.

I was one of those who received a layoff notice.

I was pretty stressed about it for a long time. Because of living costs, I would not have been able to stay in my same living situation. Meaning, I'd have to move somewhere I have family to stay with. And it would also force me to start job searching again - and knowing the dire state of Libraries right now, I was really nervous.

Because that initial budget cut was only the proposed budget, there was time for petitioning, postcard campaigns, rallies, read-ins, and more. My Library and our customers picked ourselves up and started protesting. The response from the public was almost overwhelming.

Once the official budget was passed, they had restored a little over half of what we need. This saved several people from being laid off. Not me, though. But this last week has changed a few things. The Library met with our union to work out some job saving things... and on Wednesday they started calling people to rescind their layoff notices.

I was out of the office this week for my birthday, so I wasn't sure if I would get a call. Several coworkers sent me facebook messages letting me know that I had to be saved. Last night I got back into town and had a letter waiting for me from my employer. It was my official notice that they have rescinded my layoff notice.

I still have a job!!

I am soooo relieved, I cannot even begin to describe. Now all I have to do is remember all of those things I said I would do if I didn't get laid off (buy a new purse, start some list, etc).

Now, just because I didn't get laid off doesn't mean no one did. There are still 46 people in my Library that are going to be laid off. Their last day is September 3rd. What a depressing day. Please keep these people in your thoughts - because losing a job can feel devastating.

It's hard to celebrate when others are in such a bad spot, but I'm really, really, really happy. YAY!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's my Birthday!

I know I've been sort of awol this week, but I wanted you all to know it's because of this vacation I'm on. It's not much of a vacation - except for being away from work!
But today is my birthday, so I'm sort of celebrating it by doing wedding things :). Got a dress yesterday and have had a few other appointments. Good times. Anyway, I'm not purposely ignoring the blogging... but I'm just kinda busy, ya know?

So don't give up on me! I'm coming back next week. Already have a couple of books I need to blog about. So keep an eye out for that. Hope you're all having a fantastic week! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
ISBN: 9780316042673
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Page #: 563
Source: From My Library

"Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything."
First Lines:

"There were only two kinds of people in our town. 'The stupid and the suck,' my father had affectionately classified our neighbors. 'The ones who are bound to stay or too dumb to go. Everyone else finds a way out.'"
Page 1

The one thing that comes to mind when I think about this book is how big it is and how long it took me to read. Seriously, it took me quite a while to finish this one. I don't think it has anything to do with the story - the story is good and full of action... but it just took ages to get there. So don't start this one unless you're ready for a marathon.

I was surprised to realize that this book was written from the guy's perspective. The summary made it seem like it would be the girl - since it was listed first. So I was a little confused at first about who we were meeting. Not to mention, how many romance books do you have from a guys perspective?? Not that many, I'd wager.

All the elements are here for a great novel - a believable romance, magic, crazy characters, voodoo, high school drama, good guys, bad guys, and so on. It has everything! But I really didn't get hooked until pretty far in (we're talking halfway or more - which is a lot when there are 563 pages). I do appreciate the care the authors took with the romance. It seemed to build like a legit romance... not just "we met yesterday and it's going to last forever!" and all that.

I think one of the reasons I was sort of trudging through the beginning was the constant references to To Kill a Mockingbird. It always throws me off when authors do this - they compare several things in the book to a classic they assume everyone has read. I read To Kill a Mockingbird ages ago... it was in school and I don't recall liking it (because I rarely liked books after they were dissected to death). So for there to be comparisons, I have to stop and think about the classic and remember what a character was like. It's something I've noticed more and more of lately. I kinda wish that wasn't the case.

Now, I really can't fault a book for having a really kick ass Librarian character. I mean, Marian the Librarian - wonderful! I loved that she was one of the seriously rational characters in the story. She sounds like someone I'd love to hang out with :).

This story was more dark and scary than I was anticipating. I mean, I'm glad it was, we can always use a good horror now and again. I just wasn't expecting to be spooked while I read it. But it was well done, the spook factor. And everything seemed to be tied up really well in the end. You weren't left wondering too much about what had happened. Which I appreciate knowing there is another book on the way. Not too much of a cliffhanger.

I'm definitely going to be recommending this book to my paranormal romance lovers. I know a lot of other reviews are out there that rave about this book, so I'm sure my teens will love it too. The authors have a website that you should check out. There's lots of good stuff about the books on there.
Other Blog Reviews:

The Bibliophilic Book Blog
Not Enough Bookshelves
Dark Angel's Blog
Beyond Books
Library Lounge Lizard

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Fill-In (21)

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

1. This is what life does. It lets you appreciate the little things and change your outlook.

2. Sometimes it is hard to stop and appreciate the moment.

3. Upon reflection perhaps I should try to do that more often. Appreciate what's around me.

4. I've been waiting for this vacation for quite a long time.

5. Later, you wake up and realize it was all just a dream. sigh.

6. Tally-ho! to the far and boundless sea. (no idea. just ignore me.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to beginning my wonderful vacation from work, tomorrow my plans include going to the green market in Union Square and Sunday, I want to do a little shopping and sleep in really late!

Is it Friday Already?!?

I honestly can't believe it's Friday again! But today is even more exciting because my vacation from work officially starts tomorrow (or late tonight after I get off work). So exciting!! But what's also exciting is hopping around the blogosphere and seeing all the wonderful new people out there! Welcome to my blog and I look forward to hearing from you all! :) On to the hops...
The awesome Jennifer from Crazy-for-Books hosts this one. And she's got another question for us this week:

The one I'm most excited about is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. If you haven't read the Hunger Games series, you seriously need to look into it immediately. This third book comes out August 24 and I absolutely cannot wait!
I'm also excited about Torment by Lauren Kate. I loved Fallen, so hopefully this one will stand up to it! This one comes out September 14. Soooo far away!

And just to throw this out there, I have a list on my blog (it's linked at the top called "Hot New Titles") of all the YA books that are coming out in the next, like, year. I say all, but it's really not complete. But it's a good place to check to see the upcoming releases! Just sayin. :)
And next we have....

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - www.onceuponachapter.com
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
Have a very happy Friday everyone!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Library Chatter (1)

Sometime last week, I mentioned starting some posts that are Library related - as in some of the things that we Librarians do every day and would love to share. I know I'm consumed all day every day with book lists, programs, crafts, and so on... So perhaps sharing some of those will keep me blogging more often and about things I care about (besides books and reviewing them and all that).

Now, I know the image I made is really, really basic. But I'd be happy to change it if someone has wonderful button knowledge. On to my first bit of Library Chatter. What better way to start this off than a craft I presented yesterday:

Snow Globe Craft Project
Grades 7-12

I had seen this project online a few times and figured it wouldn't be too difficult to do with my teens. Though, it wasn't exactly simple, but they had a fun time making a mess. :).

You start with jars - any size will do, I think. We used 12 ounce jars that I ordered from SKS Bottle & Packaging. As long as the tops have a good seal on them, you should be fine.

The next step is to have things for the kids to either glue or float in their jars. I had a few things. If they wanted plastic bits, I had buttons, shells, and little army guys. There's also a way to float a picture in the jar that I offered as an option. I like the picture idea the best - most of my teens just combined them all and filled the jars completely with stuff :).

If you do choose to float a picture, be sure you have enough packing tape for the kids to "laminate" the pictures. Speaking of pictures, I just gave them old weeded comic books and old magazines. I had a lot of takers on Spider Man. hah. You do have to make sure that the picture isn't too small - otherwise it will just float to the top and stay there.

Anyway, once they've fixed up the inside of the jar, it's time for the water and glitter. Make sure you fill it with enough water that you don't have a huge air bubble when you finish (though you can always add more later). Then you have to put corn syrup in each jar. This is to keep the glitter from sticking together and to give it the "snow globe consistency." Don't use too much, though, because it will make the water cloudy. (Science Lesson anyone?)

In terms of glitter, I think the solid colors work best (instead of the multi colored stuff). I would suggest not putting in too much at first - or they will just have to dump the water and start over. The glitter can get a bit overpowering. You can also have other floaty bits. Whatever you've got.

Once they closed it up, many of my kids decided to decorate the outside of their jars. Pipe Cleaners, buttons, googly eyes... whatever you've got. It's a craft explosion! :)

I had a few teens who needed help with ideas, but other than that it was a pretty self sufficient project. We did have hands on deck to help with the water and corn syrup part. I would recommend the project for other libraries if you have the manpower - and if you're looking for a fun time instead of a gorgeous outcome :).

Here are a few of my sources for knowing what to get and how to do the project:

Have you ever tried to make a snow globe before? How did it turn out?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Dead is Just a Rumor
by Marlene Perez
Published: August 23, 2010

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"Psychic teen Daisy Giordano has her hands full trying to find out who is behind the blackmail letters being sent to paranormal residents of Nightshade, while also worrying about her werewolf boyfriend going away to college and the possibly lethal cooking lessons she is taking with a sinister chef."

I have loved the other books in this series. They are a wonderful mysteries that have a flare of fantasy thrown in. So I am looking forward to this newest installment - it sounds like a lot of fun. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

Title: The Rise of Renegade X
Author: Chelsea M. Campbell
ISBN: 9781606840603
Publisher: Egmont
Page #: 340
Source: From My Library

"Damien Locke knows his destiny - attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City's next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he's the product of his supervillain mother's one-night stand with - of all people - a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined.

Now forced to live with his superhero family, Damien must prove that he's truly evil. Only he wasn't counting on a villainous plot that threatens his new relatives' safety and will make Damien choose who he really wants to be.

Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy's struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up."
First Lines:

"Golden City isn't your average tourist trap. Sure, it's got its tall buildings, and the one street everyone knows the crazies hang out on - the teens with green hair and lip piercings that tourists think are an attraction somehow."
Page 2

It's always fun to read a superhero story - I particularly enjoy ones that are written in novel form instead of comic. And this book, to be honest, kinda took the cake. There's something so fun and different about the writing in this book, I almost couldn't help but love it!

I think the one thing that really stood out for me in this book was the conversation... as in, the snarkiness of it. The number of times Damien talked his way into or out of situations was always comical. It was just so clever that I couldn't help rooting for the bad guys... I mean good guys... I mean... yeah, so rooting for the characters.

I can only imagine how hard it would be to write a book from the supervillain point of view. I mean, how evil do you make them? Is every thought evil? Do they just have these crazy schemes to show how evil they are every once in a while? I liked how our main character Damien wasn't always the worst dude in the world - but if you crossed him, he'd put robotic scorpions in your book bag.

I think that anyone who loves superhero/villain stories will get a kick out of this book. I know I did. There's a bit of romance (and honestly, the chicks in this book are always the problem :)), but it's not so much that guys wouldn't want to read this one. So I'm recommending it for everyone. That's right, everyone.

While looking around for the author's info, I ran across her blog. Can I just say that her writing is just as humorous there as it comes across in this novel? I'm kind of impressed and more than a little jealous - how cool would it be for your brain to be that clever all the time?! Too fun.
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Smugglers
Steph Su Reads
YAB Book Review
SciFi Chick
Manga Maniac Cafe
Chick Lit Teens
Laura's Review Bookshelf
Opinionated? Me?

Friday Fill-In (20)

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

1. Layers of sand in the bathing suit is really uncomfortable. :)
2. Sometimes I wish I had more insight into the mind of our crazy customers.
3. I'd be willing to bet that I won't leave the house this weekend. It's too hot! (hopefully joking)
4. Red rooster squeeky toys scare the dog.
5. I'm fond of thinking about upcoming vacations - even if they're only wedding planning, not beach, related.
6. Sometimes I think I complain too much!
7. As for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to Michaels to get craft supplies for my programs, tomorrow my plans include scrapbooking and otherwise being lazy, and Sunday I want to keep from melting into a puddle. It's possible, people! :)

It's Friday Again!

These Fridays seem to be getting closer and closer, don't they?? So, we're back with more following fun. First up... the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books!
Just head on over to her blog to enter your url into her linky thingy.... and answer the weekly question!

This week's question: Tell us about some of your favorite authors and why they are your favorites!
I have to admit that this one is kinda hard to narrow down. But I'll sure try:
1. Libba Bray - I have loved absolutely everything she's written so far. I'm constantly handing her books to unsuspecting teens and they're getting a treat!
2. James Patterson (YA) - I know this is a stock answer, but there really is something about his Maximum Ride series that has me hooked. He's always good for a fun ride (at least his books are. ahem).
3. Scott Westerfeld - It all started with his Uglies series and just keeps growing from there. I think I'd read anything he writes.
4. Richelle Mead - Vampire Academy. Need I say more??
5. Lisi Harrison - She is slowly becoming one of my favorites. I haven't read the Clique series, but everything else has been so much fun! I'm especially loving the Alphas series. She's very clever and I look forward to more of her writing.
And next up we have the Follow My Book Blog Friday that is hosted by Parajunkee's View.

Head on over to check that out as well! I love the graphic for this one :). Here are the rules straight from the source:

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - www.theunreadreader.com
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
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Have a wonderful Friday everyone!! Look forward to gaining some new friends today :).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lovin' Libraries

So, I've decided to start doing my own meme. This one is pretty specific, but other Librarians are welcome to join in.

I spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in my library. That being said, my brain is pretty full of library stuff. And there are times that I think, "I should probably blog about that." So here are a few things I intend to do some posts about:

"Reader's Advisory" (lists of books in a particular genre)
Weird Customers - or Crazy Quotes (Our customers ask some of the weirdest things. I'm debating this one on the off-chance one of them may read it. Very unlikely, but still.)
YA Crafts (We do programs all year long - especially in summertime. Many of those are crafts, so I think it would be cool to show what some of those are.)
General Rants - pretty self explanatory, right?

And anything else that comes up that I feel the need to talk about. Does that sound like a good plan? I'm hoping to post once a week, but we'll see how that logistically pans out.

Maybe I will even start it up soon :).

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Today I'm looking forward to...

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June
by Robin Benway
Published: August 3, 2010

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"Recovering supernatural abilities from their childhoods in the aftermath of their parents' divorce, three sisters respectively use their foretelling, invisibility and mind-reading abilities to tackle school and family challenges before discovering the power of their relationship with each other."

After reading Audrey, Wait!, I knew I had to read anything else this author published. The other story was so funny and well written, I honestly can't wait for this one. And it's cool that there might be a hint of fantasy in this one. I can imagine that it will be wonderful! Less than a month now! :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Ultimate Sister Disaster by Jane Mendle

Title: My Ultimate Sister Disaster
Author: Jane Mendle
ISBN: 9780312369040
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Page #: 198
Source: BEA hand-me-down.

"If there were a way to pick your family, fourteen-year-old Franny might not pick her own. Her father is a hipster boutique owner who's constantly 'friending' her on Facebook; her mother is off in Kenya jump-starting her stalled anthropology career; and her sister, Zooey, eleven months older and eight inches taller, is a precocious prima ballerina. Lately, Zooey's so absorbed with her burgeoning ballet career that she barely seems to notice Franny. And since Zooey attends a top ballet conservatory, Franny's on her own navigating the brutal halls of her Manhattan prep school, a first-year trying to get noticed at the school paper (and by its soulful, long-lashed editor in chief).

But everything changes when Zooey breaks her leg and her dancing comes to a grinding halt. Her ballet dreams shattered, she begins to hone in on Franny's 'normal' life and friends. Franny feels terrible for Zooey, but when her encroachment starts to extend to Franny's longtime crush, Franny begins to wonder if her sister might just be her worst competition."
First Lines:

"It's not like I'm complaining. Really. Because I guess my life could be a whole lot worse than it really is."
Page 1

I honestly didn't realize that I have read something by this author before. A few years ago, I picked up Kissing in Technicolor - I think I got it from a library book sale. So I probably have it stashed away somewhere. I recall liking it, but I don't really remember what it was about. That was actually before I started blogging and being a librarian, both. Go figure. And it looks like I need to go back and read Better Off Famous? - because that's the one written about the most, it seems.

I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this newest book by Mendle. I did have to crank through the beginning though. It didn't run as smoothly as I like, sometimes. But soon the story took off and I got really involved. I think part of my interest in this book is the sisterly relationship... because I don't have a sister and I've always thought about what that would be like. Seems like this book shows all sides of it!

There are several things about this story that seem a little unrealistic - I mean, how many people have parents that far out there. I mean, perhaps NYC is a bit more prone to the random types... but I guess it seems weird because people like that are so few and far between. At least, in my bubble.

This is one of those cute and safe romances that takes you on lots of other adventures as well. It's partially about a girl who is finding out who she is and who she wants to be. That aspect of the story was really strong and I think a lot of girls will identify with it. And conveniently, there are boys involved. Of course.

I think that girls from middle grades up through high school would enjoy this story. Even though it's about a girl who is 14, I think the older girls will appreciate the relationships and the sisterly drama. It's a wonderful story and I will be excited to pass it along to the girls at my library. This is also a story that I could see a continuation from. There's a lot more pieces that could be taken on - and I would love to see the next step in the girls' lives. Here's hoping!
Other Blog Reviews:

A Life Bound By Books
Whatchamacallit Reviews
Fresh Fiction
The Neverending Shelf
Genre Go Round Reviews

Caitlin (Making a Splash #2) by Jade Parker

Title: Caitlin (Making a Splash #2)
Author: Jade Parker
ISBN: 9780545045414
Publisher: Point
Page #: 245
Source: From my Library

"Caitlin's Summer to-do List
1. Lifeguard job at Tsunami, the water park's most popular pool. Keep the rowdy guys in line.

2. Avoid Michael Romeo. So what if he's cute and makes me laugh?

3. Solve the Whitney mystery - what's going on there?

4. Buy new bathing suit!

5. Stop thinking about Michael Romeo!!"
First Lines:

"It was disgusting. My brother kissing my best friend. Not that they were kissing right that minute - because Sean was driving."
Page 1

I read the first book sometime last week and loved it enough that I searched out the second book (not that I had to search hard, I knew we had it at my library). You can check out that review first because I can't promise no spoilers - the stories directly flow into each other.

Can I just say, though, that these cute, fun stories set at a very cool sounding pool makes me severely jealous? I would love to spend the summer at a pool. Any pool, really. Alas.

Anyway, this story is a ton of fun. There's a whole new level of drama. These books have a pretty set formula, but it's nice and safe - and very well recieved by me :). Can I reiterate how fast these books are?! They are perfect for a summer read.

I will be picking up the third (and final) one of these books as soon as I can get my hands on it. Hopefully before summer is over because this is the time for them. I absolutely recommend that you all get your hands on them while you can! If I say fun again, I might explode... but SO FUN!

As I said in the other review, Jade Parker is a pen name for Rachel Hawthorne. So check out more of her books. I've read a few and loved them.

Oh, and for the record... Barnesandnoble.com screwed up this summary as well. They listed the leading guy as Jason... not Michael Romeo. Do you think there was a name change before they published? Actually, that doesn't make sense because the whole book revolves around the name. Weird. And unfortunate.
Other Blog Reviews:

I saw reviews for the other two books, but I couldn't find one for this one. At least not in blogs. Go figure. So... you should all read and review it! Be in the minority and all that. :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hayate the Combat Butler (Vol 1&2) by Kenjiro Hata

Title: Hayate the Combat Butler
Author: Kenjiro Hata
ISBN(s): 9781421508528 (vol 1); 9781421508511 (vol 2)
Publisher: Viz Media
Page #(s): 182 (vol 1); 186 (vol 2)
Source: From my Library

(Volume 1)
"Since the tender age of nine, Hayate Ayasaki has busted his behind at various part-time jobs to support his degenerate gambler parents. And how do they repay their son's selfless generosity? By selling his organs to the yakuza to cover their debts! But fate throws Hayate a bone... sort of.

Hardworking Hayate has a plan to pay back the yakuyza - who are the legal owners of his body parts: he'll kidnap someone and ransom them for a mountain of money! But things get trickywhen his would-be kidnappee - who as luck would have it is the daughter of a mind-bogglingly wealthy family - mistakes Hayate's actions for a confession of love, and subsequently hires him to be her personal servant. At least his employment future is secure, or so he thinks..."

(Volume 2)

"Hayate's new career as a live-in butler for the mega-moneyed Sanzenin family is in full swing, but this job requires more than just mental fortitude and brute strength - he needs to be entertaining too. Whether it's standing up to fire-spewing robots or protecting his mistress's millions from her tycoon grandfather, Hayate must remain calm, composed, and hilarious at all times. the question now is whether Hayate will actually live long enough to pay off his debts... and things aren't looking too good!"

First Lines:

"So I made my decision. On the day Santa didn't give me any good presents... I would become a 'bad person'!"
Page 5, I think

So... there's two reasons I decided to read these books. One being that I didn't have enough room on my shelves, so I opted to take them out instead. The second is that I need to read more manga to make sure I'm up on what my kids are reading. And that's manga. No doubt about it. Honestly, this one might not be all that popular righ tnow - as I was able to get volumes one and two in my first shot. That's not always a good sign :).

Anyway, so I've read a few manga in the past. I'm not counting any of those that are novel-to-manga though... I'm meaning ones that originated somewhere else (Japan, mostly) and have been translated into English. But I'm not sure that I've read enough to really have a strong point of view when it comes to this particular manga. So take anything I say with a grain of salt.

First of all, I think the story is a lot of fun. I mean, the whole parents selling your organs to pay off debts thing is pretty funny - and there's a lot that can be done with that. This story has our main character Hayate running from them and looking for ways to pay back the debts. I thought it was very humorous that his first thought was to kidnap someone... not rob a bank or something :). Maybe that's a westernized idea.

I also loved all of the misunderstandings and drama that followed. It seems like a great story for anyone to get into - guys, girls, anyone. There's plenty of action and there are a few romantic spots as well. They really tried to cover all of the bases.

Now, there are a few things that kinda threw me off (and I'm not sure if this is a complaint of manga in general or this particular one). One of those is that it was almost like the characters were acting out a play - because of all the asides that were like, "I thought this was a boy manga!" Like they were only telling the story and showing you what happened... instead of it just being like a novel. Another thing had to do with the art - I really loved the art. I did. Now, I get confused sometimes about who the characters are. Especially in the second book where there are a lot more new ones. I just had a hard time keeping them straight (especially when Hayate looks so much like a girl sometimes).

But beyond those things, I really enjoyed the story a lot. People don't tend to ask for recommendations when it comes to manga (at least in my experience), but I think this one is worthy. I'm not sure if I'll read the rest of the volumes - it's a large undertaking - but maybe one day I'll get around to it. :)
Other Blog Reviews:

Anime News Network
My Anime List
Shonen Sunday (I think you can read it from here)
Mainichi Anime Yume
Er... okay, so a lot of these talk about the anime instead of the manga. I haven't seen it, but it seems like it might be cool. Oh, and there are other reviews of the books, but they all seem to be later volumes. So, check those out. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Runaway by Meg Cabot

Title: Runaway (Airhead #3)
Author: Meg Cabot
ISBN: 9780545040600
Publisher: Point
Page #: 310
Source: From my library

"Em Watts is on the run.
She's on the run from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself.

With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can't explain, and nothing but the live Stark Angel fashion show on New Year's Eve to look forward to, Em's reached the end of her rope... what's the point of even going on?

But when she discovers the truth about Nikki's secret, she knows there's only one person she can turn to.

Will Christopher be able to put aside his personal feelings and help her expose her employer to the world? Is it even fair to get Christopher involved - since if he agrees, there's every chance that Stark Enterprises will try to have them both killed - this time, permanently?

Maybe it would be better to keep on running."
First Lines:

"So according to the tabloids, I'm on a secret love getaway (not so secret anymore now, though, is it? Thank you Us Weekly) with Brandon Stark, the only son and sole heir of billionaire Robert Stark, currently the fourth-richest person in the world, after Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Ingvar Kamprad (who founded IKEA, in case you didn't know)."
Page 1

Well, I've been trolling around Meg Cabot's website trying to figure out of Runaway is the last book in this series or not. She has a pretty cool site, by the way... but I couldn't find anything about next books. So, I guess I'll talk about this one like it is.

This is the third book in the Airhead series - a story of girls who switch their brains into each others bodies. Actually, that doesn't cover it at all. It's more like, evil company has plot to take over the world and starts with attempting to kill their star (because she knows too much) and have someone else's brain put into her body. Ta da! Sorta. It's a lot of fun and there are tons of twists and turns.

If you haven't read the first two books, I'm not sure if you wanna read the rest of the review. I would say that you need to go find those, though. They're definitely worth picking up. Meg Cabot is an amazing author and you would benefit from reading any of her stories.

Now, the whole story line in this book is a bit fuzzy at first. It does a little bit of recapping, but I was having a hard time keeping interested for the first few chapters. I think it's because I was trying to remember who was who (some of the characters were introduced right at the end of the last book) and what their personalities were.

But once I got back into the swing of the story, I loved the trip it took me on. There's a whole twist in this one that shows another side to the Stark company and it's fairly shocking. I mean, if this happened in real life... I can't even imagine. But it made for an awesome page turner.

One of the reasons I question whether this is the last book or not is because of all the wrapping up that takes place in the last couple of chapters. It's almost a bit rushed. A little like there were loose ends that needed to be tied up - and fast. It also gave a little bit of the "where are they now" at the end. That gave the book a very final feel. I'm not sure if that's what was intended, but that's how it felt.

I would definitely read another book in this series if she wrote one. It's a fun concept and I think there's still more that can be done with it.
PS... does it bother anyone else that the story line from that tv show Drop Dead Diva is almost exactly like the Airhead story? Except opposite. It's very irritating to me. Sorry. Tiny rant over.
Other Blog Reviews:

Presenting Lenore
Bibliophilic Book Blog
The Story Siren
Steph Su Reads
Stiletto Storytime

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