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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (94)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Masque of the Red Death
by Bethany Griffin
To be released: April 24, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her."

Isn't the cover amazing? I love ones like this that really catch the eye. And the premise sounds really interesting. Sounds like it's the end of the world with a little romance. I'm on board, for sure!

What are you waiting on this week?

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

Title: The Wednesday Wars
Author: Gary D. Schmidt
ISBN: 9780547237602
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released: 05/21/2007
Page # 272
Source: Overdrive Audio through my library

"Meet Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader at Camillo Junior High, who must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while the rest of the class has religious instruction. Mrs. Baker doesn’t like Holling—he’s sure of it. Why else would she make him read the plays of William Shakespeare outside class? But everyone has bigger things to worry about, like Vietnam. His father wants Holling and his sister to be on their best behavior: the success of his business depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has so much to contend with? A bully demanding cream puffs; angry rats; and a baseball hero signing autographs the very same night Holling has to appear in a play in yellow tights! As fate sneaks up on him again and again, Holling finds Motivation—the Big M—in the most unexpected places and musters up the courage to embrace his destiny, in spite of himself."
First Lines:

"Of all the kids in the seventh grade at Camillo Junior High, there was one kid that Mrs. Baker hated with heat whiter than the sun."
Page 1

Full disclosure: I listened to this as an audiobook. I only feel the need to mention it because I really don't do that ever. And it feels weird to say I've read a book that really I just listened to. But I felt the need to post a review anyway :).

I now understand why I have been told to read this book so many times. It is, without a doubt, an amazing story. There's so much depth and humor and tragedy and love... it's amazing. I know there are some schools who have started reading this book in class - which really makes me wish I had it around in middle school. Ah well, I think I'm going to have a hard time doing this review without gushing a little bit.

At its core, this is a book about a seventh grade boy who has mishaps and crushes and embarrassing stories. But while he is reading Shakespeare one on one with his teacher, he begins to learn some larger life lessons that he wouldn't have gotten otherwise. He starts to see the world in a whole new way - a world that is being torn apart by the Vietnam War. He also begins to understand people better... and even compares them to Shakespeare characters.

Some of the adult characters were my favorite. Mrs. Baker sounds like an amazing teacher. His mother also sounds like an amazing woman - especially toward the end where you really see her personality come out. His sister is hilarious and the love between them is super obvious. I love that. There are so few books where the siblings actually care for each other like that. Holling's friends at school are wonderful, too. I think I laughed just about every time they had some crazy run-in.

There is just so much depth to this story, I'm not sure there is any way I can write a review that would do it justice. I do think that a class could spend weeks and weeks talking about all the different levels, though. Hello book club pick! Anyway, I really enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. And I know other people will too.

One note on the audio format - I thought the reader did a fantastic job. The thing that really stuck out to me was his emphasis on some of the Long Island accents. I think that may have made the book come alive for me even more. So I guess I'm recommending the format as well.

If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend you do. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Other Blog Reviews:

Alternate Readality
Librarilly Blonde
Project Mayhem
Jennifer Rumberger
Reading for Sanity
Quirky Girls Read
Jenni Elyse

2012 Fascination Awards - Librarian Blog

Accelerated Degree Programs

So, I found out recently that my blog has been nominated for an award! I'm super excited about it :). The voting will begin on Monday, February 27 and I would love it if I could get your help. Here the link/badge for the voting (when it's time).

accelerated degrees

Thank you to you all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (93)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Losers in Space
by John Barnes
To be released: April 12, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"It is the year 2129 . . . and fame is all that matters
Susan and her friends are celebutantes. Their lives are powered by media awareness, fed by engineered meals, and underscored by cynicism. Everyone has a rating; the more viewers who ID you, the better. So Susan and her almost-boyfriend Derlock cook up a surefire plan: the nine of them will visit a Mars-bound spaceship and stow away. Their survival will be a media sensation, boosting their ratings across the globe. There's only one problem: Derlock is a sociopath. Breakneck narrative, pointed cultural commentary, warm heart, accurate science, a kickass heroine, and a ticking clock . . . who could ask for more?"

I think this premise sounds fantastic. I can't wait to see what this world is like - can you imagine having to rely completely on other people recognizing you?! I really look forward to getting my hands on this book!

What are you waiting on this week?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Pledge
Author: Kimberly Derting
ISBN: 9781442422018
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released: November 15, 2011
Page #: 323
Source: My public library

"In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking in their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max, who speaks a language she's never heard before... and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills become real emergencies and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime."
First Lines:

"The air crackled like a gathering thunderstorm the moment the girl entered the chamber. She was just a child, but her presence changed everything."
Page 3

This book has made me realize that I need to read everything written by Kimberly Derting, STAT. I had looked into her other stuff before, but had I known her writing was so good... I wouldn't have waited.

So, this is the story of Charlie who lives in a world where the classes are distinguished by separate languages - and schools, and lives, and everything. The lower classes are not supposed to understand what each of the upper classes are saying - but Charlie does. And in her world, that is punishable by death. Her family goes to great lengths to hide what she can do, but when the powers that be begin warring with each other, her secret is found out. And what it MEANS and what it makes her...

There is a surprise around every corner in this book - lots of secrets being revealed - all the way to the ending. I had lots of "Oh no she didn't..." and "Wait, they're what?!" moments. There were a few that I saw coming - that were built to so you kinda realized before you're hit with the truth. Others were so out of the blue that I got startled by them. Many of them changed the entire tone of the story for me. I almost need to re-read the whole book knowing what I know now about the characters.

That being said, I loved the characters. Even the people who are secondary to the main story hold a huge role at some point - the friends, the enemies, the military... they are all so distinct, you can't help but notice them. I feel like that is the mark of an awesomely written story.

The world these people live in is so vivid and realistic, it almost hurts. On one hand, I cannot imagine a place where people are separated so wholely that they don't even speak the same language anymore. And on the other hand, it's almost too familiar. People keep to themselves because of the penalties. There is a group that resists the entire regime - and they are the ones that set the events in motion for the end.

There's something to be said for a highly romantic book - and this one definitely fits the bill. Love in different classes might as well be love in different galaxies. Sometimes love stories can seem a bit over-affected, but I think the author did a great job. It made that part of the story feel very real and intense. Loved everything about it :).

Obviously, I'm trying not to give anything away here. The book is absolutely worth it and I highly recommend you find a copy sooner rather than later. It's a wild ride and I truly didn't want to put it down. Of course, now I'm wishing it was longer so I can delve back into it... but I guess that's just the sign of a good book. Definitely give this one a try - you won't regret it.
Other Blog Reviews:

Candace's Book Blog
Rhapsody in Books
Book Flame
Ali's Bookshelf
At Home with Books
Wicked Awesome Books
Portrait of a Book
Reading Nook

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (92)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

I Hunt Killers
by Barry Lyga
To be released: April 03, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?
Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.
In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?"

I think this book sounds fantastic. I've read other titles by this author and loved them - so I know this book will be well written and wonderful. Plus, how awesome is it to delve into the brain of a possible serial killer?! I'm definitely going to be picking this one up.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Every Other Day by Jennifer LYnn Barnes

Title: Every Other Day
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
ISBN: 9781606841693
Publisher: Egmont
Released: December 27, 2011
Page #: 329
Source: My public library

"Every second day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to high school. She attends pep rallies (reluctantly). She's human.

And every other day... she's not.
Though she's not quite sure what she is on those days, Kali knows what she does - she hunts, traps, and kills demons, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures that threaten her world. On those days, she is practically indestructible.

But when Kali notices a mark on a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of those unworldly beings. And she knows she has only twenty-four hours to save her.

There's only one problem - it's the wrong twenty-four hours."
First Lines:

"The decision to make hellhounds an endangered species was beyond asinine, but I expected nothing less from a government that had bankrolled not one, but two, endowed chairs in preternatural biology (one of them my father's) at the University That Shall Not Be Named. The same government that thought you could train a horde of zombies just as easily as Pavlov's dogs."
Page 1

Can you imagine living in a world where preternatural beings are sort of the norm? I can't, but it's an interesting start to a very cool story. There's so much more to it besides what the summary mentions - I even felt a little confused when the summary was solved in the first hundred pages.

Okay, so it is the story about a girl who spends every other day as a super-hunter of preternatural beings. She doesn't know how or why this happens to her, just that there's nothing she can do to control it. That is, until a girl at school is attacked by one of these creatures and she has to take action. This sets into motion something much bigger than you'd expect. There's a whole world of people studying these beings and are looking for ways to understand them. And Kali throws that into a whirlwind.

I really enjoyed this story. Kali may be a confused teenager, but her core is a kickass girl - even though she's not sure what to do with it and needs to find out if she's the only one. But once things are set into motion in this book, she really starts to understand her purpose and why things are happening. It gives the story a little mystery and depth to it.

There's a whole mess of government stuff in this book - including Kali's father. She starts to realize that there have been cover-ups on top of cover-ups... and that her existence may just be one of those things. While she has always been a loner, she starts to meet people at school. But soon realizes that their friendship was on purpose.

It really is a great story and I'm having trouble explaining it without giving too much away. There are layers upon layers of story in this book. I know many people who are into the supernatural books will get into this one. I definitely think it is worth a read. I will be recommending it to many fantasy readers. Fingers crossed that there will be another book - there's so much more to discover!
Other Blog Reviews:

Mundie Moms
Book'd Out
A Dream of Books
Bewitched Book Worms
The Book Smugglers
The Windy Pages
Moonlight Book Reviews
Book Passion for Life

Out This Week Feb 12-18

Here are some awesome things coming out this week! And it's just a handful of them...
  • 2.14.12 Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
  • 2.14.12 The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

  • 2.16.12 The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
  • 2.14.12 The Nightmare Garden (Iron Codex #2) by Caitlin Kittredge

  • 2.16.12 The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
  • 2.16.12 Trafficked by Kim Purcell

  • 2.14.12 Various Positions by Martha Schabas
  • 2.16.12 My Family for the War by Anne G. Voohoere

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (91)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

The List
by Sibhan Vivian
To be released: April 01, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.
It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.
This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two."

I have read one other book by this author and I absolutely loved it. I know the concept of the list in high school is sort of out there already, but I know it will be well written. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Title: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father
Author: Jessica Brody
ISBN: 9780374323035
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Released: July 03, 2012
Page #: 337
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Famous teen heiress Lexington Larrabee has never had to work a day in her life. But all of that changes on her eighteenth birthday when her ever-absent mogul father decides to take a more positive approach to her life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever want to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there's anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it's dealing with the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her. Readers of all ages are sure to fall in love with Jessica Brody's delightful riches-to-rags comedy."
First Lines:

"My father is going to kill me.
Actually, on second thought, he probably doesn't have time to kill me. But he is going to send someone to do it for him. He's really good at that. Sending people."
Page 3

The story of a girl with too much money, too much time, and not enough common sense. Wouldn't that be a great problem to have. She does have problems though - the press. Her absent father. And her father's employees who seem to be out to get her. Because of her recent show of disregard for life in general, her father has decided to implement a year of menial jobs for her to do. Each one more tedious than the last. Not to mention that she now has a babysitter who is basically a robot.

In all honesty, I hated the main character from page one. Not in a "what a terrible chacter" or "I envy that life" kinda ways. It's more of a "I just want to shake some sense into her" thing. I do realize that I needed that opinion to really feel better about the ending. There are some changes that happen halfway through the book that make it all worth while.

This book was a little bit like watching a Disney movie. The characters are people you can really easily picture and understand. They seem to wear everything on their sleeves (for the most part). There are some funny parts where you think, "oh, that's just like her!" or something... then there are serious bits that don't seem so serious. See? Made for tv movie. Really, that's not a knock on the book - it's just an observation.

Um, update. I didn't see this article till after I wrote my review: http://www.jessicabrody.com/2011/01/52-reasons-film-option/

Because I'm such a girl sometimes, I would have liked a little more buildup into the relationship stuff. I was excited to realize where the relationship was going to go, but I had hoped for a little more of the pre-relationship jitters. I think smoe of my favorite characters were the ones at the different jobs. Especially Rolando. I loved that he made another appearance in the story later.

I really did have fun reading this story. It's light and easy and fun to think about an heiress learning to vaccuum - and other wonderful stuff like that. I think it will definitely find its place among all of the fun chick lit out there. If you're a fan of that genre, I'd suggest you get your hands on this novel as soon as it comes out. I've read other things by this author and loved them - and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the future.
Other Blog Reviews:

I've looked around, but I don't see any reviews out yet. So if you review this one, let me know so I can add it to my list here. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (90)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Goddess Interrupted
by Aimee Carter
To be released: March 27, 2012

Summary from the author's website:
"Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.
Henry’s first wife, Persephone."

I really thought the first book to this series was so much fun. Looking at this description, I may have had a few things that were wrong about it.... but I'm excited to get my hands on this second one. I'm always up for a modern myth retelling!

What are you waiting for this week?

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