Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family, #1)Witches of East End
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Joanna & her daughters, Freya & Ingrid, have been under the restriction now for centuries. They've had to watch as people around them struggle while not being able to help them as they should be able to. When Ingrid & Freya can stand it no more they decide the council could never be concerned with a small charm or potion here & there. As they help people here & there they get more & more customers in need of their special talents...will they be able to keep themselves concealed? And what is going on with the water? Why are so many people getting so sick? What about the disappearances? Is everything connected?

I loved the writing in this and can't wait to read the next one! Great characters! I was rather surprised by the romance novel turns though! Yowza! Wasn't expecting that!

Now I have to be patient for Wolf Pact!

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Review: Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)Beautiful Chaos
Author: Kami Garcia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From: Library

Hold on....must stop crying first.....

Ok, soooo good! Wow!

Ethan & Lena have returned home but their world is crumbling & ripping apart house by house & street by street as the 18th moon approaches. It is the end of days and they must find the "One who is Two" Will they be able to figure it all out this time before the end overtakes them all? You have read to find out!

This one just about broke me! Is this the end? I thought it was going to be but with that last page I'm not sure now!? Does anyone know? Now I have the movie to look forward to! Yay! :)

**UPDATE: No, this isn't the last one! There's going to be one more!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review: Lost in Time by Melissa de la Cruz

Lost in Time (Blue Bloods, #6)Lost in Time
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Schuyler and Jack are now bonded! Unfortunately they must each go their separate ways to fulfill their paths. Schuyler is on her way to Alexandria to do what her grandfather couldn't and fulfill the Van Alen Legacy while Jack must return to New York City to face his twin.

Mimi, and oddly, Oliver are off to Egypt, too, in search of Kingsley Martin and a chance at true love.

The covens are crumbling around the world and being obliterated by the Silver Bloods to the point where many only have a few left who are going into hiding underground.

What will they face next? Will the Silver Bloods return? What about Bliss and her mission from her mother? Will there be ANY happy endings?

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, but this particular one had a very different feeling to it. I could really feel Cruz weaving her story-lines that are, at this point, everywhere (which I love) and pushing them into the path she wants them to go. I'm desperate to see what happens next for the vicious Azrael I've come to appreciate despite her appalling moral character flaws. I also can't wait to see what happens next for Bliss, she has secretly always been my favorite character and there is still SO much mystery surrounding her. Will we ever be told her whole history in one sitting along with her mother's part in it as well? Because of this love for her, I'm THRILLED that Cruz has announced the spin-off series "Wolf Pact" and can't wait to dive into the world of the Beauchamp witches! Melissa de la Cruz, your books just plain make me happy in a world that doesn't. Thank you!

What do you guys think of them?

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Review: Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz

Bloody Valentine (Blue Bloods, #5.5)Bloody Valentine
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
From: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting little extra add-on to the Blue Blood series. Not only is the bonding of Jack & Schuyler in here, but other stories we haven't told before too.

I liked the idea of it but sadly it felt very much like a clever little, and not very hidden, way for the publishers to not only get more money from us but also a way to promote what's to come from this series while we are waiting for more. Something to keep us salivating I guess.

Now whether you find this good or bad that's up to you of course. I was in the middle of the road on that because I loved the stories and LOVED the cover, but wanted more and felt a bit jipped!

What did you think?

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Review: Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz

Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, #5)Misguided Angel
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Schuyler has inherited the Van Alen Legacy and has turned to the European Coven in Italy for protection but all is not as they had hoped. They are prisoners of the Countess now. The hunt for the 7 Gates of Hell have begun but will they be able to find them all before the Morningstar (aka Lucifer) does? Will they ever get to Florence? They must hurry before it's too late.

This was just as good as the others, but felt rather choppy and pokey sadly. For whatever reason this book was very different; written different, felt different, etc. I can't wait to read Bloody Valentine next to learn more about some of my favorites!

If you haven't read this series yet, get started! It's such a great concept for vampires; very cool!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)Forever
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
From: purchased at B&N and had Maggie sign at her signing there!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"When we kissed, it didn't matter that I had been a wolf hours ago, or that I would be a wolf again."

That pretty much sums this one up!

Grace is a wolf, Sam isn't, Cole is both and Isabel's father wants blood! Literally! How are they going to save the pack? How are they going to save themselves? What will be left?

This was perfect! @Stiefvater writes from each character's point-of-view, as usual, which makes you connect completely with each one of them while she makes the plot twist and turn and ultimately bleed out on the pages as you read them. So good; it makes you ache with it all. Beautiful.

I can't wait to try what's next from Maggie!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: Rip Tide by Kat Falls

Rip Tide (Dark Life #2)Rip Tide
Author: Kat Falls
From: purchased
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Ty & Gemma make a terrible descovery, everything begins to unravel around them. What is happening to the Townships? Why & who would take Ty's parents? Can Gemma's brother be trusted to help them?

These are just a few of the major questions in play in the 2nd installment in the Dark Life series.

This was just plain adventure from beginning to end! A bit darker than the 1st, but still an amazing setup of scenery and concepts. Loved it! Try it and tell me what you thought!

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Review: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2)Demonglass
Author: Rachel Hawkins
From: ARC, won @ReadingTeen.net
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sophie, Jenna & Cal are on their way to Jolly Old England with Sophie's dad, the head of the Council for the summer. Sophie is finally getting to spend time with her dad, hopefully learn more about her powers and have a great summer with her bff! Unfortunately once they get to England, all is NOT fun and holiday times. Will they get to have fun? Will there be more attacks? Where is Archer? What about Sophie's betrothal?

I LOVED THIS! The 1st book was good, the 2nd was GREAT, so I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE 3rd! Do I seriously have to wait and wait? Ok, you have to read these! They are SO fun!

If Buffy & Spike had a kid, Sophie would definitely be that sassy, kick-butt kid!

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophie has known she's a witch for 3 years now, but when her latest attempt to help someone back-fires in a MAJOR way she's sent to Hex Hall, aka Juvie for Monsters. Only when she gets there she makes 3 powerful enemies after refusing to join their coven, becomes friends with a vampire who happens to be the most hated member of Hex Hall & crushes on the hottest guy in school who happens to be with her new worst enemy=worst 1st day at school ever!

I really liked this one and can't wait to read the next one (which I have an ARC of from ReadingTeen.net!) The best part about this series is that so far the 1st book has a conclusion of its major conflict instead of a continuous tease which never seems to be resolved! These tend to be the best series out there; the ones that you have no problem waiting for the next one for because you aren't waiting to see if someone dies, etc. Try it out and let me know what you think! I love the different twists and turns in this.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review: Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The Age of InnocenceThe Age of Innocence
Author: Edith Wharton
From: FREE online eBook!
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Newland and May are about engaged to be married just as they should be in this perfect world of the "old rich" in New York City in the 1870s. They are a perfect match between perfect families, who live perfect lives just as they are expected to. Except that Wharton immediately throws a wrench into the whole perfectness with the entrance of Countess Olenska. The Countess has left her husband (SCANDAL) and has decided to come "home" to NYC where all will be perfect of course. NOT! Remember SCANDAL since of course a married woman who has left her deliciously rich european husband has GOT to be a severe multiple adulteress! How on earth is she going to fit back into the perfect society she left? Will they shun her? Will she be accepted? Will this ruin Newland and May's engagement? What about their marriage?

Ok, this won Edith Wharton the Pulitzer Prize in 1921! I get it, it's like Romeo & Juliet but instead of double suicides because they can't be together we get their perfectly lined up lives which they refuse to deviate from! Can you tell I wasn't a fan? I wasn't! Blick! I have a VERY hard time understanding not taking what you want when you can and living for yourself so that you are happy. I'm not saying that you shouldn't think about others and their feelings, just that "Are you kidding me!!" they were both in the perfect spot to either not marry the person they don't love or divorce a hideous man so they could be together. On top of which "Are you kidding me!!" they were both RICH!! In my world, if you have money...you choose your own life. You don't do what others expect just because they expect it.

On the other hand...this is a completely gorgeous, classic romance with beautiful language from the past and I completely understand how it was so perfect at the time it was written. I also understand that for her to write this at the time she did when she was in the family and social circle that she was in was one of the bravest things EVER! YOU GO GIRL! So if you'd like to know the whole answer I would call it "A beautiful classic which perfectly describes high society in NYC in the late 1800s, but just not my cup of tea." It made me mad! Try it, maybe it's your cup of tea!  Great classic read for a book club (which is who I read this with!)

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The HelpThe Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
From: read as NOOK Book on a NOOK for my library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Skeeter is home from Ole Miss the only one of her friends to have actually graduated with a degree. The rest got married to young men they met at college instead and then dropped out to be good little wives. It's the 1960's in Jackson, Mississippi and the Jim Crow laws are in full affect as black women work for white families, raising their children like they were their own. The white women are too busy getting their hair done, attending functions and group meetings, and playing bridge.

As Skeeter begins to see just what it means to live as they do while also hearing and seeing what happens to the blacks around them who dare to make a mistake like using a white bathroom or questioning the way things are, she begins to see that she has to change things somehow. Pretty soon, she's talked a maid into talking to her and writing down her stories and soon a publishing company in New York is even willing to take a look at it when it's done!

What the women don't realize is that this will change everything. Their lives will never be the same again. The question is...will they be better? or worse?

I loved that this is a story about women and how they treat each other. The maids stories' are wonderful and feel so real. I can't imagine weaving this many families and personalities all together into such a perfect fabric! Everything fits so perfectly while also highlighting major events in the Civil Right's Movement which is exploding around them. Read this book, then tell me what you think! What about the movie? Has anyone seen that? Any good?

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Review: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

The Secret Hour (Midnighters, #1)The Secret Hour
Author: Scott Westerfeld
From: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jessica Day has just moved to a new town & she's about to find out just how different Bixby, Oklahoma really is as midnight approaches...

You see at exactly 12:00 in Bixby, the whole world freezes & only those born at midnight can move around in the extra hour of blue time. Cool, right? The problem is that all the darkest, most dangerous & massively intelligent creatures who have been around since the beginning of time appear in the blue time only to go bump in the night!

This is such an interesting concept! I'm curious as to where the idea came from for Westerfeld. This was an interesting read and I will certainly be reading the rest of the trilogy but it wasn't without wrinkles for me. I had a hard time loving this because it felt so choppy to me. It was hard to keep up with at times & the characters aren't ones you can really connect with which is frustrating throughout the book. I just didn't like any of them to the point where I would rush to get the next book.

I'm hoping the next book will pick up and carry me away! Here we go!
Have u read this one? What did u think?

**UPDATE: couldn't even finish the 2nd one. This never happens for me! I can always finish a book I start, but not this one. The characters got worse for me, not better. On the other hand I've had others tell me that this was there favorite series ever! Interesting!
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Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)White Cat
Author: Holly Black
From: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Curse-workers exist. They are all around us at every moment. This explains why everyone wears gloves all the time; one touch could kill you or make you a killer! It's illegal now to work someone, but that just means curse-workers have moved into the black market where crime bosses hold all the cards! Cassel is from a family of curse-workers. The problem? Cassel is the only dud who can't curse! He's as harmless as a butterfly!

Oh, except for when he was found standing over his best friend Lila's body holding a knife dripping with her blood and smiling with delight.

Black has truly created a world we've not seen before. X-men bigotry & legislation in America + harry potter drama & twists + teenagers & their families = a fabulous recipe for entertainment! Here's where I run into trouble though...for some reason I guessed almost the entire book of twists and turns from the very beginning! :( I hate it when that happens! I still want to know what happens next so I will certainly be reading Red Glove & hoping that it's very unpredictable. I will be recommending this to my students who have gone through the "regular" supernatural books already.

**UPDATE: this series has new paperback covers!! They are tres jolie! Check them out!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Very excited!! Maggie Stievater has a new book!! *Happy Dance!*

The new trailer is out for Maggie Stievater's upcoming book...The Scorpio Races...coming October 18!!

You can even pre-order here http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie and they'll come with doodlies from Maggie! How cool is that!?


If you don't follow her blog, you should! She posts vids of her travels, drawings, and fun stuff in general!
http://m-stiefvater.livejournal.com/212310.html Check it out!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordon

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
From: read as NOOK Book on a NOOK from my library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Percy Jackson is just trying to get through the 6th grade without getting into any more fights and by hopefully not getting expelled for the 6th time when a field trip to a museum rips him into the "real world" of Greek Gods & Goddesses! Who knew they were real? Well, his bff Grover for one who happens to be a Satyr AND his teacher who's the actual Chiron, the trainer of demi-gods! Whoa!

Zues's master thunderbolt has gone missing and Percy has become the scapegoat for the theft! How is he going to prove he didn't steal it? Finding it and taking it back to Zues becomes the plan...will he be able to find it in time? Will the Gods destroy him before he can? How many monsters can he possibly deal with?

Loved this! SO much potential and SOOO much adventure! I love it when there's adventure NONE STOP! I'm on the next one...shhh!

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Now a movie (missing serious parts from the book as movies taken from books always do) which has lots of fun action as well...

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
From: Read as a NOOK Book on a NOOK from my library!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beatrice has reached the fateful age of 16, the stage at which all kids of the futuristic Chicago must select which of 5 factions they will join for life. Each faction, Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite, represents a virtue. Beatrice is Abnegation...selfless, leaders, steady, etc. "Faction is greater than blood." Beatrice has never felt like she fits in with the traits of Abnegation, but "faction is thicker than blood" which means once she chooses she walks away from her family forever if it's not Abnegation she chooses. What will her test results show? What will she ultimately choose? Will her family really forsake her if she chooses differently from them?

This was amazing and I CAN'T WAIT for the next book, Insurgent! This has SO much! The factions are perfect and would make wonderful discussions with students and book clubs! WOW! I'm afraid to gush to much b/c I might give away a ton by doing that so I will just say that this was one of the absolute BEST dystopians yet! READ IT IMMEDIATELY! Then tell me what u think! :D

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Review: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)Artemis Fowl
Author: Eoin Colfer
From: a Playaway (audiobook) from library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius, a criminal mastermind- oh and did I mention he's 12!! His next big plan?- The kidnapping of a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. Will he be able to pull it off? Will there be anything left when he's done?

This was tons of fun! I can't wait to read the next book to see what happens next in the world of Artemis Fowl!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)Uncommon Criminals
Author: Ally Carter
From: bought immediately at B&N! LOL!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katerina Bishop has already pulled off the job of a lifetime. Now she only takes from those who don't have rightful ownership of the masterpieces in their possession at the moment so that she can deliver them to their rightful owners. She has become a righteous thief!

And she has become a lone wolf...pulling jobs without letting anyone else in on what she's up to. Her family is NOT happy with her decisions and is beginning to slowly leave her just as she seems to like to be...alone.

What happens to a thief without a crew? What happens to a fifteen year old girl who's family has deserted her? Will she make the right decisions without them?

Wow! Seriously Ally Carter? I think you have officially made yourself an automatic read for me! Sooo good! The utter simplicity of it! Brilliant my dear, just brilliant! I am hoping there will be more of Kat in the future because she is perfection along with her "family." I for one will be recommending this book & the 1st to any and all students looking for amazing reads who walk into my libraries! Bravo!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely, #5)Darkest Mercy
Author: Melissa Marr
From: my pal Heidi @YABibliophile.com
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seth is back in Faerie, Faerie has been sealed off from the world, Ani, Rabbit & Devlin have stayed in Faerie, Keenan is missing and Bananach is thirsty for WAR...

"Love, despair and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts and in the final conflict, some will win...and some will lose everything."

PERFECT! This was PERFECT!! Wow! Don't try to guess how this will end! You won't get it completely right. The amazing Melissa Marr wraps this up with violence, love and twists and turns you'll never expect! WOW! Read it! Read them ALL immediately!

*Bonus- Wicked Lovely is being made into a movie for 2012! SO EXCITED!

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Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely, #4)Radiant Shadows
Author: Melissa Marr
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Both faery & human, Ani hungers for the touch & essence of others. She has been hidden from the High Queen for most of her life by the same person sworn to kill her. Devlin has never disobeyed orders from his Queen except once. Once when he was sent to eliminate a small child he didn't. He couldn't. Ani was important some how.
Will they be able to keep their secrets? Will the High Queen destroy them all? Will their connection become stronger or weaker now?

This story of Devlin & Ani was wonderful! I loved the twists & turns! These 2 are my favorite characters so far! Now I'm crossing my fingers for Seth & Niall...they are the characters I'm worried about next! Will they get their happily ever afters or eternal depression? There's only one way to find out! Darkest Mercy here I come....

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review: Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely, #3)Fragile Eternity
Author: Melissa Marr
From: Library
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What do you do when your girlfriend is the Faery Queen of Summer, your best friend is the Dark Faery King, you're friends with the the Faery Winter Queen who has given you The Sight and you are mortal? What happens when all your friends are going to live forever while you continue to age? Seth is just a fragile mortal who gets closer to death each day he lives while everyone around him stays forever young. How can he fix this? Should he just walk away? Is there a reason he should fight?

Ok, I LOVE this series so far, BUT this book was rather blah for me and just went on and on! I had already guessed the ending at the beginning of the book! (I hate it when that happens!)

I've noticed that in long series there seems to always be one book like this unfortunately and then the rest get a whole lot better. Have you noticed this? So, of course, I'm still going to read the last 2 because I HAVE to know what happens next, but blah on this one for me! Sorry!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely, #2)Ink Exchange
Author: Melissa Marr
From: Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Leslie has experienced the darkest of the dark in life...what's left now? Will the darkness overtake her now? Or will there be light at the end of the tunnel?

I loved this one more than the 1st book! The darkness was so real that Leslie was dealing with. I watch children who I know are dealing with darkness they can't get away from or change while I'm at school, and it's devastating to see. I feel so helpless when I watch these kids try to keep their heads above water at school in whatever way it is that they can. The one way that I can help is by pushing amazing books like this into their hands as often as possible because YA SAVES!

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Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1)Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aislinn has the Sight! She can see faeries everywhere, and has been able to since birth. Grams, who also has the Sight, has made Ash's life all about rules her entire life because of the Sight. The most important rule? Don't EVER attract attention...so when a man and woman who are so obviously court fey start following her everywhere she goes...what happens to the rules then? Can she stay unnoticed when she's so obviously being noticed?

Loved this! Wow! A perfectly sewn up ending...which makes me REALLY nervous about what's going to happen next! :( I can't wait for this movie to come out! YAY!

This was a 2nd read for me! I read this a few years ago and when I wanted to read the next one Grad. school was kicking my butt so I decided to wait out the series to be finished. So that's what I'm doing! Reading the whole series beginning to end! #2 here I come!! :)

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Review: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya's GhostAnya's Ghost
Author: Vera Brosgol
From: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anya is just trying to be a normal teenager at her school & not the weirdo, Russian immigrant she is. When avoiding school by skipping she falls down an old well and meets Emily, a ghost. Will Anya get out of the well? Will she be forgotten down there forever like Emily?

This was a sweet read about teenage angst, puppy love, & finding out being yourself is actually OK.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: Foiled by Jane Yolen

Apparently July is Faerie Month in the land where I live...

Foiled 
Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Mike Cavallaro 
Release date: April 13, 2010
Published by: First Second
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Aliera is a fencing phenom who wants nothing to do with the new beautiful boy at school! She doesn't mind being invisible at school, so when the new boy makes her visible she starts asking whether she's made the right choices.

My thoughts: I loved this! This was pure fun and adventure from beginning to end! Perfect! 

If you're looking for a fun, fast read...then this is for you!
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Review: The Good Neighbors: Kith & Kind by Holly Black

Kith (The Good Neighbors, #2)Kith
Author: Holly Black
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rue's mother is gone again and her father's unfaithfulness is the reason. Can she find her mother? Can she stop her grandfather's hateful plan against the city and the people in it? Can she save her friends from harm?

I love the drawing in these! I read the 1st last summer and have been waiting to get at the 2nd & 3rd this summer! Great stuff, but very dark! It reminds me of the world we don't see as humans which Holly Black takes us into in her Modern Faerie Series (which is one of my favorite series ever!) I was a bit nervous about some of the content only because I'm a school librarian too but LOVED the story. Dark, passionate, twists, turns, danger and more!

Kind (The Good Neighbors, #3)Kind
Author: Holly Black
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What do you do after the end of the world as you knew it? This is Rue's life...does she stay with her friends & all she's ever known or does she embrace the world of faerie?

This was a perfectly wrapped up ending by a fabulous writer & artist team!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: The Lightning Thief the Graphic Novel by Rick Riordon

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning Thief: The Graphic NovelThe Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan
From: Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! I loved this! I wish more YA authors were writing graphic novels! Then graphic novels would be good on a regular basis!

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Review: Zeus & Athena, both by George O'Connor

Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians)Zeus: King of the Gods
Author: George O'Connor
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zeus, the King of the Gods! Need I say more?

This was great! I got a great review of not only Zeus's life, but also of the entire beginning of it all for the Olympians! I also loved the drawings! Good stuff all around.

Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess (Olympians)Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess
Author: George O'Connor
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Athena, Goddess of War, Weaving, & Wisdom...wow! Amazing stories from her birth to Medusa to helping her half-brother.

I not only got a great mythology review on Athena & Perseus but also learned a few things. I love these stories and O'Conner makes them come to life on the pages with his gorgeous images!

I have got to find the other 2 shown on the back of these books for our LMCs (Hera & Hades) and check out his site http://www.olympiansrule.com

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia
From: Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Small-town Gatlin is certainly not the quiet town it seems to be! Lena & Ethan have found they can survive anything together, as long as they are together. The problem is that since the Sixteenth Moon Lena has been pulling farther and farther away from everyone into the darkness! That's when the visions begin again for Ethan...

This 2nd installment of The Castor Chronicles was perfect with all of its twists and turns at every step of the journey. One of the best part about this book was learning the back stories and learning more about the characters.

I have no idea where Garcia & Stohl are going with these moons! I'm a bit nervous! I don't want to give too much away but each time it doesn't turn out just how everyone expects it to or how it's been seen! What the heck!? I can never decide if the way it turns out is better or worse than it was expected to be!

Things I loved:
-Ethan's new powers.
-Lucille Ball!
-The love story of Macon & Janie!
-Amma!!
-The entire cool underworld of "tunnels"--WOW!
-the cool eye colors!

Things I didn't love:
-the lack of interaction between Lena & Ethan
-Liv, she's ok, but I don't get her! Why is she there? What happens next w/her?
-The end w/Twyla.
-Lena's necklace- just not my thing

One thing's for sure...I can't wait for the next installment! :)
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)Matched
Author: Ally Condie
From: Purchased
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cassia knows exactly how her life is going to play out...she'll be matched on her birthday to her future husband, she'll be placed in an occupation for life, and she will only live to be 80 no matter what. The Society has kept track of her data from before the she was born and can even tell you the probabilities on the decision(s) she'll make next! In Cassia's world, The Society controls absolutely everything!

Meals are delivered to you 3 times a day and are designed only for their necessary caloric needs, a person may have only 1 "artifact" from the "past", plants and trees must serve an actual positive purpose or they will be removed and replaced. All things in life have been simplified so as not to "overwhelm" anyone and so there are only 100 Poems, 100 Songs, etc. All others have been destroyed if they do not meet The Society's standards. Everything is as it should be until Cassia has 2 images of 2 different boys on her Match microcard! Why has this happened? Which one is correct? How is it possible that The Society has made a mistake?

This was an interesting read and I am looking forward to her already announced 2nd in this series, Crossed, to be published! As an educator, this dystopian look into a society who values data over everything else is a very interesting thing to read about! We have become so obsessed with data in our own society lately, especially in public schools. Everyone in our country wants the proof of progress, growth, and most importantly, money well spent! This book really made me look at how ridiculous the extreme of this looks and of course how dangerous it can become when you hand over your own ability to make your own decisions and replace them with data.

The only reason this got a 4 and not a 5 is that it was sooo very predictable. I still can't wait to see what happens next though! There's always hope for a new idea, or a new path not taken...

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: The Dark & Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)The Dark and Hollow Places
Author: Carrie Ryan
From: won a signed ARC from Carrie Ryan through Goodread! She even threw in a postcard of her book with a note! SO COOL!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Annah has been waiting for Elias for 3 years to return from the Recruiters. A life alone for a young woman in the Dark City is never an easy one. Elias said he'd come for her and she's still waiting. Will he ever return? Now that the rebellion has put the Recruiters in charge without the Protectorate. To keep them in check the city has become more dangerous then ever. Annah is faced with a terrible decision ...stay & wait? Or leave?

This last book in the Forest of Hands & Teeth trilogy was amazing! I mean, ZOMBIES! I can't believe it! Carrie Ryan is amazing at being incredibly real about characters and plot. I felt throughout that these are real decisions people would have to make AND real deterioration that would happen in a society, city, family & relationship.

What gets to me most is the incredible survival characteristic traits in Ryan's main characters! They refused to give up hope when hope was the most dangerous and scary thing they could have. Wow! I can't wait to see what comes next from Carrie Ryan!

If you haven't read these 3 books...do it! I promise it's worth it! They'll make your heart feel alive with living.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Wonderland by Tommy Kavoc

WonderlandWonderland
Author: Tommy Kovac
From: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mary Ann? Oh Mary Ann?

Mary Ann, the White Rabbit's housemaid, wants things to be neat and tidy even if it takes 2 or 3 times of cleaning it thoroughly to get the job done. Travel through Wonderland with her and find out what happens after the beast Alice has wreaked havoc...

This was an interesting read. The story is a bit bizarre; I mean it is Wonderland after all! I had a hard time following it, but it was ok. The drawings were lovely; I LOVED them! If not for the pictures I would have given it a 2. Try it and see what you think!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Author: Stieg Larsson
From: Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How deep do the secrets go? Who is involved? How far up the chain in the government? Who is breaking into their homes? These are just a very few of the mysteries Blomkvist is hunting down now. Will he be able to answer them all? Will he be done in time? Only you can find out by reading now...

WOW! The amazingness that is Stieg Larsson's mind to be able to keep track of all of the story threads he has running is just plain amazing! I'm incredibly bummed that he's dead! I want more from this author! :(

OK, the book...it was perfect! The perfect ending for me for this trilogy. I was hooked from the very moment it began just where it ended with the 2nd book. I was instantly yanked back into this world of crime, conspiracy and sassy, kick-butt girl Salander! I love this character so much! Everything about her!

What I loved...
-Lisbeth Salander, apparently I'm addicted to sassy, butt kicking gals! Who knew!?
-The trial at the end! Perfect!
-Meeting Blomkvist's sister, the lawyer.
-The Dr.Jonnason! What a great guy!
-The hackers! I love this little, elite community of international hackers. They show how wonderful the web can be by connecting people of all backgrounds and creating a community of unlimited support.

I keep wondering if Larsson had planned to continue with a series with Millenium, Salander & Blomkvist? I would have been a huge fan! Oh well, c'est la vie! Now I can finally watch the 3rd movie on Netflix! I think they did a great job with these so far! I'm rather worried that the Americans will ruin them now that they're producing them, but I'll cross my fingers anyway. We'll see!

Read it! It's a completely different read from anything else I've ever read. Warning: definitely NOT a series for anyone under 15!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
From: won a SIGNED copy through Twitter from @HarperTEEN
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lena lives in a possible future world of exactly zero love. The entire nation has already done away with the disease of amor deliria nervosa a generation before and now the cure is the standard at 18. An entire existence of people without emotions and in exactly 95 days Lena  will be safe from the infection; she can't wait! "The most dangerous sicknesses are those that make us believe we are well.-Proverbs 42, The Book of Shhh."

How can a book be so blah and then EXPLODE into action? What the hay may?

I couldn't believe it! I had a very hard time getting into the main character, she's just NOT someone I could connect with in any way apparently. So I trudged along and once things started to move I was very impressed! This reminds me of Forrest of Hands and Teeth where I felt exactly the same about the 1st book and then LOVED the 2nd one. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE! So please hurry up Lauren Oliver! :D

P.S. That ending = I literally threw my book = brilliance!

Things I liked:
-The quotes from the books of her time which were completely altered from ours to fit their society's beliefs and agendas. EVEN the BIBLE! I LOVED this!
-Her running w/her bff
-Little Gracie, I am truly hoping to see more of that one!
-SOOOO many amazing one-liners throughout the book that I wanted to write down to save for another time! Here's one for you "...if you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging at your back and running its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do--the only thing--is run."

**UPDATE: This is one of those books where you read it and think it's ok, and then you think about it ALL the time, and then you talk about it ALL the time, and on and on and on!!! When this happened I reread it again and now it has become one of my all time favorites! How does this happen people? Does this ever happen to you? It's under my skin now and I can't seem to ever get it out!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: The Dead-tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2)The Dead-Tossed Waves
Author: Carrie Ryan
From: Purchased
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gabrielle is a rule follower 1st & foremost! She doesn't dream of anything outside the barrier & only hopes to live a normal life like the other kids her age in town. Her mother, with her claims of coming from the forest, her epic love of the ocean & most of all her sailing, does NOT encourage the ideals of normalcy in the minds of the townsfolk Gabry so desperately wants to blend in with. All her dreams are shattered one perfect evening with one bad decision to cross the barrier when a Breaker appears. Everything they've ever known comes crashing down around them with one bite! Will they be able to ignore this evening even happened? Will their be consequences?

I am SO glad I read the 2nd book in this series! Wow! After the 1st one I wasn't sure I was going to be able to talk myself into another one of these. The first was ok, but certainly not my cup of tea. I just couldn't connect with the characters or their world. That was not the case with this one! I LOVE Gabry & cannot wait to find out what Carrie Ryan has in store for us in her 3rd book in The Forest of Hands & Teeth Series! The Dark & Hollow Places here I come! Ready? Set? Go!!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
From: Purchased
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mary knows exactly how her life is going to progress...get married, have as many babies as possible, follow the word of the sisters and always stay away from the forest of hands and teeth. This is her life and the life of every person living in her village inside the fence. The Unconsecrated are always present on the other side of the fence pressing in and trying to sink their teeth into anyone who strays close enough. When Mary begins to learn secrets about the Sisterhood which they'd rather keep secret at any cost...her world begins to fall apart a bite at a time.

Zombies. Really! Zombies! Definitely NOT my thing, but I figured I better give it a try with the reviews I was reading about this. I must have liked this since I literally just read it in one day! What hooked me about this book is that even though death surrounds them every day, Mary still has hope! Gobs of it! She's confused and not sure about what to do next, which is exactly how we all feel on a regular basis. Ok, so maybe it's just me. The point is this character is very believable! I did keep thinking about Alice and The Umbrella Company all the time, but I can't wait to see what happens next. Book #2 here I come...

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review: Whip It by Shauna Cross

Whip ItWhip It
Author: Shauna Cross
From: Linrary
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bliss Cavender, do I have to say more? That's her name! How tragic can it get, but there's more...her mother is obsessed with beauty pageants and hoping they'll follow in the family tradition of becoming the next Miss Blue Bonnet. Blick, right!? This is exactly how Bliss feels. Lost and becoming smothered in her small town of Bodeen, Texas until one day a flyer for the Austin Roller Derby finds its way into her hands. One evening of roller derby is all it takes for Bliss to know that she has finally found "her people." Will she be brave enough to try it? Will she try out? What about her mother? Read Whip it to find out!

I loved this! I picked it up because the movie is one of my favorites and the book didn't disappoint! The way Bliss talks and thinks is perfect. Read the book, then watch one of my idols (Drew Barrymore) directing debuts in Whip It!

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Review: XVI by Julia Karr

XVIXVI
Author: Julia Karr
From: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nina Oberon is 15 and will very soon become 16; the age at which all girls are given a Governing Council mandated tattoo on their wrist "XVI"

The XVI announces to the world that she is now available to consent to sex! The media has made sure that all girls think that being a "sex"teen is the coolest and best thing ever! So why doesn't Nina want to turn 16? Why is it a day she dreads more than any other? When Nina's mother is brutally attacked she reveals a shocking secret to Nina with her dying breaths which slams Nina into a chase against time to stay one step ahead of her mother's killer & keeping her sister away from her brutal father, while also trying to fulfill her mother's dying request! Whoa!

This was good but for me had holes where I felt I wasn't getting any explanation about things I really wanted to know about. The biggest thing I usually enjoy about dystopians is the bit where they slyly add in the lesson about how their world went from ours to theirs. This wasn't there at all! :( I kept waiting and waiting for that information and it never came. As a read it was nice though and I'm curious if she'll crank out more based on this one because she very easily could! I would certainly read those to find out what happens with Nina next!

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To read an interview with the author CLICK HERE!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnely

RevolutionRevolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
From: Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Andi is on the edge and breaking apart day by day both visibly and mentally when she should be having the time of her life her Senior year with incredible prospects for her future and surrounded by the the most talented teens. Instead she's mad at her dad who has abandoned them, she's caring for her mother who is falling apart completely, and broken from the death of her younger brother. Her rage and grief are going to destroy her completely soon.

Alex dreams of making her mark on the stages on Paris, but instead is just trying to help keep her family alive when a carriage with the Royal family happens past her playing. After Alex makes the young and incredibly sad dauphin laugh, she is asked to be his constant companion with the sole task of making him happy! Alex never believed that a job that was meant to be her stepping stone would become her doom.

How can love be destroying them? How can love possibly save them now? Will it save them both from themselves centuries apart?

When Andi discovers Alex's diary written hundreds of years before during the time of the Terror in France, their lives become entwined so tightly it might just unravel them both. Two girls both doomed to be unable to save the people they love most, must find a way to save themselves...

WOW! I just finished this one and feel like I've been put through an emotional wringer! The way Jennifer Donnelly draws you in and grabs a hold of you is amazing. She not only made me connect fully to one main character but to two of them! I cried, I held my breath, I panicked, I couldn't put it down...I LOVED it! A must read! Have you read it? What did you think?

PS- If you haven't seen the movie Marie Antoinette, it is a must see. Especially if you liked this book at all Marie Antoinette on IMDb.com
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: It's a Book by Lane Smith

It's a BookIt's a Book
Author: Lane Smith
From: Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Monkey is getting very frustrated with Jackass! Check it out!
It's a book on YOUTube.com

OFF THE CHARTS! LOVE IT! Everyone with little kids (and big) MUST get it immediately! :)

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
From: Purchased
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kat has had an interesting upbringing and education...she cased the Louvre with her parents when she was 3, helped her Uncle Eddie steal the crown jewels of Austria on her 7th birthday, and now she's pulled off the biggest scam of all...a NORMAL life at one of the best boarding schools away from the "life." Unfortunately her family pulls her right back in when she's told her father is being blamed for a huge heist on a very evil man. The evil man wants Kat to find his artwork or her father will be killed for it. The only problem...Kat's dad was actually running his own heist in a museum across the city from this man's fortress he calls home. Will Kat be able to pull this off? Will her father survive? Will Kat?

OFF THE CHARTS!! That's what this book is! OFF THE CHARTS! I am completely stoked that there's going to be more! Read it! Just READ IT!
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: Population 485 by Michael Perry

Population: 485Population: 485
Author: Michael Perry
From: Purchased and had signed by the author when he visited my high school library!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A portrait of rural, small-town Northern Wisconsin with a kick of funny thrown in! Perry invites you right into his living room, sits you down and tells you all about New Auburn, Wisconsin. I can't wait to meet him during his visit this month for our school's Fine Arts Festival! I just hope the kids are able to relate to him since his stories might have been more relevant and funny to me because I've lived through most of the experiences he talks about. Crossing my fingers!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron (Incarceron, #1)Incarceron
Author: Catherine Fisher
From: Library
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Finn woke up years ago and had no idea who he was, where he was or where the mark on his arm came from, but he is sure he isn't from the inside. He's sure he's from OUTSIDE.

Claudia has been shaped and molded into the perfect wife for the future king, whomever that eventually is.

Incarceron has left its marks on both of them in life. Will they be able to overcome the scars left by it? Will they be able to move on? Read to find out...

This was rather dark for me for some reason which is odd because I usually like dark dystopian worlds. What it lacked was hope! There wasn't enough of it. Or perhaps I just didn't connect with the characters enough. Who knows! The jury's still out on whether I'll read the 2nd one or not. I'll let you know!

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)I Am Number Four
Author: Pittacus Lore
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever wanted to pick your own name? Have you ever wanted to just start over again? How about wanting to blend in to the scenery around you?

This is exactly what life has been like over and over for John Smith, aka Numbner 3, for the past 10 years that he and his protector have been on Earth hiding. The goal is to do nothing that gains you any type of notice. He's really good at it, until now. Now, they may be coming. Now, they may be tracking them.

What a great alien book! Typically I am NOT an alien story reading person, but this was great! I CAN'T WAIT to go see the movie! I also have book #2 on my future purchasing list for my LMCs. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Igniting a Passion for Reading by Steven Layne

Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime ReadersIgniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers by Steven Layne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking to renew your passion in reading, teaching reading, and books...this is the book for you! Layne's passion ignites you and he gives you so many wonderful ideas for big and small ways to ignite student's passion for reading that you're bound to find at least one or two that will work for you! Check it out!

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Review: School's Out- Forever by James Patterson

School's Out - Forever (Maximum Ride, #2)School's Out - Forever
Author: James Patterson
From: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whitecoats, Erasors, school, the flock, and saving the world oh my! These are just a few of things Max has to deal with in the 2nd installment of the Maximum Ride series. The flock is on a mission to find their parents and get to the bottom of who they really are, but then one of them is mortally injured by who else, Ari. They have to get outside help from a hospital and meet Anne there, an FBI agent, who sends them to the worst place they could think of= school! Will she be able to keep them together? Will she figure out the codes? Will she learn her destiny?

I really liked this 2nd book in the Maximum Ride series! Book 3, here I come!

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Graphic Spins!

I loved these! They were much more simple than I had hoped they would be, but would work perfectly for a lesson on creating your own fairy tales and/or graphic novels! The neatest part is that at the end of each one there is a glossary, the history of the particular fairy tale, a discussion guide and writing prompts!! Stop by MMS LMC and check one of them out! My 3 and 6 year old LOVED them too! :D