Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #144 - Diary of a Wimpy Kid #9 & Catalyst

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

Author: Jeff Kinney
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Published by: Scholastic

Greg Heffley and his family hit the road in book #9! (Summary from Goodreads)

This will be purchased and put on my classroom bookshelf. Who am I kidding? I'll read it first and giggle a little at poor Greg and his misadventures. :)

(Insignia, Book 3)
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Release Date: October 28, 2014
(Yesterday!! Go get it immediately!!)
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closet allies.

Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip. (Summary from Goodreads)

This twist of Ender's Game and new-age SyFy is brilliant! I cannot wait to see what S.J. has come up with next for Tom and the rest of the gang in the Spire.

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynne Barnes

Killer Instinct 
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals, Book 2
Release date: November 4, 2014
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Will The Naturals be able to stay at the distance they've been promised when working on cases for the FBI now? Or will they be sucked down the rabbit hole again like last time into the the psycho brain of a serial killer? The worst part? This time it seems like there's a copycat who's getting things deadly perfect just like Dean's father who's still locked up.

My thoughts: This is a fantastically frightening series! Barnes is an excellent writer of murder mystery! Her books are absolutely thrilling.

One of the first BIG events that's very full of drama is that an Agent actually moves in with the team in the house! Agent Sterling is very tight-laced, and also a profiler like Cassie and Dean, plus it becomes obvious very quickly that she has a history with Dean as well somehow. 

Dean is very quickly sucked into his father's games of cat and mouse psychologically, while everyone else is desperate to not only figure out who the killer is, but to also protect Dean from his completely psycho father who wants nothing more than to mess with Dean. Yick! 

Of course we also get to see more of the love triangle between Cassie, Dean and Michael in this book as well. Who will she choose? Why? When? What will happen? Ooo la la! 

This is such a needed book in the sea of fantasy that's out there right now! It's brilliant! You have GOT to read it if you are into any of those crime shows on TV! 

Here's my review of Book 1 if you haven't checked that book out either:

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats & Weaponry 
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School, Book 3
Release date: November 4, 2014
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's the 3rd year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School, and things are certainly getting interesting. For one, Sophronia now has a gorgeous steel-bladed fan from an anonymous donor she keeps hidden on herself at all times. She, Dimity, Soap, Felix and Sidheag find themselves on a train to Scotland where they find more trouble than they could ever need...so prepare yourself for adventure and intrigue!

My thoughts: This was a fun thrill ride a minute (literally as usual)! And, as usual we have mechanimals, picklemen, sooties, vampires, werewolves, dirigibles, and so much more.

This time there's drama involving the werewolf clans and Sidheag is right in the middle of it all...and can you believe it... are her friends! Once the drama begins when the girls get of the flying dirigible it never really stops! Plus, we get to see a serious development in the love triangle of Sophronia, Felix and Soap AND the development of Niall and Sidheag's relationship that may be...who knows what will happen there!

I was a bit sad about the way it all ended this time, but it made sense...you'll see. I can't wait to see how she carries this on now into the next year! Who knows what will happen now...

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #143 - The Map to Everywhere & Beware the Wild

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

Author: Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it's her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere--but they aren't the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can't beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear! (Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound like a fun fantasy adventure? I'm in.

Author: Natalie C. Parker
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Published by: HarperTeen

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her. (Summary from Goodreads)

What a fantastic mystery and I'm completely hooked on these Louisiana stories that keep popping up! Just keep sending them my way! I'm in! 

What are you waiting on this week?

True Stories Tour: Alice + Freda Forever and Daisy to the Rescue with Giveaway...

True Stories Fall Blog Tour

Are you eager for some true stories to curl up by the fire with this fall? Then you are in luck because Zest Books has those in spades! Whether you're into heroic animal stories, the dark side of love, or the trials of growing up, these true stories have it all...

Author: Alexis Coe
Release date: October 7, 2014
Published by: Zest Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In 1892, America was obsessed with a teenage murderess, but it wasn't her crime that shocked the nation - it was her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell planned to pass as a man and marry seventeen-year-old Freda Ward, but when their love letters were discovered, they were forbidden to ever speak again. 

Desperate and isolated, Alice pilfered her father's razor, and on a cold winter's day, she slashed her ex-fiancee's throat. Now more than 120 years later, their tragic but true story is being told with over 100 illustrated love letters, maps, artifacts, historical documents, newspaper articles, courtroom proceedings, and intimate, domestic scenes - painting a vivid picture of a sadly familiar world. 

Alexis Coe is a columnist at The Awl and The Toast. She has contributed to The Atlantic Slate, The Millions, The Hairpin, LA Weekly, The Bay Citizen, Mission at Tenth, The Paris Review Daily, Los Angeles Review of Books and other publications. Before moving to San Francisco, she was a research curator at the New York Public Library, where she co-curated the most popular exhibition in the library's 101 years, and a project-based oral historian at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
Author: Jeff Campbell
Release date: October 7, 2014
Published by: Zest Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Wonder Dog: Just a few names that come to mind when you think of heroic animals. Okay, so they might have only been television heroes, but nonetheless, in real life, animals are not only our companions but are, in many cases, true lifesavers as well. Now, DAISY TO THE RESCUE, illuminates more than 50 amazing stories of how animals not only make our lives better, but also can and do literally save our lives as well. These stories, featuring the incredible actions of pets and service animals, as well as wild animals and animals in legend and myth, will thrill the animal lover in all of us. With tales of bottlenose dolphins rescuing surfers from a great white shark, lions protecting a kidnapped girl, and a pig stopping traffic to get help for a heart attack victim, this heartwarming book of stories will inspire readers to think more about what their own animal friends might be capable of, be they pig, goat, dog, elephant, gorilla, or kangaroo.

An editor and writer for over twenty years, Jeff Campbell has specialized in books on animal intelligence and emotions. A former writer for Lonely Planet, Campbell co-authored guidebooks on Hawaii, Florida, the Southwest, and other U.S. destinations. He lives in Northern New Jersey and also teaches creative writing to students in elementary school.

Get it now:
Be sure to visit the rest of the tour stops...
Sept. 25 - Book Fidelity on Tomboy
Oct. 3 - conniewithay on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Oct. 6 - The Reading Date on Tomboy with giveaway
Oct. 7 - Libby Blog on Tomboy with giveaway
Oct. 8 - The Reading Date on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
Oct. 9 - Book Referees on Tomboy with giveaway
Oct. 10 - Allison's Book Bag on Daisy to the Rescue & interview 
Oct. 11 - 1977books on Tomboy with giveaway & interview
Oct. 13 - Bitches n' Prose on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway & interview
Oct. 14 - Book Fidelity on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
Oct. 15 - Batch of Books on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Oct. 16 - River City Reading on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
Oct. 17 - Book-alicious Mama on Tomboy with giveaway & interview
Oct. 18 - Live to Read on Tomboy with giveaway
Oct. 19 - The Reading Vixens on Tomboy with giveaway
Oct. 20 - 1977books on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway & interview
Oct. 21 - Libby Blog on Alice + Freda Forever and Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Mother Daughter Book Club on Tomboy with giveaway
Oct. 22 - Book Fidelity on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Mother Daughter Book Club interview of author Liz Prince
Oct. 23 - Bumbles and Fairy-Tales on Tomboy and Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Oct. 24 - Hi, Miss Julie! on Daisy to the Rescue
Oct. 27 - Hi, Miss Julie! on Alice + Freda Forever and interview of author Alexis Coe
Oct. 28 - Live to Read on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Oct. 29 - Live to Read on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia on Tomboy with giveaway
Oct. 30 - Ink and Page on Tomboy with giveaway & interview
Oct. 31 - Book Referees on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
proseandkahn on Tomboy
Nov. 1 - The Busy Mom's Kitchen on Tomboy and Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway & interview
Good Books and Good Wine on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Nov. 2 - The Reading Vixens on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
Nov. 3 - Bitches n' Prose on Tomboy with giveaway
sarah HANNAH gomez on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
Nov. 4 - Actin' Up with Books on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
Nov. 5 - Concert Katie on Tomboy
Nov. 6 - Beauty and the Bookshelf on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway & interview
sarah HANNAH gomez on Tomboy with giveaway
Nov. 7 - Book-alicious Mama on Daisy to Rescue with giveaway & interview 
Nov. 8 - Not My Typewriter on Tomboy with giveaway
Nov. 10 - Book Referees on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Good Books & Good Wine on Tomboy with giveaway
Nov. 11 - Actin' Up with Books on Tomboy with giveaway
Nov. 12 - The Book Rat on Tomboy and Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway
Nov. 13 - Actin' Up with Books on Daisy to the Rescue with giveaway
Nov. 14 - Book-alicious Mama on Alice + Freda Forever with giveaway & interview
Nov. 15 - You Decide: Should I Read it or Not? on Alice + Freda Forever

Must be 13 to enter and a resident of US/CAN:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #142 - Stitching Snow & The Bane Chronicles

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

Author: R.C. Lewis 
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Published by: Disney-Hyperion

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that's assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane's arrival was far from accidental, and she's pulled into the heart of a war she's risked everything to avoid. (Summary from Goodreads)

I know this came out yesterday, but this sci-fi adventure sounds amazing. I love the idea that the author is taking inspiration from Snow White and creating a futuristic twist.

Release Date: November 11, 2014
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Ever wondered about the enigmatic, mysterious warlock Magnus Bane? The only character to appear in every Shadowhunter book, Magnus has a past even more shrouded in mystery than his present. I've teamed up with acclaimed YA writers Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan to create Bane Chronicles, the back (and front) story of Magnus told in ten linked stories.

Look for stories like Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale; The Rise and Fall of the Hotel Dumort; Saving Raphael Santiago and What To Buy The Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You're Not Officially Dating Anyway). Each story will be available as an ebook on a monthly basis starting April 16 with the tale of What Happened In Peru.

Each story will be released monthly online for the next ten monnths - and then for those who don't read ebooks, the full print collection will be in bookstores and wherever books are sold after the Chronicles have been finished. (Summary from Goodreads)

I usually like ebooks, but this time I am going to wait for the paper copy I think! Maybe...I don't know. I guess I didn't realize this was really happening and I adore Magnus Bane! He's one of the best characters all steaminess!! Well anyway, Woot! Woot! The kiddos are going to want a copy for the library for sure, so I will be sure to grab one for there! What about you? eBooks? Or paper copies on this one? 

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Top 10 Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit...

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the team over at Broke and the Bookish! Leave a link to your Top 10 below!

Top 10 Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit...

1. Hogwarts from Harry Potter - there are so many places in that castle and on the grounds of that school that I would love to see with my own eyes. The movie gives a nice little taste, but it doesn't even begin to show ALL that Rowling tells us about. I especially want to see the kitchen for some reason, OH and the swamp that's leftover from the Weasley twins when they split! :P

2. Diagon Alley from Harry Potter - I know we get to see this too in the movies, but I'd like to really get to go there and be with the people. Wouldn't that be amazing!? I doubt I'll ever be able to afford the amusement park version, so I guess I'll just keep rereading the books.

3. London, England - Every time I read a book that takes place in London I desperately want to be there...Harry Potter, Steampunk Chronicles, Finishing School Series, The Dark Unwinding Series, The Friday Society, and more.

4. Ty's Underwater World - Kat Falls creates an amazing underwater world with farming, housing, and more. I would love to see that with my own eyes.

5. The Titanic - I've read so many of Clive Cussler's books and it would be amazing to actually see, or tour the Titanic after it was brought out of the water. Creepy though too like touring the fields of Gettysburg. 

6. Oz - I read so many of the original books, and they are amazing. I would love to go for a tour around the land of Oz. 

7. The Flying School/Dirigible - I would LOVE to see one of the flying dirigibles from Carriger's Finishing School books! Wouldn't that be amazing!? Especially the school itself! 

8. Paris, France - I have studied French for many years, and even majored in it for a bit. It would be amazing to visit there someday. Going to Paris is most certainly on my bucket list! I would LOVE to visit the places in some of my favorite books like Revolution, The Dispossessed, and The Revenants. 

9. St. Petersburg/Russia - I adore Robin Bridges' trilogy with Katerina Alexandrovna, and oh how I would love to see what that city looks like someday.

10. Leslie's world - Melissa Marr's world where the darkest faeries of nature and winter wander. Ink Exchange is my absolute favorite of ALL of the faerie books and Leslie's story as well. Oh how I'd love to spend just one day with her.

What's on your Top 10 this week?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Anderson's YA Literature Conference Wrap-Up...

I was thinking today that it has been FOREVER since I've done a post about the books I have gotten, but then I thought WAIT I should do something about what we did a couple weekends ago...

On Sat., Sept. 27th was the 11th Annual Anderson's Bookshop YA Literature Conference in Naperville, IL. Rachel (with her English Teacher hat on) and I (with my School Librarian hat on) headed out at about 5 a.m. down the road to get there by 7:30 a.m. Dang that's early! There was a lot of coffee involved honestly, but very little construction which was great. 

After we arrived and checked in, it was time to pick out our table for the day which always includes one amazing author you spend the morning and lunch with along with a table full of other educators. Out of over 45+ authors, we were lucky enough to get the table where HOLLY BLACK sat! Woot! Woot! 

Next, it was time for our first two featured speakers of the day and WOW were they amazing...
Joan Bauer 
Holy moly was Joan inspirational! I had no idea how amazing she was going to be. I am going to read one of her books ASAP now! It will be one of the last two I think after hearing her talk about those two the most, ALMOST HOME or TELL ME

Carl Hiaasen 
I loved hearing him talk about his books, and especially his newest book Skink! That character is just TOO FUN! He's off the charts BIZARRE! I mean, who would think to have a character who literally eats roadkill!? Skink was excellent by the way in case you were wondering! Read it ASAP!!

Next it was off to pick our first sessions to attend. I ran off to try to squish myself into the session, FANTASTICAL WORLD BUILDING which was on the 12 floor for some reason while everything else was on floor 1 and 2. Rachel went off to FALLING IN & OUT OF LOVE. 
Here's the list of authors from FANTASTICAL WORLD BUILDING: Holly Black, Kendare Blake, Cassandra Clare, Delilah Dawson, Katherine Howe & Sara B. Larson. The moderator, who was a local librarian, was excellent at keeping things rolling with her questions that the panelists easily answered filling the 45 minute time slot. It was fascinating to hear how these authors build their worlds and their advice to writers.
And here's the only sad picture from that session I was able to get because it was SO packed in there with people! 
Sara B. Larson 

Rachel's session, FALLING IN & OUT OF LOVE: Adi Alsaid, Simone Elkeles, Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, Stephanie Perkins, Philip Siegel, & Siobhan Vivian.

Then it was on to another session! Next we both happened to choose the same one: GREAT READS ARE MUSIC TO THE EAR. 
Authors included: Joan Bauer, Joelle Charbonneau, Kevin Emerson, Mark Parsons, Frank Portman, Wendelin Van Draanen & Len Vlahos.

In this one they all went through on their own and talked about how music drove their lives and how it had shaped their lives. They also talked about how music had shaped their writing and their books as well, which was fascinating as well. I knew a bit about Joelle since I had met her before, but not about the others at all. 

Next it was time to hear "What's New in YA Lit" - this is always interesting, but either because I'm a huge reader, a JLG subscriber, or a blogger usually doesn't leave very many surprises for me. Only the non-fiction titles tend to be ones I write down as ones to check out when I get back as possibles to add to my purchase lists for the libraries. The rest are usually already on my lists. 

Now it was time for more Featured Speakers, and they were just as awesome as the 1st two: 
Meg Wolitzer 

Jon Scieszka 

Next we FINALLY got to eat lunch...of course Rachel told me that Holly and Cassie were signing outside and so I ran off and got my books signed instead of eating, which worked out fine because later when they were prepping for their talk they BOTH sat right next to me and I swear I could have died happy right then and there!!! 
See my dorky I might faint face! :P I am SO AKWARD! 

Plus, I got my WHOLE pile of books signed by them...

These were the only two books I bought to get signed! :)

After lunch, it was time for another session and I chose THE DARKER SIDE OF BEAUTIFUL. Christa was the moderator for this one, which was fun since I met her at the conference last year. She's a fascinating person. I mean, just wow! One thing that has really stuck with me, other than their books from this session, has been their discussion about how in their industry it always seems to be that it's the sexual situations NOT the violence that get's sensored or challenged all around. There were very interesting discussions all around by the panel. 
with authors Madeleine Kuderick, Meg Wolitzer, Rachel DeWoskin, Sharon Biggs Waller & Christa Desir...
Julie Halpern, Stephanie Hemphill, Madeleine Kuderick, Meg Wolitzer & Rachel DeWoskin.

Next up, were two more Featured Speaker spots that were DYNAMITE! 
Trent Reedy 
He broke my heart over and over with the realities of war and he aftermath of a veteran trying to deal with the life he comes home to after war. Holy crap was his speech powerful! 
Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Last was book signing and autograph time...and I only had a few books to get signed so I just visited and took some pictures! :) Yep, that's how I roll...

Alaya Dawn Johnson 
This book is AMAZING!!! If you haven't read it, you really should. It's = WOW! 

Joelle Charbonneau 

Joan Bauer 

Meg Wolitzer 

Jon Scieszka 

Stephanie Perkins 

Wendelin Van Draanen 

Rachel DeWoskin 

All in all it was a great day as usual! This is such a wonderful educator's conference that I hope continues for years to come. My only complaint is that this year there were teens in attendance somehow which was rather awkward at times. There should be a way for Anderson's to verify that you are an educator when you order your tickets. Perhaps this would help maintain the integrity of the event for future events and keep the teens to the YA Frenzy Event the next day only.