Tuesday, August 31, 2010


By Laurie Halse Anderson
215 pages

“Once upon a time there was a girl who got a life...me”

Summary: Ashley Hannigan couldn’t care less about the prom. Her priorities are trying to get out of detention, graduation (maybe) and moving in with her boyfriend. But when her math teacher steals the money for the prom and her best friend on the prom committee is devastated, Ashley sees a way to miss detention and be the hero. Before she knows it she’s ordering table clothes, selling tickets and buying dresses...and in making the prom happen she learns a few things about making her own life happen too.

Review: Once again Laurie Halse Anderson hits the mark with this hilariously witty Cinderella story. Who else could write a book on something as simple as the prom and make it endearing and engaging? The story is fast paced and readers will enjoy reading about something so relatable. The secondary characters add some quality moments of both sincerity and humour, making the story about something more than just a dance. Ashley is a brilliant main character; witty, sarcastic, pessimistic, charming and hilariously normal. It’s a fun, light read, perfect for the summer and not to be missed.

Also by Laurie Halse Anderson: Speak, Chains, Twisted, Wintergirls, Fever 1793

If you liked Prom you might also enjoy: Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman, Prom Anonymous by Blake Nelson, Getting the Girl by Susan Juby

Author Website: http://www.writerlady.com/

Rating: W3.5/4 C4/4 P3/4 O3/4 PP3/4 CR3/4
Grade Level Interest: JS

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kiss of Life

Kiss of Life (A Generation Dead Novel)
By Daniel Waters
410 pages
Book 2 in Series

“All Phoebe could think about before going next door to Adam’s house was the night he died in her arms. The rose of blood blooming on the white shirt he’d worn to homecoming, his strangled cry as he came back from wherever it was the dead went.”

Summary: A few weeks have passed since Adam died trying to save Phoebe. Now he’s back as a zombie and Phebs has chosen to stay with him, much to Tommy’s disappointment. After the attack that killed Adam, people in Oakvale are on edge. Some of the zombies have banned together in a group called Sons of Romero, pulling pranks and calling for segregation. The Hunter Organization isn’t what it seems and some people in the town are taking it upon themselves to end the zombies once and for all. Once again Pheobe will be pulled between her two worlds (the living and the dead) and the two guys she cares about most.

Review: Kiss of Life is a much slower paced novel than the first in the series. Waters spends more time developing Adam and Phoebe’s relationship and the lives of those in the underground zombie movement. Readers will feel that Waters is setting the stage for the next book, especially in light of the action packed ending. Much of the witty humour from the first book is missing, but I appreciated the storylines and the build towards the ending. Waters does a great job of looking at prejudice and acceptance and entertaining the reader looking for a little paranormal romance. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Also by Daniel Waters: Generation Dead and Passing Strange

If you liked Kiss of Life you might also enjoy: Undead Much by Stacey Jay, Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby, The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade and Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Additional Info:
Tommy’s Blog - http://mysocalledundeath.blogspot.com/
Haunted House Forum - http://hauntedhouse.omgforum.net/

Author’s website: http://watersdan.blogspot.com/

Rating: W3/4 C3.5/4 P3/4 O3/4 PP2.5/4 CR3/4
Grade Level: JS

Sunday, August 29, 2010

being unemployed means lots of holidays

Hi everyone.
So once again I am on holidays (it's awesome, I know!). My husband and I are at the cottage for a few days enjoying some rest before he starts his last year of law school. I have some posts planned, but I might be a little slow at resonding to comments.

So sorry.
Enjoy the end of summer everyone :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop

What a great idea! I love following readers blogs almost more than I like blogging myself. What a great way to get out there and meet new people who share the same interests as you.

This Week's Question: Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

This is a great question. First off let me say that when I read other people’s reviews, I usually start with the ratings. They are often the most helpful in determining whether or not I read the book, or even whether or not I’ll read the whole review.

That being sad I’m very luke warm with my rating system. When I started this blog for a class the audience was suppose to be other librarians, so I adopted a Voya-esq rating system. Right now I break the review down into sections; Writing, Characters, Plot, Originality, Popularity and Cover.

I broke it down because I didn’t feel that a straight star system was really explaining my rating, and why books were getting certain “grades”. However that being said, I still give pretty generous ratings, so it’s all kind of a moot point.

I’m a redecorated/redisgner in all areas of my like (just ask my husband how many times he’s had to lug my bookshelves between rooms in our house), so I imagine I will overhaul the rating system sometime in the future.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This week’s book: The Iron Thorn
Author: Caitlin Kittedge
Release Date: Feb 22 2011
In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day. Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different. (Amazon)

I’ve seen this one in a few WoW’s before, but it just looks so good I thought I would repost about it on here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Epitaph Road

Epitaph Road
By David Patneaude
266 pages

Summary: It’s the year 2097 and almost all the men are gone. Thirty years ago an airborne virus nearly caused man’s extinction. When the threat of another breakout occurs, Kellen goes searching for his father to warn him. Desperate to find his dad in time, Kellen uncovers a secret that will not only threaten his life, but could change the course of history once again.

Review: I do enjoy dystopian novels and Epitaph Road was definitely a fun read. I think readers who enjoy fast paced plots with a lot of action will enjoy this dystopian. The story moved along very quickly and there were definitely a few moments when I was holding my breath. I think the idea is very interesting. I was especially surprised by the realization that many of our really important professions would be almost diminished if all the men died, doctors, lawyers, government, police, etc. However, there were some plot elements that were a little problematic for me. I found some of the key elements pretty predictable and unbelievable. I also wasn’t all that connected to the characters, I think the story moved too fast to really be able to connect to any of them. However, I think there is definitely an audience for this book.

Also by David Patneaude: Colder than Ice, Dark Starry Morning, Deadly Drive,

If you liked Epitaph Road you might also enjoy: Unwind by Neal Shusterman, For the Win by Cory Doctorow, The Line by Teri Hall, The Carbon Diaries 2017 and The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Rating: W2.5/4 C2/4 P2.5/4 O2.5/4 PP3/4 CR1/4
Grade Level Interest: MJ

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries
by Candace Bushnell
400 pages

A bit of an untraditional style of review for me, but I just wasn’t sure what to make of this book

Before Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw was a small town girl dreaming of being a writer. She's ready for real life to start, but first she must navigate her senior year of high school. Up until now, Carrie and her friends have been inseparable. Then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture, and a friend's betrayal makes her question everything. (summary from book cover)

The Carrie Diaries was a real mixed bag for me. I’m a huge fan of Sex and the City, but I’ve always felt disconnected from Bushnell’s Carrie, simply because I think SJP made her a much more dynamic character. It was therefore not a surprise that I couldn’t connect to Bushnell’s teen Carrie. However, once I was able to separate them in my mind, I started to enjoy the book a lot more. However, I’m not sure where it fits in YA. I think her writing style is a little off base for YA audiences, and I think having it set in the 80’s might have made it hard for some teens to connect to the story. I also didn’t think the supporting characters were all that strong, nor was Sebastian an interesting enough character. I did enjoy reading it; I’m just left a little perplexed by its purpose and audience. I’m interested to hear if you’ve read it and thought otherwise.

Rating: W2/4 C2/4 P2/4 O2.5/4 PP2.5/4 CR3/4
Grade Level Interest: S

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop

What a great idea! I love following readers blogs almost more than I like blogging myself. What a great way to get out there and meet new people who share the same interests as you.

I’m so excited about today’s Hop because it’s been a while since I have be able to participate and I love getting to know new bloggers.

This Week’s Question: How many blogs do you follow?

Can I just say too many?? Probably more after the day is done. In my google reader I have 92 blogs that I follow. I think it’s important to stay relevant as a YA librarian, so reading blogs keeps me updated on what going on in the world. Not all my blogs are book blogs, but for the most part they are. Also, I usually just scan the title and the first few sentences to see if the post is something I’m interested in. I’ll expand and go right to the blog if it’s something I really want to read. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to go in-depth into every blog every day. I do love finding new blogs to follow though, I really enjoy reading reviews.

Great question this week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Improper Life Of Bezellia Grove

The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove
By Susan Gregg Gilmore
254 pages

Summary: Being one of the most affluent and important families in Nashville, there are certain things expected of Bezellia, the oldest daughter in the Grove family. Keeping out of trouble and hiding her family’s secrets are chief among them. Yet being from a life of privilege isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and Bezellia wants nothing more than just to be loved – by her mother, her father, and especially her African-American handyman’s son. This captivating story follows Bezellia through difficult choices and bad mistakes as she tries to discover her own path.

Review: Spanning from when Bezellia is young until she is in college, Gilmore provides the reader with a full and enchanting story. Bezellia is a relatable character, despite the historical setting. One can easily identify with the feelings of inadequacy and searching that are expressed in this coming of age story. The wit and flare of Bezellia comes through in the writing, and one cannot help but root for her along the way. This story provides a lot of access points. First and foremost, it is about a girl’s struggle to figure herself out and find her place in the world. However, there is also romance, historical elements, as well as funny and endearing side characters. Overall, this is a very enjoyable read.

Also by Susan Gregg Gilmore: Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen

If you liked The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove, you might also enjoy: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, When it Happens by Susane Colasanti, The Birth House by Ami McKay (adult)

Non Fiction Connection: Sitting In and Speaking Out: Movements in the American South by Jeffery Turner.

Author Website: http://www.susangregggilmore.com/

Rating: W3/4 C3/4 P3/4 O2.5/4 PP3/3 CR2/4 (cover seems a little outdated)
Grade Level Interest: S

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Check it out

Hi everyone,

So Kristi over at the Story Siren has been hosting some really cool guest bloggers to celebrate LGBT Lit Days (Aug 9-20) and she was lucky enough to have Brent from The Naughty Booklist as a guest. I love Brent’s blog and I think his guest post is really amazing, and especially helpful for YA librarians. Here is just an excerpt

“Along with music, books also are a way to find… normalcy in being gay. I mean, my entirety of my teenage years, so far, is mainly about finding myself, finding people who accept me, and of course finding hot guys to date! Books played a major role in accepting myself. I honestly don’t think I would be open to myself and others if I didn’t read some terrific gay-lit. These books I read helped me realize that “gay” is a normal thing. That it’s not terrible, it’s not sinful, it’s not disgusting, and it’s not a lifestyle. Books also helped my own family come to terms with my sexuality. My mom even read some of my books to see what was “going on in your head, as a gay teen, Brent.”

Please check out the rest of the post here.

Coming Soon to a Library Near You

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This Week’s Book: Forge
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Release Date: October 19th 2010

In this compelling sequel to Chains, a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson shifts perspective from Isabel to Curzon and brings to the page the tale of what it takes for runaway slaves to forge their own paths in a world of obstacles — and in the midst of the American Revolution. The Patriot Army was shaped and strengthened by the desperate circumstances of the Valley Forge winter. This is where Curzon the boy becomes Curzon the young man. In addition to the hardships of soldiering, he lives with the fear of discovery, for he is an escaped slave passing for free. And then there is Isabel, who is also at Valley Forge — against her will. She and Curzon have to sort out the tangled threads of their friendship while figuring out what stands between the two of them and true freedom. (Amazon)

The first book in the series Chains was so beautifully done, I feel like I’ve been counting down the days for this book forever.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Sky is Everywhere

The Sky is Everywhere
by Jandy Nelson
288 pages

“Later, as he plays and plays, as all the fog burns away, I think, he’s right. That’s exactly it – I am crazy sad, and somewhere deep inside, all I want to do is fly.”

Summary: What do you do when the worst thing that can happen actually happens? Well for seventeen year-old Lennie, that worst thing is her sister Bailey’s sudden death. Despite all her grief and feeling like the world is ending, Lennie finds herself torn between two guys. One, a new guy in town, shares her love of music. When she’s with him, she forgets about being sad, even for just a while. The other is Toby, Bailey’s boyfriend. Even though she knows it’s wrong, being with Toby makes Bailey feel closer, and he is the only one who can possibly understand her grief.

Review: The Sky is Everywhere is a beautiful story of loss and grief and the things that make life worth while again. Readers will enjoy Lennie as a main character. While stories like this can sometimes create one dimensional characters consumed by grief, Lennie was dynamic and complicated. At times of great sadness she was also thinking about kissing boys, I thought Nelson did a beautiful job of capturing something that is so complicated and messy. The supporting characters also added volumes to this book, they were quirky and heartbreaking. I enjoyed Nelson’s writing style and her ability to balance love and hope with pain and suffering.

This is Jandy Nelson’s debut novel

If you liked The Sky is Everywhere you might also enjoy: The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard, Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder, Hold Still by Nina LaCour and If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Author Website: http://www.jandynelson.com/

Rating: W4/4 C4/4 P3.5/4 O3.5/4 PP3/4 CR3/4
Grade Level Interest: JS


Hi Everyone,

Are you as excited for Mockingjay as I am? I’m sure you’ve seen this around, but I wanted to reemphasize it here on my blog as well.

From Suzanne Collins:

One of the most important things to me is that everyone in the world is going to be able to experience the final book of The Hunger Games all at the same time, and be able to discover what happens in the book without hearing about it elsewhere first. Word will certainly travel fast, but I urge you – before or immediately after August 24th – to please respect the other Hunger Games fans worldwide and avoid sharing any spoilers, so that the conclusion of Katniss’s story can unfold for each reader the way it was meant to unfold.

I love this! I bet in a million years she never would have imagined how big Hunger Games would get (or will get). I think it’s awesome for her and for us because the books are simply amazing.

I probably won’t review Mockingjay until a little white after it’s been released, simply so that people can read it and make up their own minds about it.

If you’re interested in the series, check out my review for Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

Monday, August 16, 2010


By Aprilynne Pike
359 pages
Part 2 in Series

Summary: Laurel is spending the summer at Avalon in order to learn some magic to protect her family against the trolls she ran into last year. Even though she has accepted that she is a faerie, she still struggles with who she is supposed to be. Now that she’s spending more time in her world, Tamani is getting bolder with respect to his feelings for her, and she is starting to get confused despite the fact that David is waiting for her at home. Lauren will have to choose between the world of the faerie or the world of humans and between David and Tamani in order to find her true home and destiny.

Review: Spells was a lovely sequel to Wings. In this second book, character development takes precedence over plot and story development, and it’s not until the end that we see some action. Laurel is a beautifully crafted main character with a relatable voice and enough charm and sincerity to win over even the toughest reader. Pike does an excellent job at the juxtaposition of the two worlds and the two men with Laurel struggling at the centre. Readers who enjoyed the love triangle in Wings will not be disappointed as the choice for Laurel becomes even harder in this sequel (go team David!). There is a good balance between fantasy and realistic fiction, so I think this book has a wide appeal. Overall, a very enjoyable read and Pike has once again proven her immense talent.

Also by Aprilynne Pike: Wings

If you liked Spells you might also enjoy: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, Ash by Malindo Lo, Fallen by Lauren Kate

Additional Info: According to Aprilynne herself, the title Enhancements which was released on Amazon Canada for some reason, is 99.9% not going to be the title of the third book. She also has said that it might be out in May 2011, although there is no official date. Also, in case you thought this was a trilogy, there is a forth book!

Author website: http://www.aprilynnepike.com/

Rating: W3.5/4 C4/4 P3.5/4 O4/4 PP3.5/4 CR4/4
Grade level Interest: JS

Home from Holidays

Hi Everyone,

I’m back from holidays and my designer is still missing in action, which is really unfortunate because I was loving the new look. I’ve decided to just change it back in the meantime so at least the blog is functional. Hopefully I can get in touch with her soon and we can work out the problems. In the meantime I have a lot of reviews coming your way. I got a lot of reading done while on holidays with my family, so stay tuned.

AND while I was away on holidays I recieved word that the wonderful blog Fluditity of Time gifted me with the Versatile Blogger Award, so thank you so much!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still having problems

Hello folks, I'm still having problems with the blog. I'm away on holidays with limited internet activity so it's making this process much more difficult. I'll have this fixed and be back to posting exciting reviews and other such things soon.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hello Friends

As you can tell I'm undergoing new blog design (isn't it lovely!). Anyhoo there is some kinks with the comments, so until that is worked out I apologize. I love getting your comments, so hopefully we'll have that addressed soon. Happy friday everyone.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I had my last class today, so I’ve officially finished my MLIS degree. It’s been a great experience, one that has no doubt changed my life. However, I’m very excited to get into the field and actually start working.

So to celebrate I’m posting this hilarious “The Masters of Library Science” youtube video that I’ve seen floating around the blogosphere.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

YA Character Battles

This is a direct repost from The Neverending Shelf, but it was a cool idea so I thought I would repost it.

Something is going down. Something big.

How would you like to see Edward duke it out against Hermione? Or Katniss and Katsa? Well, guess what? You can, in the first ever YA Fantasy Showdown. In celebration of Suzanne Collin’s final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, a group of bloggers are pitting some of the best-known characters in YA in the ultimate showdown. And you get to pick the winner.
That’s right. You read the battles, evaluate the characters, and vote for who has the honor of moving on to the next round. It’s a tournament like you’ve never seen before (because there’s more). The authors have been asked to participate and advocate their character in writing their own version of the battle. It’s going to be truly epic. Or at least a good way to pass the time until Mockingjay comes out. It all goes down August 10th.

Want to participate or find out more information? Then check out the site:http://yafantasyshowdown.weebly.com/

Coming Soon to a Library Near You

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This Week’s Book: Cate of the Lost Colony
Author: Lisa M. Klein
Release Date: October 12 2010
The greatest unsolved mystery of American history--what happened to all the colonists who landed on Roanoke Island in 1587? This novel traces the fortunes and misfortunes of one Cate Archer, banished to Virginia by a jealous Queen Elizabeth because of her dalliance with Sir Walter Ralegh. What will be her fate in this dangerous New World? (goodreads)

I generally like historical fiction, but I especially love anything historical set in North America. This looks really interesting and it's a topic I hear about from time to time. If anyone has already read it, I would love to hear your oppinions :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Perfect Chemistry

Perfect Chemistry
By Simone Elkeles
357 pages

Summary: Brittany Ellis is from the north side of town. She’s popular, a cheerleader and is dating the most popular boy in school. She has spent most of her life projecting that her beautiful and rich family is perfect and flawless, despite the secret they keep. Alex is from the south side of town, where he is a member of a dangerous gang. He’s done everything he can to keep his family safe, but there are some lines he refuses to cross. When the two are put together in chemistry class, their worlds are blown open and they realize that together, anything is possible.

Review: Perfect Chemistry was a very captivating read. Despite my wariness of such a romantic novel, I was hooked from the start and couldn’t put it down. Elkeles does a beautiful job at creating captivating characters. Their shared narrative serve to fill out the story and connect readers. We see the shared insecurities, desires and the tenderness between them and are immediately pulled into their story. While the romantic relationship is the central part of the novel, the elements of Brittney’s (her sister) and Alex’s (his gang) lives make this story about so much more. This novel definitely has an audience beyond just those who enjoy romance.

Also by Simone Elkeles: Leaving Paradise, Return to Paradise and Rules of Attraction

If you liked Perfect Chemistry you might also enjoy: The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti, Up Country by Alden Carter, No More For Us by David Hernandez, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X Stork, Going to Far by Jennifer Echols

Additional Info: Rules of Attraction is a lose sequel that follows Carlos, Alex’s younger brother. Also there will be a third book in the series, set to be released early 2011

Author website: http://www.simoneelkeles.net/index-web.html

Rating: W3.5/4 C4/4 P3.5/4 O3/4 PP4/4 CR4/4
Grade Level Interest: JS

Monday, August 2, 2010

My First Blogger Award!

Hi everyone, I’m back from my cottage and I finally have high speed internet, seriously how did I manage?

First off.... I received my first award. Thank you so much Lost in Wonderland for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award. I’m so excited!

If you have received this award:

1.Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award
2.Share 7 things about yourself
3.Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4.Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

Seven things about me
1. I only have two weeks left in my MLIS degree, and then I will be just another unemployed librarian (hopefully not for long)
2. I’m extremely close with my mom, she comes over at least once a week to have a movie night, go shopping, do art, whatever.
3. I’m terrified of newborn babies...they are kinda gross and I’m afraid to drop them. Not really practical when I have a nephew and two nieces, with three more on the way before Christmas.
4. Halloween is my favourite holiday, I really go all out in decorating. Sometimes I do themes, last year we had a gothic theme.
5. I secretly love reading Travel books. I read them almost as much as I read YA books.
6. Ghost stories freak me out.
7. Sometimes I have random dance parties when I’m alone, or just home with my husband.

So here are the some of my favourite blogs that I think are deserving of the Versatile Blogger Award. I apologize if you’ve already received it, but that just means you’re doubly versatile and doubly appreciated (and that I’m not always on top of these things)

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