Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fade by Lisa McCann

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck. Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open--but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability. And it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a Dream Catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd even feared...

The second book in this series, seemed to start a little slow (but don't most books) or it could've just been me. I love the writing style. Short crisp sentences, not overly descriptive much of the time. Detail and narrative when it matters. Some books need a lot of narrative to draw you into and make you part of the story. As a matter of fact that is typical and wonderful. This author doesn't rely on it, and it works really well. The end of the book took an unexpected twist that totally sucker punched me. I can't see where she takes it with:

the planned third book, "Gone"


Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she'd made her peace with it. But she can't handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He's amazing. And she's a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves--she has to disappear. And it's going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life--and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she'd ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out...

He reaches toward her, his fingers black and bloody, his eyes deranged, unblinking. Janie is paralyzed. his cold hands reach around her neck, squeezing tight, tighter, until Janie has no breath left. She's unable to move, unable to think. As his grasp tightens further around Janie's neck, his face turns sickly alabaster. He strains harder and begins to shake.

Janie is dying.
She has no fight left in her.
It's over.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Part of the Soul Screamers series. Can I just say that the covers are gorgeous?


She doesn't see dead people, but...

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...

The last thing you hear before you die...

The question is why does she know who is going to die, what compels her to scream bloody murder, and why are so many teenage girls dying?

Buy it.

To read an exerpt go to the Amazon website: here You can also get a free download of the prequel, My Soul to Lose, on Rachel's website

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 - PJ Haarsma,


A human boy with an uncanny link to computers finds danger and discovery on the rings of Orbis in this riveting sci-fi adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Johnny Turnbull has always known there was something different about him, even before he and two hundred other kids landed on the first ring of Orbis. But once their spaceship lands, he is identified as the first-ever "softwire" -- a human with the ability to enter and communicate with computers through his mind -- and becomes the focus of intergalactic intrigue. Johnny and the rest of the refugee orphans are put to work in alien factories, and very quickly things go very wrong. When the all-knowing, all-controlling, and technologically "perfect" central computer starts malfunctioning, suspicious eyes turn to Johnny. Is he the one responsible? This action-packed, fast-paced sci-fi novel will keep kids on the edge of their seats.

Something in this made me think of Orson Scott Card and "Ender's Game." Certainly not as complex and much warmer, still struck the same nerve that made me love "Ender's Game." It felt unfinished (gee, maybe because it is the first of a trilogy), but I didn't find that off-putting, I simply ordered the next book.

Definitely worth reading.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This was waiting for me

when I returned home yesterday from vacation:

Can you say Squeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Unwind - Neal Shusterman

UNWIND - Neal Shusterman

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them. Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.In Unwind,Boston Globe/Horn BookAward winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

The first question is why Unwinding? Maybe what is Unwinding? In some alternate future the war (which became an actual war) betwen Pro-Choice and Pro-Life was settle with a abolition of abortion. You could "stork" a baby by leaving it on someone's doorstep, as long as you didn't get caught. But other than that, every pregnancy had to attempt to succeed as a live birth and the parents were responsible for that child until they were at least 13. At that time a parent could choose to unwind a child.

The unwound child was harvested for body parts, and this compromise between pro-life and pro-choice was agreed on because if the parts lived on, then the child never really died. I guess the soul doesn't count. The book touches on whether "the parts" retained some memories of the original owner. Society had figured out a way to use nearly 100% of the body in transplants. Things like the appendix didn't seem to count.

The book description above gives reasons for the three chldren's unwinding. Every life is precious doesn't seem to apply.

The book was very interesting, even though it seemed slow in the beginning. That could be because I was reading it so slowly. It is hard to really get into a book when you can only read a couple of pages at a time. But I found myself really vested in the outcome of Connor and Risa. I seem to remember feeling the same way about "Everlost", so perhaps it is simply Mr. Shusterman's style.

Read it.

Unwind is available in both paperback and hardback.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter. ~Thomas Helm

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Radiant Darkness - Emily Whitman

Let's get this out of the way. I prefer my fantasy urban and gritty. I am definintely more of a Buffy girl.

(Borders) Description: Persephone, a young goddess, leaves home to find romance and independence--and finds herself along the way.

(Barnes & Noble) Synopsis:

He smiles. "Hello."

It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.

I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.

In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is.

Radiant Darkness is, to my taste, fluffy. But if you like your fantasy fae, alternate worlds, myths, legends, fables and etherial, you may really like this book. The writing is good. I just prefer things that are a little more gritty and kick-ass.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.
~Author Unknown

Friday, June 19, 2009

New York Times Bestsellers

Books from the New York Times Best Seller List today. Anything not 12 & up, is not included. (Yep, it's a double negative done correctly.)


1 TWILIGHT: DIRECTOR’S NOTEBOOK, by Catherine Hardwicke. (Little, Brown, $17.99.)
2 THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, by Neil Gaiman. Illustrated by Dave McKean. (HarperCollins, $17.99.)
3 THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins. (Scholastic, $17.99.)
4 THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, by Jay Asher. (Razorbill, $16.99.)
5 WINGS, by Aprilynne Pike. (HarperCollins, $16.99.)
6 THE AWAKENING, by Kelley Armstrong. (HarperCollins, $17.99.)
8 HUNGER, by Michael Grant. (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, $17.99.)
9 ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY, by Kim Harrison. (HarperCollins, $16.99.)
10 SCAT, by Carl Hiaasen. (Random House, $16.99.)


1 THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak. (Knopf, $11.99.)
2 LOCK AND KEY, by Sarah Dessen. (Speak, $8.99.)
4 THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, by John Boyne. (Random House, $8.99.)
5 EVERMORE, by Alyson Noël. (St. Martin’s Griffin, $9.95.)
6 TWEAK, by Nic Sheff. (Atheneum, $9.99.)
7 THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, by Sherman Alexie. Illustrated by Ellen Forney. (Little, Brown, $8.99.)
8 BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, by Kate Brian. (Simon & Schuster, $9.99.)


1 THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephenie Meyer.
5 HOUSE OF NIGHT, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.
6 THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, by Cassandra Clare.
7 NIGHT WORLD, by L. J. Smith.
9 PENDRAGON, by D. J. MacHale.

Lots of Fantasy on the lists!!

In the Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan

I have been stalling on reviewing this one, but haven't been able to settle on a quote from the book, there were too many that I want to use. Hell with it. It has zombies. It is good. It is NOT cheesy. Enough said. Not positive, but I expect a sequel.

Description: Mary lives in a small village governed by the religious Sisterhood and bordered with a fence to keep out the Unconsecrated--a horde of the undead. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future--between the one she loves and the one who loves her.

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best, and the fence that protects her village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth must remain intact. After fence is breached, Mary's world is thrown into chaos, and she must choose between her village and her future.

Buy it.

Strange Angels - Lili St. Crow

Description -
Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

Entertaining, fun, and well written. I can't wait to see what Lili St. Crow (Lilith Saint Crow) does next.
Betrayals: A Strange Angels Novel is set to come out Nov 17, 2009. I already have it on pre-order.

Buy it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Quote o' the Day

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.
~James Bryce

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

Love in the mail today. The artists are churning the books out faster than I can read them, much less comment on them.

"Love You Hate You Miss You" was written by Elizabeth Scott, and was just released on May 26th. I hate to say it, but it may be a little before I get to it. I still have to write up my reaction to Carrie Ryan's Forsest of Hands and Teeth, plus there at least 3 books I want to read first that I can think of off the top of my head. But anyway, I am looking forward to being able to read it.

Some information on the book:
Title: Love You Hate You Miss You
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Series: Elizabeth Scott
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (May 26, 2009)
Price: $12.74

It is a very small book, only 7x5 inches.

Product Description:

Get this, I'm supposed to be starting a journal about "my journey." Please. I can see it now: Dear Diary, As I'm set adrift on this crazy sea called "life" . . . I don't think so.

It's been seventy-five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her.

And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone now, and she doesn't want to talk about it. They wouldn't get it, anyway. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you.

They wouldn't understand what it feels like to know it's your fault.

Amy's shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia.

But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn't as perfect as she thought it was—and the present deserves a chance too.

If you finish it before I do, let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Most Popular Pre-Orders

on Amazon.com. I am only including new publications. My preferred reading is Urban Fantasy, but I have included regular fantasy as well. I don't think there is any Sci Fi on the list. D:

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
Suzanne Collins
September 1st, Hardcover

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4)
Richelle Mead
August 25th, Hardcover

Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1)
Kim Harrison
May 26th, Hardcover

Blue Moon: The Immortals
Alyson Noel
July 7th, Paperback

Van Alen Legacy, The (A Blue Bloods Novel)
Melissa De La Cruz
October 6th, Hardback

Tenth Grade Bleeds (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod)
Heather Brewer
June 25th, Hardcover

Resurrection (Wicked)
Nancy Holder
July 7th, Paperback

The Sorcerer of the North: Book Five (Ranger's Apprentice)
John Flanagan
June 25th, paperback

Hunger: A Gone Novel
Michael Grant
May 26th, Hardcover

Kristin Cashore
October 5th, Hardcover

The Demon's Lexicon
Sarah Rees Brennan
June 2nd, Hardcover

Image by J. Corsentino, from Time of the Faeries. Check his work out, it is beautiful.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Finished the book. Loved it! Will write a proper view soon. I like to find quotes to show the magic of the writing... I have about 15. Need to try cut that down. I will work on the post today and will be starting to read Strange Angels. Funny thing. I was lucky enough to get a ARC of Strange Angels, but only a week before it was released. Didn't get to the ARC before I got my pre-ordered copy in the mail (forgot I pre-ordered it). Probably should read the "official" version, and just snuggle my ARC as it was the first one I received.

Take care poppets! Do something nice for someone today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Forest of Hands and Teeth... Movie? *update

Some exciting news. The rights for The Forest of Hands and Teeth (which I am in the middle of) have been sold and they are already talking casting. The only name I heard mentioned was Kristen Stewart. Too bad Emmy Rossum wasn't a little younger, she would do well too.

*Just picked this up from Twitter from Carrie Ryan:
RT @randomhousekids: Kristen Stewart's production company has bought the rights to THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH! http://ow.ly/6rzm

Monday, May 11, 2009

NY Times Bestseller List

Edited down for the 12 and up/Young Adult

This Week
Weeks on List
1TWILIGHT: DIRECTOR’S NOTEBOOK, by Catherine Hardwicke. (Little, Brown, $17.99.) The making of "Twilight," the movie. (Ages 9 to 12)4

3THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, written by Neil Gaiman. Illustrated by Dave McKean. (HarperCollins, $17.99.) To avoid a killer, a young boy lives in a cemetery. First Chapter (Ages 10 and up)28
4THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins. (Scholastic, $17.99.) In a dystopian future, a girl fights for survival on live TV. (Ages 12 and up)31
5THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, by Jay Asher. (Razorbill, $16.99.) Before committing suicide a girl records and sends explanatory audiotapes to 13 people. (Ages 14 and up)25
6WINTERGIRLS, by Laurie Halse Anderson. (Viking, $17.99.) A life-and-death story of anorexia. (Ages 12 and up)4

8STARGAZER, by Claudia Gray. (HarperTeen, $16.99.) Vampire love in school. (Ages 12 and up)3
9FADE, by Lisa McMann. (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, $15.99.) Nightmares haunt Janie the dream-hopper. (Ages 14 and up)9

This Week
Weeks on List
1EVERMORE, by Alyson Noël. (St. Martin’s Griffin, $9.95.) Immortals in school. (Ages 12 and up)10
2THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak. (Knopf, $11.99.) A girl saves books from Nazi burning and shares them with a Jewish man in hiding. First Chapter (Ages 14 and up)83
3THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, by John Boyne. (Random House, $8.99.) A boy’s innocence is eroded in evil times. (Ages 12 and up)23
4THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, written by Sherman Alexie. Illustrated by Ellen Forney. (Little, Brown, $8.99.) A boy leaves his reservation for an all-white school. (Ages 12 and up)3

6THE SUMMONING, by Kelley Armstrong. (HarperCollins, $8.99.) A girl who sees ghosts is locked up. (Ages 12 and up)2

8GLASS, by Ellen Hopkins. (Simon Pulse, $9.99.) An addiction novel in verse. (Ages 14 and up)1

10SLAM, by Nick Hornby. (Riverhead, $14.) A skateboarder gets his girlfriend pregnant. What would Tony Hawk do? (Ages 12 and up)23

This Week
Weeks on List
1THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephenie Meyer. (Megan Tingley/Little, Brown, hardcover and paper) Vampires and werewolves in high school. (Ages 12 and up)88

3HOUSE OF NIGHT, by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast. (St. Martin’s, hardcover and paper) Vampires in school. (Ages 14 and up)33
4THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, by Cassandra Clare. (McElderry/Simon & Schuster, hardcover and paper) A girl battles the forces of darkness. (Ages 14 and up)3
5MAXIMUM RIDE, by James Patterson. (Little Brown, hardcover and paper) Winged children try to save the world. (Ages 10 and up)49
6NIGHT WORLD, by L. J. Smith. (Simon Pulse, paper only) Supernatural races form secret societies. (Ages 14 and up)18




Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Strange Angels - Lili St. Crow

\Love in the Mail!!!!   Squeeeeeee!  (Okay, I am normally not a squee girl, but I am making an exception here.) Today I got my first advanced reader's copy of a book and I feel so priviliedged and special (I shouldn't but I do, so I am just going to go with it).  It has just moved to the next in the to-be-read list as soon as I finish The Forest of Hands and Teeth (It has zombies ;)).

Book Info:

Title: Strange Angels
Author: Lili St. Crow
Series: None
Genre: Young Adult, fantasy
Edition: Trade Paperback
304 pages
Price: $9.99
Published: May 14th, 2009 (available for preorder)

Product Description
Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)
Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Scott Westerfeld

Cover of the new Scott Westerfeld book (of "Uglies" series fame).  More info on his site.

It is the first in a series and is scheduled to be released in October 2009.  It is going to contain 50 illustrations.  How cool is that?

Lifted from his site:
WTF? Okay, Leviathan is set in an alternate world in which Charles Darwin discovered biotechnology. So the British Empire was built on the backs of strange, fabricated beasties. Living airships! Fighting kraken! Message lizards!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Series: None
Genre: Young Adult
Edition: Hardback
288 pages
Price: $12.23
Published: March 19, 2009


"Dead girl walking," the boys say in the halls.
"Tell us your secret," the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend's restless spirit.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia's descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

I am not sure how to review this book. I love angst books. This one hit me really hard. I got a bout 1/3 of the way into it and couldn't stop crying, so I put it aside for awhile and picked up and nice werewolf book. I did get back to it and finished it last night.

It is so good and so gut-wrenching. This poor girl and book has it all: anorexia, mental illness, cutting, suicide. And she keeps it all locked up inside her. Her once best-friend Cassie dies in an assumed suicide (perhaps I just assumed it), then haunts Lia (is she really there? really ghost? or is it just Lia's creation?) Cassie encourages all Lia's weaknesses and self-doubt.

She believes there is something wrong with her eyes, that she doesn't see things the way they really are, or is that something is wrong with everyone else's eyes and she is the only one that can see.

There is a litany of voices that run through her mind:


(pg 236)


(pg 60)

Lia has been hospitailized twice for anorexia, and has learned to play the game to show the outside world she is healing, while inside she is spinning out of control. She sews quarters into the pockets of her bathrobe to fool her step-mother that her weight is stable. Meanwhile she plays games with herself. Goals of getting down to 99 lbs, 95 lbs, 90lbs, etc. She knows 85lbs is "dangerland," but can't stop herself.

"If I could get down to 070.00, I'd want 065.00. If I weighed 010.00, I wouldn't be happy until I got down to 005.00. The only number that would ever be enough is 0. Zero pounds, zero life, size zero, double-zero, zero point. Zero in tennis is love. I finally get it." (page 220)

Yes, in the end she realizes that she needs more help than she can give herself and that she is out of control. She has to reach out for that help and be honest with what is in her head and share that with the people can help her. Is it a happy ending? Sort of. It is a step in the right direction.

This is a beautiful book written in an extremely visually appealing style. It may be too brutal for someone that is in the same place as Lia. But I am not even close to being an expert in making that judgement.

I read "Fever 1793" years ago and it remains on my top list of books. Now I am going to have to go back and read everything in between.

My to-be-read pile now needs its own set of bookshelves.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I am so screwed

I had pre-ordered this one. (I do that a lot.) I don't know how I am supposed to get all these books read. And I want to get lost in them, not feel like it is a chore.

Hi, my name is Terin, and I am addicted to books.

I just can't stop buying them.

Title: Radiant Darkness
Author: Emily Whitman
Series: none
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 288
Price: $11.55
Published: April 28, 2009

Product Description

He smiles. "Hello."

It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.

I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.

In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I think I am in love with the UPS man

More love in the mail today. Just got:

Title: Willow
Author: Julia Hoban
Series: none
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 336
Price: $11.55
Published: April 2, 2009

Product Description/Synopsis:

Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow's parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy —one sensitive, soulful boy—discovers Willow's secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the "safe" world Willow has created for herself upside down.

Told in an extraordinary fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl's struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy's refusal to give up on her.

Sounds very angsty. I may have to read something in between this and Wintergirls. Something with vampires is always good. :D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Top of the List

Congratulations to everyone!

from NYT - Children's Books

Chapter Books
1 - Twilight Director's Notebook by Catherine Hardwicke (4 weeks on list)
3- THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, written by Neil Gaiman (28 weeks on list)
4- THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins (31 weeks on list)
5- THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, by Jay Asher (25 weeks on list)
6 - WINTERGIRLS, by Laurie Halse Anderson (4 weeks on list)
8- STARGAZER, by Claudia Gray 3 weeks on list)
9- FADE, by Lisa McMann (9 weeks on list)

Paperback Books
1- EVERMORE, by Alyson Noël (10 weeks on list)
2- THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak (83 weeks on list)
3- THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, by John Boyne (23 weeks on list)
4- THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, written by Sherman Alexie (3 weeks on list)
6- THE SUMMONING, by Kelley Armstrong (2 weeks on list)
8- GLASS, by Ellen Hopkins (1 weeks on list)
10-SLAM, by Nick Hornby (23 weeks on list)

Series Books
1- THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephenie Meyer. (88 Weeks on list)
3- HOUSE OF NIGHT, by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast (33 weeks on list)
4- THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, by Cassandra Clare (3 weeks on list)
5- MAXIMUM RIDE, by James Patterson (49 weeks on list)
6- NIGHT WORLD, by L. J. Smith (18 weeks on list)

Why the gaps? Because I am interested in Young Adult/Teen/Adolescent Fiction. That's why. So anything that doesn't end in "& up" doesn't make my version of their list :D

from Amazon.com - Teens
1-9- Different versions of the books from the Twilight series. I am not typing it, bite me.
10- The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Love in the Mail

Got a little love from Amazon.com yesterday:
Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Virus on Orbis I by PJ Haarsma

And bought these over the weekend:
A Countess Below the Stairs By Eva Ibbotson

I got some grown-up books too, but we don't want to hear about those now, do we?

I really need to be on a deserted island for a few weeks with my books. I have so many to enjoy and get caught up on.

Much love poppets,
Be good to each other!

Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled "This could change your life." ~Helen Exley

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Exchange - Graham Joyce

Title: The Exchange
Author: Graham Joyce
Series: None
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Edition: Hardback
256 pages
Price: $11.55 ($13.59 at Barnes & Noble)
Published: July 2008

I hate to start off this way, but - a big disappointment. I picked this one up a couple of times at Barnes & Noble (the only bookstore in my town) and put it back. One of the reasons I would put it back is that it was not available in paperback. And $12.00 for something I was pretty iffy about didn't seem like a good idea. But the premise sounded interesting and I liked the cover picture. (Boy, the "don't judge a book by its cover," sure came back to bite me this time.) Does anyone else think she looks just like Kristin Stewart? No? Just me, huh? Okey dokey then.

The product description called it "A taut (does this mean terse?), otherworldly (maybe) thriller (no) set in contemporary England (okay, this one I can agree with)."

Caz and her best friend Lucy break into strangers’ homes in the middle of the night—not to steal anything, just for the rush. They sneak up on the resident and get nose to nose with them for 15 seconds. Caz (which is short for Catherine by the way) gets caught doing this by one of her elderly neighbors. The old woman snaps a silver bracelet around Caz's wrist. She can’t remove it no matter what she does; The next morning the bracelet seems to have melted into her skin and looks like a tattoo. In addition to the unwanted tattoo that glows and fades in and out, she begins to have a kind of ESP. She can sense other people’s inner lives.

At issue... It is just not interesting. It sounded like it should have been, but I didn't feel the characters or what they were going through. It was a decent script but poorly acted and over-edited. I wondered if it was just me. When looking at Amazon, no one had reviewed the book yet. I found hardly any mention of it when Googling it. Nothing on the author's website. I finally found it originally published in England in 2006 under the name, "Do the Creepy Thing." At Borders.uk it had one review with 4 stars. Since it was only one review I am not going to worry about it being different from my own. No reviews or ratings given at Barnes and Noble or Borders.

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Science Fiction
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 384
Price: $12.23
Published: September14, 2008

The Hunger Games reminded me of why I like adolescent fiction. Good adolescent fiction. It has been awhile since I have read something truly good. I have gotten bored with selections from the young adult realm. I debated about getting this one. Something about the cover (because unfortunately I do judge a book by its cover) turned me off. But the book was mentioned by Stephanie Meyer on her website... so I was curious.

September 17, 2008

People often ask me for reading suggestions, and I'm always happy to share because books are exciting things to me. My latest excitement is this: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading. The story kept me up for several nights in a row, because even after I was finished, I just lay in bed wide awake thinking about it. I've been recommending it to total strangers in Target. And now to everyone who reads my website. The Hunger Games is amazing.


What she said. I started it yesterday and finished it this evening. I was tempted to start this post this morning, but I figured I should at least finish the book first.

Katniss is a 16 year old girl living in Panema, what used to be called North America, sometime in the indeterminate future. There had been a civil war of sorts. The rebels lost and are relegated to living within there regions and not allowed to leave the fenced confines with out permission of the "government."

As part of the settlement between the Regions and the Capital, there is a yearly "tribute," where each region sends two of its young adults to compete in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are a fight to the death in a mix between Survivor and Lord of the Flies televised for the entertainment of Panema. It also is a reminder to the Regions of who is in charge and what the consequences might be for defiance.

The Regions are responsible for a variety of agri-economic (is that a real word, or did I just make it up?) ventures. The region that Katniss lives in mines coal. This population is of a poorer socio-economic class and does not have enough provisions to live as comfortably as the populations from the more "loyal" regions.

The Tributes (the name given to the kids involved) are chosen from a pool of young adults that have registered for consideration in exchange for food and supply rations. After a coal mine explosion that kills her father, Katniss takes over as the provider for her mother and younger sister. She leaves the confines of her region to hunt in the woods and supplement the meager supplies of food her family has. When Katniss' younger sister is chosen, Katniss volunteers to go in her place.

The "Tributes" are groomed and coached to gain popularity and gain sponsorship according to their entertainment value. Does any of this sound familiar? The Tributes are let loose in an arena, which is more of a artificially natural environment than a stadium, and the games are not over until only one person is left. The are given some meager provisions: food weaponry and supplies, in the beginning, but they are forced to fight for them. The rest is left to their resourcefulness and the generosity of their sponsors, who may parachute in something the Tribute needs.

Hmmmm... now that I think about it, the book cover looks kind of nazi-ish, don't you think?

In any other young adult book, at least that I have been reading lately, you know the protagonist will prevail and survive. This one I did not have the confidence to predict the outcome. I saw it going several different ways.

Katniss is a well-written character. She is easy to identify with and her talents that may seem convenient are explained in realistic ways. The key to any book for me are the characters. If I do not care about the character(s), then I am not going to care about the story.

Extremely entertaining, well-written, and containing messages (though not overt) even I could understand. One word of warning - it is book one of a trilogy. This one was just published last month and I have not been able to find a time frame for the next one. I hope it doesn't take too long.

Technically it is science fiction, but it doesn't read that way, even less so than The Host.

Wake - Lisa McCann

Title: Wake
Author: Lisa McCann
Series: Book 1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Edition: Hardback
Published: March 7, 2008
Pages: 224
Price: $10.87

Product Description
Not all dreams are sweet.
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
December 9, 2005, 12:55 p.m.

Janie Hannagan's math book slips from her fingers. She grips the edge of the table in the school library. Everything goes black and silent. She sighs and rests her head on the table. Tries to pull herself out of it, but fails miserably. She's too tired today. Too hungry. She really doesn't have time for this.

And then.

She's sitting in the bleachers in the football stadium, blinking under the lights, silent among the roars of the crowd.

She glances at the people sitting in the bleachers around her -- fellow classmates, parents -- trying to spot the dreamer. She can tell this dreamer is afraid, but where is he? Then she looks to the football field. Finds him. Rolls her eyes.

It's Luke Drake. No question about it. He is, after all, the only naked player on the field for the homecoming game.

Nobody seems to notice or care. Except him. The ball is snapped and the lines collide, but Luke is covering himself with his hands, hopping from one foot to the other. She can feel his panic increasing. Janie's fingers tingle and go numb.

Luke looks over at Janie, eyes pleading, as the football moves toward him, a bullet in slow motion. "Help," he says.

She thinks about helping him. Wonders what it would take to change the course of Luke's dream. She even considers that a boost of confidence to the star receiver the day before the big game could put Fieldridge High in the running for the Regional Class A Championship.

But Luke's really a jerk. He won't appreciate it. So she resigns herself to watching the debacle. She wonders if he'll choose pride or glory.

He's not as big as he thinks he is.

That's for damn sure.

The football nearly reaches Luke when the dream starts over again. Oh, get ON with it already, Janie thinks. She concentrates in her seat on the bleachers and slowly manages to stand. She tries to walk back under the bleachers for the rest of the dream so she doesn't have to watch, and surprisingly, this time, she is able.

That's a bonus.

1:01 p.m.

Janie's mind catapults back inside her body, still sitting at her usual remote corner table in the library. She flexes her fingers painfully, lifts her head and, when her sight returns, she scours the library.

She spies the culprit at a table about fifteen feet away. He's awake now. Rubbing his eyes and grinning sheepishly at the two other football players who stand around him, laughing. Shoving him. Whapping him on the head.

Janie shakes her head to clear it and she lifts up her math book, which sits open and facedown on the table where she dropped it. Under it, she finds a fun-size Snickers bar. She smiles to herself and peers to the left, between rows of bookshelves.

But no one is there for her to thank.

Copyright © 2008 by Lisa McMann

There is the game we play where we say what superpower we would have if we could pick one. It sounds like fun, right? Except when you have to live with it. In these glimpses we have into characters imaginary lives... we see that have a superpower isn't all it is cracked up to be. These superpowers can't be turned off.

Janie doesn't know why she gets sucked into other people's dreams. She doesn't want to be there. She doesn't want to know what lurks in other's subconscious minds. But she doesn't have a choice. When someone nears falls asleep and begins to dream, she looses consciousness and becomes an observer in the their dream. While she is there, she isn't asleep. WHen she does sleep, she doesn't dream. As she is nearing adulthood, she tries to get control of this power, in an attempt to live a normal life.

Skinned - Robin Wasserman

Title: Skinned
Author: Robin Wasserman
Series: Skinned (Book 1)
Edition: Hardback
Published: September 9, 2008
Pages: 368
Price: $10.87

Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular -- until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life.

Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime -- for which they must pay the ultimate price.

Liked it, very much!

In case you were wondering, do those snotty, cheerleader, barbie, popular high school girls know they are "all that"? Yep, and they'll show you the bag of chips too. At least in this story anyway.

The story is set in the future. Lia's car malfunctions and she is the victim of a car accident that destroys her body. But there is a company that has developed the ability to create an automaton and "download" an existing human personality into it. This is new technology and not trusted by the general population. Society cannot decide if they are really people. For example, what is essentially her internet account is canceled because she is technically dead.

Lia knows she is the most popular girl in school. When her organic body is replaced with a mechanical one, she is suddenly the freak. These members of society (are they members any more?) become outcasts. She has a difficult time fitting back in. Her body was bought "off the rack". It doesn't look like her. It doesn't sound like her. And she doesn't look quite human, so people know instantly that she is a "mech (mechanical)" not an "org (organic)."

They question is one of humanity. What makes us human? Is it our cell, DNA? Or is it an essence or soul? With Lia they ask is it still Lia? Or is just a computer programmed to think it's Lia? She questions this as well.

This is the first of a planned trilogy, and I am interested to read the others. Unfortunately it is going to be a bit of a wait. I have no idea where the author is in Book 2. It definitely is not available for pre-order yet. It is in the "B" range only because it didn't totally suck me in. I blame that on Lia being the "popular" girl. I can't relate.

Living Dead Girl - Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl - Elizabeth Scott

Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Price: $11.55
Pages: 176
Edition: Hardback
Published: Sept 2, 2008

A 15-year-old girl who has spent the last five years being abused by a kidnapper named Ray and is kept powerless by Ray's promise to harm her family if she makes one false move. The narrator knows she is the second of the girls Ray has abducted and renamed Alice; Ray killed the first when she outgrew her childlike body at 15, and now Alice half-hopes her own demise is approaching (I think of the knife in the kitchen, of the bridges I've seen from the bus... but the thing about hearts is that they always want to keep beating). Ray, however, has an even more sinister plan: he orders Alice to find a new girl, then train her to Ray's tastes.

I am still not sure how I felt about this book. The story is not long and relies on suggestive details rather than lurid. It has gotten excellent reviews. I wasn't as big of a fan as I thought I should be. Alice's situation is horrifying, but for some reason, I didn't empathize with her. I have no idea why not. It is very well written, but it may have been too real. I am undecided.