Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My "I Don't Care How Many Followers I Have" Giveaway!

Welcome to my FIRST EVER Giveaway.  It’s not about followers, it’s just that I’ve recently won a few books, and I wanted give others a chance to win something from me. All I ask is that you read the description below, maybe check out some of my reviews, fill in the form and you are entered!  No extra entries for anything, but if you want to tweet about it, mention it on facebook, or on your blog, that would be appreciated.
Entry deadline is Wednesday, December 15, midnight, central daylight time.  Sorry – but it’s open to US residents only.
About this Blog:
First of all, I want this blog to be about book reviews.  I enjoy reading and participating in various memes – to learn more about the bloggers and what they are reading, but I always look for the reviews.  That’s what is most important to me, and I hope this blog reflects that.

My reviews are usually short.  I do not include a summary from the publisher, Goodreads, Amazon, or anywhere else.  Sometimes I think those summaries give away too much information, and when I look at other’s reviews, I usually just skim or read the first part of any summary.  I don’t mind reading other’s longer, more detailed reviews, but I prefer to be as concise as possible, giving my views about the characters and plot and mostly the “feeling” of the book, and not giving away the entire story.

I read a variety of stuff, but mostly YA or adult fiction appropriate for teens.  I review some stuff I’m required to, but I don’t want to have too many of those items, because I really have a lot of books on my TBR pile, old and new, that I just want to read for myself.  I’ll post reviews of them, even if hundreds of reviews have already been posted.

I don’t have a rating system, and I’d like your opinion on that.  Do you think it’s important to have a “this book got X out of 5 Stars” in a review?  I can go either way . . .

I like writing reviews.  As the top of my blog says, I have trouble remembering books that I’ve read because I read so much, so writing down my thoughts about the book helps me internalize the feelings and messages from the book and helps me remember them longer.  If you happen to enjoy my blog, hop on for the ride.  If this isn’t what you enjoy in a blog, that’s OK.  Thanks for visiting!  Leave me a comment and I’ll visit you too.

And now for the loot!  I'm giving away two books.

An ARC of Drought, by Pam Bachorz.  Goodreads description:

Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.
She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.

So she stays.

But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?

A paperback copy of Wings, by Aprilynne Pike.  Goodreads description:

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.
In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

Heres the Form:

Red Glass, by Laura Resau

First of all, I’d like to thank the unknown blogger who posted a review of Red Glass a while back which prompted me to put this on my TBR.  I’m so glad I did.  This is a story about Sophie, who lives in Arizona with her mom and step-father.  Her step father, who is Hispanic, has helped refugees from Mexico to get to the United States, and they end up taking in a little boy, Pablo whose parents did not survive their escape.  The novel is full of rich, colorful characters, who all have experienced great tragedies.  Sophie’s great aunt, Dika, who is a refugee from Serbia, lives with them and falls in love with a local Hispanic man named Mr. Lorenzo.  Mr. Lorenzo has a son, Angel. Angel’s mother was killed by guerillas in Guatemala.
It ends up that Pablo has relatives in Mexico, and he and Sophie, Dika, Mr. Lorenzo, and Angel go on a long road trip so Pablo can visit his relatives, and possible be returned to them.  This is a big step for Sophie, because she is a worrier.  She worries about getting cancer, being killed by a virus, a car accident, losing her mom, earthquakes, floods--so many things that she doesn’t experience life.  Early in the book she describes herself as “a shapeless amoeba, something that didn’t belong.  Not particularly noticed, definitely not appreciated.” But, Sophie decides to take this adventure on, and it becomes much more of a journey (and a danger) than she ever expected.  She learns much from her companions, about loss, tragedy, and fear that allow her to grow in a very special way. I’m not a big one for quotes, but here’s one I thought worth sharing:
I wondered if he and Angel noticed anything different about me, because I did.  I noticed that the layer of heavy, thick stuff that used to separate me from the world was disappearing, like mist rising and floating away.
There is also a romantic interest that slowly and beautifully develops between Sophie and Angel.  There is adventure and tension, but the end of this book left me with such a good feeling.  It was beautifully written.  The descriptions of Mexico and Guatemala – the flowers, the smells, the houses – made it easy to feel like you were there.  Give this one a try.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Will Save You

I read I Will Save You, by Matt de la Pena, for a review that will be published in Library Media Connection

This book would be enjoyed by teens who like a realistic story about a teen boy who has had a very difficult life and is trying to overcome tremendous obstacles. This is what I usually refer to as a "teen problem novel."

Here's a summary from Goodreads:

Kidd is running from his past and his future. No mom, no dad, and there’s nothing for him at the group home but therapy. He doesn’t belong at the beach where he works either, unless he finds a reason to stay.

Olivia is blond hair, blue eyes, rich dad. The prettiest girl in Cardiff. She’s hiding something from Kidd—but could they ever be together anyway?
Devon is mean, mysterious, and driven by a death wish. A best friend and worst enemy. He followed Kidd all the way to the beach and he’s not leaving until he teaches him a few lessons about life. And Olivia.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren, with  inspiration from Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

Here's my "haul" for the week:

I WON, that's right, WON Magic and Mystery by Peter Marino from the author and Jennifer, the Goddess Librarian!  (Thank you!)

From my library this week:

Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A.S. King (I feel like I'm the only person that hasn't read this yet!)

and, Folly, by Marthe Jocelyn.  Must admit I picked this one for the cover . . .

What books are you excited about this week?

Book Blogger Hop and Friday Follow (BBH & FF!)

Please stop by Crazy for Books and Parajunkee to join the fun!

Today's question for the Blogger Hop is:

 "What is your favorite book cover?"
This is a hard one for me, because I think book covers have gotten so much more exciting recently!  But, if I have to pick one (or at least one series), I would say the Luxe series.  I don't think I would have picked those books up, if I hadn't been drawn to the cover.  (I know that's bad, judging books by their covers, but come on, we're human, we all do it no matter how hard we try not to.)

Have a great week! Thanks for stopping by, see you on the next "hop!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Mermaid's Mirror -- Don't worry about the Mermaid Thing . . .

When I first heard about The Mermaid’s Mirror, I thought this book had to be “hokey.”  I mean, come on, a teen girl swims with the mermaids?  But I found this book to be a touching, heartfelt, believable story that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Lena, the main character, is always looking for something, but she doesn’t know what.  She wants to surf so badly, but her father refuses to let her because of a near-death experience he had when he was younger.  But …. there’s more to the story (of course.)  This book is about Lena figuring out the story that her father will not tell her.  And yes, this story has something to do with mermaids.
And added to that, there are accurate descriptions of surfing, there’s enough romance that I actually choked up a bit, and mostly this is a story about family and the strong ties that families have.
I never thought I’d read a story about mermaids that I thought felt “real.”  The characters, whether mermaid or human, were beautifully described.  I longed to visit the ocean after reading this because of the vivid descriptions of the surf (and there’s not one anywhere near me!)  The ending was appropriate, but I didn’t really “like” it.  There’s no “happy ever after” for everyone, but I guess that wasn’t ever possible.
Don’t let the mermaid thing turn you off – give this book a chance and I think you’ll like it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me an ebook to review.

My First "Top Ten Tuesday!"

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!This week:  What gets you in the mood for the Holidays?

This is the first time I have done this post, because most of the time I think the questions are too hard for me!  But this one is EASY!

1.  Miracle on 34th Street.  The move -- the original black and white with Natalie Wood.  I've watched this movie every year -- since BEFORE there were videos -- we used to scour the TV guide to make sure we didn't miss it!

2.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss.  The original.

3.  The Grinch - The movie with Jim Carey.  Classic!

4.  Christmas Vacation - The movie with Chevy Chase.  Still laugh till I cry, every time I watch it.

5.  Homemade Caramel Rolls - I make these for all my family and friends for the holiday.  I use my bread machine and usually make about 14 dozen rolls.

6.  My husband complaining about Christmas Trees - His family owns a Christmas Tree farm, and he gets tired of all the lifting, etc.  He usually would prefer we just have a wreath (for the smell.)  We usually get a HUGE tree (because I'm the boss.)

7.  Christmas Music - We aren't allowed to listen to it until after Thanksgiving, but after that, I have my iPod playlist that stays on Christmas music continually.  Just purchased the Glee Christmas CD and I can't wait until FRIDAY so I can listen to it!

8.  Shopping on Black Friday - Me and my sisters have done this since before it was called Black Friday.  When our kids were little (and their gifts were bigger) we used to have trouble fitting all of them in the van!

9.  Elf - This has become a recent classic in our family.  The four food groups:  "Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, and Syrup!"

10. New Year's Eve Party Planning - I love to cook and choosing which appetizers to make is always fun.  This used to be an annual "party" now it's more like an intimate gathering of mostly family, but we still have fun.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox, or, in this case, "On My Kindle"

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren.  Make sure you go over there and check it out and join, if you haven't!

This week, I won a couple of things which really was exciting.  But I haven't received those yet, so I'm not going to include them.

Thanks to NetGalley, I added to my Kindle:

The Vespertine, by Saundra Mitchell

The Last Full Measure, by Ann Rinaldi

Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

What was in your mailbox this week?

If I Stay, by Gayle Forman

Ok.  I cried.  I don’t often do that, but wow, this book was really touching.  It’s narrated by 15-year-old Mia, who gets in a car accident with her family and barely survives.  So she’s in a coma, but she’s “out of body” looking at herself and narrating what’s happening.
So, she has to decide if she should stay, or if she should let herself succumb to death.  That’s it.  It’s a simple premise, but powerfully written.  There are details – she’s a talented cellist, her boyfriend plays in a rock band, her parents are “cool", she has a best friend and a little brother.  All of this adds to the story, but it’s Mia’s narration that is special.  I don’t know how Forman could write something like this without having a near-death experience, but it’s vividly imagined and felt real to me.
Another book that might be a read-alike is Aftershock by Kelly Easton.  This is a quick read, and in my opinion, not to be missed.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was a really unique reading experience for me.  Actually, it was a listening experience.  The main character, Flavia de Luce, is not your typical child.  She's a child prodigy in chemistry, specializing in poisons.  This precocious 11-year-old finds a dead body in the cucumber patch outside her window, and since her father is accused, she sets out to find the real killer, or find out why her father committed the crime.

The story takes place in 1950 in England, and involves stamp collecting, a long-ago suicide of her father's teacher, library research, climbing on roofs, and much more.  This story had me laughing out loud at some points because Flavia is so smart, that astonishing things come out of her mouth.  Some of the metaphors she uses are hilarious.  That's the problem with audio books -- I can't mark the passages to include in my review, and usually I'm driving so I can't write them down either.  You'll just have to see for yourself.

This novel isn't for everyone.  I don't think teens or children would like it, even though the main character is a child.  Some of the analogies that Flavia uses--references to chemicals, literature, and opera--I didn't really understand, but it didn't matter because you just understood that this child was exceptional.  The reader, Jayne Entwistle, did a wonderful job, using unique voices for each character, and giving Flavia the perfect precocious 11-year-old voice (all with English accents, of course.)

I recommend this for adults who like a light-hearted murder mystery with lot of detail and intrigue.  I didn't realize that this was Alan Bradley's first book (he wrote it when he was 70 years old) and 5 more Flavia de Luce mysteries are planned.  At least one of them has been published.  There is a nice author interview on Amazon.com, if you are interested.  I don't complete many series, but this one I might have to continue.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Hopping & Following

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for BooksIn the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! 

 "Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!"

My answer:  I'm so lucky and I have so much to be thankful for.  Loving husband, successful kids, wonderful extended family, a job I love, enough money to enjoy life, great friends -- including my blogging buddies.  Thanks for adding to my enjoyment -- I'm having so much fun!
Holidays are kind of in transition for us.  Kids are grown and may have other obligations.  I try not to put pressure on them, because I know the holidays can be so stressful.  Anyway, they are both going to have "dinner at Grandma's" with us.  And that's special.  My sister and sister-in-law and I have a Friday shopping tradition (dating back to before it was called black Friday) that we will continue to uphold!
Hope you all have a great holiday and have something to be truly thankful for!

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.  Today's question is:

How long have you been book blogging??

I started a blog about a year ago that included book reviews, recipes, and sewing projects.  I still have that blog here.  I recently split off the book review portion of my blog so that I could participate in "book blogger things."  You know what I mean.  It's been GREAT.  I'm having a great time getting to know you all and learning so much about books.  It's really helped me on the job, too (I'm a librarian.)

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you on the hop!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Booking Though Thursday

This meme is hosted here.

Today's question:

Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend?
(Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?)
And, DO you return books you borrow?
I'm a librarian, so I definitely borrow a lot of books from the library (and I don't have to worry about those pesky overdue fees!)  I don't think my friends usually have anything I can't get through the library.  Although, since we are a school library, we are closed in the summer and I can have anything I want out of my library, but no inter-library loan!

Yes.  I'm very careful about returning books I have borrowed.  Unlike my future son-in-law who borrowed a book, swore he gave it back, and then my daughter found it under his bed after about a year and a half!

How about you?  Where do you get your books?

Avalanche Dance

Avalanche Dance, by Ellen Schwartz is a sweet little book that would be a quick read for teen girls.  Gwen is a 13-year-old gifted dancer.  She wants to attend a dance camp, but knows it will be a tough sell because it is expensive.  In the beginning of the book, we are also introduced to Molly, who used to be Gwen’s best friend, but is now hanging with the “wrong crowd,” drinking and smoking pot.  This adds a mysterious element to the story – wondering what happened to make these once fast friends grow so far apart.
Both of these girls experience catastrophes which force them together.  Gwen and her father are injured in an avalanche while skiing, which emotionally destroys Gwen’s ability to dance.  Molly and her new friends, while partying, burn down a cabin owned by Gwen’s parents, and must complete community service hours by working for them.  The plot is weak at some points and the end is predictable, but this is a heartwarming story that leaves one satisfied.  I was able to relate to both girls, once I reminded myself that they were only 13, and therefore some of their feelings and actions were not those of more mature teenagers.
I would recommend this book to pre-teens, except for the drinking and pot-smoking, which is portrayed in a very negative light.  So maybe it would have a positive effect on younger minds.
Thanks to LibraryThing and the publisher, Tundra Books, for providing me with this copy for my (uncompensated) review.

I Won!

A thanks and shout out to Good Books & Good Wine for hosting a giveaway!  I won The Mockingbirds, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

In My Mailbox - a little late

IMM is a meme started at The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

The idea behind IMM was not only to put new books on your radar but to also encourage blogger interaction. IMM explores the weekly contents of my mailbox & books bought. And sometimes other fun goodies.

Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library.

This week I only have a few -- mostly from the library --

Truancy, by Isamu Fukui  -- I already finished this one, and posted a review.  Great book!

Red Glass, by Laura Resau -- I read a review for this one that convinced me to read it.

If I Stay, by Gayle Forman -- this one's been on my TBR for a while.  Love the cover . . .

The Girls from Ames, by Jeffrey Zaslow -- this one was recommended by a good friend.

And, another friend brought recommended and loaned me this one:

Private, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.

Hope these gave you some ideas, or let me know if you've read them what you thought.  What's new in your stack this week?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Truancy by Isamu Fukui

I was really impressed with this book.  Especially when I realized it was written by a high school boy.  But, like he says, "I need to be in school myself, if I want to write about it."  I hope the high school he writes about in Truancy is nothing like the high school he attends.  The high school in District 20 is one of many schools in an experimental city where the goal is to basically harass students into submission.  As Tack, the main character says, "He couldn't remember ever feeling hopeful before."  Students are not allowed to speak unless spoken to -- not even during breaks.  The tests are mostly unfair and designed to make students at least frustrated, if they don't fail. 

The Educators are the leaders of this city and they control education, as well as everything else in the city.  They are allowed to make any arbitrary laws to suit their purpose.  When a subversive group of students, called the Truancy, begins to disrupt the orderly flow of business, and then even begins to murder Educators and other government employees, the Mayor becomes concerned.  Tack, our main character, is just trying to make it through school.  But when his sister is murdered by the Truancy, Tack vows to revenge her death.  He has been trained in swordsmanship and martial arts by his friend, Umasi, who is a pacifist and doesn't agree with what the Truancy is doing.  But, Tack joins the Truancy to find his sister's killer.

This book is very exciting and action packed.  I believe the author, Isamu Fukui, may have a future in choreographing martial arts scenes for movies.  The descriptions of the fight scenes are colorful and detailed.  Possibly too detailed for me, but I would suspect these scenes would have great appeal to many teen boys.  As will the rebellious nature of the leaders of the Truancy.  There are, however, real moral dilemmas presented within the story.  When is it acceptable to kill?  Umasi must decide if he can kill one person in order to save many.  After discovering who his sister's killer is, Tack has a difficult time deciding to keep his vow. 

There is a lot worth reading and discussing here.  How close is our current school system to the one depicted in the book?  Could we ever get to that point?  What could students do to keep that from happening? This book was recommended to me by one of my students.  So, if you are going to recommend it, you can expect them to want you to read it to!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game is narrated by Sutton, who is dead and is following her twin, Emma.  Emma, a foster child, can neither see nor hear Sutton, and doesn’t even know she has a twin, but through some twist of fate, she finds out she might have a twin and tries to contact her.  When her twin, Sutton, asks her to come to Phoenix and meet her, Emma immediately makes the journey.  However, it wasn't Sutton that sent the text to Emma and Sutton is nowhere to be found.  She’s missing and Emma is forced to take on Sutton’s identity.  No one will believe that the person they think is Sutton is really Emma.  Emma receives a note that says that Sutton is dead, and Emma must keep pretending or else Emma will die too.  So, Emma keeps up the pretense, while trying to figure out exactly what happened to Sutton.  Our narrator, the “ghost” Sutton, can’t remember what happened either, but can see what Emma is doing and begins to remember parts of her life.

This story has some far-fetched plot developments, but it is interesting enough that I never wanted to put it down.  The writing was interesting and the suspense builds throughout the book.  I think that teens will find the characters faithful and the plot exciting, but the book will become dated very quickly because of all the references to current music, stars, and brand names.  In about two to three years, teens will read this and immediately know it’s “old.”  I’m not sure if this is a bad thing, but it made me think of this as a “disposable” book, like I wouldn’t want to purchase a hard cover because it doesn’t need to last that long.

My real problem with this book is that it ISN’T a book.  It’s 1/3 of a book.  Everyone learns in Writing 101 that a story has a pattern.  A plot is introduced, tension is built to some climactic event when things are revealed or resolved and then there’s the denouement.  This story has no resolution whatsoever.  Even series books, such as Harry Potter each have their own plot lines that are completed within each book.  Yes, there are unanswered questions and usually a “big picture” plot that is unresolved until the final book, but there is an ending to EACH book.  Not every story needs to be a series.  The Lying Game is an uncomplicated plot, a very short book, and I’m sure Sara Shepard has the entire story plotted out, so why not just write it in one book?  I feel that the author and publisher are just doing this to make money.  They can make more from three books than they can from one.  I was just ANGRY when I finished this book.  I’ve experienced this before and I never read the second or subsequent books.  I probably won’t read the rest of this “series” either.

I love series books.  There are many great series out there, and I wouldn’t want to see this end.  But series books still need to be complete books, otherwise they are just pieces of books that someone slapped a cover on and said buy this, then I’ve got you hooked for another two or three books!  Am I overreacting?  What do you think?

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for providing me with this ARC.  I hope, after this review, that they will still allow me to review their books, after all, I did RAVE about Delirium!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Passage by Cronin -- Make the Investment

What a wonderful experience it was to read The Passage by Justin Cronin.  This book requires the reader to make an investment – it’s 766 pages long, and I don’t agree with Stephen King, who is quoted on the back as saying “read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated.”  It took me 176 pages.  There is a lot of back story.  As I was reading all these details, I felt it wasn’t necessary, but as I progressed through the book and became more and more drawn into the story, I began to feel it was all very purposefully designed.

Scientists (and of course the government) have discovered a disease in a jungle, which can make people live long and be strong, and mostly invincible.  Of course, the government thinks of the “ultimate soldier.”  So experiments are begun, and of course things go very wrong, and I really don’t want to tell you too much, but the world as we know it, ends.  Life is very different defending yourselves from the “virals” – the name our main characters have given these creatures who have taken over and pretty much destroyed everything in the country.  The term “vampires” is used a few times, but we aren’t talking about the Cullens here; these are very different, very deadly creatures. This story spans over 100 years and involves many characters who are all well-developed and interesting.

I began this book without knowing anything about it.  It was one of those books that I put on my TBR list for some unknown reason, and when the book finally came (I had to wait several weeks for my library hold to materialize.) I decided to jump in without reading the flap.  I love doing that.  But not knowing what was going to happen might have been one of the reasons that it took me so long to “make the investment.”  I’m very glad I did.  Even if I had read the flap, this was a book that took so many twists and turns, that I NEVER knew what would happen next.  Even up to the last page, you just don’t know how it’s going to end.

Let me encourage you to “make the investment!”  The closest “read alikes” I can think of are The Stand by Stephen King and Lucifer’s Hammer by Niven and Pournelle.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Hah!  Librarians love acronyms, almost as much as the military!  Aren't these great?

First of all, I signed up to participate in the Book Bloggers Holiday Swap (BBHS) and you should too!  What fun!  I can't wait to pick something out for my "Secret Blogger"!

IMM is a meme started at The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

The idea behind IMM was not only to put new books on your radar but to also encourage blogger interaction. IMM explores the weekly contents of my mailbox & books bought. And sometimes other fun goodies.

Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library.

 This week was a slow week for me, but I did WIN an ebook from Lou at Reader Recommended and  Smashwords.

I also received a book from LibraryThing to review:

Both look like great books and I can't wait to read them!  Happy IMMing!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Choker, by Elizabeth Woods

It took me a while to get involved in Choker, but the more I read, the more I felt compelled to read.  It's a very chilling book that I think teens will like.  The ending will be a surprise to most readers, and I would recommend it to my teens who like an edgy, realistic novel.

I received Choker from Library Media Connection. Watch for my full review in a future issue of that magazine.  Choker will be released on January 4, 2011 and is Elizabeth Woods' first novel.  It is being published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Time to Meet some new book bloggers! Let's HOP!

Thanks to Parajunkies View and Crazy for Books for hosting these two weekly blog activities!

Friday Follow Question:
Who are your favorite authors??
Seriously?  You really want me to answer that?  No matter what I come up with this minute, I will think of someone else later that I should have included.  But, off the top of my head, I'd say:
  • Jodi Picoult
  • Scott Westerfeld
  • Sarah Dessen
  • Kathy Reichs
  • Harlan Coben
  • Laurie Halse Anderson
"What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?"
Hmm.  I'm really new at this.  I don't think I've lost any followers, but if my blog turns out to be not what they are after, then that's OK.  I try to tell myself it's not about numbers, and that I'm having fun doing this.  (And I am!)  I've not stopped following a blog "officially" but there are a couple of blogs that I realize they talk about books genres that I'm not really interested in.  So, when those reviews come up in my reader I usually just skim them pretty quickly.  So, I guess I'm not a very "good" follower, but at least their number didn't decrease!
Hope you enjoyed visiting my blog -- and if you want to follow, that's fine.  If you want to comment, that's fine too.  If not, I'm OK with that!  Looking forward to visiting your blogs too.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Booking Through Thursday - What constitutes good writing?

Still reading my very long book.  It's good, but I don't have any reviews to write so I'm . . . .

Hosted at "Booking Through Thursday."  Suggested by Barbara:

I’ve seen many bloggers say that what draws them to certain books or authors is good writing, and what causes them to stop reading a certain book or author is bad writing. What constitutes good writing and bad writing to you?

I think good writing is somewhat subjective.  Yes, we all want books to be easy to read and understand, be free of errors, and make sense.  Basically, we don't want to "think" about the writing.  But for myself, I know that I'm a "plot driven" reader.  I have to watch myself because sometimes I tend to want to give up on the long, laborous character development of some books, but I'm "mature" enough to appreciate that this can make a wonderful book.  It's a nebulous concept to me -- "good writing."  I've loved many character-driven books, so I guess the main "quality" is what I said before -- if I don't "think" about the writing, it's great writing!

Good question for those participating in NaNoWiMo!  (Did I spell that right?)  Good luck to all of you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 What are you currently reading?

The Passage,  by Justin Cronin

What did you recently finish reading?

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

What do you think you’ll read next?

Choker, by Elizabeth Woods

Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday -- Top Ten Books that Made You Cry

Another "first time" participating for me.  I'm reading a really long book (The Passage) so I figure I might not write a review for a while . . .

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND sign Mister Linky at the bottom to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time..just post what you can!

I'm not a big "cryer" so here's what I've come up with:

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Love You Forever (still cry EVERY time) by Robert Munsch
Marley and Me by John Grogin
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Sounder by William Armstrong
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (at least one in that series -- maybe all of them) by Ann Brashares
The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

That's all I've got.  Thanks for visiting!

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book as riveting as Delirium, by Lauren Oliver.  The plot is unique.  It is a future dystopian world, right here in the U.S.  “Love” has been determined to be a disease.  Everyone goes through a surgical procedure when they are 18 years old to remove this emotion, and all its associated complications.
Lauren Oliver takes us on a tour of this horrible world that is chilling.  She has detailed many repercussions of this society, whose families are built on “pairing” two people together for marriage, whose parents don’t “love” their children, whose young people are segregated by the sexes, and whose government is so controlling that there’s a fence around each city and no travel is allowed.
Then there are the main characters, Lena and Hana (best friends), and Alex, who Lena falls in love with only weeks before her operation.  These teens, being “normal” teens, push the limits and ultimately decide to break society’s rules.  Oliver uses such vivid descriptions of their adventures that my heart was literally pounding as I read.
Delirium will be highly recommended to my students.  I think this would be a great literature read for a class or small group because of the discussion that could be generated.  This was a very emotional and enjoyable book to read.
This book was an ARC provided by NetGalley and read on my Kindle.  Delirium is published by HarperCollins.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life is Good!

Yay!  Kat at A Myriad of Books has given me the Life is Good Award!  Thanks so much.  I really enjoy learning about other bloggers, so here goes.

Here's what to do upon receiving this award:

1.Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2.Answer the 10 survey questions below.
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 to let them know about the award.

So you see, it's like a never-ending chain of blogging awards and... awesomeness.
Here are my answers to the 10 survey questions: 

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now? 

No, I'm not anonymous.  I'm not sure everyone knows every detail about me, but I'm not anonymous.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side: 

I always want to be right.  I get stubborn before I can admit I'm wrong.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror? 

I really don't like to look in the mirror, but I think I just see me.  I have no illusions about growing old, etc.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink? 

I really just like water.  Beer is good once in a while.

5.When you take time for yourself, what do you do? 

Hah!  Read of course. 

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it? 

I want to get my kids through college, and settle into retirement (I've quite a few years for that, though.)

 7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching? 


8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?

Giving birth to two children comes to mind first.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

I don't mind talking about myself, but I don't think that's what people want to read.  I like to read about books, and that's what I try to provide in my blog.

I've discovered a few new blogs lately, so here's the people I'd like to learn more about.  Please make sure you check out their awesome blogs!

Abducted by Books
Bart's Bookshelf
Becky's Barmy Book Blog
Beneath Shining Stars, I Read
Bibliophile Brouhaha
Books for Bears
Books: A Love Story
Friendly Reader
I Like These Books
Jessica Lawlor
Just Read
Lilk13's Reading Library
Tahleen's Mixed-Up Files


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