Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blood on My Hands by Todd Strasser

Blood on My Hands
Blood on My Hands by Todd Strasser
EgmontUSA, 2010

Summary from Goodreads:

Callie is at an October keg party in the woods, when she notices that her friend Katherine has gone missing. The kids spread out to look for her and Callie finds her, lying on a path, with a big, bloody fake knife in her. She reaches for the knife and raises it, only to discover, to her horror, that it is real. At that moment, another of the search party stumbles on them, and takes a photo of Callie holding the bloody knife. Now she is the suspect in a grisly murder. How can she prove her innocence - and find the true murderer?
I love me a good murder mystery, and Todd Strasser does a great murder mystery. Blood on My Hands is the second in Strasser's cyber "thrill"-ology (the first was Wish You Were Dead--also great!), but is definitely a stand-alone book. Readers know that Callie is not responsible for Katherine's death (although, to be honest, some of the wording towards the end had me second-guessing myself), but the list of who could be the killer is long, and it's up to Callie alone to figure it out. The story is realistic enough (I mean, there has to be some stretch in a murder mystery), the characters are just sketchy enough (everyone, it seems, hates Katherine just enough to want her dead), and the back and forth between past and present provides great insight into the character's actions. Anyone who enjoys reading mysteries should like this one. It's a fast paced and quick read.

Borrowed from the library.

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is an Internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books received, purchased, or borrowed.

So here's what I got this week!

Borrowed from the library:
  • Blood on My Hands by Todd Strasser
  • Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian 
  • The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Downloaded to my nook:
  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (not YA, I know, but I've heard a lot about this one)
  • The whole Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard (I know I'm late to the game, but I read the first one last week and LOVED it!)
  • Virals by Kathy Reichs
From Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab:
  • Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann (OMG!)

Enjoy your reading!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

The Night Bookmobile
The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
Abrams, 2010

Summary from Goodreads:
Audrey Niffenegger, the New York Times bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, has crafted her first graphic novel after the success of her two critically acclaimed “novels-in-pictures.” First serialized as a weekly column in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, The Night Bookmobile tells the story of a wistful woman who one night encounters a mysterious disappearing library on wheels that contains every book she has ever read. Seeing her history and most intimate self in this library, she embarks on a search for the bookmobile. But her search turns into an obsession, as she longs to be reunited with her own collection and memories.

The Night Bookmobile is a haunting tale of both transcendence and the passion for books, and features the evocative full-color pen-and-ink work of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers.
I am not a huge reader of graphic novels, but this one caught my eye (of course!). I wish I could remember where I first heard about this, so I could thank that person. I read this book in way less than a half an hour, but I really enjoyed it. The story is very sweet and touching and I could easily visualize myself as the narrator. Think how wonderful it would be to be in a trailer filled with every single thing you've ever read! I try really hard to keep track of every book I read now, but I've only been doing that for about two years. And that's certainly not taking into account magazines, blogs, cereal boxes--to see everything physically in person just blows my mind. Although I don't think I would want to be a night bookmobile librarian, like Lexi, I can certainly see the appeal. A very sweet story; I really enjoyed it.

Enjoy your reading!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Not That Kind Of Girl
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Scholastic, 2010

Summary from Goodreads:

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you want to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.
I thought this was a very well-written and very realistic story. What I loved was that everyone at Natalie's school know she's a beast, and as the narrator, we know that Natalie's a beast, but Natalie doesn't know! She is very heartful; there's no doubt that she loves Autumn and definitely wants what's best for her. What Natalie doesn't realize is that what SHE wants for Autumn may not be what AUTUMN wants for Autumn.

There is some romance, but like everything else in Natalie's life, it can only be on her terms. I swear, what propelled me through this story was needing to know if Natalie will wake up and realize how much of a bitch she is, without even meaning to be! She comes across as snotty, stuck-up, and above everyone, and someone needs to give her the wake up call.

Enjoy your reading!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme event created by Breakingthespine to help showcase upcoming releases. I first learned about it through WORD for Teens.


This week I'm waiting for Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe. It's due to be released on December 14, so I don't have that much longer to wait!

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.
Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.
With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.
Sounds like a great story and I can't wait to read it!
What are you waiting for?

Enjoy your reading!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm an Award Winner!

Elaine over at I Live in a Fictional World just awarded me The Versatile Blogger award! It's my first blogging award, so I'm pretty excited!!

To accept this award you must:
  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 for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
  4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
So here are 7 things about me:
  1. In my previous life I was a pre-school teacher.
  2. I love strawberries, but not most strawberry-flavored foods.
  3. Similarly, I love lemons and lemony foods, but not lemon desserts.
  4. I have never met a piece of chocolate I didn't like.
  5. I am a life-long NY Giants football fan. Yes I know they've lost big time the past 2 weeks.
  6. My all-time favorite movie is Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I made my husband take me to a sci-fi convention on our first wedding anniversary so I could meet the kids (well, they're adults now).
  7. I once worked with someone who won $58 million in the PowerBall lottery.
I'm awarding this blog to:
  1. Novel Novice
  2. The Page Flipper
Enjoy your reading!

2011 Debut Author Challenge!

I'm so excited about this! The Story Siren is hosting the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, which highlights young adult and middle grade authors who are releasing their first books in 2011. The goal is to read a minimum of 12 books 2011, and you'll be able to post reviews and enter to win prizes each month!
Here's some more info from The Story Siren:

2011 Debut Author Challenge participant information:
  • The objective of the DAC is to read at least twelve novels from Young Adult or Middle Grade Authors. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit! I encourage readers who can read more than twelve to do so!
  • Anyone can join. You don't have to be a blogger, and you don't have to live in the United States.
  • You do not have to have an blog written in English to participate. 
  • You can join at anytime. The challenge runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011. 
Qualifying books:
  • Books must be a Young Adult or Middle Grade novel.
  • This must be the authors debut with a release date in 2011
  • If an author has a previous novel published under adult fiction/nonfiction or children's fiction/nonfiction, they can still qualify for the challenge if they are releasing their YA or MG debut. 
Here are some of the books I'm looking forward to reading this year:
  • XVI by Julia Karr
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson
  • Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
  • Haven by Kristi Cook
  • The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
  • Bumped by Megan McCafferty
  • How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain (just 'cause the title's awesome!)
  • Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
  • Rival by Sara Bennett-Wealer
  • Saving June by Hannah Harrington
  • Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
Ready to get in on the fun? You can find more information and sign up here!

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is an Internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books received, purchased, or borrowed.

So here's what I got this week!

Borrowed from the library:
  • We Beat the Street: how a friendship pact led to success by Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt (for my NJ-teens booklist and also to booktalk at juvenile detention next week)
  • The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
  • Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick (why didn't I cancel this when I got it for my nook?)
  • Beautiful Darkness (by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  • The Curse of the Wendigo (Monstrumologist #2) by Rick Yancey
 eGalleys received from NetGalley:
  • Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
  • Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
  • Reggie over at The Undercover Book Lover recently held a series of auctions to raise money for the Pakistan Flood Relief Fund (she raised $800!). I won the Lipstick Laws package, which included an autographed copy of the ARC and a ton of swag. The author, Amy Holder, actually emailed me not long ago, apologizing for the delay in shipping, but she wanted to make sure I got some good swag. Well, the package arrived today and It. Is. Awesome.
The swag included bookmarks, business cards, stickers, magnets, buttons, tattoos, 2 wax lips, lip gloss, lipstick, and a very nice note from Amy.
I am so excited to read this book, and super-excited to share it (and all the goodies) with my teens at the library!

What a week! What'd you get?

Enjoy your reading!

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Week's Books (You, Hush, The Unidentified)

So...I've read three books this week, but haven't posted reviews of any of them. Why, I'm not really sure. I've posted not-glowing reviews before, so I'm not really afraid of hurting anyone's feelings. And anyway, it's not that I didn't like the books I read, just that they left me feeling...strange. Two of the three left me feeling apathetic, and the third was just more than I can handle, I think.

So I'll post them here--summaries from Goodreads and my brief thoughts. Maybe someone can chime in?

You by Charles Benoit
Harper Teen, 2010

This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.
You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?
There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen?
You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn't make that lead to his own destruction.
In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering.

I had heard such good things about this book, and actually held off on reading it because I thought it was going to be so fantastic. I was less than thrilled with it, though. I never really felt any empathy towards Kyle. Much has been made of the fact that Kyle is just an average boy, not bad, not good. I just didn't think he was much of anything, and I didn't really care about him.

Hush by Eishes Chayil
Walker Books for Young Readers, 2010
Inside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are very clear, determined by an ancient script written thousands of years before down to the last detail—and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns of the abuse her best friend has suffered at the hands of her own family member, the adults in her community try to persuade Gittel, and themselves, that nothing happened. Forced to remain silent, Gittel begins to question everything she was raised to believe.
A richly detailed and nuanced book, one of both humor and depth, understanding and horror, this story explains a complex world that remains an echo of its past, and illuminates the conflict between yesterday's traditions and today's reality.
I thought this was a very interesting look into a culture I'm not that familiar with. It was a very disturbing story, however, made more so by the fact that the events in this story are obviously based on fact (at some point). I read an ARC of this (received from the publisher), and the ARC didn't have the glossary or pronunciation guide, which I think would have made the reading a lot easier for me!

The Unidentified
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
Balzer & Bray, 2010

Kid knows her school’s corporate sponsors not-so-secretly monitor her friendships and activities for market research. It’s all a part of the Game; the alternative education system designed to use the addictive kick from video games to encourage academic learning. Everyday, a captive audience of students ages 13-17 enter the nationwide chain store-like Game locations to play.

When a group calling themselves The Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure of their school, Kid’s investigation into their pranks attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors. As Kid finds out she doesn't have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign.
I was really looking forward to this book. I love me a good dystopian novel, and I thought this had all the components. I've heard that it resembles Feed, by M.T. Anderson, and I think I should add that one to my to-read list. I think more could have been made of the loss of control that Kid feels, instead of just complaining that Mom won't sync her Game Card so she can ride the Metro. And I didn't get any sense of why this world is the way it is. Why are teens not allowed to be out in public? It's not that this book was bad, I was just underwhelmed with it.

Yeah, so it wasn't a great week for me, book-wise. Like I said, it's not that I didn't like the books, it's just that You and The Unidentified didn't live up to my expectations, and while Hush was good, it just didn't read as though it was written for the "layperson," as it were.

Sigh. Hopefully next week is better!
Enjoy your reading!

Hunger Games short film

MainStay Productions--Hunger Games--Katniss & Rue

OK, I know there's already been tons of press on this-- Mockingjay.net posted this originally, and then the Hunger Games Examiner and the Hob have discussed it, held interviews with the director and actors, etc. So I'm a little late. However...this short film is incredible. It's the final scene between Katniss and Rue, and it is SO. EXCELLENTLY. DONE. This director, and these actors, should be doing the Hunger Games movie. Enjoy it...

Enjoy your reading!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Megan McCafferty Q&A at Jill Scribbles!

Head over to Jill Scribbles' blog to read a most interesting interview with Megan McCafferty about Bumped, set to be released on April 26, 2011 (SOO far away!). Megan discusses her writing process as well as how Bumped came about. You can comment on the interview to enter to win an ARC of Bumped! Contest is open until November 22.

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chance to win a great book, and more!

Leah Clifford, author of A Touch Mortal, is hosting a giveaway over at the YA Rebels YouTube channel. She's giving away a SIGNED copy of one of her limited ARCs AND will also let you name a character in Book 2 AND you'll get listed in the acknowledgments! It's an awesome contest--all you have to do is spread the word, link to the vlog, and suggest a name!

The contest is open until November 17th!

Enjoy your reading!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

YA Blogosphere


YA Blogosphere is "a directory to blogs written by writers and readers of Young Adult books all over the world." I was the featured blogger yesterday! Spend some time exploring the site but be forewarned--you WILL find several new blogs to follow!

Enjoy your reading!

Friday, November 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is an Internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books received, purchased, or borrowed.

So here's what I got this week!

Borrowed from the library:
  • Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan (I'm working on a teens-in-NJ booklist and think this fits the bill)
ARC received from the publisher:
  • She Loves You, She Loves You Not... by Julie Anne Peters
  • I entered a contest on the Ultimate YA Reading Group on Facebook, and won a copy of Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson!

Downloaded to my nook: (not YA but still excited to read them!)
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
  • The False Friend by Myla Goldberg (Julie Anne Peters recommended it on her Facebook page)
Enjoy your reading!

Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan

Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan
Scholastic, 2010

Summary from Goodreads:
They've gotten good grades - but that's not good enough. They've spent hours on community service - but that's not good enough. Finn and Chloe's advisor says that colleges have enough kids with good grades and perfect attendance, so Chloe decides they'll have to attract attention another way. She and Finn will stage Chloe's disappearance, and then, when CNN is on their doorstep and the nation is riveted, Finn will find and save her. It seems like the perfect plan - until things start to go wrong. Very wrong.
WOW. I've been working on a NJ-teens booklist for work, and I was almost done with the list when I decided to check our catalog one more time. I'm glad I did, because this book was phenomenal! It's very rare for me to feel so uncomfortable while reading a book. It was so hard to read this book! Yes, Finn and Chloe decided to do this awful, terrible thing, but they're not awful, terrible kids--I think that's why I was so uncomfortable. They just came up with this idea, and it was a really, really stupid idea. Kids do that sometimes, right?

The other reason I was so uneasy while reading this book is because I couldn't see how the story could end well. I mean, if everything ended "happily ever after," it would be an easy out for the author. However, I really grew to like Finn and didn't want the story to end badly for her, either. Obviously, since Finn was the one left behind while Chloe was missing, she was the one to see how the girls' actions affected their family, friends, and the whole town. It was so tough! I think Corrigan handled the story very well...I don't want to spoil the ending, but I think it was believable.

I really enjoyed this book--it was a surprising find for me, and an enjoyable one at that! Oh, and what makes this an authentic NJ-teens book? Disco fries. Awesome.

Enjoy your reading!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Low Red Moon
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
Bloomsbury, 2010

"I was covered in blood when the police found me." The opening line of this book pulls you right in, we;re not wasting any time here! Avery, as mentioned, was covered in blood, but can't remember why. She knows that her parents were killed, and she found them (hence the blood), but can recall nothing of the attack. Who did it, and why? Her and her family have always lived on the outskirts of society--literally. They live way out in the woods, just on the edge of the forest, with just a few not-so-close neighbors. Avery had been homeschooled up until this year. Her father was a writer for Woodlake's little newspaper, and has certainly written things that might cause diasgreement, but enough to cause murder? It just doesn't add up, and Avery can't remember it.

Then she meets Ben, the new boy in town. Avery and Ben's relationship begins to develop and slowly Avery begins to remember flashes of the night her parents were killed. At the same time Avery starts to realize that there's something...not-quite-human about Ben. Could Ben, the beautiful boy with the shady past and the tight connection to Avery, have had something to do with that night? Or is there something even less human and more sinister hiding in the forest?

I'm kind of on the fence with this book. I really wanted to like it, and there were definitely some great parts, but overall I wasn't completely in love with it. I have to say that physically it's a gorgeous book. I think the cover is beautiful, and there are great little red accents on each page. The story was intriguing, too...it was part murder-mystery, part paranormal romance. I suppose what got me was the speed with which Avery and Ben developed their bond. It felt like (ugh) Bella and Edward all over again. 'Our eyes met and from that moment on we were connected for all eternity' kind of stuff. I know people like that kind of 'love at first sight' stuff, but to me it always sounds too good to be true.

Still, the rest of the storyline was interesting enough, and I always enjoy a good murder mystery. If I were rating this book (which I should probably start doing, huh?), I'd give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Enjoy your reading!

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters
Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
Scholastic, 2010

The Sullivan sisters did not have a good Christmas. Their grandmother, Almighty Lou, made a proclamation that one of the Sullivans has disrespected her horribly, and as a result she's written the entire family out of her will. We're not talking chump change here, either. Almighty Lou is the matriarch of the entire town, not just her family, and she's so wealthy that not one member of the family--not the parents, Daddy-O and Ginger, and certainly not any of the six siblings--has ever had to work, nor want for anything. Needless to say, the thought of losing everything (to a charity that provides rain jackets to dogs who can't afford them) is unfathomable.

But there's hope! Almighty won't divulge who the offender is, but has decided that if that person can make a full confession and apology by New Year's Day, the family will be reinstated in the will. It's quickly decided the offender has to be one of the teenage daughters, and the three must spend the week writing confessions to their grandmother.

It turns out that yes, all three girls do have secrets to divulge and apologies to make. Norrie has had the audacity to fall in love with someone who is not on Almighty's "approved beaus" list. Jane has created a blog revealing all of the family's secrets. And Sassy has suddenly become untouchable and immune to danger. Is one of these offenses the one that upset Almighty so much? Can the sisters get back into Almighty's good graces? Are the sisters truly aplogetic, or just afraid of losing their wealth?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I suspected I would. Each sister is given a section of the book to tell her story in her own way, which allows you to see into that girl's mind, but the actions of the other sisters at the same time. You can then compare what that sister says with how others viewed it.

It's a fun read, and fun to imagine living as a Sullivan: one of six children, living in a castle-like home (complete with a tower that is passed down by sibling as older ones leave for college) with parents who aren't really parents in the grand scheme of things (there are an extraordinary amount of couches and chaises throughout the house, allowing Ginger, to rest whenever and wherever she needs to). Yes, there's that whole "living in fear of offending Almighty Lou" thing, but really...Almighty can't possibly live forever. I think I could survive tea every Tuesday afternoon knowing that!

The sisters' stories are very believable, and all three of the confessions are pretty worthy of Almighty's fury. Readers will be interested to hear Almighty's reaction to the confessions. Anyone who enjoys contemporary YA fiction should like this novel.

Enjoy your reading!

The Thoughts of a Book Junky Cover vs Cover Contest!

Steph over at The Thoughts of a Book Junky is hosting a cover contest. She's got US covers going up against UK covers, or, in a few cases, US hardcovers up against paperbacks. Head on over there and enter to win your favorite--I'm voting for the If I Stay hardcover by Gayle Forman! The contest ends on November 26th.

Enjoy your reading!

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme event showcasing upcoming releases. Breakingthespine may be the creator of this event--I'm not sure. I first learned about it through WORD for Teens.

This is only my second WOW; I find that Wednesdays are kind of busy for me and I can't post ALL the great books I'm waiting for (there are just so many!). But I thought I'd take another stab at it.

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)

I'm waiting for Forever, the concluding novel in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater. I just hate having to wait for trilogy endings! Here's the info from Goodreads:
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater. In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before.  Wolves are being hunted.  Lives are being threatened.  And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.
Will Grace find the cure? Will it work in time? WHY do we have to wait until July 12, 2011 to find out??? I've already downloaded both Shiver & Linger to my nook so I can reread them right before Forever is released, and of course I have my signed Linger to refer to, as well. :o)

Look at these gorgeous covers:

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)
What are you waiting for?
Enjoy your reading!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Waiting (even though it's not Wednesday) for Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
HarperCollins, April 26, 2011

I have been anxiously awaiting this book since...I don't know when, but it's been a while now. I loved Megan's Jessica Darling series and I was so excited to hear that she was dipping into the dystopian waters.

The tagline for Bumped, from Megan's website, is "What if every girl wanted to be sixteen and pregnant?" A virus leaves everyone over 18 infertile, which means that teenage girls are now a hot comodity for their ability to conceive and bear children. It's such an interesting concept and I think the book will lend itself very well to some intriguing discussions. Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
Enjoy your reading!

Book Bloggers Holiday Swap!


This sounds like fun...you can sign up at the Holiday Swap website and become a Secret Santa for another blogger! Send them little gifties, and receive some in return! It's a great way to spread some holiday cheer and maybe discover a new blog or two! I just submitted all my information and am hoping to participate! The deadline is November 14, so if you want to join in, go sign up now!

Thanks to
GreenBeanTeenQueen for the information!

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is an internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books received, purchased, or borrowed.

So here's what I got this week!

Borrowed from the library:
  • Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
  • Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
  • Remember Me by Christopher Pike (because of this post from the Forever Young Adult blog; I had to reread this!)
  • Tweak by Nic Sheff
ARC received from the publisher:
eGalley received from NetGalley:
  • We All Fall Down by Nic Sheff
For my nook:
  • Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (finally!)
  • Linger by Maggie Stiefvater...FROM Maggie Stiefvater!! Awhile back I'd entered a contest Maggie was running on her blog, and turns out I was one of the winners! Check out the autograph & doodles:

What'd you get??
Enjoy your reading!

Friday, November 5, 2010

New blog to check out--Deliriously Falling

You have to check out Deliriously Falling, a Lauren Oliver fan page created by Ella Press! She only launched it a few days ago, but it's taking off in a big way! I actually first heard about it through Lauren's own Facebook feed--how cool is that? And tonight Ella posted a YouTube vid that Lauren created especially for Deliriously Falling! THIS is why I love YA authors!


You can also comment on this post and be entered to win a Delirium totebag, courtesy of Ella and Lauren! Head over to this blog and follow it; I know you'll be glad you did!

Enjoy your reading!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Little, Brown & Co., 2010
(part of the YA Contemps challenge)

Alex is a junior at the prestigious Themis Academy, a boarding school that prides itself on its "perfect" students. During her first Friday night out-with-privileges, Alex winds up flirting with a boy she just met. The next thing she knows, she's waking up naked next to said boy. While Alex would be content to write herself off as a slut, Alex's roommates and her sister help convince her that she was, in fact, date raped. Once the boy begins telling all of his friends that she was "an easy lay," Alex feels the need to retreat, to hide. Turning to school admin is not an option, nor does Alex feel comfortable going to the police. What other option is left, then, but...the Mockingbirds.

The Mockingbirds are a student-run group created just a few years earlier by Alex's own sister. The school may turn a blind eye to what's going on, but the Mockingbirds are dedicated to doing good for the sake of good. They hear student cases, they judge the cases, they delegate punishments when the accused are found guilty. And the Mockingbirds have agreed to hear Alex's case.

This book was awesome! Early reviews have compared it to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, which I suppose is fair to a certain extent, since both books deal with the topic of rape. However, The Mockingbirds was just so full of hope for me. Yes, Alex was date raped, and yes, her school has the tendency to gloss over serious infractions (students will only ever get kicked out for failing. Drug overdoses and physical and mental attacks on other students are all A-OK!), but Alex has this incredible circle of friends surrounding and protecting her until she's ready to make her own decisions and stand up for herself. We are witness to Alex's growth as a character, and we know, as she does, that her confidence grows partly because of her wonderful support system.

I felt Whitney did a great job of getting readers right into Alex's head. We learn right along with Alex, as her memory returns, the details of the night leading up to the rape, but we're also right there with Alex as she imagines a conversation she's "participating" in as a TV cop show. I felt it was a realistic portrayal of a person's mind: we're very rarely focusing on just one thing at a time, and Alex was a great example of that.

Date rape is most definitely a serious issue, and is handled as such in this book. What's brought up more than once addresses the old adage that "no means no." The theme circulating in this books is that "yes means yes; everything else means no," a saying that I wish would become more mainstream. The author herself was date raped in college, and although this book is fiction, she does provide a note about her own experience and several helpful resources.

ARC received by the publisher. The Mockingbirds was released on 11.02.2010.

Enjoy your reading!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cryer’s Cross Countdown

If you're looking forward to Cryer's Cross, here's a countdown widget for you! Thanks to the Compulsive Reader for posting this widget (at least, that's where I saw it first!)--you can read her review of Cryer's Cross here!

Enjoy your reading!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness, 2010

This is NOT a review, because I cannot for the life of me figure out how I'll review this without giving too much away.

If you've read The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer, but not Monsters of Men, stop what you're doing and Go. Read. It. Now.

Monsters of Men is what the final book of a trilogy should be. Almost every freakin' chapter was a cliff hanger. It was horrible; it was incredible. Seriously, I cannot believe I waited this long to read it. I actually splurged for the full price eBook version because I got tired of waiting for my library to get it. And then of course I started reading it over Halloween weekend, so I just finished it up not too long ago (if I'd started any other weekend, I would've finished it much faster!).

And if you haven't read any of the Chaos Walking books, well, you need to.

Enjoy your reading!

You Are What You Read

As part of Scholastic's 90th anniversary celebration, they have developed the You Are What You Read initiative, a new social media where you can share your "bookprint"-- your five favorite books that have influenced your life. You can explore the bookprints of other readers, including celebrities (Taylor Swift, Daniel Radcliffe, just to name a few) and connect with other readers worldwide. It takes just a few minutes to set up an account--I used my Google account, but Facebook and Twitter are other options.

Here’s more of what the site has to offer:
  • Discover new books through an interactive web that shows how users’ Bookprints are connected
  • Find and connect with users across generations and from around the world to see the books in their Bookprints
  • Compare their Bookprints to those of the participating “Names You Know,” and find out if they share a book in their Bookprint with famous athletes, award-winning entertainers, world-renowned scientists, or iconic business leaders
  • “Favorite” other books they like and check out what similar users enjoy reading
  • See which books have been chosen as Favorites from around the world
  • Share a book in the real word through Pass It On, which encourages users to give a favorite book to a family member, a friend, or even a complete stranger.
  • Coming Soon: Users can join ongoing conversations about books and Bookprints in “Book Buzz,” a live feed of comments, news, and reviews.
In case you're curious, my bookprint includes Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, the Nancy Drew Mysteries by Caroline B. Keene, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Misery by Stephen King, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

So what books make up YOUR bookprint??

Enjoy your reading!