Monday, October 29, 2012

UPDATE: UN-Mark Your Calendars!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to the recent weather-related events here in NJ (Hurricane Sandy and then the snowstorm--which I learned was named Athena)--the Ellen Hopkins event at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library has been cancelled. No word on a rescheduled date; I'll let you know if I hear anything.

Hey, all my NJ peeps! The one and only Ellen Hopkins will be visiting the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library on Tuesday, November 13 at 7pm to promote her newest adult verse novel, Collateral.

I've seen Ellen twice before, for both a YA release and her first adult release, and I do have to stress that there is a reason some of her books are The tones and language of these novels are decidedly...racier...than her YA stuff. This won't be a book talk for younger teens, let's put it that way.

Still, having said that, if you're in the area that evening and you're...not a younger teen LOL, you should definitely plan to attend! Here's the link to the event on the Ocean County Library website where you can get more info and register:

Let me know in the comments if you'll be there, and we can meet up! It's refreshing to be able to attend an author event that I won't have to drive an hour plus to get to!!

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In My Mailbox (108)

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

Here's what I got this week:

Borrowed from the library:
  • Shadows (Ashes #2) by Ilsa Bick
  • Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
  • Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobahn Vivian
  • Because it is my Blood by Gabrielle Zevin
  • Forget Me Not by Carolee Dean
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review:
  • Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner
  • The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab
  • The Namesake by Steven Parlato
I'm honored to have been asked to review some of the titles from Merit Press Books, a new YA imprint headed by acclaimed author Jacquelyn Mitchard!

What did you get?
Enjoy your reading!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Author Event: David Levithan and Friends

So last month my colleague and I made the trek out to Princeton (it was so nice to have company!) to see David Levithan, Adele Griffin, Alyssa Sheinmel, and Deborah Heiligman. We were super early and got great seats. This was a really laid-back, fun event. Each author read a little from their books:  Every Day by David Levithan, Stone Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel, Intentions by Deborah Heiligman and All You Never Wanted (coming soon) by Adele Griffin*. Then David kind of led the discussion and each author spoke about how their choose point of view and where their book ideas came from. They took questions from the audience and really interacted really well with each other and with their adoring fans. After they were done speaking, amazingly, the line to get books signed was not that long at all--I think a great deal of the people in the audience were family members or friends of the authors. Plus, Molly Ringwald was speaking at the Princeton Public Library at the same time.

So I was able to get my books signed (I already had Tighter by Adele from last year's Collingswood Book Festival) and I actually spoke to David Levithan! He had visited my library system some years before and my branch manager took him out for dinner, and he totally remembered that event, and her!

I didn't get a ton of pictures:

A colleague from another library was there also, and I noticed Eireann Corrigan in the audience (author of Accomplice and the just-released Believing Game--amazing, definitely pick it up!) and spoke with her for a while. She's pregnant with twins (actually, by this time she's probably just about ready to have them) and also has two dogs (all of us have big dogs LOL), so we shared some stories and visited. 

THEN, when we were done, we stopped at Joe's Crab Shack for some fantastic food before heading home. It was a great night!

*I have, since this event, read an eGalley of Adele's latest release and really enjoyed it.

Enjoy your reading!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: F in Exams

F in Exams: the Funniest Test Paper Blunders by Richard Bensen 
Summersdale, 2008

Summary from Goodreads:

We've all been there. You've been studying hard, the day of the BIG test arrives, you turn over the paper, and 'what the *&%@ does that mean?!' Not a clue.This book is packed full of hilarious examples of the more creative ways that students have tackled those particularly awkward exam questions.
I'm not sure how this book made it on to my radar, but I remember reading about it somewhere and dropping everything to place it on hold at the library. When it came in, I cracked it open to a random page and immediately burst out laughing. Tried sharing it with a colleague but she wouldn't STOP reading it, so I took it back. Headed to my office and spent the next hour or so in absolute stitches.

F in Exams consists of the funniest (or, sometimes, the stupidest) answers to test exam questions in Biology, English, History, and more. It's a very short read and not the greatest nonfiction book ever published, but I will tell you this: anyone who reads it will be in tears (good tears). I don't know if it's just the funk I've been in for the past few months, but I was in dire need of a good laugh and F in Exams delivered.

Just a few examples:
Q: Explain the concept of homeostasis?  
A: It is when you stay at home all day and don’t go out.

Q: What is the highest frequency noise that a human can register?  
A: Mariah Carey

Q. Write the first and second laws of thermodynamics.  
A. First rule of thermodynamics is you do not talk about thermodynamics. 
Second rule of thermodynamics is you do not talk about thermodynamics.

I am seriously considering purchasing multiple copies of this book to give as Christmas presents. To everyone I know.

Borrowed from the library.
Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In My Mailbox (107)

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

Here's what I got this week.
Borrowed from the library:

  • Tilt by Ellen Hopkins


  • Ask the Passengers by A.S. King: not one, not two, but the THREE copies I pre-ordered from Amazon! I put the stickers that A.S. (Amy) signed for me at the Collingswood Book Festival in them, so now I have one signed copy for me, one for my teens, and one for one lucky blog reader! Stay tuned for a giveaway as a thank you for putting up my with slumpishness of late.

What did you get?
Enjoy your reading!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Super Short Reviews (15)

Here are some quick thoughts on some of the books I've read recently. All links will take you to Goodreads.

Speechless by Hannah Harrington: from library, read for 2012 Sophomore Challenge and 2012 Standalone Challenge. I went into this one with high hopes. I have not read a single negative review of this novel and if memory serves I really enjoyed Hannah's debut, Saving June. The cover is striking, also. There aren't many books I read that warrant a second glance from Best Girl, but she was intrigued by this one LOL Sadly, I really only liked this book, I didn't love it. There wasn't anything really wrong with it, I just felt that Chelsea wasn't a very likable person, and to me I didn't see her growth as a character. It wasn't a bad book, but to me it just wasn't as amazing as I'd hoped it would be. The fact that it took me three nights to get through it is very telling. Still, everyone else has loved it, so I'll file this one as "Not For Me." You should give it a try.

Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler: eGalley from NetGalley, read for 2012 Standalone: This one! This novel surprised me in a good way! I wasn't expecting too much from it but it was really a moving, touching novel. The premise (girl eats peanut butter sandwich, girl kisses boy, boy dies of anaphylactic shock) seems WAAAAY out there, but Gurtler totally makes it believable and real. Contemporary fans will enjoy this one.

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In My Mailbox (106)

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

Here's what I got this week.
Borrowed from the library:
  • Purge by Sarah Littman
  • I Swear by Lane Davis
  • Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
Received from author Kimberly Derting: these awesome (and signed!) The Pledge and Dead Silence posters for my teens--five of each! I'm only keeping one Dead Silence poster for my office; I love the Body Finder series, and can't believe we have to wait until April for the upcoming 4th book! Thanks, Kimberly!

What did you get?
Enjoy your reading!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Super Short Reviews (14)

Here are some quick thoughts on some of the books I've read lately. Hope to get back to "real" blogging soon, but in the meantime, this will have to do. Links will take you to Goodreads.

Send by Patty Blount (eGalley received from NetGalley) (read for 2012 DAC & 2012 Standalone Challenges): Enjoyable debut. Definitely adds a new perspective to cyber bullying, and definitely demonstrates how one simple action can have irreversible consequences.

The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan (eGalley received from NetGalley) (read for 2012 Standalone Challenge): Seriously, I don't know where Eireann comes up with this stuff. This is one twisted plot premise, let me tell you. Greer is one hot mess, and McGracken Hill might not be the best place for her to get the help she needs. Your jaw will drop while reading this one, I promise.

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin (eGalley received from NetGalley): NOT your typical sibling rivalry story. Totally engrossing, with an ending you won't see coming. Decidedly dark. I really enjoyed this one!

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

In My Mailbox (105)

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

Here's what I got this week.

Downloaded to my nook from NetGalley:
  • Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
  • Send by Patty Blount
Borrowed from the library:
  • F in Exams: the Funniest Test Paper Blunders by Richard Benson (adult nonfiction)
  • Speechless by Hannah Harrington
  • Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louis Rozett

What did you get?
Enjoy your reading!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Collingswood Book Festival Tomorrow!

Hey gang! There's an incredible book festival tomorrow so I wanted to make sure everyone in the area knew about it. It's the 10th annual Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood, NJ.

You can click here to go to the festival website and get all the details, but this is all you really need to know: A. S. KING. That's right--tomorrow I will meet the queen in my literary heaven (to Patrick Ness' king). I can't even stand it. I have all three of her books ready to be signed and I have some stickers I'm hoping she'll sign for bookplates for Ask the Passengers, which comes out later this month. She's really the main author I'm interested in seeing--although I'm sure I'll end up buying more stuff when we get there!

It is really just a fun, fun day. Best Girl and I are meeting some colleagues and friends at the Pop Shop for breakfast first (incredible food--they were on Throwdown with Bobby Flay a while back), then we'll stroll the streets and take it all in. There's tons of stuff for kids to do (although at first glance I'm not finding a ton of books that my 10-year-old would want, but that's ok) and it's really such a wonderful little town and such a nice day. And we wrap it up by stopping at Krispy Kreme (the closest one to us!) before making the drive home.

Will I see you there tomorrow??

Enjoy your reading!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Super Short Reviews (13)

Here's the answer to my blogging slump-- a few sentences on some of the books I've read recently. Links will take you to the title's Goodreads page.

Rape Girl by Alina Klein: Received from NetGalley. Read for 2012 Debut Author Challenge and 2012 Standalone Challenge.
This was a very quick read--only 126 pages. I read it in about an hour. I found the story quite interesting--Val is raped but feels it wasn't "real" rape because she didn't scream or try to get away (she had reasons for that). In addition, she is completely ostracized by her friends and even educators--I found this to be horrendously realistic. However, I thought the story could have been fleshed out a lot more. There were several places where the story jumped through days or even weeks, and while that can be useful at times, I thought we could have benefitted from a more detailed glimpse into Val's day to day life.

The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas: Borrowed from the library.
Rose's mom dies and leaves her a survival kit, similar to the ones Rose and her family have helped her mom make for the parents of her preschool children for years and years. A very touching story. Of course, with my personal life the way it is, it was super sad for me, because my mom passed away so suddenly that she didn't even know she was going to, let alone plan for it--which I guess is better for her, right? Anyway, I'm getting maudlin and off track. This book was a very sweet novel about grief and family. It was so nice to see that everyone in Rose's life is seriously in tune to her and is understanding of her sadness and mood swings. I wish that everyone who has to lose a loved one has a support system as strong as Rose's.

Enjoy your reading!