Friday, November 27, 2009

YA Movie News

Not a lot happening this week (probably because last week was so crazy busy!)

-Ok, this is
n't movie news, but I wanted your thoughts. Hallmark is bringing Rainbow Brite back and she's gotten a makeover. Apparently, she's also getting new toys and horse collection. What do you think of the new Rainbow Brite? I think I'm still partial to the original, but I am a child of the 80's!

-Did you know that there is a Guardians of Ga'Hoole movie which should be out next year? Check out the cast list for the voices-I'm pretty excited!

-Check out the Beastly teaser trailer! I'm so excited and I think I may be able to suffer through Vanessa Hudgens for the very cute beast (well, in human form) and Neil Patrick Harris! (who sadly is not in the teaser)

And here's the trailer for How to Train Your Dragon which I think looks super cute!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Will you be getting up to watch the Macy's Parade? I know I will-it's tradition! I love all the Broadway previews before the parade and I can't pass up a chance to see Sesame Street and the Muppets.

I wanted to say a HUGE thank you today to all my readers-I'm amazed every day that people actually read this blog. Also, thank you to all the amazing young adult authors who write the greatest books out there. Without you, I wouldn't have a job as a teen librarian and I love promoting your books.

I'm off to Chicago to spend the holiday with the in-laws and my family for our first combined family event since the wedding. And I'm going to try my hand at cooking-I'll be making spinach artichoke stuffing. Cross your fingers for me, because if you knew my cooking horror stories (like how I put too much baking soda in cupcakes, or how I burn pretty much everything I've ever made, or how I tried to make bacon and my husband came home to a very smoke filled house and alarms) you would be very worried for my family!:)

Enjoy your holiday and have a wonderful weekend!! I'll see you all when I get back!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Want It Wednesday

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Release Date: May 2010

About the Book: Terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future, sixteen-year-old Aura struggles with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay.

As her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet keeps drawing Aura toward the depths of her own imagination—the shadows of make-believe that she finds frighteningly similar to her mother’s hallucinations.

Convinced that creative equals crazy, Aura shuns her art, and her life unravels in the process.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: It's such a small world! A couple weeks ago, Holly e-mailed me and after chatting a bit, we discovered we're in the same town! I was thrilled! We never have local YA authors here! Today Holly stopped by the library and we got to talk and we're both very excited about planning some YA events. My teens have been asking for author vists and I think Holly's book will make a great discussion book. Plus, I've enjoyed everything that's put out out by Flux, so I know she's in good hands and it'll be a great read.
And congrats to Holly who sold two more books this year-I'm sure she's got a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Keep an eye out for Holly's book and I'll keep you posted on any events we have happening at the library.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tween Tuesday: Picture Books

Tween Tuesday is a meme where I feature great tween reads. Leave your Tween Tuesday link in the comments below.

I thought I would feature some great picture books for tweens this week. This is just a short list-there are many many more, so I may try to feature picture books every few weeks.
Looking Like Me by Walter Dean Myers, Illustrated by Christopher Myers
-Looking Like Me is the story of a young boy and all the things he sees himself as when he looks in the mirror. Is he a brother, a writer, a runner? This collaboration between father and son is a great read. The text flows and has a wonderful rhythm and the illustrations are a mixture of paintings and photographs. Even though it does skew a little young, I could see it being used with fifth and sixth graders to make their own "who I am" poems and stories. I would also highly recommend Jazz by this father/son duo if you're looking for a great book of poetry to read aloud.

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester
-Wodney Wat is one of the funniest picture books and one of my all time favorites. Wodney Wat is a little rat who has a lisp and can't say his 'R's. Everyone in class knows that except the new girl, Camilla. So when Wodney is selected to be the leader of Simon Says, Camilla isn't sure what's she's supposed to do! This one works best with older readers who really understand the humor and it's a great read aloud!
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieskza, Illustrated by Lane Smith
-This is another one that's up there on my list of all time favorites. Another book that works best with older readers to really understand the humor. I read this one in fourth grade and laughed out loud-I still laugh when I read it. Anything by these two will be a hit with tween readers.
Full Disclosure: Looking Like Me was provided by the publisher, Hooway for Wodney Wat and The Stinky Cheese Man are books I have owned and read for years and years and long before I started blogging.

Friday, November 20, 2009

YA Movie News

Sorry this is a day late, but there's a ton that's been happening and it took me awhile to round everything up! This will be one long post!

Of course, we all know New Moon is hitting theaters this weekend. If you see it, keep your eyes out for two book to movie previews-a new Percy Jackson trailer and a trailer for The Lovely Bones. I squeeled when I saw the Percy one-can't wait! (Anyone else think Percy is just too adorable??) (Ok, because I'm so excited about it, you can find the Percy Jackson trailer at the end of this post!)

What's up with books getting movie deals before they are even published? From Cynopsis-"Pulitzer Prize winning writer David Lindsay-Abaire will pen the script for DreamWorks Animation SKG's movie The Guardians (working title), an adaptation of author William Joyce's upcoming kid's books The Guardians of Childhood." The books won't even be out until 2011!

This news just made me smile. Owen Wilson will be lending his voice to Marmaduke, an upcoming movie based on the long running comic strip.

A new made for TV movie of Harriet the Spy is currently being filmed and will be released on Disney Channel next year.

A Harry Potter Spells App for iPhone was released this week. I haven't downloaded it, but I may have to check it out since I love Harry Potter!

My husband's favorite news of the week: The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel will be coming to the big screen. When I told my husband this he had the whole movie cast by the end of the day! I think this series could do well and I'm excited to see what happens.

Film rights to Lauren McLaughlin's Cycler sold. Lauren is asking readers on her blog who they think should play the roles in the film and she also talks about how the book started as a screenplay.

Lots to look forward to! What are you most excited about?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

Rating: 5/5 Stars (If I had a gold star award, I would give it to this book)

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 10/1/2009

About the Book: Do you remember your first kiss? Three supernatural tales of first love (or lust) and that first kiss that can change you or overpower you. In "Goblin Fruit" goblins prey on young girls-and not the pretty popular ones-the ones that want to be them. In "Spicy Little Curses" a young woman is cursed with a voice that will kill anyone who is nearby to hear it. Can she risk telling her love the one thing he wants to hear? In "Hatchling" a young girl finds her fate intertwined with demons and secrets kept by her mother.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Dark, dangerous, and delicious! This collection is an amazing work of fiction-and it's addicting. You won't want to put this one down! I don't always enjoy short stories, but this collection blew me away.

Each story is wonderfully written and the characters are well developed. I was transported to each new world and it's hard for me to pick which one I enjoyed the best-they were all fantastic. The artwork by Jim Di Bartolo is gorgeous-I would love to have prints of these pictures framed. (And the red dress in the first picture for "Spicy Little Curses"-I want that dress!)

Even if you typically shy away from fantasy or paranormal romances, give this one a try. It's compulsively readable and the fantasy elements are weaved in to the stories in such a way that you won't even realize you're reading fantasy. (And I mean that in a good way.) These are stunning stories that will stick with you long after you finish reading.

Laini Taylor is an author to watch for. I will be picking up her Dreamdark series after reading Lips Touch: Three Times. I need more of her storytelling. Lips Touch: Three Times is easily one of the best books of 2009.

Full Disclosure: My copy is from the library-only the coolest place in the world!:)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Carrie Diaries-Will You Be Reading It?

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell will be released April 27, 2010. It tells the story of teenage Carrie Bradshaw before Sex and the City.

I watched the show off and on in re-runs (didn't get HBO in college) and I have seen the Sex and the City movie. I have to admit I'm intrigued, but at the same time I'm nervous. This could either be great or fall flat. I do think it's a great way to bring in adult readers to YA who maybe haven't read YA recently. But is it going to be adult fans of the show that read this one or are teens going to pick it up? Today's teens were most likely not watching Sex and the City, but it is a big part of our culture, I'm sure most would know who Carrie Bradshaw is.

So what do you think? Will you be reading it? And do you think teens will be picking it up?

Good Holiday Reads

I posted a few days ago about how I'm participating in the 2009 Holiday Reading Challenge. Right now I have Ex-Mas by Kate Brian and The Gift by Cecelia Ahern on my list to read. I have some others on hold and I'm hoping they get to the library in time. Hold lists for holiday books start early!!

I'd love your help making my Holiday Reading list. What is your favorite holiday read? Or what new release are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My New Addiction

So I had this great afternoon of reading planned for Monday afternoon. I had my books all lined up and ready to go. But then I discovered that the New Super Mario Brothers for Wii was released on Sunday! I have been so excited for this game, I of course ran out and bought it.

And now I'm addicted. I can't stop playing!! The game plays like my Super Nintendo Super Mario Brothers game, which I loved. But this addiction is terrible because the end of the semester is coming up and I have reading and projects to work on and I have to have all my Gateway nomination ratings in by December 2!

Sigh...I'll get it all done, but I'll be taking game breaks for sure!

What distracts you from reading?

Tween Tuesday

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme where I highlight some great tween reads! Post your own Tween Tuesday link in the Mister Linky below and share the fun!

The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney by Lauren Barnholdt
-I recently bought the sequel to this one, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, so I wanted to share with you how much I loved the first one.

Devon has spent all summer telling her summer friend Lexi about how she's very popular at school and dating the hottest guy (so not true). So when Lexi ends up staying past summer and starts attending school with Devon, Devon scrambles to make her lies become truth.

This is a fun read and one of the cutest tween romances ever! If you know any tween or middle school girls, this would be the perfect holiday gift.

Shug by Jenny Han
I reviewed Shug when I first started blogging, but it's so good it deserves to get mentioned on Tween Tuesday. Annemarie is crushing on her long time best friend, Mark, but he's not seeing her in the same way. Annemarie is also dealing with growing up, friendships changing, and family drifting apart.
This is a tween romance that delves deeper than some reads-think Sarah Dessen for the younger set.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Historical

Release Date: 2003 (was also a 2004 Printz Honor book)

About the Book: Sixteen-Year-Old Mattie is trying to hold her family together after her mother has passed away. Mattie struggles with her responsibility to her family and her passion for writing and wanting to escape the farm. When she gets a summer job at a lodge on Big Moose Lake, she meets a young woman named Grace Brown who tells Mattie to burn her letters. When Grace shows up dead in the lake, Mattie begins to read Grace's letters and pieces together not only Grace's murder, but her own life and what she must do.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: Sometimes there are books that draw you in so completely to the story and the characters you don't want to let go. This was one of those reads. I loved this book.

A Northern Light is a richly layered character driven novel that is a joy to read. The great thing about Jennifer Donnelly is that I never felt she bogged down in the details as some writers do, especially when it comes to historical fiction. I would give this one to readers who might shy away from that genre because Mattie and her story are so wonderfully drawn, readers can relate no matter what time period they live in.

There was so much happening in this book it was a thrill to keep reading. Even the minor characters are rich and no one ever fell flat to me. The Grace Brown part of the story is based on a true story and the author ties the true events together seamlessly with her fictional accounts.

If you need a book to prove that young adult novels are not all fluff and romance, A Northern Light is the perfect book to suggest.

Full Disclosure: My copy was from the library.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Holiday Reading Challenge

Remember how last week I bought Ex-Mas by Kate Brian and I was telling you all how much I love reading romances during the holidays? I found the best challenge today-it's the 2009 Holiday Reading Challenge. The goal is to read 1-5 holiday themed books between Nov. 20 andDec. 31. This is perfect because school is over for me in early December and I can catch up on my reading!

The challenge is hosted by Nely at bookwormygirl. Be sure to check it out and enjoy some warm fuzzzy holiday reads!

Friday, November 13, 2009


I posted the other day about how much I loved Roswell High and Fingerprints by Melinda Metz when I was in high school and college. I thought it was Roswell High getting the re-prints, but now I believe it's actually Fingerprints. This is an amazing series and I can't wait to get my hands on it again. (I guess I could clean out my parents basement for my original copies...) Several of my teens are reading this series right now, so I'm sure it will do well in it's new packaging. I really hope they keep the shiny covers the original copies had-you could leave your fingerprints on the book series titled Fingerprints-such clever marketing!
The series is about a girl who can hear the last thoughts someone had when she touches their fingerprints-and she discovers someone is out to kill her. The series ended a little abruptly for me, but I loved it anyway. I hope you can all discover Roswell High and Fingerprints and I hope Melinda Metz has many more great books coming our way!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Best News I Had All Week or Teen Years Flashback

Thanks to the fabulous Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production and her Harper Collins librarian preview recap, I found out that my favorite series from high school is being repackaged and republished in May 2010.

I loved, loved, loved Roswell High by Melinda Metz. This was my Twilight. I picked up the books randomly in the bookstore and was addicted. I told all my friends to read them and we formed a Roswell High fan club. We waited (not so) patiently for each book to be released-there were ten in all. And then, when the TV show, Roswell, started we agonzied over the fact that each new book was being released with a new TV show tie in cover-but the series wasn't finished. So we had to wait for the tie-ins to come out first in the previously released books before we got anything new-it was torture.

So why all the love? Well, in high school, my friends and I loved (and were obsessed) with Star Trek, X-Files, and pretty much anything with aliens. Add to that teenage aliens who were survivors of the Roswell UFO crash whose pods were mistakenly opened some 16 years ago and we were sold. I haven't read this series since high school, so I'm hoping it will still work for me as much as it did when I was a teen. And I'm really hoping this gives Melinda Metz a boost (a la L.J. Smith) and she starts writing again. Her Fingerprints series was my college obsession and I'd love to read more from her.

Of course, the re-prints will have all new pretty covers, but I couldn't resist tracking down the original 90's covers to share. Keep an eye out for this series in May-the first book is being renamed to Echoes. I'm sure you'll hear me squeeling. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking For Alaska by John Green

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 3/3/2005

About the Book: Friendless Miles is sent to a boarding school in Alabama. There he meets up with Alaska, a mysterious girl who Miles is immediatly drawn to. When tragedy strikes, Miles and friends learn about love and loss and what makes life worth living.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Warning! This review contains spoilers if you have not read Looking for Alaska!!

I felt like such a bad teen librarian for not having read this one, so when it appeared on my children's lit reading list, I knew I had to read it. I'm so glad I did! The story pulled me in and I couldn't stop reading (or listening, since I listened to this one on CD).

I already knew that Alaska died at some point in the book and once it started I knew that's what the "before" and "after" sections referred to. Even though I knew this, Alaska's death still shook me-I was still stunned when that happened, and felt like I was with Miles, losing a friend. To me that's some powerful writing!

I loved John Green's insights on life, loss, and love. I want to get a hard copy of the book so I can read it again and underline passages I enjoyed. (And I don't find books I want to mark up very often!) I can see many teens doing the same thing and clutching this book dear and going through many re-reads. John Green has a pitch perfect teen voice. He doesn't talk down to his audience or take the easy way out. He knows life is hard and he's not afraid to share that with his readers. But he also adds in a great mix of humor so you find yourself smiling and even laughing while you're crying.

This was a book that stayed with me after I read it and I think it will continue to have an impression on me. It does deal with some tough topics and there are some mature themes, but I think this would be a wonderful read for 9th grade and up.

Full Disclosure: I got the audiobook at the library.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tween Tuesday

Tween Tuesday is a weekly feature where I highlight great reads for tweens!

Alcatraz Vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

About the Book: On his thirteenth birthday, Alcatraz Smedry receives an inheritance from his parents, who he thought were long gone. Then a mysterious and crazy old man shows up at his door, claiming to be his grandfather and that Alcatraz must help save his inheritance from the evil librarians who are ruling the world. And so beings Alcatraz's humorous and fun-filled adventure unlike anything else.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I don't normally do full reviews for Tween Tuesday, but I loved this book and I have to tell everyone about it! I'm so glad I picked this one up for my children's lit class-it's been one of my favorite reads all semester.

Brandon Sanderson fills his book with lots of action, lots of humor and lots of snark, which makes this a perfect read for all ages. It's action-packed with the story really taking off in the first couple of chapters. None of that spending pages and pages setting up the story-the reader jumps right in! The chapters all end in cliff hangers, which the author makes fun of, but it will keep readers turning the pages.

Alcatraz and his supporting cast are hilarious. Alcatraz is a klutz who is always breaking things, but it turns out that's his talent. Grandpa's talent is always arriving late to things, and Sing, Alcatraz's cousin can trip and fall. I loved how the author put everyday things that people are embarrassed about or frown upon and made them talents. I think young readers will appreciate the "I'm not different, I'm talented" statement.

Alcatraz often pulls away from the story and talks to the readers. He will make comments on what's happening in the story, about fantasy and about writing. Alcatraz's snarky comments I'm sure will be found fun by young readers, but I think this is where the book shines with older readers. Older readers will enjoy Sanderson's observations about how fantasy novels work, how a reader can never trust a writer, and how librarians are truly evil. I found myself laughing out loud while reading this one.

I think the Alcatraz series would make a great pick for fantasy fans of all ages, especially readers looking for something to read after the end of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. I plan on recommending this one often as I think it's a series worth reading and Brandon Sanderson is an author to keep an eye on-I hope he continues to write for young readers.

Got a Tween Tuesday post to share? Post in the Mister Linkey and spread the tween love!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Six Questions for Becca Fitzpatrick Plus Contest

So you've read my thoughts on Hush, Hush and you know I enjoyed it. I feel like I've gotten to Becca a little bit since we had a goofy Facebook encounter many months ago and then I participated in the Barnes and Noble First Look for Hush, Hush. So I of course had to share with you how cool and funny she is! Here's my six questions:

GreenBeanTeenQueen: Why fallen angels?
Becca Fitzpatrick: When I started writing Hush, Hush, I knew I wanted Patch to be the ultimate bad boy...but with a twist. He hadn't always been bad. In fact, at one point, he'd been really good, and something had caused this big change. While pondering what had caused Patch's fall from grace, the metaphor of “falling” that I was carrying around in my head became something quite literal – a fallen angel. Since I already knew Patch was going to be the ultimate bad boy, this revelation seemed perfect – after all, fallen angels are the original bad boys.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: If you were going to write an article for Nora's HS zine, what would the title be?
Becca Fitzpatrick: I like Vee's idea: “Seating Chart Takes Slap in the Face.” I was never a big fan of forced seating charts.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: Who's your biggest bad boy crush (fictional or real)?
Becca Fitzpatrick: I used to be crazy about Christian Bale. Then there was that whole blow-up-on-the-scene-of-Terminator: Salvation thing. Kind of killed my infatuation. I like Ethan Peck's character on the ABC show Ten Things I Hate About You.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: What's the best book you've read this year?
Becca Fitzpatrick: Best book, as in one? I want to list ten, so can we compromise on five? Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway was fantastic. I was completely sucked in by Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost (I accidentally started with the fourth book in the series). I'm starting An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon right now, and even though I haven't finished, I can guarantee it will be one of my favs this year. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was gripping – I stayed up all night to finish it. I've also been lucky enough to read some great books that don't come out until 2010 – Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins among them. It was brilliant.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: What social networking tool can you not live without?
Becca Fitzpatrick: I'm not good at the whole social networking thing – I'm so behind the times, I don't even own a cell phone! But I am finally figuring out Twitter. Facebook has been great, except it is a little weird seeing people I knew in high school, and knowing they can see me back...

GreenBeanTeenQueen: If I was going to make you a fancy dinner to celebrate Hush, Hush being on the NY Times Bestseller List (yay!) what food must be on the menu?
Becca Fitzpatrick: Wow! A Sarah Bean dinner?! I would so be there! I would ask for ice cream. I love ice cream. I don't eat dessert first, but I definitely peek at the dessert menu before ordering...

I would totally get you ice cream, Becca! Congrats on Hush, Hush making it on the NY Times Bestseller list! Have questions for Becca? Check out the Hush, Hush fan site where Becca stops by and answers questions from readers every week.

Wanna win a copy of Hush, Hush? Leave a comment below with a way to contact you and you'll be entered. (U.S. Addresses only) Contest ends November 22 at midnight (Central Time)

+1 if you're a follower
+2 if you spread the word (if you twitter, include @greenbeanblog)

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery

Release Date: 10/13/09

About the Book: Nora Grey's life is getting stranger. Someone is stalking her and she's not sure who she can trust.

Patch is trying to get close to Nora, but he has some dark secrets he's hiding.

Nora can't decide if Patch is someone to fall for or run away from. But something is drawing them together-and it could be deadly.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I can't believe I haven't blogged about this book yet because it's one I think everyone should be picking up. I know there have been mixed reviews out there, but I'm a Hush, Hush fan-so pardon me while I gush (and get a little soap boxy!) :)

This book had a great blend of romance and mystery, which I loved. I felt the romance wasn't the central storyline and wasn't the driving force for the characters-there were bigger issues at stake that added to the mystery and kept the plot moving at a fast pace.

The romance that was there was hot. Move over Edward Cullen-I think we need to crush on Patch. Some people have criticized Nora for even getting involved with Patch in the first place, but let's remember something here-it's fiction and it's paranormal romance. Hush, Hush is not realistic fiction and shouldn't be read as though it is. One of the biggest draws of paranormal romances is danger and bad boys. Patch and Nora's romance has it all. (Plus, do we remember a little vampire book where the love interest is dark and dangerous? Again, it's paranormal romance!)

Some readers haven't liked Vee, but I have to admit, I loved her. Yes, she thinks about herself, yes she does some silly things, and yes she is focused on boys and doesn't think things through. But let's remember something here-she's a teenager! And honestly, Vee reminded me a lot of myself as a teen. I'm not saying all teens are flighty, romance obsessed, and self-absorbed, but I know I sure was. (Was I annoying? Yeah, probably. Did I love being a teen? You bet.) Nora made some mistakes and didn't think a lot of times, but again, this book isn't supposed to be about a perfect teenager who always makes the right choice. As for Nora dressing up and flirting at the bar, yes it was silly, but when I was sixteen my friends and I thought flirting was the answer to everything. So was I a dumb, obnoxious teen? Maybe I was. But Nora and Vee made me think back about my friends in high school and I think Becca Fitzpatrick must have been a fly on the wall of my high school years. I thought she had it down perfectly.

Sure, parts were predictable, but sometimes I like that in a book. Sometimes I just want to get lost and not have to analyze and really read deep into the story. Yes, Nora made some dumb decisions, yes there's lots of lust and sexual tension between Nora and Patch, but it was fun. Sometimes I just like to read a fun romance, realistic or not. Sure, there are reviewers who aren't crazy over this one. But that's the great thing about readers-not everyone will love every book. Some books work for some readers and some don't. Hush, Hush worked for me.

I really, really liked this book and my teen readers at the library have been going crazy over it. It's a fun fantasy, the story pulled me in, and I loved reading about Nora and Patch. If you're a fan of paranormal romance, this one needs to be added to your "must read now" list. I'm looking forward to reading more in Crescendo. I'm only giving it 4.5 stars because I would have liked more info on Nora's dad, but I'm hoping that comes in the sequel.

P.S.-Anyone else love that cover??? I took Hush, Hush to booktalk last week to a group of 8th graders and every class I had picked up Hush, Hush and wanted to know more. My only gripe about the cover is that it gives away the story, but I still think it's amazing.

Full Disclosure: I recieved an ARC from the publisher at ALA.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blog Tour: Medina Hill by Trilby Kent

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 10/13/09

About the Book: (From Amazon): In the grimy London of 1935, eleven-year-old Dominic Walker has lost his voice. His mother is sick and his father’s unemployed. Rescue comes in the form of his Uncle Roo, who arrives to take him and his young sister, Marlo, to Cornwall. There, in a boarding house populated by eccentric residents, Marlo, who keeps a death grip on her copy of The New Art of Cooking, and Dominic, armed with Incredible Adventures for Boys: Colonel Lawrence and the Revolt in the Desert, find a way of life unlike any they have known. Dominic’s passion for Lawrence of Arabia is tested when he finds himself embroiled in a village uprising against a band of travelers who face expulsion. In defending the vulnerable, Dominic learns what it truly means to have a voice.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Medina Hill is a cute historical read for tweens. The story may play out a little too conveniently for older readers, but for young readers I thought it was perfect. I loved the eccentric cast-they were lots of fun. I just wish we could have gotten to know them a little more. But I did like what we did see-I especially liked Birdie, who can communicate with the dead.

I also liked Dominic's adventures with the gypsies and Sancha was a great character. The friendship between Dominic and Sancha is the one we really get to see the most, and I thought their interactions were true to tweens today and readers could relate. I also got a kick out of Marlo, Dominic's sister, and her quest to find the perfect recipe to enter the local fair. I think my favorite part of this one was the fact that a book that Dominic was reading played a big part in the story.

This is one I would add to your library if you have students looking for historical reads that aren't bogged down in depressing storylines.

Want to read more about Medina Hill? Follow the tour to Chicklish.

Full Disclosure: I recieved this from the publisher as part of this tour

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

I love the book blogging community and love that there are so many book lovers that I'm connected to. So I of course jumped at the chance to participate in this year's Book Blogger Holiday Swap. Sign up to be a book blogger's Secret Santa. Click on the button above to join the fun-and hurry, you only have until November 12 to sign up! Don't forget that books always make great gifts!

Want It Wednesday

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: 7/20/10-ACK-So Far Away!!!

About the Book: It's the sequel to Shiver. Maggie says " it is about after. What happens after you discover there are werewolves in the wood, after you've fallen in love for the first time, after you've lost what you think you can't live without, after you've become someone you can't live with (and no, not all of these are talking about the characters you think they're talking about.)"

Sneak Peak: (Thanks Maggie!)

• grace •

This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.

Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. His was the disease we couldn’t cure. His was the good-bye that meant the most. He had the body that was a mystery, too strange and wonderful and terrifying to comprehend.

But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies. Sam stays Sam, and Cole stays Cole, and it’s only me who’s not firmly in my own skin.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: OMG-I want it even more now!! Anyone else super excited? And I love the cover. It's amazing-and I'm happy to report I saw the wolf much faster than I did on the Shiver cover!:)

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Rating: 2.75/5 Stars (This is really hard for this book-I have mixed feelings about it)

Genre: Paranormal-but I really hesitate to call it that-I think Fantasy fits a little better -UPDATE: Dystopian fits perfectly-thanks Jana!

Release Date: 3/10/09

About the Book: Mary lives in a small village surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth, where one must never venture. The forest is where the unconsecrated live and the Sisterhood make sure the village stays protected. But Mary isn't happy in the village and she longs for the ocean. When she loose her family, she begins to uncover secrets the Sisterhood have been keeping and she's not sure who to trust.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I wanted to like this book-I really did, but it just fell flat for me in so many ways. Maybe I had read too much hype about it beforehand that I had very high expectations.

The premise and the story were good, I just wish I had cared more for the characters. The beginning of the novel had a strange passage of time-sometimes weeks passed within a few sentences where other times, when I felt a lot of time had passed it had only been a day. I felt the author was jumping around to much to start and I wanted more backstory.

I also had problems with the character development. The sisters were supposed to be evil and keeping secrets, Mary was supposed to be falling in love with Travis, but as a reader, I was told all of this information, never shown. Why did Mary love Travis? What drew her to him? Why should I fear the Sisterhood?

I've learned that I'm a very dialogue driven reader, and this book had little dialogue. I will enjoy books with little dialogue if I care about the characters, the settings, and I want to be immersed in the world I am reading. But I never felt that way about The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I was never made to care about Mary, her village, and what happened to them all.

That being said, the novel did pick up about 120 pages in, which is a 300 page book, seems a little too late for me as a reader to start want to be reading. This one wouldn't have passed my usual 50 page rule if I wasn't making myself finish it for my children's lit class. And there was something in the story that kept me reading, which was good. The plot picked up, but then it stalled out again after several chapters. Now we were back where we started with Mary dreaming about the ocean and little action happening. There's also a lot of time here for the reader to get drawn in to the romance between Mary and Travis, but that never happens and we're left wondering what it is they really see in each other.

For a book filled with zombies, I would expect more action in the plot. I also felt like there were a lot of things left unanswered, especially about the how's and why's and the Sisterhood, but that could be due to the fact this is the first of a series. I was surprised to read some reviews that called this one suspensful, because the suspense element was never there for me. I felt like there needed to be more mystery for this one to really work.

Overall, this was an interesting read, and I did like it-there were some very haunting parts which I thought were great. I found the writing to be rich, even if the story was lacking. Will I pick up the next book in the series? Maybe. Will I be in a hurry to read it? Probably not. I am interested in seeing this one transform to a movie though. I think it will work well on the big screen.

Full Disclosure: Personal copy that I won in a contest!
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