Saturday, January 30, 2010

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 12/22/09

About the Book: Nimira is a girl from a distant world trying to make her way in a music troupe. When a wealthy gentleman, Hollin Parry, offers her an opportunity to sing with a life size automaton he has acquired, Nimira takes the chance and hopes it will be the start of something better. Mr. Parry's world is very different than the one she has known and soon Nimira is surrounded by magic, rumors of ghosts, and sorcerers-good and bad. Nimira discovers a fairy is trapped inside the automaton. As their relationship grows, she determines to break the curse-at all costs.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: This is such a fun read! The storyline is very creative and addicting and it has a refreshing romance. It reminded me in some ways of Beauty and the Beast (forbidden parts of the castle, a huge library, and a girl exploring a way to break a curse) mixed with a classic Victorian tale.

It's a short quick read and I would have read it in one sitting if I had carved out enough time to read. I liked the characters and the way magic was accepted in Hollin Parry's world. It came as no shock that there was a league of sorcerers and fairies-that's just how the world was. I liked that the fantasy elements felt like a natural part of the world.

I really enjoyed the fact that there was a lot of dialogue. I've found that while I enjoy descriptions of places and feelings, I like to have character interactions move the story along. Ms. Dolamore does a great job having the characters tell the story and I enjoyed their interactions. I also liked that a couple of the characters kept me guessing about their motives and there was a surprise I thought was very well done. (And no, I won't tell you what it was, that would ruin it!)

I would have liked more with the romance part of the storyline, although I did like what was there. I would have liked to see it develop just a bit more. This was a pretty short book and the ending felt a little rushed and I want more. I don't wish for many books to be longer, but this one I would have gladly read another 100 pages! I'm hoping there will be a sequel (even though I generally get annoyed with sequels) because I'm interested to see where the characters go from here.

Overall, Magic Under Glass is an enchanting debut that I would eagerly pick up again and re-read. I already have a long hold list for this one at my library and I think my teens will be clamoring for more. I know I'm looking forward to reading more from Ms. Dolamore-she's an author you'll want on your radar.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher

Friday, January 29, 2010

YA Movie News

Wow-lots of YA movie news this week!

-I can't believe I haven't mentioned this! Tenner Chelsea Campbell's book The Rise of Renegade X has a deal with Disney Original Movies for a possible Disney Channel movie of the book. I'll admit it, I like Disney Channel Movies, so I was thrilled for Chelsea when she got the news.

-The Graveyard Book is looking for a new movie home according to Neil Gaiman. The book was with Miramax, but not anymore. I'm hoping a movie does happen with this one-I think it lends itself very well to a film version. Thanks to
Cynopsis Kids for the news.

-Harry Potter is going 3-D.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part: One will have a 3-D version. I'm still not sold on all the 3-D movies, but we'll see.

-The Gotham Group has optioned The Dark Life by Kat Falls, an upcoming tween series releasing in May. It's a dystopian tween book with people living in water and government conspiracies.
Abby (the) Librarian read an ARC and she's raving about it! Thanks to Cynopsis Kids for the news.

-ABC Family is looking at a
TV series based on Huge by Sasha Paley. I haven't read it, but it's about a teen with self-esteem issue who is sent to a weight loss camp. It's being described as Glee meets Ugly Betty and the pilot was written by My So Called Life Creator Winnie Holzman and her daughter. Could go either way, but I'm willing to give it a try. Thanks to Hollywood Reporter for the heads up. UPDATE: According to Cynopsis News, both Huge and Pretty Little Liars (which I mentioned in an October YA Movie News) have been given 10 episode orders from ABC Family. I'll keep you posted on premire dates!

-And while it's not movie news I thought it needed a mention. The Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger passed away on Wednesday at the age of 90. I'll admit this wasn't my favorite book I read in high school, but I didn't dislike it and I have respect for the author because he inspired so many great authors that are writing for teens today. So thank you Mr. Salinger-you will be missed and your books will live on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: December 1. 2009

About the Book: Ethan Wate lives in a small Southern town where everyone knows everyone's business. When Lena Duchannes, niece of the town recluse Macon Ravenwood, arrives, she is immediately an outcast. Ethan is drawn to Lena and realizes she's the girl that has been haunting his dreams. Lena wants Ethan to stay away-she's a caster and on her 16th birthday she will be claimed-either light or dark. Together they fight for their fate in a battle against light and dark, good and evil and past and present.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Beautiful Creatures is a welcome addition to the paranormal romance genre. This is a beautiful Gothic supernatural romance and a epic southern tale. The setting of Gatlin is so richly described you come away from Beautiful Creatures feeling as though you've visited the South. Gatlin is so detailed in the book the setting is practically a character in itself.

I can't say I found Ethan's voice completely believable as a teenage male protagonist, but at the end of the audiobook I listened to, the authors mentioned that Ethan is the perfect high school boyfriend we never had. That I can believe-Ethan is a perfect high school boyfriend. The romance between Ethan and Lena is very sweet yet also dangerous and I loved that dynamic.

The strongest aspect of this book aren't the main characters, but the supporting cast. Ethan's housekeeper Amma is a vibrant woman who I would love to have dinner with. She's larger than life and she comes to life and I left the book feeling as though I really knew her. There's also Ethan's aunt's, the sisters, who were hilarious and always good for some great comedic scenes. And of course, Lena's family were who I found the most interesting. Their stories, background and caster abilities and magic are all things I can't wait to read more about.

I also have to give a huge librarian hug to the author's for making a library and a librarian (named Marian-made me think of The Music Man every time I read it!) an integral part of the story. There were many lines about libraries that I want to find in my print copy of the book and underline and paste in my office. Thank you Kami and Margaret for a cool kick butt librarian character who totally rocks!

I liked how this was a paranormal romance but with a twist-the girl had the powers not the boy, and there wasn't any vampire or werewolf romance. It did take me a bit to get really pulled into this one, and there were a few times it dragged a little-the length of this one comes in at almost 600 pages. But I found the story original and the characters made me want to know more.

Side note about the audiobook-While I really enjoyed the audibook of Beautiful Creatures, I have one gripe about the narrator. The narrator would only use a Southern accent for Ethan when Ethan was speaking, even though the book was told from Ethan's point of view. This threw me off several times when I heard Ethan speak because his point of view voice had no accent. I did however like that the audiobook had original music for the "Sixteen Moons" song and used many sound effects.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook I purchased and downloaded from Audible

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Book Cover

Here's the cover of Alyson Noel's newest series- This is the spin-off from The Immortals series featuring Ever's sister Riley. It'll be marketed to middle grade and I can't wait to read it! You can read the summary here. The book will be released August 31, 2010. What do you think-will you read it?

Update on the Dictionary Banning Fiasco

Well, the dictionary has been put back into the fourth and fifth grade classrooms it was banned from. But students have to get a permission slip in order to use it. Seriously? These parents do realize that Merriam Webster is available online and that students don't need a permission slip to google? I can't believe it was ever challenged in the first place.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Random News Post

-First off, my exciting news of the day: I wrote an article for VOYA and it was published in the February 2010 issue. The article is about blogging books and generating buzz through social media. VOYA is the best resource for teen librarians out there and I was thrilled to get the chance to write about book blogs.

-The cover art for Dark Flame by Alyson Noel was released. I think this is my favorite of all the covers so far. The model looks just like how I picture Ever to look and I'm glad to see full faces on the cover this time instead of faces being blocked by some mystical object. I don't want to post the synopsis in case you haven't read the other books in the series, but be sure to check them out. What do you think of this cover?
-First Bloomsbury said they would change the cover of Magic Under Glass and now Little Brown is changing the covers of the Mysterious Benedict Society. The Mysterious Benedict Society featured a dark skinned character on the inside illustrations, but on the cover he was bleached out. I'm glad they're changing it, but I'm sad that it took so long to get noticed. This was even a book club pick for Al's Book Club on the Today Show, so you'd think it would have been seen by someone. I'm glad they listened and are changing the covers now.
-And I really hate book challenges, but this one has to be the most ridiculous one I've ever seen. The dictionary has been banned because of the "bad words" that it contains. Really?? I don't even know what to say.

Tween Tuesday

Tween Tuesday is a weekly feature where I highlight great tween reads. Join in the fun and leave your link to your Tween Tuesday post in the Mr. Linky below.

The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villiany, Sorcery and Shoes by Roderick Townley

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 10/13/09

About the Book: One evening in a small town called Aplanap a mysterious stranger approaches the shoemaker Grel to make a blue shoe entirely out of strange blue gems. The shoe must never be sold or damaged.

When Hap, the shoemaker’s apprentice, steals a gem from the blue shoe to save a poor beggar girl, he is sentenced to the mountain Xexnax. There he finds a race of people called Auki’s working in the mines. Aplanap’s mayor and his wife are after the biggest blue gem of all. But a rebellion is underway and it’s up to Hap to lead the fight and save his friends and the town of Aplanap.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: With a title that includes “thievery, villainy, sorcery and shoes”, you know you can’t go wrong! The Blue Shoe is a magical story that reads like a fairy tale, but even if you're not typically a fan of fairy tales or old fashioned stories I would give this one a try. There' a little bit of everything here-there’s lots of adventure, a bit of romance and magic.

Hap is a likable hero and his friend Sophia is a full of spunk and they were a delight to read about. They are surrounded by a fun cast of characters that won’t soon be forgotten.

The book is printed in blue ink and filled with illustrations from Mary GrandPre, which I thought added to the magic of the tale. This is one I could see being read aloud to all ages-it has the feel of an old fashioned tale that has been passed down and re-told and needs to be shared.

The Blue Shoe will appeal to readers of fantasy and readers of action-packed adventures.

Also reviewed for
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy

Add your own Tween Tuesday post below:

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Soul to Save Giveaway

Soul Screamers Giveaway!

One (1) grand prize winner will receive:
Books 1 & 2 in the Soul Screamers series: My Soul to Take and
My Soul to Save

Two (2) additional winners will receive:
Book 2 in the Soul Screamers series: My Soul to Save

About the Books: Book 1 of The Soul Screamers series -- My Soul to Take -- was released this past summer, and readers found out why Kaylee Cavanaugh screams bloody murder when someone’s about to die.

In Book 2 – My Soul to Save – when teen pop star Eden croaks on stage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.

Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk.

Soul Screamers: The last thing you hear before you die.

Get a sneak peek at the series: You can learn more about Kaylee by downloading the free Soul Screamers prequel
My Soul to Lose.

Want more? Check out the book trailer:

Contest Info:

-Must be a resident of the US and over 13 years of age
- Must fill out Google Doc below

-+1 for entering, +1 for following, +2 for sharing this giveaway (Twitter, Blog, Facebook, etc.)
-Contest ends Friday, February 12th, Midnight (Central Time)

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Rating: 5/5 Stars (My first 5 Star of the year!)

Genre: Paranormal

Release Date: 1/5/2010

About the Book: Brooklyn's boyfriend Lucca died a year ago. And now her friend Gabe has died of an overdose. Brooklyn is loosing sleep and being haunted by Gabe in her dreams.

Nico lost his brother Lucca and is trying to escape the pain. But when Lucca starts to leave him messages to help Brooklyn, Nico and Brooklyn find themselves being drawn to each other and having to face emotions that have been buried. They just need to learn to let each other in.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I LOVED IT!! I really enjoy novels in verse and I think Lisa Schroeder writes them beautifully, but she blew me away with Chasing Brooklyn. This is a book you'll want multiple copies of-one to keep and one to pass around to friends.

The novel is told in alternating voices-Brooklyn and Nico's. I wasn't sure how this would work with a novel in verse, especially since each alternating part was short to start. But Lisa Schroeder pulled it off and gave Brooklyn and Nico distinct voices and soon I was swept up in both stories.

I was so drawn into the book I couldn't put it down. I stayed up waaay past my bedtime to finish this one. (That's what I get starting this one thinking "I'll just read a little bit before I fall asleep...) It's a book that has such gorgeous lyrical writing you just want to get lost in the words.

Chasing Brooklyn is an emotional read and the journey the reader takes with Brooklyn and Nico is one that will stick with you. You'll want to keep this one around for multiple re-reads because these are characters you won't want to leave behind. Yes, it's a ghost story, but most of all it's a love story and a beautiful tale about two people who need each other to heal. Both Brooklyn and Nico are hurting and you feel their pain and want to reach in and help them. Their journey to each other is heartwrenching and heartwarming at the same time.

There's a cameo from a character in I Heart You, You Haunt Me. Chasing Brooklyn isn't a sequel, but takes place in the same school. I re-read I Heart You, You Haunt Me before I read Chasing Brooklyn, but that's not necessary. Lisa ties the two novels together nicely and reader's won't be lost if they haven't read the first one. (Although really, you should read that one too-it's also amazing!)

Chasing Brooklyn is easily one of my favorite reads of 2010 and earns a place in my top books of all time. I think it's Lisa's best book and I can't wait for more.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from personal library (I bought this one)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Emma on PBS

Just a reminder because I know many people are looking forward to it. Emma premires tonight on PBS and will run the next three Sundays.

I just found out that Johnny Lee Miller is Mr. Knightly in this one-I had the biggest crush on him after I watched Hackers in middle school!

There's also an Emma Twitter party happening during the show, so be sure to join in!

Friday, January 22, 2010

YA Movie News

Still not much happening, and I'm still waiting on the Wimpy Kid trailer! But here's what I do have (keep reading-my favorite news is at the end!):

UPDATE: The Wimpy Kid trailer has arrived!

Spiderman 4 is set for 2012, with emphasis on a "an everyday teen in an epic super-human world." Director Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire are both out. Really, can't you just leave Spiderman alone? I hate multiple sequels. Cynopsis Kids had the news.

I love Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, so I was excited to see that Neil Patrick Harris aka Dr. Horrible, will be voicing Dr. Blowhole, a wicked dolphin in a new special on Nickelodeon, Dr. Blowhole's Revenge, featuring the penguins of Madagascar. The special is on Nickelodeon, Monday, February 15 at 8p. "In the special Dr. Blowhole goes up against the Penguins who have continually foiled his plans to rule the world." Thanks to
Cynopsis Kids for the heads up.

There's a Twilight graphic novel on the way. You can check out an early preview at Entertainment Weekly. I'm not very impressed and really, can we stop with the extra Twilight tie-ins? I don't know about you, but the teens at my library aren't really big fans of graphic novel versions of movies/books/etc. They want manga and that's it-not this fake manga stuff that keeps getting put out.

Martin Scorsese is in talks to direct the film adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I loved the book and I think a movie would be great and I would love him as director. Thanks to Cynopsis Kids and The Guardian for the news.

And the best news for last! Little Brown announced that they will be publishing Glee novels featuring new stories about the cast. Expect these in the Fall. I hope they're good-I'm keeping my fingers crossed but they'll probably be super cheesy, just like the Clueless based novels I read in eighth grade! Thanks to Lisa at EarlyWord for the news.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Mystery

Release Date: 11/10/2009 (paperback release, hardcover was out in 2008)

About the Book: Claire Voyante (it's French) has always been having strange visions that lead her nowhere. But when her grandmother gives her a cameo necklace, Claire starts to have dreams she can't explain. When the dreams start to lead her to a mystery involving her new best friend, Claire becomes a detective, piecing the clues together in order to save her friend's life.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I love Claire!! This book was so much fun. Claire was a blast to read about.

Dream Girl has some mystery elements, but they come into play later in the story that I hesitate to call this one a true mystery. Instead it strikes me as chick lit with some mystery in it-which makes it a little more fun. Even though I was expecting more mystery, I was so caught up in reading about Claire, her new school, her new friend Becca, and her eccentric grandmother Kiki, that I kept reading and didn't care the mystery was lighter than I expected.

Claire is a great narrator. She's smart, she's shy and she's coming into her own throughout the novel. As a former shy girl in school, I've been really excited about the shy narrators I've been reading about lately. Let the shy girl shine!

I adore Claire's family. Her brother Henry is adorable (although she might not think so), and her parents are so quirky and fun. It seems that so many times there are negative family dynamics in YA, I get excited when I see a family that actually enjoys spending time with each other. Even Claire's best friend Becca's family is one I would love to hang out with for an afternoon. And I would love to adopt her grandmother Kiki, a former Broadway showgirl who now lives in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

The writing was fast paced and the dialouge was snappy. The cast of characters is well rounded and each character added something to the story. I'll be following this one up with the sequel Dream Life, which is good news, since I can't wait to read more about Claire.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by author

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blog Tour: Wish Author Interview and Contest!

Please welcome Alexandra Bullen, author of Wish. Check out my review of Wish.

1. What inspired you to write for teens?

As much as I love that my writing has found an audience with teenagers, I wouldn’t say that I ever set out to write for teens. If the kinds of characters I like to write about are related to best by teens, that’s great. I think there’s something really special about the intensity with which books and characters are appreciated at that stage in a reader’s life. But if people of other ages find something in what I write, too, (and I hope that they do, since we were all teenagers, once…) then that’s even better.

2. I saw on your blog you live most of the year on Martha's Vineyard. What's your favorite thing about island life?

There are so many things that I love about where I live, but very few of them have to do with the fact that it’s an island. The whole island situation is usually more annoying than anything else—travel takes on a whole new meaning when boats are involved. That said, I guess the fact that it’s not easy to live here is part of the appeal. It’s extremely quiet (for ten months of the year) and even in the summer, it always feels like time stops when you’re here.

3. Olivia uses a magic dress to bring her sister back? Do you believe in magic?

I do believe in magic. I’ve never been lucky enough to wear a magical dress myself, but I have known what it’s like to be given the very thing you need at the time you need it most. That always feels a little bit like magic to me.

4. If you could have dinner with any character from a book, who would you choose and why?

Hmm. This is tough. Many of the characters that I feel the most connected to, from the books and plays that I’ve read over and over again, aren’t necessarily people I think I’d want to sit down to dinner with! I find that I can get most involved with characters when they have been portrayed in a way that makes them completely human, flaws and all.

For example, last year I read a great book called Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, and the title character was an incredibly difficult woman, truly stubborn and at times a real pain. But by the end of the book, I felt all of this warmth towards her, like she was a relative I’d grown up loving (but only had to see once or twice a year.) She’d probably be not much fun to have dinner with, though. Definitely a picky eater.

5. If you were stranded on an island and could only take five books to read, what would they be?

I’ve done quite a bit of moving around lately, and while most of my books have been stuck waiting patiently, packed up in more boxes than I care to admit, there were a few that I shuttled around with me, wherever I went. And now that I’m somewhat settled (and, in fact, stranded on an island by choice) they are the same books that I keep out at the ready, the ones I go to when I’m feeling stuck and in need of a jolt:
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Seymour: An Introduction by J.D. Salinger, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, Birds of America by Lorrie Moore, and Angels in America by Tony Kushner.

Thanks Alexandra! You can follow Alexandra's blog tour to the The Book Muncher for tomorrow's stop. Also be sure to check out Alexandra's Blog and The Official Wish Site.


Would you like to win a signed copy of Wish? Leave a comment below telling me what you wish for if you had a magic dress (it can be serious or funny). Contest is open until Saturday Jan. 23 Midnight (CT). Good luck!

Blog Tour: Wish by Alexandra Bullen

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Fantasy

Release Date: 1/12/2010

About the Book: Olivia's twin sister Violet died seven months ago. Violet was the outgoing one, the sister everyone loved and without her Olivia is fading into the background. Her family has moved to San Francisco and Olivia feels lost without her sister to guide her. When a magical gown shows up at Olivia's door and Olivia wishes her sister back, she suddenly finds Violet (or at least her ghost) by her side.

With Violet back, Olivia feels like she can live again. The girls get two more dresses and two more wishes. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I though Wish was a cute novel. It might not be the most literary novel or the deepest, but it's cute and sweet and that's ok with me.

I really liked Olivia. I was happy to see a character who was shy and not immediately popular at school. She was struggling to move on after her sister's death and dealing with her family's withdrawl and her emotions were believable. I felt for her and wanted to reach through the pages and hug her and be her friend.

I also enjoyed the supporting cast of characters, especially Bowie, who is incredibly spunky and funny-I'd love to meet her! And I liked how even though Calla is the popular beautiful girl, you don't hate her and she's not a mean girl.

There's a good mix of romance, friendship and a touch of fantasy. It took a few chapters for the story to really get moving, but once it did, I really enjoyed this one. It's the perfect book to curl up and read-it's a warm fuzzy, sweet book that is full of magic.

Full disclosure: ARC recieved from publisher for blog tour

Stay tuned for an interview with author Alexandra Bullen and a chance to win a signed copy of Wish.

Wish Official Site

Alexandra Bullen's Blog

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Body Finder Trailer

Doesn't this look so good? I can't wait for it's release!

Luckily Kimberly Derting is hosting a contest where you would win an ARC of The Body Finder.

Tween Tuesday

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme to highlight great tween reads. Include your Tween Tuesday post in the comments below!

The Naked Mole Rat Letters by Mary Amato

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

About the Book: When Frankie reads an e-mail sent to her widowed father from a woman he recently met and it appears there may have been kissing involved, Frankie decides to take matters into her own hands. She begins a correspondence with Ayanna, who is a zookeeper and caretaker of naked mole rats. Through the letters Frankie learns about growing up, family, and naked mole rats.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I read this book a few years ago when it was nominated for the Mark Twain Award (Missouri's grades 4-6 book award) and it became my favorite nominee. I recommended to every reader who was working through the Mark Twain list and I still find myself asking reader's if they've read this one.

I love Frankie's voice! She's fresh and funny and made me laugh out loud. The book is told through Frankie's diary entries and e-mails which makes for a fast read. Not only does Frankie deal with her feelings about her father entering a new relationship, but she's also having some problems with the school play and a boy named Johnny.

The Naked Mole Rat Letters introduced me to Mary Amato's books and I've enjoyed all that I've read from her. She's a tween author worth checking out! Give The Naked Mole Rat Letters to readers looking for a heartfelt humorous read.

Full Disclosure: Originally read as a library book, I now own my own copy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lonely Heart's Club Twitter Party

Remember my review for The Lonely Hearts Club and guest blog by author Elizabeth Eulberg? Check out this Twitter chat that will be happening!

Join Lonely Hearts Club author Elizabeth Eulberg and Amy of MyFriendAmy for a Twitter party Wednesday, January 20, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. EST!

Be sure to follow Elizabeth @
ElizEulberg and Amy @MyFriendAmy before the party!

Join the fun! No one expects you or your tweets to be perfect; we’re just happy you made it to the party!

Anyone who tweets during this hour using #LonelyHeartsClub is entered to win a limited edition Lonely Hearts Club t-shirt!

Watch for questions from @MyFriendAmy and win awesome prizes including an iPod shuffle, $50 iTunes gift card or $25 VISA gift card!

To join the party, you can use our official party tweetgrid or just search #LonelyHeartsClub on Twitter.

Ask Elizabeth questions or chat with other partygoers about how excited you are to read LHC—just use the tag #LonelyHeartsClub in all of your party tweets! (This is added automatically in TweetGrid.)

Please don’t post any spoilers and don’t forget to pay attention to the time zones, the party starts at 8:30pm EST.

ALA Youth Media Awards

I got up early (on my day off!) to watch the live Twitter feed of this year's ALA Youth Media Awards. I predicted a couple correctly, and was terribly off on others but it was fun to read the tweets from everyone-almost as good as being there!:) Here's what won:

Caldecott Winner-The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (predicted correctly!)
Honors: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee
Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman and Pamela Zagarenski

Newbery Winner: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (predicted correctly and not a surprise at all)
Honors: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
The Mostly True Adventures of Homor P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Printz: Winner: Going Bovine by Libba Bray (totally shocked! I got this whole list wrong!)
Honors: Charles and Emma: The Darwins Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
The Monstrumologist by Richard Yancey
Punkzilla by Adam Rapp
Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

Charles and Emma also ended up the winner of the new YALSA non-fiction award, which I was very excited about.

Morris Award Winner: Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Sibert Award Winner: Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone
Honors: Moonshot by Brian Floca
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose
The Day Glo Brothers by Chris Barton

Out of all these I've only read three and predicted three correctly! I've just added a lot to my TBR pile!

What do you think of the winners? Any surprises?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Interview with Shannon Hale

Recently I had to chance to interview the awesome Shannon Hale about her new release, Calamity Jack. She is so super sweet and funny-I hope I get a chance to meet her in person someday.

1. Rapunzel's Ravenge and Calamity Jack are fairy tale retellings. What is your all time favorite fairy tale?
SH: Growing up, The Goose Girl was always my favorite. My first published book was a retelling of that tale, which, for me, felt like I could reclaim something precious from my childhood.

2. If you could live inside a fairy tale world, which one would you pick?
SH: Ooh, probably none! They’re scary worlds! Monsters and witches and sinister plots and bone-crunching giants. Are you trying to give me nightmares? But I like our version of Rapunzel. I wouldn’t mind stepping into her cowgirl boots.

3. You co-wrote Rapunzel's Ravenge and Calamity Jack with your husband, Dean. Is it easier to have a co-writer or is it easier to write books on your own?

SH: Good question, Sarah Bean. It’s always easier to work alone. Collaborating takes more time. But the advantage is a combination of creative energy and ideas you wouldn’t have had on your own.

4. The new year is here, so what books are you looking forward to in 2010?

SH: No one has asked me that yet! And I have good answers. A Conspiracy of Kings, by Megan Whalen Turner; White Cat, by Holly Black; and the third Hunger Games book, but I don’t know the title yet. Oh, and the new Jane Austen. It’s been, like, 200 years since her last publication. She’s so slow.
Thanks Shannon! And be sure to check out Calamity Jack-it's a great read!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Award Predictions

I've never made official award predictions before, but since I read so much this year, I felt like I could try my hand at making them this year. I'm super bummed I'm not at ALA to attend the announcements, but I will be up early on Monday (even though I have the day off) and watching the live Twitter feed. So here's what I think will win (and I'm only doing the awards I feel I can predict):

Newbery Award:
What Will Win: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

What I Want to Win: I'm not really sure, since I haven't read too much new MG fiction, but I'd love to see The Year The Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice on the list somewhere.

My Thoughts:-Even though I didn't love When You Reach Me, so many people did and the buzz hasn't died down. The fans of this book can be passionate about it, so I wouldn't be surprised if it won.

Printz Award:

What Will Win: Marcelo and the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

What I Want to Win: Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

My Thoughts: Marcelo is another one that readers seem to love that I liked, but didn't think was great. I do think it reads like an award winner and it's very much a book I would give to adults who think YA is just fluff. It's a good read, but I don't want it to win because I think it has more adult appeal than teen appeal. I'm rooting for Lips Touch because I thought that book was amazing! Each story stood on it's own, it was dark and delicious storytelling and I want to buy my own copy and underline passages because they were so beautifully written.
UPDATE: Katie reminded me of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (which I haven't read yet) and If I Stay by Gayle Forman, which I loved. I think both books have a chance of getting honors, but I'm not sure they'll win. But I'd love to If I Stay get a shiny honor sticker on it!!

Caldecott Award:

What Will Win and What I Want to Win: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
My Thoughts: It's the most gorgeous picture book and it deserves the buzz-I hope it wins and I think it will. I would also love it if 14 Cows For America by Carmen Agra Deedy and Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez makes an appearance on this list. This one made me cry and the artwork is beautiful and incredibly realistic and pulls you in.

I'm also pulling for Charles and Emma: The Darwin's Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman to make it on one or more lists-I could see it on the Sibert list, Printz or Newbery. Any non-fiction book that makes me excited and care about reading non-fiction deserves an award! I loved the author's use of letters as dialogue in this one and it was so lovingly researched and the writing made these people seem more real to me. It's a great read, even if you don't typically read non-fiction.
I love when the committees come up with complete surprises and shockers and I can't wait to see what's announced on Monday. Any predictions you'd like to share?

YA Movie News

-There will be a Percy Jackson video game for the DS coming February 9. The game will be based on Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and the movie released two days after the game debuts, on February12. Thanks to Cynopsis Kids for the heads up!

-Fox has announced an open call casting for the second season of the hit show Glee. If you're between ages 16-26 you can submit a Glee cast audition online. You can also watch audition videos I'm really sad I'm one year too old-how unfair since everyone tells me I still look like a teen. So everyone who can go audition for me, ok? New episodes of Glee start in April and I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Authors and Fans

I've been thinking a lot about how easy it is to contact authors. When I was a kid, authors were these mysterious celebrities who wrote magical books-and if you were lucky, they would respond to your letter. I remember writing to two authors in elementary school-Roald Dahl (who was no longer living, which I did not realize, so the publisher wrote me back and sent a bunch of swag) and Avi, who wrote me a wonderful letter back that I still have and still means a lot to me.

I still feel very fangirly when I hear from or meet authors-even as an adult. They're still somewhat mysterious celebrities and I'm always amazed when they say they're excited to hear from me-I'm just a silly fangirl librarian!! Authors have a bigger presence in everyday life than they did when I was growing up-they're online, they comment back on their blogs, they Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail. So I've been thinking about how much interaction is too much and how do you deal with author let down?

Luckily this hasn't happened very often, but there have been a couple of instances when I've contacted or met authors after reading their blog, books, etc. only to be somewhat let down in the response. Maybe I caught them on a bad day but the responses I received were not what I was expecting from the online persona the authors had created. Please don't think that just because I'm a blogger and librarian, I expect glowing responses from everyone-I don't. I'm still shocked when they respond or recognize me! What disappointed me was that the online persona created by these authors was warm and friendly and welcoming, but the responses I received (either online or in person) were very short and brisk. I tried not to take it personally, but it did make me wonder if I could now look at their work objectively without putting their personality into my assessment of their books.

On the flip side, what do we do when we've been following an author's blog, commenting on their posts, Twittering, etc. only to read their book and not enjoy it?

Author Stephanie Burgis was blogging about writing to authors and the when's and how's of fan writing. I don't think it's wrong to be in contact with authors online, and in fact I think it adds to the fun of being a reader! But I do think we need to keep interactions short and not expect a response from everyone. And when we get a response that's not what we were hoping for, it's hard, but we need to remember why we wanted to contact the author in the first place and what made us a fan.

So how do you as a reader in contact with an author keep your opinions of the author and book separate? Is there too much social networking between fans and authors?

Also, check out Kristi from The Story Siren's post she did last year on author and blogger friendships. It's an interesting discussion and with more and more authors including many social networking platforms as part of their book buzz, I think it will continue to be discussed.

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Ratings: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal

Release Date: 12/22/09

About the Book: Three years ago Grace's childhood crush and family friend Daniel disappeared and Grace's brother Jude showed up on the front porch covered in blood. No one has talked about that night. But now Daniel is back and as much as Grace tries to stay away, she can't help but wonder what happened between Daniel and Jude. The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more danger she finds herself in.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I've been feeling a little burnt out on paranormals, so I was wary of reading The Dark Divine. Luckily Bree Despain offers up a refreshing take and makes The Dark Divine an addicting read!

The story is based on the parable of The Prodigal Son and Grace is a pastor's daughter, so there's an interesting mix of religion and paranormal which I really enjoyed. I felt it made this one stand out. That's not to say this is Christian Fiction or a book with a religious message, but there are religious themes to the plot which to me made the storyline more unique. It wasn't just another paranormal young adult novel.

I also really liked that fact that Grace and Daniel were childhood friends. They had shared an attraction before and their romance wasn't a love at first sight sweeping romance, but a love built on friendship. I thought this made their relationship even hotter than some of those we met and we're madly in love romances that so often occur in this genre.

I was talking this one up to my teens this past week and they all wanted to check it out. I anticipate long hold lists for this one when it arrives at my library. I recommend curling up and reading this in one weekend-it's a book you won't want to be torn away from. And be sure to have the
soundtrack playing-Bree has some great picks on the playlist and they fit the book perfectly. (And yes, she may have added many of my favorite songs, but I would love the soundtrack even if Death Cab for Cutie, Postal Service and Band of Horses weren't on it-honestly!)

Reviewed Source: ARC from publisher at ALA

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tween Tuesday: Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel/Fairy Tale Re-telling, Adventure

Release Date: 1/5/2010

About the Book: Jack has long been a trickster-he's just not had the best of luck. When a heist involving magic beans, a beanstalk, and giants goes wrong, Jack leaves town. After his adventures with Rapunzel (in Rapunzel's Revenge) Jack returns home to Shyport only to discover that the giant Blunderboar is in charge, the city is in ruins thanks to a infestation of ant people, and his mother is being held captive by Blunderboar and in charge of baking bones into bread. It's up to Jack and Rapunzel to save the day!

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'm often asked to give booktalks on great books for tweens and I always inlcude the Hale's first graphic novel outing, Rapunzel's Revenge. (and now Calamity Jack!) Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack are a librarian's dream come true! The Hale's combine witty dialogue, action and adventure, beautiful detailed artwork and lots of humor to create the perfect graphic novel. I would give this one to anyone who is not convinced in the value of graphic novels or anyone who's a newbie to graphic novels. (And of course old fans too!)

The fairy tale of Jack and Beanstalk is given the steampunk treatment in Calamity Jack and readers looking for a great adventure read will devour this one. There's even a cute bit of romance thrown in, so I think this one will have wide appeal. It is a sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge, but readers don't necessarily have to read the first one to pick this one up. The book starts with Jack's past and gives us a little information on Jack and Rapunzel met, so I doubt readers will feel lost.

As I mentioned, the dialouge is very witty-there were a few lines I just had to read aloud to my husband because they were too great to keep to myself. The artwork is very detailed-young Jack is pictured with his tounge out while thinking and we get a glimpse that Jack hasn't lost this habit as an adult. It's this attention to detail that make the art stand out. The text and illustrations pair perfectly and work together, which makes this an excellent example of a graphic novel. I can't wait to see the final full color, since the ARC came in black and white. (And be sure to check out the inside cover page for a peek at our author's and illustrator snuck into the artwork.)

This a book to share, to pass around to friends, and re-read because each time you'll see something new. I'm hoping we can look forward to more graphic novel's from this creative team-I'd love to see their take on other fairy tales.

Check out the other reviews on this blog tour from

Whispers of Dawn, Reading is my Superpower,, Through the Looking Glass Book Review , Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Becky’s Book Reviews, The Hungry Readers, The Friendly Book Book, My Own Little Corner of the World, Book Blather, GreenBeanTeenQueen, Book Crumbs , Abby (the) Librarian, Dolce Bellezza,, The Book Cellar, Carrie’s YA Bookshelf, Bookshelf Monstrosity, Everyday Reading, Frenetic Reader,, Maw Books

Full Disclosure: ARC provided by publisher for tour

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How Does a Book Earn a Place on Your Bookshelf?

It's no secret, I love books. I love to be surrounded by books and even though I work in a library and am with books all day long, I love visiting bookstores and building my personal library at home. But with a small one bedroom apartment, the start of my blog and book reviewing, and attending ALA, my bookshelves have become very crowded! My husband is always encouraging me to weed my book collection and get rid of books, but I have such a hard time doing it!

But I love to buy books and it's an addiction I can't seem to stop! The shelves keep growing and getting fuller. My bookshelves were becoming so full I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed and I knew I had to do something about it. I made myself do some serious weeding on Saturday after yet another trip to Borders that brought back four new books. So I used the following as my criteria for keeping a book:

-Is it something I read and enjoyed? How much did I love it? Will I re-read it?
(I had to decide if it was a forever favorite and would I want to read it again if I had to chance? This was hard because I always think I'll re-read books, but never have the time.)

-Is it one I want to share it with friends/family?
(I love sharing books with my friends and family, so if it was one I would eagerly pass on, I kept it.)

-What are my chances (really) of reading this in the next year?
(I had books that I had bought five-six years ago and still hadn't read! So they got put in the giveaway pile.)

-If I was asked to give a booktalk to tweens/teens using only the books on my shelf, do I have books that I would want to share?
(Yes, I can always check out books from the library, but sometimes the books I want to booktalk aren't available and I like to have a stash at home I can pull from on short notice.)

I made two piles-books to take to work to share with my teens and books to sell/giveaway. I ended up with 46 books (and 4 of my husbands) weeded out of our collection. I'm feeling much more positive about my bookshelves right now and now I have room to buy the ones I fall in love with this year and want to own. Someday I'll have that Beauty and the Beast library, but until then, books have to earn their place on my bookshelf.

So how does a book earn it's place on your bookshelf? Do you keep everything you read or do you weed out your book collection?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Help!-Unsubscribing from Blog Feeds?

Does anyone know how to unsubscribe from a blog feed in GoogleReader? I've tried clicking on the unsubscribe tab under feed settings. I spent about an hour and a half working on cleaning out my feed reader last night, only to find out all the unsubscribed blogs are still there, just not showing up in any folders-my amount of blogs to read is still at a crazy number, even though my folder totals are smaller. Any advice?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bloggiesta Time!

I have to work tomorrow, but I decided to spend sometime working on my blog this weeknd and join in on the Bloggiesta, hosted by Maw Books. The goal of Bloggiesta is to spend time working on your blog. I'm not sure how much time I can devote because of work, but I'm going to try to work on my blog and read this weekend-we'll see how much I can get done.

I'm planning on writing some long due reviews of books I read last year, clean up my reader, and I'll probably work on some of the mini-challenges. Have fun if you're taking part!

Friday-4:30-7:00-Read through reader, 8:30-10:00-Finish up reading blogs and clean out reader and organize blogs
Total time Friday: 4 hrs.

Saturday-8:30-11:00-Work on blog postings, realized all my cleaning up of my reader yesterday didn't work, so cleaned reader again, I also did some mini challenges. I did the old challenge from Bookish Ruth about grading your blog, which was very cool! I also worked on the challenge from Jackie at Farm Lane Books about backing up your blog.
Total Time Saturday: 2.5 hrs.

Total Bloggiesta Time: 6.5 hrs.

Comment Away!!

Today is the start of the Comment Challenge 2010 brought to you by Mother Reader and Lee Wind. The goal is to stop lurking and comment on blogs from now until Jan. 28. Here's the details from Mother Reader:

"Since it is said that it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit, we’re going to run the Comment Challenge for the next three weeks — starting Friday, January 8, and running through Thursday, January 28, 2010. The goal is to comment on at least five kidlitosphere blogs a day. Keep track of your numbers, and report in on Fridays with me or Lee. We’ll tell each other how we’re doing and keep each other fired up. On Thursday, January 28, we’ll have a final check-in post for the Comment Challenge. A prize package will be involved, drawing from among the bloggers who reach the 100 Comment Mark (five comments a day for twenty-one days with one day free of comment charge). It’s also pretty likely that we’ll award some random door prizes for trying.

Every comment doesn’t have to be insightful and intellectual. I know sometimes it’s hard to think of something to say. But what I’ve found is that when I’m in the habit of commenting, the words do come easier. I find myself reading posts with a bit more focus because I’m thinking about what is connecting with me. Also, when you make yourself heard, that blogger may check out your blog. Can’t hurt your stats. Plus, you’ve made that blogger’s day a little bit brighter. Maybe you’ll make a new BFF — Blog Friend Forever."

I used to comment a lot more, so I'm hoping this challenge will help me get back to that. And I'd love some BFFs!:)

Good luck if you join in and comment away!

Jan. 8-7 comments
Jan. 9-10 comments
Jan. 10-9 comments
Jan. 11-6 comments
Jan. 12-5 comments
Jan. 13-7 comments
Jan. 14-5 comments
Jan.15-2 comments
Jan. 16-no comments today-day off for my husband's birthday
Jan. 17-3 comments
Jan. 18-6 comments
Jan. 19-9 comments
Jan. 20-9 comments
Jan. 21-7 comments
Jan. 22-5 comments
Jan. 23-6 comments
Jan. 24-4 comments
Jan. 25-no comments-too busy today to check up on things
Jan. 26-9 comments
Jan. 27-19 comments-I was on a commenting role today!!
Jan. 28-8 comments

YA Movie News

Not a lot is happening on the YA movie front. But there are some TV shows coming up that I think teens and adults who like teen shows (like me!) will be interested in.

First up, Life Unexpected premires on January 18 on the CW. The early reviews are positive, even saying it could fill the Gilmore Girls hole in many fans hearts (Me, I was never a fan of Gilmore Girls, shocking I know, but I'm still excited about this one.) Also, does the fact that Shiri Appleby of Rosewell fame is a mom in this one make anyone else feel old?

Can I tell you a secret? I know I'm a librarian, but I have never once read a Jane Austen novel- GASP! The movies on the other hand are some of my favorites. My favorite is Emma, so I'm looking forward to the new BBC version of Emma airing on PBS later this month.-it looks too cute! The miniseries starts January 24.

And last, the new season of Project Runway starts January 14 on Lifetime. (Didn't Season 6 just end?) I'm still excited though and we're hosting a Project Runway Gock night at my library in a couple of months, so I need to watch it to get inspired, right?:)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One more Reading Challenge

Ok, so I wasn't going to join another one, but I read so much chick lit, this one should be easy! The rules are to read ten chick lit books in 2010!
Here's my list so far:
1. The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
2. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
3. Heist Society by Ally Carter
4. Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman
5. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
6. The Season by Sarah MacLean

2010 Challenge Posts

2010 Debut Author Challenge-15 debut author books (this might go up as the year goes on)

1. The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
2. The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
3. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
4. Wish by Alexandra Bullen
5. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
6. A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
7. Forget Her Nots by Amy Brecount White
8. Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman
9. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
10. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
11. The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
12. A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
13. Mistwood by Leah Cypess
14. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
15. Sea by Heidi Kling
16. Deception by Lee Nichols
17. Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
18. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
19. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
20. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
21. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
22. You by Charles Benoit
23. Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney
24. Hush by Eishes Chayil

In the Middle Reading Challenge-10 MG books
1. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
2. Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
3. Big Nate: In a Class By Himself by Lincoln Peirce
4. The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
5. The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schiltz
6. A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole
7. Bro-Jitsu by Daniel H. Wilson
8. Morpheus Road by D.J. MacHale
9. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia
10. Zebrafish by Paul H. Reynolds
11. The Popularity Papers by Amy Igantow
12. Countdown by Deborah Wiles
13. I So Don't Do Makeup by Barrie Summy
14. The Reivention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman
15. Wish I Might by Colleen Murtagh Paratore
16. Middleworld by J&P Voelkel
17. This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee
18. Nice and Mean by Jessica Leader-also a debut!
19. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
20. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Chick Lit Teens-10 chick lit books
1. Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
2. The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
3. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
4. The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
5. Runaway by Meg Cabot
6. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
7. Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
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