Friday, February 26, 2010

Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge

This will be a dual review!
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: Shakespeare Bats Cleanup: 2/14/2006, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs: 3/9/2010
About the Books: 14-year-old Kevin is stuck at home with Mono, which means he's not allowed to play any baseball. To pass the time, he starts to write. First he writes so it looks like poetry, then he begins to take an interest in poetry and explores different types of poems. He writes about his mom's death, baseball, and life in middle school. He also meets Mira, a new girl in school that makes him not want to hide the fact that he's a writer.
In Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, Kevin is back. He's grown more confident in his
writing, he's dating Mira, and he's playing baseball. But when Kevin meets Amy at a poetry reading, he can't stop thinking about her-but that's not right-he has Mira! Why should he care that Amy understands his poems and Mira doesn't? On top of his own dating confusion, Kevin's dad is starting to date again.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: These books are why I love my job. Just this week I had a patron come in looking for a book of poetry for her son. His assignment was to identify the different types of poems that were written. I immediately took her over to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and handed it to her. I mentioned how Kevin writes different styles of poems and talks about the various styles, how they work, but the poems were all connected into one big story. She grabbed it and said "this will be perfect!"
I have to hand it to Ron Koertge. He's a tricky author-he gets his reader to learn about poetry without letting them know they're learning. And he pulls it off in a way that will grab your attention and make you care about what you're reading. I think these books should be required reading in English class poetry units.
Kevin's observations about middle school life, romance and friendships are spot on and will resonate with readers. It's been a long time since I was in middle school (thank goodness!) but I found myself nodding along and remembering exactly what those days were like. The books also touch on tougher issues like Kevin's mom's death and his dad's dating. But these never bog down the book and make it feel "issue heavy." There's lots of humor to keep readers laughing as well, which helps the books feel lighter and move quickly.

Hand these over to readers who enjoy sports, poetry or a mix of both. Because as Kevin proves, you can be an athlete and a writer!

Be sure to check out my interview with Ron Koertge.

Full Disclosure: The first book I bought at the library booksale and it was in my personal collection. The second was sent to me by the publicist for review for a blog tour.

YA Movie News

-Disney Channel will premire Harriet the Spy:Blog Wars on Friday March 26th. The movie is an updating of the novel Harriet the Spy with Harriet competing against her nemesis to become official blogger of her high school class. I haven't read the book, but this update doesn't really sound appealing. I hate when Hollywood takes an idea from a book and then totally changes it! Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

-Not movie news, but it's cool tech news! I love having books on my phone to read so I was excited to see that the teen novel Cathy's Book has an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Cathy's Book is an interactive mystery with phone calls to make, notes to read and websites to visit to help readers solve the mystery. You can check out a demo of the app on the
Cathy's Book website.

-Sco
tt Westerfeld gave an update on the Uglies movie. He notes that the movie has been fast tracked, which means there's a better possibility of the movie being made.

-Great news for Glee fans!
Neil Patrick Harris is set to appear in a guest spot in an upcoming episode. I love Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog and I would love to see NPH singing again!

-And lastly, check out this new trailer for Beastly. I'm still not convinced the cast is great, but I'll go see it since I loved the book.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blog Tour: Ron Koertge Author Interview

Please welcome author Ron Koertge to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Mr. Koertge is the author of Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, and it's upcoming sequel Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, as well as many other YA novels.

1. Why do you write for teens?

Since I've got a few miles on me (70 in April), I never started out wanting to be a YA writer. Not many people from my generation did and not many men, for sure. And nobody from my pathetic little hometown. Poetry was bad enough, but I couldn't tell anybody about that, either. I've turned out to be a pretty good poet for alleged adults (though any high school kid would like my poetry), but I wanted to be a novelist, too. I did publish one novel foradults twenty or so years ago but the next ones were failures. Pathetic and embarrassing. Unpublishable. That's when a friend of mine reminded me what a persistent adolescent I was (I have a sort of an Inner Teen with a smart mouth), so why not write for other adolescents? I tried, and it worked!

2. Why did you choose to write about baseball?

I've been a fan pretty much all my life. I went to high school near St. Louis, Missouri, so I liked the Cardinals.
Like most boys in the 40's and 50's I played baseball nine months or so of the year. Just pick-up games, nothing very organized. Like Kevin, I was a first baseman because the glove I got for my birthday was a first baseman's mitt. I didn't think as much about poetry as Kevin does in my two Shakespeare books, but things registered -- like which of the guys I played with were truly gifted athletes and what would they be able to do with that gift?

3. You've written many novels, some in verse format and some not. Is it easier or harder to write books in verse?

Well, that's comparing apples and oranges. Or iMacs and Dells. I don't think in terms of "hard," anyway. I like challenges. I've had friends of mine -- teachers in an MFA program I'm part of -- say that they could do the novel part of a novel-in-verse but not the verse part. I understand that; it does seem like two problems. But since I've written poetry for more than forty years, I'm tight with Poetry. Poetry and I are pals. I'm not scared of Poetry like I would be play-writing, for instance (about which I know zip.) I wrote the first Shakespeare book (Shakespeare Bats Cleanup) because I was writing fairly simple poems that I knew weren't publishable on their own. I remember thinking, "Hmmm. What if there was a kid who'd write simple poems about his hobby, his parents, etc?" I made a couple of false starts, then killed off his mother, made him a ball player, gave him mono, and suddenly I was in business.

4. Can you tell us anything about what you're working on next?

I thought it might be a teen version of "The Canterbury Tales." I've been caressing that idea for quite a while, seeing if I can get it to purr. I was a medievalist in grad school and I always liked Chaucer. But now there's a chance I'll want to revise a flock of poems about the Greek gods. My editor wonders how many kids are interested in Zeus and his cronies, but I think if the poems are interesting enough, they'll get read.
(Yes, I think there's tons of readers interested in Zeus and his cronies!!)

5. Since the book has to do with baseball, I have to ask who your favorite team is.

I live about 4 miles from Chavez Ravine and follow the Dodgers, but I really like the AAA affiliates scattered around Southern California. My wife and I went to every one of these cool, little ballparks at least once. The Dodger affiliate is the Inland Empire
66ers. But I follow (mostly by looking at the sports page) the Blaze, the Mavericks, and the Quakes. Those guys play hard.
Thanks for visiting Mr. Koertge! Check out this preview:
"The Only Child" by from SHAKESPEARE MAKES THE PLAYOFFS copyright c2010 Ron Koertege. Used by permission of Candlewick Press.


In their living room, Mira's
parents have these paintings:
Mira looking gorgeous,
her mom looking noble,
her dad looking serious.

Then there's this big one
of the whole family.

You know how in most pictures
people look out, like at the camera
or the painter?

In this one, only Mira does that.
The other two look right at her.

They're the bookends.
She's the first edition.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tween Tuesday


Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme where I highlight great tween reads! Share your own Tween Tuesday post in the comments!

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Historical

Release Date: 1/13/2009

*This book is a 2010 Newberry Honor Book

About the Book: When Homer's older brother is illegally sold into the Union Army, Homer sets off on an adventure to get his brother back. His trip leads him to a traveling road show, a hot air balloon ride, the underground railroad, and the Battle of Gettysburg. Here are Homer's (mostly) true adventures!

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: We all know those tweens (or even adults!) who exaggerate their stories. Homer's story is one those exaggerator's would love. This is one I listened to on CD and I thought it worked really well as an audiobook. The narrator was great!

Many times historical fiction can be bland and boring and it's not always a popular genre with tweens. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg is a book I would give to reluctant history readers. Homer is a great narrator and his story is action packed and lots of fun.

I really liked how the author was sneaky in his way of including historical facts. Readers don't realize they are learning until they get to the back of the book and see the glossary and facts included.
It's a short book and it's pretty fast read. I don't know that it will be widely read or have wide appeal, but I think readers who enjoy historical or adventure books would have lots of fun reading this one.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Mystery

Release Date: 1/12/2010

About the Book: Teen psychic Claire Voyante is back in this second installment. Claire's friend Becca has started to hang out with her old prep school friends and Andy is sending mixed signals. When Claire discovers Becca's part of a secret society-and that someone is out to get them-Claire must use her cameo necklace and dream gift to save the girls-and her beloved New York.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: The second book featuring Claire Voyante was just as fun as the first. (It is the second book, but you could read this one without reading the first book, Dream Girl since the author does include a minor re-cap) I felt the mystery storyline picked up faster in Dream Life than it did in the first one and we spent more time with Claire trying to figure out what was happening.

The thing I liked the most about this one was that the rich girls were all nice. There wasn't a typical mean girl rich snob, which I thought made the book feel a little more real. I didn't think of the secret society girls as high society rich girls-they were all characters I could see my friends in, which made me like them. Never fear, there's still some mean girl plot if you love to read about mean rich girls!

The mystery seemed a little far-fetched at times, but I still had lots of fun reading and it kept me guessing, which is always good. Claire is a somewhat refreshing narrator-she's an average teen girl and I think that makes her relateable to readers. She also has a great family dynamic-her eccentric grandmother Kiki still remains my favorite character.

There's also a bit more romance in this one, so if you like mysteries with a hint of romance, Dream Life will be right up your ally. The series could continue, but the end wraps things up nice enough that if this is it for Claire, I'm happy with the ending-no cliffhangers here. I'm hoping we do see more of Claire in the future.

Full Disclosure: Sent to me for review by the author/publisher.

Friday, February 19, 2010

YA Movie News

I wasn't going to post any YA Movie News today because really, there wasn't anything too exciting that happened this week. But I did see this news, so I thought I'd share.

The Eclipse trailer will premire before Summit's Remember Me, which also stars Robert Pattinson. The movie releases March 12. So plan on lots of fan girls making a trip to that movie-not only for Mr. Pattinson, but also for the trailer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Guest Post: Laura Pedersen Plus Contest

Please welcome author Laura Pedersen:

I was a slow starter, pretty much a turnip in a sleeper the first couple of years. Once I began public school, kids were separated by ability. Our first grade reading groups had cutesy inspirational names such as Cheetahs, Jaguars and Blue Jays. Still unable to form words using letters, I was classified as a Dinosaur. I tried not to read too much into it but since I couldn’t read at all that really wasn’t possible, aside from a vague feeling that I’d been marked for extinction. It was not unlike the day my teacher dropped the bomb that “y” could sometimes be used as a vowel and I was so discombobulated that I couldn’t remember more than one verse to “Kum-bi-yah” during the sing-along after lunch. And that was saying a lot since the neighborhood was 80% Catholic and everyone knew at least 18 verses and a really good elementary school teacher could do the deaf version too.

So children’s books were mostly read to me. When I finally twigged on to the whole combined letter thing, I enjoyed the Judy Blume novels, as did most preteens in the 1970s, particularly Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Next it was Encyclopedia Brown and The Great Brain series. Then I pounced on Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Treasure Island. I think these books had a tremendous influence on the Hallie Palmer series because they were all adventure stories but only the boys had the good parts. The girls just watched and waited or teased or barely had anything to do at all. So Hallie was going to have all the good parts while the guys had to stand around worrying and wondering what she’d do next. However, that didn’t turn out to be entirely the case since one of my favorite characters is Hallie’s good friend Bernard. He’s funny and interesting and actually gives good advice much of the time so long as you can distinguish between the really BAD advice he sometimes dishes out. Bernard firmly believes that he was put on Earth to help.

About Best Best: (from author's website) Since Hallie's father died and left behind ten children, money at the Palmer household is tighter than ever. And just when Hallie thought she was graduating from college, it turns out she's four credits short. A professor needs one more student for a project that will take her around the world. Only longtime boyfriend Craig has another proposition for Hallie.

Want a win a copy of Best Bet? Leave a comment below! (open to U.S. residents only, ages 13+, please leave e-mail so I can contact you, contest ends Tuesday Feb. 23 at midnight Central Time)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tween Tuesday: Movie Edition

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme to highlight great tween reads. Leave a link to your Tween Tuesday post in the comments.

Today's Tween Tuesday will be a movie review, since my husband and I went to see Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief over the weekend.
Both my husband and I are big fans of the books, but it's been a few years since I read the first one and my husband re-read the books about a month ago. But even with his recent refresher and my lack of remembering what was from the book and what was new, we really enjoyed it!
I thought the casting was great-I loved all the actors, even though they aged-up the characters and cut out some of the gods. They did cut out Ares, which annoyed my husband, and the rest of the gods didn't have very big scenes-I would have liked to see them a little more. I really loved Grover-I think he was my favorite and exactly how I pictured him. And I really loved the casting of Luke-he was perfect, which made me happy, because the audiobook narrator's voice for Luke just isn't right-movie Luke was more right.
Yes, it was different than the book, but we both felt it maintained the feel of the book. It wasn't as witty and snarky, which we would have liked, but it was still lots of fun. As we were leaving, a tween in front of us said "that was way more epic than the book!" and we both agreed.
We went with some friends who haven't read the books and they both thought it was good, so even if you know someone who hasn't read the books, I think the movie is still enjoyable. They didn't set it up to continue to the series, so I'm not sure if they'll make more movies from the books, but there was still enough to keep it going if the studio decides to continue. But it was nice to not have a cliffhanger or something that would leave non-book fans feeling lost.
Overall, it was a fun movie and one of the better book to movie adaptations to come along recently.
Did you see Percy Jackson? What are your thoughts?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wherever Nina Lies Giveaway


Win Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

About the Book: Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she’s got a chance—her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn’t planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth.

Check out the Wherever Nina Lies website.

About the Author: Lynn Weingarten spends a lot of time writing in coffee shops while occasionally reading strangers’ laptops over their shoulders. In the past she has been a book editor, a barista, a counter girl at a bakery in Ireland, a waitress at a bar, and a seller of tiny homemade clay animals. She lives in New York City. Wherever Nina Lies was her first novel. Please visit her online at
www.lynnweingarten.com.

Three (3) winners will recieve copies of the Wherever Nina Lies paperback.

Rules: -Must be 13 years or older
-Shipping Guidelines: This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.)
-CONTEST ENDS MARCH 1st at Midnight (Central Time)

To Enter:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Lit Crushes

In honor of Valentines Day (and my upcoming program at work on lit crushes) I thought I'd share my favorite lit crushes. I tried to think about lit crushes from childhood, but I just didn't have any I could think of. I read a lot of Babysitter's Club in elementary school, and while Logan was a great boyfriend, he wasn't someone I crushed on. So most of these are more current.

10. Almonzo Wilder from The Little House Series-This one doesn't make much sense, since I refused to read a series out of order and never got around to reading past reading Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie. But then in middle school I went through this obsession with the TV show and I fell in love with Almonzo. So this was more a TV-fueled crush and thankfully, it was pretty short lived.

9. Laurie from Little Women-I don't think I actually ever finished the book-I got mad every time Jo rejected Laurie-but I adored the movie as a kid. I would get annoyed that Laurie had to go and marry Amy, so I was grateful that the 90's version at least dipped into that storyline more, because the version I watched faithfully as a child had them just randomly showing up at the end married. I still think Jo and Laurie should have gotten married-the Professor wasn't nearly as crush-worthy in my mind.

8. Dave the Laugh from the Georgia Nicolson Series-Robbie is pretty cool and really, Masimo just annoys me. Out of Georgia's boyfriends, Dave the Laugh is my favorite. He's totally the type of guy I would have fallen for in high school.

7. Finn from Something, Maybe-Elizabeth Scott writes very crush-worthy boys, but right now Finn takes the top spot. He's funny and sweet and he's got a snarky side. He's so good to Hannah and every scene with him in it made me swoon.

6. Calvin from A Wrinkle In Time-This is one I don't think I realized at the time, but came to me while I was making this list. I really enjoyed this book as a kid-I related to shy awkward Meg Murray who was moody and protective of her younger siblings. Meg and Claudia from From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler competed as my favorite lit characters of my late elementary/early middle school years. Calvin went on an adventure with Meg and Charles Wallace, he was brave, and he loved Meg, even though she was shy and smart. I think Meg and Calvin gave me hope for my future love life.

5. Alex from Roswell High-I LOVED this series as a teen-this was a series my friends and I would rush to the bookstore and grab each book on it's release day. Max and Michael were great too, but a little angsty for me and I had a soft spot for Alex. He put up with all of Isabel's annoying traits and still loved her. I was very upset when they made his character small in the TV series.

4. Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter Series-I can't really explain this one, but I just love Ron! I love his family, so maybe that's secretly where my love stems from. I also have to cheer for him because he's the underdog-Harry gets everything and Ron is the sidekick, but I think he's also more fun. My husband had me convinced before HP6 was released that Ron was going to die-I would get so mad arguing with him, I'd almost be in tears! So yeah, I love Ron. I also love Fred and George and really, I think I might take Bill or Charlie just to be part of the family! (And yes, I would pass on Percy-he's too political and he reminds of the suck ups I went to school with who were annoying. I just don't think I could deal with him.)

3. Po from Graceling-Po is one hot lit boy! He supports Katsa, he cares about his family, he can fight yet he's not afraid to have fun. I think Po and Katsa have the best lit relationship ever created. I love the fact that they develop a strong friendship first and it's not a "love at first sight/we're destined to be together" thing. Plus, they have a great banter that makes me fall in love.

2. Peeta from The Hunger Games-Oh yes, I'm totally Team Peeta!! One, he has loved Katniss for so long and makes sure she's taken care of, even before the games threw them together. He's also brave and strong, but has a soft side and he can be very thoughtful and sweet. If Katniss doesn't want him in the end, I'll take Peeta! (Note: My husband is arguing with my list now, saying Gale is more crush-worthy.)

1. Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables-I think Gilbert was my first lit crush, and he still remains at the top. I watched the movie version of Anne over Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law, cousin-in-law, and brother-in-law's girlfriend and I think they all thought I was a little silly for swooning over Gil! But how can you not?? From the moment he calls Anne "carrots" you know they're meant to be together. He does so much for Anne and never knocks her dreams. Plus, he puts up with her stubbornness and he's not afraid to tell her what he thinks. I can't help but love him and he holds a place in my heart for being my first lit crush.

What lit boys do you crush on?

Friday, February 12, 2010

YA Movie News-Part Two

More movie news to report today!

First, the icky news: the Breaking Dawn split will happen. The book will be two (and I'm predicting very boring) movies. I think this is very much a money making move and there was no thought put into the fact that the book really can't support two movies. Hollywood makes me mad.

But then there's good news that makes me happy again! A screenwriter for Shiver has been hired! Nick Pustay has been hired to pen the script for the movie version, although I haven't seen anything he's written before, so I can't really say much other than I'm excited. Who would you cast as Sam and Grace? Saoirse Ronan is my Grace pick, I'll have to think about who I would like as Sam.

YA Movie News

According to Variety Warner Brothers has picked up the movie rights for Ally Carter's new release, Heist Society. Shauna Cross (Whip It screenwriter and author of Derby Girl if the novel it was based on) is attached to write, which I think is great, since I loved Whip It! But what really annoys me, is the studio plans for the characters to age up into their 20's!! I think we need to start a campaign to get the studio to keep this one with YA characters.

Also, thanks to the same article, I discovered that Ms. Cross has also penned the script for the movie adaptation of If I Stay.

Who else will be heading to movie theaters this weekend to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief? I know it will be different frome the books, but I still can't wait to see it! We'll be seeing it with some friends who haven't read the books (my husband and I have) so it'll be interesting to hear their feedback.

With the success of Sherlock Holmes, movie studios are looking for more adaptations. Variety reports that The Three Musketeers is the next classic to get an update to appeal to young audiences. I'm interested to see where this goes-it could be fun!

And it's not YA, but so many of my co-workers are excited about this, I thought I had to share. Katherine Heigl has signed on for a movie adaptation of Janet Evanovich's One for the Money. This movie has been in development forever, so this new interest is putting the movie on fast track. I have yet to read this series, but so many of my co-workers love it, so I'll need to read it soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary mixed with some fantasy elements

Release Date: 9/22/09

About the Book: All Cameron wants to do is graduate high school-and maybe get a date with popular girl Stacy. When 16-year-old Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, his life takes a crazy turn. An punk rock angel named Dulcie shows up and tells Cameron there's a cure with a mysterious Dr. X-he just has to go and find it. With the help of a dwarf named Gonzo (who has some mother issues) and a yard gnome who just might be a Norse god, Cameron is off on the trip of a lifetime.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: So I actually got an advanced reader copy of this one and was excited to read it, but the premise just sounded strange-and not like my typical read, so I kept putting it off. Then the Printz committee awarded this one with the Printz medal and I knew I had to read it. I actually listened to it on audiobook, which I think worked well with this book.

It's a trippy book-and it's pretty hefty, coming in at almost 500 pages (or twelve audio discs in my case). It's also a book that won't work if you like everything to work out nicely and not be wondering was this a trip or was this real? It's defiantly the craziest road trip book I've ever come across!

I have to praise Ms. Bray's writing and I can see why this won the Printz. The writing captivated me. I really believe she writes boy characters better than any other female author. Cameron read just like my teens-he felt real and his voice was spot on. Just for that, this book deserves your attention.

Even though my knowledge of Don Quixote doesn't go much past the
Wishbone version (sad, I know) from what I do know of the story, Ms. Bray gives us a modern twist with Going Bovine and it's a perfect nod to the classic. I would love to see this one paired with Don Quixote for a lit circle or book club-it'd make a great discussion.

I didn't find it as laugh out loud hilarious as some other reviewers have, but I did find it to have lots of humor and lots of heart, which sometimes is a hard mix to pull off-but again, Ms. Bray does it seamlessly. Cameron's observations about life, love, family, and friendship are all things that teens will relate to and I think many readers will be nodding along to Cameron's words. There's also some romance and adventure, which is always good.

I think the Printz committee was brave and original for picking this one and I'm impressed with their choice. I'm eager to hear feedback from my teens about this title-I've had one girl read it already and she called it "interesting and different." I don't think it will appeal to all readers, but those that it works for will find a gem of a book.

Audiobook Note: I didn't really like the narrators voice for Dulcie-she sounded too flighty and spacey didn't fit my picture of her. But otherwise the audiobook was excellent.


Full Disclosure: Even though I recieved an ARC from the publisher, I checked out the audiobook from the library to read this one.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Snarky Librarian

At my library, we have three sets of shelves in the front. The first set of shelves is shorter and has genre fiction (Christian, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, and Western) and staff recommendations. The middle shelf is taller and hold adult fiction and mystery. And the last shelf is another set of tall shelves with the start of non-fiction.

We have signs hanging above the short shelves that say "fiction." The middle shelves have no sign and we have this misplaced sign for non-fiction that hangs at the start of the shelving for non-fiction.

When people walk in, the first thing they see is the short shelves with the genre fiction. They ALWAYS mistake the sign that says "non-fiction" for the middle set of shelves which contains the books they're always looking for-mystery and adult fiction.

Everyday we have people ask "where are the myseries?" and "where did my Nicholas Sparks books go?" even though the shelves have been this way for over a year now.

Whenever anyone asks these questions, I have to keep my snark side from saying "oh, we got rid of our mysteries and fiction-we only carry Romance now." :)

Ok, librarians (or booksellers, anyone who has a snarky side!) what moments do you have to reign in your snark?

Friday, February 5, 2010

YA Movie News

The CW is all about turning teen novels into TV series. The network has ordered a pilot for a series based on the YA book Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith. The story revolves around three teen changlings who have to save humans from evil. Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

A movie version of Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin looks like it might be happening soon. According to Variety, Ginnifer Goodwin is in talks to star in the main role. It's adult novel and I read and reviewed it last year. I think it would make a great movie, so I hope this works out!

The BBC show Merlin will be aired on SyFy starting in April. I remember when this aired on NBC over the summer and while I liked it, but I wasn't sure if it was something I really loved and wanted to keep watching. But after reading Liyana's rave reviews for Merlin, I'm willing to give in another chance! Thanks to Hollywood Reporter for the link.

That's all I've got-anyone else have exciting YA Movie News?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal Chick Lit

Release Date: 12/1/09

About the Book: Solange Drake is the first female vampire born, not made, in hundreds of years. There's a prophecy that Solange will overthrow the current "vampire queen"-only problem is Solange wants to be a normal teen, no crown included.

When Solange is kidnapped it's up to her best friend Lucy and her brother Nicholas to save her. If only Lucy and Nicholas can stop bickering long enough to come up with a plan.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: There have been so many paranormal reads taking over YA recently that I've been feeling a little burnt out on the paranormal genre. Besides, while I enjoy some paranormal books, they're still not my favorite genre. But Hearts At Stake was the perfect book to pull me back in. It had the perfect blend of paranormal and chick lit.

It's a lighter take on the vampire trend. There's romance, but the story centers around best friends Lucy and Solange. The book is told in the alternating viewpoints of Lucy and Solange. I really loved that Lucy already knew the Drake families vampire secrets-no big revelation or drawing out a surprise for the characters that we as the readers already know. Lucy is part of the Drake family, so we as readers are immediately part of the Drake clan as well.

And the Drakes-love them. I always enjoy seeing great family dynamics in YA-no teens who hate their parents or siblings who don't get along. This is a family that I wouldn't mind spending a day with.

I have to gush for a moment and get all fangirly and mention how much I adore Lucy and Nicholas! Their bantering and bickering and oh-so-hot attraction to each other that they don't see but we do was my favorite part of the book and I looked forward to their scenes together. That's not to say I didn't really like Solange. Both girls kick major butt which made me very happy.

I saw on the author's website (at least her old one, I'm not sure if it's on the newly redesigned site) that the inspiration for the story came from Snow White. I'm not sure if I would have picked up on that without the tip, but knowing that I was able to catch some of the references, which made reading Hearts At Stake even more fun.

Yes, it's predictable, yes it's fluffy, yes, some of the story gets repetitive and yes, the vampire mythology is somewhat complicated. I would have liked to see the romance between Solange and her love interest develop more. But you know what? I loved it anyway-even with it's faults. Hearts At Stake was the perfect read for my chick lit romance loving self. I can't wait for the sequel, Blood Feud.

Full Disclosure: From my personal library-I bought this one at the bookstore!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 12/23/08

About the Book: Kelley is an actress who recently moved to New York City and is taking part in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. When the lead actress is injured, Kelley gets her chance as Titania , Faerie Queen. Little does she know she's much closer to the Faerie world than she thinks...

Sonny Flannery is a member of Auberon's Janus Guard and is in charge of patrolling a portal to the Faerie world that happens to be in Central Park. When he meets Kelley, he finds himself guarding more than he bargained for. Kelley just might have a very powerful connection to the Faerie world-one that could change everything...

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Ok, I bought this one when it came out and I finally got around to reading it-I'm so glad I did and I can't believe it took me that long! Lesley Livingston creates the perfect fantasy that's great for readers like me who like their fantasy light and fun. I really loved that the magic was in New York and Central Park-it had a realistic feel to it. Yes, I know it's a fantasy, and it's fiction, but Ms. Livingston made me believe there was a portal in Central Park.

The relationship between Sonny and Kelley was so fun to read. I loved their banter and their scenes were fun and flirty. I would have liked to see their relationship develop a bit more, but this is the first of a series, so I can hope for more. I LOVE Kelley's roommate Tyff-I think she's my favorite character. She's so spunky and hilarious-I hope we see her again.

I would have liked a little more faerie back story, but again, with this being the start to a series, I'm sure we'll get more of that in the next book.

Since I was involved in drama for many many years in school, I loved the addition of the theater. Kelley is an actress, the actors in her company and the bossy director are something that will resonate with anyone with theatrical experience. I thought the theater and Shakespearean elements added to the story and made this a unique read-it stands out among the many faerie books that are appearing in YA.

Overall, this is a great read for fantasy fans or readers who might not typically pick up a book in the fantasy genre. The fantasy elements weren't so heavy that non-fantasy readers would feel overwhelmed and the contemporary setting will appeal to readers of realistic fiction. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Darklight and can't wait to see where Lesley Livingston takes me next!

Full Disclosure: From my own personal library!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tween Tuesday

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme I created to highlight great reads for tweens!

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkabe Life of Bass reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Biography

Release Date: 11/1/09

About the Book: Bass Reeves was a former slave who became a U.S. Deputy Marshal. He worked hard bringing in criminals and was respected and feared for three decades. His story may sound like a tall tale, but this is the life of Bass Reeves.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Bad News for Outlaws is this year's Coretta Scott King Author Award winner. I'm so glad it won because not only do I think this book is incredibly deserving, but I'm not sure I would have come across it otherwise.

I don't know if I can express how much I loved this book. It's a picture book biography, but I think the subject and text make it perfect for tweens who might not typically be interested in non-fiction. It could also make a great introduction to biographies, as it really does read like a tall tale.

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson captures the voice of the old west perfectly and it was so wonderfully written. Ms. Nelson also includes many "western words" and includes a glossary of terms that readers might not recognize. I think this adds to the authenticity of the text. Bad News for Outlaws very much reads as though someone has just told you "come sit by the fire and I'll tell you a tale"-there is a distinct narrator throughout and I could hear that narrator in my head while reading.

Give this one to readers looking for a good hero story-they'll be thrilled. And I'm sure they'll add Bass Reeves to their hero list like I have after reading.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy

Post your own Tween Tuesday in the Mister Linky!

Monday, February 1, 2010

When Do You Blog?

Liz over at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy has some great posts up about the "should's" of blogging and the shift from a private reader to a public reader. Her posts got me thinking about how blogging for many of us is something we do on top of school, work, and many other responsibilities. I am a full time teen librarian, I'm in grad school for my Master's in Library Science and I have a husband and an adorable dog (she's my fur baby). I'll also be starting work on YALSA's Fabulous Films Committee this year. On top of all that, I blog.

I love to read, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming with everything else I have going on. I don't ever want reading and my blog to feel like work, so I do make sure that I read something that's just for me, without any intention of blogging about it. Sometimes I'll end up reviewing it because I really want to share the book, and other times I don't.
I'm lucky that I work in a library, so reading and talking about books is encouraged in my job. As much as we love to read, our reading is done after work or on breaks. I do wish that librarians got time to actually read during work though-that would be great!
I'm actually terrible about scheduling posts-I really only do that on the weekends. Other days I'm writing up a blog post the night before I want it to appear (like right now!) When I started blogging, I didn't have a book to review every day, but now my reading is ahead of my blog, so I have some rainy day reviews saved up.
So with all that said, I'm interested in knowing how you balance all you do with the books you read and when you blog. Do you schedule posts in advance? Do you write up posts and save them for a day when you don't have any book reviews to post? How do you decide what to read and when? And how to keep it fun?

*Note-I'm not feeling as though my blog is not fun, I still love it! I'm just interested in hearing from other bloggers on how they balance everything, especially when blogging is a very time consuming hobby and not a paid job.
 
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