Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays to all my wonderful blog readers!! I hope everyone has a wonderful time-and of course has the chance to read a book! :)

No Kiss Blog Fest

Don't you love those epic scenes in books and movies when you're anticipating and waiting for a couple to kiss and they almost do and then...they don't! To celebrate that No-Kiss Moment, Frankie Diane Mallis is hosting the third annual No Kiss Blogfest!

Sign up at Frankie's blog to join in the fun! Here are the details from Frankie:

1) Sometime between now and Jan 2, 2012 write a post about the No Kiss Blogfest to let everyone know you are participating and that they should too. Why? Because it's awesome!

2) Sign up for the No Kiss Blogfest on Frankie's blog.

3)Tweet about No Kiss Blogfest, using the hash tag: #nokissblogfest because #hashtagsareawesome

4) After you've recovered from New Years Eve, write a blog sharing your Almost Kiss, No Kiss Blogfest entry (either one from your WIP, one you just wrote, one from a book, movie or tv show, or even a really hot almost-kiss picture)and post on January 2, 2012!!! Because reading your posts are awesome!

YA Movie News

The biggest movie news this week was the release of The Hobbit trailer! I think it looks awesome and I can't wait!

-Harrison Ford and Abigail Breslin have signed on to star in Ender's Game. I have never read this book-I need to get on that!!

-Taylor Swift tweeted about a new song she has on The Hunger Games soundtrack. (The song also features The Civil Wars) Taylor Swift is a bit hit or miss for me, but I like this song. The song is posted below-what do you think?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 12/8/2011

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About the Book: Cam is a teen who is living with cancer. Her recent doctor visit didn't turn out well and she doesn't have much hope. But her mom isn't about to give up and convinces Cam that they should spend the summer in Promise, Maine, a place where miracles happen. Cam is cynical and doesn't believe in miracles, but in a town where flamingos visit and sunsets last forever, Cam has a summer to believe in miracles.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Tough topics like teens dying can be hard to write well. Sometimes they can come off as too cheesy and corny and Nicholas Sparksy. Other times they don't feel real and you don't like the characters. Wendy Wunder manages to pull off a story that makes you care about the characters and feels real without veering into a cheese-fest.

Cam is a cynical character and at first I had a hard time relating her. But she grew on me as the novel went on. She was tough and smart and her sarcasm made me begin to like her. She doesn't always make the best decisions, but then, she's faced with a tough situation in life and it's hard to keep up hope. As she begins to trust others and let people in, she changes and began to like her more.

Her sister and mom are nicely fleshed out and great supporting characters. They struggle with trying to live as normal a life as possible while dealing with Cam's illness and loss of hope. Her sister is the one who starts keeping track of the miracles and some of her preteen innocence is sweet and charming.

Asher, the love interest, is a bit too perfect. I liked Asher, but I wasn't exactly sure what he saw in Cam, especially since she was so gruff with him to begin with. I felt like their relationship never really developed in the way I wanted to watch it develop. Much of their relationship seemed very surface level and I just didn't believe that it was as deep as it was portrayed. I guess this was the most unrealistic part of the book and felt like it was there just because Cam needed a love story.

Also, at times the writing seemed a bit strange. It was written in third person, but there were times I forgot it was in third person and the descriptions and narration felt like it switched to first person. It was a bit jarring each time and I had to remind myself it wasn't told in first person. I don't know that many readers would notice this and it wasn't something that was that distracting and it didn't stop me from enjoying the book. It was just something strange I noticed.

The story itself is good and the author does a great job of infusing hope into an otherwise sad story and making the reader believe. Both Cam and her sister learn to accept everyday miracles, which is a great theme of the book, without the author really hitting you over the head with a message. I love the simple gesture of looking for everyday miracles.

If you have readers who like a good tear-jearker, The Probability of Miracles should be added to their reading pile.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day In the Life of a Librarian

Day in the Life posts are inspired by Abby the Librarian's Day in the Life series. Many people wonder what it is librarians do all day! (No, we don't get to read books on the desk all day!) Since I've taken my position as Youth Services Manager it seems like my days are even more filled with meetings and scheduling and trainings. Here's a Day in the Life of a Youth Services Manager.

8:30-Arrive at work, turn on computers, wipe down keyboards and headsets, check schedule to see what we have planned for the day

8:40-9:00-Straighten up department, pick up books, take leftover DVD and CD cases up front, clean up Early Literacy Station Toy Centers (My library has Early Literacy Stations that have 9 rotating toy bins with toys like puzzles, plush food, word flashcards, plush mailbox, etc. Each toy goes along with our new Early Literacy Skills. We also have a puppet stage.)

9:00-9:10-Put simple craft out since there are no December storytimes to ease the pain of no storytimes

9:10-10:00-Work on January schedule and have many moments of stress and thoughts of “oh my goodness, how am I going to figure this out?”, followed by “no wait-that makes more sense, I did it!!” Celebrate by doing a happy dance in chair.

10:00-10:30-Cover children’s desk while employees take break, answer patron questions like “No, there are no storytimes in December, we take the month off. But here’s our storytime schedule for January and February and here’s our Winter Programming Guide.” And “All our Holiday books are on display on the front table or on this cart by the children’s desk. No, Polar Express is all checked out and there are 6 people on hold for it. Would you like to be on the waiting list?” Check e-mail.

10:30-10:45-Morning break-check mailbox, discover a book or two (always exciting!), die-cut requests from other branches, and a few toddler tubs to return (we have “toddler tubs” that other branches can borrow for storytime that we share as a system, but house at my branch).

10:45-11:30-Come back from break and return toddler tubs, Straighten up department (again), check shelves and carts for returned Holiday books to add to the display, clean up scraps of craft, help patrons find books and answer questions, talk to some kids putting on a puppet show and watch a few minutes of their performance of The Three Little Pigs (our current puppet stash-this is always one of the best parts of the job!), slyly put toys away when children are leaving so the trucks don’t play racecar in the department anymore (we have circulating toys as well, which always end up getting played with in the department and can be a bit hectic!), clean up farmer’s market food toys from the Early Literacy Station because it has mysterious wet spots on it.

11:30-1:00-Cover desk while employees go on lunch. Answer patron questions such as “Where are The Magic Tree House books” (Under Osborne in J Fiction) and “Do you have any Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books” (nothing in today, but would you like to see some other books that are similar?)

1:00-1:45-Lunch! Enjoy chatting with co-workers from other departments and catching up. This is also prime reading time. I love walking into the break room and seeing all my co-workers with a book in hand!

1:45-2:00-Take DVD and CD cases and any holds to the front desk. Retrieve Children’s Department holds for weeding list and withdraw books. Check e-mail and respond to any important messages.

2:00-4:00-Summer Reading Program Meeting to discuss next year’s Summer Reading Program (yes, in December!!) Committee comes up with a few changes that I will need to report back to my staff.

4:00-5:00-Check e-mail, send a note to staff about changes for Summer Reading Program, look over January schedule one more time before sending it out to staff, straighten up desk and workroom, prep any tasks for tomorrow.

5:00-Say hello to evening staff member, catch up on anything I need to tell her and wish her a good evening. Off to home!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Mimi by John Newman

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and add your link below.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary 

Release Date: 8/2/2011

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About the Book: It's been 157 days since Mimi's Mammy died. Her father only serves overcooked pizza for dinner and is always sad, her brother plays drums loudly every day and Mimi knows that her sister has a terrible secret (thanks to the peeks she has in her diary). As her family struggles to pull themselves together after tragedy, they learn to come together rely on each other and help each heal.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Mimi is a sweet yet sad story about family and loss. Mimi is struggling to understand the tragedy of her mother's death and is feeling out of place as each of family members grieve in their own way. Her brother plays drums, her father is distant and her sister has a secret that she's afraid to tell others. Even though Mimi feels a bit lost, she's surrounded by a great support group of extended family. Her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins each take turns caring for Mimi's family and give Mimi a piece of normalcy in her chaotic world.

Mimi can be a bit innocent and naive at times and sometimes the story is over the top (for example, when Mimi's teacher goes into labor in the middle of class). Some of Mimi's family members are a bit eccentric, but I felt this all balanced out well with the sadness of the story and offered a glimmer of humor and hope. I especially liked Mimi's friend who is always telling her silly jokes. The author includes side storylines on adoption, bullying and shoplifting, making the plot well rounded. I felt that with the additional subplots, no storyline felt overly dramatic, but instead offered hope to readers.

This is a sweet and sensitive tale great for middle grade readers.

Side note: I listened to this one audio which I really enjoyed. The book takes place in Ireland, so the narrator has an Irish accent which is fun to listen  to, but left me reading all my books with an Irish accent in my head for days after!

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook checked out from my local library

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal

Release Date: 12/20/2011

Books In Series: Hearts At Stake, Blood Feud, Out for Blood

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About the Book: As the Blood Moon is about to begin, vampires from all over the world are gathering near the Drake compound. But not everyone is happy with the invites and a mysterious new tribe that wasn't invited is looking for a seat on the council. Their plan is to kidnap Lucy, because she's close to the Drake family. Everything goes wrong when they wind up with Lucy's cousin, Christabel instead.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: The Drake Chronicles is my favorite guilty pleasure series. I love the snarky, witty banter, the very hot Drake brothers, and the vampire mythos that Alyxandra Harvey has created. Each entry into the series is an engaging and entertaining read. I think Bleeding Hearts though is tied with book number one for my favorite in the series.

I loved that Lucy was back as one of the narrators. She continues to be my favorite character in the series, so it was great to get a peek into her world again. Reading Bleeding Hearts was like welcoming back my old friends and I was eager to read more about Lucy and Nicholas. (If Lucy ever breaks up with him, he's mine!:)

In addition to Lucy's narration, we also get narration from Lucy's cousin Christabel and Conner Drake. Of course romance ensues, because what would a book in the Drake Chronicles be without some romance? Conner and Christabel are adorable and I liked both of them immediatly. Christabel is always found with a book in her hand, she's read the classics hundreds of times, she quotes poetry and she's waiting for Mr. Darcy. Conner is a Sci-Fi and Fantasy geek who knows Firefly, Star Trek and Doctor Who trivia, who can easily fix computers, and loves comic books. Together they love all my favorite things so how could I not root for them?

There's a lot more than romance and Bleeding Hearts has plenty of twists and turns and surprises. Something strange is happening with Solange, there's a new tribe of vampires to deal with and Hel-Blar are on the loose. Lots of epic battles make this an action packed read. And that ending??? I need book five NOW!

Give this series to fans of vampire stories with a bit of snark and romance. Even if you're feeling a bit burned out on paranormal, give this series a try. Alyxandra Harvey successfully combines action and romance with a bit ohick-lit and a dash of mystery. Another fantastic entry into the series!

Book Pairings: Boys That Bite by Marianne Mancusi, Dead Is The New Black by Marlene Perez

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from e-book galley recieved from publisher on NetGalley

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hunger Games Fashion Show

In Style has a gallery of sketches from various fashion designers taking on Katniss's famous fire dress. I'm not a huge fan of to many-Christian Siriano's is pretty cool and I think it captures the original. And this one by Rachel Roy is an outfit I want to own because I'm crazy like that! I think I've been watching too much Project Runway because I was totally critiquing them like Heidi! Thanks to Leila for the link!

Friday, December 16, 2011

YA Movie News

-A new poster for The Hunger Games was revealed during an online puzzle hunt. I really like it! What do you think?

-Another YA book to movie I'm looking forward to! Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone is also getting a big screen adaptation! Universal bought the film rights and I really hope this one happens-don't you want to see that book come to life?

-Meg Rosoff's Printz Award Winner, How I Live Now, has been optioned for a big screen adaptation. Saorise Ronan is in talks to star. How I Live Now is one of my favorite Printz winners and I'd love to see it on the big screen! Thanks to Cynopsis Kids for the news.

-Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellows is working on a musical version of The Wind in the Willows.

-In other musical news, a musical adaptation of Because of Winn-Dixie is in the works with Duncan Sheik signed on to write the music. I think this is a great idea!

-Paramount acquired the rights to Colleen Houck's novel Tiger's Curse.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Mob/Crime Fiction/Dystopian/A bit of Mystery

Release Date: 9/6/2011

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About the Book: Anya Balanchine lives in a future where chocolate and caffeine is illegal and paper is rationed. As the daughter of a chocolate "mob boss" Anya could work in the family business. Anya wants nothing to do with the chocolate business that killed her parents and injured her brother. She wants as normal of a life as possible for herself and her siblings. But life gets complicated when Anya is accused of poising her ex-boyfriend with an illegal chocolate bar.

I have loved Gabrielle Zevin's two previous YA novels, so I went into this book with high expectations. Luckily I was not disappointed! I was sucked into the story and couldn't put this book down until I had finished.

The book is set in a future where the government has more control, things have been rationed due to supplies running low, and some items, such as chocolate, have become illegal. Anya is the daughter of a powerful chocolate boss who runs a chocolate company-chocolate is still legal in other countries, plus the government is corrupt enough to trade favors when needed and look the other way. We're given hints about the future setting and the world Anya lives in, but we don't know much. The world intrigued me, but this isn't a book that relies heavily on world building. It's a more character driven story than anything else. For readers who are looking for a dystopian novel, this aspect might be a bit disappointing, since the dystopian part isn't as fleshed out. I wasn't bothered by it because I found the crime family/mob storyline interesting and I really liked all the characters.

While the book has a dystopian aspect to it, it really felt more like a Prohibition Mob story but set in the future. The future setting isn't so distant (Anya's grandmother was born in 1995) that it feels too futuristic. Instead it felt like a contemporary novel with some changes. To me, this is what made the book so engaging. I have an obsession with stories from this era-one of my all time favorite movies is the musical Bugsy Malone-so I was easily hooked on the crime story. I think readers who enjoy reading stories set in the 1920's/1930's would also be interested in All These Things I've Done.

I loved Anya. She's strong and wants to take care of her family. She cares very much for her siblings and is very loyal to them-so much so that she'll take the fall to protect them. She's also very logical and can be a bit distant, but I found her to have a bit of wit to her that I really liked. There's a star-crossed romance to the story as Anya and the new DA's son start to fall for each other. I have to say props to Anya for not falling into the love at first sight trap! She even mentions at one point that it was too soon to say she loved Win, which was a bit refreshing after reading many "he's the one for me" YA novels.

The story is a bit quiet, but I felt that fit the book well. The dystopian setting is light and this isn't an action-packed book by any means. I was sucked into the story and I liked Anya, so I wanted to stick with her. Plus, I felt this fit the Mob mood of the story-quiet and cool.

There's a lot packed into the book that surprised me and I really appreciated that Ms. Zevin took some twists and turns with the story. It wasn't what I expected going in and I liked that the characters and the story surprised me throughout.

It's a romance, crime fiction, and a bit of a dytopian all mixed into one and I loved it! I've been recommending this to everyone I know.  By the time I got to the ending, I wanted to start all over and read it again. I can't wait for the next installment!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Contest Winners

There have been some contests here on the blog and I'm happy to announce the winners!

Liesl and Po Giveaway Winner:

This Is Teen: Guys Reads Giveaway Winner:

Congrats! I hope you enjoy your books!

Tween Tuesday: Bake Sale by Sara Varon

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens! Join the fun and add your link below.
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel

Release Date: 8/20/2011

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About the Book:  Cupcake has a pretty great life-his bakery is doing well, he's in a band, and he has a great friend in Eggplant. But lately he's been struggling to bake. When Eggplant suggests that Cupcake join him on his trip to Turkey. It turns out Eggplant is old family friends with Cupcake's hero, Turkish Delight and Cupcake is sure that Turkish Delight has the answer to his baking woes.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I really enjoy Sara Varon's books and her art style (even if Robot Dreams made me a bit sad!) I love her artwork because she really knows how to put emotion into her characters and it makes the story come to life. Sure, talking food isn't real, but I believe it with Sara Varon's art.

Bake Sale is an adorably funny book about friendship. Cupcake discovers that he didn't need to travel far to find the answers he was searching for. The artwork is adorably cute and the story of friendship is a nice one. The ending comes a bit quickly and didn't wrap the story up in the way I thought it would. It felt a bit rushed and out of place to the rest of the story. I also think it will leave young readers wanting more.

Bake Sale still had moments that made me laugh and I couldn't help but love Cupcake (it's that emotional artwork again!)  I think it was the artwork that sold me on this book more than the story. Readers who enjoyed Robot Dreams should give Bake Sale a try.

Side note: Yes, it is a little odd that a cupcake who talks and is alive makes baked goods to sell, so you have to get over that aspect a little bit. But it's still a charming book.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Adult Lit: Missed Connections: Love, Lost and Found by Sophie Blackall

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Art

Release Date: 9/22/2011

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About the Book: A collection of artwork based on missed connections ads.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Not my usual fare, I know, but I do read some adult titles once in awhile! This book has been on my radar since I got the Love at First Sight poster from ALA which features a missed connection in a bookstore. (Sadly, this print is not incldued in the book).

I love Sophie Blackall's artwork, so I was very excited for this collection! We've all read missed connections, right? (Admit it, I'm not the only one!) It's a fascinating peek into another person's story and in some ways it gives us hope that love can be found. Some are funny, some are strange, and some are heartbreaking.

The introduction to the book made me nod along as Sophie explained her fascination with missed connection ads. Who hasn't read one and wondered what happend? (Or secretly wished there was one about you?) I always want to know more of the stories and this collection made me want to know more about the pictures. Sophie included a note that she heard from some people who met via missed connections and I would have liked to know if any of the connections illustrated actually did. They are heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

 I would suggest this as a story starter set for older teens and adults-I know I can't be alone in imagining the outcome of each posting!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Audiobook Review: The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr.Seuss

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Short Stories

Release Date: 9/27/2011

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About the Book: Seven lost stories from the masterful Dr. Seuss compiled and published together for the first time in a new collection. From cautionary, lesson tales, to humor and fantastical new creatures, this is a must have for Dr. Seuss fans young and old!

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I think this book is best enjoyed on audio with wonderful narrators!! I'm always a bit nervous about "lost" stories, but I enjoyed this collection for the most part, especially after hearing about how they were short works originally published in magazines and newspapers. I thought I'd share a breakdown of what I liked or disliked about each story:

The Bippolo Seed narrated by Neil Patrick Harris-I loved this story and I really thought it was the strongest of the book. It had the classic Seuss feel to it of silliness and a lesson in the end. I also liked the rhymes and felt they all worked well in this story. Plus, add in Neil Patrick Harris's fabulous narration and you've got a great read/listen. (Really, he needs to narrate more audiobooks! Please-more NPH on audio!)

The Rabbit, The Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga-narrated by Angelica Houston-This one was just OK. I think part of it was the narration-it was good, but not great. I also felt the story was a bit weak. It's still fun, but wasn't a stand out for me.

Gustav the Goldfish-narrated by Jason Lee-Jason Lee, I like you, I really do! But I disliked your narration of this story! Just because you're reading for kids doesn't mean you have to be overly excited all the time! I wasn't a fan of this story, mostly because I felt the ending fell flat and the narration was annoying. When I got the book, I liked the illustrations for this story, so maybe I would have liked it better if I had read it with the pictures instead of listening to it.

Tadd and Todd narrated by Joan Cusack-I liked this story and the narration is good. I did feel a bit sad in the end though. I felt like Tadd and Todd wanted to  be unique and instead resigned to the fact that they were twins and had to be like each other. I would have liked to see them be able to embrace their originality instead of accepting they are the same. Maybe this was me projecting my adult-self onto the story. I think kids will find it fun and maybe find comfort in the fact that siblings are there with you as "peas in a pod".

Steak for Supper narrated by Edward Hermann-This story made me laugh and it was another strong classic Dr. Seuss. Filled with a menagerie of Seuss creatures, this one has lots of humor and silliness. It also has a nice twist to add to the humor. The narration helped make this one of the stand out stories of the book for me.

The Strange Shirt Spot narrated by William H. Macy-A great story with great narration! This is somewhat of an adventure story as a young boy can't get a dirty spot off anything! The trials of cleaning make for some laugh out loud fun and the end is sure to have parents and kids giggling with it's "oh so true" statement. This was another favorite story.

The Great Henry McBride narrated by Peter Dinklage-I enjoyed this story of a dreamer. The narration is fantastic and makes it a likable story. I also liked the idea of the story-that you can dream anything and no goal is too lofty. Peter Dinklage is another narrator that I would love to have narrate more audiobooks. One of the stand out stories and one of my favorites.

If you do listen to the audio, make sure you listen to the commentary at the end (which is the introduction in the book). It adds a lot to the book to examine each story and learn where they came from. The whole audio is about an hour long and worth every minute!! Great for readers of all ages, this would be a great audiobook for families and to introduce young listeners to the audio format.

Full Disclosure: Audiobook provided by my local library

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens! Join the fun and add your link below.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Novel in Verse

Release Date: 9/13/2011

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About the Book: Joylin is finding herself at the crossroads of middle school. She's always been content the way she is, playing basketball and enjoying her friend's. But now her best girl friend is flirting with her best guy friend and basketball seems different. Then Joylin notices Santiago and suddenly her clothes aren't right, she wants Santiago to notice her, and Joylin is feeling a bit left out. Why does middle school have to be so confusing?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Planet Middle School is a short and sweet novel in verse. I listened to this book on audio and while I could tell it was written in verse, it still worked well on audio. I really enjoyed the narrator and she really drew me into the story and made Jaylin come to life.

The book itself is short (the audiobook is just over an hour), but I felt with the narration the character's came to life. I felt for Jaylin and the confusing time middle school can be. She's always been a bit tomboyish and now that she's interested in Santiago, she feels she has to change.

Because of the length, the book wraps up fairly quickly with Jaylin learning a lesson about life a bit too easily. I did like that the ending is not fairy tale-ish but instead rings true and realistic-and Jaylin is OK with that. I think the subject matter of navigating the tricky time of change in middle school is covered nicely. Give this to tweens looking for a quick, relatable a read.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook version checked out from my local library

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Picture Book Saturday

I've always loved reading picture books, but since I took on my new position as Youth Services Manager, I've been reading picture books a lot more. I'm hoping to start reviewing picture books more regularly on the blog-you're never too old for picture books!!

How many times have I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and just accepted those balloons without wondering how they were created? That's what I love about this book-it introduces readers into a little known history of the balloons in the parade. I watched this year's parade with much more interest. The text is accessible and the story is simple enough for younger readers. A great new treat to read over the holidays!

When it snows where do the animals go? Told through parallel verse, we see what happens above the snow and underneath. The narrator is skiing over the snow and reader's get a glimpse of what is going on underneath her feet as she makes her journey. The text and illustrations are both beautiful and the book ends with an author's note discussing how animals survive in the snow. There was a point where a fox jumps on a mouse scurrying under the snow which might be a bit unsettling for young sensitive readers who might think all the illustrated animals are sweet. Overall it's a fantastic look at animals in the winter and I think it would be a great classroom read for elementary students.

Friday, December 2, 2011

YA Movie News

-The Ender's Game movie is gaining speed. Hugo star Asa Butterfield will have the title role and it looks like True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld will be joining him. The movie is set to release in 2013. Thanks to Hollywood Reporter for the news!

-How did I miss the news about a Les Miserables musical movie? So far the film has Russel Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Hugh Jackman in the cast and rumor is Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Evan Rachel Wood, and Lea Michele are all in the running for Eponine. I think my pick would be Lea Michele, but I'm really not a big fan of this list. Who would you pick? Thanks to NY Post for the news.

-Matt Phelan's graphic novel, The Storm in the Barn,  has been optioned for a live action feature film. The film has Marti Noxon, who wrote and produced for Buffy and Mad Men producing and David Goodman, who has worked on Fringe and Angel is writing the script. I like those kind of connections!! Thanks to Betsy Bird for the news.

-Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game are coming back January 2! ABC family will be airing marathons of the shows before the new season starts during the day, so you can catch up!
 I am so excited for Downton Abbey Season 2, especially after this preview! Maybe we should have a blogger watch/recap/discuss after each episode? Who's with me?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Star Trek Opposites

I'm a big geek and I love Star Trek-and I'm not afraid to admit it! So of course my geeky self was very excited when I saw this:

A Star Trek board book! You know what I'm going to be buying for gifts this Christmas!!

This Is Teen Guys Reads Giveaway

Looking for some great guys reads to gift this holiday season? Scholastic's This Is Teen has you covered with three exciting books perfect for guys (or girls) looking for something to read!

About the Book: The Eleventh Plague hits disturbingly close to home…An excellent, taut debut novel.” – Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade for food and other items essential for survival. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true, where there are real houses, barbecues, a school, and even baseball games. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank on the town bully’s family that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing forever.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Know someone who likes survival stories? The Eleventh Plague would be great. In some ways it reminded me of The Walking Dead (minus zombies) with the post- apocalyptic world and struggling to maintain a semblance of what life used to be and what we want it to be.

About the Book: Before the attack, Tom Harvey was just an average teen. But a head-on collision with high technology has turned him into an actualized App. Fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain. And they’re having an extraordinary effect on his every thought. Because now Tom knows, sees, and can do more than any normal boy ever could. But with his new powers comes a choice: Seek revenge on the vicious gangs who rule the South London housing project where he lives, and who violated his friend Lucy? Or keep quiet and move on? Not even the search engine in his head can predict the shocking outcome of iBoy’s actions. A wifi, thriller by YA master Kevin Brooks.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Know a techie? iBoy is a thriller with lots of technical aspects as well as a science fiction feel to it.

About the Book: Before The Book Thief, Markus Zusak wrote a trilogy of novels about the Wolfe brothers: The Underdogs, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl. Cameron and Ruben Wolfe are champions at getting into fights, coming up with half-baked schemes, and generally disappointing girls, their parents, and their much more motivated older siblings. They’re intensely loyal to each other, brothers at their best and at their very worst. But when Cameron falls head over heels for Ruben’s girlfriend, the strength of their bond is tested to its breaking point.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Underdogs is my personal favorite! The Wolfe brothers are memorable and I immediately liked them. Each book reads like a teenage boys ramblings and is sure to appeal to guy readers.

Want to win copies of each book? One lucky winner will recieve a copy of The Eleventh Plague, iBoy, and Underdogs! Leave a comment below to enter!

 -Open to US Shipping Address Only
-Must be 13+ to enter
-One entry per person
-Contest ends December 7, midnight CT

Good Luck!!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tween Tuesday: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and add your post below.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Release Date: First published in 1972

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About the Book: What happens when the meanest kids around want to appear in the annual Christmas Pageant? They don't know the story and everyone is braced for the worst pageant yet. But the Herdman's are about to change the Christmas Pageant in a way no one will forget.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I can't believe I haven't read this book before. Every Christmas I tell myself I'm going to pick it up and I never get to it. This is I checked it out and read it in one sitting (it's a short little book).

I can see why this is a favorite book of many readers. The Herdmans are memorable characters and their antics are pretty funny. I was expecting more humor and silly things to happen at the pageant, so I was a bit dissapointed there.

Even  though the book was written in the 70's, I didn't think it felt outdated at all and I think tweens today could still relate to the fear of bullies, gossiping adults, and a new way of trying things.

A fun holiday book for all ages!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Liesl & Po Spirit of the Holidays Giveaway!

I am so happy to announce that GreenBeanTeenQueen is one of the hosts for Lauren Oliver's Liesl & Po Holiday Giveaway! If you're like me, you love giving books at the Holidays! Here are the giveaway details from Lauren:

"I am so happy to announce a massive SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON GIVEAWAY!
The holidays, as we all know, are a time of sharing--and frantic, last-minute gift-buying. In order to do my part to celebrate, I will be giving one lucky reader one signed and gift-wrapped copy of Liesl & Po, perfect as a present for under the tree (or beneath the Menorah!).

I am thrilled to announce that I will be co-hosting this contest along with ten other fabulous bloggers and avid fans of L & P, so be sure to enter early and enter often! A winner will be selected from EACH blog, meaning that ten copies of Liesl & Po will land in the hands of a lucky child this holiday season.

Winners will be selected on 12/12!
I'm so sorry to all my international friends, but this is US and Canada-only."

Want to win?
-Leave a comment below including the name of a book that's on your Holiday Wish List!
-Open to US & Canada Shipping Address Only
-Include e-mail for contacting if winner
-Winner will be chosen by

Want to up your chances of winning? Be sure to visit Lauren's Blog and the other bloggers who are part of the giveaway tour!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi PLUS Giveaway

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Dystopian/Superhero/Adventure/Science Fiction

Release Date: 11/15/2011

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About the Book: Juliette is dangerous. Her touch can kill. The Reestablishment locked her up for murder and she's been in isolation and hasn't spoken to anyone for 264 days. Until The Reestablishment decides they want to use Juliette and her powers. She could be the ultimate weapon. But there are murmurings of war, of rebellion. Juliette must decide just where her loyalties lie-be a weapon or be a warrior.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Shatter Me is an exciting debut that will be a great book to booktalk to fans of romantic adventure stories. The book keeps getting compared to the X-Men and it's easy to see why-Juliette has special powers and she's viewed as a strange being (much like a mutant). While there is a dystopian setting, but the dystopian aspects are very light. There are lots of questions left unanswered about the dystopian world Juliette lives in, The Reestablishment, and how the world got to where it is. (Maybe these will be answered in books two and three as this is the start to a trilogy). So if you have hardcore dystopian fans, they may be disappointed in the lighter dystopian setting.

If you have romance fans, on the other hand, give this book to them now. Juliette and Adam have a steamy romance that is sure to please fans of epic romances. Juliette and Adam share a past, but there's still a bit of insta-love. There's also a lot of concentration on the romance aspect (I think there were just as many adventure scenes as there were make out scenes!) so make sure you have readers that want a book heavy in the romance and lighter on the dystopian. Not that I disliked this, (I like romance in my stories) but I wasn't expecting it to be such a heavy part of the story.

Even though there is a lot of romance, the book is still action packed and there are several memorable scenes that are just the right blend of action, adventure and creepy dystopia. Juliette and Adam were engaging enough to keep me reading-I liked learning about Juliette's powers and her story. I also found the strikeouts throughout the book that supposedly tell Juliette's inner thoughts to be an interesting plot device and I liked getting that extra peek into what Juliette was really thinking.

The character that was the real standout to me and what made me really enjoy the book was Warner. Warner is the "evil bad guy" to the story and man is he a creep! I thought of him as a cross between Lucius Malfoy and President Snow, so you can imagine what a crazy bad guy he is! We don't know much about Warner, but he made my skin crawl and he was so creeptastic that I loved it. (That doesn't make me weird, right?) I want to read more just because I want to know what he'll do next and how exactly Juliette plans to take him down.

The end of the book is very much a set up for the sequel, so readers will be left hanging with lots of questions. Shatter Me is a page turner that is sure to leave readers wanting more.

Book Pairings: The Quantum Prophecy by Michael Carroll, Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by publicist

Want to win a copy?
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Shatter Me!
-Must be 13+
-US Shipping Address (no P.O. boxes)
-Contest ends November 30, midnight, CT

Leave comment below to enter-good luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Hound Dog True by Linda Urban

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens! Join the fun and add your link below!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 9/19/2011

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About the Book: Mattie and her mom have moved too many times for Mattie's liking. Mattie hoping that this time moving in with Uncle Potluck will last-no more being the new girl. Mattie has a week until school starts which means one week to convince Uncle Potluck to take her on as a custodial apprentice. If Mattie writes everything down in her notebook and can convince Uncle Potluck he needs her, she can work with him at recess-away from the other fifth-graders. But what will happen when Mattie's custodial wisdom doesn't work the way she plans?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I've been a big fan of Linda Urban's since reading her debut, A Crooked Kind of Perfect. It's one of my go-to tween novels, so I was thrilled when I saw she had a new book out! Once again, Linda Urban shows that she is a master of middle grade.

Mattie is painfully shy. So much so that she gets nervous thinking about talking to other kids and introducing herself and doesn't want to spend recess with her peers. Because of her shyness, Mattie is hesitant to make a new friend in Quincy. She fears that Quincy is older and will find her babyish and she imagines that Quincy  is avoiding her because she doesn't like her. It's hard for her to make friends, but part of the novel is about opening yourself up and learning to break through being shy. That's not to say that Mattie becomes miss outgoing by the end-her journey is a quiet journey, much like Mattie herself. A small step in friendship is a huge step for Mattie and you can't help but cheer her on.

Mattie is also a writer and she struggles with writing after a girl from her previous school makes fun of her stories. She worries about her writing and worries what others will think. She really wants to write but she's afraid to after getting teased. Mattie is a sensitive girl and she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

I was very much like Mattie when I was younger. I was very sensitive and shy.  There were times I even had to psych myself up to talk to someone.  I could very much relate to Mattie and Ms. Urban got it spot on! This was a book that I wish I could hand over to my tween-self and say "it's OK, I know it's hard but you can do it."  Tweens who feel the same way will relate and understand Mattie's shyness. Readers who might not be shy will still understand why Mattie is the way she is-Ms. Urban gives us enough depth to Mattie to really understand her and get to know her.

The supporting cast is great. Uncle Potluck is hilarious and he tells some wild stories you can't help but wish might be true. Quincy has her own secrets and makes a great counterpart to Mattie.

There's not a lot of action in this book. Instead it's a quiet, character-driven story. Much of the story is left to the reader to infer (some of Mattie's story, Quincy's backstory, and details about Uncle Potluck and the Principal) but I don't think there's anything that readers wouldn't catch onto. A sweet story about friendship, family, and shyness, Hound Dog True is a book I'm adding to my "must have" tween collection.

Book Pairings: Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis, Pie by Sarah Weeks

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by Amazon Vine Program

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Themed Reading List

To help get you geared up for the 2011 Holiday Reading Challenge I thought I'd get together a list of Holiday themed books I've enjoyed and books I'm looking forward to reading this year. I'd love to hear your suggestions as well-I'm always looking for new Holiday themed books!

Sarah's Suggestions:

Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson-A great look at the story behind Thanksgiving.

Red Ranger Came Calling by Berkeley Breathed-I discovered this book several years back and it's now a tradition that Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I read this book every year. Last year, we had friends over for Christmas and I held "storytime" and read this book aloud! I'll be taking it to my in-laws and sharing it this year. I love the magic of the story.

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle-Christmas and romance goes together and this short story collection of three romances that intertwine is perfect with hot chocolate!

Duck for Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules-I discovered this book this year and I love the sweet look at how different families celebrate "Turkey Day"

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas-I read this in one sitting last year! It's a nice holiday romance that doesn't have a ton of cheese. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series.

The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber-OK, don't roll your eyes! (I know, I always think of Grandma's reading Debbie Macomber's books too!) I was surprised by how much I liked this book. It read a lot like a romantic comedy which I liked.

If Only in My Dreams by Wendy Markham-Christmas, Romance, Time Travel,  and 1940s-that's I all I need to know-I'm sold!!

Books in my TBR pile that I'm looking forward to reading:

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern
Ex-Mas by Kate Brian
Home In Time for Christmas by Heather Graham
A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
Let It Snow by Fern Michaels, Virgina Henley, Holly Chamberlin, Marcia Evanick
Holiday Affair by Lisa Plumley
Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Even More Holiday Reading:

The Prince and the Snowgirl by Simon Cheshire
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey
Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Winter's Kiss: The Ex Games and The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jennifer Echols & Catherine Hapka
Wintertown by Stephen Emond
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Mistletoe by Aimee Friedman, Hailey Abbott, Nina Malkin, Melissa De La Cruz
French Kissmass by Catherine Hapka
The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
Snowed In by Rachel Hawthorne
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Babymouse: A Very Babymouse Christmas by Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Snow in Love by Claire Ray
Jingle Boy by Kieran Scott
Kissing Snowflakes by Abby Sher
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 Holiday Reading Challenge Review Links

Participating in the 2011 Holiday Reading Challenge? Post the links to your holiday reviews here! Don't forget to check out other participants reviews-sharing is part of the fun!!:)

2011 Holiday Reading Challenge

It's that time of year!! The holidays are upon us and there is nothing I love more than reading holiday themed books! Every year I try to find some holiday books (I especially love holiday romances!) so I thought I would share the fun in challenge form.

Here are the challenge rules:

-Challenge will begin November 21 and end December 31.

-There are three levels to the challenge:
        -Rudolph-Read 1-4 Holiday Themed Books
        -Buddy the Elf-Read 5-9 Holiday Themed Books
        -Santa Claus-Read 10+ Holiday Themed Books

-Books read must be holiday themed-(Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc) and can be directly related to the holidays (i.e. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas) or set around the holidays (i.e. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor)

-Books can be any format (hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook, graphic novel/comic, etc)

-Childrens, YA and Adult titles count. Yes, picture books will count for this challenge! I have some go-to picture books I always read around this time of year! Which means...

-Re-reads are allowed! As is overlap with other reading challenges.

-Extra Credit Level!
    Mrs. Claus-Watch any number of Holiday Themed movies and post about them

-Prizes!! Yes, there will be prizes! One entry for every link you include on the challenge linky. Prizes will be awarded throughout the challenge (candy and books!) and the grand prize is a book of your choice (up to $10) from the Book Depository.

Sign up by linking your challenge post below. Happy Holiday Reading!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

YA Movie News

-The biggest news this week is The Hunger Games trailer! It looks amazing and I can't wait for the movie!

-In other Hunger Games news, Lionsgate is eyeing Simon Beaufoy, who wrote the script for Slumdog Millionare, to write the script for Catching Fire. I'm hoping Suzanne Collins gets to help with the script again. I always get a bit nervous when they change script writers in a series. Thanks to MTV for the news.

-Set your DVRs! Neil Gaiman will be appearing on The Simpsons Sunday.

-Breaking Dawn Part One releases today-are you going to see it?

-According to Early Word, Tim Burton will develop a big screen adaption of the YA novel Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children. I think this is a great pairing, don't you?

-Casting news for the The Host was announced this week. Max Irons will star as Jared. Thanks to Shelf-Awareness for the news.

-Exciting news from PBS who announced their Winter/Spring 2012 lineup. Downton Abbey Season Two will air starting January 8 for seven weeks. The show was also picked up for a season three so there is even more Downton Abbey to come! Also on the lineup is Sherlock Season Two which airs May 6.

-Last week we were given the trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman. This week, the trailer for Mirror, Mirror aired. They both look good in their own way. Mirror Mirror is the more comical version and I really like Julia Roberts as the Queen!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Help Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan Find a New Read!

If you've read my blog, you know Mr. GreenBeanSexyman (aka Andy, my husband). He enjoys reading, yet he is the one person who can continually stump me when it comes to finding him something to read.

You see, he loves epic fantasy and that's the one genre I don't really read (well, adult epic fantasy). Here are his rules:

-Swords and Sorcery
-Dragons a plus
-No Guns (although I made him read an article from Brandon Sanderson about his new book with guns and I'm hoping that changes his mind ;)
-Prefer male main characters, but open to some female main characters
-Would like it to be a series that is still being written that has some following and reviews
-Intelligible names-(if he has to look up a pronunciation, chances are he won't read it)
-Complex characters and plot
-No D&D World-he's read many of them

See what I mean?

He's enjoyed Harry Potter, Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind, and Riftwar Saga by Raymond Fiest, The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss.

(He's trying Robert Jordan but says the characters are too simple)

So I'm turning to you, dear blog readers. Will you help me find a book for Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan to read? He's open to adult and some YA.

And dear readers, will you PLEASE help me convince him that if he doesn't like a book he can put it down?? :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tween Tuesday: The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great books for tweens. Join the fun and add your link below!

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian

Release Date: 8/30/2011

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About the Book: In the world of Quill, when you turn 13 you are either kept or sent to the Death Farm. Alex has always known that he was an Unwanted and that his twin brother, Aaron, was Wanted. When Alex arrives at the death farm expecting his end, he discovers a place called Artime. The leader, Mr. Today, explains that the Unwanteds are all creative children and will learn magic using music and art. But twins are dangerous to be seperated and Alex still feels a pull to his brother in Quill. A battle between Artime and Quill is brewing and both sides must learn to protect themselves, including brother fighting against brother.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I have seen many reviews and blurbs for this book describing it as The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.  The book is very much a dystopian Harry Potter and there are many similarities that made it seem like the story was borrowing a bit too much from Harry Potter's world. (A mysterious school, one friends who is very smart and excels in all her classes, a grumpy enemy, a "white wizard" type leader/mentor, mysterious creatures) I know these are all tropes of middle grade fantasy, so maybe I shouldn't be too hard on these plot devices.

What I really loved was the premise that  A group of creative kids are purged from a society because creativity is "unwanted" only to discover a whole new world where creativity equals magic. Not only are they wanted here but they are needed because they have power. As a kid who was interested in the arts than anything else, I felt that this was especially empowering to young readers.

I didn't really connect with any of the characters, which made the book a bit let interesting to me. This might have been due to the audiobook narrator, who was good, but also read in a bit of a deep, monotone at times. (I really liked him as a narrator, but his voice was very soothing and easy to listen to, I just would have liked more distinct character voices.) Alex was the most annoying to me. From the beginning, I got the impression that Aaron could care less about his twin, yet Alex is always wondering about Aaron and wanting to help him. I kept wanting to tell him to get over it already-his brother was mean and didn't care that Alex was being sent away to begin with so he should stop trying to risk things to contact him! I do think tween readers will connect with Alex though and maybe find him less frustrating than I did. I also felt that none of the other characters were fleshed out that well-I never really cared about any of them.

The story gets a bit dark, but it's no darker than other middle grade dystopian like Among the Hidden or Gregor the Overlander. Even though it wasn't really for me, I think tweens will eat it up. A good book if you have fantasy or dystopian fans who are looking for a new series.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games Trailer

OK, I know you've probably seen this everywhere else today, but I wanted to make sure my previous posts for today got some love before I posted this one. All I can say is WOW! I am even more excited for the movie now and I think it's going to be amazing. It looks like they are staying true to the book and I love the casting!

What do you think?

Inteview with Anna Carey, author of Eve, PLUS Giveaway

Photo credit: Kristin Hoebermann
              Eve on Twitter
Please welcome author Anna Carey to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Anna is the author of the recently released novel, Eve, the first in a new dystopian trilogy. Be sure to stay posted on all the series news at The Eve Trilogy Website and stay in touch with Anna with her blog.

Eve has been optioned as a TV show from the producers of The Vampire Diaries, so you'll want to keep an eye on this series! Don't worry-I'll help you out! One lucky winner will recieve a signed copy of Eve!

Note: There are some spoilers in the interview, so if you want to be surprised with the book, you've been warned!!

Welcome Anna and thanks for answering some questions at GreenBeanTeenQueen!

As I started reading Eve, I was thinking that the dystopian stories that freak me out the most are stories that involve repopulation and girls who become "baby factories." That beginning scene in Eve is so intense! What inspiration didyou have for the dystopian world that Eve is set in?
I completely agree--those aspects of the book were some of the scariest to write. I'm in this new phase of my life where many friends are pregnant, have children, or are trying to have them.Female friends are talking about their biological clocks in complete seriousness. There's this unspoken pressure on women to have children "before it's too late". It can feel very restricting. Eve came from several different places, but that was probably one of them.

I'm in that same stage-everyone around me is having babies. Maybe that's why it freaked me out so much!

There's a romance storyline in Eve, but the book has so much more than romance. Was it important to have a romantic aspect in the book?

Definitely. At Eve's School all the girls are taught to fear men. They're told that men are dangerous, violent, and manipulative, and any romantic relationship will be their undoing. I alwaysknew the fastest way for Eve to break free of her past and all the lies she's been taught was to meet a boy who she develops feelings for. Caleb is everything the Teachers told her men are not--he's kind, empathetic, loving, and trustworthy. Her relationshipwith him helps her grow as a character.

What type of dystopian world do you think has the most chance of ever becoming real?

I'd argue dystopian societies are already real. We're lucky to live in a country where we can protest the government without fear of punishment, where woman can wear whatever they chose and we can "Like" the Occupy movement on facebook or disagree with our President on twitter. That's not the case in other places in the world.

So true. You're right, there are lots of socities that are out there that are very dystopian in nature and they are very real.

OK, let's ask some fun questions! If you were stranded on an island, what five books would you want with you?

Fat, dense books that would take months to get through and understand. All hardcovers, so that if I encountered any Lost-esque Others they could double as weapons. How about: Brothers Karamazov, Infinite Jest, Les Miserables, War and Peace, and Finnegan's Wake? I haven't read any of those, but they'd definitely keep me busy for awhile.

Good plan! Who is your literary crush?

Dave Eggers. Not in a Tiger Beat, hang a poster on my ceiling, he-gives-me-butterflies type way though. I discovered Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius in college, after a long bout ofdoing nothing but required reading. I was pretty tired of slugging through books on my syllabus. HWOSG reminded me why I love to read. Even more than that, I volunteered for years at 826NYC, part of a nationwide tutoring program he founded. Having free afterschool tutoring was this amazing resource for the Brooklyn neighborhood I lived in. (PS: My literary girl crush is JK Rowling.)

What do you think the appeal of dystopian fiction is for teens?

Overall I had a positive high school experience, but I remember feeling really trapped. You don’t have control over your life—who’s “popular” and who’s not, who’s being bullied and what’s being said. Even some teachers can be inappropriate (the minority, but still). Everything can feel kind of arbitrary. Like something you must be a part of though you’d never actively chose to be. Dystopian novels speak directly to those feelings. They show characters stepping outside of the roles the world has created for them. That’s inspiring.

I think you're right about that feeling of being trapped and wanting to do something. I think that's a big appeal point for readers. You've have a lot of interesting jobs in the past (face painter, nanny, sofa saleswoman). What made you decide you wanted to write for teens?

I grew up on The Babysitters Club--I had hundreds of those books. Out of all the teachers and authors who've I've read or been influenced by, I can honestly say I owe the most to Ann M. Martin.That series helped me think of myself as a reader, which in turn helped me realize I was a writer. The Babysitters Club was my gateway drug to the reading and writing life.

I loved The Babysitters Club too-what a good gateway drug!:) Thanks so much for the interview Anna!

Want to win a signed copy of Eve? Leave a comment below to enter (please include blog or e-mail so I can contact you!
-Must be 13+ older
-Must have US Shipping Address
-One Entry Per Person
-Contest Ends Friday, November 18 at midnight CT

Eve by Anna Carey

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Dystopian

Release Date: 10/4/2011

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About the Book: In a not too far off future, a virus has swept through and wiped out most of the population. Eve is about to graduate and believes that she will now get a job and learn a new trade. Instead she discovers the horrible fate that really awaits her and the other girls at the school.

Deciding she can't stay, Eve flees the school and tries to survive. After a life of learning about the evils of men and how boys will only hurt her, Eve isn't sure what to do when she encounters a group of boys. She begins to trust Caleb, but when Eve discovers she is being hunted, she must choose between love and life.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Eve starts out by putting the reading right into the action. We don't spend much time with Eve at school-instead we learn right away what Eve is fleeing from-and let me tell you, it's an intense scene that will grip you! It's just the right amount of creepy horror and I don't blame Eve for wanting to run away.

This all happens in the first few chapters of the book, so the book starts with a big bang and then takes a bit of a more leisurely pace with Eve's survival. I was still interested in Eve's story, and it's not to say the book is slow at all-it's not. I listened to it on audiobook and was hooked and had to keep listening. It's a nice blend of a character-driven storyline and action which kept me reading. The audiobook narrator was good and had a nice soothing voice which made this book easy to listen to.

The dystopian world in Eve is one I have lots of questions about. I wanted to know more about the King and New America. Why did he want Eve? How did he come into power? Not much is given about how the world got this way so there is still lots of be answered and I'm hoping this comes in future volumes since this is a series.

Eve is a typical heroine-she's beautiful, she's kind, she's shy. This is understandable given her background and the way she grew up, so I wasn't too hard on her. I think her chance to grow and become kick butt will come. I loved her friend Arden-now she rocked. She was cool and smart and the type of girl I would want by my side if I was stuck in a dystopian novel!

There is romance to the story, but it's not the main focus of the book. I would give this to readers who want dystopian mixed with romance and enjoy star-crossed romances. You've been warned-the ending-not fair at all and it's a pretty painful cliffhanger!  I'm looking forward to seeing where Anna Carey takes us next.

Book Pairings: Matched by Ally Condie, Wither by Lauren DeStefano (for the star-crossed romance), Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (for the survival story)

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook purchased on Audible
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