Friday, October 28, 2011

YA Movie News

-Have you seen The Hunger Games character posters that were just released? There are 8 characters total and I think I love them all! Although, Haymitch's look took me by surprise=not sure why. has all 8-which one is your favorite? I think Effie is mine.

-Maggie Stiefvater's latest novel, The Scorpio Races, is in development as a movie with KatzSmith Productions. KatzSmith is partially owned by Seth Grahme Smith, who wrote Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and the screenplay for Dark Shadows, so I think he knows fantasy well. With Shiver in development as well, that means two possible Maggie Stiefvater movies in the future!

-Some exciting news from The CW, or what I think I'm going to call "the YA books to TV shows network" :) Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is in development as a TV Show and I'm really hoping it gets made since I really enjoyed the book and I could see this as a great series.

-Dreamworks Animation won the rights to adapt Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series for the big screen. This series is one that remains popular at my library-there are always kids asking for it and I think a big screen  adaptation would be awesome!

-Another forever popular series at my library, Hank the Cowdog, has a movie in development with Odyssey Pictures.

-Movie adaptations of Lawrence Yep's novel, Tiger's Apprentice and Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell's book Far Flug Adventures: Fergus Crane are in development with producer Jane Startz, who has produced many previous books to movies. Thanks to Cynopsis for the news!

-Walking Dead has been renewed for season 3. I've been told by lots of people I need to watch this show!

-If you want to buy Harry Potter on DVD/Blu-Ray, you better hurry! Warner Bros. will stop selling the movies on December 29 and most likely pull a Disney and only release them out of the vault at certain times.

-An Ender's Game movie is looking more likely, with a release date being set of March 15, 2013.

-Anna Carey's novel, Eve, is being developed for a TV series by the producers of The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars.

Trailer time! Two trailers this week: one for Dr. Seuss's The Lorax and another for the English-language version of Miyazaki's film The Secret World of Arrietty, which is based on The Borrowers.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flash Reviews: Audiobook Edition

Blink and Caution by Tim Wynne Jones

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Oh, how I wanted to like this one! I listened to it on audio since it's narrated by a narrator I normally love, MacLeod Andrews. (Really, he's awesome-listen to Will Grayson,Will Grayson) But this one just didn't pull me in. The mystery was a bit over the top and felt a bit too "bad guys are such doofuses and teens can outwit them easily" which never seemed to fit with the depth the author was trying to give the characters. Both Blink and Caution have troubled pasts that they are trying to deal with, but I felt this was downplayed because of the hokey mystery. I also was very bored by the narration, which I think made me dislike the book more.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

Rating: 3.75/5

I listened to this book for a couple of reasons. 1) It was compared to Downton Abbey, which I loved, and 2) because it's narrated by one of my all time favorite narrators, Katherine Kellgren. Kellgren's narration is wonderful as always and she gives a nice range of characters which I enjoyed. She really makes books to come life! The story itself was good but I also felt it was missing something. At first Cora is difficult to like, but she grew on me as the book went on. I felt bad for her humiliation and wanted her to succeed in England society. The ending was was threw me off though. I felt like it wrapped up without much hope and I kept thinking "That's it? After all that, that's the end??" I would have liked a bit more something in the end-and honestly I couldn't even tell you what that was, only that it fell a bit flat for me. But I would recommend the book to readers who like historical soaps and are fans of The Luxe Series.

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I have a goal to read all the Printz winners and honors which is why I listened to this book. It's a heartbreaking story of a boy who can't express himself except in his own head. It's a great book for discussion too-how we never know what really happens in someone's mind, disabled or not, and how do we handle tough situations. It's a short but powerful read and the audiobook is engrossing. Although why I thought it was a good read, my teen librarian said she read it as a teen and it freaked her out! I can also see it as a good pairing with Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tween Tuesday

Tween Tuesday is taking a break this week. I'm a bit behind on middle grade reading and while I had grand ideas of posting a booklist, life got in the way! Tween Tuesday will be back next week, but you can still leave your links below!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When Phobias and Fiction Collide

I have a strange phobia. Really, it's an odd one. Ready? I hate belly buttons. Yep, that supposedly innocent body part that little kids love to show you. I can't stand them. I hate talking about them, looking at them, touching them-they really gross me out! Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I've learned that my phobia is called omphalophobia and I guess it's a rare but real phobia.
But bellybuttons are so normal, right? Who would be afraid of them? I can't explain it, but I've always been freaked out by belly buttons. Which makes my strange phobia even more weird when it comes to reading. I'll be innocently reading a book and then out of nowhere comes a belly button and my mind is distracted and I'm grossed out. Or there's a book that's all about belly buttons that really creeps me out.

To a typical reader this wouldn't be a distraction, but for me, in some ways I think it taints my reading of the book.

Take Sandra Boynton's Belly Button Book:

I adore Sandra Boynton and love her books. But I can't read Belly Button Book! Too much to creep me out. And yes, they are cartoon animals with belly buttons, but they're still there! Nope, can't do it!
I was recently reading My Beating Teenage Heart. Good book and I'm enjoying the story until I realized I had skimmed a couple of lines. I backed up, re-read the lines only to realize they contained a character crooking her finger into her boyfriend's belly button!  Completely normal, but to me? Gross!! Total reading distraction!

The worse was when I was reading Girl of Fire and Thorns only to discover the main character has a stone located where? That's right: her belly button! I had to put the book down for a bit and come back to it later it was so distracting to me! I'm sure the author didn't think it would freak people out to have a stone there-I mean, people pierce their belly buttons, right? But for me, that was a distraction as I read that I had to let go of before I could pick the book up again.
OK, so these are extreme cases and I know, my phobia is a little (alright, A LOT) weird. Most of the time I can overlook it, be temporarily grossed out and move on. But it does take away from my enjoyment of the book and my reading fog for a moment because I'm jarred back to the real world. 

Reading these books recently got me thinking. Are there things that you're afraid of that distract you when you're reading? Do you have a quirk that seems ordinary when it appears it a book, but really bothers you? I'd love to know about it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs

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

Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Humor/Muppets (because they can be there own genre, right?)

Release Date: 9/5/2011

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About the Book: Danvers Blickensderfer is the biggest Gonzo fan you'll ever meet. His school reports are all about Gonzo, he has a Gonzo shirt for every day of the week, and he even aspires to be an amazing daredevil just like The Great Gonzo. When Danvers's audition for the local talent show fails and he looses out to the middle school boy band, Emo-Shun, Danvers thinks he's hit rock bottom. That night, Danvers goes to bed wishing he could be like Gonzo. The next morning Danvers discovers he's furry-and now turned into a Muppet and there's an internship open at The Muppet Theater. With his new Mupppet form, will he have a chance to meet and train with The Great Gonzo? And will The Muppets give Danvers a chance to perform at the talent show after all?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I LOVE The Muppets. I still think of them as real and not puppets. I could watch The Muppets all the time and never get tired of them. So when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. And happily, it lives up to the humor I would expect from a book about The Muppets.

The style is "Wimpy Kid-esque" with drawings and text combined to tell the story. Part of the book are drawings and entries from Danvers and some of the drawings are from the author. Readers who like books with a mix of illustrations and text will most likely be interested and it might be a nice selling point for kids who might not be familiar with The Muppets. I do wonder how well known The Muppets are with tweens, but with the upcoming movie, maybe readers will know who Gonzo is.

I did like that the author didn't just include just the most popular Muppets. Sure, Miss Piggy, Kermit, Gonzo and Fozzy all make appearances, but so does The Electric Mayham Band, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunson Honeydew and Beaker, and Statler and Waldorf, (in a very hilarious way-they begin to heckle Danvers randomly throughout his day). As a Muppet fan, I appreciated that the cast was well rounded and there were lots of fun cameos from some of my favorites.

The humor is what you would expect from The Muppets and there are lots of jokes and puns and crazy happenings. Once Danvers becomes a Muppet himself, we are shown a Muppet filled world, much like you would see in The Muppet Movies. There are the regular Muppet characters, but there are also Muppets that fill Danvers world. The other Muppet intern is a pig, Danvers visits a school where there are humann students and frogs-and no one bats an eye.

There are some plotholes-like how exactly Danvers became a Muppet and the possible ways there are to fix his change. This part of the story seemed the weakest, but at the same time, the author knows that and makes fun of the random plot advances. There were things that weren't wrapped up in this book too, so I wonder if a sequel may be the works. 

Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet is a book for Muppet fans old and new. Give this one to readers who like humor and silly antics as well as illustrated novel fans.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Even More YA Movie News

It's a double dose of YA Movie News today because I've uncovered even more goodies to share!

-Early Word is reporting that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has lost yet another possible Elizabeth Bennet. I really think this movie would be hilarious, so why won't an actress take it on? Who would you pick for the lead?

-There's lots of talk about the two Snow White film adaptations that are heading to theaters next year. CinemaBlend has a look at the cast of each Snow White cast and how they stack up. I like Snow White and the  Huntsman's supporting cast, but I like Lily Collins from the untitled Snow White film best.

-LA Times has a short interview with Woody Harrelson about playing Haymitch in The Hunger Games movie.

-Early Word has some early reviews for Hugo and a short behind the scenes look at the film. I was lucky enough to attend an author event with Brian Selznick last weekend and the way he talked about the film and the care the director, writer and cast took with making sure it stayed true to the book made me really excited about the movie!

-A live action movie about the life of Dr. Seuss is in the works with Johnny Depp as Dr. Seuss. I think this is a perfect idea and I really hope it gets made!

YA Movie News

Lots of movie news happening this week!

-Lionsgate likes dystopian! Not only are they producing The Hunger Games, but they have optioned the move rights to Patrick Ness's dystopian series, Chaos Walking. I'll admit, I still haven't read this series (because of the dog stuff-yep, I know about that) but I really love Nick Podehl and he narrates the audiobooks, so I'm going to have to give it a try. Just know I may throw it across the room!:) Thanks to Cynopsis and MTV for the news.

-Disney Channel will premiere the movie version of Geek Charming, based on the novel by Robin Palmer, on Friday, November 11. Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

-A second Percy Jackson movie is officially going to happen! Fox gave the go ahead and the film, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters will release in March 2013. I'm not sure how they're going to do a second film, since I thought they messed up with the plot that could carry over to a sequel, but I'm still looking forward to it! Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

-The movie version of Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, based on the novel by Wendy Mass, is coming soon, but Wal-Mart has as special edition out now, so check your local store to see if it's there! Thanks to Wendy Mass for the news!

-HarperCollins has acquired a new book titled The School for Good and Evil, described as "an action/adventure/romance story that revolves around a school where regular boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes or villains." The book has a movie deal attached with the book set to release in 2013. Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

-Early Word reports about a casting call notice for the movie version of Ender's Game.

-If you can't wait to see Breaking Dawn, select theaters are offering a chance see all three films leading up to Breaking Dawn in theaters on "Twilight Saga Tuesdays" in November. Check out Fathom Events for select theaters.

-Startz Production has bought the movie option to L.A. Weatherly's trilogy, Angel. The first book in the series, Angel Burn, released in May.

-Nickelodeon is gearing up for Halloween. On the schedule is an animated movie, Monster High: Fright On! which will premier Sunday October 30.

-And OK, now for news that's not really YA releated, but still some fun news:

-Downton Abbey creator Jullian Fellows stated that a third series is likely and would be set in the 1920s. Downton Abbey season 2 debuts in the US January 8th. Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

-CW gave a full season pick up to Ringer (I just can't stop watching the crazy!) and Fox gave a full season order to New Girl (this show is making me laugh and so far I'm really liking it)

-The trailer for the movie Young Adult was released and honestly, it doesn't look all that good. I wonder if Diablo Cody was a one hit wonder with Juno. Plus, from the trailer it doesn't seem like the fact that she writes YA really means anything, so I'm not sure why they keep mentioning that fact in the promo blurb and poster.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale

Release Date: 3/29/2011

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About the Book: Princess Azalea is the oldest of twelve daughters who love to dance. But when their mother suddenly passes away after the birth of their newest sister, the princesses are to go into mourning-which means no dancing. So when they find a secret forest they can escape into and dance the night away, the princesses disappear each night to dance. What they soon discover is that a man named Keeper is trapped in their dancing world and he's trying to lure them and keep them there for deadly reasons.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'll be the first to admit that fantasy is a genre I sometimes have  hard time getting into, but I do love me some fairy tale retellings. I think it's because I love discovering how an author will take a familiar story and twist it around and make it something new. In the case of Entwined, Heather Dixon takes the tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses and turns it into a lush, romantic mystery.

There were many things I loved about this book. First off, I really liked that while Azalea and her sisters were princesses, they were poor. They weren't spoiled and living a life of luxury. This really stood out to me and I felt it made the characters more real because I could relate to them more-instead of trying to understand their extravagent lifestyle that you sometimes find when royalty is involved.

The cast of characters is rich and developed. Twelve sisters can be hard to keep track of, especially on audio, which is how I read this one. But the author makes each girl unique and gives each girl her own voice and personality. There's also romance to the story-and not just one romance storyline, but three-an extra treat for romance fans! Some of the romance stories are a bit predictable and another is a nice twist to the story that took me by surprise. I liked how at first I wasn't a fan of the character but I grew to like him as the romance developed. All the suitors are sweet and kind in their own way and while there are nice romances to the story, it never overpowers the story. There is plenty of mystery and intrigue with Keeper and his backstory and why he is so intent on the girls dancing.

The King is one of the characters that stood out the most to me and development in his realtionship with the princesses is what made the book really work for me. The King is standoffish at first and not sure how to deal with the loss of his wife and not having to care for twelve daughters. But he works at it and he learns how to be a father and the princesses learn how to be daughters.  You don't often see a positive growth of adults in YA and I liked that the King tried his best and learned how to be father. I also liked that the princesses accepted that there was growth that they could mend their relationship with the King instead of brushing him off. This growth between them gave the book a nice sensitive story and made the characters more human, if that makes sense.

This is magical retelling and I loved it on audiobook. The narrator had a nice, lilting voice with just the right amount of mystery. If you're looking for a standout fairy tale retelling with depth to the story, be sure to check out Entwined-in book or audio!

Book Pairings: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cover Talk: Hardcover to Paperback

Lots of books get cover changes when they switch from hardcover to paperback. Some I think are for the better and others are not. This is partly a He Said, She Said post too, since Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan was sitting next to me on the couch as I wrote this.
First up: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

-I like this hardcover-it's creepy and actually has something from the book-there are mysterious messages scratched into school desks. But then the paperback had to go and change to this:

-Which I really, really hate. Yes, there's a romance in the book, but it's not the focus. Cryer's Cross is more of a horror story, but you would never know it looking at this cover. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan even commented on this one and said "I would never pick up a book with that cover" which I think is what makes me dislike this change so much-it takes a book that had a nice, gender neutral cover and pushes it over into "girls only" territory. And I really hate the idea of "girl books" and "boy books" but teens buy into that marketing, so I think this only looses a potential audience for Cryer's Cross.

Next up: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

-I like this hardcover-it's generic and a bit creepy. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says he likes this cover because it's generic. I like it because it tells you just enough about the story without giving a lot of details.

-Now the paperback. I don't mind the change and think it's appealing, but I do think the mysterious eyes are a bit overdone in YA, so that part annoys me a bit. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says "I'd be less inclined to pick this one up because of the sultry male eyes staring into my soul."

Now another cover change that went from good to bad. Exposed by Kimberly Marcus.

-I love this cover! It's dark, it shows pain, and it tells me this will be an "issue-driven" novel. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan actually took notice of this one and said it was nice and that it was "sleek, professional and I would have no problem carrying it around." But then they went and did this:

-I think it's pretty bad. It looks like a typical YA and while it doesn't look like a happy ending story, it just looks like everything else out there I would gloss over this cover and not pay attention to it. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says "it looks like a self-help pamphlet. I'm getting depressed just looking at it." I agree!

Next up-Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

-Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I both like this cover. It's artistic and beautiful and I think it's really unique which makes it stand out for me. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan said "while it's a beautiful cover, I wouldn't want to carry it around-very feminine."

-The paperback is a really nice change. I think it's still unique and it still really stands out to me. I also think even though there's a girl on the cover, I think it's more gender neutral than the hardcover. As Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says "this has a clearly sci-fi feel, and while I'm a fantasy fan and don't want to be carrying around a sci-fi book, I would be ok with this one. It almost has a dystopian feel to the cover which the other cover clearly didn't have."

Here's one we both felt had a fantastic hardcover to paperback change: Shift by Jennifer Bradbury.

-I like the hardcover, it's got a nice element of mystery, but it's a bit bland. So I'm thrilled that the paperback looks like this:

-When I showed this cover to Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan, he sat up and took notice and "what book was that?" He was immediately drawn to it as was I. We both agree there's much more mystery to this cover and it's a really interesting cover. The upside down feel makes you take notice and it stands out. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan said "as soon as I saw it, I wanted to pick it up and read it, until I saw the hardcover. The hardcover was so comparatively bad, it made me not even want to read this one." I'm still going to work on him though and maybe the paperback will convince him!

So what do you think? Like or dislike these cover changes? Seen any others around that have changed-for better or for worse?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Keeping Up With YA: MLA Handouts 2011

This past week I presented a talk on "Keeping up with YA" for the Missouri Library Association Conference. I'm all about sharing resources with other librarians and readers, so I'm posting a copy of my handouts here on the blog. The first list is the books I booktalked, the next additional reading suggestions in each genre. These lists in no way cover everything, but are supposed to be a starting point for books to know for 2011.

Award Buzz
Billingsley, Franny. Chime. ISBN: 0803735529
King, A.S. Everybody Sees the Ants. ISBN: 0316129283
Schmidt, Gary D. Okay for Now. ISBN: 0547152604
Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck. ISBN: 0545027896
Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray. ISBN: 0399254129
Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. ISBN: 0316134023

Beam, Chris. I Am J. ISBN: 0316053619
Nelson, Blake. Recovery Road. ISBN: 0545107296
Marcus, Kimberly. Exposed. ISBN: 0375866930
Polisner, Gae. The Pull of Gravity. ISBN: 0374371938
Walker, Melissa. Small Town Sinners. ISBN: 1599905272
Wealer, Sara Bennett. Rival. ISBN: 0061827622
Various. Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories. ISBN: 0062060988

Magical Realism
Asher, Jay & Mackler, Carolyn. The Future of Us. ISBN: 1595144919
Hodkin, Michelle. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. ISBN: 1442421762
Martin, C. K. Kelly. My Beating Teenage Heart. ISBN: 0375868550
Suma, Nova Ren. Imaginary Girls. ISBN: 0525423389

Angleberger, Tom. Darth Paper Strikes Back. ISBN: 1419700278
Bray, Libba. Beauty Queens. ISBN: 0439895979
Harris, Carrie. Bad Taste In Boys. ISBN: 0385739680
Herbach, Geoff. Stupid Fast. ISBN: 1402256302
Schreiber, Joe. Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick. ISBN: 0547577389

Forman, Gayle. Where She Went. ISBN: 0525422943
Griffin, Paul. Stay With Me. ISBN: 0803734484
Hautman, Pete. The Big Crunch. ISBN: 0545240751
Leavitt, Lindsey. Sean Griswold’s Head. ISBN: 1599904985
Perkins, Stephanie. Lola and the Boy Next Door. ISBN: 0525423281
Sales, Leila. Past Perfect. ISBN: 1442406828

Carson, Rae. The Girl of Fire and Thorns. ISBN: 0062026488
Chima, Cinda Williams. The Gray Wolf Throne. ISBN: 1423118251
Dixon, Heather. Entwined. ISBN: 0062001035
Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Wisdom’s Kiss. ISBN: 0547566875
Paolini, Christoher. Inheritance. ISBN: 0375856110
Ursu, Anne. Breadcrumbs. ISBN: 0062015052

Cabot, Meg. Abandon. ISBN: 0545284104
Coakley, Lena. Witchlanders. ISBN: 1442420049
Dolamore, Jaclyn. Between the Sea and Sky. ISBN: 1599904349
Fallon, Leigh. Carrier of the Mark. ISBN: 0062027875
Fitzpatrick, Becca. Silence. ISBN: 1442426640
Hawkins, Rachel. Demonglass. ISBN: 1423121317
Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races. ISBN: 054522490X

Science Fiction
Mafi, Tahereh. Shatter Me. ISBN: 0062085484
McEntire, Myra. Hourglass. ISBN: 1606841440
Revis, Beth. Across the Universe. ISBN: 1595143971
Ryan, Amy Kathleen. Glow. ISBN: 0312590563
Sheehan, Anna. A Long, Long Sleep. ISBN: 0763652601

DeStefano, Lauren. Wither. ISBN: 1442409053
Lu, Marie. Legend. ISBN: 039925675X
McCafferty, Megan. Bumped. ISBN: 0061962740
McMann, Lisa. The Unwanteds. ISBN: 1442407689
Oliver, Lauren. Delirium. ISBN: 0062112430
Roth, Veronica. Divergent. ISBN: 0062024027
Young, Moira. Blood Red Road. ISBN: 1442429984
Zevin, Gabrielle. All These Things I’ve Done. ISBN: 0374302103

Black, Holly. Red Glove. ISBN: 144240339X
Halliday, Gemma. Deadly Cool. ISBN: 0062003313
Harrington, Kim. Clarity. ISBN: 0545230500
Hilmo, Tess. With a Name Like Love. ISBN: 0374384657
Johnson, Maureen. The Name of the Star. ISBN: 0399256601
Wells, Robison. Variant. ISBN: 0062026089

Brewer, Heather. First Kill. ISBN: 0803737416
Jones, Carrie & Wedel, Steven E. After Obsession. ISBN: 1599906813
Maberry, Jonathan. Dust & Decay. ISBN: 1442402350
McMann, Lisa. Cryer’s Cross. ISBN: 1416994815
Ness, Patrick. A Monster Calls. ISBN: 0763655597
Yancey, Rick. The Isle of Blood. ISBN: 1416984526
Yovanoff, Brenna. The Space Between. ISBN: 1595143394

Brown, Jennifer. Bitter End
Cohen, Joshua. Leverage
Elkeles, Simone. Chain Reaction
Flack, Sophie. Bunheads
Goodman, Shawn. Something Like Hope
Halpern, Julie. Don’t Stop Now
Hubbard, Kirsten. Like Mandarin
Kelly, Tara. Amplified
Keplinger, Kody. Shut Out
Littman, Sarah Darer. Want to Go Private
Martinez, Jessica. Virtuosity.
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. Under the Mesquite
Northrop, Michael. Trapped
O’Roark Dowell, Frances. Ten Miles Past Normal
Reed, Amy. Clean
Schroeder, Lisa. The Day Before.
Sloan, Goldberg Sloan. I’ll Be There
Violi, Jen. Putting Makeup On Dead People
Wunder, Wendy. Probability of Miracles
Zarr, Sara. How to Save a Life

Fantasy & Paranormal
Childs, Tera Lynn. Sweet Venom
Cremer, Andrea. Wolfsbane
Cypess, Leah. Nightspell
Faegen, Trinity. The Mephisto Covenant
Flinn, Alex. Cloaked
Goodman, Alison. Eona
Hand, Cynthia. Unearthly
Hieber, Leanna Renee. Darker Still
Hill, C.J. Slayers
Houck,Colleen. Tiger’s Curse Jay, Stacey. Juliet Immortal
Kittredge, Caitlin. Iron Thorn
Lo, Melinda. Huntress
Mahoney, Karen. Iron Witch
Mantchev, Lisa. So Silver Bright
Okorafor Nnedi, Nnedi Akata Witch
Oliver, Lauren. Liesel & Po
Plum, Amy. Die for Me
Pon, Cindy. Fury of the Phoenix
Porter, Sarah. Lost Voices
Schwab, Victoria. The Near Witch
Willingham, Bill. Down the Mysterly River

Derting, Kimberly. Desires of the Dead
Healey, Karen. Shattering
Lee, Y.S. The Agency
Patrick, Cat. Forgotten
Strieber, Whitley. Melody Burning
Wynne-Jones, Tim. Blink & Caution.

Bick, Ilsa J. Ashes
Blake, Kendare. Anna Dressed In Blood
Griffin,Adele. Tighter
Oppel, Kenneth. This Dark Endeavor
McNeil, Gretchen. Possess
Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Woods, Elizabeth. Choker

Science Fiction/Dystopian
Aguirre, Ann. Enclave
Clare, Cassandra. Clockwork Prince
Condie, Ally. Crossed
Grant, Sara. Dark Parties
Westerfeld, Scott. Goliath
Reeve, Phillip. Web of Air
Starmer, Aaron. The Only Ones
Various. Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances
Various Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blog Tour: Character Interview with Lucky Linderman

I hope you get a chance to pick up A.S. King's fantastic new novel, Everybody Sees the Ants! In honor of the book's release, I'm hosting an interview with the novel's main character, Lucky Linderman.
You seem to read a lot, so what would your favorite novel be?

I read mostly non-fiction, but I think my favorite novel is probably Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, which I read last summer at my aunt and uncle’s house in Arizona, or Animal Farm because Orwell was right about everything.

You compare your mom to a squid and father a turtle. What animal would you compare yourself to?

A squrtle? Kidding. Hm. I never thought about this. I guess it depends on which me we’re talking about. The old me was a rodent—kinda hiding. Maybe a mouse or a mole or something. And the new me is more like a dog. I bark. I’ll bite if I have to. I’m loyal, but I avoid people who don’t treat me right.

Do you think that by being named Lucky, you are prone to luck or are you more unlucky? Or do you think names have nothing to do with it at all?

I’m glad my parents named me Lucky and for a long time I thought I was the unluckiest kid on the planet, which made the whole thing ironic. But then, the more I read about life around the planet, the more I realized just how lucky I am. Granddad Harry helped me with that, too. Compared to him, we’re all pretty damn lucky, right?

Nader has been a longtime bully, but adults seem to ignore the fact that he's a bully. What's the worst advice you ever received about dealing with Nader? Has there ever been any good advice?

The worst advice I ever got was what I heard all through grade school. Ignore him. I mean, ignoring can work, I guess, depending on who you are and who your bully is. If the bully leaves you alone after that, then fine. In my case, ignoring him didn’t work at all and to continue to tell me to ignore him after we knew that. . . was really bad advice. I think essentially, my parents were telling me to ignore him because they were ignoring him. The other bad advice I got once was to not go to the guidance counselor. My dad said it would mean that they’d “psychobabble me to death” and while that did happen later about the stupid question from my social studies survey, I think that guidance counselor in middle school would have helped me.

The best advice I got was from Granddad. This might be a little hard to follow, but it works for a lot of things in life, which is why it’s the best advice I ever got. Granddad once said to me, “Only you can give control of you away.” I didn’t get it at the time. I felt like the whole thing was out of my control, which, in many ways, was true. But then I read an article about Nelson Mandela. He was wrongly imprisoned for 27 years, and still, he can say, “Any man that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.” That made me understand Granddad’s words a lot more than I had.


Blog Tour: Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S. King

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 10/3/2011

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About the Book: Lucky Linderman's life would be much better if his grandfather had come home from the Vietnam War. Instead, Grandpa Harry went missing, leaving Lucky's dad without a father and now Lucky's dad is a turtle who retreats into his shell and can't confront anything. Lucky's mom is a squid, who spends her days swimming and has no spine to stand up for herself. And Lucky just asked a stupid question-one that got him in trouble yet again with Nader McMillan, Lucky's lifelong bully.

Lucky has a secret though-every night he dreams he's with his grandfather in Vietnam and plots for a way to help him return. And his dreams just might be real-a reality where Lucky can make things right and stand up for himself.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Last year, I picked A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz as my "dark horse" Printz candidate-it was a book that was so unique and wonderful and I hoped that it got the committee's attention. (It did). This year, A.S. King is back with another book that I'm calling my "dark horse" Pritnz candidate with Everybody Sees the Ants. I was finishing the book today on my lunch break at work, and working in a library, everyone always asks what you're reading. This book is a hard book to explain and a strange book to booktalk. The premise is different and can sound a bit confusing. But it's not confusing and instead is a fantastic story about standing up for yourself, growing up, and learning to connect with your family.

Lucky is a naive main character and his innocence makes him sweet. He's not confident in who he his. He doesn't really get along with his parents and he feels lost. He's being bullied at school and no one is doing anything about it, so Lucky's stopped talking about it. But Lucky is also growing up and learning he can stand up for himself and for others. He's learning who he is. He's learning more about his parents and figuring out how to relate to them. And it all happens in a wonderful way that's not cheesy or sappy or preachy coming of age. Lucky and his struggles felt real. He's an average teen who isn't sure how to navigate life, but he's finding some answers along the way.

A.S. King's writing is fantastic and I think she's at the top of her game. Who else could combine a POW/MIA grandfather that's visited in dreams, animal-like parents, crazy aunts, ninja girls, bullies, and party ants and make it work in a way that you never want to put the novel down? There are some heavy topics discussed, but the book still has humor and some lighter moments-the ants lend a nice sense of sarcastic humor just at the right times! I think one of my favorite parts and one of the most clever was how Lucky's scab from his beating from Nader shrinks and changes the more Lucky figures out about himself. It's small details like that that make this book even better.

This is a novel about not just things getting better but also making them better. Everybody Sees the Ants is a book that will stick with you and is a must read of 2011!

Book Pairings: Dear Bully by Various Authors, Blank Confession by Pete Hautman

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher

You can follow the tour to the next stop at The Book Muncher.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

He Said, She Said Tween Tuesday: 1st and 10: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Football

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and add your link below. Today's Tween Tuesday is a special co-review between myself and Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Non-fiction

Release Date: 10/25/2011

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About the Book: Need to know about football? Are you debating what the top ten superbowl games are? Or who has the most memorable hairstyles in football? Who are football's best quarterbacks or fastest players? 1st and 10 has loads of top ten lists with facts, stats and more to answer all your football questions.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Of course I couldn't review a football book without consulting Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan, the household expert on football. I've learned a lot about football in our six years together, but I still needed his expert opinion to see if this book really held up.

Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan Says: 1st and 10 is a solid introduction to football history for kids, although the lists do have some flaws. For example, the list frequently suffer from recency bias. Most of the lists hold more weight to recent or current players and events than events from the past.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: But I think this makes some sense, considering this is a book for kids and I think kids are more interested in current players they know. Each page has nice full color photos and the layout is attractive which makes it easy for obsessive fans to pour over each page. I liked that the book has a mix of serious and fun lists. I think my favorite lists were the "Big Guys" and "Little Guys"-although where was Danny Woodhead on the Little Guys list? And yes, I know who Danny Woodhead is!:)

Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan Says: Well, I don't know if he's done enough to warrant a spot in the book.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was a bit annoyed with the movie list. By limiting it to "Pro-Football Films" they eliminated my favorite, Remember the Titans. Plus, some of the selected films aren't really for kids and teens.

Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan Says: In general, I would be happy to pass this on to any young football fan. There's a lot of history and really interesting things to learn like how to do the Ickey Shuffle and who the top fantasy football players of alltime are. The text isn't too simplistic, but younger readers who are interested in football shouldn't have trouble following. Every current team is represented.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I liked that there were lots of mentions of the Chicago Bears and my favorite player Devin Hester is included in the "Fastest Players" list.

Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan: Yeah, but where were the Chicago Bears fans on the "Top Fans" list? I think they just threw that list in for controversy!

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I just hope by admitting our fandom for the Bears we don't loose Packers readers!:)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

Release Date: 10/4/2011

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About the Book: All Chelsea wants this summer is to have a normal job like a normal teen and have a normal summer. Instead, she's working yet again at Essex Colonial Village as a historical reenactor. Chelsea's parents both work at Essex and Chelsea has spent her life growing up around colonial times.

When her ex-boyfriend Ezra shows up to work at Essex as well, Chelsea isn't sure she can deal with Ezra being there. She's trying to get over him, but she's having a hard time letting go. Chelsea finds herself with a new crush, only he just happens to be from the wrong time period-he works at Civil War Reenactmentland, the arch-rivals of Essex. Can Chelsea let go of her ex and find love again? Or is Chelsea doomed to repeat the past and fall for the wrong guy?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was sold on this book when I heard it was about a girl who worked as a historical reeanctor. I can say that's one premise I don't think I've encountered in a book I've read before! Plus, there's a part of me that thinks that job would be really fun!

Past Perfect is a great contemporary romance with a bit of a twist. The setting of taking place at reenactment villages adds for a unique storyline.While we may have read a forbidden romance story before, the setting gives in a fresh new feel. There is a lot of humor in this book which makes it even more fun to read. It takes a lot for a book to make me laugh out loud, but this book had me giggling quite a bit. Chelsea has just the right amount of snark to her to make me really like her.

I loved the battle between the colonial village and the civil war village. I thought this added a very funny plotline to the story and really helped the book stand out-again, it gave it something different to help it from feeling like the same old romance. I also really liked that while it's a romance, and a sweet and charming romance at that, Chelsea also has some struggles and it's not an easy romance. Her crush Dan is part of the enemy and she shouldn't be crushing on Dan to begin with. She's very loyal to Essex and can't imagine herself with someone who likes the civil war which adds a layer of conflict to their developing romance.

Chelsea also is dealing with getting over her ex. They've been broken up for a few months, but Chelsea is in that stage where she only remembers the good and perfect things about Ezra. She's glossing over their relationship and thinking that she'd like to take him back and can't understand why he doesn't want her anymore. I've been in that situation before and I wish teen me could have read this book and witnessed Chelsea's development so maybe I wouldn't have made such a fool of myself many years ago. In some ways this part of the story reminded me of a teen version of 500 Days of Summer meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This aspect of the story combined with the unique setting is what I enjoyed most. I liked getting to be with Chelsea as she examined her past relationship and learned to let go.

The romance was sweet and fun, but I felt like I wanted to get to know Dan more. We get to know him a little bit, but I wanted more development between the two of them. I think at times I wasn't sure I really bought their romance, especially in the beginning. I also felt at times Chelsea was a bit whiny, but I think this is true to her character, as I remember being pretty whiny and annoying with friends when I was rehashing old relationships (sorry guys!).

Overall, this is a fun, unique take on contemporary romance. I would also recommend this is a great post-breakup read-because you know the world always needs more of those!:) Open up a carton of Ben & Jerry's and settle in with Past Perfect and you've got the recipe for a great reading date!

Book Pairings: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from e-galley sent by publisher for review
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