Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
-Debut author Cat Patrick's upcoming novel, Forgotten, has been picked up and is being developed as a film starring True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld. Forgotten tells the story of a teen girl who loses her memory every evening and the book will be out this summer.
-The Hugo Cabret film is getting an earlier release date. The movie will now be hitting theaters November 23, just in time for Thanksgiving. I'm anxious to see how this book transfers to the big screen. Thanks to Shelf-Awareness for the news.
-And I had to share the trailer for the upcoming Something, Borrowed based on the novel by Emily Giffin. I can't wait for this movie!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Release Date: 4/29/2010
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2011 Alex Award List
About the Book: Eleven-year-old Kimberly Chang and her mother are brought to America by Kimberly's Aunt Paula. The transition from Hong Kong to American life is a long and frustrating road. Kimberly picks up on English quickly and adapts to American life easier than her mother. She begins to excel in school and is soon awarded a scholarship to a private school.
Kimberly struggles with excelling in school but constantly being an outsider. She and her mother owe a debt to Aunt Paula for bringing them to America and they work in the skirt factory that Aunt Paula and Uncle Bob run and are barely able to make ends meet. They live in a terrible apartment with roaches and no heat. Kimberly tries to make a better life for herself and her mother by doing well in school. But her feelings for a fellow factory worker named Matt may threaten her future and Kimberly must decide what exactly her future holds.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I don't read a lot of literary fiction, but I was interested in Girl in Translation because it was on the 2011 Alex Awards list. Although an adult title, most of the book is spent with Kimberly during her teen years, and I think the coming of age story will hold a lot of teen appeal.
Kimberly is an engaging narrator and her struggles to adapt to life in America are heartbreaking. She's often an outsider and never quite fits in because of her clothes and race and her brain. But she doesn't take things laying down and she fights for herself in her new life which makes you want to cheer her on even more.
The author straddles Kimberly's dual identity skilfully and we see both sides of Kimberly-the shy smart girl at school who wants to rebel a bit and become more American and the girl at home who works in the factory, speaks Chinese, and struggles to hide her living conditions and work life. There is romance with Matt, but this is not a romance-while it's central to the plot, this is a very layered story and the focus is much more on Kimberly and her coming of age and success in school than anything else. The author does a great job of including Chinese sayings but explaining them so they weave into the story without feeling a bit jarring.
The book dragged a bit at times and it took me a bit to get into it. I did start to enjoy it more once Kimberly started at the private school-not sure why, but the story seemed to pick up a bit then.
Overall the story is heartbreaking and bittersweet. I think this would make a great book club pick. I highly recommend it.
Audiobook note: Early on, as Kimberly is still learning English, the author uses misspellings to show Kimberly's misunderstandings of the language. It took me awhile to understand that since I listened to it on CD. But once I got the print copy it made more sense-the misspellings didn't come through on audio. Other than that, the book is beautiful on audio.
Book Pairings: Bitter Melon by Cara Chow, A Step From Heaven by An Na
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook checked out from my public library
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I read Flash Burnout last year and it was one of my favorite reads of the year. Blake instantly became a new book crush! I read it because it was nominated for our state book award reading list for high school and I'm glad to say it made the list! I can't wait for teens to start reading off the 2011-2012 Gateway list and for them to discover the fantastic story that Lisa wrote.
When I heard the news, I felt a deep loss. Even though I never met Lisa in person, I knew her online. That's the beauty of blogging-it connects readers and authors and booklovers and creates a huge community. When I posted my review of Flash Burnout, Lisa excitedly tweeted about my review and how a librarian had a book crush on Blake! Needless to say, I was thrilled that she noticed and was tickled about how excited she was that a librarian loved her book.
I read Lisa's blog and felt like I got to know her. She wrote the most hilarious Tim Gunn posts that would always make me smile.
If you haven't read Lisa's books, do yourself a favor and do so now. The YA world will greatly miss this talented and incredibly wonderful author. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Lisa-thank you for your gift to YA. Thank you for being an amazing author and an amazing person who took time to connect with readers, librarians, bloggers and booklovers. You are loved and will be greatly missed.
Release Date: 7/1/2011
Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type. On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up. Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?) Six weeks of parent-free freedom. BOY freedom. Freedom of expression... cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary/Animal Stories
Release Date: 3/21/2011
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About the Book: Hildegarde is the leader of the church mice at Saint Bartholemew's. Hildegarde is responsible for all the mice in the church, making sure everyone gets fed and stays hidden. But when a few of the church parishioners start to tell of mice sightings in the church, Hildegarde fears another Great X is coming. Add to that the annual Blessing of the Animals, when animals of all shapes and sizes will be coming to St. Bartholemew's! It will take the courage of Hildegarde and her mice to protect their beloved home without getting caught.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I don't know how Ms. Lowry does it! Bless This Mouse is a wonderful read that has the feel of an old fashioned classic. The story is new, but reading it feels like visiting with an old friend. This book is sure to be treasured by readers.
Perfect for a bedtime read-aloud, Bless This Mouse is a fun animal tale that is full of humor and wit. From the first chapter about Hildegarde getting upset about the bad timing of babies, I was hooked and laughing from the start. Hildegarde is a somewhat tough leader, but she's also kind and she cares deeply about her mice. She's also a very brave mouse and she and her fellow mice come up with creative ways of saving their church home.
The antics of the mice are charming and hilarious. I fell in love with the little mice and was cheering for them the whole way through. The characters Ms. Lowry creates are so vivid and you really get to know them and care for them. I would suggest it even if you shy away from animal tales-the banter between the mice and their creative solutions are just too fun.
Bless This Mouse might be geared for the younger tween set, but read it aloud to older tweens and I think they'll get a kick out of it. It's a richly layered story of courage, bravery, and friendship and the ending is just so perfect-I loved it!
Book Pairings: Pair this with Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (animals doing great things) and The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (another contemporary with a classic feel to it), and of course, The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo (for more mouse adventures)
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from e-galley I recieved via NetGalley
Monday, February 21, 2011
In honor of Holly's new book, she's doing a virtual blog tour. This week is the "local leg" featuring local bloggers and we're asking Holly all sorts of fun questions about Missouri! And there's an awesome contest to go with it! You can get points by visiting the tour stops, commenting, tweeting, posting on your blog and Facebook-all that fun stuff. Just fill out this awesome entry form and you're entered! And of course you can find the full schedule and all the details on Holly's blog!
OK-let's get to the fun stuff-the questions!!
1) What’s the best thing about Missouri?
I’m a lifelong, sixth generation Missouri resident. So when you ask me what I love about Missouri, I feel as though you’ve asked me what I like most about my favorite room in my childhood home. Missouri’s just mine, in the same way my family is mine. The sweet, the rugged, the frigid, the sweltering, all of it—it’s mine.
2) What myths of SWMO (Southwest Missouri) would you like to prove wrong?
The thing is, you never do know who you’re talking to. That old guy in a pair of overalls at the convenience store in some no-stoplight town in the middle of nowhere has probably had more life experiences, been more places, done more, seen more, understands far more than any of us could ever expect…probably lived far more life than any of us ever will.
In some respects, I kind of think Missouri gets seen as that old guy in a pair of overalls. But if anybody’d stop to really get to know Missouri, they’d find out there’s a lot going on underneath those Carhartts.
3) In A Blue So Dark, Aura lives in Springfield. In Playing Hurt, the characters are in Minnesota. Was it hard to change locations for the setting?
Not so much. The older I get, the more I enjoy my time outside. When I think of my most frequented haunts right now, many of them are outdoors: riverbanks and lakesides. When I’ve been cooped up writing too long, I don’t usually want to go to an indoor public area—restaurant, movies, etc. I usually want to get outside. In my passages about Minnesota, I was able to express my love of fresh air and wildflowers, quiet lakes and sunshine.
4). What’s the best thing about being a writer? And what’s the worst (or hardest)?
The best is seeing my lifelong dream coming to fruition. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was little. But it’s been a long, rough, winding road…
Basically, after getting my master’s from MSU, I devoted myself full-time to my writing. Took seven and a half years to get to the first acceptance at Flux books. Sticking with a dream even when the dream is beating you up is beyond rough—so I’d have to say the waiting and the rejection and the incredible amount of time it took to just get started was the hardest part. But getting my writing career off the ground is an incredible feeling.
5) Seriously, what is the deal with Cashew Chicken? (Cashew Chicken is this fake Chinese food creation that people rave about. I've yet to try it-it looks scary!!)
Ahhh, Cashew Chicken. Sprinfield’s own faux Chinese Food. I grew up on the stuff—and have a special love for it. I even requested it for my last birthday dinner! There’s just something so homey about it. It’s the ultimate comfort food for me…the food of my youth that I still love.
Playing Hurt is out March 8th and I encourage everyone to check it out!
About the Book: Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?
Holly made an awesome virtual tour to show off the setting for Playing Hurt and A Blue So Dark-check it out!
Friday, February 18, 2011
OMG-Don't you just LOVE it?? Bertie looks amazing as always and again, I totally want her dress!
Don't forget you can still enter for a chance to win a *signed* paperback of Eyes Like Stars!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Please welcome author Pam Bachorz to GreenBeanTeenQueen. Pam has a new book out, Drought, and is also the author of Candor.
What's the best part about writing for YA? What's the hardest?
The best part of writing YA is the readers. YA readers get so excited when they find a story that they like. They write the coolest e-mails and post the most enthusiastic reviews. Just tonight I was feeling draggy about sitting down to write, and then I got the sweetest e-mail from a reader who had just finished DROUGHT. It made me feel excited about my story again.
The hardest part of writing YA is tuning out the hype when you need to—both about your own stories and about what’s hot in YA right now. The best writing happens, for me, when I can sit at my desk and write like it’s seven or eight years ago, when I was just learning about YA and writing whatever I thought was cool—not even know what other people thought was cool.
Why do you think dystopian fiction has taken off in the YA market in the last couple of years? What's the appeal for teens?
Dystopian is a way to explore our worries—and curiosities—about the world we live in, and how fast technology is moving. That’s appealing to teens and adults, I think. We want to see how other people survive the extremes that we might see in twenty years—or tomorrow. We want to think of what we’d do in their shoes, from the comfort of our own reading chairs!
I know Candor was inspired by you living in a planned community in Florida. Where there any real life expriences that inspired you to write Drought?
DROUGHT is set in the upstate New York woods where I spent my summers a child, and where I still return to every summer. The cisterns that hold the Congregation’s healing Water are sited where I took archery lessons, and the cabins in the story are set around the same small lake that our family cabin overlooks. These woods are my heart-home and now they’re even more special to me, as the home of DROUGHT.
What dystopian novel do you think has the most chance of ever becoming real?
I think THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX could definitely happen. I don’t want to give away the twist of the book, so I’ll just say I’m sure people are working on the book’s technology element as we read.
Thanks for visiting Pam!
About Drought: (from author website) Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from the backbreaking work of gathering Water. Escape from living as if it is still 1812, the year they were all enslaved.
When Ruby meets Ford--an irresistible, kind, forbidden new Overseer--she longs to run away with him to the modern world, where she could live a normal teenage live. Escape with Ford would be so simple.
But if Ruby leaves, her community is condemned to certain death. She, alone, possess the secret ingredient that makes the Water so special--her blood--and it's the one thing that the Congregation cannot live without.
Drought is the haunting story of one community’s thirst for life, and the dangerous struggle of the only girl who can grant it.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
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About the Book: (from Goodreads) Beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, the wealthiest debutante in America, is spirited away from the glamour and comfort of her Park Avenue mansion and suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, mistress of Lulworth Castle, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. As Cora is soon to discover, nothing in this strange new world is quite as it seems. Her handsome new husband is withdrawn and secretive; the English social scene is stuffed with pitfalls and traps; and there are increasingly dangerous forces at work, people who wish she'd never met Ivo in the first place. THE AMERICAN HEIRESS is a dazzling debut novel from Daisy Goodwin, whose brilliant new voice is reminiscent of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Kate Morton
Why I Want It: Yes it's an adult novel, but it was in my Shelf-Awareness newsletter this week with a blurb that said "perfect for those suffering Downton Abbey withdrawl." And I'm totally having Downton Abbey withdrawl!! So I must read this book now!
What books are you waiting on?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
So, ready for your sneak peak???
Want to win Eyes Like Stars? Leave a comment and tell me what play or musical you'd love to see Bertie star in! US only, please leave a way to contact you (e-mail, blog, etc), and contest ends 2/21.
About So Silver Bright:Bertie thinks her quest is almost done. With the help of Ariel and the rest of her friends, she has managed to find her father and rescue the kidnapped pirate, Nate, from Sedna the sea goddess. Now all she has to do is reunite her father, The Scrimshander, with her mother, Ophelia, and she will finally have a true family of her own. However, things are never easy for Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. Her father has vanished, Sedna is out for revenge, her own actions have trapped the Theatre Illuminata, the only home she’s ever known, into a strange kind of limbo, and the stress of her in-between state is tearing apart the fragile threads of her mother’s sanity. Bertie’s best hope for salvaging the situation may lie in the summons by Her Gracious Majesty, Queen of the Distant Castle and hope of winning the magical boon given to the most pleasing performance. Bertie is caught between her growing responsibilities to home and family and the dream of flying free, just as her heart is torn between her two loves, Ariel and Nate. With so many forces pulling on her, how will Bertie be able to choose which wish to make come true?
Want to check out the other cover sneak peaks? You can follow the tour all week. And don't forge to check back Friday to see the full cover reveal-you won't want to miss it!
Monday 2/14 Fragment One
Tuesday 2/15 Fragment 2
Wednesday 2/16 Fragment 3
Thursday 2/17 Fragment 4
What do you think of the cover? Are you excited for So Silver Bright? And are you Team Ariel or Team Nate? (Go Team Nate!!)
Monday, February 14, 2011
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Release Date: 8/1/2010
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About the Book: In order to save their island schoolhouse, families on Bethsaida Island decide to take in foster children. Tess couldn't be more excited-she's hoping her new foster brother will be like Anne of Green Gables and love the island and her family and want to go out on the fishing boat with her. But when Aaron arrives the only thing he has in common with Anne is red hair. Aaron doesn't like the island, he knows nothing about fishing boats, and most days he just wants to be left alone.
But Tess knows a lot about wishing and maybe with more wishing things will turn out the way Tess had hoped.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was a big fan of Cynthia Lord's debut novel, Rules, so I had high hopes for Touch Blue. While I don't think it's as good as Rules, I still really enjoyed it and I think Ms. Lord is a fantastic storyteller.
I felt like Ms. Lord had looked into my childhood and wrote this book. I was never as superstitious as Tess, but I did my fair share of wishing and coming up with my own ways to figure out if something would work out the way I wanted. Tess's hopes for her foster brother are exactly what I had hoped for as a child. It wasn't until I was older that my family actually started doing foster care, but we talked about it frequently and her hopes of how her new family would be echoed mine own at that age.
Tess has a great voice and she's a humorous and wise narrator. I listended to this one on audio and there are times I think middle grade books can be hard to listen to because the narrator sounds too old for the character. But Erin Moon does a great job bringing Tess to life and her voice is perfect.
At first I felt like things would be a little too perfect and too sweet. But there are deeper issues explored and Aaron doesn't fall in love with his new family and there's an automatic happy story. While I think the story wraps up a little too nicely than I think might be realistic, it's still a great story of family, hope, and growing up.
Book Pairings: There was something about this one that reminded me of The Penderwicks-it has the same old fashioned feel to it I think and I think fans of that series will enjoy Touch Blue.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook from my local library
Saturday, February 12, 2011
My book boyfriend? Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss.
Take the quiz then come back and tell me who your book boyfriend is!
Or if your ideal book boyfriend isn't listed as one of the options in the quiz, who do wish would come on Valentine's Day and sweep you away? My biggest book boyfriend remains Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables-major swoon!!
Friday, February 11, 2011
-SyFy has a two part Treasure Island TV movie in the works. The cast includes Elijah Wood, Donald Sutherland and Eddie Izzard. The movie will air in 2012. It's got Eddie Izzard so of course I'll be watching! Thanks to Shelf-Awareness for the news!
-CBS Films aquired the rights to an upcoming YA release titled Legend by Marie Lu. The book will release in November and is the first of a trilogy. The story is set in the future with two warring nations and a Robin Hood-type character and the girl who his hired to take him down.
-CW picked up a pilot for L. J. Smith's The Secret Circle.
-Universal Pictures aquired the rights to Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why with Selena Gomez set to star. I don't really mind Selena Gomez and think she'll be OK for the role of Hanna Baker-I just wonder if the story will loose some of the power when in translates from book to screen. Thoughts??
-The trailer for X-Men First Class was released! I'm a little over all the franchises and sequels Hollywood keeps putting out, but I will say I'm kind of excited about this one. X-Men comics continue to be popular at my library so I'm sure a new X-Men movie will make them even more so.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Graphic Novel
Release Date: 8/6/2003
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About the Book: A memoir about teenage Craig, his first love, faith and art.
Sarah Teenlibrarian Says: Blankets is a book I would give someone who says that graphic novels are easy reads. The text and the pictures work together to tell the story and it's a great book to give someone who might typically shy away from graphic novels, since it's a contemporary memoir. At almost 600 pages, Blankets takes some time to read. Sure, it's a graphic novel, so it reads faster than a 600 page novel, but there are lots of details in the artwork that the reader wants to savor while reading.
Most of the story is about Craig's first love with a girl he meets at a winter church camp, but there are flashbacks to his childhood. Craig is struggling with his art and figuring out what to do after graduation. At camp he meets Raina and the two begin exchanging letters. Craig visits Raina and they spend two weeks together, falling in love, exploring the excitement and nervousness of first love and dealing with the impending end of childhood.
I was easily pulled into the story and read it in one sitting. Thompson's writing style is conversational and the story transports you back to when you were on the cusp of becoming an adult and your first love. I felt the ending was lacking a bit-I wanted a bit more resolution, but since this is a memoir, I'm willing to forgive that. Maybe the author hasn't come to any more resolutions or grand realizations so couldn't write about them.
A fantastic graphic novel!
Teen Appeal: Yes! Craig is around 17-18 for most of the book and the bulk of the story is about dealing with growing up-lots of appeal for older teens who are dreading what the end of high school might mean.
Book Pairings: Pair this one with David Small's Stitches for another graphic memoir
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from copy I checked out from my public library-go libraries!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Release Date: 3/22/2011
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About the Book: In the future, scientists have eliminated all disease thanks to the wonders of genetic engineering. But the downfall is that the offspring of those genetic engineered children now have a shorter lifespan-twenty years for women, twenty-five for me. Some still believe in a cure and will do anything they can to find one, including kidnapping and selling young girls into polygamist marriages.
Rhine is 16 and finds herself being taken to Housemaster Vaughn's household to be married off to his son, Linden. She refuses to accept this new role and is determined to find a way out. She begins to develop feelings for one of the household staff, Gabriel, and Rhine is convinced she and Gabriel can escape Housemaster Vaughn's clutches. But the world around Rhine is blurring and it's getting harder and harder to see what is real and what is a lie.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Wither was a book I wanted to devour in one sitting yet also read slowly so I could savor every word. Be prepared to hear a lot about this book-this one is going to be big and I think it has a great crossover adult appeal as well.
Although it's set in the future, life in Housemaster Vaughn's house almost has the feel of a period drama and I think it will appeal to readers of historical fiction as well as fans of dystopian novels. Like Rhine, we never know what really is happening-what is real and what is a lie. Housemaster Vaughn is up to something, but we don't know what and that mystery adds to the story. He claims he's trying to find a cure, but we get a very creepy vibe from him and we never really know exactly what to think. Our vision of the world around Rhine blurs right along with her. Who can Rhine really trust? What's really going on in the house? Is Linden good or bad? Should she really try to escape or should she stay in the safe comforts of the house-it's not really that bad...or is it? The author keeps the reader guessing just as much as Rhine and it makes for a delicious and quietly suspenseful read.
The characters are all fantastic-not only do we get to know Rhine, but we really get to know and care for her sister wives, Cecily and Jenna. Cecily, Rhine and Jenna balance each other out nicely. Cecily, the youngest, is a spoiled brat who takes pleasure in being a wife and can't wait to bear children. She doesn't understand the horrors of the real world. Jenna has had a hard life and is ready to die and won't share any of her life with Linden. And Rhine is caught in the middle-she wants to escape and return to her brother, but the life she was living was nowhere as luxurious as the one she has now. Should she really give it up?
The author has a fantastic balance of telling and showing. She tells us that Rhine is spending time with our cast of characters and then she also gives us a glimpse into a conversation with them. This balance made the romance as well as the friendships between the sister wives more real.
And the romance-love it! The author has this great way of making us unsure of who we like, who we trust, and if someone is good or bad. It's never sappy or over the top, but instead she keeps us guessing along with Rhine as to what really is going on and what exactly her feelings are.
This is a first in a trilogy, yet Wither wraps up nicely enough to not leave me hanging with a horrible cliffhanger. There are still questions left unanswered and I want to know more, but I also felt satisfied with the ending.
Wither had me thinking about it long after I finished. I've been raving about it since and telling my friends and co-workers to read it. Even if you're not typically a fan of dystopian novels, I would suggest giving this one a try. It's a somewhat quiet dystopian with just the right amount of romance, suspense, mystery, and overall could this happen creepiness to make Wither stand out in the crowded dystopian field. I think it's safe to say it's one of my favorite reads of 2011. A great debut-I can't wait to read more!
Book Pairings: I think this will hold a lot of appeal for historical fiction fans, so I would pair it with The Luxe by Ana Godbersen or A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee. It also reminds me a bit of Beauty and the Beast, and could pair nicely with Beauty and Beast retellings. It could also pair well with Delirium by Lauren Oliver, another quiet dystopian with romance.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale
Release Date: 2/1/2011
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About the Book: (from book) Twelve-year-old Lilia is not a very good servant. She daydreams, she breaks dishes, and her cooking is awful! Still, she hardly deserves to be sold off to the mean-spirited miller and his family. Lilia refuses to accept that dreadful fate, and with her best friend Kai and his sister Karina beside her, she heads north to find the family she's never known. But danger awaits. . . .
As their quest leads the threesome through the mysterious and sinister Bitra Forest, they suddenly realize they are lost in the elves' domain. To Lilia's horror, Kai falls under an enchantment cast by the Elf-King's beautiful daughter. The only way for Lilia to break the spell and save Kai is to find a jewel of ancient power that lies somewhere in the North Kingdoms. Yet the jewel will not be easy to find. The castle where it is hidden has been overrun with princess hopefuls trying to pass a magical test that will determine the prince's new bride. Lilia has only a few days to search every inch of the castle and find the jewel—or Kai will be lost to her forever.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: If your tween (or even teen) readers are anything like the ones I know at my library, fairy tales always go over well. A True Princess has it's roots in The Princess and the Pea, but that's only part of the story and the plot stands firmly on its own.
Lilia is searching for her family but also searching for a way to rescue Kai. These stories weave together nicely and have a very fairy tale feel to them. While the story might be a bit predictable, especially for older readers, it's still a lot of fun to read and there are plenty of twists and turns that may surprise some readers.
Lilia is a very likeable character. She's loyal to her friends, she stands up for what she believes and she shows a lot of courage. She's a great fairy tale heroine who kicks a little butt! But it's not just Lilia who is likeable-the secondary characters are all well drawn and you really like the whole cast of characters. There is a bit of romance in this one, but it's all very sweet and tween friendly. There's also plenty of humor. Each chapter starts with a phrase from a booklet entitled "How To Tell A True Princess" and include things like "A True Princess Does Not Gossip" and it's fun to see how Lilia proves each chapter heading wrong!
This is a perfect read for tweens who want a light fairy tale, especially if those readers are fans of Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine.
Book Pairings: Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
About the Author:
Diane Zahler, author of A True Princess, has loved tales of fairies and magic since before she was old enough to read. She has worked in the children’s room at a public library, in children’s book publishing, and as an elementary and high school textbook writer. The Thirteenth Princess, her first novel for young readers, was published in 2010. She lives with her husband and dog in an old farmhouse in the Harlem Valley that is held together with duct tape and magic spells. Diane’s website is: http://www.dianezahler.com/.
Ms. Zahler will be stopping by the blog today to answer readers questions in the comments below-so ask away!!
Be sure to follow the tour to the next stop, Mother Daughter Book Club and There's a Book. The full tour schedule can be found here.
Monday, February 7, 2011
About the Book: When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast.
That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth—that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real.
Release Date: 1/4/2011
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About the Book: Alice Amorous is the daughter of the Queen of Romance, so she knows a lot about romance, even if she's never really had a boyfriend. Everyone is waiting for the Queen's next novel, but the Queen is actually away in a hospital dealing with a mental illness, a secret that Alice is trying to keep from the public. When Heartstrings publisher's writes that the latest book is due-or else, Alice knows she has to deliver something.
While at a book signing for her mother, Alice meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid. He tells Alice he has the ultimate love story to tell and that he needs her to write it. Could this be the story she's been looking for? And is Errol really the god of love or is Alice going crazy?
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was drawn to this book because of the Cupid storyline. It reminded me a bit of the TV Show Cupid, which I watched in high school and loved.
While there is a plot with Cupid, this is more about Alice growing more confidant and learning she doesn't have to hide her mother's illness. A good portion of the book is about Alice's mother and her bipolar disorder and Alice learning how to live with it and realizing she can't always fix everything. I think this issue was handled well and it might appeal to readers who typically shy away from issue-driven novels since it's woven in with other plots.
I did feel that there was too much happening at times in the plot and that prevented things from really flowing. There were pieces that I felt just didn't fit or weren't as developed. I wanted more with Alice and her possible new love interest, Tony. I also wanted more with Errol and about Cupid's story since the parts that were there I really enjoyed. I did enjoy some of minor characters like Mrs. Bobot and Archibald-they were well done and fun to read.
Overall, it was an OK read. I think it would be a good pick for readers who might want romance, but don't like the typical gushy romance or readers who want a contemporary issue novel that's a bit lighter than the usual fare.
Book Pairings: Cupid by Julius Lester (for another take on Cupid and Psyche), A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler (grittier than this book, but a good pairing for another take on a teen dealing with a mentally ill parent and wondering if they have mental illness too)
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC picked up at ALA
Friday, February 4, 2011
-The Brother's Grimm are taking over Hollywood!
-First there's the Catherine Hardwicke directed Red Riding Hood out in March. Next we have two Snow White movies in the works-the first of which has offered the title role to Kristin Stewart for Snow White and the Huntsman, as well as Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron in final talks to play the hunter and the evil queen.
-The next Snow White movie, titled The Brothers Grimm: Snow White (I know, so creative!) reportedly is courting Julia Roberts for the role of the evil queen.
-But that's not all! NBC has picked up a pilot for a show called Grimm, describe by Deadline as "a dark but fantastical cop drama about a world in which characters inspired by Grimm's Fairy Tales exist." The people behind it are Angel co-creator David Greenwalt and Angel writer Jim Kouf. I'll try not to get too excited, but I'm hoping this could be good.
-AND on top of all that, ABC ordered a pilot for a series titled Once Upon a Time, which has contemporary re-tellings of fairy tales. Thansk to Cynopsis for the news.
-And it's not just The Brother's Grimm that are getting a makeover! Summit Entertainment picked up the rights to Kenneth Oppel's upcoming Frankenstein prequel, This Dark Endeavour. There was some buzz about this book at ALA and I can't wait to read it-and it sounds perfect for a movie!
-Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has found it's president. Benjamin Walker has signed on to play the title role.
-ABC Family picked up The Nine Lives of Chloe King, a TV series based on the book series by Celia Thomson. The series is set to premiere later this year. Thanks to Cynopsis for the news!
-OK, I know this isn't really based on any YA books, but I thought these pilot pick ups from The CW were interesting:
Awakening is a zombie spec script picked up The CW last week about two bickering sisters amidst a zombie uprising.
Heavenly from Rickard Hatem, co-producer of Supernatural is about a young female attorney and a former angel, Dashiel Coffee, who just became human. The two work on cases together as she saves the clients and he saves their souls.
I think we can start calling The CW the YA paranormal network, don't you think? Thanks to Cynopsis for the news!
Of course, with all this talk about fairy tales, I gotta give a shout out to Beastly, which is out in March!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Release Date: 10/12/2010
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About the Book: Vera Dietz just wants to be ignored. She's been secretly in love with her best friend Charlie Kahn for years, but now Charlie is dead and Vera knows the truth about the night he died. Vera and Charlie had been best friends until Charlie started hanging out with evil Jenny Flick and starting changing. But now Vera is haunted by images of Charlie and she holds to key to clearing his name-but is Vera ready to forgive Charlie?
Sarah Teenlibrarian Says: OK, my synopsis of this book is terrible because there is so much to this book. I am so thrilled that it won a Printz honor because I think the Printz committee really got it right with Please Ignore Vera Dietz. It has literary merit and I think it has great teen appeal, which don't always combine with award winners.
The story is told in alternating voices as well as timelines. We get the present as well the past so we get to see Vera and Charlie's relationship develop and then fall apart. We get a glimpse into what exactly happened. And it's not just Vera that tells the story-Vera's father, Charlie, and the town Pagoda (yes, a talking Pagoda) all help fill in the story. Vera is a darkly comic narrator and even though she may not think she's cool, I thought she was awesome.
The book is mostly about Vera and Charlie and their friendship, but it also is about Vera's relationship with her father. I love the father/daughter relationship in this book-in some ways it reminded me of Veronica and Keith Mars, one of my all time favorite father/daughter relationships. Vera talks to her dad, but they're not so perfect and she still gets upset with him. But it not just Vera who grows throughout the novel, her father grows as well which I think made the book stand out.
Even though Charlie isn't in the story in present day, we really get to know him through Vera's flashbacks. We see what it was that Vera saw in him and how he broke her heart and tore their friendship apart.
There's a bit of a mystery about what really happened to Charlie and what secrets Vera knows, but the story is more than that and I almost hesitate to even call it a mystery (even though it was nominated for an Edgar Award). This is a story of growing up, moving on and redemption.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
-Be sure to follow Elizabeth @ElizEulberg and Tirzah @compelledtoread before the party!
-Join the fun! No one expects you or your tweets to be perfect; we’re just happy you made it to the party!
-Watch for giveaways from @compelledtoread and win fun prizes!
-To join the party, you can use a free service like TweetChat or TweetGrid or just search #PromAndPrejudice on Twitter.
-Ask Elizabeth questions or chat with other partygoers—just use the tag #PromAndPrejudice in all of your party tweets!
-Please don’t post any spoilers and don’t forget to pay attention to the time zones, the party starts at 8:00pm EST.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Release Date: 9/6/2010
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About the Book: What happens at night? 12 poems explore animals and plant and their nighttime activities.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: This book wasn't even on my radar until it won a Newbery Honor and I'm glad it won which forced me to pick it up and read it.
I'll admit I'm not the biggest fan of poetry, but Ms. Sidman's poems are very enjoyable. She has a very lyrical style and I can easily see this poems being read aloud to all ages. The illustrations are detailed and done in a linoleum-block printmaking technique that stands out. It gives the illustrations a dark, atmospheric feel and you feel as though you are in the woods with the animals.
I liked that not only are there poems about animals, but the moon, trees, and plants. Accompanying each poem are short factual paragraphs about the subject of each poem. The information is never overwhelming and the author never talks down to the reader.
I would recommend to all ages and for readers of poetry and non-fiction. After devouring this collection of poems, I think it is very deserving on a Newbery Honor!