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 Random.org

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!

www.thereaderbee.com
www.proudbooknerd.com
chickloveslit.com
booktwirps.com
www.pureimaginationblog.com
 http://www.hookedtobooks.com
www.readingvacation.net/2011/10/liesl-and-po-book-review.html
www.starryskybooks.com
www.stuckinbooks.com

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

Add to Goodreads

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

YA Movie News

-Big news this week about The Hunger Games movie! The trailer for the movie will air on Monday's (11/14) Good Morning America, so set those DVRs!

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two is on sale today. Be sure to get your copy because Warner Brothers will stop selling the films in December.

-MGM has acquired the rights to a live action film version of the popular Where's Waldo books. Not sure what I think, but Waldo remains popular at my library, so I'm sure the tweens would love it! Thanks to Cynopsis Kids for the news.

-There are rumors about an upcoming Carmen Sandiego movie! Walden Media has acquired the rights to the film and Jennifer Lopez is producing and possibly starring in the film. I'm OK with this as long as Rockapella get to do the soundtrack! Thanks to Entertainment Weekly for the news.

-Snow White and The Huntsman has a trailer out. Of the two upcoming Snow White films, this one is the dark, action packed one. The trailer has me interested!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Support Hold Still

Oh, Missouri. When will you stop banning books? Today I found out that the novel Hold Still by Nina LaCour is being challenged by parents in Blue Springs Missouri. The book has been removed from the school, despite only having a verbal complaint, and is being challenged for language and eight other books on the list are being challenged for "vulgarity and acts of sex, incest and homosexuality." This banning hurts for several reasons-I hate when books are challenged and banned and this is happening in the state I live in.

But this banning is very personal to me because Hold Still is on the Gateway Reader's Award List for 2011-2012 and I was part of the committee that voted on that list. The Gateway booklist is compiled by Missouri Librarians for high school students to read. If students read four or more titles in the year, they can vote on the list and choose which book they think is the best book that year. The goals of the Gateway Award are simple:
  1. To encourage Missouri young adults in grades nine through twelve to select and read quality literature that appeals to their needs, interests and reading levels.
  2. To recognize and honor outstanding works in young adult literature.
  3. To develop a cooperative relationship among schools, libraries and teens.
  4. To encourage the development of school and public library services to teens.
The Gateway Committee reads and nominates titles throughout the year. There are lots of nominations and two meetings during the nomination process. In August, the committee meets to vote and narrow down the master list of nominees to a list of 25 preliminary titles. Those preliminary titles are then sent to reader selectors, a group of readers that include teachers, librarians, parents and most importantly, teens themselves. In December the reader selectors send in their votes and rankings and the master list is compiled. The teen votes matter and this a teen choice award. Last year's Gateway list had 112,000 votes were cast by students for their favorite titles.

I read Hold Still and felt that it deserved a place on the list. So did the other committee members, reader selectors and teens. In my review of Hold Still, I commented that

"Suicide books can be hard to get right-you don't want them too angsty and angry or too mushy and preachy and I think the author had a nice balance here....Overall this is a beautifully written book about healing and I really hope it makes the list."

One of the points of criteria for the Gateway Award is that "Books should be of literary value which may enrich teenagers' personal lives." Hold Still is a touching novel about grief, friendship, depression, and recovering from loss. Sadly, many teens have to deal with these issues and I found Hold Still to have a hope that it gets better and that you can get through depressing times in life, no matter how hard it may seem at the time.

Is every book on the list going to be for every reader? No. That's why the final list has 15 titles-to give teens a variety of books to choose from. The list is put together by a committee of professional librarians and then given to teen reader selectors for their input before the final list is made. Teens voted on Hold Still, as well as the other titles on the list, and chose what they felt were the books that should make up the final list of 15. I believe that Hold Still deserves a place on the list and I support Hold Still.

Update: The other eight titles they have flagged on the list are:

Fat Cat by Robin Brande
The Morgue and Me by John C. Ford
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
King of the Screwups by K.L. Going
Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Food, Girls and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Judge A Book By It's Cover

I love book covers and the more time I spend browsing books, the more I notice what appeals to me in a cover. There are lots of cover changes that happen-some for the better, some for the worst. And every once in awhile there are cover changes that make the book change for a book I wasn't interested to into a book I want to pick up and read right now! Nothing has changed, it's the same story, same writing, but the cover markets to me in a different way and now I'm interested. Here are some of my recently judged books:
First up, Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan:

-The hardcover is OK, but it doesn't stand out to me at all. There's nothing about this cover that makes me want to pick the book or know more about the story. It's easily forgettable. But the paperback is more interesting:


-To me, this cover has more intrigue. I want to know about the story inside-it looks a bit mysterious and dark and I want to pick it up.

-This cover just bores me. There isn't anything about it that makes it interesting. I really don't like the splattering of purple-it looks off and looks like someone spilled something on the book instead of really making a statement about the contents inside. Here's the paperback:

-I'm still not in love with the cover, but this looks cleaner to me. I also feel like this cover reflects the darkness and the sadness of the book and makes me a bit more interested than the first cover.

Sometimes a reissue of a cover can really save a book! 



-I'll admit, as far as 80's/90's book covers go, this one isn't bad. It's not great, but it's not terrible 80's either. But I would still have a hard time selling this books to teens with this outdated cover on it. It looks OK, but nothing special. So I was thrilled when I saw that the book is being reissued with this new cover:

-Mystery, suspense, and maybe some romance is what this cover says to me. I could see this book flying off my library shelf, especially for fans of historical fiction and readers who enjoyed The Luxe series. I think the black and white cover looks sleek and it makes me want to read this book now!

Another cover issue that I think is my favorite:

Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman

-This cover is such a stereotypical, unfortunate science fiction cover. It's like the publisher really wanted you to get that it's in the future and there might be some sort of formula and maybe some time travel. It's weird, it's boring and it makes the book look much more dated than it is (it was published in 2002, but the cover seems much older to me). But the cover reissue looks much better:

-I really like this cover! It's bright and colorful without having too much going on. I also think it gives a science fiction feel without using the steroetypes of the hardcover. There's something about it I find striking and I'm interested in knowing more.


So what do you think? Do these cover makeovers make you interested in the books? Any other cover makeovers that have made you go from not caring to adding the book to your wish list?






Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tween Tuesday: The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander

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: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Mystery

Release Date: 2/8/2011

About the Book: Need some advice or help? Need protection from a bully? Visit the fourth stall, where Mac and Vince can offer their advice and assistance-for a fee, of course. Mac can solve problems and Vince is a whiz with money. Both boys are huge Chicago Cubs fans and they're saving up to see the Cubs in the World Series. When an older kid threatens the middle schoolers to pay up on their sports gambling debts, Mac and Vince are in for their biggest assignment yet.


GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: The Fourth Stall is a funny noir-style tale of good guys and bad guys set in middle school. There is a memorable cast of characters, especially the various bullies that Mac and Vince use for favors in their buisness. While some of the storyline is over the top, the book is a lot of fun. The boys friendship and middle school politics ring true.

The mystery is great and offers a few twists in the story to keep readers guessing. There is lots of humor and the book should appeal to readers of the Wimpy Kid books. I listened to the audiobook version which was very entertaining and I would recommend the book on audio as well. If you have mystery  fans at your library, be sure to introduce them to this one. There's a sequel coming next year as well, so Mac and Vince's adventures aren't over just yet!

Cover Comments: I really love the cover, but I wonder if tweens will get the reference to The Godfather. Even if they don't, I think the cover is funny and I think tweens will like it.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook purchased from Audible and finished copy sent from publisher

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why I Think Books Will Last

Whenever I meet someone new and tell them I'm a librarian, it seems they always ask the same thing-"what do you think of ebooks?" It's like they think I'm going to tell them ebooks are evil and going to be the end of the world and we should stick to paper. When I mention that I own an ereader (I own three actually) they seem a little surprised, like a librarian can't embrace new technology. Which really, is the silliest thing-ebooks are not an enemy to the library, but another service the library offers.

I like my ereader. (Ok, mostly I like reading on an ereader because it makes me feel like I'm on Star Trek and I'll admit that that's the real reason I wanted one.) But there are things I've noticed about ereaders that make me stop and say "this is why books will last!" I can like ereaders, but I still see lots of problems with them. Granted, these might be somewhat device specific, but I think most ereaders have the same problems. Most of my ereader experience has been with the Sony Pocket Reader (in pink of course), but I've also read on the Kobo (the discounted Borders price appealed to me under the guise of "it's a gift for Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan!), and most recently the Nook Simple Touch.
  • I like to end reading on a chapter. I also like to flip and see how many pages I have left in a chapter to see how much I can keep reading before I really need to go to bed (or go to work, clean the house, make dinner-all that stuff that I have to do instead of read). But with an ereader, I can't do this. I have no way of knowing how many pages are left in a chapter. I know how many pages are left in the book, but that doesn't help when I say "just one more chapter" and the chapter ends up being 50 pages longer than I wanted to read!
  • I can't flip between pages easily. I like to go back and look at things as I'm reading-was that the character mentioned earlier, how old was that person, what was the name of that thing again, etc. You can do this with ereaders but it makes it harder to flip pages. I can't as easily flip several pages to check something and flip back. Instead, I have to press buttons and it takes me a much longer time. I could go back to the table of contents (if there is one for that book, which many times on the egalleys I've read are not offered) and possibly search by chapter, but it's still a multi-step process. It's a lot more time intensive. Same thing if you're a reader who likes to flip to the end of the book to make sure things will turn out OK. I'm not a reader who does this, but I know readers who do, and this becomes much more difficult to do with a ebook.

  • When I was reading on my Sony one day my dog jumped onto my lap and somehow pressed a button with his paw that sent my book back to page one. That book was one of the aforementioned egalleys with no chapters. Since I had been knocked back the beginning and my ereader bookmarks the last page I was on, I had to slowly page my way page by page back to page 283. This was very annoying and time consuming!

  • Formatting can be off. This is a problem with reading with different text sizes. I really love having the option to change the text size, but it can be annoying when I read a full page of text and then turn to page only to find one or two words or lines left because my text size didn't leave enough room. I noticed that with the Kobo when I was trying to read egalleys I had to page left and right (that didn't last long-I gave up and read a print book instead). I've also noticed that words will be formatted strangely. This might be more in egalleys, so if anyone's noticed it in ebooks too, I'd love to know. I was reading an egalley the other day and noticed that words would be broken up like: fan tastic or be cause. Or the word would start on one line and be spaced down to the next with no hyphen. And this happened a lot! It slowed down my reading because I would have to stop and rethink the words.

  • I'll admit it-I'm a book eavesdropper. If you're reading a book around me, I'm going to try and figure out what you're reading. I can't help it-I love sharing books and there's nothing better than seeing someone read a book you loved and saying "isn't that book great!" You loose that with ereaders and instead reading become a more solitary act. By hiding what you're reading, you loose the camaraderie that comes with finding other readers who enjoy what you do. Ereaders make reading a lone act that others can't share in as easily.

  • Along with that, I loved what Elizabeth Bluemie talks about in her post "Is the Personal Library Doomed?" How many times do you go to friends houses and check out their bookcases? We were recently at a Halloween party of some newer acquaintances that hopefully will become closer friends.  After seeing their bookshelf full of similar reading tastes, Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan turned to me and said, "I think we will be great friends!" to which I wholeheartdly agreed. Anyone who owns Harry Potter and Neil Gaiman's books are sure to be good friends of ours!

  • Similarly, you don't get to see what books are loved and what books are favorites. Sure, you can browse through someone's ereader and see what books they own or have been reading, but you can't see the wear and tear, notes, dog-eared (gasp!) pages, and worn covers that show the book has been read and loved over and over. There's nothing better than reading an old friend who shows the signs of being an old friend. I also love sharing books with my friends and I love when they browse my bookshelves and ask if they can borrow a book. You can still lend people books on ereaders, but I think it looses some of the magic when it's done electronically.

  • You can't read ebooks in the bathtub. OK, you could, but it's not as easy you probably wouldn't want to risk it. Ereaders can break-and somewhat easily too! My Sony started freezing up on me and I'd have to reset the whole thing just to get back to the book I was reading. When I was trying to fix it one day after it froze yet again, it dropped off my desk and the screen cracked, distorting the text-so goodbye ereader. My Nook so far is good, but it's had some freezing problems to with the page turning as well. Ereaders aren't designed to last long and this can make them very frustrating to read on when they are dying.
Don't get me wrong-I do enjoy my ereader. They are handy to have, especially when traveling since I'm the type of person that can't travel with just one book. But I think they are a nice accessory to reading and not the forever future of reading. For that I'll always take a printed book.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

The holidays are coming and there's nothing that I love more than giving books as gifts! Which is one of the reasons I love participating in the Book Blogger Holiday Swap every year. It's a great way to share the gift of reading with other bookworms like yourself! And it's fun to have a Secret Santa out there in the blogging world. Both years I've participated, I've been introduced to blogs that were new to me through my Santa. It's a fun and easy gift exchange and I hope you take part! But you have to hurry-sign ups for the swap close on Friday, November 11!

Friday, November 4, 2011

YA Movie News

-The cast of The Hunger Games posed for a photo with Vanity Fair. The article featured a great photo slideshow of Katniss, Peeta and Gale, (Peeta is just so cute-love him!!) as well as an interview with Jennifer Lawrence


-Gotham Group has acquired the rights to the novel Where Things Come Back by Cory Whaley. My friend Heather read this book and loved it, so I can't wait to read it!

-Publishers Weekly reported  that Davis Films has acquired the rights to P.C. and Kristin Cast's mega-popular vampire series House of Night
-J.K. Rowling revealed this week that she nearly killed off Ron Weasley! I'm so glad she didn't-he's one of my favorite characters!

-Once Upon a Time has been given a full season order from ABC. I like the show, but Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I both wonder how they'll continue the story past a season. I also really liked the premiere of Grimm and loved that the aunt was a librarian!:) Did you watch either one?

-If you're hooked on Pretty Little Liars, good news! Pretty Little Liars will return on January 2 followed by The Lying Game on ABC Family. 

-Lots of Hunger Games news from Cynopsis Kids:
Scholastic unveils plans to publish a fourth movie tie-in title for The Hunger Games movie, which opens in theaters March 23, 2012. The newest title, The Hunger Games Tribute Guide, a guide to the 24 Tributes featured in movie, will release on February 7, 2012, the same day as two other previously announced tie-in titles, The Hunger Games: Movie Tie-In Edition and The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie        Companion.  Another already announced tie-in title, The World of The Hunger Games, will be released simultaneously with the movie.Additionally, a special gift edition of The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games Collector's Edition, featuring a foil slipcase and new Mockingjay artwork, cloth cover, and deckled edges, releases this month.  The Hunger Games is the first book in the young adult The Hunger Games trilogy created by author and TV writer Suzanne Collins.
 


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Interview with Jaclyn Dolamore

Please welcome author Jaclyn Dolamore to GreenBeanTeenQueen! I was a big fan of Jackie's debut, Magic Under Glass, so I was thrilled to get the chance to talk to her about her new book, Between the Sea and Sky. I feel like I've been waiting for this book forever. I first found out about it at an ALA dinner where Jackie showed off the cover (which is gorgeous, don't you think?) Since then I've been super excited to read her take on mermaids! So here's what Jackie has to share about her new book and her inspiration:
GBTQ: It seems as though mermaid fiction is becoming more popular in YA. What do think the appeal of mermaids is?

JD: I can't speak for everyone. I know there is just some general paranormal creature chasing going on, and Stephenie Meyer said she was going to do mermaids, although I was working on mine before I heard about that and I suspect a lot of these other mermaid-book authors may have been too. For me, the appeal of mermaids is the yearning. Mermaids are so often yearning for this land world that they can't have--at least, not without paying a price. I think everyone yearns for a different world sometimes, and it can feel impossible to get there, so I identify with the plight of the Little Mermaid in her various incarnations. But there is also a dark, mysterious side to mermaids, associated with the ocean that can be either beautiful or violent, and that is fun to explore too, although this book didn't really go the dark direction.

GBTQ:I've never thought about mermaids having that pull between different worlds, but I think it makes them appealing to read about. Your books have a classic, fairy tale feel to them, which I love. Are there any myths/fairy tales/legends that help shape the inspiration for Between the Sea and Sky?

JD: The Little Mermaid, of course, and various British Isles legends of mermaids and selkies who have a magical item that a man can steal to make the mermaid his bride. Part of my plot came from trying to work out why they would have this thing a man could steal. Surely they weren't BORN with a magical comb/belt/cape/cap? So it must have been created at some point, but why would they create an object that they can then be bound to?

GBTQ: I've read in previous interviews that you're a sucker for star-crossed romances, which makes sense since you write about them! Who are some of your favorite star-crossed pairings?

JD: Well, the first starcrossed romance I ever got really obsessed with was in the book Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony. Jonathan the Zombie Master was this dourly handsome isolated guy who had a magical talent for making kind of sad, friendly zombies who would serve him. He wasn't very popular because of this so he lived alone with his zombies and no one loved him! This girl finally comes along and isn't afraid of him or his zombies but she gets killed and becomes a ghost, so he actually turns HIMSELF into a sad zombie so he can be with her forever. My ten-year-old heart broke over the tragedy that this powerful, handsome sorcerer would turn himself into a shambling, rotting zombie just to be with the girl he loves. (It does end okay, eventually.)

(GBTQ: I want to find that book and read it now!)

JD: I went through the book with a highlighter so I could just reread the good parts over and over. Reading it later, it isn't quite the same--the girl, for one, is a typical Piers Anthony girl, not much to her besides a lot of talk about her great body--but I guess it set a precedent for how much I like really weird romances. Also, I was born in the 80s and some of my favorite movies were Splash and Mannequin. In the 80s it was, apparently, fine to fall in love with mannequins and robots, which explains a lot about my brain.

GBTQ: Oh yes, I watched Splash a bunch too-made me want to be a mermaid!
 Between the Sea and Sky is a stand alone, whereas your previous book, Magic Under Glass, is part of a series. Was it easier to write a stand alone novel?


JD: Well, funny enough, Magic Under Glass actually was a standalone, until my editor asked me to open up the ending for a sequel. So, it was about the same while writing! That also made it a little painful when people would gripe about the ending to Magic Under Glass, but, it meant I got to write Magic Under Stone, which I LOVED writing, so I'm happy it worked out that way.

 GBTQ:I'm really glad we get a sequel! OK, now for some fun questions!

Favorite Disney movie?

JD: Robin Hood all the way. I'm not usually much for the furries, but, he is a foxy fox. And that "Love Goes On and On" song gets me every time...

GBTQ: Agreed! Robin Hood is awesome, even as a fox! What would the theme song be for Between the Sea and Sky?

JD: "Tu ch'hai le penne, amore" sung by Cecilia Bertoli. I was listening to her CD of Italian opera while writing and I already really liked the song, and then I found the translation is "You who have wings, love".

 GBTQ: If you could live in any fairy tale, which one would you choose?

JD:Fairy tale characters really don't have the best lives. It's all dead mothers and curses and noble suffering. I can't think of any I'd actually want to sign up for!

GBTQ: So true-fairy tales have a tough life! What do you think would be the best part of being a mermaid?

JD: Being able to maneuver so swiftly and well in the water...it would be almost like flying! And then to see some of the ocean's beautiful places without having to worry about how to breathe.

Thanks so much for visiting the blog! Be sure to check out Between the Sea and Sky!

Blog Tour: Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy/Historical/Mermaids

Release Date: 10/25/2011

Add to Goodreads
About the Book: When Esmerine is named a siren, she is excited to share siren duties with her older sister Dosia. But when Dosia disappears from the sea and rumor has it a human has kidnapped her siren belt, Esmerine knows she must try and save her sister. Esmerine transforms her tail into legs, a painful process for a mermaid, and sets off to find her sister. While on land, Esmerine reconnects with her childhood friend and winged person, Alandare, and the two join together to find Dosia. During her search, Esmerine finds herself conflicted about where she truly belongs-in the sea as a siren or on land with Alan?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Between the Sea and Sky is an enchanting tale from the magical world of Jaclyn Dolamore. I really think she has one of the best imaginations! Never have I thought before that winged boys could be cute or that mermaids could wander both the sea and land because that's part of what mermaids can do.

Esmerine is a character I liked right away. She was smart and funny and she loved books, so of course I had to like her after that! She feels loyalty to her family, but she also misses her time spent on land playing with her friend Alandare as a child. I think what I liked most about the mermaid world here was that mermaid's could transform their tails into legs without any magic or curse, but instead it was just part of their natural abilities. Of course, there was pain and discomfort that came from that, but that made the mermaids even more interesting to me. They weren't trapped in the sea but could go anywhere, although there may be a price. I thought this made for an interesting conflict for Esmerine. She wanted to visit the land, not because of a boy, but because of her own curiosity but at the same time, the sea was home.

When Esmerine first met up with Alan, I thought he was a bit stuffy. But I grew to like him just as Esmerine does and their romance is sweet. They are very much star-crossed lovers-Esmerine can't stay on land and Alan can't go to the sea. I thought this played out well without being overly angsty or dramatic. Both Esmerine and Alan are smart and know they can't be together and they try to handle that in their own way. They're never whiny, but instead they are very logical which I really liked. For me, that made them more real.

The book has a nice historical fantasy and fairy tale feel to it. The world Jaclyn Dolamore creates is a wondrous one with lots of interesting characters. I really liked that this was a unique take on mermaids and really, who would have thought winged boys could be so cute?? I think I have a new fascination with winged boys thanks to Jaclyn Dolamore!! Readers who enjoy fairy tales and star-crossed romances will love Between the Sea and Sky.

Book Pairings: Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie, Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs, Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin (this is middle grade, but it's one of my favorites and has winged cats! This book made me think about it all over again!:)

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from e-galley recieved from publisher
 
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