Sunday, September 28, 2008

Things That Are

I always thought that it would be really awesome to be invisible. No rules, no restricitons. I could do anything I wanted. Until I read Things Not Seen.

In Things Not Seen, Bobby, an ordinary high school boy, wakes up one morning invisible. At first it seems great - he can do anything he wants. But as he starts to realize that his invisibility makes it impossible to have friends or do anything normal, because telling anyone puts him at the mercy of the government as a lab rat, he begins to feel completely alone. That is, until he meets Alicia, a blind girl who feels invisible herself.

In the second book, Things Hoped For, Bobby meets a girl named Gwen who is searching for her missing grandfather.

And after the oh so long wait (I'm so excited), Things That Are is finally out. Bobby's back from his trip, and he and Alicia now have to deal with an increasing government threat and a mysterious and pretty creepy man named William, not to mention their parents and their almost-relationship.

This series is by Andrew Clements (the author of Frindle, The Report Card, A Week in the Woods, and oh so many more), so of course it has that sweetly sarcastic sense of humor that so many of us have fallen in love with. I want to be Alicia. Her comebacks are BRILLIANT. The books also make you think about what it means to be invisible, and about what real friendship is.

Funny, interesting, exciting, and different. Things That Are is so worth the wait.

P.S. If you've read all three, let me know which one you liked best. We have a bit of a debate going, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thoughts on other Andrew Clements books are welcome too!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Win a T Shirt!

Our first competition!

Yes, we have a fabulous Gallagher Girls t shirt to give away.

If you were at our Ally Carter event you will remember that she gave away one of her t shirts. And I have another one to give away (and oh, I so wanted to keep it!).

Here's all you have to do. I'm going to give it to the person who posts the most on the blog. That's it. Post a comment on our book reviews or events, tell us what you are reading, what you want to read, which event you can't wait to attend, or who you would like us to interview. Easy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Paper Towns by John Green

I am such a fan of John Green's work so I started Paper Towns with very high expectations. And it lived up to every one of them (sigh).

Take two high school seniors--Quentin Jacobsen, who hangs out with the school band, and plays video games with his friends, and Margo Roth Spiegelman, the beautiful, popular girl next door, whose crazy antics are legendary. They used to be friends but now inhabit different worlds--until Margo climbs into Quentin’s window one night dressed in black and asks him to join her on an adventure. And what an adventure it is, involving dead fish, paint, and breaking into Sea World! But when he gets to school the next day Margo has disappeared. And Quentin becomes obsessed with finding her.

With his friends, Quentin follows the meandering complicated trail of clues Margo left behind her--through Walt Whitman’s poetry, Woody Guthrie’s music, and maps of paper towns, all the while thinking about friendship and how little we really know the people around us. The closer he seems to get, the more elusive Margo seems, but Quentin really doesn’t care about prom, about finals, he just wants to find out what has happened to Margo. And, of course, so did I. I was spellbound until the end.

Paper Towns is out October 16th—-you’ll have time to read it before John Green comes to Kepler’s on the 29th to talk about it. I can’t wait.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Justine Larbalestier

On Wednesday we were so very fortunate to host Justine Larbalestier on her school visits. If you haven't read her wonderful Magic or Madness trilogy you should try them. In Magic or Madness 15-year-old Reason's life has just been turned upside down. She's been on the run with her mother all her life, running from her grandmother who believes in and practices magic. Her mother tells tales of animal sacrifices, dark rites, where no one is safe. But when her mother ends up in a mental hospital Reason is sent to live with that very same grandmother in Sydney. What is she to do? She tries not to eat there, not to talk to her grandmother, and then one day she walks through the back door and finds herself in New York City! So, can she continue to believe there is no such thing as magic? And if not, then why did her mother lie to her? Is she magic herself and, if so, what is her magic? And does she really have no choice between magic and madness? This is a beautifully written book, compulsive, and multi-layered. Written in several voices, it's very believable, with strong characters, tough choices, and a glossary of Australian terms for those of us who need it!

Justine is on tour to promote her new book, How to Ditch Your Fairy--about fairies, friendship, and how to make your own magic. Read our interview with her here to find out about her newest projects, what she's reading and recommending to read, what fairy she would choose for herself, and whether she would consider collaborating on a book with Scott.

Tell me, if you had the choice, which fairy would you choose for yourself?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Play Me by Laura Ruby

A great book, but be advised: sexual content and mature themes

This book surprised me. I thought I would not very much like a book about a self-absorbed guy, who although so very talented, treated girls as casual entertainment. I did not think I would enjoy spending time inside his head, but I really did like Play Me by Laura Ruby.

Charming Ed Rochester, 18, is a player. A high school senior about to graduate, Ed is handsome & renowned as a talented young filmmaker. His newest film, "Riot Grrl 16" is in the top ten of the MTV video contest. He honestly does not understand why girls, including his latest leading lady, are so upset when he doesn’t call--afterwards. His own Mom has left to be a star on a TV police drama and only calls him on Saturdays. That, he doesn’t get.

Enter Lucinda. She’s a powerful tennis player, a sumptuous dancer, and actually a girl he two-timed when he was twelve. She is also the first girl who does not care what he thinks. When they get together to play—tennis or other things--she annihilates him. At that moment Ed knows he “would do anything for her, jump out of plane, fight a band of ninjas, wrestle an alligator, swim with sharks, sign away every dollar I will ever make; I don’t care “. But can he stick with one girl?

Careful Ed, you may have met your match. And both these players are fascinating to watch as they duke out what it is they really want.

Read it. Post back and tell me what you think.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Good Neighbors by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh

Do you like graphic novels? I was drawn to The Good Neighbors primarily because I so enjoyed the Tithe series. And I'm happy to say it's a great start to a new series

The story centers on Rue, a troubled teen, who breaks into buildings with her friends on weekends to take photographs. Her mother has recently disappeared and her father has been acting strangely ever since. He doesn’t go to work, barely talks to Rue, and seems to have shut down. As if this isn’t enough, Rue starts to see weird beings, with horns and wings and animal heads — the faerie world. They are all around her but nobody else can see them.

When a student is murdered, her father is implicated, and the police think he may have killed her mother as well. Rue’s (maternal) grandfather shows up to claim her. But, think about it, would you go with people you had never met before, never even heard discussed? Turns out, they are faeries, the good neighbors who have lived peacefully with humans for so long, but her grandfather is now threatening the mortal world. Then the question becomes, can Rue stop him?

Oh, and the drawings of this rather disturbing world, where things are often not what they seem, are fabulous.

Did it live up to your expectations?