Friday, December 31, 2010

All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz - Review

Last review of the year. And it's Josephine's.
Happy new year to you all.

Aurora’s life in San Francisco suddenly ends when her activist father decides to take up organic farming. She is sixteen and finds herself in the middle of nowhere caring for chickens, composting and selling vegetables at a roadside stand. The two of them witness an auto accident where a Caucasian L.A. transplant kills a woman. No charges are pressed because the dead woman was an illegal Mexican immigrant. Aurora’s father brings the dead woman’s husband, also an illegal immigrant, to live and work on the farm. He also brings a lawsuit against the driver for the wrongful death of the Mexican woman. Meanwhile, Aurora befriends and finds herself falling in love with the driver’s son.

This is a wonderful coming of age story that addresses social justice and small-town prejudices.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Books I'm dying to read in 2011

It's Christmas Eve - I'm on my way to Vegas - and I thought I'd post a list of the books I'm just dying to read in 2011 (in no particular order) as one of my last posts of 2010. Take a look and let me know what I've missed!

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis
Choker, Elizabeth Woods
XV1, by Julie Carr (am reading right now)
Dark Goddess, by Sarwat Chadda
Blessed (Tantalize series), by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Fallen Angel, Heather Terrell
Tempestuous, Lesley Livinston (Wondrous Strange series)
Unearthly, Cynthia Hand
The Water Wars, Cameron Stracher

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, by Jana Oliver
Cryer's Cross, by Lisa McMann
Darkest Mercy, by Melissa Marr (already read but had to include in the list - so good!)
Cloaked, by Alex Flinn
The Iron Queen, by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Chime by Fanny Billingsley
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
Strings Attached, by Judy Blundell
Shimmer, by Alyson Noel
Scorpia Rising, by Anthony Horowitz (last of the series!)
Steel, by Carrie Vaughn
Demonglass, by Rachel Hawkins (sequel to Hex Hall)
Desires of the Dead, by Kimberly Derting (sequel to The Body Finder)
Wither, by Lauren DeStefano (already read but had to include because it really is SO good)
The Piper’s Son, by Melina Marchetta

Where She Went, by Gayle Forman (sequel to If I Stay)
Forever Summer, by Alyson Noel
The Last Little Blue Envelope, by Maureen Johnson
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, by John Flanagan (Ranger’s Apprentice #10)
Shine, by Lauren Myracle
Faerie Winter, by Janni Simner
Eona, by Alison Goodman (sequel to Eon)
The Gathering, by Kelley Armstrong
Red Glove, by Holly Black
Plague, by Michael Grant
City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments #4)
Huntress by Malinda Lo

What Happened to Goodbye, by Sarah Dessen
Abandon, by Meg Cabot
Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Ellen Kushner and Holly Black
Everfound, by Neal Shusterman (Book 3 of the Skin Jacker trilogy)

The Revenant, by Sonia Gensler
Trial by Fire, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (sequel to Raised by Wolves)
Fins Are Forever, by Tera Lynn Childs (sequel to Forgive My Fins)

Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Happy holidays - and I'll be on vacation until the new year.
May there be many great books waiting for you under your tree.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Favorite Reads of 2010

It's that time of year and I thought I would list those books, published in 2010, that I liked most this year.

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
3. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
4. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
5. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
6. Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
8. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
9. I am Number 4 by Pittacus Lore
10. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
11. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
12. Reckless by Cornelia Funke

And there are still so many I want to read sitting by the side of my bed.

So - which were your favorites from this year?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

I don't often write about the books I'm waiting for - because I have so many in my to be read pile. But this week I've just been talking about a book I really really want - and it's not out until May!

What is it?

Divergent by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Now doesn't that sound good? Oh, waiting is so hard...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In My Mailbox

It's been such a crazy busy week at the store, as you can imagine, and yes, I finished reading (and LOVED) the Graveminder by Melissa Marr. I'm reading the Lost Saint (Bree Despain) and I loved loved loved Wither (review to follow). With thanks, as ever, to The Story Siren who started and hosts this meme.

Now to the books:

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

The sequel to the wonderful Hex Hall. And breaking news: Rachel Hawkins will be at Kepler's March 9th. So excited.

Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda

The sequel to Devil's Kiss. Sarwat Chadda will be touring with Rachel Hawkins and so will also be at Kepler's march 9th. How awesome is that?

Wishful Thinking by Alexander Bullen

Three wishes to change her future. The sequel to Wish. If you could wish for a new life, would you?

Dreaming of Anastasia by Joy Preble

Anastasia Romanov, daughter of the last tsar of Russia, is believed to be dead but she is very much alive - and when she sleeps she dreams. Anne Michaelson is somewhere else when she dreams. She is someone else. They seem real and absolutely terrifying. A stranger offers to explain them and claims he's been waiting for someone to help him save Anastasia.

Haunted by Joy Preble

Sequel to the above, Dreaming of Anastasia. A mysterious woman is stalking Anne and as Anne seraches for this woman's identity she exposes a startling revelations and the possible source of her powers.

Lots of sequels. And all look so good. So - what did you get?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John - Review

Another of Penelope's fabulous reviews. This looks amazing - don't you think?

Piper has just been hired as the manager of DUMB, one of Seattle's up and coming bands. There are just a few minor problems - no one outside of their high school knows who DUMB is, and Piper is deaf. She has one month to get them a paying gig and some cash for her dwindling college fund. Her friend, Ed, and the school's most popular girl join the band...and DUMB still swirls on a downward spiral.

This is one of the most heartfelt and hilarious books I've ever read. These
aren't characters as much as they are friends. You pick them up in the
middle of the night and sit until the silence moves you. They make you feel like you're about to see "THE" show, the one great show that will change everything. And then you don't even need to see it because it's all noise - fuzzy, dreamy, messy noise!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Virals by Kathy Reichs - Review

You may not know that Temperance Brennan, the forensic anthropologist from the Bones novels and television show, has a niece named Tory - a science aficionado who lives with her father on a remote island off the South Carolina coast. It all starts when Tory and her friends rescue a wolfdog pup that has been kidnapped for medical experiments and are exposed to a virus. At first they are sick - really sick - but ultimately they are left with periods of heightened abilities (strength, hearing, smell, etc.). It changes their lives.

They stumble onto some dog tags, a skeleton, and the trail of a long abandoned murder case that takes all their wits, their scientific know how, their contacts, and their newfound abilities to solve. Along the way, we are allowed a peek inside debutante balls, Southern mores, scientific research labs, and nonstop action. What a wonderful new series. I can't wait to see where Reichs takes the Virals and this series, which is sure to be a hit.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In My Mailbox

Well that week went so very quickly! I read Wither (review soon - OMG it was SO good)and am almost finished Graveminder (also so very good). As you can see, I'm still reading far more slowly than I'd like - but it's that time of year. Oh, and I've booked Daisy Whitney and CJ Omolulu to come to Keplers to talk about The Mockingbirds and Dirty Little Secret. With thanks, as ever, to The Story Siren who started and hosts this meme.

And now for the books:

1. Putting makeup on Dead People
By Jennifer Violi

It's been four years since Donna Parisi's father passed away, but it might as well have been four days. Donna makes conversation and goes through the motion, but she hasn't really gotten on with life. She's not close with anyone, she doesn't have a boyfriend and she's going to college at the local university with a major that her mother picked. But one day Donna has an epiphany. She wants to work with dead people. She wants to help people say goodbye and she wants to learn to love a whole person--body and soul. She wants to live her life and be loving, at grieving and at embalming and cremating,too. Even as she makes the decision, things start to change. Donna makes friends with the charismatic new student, Liz. She notices the boy, Charlie, at her table and realizes that maybe he's been noticing her, too. And she begins to forgive the rest of her family for living their lives while she's been busy moping.

2. Red Glove by Holly Black

(someone must have seen my wow!)
The cons get twistier and the stakes get higher in Red Glove, the sequel to White Cat.

3. Iron Witch
Karen Mahoney

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

I'll be reading Lost Saint first (because Bree will be at kepler's Jan 13), then Mockingbirds (Daisy and Cynthia will be at kepler's Feb 2).

How was your week?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Trash by Andy Mulligan - Review

I've been reading a lot of best of year lists recently and saw this title on many of them. Then my wonderful colleague Penelope read and wrote this review so I add another book to that toppling to be read pile of mine! But oh, doesn't it look good?

Set against a remarkable and sobering backdrop, the story of TRASH is told in many voices shared between three young boys who call a dump site the size of a small living city home. The brave Raphael, his shrewd cousin Gardo, and Jun-Jun who lives alone amongst the rats. They, like many others who live in this City of Trash, survive by sifting through what the rest of the City throws away. Until one day they find a bag belonging to a stranger, but it's the mystery that lies within the bag and the adventure it holds that calls to them - with all the odds stacked against them. TRASH will open your world view and push every limit. It is gripping, humbling, and I urge you to pick it up!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

I've done it. I've signed up for the Story Siren's 2011 Debut Author Challenge.

* The objective of the DAC is to read at least twelve novels from Young Adult or Middle Grade Authors. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit!

Well, that seems very doable. I'm reading my first now!

Qualifying books:

* Books must be a Young Adult or Middle Grade novel.
* This must be the authors debut with a release date in 2011.
* If an author has a previous novel published under adult fiction/nonfiction or children's fiction/nonfiction, they can still qualify for the challenge if they are releasing their YA or MG debut.

If you want to find out more about this challenge, or to sign up yourself, click here. I'll post the reviews on the blog and list them on the side of the blog.

Wither by Lauren DeStafano will be my first - and so far is is incredible.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Haven't posted one of these for ages but have just read about this sequel and I really want it. Now.

Red Glove by Holly Black

Sequel to White Cat. The cons get twistier and the stakes get higher says the product description.

Curses and Cons. Magic and the Mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordianry guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows he's the most powerful curse worker around. That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. She's back, but cursed to love him. When Cassel's brother is murdered, the feds recruit Cassel to help find his brother's killer. But the mob want cassel too. So CAssel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Last Sacrifice Giveaway from Uniquely Moi Books

Have you been waiting and waiting to find out how Richelle Mead will end the fabulous Vampire Academy series? So you'll know it came out today - yes today and Uniquely Moi Books is hosting a fabulous competition to give a copy away for the holidays.

This giveaway will run from December 5th-15th. The winner will be announced on the 16th! There is only one rule to enter: You MUST follow her blog
That's it!

Click here to find out about the competition and how to enter or click here to go straight to the form.

I've entered. Of course I have. What are you waiting for? GO!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox

What a week - we hosted Salman Rushdie who was simply charming, it's mid-Chanukah, I finished (and reviewed) Luka and the Fire of Life, and am reading the Graveminder by Melissa Marr. I loved Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, although I'm still thinking about the twist and will post a review this week. I'm still reading far more slowly than I'd like - but it's that time of year. Oh, and I've booked Bree Despain to come to Keplers in January to talk about The Lost Saint. With thanks, as ever, to The Story Siren who started and hosts this meme.

And now for the books:

Department Nineteen by Will Hill

When Jamie Carpenter's mother is kidnapped by strange creatures, he finds himself dragged into Department 19, the government's most secret agency. Fortunately for him, Department 19 can provide the tools he needs to find his mother, and to kill the vampires who want him dead. But unfortunately for everyone, something much older is stirring, something even Department 19 can't stand up against...

Clarity by Kim Harrington

In Eastport, a tourist town on Cape Cod, lives a family of freaks. My family. I'm a psychic. My brother is a medium, my mother a telepath. Tourists love us. Townies scorn us. We live in a Victorian house with no permanent ghosts, and we use the first floor for our family business: readings. Not the bookstore kind.

That's my week in books. What did you get?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie - and Rushdie himself

Let me set the scene: you are the youngest son of an acclaimed storyteller, the shah of blah. You have grown up hearing his stories, and tales of your older brother’s adventures. You have a dog names Bear and a bear named Dog. And tragically one day your father falls into a sleep so deep noone can save him. An insubstantial version of your father, Nobodaddy, appears to tell you that to save him you must journey through the world of magic and steal the Fire of Life, something that has never been done before.

And of course you don’t hesitate (why would you? Your father’s life is at stake). As in so many video game you can collect (and lose) lives, save the levels you win, make allies along the way, see things you never believed possible, and ultimately live through your father’s stories. Can you beat the Old Man of the River, for example, in a contest of riddles? Will the Insultana of Ott let you ride on her magic carpet? Can you persuade the old forgotten gods to help? Along the way you meet those who help and those who hinder, characters you recognize, and those you don’t but will never forget, like elephant birds and worms that eat holes in the fabric of time.

Hard to compare, this is an adventure, an ode to inter-generational love, a place where the magical and the real worlds collide, and includes mythological creatures from almost every culture. It touches on truth and freedom, talks of the power of storytelling, the importance of the imagination and of family, the nature of time, and will please both adults and children alike in oh so different ways. And of course is beautifully written.

From the review above, can you tell how much of a fan I am of Mr Rushdie's writing? And we had the enormous honor of hosting him at Kepler's last night. (I'm still a little high from the experience.)He was wonderful. One of my literary idols, a writer I admire tremendously, for his writing certainly but also for his courage. And he walked in by himself, no security guards, his driver trying to find somewhere to park. Unassuming, funny, warm, well he charmed us all. He talked about his writing, and the new book, and how long it took to get published after leaving university, and about being in Bridget Jones’ Diary. How he at one point wanted to be an actor, about how bad he was at video games, about Elvis Presley and being on stage with U2. (Oh, and how Bono wanted to write something with him but that every idea Bono had was terrible.) He read a few passages from the book. He chose the part with the riddles (of course). For example: What goes on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening? You can find out on page 87 (or ask me). And then took a ton of questions. It was clear he loved to talk to his audience, was interested in so many things. From poetry to music to history, he had stories about everything.

A little background: Rushdie is the author of 11 novels, a book of stories, and three works of non-fiction. His second novel, Midnight’s Children, won the Booker Prize in 1981. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, was the center of a controversy, drawing protests in several countries and a fatwa against him in 1989. Midnight’s Children has been adapted for the stage, and was performed in London and New York. And the New York City Opera premiered an opera based upon Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

He has received many plaudits for his writings, too numerous to list here, but they do include the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel (twice), the Writers’ Guild Award, the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature, Author of the Year Prizes in both Britain and Germany, the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. Rushdie was also the President of the PEN American Center from 2004 to 2006. He holds many honorary doctorates and fellowships, in 2007 he received a Knighthood (so he’s Sir Salman Rushdie), and in 2008 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and letters. In addition, Midnight’s Children was named the Best of the Booker – the best winner in the award’s 40 year history – by a public vote. (And is my favorite book!)

His books have been translated into over forty languages and a film is currently in production of Midnight’s Children (and no, he doesn’t want a cameo – I asked – he thought it would be too distracting). What next? He’s writing his autobiography apparently.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Breaking Dawn photo

OK I had to post this - you know I did.

Yes, it's the first official photo from Breaking Dawn, released by director Bill Condon and posted on Twilight's official Twitter page. The photo shows a naked arm stretched across a blanket clutching feathers.

In the novel, Edward bites pillows instead of Bella's neck when they finally get together on their honeymoon, which explains the feathers. The photo is certainly PG-rated.

And yes, this is VERY early promotion as Part 1 of Breaking Dawn will be not be released until Nov. 18, 2011.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Salman Rushdie

In this season of incredible events, we are lucky to be hosting my very favorite novelist, Salman Rushdie. There is no book I love more than Midnight's Children and no writer I admire more than Rushdie. And he will be here at Kepler's on wednesday December 1st at 7.00 to talk about Luka and the Fire of Life. It's a book for all ages, the young and older alike. A companion novel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories. A book about a young boy who journeys to steal the Fire of Life to save his father. A tale full of the incredible and unimaginable, an adventure so fantastic you can only marvel at the storytelling.

Here he is talking about writing Luka

And here's Rushdie reading from Luka and the Fire of Life

Will you join me on wednesday?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher - Review

Here's Elizabeth's wonderful review of Sapphique that will be out in late December.

In this sequel to the thrilling Incarceron, Finn has escaped the terrible living prison of Incarceron with the Warden's daughter, Claudia, but Kiero and Attia remain trapped inside. Claudia keeps insisting that Finn is a lost prince, but he is haunted by visions and can't remember his past. Inside the prison, Kiero and Attia, thinking that Finn has abandoned them, search for a way out, hunting down rumors of a mystical glove once worn by Sapphique, the only person Incarceron has ever loved and the only one to have escaped its walls.

This is an imaginative, dark, and strange story, filled with extravagant
magic and fascinating detail. Its complexities deal with what it means to be free, the relationships between a father and a daughter, the responsibility of a prince to his kingdom and, most importantly, what lies under the façade of what we believe is real. I highly anticipated this book and was not disappointed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

I realized I hadn't ever posted my review of Incarceron as I was about to post a review of Sapphique. So here it is. Sapphique later this week

Finn lives in a living breathing prison that watches everything everyone does with high tech red-eye cameras. There is no way in and no way out. But Finn has visions that some believe will lead them out of the prison. Claudia is the daughter of the Warden, stuck in a world where the royal courts are made to wear period costume, about to marry a spoiled playboy prince. Both Finn and Claudia have got their hands on a key and thus their lives overlap.

It is a creepy world on both sides of the prison but when they contact each other they believe they have found a way out. Along the way, they discover far more than they ever wished to know about themselves and their history, and about those all around them. If the plot is a little slow to mesh these two stories together, the twists and subplots, and genuine ah-ha moments amply make up for it. I was utterly caught up in this world and counted down the days until I laid my hands on Sapphique.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox

Another week? Really? Well, we hosted Laurie Halse Anderson and Amy Sedaris - both lovely - and I'm almost finished Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and have started Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie. I'm reading far more slowly than usual - I'm blaming the time of year - but it is SO GOOD. Oh, and of course I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1. Did you? I had simply forgotten how much I love those books and characters. And now to the books, with thanks to the Story Siren for hosting this meme, as ever.

Yes, I only got one book this week but oh my, I will admit to clutching it tightly and jumping up and down with delight. A reason to be oh so thankful this week.

GRAVEMINDER by Melissa Marr

Yes, Melissa's first adult novel as a bound manuscript.

I am more excited than I can say. And yes I started it immediately. And yes, it is as good as I thought it would be (so far)

Three sips to mind the dead . . .

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place—and the man—she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D—a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

Suddenly Rebekkah is struggling with more than just her grief—she’s forced to deal with a centuries-old bargain, dark secrets, a complicated romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Miles Between by Mary Pearson - Review

Doesn't everyone want one fair day, where the good guys win, where everything turns out right, where the universe is just? So when Destiny Faraday finds an unattended car, she persuades some friends to join her for a spontaneous road trip. Now Destiny is the sort of girl who keeps to herself because she's been shuffled from boarding school to boarding school, a girl abandoned by her parents, a girl who knows about how unfair the world can be. Yet she persuades her friends to skip school and drive toward a town that is a lot more important to her than she lets on. It's a day that will change them all.

This creative, quirky quick read about coincidences, friendship, and fate is beautifully written and a lot of fun. And so so different from The Adoration of Jenna Fox!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaster Tusday

Haven't done this for ages but I'm reading Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and am absolutely loving it. This meme originated with MizB of Should Be Reading and anyone can play along. Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.
-Open to a random page.
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

Now to the teaser (p. 136):

I've just messed things up with a really cool guy - the coolest guy I've ever met, actually. And that's just in the last few minutes. I've messed up a lot more in the last two years.
I wish I could stop messing up but I don't know how. What is it that mends broken people? Jesus? Chocolate? New shoes? I wish someone could tell me

and because I want to, I'm going to add another teaser this time from the diary Andi finds (p. 143):

I had done this - made the sad prince laugh. made his grieving parents smile. Noone but me. Think only kings have power? Stand on a stage and hold the hearts of men in your hands. make them laugh with a gesture, cry with a word. make them love you. And you will know what power is.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Harry Potter movies - and trivia

We all know that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 opens this weekend (can't wait!), most of us have seen those great red carpet photos, but have you seen the front page of Sunday’s Los Angeles Times that eatured a Hollywood history of the “Harry Potter“ films.

So did you know that Steven Spielberg was at one point in the mix to guide the Potter films to the screen? "Warner Bros. secured the rights for four “Harry Potter” novels for about $2 million. At that point, only the first book was on shelves in England and none had reached America. Warner Bros. tried to get a financial partner on the project, reaching out to studios including Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks, which passed."

When the books became a sensation, DreamWorks proposed a partnership to make the film, but Horn, president of Warner Brothers, declined. “I did think it would be worthwhile for Steven Spielberg to direct,” Horn said. “We offered it to him. But one of the notions of Dreamworks’ and Steven’s was, ‘Let’s combine a couple of the books, let’s make it animated,’ and that was because ... Pixar had demonstrated that animated movies could be extremely successful ... But I did not want to combine the movies, and I wanted it to be live action.” Spielberg took on “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence,” ainstead nd the Hogwarts post fell to Chris Columbus. …

The rest of the article has interviews with Daniel Radcliffe, screenwriter Steve Kloves, Columbus,and many others. Check it out here I'll leave you with this: “I admit it, I did cry like a little girl,” Radcliffe said, recalling the day. “There was a feeling that I had, that we all had, that it was the end of something very special.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson - Review

Remember Curzon, the boy who Isabel frees from prison in Chains? Well Forge takes up Curzon’s story after they leave New York City. Isabel runs away in search of her sister and Curzon pretends to be free and re-joins the Patriot Army, only to find out just how deplorable the conditions were at Valley Forge: little food, terrible cold, soldiers marching in the snow without shoes, no adequate shelter. Worse, Curzon is recaptured, only to find Isabel didn’t get away either.

Anderson is a remarkable writer who brings the details of the Revolutionary War vividly to life. She makes you consider how much freedom is worth and how much we are willing to pay for it, both as an individual and as a people. It’s an incredible achievement – rich, detailed, and immensely readable.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Don't Miss laurie Halse Anderson Tonight

One of my very favorite YA authors, Laurie Halse Anderson will be at Kepler's tonight to talk about her newest book, Forge. Not only is Laurie is fabulous writer, she's also a wonderful speaker. And the nicest person imaginable. So don't miss this event if you live in the Bay Area. At 7.00 pm tonight. Join me!

Laurie Halse Anderson, Forge
Wednesday, November 10, 7:00 p.m.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson talk about her compelling sequel to Chains, a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. In Forge she shifts perspective from Isabel to Curzon and brings us the tale of what it takes for runaway slaves to forge their own paths in a world of obstacles in the midst of the American Revolution.

The Patriot Army was shaped and strengthened by the desperate circumstances of the Valley Forge winter. This is where Curzon the boy becomes Curzon the young man. In addition to the hardships of soldiering, he lives with the fear of discovery, for he is an escaped slave passing for free. And then there is Isabel, who is also at Valley Forge ˜ against her will. She and Curzon have to sort out the tangled threads of their friendship while figuring out what stands between the two of them and true freedom.

I loved Forge. I'll post my review tomorrow (with photos). I think she's a remarkable writer who brings the details of the Revolutionary War vividly to life. She makes you consider how much freedom is worth and how much we are willing to pay for it, both as individuals and as a people. It's an incredible achievement - rich, detailed, and immensely readable.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Titles coming out in December

Just read a list of teen books that will be published this December. So many are on my most-wanted list. Last Sacrifice! Sapphique! Which do you want most?

December 7
Last Sacrifice: A Vampire Academy Novel by Richelle Mead
Entice by Carrie Jones

December 13
Witch & Wizard: The Gift by James Patterson and Ned Rust

December 14
Vixen by Jillian Larkin

December 28
Bloody Valentine: A Blue Bloods Novella by Melissa De La Cruz
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Monday, November 8, 2010

Suzanne Collins

What can I say about Suzanne Collins? That if I had to choose only one author to host this year it would be Suzanne Collins? That her books are fabulous? That Mockingjay is probably the most talked about, most anticipated teen book of the year? That she was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people of 2010? That it’s the book I put into everyone’s hands, the standard I hold other teen books up against? All true. So yes, just like her legion of fans I was just so very excited to meet her, to tell her how much I enjoyed the series, and to hear what is coming next.

We set up early. People started to arrive two hours early and drove miles to get here. The excitement was palpable. Soon the store was packed, every chair taken, people crowded in the aisles (see photo). We gave them bookmarks and tattoos and key chains – and yes, some Halloween candy. It felt like a party. It was a party. Can you see why I love my job?

Suzanne arrived a little early - they have been on the road quite some time and knew exactly how they wanted the tour to work. She read first from Hunger Games and chose the part about Cinna creating her Mockingjay costume (I love that scene – I really do). She read in an accent for Katniss that I could not have predicted, that she said she thought of as "futuristic Appalachian". She had to know not everyone had read Mockingjay yet so chose an early part to read from , and it was very emotional, very disturbing. It made me want to start the series again immediately, hearing her voice as I read the book. Very impressive.

To manage the crowds and make it less cumbersome for everyone, we had numbered the tickets by District so we called up one district at a time. But first we asked the two random people who had tickets marking them to participate in the Hunger Games to come forward. At this point I was holding a gun (er, a nerf gun - really - I have photos to prove it!). They looked a little nervous. One was a 10 year old girl, one a mom (whose kid didn’t want to come forward). We gave them both the nerf guns and told them to shoot each other, the first to get a direct hit gaining first place in the signing line. The mom held her gun backward. The ten year old scored a hit in seconds. Made you think. Actually brought back that scene in the first book where Prim is chosen to fight and Katniss takes her place. Made you realize how young 10 really is. But also made you realize how able a 10 year old is too. It was perfect.

The fans waited patiently and happily, browsing the books, and finishing the candy. Suzanne obviously loved meeting her fans and spoke to each person as they brought their books to be stamped, answering questions, and posing for photos. One girl said she had a brother with special needs who absolutely loved her books – she gave her a special hunger games pin for her brother. One girl said her friend had read the books “about 60 times”. She said it was probably time to find another author to read (and suggested Rick Riordan by the way). I asked about the movie. She said she had written the script’s first draft and it was being revised by someone else. And they now had a director (who also made Seabiscuit apparently). How to keep it PG 13? That will be interesting. People asked great questions.

Her background? Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been writing for children’s television. She has penned multiple stories for Little Bear and Oswald for example and was the Head Writer for Clifford’s Puppy Days. Her inspiration for Gregor the Overlander came from Alice in Wonderland when she was thinking about how one was more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole, and would find something other than a tea party. And then in 2008 Suzanne wrote The Hunger Games and the rest is history. The series was partly inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, partly inspired by her father's career in the air force, which gave her an insight into poverty, starvation, and effects of war. She was wonderful. The over 350 people who crammed as close as they could loved her, waited patiently to have their books stamped, walked away glowing.

So much fun. She's got an idea for a new series apparently. Can't wait.

Finally, these wonderful photos are courtesy of Nancy and Tricia, two lovely friends who have let me use their incredible photos. Thank you both - I appreciate it so much.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In My Mailbox

Another week? Wow - so busy and it went by so quickly. But we hosted Suzanne Collins which has to be the highlight of this Fall season for me. And she was lovely - and the voice she chose for Katniss will stay with me forever (yes, sorry, will post an event report with photos soon - promise). I read Heist Society by Ally Carter and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. And have started Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and Changeless by Gail Carriger (not YA but oh so good). And now to the books, with thanks to the Story Siren for hosting this meme, as ever.

The Locket by Stacey Jay
Loved You are so Undead to Me so have high hopes.
On her seventeenth birthday, Katie discovers a locket and decides to wear it for good luck. But when her boyfriend Isaac finds out she cheated on him with their mutual best friend Mitch, he dumps her, leaving her devastated. And then Katie feels the locket burning on her chest, transporting her back two weeks in time, to the night she cheated with Mitch. At first, Kate is delighted to be a better girlfriend to Isaac this time around. But as other aspects of her life become inexplicably altered, she realizes that changing the past may have had a dangerous effect on her present.

Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. by Cassie St. Onge.
For Jane Jones, being a vampire is nothing like you read about in books. In fact, it kind of sucks. She's not beautiful, she's not rich, and she doesn't "sparkle." She's just an average, slightly nerdy girl from an ordinary suburban family (who happens to be vampires.) Jane's from the wrong side of the tracks (not to mention stuck in the world's longest awkward phase), so she doesn't fit in with the cool vampire kids at school or with the humans kids. To top it all off, she's battling an overprotective mom, a clique of high school mean girls (the kind who really do have fangs), and the most embarrassing allergy in the history of the undead, she's blood intolerant. So no one's more surprised than Jane when for the first time in her life, things start to heat up (as much as they can for a walking corpse, anyway) with not one, but two boys. Eli's a geeky, but cute real-live boy in her history class, and Timothy is a beautiful, brooding bloodsucker, who might just hold the key to a possible "cure" for vampirism. Facing an eternity of high school pressure, fumbling first dates, or a mere lifetime together with Timothy, what's a 90-something year-old teen vampire to do?

Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner
Sequel to the wonderful Bones of Faerie. Return to Janni's unique vision of a magic-infused post-apocalyptic world where war between Faerie and humanity has left both realms devastated. The war has been over for 40 years, and finally Liza's town is accepting children born with fairy talents. Then a nearby town is destroyed, and Liza discovers that the war might not be over after all. It seems some faeries survived and have crossed over into the human world to continue the fight. And the most powerful and merciless of them all—the Queen herself—may be among them. . . .

Throat by RA Nelson
R. A. Nelson takes us on a supernatural thrill ride, a modern-day vampire story set on a NASA base and filled with space-and-science intrigue. Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy—until the lost night. She's shocked to wake up in the hospital one morning, weak from blood loss. When her memories begin to return, she pieces together that it was a man—a monster—who attacked her: a vampire named Wirtz. And it was her very condition that saved her: a grand mal seizure interrupted Wirtz and left Emma with all the amazing powers of a vampire—heightened senses, rapid speed—but no need to drink blood. Is Emma now a half-vampire girl? One thing soon becomes clear: the vampire Wirtz is fierce and merciless, feared even by his own kind, and won't leave a job undone.

Oh, they sound good. But Revolution first. What did you get?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan - Review

If your best friend was the very large, very gay Tiny Cooper who talks all the time and is forever falling in love maybe you, like the first Will Grayson, would try your best to stick to two basic rules: don’t care too much and shut up. The other will grayson (lower case intentional) is isolated, angry, hurting, depressed, cynical, and gay. The two Will Graysons live in different suburbs of Chicago and have nothing in common. But fate brings them together one night leading them to rethink their relationships and themselves. And it all culminates in a musical Tiny writes, directs, and stars in called Tiny Dancer.

Told in alternating chapters, from each boy’s perspective, I loved both voices in this book – it manages to be funny, and thoughtful, provocative, intelligent, and heartbreaking all at the same time. It is one of the best books I’ve read this year - a book about friendship, appreciation, and truth. And it taught me about Schrödinger's cat!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Don't Miss Suzanne Collins tonight

I've been talking about it for weeks but it's TONIGHT
SUZANNE COLLINS will be at Kepler's tonight!
So if you live in the Bay Area, make sure you don't miss this.
(And the parade will be over by then.)

We are SO incredibly excited to welcome Suzanne Collins to sign her newest book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Mockingjay (which I LOVED). And we don't want you to miss your opportunity to meet her. She will be reading. You can take photos. Just not video.

When Suzanne Collins comes to Kepler's you will need a ticket to get into the signing line. And you get a ticket when you buy a copy of Mockingjay from us. It's as simple as that. Your ticket gives you a place in line to meet and get your book signed* by Suzanne Collins, who was named among the 2010 TIME 100 Most Influential People. (And is the author I am absolutely dying to meet!)

And yes, if you've already bought your book and it wasn't from us, we will sell you a ticket for the signing line. It's $8 and will put you in The Arena.

*Please note: Due to an existing hand strain, rather than signing books, Suzanne Collins will stamp each book with a custom-made stamp created exclusively for 2010 Mockingjay events. This stamp will be used only on this book tour. There will be no actual signing at this event and she will not be able to personalize any books.

Monday, November 1, 2010

You Are Not Here - Review

Here's Sarah's review of You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz. Her reviews have a way of making me interested in books that were not even on my radar, let alone my TBR pile. Here's her review:

The most wonderful part of being a bookseller is picking up a book that you would never, ever seek out of your own accord, and being introduced to something new and compulsively readable. My moment of serendipity came on a chance run-in with You Are Not Here, a story of teenage loss and recovery rendered entirely in free verse. Don't get too wrapped up in that last part - what could be cliché and gimmicky is instead fresh and with a rhythm perfectly suited to its topic.

The story is refreshingly simple: a teen girl, Annaleah, has to face life after the boy she was secretly seeing suddenly passes away. Because he was a secret, her outlets for grief are limited at best, and nonexistent at worse. The pace of the verse is almost like the deep breaths one takes to make their way through a difficult time, and each step Annaleah takes comes viscerally across because of the structure of the narrative. What I appreciated most was that Annaleah feels like a real teen - one who is certainly imperfect - but infinitely relatable.

My rating system for books has become how badly I nearly miss my stop home on the train, and I came very close to ending up in San Francisco while reading this one. I'll be keeping an eye out for more books by this author, and would recommend it for both teens and adults alike.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

In My Mailbox

Seeing as I forgot to do this last weekend, here are the books I got over these two weeks. And what a busy week. We hosted James Dashner! I read Forge by laurie Halse Anderson, Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr (LOVED it and am just sad the series is now over), The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, and am in the middle of Will Grayson, will grayson (which I absolutely love so far). And now to the books, with thanks to the Story Siren for hosting this meme.

1. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Yay. I have wanted this for ages.
Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed. Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir. Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again. Sounds so good. Straight to the top of my toppling TBR pile!

2. Chime by Franny Billingsley
Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

3. Between Shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.

All three sound great don't you think? What did you get?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

James Dashner talking about The Scorch Trials

I know - I've talked about James Dashner all week. But I have to post this great video of James talking about The Scorch Trials just after his event:

Don't forget: next wednesday join us to meet Suzanne Collins!

Friday, October 29, 2010

James Dashner

It’s no secret that my heart is with teen literature. I love the books, the authors, the readers, the events. They are fun, energized. The fans are avid. They come with a plethora of questions. Monday night we hosted James Dashner who was engaging, entertaining, and funny. Hard to believe he was an accountant in a previous life (he asked if there were any accountants in the audience and was a little surprised to find there were actually two!).

James Dashner was born and raised in Georgia and attended Brigham Young University. He currently lives in the Rocky Mountains with his family. He is the author of The 13th Reality Series and The Maze Runner series, both of which I think are brilliant. He is now a full-time writer and says he drew inspiration for The Maze Runner from both Ender’s Game and The Lord of the Flies.

He talked about his love of literature, and his love of movies. That reading should be part of every writer’s day. And that he also drew inspiration from the many movies he’s seen (he told everyone they should go and see Inception if they haven’t yet seen it!). Did you wonder about the slang in the book? I know I did. Apparently it was for many reasons: to suggest a time in the future where language has changed, to allow kids in the novel to say more than “gosh darn” but still be appropriate for middle schoolers, and to give readers a taste of the disorientation that Thomas feels all along.

Did you wonder whether Dashner was introducing a love triangle for Thomas/Teresa/Brenda? He says no. And, as I mentioned in my review earlier this week, Dashner admitted he wanted to leave a clue for the readers at the end of The Scorch Trials but his editor took it out, wanting to keep it for Book 3. However, that if you read the epilogue and the remembered dreams carefully you could figure it out. So that’s what I’m planning on doing (even though I haven't yet) so if you figure it out first, remember to tell me too!

And these photos are courtesy of the lovely Tricia, who takes amazing photos don't you think? Thank you Tricia.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner - Review

You’d think that everything would be explained once they made it out of the maze, wouldn’t you? No more running, no more fighting. They deserved an explanation and their memories back. But when they wake up they find that Teresa has been taken away and replaced by a boy called Aris, who says he was with another group in what sounds like a similar maze. And now the boys are faced with another harder test: cross the Scorch and get to the safe haven in two weeks. Of course WICKED has made sure this is no easy task. The Scorch is a brutal wasteland. They face terrifying challenges, including people with a horrific disease called the Flare. Thomas knows another group is meant to kill him. And then there’s how he will deal with being betrayed. When people lie to you continuously, and your memories start to creep back telling you something completely different, how can you know what is real, who to trust, and what was set up by WICKED. Will they ever be free, do they really hold the answers to humanity’s survival, or will these trials simply go on forever until they are broken?

I loved The Maze Runner, and I simply could not put The Scorch Trials down. I sat up late into the night, holding my breath, trying to work out where this plot was going. It manages to stay as scary, as exciting, as unpredictable as The Maze Runner, answering a few questions while throwing out so many more, introducing some great new characters, and leaving you wanting the next book RIGHT NOW.

By the way, James said he was going to give away a huge clue at the end of Book 2 but his editor made him take it out and save it for Book 3. But that if you read the epilogue carefully, and went back to look at all the dreams Thomas remembers, you can work it out. So that's what I'm going to do today (you knew I'd say that - right?) But if you work it out - make sure to let me know!

I'll post event photos and details tomorrow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Q and A with James Dashner

Because I'm preparing to host James Dashner tonight, I'm posting this Q and A session I found.

What do you want to ask him?

James Dashner

I'm such a huge fan of James Dashner's books and he'll be at Kepler's tonight at 7.00. So excited. Join me if you are in the area.

Take a look at this book trailer for The Scorch Trilas. It's brilliant. Can't wait.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hunger Games Movie

Like all of you, I LOVE The Hunger Games. And have wondered how they are going to make it into a movie, stay true to the story yet keep it PG-13. But today Entertainment Weekly asked another question:
Is Rue black? And should race matter when you're casting the movie?
Click here for original article.

So far eveyone is talking about who will play Katniss but what about Rue? She's the youngest tribute (12 years old) in the 74th Hunger Games, and would be a difficult role for anyone to play. But apparently Rue is clearly described as having “satiny brown skin” on page 98. (Er hem, I have to admit I didn’t know that Rue and Thresh were black. I raced through the book and seemed to fly past a lot of detail. Eeek - what else did I miss? Must go back before Suzanne Collins visits us.) But now the details are important when casting the movie.

So Entertainment Weekly asks the question: how important do you think this is? It wouldn't alter the structure of the book or movie but it would be so much better to include diversity, especially as it is in the book. What do you think? Will you be offended? Let me know.

Nightshade by Andrew Cremer - Review

Did you see that Entertainment Weekly picked Nightshade by Andrea Cremer as their book pick of the day? Loved. loved. loved that book. See EW. com here. Here's my review

Shay finds three distinct groups at his new school: the children of keepers at the top; guardians, who can change into wolf form, in the middle; and humans at the bottom. And the girl who saved his life a few days ago, a guardian, seems to want to pretend it didn't happen. Shay has no idea that Calla risked her life to save him, that the tattoo on his neck marks him as a scion, or that his uncle is a keeper. He just wants to get to know Calla better. But Calla is promised to Ren, and soon she must decide between love or duty, pack or self. Certainties fall apart and truths turn to dust. She glimpses a future filled with a freedom both unthinkable and seemingly unreachable. But is this future – and this boy – worth the risk?

I started this book on a plane ride to New York and didn't look up until people were nudging me to leave. I was mesmerized, held hostage, and found it very hard to unearth myself from this unusual and twisted world. This stand-out debut will be a star-maker for Andrea Cremer. Don't miss it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guys Read, edited by Jon Scieszka - Review

I love funny books - don't think there are enough of them - so today I'm posting Shannon's review of Guys Read edited by Jon Scieszka and am turning to this just as soon as I've finished Forge.

WARNING: This book is known to cause involuntary laughter that makes the reader appear slightly strange as he (or she) attempts to choke back his giggles. This vain attempt to appear sane may result in convulsions, a red face, watering eyes, and half-swallowed chortles that will alarm nearby persons. In some cases, this book has been found to cause the spontaneous need to share by reading sections aloud to anyone nearby.

Jon Scieszka, the genius behind The Stinky Cheese Man and other bitingly witty and devastatingly funny books, is the mastermind of Guys Read. He assembles a veritable who's who of children’s literature (Eoin Colfer, Kate Di Camillo, and Jeff Kinney, to name a few) to write some of the funniest stories I’ve seen in a while. Between these pages you will find blood-thirsty turkeys, incompetent cyber villains, scraggly bikers, and boils in...ahem...inconvenient places. Girls, boys, grown ups (especially fake grown ups like me), even (dare I say it?), teenagers will find these stories funny. Buy it now and give it to everyone you know who likes to laugh.

She sold me. And if you need any more convincing watch this video

Finally, remember that Mac Barnett (one of the contributing authors and on the video) will be at Kepler's on November 16th. Should be fun.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In My Mailbox

Can it be sunday again? Wow. This week just flew by. We hosted Tony DiTerlizzi this week who was fabulous. I read his Search for WondLa and The Scorch Trilas this week, both brilliant (and oh, can't wait to meet James Dashner!). Busy week nut here Aare the two books I got his week - and again with thanks to the Story Siren for hosting this meme.

1. Haven by Kristi Cook
Violet McKenna isn't a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad's murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She's had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven. At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group of friends and discovers that they too have psychic 'gifts'--as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy's death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begi

2. Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace.

Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad.

Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history.

Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

Friday, October 15, 2010

National Book Award Finalists Named

Yes - they've announced the finalists for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Click here for more details.

Here are the finalists:

Paolo Bacigalupi, Ship Breaker
Kathryn Erskine, Mockingbird
Laura McNeal, Dark Water
Walter Dean Myers, Lockdown
Rita Williams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer

Do you have a favorite in this lists? Have to admit I don't. Hm, which to start first...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride - Review

If only Sam was better at potato hockey, the day would have been very different. But a broken tail light leads an unhappy customer to Sam - and that customer is Douglas, a powerful necromancer with a fondness for violence. And he thinks Sam might be useful - as a partner.

Douglas gives Sam one week to figure out how to use his latent powers. But Sam has no idea about this OR how to deal with Douglas, who doesn't seem very pleased to find another necromancer in his community.

Add to this a talking head, a caged half-were, some witches, a zombie panda, and a best friend on a skateboard (well, it is Seattle after all) and you'll get a hint of why I loved this book so much. It's totally original, funny, fast paced, and creepy all at the same time. With song titles as chapter heads. Loved it.

Oh, and it came out today!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrick was originally supposed to come to Kepler’s with the Smart Chicks tour but sadly had to cancel, disappointing so many of us. I should admit right now that I was given the arc of Hush Hush when it came out without a cover or blurb, and told to drop everything and read it because it was that good. I was in the middle of something else and unwilling but was so glad I did because it was SO good.

So, 40 of her fans came to see her, traveling from as far afield as Sacramento and Modesto. They arrived earlier and many wore the halos we put out (most choosing black for fallen angels this time!). And I'll admit that if I wasn’t such a fangirl, I would never have been persuaded to read with Becca because she wanted someone who could fake an Irish accent for the part of Rixon. Really (would I make this up?)

Becca Fitzfatrick’s love for telling stories started in kindergarten. At night when
Becca and her sister Heather were supposed to be sleeping, they would make up new episodes in an ongoing tale called THE BUS ADVENTURES. We asked about this, apparently they were gruesome. She discovered Nancy Drew and Roald Dahl but it was Romancing the Stone that convinced Becca she wanted to be a writer (even though she did go through a phase in college when she wanted to be a spy). She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. Hush, Hush, debuted as a New York Times bestseller despite the many many rejections she had along the way. SO her advice for aspiring writers was: persevere.

Apparently the cover is upside down. A large chain book store refused the cover the right way up and said if it wasn’t changed they wouldn’t stock it. So that’s why he appears to be doing a backflip! (That said, it did win my very haphazard cover of the year contest.) Oh, and Becca wrote Hush Hush as a one off, stand-alone novel. If you were wondering.

Here's Becca talking about Crescendo:

Thanks to Breanna for the photos. I haven't uploaded mine yet (sorry, will do soon)

In My Mailbox

I'm a little late with my IMM this week. I hosted Penny Noyce on Friday, Becca Fitzpatrick (!) on Saturday and Lemony Snicket and Lisa Brown on Sunday so a little busy. I finished Crescendo, Juliet, Naked (OK not a teen book), and am reading The Scorch Trials, Anyway, here are the books I got his week and again with thanks to the Story Siren for hosting this meme.

1. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
In the not too distant future, because of genetic engineering, every human is a ticking time bomb.
Nancy, the lovely Ravenous Reader, told me about this and I am so glad to have it in my pile.

2. Haven By Kristi Cook
Violet is drawn to Winerhaven School, where veryone has psychic gifts so she no longer has to hide her visions. Bur when she has visions of the most alluring boy in school's death she's thrown off balance because she's never been able to prevent them from coming true before.

Both look great. But first back to the Scorch Trials. Can't wait to meet James Dashner

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Teen Romance Panel Videos

Here are the videos Lisa Desrochers, Sophie Jordan, and Kiersten White made for me this week.

First Lisa Desrochers talking about Personal Demons

Sophie Jordan talking about Firelight

And here's Kiersten White talking about Paranormalcy

Teen Romance Panel

Still talking about this, yes - but don't you want to see photos? Monday we hosted the Teen Romance Extraordinaire Panel: Lisa Desrochers, Kiersten White, and Sophie Jordan. We were just so excited that they were stopping at Kepler's.

Lisa Desrochers is relatively local and comes to many of our teen events. She lives in Central California with her family (and brought her two teen daughters with her). She has a full time physical therapy practice, lectures internationally on health care issues, and writes in her spare time(impressive - right?)

Kiersten White is shorter than me (doesn't happen often) and lives in San Diego with an apparently tall husband and two small kids where life is perfectly normal. This abundance of normal led her to a fascination with all things paranormal, including but not limited to vampires, faeries, and pop culture.

Sophie Jordan grew up weaving fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston and also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.

Almost 40 eager fans packed our event (including local authors Heidi Kling and Daisy Whitney) - and we gave them halos (again), vampire teeth and glow sticks (I saw a lot of swapping...!) LOTS of questions, Heidi sold her books to the audience and signed too. LOTS of interest in Becca Fitzpatrick, who will be here on Saturday. All three authors talked of their paths to publication, their inspiration, their influences, their writing styles, their covers (I love love love the paranormalcy cover), posed happily for photos, made short videos for me (will post later), and talked to all the local bloggers.

Such fun. Just finished Firelight (review soon). They were awesome - if you have a
chance to hear them talk about their books, don't hesitate to go. Becca Fitzpatrick on Saturday - don't forget. 6.00. We'll be selling Crescendo EARLY! (They have already arrived.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

OK, I know it's wednesday but I missed doing this yesterday and we just hosted our Teen Romance panel (which was so fun) and I'm almost finished Firelight (yes, I have already finished Paranormalcy and Personal Demons). This meme originated with MizB of Should Be Reading and anyone can play along. Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.
-Open to a random page.
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

And yes, as I said before, the teaser is from Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Smoke puffs from my nose. I don't want it to happen. it just ... does. I usually have more power over it, but fear robs me of my control...

My heart pounds in my chest as he draws closer. I know the precise moment he sees me. He freezes, still in the water, sinking low, his lips brushing the waterline.

We stare at each other.

It will happen now. He will call the others. They will swarm on me like hungry predators...

Then he moves, swims closer in an easy glide...He doesn't look hard, as I'd imagined. He doesn't look evil. He looks ...curious.

Now doesn't that make you want to move it to the top of your reading pile?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Teen Romance Extraordinaire tonight

Teen Romance Extraordinaire tonight. Come and meet Lisa Desrochers (Personal Demons), Sophie Jordan (Firelight) and Kiersten White 9Paranormalcy) talk about their wonderful debut novels. 7.00 pm at Kepler's in Menlo Park

And because I've just found it here's the book trailer for Firelight

Can't wait