Sunday, January 31, 2010

sweet little lies sneak preview

If you loved L.A. Candy, you can now get a preview of Lauren's latest book, Sweet Little Lies here.

Now a full-fledged celebrity, Jane Roberts is discovering that with fame comes perks–and problems. From racy photos of her leaking to the press, to a falling out with her best friend, nothing about the celebrity life feels very nice anymore. In Sweet Little Lies, Jane is learning that some lies are only as sweet as the people telling them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

did you see this?

Have you seen this?

On the heels of all our best of lists and all the awards comes

The 2009 Cuffies

where Publishers Weekly asked booksellers around the country for their picks in a variety of categories (would love to know who they talked to...didn't include me). Here are winners and some comments

Favorite Picture Book

The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (“a masterpiece”)

Honorable mention: Otis by Loren Long (“a wonderful classic feel and a great story of friendship”)

Favorite Middle Grade Novel of the Year

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Honorable mentions: The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (“she's worked her magic again”); The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech (“characters, language, and message so endearing”)

Favorite YA Novel of the Year

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (“well written, real feelings, complex plot”)

Honorable mentions: If I Stay by Gayle Forman; Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Favorite Book Title

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Honorable mention: Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem by Mac Barnett, illus. by Adam Rex

Most Memorable Character in a Lead Role

Marcelo on Marcelo in the Real World

Honorable mentions: Micah in Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Favorite Sequel
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Honorable mentions: Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko; The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Favorite Jacket

The Lion & the Mouse

Honorable mentions: Otis; The Curious Garden by Peter Brown; Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Funniest Book

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney (“his snarky comments transcend generations”)

Most Promising New Author

Jacqueline Kelly for The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Favorite Book to Handsell

When You Reach Me

Honorable Mention: Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

Favorite Series

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (“why won't they give us ARCs for #3?!?”)

Honorable mention: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (“a great handsell for reluctant readers”)

Favorite Poetry Book

The Tree That Time Built by Mary Ann Hoberman

Favorite Audiobook

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (“we love books read by their authors!”)

Best Nonfiction Treatment of a Subject

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy (“opens the doors for questions, reflection, and discussion of 9/11”)

Most Innovative Book

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (“we don't know where to shelve it, but we love it”)

Book You Couldn't Shut Up About

When You Reach Me (“I was handselling it even when it wasn't in stock”); Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Hottest Book to Go Out of Stock

LEGO Star Wars

Honorable mentions: Bubble Trouble and Ounce Dice Trice (“thanks to NPR”)

Most Disappointing Book (in Terms of Sales)

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus, illus. by Mark Burgess (“the Hundred Acre Wood changed too much and lost its magic”)

Happiest to See Back in Print

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Monday, January 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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!

This week I'm reading Epitaph Road by David Patneaude

If you've heard certain things - conjecture, conspiracy, theories, wild-eyed accusations - over the years, you've mostly snickered at them and hurried back to the comforts of what passes for reality. But maybe one rumor - that die-hard far-fetched alternate-universe one about the origin of Elisha's Bear...haunts you. Maybe you're skeptical instead about the so-called truth you've been spoon fed from an early age...

You should be.

Could you put the book down after a passage like that? I couldn't!

Scorsese looking at The Invention of Hugo Cabret for his next project

According to Variety Martin Scorsese is thinking of a trip back in time to 1930s Paris. He's in talks with GK Films to direct Brian Selznick's "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" for what he hopes will be his next project.

If you don't know the book it centers on a 12-year-old orphan named Hugo, who lives in a train station and must finish what his late father started by solving the mystery of a broken robot. It won the Caldecott medal in 2008 and is absolutely gorgeous, a work of art in itself. More than half of the pages contain elaborate pictures that look like movie storyboard frames.

Wow. This should be fantastic. Hope it happens.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention things like books! As ever with thanks to The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie who host and inspired this meme.

And this week I got an interesting collection of books. Just take a look...

1. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer

I love this series, and am hosting an event with Heather on February 12 so was super excited to get my hands on this.

Things have taken a darker turn for the half-human teenager with an appetite for blood. Joss, a vampire slayer and Vlad's former friend, has moved back to Bathory. A mysterious and powerful new vampire, Dorian, appears with a shocking secret and an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad's blood. And Vlad's arch enemy, D'Ablo, has a sinister plan to eliminate Vlad once and for all. With death threatening from every angle, Vlad will have to use every ounce of his skill and training to survive, but nothing can prepare him for what awaits him in the end.

2. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

After all that cover controversy I really want to read this one

From the back: Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.

3. Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn

I really enjoyed Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist so have high hopes for this

Very LeFreak has a problem: she’s a crazed technology addict. Very can’t get enough of her iPhone, laptop, IMs, text messages, whatever. If there’s any chance the incoming message, call, text, or photo might be from her supersecret online crush, she’s going to answer, no matter what. Nothing is too important: sleep, friends in mid-conversation, class, a meeting with the dean about academic probation. Soon enough, though, this obsession costs Very everything and everyone. Can she learn to block out the noise so she can finally hear her heart?

4. The Good Girl's Guide to getting Kidnapped by Yxta Maya Murray

Kiki and Mish are best friends, but what Kiki doesn’t know is that Michelle Pena was born a gang princess. “Princess P” grew up destined to inherit leadership of the Snakes: a future filled with crime and fear.

Michelle, on the other hand, is a nationally ranked athlete and academic superstar. This is her new life, and she’s finally put her past—and her childhood love for Silver—to rest.

Then Silver helps kidnap both girls, and Michelle has to figure out how to free them both—and reconnect with a future that might now be beyond her reach.

So what was in your mailbox this week?

And have you entered my competition to win a copy of Captivate or hearts at Stake?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer - Review

Remember how everything changed after the meteor hit the moon and knocked it out of orbit? Did you wonder whether Miranda, Alex, or any of their families survived? This World We Live In is set a year later, when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with their baby, and three strangers (and yes, two of them are Alex and Julie Morales).

The world has not improved. There is no medicine, very little food, sporadic electricity, and terrible weather conditions. They question how to feed all these extra mouths but want to keep everyone close, to know where they are. They look at the baby and see hope for the future and know they will do anything to make sure he and his mother are safe.

Alex and Julie are drawn to each other but it’s complicated by Alex’s plans for his and Julie’s future, plans he doesn’t want to change.

I don’t want to tell you more, I just want you to read the book and come and talk to me about it. Pfeffer has remained true to her vision and to her previous books. She has not compromised, nor wavered, and takes on enormous issues head-on: Who do you consider family? Who would you trust to look after your loved ones if you can’t? Can love conquer all? Where do your obligations really lie? This is an incredible book: powerful, intense, terrifying. I read it one sitting. You will too (and will be talking about it long after you turn the last page - I am).

Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers

More lists!

Here's the ALA's 2010 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

Blackshaw, Ric and Farrelly, Liz. Street Art Book: 60 Artists in Their Own Words.

Brown, Marvelyn. The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive.

Elkeles, Simone. Perfect Chemistry.

Knowles, Jo. Jumping Off Swings.

Myers, Walter Dean. Dope Sick.

Regan, Sally. The Vampire Book.

Smith, Alexander Gordon. Lockdown: Escape from Furnace.

Fagerstrom, Derek and Smith, Lauren. Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know Instructions for Life From the Everyday to the Exotic.
Von D, Kat. High Voltage Tattoo.

Willin, Melvyn. Paranormal Caught on Film.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Win a copy of Captivate or Hearts at Stake

I'm very excited to announce my first giveaway of the year.

I've been talking a lot about our upcoming event with Carrie Jones and Alyx Harvey on Feb 12.

Now I get to give away an arc of both Captivate and Hearts at Stake.

All you have to do is reply to this post and leave your email address so I can get in touch with you. Oh, and please tell me which title you'd prefer! If you REALLY want to win you can get extra points by:

1. Becoming a follower of my blog (or if you are already a follower of course): +2
2. Reposting this competition and linking to it: +1

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults

The ALA selected 90 titles for the full list of Best Books for Young Adults. Here is their top ten best books for young adults list.

* Brennan, Sarah Rees. Demon's Lexicon.

* Griffin, Paul. The Orange Houses.

* Herlong, M.H. The Great Wide Sea.

* Jinks, Catherine. The Reformed Vampire Support Group.

* Napoli, Donna Jo. Alligator Bayou.

* Small, David. Stitches: A Memoir.

* Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me.

* Stork, Francisco X. Marcelo in the Real World.

* Taylor, Laini. Lips Touch: Three Times.

* Walker, Sally M. Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland.

Ooops - no crossover with my list at all!

More Awards!

The Mystery Writers of America has chosen its nominees for the 2010 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, TV and film published or produced in 2009. Here are the YA nominations:

Reality Check by Peter Abrahams
If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney
The Morgue and Me by John C. Ford
Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Low
Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Do you have a favorite on this list? Got to admit I'm rooting for Shadowed Summer

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I want to highlight: Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she’s had it with being her mother’s keeper, so she packs her bags and heads to stay with her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, she finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone wants something from her, even her newfound friends and family. Suddenly, life with her alcoholic mom doesn't sound half bad, and Dana would do anything to escape Avalon and get back home. Too bad both her friends and her enemies alike are determined not to let her go . . .

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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!

This week I'm reading The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

And here's the teaser:

I start to think about all the things I haven't said since Bailey died, all the words stowed deep in my heart, in our orange bedroom, all the words in the whole world that aren't said after someone dies because they are too sad, too enraged, too devastated, too guilty, to come out - all of them begin to course inside me like a lunatic river. I suck in all the air I can, until there's probably no air left in Clover for anyone else, and then I blast it all out my clarinet in one mad bleating typhoon of a note. (page 85, arc)

Jandy really has a beautiful way with language. Can't wait for this book.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Award Winners

Well, we've all been looking at the lists and making predictions but today the ALA announced the winners.

Printz Medal

* Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Printz Honor Books

* Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
* The Monstrumologist by Richard Yancey
* Punkzillaby Adam Rapp
* Tales from the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973 by John Barnes

Newbery Medal Winner

* When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Newbery Honor Books:

* Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
* The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
* Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
* The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

William C. Morris Medal

* Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Caldecott Medal

* The Lion & the Mouse illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney

Caldecott Honor Books

* All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon
* Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman

Coretta Scott King Author Award

* Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

* My People, by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Did those books you expected to win actually win? I called the Newbery and the Caldecott winners but I thought Wintergirls would get the Printz and Beautiful Creatures the Morris Medal. Great winners this year. Congratulations all.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention things like books! As ever with thanks to The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie who host and inspired this meme.

And wow - 2010 started well and is only getting better. This week, oh this week I got such wonderful books. Books I hugged to my wildly beating heart and refused to put down. Books that are keeping me inside unable to do much else.

Just look!

1. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shadow of the Wind is one of my favorite books - ever. And I have such high, high hopes for this. I got this is manuscript form BTW.

From the back: A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret . . . It’s wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they’ve recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house there still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners’ son, who died by drowning.

With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the suspicious circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called The Prince of Mist— a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends will find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden, which will change their lives forever.

2. Epitaph Road by David Patineaude

I have wanted this book since I first read about it. I'm such a fan of apocalyptic novels and the premise for this sounds fantastic.

From the back: 2097 is a transformed world. Thirty years earlier, a mysterious plague wiped out 97 percent of the male population, devastating every world system from governments to sports teams, and causing both universal and unimaginable grief. In the face of such massive despair, women were forced to take control of the planet--and in doing so they eliminated all of Earth's most pressing issues. Poverty, crime, warfare, hunger . . . all gone.

But there's a price to pay for this new "utopia," which fourteen-year-old Kellen is all too familiar with. Every day, he deals with life as part of a tiny minority that is purposefully kept subservient and small in numbers. His career choices and relationship options are severely limited and controlled. He also lives under the threat of scattered recurrences of the plague, which seem to pop up wherever small pockets of men begin to regroup and grow in numbers.

One day, his mother's boss, an iconic political figure, shows up at his home. Kellen overhears something he shouldn't -- another outbreak seems to be headed for Afterlight, the rural community where his father and a small group of men live separately from the female-dominated society. Along with a few other suspicious events, like the mysterious disappearances of his progressive teacher and his Aunt Paige, Kellen is starting to wonder whether the plague recurrences are even accidental. No matter what the truth is, Kellen cares only about one thing -- he has to save his father.

3. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
From the back: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life — and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

Best of all, Jandy is coming to Kepler's to talk about her book in June, with Heidi Kling! Yeay!

4. Dity Little Secrets by CJ Omololu
From the back: Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years — that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable — and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.

With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have readers completely hooked.

5. Spells by Aprilynne Pike

I really enjoyed Wings (review here) so of course am eager to see where she's taking this story.

From the back: Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable? .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Rock Riordan cover revealed - and an excerpt

Are you a fan of Rick Riordan? Read the whole series and wondering what to read next? Eagerly awaiting The Lightning Thief movie?


Last week Disney gave us a look at the cover for the first title in Rick Riordan’s new series, The Kane Chronicles. And you only have to wait until May 4 for The Red Pyramid, the first in a series starring siblings Carter and Sadie Kane. It is set in the present and, like the Percy Jackson series, draws from mythology (this time, Egyptian) and asks: what if the Egyptian Gods were real? The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog has this excerpt:

We only have a few hours, so listen carefully.

If you’re hearing this story, you’re already in danger. Sadie and I might be your only chance.

Go to the school. Find the locker. I won’t tell you which school or which locker, because if you’re the right person, you’ll find it. The combination is 13/32/33. By the time you finish listening, you’ll know what those numbers mean. Just remember the story we’re about to tell you isn’t complete yet. How it ends will depend on you.

The most important thing: when you open the package and find what’s inside, don’t keep it longer than a week. Sure, it’ll be tempting. I mean, it will grant you almost unlimited power. But if you possess it too long, it will consume you. Learn its secrets quickly and pass it on. Hide it for the next person, the way Sadie and I did for you. Then be prepared for your life to get very interesting.

Okay, Sadie is telling me to stop stalling and get on with the story. Fine. I guess it started in London, the night our dad blew up the British Museum.

What do you think? Personally, May 4 can't come quick enough...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Life for Kelley Winston changed irrevocably when she found out she was the daughter of Auberon and Mahb - that's right, Faerie royalty. She and Sonny, the Janus changeling with whom she fell in love, had to save New York from the Wild Hunt. And what was her reward? Auberon called Sonny back to the Otherworld to hunt down the Wild Hunt and Sonny asked her to wait for him. But Kelley misses him and is just not very good at doing what she is told. And although her career is on an upswing (she lands the part of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet) she runs into Titania, a Faerie hooligan, and a leprechaun while rehearsing and nothing good could come from that! As she tries to escape she is sent tumbling into the Otherworld with Fennrys, another Janus, finds Sonny (of course) but before they really can spend any time together finds out her father may well be dying, and has to decide where her loyalties really lie.

And as allegiances shift and charms fall away, more is revealed than you can imagine, leaving Kelley (and us) asking just who is Sonny exactly. Oh what a tangled web we weave.

If you enjoyed Wondrous Strange, as I did, you will fall on this sequel with delight, savoring another chance to travel alongside these characters and delve further into their history. All those scenes in the theatre still mark it as different, Sonny and Kelly's scenes together are as enchanting as ever, and it has such a disturbing bad guy this time. Furthermore, you just can't predict where this story will go. I've fallen under the spell of this world's magic and can't get my hands on the sequel quickly enough.

And what a gorgeous cover.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I want to highlight:

White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

I loved the Tithe series and will find it hard to wait until May for this. Especially now that I've read Chapter 1 (you can too - just click here).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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!

This week I'm reading Captivate by Carrie Jones.

And here's my teaser

"Am I turning?" I whisper. "Am I turning into one of you?"

He strides through the woods, turning sideways when the trees are too close. He is graceful and strong. "No. I do not believe so. You have to be kissed. And you still smell very human and nice. I am not certain though. I shall try to find out."

Oh my! Zipped right through this book. You?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Need and Captivate and Hearts at Stake - Oh My!

Because of the upcoming meet and greet with Carrie Jones and Alyx Harvey on February 12 - you are coming aren't you? - I want to post their book trailers.



Hearts at Stake:

SO - how do you feel about the music behind these trailers? Do they work? What would you have picked if asked?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In My Mailbox

A new year, a new decade, and some very wonderful books in my mailbox this week. As you all know, In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention things like books! As ever with thanks to The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie who host and inspired this meme.

And ah, this week, I got such wonderful books. Three books I have been waiting for. Can you hear my glee from here?

1. Captivate by Carrie Jones.
Sequel to the very wonderful Need, essential for anyone who wondered what was going to happen next to Zara, her werewolf boyfriend Nick, and all those pixies.

From the back: Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town. A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Best news of all: Carrie Jones will be visiting Kepler's for a meet and greet February 12th at 5.30 before our event with Heather Brewer. So we can get to hear her talking about this!

2. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan.
Yes! The companion volume to The Forest of Hands and Teeth

from the back: Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

And yes, Carrie Ryan will be visiting Kepler's too!

3. Linger by Maggie Steifvater.
What more can I say. Maggie has to be one of my favorite YA writers at the moment adn Linger continues Grace and Sam's story after Shiver.

from the back: In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

Maggie is also touring this July so I'm crossing fingers and toes...

I'm giddy just trying to choose which to start first. What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

And Another Eoin Colfer - Review

I admit it – I’ve been a fan of the late, great Douglas Adams’ phenomenally successful Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy series since I first read them and was worried at the thought of someone else writing a sequel. But Eoin Colfer is one of the funniest men on the planet, so I shelved my reservations and was delighted to find that this 6th novel in the ever-more increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy was right on target.

In an effort to achieve enlightenment through the pursuit of towels, liberty, and a nice cup of tea, Eoin has brought back Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillion, and Random Dent for another adventure where, right after the end of Mostly Harmless, the Earth is once again about to be destroyed by Vogons - even if one of these Vogons may indeed have a conscience.

Colfer has very much kept the spirit of Adams but put his own stamp on this sequel. So we find Trillion in love with an immortal green alien who is touring the galaxy insulting people in alphabetical order, a planet interviewing various unemployed gods, a very large slab of cheese, and an irritating computer in love with Thor. I could tell you that the story revolves around the alien, Wowbagger, and his attempts to die. And Zaphod tries to persuade Thor to kill Wowbagger, while Arthur argues with Random, and Wowbagger falls in love with Trillian. But all I really need say is DON’T PANIC. Arthur Dent is hitchhiking through the galaxy again and you won’t find a funnier tale with which to start the year.

I've mentioned my literary crush on Eoin before - yes? So here he is talking about this book (video by Kepler's very talented John Ray):

Monday, January 4, 2010

Yet another reason to admire Carrie Ryan

I was just quietly jumping up and down with glee when I found out that Carrie Ryan will be visiting Kepler's with her new book, The Dead-Tossed Waves. And then I went on to read her blog. And sometimes you understand just why you admire some authors so. Carrie talks about teens and their reality and why people try to ban books in both classrooms and libraries and I simply wanted to cheer. She writes so eloquently on such a serious subject and I couldn't agree more. Not talking about issues does not make them go away, does not give anyone any answers, it just keeps people sheltered. Reading is not a means of brainwashing but books can certainly expand horizons, and give people hope. How can you be unafraid to tackle issues if you're not even allowed to read about them?

Read Carrie's blog post here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best of 2009

Happy New Year to you all. I've been away (LA!), I've been sick (sadly still coughing), but I'd like to post my picks for the best of 2009.

Best sequel:
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
No contest here. Best book of the year for me.

Best adventure:
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Twisted right until the very end. Simply fantastic storytelling.

Best romance (with angels):
Hush Hush by Becca Fitpatrick
Loved this book.

Best romance (with werewolves):
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Gorgeous writing. Beautiful story. Can't wait for Linger.

Best vampire book:
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantasky
A completely different take on a very crowded genre.

Best zombie book:
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.
(OK not sure if this made it to 2009, think so, but it was SO good, so nail-bitingly scary. And the good news is that she's coming to Kepler's this year!)

Best retelling of fairy tales:
Ash by Malinda Lo
Lovely writing, seamless retelling with a twist, fabulous debut

Best story full of magic and witches:
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Witches, cursed romances, and southern gothic. oh my! Loved it.

Best pirate story:
Dust of 100 Dogs by AS King
I could put this book into so many categories but it is always so much more. Historical fiction, adventure, animal story even. A fantastic tale by a fabulous writer. Should be on everyone's list this year.

Best debut novel:
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Full of humor and insight, theatrical stories, Shakespeare, and even a hint of romance. Can't wait to see what she'll write next.

Best book with faeries:
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
(I know, it's number 11 in a list of 10 but I wanted to add it, couldn't leave it out, loved it)

It was a great year for books. And 2010 looks to be just as good. What was on your list?