Monday, November 28, 2011

The Future of Us Book Trailer

I really enjoyed this book - what a great concept. So I thought I'd post the book trailer to whet your appetites:

Have any of you read it yet?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Review

Meet Kali, a regular 16 year old …every other day. But Kali lives in a world where preternatural creatures roam. And every second day, she hunts and kills demons and other supernatural creatures. Every second day she is not human, and very hard to kill.

Trouble starts when she notices a tattoo on one of the cheerleaders. Kali knows this means the cheerleader was bitten by a chupacabra, and she’ll be dead in 24 hours. She wants to help, and lures the chupacabra into herself assuming she will easily get rid of it once she is no longer human. But she assumed the chupacabra will work on her like any other human, which it doesn’t. And to make it worse, the chupacabra starts to talk to her. Even has a name…

Reminiscent of Buffy, this is an all-action adventure that I could no put down. The interactions between the characters are as funny, the twists interesting, and the ending unpredictable. Loved it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ransom Riggs

I know, I've talked his book a lot recently. It is certainly one of my favorite reads of the year. But the event was fabulous, Ransom was so very interesting, and if you get a chance to listen to him, GO.

What can I tell you about him? He grew up writing stories and making videos in his backyard with friends. He attended the University of Virginia’s Young Writer’s Workshop, went to Kenyon College to study English, then to film school at the University of Southern California. He makes movies, writes screenplays, blogs for, and of course writes books. What else? He says that Tim Burton is interested in making a movie of the book (what a perfect choice), that he collected the photos first, that there will be a sequel (yay!), and that Ransom Riggs is his real name, not the pseudonym I thought it to be. And that the grandfather’s character was based very loosely on his wife’s grandfather .

You can see video of Ransom reading here:

And again, you can read my review here

Really unusual, really good, haunting, creepy, and rather poignant. Can't wait for the sequel.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman - Review

Here's Julie's review of Dark Eden. Looks great.Have just finished House of Silk (fabulous- didn't see the twist coming) and am now mid way through both Prized by Caragh O'Brien (LOVED Birthmarked and this, so far, is better) and Discovery of Witches, I think Dark Eden will be next!

Seven teens are sent to a remote "camp," an institution equipped to cure them of their profound fears. Fort Eden, however, is no summer camp. It is an isolated bunker, run by a prickly caretaker and the elusive program leader, Rainsford. One teen, Will Besting, knows there is more going on here than traditional treatment. Will must face his own demons and survive if he is to help the others. But can any of them truly overcome their fears?

Dark Eden, as the title implies, is a dark, disturbing book. The reader, along with Will, acquires snippets of information about what is really going on. The story is richly woven and hauntingly intriguing. You will want to know what is going on in that basement, even as you realize that knowing comes at a great cost. As with many horror movies, you will want to yell at Will and tell him, "Don't open that door!" But, of course, he does. And therein lies the thrill. Dark Eden is a must read title for fans of the psychological thriller.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - Review

Instead of lullabies, Jacob grew up with his grandfather’s stories of monsters and an orphanage on an island off the Welsh coast that saved him. As he a child, he believed it all. Later he saw it as a way for his grandfather to keep him entertained. But when his grandfather dies Jacob thinks he sees a monster in the woods. His father explains that his grandfather was a Jew in Poland under Nazi rule so the monsters were simply metaphors. But his grandfather’s dying words were to find the bird, in the loop, get to the island, tell them what happened, and there he would be safe. And the psychiatrist his parents insist he sees thinks it would be good for Jacob to go and find the orphanage and put it all to rest. But it turns out a bomb hit the orphanage in 1940 and all that remains is a shell, decaying and scary. So how did his grandfather have a letter from them sent 15 years ago? Is it possible that they survived? Jacob, of course, has to know and thus his path of self-discovery and adventure begins.

I can’t tell you much more without giving too much away. I loved this book – it kept me up having to know what would happen. It’s a haunting, creepy, thoroughly disturbing read that is also poignant and achingly beautiful. It reminded me, in some ways, of the movie Big Fish. And the unforgettable vintage photos work with the text, making this book stand out in a sea of look-alikes. This is one of the best I’ve read this year.

AND (drum roll please)
Ransom Riggs will be at Kepler's TONIGHT at 7.00
Don't miss this opportunity to meet him
I have so many questions...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hunger Games Trailer

I have no words. WOW.

100 Most Popular YA Books

I saw this on Debbie's World of Books. She saw it at The Cozy Reader. I really have no idea who compiled this list, but it's an interesting list, this is the time for lists, and I always think it's fun to see how many I've read from a list.

Tell me what you've read. What I should read that I haven't. What you think shouldn't be there. What is missing. That sort of thing.

Books in BOLD I’ve read. Books I own but haven’t read are in itals.

Alex Finn – Beastly
Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
Ally Condie – Matched
Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2, 3)
Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1,
2, 3, 4)
Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2, 3)
James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
John Green – Looking for Alaska
John Green – Paper Towns
Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1,
2, 3, 4)
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
M.T. Anderson – Feed
Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1,
2, 3)
Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mary Ting – Crossroads
Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Meg Rosoff – How I live now
Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
Neal Shusterman – Unwind
Neil Gaiman – Coraline
Neil Gaiman – Stardust
Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book

P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sabrina Bryan and Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2, 3)
Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3, 4)
Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sherman Alexie – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
Stephanie Meyer – The Host
Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1,
2, 3, 4, 5)
Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

As you can see, I often start but don't finish series.

My favorites from this list? The Book Thief, Looking for Alaska, The Hunger games trilogy, the last Survivors trilogy. Harry Potter 3 and Alex Rider for younger readers, How I Live Now, Stardust. Yes, I loved many of them.

But where is Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly or Dust of 100 Dogs by AS King or Divergent or Wither or Eyes Like Stars or Ash or Birthmarked or Miss peregrine's House for Peculiar Children? Or Beauty Queens? Or Knife of Never Letting Go.

Thst said, which of the books I haven't read on this list do you think I should drop everything and read NOW?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The House of Silk

I'll admit it - I am such a fan of Anthony Horowitz's work - from the Alex Rider series to Foyle's War. So it is with great delight that I picked up The House of Silk, his new Sherlock Holmes mystery. And he'll be at Kepler's on Friday November 18th at 7.00. Don't miss this opportunity to come and hear all about this new glimpse into Sherlock Holmes' world.

Want to know more about it? Here's Anthony reading from the preface:


It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks.

Intrigued by the man's tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston. As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase 'the House of Silk': a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself...

With devilish plotting and excellent characterisation, this is a first-rate Sherlock Holmes mystery for a modern readership, remaining utterly true to the spirit of the original Conan Doyle books. Sherlock Holmes is back with all the nuance, pace and powers of deduction that make him the world's greatest and most celebrated detective.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Breadcrumbs by Anna Ursu - Review

PW included it as one of the best of the year (and we agree!) so here's Marilyn's review

Maybe the changes began with a perfect snowfall of brilliant snowflakes. Or perhaps when a magic mirror breaks, hurling shards to earth changing those it touches. Hazel knows her best friend Jack changed suddenly and has followed the white witch into the woods on her wintery sleigh. Hazel must find him and follows him into the woods.

Enchanted tendrils of fairytales subtly wrap around Hazel offering her magical secrets and riches that are hard to resist but Hazel's quest is to find and steal back Jack from the white witch. Enjoy this perfect book of enchantment, adventure, and friendship.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

PWs list of best children's books for 2011

PW announced its list of best children's books for 2011. I've listed only the fiction titles here. I'm in the process of making mine. How many have you read? What did they leave off that you loved? I have read - and loved - Variant, Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, Breadcrumbs, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Scorio Races, Between Shades of Grey, Wonderstruck, Divergent, Legend, Beauty Queens, and The Future of Us. And of course I would have added Anna Dressed in Blood. And The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. And Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, which I am currently reading adn really enjoying.

The Future of Us
Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (Razorbill)

These collaborators use a surprising and inventive premise—teens in 1996 gaining access to their future Facebook pages by way of an AOL disk—to explore the connections between the present and the future, and the consequences of our actions. Underneath the fantastical conceit and the fun is an authentic story that asks important questions.

Franny Billingsley (Dial)

Billingsley’s sharp-tongued, self-hating Briony is easily one of the year’s most memorable narrators, as she struggles to come to terms with guilt over family tragedies, while living in a town in which new 20th-century technologies threaten supernatural beings of old. It’s a rich and layered fantasy that grabs readers tight—not unlike the bogs of Briony’s Swampsea.

Small Persons with Wings
Ellen Booraem (Dial)

Call them Parvi Pennati, call them Small Persons with Wings, just don’t call them fairies. Booraem’s middle-grade novel, in which an outcast girl comes into her own, is frequently sad, but those moments are perfectly balanced with humor and hope. The result is a deeply believable and human story—one that also has room for vainglorious fairies, talking mannequins, and other wonders.

Beauty Queens
Libba Bray (Scholastic Press)

Few books are as unabashedly outrageous and fun as Bray’s story of a plane full of teenage beauty queen contestants that crashes on a deserted island. But the riotous “Survivor meets Miss America” premise is a vehicle for some sharp observations about our image-obsessed, media-driven culture. Somebody get this book a tiara!

Missing on Superstition Mountain
Elise Broach, illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo (Holt/Ottaviano)

Bursting with action and (real-life) mystery, Broach’s middle-grade novel updates classic adventure novel and thriller tropes to launch a series with broad appeal. As three brothers investigate mysterious deaths and disappearances in an Arizona mountain range, Broach’s tight storytelling and chilling details will keep readers riveted.

Where She Went
Gayle Forman (Dutton)

Forman pushes beyond the tragic events of her 2010 novel If I Stay to uncover their broader consequences in this knockout of a sequel, told from the perspective of Adam, the former boyfriend of the first book’s protagonist, Mia. Love, heartache, abandonment, and music intertwine as Adam and Mia try to find their way back to each other, three years after their relationship was ripped apart.

Dead End in Norvelt
Jack Gantos (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Set in 1962 in Norvelt, Pa., Gantos’s freewheeling, semi-but-thankfully-not-entirely-autobiographical novel is the story of a summer almost beyond belief, filled with geyserlike nosebleeds, the demise of one elderly resident after another, the arrival of the Hells Angels, and a real estate scheme that threatens the town’s existence. Suffice it to say, it’s a roller-coaster ride from start to finish.

Inside Out and Back Again
Thanhha Lai (Harper)

Lai’s debut middle-grade novel, written in free-verse poems, draws from her own memories of moving to the U.S. from Vietnam as a child and offers a poignant account of an immigrant’s experience. Ten-year-old Hà’s journey is confidence-shaking and full of hard decisions, yet her strong voice and resilient nature are testament to the human ability to conquer obstacles.

Marie Lu (Putnam)

Set in a grim, futuristic Los Angeles, Lu’s debut novel sets up an exciting dichotomy between her protagonists, Day and June, who are both brilliant and capable, but on opposite sides of the law. A gritty and thrilling dystopian novel, with expertly handled character development and world-building.

The Apothecary
Maile Meloy, illus. by Ian Schoenherr (Putnam)

Meloy’s first book for young readers is a wonderfully imagined alternate history, set as cold war tensions between the U.S. and Russia are reaching critical mass, and a secretive group of apothecaries conspires to protect the planet from all-out destruction. With magic, history, adventure, romance, and smart writing, it’s truly a story with something for everyone.

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness, illus. by Jim Kay (Candlewick)

Building on a foundation laid by the late Siobhan Dowd, Ness delivers a singular story that looks death squarely in the eye, unblinking, as Conor, a boy with an ailing mother, is visited nightly by a primeval monster, which tries to prepare him for the road ahead. Blurring fantasy and reality, Kay’s haunting illustrations fade in and out, guiding readers—and Conor—toward the book’s final, inevitable truth.

The Flint Heart
Katherine Paterson and John Paterson, illus. by John Rocco (Candlewick)

The Patersons’ loving adaptation of Eden Philpott’s 1910 novel of the same name is as deliciously whimsical, funny, and, well, original as the original, while streamlining and freshening it for a 21st-century audience. It’s a story of nonstop novelty, with cavemen, a talking water bottle, and imps and fairies aplenty, told in an effervescent narrative voice ideal for fireside family reading.

Veronica Roth (HarperCollins/Tegen)

Roth’s first novel lands near the front of the current crop of dark, action-laden dystopian novels. With a volatile futuristic setting, tight storytelling, heart-stopping action, and tentative romance, it’s a thrill-ride that speaks to teenagers’ desire to determine the course of their own lives.

Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press)

In a story that’s both cinematic and personal, Selznick builds and improves upon the graphic/prose hybrid narrative style he first used in The Invention of Hugo Cabret with a story about human connections that span miles and decades. The book shines a spotlight on Deaf culture, the theme of silence a brilliant fit with the illustrated sections of the narrative.

Between Shades of Gray
Ruta Sepetys (Philomel)

Sometimes, sadly, reality proves far more devastating than the latest dystopian premise of the moment. That’s certainly the case with Sepetys’s brutal account of Lithuanians deported to Siberian work camps during WWII. Every step of 15-year-old Lina’s journey is brought vividly to life, with no detail spared or punch pulled. The novel stands as a reminder of humanity’s capacity for cruelty, but also resiliency.

The Scorpio Races
Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press)

Stiefvater creates a startlingly original mythology in this captivating novel set on an island that has an uneasy relationship with the vicious horses that rule its beaches and waters. Just as these fairy creatures are no ordinary horses, neither is this an ordinary horse novel; rather, it’s an atmospheric fantasy about a girl working to control not just her mount but her family and her life’s direction.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor (Little, Brown)

Taylor has a gift for creating spellbinding fantasies that feel wholly novel and utterly real. This one is the story of Karou, a 17-year-old art student in Prague, raised by demons and caught in an escalating war with angels. Taylor takes star-crossed romance, wonderfully complex characters, and a fascinating mythology and spins a magical, heartbreaking story.

Anne Ursu, illus. by Erin McGuire (HarperCollins/Walden Pond)

Fairy tales are an evergreen source of inspiration for authors, and Ursu works some serious magic with “The Snow Queen” in this frequently somber but entirely beautiful story of an adopted fifth-grader from India pursuing her lost friend into a mysterious Minnesota forest. Sly references to other fairy tales and classics of children’s literature only sweeten the deal.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Catherynne M. Valente, illus. by Ana Juan (Feiwel and Friends)

Valente’s glittering fantasy playground began as an offhand mention in one of her other novels, turned into a crowd-funded e-book, and finally became a print book with artwork that matches the wonderfully surreal story of a girl’s journey from Omaha into Fairyland. With literary allusions scattered throughout, the book holds delights for readers of any age.

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales
Chris Van Allsburg et al. (Houghton Mifflin)

Some might dismiss the idea of creating stories for the enigmatic illustrations in Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick as literary heresy. But really, that sort of imaginative extrapolation is the whole point of the earlier book, an exercise formalized in this volume with creepy, funny, and provocative entries from the likes of Sherman Alexie, Kate DiCamillo, Gregory Maguire, and Van Allsburg himself.

Robison Wells (HarperTeen)

Wells’s first novel is a blisteringly fast-paced thriller, set at a boarding school where students are trapped, divided into factions, and unable to escape. Wells keeps readers—not to mention his characters—on their toes, engineering twist after twist in a story that brings elements of boarding school and survivalist novels into grim, futuristic territory.

Where Things Come Back
John Corey Whaley (S&S/Atheneum)

This smart, darkly funny, and multilayered debut novel juxtaposes the disappearance of a 15-year-old boy with the possible reappearance of a woodpecker thought to be extinct. Whaley weaves numerous story lines and themes together with the confidence of a seasoned writer, resulting in a thought-provoking story about media, faith, and family.

Blink & Caution
Tim Wynne-Jones (Candlewick)

An unlikely premise—two homeless teens stumble into a faked kidnapping with major implications—forms the basis for a thrilling yet compassionate story that skillfully explores themes of social, environmental, and racial justice. Blink and Caution are unforgettable characters, working just as hard to find themselves as they do to unravel the ever-widening mystery.

How to Save a Life
Sara Zarr (Little, Brown)

Life and death, grief and joy are closely linked in this story of a family in flux. Deftly handling such emotionally turbulent subjects as the death of a parent, teen pregnancy, abusive relationships, and adoption, Zarr delivers a moving, funny, and emotionally honest story about three women whose understanding of family, and of themselves, shifts in profound ways.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday - Review

Here's Julie's review of a book that I've been meaning to read for a while. Always like when there are local references.

High school student, Hartley Featherstone, is having a rotten day. Not only does she discover that her super-cute boyfriend is cheating on her, but everyone in the whole school knows the details except her. When her weasel of a boyfriend doesn't answer her texts, she storms his house. He's not home, but Hartley makes a grim discovery. The uber-popular, Color Guard Girl that Josh has been cheating with just fell out of said boyfriend's closet and she's dead; strangled with her iPod ear buds.

Josh convinces Hartley that while he did cheat on her, he's innocent of murder and elicits Hartley's help in finding the real culprit. She teams up with her best friend, Sam, and Mr. Tall-dark-and-handsome, Chase Erikson, to find out who really killed the queen of the Chastity Club and the illustrious leader of the Color Guard Girls.

Deadly Cool is set in the Silicon Valley, making it a particularly fun read for Northern California teens. This is a smart, hip, tightly woven mystery. The author's dry wit and snappy dialogue will grab you immediately; you'll enjoy the ride with Hartley and her friends as they solve their classmate's murder.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Blooger Holiday Swap

The holidays are coming and there's nothing that I love more than giving books as gifts! Which is one of the reasons I've decided to participate in the Book Blogger Holiday Swap this year. Because I really love to share my love of books with people who also love them. And I've always enjoyed secret santas. I look forward to being introduced to new books and new blogs. If you want to take part click here and hurry -sign ups for the swap close on Friday, November 11!

Tamora Pierce

I have long been a fan of Tamora Pierce's work. All those strong kick-ass heroines. Lots of action. Beautifully written. And so was absolutely delighted to host her at Kepler's for her newest book Mastiff (and have an excuse to turn back to reread the series). And she really is an amazing speaker, as you'd expect. Full os news and enthusiasm. 175 packed the store - they drove from far and wide - some arrived as early as 4 o'clock for a 7 o'clock event!

We had asked a bunch of local students to form an honor guard, to come and meet with Tammy early, ask a few questions, get their books signed, and escort her in. See photo. Very impressive as they walked in. And such fun.

She has an interesting way to start out (I won't give it away but it is, shall we say, unusual)...there were so many questions, we did have to cut them off to make sure everyone could get their books signed. People brought piles of books. All wanted photos. And Tammy had a kind word and time for everyone. Review of Mastiff soon - promise.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Future of Us By Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler - Review

It’s 1996, a time when very few people had access to the internet. When AOL were sending out free CD-ROMs so people could try out what it was like to surf the internet. Emma has just got a computer. Josh lives next door and has a disk. They decide to try it out, log in, register, and are asked to log in again. And when they do, they find themselves logged into something called facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Once they realize what they are looking at (and it takes some time to work this out), the question is: do they peek into their future? After all, they can see which colleges they go to, where they choose to live, what jobs they get, whether they get married. And then can they resist checking on their friends futures? But what happens if you didn’t like your future? Would you try to change it? And by changing it, would you change the future for others too? We know that of course the things we do now will change the future but yet we act so casually. And we all know people who reveal far too much on facebook. Full of references, both from the 90s and current, this is a hard book to resist.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Oh, I've just seen this video book trailer and it is amazing...I've just started this book because Ransom Riggs will be at Kepler's on 15th of November at 7.00. So excited!

Hunger Games Poster

Did you see this?
Just. Can't Wait.

Ashes by Ilsa Bick - Review

Both Marilyn and Antonia both loved this book and it will most certainly be my next read. Here's Marilyn's review

Ellie has a monster in her head, a growing tumor that is stealing her life. It's hiding but Ellie knows it will be back and she needs to make this trip for her parents before she no longer can. She sets off alone, heading north into Michigan wilderness with food, supplies, and her parents ashes to scatter while she still can move and walk and function.

Her solitude is startled when an elderly grandfather and granddaughter stumble into her campsite and take a break to share coffee with Ellie. Their quiet morning is smashed by shattering jolts of energy throwing them to the ground in explosive pain. Terrified animals stampede past, escaping something unseen and deadly. Ella and the little girl are stunned, bruised and bleeding but the old man doesn't move at all, he's dead.

Ella's one thought is to move fast, to get away from whatever force or thing has struck them. She needs to survive and get north. Ella and her companions move through the new landscape, never sure they can trust any survivors they meet but with winter approaching and food dwindles, she'll have to trust her instinct and skills to survive. Ashes is a high-octane fueled book, perfect for action fans with plenty of plot twists and wicked surprises.