Thursday, June 7, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Beloved Children’s Classics as Minimalist Posters

I saw these hyper-minimalist takes on beloved children’s classics by designer Christian Jackson and fell in love. I'm posting an example here but follow this link here to see the rest. They are amazing.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth - Review

I LOVED absolutely LOVED Divergent and couldn't get my hands on Insurgent fast enough. But not fast enough to read it before Antonia, it seems. So I'm posting her review first, although we both loved it. I'll post my review too but I'll just say that I couldn't put it down. After the catastrophic events of Divergent, Triss and Tobias find themselves on the run with friends and family. Abnegation and Dauntless have been destroyed and they must now seek amnesty with rival factions. But the hijacking of Dauntless has deeper roots than they previously anticipated and there is only so far they can trust anyone. This highly anticipated follow-up to the much loved Divergent is as powerful as it is exhilarating. I can't wait for book three.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fierce Reads tour - details

You've heard about it, I know. This great tour of amazing debut authors. Anna Banks, Leigh Bardugo, Jennifer Bosworth, Emmy Laybourne, and Marissa Meyer All at Kepler's June 8th Want to know a little about the books? Anna Banks, OF POSEIDON An action-packed novel about a teenage girl who learns she has the gift of Poseidon and can communicate with fish—and gorgeous mermen. Leigh Bardugo, SHADOW AND BONE A magical tale of a refugee girl thrust into the magical elite when she learns that she has a dormant power that may be the only thing that can destroy the Shadow Fold, a swath of darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Jennifer Bosworth, STRUCK A girl who is struck by lightning hundreds of times discovers that she holds the fate of the world in her hands. Emmy Laybourne, MONUMENT 14 A group of students are trapped together in a chain superstore and must face life, death, love and hate, while the world as they know it ends around them. Marissa Meyer, CINDER Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But after she meets Prince Kai, she finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle and a forbidden attraction. Can she protect her world’s future? Awesome, right? So far I've read Cinder (review posted), Struck (review to come), and Monumnet 14 (review to come too). Looking forward to of Poseidon and Shadow and Bone. CAN'T WAIT!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sh*t Book Reviewers Say

Saw this, fell about laughing, then wondered whether I could go back and edit my reviews without anyone noticing!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Slide by Jill Hathaway - Review

Oh this one looks good. And creepy. Here's Antonia's review Sylvia (Vee) Bell is cursed with a gift. She can "slide" into other people if she touches something they have touched. Passing out while she sees the world through their eyes, she is something of a social outcast - that girl with narcolepsy - you know the one. As if that wasn't bad enough she slides into the body of a murderer - and witnesses the best friend of her sister being killed. Vee is the only person who knows it isn't suicide but how can she possibly tell people how she knows? And now the killer is after other cheerleaders, including Vee's little sister, and Vee is the only one who knows crimes are being committed - it is up to her to figure out who is responsible.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fierce Reads Trailer!

As you all know we are hosting the fabulous Fierce Reads tour on Friday June 8th and here is the first glimpse of their trailer. Fierce Reads includes Struck by Jennifer Bosworth, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo And Cinder by Marissa Meyer (although she won't be at every stop of the tour). Each page more fierce than the last! Download the song at and where you can read chapter excerpts, and more! The song is: Turning the Page by Jessica Drake What do you think?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour - Review

It's senior year and everyone is making plans about where to go to college and what to study. But Colby and Bev have always agreed that they would go on the road with Bev's band and then explore Europe. They've been saving and planning for years. But just as they leave San Francisco in a van named Melinda, Bev tells her friends that she has changed her mind - she is forsaking Colby and Europe for art school. Which leave Colby where exactly? He has to come to terms with why Bev hadn't told him long ago and what to do now. The Disenchantments is an unexpected delight, full of music and small towns, art and the meaning of friendship, about love and whether it can last, about accepting who you are and finding what is right.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore - Review

Have you been waiting for Bitterblue? I have. But Antonia got to it first! So here's her review. It'll be my next read... Bitterblue has grown up since her daring rescue by Katsa in Graceling, but the specter of her father, King Leck, still overshadows the kingdom. Together with those she trusts most deeply, Bitterblue must cast light, not only on the atrocities perpetrated by Leck himself, but the atrocities he forced others to commit. But there are powerful forces in the kingdom who believe secrets are best kept, thwarting her at every turn. Kristin Cashore's grand finale to the Graceling trilogy most certainly does not disappoint.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness - Review

Patrick Ness has created a world where you can hear everyone's thoughts, including the animals around you - a constant sea of noise. This is where Todd grows up, in a world made up entirely of men. He's the last boy in Prentisstown and one day, while out picking apples, he and his dog Manchee - and I can't say enough about how much I love Manchee - find an area of silence. And it's incredibly disturbing. Of course there's no keeping it to himself in a place where everyone can hear your thoughts. And just like that he's told to run, because it's too dangerous to stay. Told with breakneck speed that leaves you gasping for air but unable to break away, we follow Todd and Manchee's journey as they meet Viola, try to stay ahead of the men who continue to chase them, and learn, as they do, that all he's known to be true may not be. Written in style all of its own (Todd is an innocent with no formal education and it's written from his point of view), it's dark, violent, brutal, haunting, and utterly addicting. It made my heart race and consumed my free time, as I wondered why I had waited so long to start this series. Wow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa - Review

Imagine a future ruled by vampires, where rabids roam, and humans are put on registers to feed their masters. Allison hates these vampires and lives on the edge of a vampire city, scavenging for food. It's a tough life that gets much much tougher when she's attacked by rabids, found by a vampire and given the choice to die or become one of them. And thus she becomes the thing she hates most, and has to learn how to live as one. When she is forced to run from the only place she's ever known she has to pretend she's human when she finds a group of humans who are searching for a promised land. And that's hard to pull off, keeping her hunger in check, especially around Zeke. These are not sparkly romantic vampires! These are fierce, violent, dark, and bloodthirsty. And Allison is equally fierce, knowing how to survive in the Vampire City, and adjusting to vampire life once she is bitten. This is very different from the author's wonderful Iron Fey series but equally addictive.

Friday, May 4, 2012

How I Live Now film update

It's my day for film news I guess (and I'm feeling guilty for not posting for so long). Just read Meg Rosoff's update on the movie. Here's what she said: * The script is still being polished (and she hasn't read it). * There are four or five actors in the running for Edmond and three for Piper, and they’ll be workshopping with the director (Kevin MacDonald) and Saoirse Ronan (see photo left) for the final choice. As far as she knows, these are all “unknowns”, ie, not Zac Efron or Taylor Lautner. Or Daniel Radcliffe or Robert Pattinson. Or Shia LaBeouf. * Principal photography begins 25 of June (SOON!) * Location will be “remote” — north of England, Scotland, Wales? * Film is likely to be released in spring 2013 Really excited for this. It is such a good book.

Rick Riordan

For all of you who came to see Rick Riordan talk about his new book, Serpent's Shadow at the Fox Theatre - wasn't he amazing? As entertaining and charming as ever. His presentation was wonderful (who will now forget that framed rejection letter that survived even a fire?) And he read a chapter from his upcoming book, The Mark of Athena (out in the Fall) which captivated each and every one of us. What a great event! If you joined us, let me know what was the best part of the evening! And have you finished the book yet?

Beautiful Creatures - First look

Entertainment Weekly just posted this first photo from the Beautiful Creatures movie set. Remember Beautiful Creatures (which I loved)? Supernatural star-crossed romance, a small town full of secrets, and a dash of Southern gothic intrigue. In development since 2009, Beautiful Creatures recently started shooting in New Orleans. Photo shows Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), the mysterious girl of his dreams — literally. What do you think?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Immortal Rules News

I love Julie Kagawa's iron fey series, as you know, and greedily gobbled up her new book, The Immortal Rules (thank you Pam), And yes, review to come soon. (I know, I've been sidetracked AGAIN)
But today Jule posted some great news.

Palomar Pictures Optioned The Immortal Rules and Blood of Eden Series

So cool!

Background: The Immortal Rules is set in a future world where humanity, decimated by a deadly virus, exists merely as a food source and slave class to an elite society of vampires. When a young woman, a survivor who dreams of the day humanity will rise up against their supernatural masters, is turned into a vampire, she is forced to choose between becoming what she despises or helping those who would destroy her.

From the press release: Julie Kagawa felt that Sighvatsson was the right producer to partner with because of his tremendous track record for getting his films made and his passion for her books. "Joni does not take on a project unless he really loves it," Kagawa said. "He's thoughtful and established, and I know he's going to make a great movie that respects my material."

So whereas they don't know when they are going to start filming, or even if they are going to start filming, it's an option and a first step and it's great, great news.

Now - if you've read this book who would you like to see as teh main characters?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reminder: YA Extravaganza April 18th at 7.00

Just a reminder - if you are in the Bay Area you will not want to miss this wonderful event. Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, Nina LaCour, and Jess Rothenberg will be at kepler's on April 18th at 7.00 to talk about their books. And the panel will be hosted by Heidi Kling. Doesn't get better than that.
Don't miss this evening full of fun, fashion, romance, road trips, and heartbreak with some of YA's most exciting writers of contemporary fiction.
We love all these books and we know you will too.
Join us.

Here's a little blurb about all the books. I've recently run reviews of Anna and the French Kiss, If I Stay, and The Catastrophic History of You and Me. And I'm reading the Disenchantments right now (SO good!)

Gayle Forman, Where She Went

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life. Now Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York, chance brings the pair together for one last night when they revisit the past and open their hearts.

Nina Lacour, The Disenchantments

Colby's post-high school plans have long been that he and his best friend Bev would tour with her band, then spend a year in Europe. When Bev announces she will start college just after the tour, Colby struggles to understand why she changed her mind and what losing her means for his future.

Stephanie Perkins, Lola and the Boy Next Door

Everything is pretty perfect in budding designer Lola Nolan's life until the Bell twins return to the neighborhood. When Cricket steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Jess Rothenberg, The Catastrophic History of You and Me

When Brie's boyfriend says he doesn't love her it breaks her heart--literally. But her family is unravelling, her best friend is keeping a secret about Jacob and his betrayal, and then there's Patrick, Brie's guide and resident Lost Soul, who just might hold the key to her forever after.

Also must include
Heidi Kling's Sea

Still haunted by nightmares of her mother's death, Sienna reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder. The last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives there. When Deni hears that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn't think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.

Can't wait!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Grave Mercy By Robin Lafevers - Review

Another of Marilyn's fabulous reviews - this one for Grave Mercy

A story of vengeance, assassins and high drama! Ismea's hard life becomes unbearable when she's thrown into a hasty marriage to Guille a brute with a nasty temper. Aided by the same priest who married her mere hours earlier, she escapes to the convent, St. Mortain - hoping to hide. St. Mortain abbey serves the saint of death, Mortain, where novices train to become assassins. Ismae's undeveloped talents and thirst to learn make her a perfect candidate. Here she learns the subtle arts of poisons and techniques to kill enemies in any situation.

Ismae's assignment is now at the royal court in Brittany. She will act as the mistress of Gavriel Duval, whom she dislikes on first meeting; the feeling is mutual. Her difficult start with Duval will make her time at court more perilous, as she must act as Duval's chatty new lover while stealthily searching and eliminating threats to Ann, young Duchess of Brittany. There are many enemies at court seeking to grab the power base of Brittany. Time is running out and it's Ismae's actions that can save the Duchess and hope to save Brittany from the hungry clutches of France. This gripping story has it all - royal intrigue, murder, spies and ruthless assassins and I love it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad - Review

here's Marilyn's review of 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad, which looks so good I think it has to be my next read. Have you read it?

"Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1st moon landing, NASA has announced it will be sending a new mission to the moon; and if you're a teenager, you could win a spot on this mission! Work alongside scientists and astronauts....." Billboards around the world play video ads day and night in every language: win a trip...172 hours on the moon...trip of a life part of history.....

Of the three teens chosen, only Antoine is excited about the moon trip. Mia and Midori look at it as a way to jumpstart their lives in the U.S. where endless possibilities await when they return from space.

After months of rigorous training, conditioning and media interviews the launch is in countdown mode: it's go time. Of course there are great risks in space but they all feel excited and proud to be part of this moon mission as they land in the Sea of Tranquility. But within hours of landing, the power source fails abruptly, wiping out all communication. Very soon they all know Something or Someone does not want humans here...

Can they survive and get back to earth? Can they survive long enough for a possible rescue mission? The moon will never look the same to you after you finish reading this chilling story...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

If I Stay, Gayle Forman - Review

Still talking about our YA Extravaganza (Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, Nina LaCour, and Jess Rothenberg) on April 18th and this time focusing on Gayle Forman's wonderful book, If I Stay

Mia is happy: she is a talented cellist who has just auditioned for Julliard, she is dating Adam, the lead singer in an up and coming band, and has a happy home life with supportive parents and an adorable kid brother. The only thing bothering her is whether to follow her musical dreams or stay closer to home to be with Adam.

But an unforeseen snowstorm leads to a snow day, a family trip to see friends, and a terrible accident. And while in a coma, she watches herself and those who come to visit - her family and friends, and of course Adam who goes to desperate measures to get in to see her.

Events taking place in the hospital are juxtaposed with flashbacks of Mia's life as she thinks about all she's lost (can she go on without them?) and all she has left (and what her leaving will mean to them). This heart-wrenching story is romantic yet uplifting, poignant yet never maudlin. It's a book about love, friendship, family and the choices we make. It is beautifully written and lingers well past the last page.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins - Review

Because Stephanie Perkins is coming to Kepler's on April 18th as part of our YA Extravaganza I went looking for my review of the book and realized i haven't posted it. SO - better late than never! However, can we say EXCITED!

Paris is a magical city so who wouldn't be happy at the thought of spending a year abroad studying there? Well, it turns out that Anna would prefer to stay in Atlanta with her friends, her crush, her job, and her family. But Anna's father thinks this will be good for her so Anna finds herself in the American school in Paris, all alone, speaking no French, and homesick. Fortunately she meets some new people who force her to leave her room and discover the beauties of the city. The film buff in her is dazzled by how many cinemas there are in Paris - and then there is Etienne St Clair...

This is such a feel good book, soaked in the sights and smells of Paris and falling in love. It is light-hearted, joyous, and adorable.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Die For Me by Amy Plum

I'm very belatedly posting Amanda's review of Die for Me because it appears I forgot to post it beforehand and because I'm reading Until I Die at the moment (le sigh)

Still grieving from the tragic death of her parents, Kate Mercier barely registers the world around her. Now living in Paris, she escapes into her books and museums--content to be alone. But then she meets the beautiful and mysterious Vincent and falls in love. Of course, Vincent is not all that he seems. He is a "revenant," an immortal, fated to sacrifice himself in the act of saving others. As Kate witnesses the violence and death surrounding Vincent, she must decide if her heart can bear to be a part of Vincent's destiny. Is he the love of her life, even in death? Not at all your typical zombie book, Die For Me brings to life a new twist in paranormal romance.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Catastrophic History Of You And Me by Jess Rothenberg - Review

Here's Marilyn's review of The Catastrophic History of You and Me. And best of all she'll be at Kepler's on April 18th at 7.00 with Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, and Nina LaCour. Really. So, so excited. Panel will be moderated by Heidi Kling. It is sure to be a blast.

Seriously, four words did it; ripped Brie's heart in two. Four words; I.Don't. Love.You. No one could save her - not her brilliant cardiac surgeon dad, her BFFs, or God.

Brie, newly dead has all eternity to be dead. Wow - this is way harder and a lot more strenuous than her active life was as a living, breathing almost 16 year old teen! Brie sees her memorial with all her weeping stunned family, friends and school; takes the weird bus ride (for one) to the funky old pizza place where cute but annoying Patrick welcomes her to the afterlife. Brie has an E T E R N I T Y to learn the steps she must take before she can actually R.I.P. No other words can be as terrifying for her to hear.

**Spoiler alert, I can only tell you this book is hilarious - take Brie's trip with her, you'll be glad you did.

And don't forget to join us Aptil 18th!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bzrk by Michael Grant - Review

Everyone here at Kepler's are such fans of Michael Grant's Gone series. So we couldn't wait to get our hands on his newest book, Bzrk. Here's Antonia's revew and it's definitely going to be my next read.

What ever you do don't spend too much time researching nanobots - you may never sleep again. Its not cute like that Dennis Quaid movie - yeah, yeah, I'm dating myself - these suckers are creepy. And I don't do parasites. Have I mentioned that?

Michael Grant however, does. Parasites, that is. And nanobots are basically parasites, and they run into organic parasites when they in or on the human body, and that's the bit that creeps me out. But this one at least I could read (I had to put Plague down and find out from a friend what happened. Peeps too, but I'm not going to go into that.) In fact, not only could I read it, I loved it! This is pure thriller (and I guess the parasites having human motivations makes me less squeamish than the mindless eating variety) in two worlds macro (our real world) and nano (so tiny it is sub-microscopic). The bad guys are the same, the only difference is in the way that they meet. Michael Grant is a master of page-turning awesomeness, and this one does not disappoint.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ally Carter, Out of Sight, Out of Time

Ally Carter is one of the most charming women I have ever met. I love her books (both series) and I love her. And she is coming to Kepler's on

at 7.00

so anyone in the Bay Area should mark it on your calendars and make sure you come and hear her talk about her newest Gallagher Girl book, Out of Sight, Out of Time

Background: With more than a million Gallagher Girls books sold, a legion of fans have fallen in love with the New York Times best-selling spy-girl series, and the fifth book delivers the most nerve-wracking, high-stakes adventure yet.

The book: The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie's summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

see video:

and join us!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Review

Hazel Grace meets Augustus Waters at a cancer support group. Hazel has thyroid cancer, carries around an oxygen tank, and feels like she is living on borrowed time. Gus has osteosarcoma and has had a portion of a leg removed. As they get to know each other Hazel shares her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction (that I googled because I SO wanted it to be real). They are both witty and perceptive, charming and incredibly likeable, which makes the book all the more heartbreaking.

But what could have been a very depressing book isn't at all. It's about two people meeting their match and finding out how precious life is, determined to live undeterred by their diagnoses. As Hazel herself says, "cancer books suck" but although this is a very real picture of how they deal with their illnesses and their friends illnesses, it is also full of hope. The book leads to a trip to Amsterdam, there's lots of humor, and yes, it made me weep. But it is beautiful, touching, and full of empathy. I was deeply affected by this book and find it still lives with me. John Green is a very talented writer and this, for me, is his best work. It deserves every prize I am sure it will win.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tonight - Alexander Gordon Smith

Tonight: Alexander Gordon Smith at 7.00 and he'll be talking about his newest book: Fugitives: Escape from Furnace 4

Furnace Penitentiary is the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, Alex has done the impossible and escaped. But the battle for freedom is only just beginning. Charged with his superhuman abilities, Alex must uncover the last of Furnace’s secrets — the truth about Alfred Furnace, the man who built the prison. And to do that he must stop running and finally confront his greatest fears.

Can't wait!

For those of you who don't know his books, see the book trailer below

See you tonight!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price - review

How far would you go to help the ones you love? Would you let someone else live in your body?

In Callie's world the Spore Wars killed anyone not vaccinated, including her parents. So only the very old and the very young survived. Callie lives with her little brother Tyler and her friend Michael. They live in abandoned buildings, never have enough to eat, and fight continuously for survival. They know that to be caught by the Marshals means being thrown into forced work camps. Then Callie hears of Prime Destination, a company where the young and beautiful can rent out their bodies to the old for a lot of money - with strict limits of course. It seems like the perfect way out of her problems and to help Tyler who is sick.

But there's a glitch, a malfunction in the chip they put in her brain, and she wakes up on the floor at a dance in her renter's life. She's back in her own body but she can live her renter's life. She can't believe her luck, especially when she meets Blake. But there is a catch - there is always a catch. And she starts to hear her renter's voice in her head. And her renter has a plan. This is a very disturbing look into the future, a real page turner that rang true. Can't wait for the sequel.

TC Boyle

Yay, TC Boyle stopped by today to sign stock. Love his books.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fierce Reads comes to Keplers June 8th

In a brainstorming session, Angus Killick, newly appointed v-p and associate publisher of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, had one of those bolts of lightning. He thought: Fierce. "Here's a word teens relate to. If something is fierce, something is really great," he said. "It's edgy, too." A campaign was born: "Fierce Reads."

The Four Books for Fierce Reads are:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Holt)
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (FSG)
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (Feiwel & Friends)
Monument 14 by Emily Laybourne (Feiwel & Friends)
Guest for the tour: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

"We looked at all these amazing debut novels and came up with a great word that we could hang it all on. There's nothing that says a Fierce Read has to be a new author, though it so happens that all four this spring are new authors." Special guest authors will attend some of the Fierce Reads events, too.

"The ultimate goal," explained Killick, "is to create an online home and a brand where teens can interact with books they love and be a part of the discovery of new books." Fierce Reads will promote books across all imprints, with a mix of debut and well-known authors. Killick sees this as a brand to build on over several seasons, one that he hopes will be embraced by not only teens but also librarians and teachers.

And the best news: they will be at Kepler's with
Marissa Meyer, who wrote Cinder (which I loved) on June 8th.
Don't miss this.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Andre Norton Awards

They've just announced the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. What a great list. Which have you read? Which do you recommend? I LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I would recommend it to everyone. Which shall I read next?

Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor (Viking Juvenile)
Chime, Franny Billingsley (Dial Books; Bloomsbury)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Hodder & Stoughton)
Everybody Sees the Ants, A.S. King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
The Boy at the End of the World, Greg van Eekhout (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books)
Ultraviolet, R.J. Anderson (Orchard Books; Carolrhoda Lab)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Game of Thrones Season 2 trailer

Full disclosure: I'm such a big fan of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones series - both books and TV series. HBO has upped the tension for the second season of Game of Thrones, with a new video offering more details on the impending war in Westeros. It's SO good and makes me want it to start right now.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, here are the 10 best lines from the new video:

1. "Sometimes those with the most power have the least grace."
2. "The war of five kings they're calling it; nothing matters but how it ends."
3. "The time to strike is now, the Starks fight the Lannisters, the Baratheons fight each other."
4. "The Iron Throne is mine, by right."
5. "You have inherited your father's responsibilities -- they come at a cost."
6. "The comet means one thing, boy: dragons."
7. "They will hit us in force and they won't run away when we hit back."
8. "You want to lead one day? Well learn how to follow."
9. "When my dragons are grown, we will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!"
10. "The king is a lost cause; it's the rest of us I'm worried about now."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

JK Rowling is writing a book for grown ups!

Yes, I'll admit it, I loved the Harry Potter books. Read all of them. More than once. Saw all the movies. And apparently JK Rowling is now writing her first book for grown-ups. And she's not telling anyone about the characters and plot of her new book.

She said: ‘Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series. '
‘The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me.’

Industry insiders expect the new book will be released later this year.

Will her new novel have the same mass appeal as Harry Potter? Who knows. But it is a very exciting prospect. Last year she launched the website, which is effectively a virtual wizarding world offering users encyclopaedic detail about the original books. Millions registered to join it and access material about the key characters in Harry Potter that had been previously unpublished.

Thousands have taken to Twitter to debate the new project. Have you? I think this is wonderful news. Can't wait!

Read more here

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy - Review

It's 1952 and Janie Scott's world falls apart when her parents are suspected of being Communist sympathizers. They have to leave their home in LA hurriedly and head for London, where they have been offered jobs. She's lonely until she meets Benjamin Burrows, who is the son of the Apothecary and who wants to be a spy. A game of chess becomes a way of tracking Russian spies and keeps her mind off her homesickness until The Apothecary disappears, leaving his Pharmacopoeia with his son for safekeeping. And as for the secrets hidden in the Pharmacopoeia - well, who wouldn't want to know how to become invisible, or turn into a bird? No wonder everyone is looking for it.

The adventures that follow are extraordinary as Benjamin and Janie try to find the Apothecary, safeguard the book, and ultimately prevent the detonation of a nuclear bomb. Brimming with magic, historical detail, and science, this adventure has everything - nuclear threats, political conspiracies, and spies. And it reads like a classic.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ready PLayer One by Ernest Cline

Imagine a future where you spend most of your time in a virtual world called the Oasis. It's where you go to school, socialize, play games, earn money - everything. A place outside reality where you can be anyone you want. The creator of this world dies an incredibly wealthy man. And he had no one to whom he wanted to leave his money. Thus he leaves behind a set of puzzles and bequeaths his fortune to the winner. Sounds easy - but when the book opens no one has even solved the first clue, although millions are trying.

Wade Watts wants to win badly. He spends his time researching everything 80s because Halliday, the creator, loved that time and Wade is convinced this will help him find the keys. But when he finds the first key, everything changes. Suddenly people are watching him, competitors are everywhere, and the danger is all too real.

I loved everything about Ready Player One. I raced through it but at the same time tried desperately to slow down and savor every moment. Packed full of 80s references, this is a nonstop adventure that reads like a video game. It's fun, it's clever, it's incredibly entertaining, and it never slows down. I did not think this book would talk to me, but I was SO wrong. Don't miss this one.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Magicians Pilot Was Not Greenlit

Sad news. Yesterday Lev Grossman revealed here that Fox decided to pass on the television pilot script based on his novel, The Magicians. The pilot script was written by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, the writers who worked on X-Men: First Class and Thor. Nevertheless, hope is not lost for a show.

He says that the way forward for the show now gets rockier. They’re going to take the script to cable networks and also going to renew talks on the feature-film side.

How disappointing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - Review

Aria lives in a future world that has been ravaged by aether storms. Safe from the outside world, she lives in a pod and spends most of her time in a virtual reality known as the realms. When we meet Aria she is in an abandoned pod with a group of friends where things get out of control. She only survives because an Outsider saves her. But she's blamed for what happened and is exiled, expected to die.

The people who live outside the pods are thought of as savages and the two worlds are very separate, until Aria runs into Peregrine, the same Outsider who has already saved her once. He's a hunter, can feel people's emotions, whose nephew was taken by the Dwellers. Perry is determined to rescue his nephew and Aria needs to find out if her mother is OK. They are so different, yet both have something the other needs. And thus starts their wild journey to find the person Perry thinks can help them.

The world in Under the Never Sky often feels brutal and dangerous. It's full of action and adventure and includes a very different mythology. The world is rich and complex, the characters vibrant and well drawn, and I found I could not put it down. Did I also mention that it includes cannibals, violent storms, and people who have extraordinary powers of sight or scent? And it's beautifully written.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff - review

Meg Rosoff is a store favorite. How I Live Now is one of my favorite YAs of all time. We've all read this one, shared how much we love it, and did happy dances when we found out she was visiting the store. I did mention that Meg Rosoff will be at Kepler's on February 16th at 7.00 pm, didn't I? So, so excited for this one. So, if you are in the Bay Area, don't forget to join us. Below is Antonia's review (I've already said we all loved it - right?)

One of the funniest stand-up routines I have ever seen is Robin Williams talking about the Duck-Billed Platypus and coming to the obvious conclusion that God must have been drunk or stoned or both at the time.

Meg Rosoff's God isn't drunk. Or stoned. He's a teenager. A teenaged boy to be precise, who got the job of God for this out of the way planet (ours) in the back woods of the universe in a poker game. He wasn't even playing. His Mom was. And it was late, and the players just couldn't be bothered any more, and it wouldn't really matter who got the job after all, so sure, why not give it to Bob.

And as we know, living here, that's working out soooo well!

What doesn't help is like most teenaged boys, Bob's eye can be turned by a pretty girl - and when it does, all hell breaks loose. Or at least Mother Nature. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes - world wide. And then there is Lucy. Pretty, kind and Bob's latest infatuation - and things pretty much go down hill from there.

Absolutely hilarious, Meg Rosoff has out done herself in this brilliant novel.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beautiful Creatures Movie News

Did you see the announcement? They have chosen who will be playing Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes in the Beautiful creatures movie! (click here for more)
Ethan: Jack O’Connell
Lena: Alice Englert
What do you think?
I'm just happy they are starting casting and moving the movie along.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa - Review

As soon as I finished The Iron King (which I loved) I turned straight to The Iron Daughter, where if you remember Meghan had no choice but to fulfill her side of the contract and follow Ash back to the Winter Court. And that is where we find her in The Iron Daughter, a prisoner in Queen Mab’s court, with no one believing how dangerous the Iron Fey actually are. And things only get worse when the Scepter of the Seasons is stolen and Mab blames the Summer Court. War is imminent and Meghan knows she must try to get the Scepter back and stop the war before the Iron Fey attack again.

This is every bit as hard to put down as the Iron King, as we again adventure with Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grimalkin, and Ironhorse. Yes, they are all back and I must say I did like the new role for Ironhorse. Meghan is a stronger character in this book and the twists still managed to blindside me. I will say that I am tired of love triangles but, that said, the romance sizzles here and there is more than enough intrigue and adventure to lose yourself in. On to the Iron Queen for me… (oh, I love this series…why didn't I read this sooner? And yes, many of you told me so!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Series for Maggie Steifvater!

Good news: hot off her Printz Honor for The Scorpio Races , Scholastic just announced the publication of a new four-book series from Maggie Stiefvater. The first book in the series, The Raven Boys, will be published on September 18; three additional books in the Raven Cycle will follow.

The book introduces Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey, III, a handsome private school student seeking a vanished Welsh King, and Blue Sargent, the daughter of a psychic, who has been told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. “I grew up on a diet of exceptional fantasy series for children—The Dark Is Rising, The Black Cauldron, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia—and I’ve always wanted to write one of those sprawling epic sagas built from intimate moments,” said Stiefvater in a statement.

Happy dance. I've loved all her books and can't wait for this one.

More info here

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


February and thoughts turn to Valentine's Day. It's no secret that I loved MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. And then I saw it - Valentine cards using the photos from the book. What a brilliant idea! Go here to see them all

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) and Maira Kalman

You must have all heard of Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman's fabulous new book, Why We Broke Up. And that they are on tour. Well, they will be at Kepler's on Thursday, February 2, at 7:00 p.m.

Yes, it was originally scheduled to be held at the Menlo Park Council Chambers, but it has been changed and I just want everyone to know that it will now be held in-store. So, for anyone who has ever been heartbroken, join us. Share your stories on our board (see left). Hear their stories and join us for an unforgettable evening.

I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

And even better: we are giving out signing line tickets with every copy of the book you buy from us. And these tickets will be numbered. So the earlier you buy the book, the less time you will spend in line waiting to meet and get your book signed by Daniel and Maira. Can’t get better than that!

And if you come on Thursday, stop me and introduce yourself. Always a pleasure to meet you

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cinder By Marissa Meyer - Review

We all know the story of Cinderella – now imagine her as a cyborg in a world ravaged by a plague, set after World War IV in New Beijing. She still has an evil stepmother/guardian, two step-sisters, but one of them develops symptoms of the illness and Cinder is blamed for her exposure. This Cinder is a mechanic and meets the young Prince Kai in the marketplace when he brings his android to be fixed. And of course there is a ball, which her stepmother does not want her to attend.

Add to this mix a Lunar Queen who visits unexpectedly after the Emperor dies, wanting to marry the Prince and ultimately rule Earth, a missing princess, and experiments to cure this plague and you get a very different Cinderella story.

I love fractured fairy tales and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It retains most of the traditional elements but is also a completely different story. This is the first of a quartet, it’s unusual, fun, and leaves you wanting the second installment NOW.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Daughter of the Centaurs by KK Ross - Review

Here's Antonia's review of Daughter of the Centaurs. Looks great

Malora was young when she witnessed her father and his hunters attacked and killed by great winged beasts from the sky. In the months that followed Malora's village was decimated by the same creatures. Sent away by her mother as her only hope of survival, Malora spends years on the plains with her herd of horses before she is captured by a strange group of people long thought mythical - the Centaurs.

Treated almost as a pet by these vain, proud creatures, Malora must learn their ways in order to not only survive - but thrive. With unexpected allies in this hostile realm Malora faces her future as the last of her kind.

Different, exciting and fun, this first book in The Centauriad Trilogy left me eager for more.

YALSA's 2012 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults

Here's YALSA's top ten list for best fictions for young adults. If you want the whole list you can go here

Carson, Rae. The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
Cohen, Joshua C. Leverage.
King, A.S. Everybody Sees the Ants.
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. Under the Mesquite.
Myracle, Lauren. Shine.
Ness, Patrick. A Monster Calls. Illus by Jim Kay.
Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray.
Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races.
Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Zarr, Sara. How to Save a Life.

Hm, do you agree? I have only read 4 on this list (but shh, don't tell anyone!) 3 others are on my TBR pile. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lauren Myracle

I had the great pleasure of hosting Lauren Myracle at Kepler’s yesterday. What a lovely person - so thoughtful and fun. Bit of background: She’s the author of numerous young adult novels and holds an MA in English and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She has written many novels, including the New York Times bestselling IM books, ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r.

But did you know that her first novel, Kissing Kate, was selected as one of ALA's "Best Books for Young Adults" for 2004, was named by Booklist as one of the "Top Ten Youth Romances" of the year, as well as one of the "Top Ten Books by New Writers." She went on to write the middle grade series Eleven, Twelve, etc , the Flower Power Series as well as Peace Love and Baby Ducks, Bliss, How to Be Bad, and Rhymes with Witches.

According to the ALA Lauren’s books were one of the most challenged books of 2009 and continue to be challenged. And then there was the firestorm with the National Book Foundation and Shine. I’ll just say that Lauren handled it all with grace and maturity and the book is fantastic and deserved its place on the shortlist. And, as she tells it, she learned a lot, and got the National Book Foundation to donate $5000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. I hope the National Book Foundation judges learned from this too.

Lauren has an easy and open style, she sat perched on a stool and chatted about her writing, her inspiration, her path to publication, and her books, how she works at Starbucks and listens to all the conversations around her - and was so supportive and interested in her audience. They had great questions. If you get a chance, go and hear her. It's well worth it.

And, by the way, these photos were taken by Nancy aka the Ravenous Reader because my camera died. Thank you Nancy.