Monday, October 31, 2011

Are you a Wrimo?

Happy Halloween, all! 

Tomorrow starts National Novel Writing Month 2011. Are you going to take on the task of writing 50,000 words in a mere 30 days? This year I'm not going to even attempt it. I wish I was, but with grad school and the other business in my life, I won't even dare. Maybe next year...

Good luck to all of you who are participating. Maybe I'll try to offer some extra writing-related tips on here. (Not that you'll have time to read this if you're doing NaNo.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by The Story Siren. Head over there to see what kinds of goodies everyone picked up this week. 

I didn't get much this week. I had kind of a big week last week, so I was trying not to buy much. I only got the 2nd part of a novel for my YA Lit class. (I had accidentally only purchased the first half.) 

What did you get this week? Don't forget to leave me a link so I can come visit! 

Bookish pumpkins

I saw this in an email newsletter I receive and I new I had to share it with you. October is my favorite month, and it's partially because of all things pumpkin. These literary pumpkins featured on Flavorwire are amazing. I just wish I had the skill to carve like that. Mine look more like a 2-year old carved them. 

Here are a few:

Where the Wild Things Are

And of course, my favorite...

If you have time, you should click over to Flavorwire and go see the rest. They're worth it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Trailers

I have a book talk due next week in my class. This time we have to present a visual along with it. I was pretty sure what I was going to do, but tonight she mentioned doing a book trailer. I'm intrigued by the challenge. Here are a few questions though:

1) As a reader and book consumer, how do you feel about book trailers? Do you watch them? Do they influence your purchasing decisions?

2) How on earth do I go about making a book trailer? I have limited filmmaking experience. Have you ever made one?

3) Is this way too lofty of a goal for next week? Should I stick to a poster?

4) Do you have a favorite book trailer? Share the link below!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dear Bully

Dear Bully

    By Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones
      352 pages
    My rating: A
    Source: purchased

70 Contemporary Young Adult authors came together for one cause: to let teens know they are not alone. Whether playing the role of bully, bullied, or bystander, favorite authors share their stories of teen trials and tribulations and how they dealt with unkind and sometimes dangerous situations. From stories of being gay and dealing with homophobic putdowns to being a new kid in uncool clothes, authors share stories that will resonate with teens all over the world. Their message is simple: No matter who you are or how bad things might seem right now, it will eventually end and you will be better because of it.

This is a powerful piece of literature. Teens’ favorite authors, from all walks of life, have taken their time to show the youth of our country how important they really are. No matter what situation a teen might find themselves in, there is likely a short story in this book that they will be able to connect with. Some authors even bravely came forward to say that they played the part of the bully or the bystander and gave insight into that point of view. It’s really a great thing for so many authors to show their vulnerable sides and be so supportive of the fight against bullying.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bad Girls Don't Die

Bad Girls Don't Die

     by Katie Alender
     346 pages
     My rating: C
     Source: purchased

15 year-old Alexis is busy being buried in her gothic, high school outcast life to worry too much about her younger sister, Kasey. After all, it’s not as if she and Kasey are best friends. This isn’t your normal, angst-ridden tale of teenage woe. When Kasey begins acting really strangely, especially when confronted about her doll collection, Alexis gets nervous. She’s never seen her sister acting so oddly, so angrily before. All of Kasey’s enemies seem to be affected in some way after this new mood comes about. Would Kasey even get so angry that she might hurt Lexi?

Overall, this was just a so-so novel for me. It had a great story line with chilling moments, but the writing itself lacked something. I think that there was a big hype surrounding it, and that might be the reason that it fell short for me. I still enjoyed it and would most read some of the author's other works in the future. Alender created a modern-day teen novel with the charm of a classic ghost story. Alexis first seems to be your average angst-ridden teen caught up in the woes of her own dysfunctional family. The story is much deeper than that though. It’s a chilling mystery, a tale of unlikely friendships, and a story about sisterhood. The bond between Kasey and Alexis is more than strained, which will resonate well with many teens, but the love between them is evident in spite of their differences. With quirky characters and a classic take on the paranormal and just the right amount of spookiness, this story may make you want to keep the light on at night.

Monday, October 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

Sorry, I meant to post this yesterday, but it didn't happen! For that, you get a video!

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by The Story Siren. Head over there to see what kinds of goodies everyone picked up this week. 



    By Myra McEntire 
   400 pages

     My rating: A
     Source: Library ebook
Emerson Cole’s world is falling apart. Literally. Her parents are dead, she had to change schools, and now she seems to be seeing ghosts. When strange, but very handsome Michael comes into her life, Emerson is sure things are starting to look up. That is, until she realizes that Michael has been hired by her brother to help her deal with the spirits she keeps seeing. As Emerson and Michael begin to work together, the scenes she experiences become more vivid and her feelings for him are undeniable. How can Emerson control her emotions for the off-limits older boy when she’s so distracted by things of the spirit-world? 

Hourglass is a nice mix of The Matrix, & The X-Men, with a fabulous teenage love story thrown in for good measure. It has action, time-travel, betrayal, family dynamics, and a strong female lead. I fell in love with Emerson, Michael, and the whole crew. The villians were human and believable and the heroes had their faults along with their good qualities. McEntire uses humor and imagination to create a story where the reader feels part of Emerson’s world. Hourglass is the first in a series about Emerson’s adventures in time-shifting and special abilities.

  Also.... don't be surprised if I ever have a daughter and name her Emerson. I love that name!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head

Sean Griswold's Head
  By Lindsey Leavitt
   288 pages
   My rating: B
   Source: Library ebook

Fifteen year-old Payton thinks that her counselor’s suggestion to find an ordinary object to focus on is ridiculous. That is, until she finds Sean’s head. Sean Griswold, the same Sean Griswold she’s known for years, suddenly seems mysterious and intriguing. Focusing on Sean’s gorgeous head is just the thing that Payton needs to keep her from focusing on the real issue at hand: the big, scary secret that her parents kept from her for months. Payton must decide if her rebellion and new object of affection is really worth it before her world falls apart. 

Sean Griswold’s Head at first appears to be just a lighthearted book about a short-term teenage love obsession. It’s so much more than that, though. Leavitt deals with real, gritty issues like divorce and disease in a way that real teenagers can relate to. The issues are lightened by the inclusion of a relationship, but they aren’t brushed aside. This is proof that not all books must have a happy ending to be enjoyable. The use of a rich main character that is supported by multiple quirky backups helps to make this a better-than-average teen novel.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No National Book Award for Myracle

Did you guys hear about this? I absolutely cannot believe this. Lauren Myracle was "politely asked" to drop out of the running as a National Book Finalist, because her book was accidentally nominated. How on earth is a book accidentally nominated? They claim it was a clerical error, but I'm calling b.s. on this one. With an organization that big and as many people as they have working on it, someone would have noticed, right? 
Myracle seems to have been gracious and ladylike about the whole thing. Kudos to her. It's more than I would have done. 

*I've not read Shine, so I have no opinions on the book or on Myracle herself. (Of course, I have to go read it now, just in support of her.) I would be appalled regardless of who the author was.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book rec needed

Okay reader friends, I need a book recommendation and I'm counting on you. For my Young Adult Lit class, I have 10 book genre summaries to complete. One of them needs to be a fiction history/war book.

We are already doing a unit on the Holocaust in addition to this, so I really wanted to stay away from WWII books if I could (even though I love them).


Sunday, October 16, 2011



by Lauren DeStefano
358 pages
My rating: A+
Source: Purchased
Sixteen year-old Rhine Ellery finds herself prisoner in a sprawling Florida mansion. She is set to become the bride of 20 year-old Linden, the wealthy owner of the estate. In Rhine’s time, all but North America has been destroyed, and the world looks very different than it does today. The first generation’s work with genetic embryo modification caused a devastating virus to afflict the entire younger population. All women die at age 20 and men at age 25. With the high female to male ratio, young men are taking multiple wives and are kidnapping and murdering to ensure that their DNA is passed on. With the help of her sister wives and a few of the house servants, Rhine plans her escape back to her twin brother Rowan in New York. Can she stay strong despite everything that could hold her back?

DeStefano has created an eerily realistic dystopian world that will cause readers to question their own beliefs about genetics and human modification. Rhine is a complex character who readers will easily find themselves connecting with. The supporting characters are an interesting array, from the helpless teen sister wife to the overbearing villainous father-in-law. Wither deals with extremely heavy issues and not always in a pretty way. This is a raw, visceral tale of survival. At the same time, readers are tugged in by the relationship between Rhine and the mansion’s other occupants. DeStefano’s didn’t sugarcoat her story of loss and strength which made it the perfect mixture of beautiful and tragic.
I've heard so many great things about Wither and I've had it on my shelf for months. Why did I wait so long to read this?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Giveaway winners

Thanks to those of you who entered the Banned Books Week giveaways. I didn't publicize them very well, so you had really great chances of winning! 

The winner of my Banned Books List giveaway is...

The winner of the Youtube giveaway is.... 


I'll be contacting them and getting their information so that I can send out their books. Thanks again for entering and look out later this month for another giveaway (hopefully!).

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by The Story Siren. Head over there to see what kinds of goodies everyone picked up this week.


 It was a quiet week, but a pricy one!

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